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"Methixks, the TBum should lite prom aof. to aor, 


Even to the oekeeal ali^-endino day." Shakrpkare. 



JIJ2, 3. I • -f-/. 

[ 77*f riifht of Trunxfatiou is rcunved ] 




Cl|e CoIIotDtng 9aqt% are BeDieatel! 




The reforms wrought by Sultan Mahmoud II. — in effect 
a Moslem social revolution, — disturbed the foundations 
of the edifice reared by his ancestors, and altered the 
relations of Turkey with Christendom. Previously 
isolated, with her hand* against everybody and every- 
body's hand against her, Turkey then entered the comity 
of nations, but on invidious terms, — the terms of a step- 
child in a numerous family. Drawn irresistibly within 
the sphere of alien influences exercised by diplomatists 
variously inspired, she gravitated now towards one now 
towards another centre of attraction, with unstable 
equiUbrium, No longer self-reliant, she viewed apprehen- 
sively the ambition of a neighbour and uneasily the 
aspirations (encouraged by classic sympathies) of quondam 
subjects : ill reassured in regard of the former by inter- 
national jealousy, and with respect to the latter by 
political incapacity. 

Irresolute between antagonistic pretensions, the Porte 
allowed a dispute at Jerusalem between members of the 
Latin and Oriental churches to ripen into a ** question ; " 


which opened a way for the French ruler to raise the 
tone of his army and thereby replace France in her 
natural, position, abdicated by his predecessor, in the front 
rank of nations. Leading England, while seeming led by 
her, to concur in his policy, and Turkey to believe in his 
sincerity, he secured their active alliance, and so ably 
played his cards in the ensuing game of war as to derive 
from it a maximum of " glory " with a minimum of 
obloquy. Eussia's ardent foe in the Crimea, France sat 
at the council table at Paris her genial advocate. 

A sketch of Sultan Mahmoud's reforms, and — direct 
consequence — the attitude of diplomacy at Constantinople, 
preceded, for the sake of comparison, by an outline of the 
conditions of Turkish power when that power was 
formidable to Europe, has seemed to the author a fitting 
commencement of a narrative which embraces, witli other 
topics, remarks on the Crimean war remotely flowing 

Having briefly touched on those subjects, the author 
indicates in the following pages the influences brought to 
bear on the Porte preceding and during the Crimean war, 
and gives deferentially a qualified Turkish view, essential 
for the completion of the picture, of some of the events 
of that war : moviad by a legitimate desire to show cause 
for the untoward action of the Anglo-French alliance on 
the prestige of the Ottoman power ; and also, by a 
sense of the moral obligation of every one in a position 
of observation during that period to contribute, in the 


degree of his lights and opportunities, materials for the 
elucidation of a probable subject of controversy in later 
times, the miscarriage in the main of a remarkable league 
formed for the purpose of depressing one and ostensibly 
sustaining another empire. 

Within eight years of the Peace of Paris Kusaia 
dared to irritate her recent vanquishers. Heedless of the 
urbane remonstrances of one, of the traditional sympa- 
thies of the other, she stamped out Polish nationality 
with her heel, and, careless about public opinion, 
plucked, remorseless, Caucasian independence up by the 
roots. The Ehans of Turkistan have since admitted her 
supremacy, and the Ameer of Bokhara has sued for her 
graces. Within eleven years of that peace the Eastern 
question, which enthusiasts fancied had been laid under 
the Malakof for a century, reappears looming on the 
horizon, hazy, indistinct, like the genius freed by the 
fisherman in the Arabian Nights. Like that curious 
Arab watching amazed the condensation of the portentous 
v9.pour into form and substance, politicians and philo- 
sophers are watching with speculation in their eyes for 
an outline of the features of the Apparition. In view of 
a possible menacing aspect, monarchies are arming, 
cabinets are scheming, nationalities are stirring, and 
propagandism is active. England alone, the most 
interested after Turkey, the outwork of her Asiatic Empire, 
in that question, sits in the chair of self-complacency, 
fanned by the breeze of commercial prosperity. 


The thesis that no race, whether Christian or Moslem, 
in the Turkish empire can succeed the Ottomans as the 
rulers of it, may be disputed by phil-Hellenists and philo- 
Sclavs, and the theorem that Egypt cannot exist as 
a sovereign Moslem state is apparently ignored by the 
actual viceroy : they are, nevertheless, the reaUty of the 
Eastern question ; and although in the opinion of some 
it matters but little to England whether an Othman, a 
Romanof, or a Hapsburg rule on the banks of the 
Bosphorus, it does in the opinion of all concern her 
much whether a Turk or a Frank rule in the valley of 
the Nile. 

London, March 1, 18C7. 



Origin of the Ottoman Nation — Othman Founder of the Turkisli 
Monarchy — Sultan Amurath I. defeats the Sclavonic League — 
Bajazet subjugates Asia Minor — He is defeated and taken Captive 
by Tamerkme — Mahomet I. and liis Descendants consolidate the 
Empire — Syria and Egypt subdued by Selim I. — Amurath IV. 
captures Bagdad — Eastern Empire of the Turks — Policy of the 
House of Othman — Reign of Sultan Mahomet IV. — Power of the 
Sultans — Policy of Sultan Mahmoud — The Janissaries and their 
Organization — Their Destruction and its Consequences — The 
Reforms of Sultan Mahomet II. — Fires in Constantinople — Pertef 
Pasha — Death and Burial of Sultan Mahmoud 


Sultan Abdul Medjid — The Tanzimat and its Results — ^Abrupt Transi- 
tions in the Administration — The Army and Conscription — Brig- 
andage — Lenity of the late Sultan — Official Corruption — Red- 
shid Pasha — His Policy — The Medjlises, or Boards — Authority 
and Power of the old Vizirs — Mode of dealing with rebellious 
Vizirs — Government without an Army — ^Decentralization of 
Finance — The Navy — Effects of Centralization — Conciliation of 
the Rayahs advisable — Retrospect of an ancient Turk 24 


Ambassadors at Constantinople, under the Old and the New Regime 
— Position of Diplomatists at Constantinople — Effect of Obselete 
Commercial Legislation — Turkish Manufactures supplanted by 
cheap foreign Fabrics — Novel Attitude of Diplomacy towards 
the Divan — Presents to Foreign Diplomatists — Oriental Ideas of 
Presents — Usury, the Cancer of Turkey and Cause of the Low 
State of Agriculture — Education — Parish Schools — Colleges — 



Military and Medical Schools — Quarantine — The European Crisis 
of 1848 — Dilemma of the Porte as to Hungarian Fugitives — The 
Montenegrin Insurrection — Demands of Austria acceded to — 
Similarity of Turkish and Austrian Policy — Ball given by tlie 
French Ambassador in Honour of the Second Empire 46 


Louis Napoleon's Choice of a War Policy — The Rival Christian 
Powers in the East — The Firman restoiing to the Roman Catlio- 
lics the Holy Places — The Porte summoned to carry it into Effect 
— Menacing Attitude of France — Weakness of the Turkish Policy 
— The Matter in Dispute — ^Attitude of England — Question of 
tlie Holy Places — Russian Intervention — Mission of Prince 
Mentchikof— Passive Attitude of the Porte — English View of the 
Situation ~ «fl 


Prince Mentchikof s injudicious Conduct — Russian Demands — Posi- 
tion of the Greek Church in Turkey — Russian Objects — Prince 
Mentchikofs " Note " — European Misconception of its Object — 
Feelings of the Turks towards Russia — Death of the Sultan's 
Mother — The Funeral Ceremonies — Her Character and Influence 
over the Sultan — Change of Ministiy — Redshid Pasha's Policy — 
Antagonistic Feelings of tlie Ministers — The Russian " Note " 
rejected by the Council of State — Rupture of Diplomatic Relations 
with Russia — Depai-ture of Prince Mentchikof and the Russian 
Legation 79 


The Porte takes defensive Measures— The Castles on the Bosphorus 
— The Turkish Fleet — Dangers from the Vicmity of European 
Merchant Vessels — Harbour-masters of Foreign Consulates — 
Turkish Captains under Restrictions — Fear of the Porte to give 
Umbrage to Russia — Readiness and Activity of Sailors and 
Soldiers— Military Preparations of tlie Porte — Self-dovotion of 
the People — Troops marched to the Frontiers — Influence of the 
English and French Press — Addresses of the Greek and Armenian 
Patriarchs — Mussulman Distinctions applied to tlie Western 
Potentates — Ariival of the English and French Fleets — The 
Turks supposed them to have been hiied by the Sultan — 
Moslem Behef in a special Providence watchiug over them — 
Foreign Orders and Decorations profusely conferred on Turkisli 
Ofllcials 92 




Passage of the Prutli by the Russians — The Sultan dismisses his 
Ministers, but recalls them — ^Decision of a Council of State — 
Position of Russia weakened — Dilemma of the Porte — Delusion 
of the People — The Vienna Note — Advice respecting it — Sir 
Stratford Canning and Redshid Pasha — The Porte's Refusal of 
the Vienna Note — ^Warlike Preparations of Turkey — The Porte 
in the Meshes of Diplomacy — The Ruling Class of Turkey past 
and present— Frankish Turks 105 


Arrival of the Egyptian Contingent — Their close Stowage and scanty 
Fare — Story of the Egyptian Contingent — Self-mutilation in 
Mehemet Ali's Time to escape Military Service — Desertion and 
its Penalty — Their Inspection by the Sultan — His Reception 
and Largesse — Embarkation of the Egj'ptian Troops — Their 
soldierly Spirit — Galata Newsmongers' Canards — Sanguinary 
Rumours credited by the French and English Ambassadors — 
Groundless Alarm — Four War Steamers summoned by the 
Ambassadors — Calmness of the Sultan — Protection aflforded by 
the Porte to Foreigners — Governmental Autliority in Constan 
tinople-^ Loyalty of the Soldiery — Their Isolation from the 
Civilians „ 116 


Russia refuses the Porte's Modifications of the Vienna Note — The 
Porte declares War — Prince Gortchakof invited to evacuate tlie 
Principalities — Honours conferred by the Sultan on the Greek 
Patriarch — A Turkish Squadron sent to the Black Sea returns 
to the Bosphorus — Condition of the Turkish Navy — The 
Author's Suggestion to the Capitan Pasha — It is overruled — 
Sinope, the only safe Roadstead, exposed to Attack — The Navy 
in a Transition State — Two Parties in the Ser\dce — Its low Tone 

Forebodings of Disaster — A Russian Squadron reported — 

The Frigate Nuzretieh ordered to Soa — Representation of 
Mushaver Pasha — Strange Order of the Capitan Pasha — The 
Nuzretieh in the Black Sea— Orders given to tlie Turkish 
Squadron — Omar Pasha's Victory at Oltenitza — Successes and 
Reverses of the Turks in Asia — Valour of the Troops and Mis- 
conduct of their Officers — Exultation of the Turks 126 




The Turkish Squadron at Sinope — A Russian Squadron in the Offing 
— Choice of Measures for the Turkish Commander — An Oppor- 
tunity of Retreat — Reappearance of the Russian Squadron — 
Position of the Turkish Ships — Shore Batteries of Sinope — The 
Russian Ships enter the Bay — Flight of the Grovemor of Sinope 
and the Moslem Inhabitants — ^Vacillation of the Turks — The 
Fire of the Russian Squadron — Total Destruction of the Turkish 
Sliips — Terrible Loss of Life — Gallantry of some Turkish 
Officers — Indulgence of the Porte — Escape of the Taif — The 
Captain Pasha reproaches the French and English Governments 
— Opinions of their Ambassadors — Sinope after the Battle — 
Pusillanimity of tlie Governor — Sufferings of the Survivors — 
Pitiable State of the Wounded — Their Joy at the Prospect of Re- 
moval to Constantinople 139 


Tlie Turkish Fleet preparing for Sea — The Author summoned to the 
Porte — Reception by the Divan of the Defeat at Sinope — Report 
of a Repulse of the Russians — Unwelcome Counsel — The 
Author's Representations prevail — His Suggestions for the 
erection of Redoubts at Sinope overruled — Impracticable Sugges- 
tions made to the Porte— Turkish Policy in yielding to them — 
Gradual Progress safest for Nations — Result of Inquiry into the 
Disaster of Sinope— Blame unjustly thrown on the Porte — The 
Grand Coimcil ready to treat for Peace — Warlike Demonstra- 
tion of Softas calmed down — Manifesto of the Porte — Redshid 
Pasha's Note to the Four Powers — Lord Clarendon's Reply — 
Action of the Western Powers — The combined Squadrons 
enter the Black Sea — Notification of the Allies' Admirals to the 
Russian Admiral 152 


Unexpected Return of the combined Fleets to Beikos Bay — They are 
mistaken for the Russian Fleet by the Capitan Pasha — The 
Russians again Masters of the Black Sea — Consequences of 
imperfect Accord between the Allies' Ambassadors and Admirals 
— Turkish Steamers with Troops under Convoy enter the 
Black Sea — Patience of the Soldiers under their Privations — 
Distress from Overcrowding — Former Instances — The Turkish 
Convoy anchor at Sinope, and at Trebizond — Readiness of the 
Troops — Shiftlessness of Regular Troops when not cared for — 
Mortality in the Turkish Army — Confidence at Trebizond in the 



Allies — A Native Preacher's Prophecy for English Unbelievers 
— Turkish Ideas of English Protestants — Invalid Troops at 
Batoom — Georgian Bashi-bazouks and their Leader — Troops 
under Canvas — Error in adopting European Clothing for 
Turkish Troops — Advantages of the old Turkisli Costume — 
Re-adoption of Oriental Uniforms by the present Sultan — 
Foreigners wonder at the Hardihood of Turkish Soldiers — The 
Secret explained — Habits of the Turkish Peasant fit him for 
enduring Hardships — Promises of Mohammed to Soldiers — In- 
fluence of patriotic or religious Sentiment — Comforts for Soldiers 
and Sailors of recent Date — Initiation in England by Royalty — 
Extent of Improvements in the British Navy — Former Condition 
of the Sailors — Unhealthiness of Batoom — Turkish Reverses in 
tliat District — A Westerly Gale in the Black Sea — Disasters to 
the Steamer Fain-bari — No Assistance rendered by other 
Steamers 104 


Drifting into War — Insurrection of the Greeks, headed by Karaskaiki 
— Not supported by Russia — Policy of the Emperor Nicholas and 
the Empress Catherine — Repressive Measures of the Porte — The 
Egjrptian Contingent — The Greeks cahned by Fuad Efendi — 
Hellenists banished by the Porte — ImpoUcy of tliat Measure — 
Intervention of the French Ambassador — General Baraguay 
d'Hilliers threatens to leave Constantinople — The Allies intervene 
in Greece — Indignation of King Otho and his Queen — The Hel- 
lenist Warfare beyond the Frontier of Greece — Successes of the 
Ottomans at Czetate and Karakal — Turkish Enthusiasm — Call 
for the Bashi-bazouks — Their Anival at Scutari — Reviewed by 
the Seraskir at Constantinople — Their picturesque Costumes — 
Bashi-bazouks headed by a female Chieftain — Sensation caused 
by Kara Fatima — She is received by the Seraskir — Popular 
Delusion as to the Value of the Bashi-bazouk — Their Ideas IKI 


Attitude of Austria — She is invited to arm against Russia — Her 
ignoble Policy — The Western Powers show no Sign of Earnest- 
ness — Sir John Burgoyne arrives at Constantinople — His Mea- 
sures — Their Effect on the Turks — Russian Policy in War — Best 
Course for the Western Powers — Military Force of Turkey — How 
tliis Force might have been best used — Tlie Turkish Army — Its 
former Organization — Its recent Alterations — The Soup-Kettles 
of the Turkish Army in old Times — The ancient Turkisli Naval 
System — Reply of a Mufti on the Question of Foreign Aid — 
Secret of former Independence of Turkey — Machiavelli on Foreign 



Auxiliaries— The Allied Fleets leave Beikos—A " Benevolence " 
resorted to at Constantinople — Spontaneous Contributions of the 
Provinces — Sickness in the Army on the Danube — Deficiency of 
Medical Stores at Schumla, Rudshuk, and other Garrisons — 
Fraud and Venality— Inferior Quality of the Supplies — Frau- 
dulent Contractory — Tenderness for such Characters immoral — 
Gravity of their Offences 1H9 


The Turkish Fleet eager to enter the Euxine — Employment for it sug- 
gested — Entliusiasm in the Caucasus for the Sultan — How to 
profit by it — Schamyl Ruler of Daghestan — His Naib, Mehemed 
Emin Efendi, in Circassia — Their opposite Modes of Rule — Their 
Policy in regard to the War — The Caucasus the vulnerable Part 
of Russia — Mushaver Pasha's Proposal for employing the Turkish 
Fleet — How received by the Allied Admirals— An Anglo-French 
Expedition to the Caucasian Coast projected — Its Futility — The 
Turks best fitted to deal with the Circassians — ^A Turkish 
Steamer asked for to accompany the projected Expedition — 
Reasons for its Refusal— Views of the Porte 201 


Arrival of the Vanguard of the British Army in the Bosphorus — 
Turkish and English Sentries at the Barracks in Scutari — Prince 
Napoleon and the Duke of Cambridge — Gloomy Presages in Con- 
stantinople—Reception of the Troops by the People and Authori- 
ties — Arrival of the Fury in tlie Bosphorus — Attack on Odessa 
b}' the Allied Fleets — Grounds for this Proceeding — Resem- 
blance of Odessa to Brighton — What constitutes a Flag of Truce 
— Ultimatum of the Allied Admirals — ^Admiral Dundas's View of 
the Bombardment of Odessa — His Desire to Bombard Odessa 
more effectually — Odessa of no strategic Importance — War never 
aided by needless Severity — Moral and Physical Effects of 
wanton Aggression — Instances in Point — Popular Feeling in 
Russia and England excited by the War — Vicarious Retaliation 
— Blockade of the Danube by tlie Allied Admirals 211 


The Allied Fleets sail for Sevastopol, and an Anglo-French Steam 
Squadron for the Coast of Circassia — The Capitan Pasha proposes 
the Junction of the Turkish Squadron— Its Instructions— Presen- 
tation of the Turkish Admirals to the Sultan — Sefer Pasha and 
Behchet Pasha— Equipment of the Turco-Egyptian Squadron — 
Vice- Admiral Dundas cotmsels Delay — The Author's Opinion 



and Advice — Achmet Pasha's Objections — Mushaver Pasha 
requested to mediate with the Allied Admirals — His Memorandum 
for their Consideration — He joins the Anglo-French Fleet in the 
Faisi-bari — His Reception by Admiral Dundas and Admiral 
Hamelin — Objections of the French Admiral — Letter of Admiral 
Dundas to Ahmed Pasha — Dismay of the Circassian Pashas 2*22 


The Allies' Fleets at Baltchik — How they watched Sevastopol — Tlie 
Turkish Fleet kept at Out-post Duty — What might have been 
done in the Summer of 1854 — Powerful Force of the Fleets — 
• Discourtesy to Mushaver Pasha — Conciliatory Compliments 
imacknowledged — Tidings of the Anglo-French Squadron on the 
Circassian Coast — Turkish Envoys and Munitions of War tran- 
shipped to Circassia — Precipitancy of the Measure — Indignation 
of the Turks — Disappointment of the Circassians — ^Admiral Sir 
Edmund Lyon's Report of the Circassians — Motives of the Allies' 
Admirals— Articles in the Daily News — Mortality in the Turkish 
Fleet — Its Cause — The Allies' Admirals object to its Cruising, 
and order it to lie at Varna — Remonstrance of the Turkish 
and Egyptian Admirals — Recall of the Fleet by the Porte — 
Views of the Allies' Admirals as to the Turkish Fleet carried 
out — Results of their Proceedings — Effect on the Circassians — 
The Allies' Admirals secure for Russia Iq War what she had not 
ventured to ask in Peace 237 


The Russian Army crosses the Danube — Prince Paskievitch lays 
siege to Silistria — Its Governor, Musa Pasha, is kiUed — 
Gallantry of the British Officers Butler and Nasmyth — The 
Allies aroused to Activity — Conference with Omar Pasha at 
Schumla — Duke of Cambridge embarks with his Division for 
Varna — Quiescence of Omar Pasha — The Russians raise the Siege 
of Silistria — What the Allies might have done — Todleben joins 
the Russian Camp — Prince Gortchakofs Advice — The allied 
Armies ordered to the Crimea — Proposals of Austria — Her 
" Material Guarantee " — Plans of France and England — Reason- 
able Hopes of Success — Sevastopol no longer "a standing 
Menace " — Position of Constantinople — What is wanting to make 
it Predominant — Results of such Consummation — Feelings of the 
Turkish Navy — Exploit of a Russian War Steamer — The Turkish 
Fleet at Varna — The Town occupied by the Allies — Uncere- 
monious Proceedings of the French — Disgust of the Inhabitants 
— Danger from Fire — Neglect of Precautions against it — 
Outbreak of Fire — Losses of the British Commissariat — No one 
to direct Operations — Conduct of European and Tuikish Soldiers 



contrasted — Groundless Sospicions of Greek Treachery — Too late 
Precautions — Stormy Meeting of Turkish Notahles — Angry 
Complaints against the European Conmianders — Accessibility 
of Turkish Officials — Indignant Speech of an Efendi — Danger to 
the Shipping in the Bay — No Guard-vessels — Outbreak of the 
Cholera at Varna — Observations of the Disease — Inferences and 
Proofs — Assistance safely rendered by the Healthy and Well- 
fed — Danger of Mental Depression — Treatment of Cholera by 
the Turks — Danger from checked Perspiration — Why the 
Turkish Crews suffered less from Cholera — Superstitious Panic 
of Turkish Sailors — Heavy Losses of French Troops from 
Disease — Mortality at Kustenge — Sickness in the British Army 
— Its Causes 250 


Embarkation of the allied Armies — Rations of Turkish Troops — 
Quality of the Men — The Conscription in Turkey — Suleyman 
Pasha — The Turks averse from the Service — The Esnan — Their 
Losses at Varna — Nostalgia a real Disease — Tone of the Allies 
— Marshal St. Amaud and General Caurobert — Lord Raglan — 
Criticism of the Naval Commanders — The three allied Fleets at 
Baltchik — The French and Turkish Fleets weigh Anchor — 
Arrival of the English Transports at Baltchik — The Covering 
Fleet — An Opportunity lost by tlie Russians — Influence of British 
Naval Reno^^Ti — The Russian Fleet at Sevastopol — ^Appearance 
of the English Fleet — Advantages of Katcha Bay as a Landing- 
Place — Two Modes of attacking Sevastopol — Error in choosing 
the Point of Attack — Probability of Success from the opposite 
Coast — Sevastopol exposed to a Surprise — The Flank March 
— The combined Fleets anchor at Eupatoria — Estimate of the 
Forces — Bat Horses of British Cavalry left behind — News- 
paper Correspondents — The Question considered in relation to 
War — The French Press tongue-tied 272 


The Fleets anchor off" " Old Fort " — Aspect of the Shore — Prompt 
Disembarkation of French Troops — Their Alertness — Prince 
Napoleon — French Soldiers under Canvas — Disembarkation of 
the British Forces — The Soldiers landed without Tents or Knap- 
sacks — Their Bivouac under heavy Rain — Defective Organization 
— Results of needless Exposure — Altered Conditions of Invasions 
created by Steam — Landing of Cavalry — Tartars come into Camp 
— Their Joy at Sight of Moslem troops — Their Account of the 
Force of Sevastopol — A Spy — Complaint against the Zouaves 
by a Tartar — How disposed of — Combined Forces of the 



Allied Armies — Characteristics of each Army — Tlie Turkish 
Commander returns to Constantinople and is banished — Tlic 
English Tents re-embarked, and the Army bivouacked for three 
weeks — 111 EflFects of tliis Exposure — Prince Mentchikofs 
Forces — His Aim to create Delay — His Position liable to be 
turned on both Flanks— March of the French— The British 
storm the Hill-side of the Alma — Steady Calmness of their 
Advance — " Forward ! " the only Order — The Crisis — Victory -JHO 


The Battle of the Alma firuitless — A Victory without Trophies — The 
Victors sleep on their Laurels — Their pleasant Despatches — Aged 
Ofl&cers — Few Troops in Sevastopol — Ineffective Fire of the 
Forts — The Object of the Crimean Expedition frustrated by Delay 
— Military Council in Sevastopol decides to obstruct tlie Entrance 
of the Harbour by sinking a Squadron of Sliips — Review of the 
Position of Affairs — English Troops suffer from Diarrhoea — Tlie 
allied Armies march to the Balbec — The Russians sink tlieir 
Ships — An English Officer of Engineers — Capture of Russian 
Baggage — The Allied Army reaches Balaclava — Its Dependence 
on the Sea disadvantageous — Artillery Engagement between ■ 
Steamers and Batteries — Bad l^ctice of Russian Gunners — 
Death of Marshal St. Amaud :ii)H 


Harbour of Balaclava — Neglect, Confusion, and Waste — Mistaken 
Confidence in the speedy Fall of Sevastopol — Bird's-eye View 
of Sevastopol — The Malakof— Fortime's Favours disregarded — 
Talk with some English Soldiers — Corporal Wheeler's Bravery at 
the Alma — Soldiers should judge of their Comrades' Deserts — 
Partial Allotment of Good- Conduct Badges — Honorary Awards 
should be made on the Instant — Practice in the French Armj' — 
Colonel Todleben's Promptitude and Energy — Leisurely Pro- 
ceedings of the Allies — Confidence of the Engineers — Comment 
of a Moslem — The Cossacks regain Sway over the Tartar 
Inhabitants — Russian Cavalry reconnoitre — The Allies' Siege- 
works completed — Guns in Position — First day's Attack by Land 
and Sea — The Enemy's Fire — Advance of the allied Fleets — 
Firing ineffective because of the Smoke — The Aim at long 
Ranges uncertain — Nelson's Maxim — The Agamemnon and Sans 
Pareil — Effective Fire of the W^asp Battery — Low earthen 
Redoubts with heavy Guns very formidable — Tactics of the 
French and English Admirals 310 




Partial Failure of the Expedition — Feelings of the allied Generals — 
Hints of Winter unwelcome — Illusory Hopes of speedy Success — 
Castrametation neglected — The British Lines — Turks driven out 
of Redoubts — The Russians repulsed by Highlanders and routed 
by Heavy Cavalry — The Balaclava Charge — Russian Sortie 
from Sevastopol repulsed — Wreck of an Egyptian Ship and 
Frigate — Sufferings of the Turkish Troops — Neglect of them 
by the Allies — Turkish Hospital at Balaclava — Deaths from 
Djrsentery and Overtoil — Oriental Indifference to unseen Suffer- 
ings — Fatalism and Selfishness — Lord Raglan interposes — A Ship 
Hospital fitted out for Turkish Sick — Lord Raglan's Appreciation 
thereof— The Hospital Ship sent back to Constantinople — Rations 
of Pork and Rum not available by Mohammedans — Other Supplies 
not regularly issued-T-The Turks destitute of Money 325 


Russian Reinforcements — Prince Mentchikof tries to raise the Siege — 
His Choice between two Courses — Russian Plan of Attack — 
Conflict at Inkerman — Merits of the respective Troops — Perilous 
Position of the British — Timely Aid of the French — Russian 
Retreat — Loss of the Assailants — A Prisoner shot by his Captor — 
Temptation to a British Sentry — Medals for Balaclava and Inker- 
man — Theory of Distribution of War Medals — " Urgent Private 
Affairs " — A noble Example — ^Violent Hurricane — Loss of Trans- 
ports — Force of the Tempest — Cossacks come to tlie Rescue — 
Damage to Ships of War — Captain Christie, R.N. — Court- 
Martial ordered upon him — The Case of the Prince Transport 
Ship— State of Anchorage at Balaclava — Rear- Admiral Boxer 
and Captain Christie yielded to Clamour — ^Posthumous Honours 
awarded them 380 


Dispersion of the Fleets — Preparations for Winter — Helplessness of 
English Soldiers — Obvious Precautions neglected — Available 
Resources of Constantinople — Mr. Filder, the Commissary- 
General — English Sympathy and Aid — Evils of Routine — The 
Army pampered — State of Things at Constantinople — Turks 
Amazed and Disgusted, but Powerless — Capitulations — Paralysis 
of Justice — Consular Pri\'ilege8 abused — Gibbon's Picture of St. 
Jean d'Acre realized at Pera — British Subjects abandoned — 
Turkish Jails — Public Buildings of Constantinople occupied by 
the Allies — The French dominate the City — Aspect and Bearing 



of the Ottomans— Separation of Turks and Europeans — Excep- 
tional Cases — Russian Military Schools — Fate of Turkish 
Invalids— Turkish Naval Hospital — The Dockyard occupied by 
the Allies — Solicitude of a noble Eltchee for Russian Prisoners 
— An Ambassador at Constantinople — Military Hospital at 
Scutari — Sympathies of Miss Nightingale and Lady Stratford de 
Redcliffe — Soyer's Cookery — Sick Officers lodged in the Imperial 
Kiosk — ^Exertions of Colonel Moore's Widow — British Cemetery 
— French Hospitals at Constantinople — Mortality of French 
Surgeons — Boy Soldiers — Scurvy and Dysentery rife — Visitors 
— ^Invaluable Services of Sisters of Charity 350 


Result of the Battle of Inkerman — Council of War — The Army of the 
Danube transferred to the Crimea — The Russians attack Omer 
Pasha at Eupatoria and are defeated — Dcatli of the Egyptian 
Selim Pasha— Omar Pasha's Tactics— What the Army of Eupa- 
toria might have done — Omar Pasha with his Brigade at Sevas- 
topol — Comment of the Turks on the Death of tiie Czar — The 
Porte ill able to bear the Absence of their Army in the Crimea — 
The Anglo-Turkish Contingent — Its European Officers — l^oposal 
of the Porte rejected — Head-quarters of the Contingent at Buyuk- 
dereh — Life of Officers and Men — The Contingent transferred to 
Kertch —Skirmish with Cossacks — The Bashi-bazouks — Their 
Cost 874 


Brussa destroyed by Earthquake — Strength of the Allied Forces 
before Sevastopol — Second Bombardment and its Effects — The 
Malakof the Key of the Position — French Forces predomi- 
nant — Sevastopol as fortified by General Todleben — General 
Caurobert's Opinion — The Garrison short of Provisions and 
Ammunition — The Governor empowered to act on liis Judg- 
ment — Generals Caurobert and Pelissier — Plans for cutting off 
Russian Supplies — Mr. Satler's Organization of Russian Trans- 
port Corps — Naval and Military Expedition to open the Sea of 
Azof— The Russian Garrisons of Kertch and Yenikaleh retire 
— Tokens of Amity from the Tartars to the Allies — Strange 
Conduct of the Allied Troops — Destruction of the Museum at 
Kertch — Spoil shipped to Pera — Destitution of Jewish Families 
— Destruction of property by the iVllicd Squadron hi the Sea of 
Azof — The Russians evacuate Soudjouk and Anapa — Return of 
the Expedition to Sevastopol — Capture of the Mamelon by the 
French — High Expectations of Success — Combined Attack on 
the Malakof and Redan — Cause of its Failure — Braverj' of the 



Partial Failure of the Expedition — Feelings of the allied Generals — 
Hints of Winter unwelcome — Illusory Hopes of speedy Success — 
Castrametation neglected — The British Lines — Turks driven out 
of Redoubts — The Russians repulsed by Highlanders and routed 
by Heavy Cavalry — The Balaclava Charge — Russian Sortie 
from Sevastopol repulsed — Wreck of an Egyptian Ship and 
Frigate — Sufferings of the Turkish Troops — Neglect of them 
by the Allies — Turkish Hospital at Balaclava — Deaths from 
Dysentery and Overtoil — Oriental Indifference to unseen Suffer- 
ings — Fatalism and Selfislinesa — ^Lord Raglan interposes — A Ship 
Hospital fitted out for Turkish Sick — Lord Raglan's Appreciation 
thereof— The Hospital Ship sent back to Constantinople — Rations 
of Pork and Rum not available by Mohammedans — Other Supplies 
not regularly issued-7-The Turks destitute of Money 325 


Russian Reinforcements — Prince Mentchikof tries to raise the Siege — 
His Choice between two Courses — Russian Plan of Attack — 
Conflict at Inkerman — Merits of the respective Troops — Perilous 
Position of the British — Timely Aid of the French — Russian 
Retreat — Loss of the Assailants — A Prisoner shot by his Captor — 
Temptation to a British Sentry — Medals for Balaclava and Inker- 
man — Theory of Distribution of War Medals — " Urgent Private 
Affairs " — A noble Example — ^Violent Hurricane — Loss of Trans- 
ports — Force of the Tempest — Cossacks come to the Rescue — 
Damage to Ships of War ^—Captain Christie, R.N. — Court- 
Martial ordered upon him — The Case of the Prince Transport 
Ship— State of Anchorage at Balaclava — Rear- Admiral Boxer 
and Captain Christie yielded to Clamour — ^Posthumous Honours 
awarded them ~ 336 


Dispersion of the Fleets — Preparations for Winter — Helplessness of 
English Soldiers — Obvious Precautions neglected — Available 
Resources of Constantinople — Mr. Filder, the Commissary- 
General — English Sympathy and Aid — Evils of Routine — The 
Army pampered — State of Things at Constantinople — Turks 
Amazed and Disgusted, but Powerless — Capitulations — Paralysis 
of Justice — Consular Privileges abused — Gibbon's Picture of St. 
Jean d'Acre realized at Pent — British Subjects abandoned — 
Turkish Jails — Public Buildings of Constantinople occupied by 
the Allies — The French dominate the City — Aspect and Bearing 



of the Ottomans— Separation of Turks and Europeans — Excep- 
tional Gases — Russian Military Schools — Fate of Turkish 
Invalids— Turkish Naval Hospital — The Dockyard occupied by 
the Allies — Solicitude of a noble Eltchee for Russian Prisoners 
— An Ambassador at Constantinople — Military Hospital at 
Scutari — Sympathies of Miss Nightingale and Lady Stratford de 
Redcliffe — Soyer's Cookery — Sick Ofl&cers lodged in the Imperial 
Kiosk — ^Exertions of Colonel Moore's Widow — ^British Cemetery 
— French Hospitals at Constantinople — Mortality of French 
Surgeons — Boy Soldiers — Scurvy and Dysentery rife — Visitors 
— ^Invaluable Services of Sisters of Charity 350 


Result of the Battle of Inkerman — Council of War — The Army of the 
Danube transferred to the Crimea — The Russians attack Omer 
Pasha at Eupatoria and are defeated — Death of the Egyptian 
Selim Pasha — Omar Pasha's Tactics— What the Army of Eupa- 
toria might have done — Omar Pasha with his Brigade at Sevas- 
topol — Comment of the Turks on the Death of the Czar — Tlie 
Porte ill able to bear the Absence of their Army in the Crimea — 
The Anglo-Turkish Contingent — Its European Officers — Proposal 
of the Porte rejected — Head-quarters of tlie Contingent at Buyuk- 
dereh — Life of Officers and Men — The Contingent transferred to 
Kertch— Skirmish with Cossacks — The Bashi-bazouks — Their 
Cost 374 


Brussa destroyed by Earthquake — Strength of tlie Allied Forces 
before Sevastopol — Second Bombardment and its Eflfects — The 
Malakof the Key of the Position — French Forces predomi- 
nant — Sevastopol as fortified by General Todleben — General 
Caurobert's Opinion — The Garrison short of Provisions and 
Ammunition — The Governor empowered to act on his Judg- 
ment — Generals Caurobert and Pelissier — Plans for cutting off 
Russian Sui)plies — Mr. Sutler's Organization of Russian Trans- 
port Corps — Naval and Military Expedition to open the Sea of 
Azof— The Russiiin Garrisons of Kertch and Yenikaleh retire 
— Tokens of Amity from the Tartars to tlie Allies — Strange 
Conduct of the Allied Troops — Destruction of the Museum at 
Kertch — Spoil shipped to Pera — Destitution of Jewish Families 
— Destruction of property by the Allied Squadron in the Sea of 
Azof — The Russisuis evacuate Soudjouk and Anapa — Return of 
the Expedition to Sevastopol — Capture of the Mamelon by the 
French — High Expectations of Success — Combined Attack on 
the Malakof and Redan — Cause of its Failure — Braver}' of the 


Page 123, line 30,/or " imcensured " read ** uncensorcd." 

Page 133, line 6^/or " the Egyptian Hassan Pasha" read ** the Egyptian Admiral 

Hassan Pasha." 
Page 138, line 23, /or " Certainly not" read "Certainly." 





Origin of the Ottoman Nation — Otliman Founder of the Turkish Monarchy 
— Sultan Amurath I. defeats the Sclayonic League — Bajazet suhju- 
gates Asia Minor — He is defeated and taken Gaptiye hy Tamerlane 
— ^Mahomet I. and his Descendants consolidate the Empire — 
Syria and Egypt suhdued by Selim I. — Amurath IV. captures 
Bagdad — Eastern Empire of the Turks — Policy of the House of 
Othman — Reign of Sultan Mahomet IV. — Power of the Sultans — 
Policy of Sultan Mahmoud — The Janissaries and their Organiza- 
tion — Their Destruction and its Consequences — The Reforms of 
Bultan Mahomet 11. — Fires in Constantinople— Pertef Pasha — 
Death and Burial of Sultan Mahmoud. 

The Ottoman nation^ like other nations which have 
achieved greatness, rose from a small beginning. A 
few hmidred Turcoman families, living in tents, like 
the Turcomans and Kurds of the present day, formed 
its nucleus. Under their chief, Ertogrul, they led a 
pastoral life, in the dominions of the Sultan of Boum ; 
whose capital, originally Nice until its capture by 
the Crusaders (a.d. 1097), was Iconium. The kingdom 


of Koum was a fragment of the empire, extending from 
Samarcand to Egypt, consolidated by Alp Arslan, a 
lineal descendant of Seljuk, which, breaking up on the 
death of Malek Shah, resolved itself into four states, each 
ruled by a prince of the Seljukian line. 

Othman, the son of Ertogrul, entered early the 
military service of the Sultan of Roum; he acquired 
favour and influence there, and on the abdication of his 
suzerain succeeded to the throne, a.d. 1299. The fallen 
dynasty retained wealth and spiritual honours, and its 
representative, the MoUah-Hunkiar, has since enjoyed 
the right to gird with the sabre of power every sultan of 
Turkey on his accession. Othman, the son of Ertogrul, 
was the founder of the Turkish monarchy, and the Turks 
by birth or adoption have since been styled Ottomans or 

The Ottomans looked upon the dissolving Eastern 
empire as their inheritance. Vigorously led, brave, and 
united by a fervent religious belief, they despised alike 
the arms and sophistry of the Greeks, who betrayed 
their sense of weakness by sending in nominal marriage 
a daughter of the imperial house to Sultan Orchan. 
In the course of three generations they transferred their 
capital, first to Brussa, next to Adrianople. Their neigh- 
bourhood disturbed the repose of the Byzantines, and 
roused the Bulgarians, Servians, and Albanians to arms ; 
but the tardy valour of the latter was of no more 
avail than the processions of the former. Amurath I., 
the founder of the Janissaries, overthrew their army, 
and broke the Sclavonic league formed against him, at 
the battle of Kossova, a.d. 1390. As the victor sur- 
veyed the field of battle on the following day, a Servian 


started up from among a heap of slain and revenged his 
comrades hy a blow of his yataghan, of which the Sultan 
died, in the seventy-second year of his age and the 
thirty-first of his reign. The tide of success continued 
to flow on under his son Bajazet, sumamed Ilderim 
(lightning). He curbed the aspirations of the emirs of 
Anatolia, who ill bore the ascendancy of the house of 
Othman; he subjugated the country from the Hellespont 
to Mount Hsemus ; and he vanquished a confederate army 
under Sigismund, king of Hungary, at the battle of Nico- 
polis. The hour then arrived for the salutary trial of 
adversity ; that ordeal which developes the virtues of a race 
and discloses its tendencies. Every nation which has 
acquired eminence has been early tempered by that trial. 
The want of it proved fatal to the empire whose capital 
had known neither infancy nor adolescence. Born of a 
master will, "new Kome '' sprang at once, untrained, 
untutored, into adult existence, with the wealth of 
nations at command to gratify the passions of a corrupt 
age. Success had made Bajazet arrogant, and his 
arrogance had aroused the jealousy of Tamerlane, popu- 
larly known as Timour the Tartar. Mutual reproaches 
and defiance led naturally to war. The Tartar and 
Turkish armies, both of common origin, met on the 
plain of Angora, " each led by its sovereign in person 
and animated by his rancour. In the battle which 
ensued, July, 1402, victory remained faithful to her 
favourite. The Turkish army was routed ; Bajazet 
was taken prisoner, and Asia Minor lay at the feet 
of the conqueror. The fruit of a century of toil 
and courage, the work of Othman, Orchan, and 
Amurath, seemed lost in a day. But the Ottomans 



had not accomplished their allotted task ; the promise 
of Mohammed of Constantinople for the ** faithful " 
had to be fulfilled. Tamerlane, therefore, satisfied 
with success and revenge, retired to his dominions 
beyond the Caspian, leaving the Turkish empire to 
be contended for by the four sons of Bajazet, the 
eldest of whom, Mahomet, after ten years of civil 
strife, remained the victor and ascended the throne of 
his father at Adrianople. Mahomet I. reconsolidated 
the Ottoman empire ; his son, Amurath II., strength- 
ened its foundations by wise legislation ; and his 
grandson, Mahomet 11., by the aid of a monster 
cannon, wrought by a Venetian, throwing 600-pound 
balls, crowned the edifice by the conquest of Constan- 
tinople, 29th May, 1453. Mournful day! when the 
last Constantine fell nobly in the breach, slain by a 
vulgar hand; and the first cathedral, reared before the 
birth of Islaniy rung with the praises of Mohammed. 

This catastrophe revealed to central Europe the exis- 
tence of a great and menacing Moslem power, and 
showed the Italian republics the folly of having 
allowed their policy to be shaped solely by mer- 
cantile considerations. Hungary with Transylvania 
became the battle-field of the German and Turkish 
empires; while the Venetians and Genoese sank from 
their haughty position under the Greek emperors to 
the humble condition of suitors for commercial favours 
at the feet of a slave of the Sultan. SeUm I., the third 
in succession from the conqueror, subduing Syria and 
Egypt, dethroned together with the Mamlouk dynasty 
the titular caJiph of the Fatimite Une, seated in mock 
state at Cairo, and transferred, a.d. 1516, the relics of 


the Prophet and other insignia of the caliphate from his 
palace to the imperial seraglio. The eleventh in descent, 
Amorath lY., the last Sultan who took the field in person, 
wrested Bagdad from the Persians. In possession of 
the ^'holy cities/' and the famous seats of the caliphate, 
the house of Othman, invested thereby with the reli- 
gious and historic associations dear to Islam, became 
lustrous in the eyes of the Moslem world, and but 
for its Scythian origin the lofty title of ** Commander 
of the Faithful " * might have been awarded by common 
consent to its chief. 

The tenacious hold of the Eastern Empire by the Turks, 
encamped amidst disaflfected peoples with whom fusion 
was next to impossible, and menaced by powerful neigh- 
bours animated by religious hostility, forms a remarkable 
passage in history. They had taken that empire literally 
in pieces. They reconstructed it. They reannexed to it 
the Mesopotamian provinces ceded, with part of Armenia, 
to the Persians by the Emperor Jovian, as the price of his 
retreat from the Tigris with the remnant of Julian the 
Apostate's army. They added to it the African presi- 
dencies, part of the Western Empire, also Dacia, never 
ruled firmly even by Rome ; and, with garrisons in 
Hungary, they included in their dominion the extreme 
point of Arabia, far beyond the Roman sway, Aden — 
the refuge of Cain, according to the Arabs. With their 
power recognized East and West, they sent, during 

• ** Commander of the Faithful " was one of the titles of the Caliph, 
and in virtue of it his name was mentioned in the Khoutbey (Fiiday noon 
prayer) in every mosque. That distinction ceased with the fall of the 
Abbassides. Since then each state has mentioned only its own sove- 
reign in the Khoutbey. Moslems in countries ruled by sovereigns of 
another faith mention as Commander of the Faithful the Sultan of Boum 
(Turkey) in their Khoutbey. 


the reign of Solyman the Magnificent, in a fleet built 
expressly at Suez, an army to India against the 
Portuguese ; and their diversion in Hungary and Naples 
in favour of France, leading Charles V. to raise 
the sieges of Marseilles and Aries, and retire with 
his forces behind the Var, readjusted the European 
balance of power. Haireddin Pasha (Barbarossa), with 
the ambassador of the eldest son of the Church for his 
guest, the negotiator of the treaty of alliance defensive 
and offensive between Francis I. and the Ottoman Porte, 
carried away captive in his galleys on that occasion 
many thousand Italians from Brindisi and Otranto. 

The House of Othman avoided dynastic complica- 
tions and evaded that rule of inheritance which gives 
precedence to the eldest of the race — fecund source of 
Asiatic civil discord — by usages calculated to prevent col- 
lateral extension and facilitate direct succession. The 
princes of the blood, state prisoners virtually from the 
hour of their father's death, were given concubines for 
toys, and the princesses of the blood were married, for 
little more than form's sake, to pashas who were generally 
relegated to distant governments, with the charge of 
maintaining their royal wives' establishments. The 
issue of these unions, if female, might be reared ; but the 
duty of perpetuating the imperial race devolved upon the 
Sultan. No son, traditional testimony leading to that 
conclusion, bom to or of any other member of the 
family, survived to gladden its mother's heart with its 
prattle; nor did the exception, proving the rule thus 
far, occur until the reign of the thirtieth Sultan, 
Mahmoud II. His eldest daughter's son attained the 
age of five years and then died. His heir. Sultan Abdul 


Medjid, was equally tolerant of his brother, who, on his 
accession, produced a son four years old, whose existence 
had been a family secret ; but the boy was then recognized, 
and registered at the Porte as a prince of the imperial 
race. Infanticide, however, was rare, recourse being had 
to an expedient to which allusion is sufficient ; and which, 
becoming with such high sanction interwoven with the 
domestic economy of private harems, may be considered 
one of the causes (precocious marriage aiding) of the dis 
proportionate female mortality among the Moslem popu- 
lation of the capital. 

Thus the Ottoman dynasty became, like the Nile 
among rivers, a solecism : a stately stem without 
branches, as the other is a noble stream without afflu- 
ents. The direct succession of the first fourteen 
Sultans is proof that each of them survived his uncles ; 
whether fairly or unfairly cannot, in regard of all, be 
affirmed. History only records three Sultans guilty 
of the death of their brothers, the number of whom 
in one instance exceeded fifty ; and in the absence of 
evidence we may be allowed to assume that the princes 
in general died naturally: some of them, perhaps, of 
tedium vitce. They were sensually pampered, intel- 
lectually starved ; they had no healthy pursuits, no 
manly diversions ; they had much to fear, nothing to 
hope for; their society was composed of treacherous 
eunuchs, fawning pages, dissolute buffoons, and fanatic 
moUahs. When 'sickness oppressed them why try to 
combat it with nauseous drugs and insipid diet ? Better 
lie down and die. Moslem resignation is often the 
indifference to Ufe generated by mental and physical 
languor, and sometimes the impatience of it, bom of 


*' the law's delay," and '' the insolence of oflfice/' The 
nation approved of an arrangement the. advantages of 
which it shared without the responsibility ; all it required 
was, security for the succession, in case of the Sultan 
having no son, or one of tender age. 

The fortunes of the Ottomans culminated in the 
reign of Sultan Mahomet IV. That reign witnessed the 
conquest of Crete ; the phenomenon of a series of able, 
upright grand viziers of one family — the Kiuprogloas, 
whose still respected tomb faces the column erected by 
the first Consttmtine in the centre of his forum, — and the 
siege of Vienna, A.D. 1683. The Turkish army before 
Vienna clamoured for an assault for the sake of plunder ; 
its commander, Kara Mustapha, temporized for a capitu- 
lation for the sake of ransom : the plunder would belong to 
the troops, the ransom to their general and his friends in 
the capital. This hesitation gave time for Sobieski and 
his Poles to arrive to the rescue. The tide then turned, 
and, sweeping the Ottomans out of Hungary, where their 
horsetails had floated in the breeze for above a century, it 
continued to ebb slowly and fitfully, occasionally checked 
by a transient breeze of prosperity, until it reached low- 
water mark in the reign of Sultan Mahmoud II. ; of which 
I shall speak more at length, since out of its events 
grew the Eastern question. In that reign, for the first 
time, revolt was successful, and peace was accompanied 
by humiliation. The Greeks, cheered in their struggle 
and finally aided by Western Europe, gained indepen- 
dence, and the Russians exacted a pecuniary indemnity 
at the peace of Adrianople ; and then, organized by an 
aspiring rebel, the despised fellahs of Egypt, crossing 
the Taurus, overthrew the imperial army at Konia, 


the cradle of the monarchy. Their further advance, 
beyond Kutaieh, was deterred by the disembarkation, in 
February, 1833, of a Russian army on the Asiatic ^hore 
of the Bosphorus : direct evidence of the distress of the 
monarchy, thus reduced to crave aid from its hereditary foe 
— the foe destined, in its own opinion, to deal by the Tur- 
kish as the Turks had dealt by the Lower Empire. 

Sultan Mahmoud's reign was a prolonged struggle 
with his people for power. Theoretically absolute, the 
power of the Sultan of Turkey had for generations been 
practically limited by custom ; which in the East has the 
force of law : often more. Adet dir (it is the custom) is the 
excuse and the apology for abuses and anomaUes whose 
name is legion. The Sultan might, unquestioned, decapi- 
tate individuals and confiscate their goods ; but he dared 
not oppress the community nor levy taxes unauthorized 
by law. He might fill his harem with strange women, but 
he dared not peer through the harem lattice of the 
meanest of his subjects. The seduction of a Turkish 
lady by Sultan Ibrahim filled the measure of his unpopu- 
larity and determined the storm which deposed him. 
The Tartar race, which sprang into notice under Othman, 
regarded him as their chief, tacitly elected. They swore 
fealty for themselves and posterity to the family of the 
founder of the dynasty ; but reserved the right to choose 
the worthiest of it to reign. When the line of conquer- 
ing Sultans, followed joyously by the nation, ended, 
their eflFeminate successors found themselves circum- 
scribed by institutions silently grown out of the tradi- 
tions of their nomade ancestors, of which the Kour- 
shaltui was prominent. The Turkish nation, unable to 
free itself from the obligation of passive obedience 


ordained by the Koran, placed that volume beside the 
throne, and empowered the Scheick ul Islam, the chief of 
the Ulema, to interpret its meaning to the Sultan, and 
remind him of his obligation also to govern according to 
law. This restraint, aided by the domestic arrangement 
before spoken of, has caused the comparative stability of 
the Ottoman family among Moslem dynasties, the cohesion 
of the heterogeneous elements composing the vast empire 
under its sway. The Caliphate had been nearer the 
fountain of Islam, invested moreover with a sacred 
character ; yet each of its branches having run through 
the cycle of conquest, torpor and decay sank under the 
withering influence of a despotism which none dared 
gainsay. The Ottoman monarchy — solecism in the East 
— possessed a constitution : defective, and in a state of 
chronic disorder, but still a roughly balanced system. 

The tragedy enacted at Constantinople by the Janis- 
saries and Mustafa Bairactar * which terminated with the 

* In 1807 the Janissaries deposed Selim 111. in favour of Mustafa, 
the eldest of his two nephews, the sons of Saltan Hamid. On hearing 
of the fall of his patron, Mustafa Bairactar, the pasha of Eudschuk, 
raised an army of Albanians and marched on Constantinople to rein- 
state him. Overawing the city, he traversed it with his force to the 
outer wall of the seraglio. Chamberlains met him there, and demanded, 
in the name of Sultan Mustafa, his object. ** I know no other Sultan 
than Selim ; let him appear and I will give an answer," said the 
Bairactar. Sultan Mustafa sent word to him in rejoinder to wait a 
little and Sultan Selim would appear. In half-an-hour the Bairactar 
was admitted into the outer court, and there saw the dead body of the 
unfortunate Selim, victim to his zeal. He at once stormed the inner 
courts, deposed Sultan Mustafa, and transferred his brother Mahmoud 
from the recess in which, it is said, the architect of the palace had 
concealed him, to the throne. Sultan Mahmoud II. made Mustafa 
Bairactar the grand vizier ; but he did not long fill that post. The 
Janissaries in revenge soon afterwards set fire to his residence, in the 
flames of which he perished. 


accession, a.d. 1808, of Sultan Mahmoud II. over the 
bodies of his uncle Selim III. and his brother Mustapha III., 
was of a nature to make him ponder over cause and eflFect. 
Mahmoud came to the conclusion that the disorganiza- 
tion of the empire was due to institutional checks on the 
sovereign's will — in the shape of Dere-beySj or feudal 
nobles, some of whom were of older standing in the land 
than the reigning house ; of the Timarlees, a tithe-endowed 
gentry ; of the Ulema, a religio-legal estabhshment ; and 
more than all, of a popular element, the Janissaries. He 
resolved to remove those checks. He pursued that 
resolve imperturbably ; he bent every consideration to it ; 
and by remaining the last of his race during many years 
was free from seditious interruption. He cut oflF, with 
few exceptions, the Dere-beys ; some by force, some by 
treachery, and impoverished their families by confisca- 
tion of their estates. He dispersed the Timarlees, and he 
suppressed the popular voice by his celebrated act, the 
destruction of the Janissaries. He shattered the idols of 
his nation as his prophet had shattered the idols of the 
Caaba ; but less eflFectively. Religious idols broken drop 
at once into the limbo of oblivion, while social idols over- 
thrown leave memories behind them. To weaken these, 
he proscribed, so far as he dared, the national garb and 
traditional usages. The Ulema alone of the noticeable 
classes were allowed to follow their fathers' fashions : 
they continued to wear turbans and yellow slippers, to 
sit cross-legged on sofas and speak oracularly of the 
signs of the times. But deprived of their right arm, 
the Janissaries, their influence became of the kind 
termed moral; which self-willed monarchs in general make 
light of. 


The Janissaries have been likened to the Pretorian 
guards at Borne, but the resemblance is only specious. 
The Pretorians were mercenary troops of various races, 
quartered apart from the people ; they sold the empire 
to the highest bidder, or to him from whom they 
expected most indulgence ; they made whom they pleased 
emperor — an illiterate Hljxian, a sedate Spaniard, or 
a polished Italian; and when their choice turned out 
good, the merit was scarcely theirs. The Janissaries, 
on the contrary, were, during the greater part of their 
existence, composed exclusively of Turkish citizens, 
and they never looked outside the house of Othman for 
a sovereign. If the prince elevated by them to the 
throne proved no better than his predecessor, the fault 
was not theirs, for they had no other choice. They were 
in their origin an army of converted Christians, given, 
when children, as tribute to the conquerors ; but this 
tribute, being at variance with the letter and spirit of 
the Koran, soon ceased, and kJmradj was paid instead. 
Native-bom Turks took their place. In time the body 
expanded into a national guard of armed citizens, pur- 
suing, with martial habits, their respective avocations in 
peace, and ready to follow the Sultan in war. They aided 
the tent sultans to build up the empire ; they prevented 
the harem sultans from pulling it to pieces. Their 
credit led the people, high and low, to inscribe their 
names in one or other of their oHaSj with preference for 
those distinguished in the wars of the empire. They 
were divided into numerous ortas of unequal strength. 
Each orta had an oda (guard-house) at Constantinople, 
with a permanent staff and a sufficient number of citizens 
for police and garrison duty. An ulufe (gratification) 


of ninety paras a bead was given once in three months, 
and on the accession of a Sultan, to the active force : 
which received also rations. Their chief, the Janissaiy 
Aga, held the second rank in the hierarchy of the empire, 
and with his two lieutenants had the right to attend at the 
Sultan's stirrup on Friday. Each Janisstu^ was indelibly 
marked on the arm with the number and emblem of his 
orta, which faciUtated recognition of the slain in battle : 
a fish, for example, was the emblem of the 25th, the 
favourite orta, which generally numbered 20,000 names 
on its roll. The 31st and 64th ortas were also popular. 
In the provinces, registration in an orta, though less 
observed than in the capital, was general ; so much so, 
that Janissaries and the adult male Turkish population 
were nearly convertible terms. The practice of civic 
virtue, as it entails inconvenience, is never zealous. The 
home-loving ConstantinopoUtans made no exception to 
the rule, and therefore in the course of time the guard- 
house and garrison service fell into the hands of a low, 
idle set, apt materials for demagogues to work with, who 
often made themselves as odious to the peaceable citizens 
as to the seraglio. Strangers, prone everywhere to see 
the abuse and overlook the use of an institution, saw 
in them the Janissaries, and took no note of the vast 
organization of which they were the exaggerated 
expression. When their discontent was popular, they 
were the citizens of Constantinople ; when unpopular, 
they stood alone. Such was their position as their fatal 
hour drew near. 

The Ulema and the people, enlightened by the dis- 
credit of the Grecian war of independence, concurred 
with the Sultan in the state necessity of a reorganization 


of the Janissaries^ and the Sheick ul Islam gave his 
fetwah, sanctioning compulsion* With this moral support, 
Sultan Mahmoud — himself enrolled, Uke his predecessors, 
in the first orta of the Janissaries — invited them to submit 
to rules and discipline conducive to military eflficiency. 
Distrust marred the negotiation which ensued between the 
seraglio and the ortas. The Janissaries suspected ulterior 
designs, and misled by their aga, who had been gained 
over to the imperial side, under-estimated the force ready 
to be arrayed against them. On their final refusal to come 
to terms, with arms in their hands and their soup-kettles 
reversed, the Sultan, displaying the holy standard, sum- 
moned the citizens to rally round it or remain in their 
houses ; then, 26th June, 1826, he attacked the mutineers 
(who, dismayed by their isolation, made a sorry resistance) 
with the topchis, galiondgis and a body of zeymenSj and 
destroyed them with grapeshot, sword, and fire. Many 
hundreds perished in the flames of their odas on the 
Etmeidan. Daily, during a month afterwards, citizens 
accused of reactionary tendencies were brought before a 
commission, sitting ad hoc in ei tent pitched in the Hippo- 
drome. Their interrogatory was short, their condenma- 
tion inevitable. After the form of an inquiry, they were 
strangled then and there, and their bodies, collected at 
sunset, were conveyed in a cart to Akher Kapou, and 
thrown into the Propontis. Similar scenes on a smaller 
scale were enacted in the chief provincial cities. Many 
fell victims to revenge ; several were strangled for their 

Sultan Mahmoud was then master of the situation ; 
as every one in the East is who strikes a heavy unex- 
pected blow. He might then have reorganized the insti- 



tution, had he chosen to make the attempt ; following the 
example of the most sagacious of his ancestors, Soliman 
I., after the suppression of the revolt of the Janissaries 
excited by their jealousy of his creation of the corps of 
Bostandgis. He might then have regenerated Turkey in 
a Turkish sense : the sense most becoming an Ottoman's 
consideration. No one could affirm that the Janissaries, 
as an institution, had proved detrimental to Turkey ; their 
grasp of the Eastern Empire of the Caesars, with extended 
frontiers, was evidence of their loyalty and devotion 
during centuries : all that could be said was, that a faction, 
making its will prevail over reason, had long defied all 
attempts to adopt their organization to altered circum- 
stances. With Janissaryism the Ottoman dynasty had 
traversed five centuries, defiant and self-reliant : without 
it, in the course of thirteen years (between 1826 and 1840) 
it was twice on the brink of destruction, and was saved 
each time from faUing into the abyss by the friendly arm 
of foreign intervention. With the institution unreformed, 
rational government might demonstrably be despaired of : 
without it, in one* form or another, Turkey, it might be 
apprehended, would become a Byzantine empire ; an estate 
to feed a luxurious capital. 

History inclines us to think that a nation's progress 
or regeneration is mainly conditional on adherence to the 
rule or principle of its growth, tempered in practice to 
modified social relations ; because that, harmonizing with 
popular instincts and traditions, is intelligible to the mass. 
Peter the Great, despotic by the suppression of the 
Strehtzes, respected Muscovitism embodied in the 
boyards and the priesthood. The Anglo-Americans, with 
independence, remained English at heart, with the 



representative and municipal institutions of the old 
country. Both' Bussia and the United States, faithful 
to tradition, have since progressed with great strides in 
power and consideration. Spain, on the contrary, dis- 
carded her cortes and fueros, and ridden by the Inqui- 
sition retrograded from a high to an inferior place in the 
scale of nations. The greatest of reformers, Mohammed, 
while touching everything Arabian with a refining rod, 
respected social usage. He found the Arabs idolatrous, 
he made them devout ; he elevated their thoughts from 
the worship of images to the adoration of an invisible, 
eternal Being ; but he left them the excitement of their 
fantastic whirl round the Caaba, and their beUef in the 
mystic virtues of zem-zem water, drawn from the well 
at which they beUeve Hagar filled her bottle for the 
lad Ishmael ; and though he disturbed custom by elimin- 
ating from their calendar its intercalary days, deference 
for the Mosaic arrangement reconciled them to the 
innovation. He found them discordant tribes addicted 
to internecine strife, he left them a nation of warriors 
united by the stimulus of the glory of propagating their 
faith by the sword. He found them polygamists, he left 
them such, but he gave woman rights. He found them 
slave-owners, he left them such, but he enjoined kind 
treatment of the slave, with manumission after seven 
years' faithful service ; and, animated by his example, 
Omar, the second Caliph, who collated the pages of the 
Koran, ordained the freedom of the bondswoman preg- 
nant by her master, with the legitimacy of her oflfspring. 
He proclaimed the equality of Moslems before God ; but 
he recognized the pre-eminence of the tribe of Koreish, 
and the merit of ancient lineage in man as well as 


horse. An exception appears. He found the Arabs 
dirty, he made them cleanly by religious obligation. One 
hundred and forty milUons of Moslems worshipping one 
God with Uke forms, all prostrate, thrice or oftener a 
day, with clean hands and feet, their faces turned towards 
Mecca, attest the vitality of his legislation in the thir- 
teenth century after his death ; and the absence of worldly 
distinctions in the mosque reveals its fraternal spirit. 
Black and white, rich and poor, — the Ethiopian and the 
Tartar, the jewelled sirdar and the uncombed fakir, — 
kneel down side by side on the same carpet, and listen 
together to prayer recited in the old Arabian dialect. 
The seragUo, with closed portals jealously guarded, is 
the shrine of autocracy ; but the mosque, with its doors 
wide open from dawn till after sunset, inviting all to 
enter for repose, meditation, or prayer, is the temple of 
democracy. The Sadr'azam enters with viziral attend- 
ance ; no one regards, no one makes room for him : the 
mendicant is at home, is his equal there. 

Writers on Turkey, in dilating on the excesses of the 
Janissaries, have seldom paused to examine if some justi- 
fication may not have been pleaded. One of their earliest 
recorded risings, that in the reign of Amurath III., 
merits notice for the moral, more recently applicable, to 
be drawn from it. Their motive on that occasion was 
the debasement of the coin of the realm, the favourite 
resource of improvident governments until the discovery 
of an ingenious substitute — inconvertible paper money. 
They demanded the head of the vizir who had sanc- 
tioned the measure, of the master of the mint who had 
struck the base coin, and of the defterdar who had 
paid the troops with it. The sacrifice of those heads 


appeased the sedition, and this example long retarded 
the depreciation of the money. Writers also have 
been in the habit of connecting the current ills of 
Turkey with the Janissaries, and in particular have 
invariably attributed to their malice the fires of Con- 
stantinople. No theory has ever been more contro- 
verted by the logic of facts. Fires have raged, as 
frequently since as in their time, in the capital and 
the provinces. Every year has been marked by fires 
more or less calamitous. Pera, with its churches and 
embassy hotels, was burnt to the ground six years 
after their fall ; and the greatest fire seen at Constanti- 
nople for half a century — called, for distinction, hank 
kibir (the great fire) — occurred in August, 1865, con- 
suming in its progress, during twenty-three hours, across 
the city from Hodja Pasha on the Golden Horn to Yeni 
Kapou on the Propontis, a score of mosques, some 
churches, many public establishments, and more than 
2,000 dwellings.* In the ensuing months of March, 
April, and May, 1866, three other fires in Constanti- 
nople, respectively at Psamatia, Balata, and Bakchc 
Kapousou, consumed together more than 2,000 houses 
or shops, with several mosques and other public edifices. 
The wonder is not that there are so many fires, but that 

* D*apre8 lea docnments presentes par le comite, le grand incendie 
de Hodja pacha a consume yingt-sept qaartiers qui contenaient 1879 
iiiaisons, 751 boutiques, 18 khans, 7 bains, 22 mosquees, 8 teket^ 
18 ecoles, 7 medresxes, 3 ^glises, 2 imarets, 6 corps de garde, 87 fon- 
taines, et 4 sehiU. Si Ton ajoute a ces chiffres celui des pertes immo- 
bilieres caus^es par trois autres incendies, savoir : 18 maisons et 87 
boutiques brulees a Ortakeuy ; 78 maisons et 48 boutiques, a Balat ; 
57 maisons et 41 boutiques, a Y^dik-pacha, le nombre total des con- 
structions de toutes sortes r^duites en cendres dans ces quatre incendies 
s'el^ve a ^fi20,— Official Paper. 


they are not more numerous at Constantinople, con- 
sidering the materials of the houses, the carelessness of 
their inmates, the deficiency of water, and the absence 
of organization. In olden days the fountains ran freely, 
and the Grand Vizir attended on the spot with means to 
stimulate, zeal and deter plunderers; his purse-bearer 
distributed gold to some, his cavasses dealt blows to others. 
The fire service of Constantinople is become in some 
respects worse than formerly. It is composed of the 
eliUj not of the unwashed, for there are none in a land 
where the bath is an institution, but of the rabble of 
the city ; dare-devil lads, who rush, on the cry yanghen 
rar, to the various pump-stations, in light racing 
costume, i.e., with bare arms, legs, and necks. Their 
progress through the streets, at the top of their speed, 
to the fire from all quarters, the pump-bearers being 
relieved every five minutes, is a veritable stampedo. 
The halt and the blind slink into comers on their 
approach, and old women cry aman ! as they pass. 
Their services are voluntary ; their remuneration is pre- 
carious, being derived, it is said, from those on whose 
houses they favourably pump, when water is procurable. 
They, the street dogs, and the eunuchs form the visible 
link between the past and the present. The Janissaries 
may have set fire occasionally — the fire spreading — to an 
obnoxious functionary's konak ; but they had recognized 
modes of showing discontent, other than kindling a 
conflagration Ukely to devour their own houses. They 
formed the guard of honour hning the streets on the 
Sultan's Friday progress to and from mosque ; and while 
fans borne aloft by pages screened the imperial counte- 
nance, theirs was open to the inquisitive scrutiny of the 



imperial suite. If indications of ill-humour appeared, dis- 
creet inquiries would be made into the cause. They 
had also the airjak divan^ rarely resorted to — an open-air 
** meeting,'* clamorous for redress on some capital point, 
before the seragho gates. 

The situation created by the destruction of the Janis- 
saries soon made itself felt. The observation, Who now 
will restrain the Sultan ? cost the poet Izzet MoUah his 

Sultan Mahmoud had by his side in Pertef Pasha, 
commonly styled the last of the Turks, — of the Turks 
who were loyal without flattery, hospitable without 
ostentation, self-respectful without arrogance, and who 
with the vices possessed the virtues of a dominant race, — . 
the man to aid him in the task of reforming Janissaryism 
and germane institutions. Pertef Pasha aimed at the 
development of an Eastern civilization, based on respect 
for national usages and predilections. An Eastern civili- 
zation consisted in adapting existing institutions to 
modern requirements, in purifying tradition of error 
by education, and seeking knowledge everywhere, eVen 
(in the words of the Koran) in China. The refinement 
and prosperity attained by the Moorish kingdom of 
Cordova under the Omeyah dynasty was on record 
to show the coinpatibihty of eminence in arts, science, 
and agriculture with the tenets of the Koran. The 
Cordovan schools were famous throughout Europe, 
particularly the school of medicine founded by Abdur- 
rahman III. Instinct may have told him that a civi- 
lization, the result of an amalgamation of usages derived 
from antagonistic principles, would prove inherently weak 
and superficial. An Oriental poUsh seemed to him 


preferable to a Western varnish. Pertef Pasha, however, 
did not long retain favour. He saw idolatry in the 
honours ordered to be paid to the Sultan's portrait, 
and impolicy in the course pursued towards Mehemet 
Ali pasha of Egypt. His enemies took advantage 
of his outspoken frankness on these tender points. 
They represented him to the Sultan as one kneaded 
with the old leaven. They attained a decree for his 
exile to Adrianople, and soon afterwards, fearing his 
return, an order to the governor of that city to send 
his soul ** back to its eternal abode.*' 

Sultan Mahmoud had a dominant passion — revenge, 
and a prominent defect — incapacity to regard an object 
from two points of view. Their combined operation 
had made him, in earlier life, attack out of season Ali 
Tepelen, pasha of Yanina, and it drove him into his 
disastrous second Egyptian war, in the course of which 
his troubled reign terminated. His velleity for Ali 
Tepelen's head blinded .him to the danger, greater 
than that of any satrap's contumacy, of a Grecian revolt, 
and his animosity against Mehemet Ali, making him 
resent pacifioi counsel as treason, led to consequences 
subversive of Oriental faith in Ottoman infallibility. 
He was spared the sorrow of draining the cup of bitter- 
ness to its dregs by dying a few hours before the news 
of the battle of Nezib, fatal to the Turkish arms, 
reached Constantinople. He had sent an order to Hafiz 
Pasha, the Grand Vizir, to give battle on a certain day, 
named auspicious by the court astrologer, but, before the 
bey entrusted with it reached the scene of action, the 
battle had been fought, and Hafiz was a fugitive. Next 
followed the defection of the Turkish flaet under Achmet 


Pasha ; whose rise m a few years from the position of 
stroke-oarsman in the imperial caik* to the post of 
Capitan pasha, had excited jealousy. On his sovereign's 
death, Khosrew Pasha, Achmet's enemy, sent the nazir of 
the naval arsenal to the Dardanelles with an order for the 
immediate return of the fleet to the Bosphorus ;' sending 
also hy the same hand instructions to the capitana bey 
to strangle his chief, if contumacious, and take the 
command. Achmet Pasha, however, intercepted the nazir 
on his way to the capitana bey's ship. His departure in 
a steamer to save his Ufe would have been viewed indul- 
gently ; but his taking the fleet with him to Alexandria 
was unpardonable.* . . . 

Sultan Mahmoud expired in a kiosk, at Scutari, 
June 30, 1839. Having throughout his reign wielded 
the executioner's blade vigorously, and the warrior's 
sabre feebly, he was not regretted. His remains, after 
ablution, were conveyed over the water to the old 
seragUo, and laid out on a mat, symboUc of the Moslem 
sense of equality in death. His son, Abdul Medjid, 
having looked at them, ordered their interment — the 
first and indispensable act of sovereignty; then pro- 
ceeded to the KouValii for the ceremony of heeat (sub- 
mission) . This ceremony, which takes place in one of 
the vast courts of the seraglio, surrounded by struc- 
tures of all forms and ages, is Asiatic. The Sultan 
stands alone, unguarded, while the dignitaries of state 
successively, on bended knees, kiss his feet ; and in that 

* Ahmed Pasha, surnamed firari (deserter), remained in Egypt after 
the treaty of 1841 ; and died there soon afterwards from the effects of 
poison : administered to him, it is said, hy Mehemet Ali Pasha, in a cup 
of coffee. His two sons are well placed in the service of the Porte at 


abject posture — regarded with as much indifiference 
by the ipectatoi!^ as by the dogs at their feet .or the 
storks above their heads — do not receive a glance from 
the object of their adcyration. A few paces off, in a kiosk 
beyond the ** gate of felicity/* the dead Sultan's body has 
been in the meanwhile encoffined, as simply as a mendi- 
cant's; and when his successor turns his back on his lieges, 
pages carry it through the throng of anxious courtiers 
who the day before were at its feet to the imperial gate, 
when the people take it and bear it on their shoulders 
to the mausoleum prepared for its reception, mounted 
eunuchs in advance scattering money right and left. 



Sultan Abdul Medjid — The Tanzimat and its Results — Abrupt Transi- 
tions in the Administration — The Army and Conscription — Bri- 
gandage— pLeuity of the late Sultan — Official Corruption — Red- 
shid Pasha — His Policy — The Medjlises, or Boards — Authority and 
Power of the old Vizirs — Mode of dealing with rebellious Vizirs — 
Government without an Army — Decentralization of Finance — The 
Navy — ^Effects of Centralization — Conciliation of the Rajahs advis- 
able — Retrospect of an ancient Turk. 

By the subversion of tbe ancient Turkish constitution, 
Sultan Mahmoud, uniting all the powers of the State in 
his own person, became, as an Arabian caliph, Mohammed's 
vicegerent, responsible for his acts to none on earth. He 
transmitted this terrible power to his son, Abdul Medjid 
Khan, then eighteen years of age, to use or abuse as he 
might see fit. Brought up by his Georgian mother with 
other sentiments, Sultan Abdul Medjid was, neverthe- 
less, of the race of Othman — a race prone to, and 
with difficulty restrained from, the abuse of power; 
being taught by flattery to believe in its divine right. 
The people, wearied by foreign and domestic strife, 
watched with intense anxiety for indications of his 
poUcy. Another five years of his father's rule would 
have exhausted the empire, morally and physically. He 
did not long keep them in suspense. He tranquillized 
their fears, and justified their hopes, by his tanzimat 
(reforms) proclaimed four months after his accession. 


This famous proclamation, conceived in a spirit of 
clemency and tolerance, inaugurated a new era for 
Turkey. The direct power of death by decapitation was 
taken from scores of vizirs ; the indirect power of death 
by vexation, from hundreds of inferior station. Oriental 
ductility was severely tested. An ensanguined nation 
was ordered to be gentle, and the order was obeyed- 
Pashas used to rule with the sabre were required to rule 
by exhortation. Mudirs and agas, wont to admonish 
rayas with the stick, were enjoined to be civil to them. 
The exhaustion of the nation, after twenty years of 
unparalleled sufifering, favoured the experiment: any- 
thing for quiet was the universal aspiration. The 
Ottomans, with the instincts of a dominant race, adapted 
themselves to altered circumstances; they leant upon 
their prestige, and it did not fail them. Fatalists, they 
were not sorry to see their Sultan cease, of his own 
accord, to be the direct instrument of fate in regard of 

The tanzimat, skilfully drawn up by Redshid Efendi, 
afterwards Bedshid Pasha, so as not to alarm the 
susceptibilities of the Moslems, nor unduly excite the 
expectations of the rayas, shadowed forth rather than 
indicated organic changes. It embodied a declaration 
of sorrow for the past, with an assurance of improved 
government for the future. It deplored the excesses of 
delegated authority, and the abuse of monopohes, and it 
promised protection to life, honour, and property thence- 
forwards : a promise which has been fairly kept. It left 
every one free to draw his own deduction from its tenour, 
and gave no one the right to say that the Sultan and his 
advisers had bound themselves to any definite course. 


This has been the sum and substance of the famous 
Hatti Sherif proclaimed at Gul-baneh, in the face of the 
world, Nov. 3, 1839. Under its healing influence, trade 
and agriculture revived, while the charm of luxuriating 
in yalis on the banks of the Bosphorus, without seeing 
the sword of Damocles suspended overhead, has recon- 
ciled the upper class to diminished personahty. 

But the transition from one extreme to the other 
proved too abrupt. The infliction of death, recklessly 
resorted to for centuries, and exciting no keen terror 
among a people hardily nurtured, some under the dogma, 
some under the idea of predestination, was suddenly 
abolished in a country without the knowledge of 
secondary punishment other than the bastinado: also 
forbidden by the tanzimat, though still occasionally 
irregularly administered. The administration, hitherto 
systematically decentralized, was centralized now, in an 
empire without roads, a post-office, or newspapers;* 
save two salaried gazettes, in Turkish and French 
respectively, of limited circulation among officials. 
Legislation went far in advance of the age. Redshid 
Pasha's political philosophy, gleaned in courtly Euro- 
pean circles, had not taught him that every state of 
society, as well as every age, has its appropriate scale 
of punishment ; and that the treatment unduly harsh in 
one, may be wholesomely severe in another. It had not 
taught him that centralization, while it may be expan- 
sive in the West, must be absorbent in the East. The 

* Since that period Tnrkej, still deficient in roads, has organized a 
letter post connecting the principal cities, and a telegraph system. 
Since then newspapers in various languages, in English, Italian, 
German, French, Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish, and Arabic, 
are published at Constantinople. 


transition, moreover, coincided with a period of social 
disquietude; with disaffection in every class, including 
the military. 

The Nizam (regular force), in place of the Janissaries, 
was long odious to the Turkish people, and with reason. 
Violence, guided by ignorance, long formed and organ- 
ized it. Young men, the single anJ married alike, were, 
on the call for a levy, seized in the provinces, wherever 
they were found, were handcuflfed, and driven to the 
nearest town. They were retained there some days, 
amidst filth and vermin, to allow time for acting a 
counterpart of the recruiting scene (minus its humour) 
in Justice Shallow's house. They were then sent to 
the coast for embarkation ; and on their arrival in the 
capital, sea-sick and home-sick, were told oflf to regi- 
ments or ships, for Hfe. Felons sent to the bagnio had 
fairer prospects. Their food was bad and insufficient, 
their apparel scanty, and their treatment brutal. A 
captain of a frigate might be named who had his 
cook beaten to death, in return for a bad dinner. 
Their doctors in those days were charlatans ; their 
hospitals charnel-houses, where patients perished of 
heat and neglect in summer, of cold and neglect in 
winter.* Numbers of men, also, were frozen every 
winter in the barracks and ships, until the introduction, 
in 1860, of stoves in both, with port sashes in the 
latter. But this picture happily belongs to the past : 
like impressment, with its attendant misery, in another 

♦ The military and naval hospitals at Constantinople were duly 
organized in the reign of Sultan Abdul Medjid. In regard of space 
and ventilation they are now superior to most, and in regard of comfort 
inferior to few, European hospitals. 


land. EighFy per cent, of the levies made during that 
gloomy period of transition never saw their homes again, 
but died at their post miserably, like galley-slaves at the 
oar. Deserters avoided their villages through fear of 
discovery ; they went to the hills and joined others who 
had fled from the conscription. In the brigand's garb 
they had self-respect and were respected. Those retaken, 
sentenced to receive a given number of blows, one- 
third on the soles of the feet, one-third on the posteriors, 
and one-third on the belly, were beaten to death in the 
presence of their comrades. Strong men became insen- 
sible under the first and generally expired under the 
second series of blows. One man, a negro sailor, is 
noted for having survived the third series. 

Brigandage, ever recognized in Turkey, has never 
been considered disreputable there. The exploits of 
noted brigands have formed the theme of popular chaunts ; 
and, in the Grecian provinces, Klephte and tine fellow 
have long been synonymous terms. Never political, 
confined to certain hilly districts in Europe and Asia, 
it was vexatious, without giving umbrage to authority. 
Occasionally serving the views of rival or recalcitrant 
beys, it rarely aimed at more, on its own account, than 
the interception of traders in ill-guarded passes, or the 
lifting a troublesome proprietor's sheep. The fate — 
impalement, or the hook — reserved sooner or later for a 
brigand-hero, unless timely transformed into a derbeiit 
aguy deterred all but the desperate or the innately 
depraved from the career. The Turk reviled by a 
pasha's minion, till he turned and struck, and the Greek 
crossed in love by a primate's sensuality, might shake 
hands at a cavern's mouth, and, banded with the repro- 


bates of the neighbourhood stained with vulgar crime, 
swear revenge upon society ; but the simply idle and way- 
ward might find congenial occupation in feudal service, or 
loiter away their existence parasitically in towns. Social 
revolution swelled the ranks of brigandage with men of 
another stamp, outlaws from necessity. Emboldened by 
the tanzimat, it descended into the valley, no longer 
dominated as of yore by an armed gentry and yeomanry. 
One band under Yanni Catergi frightened Smyrna out 
of its propriety during two years, and another, led by 
Moomgi Oglou, long infested the plain of Adrianople. 
These worthies in time found their way to the bagnio, 
where they remained several years, the admiration of the 
incarcerated public, chained, exceptionally, each by the 
leg to a comer of their cell. 

With restored order, and limited military service 
with fair treatment, brigandage resumed its normal 
proportions, and its quietude for a while gave hopes 
of its disappearance. Those hopes have been dis- 
appointed. Lulled by the din of the Crimean war, it 
has revived since the Peace of Paris, re-inforced by an 
active contingent from the Circassian immigration, giving 
constant anxiety to provincial governors, and harassing 
occupation for their police. Its audacity went the 
length, in 1865, of twice plundering the Imperial post 
carrying treasure respectively near Silybria and Ismid. 
We have not to go deep for the cause. Taxation has 
increased of late years in a greater ratio than national 
wealth, while the exercise of charity and hospitality — the 
cardinal virtues of the land during centuries, and still 
remarkable — has been sensibly on the decHije ; both in 
combination tending to produce the embarrassment felt 


in parts of Christendom on the suppression of monas- 
teries, when men sought to obtain by force or importunity 
the relief they had been used to receive, with kind words, 
for the asking. 

This, however, was the lesser of two evils developed 
into unusual proportions by the lenity of the system 
inaugurated by Sultan Abdul Medjid ; who, in the first 
twelve years of his reign, is said to have sanctioned only 
two executions, one of a relapsed Armenian renegade, 
the other of a citizen of Eastambol, convicted, partly on 
his wife's evidence, of blaspheming the Prophet : the only 
crime which Mussulmans have agreed to consider heinous 
and unpardonable. Brigandage on the hill and in the 
plain continued to be held in check, more or less, by incar- 
ceration in noxious prisons ; whence some with money or 
friends might escape, but where many sickened and 
died, without the negative merit of having served as an 
example.* But in other regions, with euphonious names, 
its urban foster-brother revelled free and fearless. 
Those with places, promotion, monopolies, or contracts to 
give, and in their default, those in a position to influence 
them, yielded to seduction in every form which ambition 
or avarice could suggest to render it acceptable ; and so 
general became the weakness, giving point to the 

* In 1858 capital punishment was partially resorted to, with a 
wholesome effect, in Thessaly. Orientals are moved to reflection through 
the medinm of their senses. The sight of one brigand hnng on the 
theatre of his exploits has more effect than the report of a hundred 
brigands wasting away in chains in the bagnio. Whatever may be 
advanced against public executions, it will be admitted that punishment 
without example has the taint of vengeance — a reproach sure to be 
levelled in time against the cloistral imprisonment of the 19th century ; 
the horrors of which cannot be imagined, nor conveyed even faintly to 
the imagination by the pen of a Sterne or a Dickens. Public execution 


proverb, Mai miri deniz dir itchmein domouz dur* as to 
lead, in a few years, to the formation of the Tanzimat 
Council: the rules emanating from which, with a 
remedial view, showed its gravity. Chamberlains and 
kislar agas traded with their influence ; the kiayas and 
secretaries of chiefs of departments sang the praises of 
wide-awake aspirants for favours; cabinet ministers' ladies 
listened graciously to fair suppliants for marital or fiUal 
advancement. The Janissaries in their day had battled 
with the hydra — official corruption, and, by occasionally 
lopping off some of its heads, circumscribed its action 
within comparatively narrow limits. The bare mention 
of their name, after an interval of forty years, makes the 
monster hiss with all its tongues. Under the old regime 
only imperial favourites and a few aspiring spirits willing 
to stake life against the Aladdin's lamp wealth dared 
openly indulge in malversation ; and retribution, the 
poetical justice adored in the East, generally lighted 
on them sooner or later. Some purchased forbearance 
by expending part of their gains on pubUc works, or on 
pious endowments. 

Allowance may in fairness be made for the necessities 
of the position. The men who had floated to the surface 
on the wreck of the orthodox Turkish party were in 
general needy, unillustrated by descent. They had to 
acquire wealth to gain influence and make partisans, in 
default of which they would be mere bubbles on a 
troubled sea. Each in enriching himself had to wink 

is the only gnarantee for the mass that crimiDals of a certain quality do 
suffer death, and in times of social excitement, that criminals of an- 
other stamp are hecomingly dealt by. 

* The public treasury is a sea, who does not drink of it is a pig. 


at his colleague's infirmity, and partisans could only 
be retained on like conditions. The old nobility, pro- 
fuse and open-handed, lived on their estates : their ovens 
were never cool ; their pilaf cauldrons never empty. 
The State was the estate of the new nobiUty. Bedshid 
Pasha inspired their policy ; and on his return in 1846 
from his second mission to Paris — an ostracism to allow 
time for certain jealousies to subside — became their 
leader, retaining that post with slight intermission until 
his death in 1858. He, the son of a muderris of 
Beyazid's mosque, realized in that interval an Oriental's 
brightest dream of prosperity, unaccompanied by the 
usual drawback. With the highest honours, with wide- 
spread lands and sumptuous palaces, with domestics, 
slaves, horses and jewels on a profuse scale, he enjoyed 
imperial and civic favour. Every man in his shadow, 
said an enthusiastic admirer, became rich. Bedshid 
Pasha had acquired, while representing the Porte 
abroad, an insight into other forms of government. 
He admired the system, bating popular control over 
the national purse, which practically Umits the sove- 
reign's prerogative to the faculty of choosing his 
ministry from a given set, with possibly dissonant 
views but with common interests. He adopted the 
phrase, ^^ Le Roi regne et ne gouvernt pas^" roughly 
applicable under the old reghne, when a Sultan could 
rarely retain a vizir long in office against the popular 
voice. Bedshid Paslia doubtless saw the distinction 
between the right to accept a ministry indicated by public 
opinion, and the power to choose one independent of it ; 
but he may not have clearly noted that the machinery of 
parties unbased on representation, when understood by 


the Sultan, would give him mild absolute authority, free 
from care and trouble. With a pensioned ministry out, 
eager to supplant the ministry in power, the Sultan 
would find accord on one point — the will to propitiate his 
royal favour. 

Out of this policy grew the imperial extravagance, 
of world-wide resonance. Out of it grew the multi- 
plication of offices beyond the requirements of centrali- 
zation, with the transformation of the Turks from a 
place-avoiding to a place-seeking people. And out of 
it gi'ew the medjUs — ingenious contrivance for veiling 
despotism with the semblance of deUberation and screen- 
ing responsibility with the show of collective decision. 
A medjlis (Anglic^, *' board/*) became attached to every 
department in the capital, and to every provincial admi- 
nistration. In the capital the members are salaried; 
in the provinces, though honorary, the position is self- 
beneficial. Spread Uke a net over the empire, the 
medjlises have given occupation and profit to the ruling 
classes, and maintained mildly their supremacy. In 
other respects their action has been mediocre, productive 
of no actual mischief and leading to no positive result. 
The medjlis has effaced personal responsibility, without 
affording security against misbehaviour. The chief, if 
resolute, impresses' the members with respect for his 
position ; if timid, he admits their respectful per- 
suasion ; if corrupt, he finds abettors ; if scrupulous, his 
credit is undermined by intrigue. Generally speaking, 
a compromise is effected. The rayas, disappointing legiti- 
mate expectations, have shown themselves animated by 
Byzantine traditions. Some experience in the ways of 
medjUses h^ taught the author, with sorrow, that the 



rayas members are the least, and, with surprise, that the 
muphti of a medjlis is the most, to be depended upon by 
the chief, to aid him in spoiling a job or baffling an 
oppressor. With the progress of centralization, the value 
of seats in metropolitan medjlises became estimated less 
by obvious than indirect advantages. Dignity, patronage, 
and influence, enjoyed with the breezes and views of the 
Bosphorus in the Sultan's shadow, have made them 
objects of ambition. Expectant ministers bide their 
time in a medjlis. Youthful damads learn the art of 
combining much talk and little work in a medjlis. 
Dismissed chamberlains find refuge in a medjlis ; blessing 
Allah for non-transportation to a distant pashaUc. ^ Men 
of rank, as a rule, place their sons in one or other of the 
kalems (public offices) ; which have again become, as in 
the days of the Lower Empire, the avenues to wealth and 

The Tartar conquerors of the Lower Empire saw 
nothing worth copying in Byzantine centralization. 
They judged the tree by its fruits, and avoided it. 
Their ruling idea was to combine metropolitan pre- 
dominance with modified provincial autonomy. Their 
ruling policy was to retain the superior administrative 
functions and mihtary authority in their hands, leaving 
every community, every sect, every town, every village, to 
manage its own affiairs. They organized their empire in 
such a guise that it resembled a federation ; or rather a 
congeries of states bound to co-act with the sovereign, for 
imperial objects. They gave eski adet (old custom) the 
force to resist despotism. Vizirs, imperial delegates, ruled 
the provinces; potentates within them, but responsible 
to the lord paramount for ruling according, to law and 


usage. Invested themselves with the power of Ufe and 
death, they were liable to be bowstrung on the strength 
of a simple mandate. Brought up in the imperial shadow, 
their sense of personal dignity and decorous manners 
impressed the provincials with respect. Wild Alba- 
nians, crafty Arabs, and supple Armenians admitted the 
moral superiority, the instinct of command, of the 
Ottoman. Each vizir was a Sultan in miniature. The 
notables of his province kissed the hem of his garment, 
and stood before him with crossed hands till bidden to 
sit. They sent him, on his arrival, horses and arms in 
token of good-will. Their attitude was defensive. The 
vizir had to obtain all he could, the province to resist 
giving more than custom sanctioned. The vizir had a right 
to all fines : a right suggesting incrimination, and nearly 
sure to be abused, if not by himself, by subordinates in his 
name. He also shared with the cadi Ham parasij i.e., 
five per cent, of adjudicated claims, paid by the winner. 
The provinces supplied, by custom, the viziral abode 
with pro^dsions and forage for bountiful hospitality, and 
entertained couriers and others travelling on Government 
account : a source of irritation in the villages, since those 
gentry expected dich parasi (teeth money) besides. The 
province also found labour gratis for public works. This 
obUgation, termed angaria, gave rise to oppression ; but, 
being in accordance with immemorial Eastern custom, 
never led to disturbance. Although discountenanced by 
the tanzimat, angaria still exists in a less obtrusive but 
equally exacting form. The inhabitants of a district, for 
example, are invited to build* baiTacks for troops, a 
village for Caucasian immigrants, or a lazzaretto for 
cholera suspects. Having completed the work, they 



press for payment, and are put oflf from month to month 
with fair words. After a while, making a merit of neces- 
sity, they renounce their claim, and are rewarded by 
seeing their ** patriotism " and *' devotion " duly lauded 
in the official Gazette. A loan extracted from the pro- 
vincials in 1860 was repaid with like coin. 

The vizir's residence contained within its precincts the 
symbols of authority — the armoury, the treasury, the 
guard-house, and the prison. He had a chamberlain in his 
kiaya, a minister of the interior in his divan-efendisi, a 
minister of finance in his defterdar, a minister of pohce in 
his tchiaushbashi, a master of the horse in his ser-akhor, 
and a keeper of the robes in his tchamasha agasi — all 
domestics, but each with domestics of his own, each with 
his httle circle of parasites, and each intent on filling a 
purse during his lord's term of office. He had also his 
body-guard of Albanians, a council (when he chose to con- 
vene it) of ayans and ulema, and, more important than 
«11, he had his representative in the capital in his kapou 
kiaya, through whom he communicated officially with 
the Porte. The kapou kiaya, necessarily chosen from 
among the literate efendis of Constantinople, was expected 
by his employer to inform him of sinister designs, and by 
the Porte to betray him when necessary. 

The vizir came to his province like a Koman pro- 
consul, intent on raising money. He bought his place 
during the reign of the series of feeble Sultans, when black 
eunuchs were more esteemed at court than white sages, 
and was therefore farmer of the revenue, as well as gover- 
nor. The amount was based on a rough estimate of the 
revenue derivable from the saUan (property- tax), the 
tithe on sheep, and the unappropriated tithe on wheat 


and barley. This tithe in many districts belonged to the 
timarlees and spahis, who, forming in the vigorous days 
of the monarchy a permanent yeomanry above 100,000 
strong, had the reputation of being traditionally content 
with less than their dues : a distinction never accorded to 
any other class of tithe recipients, lay or clerical. 
Celebrated for their skill with the sabre, they were for- 
midable in the Hungarian and Persian wars, and, with 
the resident gentry, kept up the breed of horses. If the 
vizir raised the revenue within the limits of custom, he 
was considered a man with the fear of Allah before his 
eyes. The amount sufficed to repay his debt to his sarraf, 
with a balance over for his temporary rahat (repose) at 
Constantinople and the propitiation of his patron in the 
seraglio : less than is needful now for such objects being 
required in days of simplicity, when pashas drank water 
out of brass goblets and their ladies rode to the ^^ sweet 
waters " in arabas. Arabian horses and Circassians, the 
chief luxuries, were cheap, so long as India imported but 
few of the former, and the slave-dealers were freely sup- 
pUed with the latter. Unusual exaction exposed the 
vizir to be petitioned against, in terms representing him 
oppressive in regard of the poor; and, unless he were 
exceptionally backed, the petition would be attended to, 
the more readily since the confiscation likely to follow 
would benefit the privy purse. His loyalty was, as a rule, 
guaranteed by provincial antagonism and metropohtan 
ties. But sometimes it happened that a vizir, seduced 
by acquired popularity, declined a successor ; or a dere- 
bey of influence arrogated to himself the right to ignore 
the Sultan's delegate, and govern the province himself. 
In addition to the insult, the audacious mortal might 


withhold the revenue. The Porte then had to consider 
whether it was politic to vindicate its authority hy sending 
for his head, or save appearances hy confirming his usurpa- 
tion ; the former means heing in general first resorted to. 
The kapougi hashi, hearer of the firman of death, would 
experience no difficulty, if able to reach the provincial 
capital; respect for the Sultan's herald would protect 
and aid him : even the rebel's guard would lower their 
arms at sight of the imperial firman. The rebel, there- 
fore, advised by his friends at Constantinople of the view 
taken of his proceeding, endeavoured to have the kapougi 
bashi waylaid on the road, as if by brigands. If a second 
herald were thus served, the Porte would then probably 
send a third to him, with the firman of investiture, and 
bide its time. It would lure him by flattery or ensnare 
him by deceit; and, if these arts failed, wait till his errors 
enabled it to attack him openly. At the worst his power 
would not survive him. Bebellion was simply local and 
personal, with all the forms and protestations of loyalty : 
a demonstration to avert danger, or to extort recognition 
of office. The dynasty was not menaced, nor conter- 
minous provinces affected by it. One bad man had made 
it, and his removal quelled it. Neither vengeance nor 
proscription followed ; for the Porto never admitted that 
the people had rebelled : they had been misled, ifothing 
more. The Ottoman dynasty respected national institu- 
tions and usages, and was pro tanto respected. Hence 
the rare spectacle of a vast heterogeneous empire kept 
together during centuries, by a government often vicious 
and contemptible, and without a regular army. The 
Barbary regencies, apparently exceptions, are not so 
really. Appendages, rather than provinces, of the 


empire, they had slipped away insensibly from metro- 
politan control. Their distance made the Porte indif- 
ferent to more than the forms of vassalage and the 
payment of tribute, while their uninterrupted state of 
hostility — dar vl harb — to the *' infidel " gave them the 
air of champions of Islam. 

Decentralization also characterized the public expen- 
diture. Every service had its distinct, inalienable revenue, 
derived from territorial sources. The state domain main- 
tained the imperial dignity. The vacoofs (endowments) sup- 
ported the mosques, the medressehs (colleges), the imarets 
(almshouses), the mektebs (parish schools), the cemeteries^ 
the fountains, and the pavement of cities ; in fine, all the 
pious and beneficent establishments. The vacoofsy pre- 
viously administered locally under state supervision, were 
consolidated in Sultan Mahmoud's reign, and placed under 
the administration of a minister of state (evcaf naziri). 
The aggregate revenue has not been diverted into secular 
chsmnels ; but it is remarked that the salathin (royal 
mosques) obtain more than their share of it, for repa- 
ration and decoration, at the expense of humbler objects, 
as parish mosques, fountains, &c., in disregard of founders' 
intentions. The unassigned tithes, the salian, and the 
kharatch defrayed the expenses of the central govern 
ment, the artillery, the fortresses, and the enrolled 
Janissaries. A district near the capital defrayed the ex- 
pense of the gunpowder manufactory. The Navy — ^justly 
esteemed the right arm of an empire with coasts bathed 
by the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, by the Ked 
and the Black Seas, by the Persian and Venetian Gulfs, 
with numerous islands, some of them kingdoms in 
ancient days — ^was* endowed with vast means, and its 


chief, the Capitan Pasha, held the third rank in the 
empire. It was endowed with the revenues of Maina and 
of the sandjaks of Lepanto and the Negroponte, of the 
Thracian Chersonesus, of Biga, Codja-eiU and Sighala, 
rich maritime provinces of Asia Minor, and of the Cyclades 
and Sporades in the Archipelago. A capitan pasha then, 
ordered to build ships or construct docks, or reproached 
for keeping the seamen in arrears of pay, would have 
idly pleaded in excuse want of money — the excuse often 
justly pleaded since by successive capitan pashas. Had 
the Turkish navy possessed in 1821 the slightest organi- 
zation, the Grecian revolt would have been crushed the 
first year ; and had it possessed in latter times its ancient 
resources, the neutralization of the Black Sea would not 
-have been thought of. Favoured spots in Scio and other 
islands supplied the ladies of the imperial harem with 
aromatics and cosmetics. Works of general utiUty, such 
as dykes, mountain passes, bendts and bridges, were kept 
in order, and mines were worked, by local personal 
service given in Ueu of taxation with exemption from 
military requisition. The value of the privilege ensured 
cheerful fulfilment of the conditions; as long appeared 
in the comparatively fiourishing condition of various 

This self-acting machinery, combining despotic power 
with municipal freedom, and providing ways and means 
independent of the calculations of a finance minister, 
was eminently fitted for an empire made up of various 
races, each tenacious of its own customs, with a tra- 
ditional right of exemption from fiscal novelties. Purified 
of its manifold abuses, this system would, in conjunc- 
tion with the humanizing spirit of the tanzimat and a 


regnlar organized police force, have given lustre to the 
throne, contentment to the people, and maintained the 
services of the empire on a becoming scale : that is, with 
the exaction, indispensable in an Oriental state, of personal 
responsibiUty. Centralization has proved an inadequate 
substitute. Ministers virtually irresponsible may favour 
one department at the expense of the other, the capital 
at the expense of the provinces ; may yield to the soUcita- 
tions, pressed with varying urgency, of the favourite of the 
day; may defer to another the necessary expenditure of the 
current year ; while, dependent on the sovereign's favour, 
they rival each other in obsequious deference to his wishes. 
There have been, however, obstacles more than sufficient 
to prevail against the firmest will, coupled with energetic 
perseverance. Financial ability, statistical data, facile 
communications, and agents to carry out any scheme 
of a comprehensive character, have been wanting. Fraud, 
incompetence, and indolence have not had the check or 
the spur of publicity ; they have, on the contrary, been 
encouraged by the cuckoo note of the official journals : 
all is for the best in the best of all possible empires. 
Moreover, centraUzation is absorbent in the East; of 
which the ornamentation of the banks of the Bosphorus, 
during the last twenty years, with palaces, mosques, 
kiosks, and yalis, representing untold millions, is ocular 
evidence to the crowds who daily pass up and down that 
celebrated strait in the Shirket Hairie steamers. Under 
the head of public works, little beyond imperial abodes, 
barracks, and state manufactories have been cared for. 
The Golden Horn remains as it was before the develop- 
ment of its trade by steam, with indifferent accom- 
modation in the way of quays, landing-places, &c. : 


thongh it is fair to say in extenuation, that Euro* 
pean merchant vessels, the general carriers, do not, 
in virtue of antiquated treaties, pay port or anchorage 
dues.* Reservoirs, bridges, mines, &c., have deteriorated, 
through inability or indisposition to hire labour in lieu 
of the personal service spoken of. Even the bendts in 
the shadow of royalty, formerly tended by the inhabit- 
ants of the adjoining village of Bakche-keuy, have been 
neglected, so as to cause frequent distress of late years 
to populous quarters dependent upon them for water. 
The coal-fields lying within 200 miles of the Bos- 
phorus, on the edge of the Black Sea, ought to furnish 
motive power for every steamer in the Mediterranean and 
Euxine; yet they are so ill worked, through want of 
labour, that their produce is undersold at Constantinople 
by coal brought from Newcastle. The iron and copper 
mines respectively of Samakof and Tocat are also com- 
paratively unremunerative. Passing over intermediate 
districts, each presenting more or less evidence of the 
inabihty of the central government to supply the want 
of self-administration and custom, the dyke of Djezair, 
formerly under local supervision, has given way, and the 

• European yessels pay no port or anchorage dues in any provin- 
cial harbour of the Turkish empire. At Constantinople they pay, with- 
out reference to tonnage or length of sojourn, dues varying from one to 
two shillings per vessel, according to her flag. For example : the 
Great Eastern might lie in the Golden Horn for a year and her 
anchorage due would be twelve piastres. Twelve piastres, once repre- 
senting as many dollars, now represent two shillings. In 1864, the 
Porte, at the instance of its admiralty, proposed to improve the harbour 
accommodation on consideration of a graduated moderate scale of 
anchorage dues, and in expectation of assent, suitable buoys with 
mooring chains were brought from England. The European legations 
declined the proposition. 


stagnant water, with malaria resulting therefrom, has 
completed the desolation of Bassorah, the happily-placed 
city near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, 
whose inhabitatants, in the days of the caliphate, prayed 
in a hundred mosques and bathed in a thousand baths. 

Centralization, with divided civil and military autho- 
rity — the system initiated by Constantine, and perfected 
by Theodosius — has undoubtedly strengthened the hands 
of the Porte in regard of its subjects in general ; has 
given it means to deal temperately with disturbances, and 
quell in a forbearing spirit insurrection ; but it may be 
doubted if it possesses equal ability to repel invasion, 
counting upon disaffection within. Under the ancient 
system the nation and the army were identical. The 
forces on the frontier might be defeated ; but the nation, 
with rights and liberties to defend, was behind. The 
population, armed from childhood, and skilled in the use 
of their arms, was sufficiently organized under hereditary 
nobles to hold strong positions, and to harass troops in 
a roadless sparsely-peopled country interspersed with 
morasses. An invader, with spahis on his flanks, with 
the villages on his path abandoned, and their flocks and 
herds driven away, found his difficulties increase at every 
stage. Under the modem system, the army is the 
measure of national defence ; and this expression, applic- 
able elsewhere as well, has peculiar force in an empire 
with no ties of kindred and few bonds of sympathy with 
the outer world. 

Viewing dispassionately the altered conditions of 
its rule, the Porte would conciliate those sections of 
the rayas who, unimbued with ''grand ideas," have 
httle more than social aspirations. The Armenians, 


with Asiatic habits, reading in an antiquarian spirit 
the history of Armenia, and the placid and industrious 
Bulgarians, with no traditions worth dwelling upon, 
would as citizens become loyal subjects, and be a 
counterpoise to the irascible Greeks; with whom their 
sympathy, created in other days by common oppression, 
is on the wane : Greek vanity is more intolerable to 
them than Turkish pride. Formation of Armenian and 
Bulgarian regiments — ^military service being the only 
reUable bond in an empire composed of various races — 
should be the first step in the process. Comradeship 
under one banner, in the absence of marked physical or 
intellectual differences, assuages sectarian antipathies. 
The prevalence of Turkish speech would render amalga- 
mation easier than might be supposed. The Armenians 
speak that language Uke their own ; the Jews speak it as 
well as Spanish ; the easy class of the Sclavic tribes speak 
it for practical purposes, more or less ; and the Greeks in 
many inland districts of Asia Minor speak no other. The 
Arabs, exalting the language of the Koran above all 
dialects, are, with the Kurds, as a rule, least acquainted 
with Turkish of any part of the population. When, 
however, so disposed, they easily master a language into 
the literary composition of which Arabic enters largely ; 
though no amount of practice ever gives them the 
euphonious Ottoman accent. Arabian recruits soon pick 
up vulgar Turkish. 

An ancient Turk, looking back to the days of his 
youth, might draw conclusions from the survey not 
altogether unfavourable to the mixed government of 
Sultan, Beys, Ulema, and Janissaries. Under it Turkey 
governed herself (badly he would admit), in her own way. 


and fought unaided her own battles ; than which national 
pride has no higher aspiration. Under it Turkey was a 
lightly-taxed and a cheap country. With a reserved 
fund for war expenses, she never had recourse to usurers 
to defray current expenditure, and never gave people the 
trouble to call twice for payment of just claims. With a 
reasonable income, the old seraglio, one summer palace 
of modest dimensions, and a few plain kiosks, sufficed 
for the accommodation and recreation of the imperial 
fitmily. In those days Turkey clothed her population, 
and equipped her troops, ships, and fortresses, chiefly 
with native products. Her gentry then loved the chase, 
and the exciting game of jerreed, which requires a strong 
arm, a sure eye, self-possession, and expert horseman- 
ship ; and her citizens, led by imperial example, relaxed 
themselves often with archery on the Okmeidan. The 
ancient Turk would bid his son note that under that form 
of government Algiers was a dependency of the empire, 
Greece an integral portion of it, Egypt a nomination 
pashalic, and the vassalage of Moldo-Wallachia and 
Servia something more than nominal. If slightly 
acquainted with history, he would further remark, with 
bitterness, that since its subversion the Franks had 
sat down in Fera and Galata somewhat after the fashion 
of the Genoese and Venetians in the later days of 
the Lower Empire, while their ambassadors, far from 
bringing gifts to the Sultan from their respective courts, 
as of yore, received instead presents from him for them- 
selves and relatives. Ai de mi Alhambra I 



Ambassadors at Constantinople, under the Old and the New Regime — 
Position of Diplomatists at Constantinople — Effect of Obsolete i 
Commercial Legislation — Turkish Manufactures supplanted by 
Cheap Foreign Fabrics — Novel Attitude of Diplomacy towards the 
Divan — Presents to Foreign Diplomatists — Oriental Ideas of 
Presents — Usury, the Cancer of Turkey and Cause of the Low 
State of Agriculture — Education — Parish Schools — Colleges — Mili- 
tary and Medical Schools — Quarantine — The European Crisis of 
1848 — Dilemma of the Porte as to Hungarian Fugitives — The 
Montenegrin Insurrection — Demands of Austria acceded to— 
Similarity of Turkish and Austrian Policy — Ball given by the 
French Ambassador in honour of the Second Empire. 

With Sultan Abdul Medjid's reign commenced the inter- 
mittent sway of European ambassadors at Constantinople. 
Their position alone showed the significance of the 
change, effected within a few years, in the relations of 
Turkey with Christendom. Under the old regime, an 
ambassador had been tolerated rather than recognized 
in the capital of the successor of the caliphs. His pre- 
sentation at court to deliver his credentials was a 
comedy. Presumed to be hungry, he and his suite were 
preliminarily regaled at the Sultan's expense, when their 
awkwardness in eating with their fingers lokmasy kadaify 
and other oriental deUcacies, with their unbecoming 
mode of squatting round the sinni (tray), drew from the 
attendants remarks of pity for their defective education. 
Possibly the infidels might become excited in the pre- 


sence of the prophet's vicegerent, and, therefore, in pre- 
caution, their swords were taken from them ; and to 
render their appearance tolerable to oriental eyes, their 
uniforms were covered by pelisses. The cortege was 
augmented on its way to the seraglio by the ambas- 
sador's compatriots in the capital ; who, arrayed variously, 
went to see a show and made one themselves. Thus 
garnished, the '* representative of the most powerful of 
the kings of the adorers of Jesus," was led into a dimly 
lit chamber, at one end of which the Sultan sat on a sofa, 
and having delivered his little oration, more or less faith- 
fully translated by his dragoman, was honoured in return 
by a stare. He was regarded during his sojourn in 
Turkey as an accredited spy ; and as such, on a declara- 
tion of war with his sovereign, was sent to the Seven 
Towers. In his rare interviews with the Grand Vizir, 
he sat lower than that functionary, and his dragoman, 
wearing a calpak^ knelt at his highnesses feet. 

An ambassador, under the new regime, has had nothing 
to complain of on the score of etiquette ; he has no longer 
been stuflfed with moalebbi and j)ilaff nor sprinkled with 
rosewater. He has stood, with sword by his side and 
cocked hat in his hand, face to face with the Sultan ; 
he has lounged on the same sofa with the Grand 
Vizir; and his dragoman has smoked amicably with 
the Reis Efendi, thenceforwards ycleped minister for 
foreign affairs. The mission of ambassadors under 
the new regime was ostensibly to encourage or observe 
Turkey in the new path traced for her by fate. 
Some of them came out with theories ready cut and 
dried for her regeneration, and moulded facts to suit ; 
others came with objects in reference to her, and wove 


theories to justify them. Either process was easy ; for 
Levantines have the art to divine the bias of a man's 
mind, and the tact to adapt their conversation to it. An 
influential man in the East, be he Christian or Moslem, 
may give what shape he likes to the passing cloud — a 
camel, a weasel, or a whale ; he will always find a 
Polonius ready to echo him. Thence, in part, arises the 
difficulty of a diplomatist at Constantinople losing a 
wrong scent. Socially isolated, in a country devoid of 
periodical literature, he has not opportunities, as in 
other lands, to correct or confirm his views by friendly 
intercourse with natives of various callings and opinions. 
Remarks incidentally dropped in familiar conversation 
over a chibouque, throw light on doubtful points, suggest 
further inquiry, and sometimes vexatiously upset a pet 
theory based on misapprehension or hasty generalization. 
He has no intercourse with the ruling race, excepting 
ministers of state, conversing with those ignorant of a 
western language through an interpreter, when words 
are weighed and sentences measured ; nor with the rayas, 
beyond a select few who thrive upon their footing at 
embassies. The dinners of the minister of foreign 
affairs, at which diplomatists and state dignitaries mingle, 
give him no insight into national manners ; for the table 
is Parisian, the conversation vapid, and the Faithful drink 
as though the prophet had enjoined, not forbidden, in- 
dulgence in wine. At his dinners, given in return, the 
guests, leaving prejudices with their slippers at the door, 
discourse politely with unveiled ladies, and, blandly 
declining ham in conjunction with turkey, see merit in 
punch d la Romaine. 

Schools, hospitals, prisons, factories, tribunals, &c.. 


evidences of the degree of a people's civilization, lie 
not in his way. The Bamazan, key of many riddles, 
aimnally cementing the bonds of Islam under a lunar 
sign, and making the followers of Mahommed during 
thirty days one family — the newest fashions being 
replaced for the time by the most ancient usage — 
seems only an irksome penance ; and the Bairam cere- 
mony, in which the Sultan figures in his regal and 
sacerdotal character, is viewed simply as a brilUant 
spectacle. The diplomatist resides in winter at Fera, a 
nondescript suburb peopled by a loosely knit assemblage 
of various races, whose choicest pastime is gaming, and 
whose favourite topic of conversation is the demerits of 
the Turks, the source of their prosperity ; and in summer 
at Therapia or Buyukdereh, pleasant villages on the 
Bosphorus, where the muezzin's chant is not heard. 
Outside these chosen spots he sees little with his own 
eyes. He visits as a matter of course the show mosques 
and the tekieh of the *' dancing dervishes;" strolls in 
the bazaars ; rows in spring up the meandering Lycus to 
Kiat-haneh, and in summer down the Bosphorus to 
Ghiok-sou ; rides, with reminiscences of Constantine and 
Belisarius, from Yedi Koule to Eyoub, the ancient Greek 
wall or a Turkish cemetery on either hand; and goes 
perhaps, in duty bound, to Ehalki to see the tomb of an 
ambassador interred in that fragrant island. A talented 
Oriental on a mission to the court of St. James's or the 
Tuileries, located in Leicester Square or in a correspond- 
ing quarter of Paris, in habitual communication with 
disaflTected natives and prejudiced foreigners, would 
occupy somewhat an analogous position ; and if we might 
fairly expect to read in his despatches, mingled with shrewd 



remarks on social anomalies, direful forebodings drawn 
from conversation with sanguine Fenians or morbid 
socialists, we should cease to smile at strange tales in 
blue or yellow books: we should cease to wonder at 
the ever recurring announcement during a century, 
by wise men from the West, of the imminent collapse 
of the Turkish empire, and should ascribe it to a careful 
notation of the fissures in the edifice, with inobservance 
of its ivy-covered props. 

Ambassadors under the new regime, how much soever 
disagreeing on some points, have cordially agreed with 
each other in enforcing the commercial legislation founded 
on treaties applicable to bygone days, which has made 
Turkey virtually a colony after the old colonial fashion, 
bound to admit the products of every European state, 
tvithout reciprocity, at a uniform low rate of duty,* reduced 
lower by partial tariffs and by a system of smuggUng from 
which she is not allowed to protect herself; f and they 
with other foreign counsellors have, in their wisdom, led 
her in a few years through the cloudy maze of financial 

* The treaties of commerce between Turkey and European states, 
based on the original treaty between Solyman U. and Francis I., were 
merged in the treaty of Balta Liman, 1841. Until then, foreign pro- 
ducts had been charged in Turkey 8 per cent. duty. This import duty 
was increased 2 per cent., Turkey consenting at the same time to 
abolish interior transit dues, which had been arbitrary and vexatious, 
and restrict herself to one export duty of 12 per cent. In 1862 another 
commercial treaty was made between Europe aud Turkey, enabling 
Turkey to levy 8 per cent, duty on imports and 8 per cent, on exports, 
the latter to be reduced annually 1 per cent., till it fall to 1 per cent. 
This is a great improvement ; but, in the name of free trade, one might 
ask, why has not Europe granted reciprocity to Turkish products in her 
markets ? 

f European merchant vessels in Turkish ports are, by a strained 
interpretation of treaties, free from the visit of custom-house employes. 


expediency to the Austro-Hispano-Italian platform of an 
annual deficit and increasing debt. Free trade, in that 
sense, has ruined Turkey's manufactories, and politico 
financial economy has brought her to a chronic state 
of pecuniary embarrassment. 

Various causes had contributed to render the Turks 
commercially indifferent about their capitulations with 
Europe until early in the present century, when Greek 
traders pointed out a field for enterprise in Turkey, and 
imparted to the manufacturers of the West the tastes of 
her inhabitants. Turkish manufactures flourishing in the 
memory of man then began inevitably to decay, throwing 
out of employment permanently those classes, always 
existing in old communities, unable to devote them- 
selves to the production of raw materials. The muslins 
of Aleppo, the silks of Brussa and Damascus, the 
cottons of Tocat and Kastambol, the cloths of Timova 
and Selivria, the shawls of Angora, the shalis, muslins, 
and embroidery of Constantinople, have become in great 
part replaced by wares got up for the Eastern market. 
The people, at first, captivated by the difference of price, 
exulted, but found out too late that cheapness in a 
country unswayed by fashion ill compensates for dura- 
bility. Garments made from their own rich manu- 
factures wore becomingly to the last, while those made 
with cheap foreign materials wear shabby from the first. 
The army has specially suffered by the change, which 
favours collusion between officials and contractors. The 
manufactures of arms in Sparta (ancient Pisidia), 
Damascus and Constantinople have sunk under the 
competition of Liege and Birmingham. The manu- 
facture of Turkey carpets still flourishes, but is 



beginning to be affected by the cheap bright-coloured 
carpets of the West. 

The divan was at first perplexed by the novel 
attitude of diplomacy. It seemed menacing. An 
ambassador might speak his mind to the Sultan about 
his ministers, and represent Turkey in any light he 
pleased to his court. He might write ugly despatches on 
the report of a disappointed dragoman, or of a provincial 
consul out of humour with his pasha. But the divan 
after a while discovered, to its great relief, that diplo- 
matists, like ordinary mortals, could inhale voluptuously 
the fumes of the moral opium of the East — adulation, 
and accept smilingly tokens of imperial munificence, 
and were, therefore, it thought, unlikely to be hyper- 
critical : as events showed. Every minister of state 
under the new regime who has benefited himself and 
friends more than usual by office has had an ambassador 
for his friend and embassy dragomans for panegyrists. 

The readiness of diplomatists to accept presents 
from the Sultan for themselves or friends, and ask 
favours from the Porte for their satellites, must be 
ascribed to misapprehension of Oriental habits of 
thought. The objections to similar condescension in 
the West exist with infinitely greater force in the East, 
where the line between a present and a bribe is not 
sharply defined, and where everything is estimated at its 
money's worth. An Oriental conveys to his hearers an 
idea of a woman's beauty, or a child's comeliness, by 
stating the price which one or the other would fetch, if a 
slave, in the market. An Oriental knows nothing of ideal 
values. His sovereign's portrait is valued for its setting; 
and as for a lock of a lady's hair, even Hafiz the 


Persian Anacreon would have preferred a bunch of 
roses to it. A gift of a rai-e manuscript or a bas-relief 
from an ancient sarcophagus would, through Oriental 
indifference to ideal value, excite no remark ; not so 
diamonds or Arabian horses, which directly represent 
money. The highest type of a present in the East is 
money; in which form the Sultan gratifies docile 
chamberlains or assiduous ministers of State. An 
Oriental, whatever his station, is equally flattered by a 
present of a purse of gold or a snuff-box of like value. 
He would probably, being eminently practical, prefer the 
former : a view shared not many years ago by an ambas- 
sador, who, on being informed that Sultan Abdul Medjid 
had in token of his esteem ordered a snuff-box worth 
IjOOOZ. to be given him, sent word to say he would 
rather have the money. Versed in the ways of the 
court jeweller, his Excellency guessed that, although 
the Sultan's account would be debited the full amount, 
the box would be of less value. The presents given 
to, or out of regard for, diplomatists, supplemented by 
offerings to distinguished persons on special missions, 
or on their travels, during the last twenty years, repre- 
sent a large sum. The amount of this tribute to 
necessity, as it may be termed, cannot be accurately 
stated, but is beheved to be approximately known, and, 
in face of the habitual indebtedness of every depart- 
ment, has excited comment from natives and foreigners. 
Incurred in a constitutional country, such expenditure 
would suggest questions. 

There is another point from which the question has 
to be viewed. An Oriental, seeing a man accept presents 
from one, argues his readiness to accept them from any 


other quarter, and one might as soon persuade him to 
the contrary as make him believe in more than a shade 
of distinction between waltzing ladies and dancing 
girls ; therefore when he sees an ambassador press 
a claim of the Pacifico kind, he suspects a personal 
motive : his Excellency accepts diamonds from the 
Sultan, what should restrain him from taking diamonds, 
or their equivalent, from any other person ? Two pashas 
were conversing one day during Sultan Abdul Medjid's 
reign about a bribe behoved by them to have been given 
to an embassy to induce it to urge a compensation 
claim on the Porte, which even the claimant's compatriots 
thought exaggerated : they even specified the amount 
given respectively to the ambassador, the secretary, and 
the first dragoman. At this stage, a European present 
in the room interposed with — ** Gently, Efendis, this is 
impossible : that embassy is not to be bribed, directly or 
indirectly." ** My friend," rejoined one of the pashas, 
** your ambassador is a clever man, so is his secretary, 
and his dragoman is sharp-witted ; is it hkely they would 
back a claim of that kind for nothing ? be quiet, we are 
not asses." An Oriental has no great respect for human 
law, but he has a sense of equity. He will give a man 
credit for doing justice, but never injustice, gratis. 
Another trait is worthy of note. Bribes taken by an 
inferior functionary are beUeved in the East to be shared 
by his superior, on the principle of prize money. 

The commencement of Sultan Abdul Medjid's reign 
was a favourable opportunity to lead Turkey forward in the 
thorny path of civilization, of which she had only tasted 
the bitter fruits, conscription and taxation, before eski 
add (old custom) should partially renew its sway. The 


nation was pliant through exhaustion, and humbled by 
misfortune ; but not broken in to view innovation with 
apathy. The young Sultan was auspiciously disposed. 
His father's ministers and courtiers had cast their lot 
in with reform, and dared not retrograde : reaction 
would have been their ruin. Unfortunately her patrons 
looked down upon her from the height of their own 
civiUzation, and urged upon her conditions of progress 
beyond her powers. They should have looked back to 
the history of Europe at that period when convictions 
were realities, free-thinking was heresy, and intolerance 
was a virtue, when astrology was esteemed a science, 
when spirits were exorcised and witches burnt, when 
the evil eye was shunned and comets were portents, and 
have asked themselves how their ideas would then have 
been received. The minister of the day, in advance 
of his age, while admitting the abstract merit of his inter- 
locutor's theories on tolerance, imprisonment, slavery 
and civil rights, would have said: — **Go to yonder 
priest, yonder soldier, yonder mechanic, yonder farmer, 
and hear what they have to say : each of them has to be 

Religious disabilities, requiring tact and patience to 
deal with in all countries, slavery — the slavery aiTayed 
in shawls, interwoven with the affections of society 
from the sovereign bom of a slave downwards — and 
civic inequality, were delicate subjects. Inveighing 
against them at that period was simply talking to the 
wind. But there were other topics to dwell upon, invol- 
ving no religious or sentimental feeUngs. Turkey has still 
one paramount evil — usury; and two pressing wants — 
popular education and medical aid. Usury, sordid un- 


scrupulous usury, is the cancer preying on the vitals 
of Turkey, Bad enough in the cities, where wit meets 
wit, it revels oppressively 'in the rural districts. Indi- 
viduals, under the denomination of selerrif taking advan- 
tage of the peasants' ignorance of the state of markets, 
lend them money on the security of their forthcoming 
crops ; they add together the sum advanced and the 
stipulated interest — often three per cent, per month — 
and, setting an arbitrary value on the crops, force 
repayment, in money or in kind as suits their con- 
venience. The lender is in some instances in league 
with the aga of the district, or with a trading consul ; 
he may be the aga or the consul himself, lending in 
his private and recovering in his official capacity. 
Herein lies the secret of the low state of agriculture : 
the cultivators require advances which are only to be 
obtained on onerous conditions; the usurer, the tithe- 
farmer, and the tax-gatherer combine against them, and 
often, to satisfy the demands of the last, they are forced 
to Usten to the offers of the first. 

Education, though neglected, has ever been prized in 
Turkey. Mahalleh (parish) schools were established 
in the towns and boroughs in the reign of Soliman II., 
800 years ago. They still exist, but with no higher 
objects. The children of each parish, rich and poor, 
mingle in them, and the first day of a child going to 
school is a family fete. The Uttle novice, his fez orna- 
mented with gold coins or his mother's diamonds, is 
escorted in triumph by his future companions from his 
home to the school, and the juvenile procession, the 
prettiest sight of Constantinople, is regarded by the 
spectators with affectionate interest. A pasha's son is 


generally attended in the school by a black slave boy 
of his own age. Nothing is learned there beyond the 
radiments of Turkish, and docile manners. The Rmh" 
dieh schools, of recent creation in the cities, teach only 
oriental hteratnre; yet with a trifling annual expendi- 
ture for educational appliances and competent salaried 
teachers, they as well as the mahalleh schools might be 
elevated to a level with the requirements of the age. 
The imperial pages' school, distinguished by its com- 
paratively refined tone, would admit of development into 
an oriental Eton. The medressehs (colleges) might 
possess other than theological chairs. With means 
elsewhere for preparatory education, the imperial miU- 
tary, naval, and medical schools — where every expense, 
including pocket-money, is defrayed by the Government 
— would produce more than a showy result. Much time 
is passed in them in gaining elementary knowledge, 
acquired in Europe by private tuition. The scholars have 
in general to learn their own native language, involving 
a smattering of Arabic, and gather some knowledge of 
history and geography, before commencing the study 
of special sciences. The military schools have had a 
further disadvantage in the sons of influential individuals 
obtaining high rank while students.* These favoured 
youths have no other than abstract motives for study, 
and their example acts banefuUy on their companions, 
who thus too early learn the shortest road to advance- 
ment. In the medical schools the scholars have first to 

* Li 1858 there were in the military school at Constantinople 
among the scholars under twenty years of age, one lieutenant-general, 
two major-generals, one colonel, sons of ministers of state. One of 
the said mcyor-generals, Mahzar Pacha, left the school in 1854 to com- 
mand a hrigade of cavalry in Bulgaria. 


learn some French, through the want of appropriate 
Turkish terms. Although alive to the value of military 
and medical knowledge, the Porte has not seen fit to en- 
courage popular instruction. The attentive group in 
the mosque gathered round a muderris expounding 
the Koran and the Hadis might Usten eagerly to a 
professor of natural philosophy ; and the earnest crowds 
hanging on the lips of the impassioned Ramazan 
preachers might have ears for a political discourse. 
In its apprehension of the possible effects of diffusion 
of knowledge among the dominant race, the Porte 
has overlooked the impatience likely to be generated 
by superior scholastic attainments in the subject races. 

The friends of Turkey might have thundered against 
usury, taking for their text this verse of the Koran : 
** They who Uve by usury will rise on the day of 
resurrection like one whom Satan has soiled by his 
touch, — they who, warned of the iniquity, abandon usury, 
will obtain pardon for the past, — they who relapse into 
usury will be cast into the fire and remain there eter- 
nally." They might have urged the improvement of 
schools, the amelioration of prisons and the creation of 
hospitals, with the Koran in their hands ; and then the 
people, benefited morally and physically by civilization, 
would have learned to appreciate the motives of its 
propagators. Quarantine, the undoubted boon of civili- 
zation, has been sceptically viewed from the outset. 
Death in the shape of plague has seemed kept out by it, 
but in the form of cholera it has leaped the barrier and 
seized its prey notwithstanding. 

More than all, Turkey required a long period of repose, 
to habituate her people to the new system, to lessen the 


pressure of military service on the Turkish race — one cause 
of its comparative numerical decline — and to restore her 
finances by the gradual development of the resources of 
the country : a natural result — unless checked by war's 
alarms — of the security for Ufe and property guaranteed 
by the tanzimat. The duty of every friend of Turkey 
was to counsel her to avoid giving needlessly any cause 
of offence either to Austria or Russia, With respect to 
Eussia, the motives for preserving good neighbourhood 
with her were self-evident. With respect to Austria, 
they were less obvious, but more valid in a moral sense. 
Austria had long been a loyal friend to Turkey ; she had 
spared her in the day of triumph ; had never since 
TekeU's time fomented insurrection among her rayas; 
and had no presumed designs on any part of her terri- 
tory. The integrity of the Ottoman Empire had been a 
canon of faith with Prince Mettemich, and respect 
for it in 1814 had perpetuated the complication of 
Austrian and Turkish interests at either extremitv of the 
Ragusan territory. This duty became apparent when, 
with reviving strength, with habitual indifference to past 
sufferings, and with a fairly-drilled army, the Otto- 
mans — a warrior race, imbued with the traditions 
of their conquering period, and descended from ances- 
tors who gave their children arms for playthings — 
after some years of inaction, began again to indulge in 
flattering dreams. The chief feature of the Ottomans, 
as of every dominant race, has ever been pride : their 
bane has been self-commendation. Believing themselves 
the elect of Islam, devoid of the means of comparison with 
other nations by travel and study, they have ignored 
their defects, and have discredited rumour thereon. The 


Bword of Ali, Mahomet's first and truest follower, 
remains in their possession, and they have long fancied 
themselves as able as ever to wield it. Unaccustomed 
to reason on cause and effect, they refer everything to 
predestination or special providence. Allah had sorely 
chastised them, but he had pardoned them. Nearly all 
the provinces of their vast empire were tranquil under 
the gentle rule of Sultan Abdul Medjid. Mecca rejoiced 
in an increased annual pilgrimage, unmolested by heretic 
Wahabites. Plague had departed from the land. The 
Turks felt new bom. In this mood the European crisis of 
1848 found them. They heard of crowns falling, of states 
rocking on the wave of revolution, of ministers who had 
ruled the feverish masses of civihzation fleeing in dismay 
from their homes. Tranquil themselves, outside the 
storm circle, they gloried in their prophet's institutions. 
As the flame spread in Hungary, they watched its pro- 
gress with intense interest. Why might they not rebuild 
the fallen mosque at Ofen ? They sympathized with the 
Hungarians, their Christian cousins. They opened com- 
munication with the patriots through their agents at 
Widdin, encouraged in their equivocal course by a 
" friendly " embassy. The hearts of Turks and Greeks 
for once beat in unison, for success to Hungary. In vain. 
Betrayed by their jealousies, and oppressed by Russia, 
the Hungarian leaders and their immediate followers 
closed a noble struggle by a sorry flight. After having 
harangued like kings and striven Uke knights, they 
crossed the Danube, fugitives, and claimed Turkish 
hospitaUty; as their ancestors had often done before 
them. It was accorded without hesitation, but with 
misgivings. Rightly advised, the Porte would have had 


steamers stationed in time at Varna to convey them far 
away, after the purgation of their quarantine at Widdin. 
That would have dulled the edge of Austria's demand for 
their surrender, if then made, and have saved Turkey 
the expense and waste of life incurred by calling out the 
first division of the redif to be ready to support her 
refusal. Austria, backed by Bussia, demanded their sur- 
render, in virtue of a treaty for giving up deserters and 
refugees from either side, excepting apostates. The 
Porte saw, in the exceptional clause, a mode of escape 
frt)m the dilemma created by the opposing claims of 
international obUgation and civic duty. She held out to 
the refugees congregated at Schumla inducements to 
conversion. The shining example of the French taken 
at the battle of NicopoUs — who remembered the divine 
warning, " Whoever shall deny me before men, him also 
will I deny before my Father which is in heaven,*' and 
who all suffered decapitation, save a few nobles reserved 
for ransom — was unheeded. The majority of the Hun- 
garian refugees embraced Islamism; the minority, a 
distinguished few, were conveyed, according to agree- 
ment, to Kutaieh, where they remained sequestered a 
year, honourably and liberally maintained at the Porte's 

Thus far Turkey had acted well ; had reconciled policy 
with humanity. Thus far, England's representative had 
merited applause in recommending his Government to 
send a demonstrative squadron to the Hellespont, and in 
throwing the weight of his personal influence on the side 
of the unfortunate. Both, in their zeal, went further. 
Not content with the merit of having shielded the 
Hungarian refugees from political vengeance, one 


advised conferring and the other showered honours upon 
them. Several were created pashas, and many received 
field-officer's rank in the Turkish service. One might 
draw a parallel by supposing high rank in the British 
navy conferred upon the commanders of the Alabama and 
Shenandoah, on their taking refuge in England. Austria 
saw with vexation, easily imagined, the coveted title of 
pasha, withheld from the noblest rayas, accorded to 
men termed rebels by her. She saw with indignation 
officers recently in arms against her, enrolled in the 
army of her ally. Russia felt equally this violation of 
international decorum, but was silent thereon. The 
Porte measures weakness by quiescence under scorn or 
ill-usage. She knew the gravity of the insult oflFered to 
Austria, and attributed her placidity, if not to fear, to 
inabiUty to back her words with deeds. Thenceforwards, 
during three years, Austria was treated like a second- 
rate power in discredit. Austria's claims were neglected : 
Austrian influence became a by-word in the circles of 
Pera and Galata. 

Austria at length roused herself, on the occasion 
of a feud between the Montenegrins and the Hirze- 
govinians for the disputed territory of Zetta and 
Crajova ; which, long tacitly considered neutral ground 
for common pasturage, had been claimed by the Pasha 
of Scodra in 1848 as Turkish soil, and as such entitled 
to protection. The Montenegrins, bent on annexation, 
had overbearingly abused the common right. The Porte 
thought the hour arrived for reading a lesson to Monte- 
negro — perennial source of irritation, nucleus of dis- 
affection in the northern provinces — and encouraged by 
an influential embassy, set about the task in earnest, and 


in a way which indicated an intention of reduction rather 
than repression, such as the case demanded. She sent 
in the autumn of 1852 an army from Monastir to the 
disaffected region under Omar Pasha ; who, zealous for 
his adopted faith, promised (it is said) the Sultan to 
extract from the Montenegrins the arrears of kharadj 
due since their last revolt. That revolt had occurred in 
1767, and is briefly mentioned by Wassaf Efendi, his- 
toriographer of the empire, thus : ** The Montenegrins, 
A.H. 1181, excited by detestable priests, and led on by a 
bad individual, refused to pay their kharadj. The affair 
having been examined into, the Scheick ul Islam issued 
his fetwah that if they did not submit the men should be 
made an example of, and the women and children be 
carried into slavery. This fetwah was communicated to 
the mountaineers ; and on their refusal to submit, the 
Porte ordered Mehemet Pasha of Bosnia, and Mehemet 
Pasha of BoumeUa, to carry out the sentence. They 
assembled troops and munitions of war, and attacked 
the mountains in two columns." The Turks, after their 
success, again abandoned the mountain, carrying away 
some women and children. The inhabitants, most of 
whom had fled, then returned, and from that time 
Montenegro had remained practically independent. The 
Porte sent also a light squadron to the Adriatic, to 
blockade the coast, and aid in provisioning the army. 
Concurrently, about sixty Montenegrins* at Constan- 
tinople were arrested as a precautionary measure, and 

* There are generally above a thousand Montenegrins at Constan- 
tinople under their own chiefs; they work chiefly as gardeners, and 
after a few years return with their earnings to their families in the 
Black Mountain. 


thrown into prison ; whence they were in time released 
through the good oflBces of the Kussian legation. Turkey, 
misinformed about the temper of Christendom on certain 
points, underrating the effect of pseudo-religious sympathy, 
had made a false move ; and, instructed by it, her cam- 
paign against the Montenegrins ten years later, conducted 
more warily and with avowed reasonable views, proved 
successful in a military sense. Austria was ill-disposed 
to see the mountain overhanging the waters of Cattaro 
ruled by a pasha. Western Europe was ill-prepared to 
see a community self-administered the greater part of 
a century, reduced to the condition of kharatch-paying 
rayas. The vladika was Russia's pensioner.* Austria 
being the nearest interested, espoused the cause of 
the Montenegrins, and made that the opportunity to 
settle a long account with the Porte. She sent Field- 

• Prince Daniel (Vladika), bom in 1823, succeeded to the prince- 
dom in 1851. He went to Petersbarg the ensuing year, and was 
acknowledged by the Emperor Nicholas, who pensioned him, secular 
prince of Montenegro. 

October, 1854, a Russian envoy came to Cettigno, and tried without 
success to induce Prince Daniel to organize a Christian insurrection in 
Bosnia and the Hirzgovin. 

The Turkish plenipotentiary to the peace conference at Paris, 1856, 
maintained the Porte's rights oyer Montenegro. In that year Prince 
Daniel, in a memoir addressed to the cabinets of Europe, demanded 
for Montenegro recognition of independence, and possession of the port of 
Antiyari with the intermediate coast. The following year Prince Daniel 
went to Paris to solicit French protection, which was promised. 

Idth August, 1860. Prince Daniel was assassinated in reyenge at 
Cattaro, and was succeeded by his cousin. Prince Nicolas. Prince 
Nicolas, encouraged by France^ from whom he expected material aid, 
made war against the Porte in 1861-62, and was signally defeated. 
He declared himself, by the treaty of Cettigno, Sept. 1862, the sultan's 
vassal, and consented to the construction of a military road through his 
territory, with a Turkish fort at either extremity. Through French 
influence the construction of the road and forts is given up. 


Marshal Count Leiningen, in January, 1853, to Con- 
Btantinople with a friendly autograph letter from the 
Emperor to the Sultan, and a list of demands for the 
consideration of the divan. This list comprised : — 1. 
Abandonment of the intention to build a fort on Sutorina, 
the strip of Turkish soil dovetailed into Dalmatia, con- 
necting Le Bocche di Cattaro with Bosnia. 2. Becall of 
the Montenegrin expedition. 3. Non-employment of 
Hungarian refugees with the army of the Danube. 4. 
Consideration for Austria's treaty right to protect the 
Boman Catholics of Bosnia and Albania. 5. Indemnity 
for damages caused to Austrian subjects by the forays of 
Turkish borderers,* and for exaction of excessive dues 
by local authorities from the Austrian company licensed 
to fell timber in Bosnia : — a licence, it may be observed, 
much abused by that company, with irreparable damage 
to the forests, giving rather Turkey the right to claim 
compensation from it. 6. Kespect for the exception to 
the treaty of Balta Liman in Austria's favour. Count 
Leiningen held out the prospect of war as the alternative, 
while the Austrian embassy packed up ready for departure. 
The Porte hesitated at compliance, and talked boldly of 
caUing out 100,000 rediff. Turkey would have made a 
good figure in a war with Austria alone, taking into 
account the elements of disaffection in various parts of the 
Austrian dominion ever watching for their opportunity. 

• By an ancient treaty between Austria and Turkey, the Porte 
engaged to make good losses sustained by Austrian subjects through the 
acts of Barbary corsairs. In case of failure therein, Austria to have 
the right to compensate them by forays on the Turkish territory. The 
Turks, unwilling to be thus vicariously chastised, naturally retaliated 
when that right was exercised. Hence arose the hereditary border 
fend between the two empires. 



But Russia's concnrrence with Austria was undisguised ; 
her ci>-oiH^ratioii loomed in the distance ; the Western 
IVwors wero silent. So Count Leiningen obtained the 
8uMAiu*t^ of his demands except in regard of the fifth, 
which wrts balanced by counter Turkish claims for border 
lUitrajjt^s ; and the Constantinopolitans, whose creduhty is 
lUHrvoUous, readily persuaded themselves that the object 
\»f liin vUit had been to obtain the Sultan's permission for 
tho Yoiuig emperor's coronation. The Turkish official 
ut>\vspapor announced his arrival and departure in one 
luimjjraph, and merely stated for the information of the 
public that he had come to Constantinople on a particular 
uUHHion. His prompt success was facilitated by the 
iuiponding mission of Prince MentchikoflF; though, if 
KuHsia had reckoned as part of her game the continuance 
of Austria's rancour, she deceived herself. Satisfied with 
hn gain, Austria, on the return of her envoy, directed 
lior agents in the Levant to refrain from displaying exulta- 
tion, and to endeavour to re-estabhsh amicable feelings 
l)otween the two empires. Austrian and Turkish states- 
men understand each other ; each has the same evasive, 
dissembUng, procrastinating policy, derived from ruUng 
respectively an ill-assorted empire, peopled by various 
races some in antagonism to others, and therefore 
each is inclined to make allowances for the other's 

The Montenegrin expedition cost Turkey a grievous 
expenditure of men and horses, through their exposure 
with scanty food and clothing to inclement weather ; and 
its recall, at foreign dictation, when in occupation of the 
passes leading to Cettigno, with an advanced guard of 
irregulars within five hours' distance of that city, weak- 


ened the wholesome effect which its advance had pro- 
duced on the minds of the Bosnians and Hirze- 

The sojourn of Count Leiningen at Constantinople was 
marked by an event which, though of a social character, 
was, nevertheless, a sign of the times. The French 
ambassador threw open his saloons, freshly decorated with 
impannelled N*s and eagles each surmounted by an im- 
perial crown, and gave a grand ball in honour of the inau- 
guration of the second empire. The preceding ball given in 
them had been in honour of the inauguration of the second 
repubUc ; and sixty years earUer, the French ambassador 
of that day had assembled his countrymen at the same 
spot to celebrate the Revolution; when, according to 
local tradition, the guests, excited by champagne and 
patriotism, sung the Marseillaise in chorus, and, led by 
their host,' danced half frenzied the Carmagnole round 
a tree of liberty planted in the garden near the chapel of 
St. Louis. Pera has many associations with departed 
glories. PoUsh Street recalls to mind the time when the 
King of Poland had his representative at the SubUme 
Porte, and the Austrian internuncio inhabits the palace 
inhabited of yore by the Venetian Bails. The Italians 
at Pera look upon that palace as theirs by right, and 
in the excitement of '48 caballed over their cups in 
coffee-houses, theatrically vowing to go and take it ; the 
rumour of which, alarming the internuncio, made him 
send to the Porte for an armed force to protect his 
residence. The assemblage of the Turkish ministers 
and other functionaries of high rank in gala costume 
at the ball shewed the change which had come over 
their thoughts, in regard of France, since the period 



of Louis Philippe's vacillating reign: and there was 
reason for their deference to the representative of 
French power, for the cloud long floating over Jeru- 
salem, formed of vapour exhaled by the heat of the 
second Napoleonic era, now cast an ominous shadow on 

( 69 ) 


Louis Napoleon's Choice of a War Policy — The Rival Christian 
Powers in the East — The Firman restoring to the Roman Catho- 
lics the Holy Places — The Porte summoned to carry it into Effect 
— Menacing Attitude of France — ^Weakness of the Turkish Policy 
— The Matter in Dispute — ^Attitude of England — Question of the 
Holy Places — Russian Intervention — Mission of Prince Mentchi- 
koff — Passive Attitude of the Porte — English View of the Situation. 

Louis Napoleon, in adopting the rule of his illustrious 
uncle's internal policy, foresaw the external conse- 
quences. Preparing for war from the outset of his pre- 
sidency, the question was, where to make it when the 
hour should arrive for encircling the foreshadowed 
imperial crown with a military halo ? Three courses 
presented themselves. First, war with Germany for 
the Khine boundary. But that, with his power un- 
consoUdated, would arouse Europe : isolation and 
dethronement might follow, without the preamble of a 
splendid drama like that closed with the drop-scene of 
les adieux de Fontainehkau. ' Secondly, war with Eng- 
land. But that, although an hereditary passion with his 
people, would be equally hazardous. England might 
again rally nations to her banner, again marshal a royal 
crusade against dangerous doctrines. Thirdly, war 
with Kussia. Distance, inadequate maritime resources, 
and sad but not dishonouring recollections, were deterrent 
considerations. Nevertheless it appeared the only choice. 


A motive and an ally were required. The problem was, 
to irritate Kussia and invert England's normal attitude 
with respect to France. There was but one field, 
Turkey ; and in that field but one spot where the solu- 
tion could be found, Jerusalem. The means were, to 
excite the jealousy of Russia in regard of her influence 
in Turkey, and make that react on the susceptibility of 
the English in regard of the integrity of the Ottoman 
Empire ; to place Russia in the dilemma of surrendering 
her ascendancy in Turkey, or of sustaining it in a 
manner admitting of construction into designs on the 
Sultan's rights. War once Ughted in the East, none 
could discern ulterior consequences ; and be they what 
they might, France in aUiance with England might 
reasonably expect to leave off" a gainer. Louis Napoleon 
chose that course, and made the Roman Catholic religion 
his instrument to prepare the way. 

During a long period the Roman Catholic religion, 
under French protection, had acted a part in Turkey 
analogous to the part since acted by the Greek rehgion, 
under Russian protection. But as the Catholics in the 
East were comparatively few in number, it had caused 
no uneasiness to the Porte, then too powerful to heed 
Christendom, and had simply proved vexatious to rival 
powers. The Protestant powers of that day combated 
Catholicism in the East with the Greek religion, which the 
Jesuits were attempting to undermine, and showed their 
influence occasionally by carrying the nomination of a 
meritorious churchman to the patriarchal chair : pre-emi- 
nently of the learned Cyril Lucari, brightest ornament of 
the Oriental church since the Moslem conquest of Con- 
stantinople. Turkey and Europe would both have gained 


if England and Holland had resumed that lucid policy on 
renewing their intercourse with Turkey after the civil and 
international troubles of the seventeenth century. Free 
from the sectarianism of the East — for only in latter days 
have they attempted to plant Protestantism in an ungenial 
soil — they might then have proved instrumental in puri- 
fying the Greek church of many abuses, and might have 
competed with Kussia in the field of protection. They 
might have prevailed upon the Porte, in its own interests, 
to consent to the nomination of the Greek patriarch and 
primates for life, and thus have prevented the develop- 
ment of a system of unexampled simony. 

In other days, long previously, French ascendancy in 
the Holy Land, fruit of the Crusades, had deprived the 
Greeks of the position which theit numbers and the edicts 
of Omar and succeeding caliphs rendered incontestable. 
But only for a while. With the resumption of Moslem 
rule in Syria the Greeks recovered it. In their turn 
they made the Catholics taste the bitterness of religious 
intolerance, and were naturally indifferent about the 
preservation of monuments commemorative of their 
rival's ascendancy. The Ottoman conquerors confirmed 
the edicts of the caliphs in their favour. The feud 
between the Greeks and the Latins in Palestine has 
continued ever since, a scandal to Christianity and a 
jest to Islam. 

Thus things were, when, in 1740, the French am- 
bassador at the Porte obtained a firman from Sultan 
Mahmoud I., to restore to the Roman Catholics sundrv 
holy sanctuaries at Jerusalem (not particularized) 
alleged to have been usurped by the Greeks; against 
whom a charge of desecration of the tombs of Godfrey 


de Bouillon, of Guy de Lusignan, and of others, were 
urged as a further and particular grief. Generally 
speaking, an unscrupulous ambassador and a complaisant 
vizir have suflBced to obtain a firman for any purpose 
not militating against the letter of the Koran ; and the 
one in question may have sprung from such a combina- 
tion. Be that as it may, the said firman remained 
u dead letter, like many others: -war and revolution 
gave France other matters to think about; and, as if 
it were non-existent, many firmans concerning the Holy 
Places were subsequently given, down to the reign of 
Sultan Mahmoud II., confirmatory of the rights of the 

Louis Napoleon brought that firman to light, and 
menacingly summoned the Porte to act up to its tenor. 
Circumstances, however, had widely changed in the interval. 
The subjects of the Porte of the Oriental church had in- 
creased in numbers, wealth, and intelligence ; many of 
them, the Moldavians, Wallachians, and Servians, had 
acquired self-administration ; and Kussia had gained an 
importance in the European scale with a preponderance 
in regard of Turkey which naturally constituted her tho 
officious advocate of her co-religionists. Circumstances 
had strangely altered since Sully, speaking of his doubt 
of Kussia consenting to join St. Pierre's projected peace 
association,* said : ** Si le grand due de Muscovie ou Czar 

• The Abb^ St. Pierre, in the reign of Henri IV., committod to 
paper a vision of universal peace among Christian nations by arbitra- 
tion, which was seriously entertained by that monarch and his miuisttr. 
A dispute between two nations was to be submitted to the arbitration of 
all. In case of the party declared in the wrong proving refractory, he 
was to be proceeded against in accordance with the award of the 
international Areopagus and compelled to submission. 


do Russie, que Ton croit etre Tancien kn^s do Scjthie, 
refuse d'entrer dans rassociation, on doit le traiter comme 
le Sultan de Turquie, le depouiller de ce qu'il possede en 
Europe et le releguer §a Asie, ou il pourra, sans que nous 
nous en melions, continuer tant qu'il YOudra la guerre 
avec les Persans et les Turcs." 

The zeal of the czars in behalf of their co-rehgionists in 
Turkey may have been a cloak to cover ambitious projects 
with; but it reflected the sympathies of the Russian 
nation, and thereby became an apparent duty from which 
they might, when convenient, plead inability to exonerate 
themselves. Nevertheless, they cannot fairly claim credit 
for disinterestedness at any period in regard of the 
Turkish Greeks. Twice during the eighteenth century 
the Czarina excited them to revolt with promises of aid, 
and each time abandoned them to the vengeance of their 
incensed masters ; and during the civil war from 1820 to 
1827, in the Morea and Attica, when they were exposed 
there and 'elsewhere in the Turkish dominions to the 
excesses of a dominant race, stung in its pride and stimu- 
lated by fanaticism, the Czar remained a tranquil spectator 
of their exertions and their sufierings : not through any 
misapprehension of the nature of the struggle, for his 
ambassador at Constantinople had, as early as July, 1821, 
expressed in a note to the Porte his sovereign's fear lest 
the *' measures of the Ottoman government should give 
the revolution the character of a legitimate defence against 
the total destruction of the Greek nation and its reUgion; " 
but out of deference to the tenets of the ** Holy Alliance," 
which made no distinction between a patriot fighting for 
his cause in the face of heaven and a carbonaro armed 
with the assassin's blade. 


For the sake of the doubtful claims of a Koman 
Catholic minority, France called upon the Porte to 
irritate the feelings of ten millions of her subjects of the 
Oriental church, and to subject Kussia to the mortification 
of seeing her influence lessened in their eyes and in the 
eyes of Europe. This was the able scheme devised to 
place Russia in the alternative of surrendering her prestige 
or of provoking war. Intimidation, and instilling into the 
mind of the divan an exaggerated idea of France's power 
under a Buonaparte, were resorted to as subordinate 
action. A French fleet threatened to bombard Tripoli 
on an ignoble pretext ; * other Turkish towns were 
menaced with similar visits, and the French ambassador 
at the Porte talked of solving the Holy Places question 
summarily by occupying Jerusalem with a French army. 
The Porte was thus led to believe in the peril of offending 
France. Alarmed, she lost her presence of mind. 
Instead of making a candid appeal to the enlightenment 

* Two French soldiers having deserted from Algiers in 1852, 
came to Tripoli ; these hecame Moslems, and were enrolled, with the 
knowledge of the French consul, in the Turkish army. They found the 
fast of Ramazan unpalatable ; they infringed it, and were punished 
accordingly. Escaping then from the barracks, tdey went to the French 
consulate, proclaimed themselves Christians, and claimed protection. 
The pasha of Tripoli demanded them from the consul, but in vain. 
He could not seize them under the French flag ; but the delinquents 
having one day left its protection to go to a grog-shop in the neigh- 
bourhood, were laid hold of by the police and reconveyed to the bar- 
racks. The French consul demanded their surrender, and being refused, 
reported the affair to Paris. Three weeks afterwards a French fleet 
arrived at Tripoli with orders to bombard the city if the men in ques- 
tion were not on board in twenty-four hours. Its commander invited 
the European inhabitants to place themselves in safety on board ship. 
Thus summoned, the pasha had no choice. The men were given up, 
and the pasha was recalled from his post as a further satisfaction to the 
French government. 


of Europe, to extricate her from the strait in which 
opposing forces compressed her, she tried to wriggle out 
of it. She advised the Sultan to promise the Czar the 
maintenance of the status quo at Jerusalem, and after- 
wards evaded performance. She ostensibly reviewed 
favourably the claims of the Greeks, and gave to the 
Latins the key which opened the gates of Janus. It seems 
very Uke fiction, but it is true, that a key, a porter, and a 
star were the elements out of which grew the late eventful 
war with Bussia : the question being if the Latins should 
possess a key to the principal door of the church at 
Bethlehem, if the Moslem porter, the modem Shallumj 
should be empowered to restrain Christians of a certain 
denomination from entering the church at given hours, 
and if the merit of replacing a star over the tomb of the 
Virgin Mary, in lieu of one abstracted a few years 
previously, should belong to the Greeks or to the Latins. 
This question was left to the decision of the Porte, who 
referred it to a council of ulema and efendis. Fairly 
might they exclaim, **God is great and Mohammed is his 
prophet ! " since Christians were willing to defer to their 
judgment a question concerning places hallowed by the 
acts and suflFerings of their Saviour. England was in 
a position to decide it. Her Protestant and neutral 
character would have enabled her to decide authoritatively 
whether a firman, obtained no one could say through what 
influence, never acted on, never even cited during a 
hundred years, were or were not valid in equity to deprive 
the Greeks of possessions and privileges enjoyed by 
them for centuries. Her common sense would not 
have required two volumes of despatches to show her 
the diflferent effect on the dignity of France and Russia, 


respectively, between replacing the Latins in the status 
quo of the days of the Frank monarchy in Palestine, 
and depriving the Greeks of the position occupied 
by them long before Russia had acquired European 
importance. England, far from desiring to mediate, 
early resolved to look on and enjoy the fight. It 
began in 1850. In June of that year, Sir Stratford 
Canning is desired to watch and report the progress of 
the contest which he considers likely to arise between the 
Latin and Greek churches in Turkey, but to abstain at 
present from taking any part in it. His Excellency 
rephed in a letter to the Secretary of State as follows : 
** Mindful of your lordship's instructions, I confine 
myself to the duty of watching from a distance any move- 
ment that may occur in the antagonists' camps. A 
Christian having no immediate concern in the dispute 
might reasonably wish to see the removal of a contention 
between the two churches which arrogate an exclusive 
guardianship of places sanctified by our common reh- 
gion. But no Englishman, alive to the impoi*tance of a 
true European policy in the East, could witness with- 
out regret and anxiety the triumph of a political 
influence which would always be ready to overflow its 

During the ensuing two years, the Holy Places ques- 
tion went up and down like the mercury of a barometer ; 
now announced in despatches from Constantinople to be 
insolvable, now announced as on the point of solution. 
It did not admit of earnest settlement, since England had 
manifested a bias for the Latins. Louis Napoleon knew 
that, and let the process work itself out. Ostensibly, at 
length, a compromise was made. France forewent part of 


her claims for the Latins ; * Kussia yielded a portion 
of the Greeks' yantage-ground. Russia had betrayed 
indecision, and thereby lost caste in the eyes both of 
Christians and Moslems. She soon felt this. In the 
hope of recovering it, she prepared a pompous embassy 
to send to Constantinople, to demand some concession 
for the Oriental churches, in order to show the world 
that her influence still preponderated in Turkey. Rumour 
thereon, magnifying her object, produced unwonted agita- 
tion at Constantinople. The Turks saw, in imagination, 
the realization of prophecies connecting the year of the 
Hegira, 1270, with national disaster ; and the Greeks ^ 
anticipated nothing less than the re-elevation of the 
Cross in St. Sophia at the ensuing Easter. 

With the capital in this mood, Prince Mentchikof 
arrived in the Bosphorus, 28th February, 1853, with a 
numerous suite, including naval and military officers of 
rank to survey the position. His arrival excited the rayas, 
and flurried the diplomatic body. Greeks thronged the 
main street of Pera before the gates of the Russian em- 
bassy, at which Russian sentries were posted, from mom 
till night, to catch a gUmpse of the **hberator," and others 
passing them made the sign of the cross. The repre- 
sentatives of minor courts exchanged significant glances 
with the pregnant remark, ^^Ueau chauffe." The English 
and French charges-d'affairfes held midnight councils, and 
declared Turkey in danger. One wrote for the British 

* France had in reserve a distinct claim, said to be based also on 
the firman of 1740, viz., the right to hoist the French flag at Jeru- 
salem. This claim was brought forward during the war, was conceded, 
and in September, 1855, the French flag was hoisted on the French 
consulate at Jerusalem, in the presence of the pasha and of the Moslem 
and Christian notables. 


fleet at Malta, and the other suggestively for the French 
fleet at Toulon, to repair to Vourlah. By theur request, 
an English officer with Turkish rank waited on the 
Grand Vizir, to urge the adoption of defensive measures. 
He found his Highness indisposed to view affairs as des- 
perate. Bakalum had yet to play its accustomed part. 
He consented only to sanction silent preparations : to pre- 
pare the squadron, laid up dismantled as usual in winter, 
as far as could be done without attracting notice ; and he 
enjoined discretion in conversing on the subject with 
Franks. The Porte had made up its mind to listen to 
Prince Mentchikof with an air of entire trust in the purity 
of his sovereign's intentions. 

In England Prince Mentchikof s mission was con- 
sidered ominous. Ministers felt more than they avowed : 
Pubhcists implied more than they wrote. All concurred 
in thinking Lord Stratford de EedcUflFe, then in England 
on leave, the man for the emergency ; and accordingly 
he was directed to return to his post. 

( 79 ) 


Prince Mentchikof s injudicioas Conduct — Russian Demands — Position 
of the Greek Church in Turkey — Russian Objects — ^Prince Mentchi- 
kofs ** Note " — European Misconception of its Object — Feelings 
of the Turks towards Russia — Death of the Sultan's Mother — The 
Funeral Ceremonies — Her Character and Influence over the 
Sultan — Change of Ministry — Redshid Pasha's Policy — Antago- 
nistic Feelings of the Ministers — The Russian "Note" rejected 
by the Council of State — Rupture of Diplomatic Relations with 
Russia — Departure of Prince Mentchikof and the Russian Legation. 

Prince Mentchikof reposed three days at Pera, in 
seclusion. Reports of the state of pubKc feeling flowed 
in that interval to his residence like flies to a spider's 
web. On the fourth day his serene Highness made his 
official debut, inauspiciously. He went, knowing an all but 
regal reception awaited him, to the Porte — region of formal 
etiquette — in plain undecorated costume; and having 
smoked the calumet with the Grand Vizir, declined to 
visit the minister for foreign affairs, who, in uniform, 
with pipes, cofifee, and sherbet ready, sat expecting him 
in his apartment, a few paces o£f, under the same roof. 
This demeanour might have suited the atmosphere of 
a saray in Turkestan, but was indiscreet in a capital 
under the eyes of Europe. He gained his end ; but at 
the expense of dignity. The slighted minister, since 
decorated with the cordon of a Russian order, tendered 
two days afterwards his resignation ; which was weakly 


accepted. The Porte might thus early have made a 
stand with the concurrence of every crowned head 
except one. Supposing Fuad Efendi to have dissembled 
with Bussia (as stated) on the Holy Places question, in 
excess of the Kcence of statecraft, Prince Mentchikof 
might on his arrival have intimated in a becoming 
manner his reluctance to transact business with him : 
as Viscount Ponsonby, when representing England at 
Constantinople, had conveyed in a ** note " his desire 
to cease intercourse with Akif Efendi, the minister for 
foreign aflfairs of that day, for having deliberately sanc- 
tioned the arbitrary imprisonment of an Enghshman; 
but the prince lost sight of decorum when he read the 
Sultan a lesson, as it were, by oflfering a pubKc slight 
on unappreciable grounds to one of his ministers, so 
timed that it could not be avoided. This injudicious pro- 
ceeding aroused personal feehngs on which his diplomatic 
opponents worked. His serene Highness afterwards made 
another mistake, showing ignorance of the Oriental mind, 
by warning the Porte to beware of disclosing the nature 
of his negotiation to the French or EngUsh embassy. 
He thereby betrayed a sense of apprehension, and so 
defeated his object; whereas affected indifference about 
their opinions would have ensured discretion on the part 
of Rifaat Pasha, the new Minister for Foreign Affairs. 

Prince Mentchikof first intimated his sovereign's wish 
to revive the treaty of Hunkiar Iskellesi ; engaging, if it 
was acceded to, for Kussia to assist Turkey with an army 
whenever required. With two shepherds at hand, the 
representatives of France and England, this was playing 
the wolf too openly. He next suggested a convention 
to give increased honour and dignity to the Greek 


Church in the person of its patriarch. The patriarch, 
named according to custom, by the Sultan, to be im- 
movable, unless for treason ; in the appreciation of which 
the Czar might, it was hinted, expect to have a voice : 
the patriarch to continue to nominate in synod, 
subject to the Sultan's approval, the sub-patriarchs and 
the bishops, also for life. This proposition taxed the 
Porte inferehtially — its weak point — with the odium 
of interference in spiritual matters, and aimed — its real 
object — at the power of the synod. The action of the 
Porte, whatever it may be in substance, in regard of the 
nomination of the patriarch or other dignitary of the 
Church, is in form confirmatory of the national will 
expressed apparently by the synod and the council of 
notables. Its conge d'elire is general. The Porte may 
unostensibly influence the election of a patriarch ; has 
occasionally refused to confirm one; but as a rule its 
prerogative has been used to prevent the election of a given 
individual rather than favour that of any one in particular. 
The proposition, though deemed unacceptable, was good. 
No scheme short of life nomination will give dignity and 
moral tone to the Greek Church in Turkey, — seeing the 
tendency of the synod to suscitate and entertain charges 
of dereliction of duty or venality against the patriarchs 
and primates, to augment the chances of preferment, 
and the disinclination of influential individuals in another 
sphere to forego the advantages derivable therefrom. 
Patriarchates and bishoprics have, like pashaUks, been 
objects of competition, and, as the douceurs have till 
recently been considerable, frequent mutations have 
pleased all parties except the flocks ultimately sheared. 
Two Fanariots, the capou-kiayas of Moldavia and 



Wallacbia, much caressed in political and diplomatic 
circles, monopolized during many years preceding the 
war the credit of adjusting the interests of this 
simoniacal traffic. Kussia conferred a notable service 
on religion by obtaining life occupancy of their sees 
for the bishops in the Danubian principalities. She 
accorded that also to the spiritual head of the Armenians, 
the patriarch of Etchmiazin, a Russian subject since the 
peace of Adrianople ; an example which, aided by 
the good sense of his nation, has practically given 
permanence to the resident Armenian Patriarch at Con- 

The anomalous position of the Greek Church in 
Turkey — a religio-civil estabUshment with municipal 
and judicial attributions — has rendered the Porte, per- 
suaded of Russia swaying the rayas through their clergy, 
averse to increase its prestige by the surrender of the 
right of spiritual degradation. Western Europe seems 
by its silence to have allowed itself to be influenced in 
the same sense. But though the apprehension of the 
Turks, seeing a natural-bom foe in every Greek, might 
obscure their vision, Europe should have taken a larger 
view of the question. The Greek Church, occupying 
an honourable iudependent position, might care less 
for foreign protection, than now, when exposed to 
intrigues within itself and to the vagaries of a domi- 
nant race. The Patriarch of Constantinople would 
not be a genuine priest if he should antepose another 
to his own Church. He remembers that one of his 
predecessors, Jeremiah, consecrated the first Russian 
patriarch. Even in his sorry state under the Porte, 
he lias never admitted the supremacy of the synod of 


Moscow.* He has ever regarded himself as the head 
of the Oriental Church, and Russia, by increasmg his 
prestige, might be arming him agamst herself. A 
celibate churchman, on attaining the object of his ambi- 
tion, is an arrogant mortal, ready to ** make his cap 
co-equal with the Crown." As if anticipating this 
tendency, Russia has endeavoured to introduce a Slavic 
element into the synod of Constantinople. Her success 
would be justice to the Bulgarians and a check on 
Fanariote aspirations; but it might give tone to 
Panslavism, viewed by some as one of Russia's objects. 
On this point the Greeks are at variance with her. 
Pre-eminent, in a religious sense, over the races of 
the Oriental Church in Turkey — as the Ottomans are 
pre-eminent over the Moslem races within its limits — 
the Greeks have jealously opposed the elevation of 
the Bulgarian clergy on whom only three or four 
mitres have fallen, through Russian influence. 

Prince Mentchikof, abandoning successively his idea 
of a treaty and of a convention, reduced his demands to 
the famous ** note," and sent it to the Porte as his ulti- 
matum. May 7, 1853. He accorded three days for a 
categoric answer, which delay was extended to the 18th 
of May. The interval was passed in deep anxiety by the 

• While the Lower Empire lasted, the Patriarch of Moscow depended 
spiritually on the Patriarch of Constantinople. But after the fall of 
that empire the inconsistency was seen of the Russian Church owing 
obedience to a patriarch named by a Moslem sovereign. I wan the 
Terrible, having married a daughter of the house of Palaeologos, fancied 
he inherited thereby the spiritual rights of the Byzantine emperor ; 
he therefore formally separated his church from Constantinople and 
became the head of it. The orthodox Greek of every other land regards 
the Czar as the protector only of his church : the spiritual head of it 
in his eyes is the Patriarch of Constantinople. 



public. Diplomatic and state machinery was set in 
motion to influence the result. The Roman people never 
watched more excitedly for the curl of white smoke from 
the Hall of Conclave than the Constantinopolitans for 
an indication of the deliberation on the ** note." It was 
a momentous pause. The *'note/' impartially tested, 
was not alarming. It embodied a demand for an engage- 
ment by the Sultan, in confirmation of his promise to 
that efiect, to maintain the rights and immunities of the 
Greek Church on the existing basis; to give to that 
Church all the rights and advantages which might be 
conceded to any other Church in Turkey ; to maintain 
and cause to be respected the ancient rights of the 
Greek Church at Jerusalem without prejudice to other 
Christian communities, native or foreign ; and to maintain 
the status quo of the sanctuaries at Jerusalem, held by the 
Greeks either exclusively or in common with other 
sects. The ** note " contained less in wording and sub- 
stance than three treaties — the treaties of Carlo witz, 
Belgrade, and Sistowa — had accorded to Austria on 
behalf of the Roman Catholics of Turkey, and it implied 
no more than France had claimed to exercise in favour 
of them since the days of Francis I., and had efiectively 
exercised of late years : notably in the reign of Charles X. 
and with more energy during the presidency of Louis 
Napoleon. Charles the Tenth's ambassador obtained by 
importunity the Porte's concession to the nomination of 
a Roman Catholic Armenian patriarch ; which, involving 
partial secular jurisdiction over his flock, gave ofience to 
the Gregorian Armenians, in number forty to one. Louis 
Napoleon's ambassador, on the occasion of a dispute 
bdtween the Roman Catholic Armenians and their 


patriarch — the former appealing to the Porte, the latter 
to Rome — supported the Papal authority, and desired the 
Porte, in virtue of " France's right to protect the Roman 
Catholic faith in Turkey," to abstain from interference 
in the matter. 

But Europe, misled by those who should have 
known better, imagined the *' note*' would transfer the 
Sultan's authority over the ray as to the Czar. Russia 
had owed her influence with the rayas to community of 
religion and of enmity to the Turks. The *'note" 
would not have added anything to those titles ; it 
would simply, as intended, have set her right with the 
Oriental Christians in regard of the check she had 
experienced on the Holy Places question. The Turks 
had abundant reasons for feeling angry with Russia, but 
shrank from the consequences of a rupture with her. 
Revenge, however, prevailed, and made them listen to 
the counsellors who whispered, ** Fear not, the Western 
Powers are with you ; together you will reduce Russia to 
the condition of a second-rate power." Prudence ever 
and anon gained the g,scendant. They knew that the 
** note " contained nothing fatal to their dominancy over 
the rayas, — the one thing prominent in their minds. It 
did not ask for non Mohammedan evidence to be admitted 
in the mekkiemelis (tribunals). It did not ask for rayas 
to share in posts of dignity and hold commissions in the 
army. It did not ask for bells to be rung in churches 
for prayers. The *' note," less explicit than the Hatti 
Humayoun of 1856, would have left matters materially as 
they were. No astuteness on Russia's part could have 
extracted anything practical from it, beyond showing the 
Greeks that France had not supplanted her in the Porte's 


estimation. Reflecting Turks saw danger to their law and 
their independence in a war with allies. They feared that 
if Turkey became the cause of a European conflict she 
might by an easy transition become the object of it; 
and, stopping short of that consummation, they saw 
looming in the distance emancipation of their rayas, as 
the remuneration to be demanded for the alliance at once 
desired and dreaded. They instinctively apprehended that 
a war waged by Christian powers on behalf of a Moslem 
race, dominant over many millions of Christians invoking 
rights, would prove a snare and a delusion, so far as they 
were concerned, and develope designs, already latent, 
more fatal to their race than the ** amity" of Eussia. 
They had divined, before the publication of the ** Con- 
fidential Despatches,'' the aversion of Russia, how well 
soever disposed towards the Greeks, from the revival of 
the Lower Empire. Left unbiassed to their own inspira- 
tions, the Turks would have considered the ** note " in an 
acquiescent spirit. Reluctantly, they would have acqui- 
esced in it ; for much had passed of that which blinds men 
and leads them on in dangerous courses. Prince Ment- 
chikof s demeanour had been arrogant, his language 
haughty. Calm reflection was required to mitigate their 

In the midst of these troubles the Sultan sustained 
the affliction deepest felt by a Mussulman, in the death 
of the Valideh Sultana, his mother. Whatever may be 
thought of the wife's position in the East, that of the 
mother is unexceptional : she is in all respects the 
mistress of her son's house and the confidant of his 
sorrows, in every class of life. Female screams at dawn 
in the palace of Beshik-tash, one morning early in May, 


announced his bereavement to the guard-boats and 
passing caiks, and bade farewell to the body which at 
that early hour was conveyed in the imperial caik, 
followed by other caiks with the deceased lady's suite, to 
the old seraglio. It was there washed and perfumed 
according to usage, and laid on a bier covered with 
clothes of gold and silver. Preceded by incense-bearers 
and choristers, it was then brought forth from the 
interior of the palace and deposed under the shade of trees 
in the centre court for a few minutes, while the court 
imam recited a prayer for the soul of the departed. 
During its recital, the spectators, taking ofif their slippers, 
stood on the soles up-turned: a sign of deep respect. 
The procession was then formed. Military pashas on 
horseback, in single file, flanked by their grooms and 
tchiaushes on foot, led the way, followed by a compact 
body of Arabian dervishes chanting lustily. Then rode 
three legal dignitaries, also in single file, the cazi-askers of 
Europe and Asia with the evcaf nazir. A body of 
Khademes (royal domestics) marched next in order. 
Then the ministers of state rode in single file ; the three 
last being the Capitan Pasha, the Scheick ul Islam, and 
the Grand Vizir. After them rode a body of the 
Sultan's eunuchs, the chief of whom, the kislar agasi, 
an aged melancholy-looking Nubian, immediately pre- 
ceded the corpse. The eunuchs of the deceased lady, 
scattering new-coined silver money among the crowd, 
closed the procession. As the procession passed along 
the streets, lined at intervals with troops, numerous 
female spectators in open spaces sobbed audibly; and 
although Eastern women have ever tears as well as 
smiles at command those shed on this occasion were 


sincere, for the sex had lost that day an advocate, the 
poor a frieird. The procession halted in front of the 
garden of the Mahmoudieh mausoleum, where, on an 
elevated slope, the boys of adjoining schools, chanting 
hymns, were drawn up, and being reformed on foot 
moved on through gilded gates and rose-beds, slowly to 
the tomb. As its portals swung open, screams from the 
valideh's women gathered in the interior of the edifice 
to pay the last tribute of respect to their kind mistress 
issued forth, sad and plaintive ; to mingle, strangely 
harmonious, with the chants of dervishes and the neighing 
of led horses. The body was buried beside that of 
Sultan Mahmoud II. 

The deceased lady, a native of Georgia, brought 
to the seragHo when a child, died aged forty-six, 
having survived her lord fifteen years. During her 
widowhood she had devoted her large income to pious 
and charitable works, and strenuously espoused the cause 
of her sex, high and low. She built two mosques, and 
a civil hospital — the only one deserving the name in the 
empire — for Moslem poor, but which since her death has 
declined in usefulness. She had exercised her influence 
with her son for his good and the good of the State. 
Freed from her gentle restraint. Sultan Abdul Medjid 
gave way to those excesses which brought him to a prema- 
ture grave : if that expression is admissible in regard of a 
fatalist. During the valideh's last iUness, the physician 
in attendance, seeing the Sultan's grief, begged to be 
relieved from responsibility on account of his treatment. 
*' Do what seems proper to you," replied the Sultan; 
'* if my mother lives it will be with the consent of God ; 
but if her hour is arrived your skill will avail nought." 

REDSHID pasha's POLICY. 89 

A few days after his mother's interment the Sultan 
gave Prince Mentchikof a private audience ; then shuflSed 
his ministry. He removed Mehemet Ali Pasha from the 
Grand Viziriat to the seraskiriat (war department) ; 
installed Eiridli Mustafa Pasha in his room ; turned out 
the Hassa Mushiri (general of the guard) to make place 
for the ejected seraskir ; and brought in Redshid Pasha 
as minister for foreign aflFairs, his predecessor becoming 
the president of the council. Save a few aware of the 
influences at work against the **note," people in general 
including the Russian party expected conciliatory counsel 
from Redshid Pasha, the soul of the Porte whatever office 
he might hold. More clearly than most men he saw the 
hazards of a war such as the one foreshadowed. But he 
was not a free agent. Ambitious, he had to choose 
between leading the war party or leaving that to his 
rival, the husband of the Sultan's surviving sister, 
and the assumed representative of orthodox principles. 
The hand of the Sultan's eldest daughter, chief prize 
of the state, was shortly to be given away ; the 
aspirants for it being one of Redshid Pasha's sons and 
Mehemet Ali Pasha's son by a former wife (divorced, 
as a matter of course, on his marriage with a sultana), 
and though promised to the former the promise might 
be revok€d. Redshid Pasha felt this and trimmed 
his sails accordingly. He expected Russia, though she 
might suspend diplomatic relations with Turkey, would 
compromise difficulties at last rather than break with 
the Western Powers. He hoped to talk war and main- 
tain peace. He miscalculated the popular temper in 
both climes. He underrated the strength of individual 


The principal members of the said heterogeneous 
ministry bore no love to each other. Redshid Pasha, 
when Grand Vizir, had turned Mustafa Pasha, the actual 
holder of the seal of state, out of the government of 
Candia — which post, held by him for twenty-five years, 
had made him one of the richest men in the empire ; 
and Mehemet Ali Pasha, having previously supplanted 
Redshid Pasha in the Grand Viziriat, had striven to involve 
him in the imputed delinquency of Djezairli Migriditch, 
the head of the customs : a weapon which Redshid Pasha 
afterwards turned against him with more success, if not 
with more justice. Two ex-Grand Vizirs rivals for 
power under a new man, a stranger to the capital, 
made an unmeaning coalition on which nobody counted. 
The ministry was considered embodied in Redshid Pasha, 
regarded as England's nominee. He soon became the 
head of it. 

May 17th. — A council of dignitaries and ulema, forty- 
six in number, met under the presidency of Redshid 
Pasha to deliberate on a foregone conclusion — the 
answer to the ** note." Forty- three members voted 
for its rejection ; three for its acceptance. After the 
council Redshid Pasha repaired to the British embassy 
and remained there until midnight. 

May 19th. — The cessation of diplomatic, relations 
between Russia and Turkey was announced to the pubUc. 
Prince Mentchikof had already embarked in a steamer 
and was lying at Buyukdereh, detained by a thunder- 
storm. That evening the representatives of Austria, 
England, France, and Prussia met to reconsider the 
question, in the hope of finding a less menacing solution ; 
and next day two of them rowed up the Bosphorus to 


make a final appeal to the prince's feelings. To no 
purpose. On May 21st his serene Highness steamed 
into the Euxine, and next afternoon the eagles were 
removed from the gates and fa9ade of the Russian 
embassy in the presence of a crowd of Greeks excited 
into silence. They looked as though they expected the 
carved birds to fly away of their own accord to ** Holy 
Russia." They blessed their descent. That night was 
lelei berat* (record-night). Every pious Greek gazing 
on the beautiful city, as it lay tranquil in the moonlight 
with feasting in its palaces, its thousand minarets 
wreathed with lamps tracing the contour of the hills 
and valleys in their vast extent, from the Propontis to 
the Golden Horn, from the seraglio to the Golden 
Gate, thought of the ** handwriting on the wall." 

The ordinary Russian legation left Constantinople 
May 26th, leaving Russian subjects to the good offices 
of the Prussian legation. A fortnight afterwards a 
Russian secretary arrived at Constantinople with a letter 
from Count Nesselrode to the Porte, approving of Prince 
Mentchikof s proceedings, and inviting it to reconsider its 
refusal of his ultimatum ; and on June 17th he steamed 
back to Odessa with a confirmation of that refusal. War 
remained undecided. People continued to hope against 

• Lelei herat is the night on which the kiramen kiatibin (recording 
angels) make np their accounts for the year. Every Moslem is supposed 
to have two angels constantly in attendance, one on his right shoulder 
noting down his good, the other on his left shoulder noting down his had 
actions. It is to he feared that in these degenerate days the angel on 
the right shoulder has little to occupy his pen dipped in azure. 



The Porte takes defensive Measures — The Castles on the Bosphorns — 
The Turkish Fleet — Dangers from the Vicinity of European 
Merchant Vessels — Harbour- masters of Foreign Consulates — 
Turkish Captains under Restrictions — Fear of the Porte to give 
Umbrage to Russia — Readiness and Activity of Sailors and Soldiers 
— Military Preparations of the Porte — Self-devotion of the People 
— Troops marched to the Frontiers — Influence of the English and 
French Press — Addresses of the Greek and Armenian Patriarchs 
— Mussulman Distinctions applied to the Western Potentates — 
Arrival of the English and French Fleets — The Turks supposed 
them to have been hired by the Sultan — Moslem Belief in a special 
Providence watching over them — Foreign Orders and Decorations 
profusely conferred on Turkish Officials. 

Having done the deed, the Porte felt like a merchant who 
has embarked his all in a hazardous venture. With 
misgivings it began to think about defensive measures. 
There appeared to be no time to lose. Bussia might 
any day issue a declaration of war and send it with her 
fleet to the Bosphorus. A social panic would ensue ; 
the bewildering efiect of which, only surmised then, was 
seen twelve years later on the appearance of cholera. 
The spirit which animated the Turks in 1807 to prepare 
to resist the English fleet under Sir John Duckworth's 
command, then in sight from Galata Tower, had died 
out under depressing influences. The castles of the 
Bosphorus, on either side of a straight broad reach, were 


inadequate for its defence. They could hardly, if duly 
anned and manned, have checked a fleet impelled by 
the summer north-east wind ; d fortiony with guns of 
mingled calibres deficient in accessories, and with gunners 
unpractised in firing. Whenever attention had been invited 
to their inefficiency the authorities had spoken contemp- 
tuously of the idea of a fleet attempting the passage : it 
would be sunk, they said ; but, confident as they then had 
been, they were now depressed. In face of the danger 
self-delusion vanished. Baron de Tott, the designer of 
most of those castles, had overlooked, if unrestricted 
in his choice, the defensible points of the Bos- 
phorus — three salient points lower down, where the 
stream flows narrow and sinuous, indicated by Me- 
hemet II.'s castles, built four centuries ago, and still 
remaining, quaint picturesque monuments of his military 
judgment. Many Venetian vessels were sunk or stopped 
by them during the last siege of Constantinople. Heavy- 
armed batteries on those points would render the passage 
of the Bosphorus problematic even with screw-propelled 

As things were little argument was required to 
show the dependence of Constantinople on its fleet, 
but much persuasion was required to overcome the 
reluctance of the Porte to betray to its own people 
an apprehension of war by stationing it in an indicative 
locahty. The fleet had left the Grolden Horn towards 
the latter end of April, to be ready to co-operate with the 
military in repressing Greek demonstrations, apprehended 
as Ukely to occur during Easter week, on the shores 
of the Bosphorus, in honour of Prince Mentchikof. 
Four steamers and thirty guard-boats had been employed 


on this precautionary service day and night. After the 
saturnalia, which had passed oflF with little more than the 
usual amount of noise and merriment, the fleet remained 
at its summer anchorage off" Beshik-tash ; giving leave 
as in ordinary times to officers and men, in a position, as 
it might have turned out, of delusive security. A swarm 
of Cossack galleys had burned Buyukdereh in the reign 
of Amurath IV. ; why might not a Eussian fleet venture 
as far in Abdul Medjid's reign ? This contingency being 
admitted the fleet was towed up the Bosphorus during 
the first week in June, and moored between Saryieri and 
T^erapia ; its broadsides, when sprung, bearing on the 
entrance of the Black Sea. The Umouryeri bank, 
with two line-of-battle ships moored inside, rendered the 
position remarkably strong. The Turkish fleet then 
answered for the defence of the Bosphorus against any 
naval force in the power of Russia to send. Block- 
houses were erected on the hills commanding Bu- 
yukdereh Bay ; signal stations were established between 
the outer castles and the city ; and a service of steamers 
and guard-boats was organized to keep watch near the 
mouth of the Bosphorus and between the inner castles, 
to prevent a surprise, and frustrate incendiary attempts 
traditionally dreaded by the Turkish navy. 

Danger, however, in that shape, seemed more likely 
to be hatched at Constantinople under the wing of the 
lax police exercised over European merchant vessels. 
Such vessels are free from native supervision, whereby 
gunpowder is frequently landed contrabandwise. Much 
damage was done in Salonica a few years ago to life, 
limb, and property, by the explosion of gunpowder stored 
in large quantities, unknown to the authorities, in a 


French merchant's warehouse ; and every maritime town 
in the empire has been constantly, of late years, exposed 
to similar danger. A Greek vessel was detected, in 1860, 
in the inner port of Constantinople — a piece of water 
surrounded by wooden structures, and crowded with 
shipping — with 120 half barrels of gunpowder con- 
cealed under her declared cargo; and guided by this 
indication several depots of gunpowder were then found 
in European stores near the harbour. Each consulate 
has its own harbour-master to attend to the affairs of its 
shipping, and whatever his business may be it is hardly 
his interest to denounce smuggling. In accordance with 
the rule of contrary, omnipotent in most affairs in the East, 
the choice of men, whose reports on collisions, salvage, 
dereUcts, foul berths, &c., form the basis of judicial pro- 
ceedings, is rarely determined by nautical considerations. 
The English, for instance, have made their harbour- 
master out of a servant in search of a place, out of a ship- 
chandler in difficulties, out of a hydropathic doctor in want 
of patients, but never out of a sailor ; and the example 
has not been lost upon the consuls of other nations. 

During the interval between the suspension of 
relations between Turkey and Kussia and the declaration 
of war, any Hellenic or other vessel might have fitted 
herself clandestinely as a fire-ship with the materials at 
hand at Galata, might have ascended the Bosphorus with 
a southerly wind, unnoted among a crowd of vessels, and 
have anchored with them at Buyukdereh among the 
Turkish fleet, each ship of which, beside its powder and 
shells, had on board carcasses or fire-balls, ten per gun. 
Vessels anchored there how and where they pleased : 
some hooked men-of-war's cables and swung alongside. 


The Turkish captains were restrained from exercising 
the right of keeping clear water round them — exercised 
by men-of-war in every part of the world, exercised freely 
afterwards by the allied fleet in Beikos Bay, — by fear of 
misrepresentation. All any of them ventured on in case 
of suspicious proximity was to place a guard on board the 
oflfending vessel. The naval reader will exclaim indig- 
nantly, " Why did not Hassan Bey or Ali Bey weigh 
Captain Tomkins' or Captain Lefevre's anchor and let 
him drift to the devil if he pleased ? " I will tell him why. 
Captain Tomkins or Captain, Lefevre would have made a 
report to his consul, who would have forwarded it with 
elucidatory remarks to his ambassador ; who in his turn 
would have sent a dragoman to the Porte with a demand for 
pecuniary compensation to Captain Tomkins or to Captain 
Lefevre for the anxiety and ill-usage he had sufiered by 
his own statement, and a request for the dismissal of 
Hassan Bey or Ali Bey from his ship for over zeal. 

Few can imagine the anxiety of serving an irresolute 
government. Notwithstanding repeated representations 
the co-operation of the European legations could not 
be obtained to make their respective merchant vessels 
anchor clear of the lines of the Turkish fleet ; a slight 
return for the order and discipline maintained among 
10,000 men during their wearisome sojourn in the waters 
of Buyukdereh. Not a child was scared nor a bunch of 
grapes plucked in any of the neighbouring villages or 
vineyards : no leave was granted except to Constantinople 
for the sake of the Franks ; and the small-arm men were 
drilled on barren hills in the morning before they had risen. 
The navy would have profited much by having a squadron 
of all rates, as earnestly recommended, out in the Euxine 


during the fine season of 1853, half the crews being new- 
raised men and the other half little better ; but the fear 
of the Porte to accelerate events by giving, as it fancied, 
cause of umbrage to Russia, overcame nautical considera- 
tions. Only two light vessels, afterwards increased to 
four, were allowed to cruise. They cruised seventy 
miles in either direction from the Bosphorus, that 
Bussian vessels might not set emissaries ashore unnoticed 
among the Greeks. 

The Capitan Pasha objected to reefing and shifting 
sails at anchor, out of regard for the Sultan's feehngs 
in case men should fall from aloft. He averted his 
eyes from the prospect of winter cruising in the Black 
Sea. Allah was expected to make sailors. To pro- 
pitiate his favour, the men were enjoined to miss none 
of the prescribed daily prayers; and the Sourei Fethi 
Sheref (war hymn) was chanted every evening on the 
lighted decks by the imams of the fleet. In one respect 
the men were pre-eminent. Sleeping, more or less 
dressed, on their mattresses spread on the decks, they 
were able to clear for action at night, load, and stand 
ready to fire under five minutes. The garrisons of the 
castles of the Bosphorus with similar habits displayed 
equal alacrity. We have rowed to one or the other of 
the castles at uncertain hours of the night, and in six 
minutes seen the guns manned, the gunners looking 
eagerly through the embrasures for the expected enemy. 
The soldiers, at the sound of the trumpet, rushed half 
asleep out of their barracks, and ran full speed along the 
ramparts to their quarters. 

Military preparations were also attended to. A body 
of engineers was sent to Silistria, Widdin, and Routschuk, 

7 ^ 


to set their works in order ; siege-guns and field-batteries 
were sent to Trebizonde for transmission to Erzeroom and 
Kars ; activity was imparted to the cannon-foundry and 
the powder-mills ; and orders were sent to the provinces 
to call out the first division of rediff. Withal, the word 
was passed, *^ Avoid display, do the needful quietly." 
The spirit of the people required no rousing. All were 
ready to march, and waited for the order patiently. 
Resolution is always calm. The earnestness and self- 
devotion of the Turkish people in 1853 were remark- 
able : they showed themselves descendants of a conquering 
race, worthy of being better led than it was their lot to 
be. Europe had fancied reUgious enthusiasm weak, union 
impossible. The bureaucracy of Constantinople, misled 
by its own indifferentism, were even more astonished 
than Europeans at the ardour of Islam. During the 
summer of 1853, 60,000 troops from various parts of the 
empire were conveyed quietly, scarcely noticed by the 
public, through the Bosphorus, in the steamers of the 
Ottoman navy, and were landed at Varna in high condi- 
tion. Thence they marched to the hues of the Danube 
and the Balkan, reinforced by troops from Albania, 
Bosnia, and Macedonia. Thirty thousand troops, besides 
irregulars, were collected on the Asiatic frontier. 

Steam had given Turkey a marked advantage over 
Russia at the outset of war, by enabling her to assemble 
an army on the Danube without wear and tear. In 
previous wars the two empires had been on equal terms 
in that respect, each having had long distances to march 
to the frontier. Turkey was not allowed to profit by 
this novelty. Russia's good fortune also restrained the 
allies afterwards from duly avaiUng themselves of the 


exclusive possession of screw-propelled line-of-battle 
ships and minie rifles. 

While preparing for war the Porte did not abandon 
hopes of peace, and thereby, instead of leadmg the 
movement, exposed itself to be led by it. The Porte 
was equally indisposed to view war as inevitable, as to 
make up its mind to profit by the contrast of a bUthe, 
elated Turkish army in Bulgaria with a footsore dusty 
Kussian army in Bessarabia. Its prime councillor con- 
tributed to this indecision by sending the minister for 
foreign affairs articles extracted from the Western press, 
eulogizing Turkey, depreciating Russia. Unused to 
free discussion, their own newspapers being strictly 
censored, the Turkish ministers were unable to discrimi- 
nate justly between the government and the press. 
Innately suspicious, they may readily have fancied collu- 
sion. The warlike articles of sundry English and French 
journals weakened the effect of foreign offices' pacific 
despatches. They were decidedly more palatable. The 
latter alluded to social aberrations and rayas' rights ; 
whereas the former made no allusion in that day to such 
delicate topics. On the contrary, their editors seemed 
ready to smoke their pipes with any efendis and join 
chorus with them in abuse of the Greeks. 

Soon after the rupture of relations, the Greek and 
Armenian patriarchs were persuaded to send addresses 
to the Sultan, breathing sentiments of devotion and 
gratitude, in return for a firman recently issued, which 
confirmed anterior firmans in favour of the rayas and 
enjoined on the Moslems fraternal treatment of them, 
though not having been read in the mosques it was 
unknown to the public. The Porte could not consistently 



proclaim its love for the rayas while exciting the 
Moslems to a holy war. Fulsome addresses, inexpressive 
of the feelings of their flocks, hoth of whom nourished 
disaffection in their hearts, one heing on the verge of 
rebellion, they were bosh lakerdsh (empty words), 
intended solely for the ear of Europe. Now for the first 
time the epithet liazretleri (highness), instead of djena- 
bleri (excellency), was subjoined in the Turkish Gazettes 
to the names of the French and English sovereigns : a 
distinction previously reserved for native dignitaries. 

The Turks have been accustomed in public and 
private documents to distinguish non-Mussulmans from 
Mussulmans, except of late years those with Turkish 
rank when no distinction is made during life. On death 
it reappears. Let two functionaries, one Mussulman 
the other Christian, die the same day, the death of the 
former would be recorded in the Gazette thus : *^ The 
hour marked by destiny having arrived; he returned to 
his eternal abode." Of the latter, thus : *^ He ceased to 
live." In common parlance, the vulgar say a Mussul- 
man dies ; a non-Mussulman perishes. The innovation 
caused a marked sensation. Every one reading the 
exclusive epithet, when it first appeared in the Gazette 
in connection with Louis Napoleon's name, stopped sur- 
prised, and rubbed his. eyes or wiped his spectacles. 
Also the prefix hashmetly (splendid) was accorded, the 
higher qualification, shevketly (majestic) , being reserved 
for the Sultan. When Austria showed a disposition to 
co-operate with the Western Powers, the epithet was 
given to her Emperor. The King of Sardinia next 
obtained it ; and soon all potentates, including the 
Pope, were thus honoured : except the Czar, who was 


simply styled Nicolas or Alexander, until the peace ; 
and King Otho, for whom djenableri was deemed 
sufficient distinction. On the resumption of peaceful 
relations the arbiter of state tiifles displayed capricious- 
ness in the appUcation of the said epithet, but after some 
oscillation it was appUed to all crowned heads and their 
heirs apparent, and exceptionally for a while to the 
Grand Duke Constantine and the Imperial Prince 
Napoleon. As if in apprehension, however, of the 
people ceasing thereby to regard the Sultan as the king 
of kings, the dispenser of crowns, a marked distinction 
of style has lately been revived in the Turkish Gazettes. 
The arrival of the EngUsh and French fleets at 
Beshika Bay and the unfaltering tone of the Western 
press encouraged the Turks in their bold career, and 
confirmed them in the belief, variously generated, of 
Europe being under a destined necessity to abet their 
interests. Not gratuitously, however. The people 
imagined the Sultan had hired those fleets. Some 
officers seriously asked the author how many purses his 
majesty had agreed to pay per month for their services, 
and were courteously jocose on his avowal of ignorance 
of the transaction, averring, in corroboration of their 
notion, that he had paid for the use of the English fleet 
in 1840 against Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt. Allah, 
said the ConstantinopoUtans, showed his regard for the 
chosen race by inclining the hearts of infidels towards 
them. This sentiment explained to them the anomaly of 
Christians being about to wage war on a Christian power 
on behalf of Moslems. Thus reasoned the middle and 
lower classes, with whom religion is something more 
than a banner. The upper class accounted for it by 



the antagonism between the ocddental and oriental 
cJiarclies. Mucii has occmred in yarious ages to root 
in Moslems* minds the beii^* m a special Providence 
watching over thenu The Crasades* destined apparently 
to conluie Ldmn within the hmits of Arabia^ weakened 
instead the Greek empire, and paved the way for its 
overthrow by Moslem arms. The capture of Bagdad 
and the subversion of the caliphate by Holokou Ehan 
gave Islam a shock such as might well have seemed 
impossible to recover &om: bat the development soon 
afterwards of the Turkish power — then unforeshadowed 
— reinvigorated ik^ and planted its minarets beyond the 
Danube. And in receut? dttv^ whenever a rebeUious 
satrap or an ambitious^ u^>i^tt>ottr has menaced the first 
Moslem empire — the 5>trvut^hovvt v^f Islam — Christian 
powers have armed or iutvi^vst^ iia its defence. Argu- 
ments in the mouch;:^^ s,>f utis^v>^^es« drawn from 
Revelation^ are weak Innavlv ^twU practical evidence of 
A superintending lV»^(U^^^Vx Mv^hammed promised 
his followers the aid v*^'' U^tv>n^t v>f augels when over- 
matched in battle with Ui\> mtivk^liik They reverently 
believed him : but thcv w\»uW h^t\> li^^ued uicredulously 
to the prediction v.J: a tiuw >*lwtt Uk* iutidels themselves 
would tight their l^aUW : a^ul havl he a>retold the day 
when Christian )K>teutato;s xrvniUl vie with eai'h other in 
giving their onlers of dux-alrv to Mv^^slems, the mantle of 
prophecy would have soiuiunl sJipping off his shoulders. 

The profusion of onlors oinifcrred of late vears on 
Turkish civilians by foreign jH^tentiites, in singular 
contrast with the opinions of their representatives at 
Constantinople respecting some of them, has excited 
comment and somewhat impaired their prestige. To 


the question, For what services have they been given ? 
echo in most cases answers, ** For what!" Are they 
duly appreciated ? *' Scarcely," would be the answer 
prompted by the indisposition to wear them at native 
ceremonies or in the Sultan's presence. What, then, 
it might be asked, has influenced the donors and the 
recipients ? They are given at times to gain partisans 
for a policy, and at times to reward cheaply services or 
complaisances. The French Government, in exemplifi- 
cation of the latter category, gave in 1853 five orders of 
the Legion of Honour to dockyard officials at Constanti- 
nople, for repairs done to one of its ships ; and a few 
years later, in return for an entertainment given by a 
high functionary to the Duke de Brabant, Belgian 
decorations were sent to his principal domestic officers* 
Cabinet ministers and ambassadors receive grand cordons 
presumedly ex ojfficio ; and inferior badges are acceptable 
to a certain class of officials as giving them a colourable 
claim on the good offices, in case of need, of an embassy, 
with invitations to its fetes. The motives which have 
led minor sovereigns uninterested in the Eastern ques- 
tion, as the King of Saxony, the Grand Duke of Baden, 
and the Grand Duke of Weimar, to follow the example of 
interested great Powers in that respect, is inexpUcable. 
What are Baden and Weimar to Turkey, and what is 
Turkey to them ? Baden and Weimar doubtless relish 
the figs and raisins of Turkey ; and Turkey, unconscious 
perhaps of the glory of Weimar, Goethe, has heard of the 
gaming-houses of Baden. Denmark, still further ofi", can 
nevertheless adduce a motive. She persuaded Turkey, 
whose flag had rarely floated outside the Mediterranean, 
and never north of the Timmes, to pay her 4,000/. in 


exemption from Sound dues, and marked her sense of the 
conciliatory temper of the officials engaged in the nego- 
tiation with her minister at Constantinople by send- 
ing each of them a Danish order. The New 
World has also contributed its quota of decorations. 
Some crosses of Nuestra Senora of Guadaloupe have 
found their way to the Bosphorus, and several of the 
newly-fledged Mexican eagles have flown across the 
Atlantic to alight at the SubUme Porte. The hidalgo 
spirit has kept Old Spain's orders from being thus indis- 
criminately disposed of. The order which, from its name 
and origin, might have seemed specially reserved from 
Turks, the Grecian Order of the Saviour, has been the 
most liberally bestowed upon them. A shower — one of 
many — of sixteen crosses fell at Constantinople in 
November, 1865 ; and none of the recipients, we venture 
to say, have dared avow services past or prospective in 
return for the honour.* 

* Yoici la liste des decorations qne S. M. le roi des Hellenes a bien 
vpulu conferer aux ministres et fonctionnaires de la Sublime Poiie dont 
les noms suivent : — 

Les Insigiies de la Grande Croix de VOrdre du Sauvcur, — A S. Exc. 
Halil Pacha, ministre de la marine ; a S. Exc. Edhem Pacha, ministre 
da commerce ; a S. Exc. Said Effendi, mmte'char da ministere des affaires 
etrangeres ; a S. Exc. Kiamil Bey, introductear des ambassadears. 

Les Insitjnes de Grand Commandeur du meme Ordre, — A S. Exc. Naizi 
Effendi, Beylikdji, et k S. Exc. Aarifi Bey, drogman da divan imperial. 

Les Insignes de Commandeur, — A Mehmed Effendi, Matib du minis- 
tere des affaires etrangeres ; a Chevketi Effendi, viektouhdji du meme 
ministere; a Fuad Bey, fonctionnaire du bureau de VAmcdi\ a Munif 
Effendi, premier traducteur de la Sublime Porte, et a Serkis Effendi, 
chef du bureau de la correspondance ^trang^re. 

Les Insignes de Chevalier. — -A Nouri Bey, viuarin du Techrifatdji: 
Mehemet Bey, Sead Oullah Bey, Shogoumon Effendi, et Hatchik 
Effendi, fonctionnaires du ministere des affaires etrangeres. — Journal de 
Constantinople f 25th November, 1865. 

( 105 ) 


Passage of the Pruth by the Russians — The Sultan dismisses his 
Ministers, but recalls them — Decision of a Council of State — 
Position of Russia weakened — Dilemma of the Porte — ^Delusion of 
the People — The Vienna Note — Advice respecting it — Sir Stratford 
Canning and Redshid Pasha — The Porte's Refusal of the Vienna 
Note — Warlike Preparations of Turkey — The Porte in the Meshes 
of Diplomacy — The Ruling Class of Turkey Past and Present — 
Prankish Turks. 

News of the passage of the Pruth by the Russians, 
July 5th, 1853, reached Constantinople July 8th, and 
on the evening of the latter day a Russian frigate and 
a steamer hove in sight, ten miles from the outer castles 
of the Bosphorus : the first seen by us since the rupture 
of relations. The coincidence of their appearance with 
the advance of the Russian army seemed calculated : 
they might be the look-outs of a fleet. Two frigates 
were accordingly sent out next day to reconnoitre, with 
orders on no account to fire unless fired upon. They 
fell in at midnight with two strange frigates, and the 
excitement of mustering at quarters revived their qualmish 
crews. In the morning they saluted the Russian flag 
with twenty-one guns, a courtesy which remained unre- 
sponded to, and soon afterwards returned to port, driven 
in by a summer gale. Closed to them since twenty 
years, the Black Sea was not a lake for Turkish ships. 
The day of the arrival of the news of the passage 


of the Pruth the Sultan dismissed the Grand Vizir, and 
the minister for foreign affairs, Kedshid Pasha, from 
oflBce : an abrupt act, the cause of which did not tran- 
spire, though shrewdly surmised. But the representations 
of the representatives of friendly Powers on the impolicy 
of unsettling the Government at a critical conjuncture, 
aided by the difficulty of choosing successors, led to 
their reinstatement next day. The public had expected 
Aali Pasha to be summoned to the foreign department ; 
but having been recently recalled from the govern- 
ment of Smyrna, at the instance of the internuncio — for 
having taken a Uberal view of a quarrel there between 
Hungarian refugees and Austrian naval officers, which 
led to a departure from the law of nations derogatory 
to the Austrian flag by an American corvette in the 
harbour — his appointment to a ministerial post would 
have ruffled Austria's temper. In her character of 
mediator in the Russo-Turkish dispute, her susceptibiU- 
ties demanded consideration. 

July 11th a council sat at the Porte to consider on 
the matter of the passage of the Pruth. The council 
agreed to consider it a violation of treaties, short, 
however, of a casus belli ; to protest against it in the 
face of Europe and remain on the defensive. Wishing 
to gain time, the Porte accepted, by the advice of her 
friends, the novel doctrine of a distinction between war 
and invasion. On the other hand, Eussia had made 
a false move and weakened her position in a moral, 
political, and military sense. She had committed a 
wrong ; she had insulted public opinion ; she had given 
up the vantage-ground of an incompleted menace. By 
remaining on her own side of the Pruth, giving Europe 


no cause for action, she would have disconcerted Austria's 
manoeuvring and have wearied the Porte, with its hands 
tied, into an accommodating temper. Determined on occu- 
pying the Danubian principalities, her wisest and manliest 
course was to have preceded it by a declaration of war. 
We leave out of consideration her right. She had, at 
all events, more right to declare war than to trespass 
with an army on her neighbour's territory. 

The toleration of the seizure of the ** material 
guarantee " (Moldavia and Wallachia) having been 
included in the programme of the drama, the event 
scarcely excited comment among the Constantinopoli- 
tans (accustomed, moreover, to hear of the presence of 
the Russians in those provinces), and did not influence 
the march of affairs either domestic or foreign. The 
double action of canvassing for peace and preparing 
for war continued. The Porte, however, about this 
time began to apprehend a novel complication. Having 
roused the spirit of the nation, it now feared inability to 
control it in case of the avoidance of war becoming 
desirable. The language of the metropolitan softas in 
their annual provincial migration and of the seyah 
(roaming dervishes) had stirred the Moslem soul to 
its depths. The people beUeved that Russia designed 
to substitute Christians for them in the rule of the land : 
they saw in idea their mosques converted into churches, 
their rayas revelling in their konaks and tchiftliks. Better 
die first ! Pains were therefore taken to keep the people 
ignorant of the character of pending negotiations and 
make them believe that the maintenance of peace, if 
maintained, would proceed solely from the Czar's awe 
of the Sultan. The people readily credited the flattering 


taJe and much more. The Czar, they said, had sent 
the Czarina incognita to Constantinople to intercede 
for him ; he had oflFered to reimburse Turkey the expense 
of her war preparations ; but that would not suflBce ; he 
must give up the Crimea also. Such was the idle talk 
in the cafes of the capital. Thus the Porte at once 
sustained and controlled the excitement. 

In the meanwhile Prince Mentchikof's **note/' cause 
of the tribulation of Europe, having been stirred in the 
political crucible, came out as the ** Vienna Note." In that 
form, approved of by Europe and accepted (reluctantly) 
by Russia, it was sent to Constantinople, scarcely any one 
anticipating opposition in that quarter. Had Vienna and 
Constantinople possessed then electric intercommunica- 
tion none would probably have been oflFered eflfectively. 
But it arrived too late. The ** Vienna note " reached 
Constantinople after the incubation of another variety 
of the original ** note " by the representatives of the 
mediating powers, and being preferred to their bantling 
by their respective Governments seemed defective in 
their eyes. The Porte, beginning to weary of acting 
a subordinate part in a play where its interests were 
principally at stake, was disposed to accept the 
** Vienna note," and only required friendly pressure 
to allay its pride, chafed by the wording rather than 
by the substance of it. Three months had raised the 
hopes of the Turkish nation, but had not increased the 
confidence of the Porte in the result of an appeal to 

Few persons who have considered the subject now 
doubt that Turkey, in her own interests, viewing her 
dependence on eventuaUties beyond her guidance, ought 


to have accepted the ** Vienna note ; " stating frankly her 
objections to it, and waiving them out of deference to the 
wishes of her allies. She would then have secured the 
continuance of peace on honourable terms, and would 
have had her integrity ensured by the respect of Europe 
and by her own unimpaired strength and dignity, far better 
than by the formal guarantee afterwards given on implied 
conditions, and which has been rendered derisive since by 
the demeanour, incompatible with the ordinary notions 
of sovereign rights, of one or more of the guarantors in 
various parts of the empire. She might not then have 
heard the chords, tuned by her allies, of Koumanian 
independence and of Sclavic nationality vibrated in the 
ears of the world. She would not have been humiliated 
by the occupation of part of Syria by a French army, 
because her troops were said to have looked on while two 
semi-barbarous tribes, variously instigated, amused them- 
selves in traditional fashion. She would not have been 
drawn into the vortex of foreign indebtedness. She would 
not have lost 120,000 men, the flower of the Turkish 
race. Her army, unimpaired by disease and contumely, 
would have returned to their homes or their barracks, 
proud in the conviction of having by their gallant attitude 
forced Kussia to recede, and her people would have 
escaped the gaze in no friendly spirit of myriads of 
strangers on their faults and their deficiences. 

The EngUsh ambassador, in accordance with his 
instructions, advised officially acceptance of the ** Vienna 
note," and in accordance with his idiosyncracy advised 
officiously its rejection ; or, to speak more accurately, 
allowed his personal view of it to transpire. The 
Prussian minister was said to have also dissociated his 


individual and official character. In regard of the latter 
this may have been snrmise, based on the impression 
abroad of Russia's objection to the "note," but with respect 
to his noble coUeague the evidence is less inconclusive. 
Meeting the seraskir, the representative of the war party, 
at a ball at the French embassy, he entered into conver- 
sation with him through a chance interpreter — an unusual 
condescension, — and alluding to the ** Vienna note," just 
then arrived, said that in his opinion, speaking in his 
individual capacity, it was unacceptable. That turned 
the scales, balanced by acceptance and rejection, in favour 
of the latter. In those days the Porte cared less for 
reading by its own lights the despatches of the British 
Government than for ascertaining its distinguished 
representative's reading of them. His- Excellency's 
disUke of the Czar Nicolas was no secret: he seemed 
bent on seeing that autocrat humbled ; and long experi- 
ence had made the Turks beUeve in the adoption sooner 
or later of his views on Eastern poUcy by his Government. 
The Porte at that time was for international 
negotiation impersonated in Redshid Pasha, the Turkish 
statesman par excellence: the first who had conciliated 
diplomatic favour, given him seven years previously at the 
critical point of his career, when, with all eyes fixed on him, 
an imperial smile or frown might make or mar him. He 
might legitimately aspire to guide the policy indicated by 
himself ; he might through rivals' intrigues be consigned 
to obscurity in the form of a provincial governor. He com- 
prehended the position ; he saw the necessity of external 
support, and found it in an alliance with Sir Stratford 
Canning. Those eminent individuals — who in their mutual 
relations might in some respects bear faint comparison 


with Rufinus the prefect of the East and Eutropius the 
great chamberlain at the court of the Emperor Arcadius — 
aided each other many years to retain the objects of their 
ambition, respectively political ascendancy and diplomatic 
preponderance. They left the stage on which they had 
acted important parts within a few weeks of each other ; 
one for the other world,* the other for dignified repose in 
his own country. What, it might be asked, should have 
induced his Excellencyto disclose himself thus unreservedly 
on a vital point to the seraskir, a man decried and always 
politically thwarted by him, the rival of his friend? 
Presumedly to give the war party weight in the council 
and keep Redshid Pasha in hand. Redshid Pasha, Uke 
M. Drouyn de Lhuys and Lord Clarendon, was anxious 
to avert, with honour to all parties, a war whose preUmi- 
naries foreshadowed indecision and cross purposes, — a war 
which, ostensibly undertaken for the sake of Turkey, would 
aggravate in no ordinary degree her financial diflSculty, 
the rock in her course, — a war which, if stopping short of 
its logical conclusion, letting Russia ofif with passing under 
the caudine forks, would leave her the gainer by the 
lessons of its teaching, and her antagonist the loser by the 

• Redshid Pasha died suddenly, January 7, 1858, in the post of 
Grand Vizir for the sixth time ; and the concourse of citizens at his 
obsequies next day showed the general esteem which his affability, kind- 
ness, and liberality had acquired for him. He left five sons, thus placed. 
The eldest was ambassador at Paris with the rank of bala [Bala is the 
second rank (for civilians) in the official hierarchy] ; the second 
was a mmhir and member of the Supreme Council; the third was a 
damad, and a minister of state ; the fourth was a member of the Supreme 
Council with the rank of hala ; the fifth was a /erik (lieut.-general). 
Redshid Pasha and his sons drew in salaries and allowances about 
4,000/. a month; and his second wife, a Circassian, had a treasury 
pension of 25,000 piastres (220/.) a month settled on her. 


incidents of its perturbation. But Redshid Pasha was 
an Oriental. Seeing others ready to play the game if he 
threw up the cards he wrote a despatch in answer to the 
*' Vienna note," worthy rather of a special pleader than 
of a statesman. 

Intellect playing off rivalries one against the other 
formed a prominent group in the political cartoon of 1853. 

August 20th, a Tartar left Constantinople for Bel- 
grade, bearer of the Porte's refusal to accept the Vienna 
note unless with modifications, which Russia had already 
declared inadmissible be they what they might. That 
matter might therefore be considered settled. Then 
was the time for Turkey to declare war. Towards the 
end of August Turkey's preparations were tolerably 
complete. The Danube was Uned with good troops, 
provided with excellent artillery. Schumla, Silistria, 
and Varna were stronger than they had ever been in 
previous wars. A numerous but indifferently com- 
manded army was collected on her Asiatic frontier. The 
Egyptian contingent had arrived. The Tunisian con- 
tingent was expected. The pulse of the nation beat 
high with religious zeal and hope. From all parts 
of the empire, from every Moslem sect and race, 
addresses and offerings flowed in. The season was 
favourable for troops dependent by their equipment on 
serene weather for extended operations. As much as 
cold would numb the Turks would it nerve the Russians. 
The Turkish navy could only hope to keep the sea in 
fine weather, without disaster. With due appreciation of 
the case as it stood between Turkey and Russia, and of 
the case impending between Europe and Russia, states- 
men would not have held back Turkey till the eve of 


winter. Turkey was making a supreme effort for 
independence : Europe was weaving a coalition to curb 
Muscovite ambition. On first moves much would depend. 
At the commencement of September the Turkish army 
was in a condition for active service; light clothing 
and simple rations increasing its efficiency. On the 
other hand, long marches, heat, and drought had 
seriously demoralized the Bussian army. Statesmen 
had worked well for Turkey up to the period of 
the Vienna note; and in her interest they should 
then have left her the free exercise of her own 
discretion. Having displayed far more energy and 
resources than her most sanguine partisans had given 
her credit for she had the option between two courses : 
either of sending an envoy to St. Petersburg with 
the prospect of a gracious reception or of taking 
the field with the certainty, humanly speaking, of 
occupying the principalities in a few weeks. But in 
order to adopt either course, it would have been neces- 
sary first to send the friendly ambassadors (figuratively) 
to the Seven Towers. Their Excellencies seemed re- 
solved not to let Turkey escape from their protec- 
torate ; neither negotiate without them nor commence war 
on terms which might free her from their dictation. 
Misled by their impUed assurances, their avowed pre- 
dilections, by the sustained war-cry in Europe, and the 
demonstrative attitude of the Anglo-French fleet in 
Beshika Bay, the Porte clung to the hope of England 
and France drawing the sword together with her, and so 
remained in the entanglement of diplomacy, frittering 
away precious time. The quotation : — ** There is a 
tide in the affairs of men,*' &c., became then applicable. 



The ruling class of Turkey in that day were un- 
equal to the position and did not clearly understand it. 
Wanting popular antecedents, they inspired little con- 
fidence : wanting earnest convictions, they failed to 
comprehend the enthusiasm of the nation. As much 
as the nation trusted in itself did they apparently 
distrust it. In olden days those only who had led 
armies in the field, or had ruled turbulent provinces, 
dared aspire to the dangerous honour of wielding the 
powers of the State in troublous times. They knew what 
the nation could do and with all their misreckonings 
they were never wanting in stubborn self-reliance. Their 
Epicurean successors, the bland smooth-tongued efendis 
of Constantinople, knew little of the nation from inter- 
course and the nation knew little of them save by 
report. They were, moreover, impressed more or less 
with the ideas of, the men inlaid in every department, who 
had as youths been sent to Europe for education, to 
become the mirror for young Turkey. These youths had 
not been selected from the scions of the old race, with 
names to uphold and nursery traditions of their country's 
glory to dwell upon ; they had been selected from among 
the slaves of pashas or the sons of obscure denizens of 
Constantinople. The young Circassians had no patriotic 
feelings and their companions aspired to no higher 
felicity than to Uve and die, as they had been born and 
bred, in tlie Sultan's shadow. After some years passed 
by most in desultory studies and idle pleasures, admiring 
the superstructure but giving no heed to the foundations 
of civilization, they returned home neither Franks nor 
Turks : without the knowledge of the former or the 
instincts of the latter. Their traditional contempt for 


the infidel had been succeeded by envy, mingled with 
discouragement. They had in general schooled them- 
selves into neglect of their Prophet's self-denying ordi- 
nances and had weaned themselves from the practice 
of their national virtues. They had learned to view 
everything European with Turkish and everything 
Turkish with European eyes. Some may be deemed 
worthy of their rapid elevation, but their countrymen 
would assuredly Uken many to those Florentines whose 
souls Dante, in his visit to the lower regions, found — 

Mischiate a quel cattivo coro 
Degli aogeli che non faron ribelli, 
Ne for fideli a Dio ma per se forq. 

S— 2 



Arrival of the Egyptian Contingent — Their close Stowage and scanty 
Fare — Story of the Egyptian Contingent — Self- mutilation in 
Mehemet Ali's time to escape Military Service^Desertion and its 
Penalty — Their Inspection by the Sultan — His Reception and 
Largesse — Embarkation of the Egyptian Troops — Their soldierly 
Spirit — Galata Newsmongers' Canards — Sanguinary Rumours 
credited by the French and English Ambassadors — Groundless 
Alarm — Four War Steamers summoned by the Ambassadors — 
Calmness of the Sultan — Protection afibrded by the Porte to 
Foreigners — Governmental Authority in Constantinople — Loyalty 
of the Soldiery — Their Isolation from the Civilians. 

DuRiNO the month of August, 1853, the first Egyptian 
contingent, 14,000 troops, arrived from Alexandria in 
an Egyptian squadron, composed of three hne-of-battle 
ships, four frigates, three corvettes, two steamers, and 
several transports, — a magnificent offering from a tributary 
prince. This force had been twenty-eight days on their 
passage, during which the soldiers, stowed Uterally like 
sheep, had received for sustenance IJ lb. of biscuit each 
a day, and one drink of water served out in the evening. 
To economize the water, measured in a tub for each 
mess, the men imbibed it by turns through a reed as 
more fortunate mortals imbibe ** sherry-cobbler." Not- 
withstanding this abstinence and want of space, not 
more than twenty men had died on board, and about 
300 only were hospital cases on their arrival in the 
Bosphorus. When they landed at the Sultan's Valley, 


where a camp had heen pitched for them with provisions 
and cooks, their first cry was for water, their first act 
was to rush into a stream with the zest of amphibious 
animals after a promenade in the rushes. Their camp 
occupied the spot where the Kussian army, invited by 
Sultan Mahmoud to aid him in his first Egyptian war, 
had been encamped twenty years previously ; and, by a 
happy coincidence, their pasha's tents were pitched beside 
the stone erected on Selve Bouroun to commemorate 
the presence of the Kussians in that valley. 

The tale of the enrolment of the Egyptian contingent 
is sadly characteristic. The soldiers composing it were 
veterans of Ibrahim Pasha's army, several of them having 
served under him in Greece during the war of indepen- 
dence, and all had shared in the toils and triumphs of his. 
Syrian and Anatolian campaigns. Disbanded about the 
year 1843, they had returned to their villages to recom- 
mence the life of fellahs; had married, and become 
fathers of families. When the Sultan demanded aid of 
his vassal ten years later. Abbas Pasha, declining to 
part with his embodied troops, cast his eyes on the 
veterans, none of whom assuredly had ever expected to 
shoulder a musket again. The required number were 
seized wherever they happened to be, in their fields or in 
their cabins, and were driven chained in pairs to Cairo. 
There, cavalry, infantry, and artillerymen, non-commis- 
sioned officers and privates, were commingled in one 
mass, and then subdivided into six regiments, 2,400 
strong each. After being clothed they were sent to Alex- 
andria for embarkation. While at Alexandria many 
deserted, of whom six were retaken and shot before the 
fleet sailed. None of the men seemed under thirty, 


while the beards of several indicated nearly doable 
that age. 

Some of them had sacrificed the forefinger of the 
right hand, others the right eye. The severity of disci- 
pline in Mehemet Ali's time had led to the practice of 
self-mutilation, in the hope of thereby escaping from the 
service. At first, the forefingerless were sent to labour 
in the dockyard at Alexandria, but that possessed no 
deterring eflfect ; for as the convicts used to be liberated 
for joy on the launch of a ship of war, then of annual 
occurrence, many soldiers preferred the loss of a finger 
and limited convictism to military service. Perceiving 
this, Mehemet Ali ordered such to be retained in the 
ranks. Those afflicted with nostalgia then deprived 
themselves of the right eye, by scooping out or arsenic. 
They were also retained by their ruthless master. The 
desperate then put out both eyes, but with no better 
result ; they were set to pick oakum. We saw several 
ancient soldiers minus thus a finger or an eye in the 
Egyptian camp in the Sultan's Valley in 1853, and heard 
their tale from their own lips. It soon became necessary 
to station a body of Turkish police at the camp to prevent 
desertion. Some deserters were retaken, and as an example 
could not be made of them near Constantinople the general 
expressed his intention of showing his sense of discipline 
by having them shot on the line of march in Bulgaria. 
We trust he kept his qualified promise to us to spare 
them. * * Kilhng no murder *' spoilt OUver Cromwell's rest ; 
and another pamphlet might be written in an inverse 
sense to show that killing men thus arbitrarily impressed 
for attempting to escape from their bondage is murder. 
Part of the crews of the Egyptian ships were also 


veterans of Mehemet All's time and had been employed 
in the excavation of the Mahmoudieh Canal, — a work 
which cost the lives of 20,000 labourers. 

Abbas Pasha agreed to pay his men during the war ; 
the Porte to feed them and renew their clothing. He had 
sent them to Constantinople destitute of many neces- 
saries ; so much so, that the seraskiriat had to supply 
them with great-coats, cloth trousers, and tents : also 
water horses, one per company. As soon as ablutions and 
good food had removed the dirt and squalor of their 
wearisome cruise the Sultan honoured them with a visit. 
Their joy at beholding the successor of the cahphs repaid 
them for their troubles; and as his majesty passed through 
their ranks, extending from Hunkiar Iskellesy to the im- 
perial tents, many were heard praying in subdued tones 
for his welfare. The Sultan gave each of the generals a 
diamond-set snuff-box, and to every officer, non-com- 
missioned officer, and private, a gratification of a month's 
pay. His imperial father had on the same spot, twenty 
years earlier, distributed medals to the Kussian troops 
spoken of. Ill-advised, Sultan Abdul Medjid never 
inspected any of his own devoted troops, either on going 
to or returning from the war. 

A few days after this pleasing ceremony the Egyptian 
troops were again stowed on board ship as closely as the 
most ingenious method of folding men into each other 
would admit of. Six Turkish paddle-steam frigates, with 
as many transports in tow, and two Egyptian steamers, 
carried them with their baggage. Four of the steamers 
embarked 2,000 men each. The only possible posture was 
sitting, each man with his knapsack on his back and his 
musket between his knees, each having besides a loaf or 


two of bread and some onions, bought with his own money, 
to supplement his slender rations. They landed at Varna, 
and marched thence, some to Babadagh and Issatcha, and 
some to Schumla. These veterans, thus cruelly seized, 
thus abruptly torn from their homes, with their children's 
cries ringing in their ears, transported from the banks of 
the sunny Nile to the swamps of the dismal Danube, 
sustained to the last the true soldierly spirit. Whether 
in Bulgaria or elsewhere, they were distinguished for 
courage in battle and resignation under hardships. Alas ! 
half their number had taken their last look at Egypt. 

Soon after their departure the newsmongers of 
Galata, stirred by the presentation of a petition to the 
Sultan on his way to mosque one Friday by some 
ardent softas, circulated an ugly rumour of a projected 
massacre of Christians at the ensuing bairam ; adding, in 
confirmation, that the Egyptians, who might have been 
relied on to oppose ** Turkish fanaticism," had been sent 
away on purpose. These gentlemen had found a mole- 
hill and manipulated it into a mountain, according to 
their wont. The preceding summer one of the fraternity, 
who had always visions of truculent Janissaries and feline 
eunuchs before his eyes, hearing of a body floating 
between SeragUo Point and Tophana, which turned out 
to be that of a missing German, wrote in hot haste 
to an embassy at Therapia, to say the revolution had 
commenced and the harbour was already covered with 
headless corpses. That canard had died as soon as 
hatched, but the one in question lived a while. The 
ray as, who might, supposing the rumour founded, have 
been in jeopardy, gave little heed to it ; but the Franks 
and the Levantines fancied themselves doomed to act the 


part of sheep at the sacrifice, each to have his or her 
tliroat cut by a zealous Moslem. The French and 
English ambassadors accredited the rumour, and 
increased the panic by sending to Beshika Bay for war 
steamers. The former allowed himself to be ludicrously 
mystified, and recorded his bonhomie in a despatch, 
writing thus to his Government: ** La position du 
gouvemement Turc s'aggrave de plus en plus, et les 
choses sont au point de faire craindre une catastrophe 
dont les habitants rayas ou Europeans seraient les 
premieres victimes, et qui menacerait meme le trone 
du Sultan." 

M. Delacour was new to Turkey, and his credulity 
was, therefore, in some measure excusable ; for he had 
yet to learn that every statement made there should be 
submitted to the test of probability before adoption. 
Those in the way of being correctly informed, with no 
party or stock exchange purposes to serve, assured 
their Excellencies of the groundlessness of the alarm, 
and commented upon the bitter efiect of bringing up 
steamers for the protection of their countrjinen ; who 
would in case of need, as truly observed, find refuge, 
men, women, and children, in the Turkish barracks and 
ships. The softas' petition, expressing discontent at the 
state of afiairs, had simply arraigned the Government 
for not declaring w^ar against Kussia. The instinct of 
the people is in general true. Those uneducated men 
saw the approach of war, stealthily but surely, and felt 
the danger of procrastination. The Porte replied to the 
petition, saying that it was equally desirous for war, that 
it had sent proposals to Russia becoming the honour of 
Turkey, and, in case of her rejecting them, there would 


be war. Interrogated by the Sheick ul Islam, the 
petitioners disclaimed all ideas of disaffection : they had 
only, they said, spoken in the spirit of their holy law, 
which enjoined war with the infidel, when provoked by 
him and ready to meet him. 

Excited, the French and English ambassadors sum- 
moned four w^ar steamers from Beshika Bay, in order, 
quoting from the despatch of the latter on the subject, 
** to have sufficient resources at hand to protect their 
compatriots, and even, in case of need, to give aid to 
the Sultan, if the movement provoked by the war party 
should go to the extent of menacing his authority." 
Their Excellencies should have been consistent, and have 
summoned the combined fleets : not a vessel too many 
for the apprehended emergency. They were sanguine 
in regarding four steamers ** sufficient resources" for 
protecting their compatriots located in Pera hemmed 
in by Turkish quarters, or scattered in villages along 
the Bosphorus, and for giving ** aid to the Sultan." 
There were then at Constantinople eighteen battahons, 
two re giments of cavalry, artillery, and a fleet with crews 
trained in infantry movements. This force would have 
acted either for or against the Sultan's authority. If for 
it, four steamers were a mockery ; if against it, a folly. 
They were just sufficient to give a superfluous sense of 
security to a few individuals fenced round by the law of 
nations. Two of them anchored off Therapia and kept 
their boats ready to bring off the inmates of the French 
and Enghsh embassies at any hour of the day or night. 
The other two remained off Tophana, to protect the 
French and English in general and give aid to the 
Sultan ! 


During that vision of alarm, Sultan Abdul Medjid 
was seen going about more than usual, by land or water, 
with his ordinary slender suite, unconscious of anything 
menacing either his authority or pubUc order. 

The Franks and Levantines had had the excitement 
to themselves, and they incurred the ridicule when the 
bubble burst. They had altogether, in their fright, 
forgotten history. Foreigners, styled in Turkey misajir 
(guests), have always been protected as such. A foreigner, 
provided with the Sultan's firman or a Vizir's houyourouU 
tou and accompanied by a Tartar, travelled safe in the 
worst times in all parts of the country. More tourists 
have been waylaid or intimidated from pursuing their 
objects in the little kingdom of Greece since its esta- 
bUshment than in the vast Turkish empire during its 
existence. In periods of trouble, suggestive of anti- 
Christian feelings — the civil war in the Morea, the 
destruction of the Janissaries, the battle of Navarino, the 
war of 1828-29 — the Franks and Levantines had not only 
been unmolested, but their safety had been specially 
cared for. Ought they, then, on any hypothesis, to 
have apprehended molestation when their Governments 
had come forward as the friends of Turkey, and were 
expected to co-operate with her ? 

The Turks were scandalized at this manifestation of 
distrust, and surprised at the local ignorance betrayed 
by it. In no capital is authority so paramount as in 
Constantinople. Means of concert and action are wanting 
there. The attitude of the Government is suspicion : 
its rule is espionage. There are no papers uncensured ; 
no criers unlicensed; no places of meeting tolerated. 
The mosques, the cafes, and the gates of the city 


are closed two hours after sunset. The habits of the 
people are early and domestic. The poUce can seize 
suspected or obnoxious indi^dduals without notice or 
inquiry, and sequester them ; and in a few hours embark 
them, if necessary, in a steamer for a distant island. 
No one in the East inquires after a lAan struck by fate. 
By the agency of the imams and mooktars of the parishes 
the Government knows, hour by hour, if it please, all 
what is passing in the city, and thus exercises complete 
control over the population. No popular emeute could 
readily occur at Constantinople ; occurring, it would be 
easily quelled. The Janissaries, in their day the only 
troops in the capital, except the artillery and the 
galiondgis, had been the sword of the Ulema to enforce 
compliance with the holy law, and to punish ministerial 
delinquency ; and with them ended fear of popular com- 
motion at Constantinople. Their successors, the nizam^ 
all drawn from the provinces, are not learned in the 
holy law, are indiflferent about corruption, and their rally- 
ing cry is, ** Long Kve the Sultan ! '' — a heartfelt senti- 
ment, not mere lip homage. In his shadow they receive 
their pay and rations, and they feel grateful to him. 
Their faculties belong to the state during their period 
of service. They know this, and resign themselves to 
a monotonous existence. The men never sleep out of 
their barracks or guard-houses. Their only recreation 
is the bath and an occasional promenade. The Sultan's 
uniform, instead of being a passport for the ofl&cers, is 
a social disqualification. Their steps are noted by 
informers. They dare not visit men of rank in oppo- 
sition. They may not frequent others than assigned 
cafes. They may not accept invitations to dinner in 


a foreign house without permission. They are forbidden 
to mingle with the gay and promiscuous crowds at 
Eiathane and Ghioksou, the Hyde Park or Bois de 
Boulogne of Constantinople. Between the miUtary and 
civilians, in a word, non-intercourse is enforced. 



Rassia refuses the Porte's Modifications of the Vienna Note — The Porte 
declares War — Prince Gortchakoff invited to evacuate the Princi- 
palities — Honours conferred hy the Sultan on the Greek Patriarch • 
— A Turkish Squadron sent to the Black Sea returns to the 
Bosphorus — Condition of the Turkish Navy — The Author's 
Suggestion to the Capitan Pasha — It is overruled — Sinope, the 
only safe Roadstead, exposed to Attack — The Navy in a transition 
State — Two Parties in the Ser\'ice — Its low Tone — Forebodings 
of Disaster — A Russian Squadron reported — The frigate Niizretieh 
ordered to Sea — Representation of Mushaver Pasha — Strange Order 
of the Capitan Pasha — The Nuzretieh in the Black Sea — Orders 
given to the Turkish Squadron — Omar Pasha's Victory at Oltenitza 
— Successes and Reverses of the Turks in Asia — Valour of the 
Troops and Misconduct of their Officers — Exultation of the Turks. 

Intelligence of Kussia's refusal to accept the Porte's 
modifications of the ** Vienna note " having reached 
Constantinople on September 21st, the grand counciJi 
convoked on extraordinary occasions, composed of the 
principal functionaries, religious, civil, and military, in 
the capital, about 200 members in all, met to deUberate 
on the question of peace or war. They sat two days, 
and decided nearly unanimously for war. In conse- 
quence, on the first day of Moharrem, 1270, corre- 
sponding to October 4th, 1853, the Porte issued 
a temperate manifesto to the nation, w^hich explained 
the state of affairs and declared the existence of war 
between Turkey and Kussia. Although expected, the 


declaration of war created, nevertheless, deep sensation. 
Turkey had committed herself, single-handed, to war 
with Kussia on a rehgious question. . The antagonistic 
principles of Christianity and Islamism were again about 
to come into conflict. The backwardness of the Western 
Powers to declare themselves now excited painful com- 
ment. Some termed it treachery ; others ascribed it 
to the effect of their religion. 

The Porte sent orders to the commander of the army 
of the Danube to invite Prince Gortchakoff by letter to 
evacuate the PrincipaUties in fifteen days, and to warn 
him, in case of refusal, that he would be attacked at 
the expiration of that delay. Keinforcements were sent 
to the army of Asia Minor. 

Concurrently, to propitiate the Greeks, their newly- 
elected patriarch, Anthimos, was invested, with cere- 
monies in abeyance since the execution of the Patriarch 
Parthenius for imputed treason. His holiness went 
from the Fanar with a priestly cortege to the imperial 
palace ; received investiture at the Sultan's hands ; then 
proceeded to the Porte, where due honours awaited him ; 
and was reconducted to the patriarchal residence with 
viziral pomp. Too late ! 

A squadron of frigates and smaller vessels was sent 

into the Black Sea under the command of Pasha, 

who received a month's extra pay to animate him, but 
who returned without orders two days before war com- 
menced, and never left the Bosphorus afterwards until 
able to steam under convoy of the allied fleets. This 
was a bad omen and a worse example. Kaw crews, 
stormy weather, cold, and want of ports of refuge, made 
the Turkish navy regard an order to cruise in the Euxine 


as tantamount to a sentence of exposure to wreck or 
destruction by the foe. Their taunt-rigged ships and 
Bcantily-clothed sailors were adapted only for summer 
work, and they had not enjoyed much of that. They 
had never navigated in winter even the Mediterranean, 
where ports abound, and they had to learn their task 
in the ** icy Pontick,'* where fog and currents confuse 
the reckoning, and where running for the land on an 
uncertain course was eminently hazardous in those days, 
through deficient lightage. The vaunt of having a 
squadron at sea as well as the Kussians prevailed with 
the Porte over the prudence of retaining the saihng 
vessels in the Bosphorus, keeping up communications 
with the outports with steamers. 

Seeing the risk for a few cruisers, we proposed to 
the Capitan Pasha, on his coming up to Buyukdereh to 
announce war to the navy, to let the entire fleet go to 
sea for the remaining few days of comparatively fine 
weather, and then act according to circumstances indi- 
cated by the movements of the Anglo-French fleet, — 
either proceed to Sinope or return to the Bosphorus ; 
but keep together. We were the more anxious for a 
short cruise, to shake things into their places, knowing 
the liability of the fleet to be ordered out any day. 
In general slow in deliberation, dilatory to a fault, the 
Porte can decide on impulse, and order ships to sail 
or troops to march in disregard of wind or weather. 
Our proposition was overruled by an apprehension 
that the appearance of the Turkish fleet at sea would 
entice the Russians out. The position of Sevastopol 
might have been reckoned on for restraining the enemy 
from going far away, with the chance of bringing on a 


general action oflf a lee-shore ; while a few frigates out 
would be a bait to draw him to our coasts. The Capitan 
Pasha a few days afterwards ordered the naval pashas 
to indicate a place in the Black Sea for a Ught squadron 
to winter in. The council, after deliberation with pilots 
and others, reported Sinope to be the only roadstead 
in which vessels could lie safely in regard of weather ; 
but, viewing its proximity to Sevastopol, they added the 
expression of their opinion that they would lie exposed 
there to an attack from the enemy. The council w^as 
snubbed for their addendum : they were told they had 
exceeded their powers, their opinion having been asked 
on the nautical question only. 

The Turkish navy at that time, like everything else 
in Turkey, was in a state of transition. The forms of 
two systems were in presence without the substance of 
either. The fitful energy of one had not been succeeded 
by the regulated forces of the other. Open vests, 
shalwars and sashes had given way to buttoned-up 
coats and strapped-down trousers ; but under a Russian 
garb there lurked the galiondgi, reckless and indolent. 
Modem ideas of uniformity were at issue with prayers 
and ablutions at the option of the devout. You looked 
round in a squall for the men stationed at the top- 
gallant sheets and halyards, and you saw them on their 
knees absorbed in prayer. Ramazan, turning night into 
day, mocked the routine of the other eleven months. 
The oflBcers were divided into two sets, the educated and 
the uneducated, each led by an admiral ; and the latter 
were then in the best places. The educated talked 
slightingly of practice, and fancied crude notions on tho 
theory of storms suflScient to enable one to grapple with 



the reality. The uneducated declared science spoiled the 
sailor, and some of them made it a point of conscience 
to set their chronometers in harbour to Arabic time. 
Eules to guide patronage and laws to measure offences, 
irrespective of position, were yet desiderata ; and as 
the bastinado, and on an emergency the bowstring, had 
not been replaced by the independent court-martial, 
slander, the undermining element of Oriental society, and 
passive resistance, the potent weapon of the East, were 
unchecked. A vicious system of promotion during many 
years joined with slender appointments had lowered the 
tone of the service, while compulsory retirement from 
time to time, to make room for favourites, haS deprived 
the navy of several good oflBcers. The Capitan Pasha of 
that day, a nominal soldier, was as ready to take inspi- 
ration from his tchiaoushes as from his captains, and 
shared the reluctance of his countrymen in every sphere 
of life to seek advice until a crisis arrived : then 
generally too late. His council sat to echo his words 
and register his decrees. Withal there was a con- 
fusion of powers coupled with an absence of respon- 
sibility, and a pressure from without through unseen 
influences. The Porte, hugging itself to the last moment 
with the hope of receiving vahd aid from its allies, had 
rushed into war scarcely knowing the meaning of the 
word. It sought no professional counsel. It listened 
alike to a chamberlain of the palace, to a scribe of the 
council, to a dragoman of an embassy. Thus a position 
was created which may be described by the word bewil- 
derment. The armies (there being no telegraph) were 
out of its reach, but the navy was not. Every oflBcer 
and man consequently felt in his heart a sense of im- 


pending disaster. They looked forward to certain defeat 
or wreck, and many expressed envy of their ** fortunate 
comrades in the Archipelago." 

Towards the end of October, a few days after the 
commencement of hostihties, a steamer from the Black 
Sea reported a Kussian squadron of three line-of-battle 
ships, two frigates, and a steamer, cruising 120 miles 
from the Bosphorus. Whereupon the Capitan Pasha sent 
orders to the fleet at Buyukdereh to select one of two 
heavy frigates to send out next morning, to reinforce 
a light squadron of frigates and corvettes which had 
sailed three days earlier ; and he added his desire, if the 
Kuzretieh should be selected, for Mushaver Pasha to go 
in her. The Nuzretieh,- a long frigate with first-rate's 
spars, had scarcely been thought of for winter cruising, 
and was therefore deficient in many respects. One 
hundred of her best men had been lent to vessels at 
sea: they were at once replaced from the squadron at 
Buyukdereh, naturally with indifferent hands. While her 
captain occupied himself with completing his crew, 
getting on board also those on leave who could be 
found, and using his eloquence with his brother captains 
to obtain a few indispensable stores from their ships, 
the dockyard being drained, Mushaver Pasha repaired 
to Constantinople, and represented to the Capitan Pasha 
the rashness of exposing frigates to unequal contest, 
reminding him that ship for ship of nominal force the 
Russians were superior, and he recommended him to send 
out two line-of-battle ships as well. The Capitan Pasha 
replied that the Porte having ordered out one frigate 
only it would ill become him to discuss that ques- 
tion ; but in regard of his further recommendation (in 

9— JJ 


the propriety of which he entirely concurred) , to have 
the next squadron, the squadron intended to winter at 
Sinope, composed of Une-of-battle ships and frigates, 
instead of frigates and corvettes as ordered, he pro- 
mised to submit it to the Porte's consideration. The 
Capitan Pasha concluded the interview by giving Mus- 
haver Pasha a written order to abstain from firing first in 
case of meeting the enemy. **Are we not at war?" 
asked the latter. ** We are," he replied ; " but such is the 
Porte's order." Mushaver Pasha excused himself from 
undertaking to comply with it, since the first broadside 
from a ship in position might decide an action. ** That 
is your affair," replied the chief. ** I have given you the 
order and that suflBces me." 

The first heaving of the Black Sea under the Nuzretieh 
showed unmistakeably many of her crew to be on their 
trial cruise ; and a judicious helmsman was not forth- 
coming, although several had apposite ratings. Her 
captain proposed at once to fit gratings to the hatchways, 
** They are to prevent the men running below in action," 
he said. ** Is that likely ? " ** Likely ! it is sure if the 
hatches are left open." That was simply a class prejudice. 
Throughout the war, whether ashore or afloat, the men, 
with nothing to gain, displayed more zeal than the oflBcers, 
with honours and promotion in view. Next day the 
Nuzretieh spoke the Pervaz steamer, which had been sent 
out to look for the cruising squadron, but had not found 
it. She had heard at Varna of firing in the direction 
of Issatcha, and having nothing further to communicate 
steamed on to the Bosphorus. Her luck was bad. 
Sent soon afterwards to Ereghli, she fell in with a 
Eussian squadron, by which she was captured, with 


her captain and half her crew slain, after a gallant 
running fight. 

On the second evening after leaving the Bosphorus 
the Nuzretieh joined the squadron, and was hailed with 
the signal ** Welcome*' flying at the masthead of the 
Egyptian Hassan Pasha. Mushaver Pasha found that 
ofl5cer and every captain of the squadron in possession 
of an order to refrain from opening fire on meeting the 
enemy, and on inquiry ascertained that his own captain 
had received the same injudicious order. Two days 
afterwards, Hassan Pasha, apprehending a gale — he 
feared no other foe — telegraphed, " Is it right for us to 
remain at sea, or to bear up for the Bosphorus ? " The 
Eeala, Pir Bey, telegraphed in support, ** It looks truly 
like a storm.'* The Nuzretieh answered, *' It is right to 
remain at sea." And well it was she did, for otherwise 
the squadron would have been embayed on a lee shore. 
Before night the squadron was under low sail, with top- 
gallant masts on deck. A succession of gales followed, 
with rain, sleet or snow; the snow lying one night 
(November 11th) several inches on deck. Those gales 
proved very distressing : they made several vessels leak 
seriously, and the Nuzretieh's masts and rudder-head 
complain sadly. Pressed one night by north-west 
squalls and a heavy sea, apprehensive of losing a 
mast or the use of her rudder, the Nuzretieh was on the 
point of bearing up : one of her consorts, the Kaid, 
did bear up, finally reached Sinope, and was destroyed 

One dark night, the squadron being under close- 
reefed topsails and reefed foresail, one of the corvettes 
mistaking the signal *'Wear in succession'' for ** Wear 


together," placed herself in jeopardy of being run 
over, and barely escaped that consummation by hoisting 
with marvellous promptitude numerous lanterns and 
burning blue-lights stem and stem. The recent adoption 
by the Capitau Pasha of coloured lights led more than 
once to confusion in misty or snowy weather. The 
sufferings of the crews of the squadron, nearly all more 
or less sea-sick, with diarrhoea prevalent among them, 
excited mingled pity and admiration. Theirs was no 
ordinary trial of fortitude. None had flannels ; few had 
stockings ; many were still in white trowsers, the winter 
clothing in store being deficient; each had only one cottony 
blanket to cover him at night on a mattress not much 
thicker than a hearth-rug ; and their coats were made of 
cloth through which the stars might be seen. Biscuit, 
rice, olives and water composed their sustenance, in 
insuflBcient quantity to allay hunger, much less afford due 
nourishment. None ever swerved, none shirked his 
duty ; but many were carried below, exhausted by cold 
and wet. We may not criticize the Porte for the destitu- 
tion of its navy. Within three months it had trebled its 
military and naval armaments, and could not face the 
needful expenditure. But we may regret its having 
inconsiderately ordered its ships to keep the sea for the 
point of honour, regardless of other considerations. 

On his return to the Bosphorus, Mushaver Pasha 
mournfully reproached his chief for having composed the 
Sinope squadron, which had sailed ten or twelve days 
earlier, of only frigates and corvettes. The Capitan Pasha 
excused liimself : he had done all that depended on him to 
carry out Mushaver Pasha*s views, by representing them 
to the Porte soon after his departure. Entirely approving 


of them, the Porte had ordered him to prepare line-of- 
battle ships for sea, and they were nearly ready to sail when 
a counter-order came to the Admiralty : given, he said, 
by the desire of the British ambassador. ** Inshallah ! ' • 
he added, with a sigh, ** our frigates will be safe.'' He had 
done his best on their behalf, by culling the best men of 
the fleet for them. Moreover the Anglo-French fleet 
had arrived at Beikos. The Turks fancied it came to 
light their battles, and doubted the pluck of the Kussians 
to leave port with that host in the neighbourhood. 
Instead, therefore, of dwelling on anticipation of disaster, 
the Capitan Pasha busied himself with doing the honours 
of the Bosphorus to his guests. He gave a banquet on 
board the Mahmoudieh, remarkable for the variety and 
quantity of viands and wines consumed, to the admirals 
and captains of the expected allied fleets, in company 
with the pashas and beys -of his own fleet. With the* 
champagne, he read a speech in Turkish — translated, 
after deUvery, into French, for the benefit of the 
strangers, by the chief dragoman of the Porte — on the 
balance of power and the integrity of the Ottoman 
Empire. The healths of the Sultan, of the Queen, 
and of the Emperor, were then drunk with reiterated 
applause. The health of the English and French 
admirals, prefaced by thanks for their promptitude in 
coming to Turkey's aid, was next drunk with due 
honours. The jovial party then ascended to the quarter- 
deck, transformed for the occasion into a brilliant 
saloon, to listen to a concert by the artistes, male and 
female, of the Pera Italian Opera. The Capitan Pasha 
and the two admirals sat during the performance, in 
silent dignity, side by side, on a sofa, smoking long 


pipes, and their subordinates, picturesquely grouped about 
the deck, followed their example. Tea and cakes were 
handed round at intervals to the company by a score of 
laquais de place^ in black coats and white neckcloths. 
All was ** alia Franca.'* After the departure of the guests, 
amidst a blaze of blue-lights from the Turkish squadron, 
the scene changed. The deck was swept ; the pianoforte 
removed ; and on came, smiling and salaaming, hitcheJc 
(dancing boys) witli tchalglwjiler (native musicians). 

The Capitan Pasha's statement, listened to with 
incredulity, of the ambassador having prevented his 
sending hne-of-battle ships to Sinope, was corroborated 
by the blue book.* On its appearance his Excellency 
said, in explanation, he had vetoed their departure by 
the advice of Admirals Hamelin and Dundas ; and to 
the question, asked with amazement, why he had reUed 
Tor such a matter on the opinion of men unacquainted 
with circumstances and localities, he observed that the 
rank and command given them by their respective Govern- 
ments left him no choice. The Secretary of State 
approved of his veto, with the following trustful words, 
in his despatch of November 21, 1853,—" The Turkish 

• From Mr. Pisani to Lord Stratford de RdcUjfi'. JVm, Xov, 8, 

** The Turkish squadron, with the exception of the three-deckers, 
is to proceed into the Black Sea, and will prohahly be ready on 

From Ijord Stratford de Iledvlif,' to the Secretanj of State for Forehju 
Ajf'airs, 2'herapia, Xor. 5, 1858. 
** I have succeeded in dissuading the Porte from sending a detach- 
ment of line-of-battle ships and frigates into the Black Sea at this 


Government, if it understands its own interests, will 
readily defer to the sound judgment of your Excellency 
and the practical experience of Admiral Dundas.'* In 
nine days from that date the flames of Sinope illuminated 
the horizon. The gallant admirals may have conscien- 
tiously expressed doubts about the fitness of Turkish 
ships for winter cruising : their own well-found, ably- 
manned ships did not relish it. That, however, was not 
the point. The point was, the Porte considering its 
dignity concerned in keeping a squadron in the Euxine, 
to have that squadron suflBciently strong to take care of 
itself at the anchorage designed for it. 

War had already commenced in earnest on both con- 
tinents. Omar Pasha had laid a clever decoy at Oltenitza, 
into which the enemy, underrating his opponents, had 
fallen. Satisfied with having furnished the public with 
an agreeable topic of conversation, he sat down at 
Schumla for the winter. Some have thought that, by 
following up his success, he would have wintered in 
Bucharest ; perhaps without another blow. In Asia the 
Turks captured the Kussian frontier post, Shekvetil, on 
the coast of Mingrelia, October 28, and Abdi Pasha 
won the battle of Beyendir, November 3. These 
advantages were balanced by the battle of Akiska, 
fought November 14, in which the Turks, under Ali 
Pasha, were defeated with the loss of twelve guns ; and 
by the battle of Kedicleer, lost also by the Turks, under 
Ahmed Pasha, with several guns, November 18. 

These battles, all but unheeded in Europe, where atten- 
tion was fixed on the operations on the Danube, were not 
on the whole discouraging. The valour of the troops in 
the two latter engagements had been as conspicuous as the 

I:>? miZT jjn rzz CLnsAy wax. 

::-MiiT»i::r- >=: ::±fi:lTi.:tr? vl; T-^re sncrs-uds recaUed 
t-1 ^xllrl :: CTTn? lii ;ee- i^riLr- The delusion 
i-^i: :lt: ^::liij: MZLiTr* tvJi jiji T±r\ corresponding 
jkA'l'j is :-c :zl- ^iLtzx -Lii: ^-iz. w osered for the 
P:r.- Lat-ji^ Liilr ?•: 7rrr:.;lei i s«=29c<^'>n of men for 
cz.'.T.'.ii^ 1^. in i :iir:rr ■='lTrf ^-Ir L*! 1:0 one else to rely 
rr- I. : inl Tl^r-r. :^~J :■: -i=:ii:i:c, :: was difficult to 
i.— >t: a: :Lr in:l- .: -_i: :^::-:zzz±L AsLi was Bossia's 
Tv:ii: t::l: : '^:^i.zi.l L^r -Li-err zz.rrej±red. with dis- 
tr-n.::::! .l ^^'^-^rr illr. H-i :1^ Tzrks c-een ailr led at 
ri*^ V-V:: ii. :!.::.: ^-jjn^r. ilc c::rr=i:; cf success wonld 
l,iT-: rrr: 11. it-iil: J 111 "L-ir iivi^r. and have carried 
t.-riLi :o Tiiii?. A-1 :L-: s-irn-ei lo te neqnired was a 
ja^Li -n-illing lo i^j^j'T :.: :Lr Le^ui cf Lis eolanins. 

XL- .Tn:o^:?:f^^ in E".;>r ini in Asia gave tlie Sultan 
tLe :i:l^ o: irLizi Ti._:..ri.ns . anJ lei his Majesty to 
aLLcinoe an intcLiiin :o rx Lis headquarters at Adrian* 
0? Ir in t:.e essuiiii: s^^rin^^. TLey Trcnderfdly excited the 
frj :rl: of Lslam. The Turkish Gazette, ailading to the 
sl^in. sji 1 : •' Dnnkin^^ the sherbet uf martyrdom, they 
gaiiifed eternal liie." A pasha inquired of the author if 
Lfr tiiOTi^'hi the Turks would be allowed to march to 
St. Petersburg the ibii j^inir year ? Certainly nol, was the 
reply. He mused awhile, then said : •• I see how it is ; 
f^urope will not alluw the Russians to come to Constan- 
tinople nor the Turks to \:o to St. Petersburg." 

( 139 ) 


The Turkish Squacbon at Siuope— A Russian Squadron in the Offing 
— Choice of Measures for the Turkish Commander — An Opportu- 
nity of lietrcat — Reappearance of the Russian Squadron — Position 
of the Turkish Ships — Shore Batteries of Sinope — The Russian 
Ships enter the Bay — Flight of the Governor of Sinope and tho 
Moslem Inhabitants — Vacillation of the Turks — The Fire of the 
Russian Squadron — Total Destruction of the Turkish Ships — 
Terrible Loss of Life — Gallantry of some Turkish Officers — 
Indulgence of the Poiie — Escape of the Taif — The Capitan 
Pasha reproaches the French and English Governments — Opinions 
of their Ambassadors— Siuope after the Battle — Pusillanimity of 
the Governor — Sufferings of the Survivors — Pitiable State of the 
Wounded — Their Joy at the Prospect of Removal to Constantinople. 

But the memorable, the decisive event of the campaign 
of 1858 was naval. All conspired to class the battle of 
Sinope in the category of predestined events. 

Scattered by a gale of wind on the way, Osman 
Pasha's squadron, the flag-ship with her mainyard sprung, 
ran for and re-assembled at Sinope. All the ships had 
suffered much wear and tear, and their crews, ill- provided 
with winter clothing, were so beaten by cold and wet as 
to be unable, for several hours after coming to anchor, to 
go aloft to furl their sails. The appearance in tlie offing 
of a Russian squadron the day after the arrival of the 
last Turkish ship, coupled with the facility, then clearly 
recognized, of its receiving reinforcements from Sevas- 
topol, 180 miles distant, indicated the prudence of 


running for the Bosphorus when the coast should be 
clear. There were two chances to one in favour of a 
successful run. The enemy might not reappear ; or if 
reappearing might be outsailed. At the worst, a squadron, 
composed of six frigates, a ship sloop, two corvettes, and 
two small steamers, might hope to sustain creditably a 
running fight with three line-of-battle ships, a frigate, and 
a steamer — the force which originally hove in sight to 
count heads in the trap. But Osman Pasha, distrusting 
the ability of his captains to keep their stations, 
allowed the possible contingencies of the third course 
to outweigh the other two. In his opinion, as he after- 
wards said, an action under way would have entailed 
the loss of all hands : moreover, the weather had 
affected his nerves ; leading him to avow his preference 
to await the enemy at anchor, rather than face another 
gale of wind. 

A surer chance of retreat yet presented itself. Four 
Turkish steam frigates, on their way home from landing 
ammunition for the Circassians at Vardan on the coast 
of Abasia, called at Sinope a day or two after the 
reconnoitring Kussian squadron had stood away out of 
sight in a north-easterly direction. Their commander, 
by virtue of his higher rank, might have relieved 
Osman Pasha from the sense of responsibihty which 
oppressed his judgment, and have towed the squadron 
clear of the bay — the chief effort — and further. The 
united force, six steamers and nine sail ships — four of the 
former well armed and some of the latter good sailers — 
would, if declining action, have distanced the Russians. 
Judged by the event, he was reproached afterwards for 
remissness ; but if he had taken that step with no other 


authority than his perception of its necessity, his enemies 
— and who has not got them in the East ? — insinuating the 
improbabihty of the attack, would have blamed him for 
over-zeal. Moreover, a fillip was wanting to rouse 
Europe, loth to plunge into war. So Mustapha Pasha, 
ruled by fate, leaving one of his steamers at Sinope, 
contmued with the remainder his voyage to Constan- 
tinople, where he arrived November 24, and made known 
the unpromising aspect of affairs at Sinope. He had 
seen no Kussians on the way. 

The Russian squadron reappeared off Sinope the day 
after the steamers' departure, and remained in sight 
from the neighbouring promontory during the ensuing 
gale. It was then, November 27, reinforced by ships 
from Sevastopol, making a total of three three-deckers, 
three two-deckers, two frigates, and three steamers. 
They stood on and off for three days, waiting for moderate 
weather. During that anxious interval, the doomed 
Turkish squadron took up its final position in fifteen 
fathoms, on a curve before the town, its left supported by a 
sorry five-gun battery served by local gunners; which, 
nevertheless, did excellent service in the action, and with 
impunity, owing to its unobtrusive form and admirable 
position on the edge of a low cliff. The ground around 
it was literally ploughed with the enemy's shot, itself 
being unharmed. The guns of this battery were 
14-pounders and 19 -pounders — three of them old 
Genoese guns. Of three similar batteries, the fire of one 
was masked by its own ships, and that of another soon 
ceased through want of cartridges. These were the 
** respectable batteries" of Sinope, thus styled by Tophana 
(the ordnance department) ; and they were not exceptions 


pipes, and their subordinates, picturesquely grouped about 
the deck, followed their example. Tea and cakes were 
handed round at intervals to the company by a score of 
luquais de place ^ in black coats and white neckcloths. 
All was *' alia Franca.'' After the departure of the guests, 
amidst a blaze of blue-lights from the Turkish squadron, 
the scene changed. The deck was swept ; the pianoforte 
removed ; and on came, smiling and salaaming, hutchck 
(dancing boys) with tchalghigiler (native musicians). 

The Capitan Pasha's statement, listened to with 
increduhty, of the ambassador having prevented his 
sending line-of-battle ships to Sinope, was corroborated 
by the blue book.* On its appearance his Excellency 
said, in explanation, he had vetoed their departure by 
the advice of Admirals Hamelin and Dundas ; and to 
the question, asked with amazement, why he had relied 
Tor such a matter on the opinion of men unacquainted 
with circumstances and localities, he observed that the 
rank and command given them by their respective Govern- 
ments left him no choice. The Secretary of State 
approved of his veto, with the following trustful words, 
in his despatch of November 21, 1853,—** The Turkish 

• From Mr. Pisani to Lord Stratford de Bvdcliffe, Pera^ Nor. 8, 

** The Turkish squadron, with the exception of the three-deckers, 
is to proceed into the Black Sea, and will probably be ready on 

From Lord Stratford de Itedcliffi' to the Secretan/ of State for Fore'njn 
Affairs. Therapia^ Nov, 5, 1858. 
** I have succeeded in dissuading the Porte from sendinpf a detach- 
ment of line of- battle ships and frigates into the Black Sea at this 


Government, if it understands its own interests, will 
readily defer to the sound judgment of your Excellency 
and the practical experience of Admiral Dundas." In 
nine days from that date the flames of Sinope illuminated 
the horizon. The gallant admirals may have conscien- 
tiously expi-essed doubts about the fitness of Turkish 
sliips for winter cruising : their own well-found, ably- 
manned ships did not relish it. That, however, was not 
the point. The point was, the Porte considering its 
dignity concerned in keeping a squadron in the Euxine, 
to have that squadron sufficiently strong to take care of 
itself at the anchorage designed for it. 

War had already commenced in earnest on both con- 
tinents. Omar Pasha had laid a clever decoy at Oltenitza, 
into which the enemy, underrating his opponents, had 
fallen. Satisfied with having furnished the public with 
an agreeable topic of conversation, he sat down at 
Schumla for the winter. Some have thought that, by 
following up his success, he would have wintered in 
Bucharest ; perhaps without another blow. In Asia the 
Turks captured the Russian frontier post, Shekvetil, on 
the coast of Mingrelia, October 28, and Abdi Pasha 
won the battle of Beyendir, November 3. These 
advantages were balanced by the battle of Akiska, 
fought November 14, in which the Turks, under Ali 
Pasha, were defeated with the loss of twelve guns ; and 
by the battle of Kedicleer, lost also by the Turks, under 
Ahmed Pasha, with several guns, November 18. 

These battles, all but unheeded in Europe, where atten- 
tion was fixed on the operations on the Danube, were not 
on the whole discouraging. The valour of the troops in 
the two latter engagements had been as conspicuous as the 


incompetence of their leaders (who were afterwards recalled 
and exiled to Cyprus) had been glaring. The delusion 
that the Sultan confers with high rank corresponding 
abihty is the only excuse that can be offered for the 
Porte having made so wretched a selection of men for 
commands, in a quarter where she had no one else to rely 
upon ; and where, owing to distance, it was difficult to 
arrive at the truth of what occurred. Asia was Russia's 
weak point ; war found her there unprepared, with dis- 
aflfection on every side. Had the Turks been ably led at 
the outset in that quarter, the current of success would 
have set in steadily in their favour, and have carried 
them to Tiflis. All that seemed to be required was a 
pasha willing to advance at the head of his columns. 

The successes in Europe and in Asia gave tlie Sultan 
the title of ghazi (victorious), and led his Majesty to 
announce an intention to fix his headquarters at Adrian- 
ople in the ensuing spring. They wonderfully excited the 
spirit of Islam. The Turkish Gazette, alluding to the 
slain, said : ** Drinking the sherbet of martyrdom, they 
gained eternal life." A pasha inquired of the author if 
he thought the Turks would be allowed to march to 
St. Petersburg the following year ? Certainly not, was the 
reply. He mused awhile, then said : ** I see how it is ; 
Europe will not allow the Russians to come to Constan- 
tinople nor the Turks to go to St. Petersburg." 

( 139 ) 


The Turkish Squadron at Siuopo— A Russian Squadron in the Offing 
— Choice of Measures fur the Turkish Commander — An Opportu- 
nity of Retreat — Reappearance of the Russian Squadron — Position 
of the Turkish Ships — Shore Batteries of Sinope — The Russian 
Ships enter the Bay — Flight of the Governor of Sinope and tha 
Moslem luhahitants — Vacillation of the Turks — The Fire of the 
Russian Squadion — Total Destruction of the Turkish Ships — 
Terrible Loss of Life — Gallantry of some Turkish Officers — 
Indulgence of the Poiie — Escape of the Taif — The Capitan 
Pasha reproaches the French and English Governments — Opinions 
of their Ambassadors— Sinope after the Battle — Pusillanimity of 
the Governor — Sufi'erings of the Survivors — Pitiable State of the 
Wounded — Their Joy at the Prospect of Removal to Constantinople. 

But the memorable, the decisive event of the campaign 
of 1853 was naval. All conspired to class the battle of 
Sinope in the category of predestined events. 

Scattered by a gale of wind on the way, Osman 
Pasha's squadron, the Jflag-ship with her mainyard sprung, 
ran for and re-assembled at Sinope. All the ships had 
suffered much wear and tear, and their crews, ill- provided 
with winter clothing, were so beaten by cold and wet as 
to be unable, for several hours after coming to anchor, to 
go aloft to furl their sails. The appearance in tlie offing 
of a Russian squadron the day after the arrival of the 
last Turkish ship, coupled with the facility, then clearly 
recognized, of its receiving reinforcements from Sevas- 
topol, 180 miles distant, indicated the prudence of 


running for the Bosphorus when the coast should be 
clear. There were two chances to one m favour of a 
successful run. The enemy might not reappear ; or if 
reappearing might be outsailed. At the worst, a squadron, 
composed of six frigates, a ship sloop, two corvettes, and 
two small steamers, might hope to sustain creditably a 
running fight with three line-of-battle ships, a frigate, and 
a steamer — the force which originally hove in sight to 
count heads in the trap. But Osman Pasha, distrusting 
the ability of his captains to keep their stations, 
allowed the possible contingencies of the third course 
to outweigh the other two. In his opinion, as he after- 
wards said, an action under way would have entailed 
the loss of all hands : moreover, the weather had 
affected his nerves ; leading him to avow his preference 
to await the enemy at anchor, rather than face another 
gale of wind. 

A surer chance of retreat yet presented itself. Four 
Turkish steam frigates, on their way home from landing 
ammunition for the Circassians at Vardan on the coast 
of Abasia, called at Sinope a day or two after the 
reconnoitring Russian squadron had stood away out of 
sight in a north-easterly direction. Their commander, 
by virtue of his higher rank, might have relieved 
Osman Pasha from the sense of responsibiUty which 
oppressed his judgment, and have towed the squadron 
clear of the bay — the chief effort — and further. The 
united force, six steamers and nine sail ships — four of the 
former well armed and some of the latter good sailers — 
would, if declining action, have distanced the Russians. 
Judged by the event, he was reproached afterwards for 
remissness ; but if he had taken that step with no other 


authority than his perception of its necessity, his enemies 
— and who has not got them in the East ?— insinuating the 
improbabihty of the attack, would have blamed him for 
over-zeal. Moreover, a filhp was wanting to rouse 
Europe, loth to plunge into war. So Mustapha Pasha, 
ruled by fate, leaving one of his steamers at Sinope, 
continued with the remainder his voyage to Constan- 
tinople, where he arrived November 24, and made known 
the unpromising aspect of affairs at Sinope. He had 
seen no Russians on the way. 

The Russian squadron reappeared off Sinope the day 
after the steamers' departure, and remained in sight 
from the neighbouring promontory during the ensuing 
gale. It was then, November 27, reinforced by sliips 
from Sevastopol, making a total of three three-deckers, 
three two-deckers, two frigates, and three steamers. 
They stood on and off for three days, waiting for moderate 
weather. During that anxious interval, the doomed 
Turkish squadron took up its final position in fifteen 
fathoms, on a curve before the town, its left supported by a 
sorry five-gun battery served by local gunners ; which, 
nevertheless, did excellent service in the action, and with 
impunity, owing to its unobtrusive form and admirable 
position on the edge of a low cliff. The ground around 
it was Hterally ploughed with the enemy's shot, itself 
being unharmed. The guns of this battery were 
14-pounders and 19-pounders — three of them old 
Genoese guns. Of three similar batteries, the fire of one 
was masked by its own ships, and that of another soon 
ceased through want of cartridges. These were the 
** respectable batteries" of Sinope, thus styled by Tophana 
(the ordnance department) ; and they were not exceptions 


to a general rule. From the Bosphorus to Batoom on 
the one hand, and from the Bosphorus to the Danube on 
the other, there was not on the coast of the Black Sea, 
when war commenced, a battery deserving of the name, 
nor a trained artilleryman, except at Varna. The Turkish 
squadron, mounting collectively 430 guns, many of them 
32-pounders, did not make the most of circumstances. 
It ought to have moored in five or six fathoms water, 
from one and a half to two cables' length oflf shore, have 
established flanking batteries on the adjoining chflf with 
some of its inboard guns, and have landed its light spars, 
sails, and boats — inflammable and splintering matter. 
Presumedly, the Russians would not then have attacked 
it ; or attacking, they would probably have been repulsed. 
About noon of November 30, 1853, the Russian 
squadron, leaving its steamers outside to cut ofl* the 
escape of any of the intended prey, stood into thfe 
Bay of Sinope under all plain sail, wind light at E.S.E., 
each ship towing her boats astern. It was thought at 
the time that the Russians, expecting the Turks to 
surrender at discretion, had manned their boats to take 
possession of them ; but it seems more likely they had 
been lowered to keep them intact, ready to lay out or 
replace springs. Seeing the approach of the enemy, 
the governor of Sinope, Husseyin Pasha, who had kept 
his horses saddled since the commencement of the 
blockade, mounted, rode away from the town, and 
never halted till he reached a place fourteen hours 
distant. The Moslem inhabitants fled also. The Greeks, 
seeing friends in the Russians, remained. Conversing a 
few days later with some of the fonner, we commented 
on their flight. ** When the pasha runs, can the people 


remaiu ? " was the aphoristic answer. Thus ever in the 
East ; the example of the chief is contagious. 

The Turks, with customary vacillation, deferred 
firing until the enemy had approached within half range ; 
or it may be their commander let himself be fettered by 
the suicidal order spoken of. The signal of the Navik for 
leave to fire was disregarded. The Nizamieh with the 
flag of the second in command, thinking the enemy about 
to double on them, first opened fire ; her example being 
followed directly by the whole line. Whereupon the 
Kussians rounded to, clewed up, and anchored with springs 
on their cables ; three-deckers opposite the two pashas' 
frigates. During this manoeuvre some of their ships 
suffered much by the Turkish fire ; and had that fire been 
opened earlier, while the enemy was slowly bearing down, 
he would have had no easy victory to boast of. The 
enemy's fire at first was ineffective. Having given his 
guns too much elevation, his missiles during half an hour 
passed chiefly over the bulwarks of the Turkish ships, 
cutting away masts and yards ; while it is deducible from 
the unimportant injury inflicted by them during that 
interval, that the Turkish gunners had, through inattention 
to their quoins, lost the aim obtained before smoke 
obscured their vision. A breeze then scattering the smoke 
enabled the enemy to correct his sights. Awful execution 
followed ; inevitable with line-of-battle ships armed with 
68-pounders pouring broadsides into frigates and corvettes. 
Some of the Turkish ships were unable to fire three 
rounds afterwards. In one frigate, in a few minutes, six 
iron guns were split, and several brass guns bent. In 
all, the supply of ammunition was checked by the slaughter 
among the powder-boys. Many hundreds of men were 


drowned endeavouring to escape in boats or on broken 
spars. *^ The devil was on one side, and the deep sea 
on the other." Turks do not, but Egyptians do swim 
hke fish ; hence the crew of the Dimiat frigate, remnant 
of the Egyptian squadron at Navarino, who took to 
their boats or jumped overboard after discharging a few 
broadsides, saved above 300 of their number. 

Unable to resist the irqp storm, the Turkish ships slipped 
their cables, when not cut away, and drifted on shore. The 
Nizamieh (GO) , in flames, fell on board the Kaid (50) , and 
both were consumed together. In an hour and a half 
the action was decided, and if Admiral Nakhimof then, 
unheeding stragghng shot from desperate hands, had 
ceased fire, there would have been no alloy to the credit 
of having ably performed the critical operation of attack- 
ing with sail-ships a squadron on a lee shore. But he 
continued to keep up a merciless fire of shot, shell and 
carcasses, which killed numbers of unresisting men, 
and burnt the Turkish quarter of the town. He did 
not cease firing till every Turkish ship save one was a 
stranded bilged wreck. The Russians took possession of 
the A^esivi frigate, in hopes of saving her for a trophy ; 
but making water rapidly, she was run ashore next day 
and burnt with carcasses. The Farsly Ilah, one of the 
destroyed frigates, had, under the name of San EapJiaelj 
been captured from the Russians in 1829. 

The battle of Sinope, in which 2,700 Turks lost 
their Uves out of 4,200, displayed vivid contrasts of 
character. Ali Bey, a fine fellow, became early excited : 
saying he never would be a prisoner, he bade his men try 
to save themselves, then went below to the magazine 
and blew up his ship the Navik. Otherwise inspired, the 


captain of the left her in a boat ere a shot was fired ; 

deaf to the remonstrances of his pasha, who remained in 
her, wounded, till next day. The second captain of the 

also rowed ashore early in the action and narrowly 

escaped being hit by a shot fired after him by his indig- 
nant captain, who fell on his quarter-deck. These traits 
came out at the examination of survivors before the Naval 
Council. The inquiry also brought to hght the devotion 
of the imams of the squadron, five of whom were slain 
out of eleven ; the gallantry of Husseyin Pasha, who 
commenced his career at Navarino and closed it at 
Sinope ; the gallantry of the Syrian Kadri Bey, drowned 
in swimming from his stranded burning ship towards 
the shore ; and the valour of Izzet Bey, captain of 
the Faisi-Marbouty who passed through the ordeal 

Neither praise nor reproach was attached to the inci- 
dents of the battle of Sinope, regarded apparently as the 
decree of fate. The wary captains recovered favour 
after a few months' reclusion in their homes on full 
pay ; and the prudent governor of Sinope was appointed* 
the following year to a more lucrative government. The 

second captain of the , who fought the ship while 

his captain noted the working of the engines, forgetting 
the proverb, " Speech is silver but silence is gold," was 
passed over. This indulgence, more or less shown 
throughout the war — a deviation from the pole-star 
of a warrior race — proceeded from the predominance of 
the civil element in the rule of the land. In previous 
wars the Sultan's lieutenants — the Grand Vizir, and the 
Capitan Pasha, — had led in person the forces of the 
empire, armed with sovereign authority. Punishment was 



then terrible and reward ample, both on the spot, in 
the face of approving thousands. No poltroon then re- 
turned to the capital, and with lies and largess passed 
himself oflf for a hero ; no brave man then had his 
character whispered away in ante-rooms. In the late 
war the nation fought in the shade of a bureaucracy. 

Just before the action commenced, the Taif slipped 
her cable, steamed round her consorts in the direction 
of Gherzeh, had a running fight with Russian steamers 
outside, saw the flames of Sinope in the evening, 
made a detour in the Black Sea, and arrived in the 
Bosphorus with the stunning news in the afternoon 
of a stormy day, December 2, 1853, the day of the 
departure of the destroying Russian squadron for 

The Capitan Pasha's countenance the following 
morning showed traces of a restless night. His distress 
for the loss of his squadron was aggravated by a pro- 
hibition to appear in the Sultan's presence. He vented 
reproaches against the French and English Govern- 
ments for their delusive attitude : '' They bade us arm," 
he said, ** resist Russia, and now in the hour of our need 
their fleets look calmly on ! '* A naval pasha present 
offered, by way of consolation, to go out with two steam 
frigates to reconnoitre the enemy, and communicate, if 
possible, with Sinope ; but as an officer of superior rank 
had just declined that service with four steamers, the 
Capitan Pasha could not, out of consideration for the 
other's feelings, accept the offer. Intelligence, how- 
ever, of some kind or other, was indispensable, and 
therefore the Capitan Pasha desired him to wait on the 
EngUsh and French Ambassadors, and ask them to send 


a French and an English steamer to Sinope, accom- 
panied by a Turkish steamer. 

His envoy found their Excellencies at the French 
embassy in conference with Admirals Dundas and 
Hamelin about the catastrophe; the circumstances of 
which, as far as then ascertained, he related to them. ' 
General Baraguay d'Hilliers frankly observed it was 
an incident of war, and seemed to attach no great 
importance to it. Lord Stratford de Redcliflfe professed 
his ignorance, till within a few days, of a Turkish 
squadron out in the Black Sea, and the gallant admirals 
expressed themselves much to the same effect. Their 
innocence of knowledge on a subject of general painful 
anxiety, the chief topic of conversation in every konak and 
cafe, was only so far remarkable that the squadron had 
sailed from Buyukdereh in sight of Therapia and Beikos. 
The ambassadors objected to Turkish steamers going 
alone to Sinope, from apprehension of further disaster, 
and they objected to a Turkish steamer accompanying 
the English and French steamers they agreed to send 
there, because they said the sight of the Turkish flag 
might compromise their Governments. Carrying out that 
idea to its extreme limit. Lord Stratford de Redchffe 
objected also to a Turkish officer going in the EngHsh 
steamer ; his colleague, however, overruled his scruples, 
on the ground of the service he might render, and his 
lordship yielded the point, with the proviso that he 
should doflf his fez if the Russians were still there, and 
keep his followers out of sight. The envoy's further 
request for extra surgeons and appliances to be sent 
with the combined steamers, prefaced by an exposition 
of deficiencies on the spot, was acceded to : he had made 



it hesitatingly ; half expecting to hear that the sight of 
French and English surgeons dressing the wounds of 
Turkish sailors would be compromising. 

December 4, 1853. — The Retribution and the Mogador 
steamed into the Black Sea, still heaving from the effects: 
of the late gale, and in fifty hours anchored in the Bay 
of Sinope. The Russians had left there indubitable 
marks of their visit. The shore of the bay was lined 
with wrecks and strewed with corpses. Havoc had done 
her worst. Not a mast was standing, not a timber was 
left whole. The Czar, believing the Turkish squadron 
at Sinope intent on supplying the Circassians with 
ammunition, had ordered its destruction, and he had 
been Uterally obeyed. One vessel only, the Taif^ 
escaped, and she alone had been thus employed. On 
landing we found Sinope like a town after an assault : 
disorder and confusion everywhere ; the bakeries closed 
and provisions rare. Our arrival restored some order 
and confidence. We collected the valid Turkish officers 
and seamen in the town, and made them useful. There 
were thirteen officers and 120 men. Five officers, in- 
cluding the commander of the late squadron, and about 
160 men had been carried away prisoners by the Russians. 
Many officers and about 1,000 men had gone off into 
the interior the evening of the battle. 

The Governor, who had returned to his post, tried 
to excuse himself in our eyes for his pusillanimity ; 
but no rational excuse could be framed for it. His 
defection had caused the flight of the Moslem inha- 
bitants, and thence the destruction of their quarter of the 
town, thus left without hands to extinguish the nascent 
flames; it had also contributed to the neglect of the 


wounded, to a scarcity of provisions, and to general 
demoralization. The captains who had fled inland as far 
as Baibout, twenty hours distant, merited also reproach : 
they ought to have remained in or near the town, where 
their presence was much required, to collect stragglers 
and attend to the wounded ; in a word, to supply the 
absence of the missing authorities. They had been 
punished, as we afterwards heard from their lips, by 
their sufferings from cold and fatigue on the way. Had 
boats put off to the \NTecks in the night, after the action, 
many lives would have been saved. Many men sunk 
and died in them from exhaustion. Others survived 
through sheer hardihood. The Bash-liodja, for example, 
of one of the stranded frigates, and three others remained 
on the wreck three days and nights, and hved to tell the 
tale. The smouldering timbers, they said, warmed the 
water inside, and enabled them to bear semi-immersion 
nearly all that while. Soon after the ships had stranded, 
officers and men dropped themselves overboard and struck 
out for the shore, with the aid of barrels or pieces of 
timber. Many perished in that short transit, drowned or 
struck by the enemy's missiles. Husseyin Pasha reached 
the shore, only to die there of exhaustion. His body 
' was recognized next day, and was interred at the tekieh 
above the city, near the tomb of Seiti Belal,* a Moslem 
saint in great repute with mariners. Most of those who 

* Tradition says that Seiti Belal came to Asia Minor with the 
Persians in the 11th century. He was slain in a battle with the ruler 
of Sinopc. His body was removed from the spot where first interred 
to the tekieh by the Turks. He is popularly considered to have been 
descended from Ali ; but this is improbable. All seyahs (travelling 
dervishes) visit his tomb, where lamps burn at night. It is customary 
for the captains of Turkish vessels touching at Sinope to send presents 
of oil for the lamps. 


succeeded in setting their feet on shore, apprehending 
pursuit, started immediately inland, and never stopped 
till out of sound of the guns. Wounded men, who under 
ordinary circumstances would have fancied themselves 
incapable of movement, managed to reach villages several 
hours oflf. We saw some of them brought thence to 
Sinopc on horses or in carts, and marvelled how they 
had ever reached them. We particularly remarked three 
badly hurt men brought in in a cart from Gherzeh, 
six hours distant, whither they had crawled after the 
action. They explained their feat thus : freshly wounded, 
their limbs were not rigid, and mental excitement over- 
came physical suflFering. 

Our first care had been to look for the wounded. We 
found above a hundred in various cafes, in every stage of 
sufiering : some in agony, many of them frightfully dis- 
figured by explosions. They were stretched on the floors 
or on the estrades, without beds or coveruigs ; the 
wounds of some had not been dressed. Two medical 
men of the destroyed squadron, a Pole and an Armenian 
(the others were missing;, were in attendance, and showed 
zeal and devotion ; but having lost everything in the catas- 
trophe they were unable to afford much alleviation to the 
sufferers. Six days having elapsed since the action, and 
it being necessary to keep the windows closed to exclude 
the cold air, the stench was sickening: with the best 
hearts, our nerves could scarcely resist it. Gallant tars 
present were moved to tears at the sight of such unmiti- 
gated, unmerited suffering. When the poor fellows saw 
me they looked joyful ; and those able to speak said, 
** Welcome, father ! We have now hope ! " On hearing 
that Captains Drummond and La Valle had consented 


to convey them in their steamers to Constantinople they 
almost forgot their pains. That announcement was their 
best medicine. 

The surgeons of the Mogador and the Retribution^ 
and their coadjutors, took the sufferers in hand, and 
well performed their task of mercy. With much per- 
suasion some of the wounded submitted to amputa- 
tion; but they might as well have been spared the pain, 
for tetanus generally supervened. None who saw them 
can easily forget the distressing scenes in those dingy 
cafes, — their first glimpse of war's disillusory feature. 
Several wounded men were brought in from neighbouring 
villages, on the news of our arrival spreading. More being 
spoken of, we left two native doctors with two Turkish 
naval officers and ten sailors to attend upon them, with 
necessary surgical appliances; and next afternoon we 
embarked the survivors of the battle then at Smope, 
excepting a few at death's door. God was merciful 
to the wounded : He gave them fine weather and 
smooth water on their voyage to the Bosphorus. A 
request came off from the authorities, on the Retribution 
and Mogador coming to anchor off Tophana, to defer 
landing the wounded until evening, that the people 
might not see them. 



The Turkish Fleet preparing for Sea — The Author summoned to the 
Porte — Reception by the Divan of the Defeat at Sinope — Report 
of a Repulse of the Russians — Unwelcome Counsel — The Author's 
Representations prevail — His Suggestions for the Erection of 
Redoubts at Sinope overruled — Impracticable Suggestions made to 
the Porte — Turkish Policy in yielding to them— Gradual Progress 
safest for Nations — Result of Inquiry into the Disaster of Sinope 
— Blame unjustly thrown on the Porte — ^The Grand Council 
ready to treat for Peace — Warlike Demonstration of Softas calmed 
down — Manifesto of the Porte — Redshid Pasha's Note to the Four 
Powers— Lord Clarendon's Reply — Action of the Western Powers 
— The combined Squadrons enter the Black Sea — Notification of 
the Allies* Admirals to the Russian Admiral. 

We found the Turkish fleet hurriedly preparing for sea, 
it having been ordered out on the impulse of the sensa- 
tion excited by the battle of Sinope. The dejection of 
the navy was profound ; but none dared give utterance 

to it. Pasha said to the author, **If you will 

prevent the fleet from going out, I and all the captains 
will kiss your feet." 

Summoned there for the purpose, the author went 
to the Porte to relate the details of the battle to the 
ministers. Their cheerful cushioned apartment and 
sleek fur-robed persons deepened in imagination, by 
the force of contrast, the gloom of the dingy cafes of 


Sinope with their writhing occupants. They listened, 
apparently unconcerned, to the woful tale ; they regarded 
composedly a panoramic view of the Bay of Sinope, 
taken a few days after the action by Lieutenant O'Reilly 
of the lietribution. A stranger, ignorant of the nil 
admiran of Ottomans, would have fancied them listening 
to an account and looking at a picture of a disaster 
in Chinese waters. The mention, however, of the 
flight of the Pasha of Sinope elicited a spark of the old 
Turkish spirit. Redshid Pasha, in whose household 
he had formerly served, attempted to excuse his con- 
duct : ^* He could not," he naively remarked, " be 
expected to remain in the way of cannon balls." On 
which KiridU Mustafa Pasha gave him a scowl preg- 
nant with meaning. No notice was taken of it, but it 
was not forgotten. Kiridli Mustafa Pasha had been 
given the seal of Grand Vizir as a lay figure, the real 
power lying with Redshid Pasha, the minister for 
foreign afiFairs. Within a few weeks of that scornful 
glance the former resigned and the latter took his place. 
I had scarcely finished the sad recital when a minister 
of State rushed into the room joyous and announced the 
arrival of a Tatar from Kastambol, bringing news of 
the repulse of the Russians by the Turkish squadron 
at Sinope, with the loss of two ships. A few gloomy 
words from his colleagues calmed his exuberance. I 
then, with due regard for national susceptibihty, dis- 
closed to them the state of their fleet and its prospects 
at sea. Four or five thousand of its best men had just 
perished or been dispersed at Sinope ; and the remainder, 
chiefly new levies, inadequately fed and clothed, were 
deeply discouraged. If the Fleet encountered the 


enemy, it would be defeated; if a storm, it would 

be wrecked. Either would be equally a triumph for the 
Russians. Such language sounded as harsh as it was 
novel to men ordinarily under the influence of self- 
delusion. But facts were stubborn. They had just 
lost one squadron — through presumption ; they were 
at war without allies ; so, after some vaporing for 
form's sake, they admitted the prudence of nursing 
their fleet in port until the return of spring with 
renewed confidence. 

Bent, however, on showing a bold face, like one half 
stunned by a blow who still shakes his fist and cries 
** Who's afraid ? " the Porte two days afterwards ordered 
the Capitan Pasha to run round the Black Sea with four 
steam frigates. This was, if possible, more objectionable. 
A corpulent landsman propped up by cushions, giving 
distracting orders, was the pleasantest feature of the 
prospect. Those steamers had been employed as troop 
or pilgrim ships for more than a year, with barely time 
allowed them to wash their decks. There was no harbour 
of refuge to run for in case of an accident ; no depots of 
coals on the coast. The Capitan Pasha signified his 
desire for the author's company on the cruise, at the 
same time expressing freely his sense of its folly, and 
unable officially to raise objections, desired him to repre- 
sent them officiously in the right quarter : which he did. 
** If," it was observed to Redshid Pasha's secretary, 
" there is any object in view, let them circumnavigate the 
Euxine by all means, and no one will shirk the service, 
but do not send them out merely to show their flag. You 
have already lost two corvettes by this kind of bravado. 
Your frigates are too valuable to risk the loss of : you 


will require them all, and more, in spring, to carry troops 
and munitions of war." 

The steamers were countermanded. 

The defenceless state of the coasts of the Euxine being 
then tardily recognized, the author was ordered to confer 
with the council of Tophana on the subject. Premising 
the policy, in due season, of making Sinope a fortified 
arsenal, he recommended for the present the erection on 
given spots of the bay of four redoubts, trenched, 
mounting each ten guns ; also similar batteries at 
EreghH, Sampsoun, Trebizond, Ignada, and at the 
anchorages in the Gulf of Bourgas and in the Bay of 
Kavarna, one at each place. Armed anchorages are 
the condition for the weaker belligerent keeping cruisers 
at sea and carrying on its coasting trade. This plan, 
simple and inexpensive, was accepted, and a minute 
made for its speedy execution. Materials and labour 
were on the spots, and appropriate ordnance was in store 
at Constantinople. In another month the Turks would 
have been able to send cruisers out and let merchant 
vessels leave port, unanxious about their safety. But a 
diplomatist, whose hghtest w^ord in that day was law, 
interposed his veto : he desired the Porte to wait for a 
report from a competent authority, whom he proposed to 
send to the indicated places. Accordingly, two months 
later, an Enghsh and a Turkish engineer officer went to 
Sinope and Trebizonde on that errand, under his auspices. 
Their report, with corresponding designs, was worthy of 
their Woolwich education ; but being too elaborate for the 
rough needs of actual war it remained a dead letter. 

The misadjustment of means to ends has caused 
many suggestions to fail in Turkey. This had been more 


strikingly exemplified shortly before the war, by advice 
from the same eminent quarter to make a carriage- 
road from Trebizond to Erzeroom ; an undertaking more 
arduous than the construction of the roads over Mount 
Cenis and the Simplon combined. Whenever the Porte 
agrees to an impracticability to please a friend it shuts 
its eyes to a job or acquiesces in a mystification. Four 
miles of that road on the side of Trebizond were made, 
absorbing in the process 25,000/., when the enterprise 
was abandoned for want of funds ; whereas had the Porte 
been advised to repair the existing bridle-road from end 
to end, the money might have been advantageously 
expended, and the road would then have proved invalu- 
able during the war for military and subsequently for 
commercial purposes. Many other similar cases of the 
preference for the costly and problematic to the facile 
and requisite might be cited. 

What Turkey can do is rarely suggested: what she 
cannot do is frequently urged. She is told to draw on 
European boots and run at the risk of breaking her 
neck : she is not allowed to walk briskly in her slippers, 
as inclined to do. Where a boat camber, for example, 
daily wanted, would at a trifling expense save annually 
hundreds of boats and much merchandise from loss, a 
breakwater for shipping is advocated. Where a few miles 
of paved road over a miry district or through a defile, 
of easy construction with local means, would connect 
fertile provinces with the sea or with each other, railways 
with high guaranteed interest are projected.* Where 

* The guaranteed interest on Turkish railways, calculated on a 
capital in excess of the estimated outlay, is about 10 per cent. In 
the course of 1867 three railways — single lines — measuring col- 


fountains lack water, spirit- shops abound ; the vendors 
being foreigners, licensed by their respective chanceries. 
Where grammar-schools are deficient, a palace is built 
for a polytechnic university. Where whitewash, a prison 
dress, and improved drainage would suffice to relieve the 
administriation from reproach, a prison a h Pentonville is 
designed; and for decUning to lodge forgers, burglars, 
and murderers better than artisans, the Turks are termed 

Turkey might, with the money idly laid out during 
the last thirty years on dubious undertakings, have 
given her harbours quays and boat havens, bridged 
her rivers, and opened hundreds of miles of fluvial navi- 
gation in Asia Minor and Eoumeha, by clearing the 
Saccaria, the Kysil Irmak, the Marizza, the Meander, 
the Cydnus, &c., of obstructions in their courses or at 
their mouths. Turkey, in yielding against her convic- 
tions, may yet deem herself wise in her generation. She 
sees special correspondents abroad, and hears of tourists 
** taking notes " at Pera or Therapia. For them and 
other celebrities she lights gas, patronizes learned insti- 
tutions, copies Gallic codes, concocts budgets, subsidizes 
newspapers, and grants lucrative concessions. For them 
she pins on the ruffles of civilization. Nations do not 
progress by jumps or runs, but by steps. Macedonia, 
in ancient days, subdued Asia from the Hellespont 
to the Indus in a reign, and lost it in a day ; but Kome 

lectively 290 miles, will bo open ; respectively from Varna to Rud- 
Bchuk, from Smyrna to Aidiu, and from Smyrna to Cassaba. The 
guaranteed interest on those railways amounts to 294,000/. a year. 
Less than the annual expenditure of that sum on bridges, rowls, and 
defiles would suffice to maintain a general healthy circulation throughout 
the empire. 


welded her mighty dominion stroke by stroke. Modem 
Greece passed at a bomid from subjection to an Oriental 
despotism to the exercise of constitutional liberty, and 
the deplorable result is too obvious to need illustration 
here. Napoleon overran Europe with his legions, and 
left France narrower than he had found her. Warned 
by the example, his imperial nephew contented himself 
with a ramble in Northern Italy, and extended her 
frontier to the crest of the Cottian Alps. Then, giddy 
with success, he took a leap into Mexico and sprained 
his ankle. 

Next, to appease public indignation by hitting a blot 
somewhere — anywhere but in the right place — a council 
sat at the Porte to inquire into circumstances in connec- 
tion with naval administration before the Battle of Sinope. 
A trial, in the East, often records a foregone conclusion. 
Much ** dirt '' was eaten on that occasion. Jealousies 
and animosities long pent up found vent. The Capitan 
Pasha accused his feriks, one of cowardice and disobe- 
dience, the other of remissness and error in judgment. 
The feriks making up their quarrel for the nonce, joined 
against the common foe, who had shown want of tact in 
not restricting his animadversions to one. They accused 
him in turn of incapacity and giving contradictory orders. 
The naval captains, seeing him the doomed scapegoat, 
sided with the admirals. Accordingly, the forms of 
inquiry having been complied with, Mahmoud Pasha was 
dismissed the capitan-pashalik and sent out of sight 
to Borloz, in Asia Minor. 

The British ambassador, in a despatch to the Secre- 
tary of State for Foreign AflFairs, dated 17th December, 
1853, threw the blame directly on the Porte, and indi- 


rectly on other parties. He could not, be said, conceal 
from himself that *^the destruction of so many Turkish 
vessels at Sinope would probably never have occurred if 
the ships of France and England had been sent there at 
an earlier period ; not that he would throw the blame of 
that disaster anywhere but on the Porte and its officers. 
They alone, or their professional advisers, were cognizant 
of the miserable state of the land defences of Sinope. 
They alone were answerable for the obvious imprudence 
of leaving so long in helpless danger a squadron exposed 
to attacks from hostile ships of far superior force.'' His 
Excellency did not think of his own glass-house while 
throwing those stones. The French and English fleets were 
more or less under the direction of their ambassadors at 
Constantinople ; and it has not appeared that previous to 
the battle of Sinope a wish had been expressed by them 
for any French or English ships to enter the Black Sea. 
The state of the defences, not only at Sinope but in 
every part of the empire, ought to have been famihar to 
men who claimed the right to dictate to the Porte its 
war operations, deeming it superfluous to counsel pre- 
liminarily with any of its military or naval officers ; and 
who, with consuls at outports and contingent service 
money, had ready means for obtaining special informa- 
tion. The Capitan Pasha, the Porte's professional 
adviser, had recommended sending line-of-battle ships 
into the Black Sea, to obviate the exposure of a squadron 
of frigates and corvettes *^ to attacks from hostile ships 
of far superior force ;" and his recommendation, ap- 
proved by the Porte, had been overruled. 

A more important council, the Grand Council, next 
sat to deUberate on peace, two months after it had met 


to deliberate on war. It sat on the 16th and 18th 
December, 1853, and deliberated on an identic note, 
drawn up by the representatives of Austria, England, 
France and Prussia, at Constantinople. Bedschid 
Pasha was, as before, the spokesman ; but in an inverse 
sense. The lay members voted with him, but the Ulema 
were less tractable. The council voted readmess to 
treat for peace on the basis of the evacuation of the 
Principalities, the maintenance of Turkey's sovereign 
rights, and a guarantee from the Four Powers for her 
independence, as understood in a ** note " already 
presented by their representatives. The divul^ng of 
pacific views excited a few muderris and many softas to 
make an anti-demonstration (exaggerated in the corre- 
spondence of the day) at Sultan Suleyman's mosque. 
The seraskir met them there. Admonished by him, 
they gave up their arms. Interrogated afterwards at the 
Porte, some of them pertinently said, ** If you want 
peace now, why did you declare war two months ago ? " 
The most turbulent were told that, as they were warlike, 
they might go to the frontier. They replied to this 
sarcasm that their avocation was to pray, not to fight ; 
the war was holy, and angels would assist them. Above 
a hundred of them were shipped next day and sent to 
Candia; there to meditate on the Koran and learn that 
all knowledge is contained in its pages for those who 
know how to read them. Each exile was allowed for 
maintenance four piastres (eightpence) and tw^o pounds 
of bread a day. 

The Porte then issued a manifesto, published in 
the State Gazette^ December 23, 1853, and read in 
the mosques, to the eflFect that the Grand Council 

REDSHID pasha's NOTE. 161 

had unanimously decided to consider peace desirable, 
but with the maintenance of sovereign rights and terri- 
torial integrity; that it had come to this decision in 
consequence of the frequently manifested desire of 
Russia for peace, and by the advice of the four alUed 
Powers. War would not be relaxed during negotiations. 
It warned the nation that if any one should dare to utter 
a word against the decision of the council, he would 
instantly receive condign chastisement. On the 31st 
December, Bedshid Pasha addressed a note to the 
representatives of the Four Powers, acquainting them 
with the acceptance by the Porte, under the Sultan's sanc- 
tion, of the terms of the identic note, since they contained 
nothing prejudicial to the sacred rights of the Ottoman 
Empire, and with the readiness of his Majesty to conclude 
a peace in the manner indicated by his allies. Lord 
Clarendon, in his despatch dated 17th January, 1854, to 
Lord Stratford de RedchfiFe, said her Majesty's Govern- 
ment considered the said ** note " quite satisfactory, and 
added the expression of a hope that Russia, alive to her 
own interests and those of Europe, would agree to the 
reasonable terms now offered to her. Too late ! The 
cannon of Sinope had re-echoed in Europe and given a 
definite direction to public opinion ; and that finally 
overcame the irresolution of the Western Powers : which 
had, in truth, seemed unchivalrous from the hour of 
Turkey drawing the sword. The French and English 
Governments had already written to their ambassadors 
at Constantinople, to inform them that the French and 
English fleets were to protect the Turkish flag and terri- 
tory in the Black Sea, and to require all Russian vessels 
of war to return to Sevastopol or the nearest port ; and 



to remove any doubts from the admirals' minds, Lord 
Stratford de RedcliflFe, subsequently, in a despatch to 
Admiral D. Dundas, desired him to bring into the Bos- 
phorus every Bussian ship declining to comply with the 

Peace could not reasonably be expected after this 
warning. The wonder is that it should still have been 
harped upon. 

We will now recur to the steps taken with respect to 
the allied fleets on the news arriving of the battle of 
Sinope. Two days afterwards Bedshid Pasha, in a 
letter addressed to the British ambassador, after 
observing ** that the salutary object of the French and 
English fleets in the Bosphorus is to protect the Turkish 
coasts,'' intimates the desire of the Porte for active 
efforts on the part of the allies in the Black Sea ; and 
the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in liis despatch 
to his Excellency, dated 17th December, 1853, expresses 
the conviction of the British Government that the allied 
fleets had been directed by the English and French 
ambassadors, on the return of the steamers sent to 
Sinope, to enter the Black Sea. General Baraguay 
d'Hilliers and Lord Stratford de Redcliffe had endea- 
voured to persuade Admirals Hamelin and Dundas to 
sail, and differences of opinion thereon had produced 
coolness among those distinguished individuals. The 
reluctance of the gallant admirals to quit their pic- 
turesque anchorage at Beikos during the month of 
December, 1863, remains a mystery, since no credit can 
be attached to the rumour in circulation that they had 
expressed themselves apprehensive of the Kussians seizing 
the Dardanelles during their absence. There was no 


longer a squadron to save, but there was the duty of 
depriving the Black Sea of the character of a Russian 
lake. During the month which elapsed between the 
return of the combined steamers from Sinope and the 
entrance of the combined fleets into the Black Sea, the 
Russians might have disturbed the repose of every town 
(except Varna) on the shores of that sea. 

Hesitation was at length finally overcome by the arrival, 
December 25th, 1853, of a despatch from the French 
Government, written on an understanding with the English 
Government, ordering the French fleet into the Black 
Sea. Ten days were still required to prepare the fleets 
for sea ; those noble fleets,- one of which, the Turks 
had been told, Iny ready to sail even for China at 
twenty-four hours' notice. At length they sailed, and the 
ambassador announced their departure to the Secretary 
of State by the following pithy sentence, in his despatch 
of 5th January, 185 i : — '' The combined squadrons 
succeeded at length in making good their entrance into 
the Black Sea at an early hour yesterday morning/' 
Wliile they ran in two lines, with a fair wind, along the 
coast of Anatolia, with a few Turkish steamers under 
their convoy, her Majesty's ship Betrihution steamed to 
Sevastopol witli a letter from the allied admirals to the 
Russian admiral, to inform him that the object of their 
presence in the Black Sea was to protect the Turkish 
flag and territory from any aggression or act of hostility ; 
of which they apprised him, they added, with the view of 
preventing any collision prejudicial to the friendly rela- 
tions between their Governments and the Russian Govern- 
ment. No answer was returned to their letter. 




Unexpected Return of the combined Fleets to Beikos Bay — They are 
mistaken for the Russian Fleet by the Capitan Pasha — The 
Russians again Masters of the Black Sea — Consequences of im- 
perfect Accord between the Allies* Ambassadors and Admirals 
— Turkish Steamers with Troops under Convoy enter the Black Sea 
— Patience of the Soldiers under their Privations — ^Distress from 
Overcrowding — Former Instances — The Turkish Convoy anchor at 
Sinope and at Trebizond — Readiness of the Troops — Shifblessness 
of Regular Troops when not cared for — Mortality in the Turkish 
Army — Confidence at Trebizond in the Allies — A native Preacher's 
Prophecy for English Unbelievers — Turkish Ideas of English 
Protestants — Invalid Troops at Batoom — Georgian Basbi Bazouks 
and their Leader— Troops under Canvas — En-or in adopting 
European Clothing for Turkish Troops — Advantages of the old 
Turkish Costume — Re-adoption of Oriental Uniforms by the 
present Sultan — Foreigners wonder at the hardihood of Turkish 
Soldiers — The Secret explained — Habits of the Turkish Peasant 
fit him for enduring Hardships — Promises of Mohammed to 
Soldiers — Influence of patnotic or religious Sentiment — Comforts 
for Soldiers and Sailors of recent Date — Initiation in England 
by Royalty — Extent of Improvements in the British Navy — 
Former Condition of the Sailors — Unhealthiuess of Batoom — 
Turkish reverses in that District — A Westerly Gale in the Black 
Sea — Disasters to the Steamer Fam-hari — No Assistance rendered 
by other Steamers. 

The combined fleets did not remain long out in the 
Euxine. Within three weeks of their departure, while the 
public were speculating on the chance of their meeting with 
tlie Russians, they were again moored in Beikos Bay. 
Tliey had sailed to Sinope in three days, lain there eight, 


and sailed back in six days. Thus ended this memorable 
cruise, which had assuredly caused more talking and 
writing than the voyage of the Argonauts had given rise 
to. The admirals returned, on their own suggestion, 
uninvited, nearly unheralded. Admiral Hamelin did 
intimate to General Baraguay d'HiUiers the probabiUty 
of his early return ; but Admiral Dundas omitted to 
write a word on the subject to his ambassador, and his 
Excellency's disbelief of the rumour thereon, based on a 
private letter, led him to tell the Capitan Pasha the day 
before the fleet's reappearance in the Bosphorus that 
they were still at Sinope, with no intention of coming 
away. I was in the gallery of the Mahmoudieh, with the 
Capitan Pasha, when the fleets hove in sight, and, on the 
faith of the ambassador's statement, his Excellency 
thought they were the talked-of Kussian fleet, chasing in 
a French and an English steamer in advance. A signal 
from the outer castles at that moment saved him from 
the jest of signahzing his fleet to haul on their springs 
and prepare for action. The Russians were again 
masters of the Black Sea, and profited by their luck 
(little to be expected after the notice given) to remove 
some exposed garrisons from the coast of Abasia, which 
the slave-dealers took advantage of. They may have 
seen in the retreat of the combined fleets an indication 
of vacillation on the part of the French and English 
Governments, since their ideas on discipline would hardly 
allow them to suppose it unauthorized. One conse- 
quence of this event was imperfect accord between the 
ambassadors and the admirals, soon made apparent by 
cross action in regard of giviug aid to a Turkish expedi- 
tion of troops and stores to the eastward. 


The French and English ambassadors, disregarding 
professional etiquette, promised, without consultation with 
the admirals, more aid than the latter had counted upon. 
General Baraguay d'Hilliers, for his part, oflFered to 
carry part of the troops in French ships, then wrote to 
his admiral on the subject. Admiral Hamehn refused to 
embark a soldier, and kept his word. Lord Stratford de 
RedcliflFe, for his part, engaged for English steamers to 
tow some of the transports. He told the Porte to take 
that for granted, and instruct its officers to confer 
with Admiral Dundas on the matter. Admiral Dundas 
refused to tow a vessel, and also kept his word. The 
severity of the season and the scantiness of native means 
aggravated the disappointment. However, there was no 
help for it ; the gallant admirals were not to be diploma- 
tized out of the position their sense of dignity indi- 
cated as becoming. 

The Turkish steamers, therefore, eight in number 
— frigates and corvettes — embarked on the 6th of Feb- 
ruary, 1854, all the troops, 5,000 for Trebizond, and 
3,000 for Batoom ; and early next morning, with the 
transport-craft, eighteen in number, some under sail, 
some in tow, proceeded into the Black Sea, in company 
with an Anglo-French steam squadron under the com- 
mand of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons. The 
patience of the soldiers, half of whom necessarily re- 
mained on deck, exposed to snow or rain, was exemplary, 
their endurance remarkable. Their apparel was flimsy, 
as usual in those days ; their food innutritions, in accord- 
ance with custom when embarked. The military autho- 
rities had supplied them biscuit at the rate of 1^ lb., 
with a handful of olives per day, per man, the bulk of 


their ration going to swell the Debboi fund ; * and 
though in summer such spare diet may have some of 
the advantages claimed for it, seeing the way Turkish 
soldiers are crowded on board ship, in winter it impairs 
their health. We managed with difficulty to give tliem 
in addition, from the ships' stores, rice soup in the 
morning. All hands should have had a turn below at 
night, but that was easier for their officers to order than 
to effect. Wedged in one mass between decks, many 
were deaf to exhortations to move, and being sea-sick, 
the stimulus of blows, if resorted to, would have proved 
ineffectual. Twelve hundred accoutred soldiers agglome- 
rated in a steam frigate, with a crew of 300 men, for 
several days and nights, wet, dirty, and sea-sick, made a 
picture of wretchedness, in the face of which one's own 
comforts, slight as they were, seemed a reproach. We 
cast wistful glances, thinking of the room on their 
spacious main decks, on our allies' line-of-battle ships 
steaming with a fair wind on parallel lines. 

Severe, even in favourable weather, the distress of the 
troops on board ship, through overcrowding, till recently, 
has been painfully aggravated in heavy weather ; and on 
tlie occurrence of an accident at times fatally. Four 
years earlier an 1100 ton paddle war steamer, bound for 
Trebizond with a mushir and 1,200 soldiei-s, lost her 
rudder off Eregli, when, as the first inconvenience, seas 

" The equivalent in money of a reduction from the meat ration has 
formed the Debhoi fuud, the object of which has been the purchase 
of wholesome varieties of diet for the men. This fund has often been 
abusively used for other purposes, as gala clothing for musicians, &c. 
It has in some cases proved too strong a temptation for its trustee to 
resist. Since the accession of the reigning Sultan, Abdul Aziz Khan, 
the men receive their full rations in kind. 


breaking over her fore and aft, drenched everybody on 
deck. She steamed at a venture, wind ahead, when the 
sea abated, and in 104 hours made the Crimea, fortu- 
nately at CaflFa, having in the interval thrown overboard 
100 bodies of soldiers frozen to death. With a supply 
of fuel and a temporary rudder, she continued thence her 
voyage, and on the tenth day from the date of her 
departure from the Bosphorus landed her human freight 
in a miserable state, many with frost-bitten hands and 
feet. But for her making land before the exhaustion of 
her coals, no one on board probably would have survived 
to tell the tale. 

On the 8th, at 11 p.m. we anchored at Sinope, and 
next morning, after landing men and means for recovering 
the guns of the sunken ships, we proceeded on our course 
to the eastward, in sight of picturesque mountain ranges 
covered with snow. We passed near Tirazon and Tirepol, 
towns carrying on trade in fruit and wood with Constan- 
tinople, and at 7 p.m. of the 10th anchored at Trebizond. 
Having sent forward a fast steamer to announce our 
approach, lighters came off directly to land our troops. 
We disembarked a few hundreds, when a fi-esh breeze 
setting in from seawards prevented us from landing 
more. The soldiers had revived with the prospect of 
treading ground, and every man stood ready with his 
musket and knapsack. They bore the disappointment 
manfully. Morning broke calm and bright. We landed 
them speedily, and had the satisfaction before noon of 
seeing them in weather-tight quarters, partaking of a 
comforting meal. Only two had died on the passage ; 
though, doubtless, the seeds of disease were implanted in 
many by that trying exposure. Speculation, however, on 


that head is vain. Ere three months had elapsed, a third 
of them had perished, some swamped in snow, others 
wasted in unhealthy encampments. Sending troops in 
winter to Erzeroom and Batoom, in want of ordinary means 
to wrestle with their direst foes, cold and wet, was gra- 
tuitously throwing them away. Regular, unlike irregular 
troops, cannot take care of themselves, and when their 
government fails in that respect, a standing army is a 
fearful drain on the population liable to serve. The 
mortality in the Turkish army and navy, chiefly from 
preventible causes, has balanced the general saving of life 
since 1838 by the absence of plague and the practice of 
vaccination in towns. 

Our arrival relieved the inhabitants of Trebizond 
from their fears of a visit from the Russian fleet, which 
the departure of the combined fleets from Sinope had 
revived. That occurrence, however, had not weakened 
their confidence in the allies. The English, in par- 
ticular, had a warm advocate amongst them in Hadgi 
Pir Efendi, a native .of Trebizond, the most popular of 
the Ramazan preachers at Constantinople, drawing always 
crowds to the Conqueror's mosque to listen to liis elo- 
quence. The English, he averred, in reward for their 
goodwill for Turkey, would be kept apart from other unbe- 
lievers in the lower regions until an opportunity should 
ofler for smuggling them into a comer of paradise : the 
Prophet, he said, had certainly granted a dispensation 
for Palmerston. The learned mollah's orthodox reputa- 
tion ran comparatively little risk from the utterance of 
this heresy, because the Turks in general — seeing no 
priest, cross, bell, book, candle, or procession, seeing 
them neither pray nor fast — believe the English innocent 


of religion, and therefore open to receive the light ; unlike 
thQ Greeks and Armenians committed by forms and 
ceremonies to obduracy. The word Protestant has that 
meaning with them. They call free-thinkers of any 
sect indifferently protestan, fra-masson^ and kyzil-bach. 
Another moUah, with Mecca rank, Koran expounder to 
the imperial children, inquired of the author one day if 
the English did not worship the moon. People, whether 
Pagan or not, must worship some object, and what more 
natural, he thought, than for a nation of mariners to select 
a luminary whose beneficent light guided their ships in 
safety off their stormy coasts. A functionary, with less 
excuse for his ignorance, struck by the expression 
** please God " in an English memorandum, asked a 
learned Armenian if the Enghsh really knew God. ** Cer- 
tainly ; they are Protestants." ** Are Protestants Chris- 
tians?*' ** Of course; they acknowledge Christ.'* ** But 
are they Christians like your people?" **Not exactly; 
they are a sort of Christians." ** Ah — I understand : the 
Persians are a sort of Mussulmans." 

In the evening we left Trebizond, and next morning 
landed the remainder of our troops at Batoom. We 
found the houses occupied before the war by the French 
and English consuls receptacles for invalids from the 
camp at Tchuruk-sou. They were full of intermittent 
fever and dysentery cases. The surgeon, a Hanoverian, 
himself bearing the impress of the climate, complained 
of the normal want of bark — the essential drug. After 
many representations, he added, the medical board had 
recently sent him an ounce of the sulphate of quinine. 
Batoom was then garrisoned by 800 regular troops, and 
as many Georgian Bashi-bazouks ; an athletic set of lads 


appropriately attired iu native costume, armed with rifles, 
pistols, and camas, and habituated by the habits of border 
life to the varieties of military toil and devices. Two of 
them, remarkably handsome youths, were in chains for 
manslaughter, and were evidently not thought worse of 
for it by their comrades. Their leader Achmet Bey, the 
representative of an ancient family of Asia Minor, the 
Khasnedar-oglous, differed from them in appearance only 
by a cashmere vest and by handsomer mounted pistols. 
He was a fine specimen of that race of nobles, the Dere- 
beys, whose extinction or depression into unimportance 
formed part of the late Sultan Mahmoud's policy. His 
wife, also of gentle descent, with a family of six children, 
was residing with him. 

At Tchuruk-sou, a few miles to the northward, we 
found the bulk of the troops under canvas, in sad plight 
from unusually wet weather. Many of the men had no 
great -coats, few had blankets, but each had a sedjadeh 
(prayer-rug). Fire-wood was scarce, and meat only pro- 
curable about once a w^eek on the average. The state of 
the roads and the penury of the military chest deterred 
the peasantry from bringing supplies to camp. A diet of 
biscuit and pilaff, seasoned occasionally by a taste of meat, 
with scanty clothing under canvas in winter, soon deterior- 
ates the best constitution. A long hut had been erected 
for the sick, but wanting stoves it w^as only a degree 
warmer than a tent. Warmth is at once the cheapest 
and most efficient restorative as well as the surest pre- 
ventive of sickness, and is more necessary in Turkey than 
in any other part of the temperate zone. The upper and 
middle classes fastidiously wrap themselves in furs, and 
the lower classes, hardy as they are, dread chills with 


reason, seeing their fatal effects on man and beast in a 
variable inflammatory climate. Nevertheless, in the face 
of general conviction, the Turkish troops and sailors have 
been exposed to wet and cold since the formation of the 
nizatrif as though their natures had become changed by 

In clothing its troops after a sorry European fashion, 
the Porte erred philosophically and financially. Much 
of the sickness of the army and navy since 1830 may 
be ascribed to the abandonment of the sash, turban 
and bag trowsers, worn by the natives from their infancy. 
Many recruits never became used to the privation ; they 
remained sickly, and generally died — the practice of 
invaliding being of recent date — before the expiration 
of their term of service. The sash protects the loins and 
abdomen, chief inducts of disease, and supports the frame. 
The turban may be unrolled in the bivouack, to envelope 
the face or encircle the throat as well as the head ; and 
on the march it may be arranged as the wearer hkes, to 
screen his eyes from dust and wind. The bag trowsers 
and loose-sleeved vest facilitate the blood's circulation in 
sleep. In the old infantry dress, seen in the museum of 
ancient costumes at Constantinople, a man could march 
lightly, breathe freely, and sleep comfortably ; the desi- 
derata which ought to predominate in the mind of every 
designer of a military garb. The reigning Sultan, Abdul 
Aziz Khan, soon after his accession sagaciously flattered 
the national taste and increased with self-respect the 
efficiency of his troops, by the re-adoption of an oriental- 
cut uniform. In other respects also his Majesty's super- 
vision has improved their condition, especially in regard 
of the quaUty of their food and raiment. 


The foreigner, ignoraut of the ways of the land, 
wonders how Turkish soldiers manage to serve and fight 
through a campaign under privations more than enough 
to lay up European troops in a week. His pointer, 
Bollo, would, if gifted with speech, moralize in a similar 
strain about his fellow quadrupeds, the flea-ridden, 
garbage-fed scavengers of Turkish towns. One explana- 
tion will serve for both. Weak infants and weak puppies, 
as a rule, in Turkey die; such as survive the ordeal 
of infancy or puppihood are sound in wind and Umb, 
patient of summer sun or wintiy blasts. We will leave 
the canine bpecimen in the enjoyment of his hberty, 
from which a soft rug with daily caresses and chicken- 
bones would not tempt him, — the redeeming point of 
his character, — and consider the training of the human 
specimen afterwards, of that valuable class from which 
soldiers are drawn. The Turkish peasant lad, who has 
known a mother's love but never maternal care, and 
whose father places more faith in the imam's nooskha 
(charm) than the hekim's skill, tends sheep or cuts 
wood on the hills all day in all weathers. In the evening 
he returns to the paternal hut, says his prayers after 
ablution, devours his meal off a wooden platter, washing 
it down with cold water, repeats his prayers, and then lies 
down, dressed, in a comer to sleep. In summer and 
autumn a few years later he sleeps out with his sheep ; 
leading them from pasturage to pasturage, or to market, 
which may be three weeks' march distant. He is early 
taught deference for rank and age. Obedience is an 
instinct under Oriental rule. Resignation to what- 
ever may happen is indelibly impressed on his mind. 
He is familiar with the company of fleas. Ramazan 


has accustomed him to bear hunger and thirst with 
cheerfulness. The ofk-repeated tale of the pilgrimage 
to Mecca, the caravan hurrying on day and night, leaving 
its dying and dead on the road, gives him a vivid idea of 
the forced march of an army. He is therefore physically 
and morally prepared for militaiy life, its hardships and 
self-denial. The soldier's first lessons, elsewhere irksome, 
come easy to •him. Genuflexion, prostration, and reve- 
rent gesticulation several times a day under a roof or 
the sky, alone or in company, have given him supple- 
ness, and command of his Umbs. The warlike Prophet 
in making naniaz (prayers) a gymnastic exercise may 
have had mihtary organization in view. Any after- 
noon during Kamazan in any popular mosque at Con- 
stantinople may be seen many hundreds of individuals 
of all degrees performing in several ranks their complex 
namaz together, the imam giving the time, with a 
precision and uniformity scarcely attained by the highest 
trained troops. Put muskets in their hands, you think, 
and there would be a battalion of soldiers. 

Neglected, in comparison with the army of the 
Danube, the troops on the eastern shore of the Black 
Sea and in Armenia were essentially good. All they 
asked for was bread and gunpowder. They were nerved 
by their Prophet's promises. Mohammed said, — '* The 
sword is the key of heaven : a drop of blood shed in 
action, or a night passed under arms, is more meritorious 
than two months of fasting and prayer. Who dies in 
battle his sins are pardoned." Europeans in Turkey, 
during the late war, fancied the moraU of the troops 
affected by arrears of pay. There never was a greater 
mistake. When men are inspired by a sentiment 


such considerations are of little account ; for proof of 
which we need only look back to the attitude of British 
sailors in the Napoleonic war, when with deferred pay, 
they were ill-fed, ill-clothed, and ill-treated. 

Attention anywhere to the comfort and solace of 
national defenders is of modern date. The Royal Family 
has the merit of the initiative in England : the Duke 
of York with one, the Duke of Clarence with the other 
service;* and in more recent times the solicitude of 
the Prince Consort for the well-being of the army 
has been exemplary. Few imagine the extent of naval 
improvement in one generation. One must have served 
for that since the general peace during that period, after 
the necessity had ceased, when a ship's company, with- 
out excitement or prize-money, received no pay abroad. 
Ships were then floating prisons, with scanty fare and 
tiresome work. Gazing wistfully on green hills and gay 
towns, the men had no leave given them ; tantalized 
by the sight of boat-loads of fruit, they had not where- 
with to buy a banana or an orange. The prayer-book, 
the articles of war and an old song- book were their 
library ; a jig on the forecastle, a yarn on the booms 
and a bathe occasionally alongside, were their recrea- 
tions. Their diet consisted chiefly of biscuit and salt 
meat at sea, varied with suet pudding on banyan days ; 
biscuit and fresh beef, boiled with cabbage, in harbour, 
the liquid being dignified with the name of soup. Sick 

* The administration of the navy by the Lord High Admiral, the 
Dake of Clarence, was signalized by three important measures : — 1. 
The abolition of banyan days : 2. The exemption of petty oificers 
from the lash : 8. The appointment of commanders (second captains) 
to line-of-battle ships. 


or well they had no more enticing food ; and but for the 

nourishment sent from the captain's and the officers' 

tables many men would have died of inanition after 

fever. And finally, on their return home, they were 

compelled, as it were, through the way things were 

arranged in the seaports in those days, to spend their 

wearily earned three years' pay in as many weeks. 

Malaria in summer and autumn, and humidity in 

winter and spring, have always rendered Batoom and 

adjoining districts an objectionable station ; and as soon 

as the alUes commanded the Black Sea, troops ceased 

to be necessary there. But having taken Shekvetel, a 

small place on the Russian bank of the Tchoolook-sou, 

and subsequently Redout Kaleh, the Porte, to preserve 

those trophies, stationed peimanently on a marshy coast 

several thousand regulars, with as many Bashi-bazouks, 

and on its own men failing, sent there the Tunisian 

contingent.* Too many for the defence of places 

unlikely to be attacked by the enemy in awe of steamers' 

guns, they were too few for serious operations inland. 

Selim Pasha marched from Tchuruk-sou in June, 1854, 

to dislodge tlie Russians from Uzughetti. At first fortune 

favoured him. Two battalions of Georgian militia and 

many Poles came over to his side. But he afterwards 

fell into an ambuscade, and got routed, with the loss of 

fourteen guns; whereupon, suspecting treachery, he 

ordered several Georgians and Poles to be treated as 


* The Tunisian contingent consisted of 7,000 infantry, 2,000 
cavalry, and 1,000 artillerymen. 4,200 died at Batoom, 2,000 were 
invalided there; 8,800 remained in March, 1866, and returned to 
Tunis in the Tunisian squadron, which had brought them to the theatre 
of war. 


On our return voyage from Batoom to Sinope a 
westerly gale dispersed the squadrons. With that wind, 
the Black Sea becomes suddenly disturbed, as by the 
up-heaving of an earthquake. In tlieir caprice the 
waves washed away in the first hour the rudder of 
the Faisi'bari ; the loss being revealed to us by the 
steamer's deep rolling, coupled with the helmsman's excla- 
mation, ** She won't steer!" in answer to a reproof. 
A more distressing accident could not have befallen us 
— distressing under any circumstances, but particularly 
in a ship ill provided for such a contingency. The 
water rushing through the stern windows flooded the 
cabin and main deck ; and shot, 32 and 84 pounders, 
escaping from their racks, rolled about, imperilUng the 
legs of every one on deck, till penned up in comers by 
hammocks and coils of rope. Our crew became, as 
usual, affected by sea-sickness. With difficulty, in the 
face of that leveller of distinctions, we roused hands 
enough to fasten in the dead-hghts and additionally 
secure the revolving guns. Our blue-lights and rockets 
of distress burned to no purpose, for when morning 
broke, after an anxious night, we found ourselves alone. 
A rudderless paddle-steamer is unmanageable, caring no 
more for her sails than for so many pocket-handkerchiefs. 
With moderate weather she steams head to wind ; with 
bad weather she keeps the wind abeam, labouring in the 
trough of the sea. 

In the morning, the sea falling enabled us to steam 
head to wind to the westward as far as the meridian of 
Sinope. The gale then freshening up again, the vessel 
fell oflf as before into the trough of the sea, but this time 
with her head towards the Crimea. Notwithstanding that 



direction, we felt compelled to let the cranks slowly revolve 
from time to time to relieve the " scend " of the vessel, 
which her doubtful condition made apprehensive, and to 
mitigate her roUing, which threatened, in the opinion of 
her engineers, to distort the frame of her engine. A 
one-gim Russian vessel dancing on the tops of the 
waves would have had her way of us ; we could not have 
cast loose a gun. Our efforts to turn the vessel's head 
to the southwards proved unavailing : we worked the 
port paddle with the head sails set, then the starboard 
paddle with the after sails set; we could not make it 
deviate two points either way. She would neither face 
nor recede from the wind, but remained a log in the 
hollow of the sea. Two of our consorts, a steam frigate 
and a steam corvette, passed us successively on the 
second evening, steering. for Sinope. The former dis- 
regarded our signals, the latter obeyed them, and 
remained by us till 10 p.m. ; then, apprehending we 
should require assistance beyond her means to afford, 
(so her captain averred in excuse,) she also made off out 
of the gale for Sinope, the rendezvous of the allied 
squadron. Much vexed at her defection, which filled the 
measure of our crew's discouragement, we consoled our- 
selves with the expectation of seeing a friendly steamer, 
perhaps under another flag, alongside of us in the 
course of next day. 

Hassan Pasha, the port admiral of Sinope, — who 
in the Grecian war of independence made a running 
fight, in which he was wounded, and taken prisoner, 
with the HellaSy commanded by Lord Cochrane, — when 
informed of the Faisi-han's situation, got under way in 
a steam frigate to proceed to her relief ; but on finding 


the sea run higher in the offing than he expected, gave up 
the attempt and returned to the anchorage ; whereupon 
Hambdi Pasha, the governor of Sinope, applied to the 
commander of the allied squadron for aid. The gallant 
admiral courteously expressed concern for the Faisi-bari's 
distress, but excused himself from sending one of his 
steamers to her succour, out of consideration for the 
Turkish steamers in port ; to whom, he said, the honour 
of succouring their countrymen of right belonged. So, 
between inaptitude on the one and delicacy on the other 
hand, we might, in our character of a ** known friend in 
distress," have fared badly, had we not at last succeeded 
in rigging a paddle over the taffrail fit to steer a 
1600 ton steamer with. Our previous attempt in that 
line had failed through miscalculation of resistances. 
We had fancied ourselves able to manoeuvre the paddle 
with the vessel in motion on an arc of a circle, and 
retain it at the required angle by hauling on the quarter 
and counter tackles fitted to it ; in the course of which 
the apparatus gave way. Taught by experience, we 
secured the second paddle at a given angle with the keel 
first; then, letting on steam, gradually brought the 
vessel round against the sea. When nearly head to 
wind, several deep plunges checked her way and made 
it doubtful her passing the critical point. After some 
minutes of anxious suspense she passed it. The jib was 
then run up, and as she paid off, gathering fresh way 
with the wind and sea drawing aft, her crew with one voice 
gave thanks to Allah ; while their captain — who, giving 
the affair up as a bad job, had predicted the rupture of the 
second as well as of the first paddle, — capered for joy on 
the quarter-deck as nimbly as his obesity would allow 



We were now at ease, with our prow in the right 
direction. We worked our strained paddle tenderly; 
we aided its action by varying the speed of the engines, 
and heeling the ship to port or starboard as needful by 
shifting weights ; and, making thus a course, we rejoined 
our friends at Sinope in the middle of the third night. 

The pintals of the rudder-post having been drawn, 
the Sinope yard could do no more, through want of a 
dock, than replace the Faisi-bans extemporized paddle 
with another, stouter, built on the same model. The 
boatswain of H.M.'s Sans Fareil assisted us to rig it with 
his runners and tackles ; then, in tow of another steamer, 
we returned to the Bosphorus without further mishap on 
the 22nd February, 1854. 

( 181 ) 


Drifting into War — Insurrection of the Greeks, headed hy Karaskaiki 
— Not supported by Russia — Policy of the Emperor Nicholas and 
the Empress Catherine — Repressive Measures of the Porte — The 
Egj-ptian Contingent — The Greeks calmed by Fuad Efendi — 
Hellenists banished by the Porte — Impolicy of that Measure — 
Intervention of the French Ambassador — General Baraguay 
d*Hilliers threatens to leave Constantinople — The Allies intervene 
in Greece — Indignation of King Otho and his Queen — The Hel- 
lenist warfare beyond the Frontier of Greece — Successes of the 
Ottomans at Czetat<> and Karakal — Turkish Enthusiasm — Call for 
the Bashi-bazouks — Their Arrival at Scutari — Reviewed by the 
Seraskir at Constantinople — Their picturesque Costumes — Bashi- 
bazouks headed by a female Chieftain — Sensation caused by Kara 
Fatima — She is received by the Seraskir — Popular Delusion as to 
the value of the Bashi-bazouk — Their Ideas. 

Events were then rapidly marching in the teeth of 
diplomacy. The pen was giving way to the sword. 
With words of peace still on their lips, and irresolution 
in their hearts, the statesmen of the West were nerving 
themselves for the responsibilities of war. They had 
lacked the moral courage to adopt frankly the means to 
preserve peace, and had allowed themselves, quoting 
their own words, to drift into war. Greece overcame 
their last lingering hesitation. She thought the days 
of the Ottoman monarchy numbered ; she claimed as 
her inheritance the imperial crown of Byzantium. The 
Thessalians and Epirotes, excited by a recent pressure 
for arrears of taxation, rose in arms ; the Hseteria 


d^uu^l iixo flame, and Hellas aspired to profit by the 
w^v^vt^Mout, Headed by Karaskaiki, son of the pahkar 
svf that name, distinguished in the war of independence, 
^ luuly of Hellenists crossed the frontier, unavowed, but 
ohtH>rod on by the Hellenic court and nation. This was 
i\\{\ disturbing element on which Kussia, not misled by 
1 1 or agents, had counted ; and which, wanting boldness 
for the occasion, she failed to support. Had she sent 
20,000 men and a few batteries by sea to the Gulf of 
IJourgas — an easy feat, with the alUed fleets in the 
Bosphorus — the insurrection might have attained for- 
midable dimensions. Successor to the poUcy of the 
Empress Catherine, the Emperor Nicholas had not 
inherited her sagacious daring. 

Instinctively alive to the danger of a raya movement, 
the Porte comprehended the necessity .of eiiergetic 
measures of repression, tempered to European pro- 
clivities. Two battaUons, with a field battery, were forth- 
with despatched to Prevesa, to relieve Arta, then besieged 
by the insurgents. Four battalions, in part for that 
destination, followed them out of the Golden Horn a 
few days later ; and Abbas Pasha, having furnished on 
demand a second contingent of 9,000 troops — who disem- 
barked at Constantinople, blue with cold after a deck 
passage of a few days from Alexandria — 4,000 of them 
were sent on immediately to Volo ; where they landed, 
three weeks after the date of the appUcation to Egypt 
for further aid, in time to disconcert a projected attack 
on that place. Part of that force, on its march thence 
some time afterwards to Yeni Scheyr, was surprised by a 
body of Hellenists in the pass of Kalabocca, and nearly 
cut to pieces. Its guns and tents were afterwards re- 


captured by Abdi Pasha. Fuad Efendi went, in the 
course of spring, as imperial commissioner to the dis- 
turbed districts, with instnictions to calm the eflFervescence 
as much as possible by conciliation, and use force only 
when that failed ; in which service he displayed his usual 
ability and much personal courage. Enlisting the zeal 
of the Moslems of Epirus on the side of order, he 
cajoled the rayas into quietude by promises (disavowed 
by the Porte) of remission of arrears of taxes ; and thus 
the conflagration was before long confined mainly to 
Thessaly, where it smouldered, flaring up occasionally 
with brands thrown across the Grecian frontier. 

Justly irritated by the disloyal attitude of the 
Hellenic Government, the Porte decreed the banishment 
from the Ottoman territory, within a limited period, of 
all Hellenic subjects. This decree was at once harsh 
and impolitic. The social distinction between Hellenists 
in Turkey, many of whom are natives with Greek pass- 
ports, and Greek rayas, is shadowy, especially in the 
provinces. They are united by language, religion, 
habits, and sympathies. They intermarry. Their pur- 
suits are similar. Hence exile would amount to severance 
from their friends and interests. Where could they go ? 
They would go to Greece. They would embitter by 
their tale and by the aspect of their privations the anti- 
Turkish feeUng there, and the ardent would swell the 
ranks of Karaskaiki. The French ambassador timely 
interposed his influence, though not on the broad ground 
of humanity. Taking a sectarian view of the case, 
General Baraguay d'Hilliers claimed, in virtue of 
France's right to protect the Roman Catholic religion in 
the East, exemption in favour of CathoUc Hellenists; 



dismissing from his mind her formal surrender of that 
assamed right in regard of Hellenists, on the estabUsh- 
ment of the kingdom of Greece. The Porte, in a 
dignified reply, disclaimed all ideas of wishing to mix up 
religion with a police measure. The gallant general 
took offence. He threatened to leave Constantinople in 
three days if his demands were not complied with ; and 
as he showed himself in earnest — his earnestness repre- 
senting Kedshid Pasha's fall or his own departure — it was 
deemed prudent to depute the seraskir to wait on and 
endeavour to pacify him. Better annul the decree, than 
allow the French ambassador to depart in dudgeon at so 
critical a conjuncture. Meanwhile Lord Stratford de 
RedcUffe, anticipating his colleague's success, claimed, 
as a diplomatic counterpoise, exemption for Hellenists 
connected with mercantile houses in England. In the 
end a compromise was made, whereby virtually the 
befriended and rich, who might work mischief, remained ; 
the friendless, chiefly provincials, were exiled.* 

While the Porte successfully dealt with domestic 
insurrection, England and France undertook to keep 
their spoiled child, Hellas, in order, with trotps in 
Attica. King Otho, who, having accepted frankly la 
grande idee^ deserved better treatment than he afterwards 
received from his subjects, was indignant at this infringe- 
ment of his sovereign rights ; Queen Amahe wept at being 
rudely woke out of a dazzUng dream : — and thus ended 
the comedy of the Lower Empire, acted with unbounded 

* The decree of exile was revoked in 1855. Within a year after 
the Peace of Paris more than a hundred of the exiled Roumeliote families 
retamed to Turkey; their example having been followed since by 
about seventy Thessalian families, chiefly natives of Phthiotis. 


applause at the theatre royal, Athens, in the spring of 
1854. Nevertheless the chivalrous Hellenists, nothing 
daunted by the grecophobia of the Western Powers, 
continued the war beyond the frontier against unpro- 
. tected villages, and indulged themselves in their usual 
way at the expense aUke of Moslems and Christians. 
Some of them, intent on indoctrinating the monks with 
propagandist ideas, crossed the water to Mount Athos ; 
but cut oflf from reinforcements by the vigilance of the 
Turkish JEgesLXi squadron, they got only prayers and 
absolution for their pains, with free quarters in the 
monastery of Zographo. 

On the Danube, fortune also smiled on the Ottomans. 
Brilliant successes at Czetate and Karakal showed that 
their right hand had not forgotten its cunning. All 
combined to excite enthusiasm throughout the empire 
for " God and the Sultan." Benevolences of money and 
horses flowed in from various quarters. Ladies made up 
military under-clothing in their harems ; and the mis- 
taken call for Bashi-bazouk was rapturously responded 
to. The Bashi-bazouk — whom the Porte, not always 
keeping faith with them, agreed to furnish with rations 
for man and horse — left their districts in bands of twenty 
or thirty at a time, and traversed Asia Minor ; living at 
free quarters wherever able. ColUsions occurred between 
them and the inhabitants of several villages, reluctant to 
comply with their requisitions in the name of the Prophet. 
As the gathering began in winter, many companies were 
three months on the road, detained occasionally by snow. 
On reaching Scutari they used to be quartered for some 
days in the SeUmieh barracks, for repose there and purifi- 
cation in the baths of the town. Whenever a few hundreds 


were assembled and ready for inspection, they were con- 
veyed across the Bosphorus, and paraded tiirough the 
streets of Tophana, Galata, and Constantinople, to the 
seraskiriat. The seraskir reviewed them and praised 
their zeal. The mnfti of the Darishura recited a prayer 
for their welfare. Then, elated with the compliments 
paid them, they proceeded along Adrianople Street to 
the barracks of Eamis Tchifthk, or Daond Pasha, outside 
the walls of the city, to enjoy a few more days' kiefmih 
full rations at the Sultan's expense, before proceeding to 
the frontier. This leisurely progress was calculated to 
prevent the passage close upon each other of inconve- 
niently numerous bodies of undisciplined armed men, — a 
precaution more necessary in Roumelia than in Anatolia. 
We saw individuals of all conditious among them, 
between the ages of sixteen and sixty, some older. Aged 
men, warmed by the enthusiasm of the hour, had disposed 
of their lands, and departed for the holy war. They 
were attired in the historic garb : sashed and turbaned, 
and picturesquely armed with pistols, yataghan and sabre. 
Some carried pennoned lances. Each squadron had its 
colours and its kettle-drums of the fashion of those, if 
not the same, carried by their ancestors who had 
marched to the siege of Vienna. 

The frequent transit of Bashi-bazouk during the spring 
of 1854, made at length the ConstantinopoUtans indifferent 
to the motley exhibition, as well as doubtful of the wisdom 
of having evoked such gentry from their distant homes. 
The Bashi-bazouk, however, from Marash, who arrived 
among the latest, revived waning interest. They numbered 
about a hundred, all kinsmen, under their chieftainess, 
Kara Fatima, a single midJle-aged lady, with a com- 


plexion tanned by exposure, and a countenance which 
indicated self-possession and the habit of command. 
From the hour of her arrival at Scutari nobody else was 
spoken of in the circles and cafehs of the capital ; and 
in hopes of seeing her, the avenues along which she was 
expected to pass were crowded several days in anticipa- 
tion. The novelty stirred the etiquette of the seraglio 
into manifestations of curiosity. When joined by the 
Bashi-bazouks from Adana and Eonia, forming altogether 
a company of about three hundred, they were crossed 
over the water with unusual aquatic honours. Deemed 
worthy of an imperial regard, they were landed near the 
palace. Thence the streets of Fondouklu, Tophana, 
Galata, and Stamboul, with the **new bridge," and 
numerous boats lying off on either side, swarmed with 
spectators eager to see the amazon. Except on the 
passage of the '* sacred camels," laden with the annual 
presents for Mecca, from Topcapou Saray to Bakche 
Eapousou, one has rarely seen a denser throng in the 
streets of Constantinople. Kara Fatima, with an ancient 
on either side, rode first, habited in the Damascene 
riding attire, and armed with sabre and pistols. Her 
Arabian, of pure blood, scarce showed any ill-effects from 
his long journey. Her followers rode in pairs after their 
lady, bearing themselves with dignity, and evidently 
esteeming themselves, as they doubtless were, truer 
believers than the spectators ; who seemed highly amused 
by the scene, although somewhat scandalized by the 
appearance of a Moslem woman unveiled. Arrived at 
the seraskiriat, Kara Fatima and her near kinsmen 
aUghted, and went upstairs to visit the seraskir. Kiza 
Pasha received them courteously. He invited them to 


be seated on a row of chairs, in front of his sofa. He 
regaled them with coflFee ; but did not vouchsafe the pipe 
to provincials. After an interchange of compliments, 
they took leave with profound salaams, the lady alone 
kissing the hem of the functionary's garment. She re- 
mounted at the foot of the stairs ; her followers gathered 
round her in the square ; the mufti chanted the war 
hymn ; they caracoUed in review before the windows of 
the divan; and then proceeded joyously on their way 
to Daoud Pasha barracks. 

The stimulus given to the Bashi-bazouk fever of 1854 
was a weak deference to the popular delusion about the 
value of such a force. Much mischief, direct and indirect, 
ensued; by the withdrawal of hands from agricultural 
pursuits, by the unsettlement of men's minds, by idle 
consumption of rations, and by the exasperation often 
caused by their presence in Christian districts. Fervid 
Moslems, taking words in their literal acceptation, the 
Bashi-bazouks were not always capable of restricting the 
sense of the expression, "holy war." With them, non- 
Mohammedans were all in one category of anathema. 
They looked to the war as a means of reviving their 
waning dominancy over the rayas : — the latent aspiration 
of the nation. 

( 189 ) 


Attitade of Austria — She is invited to arm against Eassia — Her 
ignoble Policy — The Western Powers shew no Sign of Earnestness 
— Sir John Burgoyne arrives at Constantinople — His Measures — 
Their Effect on the Turks — Russian Policy in War — Best Course 
for the Western Powers — ^Military Force of Turkey — How this 
Force might have been best used — The Turkish Army — Its former 
Organization — Its recent Alterations — The Soup-Kettles of the 
Turkish Army in old Times — The ancient Turkish Naval System 
— Reply of a Mufti on the Question of Foreign Aid — Secret of 
former Independence of Turkey — Machiavelli on Foreign Auxiliaries 
— The Allied Fleets leave Beikos — A ** Benevolence *' resorted 
to at Constantinople — Spontaneous Contributions of the Provinces 
— Sickness in the Army on the Danube — Deficiency of Medical 
Stores at Schumla, Rudshuk, and other Garrisons — ^Fraud and 
Venality — Inferior Quality of the Supplies — Fraudulent Con- 
tractory — Tenderness for such Characters immoral — Gravity of 
their Offences. 

While Turkey was contending alone with Kussia, 
Austria, menaced by the press and courted by the 
governments of Western Europe, maintained an ex- 
pectant attitude. The only resolve she betrayed was, 
by concentrating an army in the Bannat, in February, 
1854, to be prepared to have, at all events, a voice in 
the fortunes of the Danubian PrincipaKties. France and 
England had estimated Austria's morality by a low 
standard. They invited her to arm against Kussia— the 
Kussia who had saved her in 1849. They expected her 


to forget that debt ; to forget also the manifestation of 
their sympathies with the Italians and Hungarians during 
that season of trouble. We may not ascribe Austria's 
soothing deceptive poUcy in 1854 to a sense of gratitude 
alone — as much of that, as weighed in the balance, was 
nearly allied to apprehension; but we regret, for the 
honour of human nature, her not having pleaded Russia's 
assistance in her hour of need in bar of the Western 
Powers' pretensions. The plea would have been unpala- 
table, as the assertion of a moral principle in poUtics 
often is ; but it would have raised her in historic esti- 
mation. She would still have occupied the same position, 
but with self-respect and Russia's esteem. As it was, 
she endured the misery, without "the pride, pomp, and 
circumstance of glorious war." Forty thousand of her 
army of observation in Galicia are said to have perished 
of disease. Nevertheless, Austria's desire for the main- 
tenance of peace — seeing the tendencies of Italy — was so 
ardent, that, with the best intentions towards Russia, 
she would, as the surest means of preserving it, have 
joined the league, in expectation of Russia yielding to the 
imminence of the danger, could she have discerned in 
the demeanour of the Western Powers an earnest of the 
will to strike hard while the foe was unprepared. She 
evinced this disposition later at Varna. But neither 
France nor England gave signs of earnest purpose. The 
idea — unshared by Austria — was abroad, that Russia's 
power was factitious ; that her extended dominion had 
been obtained by fraud ; that, in the scornful language 
of the day, she was a sheet of paper to be crumpled up 
with one hand. 

The first visible and palpable' sign of impending war 


on the part of the Western Powers, was the appearance 
of General Sir John Burgoyne at Constantinople, as 
eclaireur for the British Government, He enjoyed a 
high reputation ; hut it had heen acquired forty years 
earlier in the Peninsula. Having fixed on Gallipoli, as 
a proper place for the allied troops destined for the East 
to disembark at, with the view of ** obtaining a sure base 
of operations against any Russian force which might 
hereafter move upon Constantinople, or against any 
direct attack on that city ; " and having recommended 
fortifying the Isthmus of the Chersonesus, he went to 
Bulgaria, to gather notions about the army of the Danube. 
Accustomed to associate valour and discipline with 
stocks and shoe-brushes, he discerned no merit in the 
barenecked slipshod Turkish soldiers. Versed in the 
mysteries of Vauban, he looked upon the modest redoubts 
of Schumla and Silistria as little better than toys. It 
seemed to unprofessional people overcautious in the 
Allies commencing war by entrenching themselves at 
Gallipoli while the Russians were on the left bank of the 
Danube. It was calculated neither to deter the Czar by 
the prospect of energetic hostility, nor to encourage the 
Porte by the hope of zealous co-operation. Then reflect- 
ing Turks began to doubt the wisdom of Turkey having 
rejected the last chance of peace. But they were few : 
the nation had embarked in war, and was for seeing it 
out. The selection of so distant a base of operations 
betrayed inattention to the incidents of the war of 1828-29. 
Even then, with Turkey just emerged from an exhausting 
civil strife, and shaken to her centre by the throes of a 
social Moslem revolution, Russia had required two arduous 
campaigns to cross the Balkans. 


The idea had been entertained of a Eussian division 
crossing the Danube above Kalafat, to excite the Slavjic 
races in Northern Turkey; but although those locally 
misinformed, making hght of the seldom beUed tenacity 
of Turkish troops, may have let their fancy outrun their 
judgment, the Powers interested, even if believing it 
feasible, felt guaranteed by Kussia's doubt of Austria's 
neutrality from such bold strategy : little, moreover, 
in accordance with her genius. Kussia had never in 
the course of her history seized victory by the fore- 
lock, and had rarely commenced war under favourable 
auspices. Unskilfully or unseasonably attacked, she had 
either evolved victory out of defeats, or, by an opportune 
peace, had retired a pace for a surer leap next time. 
Taught by that lesson. Western Europe should have 
commenced by striking heavy discouraging blows ; which 
react from matter on mind, are difficult to rally under, 
and which in our days of publicity and rapid transmission 
of news produce on public opinion tenfold the eflFect 
producible when official despatches were the meagre 
record of passing events. That might have been accom- 
plished by giving Turkey a principal, not a subordinate, 
part in the general war. 

Turkey, when her allies were thinking of entrenching 
themselves in the Chersonesus of Thrace, possessed 
150,000 troops under arms, with good artillery, the third 
division of redif in reserve, and 50,000 irregulars. Since 
170 years she had not made so imposing a display. Her 
army had been collected silently and unostentatiously. It 
stood to its arms without fear of punishment, or hope of 
reward ; but wanting a regular commissariat and organized 
hospitals and depots — living from hand to mouth, so to 


speak— with no confidence in the administration, it was 
an army for the occasion. Enthusiasm creates but 
cannot maintain an army unaided by activity and success. 
" Forward ! " should have been its motto. If rightly 
informed of the position in the spring of 1854, the Allies 
would have turned to account the energies of that devoted, 
afterwards contemned, army. Profiting by its enthu- 
siasm and facile locomotion, they would have sent their 
own troops — detained first at GalUpoli, next at Constan- 
tinople — at once to Bulgaria, to give it moral support ; 
and, if necessarj^ act by it the part of the Grecian 
auxiliaries of old with the Persian armies. Unincumbered 
by baggage, careless of comforts, patient under privations, 
it was just the force to co-operate with that novel and 
tremendous instrument of war, a steam fleet. While 
embarking 20,000 European troops, you might embark, 
convey 200 miles, and disembark 40,000 Turkish troops, 
in fewer vessels. 

I speak of the Turkish army of 1854 relatively. I do 
not compare it, in its relation to contemporary armies, 
with its predecessors, whose battle-fields were in Hungary. 
The conditions were dissimilar. Halting between two 
systems — one dear to the nation, the other foreign to its 
instincts — the Turkish army no longer possessed the 
organization long peculiar to itself, which had rendered it 
often victorious over the imperialists in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, and redoubtable to the Russians in 
the eighteenth century ; and it had not acquired the 
nerve of modem European armies — a body of high-bred 
disciplined officers influenced by honour, for whom death 
is preferable to shame. In former days, when Turkey 
was a vast camp, when every gentleman and yeoman 



slept with arms by his side and horses saddled in their 
stables, its military organization included special corps 
not admitting of improvisation, which give coherence to 
an army, and round which newly raised troops rally with 
confidence. Besides the enrolled Janissaries, the artillery, 
the bostandgis, and the yamaks, there were the djibedgis, 
guards of the reserve ammunition and the baggage, each 
man acquainted with a handicraft; the mounted tchiaushes, 
for police and courier service ; the laghumdgis (miners) ; 
and the arabadgis, artillery and waggon drivers, composed 
of Bulgarians. When sick and wounded were left to 
fate, hospitals were supererogatory. 

In puerile dread of every usage reminiscent of 
Janissaryism, i. e. of Ottomanism, in servile admiration 
of every European fashion, Turkey abandoned much of 
what was suitable in its own system and borrowed much 
of the unsuitable from Europe ; and— singular coinci- 
dence — while travestying itself, Europe took up many of 
its cast-oflf habits. Its military garb, with slight variation, 
has been adopted by France for her zouaves, and will 
probably become the pattern for all armies ; cannon of 
large calibre (of Turkish origin) are now cast in the 
foundries of every state ; transport, army works, and 
police corps, in other days exclusively Turkish, are now 
considered essential by eveiy war office ; and the short 
stirrups and high saddle of the East, obviative of sore 
backs, are beginning to be faintly recognized us augment- 
ing the rider's power over his weapon and steed. By 
engrafting modern instruction and tactics on her ancient 
system, reformed, Turkey would have united the 
strength of two eras without the weakness of either. 
One feature of the ancient system — a solecism in 


military practice — merits special notice. The soup- 
kettles of the Turkish armies, second only in value 
to the soldiers' weapons, did the duty of colours in 
other armies. Invested by military philosophy with 
the ideal value attached elsewhere to intrinsically 
useless emblems, they were rallied round with devotion, 
and the loss of any of them stigmatized the company to 
which they had belonged. 

Similar remarks apply to the navy. The galiondji 
system,* at once solid and elastic, admitting of improve- 
ment in every sense to meet modem exigencies, har- 
monized with national habits and was singularly adapted 
for a navy restrictively employed on its own coasts. 

Many orthodox Turks, desirous of naval, averted their 
eyes from the prospect of military, co-operation. The 
Sheick ul Islam expressing disinclination to it, and his 
assent being necessary, he was deposed and replaced by 
the mufti of the military council. The new head of the law 
answered allegorically the pregnant question, ** Shall we 

♦ The galioiidjis, in their latter days about 5,000 in number, were 
a permanently enrolled body at Constantinople of seamen-gunners and 
seamen. The married men went to their homes at night, the bachelors 
lived in barracks. They received each a ration, clothes, and about 
thirteen shillings a month. When a line-of-battle ship, for example, 
fitted out, two master gunners, each with a crew vaiying from sixty to 
eigiity men, a bashrais (boatswain) with a crew of about eighty men, a 
sail-maker and crew, were sent on board from the galiondji depot, with 
artificers from the dockyard. The remainder of the crew was drawn from 
the merchant service without regard to a man's religion, and as a cniise 
rarely lasted above three months, volunteers were always foi-thcoming. 
When the fleet fitted out it was manned by proclamation from the 
sea-bordering towns. The defect of the system lay in the somewhat 
exclusive control of the master -gunner and boatswain over their re- 
spective crews, which affected the captain's authority and impaired 

IB -2 


avail ourselves of foreign troops ? " *' Hunters/' he was 
reported to have said, " take dogs with them to pursue 
their game.'* The learned man had doubtless studied 
the Koran, but he certainly had not read the fable of 
Actaeon. The prudence of the step, in a Turkish point 
of view, was doubtful. It was breaking a charm. The 
secret of Turkey's independence and greatness had been 
her isolation and her self-sustaining pride. Turkey had 
fought alone with Kussia for above a century. She had 
fought unsuccessfully, had been defeated, had surrendered 
territory, but had never lost confidence in herself. 
Casting the blame of defeat on ignorant pashas, on want 
of concert, on a vicious administration, she had neither 
felt nor admitted organic weakness. MachiaveUi, in his 
treatise on war, says : ** Let a prince or a republic deter- 
mine on anything rather than on calling in auxiliary 
troops, and above all let him or it beware of placing him- 
self or itself at their discretion. Any treaty with his or 
its enemy, any concession however onerous, will be less 
fatal to him or it than this measure." 

A French and an English war-steamer gave proof of 
their governments being at last in earnest by embarking, 
towards the end of March, two battalions of Turkish rifle* 
men for conveyance to Varna ; an imperial commissioner 
proceeded the same day to the Hellespont to be ready to 
welcome the allied troops on their arrival in Turkey ; and 
two days afterwards the allied fleets again left Beikos ; 
this time for Baltchik, to wait there the expected 
declaration of war by England and France. The allied 
admirals declined the company of any Turkish vessel, 
and virtually ignored the Turkish fleet by refusing to 
exchange recognition signals w^itli it ; assigning, in excuse 


for their unsociability, the necessity of its continuance in 
the Bosphorus for the defence of Constantinople. 

About that time a council of Ulema and dignitaries 
was convened for the purpose of raising a ** benevolence" 
from the civil, military, and naval authorities of the 
state above the rank of colonel, and from the wealthy 
denizens of the capital. Hithei:to Constantinople had 
escaped this test of patriotism, while warmly applauding 
provincial liberality. Although termed voluntary, the 
gifts were often involuntary. Lists of names were 
circulated by authority, and no one ventured to signalize 
himself by writing down less than the expected sum ; 
which, in the case of officers and employes, amounted 
to about ten days' pay. Flag and general officers and 
civilians of equivalent rank had already, during nine 
months, surrendered one-fifth of their pay to the trea- 
sury. In the provinces *' benevolence " seemed more 
spontaneous than in the capital. Some lists, including 
sums from 100 to 10,000 piastres, indicated general 
contributory concurrence.* None, however, could escape 
the ordeal. Certain districts, remiss in responding to 
the appeal, were long afterwards invited to pay up 
arrears. Gradually, as enthusiasm weaned, benevolence 
degenerated into requisition. Even the favoured capital 
was called upon for a second ** benevolence " in the 
winter of 1854-55, for hirkas (wadded vests) for the 
troops at Eupatoria. The benevolent were rewarded by 
the pubUcation of the subscription lists in the Turkish 

* During the years 1854-55, the inhahitants of part of Turkey 
gave in money, under the head of ianl nmoumie (benevolence), 
about 1,500,000/. ; and in kind, as horses, cattle, com, oil, &c., they 
furnished supplies gratis to an equal amount. 


newspapers. Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, Albanian, and 
Bosnian names grated harshly on the ears of the 
euphonious -tongued Constantinopolitans ; who thus 
learned the heterogeneity of the Moslem population of 
the empire. By such means, in aid of the ordinary 
revenue, by a capitation tax of twenty piastres on males, 
by paying for supplies with promissory notes, by borrow- 
ing the orphans' fund, and by holding back more or less 
the pay of the public services, the Porte tided over the 
lirst year without a foreign loan. 

But all was not rose-coloured. While fairly supplied 
for the shock of arms, the army of the Danube was in 
other respects ill off; sickness and other privations had, 
during the winter, decimated the garrisons along the 
Danube. The medical commission sent from Constanti- 
nople to the frontier in the spring of 1854 reported 
unsatisfactorily. At Schumla, the quarters of 25,000 
men, they found only 200 drachms of sulphate of 
quinine, and a scarcity of lint, tourniquets, and bandages; 
similar deficiencies existed everywhere ; and Rudschuk, 
garrisoned by 7,000 men, possessed no instrument for 
extracting a ball. The discrepance between the amount 
of medical stores charged to the Government and the 
amount in camp argued venality somewhere. The army 
surgeons declared that their stores never reached them 
in the amount stated. Their detractors affirmed that 
they trafficked with them for their own benefit. I do not 
pretend to adjust the balance, nor would the attempt be 
worth the trouble ; but I may say that, whatever doubts 
may have existed about the quantity, none has existed 
about the inferior quality of the medicines suppUed to 
the armies. A similar reproach appUes to their food and 


clothing ; most of the pasterma (dried meat) sent to the 
troops at Eupatoria in 1855 had to he thrown to the 
dogs. Unholy gains were made from such sources, with 
which honours were purchased as well as houses. No 
supplies issued from the stores in the capital reached 
their destination in their integity. Bullion made no 
exception to the rule; twenty millions of piastres 
(180,000/.) of the sums sent in 1853-54 to the army of 
the Danube were never satisfactorily accounted for. 

The country where George of Cappadocia — trans- 
formed afterwards, according to Gibbon, into "the 
renowned St. George of England'' — acquired wealth by 
supplying ill-cured bacon to the Roman armies, will 
never want apologists for the frauds of contractors nor 
panegyrists of their assumed virtues ; and though none, 
like the ''infamous George," may hope to attain eccle- 
siastical all may aspire to lay honours. At this we 
have no right to aflfv3ct surprise. The Eastern Empire, 
whether under a Constantine or an Amurath, is in some 
respects immutable. But we have a right to feel surprise 
at the tenderness of western society for shortcomings 
which, setting human considerations on one side, may 
lead to national disgrace. Deteriorated medicines baflSe 
the physician's skill ; adulterated food and flimsy shoes 
disconcert the generaFs strategy. Society brands the 
individual who takes arms against his country with the 
name of traitor, and shoots him when caught, although 
he may never have had the opportunity to point a rusty 
firelock at it ; yet refrains from applying the epithet to 
traders who undermine the health of their country's 
troops fighting her battles, by supplying inferior food and 
raiment, and who do not scruple even — relying on the 


indulgence accorded to the misdeeds of capital — to sell 
arms and ammunition to her foes. Of those traders — 
''all honourable men'* — who sell preserved oflfal and 
spurious lime-juice to vessels bound on long voj^ages, we 
will only say wdth Dante, '' Guarda e passa!*' Their 
sin is grievous. When offences substantially alike shall 
be called by one name, the task of legislation will bo 
lightened, and society be freed from the danger under- 
lying it in the impression — daily gaining strength with 
education in men's minds — that crime is measured by 
a relative standard. 

( 201 ) 


The Turkish Fleet eager to enter the Euxine — Employment for it 
suggested — Enthusiasm in the Caucasus for the Sultan — How to 
profit hy it — Schaniyl niler of Daghestan — His Naib, Mehemed 
Emin Efentli, in Circassia — Their opposite Modes of Rule — Their 
Policy in regard to the War — The Caucasus the vulnerable Part 
of Russia — Mushaver Pasha's Proposal for employing the Turkish 
Fleet — How received by the Allied Admirals — An Anglo-French 
Expedition to the Caucasian Coast projected — Its Futility — The 
Turks best fitted to deal with the Circassians — A Turkish Steamer 
asked for to accompany the projected Expedition — Reasons for its 
Refusal — Views of the Porte. 

During some days following the departure of the allies' 
fleets for Baltchik, the Turkish fleet, again alone in the 
Bosphorus, felt that kind of relief which is experienced in 
a quiet house on the departure of an exacting guest. With 
the closing of their friends* slaughter-houses and grog- 
shopSjthe air felt purer. But the sensation was transient. 
The Black Sea lay hefore them, and all hands sighed to 
follow the allies into it. They did not imagine that the 
Russians, even if surmising the tenacity of its anchors 
wherever they might happen to be dropped, would think 
of shpping by the Anglo-French fleet into the Bosphorus 
to scare the fair inmates of the harems and ruflSe the 
equanimity of the embassies on its banks. Still less did 
they give them credit for the bold conception of running 
with a choice squadron the gauntlet of the castles of the 


Bosphorns during Ramazan — the season of drowsy days 
and festive nights ; passing then, under strange colours, 
those of the Hellespont, into the Mediterranean, to 
intercept French and English transports steering east- 
wards, visit their co-religionists in the Ionian islands, 
salute Valette at a respectful distance, and finally seek 
a neutral port within or without the Straits of Gibraltar. 
Tranquil on that head, one of its officers, privileged in 
that respect, submitted to the Capitan Pasha a sugges- 
tion for the active employment of the Turkish fleet 
during the ensuing summer. There was appropriate 
work for it on the eastern shore of the Black Sea ; which 
the Turks might but which the alUes with the best 
intentions could not perform. 

The Caucasians were then, like the Moslems of 
Turkey, at the boiling-point of enthusiasm for God and 
the Sultan. The spirit of Islam, normally lukewarm in 
Circassia, in parts tainted with idolatry, was roused, and 
for tlie hour rivalled the earnest fanaticism of Daghestan. 
To profit by the excitement, to unite the Circassians and 
Daghestanians in common action, was eminently worthy 
of consideration in a war undertaken to depress Russia. 
Left to their own mspirations, the Caucasians would 
effect nothing. Left in possession of the Caucasus, 
Russia would not be materially weakened by any terms 
of peace. Tw^o men were then, in a different degree, 
prominent in the mountainous region between the 
Euxine and the Caspian. Sheick Schamyl, an austere 
Moslem — who might, if Mohammed had not declared 
the cycle of prophecy closed, have made himself to be 
regarded as a prophet — had long ruled theocratically 
in Daghestan. He possessed troops, forts, a police, and 


from time to time exchanged courtesies with Russia, as 
well as shot. With success, his views had extended. 
Aspiring to bring Circassia under his suzerainty, he 
had about ten years previously named Mehemed Emin 
Efendi his naib (vicar) there. Mehemed Emin Efendi, 
aided by Sheick SchamyFs prestige, had striven on his 
own account, and had gradually brought the turbulent 
tribes of Circassia more or less under control. But he 
failed to obtain the same result as his patron had 
obtained — cheerful obedience. Sheick Schamyl ruled 
with religion, his naib by intimidation, acquiesced in by 
the majority through the need of union for self-defence. 
That need ceased to be imperative with the commence-' 
ment of war, and with it jealousy of the naib's ascendancy 
transpired. Feeling his authority menaced by tribal 
rivalries, the naib repaired to Constantinople to seek for 
imperial countenance. He obtained it, promised fealty, 
and returned to Circassia with the dignity of Pasha. 
Nevertheless, he had no more idea of rendering Circassia 
dependent on Turkey than on Russia, still less of 
subjecting it to the influence of the Franks; whose 
views, distorted by the partisans of Russia and of 
Turkey, were not to be counted upon. 

There w^as little doubt, if the Circassians were given 
time for reflection, that their clannish notions would 
prevail over feelings of revenge on Russia or of love for 
Turkey. They had scarcely any more innate desire to 
be ruled by Turkish pashas than by Russian generals. 
Scheick Schamyl and his naib were aware of this in- 
stinct, and though at first carried away by the stream, 
they were unable to oppose the revived loyalty for the 
padishah, they hoped, on the subsidence of its ebullition, 


to bring the mountaineers to agree with them in the 
suicidal policy of remaining neuter during the impending 
struggle of empires. They reckoned on circumstances 
rendering the Caucasus again a barrier between Russia 
and the Turco -Persian empires : an Oriental Switzerland. 
They expected to see Russia disastrously beaten by the 
Allies. They would then be masters of the position, 
independent of Russia, Turkey, and Frenghistan. Our 
aim, profiting by the enthusiasm of the hour and the 
Sultan's name, was to frustrate this erroneous calcula- 
tion by enlisting the Caucasians actively in the war ; 
whereby, if nothing more had ensued, the Russian trans- 
Caucasian army would have been compelled to remain 
on the defensive. The position would then probably have 
been reversed. There was Russia's vulnerable quarter : 
the only quarter where a vital blow on her ambition 
could be struck ; the only quarter where a result bene- 
ficial to England and to Turkey could be educed from the 
war. The Caucasians, the Turkish fleet, and the Turkish 
Asiatic army were the instruments to work with. 

In his letter* to the naval chief, Mushaver Pasha, 
proposed that the Turkish fleet, stored with mihtary 
aid for the Circassians, should run along the coast of 
Anatolia to animate the inhabitants ; tarrying some days 
on the way at Sinope, to practise the crews in disem- 
barking and embarking and in the use of their arms. 
Thence proceed to Batoom to concert measures with the 
military authorities there ; then take Soukhoum Kaleh, 
and make that port a base of co-operation. Afterwards, 
reduce the other Russian forts on the coast of Abasia 
■ and show its flag to the Crimeans — unseen by them in 
• Vide Appendix I. 


war for nearly a century. This project found favour. 
The fleet was ordered to prepare for sea ; and the writer 
was directed by the Capitan Pasha to proceed to Baltchik 
to communicate with the alHed admirals on the matter. 
This deference had been rendered necessary by the 
injunction laid on the Porte by the French and English 
ambassadors to abstain from undertaking any naval 
operation without previous consultation with the allied 

The allied admirals evinced disinclination to discourse 
with Mushaver Pasha, on his arrival at Baltchik, about 
the Turkish fleet. They at length, however, yielding to 
his respectful persistency, agreed to confer among them- 
selves on the mode of .employing it during the summer ; 
and having met for that purpose on board the Britannia^ 
they invited him into the cabin to hear the result of their 
deliberations. He found assembled there Vice-Admirals 
Dundas an.d Hamelin, Rear- Admirals Sir Edmund Lvons 
and Jacqueminot, with a French and an English naval 
captain. He naturally expected the admirals would, at 
all events, go through the form of consulting with him 
on the subject of his mission, before framing a decision 
thereon. That was farthest from their thoughts. Without 
preface, they read to him a letter — written while he had 
been waiting upon their leisure outside— addressed to the 
French and English ambassadors, requesting them to 
advise the Porte to retain its fleet in the Bosphorus for 
its defence ; excepting two line-of-battle ships required, in 
their opinion, at Varna, to aid in its defence against a 
possible attack by the Russian army. It rarely falls to 
any one's lot to hear men in a responsible position 
unwittingly cast a sarcasm on themselves. '^ If thus,'' 


their astonished listener might have asked, '* why 
are your fleets in the Euxine ? Is the order given 
you to retain all Russian ships in their ports a dead 

Mushaver Pasha, treating as visionary the apprehen- 
sion of the Russians menacing the Bosphorus, dwelt on 
the impolicy of letting the Turkish fleet, rawly manned, 
with a sense of depression to recover from, remain 
another year in port. The greater its inexperience the 
more necessity for its cruising. He instanced the 
disaster of the preceding autumn as having mainly 
arisen from the difficulty of keeping the sea. Circum- 
stances, he observed, beyond the control of the allied 
admirals, might arise to send the fleet to sea the ensuing 
autumn, and it ought to profit by the mild season to 
abate sea- sickness and make sea legs. All present being 
nautical men, necessarily felt the justness of his obser- 
vations. Rear- Admiral Jacqueminot first admitted it ; 
his chief seconded him, and the result was further 
consideration of the subject ; which ended in a resolution 
to write another letter to the ambassadors, recommending 
the Turkish fleet to be ordered to navigate ofi* the coast 
of Roumelia, between the Bosphorus and the Gulf of 
Bourgas. This would be cruising certainly, but cruising 
to no purpose in regard of the object of the war; it 
would be only a degree better than remaining seques- 
tered in port. Its proposed employment on the coas^t 
of Circassia found no advocate among either French or 
English ; and though not rejected, the question was 
eluded by the expression of a unanimous opinion of the 
desirability of the Turkish fleet waiting the return of a 
projected Anglo-French expedition to the coast before 


going there itself. Time and opportunity were not 
considered. The admirals laid stress on the importance 
of the intelligence which they fancied their ships would 
obtain, and naively assigned the value of it to the Porte 
as a vahd reason for the detention of its fleet during an 
indefinite period off a dangerous coast indrawiug the 
Black Sea current with variable force. 

Ideas gathered in a flying visit by strange ships were 
unlikely to add to the knowledge of the Porte on an 
intricate subject — the instincts and tendencies of the 
Caucasian races, derived from consanguinity and long 
uninterrupted intercourse. The ruUng class of Turkey 
is Caucasian. The Tartar blood of the Ottoman family 
has been crossed out by Circassian connection. Slaves 
of the imperial house have at all times, since the 
conquest, filled high offices of state ; and every notable 
harem has for ages been composed more or less of 
Circassians. The Turks might, therefore, without pre- 
sumption, flatter themselves with possessing more know- 
ledge of the Caucasus than the Allies' admirals were 
ever likely to obtain. Those gallant officers had, par- 
donably, no clear conception of the geographical features 
of that celebrated range whose lofty summit, Mount 
Elborooz, still shows, according to the Armenian legend, 
the notch scored by the keel of the ark grazing over if, 
before the waters abating allowed it to rest on Mount 
Ararat ; nor, more pardonably, of its social and political 
features : for which, even now, it is doubtful if many 
marks would be obtained in a civil serv^ice examination 
by any one not specially crammed with Kussian 
despatches, Tophana slave-dealers' reports, and Sheick 
Schamyl's reminiscences in captivity. They seemed to 


thinly their nautical envoys, intended to be set on shore 
at Vardan with an interpreter unacquainted with any 
Caucasian dialect, would ride in a few hours after 
breakfast to that sheick's head-quarters. A Tartar 
courier might, if not captured on the road, have reached 
it in a week. Talking against a fixed idea is idle, as 
idle as trying to cut glass with a knife : you see through 
it, but make no impression. Circassia seemed mentally 
reserved for the Anglo-French steam squadron, and laurels 
grew too rare on the shores of the Euxine to admit of 
sharing any which might be gathered with the Turks. 
The cypresses of Sinope were considered enough for 

At the same time, if the unities of war had been 
studied, no one would have dissented from the proposi- 
tion to leave fickle Circassia for the Turks to coquet 
with, while the allies wooed the stern beauty Sevastopol. 
The great actors on the world's stage have owed much 
to a correct casting of parts ; to combining ably all their 
resources. The Eastern fable of the lion about to go 
to war is apposite. His vizir, the bear, advised him to 
leave the fox and the hare behind, as unUkely to render 
any service. His maned majesty replied: ** They will 
both be serviceable : the fox will be my envoy ; the hare 
will be my courier.'' Connected with the Circassians by 
the ties of religion, marriage, and adoption, skilled in 
the art of flattering the passions and ministering to the 
vanity of semi-barbarians, the Turks were appropriate 
agents to employ on the eastern shore of the Euxine. 
The admirals, nevertheless, signified their desire, in a 
letter to the Capitan Pasha, for a Turkish steamer to 
accompany their projected expedition to the coast of 

THE sultan's prestige tn circassia. 209 

Circassia. It found no favour in his eyes. Self-respect 
and policy alike opposed it. A single Turkish steamer 
in the wake of a foreign squadron would have lessened 
the Sultan's prestige in the eyes of the Circassians, as 
much as the sight of twenty vessels of war under the 
Turkish flag, in lieu of the Russian squadron they had 
been gazing on for a quarter of a century, would have 
increased it. The news would have rapidly spread to 
the remotest valleys of the Caucasus, and have electrified 
the dwellers therein. While a Turkish vessel might 
becomingly have displayed her flag with the allied fleets 
in operations against the common enemy, that con- 
junction on the coast of Circassia would have given, 
weight to the reports industriously circulated of sinister 
designs on its independence. 

Mushaver Pasha next proceeded to Varna, to see in 
what way ships might contribute, as proposed, to its 
defence. He saw they would have to fire over a chff 60 
feet high, with upsloping ground behind of equal elevation, 
to the spot where an enemy would sit down to besiege 
the town ; and consequently, instead of being in a position 
to worry him, they would be disposed rather to move out 
of range of the guns of the redoubt he would not fail to 
plant on the edge of the cliff for their edification. But 
an attack on Varna by the Russians, lying in the circle 
of improbabilities, was not worth speculating about. He 
went again to Baltchik on the 10th of April, 1854 ; the 
day of the arrival there of intelligence of the declaration 
of war by England against Russia, in honour of which 
the Enghsh fleet manned yards and cheered. The allied 
admirals began to ponder over their first move ; and the 
pasha returned to Constantinople to report his pro- 



ceedings. His report in no way affected the views of 
the Porte, which were said to be approved of by the 
alUed ambassadors. The Porte trusted in the alhed 
admirals opening their eyes, on the completion of its 
preparations, to the importance of the proposed expedition 
of the Turkish fleet to the coast of Circassia. 

( 211 ) 


Arrival of the Vanguard of the British Army in the Bosphorus — 
Turkish and English Sentries at the Barracks in Scutari — Prince 
Napoleon and the Duke of Cambridge — Gloomy Presage in 
Constantinople — Reception of the Troops by the People and 
Authorities — Arrival of the Fnry in the Bosphorus — Attack on 
Odessa by the Allied Fleets — Grounds for this Proceeding — Resem- 
blance of Odessa to Brighton — What constitutes a Flag of Truce 
— Ultimatum of the Allied Admirals — Admiral Dundas's View of 
the Bombardment of Odessa — His desire to bombard Odessa 
more effectually — Odessa of no strategic Irapoi-tauce — War never 
aided by needless Severity — Moral and Physical Effects of wanton 
Aggression — ^Instances in Point — Popular Feeling in Russia and 
England excited by the War — Vicarious Retaliation — Blockade of 
the Danube by the Allied Admirals. 

When the Turkish historian approaches in the course of 
his narrative the occurrences — beacon for old men here- 
after to guess their ages by — of the month of April, 1854, 
he will pause for inspiration to guide his pen over that 
delicate page where truth clashes with national suscepti- 
bilities. On the 14th day of that month the vanguard of 
the British army of the East, the 33rd and 41st regiments, 
arrived in the Bosphorus, in the Himalaya^ during a 
snow-storm. Next day they landed and found hospitable 
shelter in the SeUmieh barracks. Female feet, those of 
soldiers' wives, then for the first time trod the area of a 
Turkish barrack ; the hke of which for space, symmetry 

14— i 


and salubrity their fair owners had never seen elsewhere. 
Docile Arabians neighed welcome in their stables to 
restive Saxon chargers. Turkish and EngUsh sentries 
exchanged mute courtesies on the same post ; and as the 
former, standing at ease, slouched and careless, watched the 
latter, ill at ease with stock and shako, pacing his measured 
walk, he may have doubted whether he were undergoing 
a penance or performing a duty. Other regiments 
followed in their wake in the course of a few days, and the 
unwonted bustle stirred the apathy — in harmony with 
the necropolis on its border — of the Asiatic suburb of 
Constantinople. The Crusaders led by **bUnd old 
Dandolo " had encamped on the same spot, and had 
gazed avidly from their tents on the same matchless 
panorama which greeted the eyes of Albion's fair-haired 
soldiers. Their Gallic comrades found congenial quarters 
on the other side of the water, in the region of theatres, 
cafes, and bilUard-rooms. 

Two imperial yalis on the Bosphorus, stored with 
luxuries, including the perfumes of the East and the 
wines of the West, with attendants, horses, and caiques, 
were placed at the disposal of Prince Napoleon and the 
Duke of Cambridge. The Prince went to his epicurean 
abode and enjoyed his kief there. The Duke, declining 
the dolce far nientCy left his in a few days and went to 
Scutari, to Hve with his soldiers. 

This gathering of the chivalry of the West spread a 
gloom over Constantinople. It seemed a warning, a 
portent. The ominous word taksim (partition) found 
utterance. The Constantinopolitans were awakened out 
of a dream of centuries. Their imagination had barely 
figured to itself foreign troops at Gallipoli : they started 


amazed at the reality in the capital. They asked each 
other, with bated breath, ** why the AlUes tarried at 
Constantinople ? Why did they not proceed on to 
Varna ? Had they not heard of the recent passage of 
the Danube by the enemy, and were they not come to 
defend Turkey ? " Simple mortals ! They had not 
read the decree of fate, that Eussia should have time 
allowed her to balance her difficulties in the south through 
distance and want of steam-ships. They had not, in 
their faith in Him, supposed that Allah, having armed 
the Franks in their cause, would lead them to think of 
intimidating Bussia with a splendid parade of fleets and 

Although the people looked coldly on the gallant 
strangers, the authorities seemed earnest in their 
endeavours to make them feel at home. Private houses 
w^ere evacuated for the accommodation of officers ; spirit- 
shops were licensed in the neighbourhood of the barracks ; 
desecration of cemeteries was winked at ; and, crowning 
mark of hospitable intent, the seraskir talked about 
alluring fallen liouris from Galata and Tatavla, and 
lodging them in roomy houses with allowances for the 
solace of the soldiery. Deference to public decorum 
overcame his friendly zeal. 

On the day of the landing at Scutari, H.M. steamer 
Fury arrived in the Bosphorus, having had the first shot 
of the general war fired at her from a Eussian frigate off 

In that month also occurred the attack on Odessa by 
the alUed fleets ; which, as the first act of the drama, 
merits reminiscence. Odessa is, as most persons may 
know, a city as beautiful as Brighton ; and as every 


person may not know, scarcely better fortified. The 
position of Bri{:fliton and Odessa is not dissimilar. Each 
stands on a cliflf with open sea in front, and steppes or 
downs behind. Each is a bathing-place of fashionable 
resort; one from London, the other from Poland and 
Lithuania. Each contains young ladies' schools. Each 
exhibits a statue of its benefactor — respectively of 
George IV. and the Due de Richeheu — erected by 
municipal gratitude. Odessa being a corn-mart has in 
addition an exchange, and rejoices also in an Italian 
opera and an imperial-founded Lyceum. "When Russia 
obtained possession of the northern coast of the Euxine, 
a Tartar village, Hodja Bey, occupied a corner of the 
site of Odessa ; and, pursuing the comparison, Brighton 
originated in a fishing village. Commerce in the one 
and roval favour in the other case transformed in a few 
years two hamlets into cities. The Prince de Joinville, 
in his noted pamphlet, dwelt con gusto on the facility of 
bombarding Brighton and other towns on the south coast 
of England ; and the domesticated English felt shocked 
at the bare idea, foreshadowing recurrence to the practices 
of mediaeval warfare. Had his Royal Highness contem- 
plated indulging the French navy in similar practice 
against Portsmouth or Sheemess, he would have risen in 
the estimation of his readers. 

The menace passed from Brighton and settled on 

April 20th, 1854, an Anglo-French fleet of twenty 
sail of the line, five of them with screw propellers, and 
many paddle steam frigates, cast anchor before Odessa, 
four miles off shore. The admirals in command 
demanded satisfaction of the governor for having recently 


fired on a flag of truce. Count Osten-Saeken denied the 
dastardly act ; and his denial having been teimed false, 
we will pause to investigate the case. An English war- 
steamer, on arriving off Odessa a short time previously, 
to bring away the English consul, sent a boat to the 
mole early in the morning, remaining herself under way. 
Said boat delivered her message or letter to a quarantine 
officer and shoved off. While rowing back to her ship 
one or more shot passed in her direction ; fired, 
according to the Russian version, to warn the steamer, 
with her head inshore, to refrain from nearer approach 
to the town. Granting the baseness of .firing on a boat 
under the circumstances (if that were done) it is open to 
doubt if she w^ere invested with the character described. 
The simple display of a white flag does not constitute a 
" flag of truce.'' Other formalities are required. 
According to the laws of war, a boat with a parlementary 
flag lies on her oars at a convenient distance from the 
shore, until met by a corresponding boat. There ought 
to be nothing in her to indicate a latent intention of 
surveying; as a chart, a sounding lead, or a quadrant. 
She either delivers her message to the shore boat, or 
proceeds to the landing-place with it. In the latter case, 
she remains there as long as is necessary under 
surveillance, and is then re-escorted beyond gun shot. 
Were not this rule imperative, any cruiser might send in 
a boat anywhere with a white flag, on any pretext, make 
plans and take soundings of a roadstead, free from 

Having received their answer, the admirals sat down 
to frame an ultimatum. Their first draft contained a 
demand, in way of ransom from bombardment, for the 


release of neutral vessels in the port of Odessa, and 
for surrender of all Eussian vessels, together with the 
artillery of the place ; but on consideration of the im- 
probability of a general parting with his guns, they 
restricted their demands to the release of neutrals and 
the surrender of the Eussian shipping in the mole. 
They sent it to the governor, with a warning of the 
serious consequences of non-compliance. His Excel- 
lency returned no answer, but indicated liis reception of 
the missive by letting the neutrals depart in peace. 
Chastisement was therefore decreed. In pursuance 
thereof at half-past six in the morning of April 22nd, 
four heavy armed steamers, with rocket-boats in atten- 
dance, opened fire on the mole-head battery at 2,000 
yards' distance, and were reinforced two hours later 
by four similar steamers. Keeping under way, the 
squadron was manoeuvred with admirable skill. Soon 
after noon the Eussian fire was silenced, several vessels 
were in flames, as well as houses and stores adjoining 
the mole, and presently a powder-magazine in the 
vicinity exploded. The fighting squadron then desisted, 
to dine. After dinner the admiral made signal to the 
commodore, '* Can you destroy any more ? '' which being 
answered in the affirmative, the firing recommenced at 
three o'clock, from the steamers and rocket-boats on the 
shipping remaining inside the mole ; and in another 
hour they, with several buildings, were in flames. Only 
two guns replied to the repetition of the tire; they 
were at length silenced, and then the attacking squadron 
withdrew out of range. 

In this action the Allies had one man killed and 
three wounded ; and the Eussians, sustaining a heavy 


loss, gave a foretaste of the courage under superior fire, 
afterwards shown by them on a grander scale. The 
allied steamers had discharged about 4,000 projectiles. 
Many, necessarily, from the extent of range, went over 
their mark into the city, one of them grazing the Due 
de Eichelieu's statue; and their impacts have been 
denoted since, by paint or inlaid stones, as honourable 

Vice-Admiral Deans Dundas, in his despatch on the 
afiair, gracefully took credit to himself for having spared 
the city of Odessa from bombardment, in deference to 
the Queen's expressed desire to have private property 
respected as much as possible ; but as the press viewed 
the subject in another light, he repented of his forbear- 
ance, and on his return home the following year sought 
to clear his character from the imputation of mawkish 
humanity, by persuading a ** friend" in the House of 
Commons to move for papers to show that his desire 
to revisit Odessa in the coming autumn, to bombard 
it effectually, had been frustrated by the reluctance 
of the allied generals to part with a division of the 
fleet. That reluctance saved us regret. CiviHzed, 
unlike barbarous warfare, glories in attaining its end 
with the least amount of suffering and injury to 
inoffensive persons and venerated things. It spares 
w^omen and children, the sick and the aged : it re- 
spects churches, tombs, and works of art. Such objects 
in a city like Odessa are helplessly exposed to the 
capricious effects of a bombardment. The gunners 
fire in safety ; their shells explode in the wards of the 
hospital, in the aisles of the church, in the galleries 
of the museum. Misled, the press saw in Odessa a 


place of strategic importance ; whereas, situated at the 
extremity of the roadless steppe, open any day to a 
naval attack, it possessed none. The Allies were 
interested rather in its preservation, for the course of 
hostilities might have so turned as to render the 
possession of a city on the enemy's coast, to quarter 
an army in, of vital consequence. Shelter for modem 
troops is invaluable. Much of the misery and loss 
sustained by the French on their retreat from Moscow 
would have been avoided, had they respected towns and 
villages on their advance to that city. 

War is never aided by needless severity or destruc- 
tion of domestic property. Reflection and history 
combine to show a contrary result. The slaughter of 
defenceless crowds in Mesopotamia and Armenia by the 
hordes of Genghis Khan recoiled on the barbarians 
in consequent famine and disease. The destruction of 
the flourishing cities of the Palatinate by the armies of 
Louis XIV. brought down universal execration on the 
head of the crowned egotist, and sanctified tlie league 
forming against him. Wanton aggressions in war, like 
political oppressions in peace, are dragon's teeth, whence 
armed men surely spring, inflamed with bitter hatred, 
sooner or later. In a free country the press excites the 
ardour of the people, in a despotic country the enemy's 
acts shape public opinion. As long as the enemy directs 
his efforts against the obvious resources of Government, 
the people reason on the war, its causes and effects ; but 
when he destroys private property with no apparent 
military object, passions are roused. The burning, for 
example, during the late war, of Kola, the capital of 
Russian Lapland, with its pinnacled wooden cathedral. 


the veneration of every Laplander, graved a deeper im- 
pression on the Russian mind than a thousand Times 
power could have stamped. Read by any light, hostile 
treatment of insignificant towns in the arctic zone could 
admit but of one qualification, arouse but one sentiment. 
We need not ask how we should feel on hearing of 
Lei-wick in the Shetland Isles being thus treated late in 
autumn by an enemy's cruiser: we have only to turn 
back the page of history and read of the sensation 
caused by the destruction of Teignmouth by the French 
fleet in June, 1690. Faction was hushed by it ; Jacob- 
ites and Orangemen for the hour w^ere reconciled. Few 
persons can seriously think that molestation of open 
country towns, on the coasts of a vast empire engaged 
in a struggle for empire, can have a material weight 
in the balance. But it has a moral weight. It unites 
sovereign and. people by the feeling of indignation. 
War, unadorned by chivalry, is so repulsive a spectacle, 
its details are now so immediately brought home to every 
hearth by the fulness and rapidity of new^s — the groans 
of the hospital blending wuth the shouts of victory — 
that were people unexcited by individual insult and 
suffering, or by the recital of acts of cruelty, they would 
be in a position to take a calm view of the subject, 
and enforce consideration of it upon their rulers, if 

What occurred in the late war is confirmatory of 
this proposition. Neither English nor French property 
suffered by sea or by land ; nevertheless, both in England 
and in France there was a peace party. Russian pro- 
perty, on the contrary, suffered largely ; nevertheless, in 
Russia there was no peace party. Popular at first, the 


war became unpopular in France and in England ; 
because, unstirred by individual misfortunes, the people 
were able to ponder over its inconsistencies and its cost. 
Unpopular at the commencement, the war became popu- 
larized in Kussia by the razzias of the Allies in the 
White Sea, in the Gulf of Bothnia, and in the Sea 
of Azof. In England and in France, national impulse 
dwindled into state or class policy. In Eussia, state 
policy expanded into a national sentiment ; which, un- 
happily, has survived with peace. That war witnessed 
the revival of the practice, long disused in war between 
civilized nations, of vicarious retaliation. Because a 
military commandant had (presumedly) .ordered a flag of 
truce to be fired at, commercial Odessa was menaced 
with condign punislmaent. Because a Greek partisan, 
ensconced in a dismantled redoubt on the left bank of 
an issue of the Danube, perfidiously shot Captain 
Parker, R.N., while rowing past in his gig, innocent 
SuUna, on the opposite bank of the river, was destroyed. 
Now there can be no doubt that such acts, if necessarj^ 
should have, formed pai-t of a scheme, and not have 
seemed dependent on the chance of an insulted flag or of 
a gallant young oflScer's death, — the assigned motives 
respectively. The destruction of Sulina was the stupid 
act of the war, since it injured friends alone. The 
Russians had already abandoned the islands of St. 
George and Leti, and had retired with their stores 
and materiel to Ismael. Not a Russian remained in 
Sulina. Its inhabitants were chiefly British, Ionian, 
and Turkish subjects, occupied in supplying the wants of 
merchant vessels and transporting their cargoes across 
the bar. Sulina then, when burnt to the ground by 


the allied admirals ' orders, belonged exclusively to 

The allied admirals afterwards made another mistake 
detrimental to friends, in connection with the Danube. 
They declared that river blockaded ; in order, using their 
words, to prevent supplies being conveyed to the Russian 
armies in the Dobrudsha, and they warned all vessels 
not to enter it.f They published that announcement to 
the world : then ordered their cruisers to seize all 
vessels leaving the Danube ; such vessels being laden 
chiefly with cereals for friendly countries. About fhirty 
vessels, outward bound, were accordingly captured by 
some of the Allies' steamers. 

'•' Sulina was indifferently rebuilt daring the Austrian occupation of 
the mouths of the Danube, which terminated in 1857. 

•j" " In consequence^of the Russian armies having crossed the Danube — 
having occupied the Dobrudsha, and taken possession of the mouths and 
noi-th banks of the river Danube, W^, the undersigned, being (he vice- 
admirals commanding-in- chief the combined naval forces of France and 
England in the Black Sea, in order to prevent supplies being conveyed 
to the Russian forces, do hereby declare, in the names of our respective 
Governments, and do hereby make known to all whom it may concern, 
that we have established an effective blockade of the river Danube, 
inducing all the mouths of the said river having communication with 
the Black Sea : and we do hereby warn all vessels not to enter the 
said river Danube until further notice. 

(Signed) •* Hamelin. J. D. Dundas.*' 



The Allied Fleets sail for Sevastopol, and an Anglo-French Steam 
Squadron for the Coast of Circassia — The Capitan Pasha proposes 
the Junction of the Turkish Squadron — Its Instructions — Presen- 
tation of the Turkish, Admirals to the Sultan — Sefer Pasha an«l 
Behchet Pasha — ^Equipment of the Turco- Egyptian Squadron — 
Vice- Admiral Dundas counsels Delay — The Author's Opinion 
and Advice — Achraet Pasha's Objections — Mushaver Pasha 
requested to mediate with the Allied Admirals — His Memorandum 
for their Consideration — He joins the Anglo-French Fleet in the 
Faisi'hari — His Reception by Admiral Dundas and Admiral 
Hamelin — Objections of the French Admiral — Letter of Admiral 
Dundas to Ahmed Pasha — Dismay of the Circassian Pashas. 

Four days after their attack on Odessa, the allied fleets 
sailed thence to cruise oflf Sevastopol, fixing their 
rendezvous forty miles west of that port. From that 
rendezvous, the Anglo-French squadron already spoken 
of steamed for the coast of Circassia, May 5th, 1854. 
The Capitan Pasha had already informed the allied 
admirals, by letter, and verbally through the captain 
of an English vessel of war, of the proximate sailing 
of the Turkish fleet for the same destination, and had 
proposed the junction of the two expeditions. The 
Turkish fleet had been fitted for service on the coast of 
Circassia in a manner which reflected credit on all con- 
cerned. Communications opened with the Caucasians 
augured concert and co-operation on their part. ** The 


appearance of the Turkish fleet off the coast," they said, 
** will be the signal for our rising from the Euxine to 
the Gasman." The fleet was instructed to join, in the 
first place, the Allies' admirals off Sevastopol, and after 
concerting with them a plan of operations on the coast of 
Circassia, proceed direct to Batoom ; there embark 4,003 
troops ; and then, reducing Soukhoum Kaleh, make that 
place a depot for stores, and the base of co-operation with 
the Circassians. In case of meeting with the Russian 
instead of the Anglo-French fleet off Sevastopol, it was 
to accept or decline battle, according to circumstances. 

The Turkish admirals were presented to the Sultan, 
on the eve of their departure. His Majesty addressed 
them three sentences. He expressed his hope for 
cordiaUty between them and the Allies' admirals. The 
war, he said, was not of his making ; but he supposed it 
necessary : moreover, wars had existed from the earliest 
period. He would pray for their welfare. 

Sefer Pasha and Behchet Pasha, of Circassian origin, 
accompainied by Sheick Schamyl's envoy, embarked 
with suites of their countrymen in the Turkish fleet, 
with missions and gifts from the Sultan for Circassian 
chiefs. Sefer Pasha, better known as Sefer Bey, of a 
noble Anapan family, had been a renowned warrior in 
his youth, and had enjoyed much consideration among 
the Circassians. His renown led Russia, at the peace of 
Adrianople, to induce the Porte to retain him in Turkey. 
He had since resided at Adrianople, with an allowance 
from the Sultan. He had, nevertheless, maintained 
intercourse with his countrymen, and his recommenda- 
tion had ensured honourable reception to any travellers 
professing an interest in their independence. Mr. 


Urquhart, Captain Lyon, Mr. Lonjrworth, Mr. Bell, 
and others, had availed themselves of it. In the spring 
of 1854 the Porte summoned him to Constaptinople, 
gave him the rank of ferik^ and invited him to return to 
Circassia in the Sultan's name. His satisfaction at this 
recognition of his merits was dashed with bitterness at 
the thought of his sequestration during a quarter of a 
century. His beard had grown white in the interval, 
his companions in arms were no more, another genera- 
tion had since fought with the Muscovites, and he would 
in all probability be regarded with jealousy by the naib. 
Such was his language to us before we sailed. Never- 
theless, he expressed hopes of gathering round him the 
sons of his ancient followers. Behchet Pasha had the 
merit of being one of iRedshid Pasha's freedmen ; and, 
though that would have but little weight in his native 
land, he was a courteous well-bred man, adapted for 
conferring the Sultan's distinctions with grace. About 
300 other Circassians, traders or exiles, many of them 
with their families, embraced the opportunity of revisiting 
their country with eclat under the Turkish flag. Twelve 
European officers to instruct the Circassian militia, a 
field battery complete, with artillery officers, small arms, 
ammunition and other stores, were also embarked. Thus, 
full manned, and provisioned for four months, the Turco- 
Egyptian squadron, composed of eight line-of-battle 
ships, three frigates, four light vessels — corvettes or 
brigs — five steam frigates, and three steam corvettes, 
in all twenty-three vessels, mounting 1,100 guns, 
sailed from the Bosphorus in high spirits, May 6, 

Pursuant to its orders, it stood to the northward in 


search of the allied fleets, losing thereby, with regret, a 
fair wind to the eastward. The scanty stock of pro- 
visions laid in by its passengers, coupled with the want 
of comfort and abluent conveniences for the women 
and children, rendered a short passage desirable. When 
off Varna, May 8, it sent in a steamer to communicate 
with the town, and found there a letter from Vice- 
Admiral Dundas to its commander, Achmet Pasha, as 
follows : — 

** Britamua, off Sebastopol, May 5th, 1854. 

** Sir, — I have had the honour to receive a letter 
from his Highness the Capitan Pasha, informing me 
that a squadron under your command had been ordered 
to join and co-operate with the combined squadrons of 
France and England, and I hasten to acquaint you that 
it is the opinion of Vice-Admiral Hamelin and myself 
that it would be desirable you should cruise along the 
coasts of Bulgaria and Roumelia, between the Danube 
and the Bosphorus, until the return of Rear-Admiral 
Lyons from the coast of Circassia and the arrival of the 
combined squadrons at Varna, on or about the 20th 
instant, when further operations can be concerted. 

(Signed) '' J. W. D. Dundas, 
** Vice- Admiral Commanding-in-Chief.'' 

The assumption by the admirals to give directions to 
the Turkish fleet, before consultation with its chief or 
knowing the nature of his orders, was informal, if not 
offensive ; while the enjoined delay, dependent on a 
contingency, might be indefinitely prolonged ; and there- 
fore their missive, if addressed to a man alive to the 
dignity of his position, would, instead of unsettling his 
mind, have received an appropriate answer. He would 



have regarded it as a release from the obligation to 
confer with them. Could Musliaver Pasha's opinion, in 
accordance with the wish of the majority, have prevailed 
in the council of naval and Circassian officers convened 
in the flagship to consider the subject, the fleet would 
then and there have squared its yards and steered for 
Batoom. With a prescience of the failure of the expe- 
dition if it remained within reach of the allied admirals, 
he advised its proceeding in the spirit of its orders to 
the coast of Circassm, and ventured to assure the com- 
mander-in-chief of the support of pubUc opinion, ever on 
the side of enterprise, which would draw after it the 
approbation of the Porte. kThe fleet's destination was 
Circassia; and though it had been directed to join the 
allied admirals en route, that was a secondary considera- 
tion, or rather a formality, which they themselves might 
be said to have dispensed with. Achmet Pasha objected 
to this course, for fear of offending the allied admirals. 
The Porte, he said, would disown him in the right, on 
their complaint ; would abet him in the wrong, on their 
approval. He and others had early made up their minds 
to subordinate every interest to the propitiation of any 
of the Allies' authorities ; and it is fair to say their selfish 
calculation seldom proved erroneous. He also objected 
to the proposition next made, for the fleet (seeing the 
mischief of delay) to proceed on the letter of its orders 
to join the Allies at once. The foggy season, he said, 
was at hand ; the Allies might increase their distance from 
Sevastopol ; he might fall in with the Eussians instead. 

As a mezzo tennine he, in concurrence with the 
council, requested Mushaver Pasha to proceed in a 
steamer to the offing of Sevastopol, show the allied 


admirals the orders of the Turkish fleet, disclose to 
them its stored and crowded state, and obtain their 
sanction for the continuance forthwith of its course to 
Circassia. None of them anticipated opposition from 
those distinguished individuals when made acquainted 
with the facts of the case. Mushaver Pasha accepted 
the mission, faintly encouraged by the altered circum- 
stances under which he should again meet the Allies' 
admirals. When he had previously had that honour, at 
Baltchik, the Circassian expedition was in embryo ; now 
it was developed into form and substance, and respect 
for their rank forbade him to assume without evidence 
an intention to mar the result of much cost and prepara- 
tion for the sake of their consistency. 

Leaving accordingly his ship hove to with the fleet 
off Cape Kellagriah, Mushaver Pasha steamed for the 
oflBng of Sevastopol; and on the way, that nothing 
pertinent to the matter might be omitted in his interview 
with the Allies' admirals, he noted down the following 
memorandum for their consideration : — 

** Fam-hari, at Sea, May 10th, 1854. 

** The position of the Turkish army in Asia has excited 
anxiety, seeing the consequences that might ensue from its 
possible defeat. Persia, now waiting on events, might in 
that case, declaring war, march on Bagdad ; the conquest 
of which would be considered more than an equivalent for 
the provinces wrested from her by Russia during the last 
half-century. Hereditary aud religious associations are 
connected with Bagdad ; and the power which shall hold 
that prize out to the Persians will be readily listened to. 

*' The Porte hopes to find auxiliary means of checking 



the assumed advance of the Russian army of Georgia in 
the hostility of Circassia and Daghestan. Hitherto 
during the actual war they have rendered no service to 
the common cause, and have offered no more hindrance 
to Russia than they have done at any time during the 
last twenty years. Their attitude has heen defensive ; 
whereas the object is to render it offensive, and thereby 
influence Russia by the apprehension of a diversion on 
the flank or rear of her army in Asia. For this purpose 
it is necessary to unite the tribes under Sheick Schamyl's 
rule with the tribes ruled vicariously by him, and to 
supply them with military aid. 

** With orders to proceed to the coast of Circassia, 
after consultation with the allied admirals, the Turkish 
fleet has left the Bosphorus. Sefer Pasha and Behchet 
Pasha with 300 of their countrymen, and several Euro- 
pean officers to act as ialimgis (instructors), are 
embarked in it. Those pashas 'bear the Sultan's 
firman, empowering them to act in his name, and are 
carrying nishans of merit and herats of rank to influential 
chieftains. In their opinion, unless the Caucasians operate 
timely in concert and with strategy, the Russian advance 
in Asia will be certain. There are embarked in the fleet 
a battery complete with artillery officers and 300 rounds 
for each gun, 600 barrels of gunpowder, 500 cases of 
musket cartridges, 400 cases of muskets, 2,000 pistols, 
20 cases of cutlasses, 10,000 moulds of lead, 1,000 axes, 
7 cases of flints, 300 soup-kettles, and 20,000 okas of 
salt, besides tents and bales of cotton cloth. Circassian 
merchants have also embarked with wares to reopen the 
trade, suspended for many years. Concurrently, orders 
have been sent to Selim Pasha at Batoom, for the 


embarkation of 4,000 troops in the fleet for conveyance 
to Circassia. It is anticipated that with the aid of 4,000 
regular troops, the marines of the fleet, European miUtary 
instructors, field-pieces, and other named munitions of 
war, the Circassians will be able to act offensively on the 
enemy's territory. At the same time Soukhoum Kaleh, 
after being reduced, will be garrisoned and its works 
strengthened, so as to render its port of due value. 

** The Circassian pashas in and the superior officers 
of the Turkish fleet trust that the allied admirals will 
see with pleasure and advise its departure from the coast 
of Roumelia to the coast of Circassia without delay. 
Time is precious. The season for operations is rapidly 
advancing, and if the Circassians shall not be enabled to 
act soon, it is doubtful if they will be in a position to 
render valid service in the war. Defensive hostility will 
be of no avail. They must take the offensive, and for 
that they require excitement in gifts and promises, and 
the aid which the Ottoman fleet is bringing them. 

*' The Porte has been in communication with the 
Circassians on the subject, and the latter are daily 
expecting the Ottoman fleet as the signal for their 
gathering. If it do not soon make its appearance ofif 
their coast, doubts will arise in their minds of the 
Porte's earnestness." 

May 11th, in the forenoon, making the land of the 
Crimea, the Faisi-hari tried speed with a large war- 
steamer, which thought her intent on breaking the 
blockade. Intent on that, she would have made Cape Aia 
early in the morning, and have run along shore, probably 
unnoticed, to Sevastopol. A Hamburgher crossing her 


bows was momentarily taken for a Russian, and was 
nearly having a shot fired at him by an impatient gunner. 
She ascertained from the stranger that the ships seen occa- 
sionally through the haze, half topsails down to windward, 
were the Allies. She then sighted Cape Chersonesus, 
spoke H.M.S. I'm-ihle, and in the afternoon joined the 
Anglo-French fleet, hove to in a fog, — the fog fatal to 
H.M.S. Tiger, — twenty-five miles west of Sevastopol. 

The rank of the allied admirals being coequal, the 
first visit to either was, on the score of etiquette, a 
matter of indifference, admitting the indulgence of a 
natural bias. 

Admiral Dundas, seeing the Faisi-bari alone, fancied 
her come in pursuance of his wish to join the detached 
allied squadron, and under this impression he cordially 
welcomed Mushaver Pasha on board the Britannia. 
**How many days' coal have you got?" he asked, and 
scarcely waiting for an answer told him to follow the 
squadron with all speed to the coast. But when he heard 
the object of the pasha's mission, the friend gave place to 
the admiral. His recommendation to the Porte about the 
Turkish fleet had been disregarded. His directions to 
its commander to cruise off the coast of Roumelia had 
been dissented from. That fleet had been placed under 
liis orders, he said, and he would be obeyed. He listened 
impatiently to the perusal of the Turkish fleet's orders 
and the afore-cited memorandum. Giving no heed to 
the tenor of the former nor the argument of the latter, he 
reproached their bearer with being the cause of that 
fleet's Circassian destination, and expressed astonishment 
at his having dared to give advice at variance with his 
opinion. The pasha, asserting the policy of its destina- 


tion, reminded the gallant admiral of the priority of his 
suggestion in that respect to the expression of the admiral's 
opinion thereon ; and ventured to observe that although its 
commander was instructed to act in concert with the AUies' 
admirals, he might fairly expect to he consulted with, if 
only for form's sake. The deference for rank and age 
acquired by the habits of naval life enabled him to bear 
with equanimity a sally of ofi&cial discontent, such as a 
worried first-lieutenant might have addressed to a truant 
midshipman! He was in a mood, seeing the importance 
of 'the issue between them, to exclaim with the Grecian, 
** Strike, but hear ! " That would not have availed him. 
He might have been tapped good-humouredly on the 
shoulder; he would not have been hstened to. The 
gallant admiral refused to discuss with him the affairs of 
the Turkish fleet before consulting with Admiral Hamelin ; 
between whom and himself, he said, perfect accord 
existed on all subjects. Without his concurrence he 
decided on nothing. He would confer with him next 
day, and then give their joint answer. 

Accompanied by an officer of the Britannia, Mushaver 
Pasha next rowed to the Ville d^ Paris. Admiral Hamelin 
received him with formal courtesy at the entering port, 
and having heard his colleague's message, delivered 
aside, conducted him into the cabin, to which he sum- 
moned the chief of his staff. Mushaver Pasha explained 
to those two officers the state of the Turkish fleet and 
the purport of his visit. He dwelt on the importance 
attached by the Porte to its Circassian expedition. He 
gave them a French translation of the orders of the 
fleet to read, and translated to them, viva voce^ at 
their request, his own memorandum, which appeared 


to interest them. Admiral Hamelin admitted the policy 
of aiding the Circassians, but aUowed his jadgment 
to be warj^ed by other considerations. He expressed 
ap[»rehension of the Russian fleet pursuing the Turkish 
fl«'et to the eastward and causing another dif^aster. 
Thanking liim for his solicitude about their safety 
(wliich seemed uncalled for), Mushaver Pasha expressed 
}iis doulit of the Russian admiral, even though a Paul 
Jo;jos, being so demented as to leave his only port 
to run after the Turkish fleet, now become of secondary 
importance. That would indeed be playing the Allies' 
game. That consideration should be an additional 
reason for the Turkish fleet steering eastward, to become 
a d(jcoy duck. He invited the admiral's attention to the 
dissimilarity between the cases, so marked as to destroy 
comparison. The Sinope squadron had been feeble, 
demoralized by cold and anxiety, and the allied fleets 
were then moored at Beikos, their governments at peace 
with Russia. Now, the Turkish fleet was comparatively 
cflicient, the weather was mild, and the allied fleets com- 
manded the Euxine. 

Unable to controvert this matter-of-fact statement. 
Admiral Hamelin entrenched hinjself behind his original 
argument. If the Turkish fleet went to the coast of 
Circassia the allied fleets ought in his opinion to remain 
off* Svivastopol, whi(rh was out of the question, as they 
W(?re about to retmii to Baltchik for water. Serious respon- 
Kil)ility, he repeatiHl emphatically, would be incurred by 
him if during their absence the Russian fleet should 
track the Turkish fleet and bring it to action. He had, 
he said, received blame on account of the battle of 
Sinope, and he was disinclined to risk a repetition. The 


ascription of daring folly to the Russians was as gra- 
tuitous, as the motive assigned for intermitting the 
blockade, supposing one necessary, was specious. The 
Russians possessed then in Sevastopol eleven or twelve 
serviceable line-of-battle ships, and the Vladimir was the 
best of their steamers. With five line-of-battle ships 
watering at a time, the Allies would have had thirteeji 
line-of-battle ships disposable, with several steam frigates, 
to maintain the blockade with. One thought of the tedious 
blockades of other days, with ships which would now 
be pronounced uuseaworthy, on a strict allowance of 
nauseous cask-water : one thought of Nelson detaching 
four of his ships from ofi" Cadiz to water at Tetuan. In 
those memorable days the practice was to cruise off an 
enemy's port with an inferior force in the hope of enticing 
him out : in the late war the practice was to appear off 
the enemy's port with a superior force and gibe him for 
remaining in. In conclusion. Admiral Htimelin said he 
would talk to Admiral Dundas on the matter : perfect 
cordiality on all subjects existed between them ; they 
would consult together about the Turkish fleet, and then 
give an answer. 

Having thus disposed of the public business, Admiral 
Hamelin abruptly took his visitor to task about a 
private affair more interesting in his eyes than the 
Caucasus — about a letter written by him five months 
earlier, by request, to an eminent person at Constan- 
tinople, on the advantage to be derived from the pre- 
sence of the Anglo-French fleet in the Euxine, and 
the facility of its remaining in that sea with Sinope to 
water at : a copy of which had recently found its way to 
his hands. He brought this matter on the tapis with the 


remark, **We have seen your letter which sent ns all 
into the Black Sea last winter '* — a distinction assuredly 
not claimed for it by the writer. The gallant admiral 
commented with professional zeal on the indecorum of 
any person writing about his fleet, and his indignation 
thereat measured the position attained in its estima- 
tion by the French navy : a position above criticism. 
Mushaver Pasha, with great respect for that navy, a 
witness to its remarkable progress in a few years, could 
not take that view of the case. A more careful perusal 
of his letter, he observed in reply, would show that his 
remarks had applied to the French in connection with 
the English fleet, under the collective term '* allied 
fleets ; '' meaning thereby that it was in good company. 
This seemed to the admiral a distinction without a 
difierence. Any reference to the proceedings of a French 
fleet, though in a private letter, was an ofieuce in his 
eyes grave enough to justify him in withholding thence- 
forwards his countenance from the author of it ; and not 
content with that, he called upon Admiral Dundas after- 
wards to follow his example. 

The gallant admirals, fearing perhaps to com- 
promise the dignity of either by rowing in the fog to 
the other's ship, failed to meet according to promise, but 
came all the same to a perfect understanding with each 
other. On the third day, feeling the inutility of waiting 
longer, Mushaver Pasha, having dined in the interval 
with Admiral Dundas, took leave of him and of 
Admiral Hamelin in their respective flag-ships ; receiving 
from the former, as their joint answer, the following 
letter for the commander of the Turkish fleet, with 
a verbal message to him to consider the anchorage 


of Baltchik reserved exclusively for the Anglo-French 
fleet : — 

** Britannia^ off Sevastopol, 18th May, 1864. 

** Sir, — I had the honour to address you a letter on 
the 5th inst., informing you of the wish of Vice-Admiral 
Hamelin and myself as to the movements of the squadron 
under your command then about to enter the Black Sea, 
and I now enclose you a copy of it. 

** Admiral Hamelin and myself still request you will 
be guided by the opinion therein expressed, and I have 
further to beg you will bo pleased to make your future 
communications in writing, as verhal messages may lead 
to serious inconveniences and mistakes. 

(Signed) '' J. W. D. Dundas, 

'' Vice-Admiral, Commander-in-Chief. 
** To Vice-Admiral Ahmed Pasha.'* 

This laconic epistle found the Turkish fleet just 
emerged from the fog, co-exteusive with the Euxine, in 
which it had been straying some days, and created a 
corresponding mental haze out of the elements of anger 
and disappointment. The aUied admirals had addressed 
its commander-in-chief Tsith scant consideration for his 
rank, and had characterized a mission entrusted by him to 
a flag-officer as a verhal message. Whose dog was he, to 
be treated in that way ? The Circassian pashas were 
dismayed at the adjournment of the expedition ; and the 
sickness among their countrymen and women, through 
confinement and privations, became aggravated by despon- 
dency. No allusion having been made in their letter to 
Mushaver Pasha, the allied admirals might officially 
ignore his mission. It therefore devolved on the Turkish 


commander-in-chief, in the interest of the Porte and his . 
own responsibility, to confirm it in detail. He hesitated 
to take a step likely in his opinion to incense his super- 
cilious colleagues, and counselled anxiously several days 
with his familiars before making up his mind to sign the 
letter * to that effect which he sent them. 

Achmet Pasha's heart was not in the Circassiim 
expedition. He agreed with Admiral Hamelin on the 
imprudence of the Turkish fleet going eastwai-d, with 
Sevastopol unblockaded by the Allies, and he easily con- 
soled himself for the tone of Admiral Dundas's letter. 
Though addressed to him, its sting was evidently meant 
for another. Lynx-eyed as a Persian in detecting a 
slight, he saw that, through irreverence or some other 
cause, Mushaver Pasha had forfeited the allied admirals' 
favour, and that he himself, if successful in acquiring it 
instead, would stand all the higher in the eyes of his own 
people — seeing him preferred by them to a Nazarene, 
one of their own race^-and be able perhaps to make 
capital out of it at the Porte. On this prompting he 
acted. While he spat, figuratively, on their beards, and 
spoke disrespectfully of their mothers, for the '* dirt '' 
they made him (^by his own account) eat in his interviews 
with them from time to time, he laid himself out in an 
Oriental spirit to win their smiles by any and every 
means ; excusing his versatiUty by what he termed the 
exigencies of his position. 

* Vide Appendix II. 

( 237 ) 


The Allies' Fleets at Baltchik — How they watched Sevastopol— The 
Turkish Fleet kept at oat-post Duty — What might have been 
done in the Summer of 1854 — Powerlul Force of the Fleets — 
Discourtesy to Mushaver Pasha — Conciliatory Compliments unac- 
knowledged — Tidings of the Anglo-French Squadron on the 
Circassian Coast — Turkish Envoys and Munitions of War tran- 
shipped to Circassia — Precipitancy of the Measure — Indignation of 
the Turks — Disappointment of the Circassians — Admiral Sir 
Edmund Lyons' lieport of the Circassians — Motives of the 
Allies' Admirals — Articles in the Daily Xcwh — Mortality in the 
Turkish Fleet — Its Cause — The Allies' Admirals object to its 
Cruising, and order it to lie at Varna — liemonstrance of the 
Turkish and Egyptian Admirals — Recall of the Fleet by the 
Porte — Views of the Allies' Admirals as to the Turkish Fleet 
carried out — Results of their Proceedings — Effect on the Circas- 
sians — The Allies' Admirals secure for Russia in War what she had 
not ventured to ask in Peace. 

Within eight days of the date of the letter cited in the 
last chapter, the Allies' fleets returned to Baltchik. As 
they passed Kavama, the Turkish fleet lying there 
showed them deep respect. It loosed its sails, drew up 
guards of honour on its poops, with bands playing alter- 
nately French and Enghsh airs, and sent its steamers to 
aid in towiug them to their anchorage. Those fleets 
remained at Baltchik, with one short interval, until 
the ensuing September : a couple of their steamers 
looked into Sevastopol occasionally, and that inspection 


was humorously termed equivalent to a blockade. 
During that period the Russians may have conveyed 
munitions of war unnoted from Nicolaef to Sevastopol ; 
and might, if they had had the wit, have sent their 
small frigates hghtened and corvettes, useless at 
Sevastopol, into the Sea of Azof for its protection. 
The Allies' admirals refused to allow the Turkish fleet — 
solicitous of the honour for the sake of example — 
to lie in company with their ships, and practically 
commented on their professed anxiety for its safety 
by retaining it at the outer anchorage of Kavama, 
seven miles to windward, in the way to intercept fire- 
ships, expected to be made use of by the Russians as in 
all their previous wars with Turkey. The Turks, thus 
left to themselves, did out-post duty for their allies 
with cruisers beyond Cape Kelhigriah. There was no 
necessity for that precaution. The three fleets lay 
protected by the renown of the British navy. That 
ancient renown covered the Black Sea as with a mantle, 
and kept the Russians quiet. 

Much might easily have been effected during those 
three precious summer months of 1854, In the first 
place, the Turkish fleet, carrying out the Porte's policy, 
might have laid the foundation of Caucasian indepen- 
dence. In the next place, a squadron of the allies' 
line-of-battle ships with attendant steam frigates, the 
bulk of their fleet off Sevastopol, might have silenced 
Kilburn and Okchakof forts ; and then the steamers, 
ascending the Boug, might have fired the arsenal of 
Nicolaef, at that time unfortified and feebly garrisoned. 
War having found Russia unprepared, ill able to make 
front all round the compass, early maritime operations in 

THE allies' fleets AT BALTCHIK. 239 

the Black Sea would, in their reaction, have been 
sensibly felt in her vulnerable quarter, her southern 
provinces. The apologists for the inaction of the Allies' 
admirals at Baltchik during that summer have instanced* 
their deficient means, by comparison with the means at 
the disposal of their successors the following year. 
Relatively with the preparedness of the enemy in 
1865, they were equal ; and they were far superior to 
any ever possessed by their predecessors in command 
of fleets in any quarter of the globe. While steam 
locomotion was yet a philosopher's dream, the British 
navy had ascended rivers in North America, sailing and 
warping, and had landed armies in Egypt in the face of 
gallant expectant foes. 

The Allies' admirals, on their arrival at Baltchik, 
desired the commander of the Turkish fleet, Ahmed 
Pasha (who gave earnest of compliance) , to come un- 
accompanied by Mushaver Pasha, when wishing to 
confer with them. There was nothing in the caution 
to take exception at; all that made it noticeable 
was its contrast with Admiral Dundas's refusal some 
months earlier at Constantinople to have an interview 
with the former, at the request of the authorities, 
unless in presence of the latter, ** that his words," he 
said, '* might not again be misrepresented." More signi- 
ficantly Admiral Dundas abstained, out of deference it 
was said for his French colleague's whim, from inviting 
Mushaver Pasha to an official dinner in the Britannia^ 
given May 24th, in honour of the Queen's birthday ; to 
which the captains of his own fleet, the flag-officers and 
captains of the French fleet, and the native pashas of 
the Turkish fleet with one Turkish bey were invited. 


The invitations were sent to the Turkish fleet in a 
manner which gave immediate publicity to an exclusion 
little to be anticipated. A breach of the laws of hospi- 
tality or decorum is .a momentous affair in the East, 
because it presages mischief for the object of it ; and 
therefore speculation on what might follow after an 
Oriental fashion was excited among the Turkish oflScers, 
who, with exaggerated notions of their power, thought 
the admirals spiteful. Mushaver Pasha reassured some 
and disconcerted others by proceeding in a steam 
tender from Kavarna, in the forenoon of the said 
24th May, to Baltchik, to pay his personal respects to 
Admiral Dundas as the Queen's representative in the 
Black Sea ; and he recommended his colleagues to send 
their flag-captains to comphment him in their names. 
They sent them with sweet-off'erings, they dressed their 
ships in colours, they fired royal salutes, and did not 
receive a simple " thank you '* in return. 

While we were thus loyally occupied in the Britannia, 
the imperial French steamer Mogador arrived from 
Circassia with the first intelligence of the detached 
Anglo-French squadron. It had looked at Anapa and 
Soudjouk Kaleh on- the coast of Abasia, had landed 
tw^o officers at Vardan to g&ther notions, had found 
Soukhoum Kaleh abandoned by the enemy and in 
possession of wild Circassians, busy extracting bolts 
from gun-carriages ; and then, embarking a Turkish 
battahon at Tchuruk-sou, had occupied with it Redout 
Kaleh, as the Russians, who had already sent away 
their military stores to Kutais, were in the act of evacu- 
ating it. 

The admirals, considering the occupation of Redout 


Kaleh a signal advantage, resolved to follow it up 
** vigorously." With this view, they sent for the Turkish 
and Egyptian pashas, who were whiling away the time 
before dinner with the Mudir of Baltchik, and without 
preamble ordered them to transfer the passengers and 
munitions of war, embarked for Circassia in the Ottoman 
fleet, to an English screw line-of-battle ship and two 
Turkish steam frigates, for despatch that very evening to 
to Soukhoum Kaleh and Redout Kaleh ; little thinking 
that stores landed at the latter place, in Mingreliuy had 
obviously shght chance of ever reaching Circassia. 
Remarks incidentally dropped by the admirals in dis- 
paragement of sail ships, — about the time they would take 
to traverse the Black Sea, — had indicated the prospect 
of some such mode of reconciling their duty by the 
Circassians (as they understood it) with the detention of 
the Turkish fleet at Kavama ; and therefore to meet that 
objection the pashas were advised to propose, in amend- 
ment, for the four Turkish steam frigates present to tow 
as many line-of-battle ships across the Euxine. No delay 
would have ensued therefrom. Thus handicapped, those 
steamers would have fairly kept pace with their consort 
the Sans Pareil. To no purpose. The gallant admirals 
could not, or would not, be brought to see the difference 
between an expedition and a consignment — the diflference, 
in the eyes of a semi-barbarous people, between landing 
envoys, auxiliaries, arms and ammunition from a squadron 
with attendant pomp and circumstance, and dropping 
them like ordinary passengers and goods from crowded 
transports. Better far, but for appearance sake, have 
sent them all back to Constantinople. 

The precipitancy of the measure was remonstrated 



against : a respite only till next forenoon was prayed for, 
to eflFect the transhipment with due regard for the rank 
and sex of some of the parties, and for the safety of the 
ammunition. That reasonable prayer was refused. The 
two pashas were desired, within an hour of the dinner 
they had been invited to, to return to Kavama and see at 
once to the business. Having to row back in their barges 
seven miles, they reached their ships hungry and weary, 
with gall in their hearts. One of them, usually reticent, 
exclaimed, in the midst of his scribes and domestics sur- 
prised at his return dinnerless, *' Can I ever forgive this 
treatment ! " Chafing under contumely, they carried out 
the irrational order : an order which they might, on the 
ground of policy and humanity, have declined to act upon. 
Pashas, military instructors, traders, women, children, 
field-pieces, small arms, gunpowder, provisions, and 
merchandise, were transferred, between 7 and 12 p.m. 
of the 24th of May, 1854, from a dozen vessels in 
the exposed roadstead of Kavama to the said three 
steamers, with unavoidable confusion, damage and 
personal risk. No order of precedence or arrangement 
could be observed in the hurry of transhipment ; no 
lists could be made of the goods hoisted in indiscri- 
minately over the gangways, or handed pelc mele out of 
the boats through the ports of the steamers. 

Earely has a more ''fantastic trick" been played by 
"men dressed m a little brief authority.'' It made 
many sigh, if it did not make angels weep. Sefer 
Pasha and his colleague expressed becomingly their 
sorrow for such indecorous treatment. The European 
" instructors *' swore loudly and declared the admirals 
worse than Turks. Women and childi-en, roused out 


of sleep, screamed with alarm in the boats. Several 
artillerymen ashore lost their passage. Half the ammu- 
nition was necessarily left for another opportunity ; much 
of the remainder having to be stowed, through want 
of room in the magazines, on the lower decks of the 
Turkish steamers thronged with a promiscuous crowd. 
The explosion of either on the passage should have 
caused no surprise. 

Circassians of rank and others landed like adven- 
turers, arms and stores cast on the shore to be scrambled 
for, could not be expected, even by the AUies' admirals, 
to produce the same result as if the former had disem- 
barked with honours from a fleet, and the latter had 
been distributed with discernment. Sefer Pasha, re- 
turning to his country like a refugee, was long in 
recovering some of his prestige. The military instructors 
remained undirected, smoking their pipes at Soukhoum 
Ealeh, till they dispersed sick at heart. Behchet Pasha 
and others, landed at Ardler, turned their attention 
to pursuits of individual advantage. The presents and 
cloaks of honour intended for Circassian chieftains were 
appropriated by those entrusted with them. The stores 
melted away. The Caucasians, the parties chiefly inter- 
ested, declared themselves betrayed as usual by the 
Porte. '' The Porte promised us," they said, ** the 
Turkish fleet with troops, and never sent it." 

Four days after the Mogadovy Rear-Admiral Sir 
Edmund Lyons arrived at Baltchik from the coast of 
Circassia, and as the proceedings of the Turkish fleet 
had been ostensibly made dependent on the information 
he might bring, we entertained hopes of being allowed 
to follow our friends, about whom some uneasiness was 



felt. The expedition had suflFered heavy discouragement ; 
but there was yet time for efficient operations. The 
Rear-Admiral reported the Circassians to be divided 
among themselves and clamorous for troops to act with 
them against the Russians, — the old oft-repeated tale. 
We had had in view to assuage their dissensions and 
give them the means of organization with military aid. 
He was as much opposed as ever to the Turkish fleet's 
Circassian destination ; and thus supported, the Allies' 
admirals, throwing oflF the mask, definitively declared it 
inopportune. Then, with strange inconsistency, they 
desired the commander of the Turkish fleet to write to 
the seraskir at Constantinople a request for troops to be 
sent to Circassia. The seraskir's reply was reproachful. 
** With Roumelia in revolt and the Russians on the right 
bank of the Danube, we cannot spare troops for Circassia : 
we gave our fleet for that service, with orders to embark 
4,000 troops at Batoom, and the AlUes' admirals have 
detained it at Kavama." 

This was the only audible accordant note between the 
commanders-in-chief and the seconds in command of the 
Anglo-French fleet in the Euxine during the year 1854. 
Their motive was transparent. They ill brooked the idea 
of the comparison sure to be drawn by the pubhc between 
the Turkish fleet active on the coast of Circassia and the 
combined fleets idle at Baltchik. One of the chiefs had, as 
we have seen, been already morosely afiected by observa- 
tions in a private letter, and the other had been painfully 
excited by articles in the Daily News ; the indirect 
authorship of which he — misled by a pleasant guest who 
added one and .two together and made the sum even — 
attributed to the writer of these pages, who had fortu- 


nately the opportunity given him to repudiate the charge 
in presence of the worthy admiral, before his informant 
and other witnesses.* Nevertheless, the acrimonious 
feelings naturally excited thereby never entirely subsided ; 
so true is Solomon's remark: ** The words of a tale- 
bearer are as wounds, and they go down into the inner- 
most parts of the belly." 

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. 

The admirals, moUified apparently by its docility, 
graciously allowed the Turkish fleet about mid June to 
quit Kavama and he with their fleets at Baltchik. 
Encouraged by this condescension, the Turkish fleet, 
after a few days of neighbourly intercourse, proposed to 
part company and cruise ofi* the coast of Anatolia. The 
inhabitants of that coast required encouragement ; the 
coasting trade, exposed to a dash from Sevastopol, 
required protection ; the fleet required fresh provisions, 
unattainable by it in competition with the fleets of 

* The calumny alluded to in the text had its origin as follows : — 
A medical gentleman in London wrote to the author a request, on behalf 
of a patient connected with the Daily News, to recommend a corre- 
spondent at Constantinople for that paper. Knowing of no one in that 
line, the author applied to some friends at Thcrapia, who requested him 

to make the oflfer to Dr. . He accordingly sent the letter he had 

received to the literary doctor, with an intimation that if the post suited 
him he might put himself in communication with the editor of the Daili/ 
News. He heard no more of the matter ; but has reason to believe the 
oflfer was not accepted. Quidnuncs, on the assumption of its acceptance, 
jumped to the conclusion that the recommender influenced the writer. 
The request in question had been written after the publication of the 
offending articles in the Daily News. On their appearance at Constan- 
tinople, the author of these pages, thinking them harsh and unmerited, 
wrote in that vein to his brother in London, and begged him to 
mitigate their effect as far as he could among his friends in his clubs and 
at the bar. 


wealthy European Governments. At Eavama its crews 
had received only five ounces of meat per man twice a 
week, while vegetables, in default of which the Turk's 
health soon droops, were not procurable : keshkesh 
(pounded boiled wheat) served out for a while in lieu, 
proved deleterious ; and the consequence of all was, in 
addition to a mortality on board at the rate of ten per cent, 
per annum since leaving the Bosphorus, eleven per cent, 
of the force, several hundreds of whom had to be inva- 
lided, were afflicted more or less with scurvy. This 
reasonable request for a cruise was unfavourably received. 
Nothing short of its quitting the Black Sea could assure 
the Allies' admirals of the Turkish fleet not going to the 
coast of Circassia when out of their reach. Equally 
averse from its presence in their sight, they ordered it to 
go and lie at Varna, an objectionable anchorage. At 
Varna the supply difficulty would have been enhanced, 
for the Allies' military purveyors were there with open 
bags of gold. 

This order exhausted, for the moment. Oriental 
patience. The Turkish and Egyptian admirals there- 
upon wrote a joint letter to the Allies' admirals, in 
which they courteously requested to be informed of their 
motives for wishing thus to sequester twenty sail of men- 
of-war ; reminded them of their own responsibility to the 
Porte, and proposed an interview with them ; in answer 
to which the admirals, in an official letter, informed them 
of their having already requested the EngUsh and French 
ambassadors at Constantinople to make a communication 
to the Porte respecting its fleet, and pending the arrival 
of the answer, they begged to decline an interview. The 
terms of their letter, written before the junction of the 


fleets Bt Baltchik, did not transpire ; but the result was 
the recall of the Turkish fleet, excepting two line-of- 
battle ships, already there for the purpose, which 
were ordered to lie at Varna to assist in the disem- 
barkation of the Allies' armies' stores. The Porte 
thought that its fleet, doomed to inactivity, might 
as well lie in the Bosphorus with consideration and 
full rations, as in the Bay of Kavama with humiliation 
and scurvy. 

Thus circuitously, the Allies' admirals succeeded in 
carrying out their original views respecting the Turkish 
fleet, as intimated to Mushaver Pasha three months 
earlier at Baltchik. They carried them out to the very 
letter. They doubtless, in accordance with human 
infirmity, felt proud of their triumph. They had marred 
an ably designed expedition, promising success, which 
had sailed from the Bosphorus with four attainable 
objects in view. First, to make Soukhoum Kaleh the 
base of Caucasian operations; attempted seventeen 
months later, then too late. Secondly, to reduce other 
Russian positions on the coast of Abasia; abandoned 
a year later unmolested. Thirdly, to unite the Circas- 
sians by Moslem co-operation, and by the stimulus 
of imperial favours ; also attempted fifteen months 
later with trivial means by the Allies' agents, then 
too late. Fourthly, to show the Turkish flag to the 
Crim Tartars, and open communications with them in 
anticipation of the invasion of the Crimea by the allied 
armies. Instead of cheering it on and aiding it, the 
Allies' admirals, in the exercise of their discretion, 
detained the Turkish fleet in the Bay of Kavama, dete- 
riorating there from day to day from inaction and 


disappointment. They had, moreover, overlooked an 
important principle. 

Since the peace of Adrianople, the Turkish fleet had 
been excluded from the Black Sea, not in virtue of any 
treaty, but out of the Porte's deference for Kussia's 
susceptibihty in regard to Circassia and the Crimea. 
The Circassians and the Crimeans, unread, untravelled, 
connect the past and the present by ocular evidence. 
They distrust what they may hear; they may credit 
what they see. They knew traditionally that Turkey 
had been, in former days, a naval power. Russia willed 
their ignorance of her remaining one, to strengthen the 
sense of her ascendancy in their minds. The interest 
created by the presence of two Turkish brigs of war at 
Sevastopol, sent there in the autumn of 1850 to break 
the charm, showed the wisdom of her prevision. During 
three weeks 9,000 Russians and 10,000 Tartars visited 
them. Many of the latter came expressly from the ends 
of the Crimea ; and some among them, aged men who 
remembered another order of things, were lachrymosely 
moved on finding themselves xmder the Turkish flag. 
This evidence of the vitality of religious associations 
indicated the enthusiasm which the appearance of a 
Moslem fleet at Eafla, a Turkish settlement in the days 
of Crimean independence, would have evoked in 1854. 
What Russia had not ventured to ask for in peace, 
the Allies' admirals insisted upon in war : viz., the 
exclusion of the Turkish fleet from the only sea where 
its flag could give her umbrage, and where alone it could 
have a moral effect. 

The Turkish fleet re-anchored in the Bosphorus, 
July 3, 1854. A letter followed it from Admiral Deans 


Dundas to the president of the nayal council, expressive 
of his desire for its crews to be sent to Batoom for 
military duty. No notice was taken of this singular 
proposition ; but 300 men were appropriately sent to the 
Danube for boat and other nautical duties, making with 
those already there 700 sailors of the imperial fleet 
detached for service on that river. 



The Russian Army crosses the Danube — Prince Paskievitch lays 
Siege to Silistria — Its Governor, Musa Pasha, is killed — Gallantry 
of the British Officers Butler and Nasmyth — The Allies aroused 
to Activity — Conference with Omar Pasha at Schumla — Duke of 
Cambridge embarks with his Division for Varna — Quiescence 
of Omar Pasha — The Russians raise the Siege of Silistria — • 
What the Allies might have done — Todleben joins the Russian 
Camp — Prince Gortchakofs Advice — The allied Armies ordered 
to the^ Crimea — Proposals of Austria — Her *' Material Guaran- 
tee " — Plans of France and England — Reasonable Hopes of 
Success — Sevastopol no longer ** a standing Menace " — Position 
of Constantinople — What is wanting to make it Predominant 
— Results of such Consummation — Feelings of the Turkish Navy 
— Exploit of a Russian War Steamer — The Turkish Fleet at 
Varna — The Town occupied by the Allies — Unceremonious Pro- 
ceedings of the French — Disgust of the Inhabitants — Danger fi*om 
Fire — Neglect of Precautions against it — Outbreak of Fire — 
Losses of the British Commissariat — No one to direct Operations 
— Conduct of European and Turkish Soldiers contrasted — 
Groundless Suspicions of Greek Treachery — Too late Precautions 
— Stormy Meeting of Turkish Notables — Angry Complaints 
against the European Commanders — Accessibility of Turkish 
Officials — Indignant Speech of an Efendi — Danger to the Shipping 
in the Bay — No Guard-vessels — Outbreak of the Cholera at 
Varna — Observations of the Disease — Inferences and Proofs — 
Assistance safely rendered by the Healthy and Well-fed — ^Danger 
of Mental Depression — Treatment of Cholera by the Turks — 
Danger from checked Perspiration — Why the Turkish Crews 
suffered less from Cholera — Superstitious Panic of Turkish Sailors 
— Heavy Losses of French Troops from Disease — Mortality at 
Kusteng^ — Sickness in the British Army — Its Causes. 

In the meanwhile the Russian army, under Prince 
Gortchakof, had crossed the Danube at Toolscha; the 


spot where Darius crossed that river on his Scythian 
expedition. The most accessible point of the river for 
the disembftrkation of an army, opposite Ismael, had 
been left invitingly bare of the means of resistance. 
Thence the Eussians marched by Issatcha, Matchin, and 
Hirsova, the garrisons of which retired on their approach, 
to Sihstria ; before which they sat down, under the vete- 
ran Marshal Prince Paskievitch. The memorable siege 
of Sihstria, characterized by moving incidents, had run 
its course. The envied martyr's death of Musa Pasha, • 
its governor, mortally wounded by a piece of shell while 
in the act of stepping on to his sedjadeh to say his evening 
prayer, had sent a fervid thrill through Islam. ** For 
him," said the Turkish Gazette, ** the gates of Paradise 
opened wide.*' The gallantry of Captain Butler and 
Lieutenant Nasmyth, in sharing the vigils and perils of 
the Turco-Egyptian band entrusted with the defence of 
Arah Kedoubt, had given every EngUshman a personal 
interest in the siege. 

The progress of the siege had aroused the Allies from 
their dream of Oriental repose ; had dispelled the idea in 
their minds of the improbabihty of a shot being fired in 
anger by them. Marshal St. Amaud and General Lord 
Raglan, accompanied by the Turkish ministers of war 
and of marine, had gone to Schumla to confer with 
Omar Pasha, had ascertained the danger of Sihstria, had 
returned hurriedly to Constantinople, and had begun 
towards the end of May to send troops to Varna. The 
Duke of Cambridge embarked with his division, June 13. 
The presence of a fine Turkish army at Schumla, and the 
gathering of the Allies in the neighbourhood of Varna, 
influenced without doubt the result of the siege ; but it 


ought not to be forgotten that neither moved a step to re- 
lieve the brave garrison, who had remained by their gnns 
twenty-five days and nights. Straitened for provisions, 
Silistria was on the point of surrendering. Its governor had 
abeady informed the generahssimo of his inability to hold 
out another week. '* God is great," was virtually the reply. 
Omer Pasha's quiescent attitude at Schumla, making 
no serious- attempt to disturb the besiegers, in a highly 
critical position between him and the Danube, is an 
• enigma for a future Jomini to solve. All he apparently 
did was to allow Behram Pasha (General Cannon) to 
manoeuvre himself with a brigade of infantry into the 
place a few days before the termination of the siege. 
But the Russians not suspecting scarcity in Silistria, the 
place being open for supplies, apprehending also the 
advance of converging armies from Varna and Schumla, 
when they would not have saved either their guns or 
baggage, raised the siege, June 18, and retreated with 
their entire materiel : more fortunate in that respect 
than their predecessors in 1828, who after four months' 
open trenches before Silistria, defended then chiefly by 
irregulars, left half their guns behind them, and aban- 
doned nearly all the others in their retreat, harassed by 
the victorious garrison and by detachments from the 
Grand Vizir's army at Schumla. Had the Turks and 
the Allies followed up with like vigour Prince Paskievitch 
in 1854, they would have routed his army beyond the 
power of rallying. The Allies might afterwards have 
marched leisurely to Odessa, have there re-embarked in 
their fleets, or have continued their march by Nicolaef, 
Klierson, and Perekop to the Crimea. Although circuitous, 
that was the best road to Sevastopol. 


A few days before. the close of the siege of Silistria, 
an officer of engineers — so it has been said — joined the 
Bussian camp, simultaneously with the arrival of an 
earnest request from Prince Mentchikof in the Crimea 
for an able engineer. Prince Gortchakof s choice fell on 
the stranger, Captain Todleben. Prince Gortchakof, 
the ablest of Eussian strategists, advised, after the 
failure before Silistria, sending two divisions of the army 
of the Danube to the Crimea ; but the Czar, in doubt 
about the Allies' intentions, would not consent to reduce 
that army. 

Ten days after the raising of the siege of Silistria, 
the English and French Governments ordered the earliest 
possible embarkation of their armies for the Crimea. 
Whereupon Austria sent a mihtary envoy to Varna to 
urge upon the allied generals' consideration the superior 
advantages hkely in her opinion to be derived from an 
autumnal campaign in Bessarabia, professing her readi- 
ness, should they coincide with her view, to co-operate 
actively with them. She excused herself from co-opera- 
tion if the Alhes persisted in going to the Crimea, where 
it was observed their detention might exceed anticipa- 
tion. She would be exposed in that case to be attacked 
by the Eussian army of the west, without their being 
able to make a diversion in her favour. Paris was 
sufficiently remote from that army to be careless about 
its movements ; but Vienna lay within a few marches of 
it, with discontented Hungary and fermenting Italy to 
think about besides. Austria, having thus proffered as 
much 9,s she thought could be reasonably expected of her 
in her complex position, decided on armed neutrality. 
She had already been busy negotiating a treaty with the 


Porte, signed July 14, 1854, for the joint military 
occupation of Moldo-Wallachia, with the faculty of 
marching troops into Bosnia in the event of the Servians 
and Montenegrins proving troublesome. The '* material 
guarantee " thus entrusted by Turkey, with the consent 
of France and England, to Austria's keeping, became a 
guarantee for her that, end how it might, she would not 
be a loser by the war, and placed her in a position to 
verify the axiom that in every Eastern question she must 
sooner or later have a voice. 

But France and England, confident in their resources, 
gave no heed to her schemes. They intended the 
Crimean campaign to be at once the commencement 
and the termination of the war, — to begin and end in 
the autumn of 1854. Counting on certain success, they 
were resolved to have the glory to themselves, to share 
it with no one else, and to show the world their abiUty 
with their forces then in Turkey to humble Bussia. The 
Turkish army was not invited to join them, save a few 
indififerent battalions to amuse the Crim-Tartars with; 
the Turkish fleet had been turned out of the Euxine ; 
Austria was made light of. The expectation of early 
and rapid success was not unreasonable. The English 
and French Governments had obtained tolerably accu- 
rate information about the Bussian forces in the Crimea ; 
they in no material respect, as events showed, misled 
their generals ; and it seemed as if human means would 
be impotent to avert the anticipated catastrophe. They 
may be supposed to have said to them in as many words : 
— '* Take 50,000 of the finest troops of Europe, supported 
by matchless fleets. Go to the Crimea, where a dis- 
aflFected population is ready to welcome you. There you 


will find an army inferior in numbers and equipment, and 
an ill-foftified arsenal. Kout the former, reduce the 
latter, and return with laurels to eat your Christmas 

On that hypothesis the expedition was judicious, and 
on no other; for when undertaken, Sevastopol had, 
through the agency of steam, ceased to be a ** standing 
menace." The first screw line-of-battle ship which 
furrowed the Euxine dissolved the charm, and converted 
the menace into a bugbear. As long as the north-east 
wind, prevalent in summer, could chain a fleet two 
months together in the Bosphorus, Sevastopol com- 
manded the Euxine, and cast the shadow of invasion over 
Turkey ; but as soon as steam rendered egress as facile 
from one place as from the other, the balance was righted, 
if not inclined the other way. The Euxine possesses only 
two safe defensible harbours, Sevastopol and the Bos- 
phorus, and for a steam fleet the latter is the best, since 
it has its port under its lee. The position of Constanti- 
nople, always unrivalled in a military and commercial 
sense, has gained by steam so much, that whenever the 
balance of power shall be permanently deranged, the 
seat of predominance will be that city — the natural 
capital of all the provinces of the Eastern empire linked 
with it by the traditions of fifteen centuries. All that 
seems wanting for that consummation is a government 
willing to rule on unsectarian principles, and adapt its 
policy to the requirements of the age. Mark the logical 
sequences. The Hellespont and the Bosphorus will be 
rendered impassable, and the fleets behind them become 
in their turn standing menaces for the Mediterranean 
and the Euxine. The fertile districts bithed by the 


Propontis — the sun-lit lake of Constantinople — and its 
inexhaustible fisheries, will nourish treble the actual 
population of the capital. Fleets built and equipped 
at arsenals in the Ked Sea and the Persian Gulf will 
command the Indian and Chinese seas. Emigration from 
Germany, Italy, and Western India, filling up voids in 
Koumelia, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia, will re-cultivate 
neglected plains, rebuild fallen cities, and develop mineral 

Seeing the daily passage through the Bosphorus of 
troops and military stores, its own arsenal building 
shalans to land them in the Crimea, the Turkish fleet 
felt humiliated by its seclusion at Buyukdereh. But its 
government was trammelled by deference to the behests 
of the Allies, and no press existed to espouse its cause. 
Unexpectedly its foe assisted it out of a false position. 
One day, July 19, a Russian war steamer, the Bessarabia^ 
left Sevastopol and steamed across the Black Sea, then 
alive with thirty hostile steamers, to the coast of Anatolia; 
there captured two Turkish merchant vessels, one oflF 
Cape Kempereh, the other oflF Amassereh, laden re- 
spectively with Indian corn and coal ; and, having 
replenished her bunkers from the latter, burnt them. 
She retained the captain and scribe of each vessel as 
evidence of her feat, embarked the crews in a coasting 
craft to go their own way, showed her colours off Ereghli 
and Kosloe, and then returned to Sevastopol. The 
caimacam of Ereghli, where the ejected crews landed, 
forwarded a report of the affair to Constantinople. 
Together with the news, at first regarded as a hoax, 
arrived accounts of the feeling of insecurity among the 
inhabitants of the coast ; who fancied the Russian fleet 


at sea. The Kussians had destroyed Turkish ships at 
Sinope, as though in defiance of the alUed fleets at 
Beikos ; they now burned Turkish vessels in the vicinity, 
as though in contempt ^r the aUied fleets at Baltchik. 
The Turkish steamers being either absent or under 
repair, the author proposed to run down the coast of 
Anatolia with a frigate, to encourage the natives; but 
the Capitan Pasha expressed his apprehension of his 
falling in with a Bussian squadron, Sevastopol, he said, 
being evidently unblockaded. DecUning the respon- 
sibility, he desired him to wait on the Grand Vizir and 
confer with him thereupon. His Highness showed himself 
equally disinclined to risk a frigate ; he would, however, 
he said, consider about sending the fleet to sea again : 
meaning rather, that he would concert an excuse to make 
to the Sultan for having consented to its recall ; of which 
he appeared ashamed, with reason. 

July 29. — The Turkish fleet again left the Bospho- 
rus, each ship carrying two shalans lashed on either 
broadside, and four days afterwards anchored in the Bay 
of Varna) crowded then with shipping of all denomi- 
nations. One of its line-of-battle ships, having exhibited 
dangerous leakage on the passage, was sent back to 

Varna seemed then in hostile rather than friendly 
occupation. The best houses and private magazines had 
been taken possession of by the Allies without any 
remuneration to their owners. General Lord Raglan for 
his part, when spoken to on the subject, said he had 
served before in an ally's and an enemy's country and 
had always enjoyed free quarters. Foreign residents 
alone escaped the honour of furnishing quarters gratis. 



An Ionian tried the question by refusing to surrender his 
house ; on which the EngUsh consul was called upon to 
eject him, nolens voUnSy but excused himself on the plea 
of want of authority. The French were particularly 
unceremonious : they used to mark with chalk any house 
the aspect or position of which suited them, then desire 
the governor to give them immediate possession of it. 
Many sighs issued from latticed harems at their ungallant 
importunity. One day a staff officer, pensive as though 
meditating on a thorny enterprise, meeting the author in 
one of the streets, complained of the reluctance of the 
fair occupants of a house selected by him that morning 
to turn out, and requested his assistance. The French- 
man had never seen his face before, and on being referred 
to the governor, with the observation — " You should give 
the ladies two days' grace," looked as if he wished never 
to see it again. They chafed the temper of the miUtary 
commandant, by making, without concert with him, a wide 
breach in the curtain of the sea wall to facilitate the dis- 
embarkation of their troops and stores. The inhabitants, 
instable and sore, murmured reproaches against the 
habits of the foreign troops — their proneness to drink 
and quarrel, to deal with shops on credit — and soon 
began to admire wonderfully, by comparison, the order 
and docility of their own troops, who had landed at and 
marched through Varna the preceding summer, and had 
not taken the value of an apple nor disturbed the gambols 
of a child. One night at ten o'clock some French soldiers 
went to a Mussulman cafe, occupied as usual by sleeping 
guests stretched on the estrades, and demanded wine. 
The orthodox cavedji was shocked ; he told them wine 
was not sold there, and requested them to retire. A 


quarrel ensued, in which one of the Turks was killed and 
several on either side were wounded. Other French 
soldiers coming in from the camp outside the gates on 
hearing of the scuffle, a serious fray on a more extensive 
scale nearly occurred. 

Varna being the chief depot of the stores and 
provisions of the Allies' armies, containing also much of 
their ammunition, demanded extraordinary precautions 
against fire, accidental or wilful ; but by the rule of 
contrary which prevails in Turkey, as well with foreigners 
as with natives, simple precautions were considered as 
needless as though the city had been constructed of 
asbestos. Strangers came and went as they pleased, free 
from police observation and passport investigation. 
Bashi-bazouks encamped or bivouacked in open spaces, 
cooking their food in currents of air. Kollicking camp- 
followers threw the lighted ends of their cigars right and 
left in the streets. Improvised cafes of boughs and laths 
were filled with drinkers, smokers, and brawlers, till late 
in the night. So, as was to be expected in a wooden town 
— its non-occurrence earlier being surprising — fire broke 
out one night, August 10. It blazed six hours, consumed 
the bazaars, many private dwellings and store-houses, 
and a large amount of mihtary supplies. The British 
commissariat, — its difficulties thus early commencing, — 
lost that night near six weeks' rations of biscuit for the 
army, and much of its stored com. An hour of intense 
anxiety was passed by all, watching and combating the 
flames shooting out their forked tongues at the powder 
magazines, and throwing sparks on their roofs. Their 
ignition and the destruction of Varna were convertible 
terms. Levelling adjoining houses and covering the 



menaced buildings with wet canvas ensured their safety. 
During the conflagration confusion reigned in the town. 
Many gave orders, no one commanded : a head was 
wanted. Marshal St. *Amaud was indisposed in his 
house, and General Lord Raglan was absent at Baltchik. 
Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons had come into the 
illuminated bay from Constantinople early in the evening, 
but after communicating with one of H.M.'s ships had ' 
steamed on to Baltchik with the rueful tidings. The 
field officer on duty, brave veteran, stood feeble on his 
legs on a heap of rubbish near the powder magazine, his 
voice unheeded amidst a Babel of tongues. The pasha 
sat smoking on a block of wood, in contemplation 
of a party of sailors busy in razing a knot of dwellings 
which threatened to lead the flames to the upper quarter 
of the town. The captains of the ships of war in port 
strove fearlessly and zealously, each on his own account. 
Aides-de-camp galloping about added much to the 
picturesque, but nothing to the useful. Prudence would 
have suggested placing the material means of the Allies 
at the disposal of the Turks, versed in the tactics for a 
burning town, and leaving them to deal with the fire 
while they maintained order with their own troops. As 
fast as store-houses became reUeved of their contents, 
heads of wine and sugar-casks were stove in for the 
regalement of the thirsty and of the sweet- toothed. 
*• Voici,'' said one of a hilarious group of zouaves towards 
morning, handing us wine instead of the water asked for ; 
** voici quelque chose meilleure que Teau : buvez, mes 
braves, ne craignez rien ; le prophete ne regarde pas de 
si pres.'' Frank soldiers and sailors spared dealers in 
the bazaars the trouble of removing their goods, and the 


rabble followed their example. As on other occasions 
when honour or loot was to be obtained, the Turkish 
soldiers and sailors were not invited to join : they neither 
robbed nor rioted; 

About midnight the inverse process of tracing cause 
from effect was resorted to to account for the fire, which 
was afterwards ascertained to have originated in a French 
government store of spirits and stationery. The fire 
would benefit Russia indirectly, therefore her partisans 
had lighted it. Thus reasoned some persons of rank, 
who might have reflected on the improbability o; 
incendiaries choosing a calm night under a full moon fo\ 
their operations. They raised the mischievous cry ol 
Greek treachery. Incontinently orders were given to 
arrest every Greek whom any one in authority might 
deem suspicious. Several individuals were beaten on 
the spot, others were reserved for a beating next day. 
Two or three, it was said, were tossed into the flames ; 
though from personal knowledge I am only able to say 
that two narrowly escaped that fate through timely inter- 
ference. There was no fair ground for imputing such a 
mode of carrying on war to Russia, still less for sup- 
posing the Greeks willing to spoil their profitable 
dealings with the Allies for her sake. 

The morrow disclosed the usual scenes of desola- 
tion, increased by the too late roused vigilance of the 
Allies. They pulled down houses untouched by the fire 
to make wider spaces round the powder depots : they 
threw the planks of those and previously razed houses — 
materials for reconstruction— into the sea ; and they 
planted sentries in the streets to prevent the sufferers 
from searching among the ruins of their shops and 


dwellings for valuables. Precautions suggested by alarm 
are always exaggerated. 

Next afternoon the medjlis of the city held a stormy 
meeting, presided over by the governor. The speakers 
inveighed angrily against their allies. They compared 
the Russians favourably with them. ** The Muscovites," 
they said, ** came to Varna after the irritation of a double 
siege ; they remained there two years, gave nobody 
reason to lament their conduct, and left the town better 
than they had found it. The Franks have scarcely been 
at Varna three months ; they have taken our dwellings 
and store-houses compulsorily, have covered us with 
opprobrium, and now the place is ruined by their 
carelessness." An angry notable, whose store full of 
wares had been consumed, reproached the pasha for 
having neglected to make representations to the Allies' 
generals about the ineflSciency of their police. The 
pasha said he and the military commandant had warned 
them as far as they could of the risk of fire. ** They 
are like sultans ; it is difficult to obtain an audience of 
them. When we visit either of them we are referred 
to a dragoman ; when we write to them our letters 
remain unanswered." The contrast between the acces- 
sibility of a Turkish and the inaccessibility of a European 
functionary astonishes Orientals. A ragged fakir j with 
scarcely a crust to munch, may walk up to a pasha's 
sofa : his tale will be listened to. This accessibility 
and the right of petition operate as a check on subor- 
dinate agents. Under the influence of pipes and coflfee 
the effervescence of the company was subsiding, when 
an incidental allusion to the siege of Varna in 1823 
nearly roused it again. A white-bearded efendi warmed 


at the recollection. ** Talk of the late siege of 
Silistria," he said ; " what is it compared with the 
siege of Varna ! Varna possessed then only a few old 
brass guns and scarcely any of its existent works : 
yet we repulsed the enemy once and nearly repulsed 
him twice. Wallah ! " he emphatically exclaimed, 

**that enemy behaved better to us than these our 


Any one who, on the side of the aided, has noted 
the bearing of an auxiUary army would pray to heaven 
for any calamity to befall him rather than see his own 
country reduced to solicit such succour. 

As on the land, so on the water. The Bay of Varna was 
crowded with shipping of many nations, under little or no 
surveillance. A vessel filled with combustibles might 
have anchored any day among them unquestioned, and 
her crew might have left in their boat at night 
after having fired her and slipped her cable. Many 
men-of-war and numerous transports, with two powder 
ships, were irregularly anchored in the bay ; but there 
was not a cruiser in the offing nor a guard-boat service 
at night. A few fire-ships sent in with the prevailing 
north-east wind would have caused inextricable confusion 
and incalculable damage. Troop and store-ships were 
continually passing between the Bosphorus and Varna ; 
nevertheless not a vessel was stationed off the coast to 
protect them from a dash such as the Bessarabia had 
lately made on the coast of Anatolia. The AlUes' 
admirals at Baltchik were not insensible to that risk, as 
appeared by the following note from one of them to 
the Turkish admiral: — 


** Baltchik, Angnst 6, 1864. 
** Do not omit to keep a small vessel between the 
Bosphorus and Vama, as the Kussians may think of 
looking out for a merchant ship or a transport ; as well 
as a steamer occasionally to Circassia. I have the Wasp 
there just now. I am keeping my force ready to embark 

This call upon the Turkish fleet to protect allied 
vessels was tantamount to an apology for its dismissal 
six weeks earlier. Marshal St. Amaud spoke to us in 
the same apprehensive sense one day at dinner at his 

At that date the Russian fleet was cruising off Sevas- 
topol, and two days earlier four Russian steamers had 
been seen forty miles out at sea. The Russian admiral 
little guessed the game there was for Enterprise to play 
while the gathering was taking place at Vama. 

During the month of August cholera tainted the 
allied fleets and armies. Frequent visits to the sick-bay 
of his ship, to relieve her crew of the apprehension of 
contagion which depressed them, famiUarized the author 
with its features, and made him think, notwithstanding 
the fatal termination of some cases in thirty- six hours, 
the panic usually created by it unfounded. Further 
observation of the disease on a wider area at Constan- 
tinople, eleven years later, confirmed that impression 
in his mind. Three propositions seem demonstrable. 
1. Cholera is not contagious in the literal sense of the 
term, by contact. Proof : the immunity as a rule of those 
who chafe with their hands the skin of patients in a state 
of collapse. 2. Cholera is not infectious through the 


medium of effluvia from the bodies of patients, where 
attention is given to ventilation and disinfecting pro- 
cesses. Proof: the immunity, with rare exceptions, of 
the doctors in attendance on cholera patients in properly 
organized hospitals, and of patients with other diseases 
under the same roof. The naval hospital of Constanti- 
nople was crowded during the summer of 1865 with 
cholera and cholerine patients, all of them sedulously 
attended ; yet none of the medical officers — two of whom, 
Hassan Bey and Gosma Bey, displayed remarkable 
self-abnegation — took the disease. Similar remarks 
apply to the military hospitals, as well as to the civil 
hospitals improvised during that period. 3. Cholera 
attacks only those classes whose blood has been slowly 
poisoned by breathing for years foul exhalations in 
confined, ill-ventilated quarters, or whose occupations 
entail on them undue exposure to solar and atmospheric 
influences. Proof: the immunity of the easy classes, 
who can adapt their diet and apparel and their pro- 
ceedings to the exigencies of an abnormal season ; 
deducting those individuals among them who prefer 
brandy-and-water to barley-water, who swallow every 
nostrum advertised as ** infallible," or who brood isolated 
over exaggerated reports, with their eyes mentally fixed 
on their stomachs. From these premises we may infer 
— with all deference for the opinion of learned members 
of the Cholera Conference, advocates of selfish isolation 
— that the easy classes, on the appearance of the disease 
in any place, may safely give themselves the satisfaction 
of mitigating by their example and advice the distress of 
their poor neighbours. When those in no danger flee 
away panic-stricken from salubrious dwellings, those in 


real danger, with open sewers under their windows and 
choked drains under their feet, may well imagine their 
case hopeless, and thus open the door to cholera's chief 
ally, moral depression. 

The treatment of cholera in the Turkish fleet in 
August, 1854, consisted in friction, — the best remedy — 
chalk opiate mixture, and occasionally venesection. 
Doubtful about the lancet (which was not put in requisi- 
tion by the Turks in 1865), I presumed, on the authority 
of the chief medical ofl&cers of the Allies' flagships, 
consulted ad hocy to remonstrate against its use ; but 
the doctors adhered to their view of its efficacy in some 
cases, and cited afterwards in favour of it the compara- 
tive large number of their cures, notwithstanding that 
official cupidity denied them means to nourish their 
convalescents suitably. Once the doctor of the Nuzretieh 
abstained from venesection out of an Oriental deference 
for rank, and although declining the responsibility I 
begged him to act on the dictates of his judgment, he 
would not swerve from his sense of the consideration 
due for it. He could not, he said, knowing the pasha's 
distrust in the practice, presume to bleed any of his suite. 
The patient was not bled, and died. On reporting his 
death, the doctor said, ** If he had been bled, he might 
have survived." ** Y(m should not, as a good Moslem, 
speak thus," I observed ; ** the poor fellow's hour was 
come: bled or not bled, he must have died." This 
silenced, without convincing, the hekim. Medical study 
saps the dogma of fate. 

Checked perspiration during a choleraic season is 
fraught with peril ; and on this head it may not be amiss 
to observe that its recurrence is invited in most navies 


by the custom — partly a cause of the premature old age 
of man-of-war's men — of berthing a ship's company 
together, in summer as well as winter, on the orlop deck, 
in harbour,— a custom as injurious to the respiratory 
organs as it is disagreeable to the olfactory nerves. 
Perspiring from head to foot, vitally depressed by 
breathing foul air, a man, at the call of nature, runs 
half- dressed up to the head, and remains there, caressed 
by the cool breeze, longer than necessary. That grateful 
air bath may be his death. The larger the ship the 
greater the danger. Hence the vessels of the Anglo- 
French fleet most severely attacked in 1854 were three- 
deckers : the Britannia and the Montebello. The crews 
of the Turkish ships, debilitated more or less by scurvy 
and inferior diet, might have been expected to have had 
proportionally more cases than their Allies ; neverthe- 
less they had fewer, which may be attributed to the 
practice in summer of the men sleeping, with ample 
space between them, on their beds spread on the gun 
decks ; and also to covered ship's heads. A shght chill 
might prove fatal, of which the author had melancholy 
verification. Thrice at night, one of his boat's crew 
sickened, and two out of three died. Alarmed, the 
remainder of the crew came one morning with depre- 
cating salaams into the cabin, and delivered themselves 
to this effect : The cholera and a new coxswain had 
made their appearance together in the boat ; there was 
evidently a connection between them, and they humbly 
requested his discharge. *' Have you any other cause 
of complaint against Saly?" — ** None : he is a good 
man, we all like him ; but he has brought the cholera 
with him to the boat. Inshallah ! you will send him 


away; if not, we shall all die." This hallucination was 
serious. Their request could neither be regarded as an 
infraction of disciphne nor joked with as a morbid fancy. 
I adopted a middle course, and reasoned with them. I 
commented on their irreverence in ascribing to their 
fellow mortal more power than their Prophet had wielded. 
** If he is possessed with a djin (evil spirit — the lower 
classes in Turkey implicitly believe in djins,) **the 
person in the stem sheets is the most exposed to liis 
malign influence, and as he has no fear, why should 
you ? ' ' This appeased them. But as their moral depres- 
sion was predisposing, something more than argument 
was necessary. They were therefore ordered thence- 
forward to take their capotes with them at night, to put 
on when lying on their oars. The heat rendered this 
irksome, and they were then perhaps sorry for having 
spoken. On their return on board hot coffee was sup- 
plied them from the cabin. Thanks to these precautions, 
no other of the barge's crew suffered ; and Saly, who had 
not admired the attribution of life and death given him 
by his comrades, retained his post. 

One day the imams of the fleet embarked in one 
boat and rowed round every ship in succession, chanting 
supplications to heaven to deliver the faithful from the 
cholera. As the disease was then on the decline, they 
obtained much credit for the presumed efficacy of their 

The French suffered disproportionately during the 
summer of 1854 by cholera and other diseases classed 
under that head : for cholera had then to bear the sins 
of absinthe. A Zouave regiment, 2,200 strong when it 
left Algiers, was reduced to 1,400 men by the end of 


August ; and the first division of their army, in its aim- 
less incursion to the Dobrudscha, lost in a few days, 
from drought and heat combined, 3,500 men, including 
sixty oflScers. During their hurried march of nine hours, 
fleeing from an invisible foe, back to Kustenge, men 
dropped exhausted every hundred yards. None heeded 
them. Even a chef de bataillon, unhorsed by a sun- 
stroke, was said to have been abandoned. At Kustenge 
the dead and dying lay, we heard, mingled in heaps. 
Steamer-loads of sick, brought away from Ovid's dreary 
place of exile to be encamped on the northern slopes of 
the Bay of Varna, long whitened with their tents, were 
more eloquent than despatches. 

The sickness in the British army in Bulgaria during 
that lugubrious period may be fairly attributed as much 
to injudicious diet as to a disturbed atmosphere. The 
ordinary ration of one pound of meat per man per diem, 
having been increased to one pound and a half, gastric 
irritation naturally ensued more or less. A deduction 
of a quarter of a pound and an issue of rice in lieu, 
should have seemed preferable. Much animal food, 
even of a digestible kind, cannot be eaten with impunity 
in Turkey, where the climate is inflammatory, with 
exceptional action on the stomach. The assertion, 
repeated ad nauseam, of the troops requiring extra meat 
and porter to keep up their strength — men between 
twenty and thirty years of age, in weary idleness — 
induced the error. Nature had given them the principle 
of strength, and all she asked for was a suitable diet, cool 
and unexciting. Hygienic science slumbered in the 
British camp when it was proposed to counteract the 
action on the human &ame of an increment of twenty 


degrees of atmospheric heat by an addition to the already 
liberal allowance of meat. Adherence to the routine, at 
variance with the universal practice of all classes in the 
south, of serving the men's principal meal at noon, 
proved another, if not the chief cause, of debility. Salt 
pork, or fresh killed ill-cooked beef, with biscuit and 
grog, is not tempting diet anywhere in any latitude ; 
but swallowed under canvas, with the thermometer at 
90 degrees, it is well calculated to produce intestinal 
derangement ; and it is little flattering to cholera to call 
the dysentery resulting therefrom by its imposing name. 
In the cool of the evening, an hour before sunset, such 
diet would be comparatively wholesome ; exercise would 
be agreeable afterwards, and refreshing sleep might 
follow — ^with the mosquitos' leave. As long as soldiers 
and sailors are compelled to eat indigestible food at 
unreasonable hours, the cry for doctors will not abate 
nor the consumption of drugs be diminished in either of 
the services. In the Turkish service, under normal 
conditions, the men have rice soup in the morning, a 
light repast of bread and olives at noon, and their sub- 
stantial meal, composed of meat and vegetables, savourily 
cooked, or pilaf, is served towards sunset ; and to this 
regimen, coupled with restrictions in regard of fruit, 
must be ascribed the exemption from cholera of the first 
regiment of the redif of the guard which lay encamped at 
Devna during the summer of 1854. 

The foot fever and sore backs of some of the English 
cavalry, acquired during a few days' reconnaissance in 
the Dobrudscha, much animadverted upon at the time, 
originated in similar inattention to alimentary influences. 
Fed according to EngUsh rule, without corresponding 


care and shelter, the animals were unprepared for the 
call made upon them. Their riders, we fain hope, then 
learned that high condition is a relative term, varying 
with climate and circumstances. Equestrian tribes, the 
Arabs and Turcomans, deduct a quarter of their horses' 
barley, and stint their water, for two or three weeks 
before setting out on an expedition. Their horses are 
then in wind, without superfluous flesh to generate 



Embarkation of the Allied Armies — Rations of Turkish Troops — 
Quality of the Men — The Conscription in Turkey — Suleyman 
Pasha — The Turks averse from the Service— The Esnan — Their 
Losses at Varna — Nostalgia a real Disease — Tone of the Allies — 
Marshal St. Arnaud and General Caurobert — ^Lord Raglan 
Criticism of the Naval Commanders — The three allied Fleets at 
Baltchik — The French and Turkish Fleets weigh Anchor — Arrival 
of the English Transports at Baltchik — The covering Fleet — An 
Opportunity lost by the Russians — Influence of British Naval 
Renown — The Russian Fleet at Sevastopol — Appearance of the 
English Fleet — Advantages of Katcha Bay as a Landing-place — 
Two Modes of attacking Sevastopol — Error in choosing the Point 
of Attack — Probability of Success from the opposite Coast — 
Sevastopol exposed to a Surprise — The Flank March — The 
combined Fleets anchor at Eupatoria — Estimate of the Forces — 
Bat Horses of British Cavalry left behind — Newspaper Corre- 
spondents — The Question considered in relation to War — The 
French Press tongue-tied. 

The embarkation of the allied armies, originally fixed for 
August 14, 1854, was delayed from day to day by the 
prevailing sickness. Nevertheless, preparations for the 
event were not remitted. Wharves were run out into 
the sea, for men and horses to walk on board transit 
steamers ; store-ships were loaded, and practice in 
landing artillery was made in a cove on the south side of 
the bay. Gradually, as the time drew near, the forces 
approached Varna from distant encampments by easy 
marches ; and embarked, the greater part of them during 
the last week of August, without a mishap worthy of 


note. The English troops embarked in transports, the 
comfort and roominess of which soon produced a sen- 
sible amelioration of their health. The islanders felt at 
home on board ship. The French troops embarked in 
their own men-of-war, and in numerous small merchant 
vessels of various nations, ycleped and numbered for the 
nonce ** transports ; *' and the more crowded they were 
the merrier they appeared. The Turkish troops were 
embarked in their own ships of war, with three weeks' 
supply of biscuit, flour, rice, and butter, for immediate 
use in the Crimea — the AlUes undertaking to feed them 
afterwards : also a fortnight's supply of biscuit and rice 
for the voyage, at the rate of 150 dirrhems (seventeen 
ounces) of biscuit, and ten dirrhems of rice, with butter 
for cooking it, per day per man. The Turkish squadron 
carried in addition a siege-train with its ammunition ; 
three French batteries, with eighty-six horses for each ; 
twenty shalans (flat quadriform boats), and a large 
amount of stores and provisions for the French army. 

The Turkish troops, ten battalions of 800 men each, 
more or less, were of inferior quaUty; being chiefly 
esnan.* Never before enrolled, the esnan battalions had 

* Mussulmans in Turkey between the ages of nineteen and twenty- 
four, try their luck in the conscription lottery every year, in the districts 
where it can be enforced. Those who escape altogether are termed 
esnan (aged). They are aggregated to the redif (reserve) and are 
liable during thirteen years to serve in war. The redif is composed of 
soldiers who have served their time, five years, and are liable as such 
to be called out in war or on apprehension of war during eight years. 
The redif of each district is supposed to be called out once a year for 
exercise, under a permanent staflf of officers. 

This system works harshly in a countr}* where the removal of a man 
fifty miles from his home amounts to exile, with ignorance about those 
dear to them, and it keeps a man's mind unsettled. The enrolment of 
the redif for service is always attended by considerable mortality. 



kft t^Liiid them families and fields on whom their 
iYjmuhis dwelled. They had received three months' 
drilling at Scutari, and had been sent to Yama early in 
An^niist ; where two battalions of Bonmelian redif, armed 
with yercussion muskets, joined them. This contingent 
T^hH under the conmiand of Soleyman Pasha, who had 
ydHfifui the preceding twelve years of his life, with the 
rank of colonel of the guard, as superintendent of the 
imperial tannery at Beikos ; the only variations of his 
duty in that period having been the surveillance of the 
Iliifjgarian refugees at Kutaiah, and a mission to the Bey 
of Tunis : who impressed on his mind a high idea of 
liiH merit by giving him a backshish of 1,000 purses 
(4fij()()l,) A complimentary mission to a feudal vassal, 
who is bound by custom to mark his sense of the honour 
by liberality to the envoy, is a convenient way of rewarding 
tt favourite. During the present reign, one of the Sultan's 
aides-de-camp received collectively in the course of a 
year from the Sheick of Mecca and the Pasha of Egypt, 
to whom he had been sent on missions, about 5,000 
purses. Suleyman Pasha joined the expedition sorely 
ugainst his will, ill-reconciled to it by promotion to the 
rank of liva. The Turks shunned this service, for they 
anticipated neglect when in the Crimea, both from the 
Porlc and from the Allies. The health of the troops 

'I' ho merit of the conscription, which is carried out as fairly as the 
habitH of the country admit of, is due to Riza Pacha, who organized 
it about 1H44. Previously the men had been pressed, and the term of 
Hurviro had been unlimited. 

'J' ho Cliristian communities of the empire have been considered 
julniissiblo to military service since the Peace of Paris, but they have 
boon allowed to compound for it by the annual pa}ment of nearly 
niiu'iy millions of piastres (800,000/.), a sum equal about to the amount 
of the abolished kharatch. 


under his command had deteriorated at Varna, through 
want of fresh meat and vegetables, which the ready 
money of the AlUes monopoHzed. The destitution and 
penury of the government stores and chest at Varna were 
then complete ; so much so that* we were obUged, just 
before saihng, to make, through the governor, a requisi- 
tion on the inhabitants for the small supply of rice and 
butter necessary to make pilaflf for the troops on the 

One battaUon of the esnan being embarked in the 
author's ship, he learned its history ; which did not diflFer 
materially from that of the others. When it left Scutari, 
August 10th, it was 820 strong, having arrived there 
900 strong. Out of that number sixteen had died, thir- 
teen had deserted, and thirty-two had been invalided at 
Varna; thirty-two had been left in hospital at Varna, 
and twelve died on the passage to the Crimea ; making 
on the whole a diminution of fourteen per cent, in one 
month. The redif, and particularly the esnan ^ were 
always during the war more or less painfully aflFected 
with nostalgia ; a veritable, often fatal, disease in con- 
nection with fatalism. The Turkish soldier on service 
has rarely means of communicating with his family. He 
broods over the forlorn condition in imagination of his 
wife and children in case of his death, news of whicli 
would not for months transpire in his village, unless by 
mere chance, such as the return of an invalided comrade. 
His arrears of pay, claimable by his heirs only within a 
year, might, through red-tapist obstacles, lapse to the 
treasury, or possibly become perquisites of office. 

The tone and demeanour of the Allies on the eve of 
their departure for the Crimea betokened little ardour. 



The chiefs seemed oppressed by the responsibility of 
leading an army into a country only a degree better 
known to them than Japan. Few supposed the Czar had 
left the pendent pearl of his empire in danger of being 
torn away at a grasp. Many expected to find there twice 
the number of troops actually encountered ; in which 
case, observed a French staflf officer, ** pas un n'echappera, 
pas m<';me le marechal/' The troops had the air of 
wanting confidence in their leaders' abihty to meet a 
criniH. Marshal St. Arnaud, advantageously known as a 
duHhing colonel of cavalry, had won his baton by his 
services as minister of war during the coup d'etat of 
2nd December. He was moreover an invaUd ; with, 
however, a spirit to control disease in the hour of action. 
HiH H(U!ond in command, General Caurobert, had con- 
('iliiitod inipcirial favour by storming with his brigade the 
barricachm in the Faubourg St. Martin, rather than by 
bin (liHtinguishod services in Africa. General Lord 
JUij^latrH name possessed only reflected mihtary glory ; 
h<3 being rcjsorvod with his divisional generals, and from 
his sedentary habits personally unknown to his troops. 
The naval commanders-in-chief threw cold water on the 
expedition by criticizing its policy and dwelling on the 
lateness of the season : thereby laying themselves open 
to comment; for whatever their private opinion, the 
expedition once decided upon, they were bound to encou- 
rage and forward it by word and example. Even its 
warm abettors, their seconds in command, had mis- 
givings while decorously advocating it : thus securing 
for themselves credit in case of success, and freedom 
from responsibility in case of reverses. 

The French and Turkish troops were all embarked at 


Vama, August 31st, 1854, and next day the three allied 
fleets rendezvoused at Baltchik, with Marshal St. Arnaud's 
head-quarters in the Vilk de Paris. That day being 
Courban bairam, the Turkish fleet, dressed in colours, 
fired the customary salutes at noon. Its allies, hoisting 
the Turkish flag at the main, fired also a royal salute in 
honour of the occasion, from a French and an EngUsh 
ship. We lay at Baltchik, the French expressing 
impatience, till September 5th, waiting for the arrival 
of the rear division of the English transports from 
Varna, with head-quarters in the Caradoc. At dayUght 
on the 5th, the French and Turkish fleets weighed 
anchor, and proceeded oflf Cape Kellagriah. They 
lay to there for several hours, in sight from Baltchik; 
then stood to the northward and eastward under easy 
sail. All the 6th and 7th of September we stood on 
and oflf, or lay to, out of sight of land, about the 44th, 
or between that and the 45th parallel, in a weatherly 
position for making a course to the Crimea. Lost in 
conjecture about the. non-appearance of our friends, we 
began to apprehend the arrival of counter orders since 
our departure. A message brought by an EngUsh frigate 
dispelled that sick fancy. We afterwards learned that 
the absent transports arrived at Baltchik on the morning 
of the 6th ; but we never satisfactorily learned the motive 
for the further delay of the EngUsh fleet at that anchor- 
age. The single fact of the French and Turkish fleets, 
crowded with troops and encumbered with stores, being 
at sea without disposable steamers, should have seemed 
an all-sufficient motive for instant departure; at all 
events of the Une-of-battle ships. They were not required 
at Baltchik, and might have come on under sail, Uke the 


French and Turkish ships, leaving the steamers, which 
subsequently towed them, to accelerate the progress of 
the transports. 

The covering fleet, including the Napoleon and the 
Charlemagm, the two best Fren,ch ships, ought, in accord- 
ance with its chosen role, to have weighed anchor first, 
not last, from Baltchik, and have interposed itself between 
Sevastopol and the track projected on the chart for the 
army : no chance should have been left open for the 
enemy to profit by. He might have been assumed alive 
to the uncertain calamity of invasion, with his fleet on 
the look-out, and ready, as every fleet ought to be under 
similar provocation, to risk much to prevent it. Every- 
body conversant wit!i the circumstances of the ira^et across 
the Black Sea knows that any check would have caused 
the relinquishment of the expedition : all but relinquished 
as it was, if report spake true, when half-way over. On 
the appearance of the Russian fleet, accompanied pre- 
sumedly by propelling steamers — supposing a diversion 
to have been attempted on the 6th or 7th of September, 
— the French and Turkish fleets must, as their least loss, 
have cut adrift the shalans for landing artillery from their 
sides, and have thrown overboard several hundreds of 
artillery horses, as well as the baggage and stores on 
their decks for which room could not have been found 
below. The wind during those two days being light and 
variable, they would not probably have been able, on the 
dictates of prudence for the sake of the troops, to avoid 
an action. The Russian fleet lost an opportunity of 
striking a heavy blow and acquiring much distinction. 
But its want of vigilance is accountable. How was it to 
calculate on the inversion of rule ? on a transport fleet 


at sea, the covering fleet in port ? As the name of the 
kmg was a tower of strength in the Middle Ages, so in 
the late war British naval renown was a fleet in itself. 
But it may be as well to remember that the shadow of a 
great name rarely serves twice. 

The Russian navy may console itself for its non- 
observation of the first movements of the Allies from 
Baltchik, by the reminiscenc.e of the noble part it acted 
in the defence of Sevastopol ; but it cannot excuse itself 
from remissness ; for had the Allies adopted any of the 
other plans which presented themselves for the reduc- 
tion of Sevastopol, its fleet would have been sunk or 
captured, dishonoured in its country's eyes. 

At 10 A.M., September 8th, our doubts were removed 
by descrying the van division of the EngUsh fleet. It 
rapidly advanced. Beyond, as far as the visible horizon 
from our mast-heads, the sea was covered with vessels, 
half obscured by the smoke of a hundred steamers. A 
Bed Indian's imagination would have fancied a forest 
on the point of bursting into flame. At 3 p.m. the 
Britannia, towed by the rieirihidion, leading the fleet, 
passed under our stern. Crowds of steamers, some with 
men-of-war, others with transports, one or more, in tow, 
passed in close succession. They made a stirring 
spectacle — a novel exhibition of power. Alas ! none of 
us anticipated how few of that gallant army would ever 
tread their native land again. Instead of joining us, 
and proceeding at once to the Crimea — which would 
have been a gain of three days — they steamed out of 
sight to the northward, and anchored forty miles west 
of Cape Tarkhan, the westernmost point of the Crimea. 
While the ** covering fleet " lay thus at anchor in 


mid-sea, the CaradoCy escorted by steam men-of-war, 
made a recomiaissance of the coast between Sevastopol 
and Enpatoria. 

The notabilities on board fancied, as we afterwards 
heard, the appearance of defensive works at Katcha 
Bay, which decided in the negative the question of 
disembarking the army there. This decision proved 
unfortunate. At the Katcha, wood, water, and forage 
were plentiful, while at ** Old Fort " all three were 
wanting. It entailed also a more pregnant consequence. 
Landing in that bay would have ensured, in probabihty, 
adherence to the original intention of reducing the 
north side of Sevastopol, in sight from it, and wanting 
then the accessories to the " Sevemaya Fort,'* which 
constituted, long afterwards^ the strength of the position. 
Admitting the plea which has been urged of the hazard 
of an assault, a siege appeared an ordinary operation of 
given limited duration. The Russians have acknow- 
ledged, since the peace, its feebleness at that time, and 
have expressed surprise at our having turned away 
from it. In changing their minds, the Allies' generals 
betrayed a want of previous deliberation. There were 
two direct modes of attacking Sevastopol to choose 
between. The choice should have been irrevocably 
made before leaving Bulgaria ; and, in accordance with 
it, the army should have landed north or south of the 
harbour, conveniently near the menaced point. The 
north side having been preferred, the pleasant valley 
watered by the Katcha, six miles from Sevastopol, near 
the high road to Bakchesai-ay, seemed an appropriate 
spot for the disembarkation. The siege-train, if wanted, 
might have been landed four miles nearer. The com- 


manding position of the ** Sevemaya Fort " with respect 
to the harbour, had suggested that attack. That re- 
duced, the fire from the north side would dominate 
the arsenal. 

These may not, in themselves, be deemed theoreti- 
cally sufficient inducements, in the absence of correct 
topographical information, to entirely justify landing an 
army, with numerous wants, dependent on shipping, 
on a part of the coast devoid of harbours ; but the usual 
fair weather in September and October, the prevalence of 
north-easterly winds at that season making a weather 
shore, the engineers' low estimate of the Star Fort, and 
the time required to change the base of operations, more 
than sufficed to show the wisdom — the army being on 
shore — of adhering to the original plan. An error in 
the selection of the side of the harbour for disembar- 
kation had been committed. Oral and written testimony 
of the perilous exposure of South Sevastopol to be 
carried by a coup de main^ it being fortified (before steam 
had rendered invasion practicable) only against a naval 
attack, had not received due consideration. A hardily- 
executed attack from the south would have attained the 
object of the expedition before the date of the landing at 
** Old Fort : " thus surpassing the most sanguine expec- 
tations. Leaving Baltchik, 'say on the 8th September, 
and steering direct for Cape Chersonesus, 250 miles 
distant, the Allies would have reached the offing of 
Sevastopol on the 10th, designedly at daylight. Magni- 
fied by apprehension, the army would have been landed 
before night on the Heracleotic steppe. Immediate 
surrender might have been expected to have followed, 
to avoid an assault of no doubtful result ; since^ with 


the allied fleet ready to enter the harbour, the enemy 
could not have berthed his ships to fire on advancing 
columns. Setting aside, however, the eflFect of panic, 
supposing the army of the Crimea to have been concen- 
trated in Sevastopol (an extreme supposition) and to 
have marched out, colours flying, a battle Kke that given 
on the .Heights of Abraham would have been fought on, 
and have rendered otherwise memorable, the site of the 
Allies' subsequent dreary encampment. Victors and 
vanquished would have entered the city together. While 
thus pecuUarly exposed to be carried by surprise, Sevas- 
topol possessed, in the character of the ground before 
it, and its immense materiel, means for extemporizing, 
with short warning, a scheme of defence. Hence, with 
the probability of warning being given by it, the flank 
march, much extolled at the time, will finally be cen- 
sured. An uncompUcated siege — a known quantity — on 
the north side, was abandoned for complex operations — 
an unknown quantity — on the south side ; and a fertile 
position, whence an army could intercept communica- 
tions between Sevastopol and Bakchesaray, was exchanged 
for a sterile corner of the Crimea pent in by a barrier 
of hills. 

At 3 P.M., 11th September, we again descried a 
crowd of steamers N.N.E. ; and at sunset the French 
and Turkish fleets anchored for the first time in thirty- 
five fathoms. Next morning, the other ships making 
their appearance, the three fleets joined company, and 
proceeded along the coast in picturesque confusion. 
Nonconformity of night signals — preconcert having 
been wanting in that as well as in other respects — and 
the passion of one of the admirals for using themi 


caused ludicrous mistakes the following night. On the 
13th, in the afternoon, the combined fleet of men-of- 
war and transports came to anchor oflf the pretty, steppe- 
fringing, windmill-flanked town of Eupatoria. The sight 
of its minarets refreshed our Turks. How did the in- 
habitants feel ? We tried to fancy ourselves in their 
place, but failed to conjure up an adequate sensation. In 
the evening the town was summoned to surrender, and 
a few ships were told oflf for firing on its white stuccoed 
walls and green Venetian blinds. As the garrison con- 
sisted of only a few hundred invalid soldiers without 
artillery, the governor deemed compliance excusable. 
This hint of the military unpreparedness of the Crimea 
was confirmed by subsequent interrogatories. 

We now contemplated in its aggregate at one anchor- 
age our mighty host, and we might be acquitted of 
presumption in thinking the Crimea would be in our 
possession before snow should whiten its hills. Its 
means of locomotion, independent of wind, increased 
its might. None could say where the first blow would 
fall. There were present eight three-deckers, one of 
them screw-propelled, twenty two-deckers, including six 
•with screw propulsion, seven frigates, two of them with 
screws, about thirty paddle war-steamers, and several 
hundred transports, many of them with steam ; carrying 
56,000 troops, including 1,400 cavalry, with twenty-two 
batteries and two siege-trains. The crews of the men- 
of-war, 35,000 strong, were trained to the use of great 
guns and small arms. On one side there were 90,000 
land and sea troops, able by their command of the sea 
to draw supplies and reinforcements in three weeks from 
Western Europe, in three days from Turkey. On the 


other side there were ahout 60,000 land and sea troops, 
separated from Russia hy the roadless steppe, with a 
disaffected population to control. Nothing, apparently, 
was wanting to the efficiency of the British army, save 
its bat horses, left behind through alleged deficiency of 
transport : a weak excuse, since the EngUsh fleet, unen- 
cumbered by troops and stores, might have embarked 
them, and many hundred horses besides, with a month's 
forage; and in the unanticipated event of the enemy 
showing fight have thrown them overboard. Officers, 
devoid of means of carrying with them some of the 
comforts which are necessaries to men accustomed to 
them from their childhood, became thereby often unable 
to perform their duties properly off the battle-field, and 
fatigued men delayed the march of the army. 

Recognized " correspondents," imiting in their cor- 
respondence the graphic details of the early chro- 
niclers with the graceful narrative of the panegyrists 
of Louis XrV.'s progresses, formed part — not the least 
important part — of the expedition. They wielded their 
power, save in one or two instances, generously, and on 
the whole impartially. They performed their duty by the 
public conscientiously. Their courage and self-abnega- 
tion, uncheered by honours in prospective, praising 
others themselves unpraised, were exemplary. Never- 
theless, the compatibihty of their avocations with the 
obligations of an army on service remains questionable 
with many. I doubt it. I am disposed to think that if 
a nation wishes to have an army like those armies which 
have in all ages won empires and defended empires, it 
will dispense with correspondents. The province of 
journalism is to indicate abuses and deficiencies during 


peace, and advocate amendment : in which respect the 
British press has not been remiss ; but defects in war 
should be left to cure themselves, as they will do, by a 
slower, perhaps, but more salutary process. The special 
correspondent, in his single-minded earnest endeavour 
to perform his task loyally, does not reflect that, in 
exposing ills which have a diflFerent hue in civilian and 
professional eyes, and in giving expression to dissatis- 
faction at hardships perhaps unavoidable, he may be 
engendering a cankering evil, felt rather than seen — 
lax discipline. He is also liable, unwittingly, to excite 
jealousies, and even — a matter of deeper import — 
enhance a reputation, on the faith of which a man 
may be appointed to commands above his real capacity. 
There are men in every army as in every fleet ready to 
apply to ** correspondents '* Hamlet's words in regard 
of players : — ** Good my lord, will you see the players 
well bestowed ? Do you hear, let them be well used ; for 
they are the abstract and brief chronicle of the time : 
after your death you were better have a bad epitaph 
than their ill-report while you Uve." 

The French during the war went to the other 
extreme. Not content with excluding ** correspondents " 
from their camp, they tongue-tied the press wherever 
able. Even some mild strictures on their operations in 
the Crimea in the Journal de Constantinople were offensive 
to them ; and the Porte in consequence, on the demand 
of the French charge -d'affaires, placed that journal under 
the censorship of the French commandant at Pera for 
its military articles. 



The Fleets anchor off Old Fort — Aspect of the Shore — Prompt Disem- 
barkation of French Troops — Their Alertness — Prince Napoleon 
— French Soldiers under Canvas — ^Disembarkation of the British 
Forces — The Soldiers landed without Tents or Knapsacks — Their 
Bivouac under heavy Rain — Defective Organization — Results of 
needless Exposure — Altered Conditions of Invasions created by 
Steam — Landing of Cavalry — Tartars come into Camp — Their Joy 
at Sight of Moslem Troops — Their Account of the Force of Sevas- 
topol — A Spy — Complaint against the Zouaves by a Tartar — 
How disposed of — Combined Forces of the allied Armies — 
Characteristics of each Army — The Turkish Commander returns 
to Constantinople and is banished — The English Tents re-em- 
barked, and the Army bivouacked for three weeks — 111 Effects 
of this Exposure — Prince Mentchikofs Forces — His Aim to create 
Delay — His Position liable to be turned on both Flanks — March 
of the French — The British stonn the Hill-side of the Alma — 
Steady Calmness of their Advance — ** Forward " the only Order — 
The Crisis — Victoiy. 

September 14th, 1854, anniversary of the entrance of 
the French into Moscow, forty-two years earlier, the 
combined fleets commenced at 3 a.m. getting nnder way 
for " Old Fort ; " a locality seventeen miles from Eupa- 
toria, and twenty-eight miles from Sevastopol. The 
continuity of the reddish cliff characteristic of the west 
coast of the Crimea is interrupted at Old Fort by two 
strips of beach, one mile apart, having inside of each a 
marsh, residue of the overflow of the sea in a south-west 
gale. By 6 a.m. all the ships had left Eupatoria, and 
were steering for the landing-place ; except the ** covering 


fleet," which made an offing. The English transport fleet 
and war-steamers anchored ofif the northern beach, joined 
later in the day by the commander-in-chief with the 
remainder of the fleet, and simultaneously the French and 
Turkish fleets anchored off" the southern beach. The 
French intimated their desire for the disembarkation of the 
Turkish troops to be delayed till next day, that the boats 
of the Turkish fleet might assist in landing their troops. 

The aspect of the country from our thronged decks 
was cheerless. Save a child at the door of a cottage of 
a solitary hamlet a mile and a half inshore, and a few 
Cossacks en vedette on the brow of the nearest cliflf, there 
were no signs of life. About 8.30 a.m. the disembarkation 
commenced under favourable circumstances. The weather 
was serene and cloudy, the water smooth as glass, and 
the shore accessible. The fore feet of the boats touched 
the beach, and the soldiers landed dryfoot. The 
artillery and horses were landed easily from shalans. 
The Cossacks remained tranquilly at their posts, 
their leader taking notes, until the first division of the 
French army was half-way towards the shore ; when they 
galloped ofl' with the portentous news. Eumoured 
invasion had become a reality. By noon, 10,000 French 
infantry, twenty guns, the staflF horses embarked all 
at Varna in one steamer, and a few spahis, were on 
Kussian ground. The spahis captured in the course of 
the afternoon fourteen country carts conveying flour to 
Sevastopol ; the drivers of which confirmed the intelli- 
gence obtained at Eupatoria, of there being no Russian 
troops anywhere near. They had been thus employed 
for two months. 

The French soldiers landed each with six days' 


biscuit, four days' meat, and one day's water ; and with 
that addition to their packs they stepped out briskly, 
with the air of men bound on a pleasure excursion. 
One of their chiefs, standing on the shore in an historic 
pose, attracted notice by his likeness to a celebrated 
portrait. I approached, with recollections of the tale 
of Austerlitz, Wagram and Jena, and entered into 
conversation with General Prince Napoleon. His Imperial 
Highness was meditating over an interesting problem — 
the cooking of his dinner — and proposed to find the 
solution in the above-mentioned hamlet ; but on a 
bystander remarking that the Cossacks, a voracious 
ubiquitous race, might descend in a cloud of dust and 
carry it oflf, he wisely decided to remain inside the lines. 
Towards sunset the chief of the French staflf sent to the 
Turkish fleet to land its troops, for no other apparent 
object than that of making a display. We reminded 
that officer of the intimation given in the morning ; we 
could not get the tents ready for pitching at that hour ; 
and we were disinclined to expose needlessly sickly troops 
to the impending rain ; we would land them in the 
morning with their tents and provisions. This was 
agreed to. That night the French army slept under 
canvas, every officer and man in his appropriate tent ; 
and next morning a stranger might have fancied them 
encamped there during a month. No one seemed out of 
place, or out of humour. The soldiers were drying their 
clothes or cooking their food before their gipsy-Kke tents ; 
the officers in groups were breakfasting or smoking in 
front of tlieir tents ; the blithe Advandieres had a smile 
or a word for every one, and the Field Marshal was 
sitting on a camp-ptool before his marquee, enjoying the 


sun and reading a newspaper. I exchanged a few 
words with his Excellency, and rejoiced to remark an 
improvement in his health ; which, however, was illusory. 
Apart from the camp, the butcher, in a white apron, 
surrounded by a flock of sheep brought in by Spahis, was 
busily employed in his caUing. " Are those sheep paid 
for ? " I asked. *• No, we never pay for anything in an 
enemy's country." ** But the Tartars are our friends." 
'' C'est 6gal." 

The disembarkation of the British army was, on the 
whole, less felicitous. The passage of the Iroops from 
their transports to the shore, — a facile operation with 
numerous boats and two light steamers, — was rapid and 
continuous ; but then appeared the want of comprehensive 
arrangement and attention to details shown by the French. 
The landing of staflF horses being inconveniently delayed, 
an important part of the generals' functions, surveying 
the ground, remained in abeyance for some hours. A 
general, typified by the centaur, is only half himself 
without his steed. The troops were landed without 
tents ; some regiments without their knapsacks — a grave 
omission, pregnant with mischief, the occurrence of 
whicli still, after the lapse of many years, excites regret. 
Rendered sensitive, by their sojourn in Bulgaria, to 
atmospheric vicissitudes, the troops could better have 
spared half their rations than their tents. Heavy rain 
descended the first night, and beneath it the British 
army bivouacked, minus head-quarters and part of the 
cavalry. Tents should have occupied a high place in the 
consideration of those entrusted with the responsibility 
of landing the troops : which implied landing them with 
all needful appliances, not setting them on shore like 



Caflfres, with only the clothes they stood in and their 
arms. Some regiments remained a month without 
tents ; and as for knapsacks, when finally landed at 
Balaclava, many men could not find their own. The 
excuse about the tents was that, having been stowed in 
bulk in transports* holds, they could not be disinterred 
upon occasion. ** Why were they thus stowed away?'* 
ought to have been sternly asked. They might, together 
with the knapsacks, have been distributed according to 
brigades in ships of war and told-oflf transports ; the 
crews of which should have had the charge — the gratify- 
ing charge — of pitching and striking them. By such an 
arrangement the army need not have passed a night, 
except on the flank march, without cover. The slightest 
canopy may prove invaluable to a sleeping man: a muslin 
tissue, interposed between him and the expanse on a 
starry night, may be the diflference of health or sickness. 
Imperious necessity alone should have exposed the 
tenderly-nurtured British army, unaccustomed to shift 
for itself, to bivouac in autumn ; especially the first night 
after leaving the shelter of comfortable transports. That 
dreary night sent more than a thousand men to hospital, 
and implanted the seeds of disease in thousands more. 
Many ofl&cers of advanced age never recovered from the 
eflfects of that exposure. Fortunately, the rain ceased in 
a few hours ; but had it lasted (as sometimes happens in 
those latitudes early in autumn,) from twenty-four to 
thirty hours, it would have rendered the army invaUd. 

An elaborate plan had been drawn up for landing the 
army in the face of the enemy ; but none had been 
thought of for the distinct, the probable, case of landing 
it on an undefended coast. What must be done promptly 


in the one case, may be done leisurely in the other. 
The order of landing cavalry and infantry may, if 
convenient, be reversed. Attention had not been given 
to the altered conditions of invasion created by steam. 
Viewing the facility now-a-days for an invader to steam 
right or left a few hours' march from his expected place 
of disembarkation, the general entrusted with the defence 
would prefer a central position, free to act according to 
circumstances. There being no signs of an enemy, the 
cavalry, profiting by tlie calm weather of the first day, 
should have landed at once : they were the most required 
to reconnoitre and gain intelligence ; but roughish 
weather coming on next day, great part remained on 
board till the 16th.. Cavalry cannot, like infantry, be 
landed in a fresh breeze or at night. Early disem- 
barked in force, the cavalry might have cleared the 
neighbouring villages of Cossacks ; and, thus encouraged, 
the Tartars would have rendered valuable aid : they 
might have furnished means to enable the army to march 
with tents and baggage unanxiously in any direction. 

Several Tartars came into camp the day after the 
landing with stock for sale. Double-humped Bactrian 
camels drew some of their carts, and it was amusing to 
watch the devices of the soldiers to conciliate these 
stately animals, beside which the plumed Highlanders 
were in pictorial keeping. This beautiful breed perished, 
it is said, in the Crimea, during the war, from overwork. 
The Tartars manifested great joy at sight of Moslem 
troops, and, speaking a Turkish patois, soon estabhshed 
friendly intercourse. The inherent superiority of the 
Ottomans was admitted. The natives salaamed the 
pashas reverently; the latter promised protection, and 



both parties seemed to anticipate the addition of tlie 
Crimea in a few weeks to Sultan Abdul Medjid's 
dominions, and the wooing of Tartar maidens for the 
harems of Constantinople. The Tartars described the 
mms at Sevastopol as innumerable, but the troops as few 
and indiflFerent. The native population was unarmed ; 
no man being even allowed, they said, to carry a long 
knife. One of them, a pedling trader from Eupatoria, 
in fraternization with a knot of Turkish soldiers, seemed 
a fit subject for interrogation to the French chef d'etat 
majorj who asked me to interpret for him. The inquiry 
ended by handing him over to a guard for detention 
only. Shooting a spy is as a rule folly ; it rarely deters 
others; whereas hope and wine may extract valuable 

Some of the Spahis, in a distant reconnaissance on 
the 15th, intercepted a carriage with some ladies : a 
drosky with an officer, and several invalided soldiers. 
Unconscious of the invasion, the ladies were taking an 
airing ; and if of a romantic turn of mind, they were 
doubtless pleasurably surprised by the apparition of a 
party of Arabs politely brandishing their spears by 
their carriage sides. That night we observed several 
fires in the direction of Sevastopol, on the presumed liue 
of the Allies' march. Next day the codja bashi of a 
neighbouring village came to the French camp to 
complain of a party of Zouaves (some of whom, we 
heard, had remained in the Cossacks' hands) , for having 
twisted the necks of sundry fowls and expressed their 
admiration of the fair sex in an unorthodox style. 
**The Tartars," he said, **are heart and soul for the 
Allies ; but if such irregularities are committed they will 


make common cause with the Russians." The marshal 
pacified the old Tiirtar, and threatened to send similar 
oflfenders in future on board ship in irons. But he 
too well knew, from his African experience, the value 
of that daring corps, to allow their propensities 
(habitually winked at) to stand in the way of their 
services. Foremost of the forward in battle, gayest of 
the gay under privations, the Zouaves set a cheering 
example in the Crimea. If any one of the survivors of those 
landed at **01d Fort" considers himself overlooked, he 
may console himself with the reflection of having merited 
the Legion of Honour, — merited it, it may be, more 
than his favoured comrade, the imperial guardsman. 

The allied armies landed at '*01d Fort" consisted 
of 26,000 EngUsh including 1,200 cavaby with 60 
guns, 25,000 French including 200 Spahis with 66 
guns, and about 7,000 Turks. They were reinforced by 
the end of the second week in October by 14,000 French 
and EngUsh troops ; barely sufl&cient to fill up the 
vacancies in the ranks up to that date from deaths and 
sickness. While the army lay at *'01d Fort" some 
definite knowledge was obtained about the enemy ; to 
whom the intention was ascribed of making a stand on 
one of the three rivers on the road to Sevastopol. The 
troops manifested no impatience at the delay. The 
French were careless, the English meditative, and the 
Turks listless. Neither the French nor the EngUsh 
commander-in-chief — one in pain, the other pensive — 
evinced active interest in the army. The Turkish chiefs 
thoughts floated between the vision of a Crimean pashalik, 
and the hope of revisiting Constantinople with a whole 
skin : the latter weighed in the balance. Soon after the 


commencement of actual hostilities, auguring no speedy 
termination to them, he gave himself sick leave and with 
a colonel (a Pole) in the same temper returned to 
Constantinople; where, after a while, they were tried 
at the instigation of the Allies, degraded, exhibited 
ironed to the troops at the seraskiriat, and exiled to 
Cyprus for seven years. Their sentence, couched in 
defamatory language, was aggravated by its publication 
in the Turkish Gazette. Turkish officers on service, 
with their hearts elsewhere, have no recognized mode 
of getting out of their difficulty. They have no *' papers " 
to send in ; medical certificates are hieroglyphics, and 
leave of absence is unknown in war. They are expected 
to remain at their posts, to be shot at and face cold and 
disease with their men — no great demand upon them, 
seeing the personal advantages and prospective rewards 
of an officer. 

On the 18th September, in expectation of marching 
on the morrow, the English tents were ordered to be 
struck, and, excepting one for the lieutenant-general, 
two for the commissariat, and six for the hospital of 
each division, were sent to the beach for re-embarkation. 
Circumstantially privileged, the artillery officers carried 
their tents with their guns. The rest of the EngUsh 
army bivouacked the ensuing three weeks ; and to this 
exposure, at the season of hot days and chilly nights, may 
be traced the cause of the sudden failure of the health 
of the troops at the commencement of winter. 

Next moi-ning, at 7 a.m., the aUied armies commenced 
their march towards Sevastopol ; on the road to which, 
at that hour, we descried a village in flames. The 
fleets, weighing anchor simultaneously, proceeded a few 


miles to the southwards, and re -anchored off Cape 
Lougoul, where the Alma flows into the sea. After a 
short day's march, and a dallying skirmish between 
Russian and English cavalry, the armies lay down for 
the night, in anticipation of a battle on the morrow. 

Prince Mentchikof in the meanwhile had not been 
idle. He had collected troops from all parts of the 
Crimea, leaving in Sevastopol only a few veteran batta - 
lions, with the artillerymen of the forts. With 32,000 
infantry — 6,000 of whom had just joined him after a 
forced march from Kertch, — 2,500 cavalry and 70 guns, 
he made his stand on an elevated plateau south of the 
valley of the Alma, w^ith guns in position on its northern 
ridge. To create delay, to afford time for strengthening 
the north, the menaced side of Sevastopol, was his 
object. Although presumptuous — like all Russian 
generals in the late war, till taught by many bitter 
lessons the difference between man and man — he had 
not the presumption to expect to drive the invaders back 
to their ships ; for among them he knew were the British 
Guards, '* feared by their breed and famous by their 
birth," and choice regiments from Algeria. All he could 
hope for was to impede their advance on the city ; and it 
would appear from what has been said uncontradicted 
that he counted on holding them in check many days. 
He had overrated the strength of his position : one 
condition of its strength being that it should be attacked 
in his own way ; in which, as it happened, he was partly 
indulged. His position had the inherent defect of being 
open to be turned on either flank. A turned position is 
obviously weak ; because, the original plan being deranged, 
other combinations, requiring presence of mind and 


tactical resources, become necessary, and are diflScult to 
make in the face of modern artillery and rifle practice. 
Unable to approach near the sea — any doubt of which 
was removed on the 20th September, by the dispersal of 
a body of Cossacks by shells thrown from French ships 
— the Russian left was exposed to be turned, as w^ell as 
its right. The French showed this. Marching along 
shore, their right covered by the sea, they arrived first at 
the foot of the acclivity, and ascending it by a carriage- 
able road, with smart opposition from some guns 
dominating it (which the Zouaves charged and drove 
oflF in gallant style) , they turned the Russians' left, and 
came on equal ground with them. Had the English, 
diverging from their line of march, similarly turned the 
enemy's right, his position guns laid for ascertained 
ranges would have been placed in jeopardy : and for him 
there could only be an artillery fight. He had little else 
than cannon to rely upon ; for in presence of the Allies' 
rifle-armed infantry, his infantry, in dense formation, 
unable to come to close quarters, were virtually unarmed 
with old-fashioned muskets in their hands ; and there- 
fore it is doubtful if Prince Mentchikof, with both 
flanks turned, could have withdrawn his army in coherent 
order from the field of battle. Russian officers have 
said, since the war, that if the English had turned their 
right, their retreat on Bakchesaray would have been cut 
oflF. But this manoeuvre required preconcerted accordant 
movements, non-existent through divided command. 

Seeing the impetuosity of his ally with inadequate 
forces. General Lord Raglan, impersonation of calm 
courage, thought only of getting into action by the 
shortest road, guided by the hottest fire. Then was 


witnessed the acting of one of the finest pieces of man- 
hood acted on the military stage — the storming of the 
hill side of the valley of the Alma. The English 
infantry, never before under fire, their strength impaired 
by the bivouac and the march, showed themselves 
animated by the spirit of their fathers on other fields. 
Calmly and resolutely, resolved to do or die, each man's 
elbow touching his neighbour's elbow, sending an electric 
touch of confidence through the line, every gap in the 
ranks instantly filled up, they marched steadily along the 
shot-torn road, to the order — the only order given — 
** forward," repeated by every general, re-echoed by 
every officer, silently responded to by every soldier. A 
smouldering village in their path deranged their ranks, 
but only till it was passed on either side. The passage 
of the river detained them longer ; but having slaked 
their thirst and climbed its further bank, again they 
formed as on parade, under a withering fire, and again 
to the word ** forward " advanced ; then with cheers they 
rushed up the steep acclivity, down which, one-third of 
the way, Russian infantry, leaving the cover of their guns, 
descended to meet them. There was a wavering in the 
column of attack, a pause of indecision in its commander. 
But it was of short duration. All instinctively felt that 
the crisis of the day was arrived. Officers and sergeants 
stepped to the front ; two batteries came into play ; the 
deadly rifle cleared the arena. 



The Battle of the Alma fruitless — A Victory without Trophies—The 
Victors sleep on their Laurels — Their pleasant Despatches — Aged 
Officers — Few Troops in Sevastopol — Ineffective Fire of the 
Forts — The Ohject of the Crimean Expedition frustrated by Delay 
— Military Council in Sevastopol decides to obstruct the Entrance 
of the Harbour by sinking a Squadron of Ships — Review of the 
Position of Affairs — English Troops suffer from Diarrhoea — The 
allied Armies march to the Balbec — The Russians sink their 
Ships — An English Officer of Engineers — Capture of Russian 
Baggage — The allied Army reaches Balaclava — Its Dependence 
on the Sea disadvantageous — ^Artillery Engagement between 
Steamers and Batteries — Bad Practice of Russian Gunners — ^Death 
of Marshal St. Amaud. 

Like a tree in blossom which, suddenly bUghted, bears no 
fruit, so was the battle of the Alma. An exaggerated 
view of the success caused so much daring to remain 
unproductive. Beaten in three hours from his chosen 
position, disconcerted by the rival valour of the Allies, 
and astounded at the eflfect of the mini6 rifle. Prince 
Mentchikof retired in order, with his colours, cannon, 
and baggage. Nevertheless, unprepared for a reverse, 
confident at the outset of repelhng the attack, he had 
remained on the ground too long. By retreating half- 
an-hour earlier he would have sustained comparatively 
sHght loss, while inflicting nearly as much on the Allies, 
who suffered chiefly on their advance. Good part of his 
own loss was incurred by the fire of the English artillery 
and of the French infantry on his retiring columns. The 


Allies had gained a victory, but without trophies. They 
occupied the disputed field, and no more. Their dead lay 
mingled with the Kussian dead in the proportion of one 
to four ; but no captured batteries, no shattered tumbrels, 
no groups of valid prisoners, indicated a defeat involving 
dislocation of the component parts of an army. Had 
they, viewing the battle of the Alma simply as a brilUant 
prelude, pursued the enemy the same evening with their 
forces which had not been engaged — the English fourth 
division and cavalry, and two French divisions, the main 
body following after a few hours' repose — they would have 
gained a complete victory; decisive not alone of the 
fall of Sevastopol, but of the Crimea. With a river to 
cross eight miles distant, without a reserve, in the midst 
of a disaflFected population, the Russian army, far from 
showing fight again next day, must have abandoned its 
cannon at the Katcha : its cavalry might have got away, 
but its infantry would have had to surrender or disperse. 
At all events it would have ceased to be an army. 
Whereas by virtue of its discipline and its moral impas- 
sibiUty, with three days' grace to recover in, it remained 
the army which had fought at Alma, less six or seven 
thousand men killed or wounded — and its presumption : 
the latter a gain. 

The allied generals, as if under the impression of 
hearing no more of Prince Mentchikof and his ** serf 
soldiers'' — as if expecting Sevastopol to send her keys 
to their camp — slept the night after the battle of Alma 
on laurelled pillows, and next day sat down hopeful to 
write their despatches. Paragraph by paragraph, from 
the lofty announcement in one that the Emperor's cannon 
had spoken at last, to the graceful reminiscence in the 


other of the naval officer who had carried a telescope by 
the generaFs side, all was pleasant reading in them ; and 
we may not wonder at the elated public in France and 
England, confirmed in their opinion of the hollowness of 
Russia's power, having blushed for their betrayal of 
anxiety about the capture of Sevastopol. They now 
derided the ** easiness of the affiiir.*' 

Care of the wounded and respect for the slain, alleged 
as the reasons, were inadequate to account for the inaction 
of the army on the field of Alma, seeing the assistance at 
hand in the transport shipping. The exigencies of age 
had pardonably something to do with it. Sexagenarian 
generals and quinquagenarian colonels could hardly be 
expected to be eager to run over the country after a hard 
day's work : like aged mettled hunters, they wanted rest. 
A distinguished officer observed to me the day after this 
battle, *' In the morning I am forty, in the evening I am 

In the opinion of some, the time had arrived for the 
fleets then at anchor oflf the Alma — one bearing the 
British flag, another a flag bathed in the halo of military 
and longing for naval renown, and the third a flag deeper 
tinged with the blood of Sinope — to finish with a blow 
what their comrades on shore had well begun ; and in 
anticipation of it, apparently, Prince Mentchikof advised, 
after his defeat, obstructing the entrance of the harbour 
with sunken ships. The difficulties of the enterprise had 
been diminished by the operations of the allied armies 
far more than can be arithmeticaUy expressed. Instead 
of a numerous garrison, arrogant and confident in their 
resources, there remained in Sevastopol on the 21st of 
September — by the testimony of deserters and prisoners 


—only the dockyard brigade, a few veteran battalions 
and the siege artillerymen; who, dejected by the message 
reversing hope from the field of Alma, were not, the 
Prince may have thought, in a position to oflfer more than 
a feebly desperate resistance to thirty sail of the line, 
besides frigates, aided by steamers, mounting collectively 
3,000 pieces of heavy caUbre. The gunners in the frown- 
ing forts of Sevastopol had not assuredly enjoyed more 
sea-target practice than the gunners of the batteries of 
Portsmouth and Malta. Their guns were worked clumsily 
with handspikes and fired with matches. Uncertain at a 
distance, their fire would have been languid against ships' 
rapid and accurate fire at close quarters. When atten- 
tion shall be paid to guns and gunnery on shore as well 
as afloat, the question of ships versus forts will cease to 
be vexed ; but as long as things are so managed that 
men fire guns in batteries for the first time on the 
approach of an enemy, that enemy may fairly assume 
that appearances are sometimes delusive. 

The delay of the army at the Alma showed incon- 
sideration on the part of the allied commanders of the 
object of the Crimean expedition. Undertaken late in 
the season, without preparation for a winter campaign, 
its real object, less military than political, had been to 
elicit, by the moral eflfect of a great (by many deemed im- 
possible) success on the suspensive mind of Europe, the 
expression of a unanimous opinion adverse to Russia, in 
the fairly grounded hope of cutting short thereby the 
war unwillingly commenced. And doubtless the early 
fall of Sevastopol — averted by remissness resembling the 
effect of predestination — would have been accepted by 
Europe as unequivocal evidence of her weakness, and 


have created an undefinable sense of apprehension in 
Kussia, thus suddenly struck in her vaunted stronghold : 
whereas its remarkable defence, the energy displayed in 
supplying its wants, and her military organization, have 
increased the impression of Kussia's innate vitality ; 
especially in Turkey and in Central Asia. The natives 
of those countries beheld with amazement the power 
threatened with the loss of Bessarabia, the Crimea, and 
the Caucasus, in one campaign, resisting with dignity 
four nations backed by the genii steam and gold ; 
holding in check 160,000 of their troops on the spot 
where they had landed, unable to obtain food for man 
or beast jfrom her territory ; and while opposing a 
titanic attack in the Crimea, able to restrain the 
Caucasians, intimidate Persia, and strike heavy blows 
in Turkish Armenia. 

While the allied armies lay complacently on the field 
of Alma, anticipating no other, a scene of another 
character was enacted at Sevastopol. The important 
council sat, whence emanated the decision to sink a 
squadron of ships at the mouth of the harbour ; derived 
from the persuasion of the impossibility, with the north 
side ihdiflFerently fortified, and the south side open, of 
resisting a combined land and sea attack. Apprehending 
an attack by the allied fleets, the Russians could neither 
have unmanned any of their forts nor deranged the order 
of battle of their fleet. Freed from that apprehension, 
they would be at liberty to station elsewhere the gunners 
of all but the outer sea batteries, employ ships' crews on 
shore, and moor ships in suitable berths for firing on 
advancing troops. The deliberation on the subject must 
have been painfully diversified by conflicting views. 


Possibly some of the naval members derided the idea 
of an attack by the allied fleets. But although the 
masters in the art of war have at all times mainly owed 
success to divination of their opponents' designs, the 
question at issue involved too mighty a stake — an 
empire's prestige — to admit of leaving it in the circle 
of probabilities. Admiral Nakhimof may have considered 
improbable the magnificent spectacle of the allied fleets 
entering Sevastopol harbour in order of battle, but Prince 
Mentchikof must have viewed it as possible, A sense of 
immediate security was required. That would be insured 
by the obstruction of the harbour's mouth, and that 
overcame the prescience in the nautical mind of ulti- 
mate defeat thereby. Assured delay outbalanced pro- 
blematic success. 

A corresponding end alone justifies a great sacrifice : 
and it may still be doubted by some if the defenders of 
Sevastopol acted wisely, all circumstances considered, in 
destroying a part and imprisoning the remainder of their 
fleet. The object in view was to obtain a pause of tran- 
quillity, leisure for throwing up redoubts. The question 
was, would the allied fleets, going in before the aUied 
armies were ready to attack, frustrate it ? This admitted 
of answer only by the process of deduction from con- 
jectural premises ; which, seeing the incalculable import- 
ance of postponing for a season the fall of Sevastopol, 
seemed hazardous to trust to. The Kussians' game did 
not admit of a single doubtful move. Nevertheless we 
should not allow ourselves, while admiring the grandeur 
of the act, to overlook the violation of a principle. 
Among the conditions of the defence of a maritime town 
attacked by sea and land, the command of ships free to 


emerge from its harbour, to take advantage of the chances 
which weather and other circumstances may offer, ranks 
high. With their fleet disposable, the Kussians would 
have rendered Kamiesch untenable, unless the allied 
fleets had remained always in force off the harbour. 
Taught by the consideration evoked by the experiences 
of the war, one might now construct steam locomotives 
which would rfinder the effective blockade of a port 
impracticable. In no other way could the issue of the 
siege have been different. Steam transports brought 
troops fresh from England and France respectively in 
one-fifteenth and one-twentieth of the time required to 
march troops despondent and fatigued from Moscow to 
the Crimea ; and the Allies were, enabled to increase 
aild vary their obsidional means at will, while similar 
means on the side of the defence were on the decrease. 
For although open to receive food and ammunition from 
the north, Sevastopol was closed against supplies of 
projectiles; and hence the siege finally resolved itself 
into a trial between its resources and the resources of 
Woolwich and Toulon. Whoever should plant the 
heaviest and most numerous guns and mortars hi 
position would win. 

During their bivouac on the Alma the English troops 
suffered much from diarrhoea, brought on by exposure to 
hot days and cool damp nights. Many died there, and 
numbers were embarked for Constantinople. The exertions 
of the medical officers, admired by all, could not make 
up for the want of administrative arrangements to meet 
the unfaiUng accompanimient of war. Before the English 
invaUds were all embarked, the aUied armies marched 
from the Alma. They lay, September 23rd, on the 


Katcha, and next morning marched to the Balbec, within 
four miles of th^ north side of Sevastopol. On the 
morning of the 23rd the Kussians executed their afore- 
mentioned project. They sunk one three-decker, four 
two-deckers and two frigates, attached to each other 
head and stem by chains, across the mouth of the 
harbour, between the southern shoal and the north 
shore ; leaving a narrow passage for steamers near the 
latter. A deserter having given information the day 
before to the admirals of several ships lying plugged 
ready for immersion the event created no surprise. No 
great importance was attached to the sacrifice. Quahfied 
by most as an act of desperation, few only regarded it as 
an earnest of determination, — of a step by step defence. 
As though at the last moment fearing impediment, the 
Kussians fired shot from Fort Constantino to accelerate 
the immersion of the squadron. 

The allied generals, deeming Fort Sevemaya too 
strong to be carried by assault, continued their march on 
the 25th September, from the Balbec towards the head 
of the harbour. An aide-de-camp of Marshal St. Amaud 
galloped back to the mouth of the Katcha to inform 
Admiral Hamehn of the flank movement, with directions 
to send the materiel of the army to the southwards. 
Finding him a boat to go off to the Ville de Paris, I 
walked up to a signal-station on the south side of the 
river, whence the news of the defeat at the Alma had 
been transmitted to Sevastopol. While enjoying the 
prospect, and musing on the eventful drama just com- 
menced, I was joined by three EngHsh officers just 
landed from a transport newly arrived from England. 
One of them, in a convalescent state, carrying a small 



oarpot-bag, inquired the direction of the army. The 
army was already miles away : its trail had disappeared ; 
the sunbeam no longer flickered in the dust of its 
columns. The weather was sultry, and fearing the walk 
would prove too much for his strength, I urged patience, 
and recommended his companions, about to return on 
board their transport, to try and assuage his ardour. 
We spoke in vain. He set out alone on foot, and 
reached his corps, the engineers, safe : as I afterwards 
learned incidentally. He was a right-hearted fellow, 
whose name, only heard once, I have not remembered. 
He thought neither of the chance of sinking under 
fatigue nor of meeting with stray Cossacks ; and though 
the latter risk was imaginary, it was then apprehended. 
He only thought of duty. No staflf officer, no " corre- 
spondent " was by ; only, apparently, a weather-beaten 
Turkish officer. Another officer, in rude health, for riding 
back jfrom head-quarters over the same ground with an 
escort, was mentioned in despatches as having performed a 
remarkable feat, and received promotion accordingly. 
This is one of many instances in the late war of the 
diflference between record and reality. 

After a straggling march through woods, infantry, 
cavalry and artillery intermingled, the allied army 
emerged into the open country in the nick of time for its 
advanced squadrons to capture part of the baggage 
(including a welcome supply of wine and cigars) of the 
Russians marching from Sevastopol, by Khutor M'Kenzie, 
to Bakchesaray. This palpable invitation to follow up 
Prince Mentchikof and complete the battle of the Alma 
was not accepted. Away from the fleet, the army felt 
like a child separated from its mother. Turning to the 


right, it descended the heights, closing behind its rear- 
guard, and never halted till it reached Balaclava; the 
garrison of which, 140 in number, Greeks under a 
Kussian colonel, surrendered, after the honours of a few 
shot. The sense of dependence on the sea injuriously 
predominated. Every confident invader, trusting in his 
star — to wit, William the Conqueror, Henry V., Cortez, 
and Napoleon (in Egypt) — has viewed the main duty of 
his fleet over on landing him. An apparently grave 
misfortune in our case would have turned out a signal 
advantage. If bad weather had forced the allied fleets 
to quit the coast temporarily after the battle of the Alma, 
the army must then, in self-defence, have marched on 
Bakchesaray and Simpheropol. The exultant Tartars 
would have &uppHed all its wants, and Sevastopol, 
isolated, have fallen of itself. 

While the aUied armies were circumventing the city, 
the aUied fleets, at anchor off the Katcha, detached six 
steamers, half French half English, to engage the Wasp 
and Telegraph batteries. Taking up their stations in 
line of battle, they opened a heavy fire, which was duly 
responded to ; but as the greater part of the shot 
mutually fell short, none striking the objects on either 
side, exercising the guns' crews was the only advantage 
gained. After an hour of such pastime, the firing ceased 
on both sides. Presently the commodore, his men being 
reposed, made the signal '* Prepare to renew action," 
and experiments of the long range were repeated. Tired 
of splashing the water, the enemy left off first, and then 
the admirals recalled the squadron. This is a specimen 
of the * '.incessant bombardment of the Kussian forts 



along the shore firom the Balbec to SeTsstopoI/' in which 
the athnfnils are said, by an *• eve-witness/' to have 
emplojcd their steam frigates. A few dajns afterwards, 
the gunners of Fort Constancine edified the allied fleets 
bj their rracdoe at an Ansrrian merchant vcssel. laden 
with fcrage for the English army, drifting in a calm 
across the hartocr's month. Of nnmercns shot fired 
within easy range, one or two only stnrck her. Ac^andoned 
ly her crew, who took to their hc-at and w^re picked 
up by an allird steamer, she drifted in:o a c: re on the 
south sde o: the harfconr. and lay there screened frc-ia 
shot. An Fiygifsh ste^uner brongh: her aw^y at night ; 
she then received b^ck her crew and fri.'oeedtdi to 

The rejcncdoji of the allied armies ani frets was 
Siiiddened by ihe sf^king sca:e of >Li^^haI S:. Anaods 
health. With the hand ci dca:h in his vi:il>, he had 
rerseTcred. cheertil to the lasc : se:tiig az. ^xamrve of 
chivilry and deTodvn- Hiring, as has ceen lean^ifnlir 
said. •' iidslcn Death wait :cr Vic:*:ry." he yi-flleu. raiLer 
than gaTc nr. the tL-vmmand c: ihe French army of the 
Easc to General Canrucem. en tie iSil Serienih^r. 
Conveyed on beard the f^rr-V..^:. he theire. neaLrly 
syeechlrss^ to<k leave of his noc«c ccLf-igie^ dknd 
died on the rass&a^ge :o Theraria* wher^ he Lid left 
his wire. Jz fmereal rcnip ovdi miiirLic thx: Lady's 
grief Ir her huscanis descent f?;ni a rcnzj^^lr to the 
<ccim'-n. lev^c^. it w:is no-u crfmec ^er. iiis remains lav 
in 55ate f:r thrv'e lays in a :i ^kH^ .^'-z-.n': it th-r French 
eciai&y at Thfracii : they w«r>f ^fisiicc ry nitniiers of 
tie F:c*c and jf t-ie ciTv^cLin?* c^rcy : a:il tji-* Frvncli 


steamer which carried them away to France was accom- 
panied by two Turkish steamers with music as far as 
Seraglio Point. 

This melancholy event changed the order of the 
allied armies. The English became the right, the 
French the left wing; the former with Balaclava, the 
latter with Kamiesh, for their base. 



Harbour of Balaclava—Neglect, Confusion, and Waste — Mistaken 
Confidence in the speedy Fall of Sevastopol — Bird's-eye View 
of Sevastopol — The Malakof — Fortune's Favours disregarded — 
-Talk with some English Soldiers— Corporal Wheeler's Bravery 
at the Alma — Soldiers should judge of their Comrades* 
Deserts — ^Partial Allotment of Good-Conduct Badges — ^Honorary 
Awards should be made on the Instant — Practice in the French 
Army — Colonel Todleben's Promptitude and Energ}' — Leisurely 
Proceedings of the Allies — Confidence of the Engineers — Comment 
of a Moslem — The Cossacks regain Sway over the Tartar Inhabi- 
tants — Russian Cavahy reconnoitre — The Allies' Siege-works 
completed — Guns in Position — ^First day's Attack by Land and 
Sea— The Enemy's Fire — Advance of the allied Fleets — Firing 
ineffective because of the Smoke — The Aim at long Ranges uncer- 
tain — Nelson's Maxim — The Atjamennwn and Sons Pareil — 
Effective Fire of the Wasp Battery — Low earthen Redoubts 
with heavy Guns very formidable — Tactics of the French and 
English Admirals. 

The tiny harbour of Balaclava, nestled in a bosom of 
rocky hills, aflFording shelter to the frailest bark from the 
roll of the southern gale, is the realization of a smuggler's 
dream. Unheeded by commerce in the interval between 
the periods of oar and steam locomotion, it resumed, with 
the arrival of the AUies, and soon surpassed, the anima- 
tion which had characterized it in the days of Genoese 
supremacy in the Euxine. A fleet of men-of-war and 
transports lay in it, side by side, Uke the galleys of olden 
times. The pretty town on its southern shore, lying in 


the shadow of lofty heights crowned with remains of 
mediffival fortifications, among which part of the marines 
of the fleet subsequently encamped, yielded accommoda- 
tion for the heads of departments. General Lord Baglau 
fixed his head-quarters in a pleasant house near the 
watisr, and in front of his windows lay her Majesty's ship 
Agamemnon, with the flag of Kear- Admiral Sir Edmund 
Lyons. The disembarkation of the military stores, pro- 
visions, and the siege artillery, immediately commenced ; 
and in a few days the 5th Dragoon Guards, who had 
arrived out too late to join the flank march, were landed 
in high condition. 

With some forethought. Balaclava and its environs 
would not have degenerated, — one into a sink of filth, 
the other into a swamp of mud. Confusion and waste 
would not have become its characteristics. The buildings 
in it would have been disposed for hospitals and maga- 
zines, and the forage stacked in the neighbouring vale 
have been husbanded. But no one anticipating a long 
sojourn in the Crimea, laissez aller was the word. Streets 
became sewers ; the harbour a receptacle for oflfal ; hay 
was trampled into dung. Speculators on the wants of 
the army were allowed to settle down in the town. Any- 
body who pleased abstracted doors, window-frames, and 
rafters for fuel. Vessels under any flag entered and left 
the harbour un visited. Confidence and carelessness 
rivalled each other. From the Commander-in-Chief 
down to the junior ensign, everybody spoke and acted as 
though under the impression that Sevastopol was only 
waiting to be asked — only required gentle compulsion, to 
surrender with honour. The reports of deserters of the 
resolution of the garrison to sink their ships, destroy 


their edifices, and leave only wreck and ruin for the Allies 
to hoist their colours on, were considered weak inven- 
tions. Even the daily departure of vehicles from the 
city with women and children was not viewed as an 
indication of the temper inside. The road of these com- 
miserated fugitives passed some distance along the 
cliflF, oft' which men-of-war lay at anchor, before turning 
inland to Bakchesaray. Beside one of the carriages, 
between it and the fancied danger — the ships' fire — we 
saw a lady one day riding on horseback. Confiding in 
man's honour, she knew that her fair person protected 
that carriage — which conveyed, presumedly, her children 
— more surely than the proudest Russian rampart. 

Shortly after the occupation of Balaclava, leaving my 
ship off* the Katcha, I went to that place, and thence to 
the front of the EngUsh lines. Seated on a stone near 
enough to note the agitation inside, I gazed long and 
attentively on Sevastopol as it appeared in the last days 
of September, white, bright, and symmetrical, — on its 
duplicate sea-batteries reflected in the water, on its 
colonnaded Athenaeum, on its domed and spired churches, 
on its spacious barracks, broad streets, and venetian- 
blinded houses, on its blue harbour : on which, at that 
hour, boats were rowing and steamers paddling, and in 
whict vessels of all denominations, from the first-rate to 
the yacht, were anchored. I looked across a straggling 
suburb, along open streets, down to the water. No 
battery, no redoubt intervened. Looking down, my hand 
above my eyes to exclude the opposite shore, the vista 
was bounded by a three-decker, moored off* Dockyard 
Creek, heeled on one side for firing on the approaches to 
the town. Steamers also were in position to fire in the 


same direction. Looking towards the right, I saw on a 
hillock a solitary white tower, with a few guns mounted 
en barbette, and numerous labourers at its base laying 
the foundation of the Malakof redoubt. 

The failure of the engineers to discern, until the 
ensuing April, the key of the position in the Malakof, is 
the reason assigned for the neglect of the allied armies to 
seize it on their arrival south of the city. The immediate 
occupation of that hillock, obviating the construction of 
forty miles of entrenchment, would have decided the 
question then as well as a year later ; and few can doubt 
the abihty of the AlHes, neglecting less material points, 
to have entrenched themselves on it and on the Mamelon, 
how warmly soever opposed by the garrison ; which was 
not reinforced till the end of September, and then only by 
a few battalions of the army beaten at the Alma. I do 
not know on whom the ray of light dawned ; I only know 
that when it emerged from the night which had long 
obscured the operations of the siege, the post of honour 
on the right — involving the reduction of the Malakof, 
grown by that time into a fortress — had been ceded to 
the French. Fortune had ardently wooed the Allies 
since their disembarkation in the Crimea ; if she turned 
at last, who should term her fickle ? At the Alma she 
said, ** Follow the repulsed Russian army and disperse 
it.'' On the flank march she repeated, ** Follow it to 
Bakchesaray, isolate Sevastopol, and rule in the Crimea." 
She whispered the alhed fleets, '* Enter Sevastopol 
before it is closed to you, perhaps for ever." And 
she pointed significantly to the White Tower on the 
Malakof hill. Fortune does not like to have her 
advances rejected. The loss of 200,000 lives, and the 


expenditure of 200,000,000/. sterling showed her sense 
of the slight. 

While I was wishing some guns of the siege-train, in 
part parked a mile in the rear, might be brought forward 
to disturb the ant-like labour of the Russians at the foot 
of the Malakof hill, a red-jacket came down from behind 
a bit of old wall in advance of the advanced post, and 
first by signs, and then (finding ** bono Johnny " able to 
spe'ak intelligibly) by words, invited us to retire out- of 
view : the white umbrella in Anastasius* hand screening 
our heads from the sun, might, he thought, attract the 
notice of some aspiring artilleryman, and draw fire in 
that direction. We returned with him to his observatory, 
and there enjoyed half-an-hour's talk with an unaflFectedly 
brave set of English soldiers. My telescope afforded 
them a keen and novel pleasure. They looked through 
it eagerly by turns at the city, doomed in their as in 
their superiors' eyes to fall Uke the walls of Jericho. 
After listening with delight to their animated yet 
modest recital of the deeds of their regiment at the 
battle of the Alma, I inquired who amongst them 
had the most distinguished himself. With one voice 
they shouted, ** Corporal Wheeler, to be sure." ** Sergeant 
Wheeler, of course, now ? " I interrogatively observed. 
** No, indeed : who was there to speak for him ? " 
was the equally unanimous but less cheerful reply. He 
had been judged by his peers and found worthy. I men- 
tioned the gallant corporal's case afterwards to officers of 
rank, who seemed to view it much as his comrades had 
done : overlooked, and no help for it. Having mislaid a 
memorandum of the incident, I cannot recall to mind the 
number of the regiment. ** Who was there to speak for 


him ? " is a compound of all ever said or written about 
the delusion of recommendations. His colonel, it might 
be said ; but suppose his colonel to have clannish sym- 
pathies with the men in the regiment from his part of the 
United Kingdom ? The captain of his company, it might 
be said ; but suppose the captain's eye to have Ughted 
more favourably on his own faithful servant ? 

I incUne to the opinion ascribed to the Duke of 
Newcastle, of the fitness of soldiers to judge of con- 
spicuous merit among themselves, and am disposed to 
agree with his Grace in thinking that the verdict might 
be safely entrusted to them ; giving their colonel the 
right of veto. The popularity-hunter and the time-server 
would have no chance of winning their suffrages gathered 
on the morrow of the action. With their blood still 
warmed by the excitement, with their eyes still glistening 
with recollections of gallant feats, they would not wrongly 
award the palm. Less favourably situated than the 
officer, who, if passed over, may successfully urge his 
claim, the private must resign himself to neglect ; for- 
tunate if he abstain from seeking consolation in drink. 
Distinction could hardly now-a-days be conferred upon an 
officer less deserving than a co-equal in the same field; 
but as much cannot be vouched for in the case of 
soldiers. Out of six distinguished conduct badges sent to 
the — Foot before Sevastopol, three were (as was currently 
reported) bestowed upon field officers' servants excused 
from trench duty ; and of similar distinctions sent to the 
— Hussars, one was said to have been given to the 
hospital sergeant, another to the orderly-room clerk. 

On the pubhcation of the first distribution of the 
Victoria Cross, a letter appeared in The Times from a 


private, claiming for himself performance of the service 
for which a sergeant had received that cross. Such a 
delusion, if there were one, could not have survived if 
the award had been made at the time. The faculty 
accorded to the commander of a French army to confer, 
subject to formal approval, the Legion of Honour 
on the spot, attains nearly the desired end : as nearly 
perhaps as human nature admits of. Leaving, for the 
sake of discipline, the right of discernment with the chief, 
it precludes the idea of favouritism. Favouritism could 
not well be shown in the face of the army soiled with 
the blood and dirt of the strife ; or if shown, would be 
eloquently reproved by its silence. Of all the modes of 
conferring distinction, despatch mention is the most open 
to criticism. Associated with the personal character 
and sympathies of the chief, it is equivocal ; written in 
the privacy of the cabinet, to come to light only on pub- 
lication, it is final. It originally derived value from the 
presumption of the Commander-in-Chief being, in prac- 
tice as well as in theory, the ablest and bravest man of 
his force, with a mind above low influences. Even if 
deserved in the particular case, it has not the merit of 
encouragement ; since all feel that those only in the eyes 
or the thoughts of the chief, or of his prompters, are in 
the way of honourable record. 

On the appearance of the allied armies before Sevas- 
topol, its governor had apparently only the alternative of 
burying himself beneath its ruins, or of capitulating 
on disastrous terms. Colonel Todleben himself, while 
asserting the feasibility of making a prolonged defence, 
must have added mentally '* with time for preparation.'* 
His prayer was for three weeks' delay. That interval was 


accorded to his genius. While the Kussians, heart and 
soul in the cause, toiled day and night in throwing up 
redoubts on salient points, the Allies worked leisurely 
and routinely at their lines. The trace of their first 
parallel, more than 1,000 yards distant, made every 
Kussian in Sevastopol cross himself in thanksgiving. 
The facility of the battle of the Alma, unphilosophically 
considered, had impressed the Allies with contempt for 
the enemy. "Let him do whatever he likes," said their 
confident engineers, *' in three days we will level their 
works : that will strike terror ; and the place will then 
fall without bloodshed." This assurance reconciled all 
to the delay in opening fire. The army had won its 
spurs ; it longed for home ; and though ready to march 
through fire and gore into Sevastopol, it deemed its 
conquest sweeter without farther loss of life and limb. 
This feeling was natural. Serving an abstract cause, 
appealing neither to the heart nor the imagination of 
the many, and only vaguely to the reason of the few, the 
army had gained as much as nascent ambition could 
fairly desire. It had achieved European fame ; promo- 
tion and honours were ready to be showered upon it. The 
fall of Sevastopol, anticipated as the corollary of Alma, 
would confer no more ; and therefore it is not surprising 
if most concurred in the engineers' opinion about the 
friable nature of Russian redoubts, and underrated the 
temper of men nerved by religion and patriotism. 

With this disposition prevailing, the engineers were 
allowed to have their own way. General Lord Raglan 
pursued his usual avocations at Balaclava as composedly 
as when seated at the Horse Guards. In the cool of the 
evening, he and the Rear-Admiral used to ride to the 


front to note the progress of the works, then return to a 
late dinner. Which feeUng predominated, satisfaction for 
the past or confidence in the future, it would be difficult 
to decide. Croakers, if there had been any, would have 
been answered in the words of Henry the Fifth before 
the battle of Agincourt. Thus, psychologically, the 
escape of Sevastopol from early capture is explicable. 
A pious Moslem some months later, explained it reve- 
rently: *' You are always saying, * We will take Sevastopol,' 
but you always neglect to add inshallah (please God). 
When you say inshallah, you will take it." We did after- 
wards in effect utter that potent word, by using the 
intellect given us by God ; and had we done so at the 
outset the Turk would have had no reason for doubting 
our reliance on Him. 

In the meantime, indications pf the value of time 
were not wanting. During those precious three weeks, 
the Cossacks began to recover their sway over the 
Tartars ; some of whom had manifested a reprehensible 
feeling. We met a party of them one day near a 
Russian village, laden with priestly robes and holy 
ornaments, which they had taken from the church, 
and were carrying for sale to the Turkish boats watering 
at the mouth of the Katcha. Purchasing the articles 
for a trifle to save them from desecration, we warned the 
sacrilegious plunderers to keep their hands oflf such spoil 
for the future. The Cossacks also invested Eupatoria, 
where many thousands of Tartars had taken refuge, and 
where in the sequel they suflFered cruelly from disease and 
want. After the peace, the survivors and others were 
conveyed to the Dobrudscha, given land there, and 
located in villages; the principal of which is named 


Medjidieh, built at the Sultan's expense. Kussian 
cavalry reconnoitred Balaclava one day, but retreated 
before a party of Scotch Greys and Horse Artillery. 
On the other hand, the Allies sent some steamers to 
Yalta, to try and procure a supply of wine ; but without 
success. They took, however, some coals on credit from 
Prince Woronzof s house, giving his steward a receipt 
for them ; a noticeable circumstance, as being the only 
example, we believe, during the war, of respect for 
private property. The right of coal, however, wherever 
found, to be thus classed is doubtful, since in a steam 
era it is evidently a munition of war. 

By the 16th October the Allies had completed their 
works. The English had about eighty guns in position, 
including several eight and ten-inch ship guns, served by 
a naval brigade, and two ** Lancaster " guns, throwing 
spheroidal shot, with a range of 4,600 yards ; the per- 
formance of which disappointed expectation. Excepting 
the latter, planted further off, the average distance of the 
guns from the enemy's lines was about 1,200 yards ; the 
extent of range being erroneously considered compen- 
sated for by thqir calibre, as compared with that of guns 
used in previous sieges. The guns mounted in the 
French batteries against the western face of the town — 
then and long afterwards the real attack — were more 
numerous arid nearer. Disinterestedly — anticipating 
victory whether joined by them or not — the Allied 
generals had on the 14th invited the fleets to share 
in the honour of the attack. Taken by surprise, the 
allied admirals met at Kasatch to deliberate on the 
proposal. Adverse to it on principle, doubting the 
prudence of risking damage to the fleets with the armies 


dependent on them, they nevertheless, in deference to 
the generals' invitation, agreed to make a diversion ; 
which, by obliging the enemy to man his sea batteries, 
would be so much abstracted from the land defence. 
They left it to the generals to decide if the fleets should 
go in on the first or the second day of the bombard- 
ment or on the third, the presumed day of the assault. 
According to the original programme, the enemy's lines 
were to be fired at two days and the morning of the 
third day, and then to be stormed ; but confidence 
increasing as the hour approached, expecting to finish 
the aflfair in a few hours, the generals decided on a com- 
bined land and sea attack the first day. 

The allied armies opened fire on Sevastopol at half- 
past seven on the morning of October 17th, 1854, and 
sustained it vigorously during several hours. The enemy 
replied from corresponding batteries, erected in the same 
space of time ; and as his guns were served by seamen, — 
part of those noble crews who bore the brunt of the siege 
with the loss of four-fifths of their number, including 
their admirals, — his fire was rapid and well directed ; and 
though inferior to the English, was superior to the 
French fire. Various explosions in their batteries, from 
which most had been expected, caused the French to 
cease firing at 11 a.m. ; and therefore — the project of 
assault having been subordinated *to their success — the 
destructive fire of the English batteries, sustained till 
half-past 2 p.m. against the Malakof and Redan works, 
led to no result. The enemy repaired his damages during 
the night, and by morning was ready to renew action. 

The allied fleets at the Katcha commenced getting 
under way at 10 o'clock on the forenoon of that day, 



October 17th, each ship with a propelling steamer 
lashed alongside ; and proceeded in succession towards 
the mouth of the harbour ; the French in advance, led 
by the screw liner, the Charlemagne, which, approaching 
within range of Fort Alexander, began the engage- 
ment by skirmishing with it before anchoring in the line. 
Warned by the fate of his predecessor, who had been 
superseded from the command of the fleet for having 
arrived at Beshika Bay after the English fleet, Admiral 
Hamelin, better inspired, went into action first j with the 
signal ** France observes you," flying at his mast-head. 
This felicitous distinction justified the paragraph of his 
despatch, expressive of his sense of the honour acquired 
by his fleet in the action. None of the other circum- 
stances of the day could have been fairly viewed by him 
as congratulatory. 

Anchored in the French line, I was enabled to form 
an idea of the situation, and to feel how nearly the 
sublime and the ridiculous are aUied. I admired the 
beautiful and sustained regularity of the fire of my 
seconds ahead and astern, as well as of my own ship, 
and I regretted the want of a defined object to test the 
excellence of their gunnery. We were, most part of the 
time, as though firing /tftia; dejoie in a fog. Wrapped in 
smoke after a few rounds, the bulk of the ships did not 
see the forts, save occasionally looming in the haze, nor 
did the forts see more of them than their masts. The 
ships were not targets; ihey were butts for missiles 
flying through space to hit or miss as fate directed. 
As one of them flew by the noses of some of us leaning 
on the poop-rail of the Teshrifieh, making all our eyes 
blink as one, and the men on deck fancy our heads were 



oflF, I thought we could not have lost them on a more 
unsatisfactory occasion. The Kussians had given their 
guns in general too much elevation. The firing from 
the fleets was also uncertain ; and although the guns* 
crews, working joyously, flattered themselves they were 
dismounting guns and bringing down masses of granite 
at every broadside, inspection next day of the mischief 
done dispelled the illusion. It had apparently been 
expected that the aim once obtained from anchored ships 
would keep of itself: a miscalculation at long ranges. 
At long ranges the effects of oscillation on the longi- 
tudinal axis, unnoted by the pendulum — caused by the 
running in and out of the guns — of deflection of shot 
by windage or other causes, and of unnoticed quoinage 
slip, become sensible. There is more practical philo- 
. sophy in Nelson's axiom, *'not to fire till you see the 
whites of your enemy's eyes," than modern sea-gunners 
seem to be ayare of. Several of the EngUsh ships were 
more exposedly, if not more usefully, placed. The 
Agamemnon and the Sans Pareil screwed as near Fort 
Constantino as respect for the envirouing shoal admitted 
of; and two other line-of-battle ships and a frigate 
engaged some redoubts on the cliff" north of the harbour. 
After fighting gallantly several hours, the former drew 
off with much personal loss and some material injury, 
withal less than the amount sustained by some of Lord 
Exmouth's ships at Algiers, — direct evidence of the 
inexpertness of the Russian artillery at the commence- 
ment of the war, the result of parsimonious issues of 
powder and shot in peace. The Wasp^ battery and 
co-aiding redoubts, with skill derived from occasional 
practice during the summer at inquisitive steamers, told 


a more significant tale. Unhurt themselves, save by the 
explosion of a shell in the former thrown by a distant 
steamer, they drove their opponents out of action in an 
hour ; one of them leaving her anchors behind her, and 
the other two so much disabled as to have to leave the 
Euxine for a dockyard. Profiting by this hint, the 
Russians afterwards raised similar works on cliflfs within 
the harbour. Low earthem redoubts armed with heavy 
guns are formidable coast defences. At 800 yards ships 
are distinct objects from them, themselves being indis- 
tinct in the smoke at less than that range. 

At sunset the deafening cannonade, in which 700 
tons of shot had been discharged — in augmentation for 
the most part of the marine stores already deposited at 
the bottom of the harbour — ceased, and the allied fleets 
returned to their anchorage oflf the Katcha. They did 
not carry with them even the satisfaction of having 
exploded a powder magazine or ignited a store-house. 
As they turned their stems to the forts, the Russian 
fire acquired intensity, and did not cease until the last 
ship was out of range. The terror of the fleets was 
removed by that day's exhibition. Thenceforward, 
during the siege, the enemy had nothing more to ap- 
prehend from them than the periodic apparition of a 
steamer firing random broadsides within gunshot at the 
harbour's mouth. The Russian artillerymen termed 
this nocturnal visitor ** the Phantom.*' 

The tactics of the French and English admirals were 
in contrast on that day. The former conformed his 
practice to his theory. Having objected on principle to 
a serious attack, and proposed only a pompous diversion, 
he kept his sliips together, exposing none designedly 



more than others. The latter, with similar views, 
higher coloured (according to a pamphlet written by a 
friendly hand*) exposed part of his fleet to the risk of 
being cut up in detail. He allowed his two most valuable 
his sole screw ships to engage a double tier fort near 
enough for its fire, if ably directed, to be destructive, and 
too far off for their own fire to be effective ; and he 
pitted three others against mischievous redoubts of no 
interest to the besiegers. 

* The naval attack could be no more than a mere diversion 

To have exposed the allied fleets to the danger of being crippled or 
destroyed, would be to risk an imminent and fatal disaster for little or 
no adequate advantage. — Bbereton. 

( 325 ) 


Partial Failure of the Expedition — Feelings of the allied Generals — 
Hints of Winter unwelcome — ^Illusory Hopes of speedy Success — 
Castrametation neglected — The British Lines — Turks driven out 
of Redoubts — The Russians repulsed by Highlanders and routed 
by Heavy Cavalry — The Balaclava Charge — Russian Sortie from 
Sevastopol repulsed — ^Wreck of an Egyptian Ship and Frigate 
— Suflferings of the Turkish Troops — Neglect of them by the 
Allies — Turkish Hospital at Balaclava — Deaths from Dysentery 
and Overtoil — Oriental Indiflference to unseen Suflferings — ^Fata- 
lism and Selfishness — Lord Raglan interposes — A Ship Hospital 
fitted out for Turkish Sick — Lord Raglan^s Appreciation thereof — ■ 
The Hospital Ship sent back to Constantinople — Rations of Pork 
and Rum not available by Mohammedans — Other Supplies not 
regularly Issued — The Turks destitute of Money. 

On the evening of October 17, 1854, the Crimean 
expedition had failed : that is, the force embarked six 
weeks earlier in Bulgaria, and since reinforced, to take 
Sevastopol, had shown itself unequal to the task. It had 
set foot on the promised land ; it had fought its battle 
of Hastings, or of the Pyramids : but there ended the 
parallel. No London, no Cairo, awaited submissively 
the victor. Its numbers had to be trebled, its materiel 
varied and quadrupled, a railway constructed, and nearly 
a year had to elapse before the object was attained ; and 
when Sevastopol at last fell, few of the officers, few of 
the soldiers, originally landed in the Crimea, remained 
to share the triumph. The armies were then commanded 
and the engineering operations directed by other men : 


not more talented, not more experienced in the art of war 
than their predecessors, but who had the fortune to be 
** les hommes du lendemain." The sun set that evening 
on the keenest disappointment recorded in history : on 
the reversal of the most remarkable foregone conclusion 
ever arrived at by hope. Salutes were fired, bells rung, 
and bumpers quaffed in Western Europe for the fall of 
Sevastopol, on the authority of a random telegram ; and 
when the error transpired, the rejoicings were considered 
simply anticipatory of the event by a few days. 

Crowned as victors by pubUc opinion, sensible of the 
effect of suddenly chilling the warm expectations raised 
by the battle of the Alma, the allied generals shrank 
from avowing the truth, even to themselves ; much less 
to those who had staked their reputation as statesmen 
on the event. They had not the fortitude to look the 
position in the face. Impressed with its reaUty, they 
would have profited by the few remaining weeks of tine 
weather to entrench the camp, make roads, and prepare 
huts, to enable them to wait unanxiously for spring and 
reinforcements. Depressed, the Russians had resisted 
a combined land and sea attack: elated, would they 
apprehend another attack by the same forces ? Hints 
given by those who knew the cUmate, the sudden tran- 
sition of balmy autumn to icy winter, were unwelcome. 
'* If you talk in that strain we will have you thrown 
overboard," said jocularly an influential officer to one 
who said it would be well to think betimes on the pros- 
pect of the army wintering on those bleak heights. 
Hope of reducing Sevastopol before Christmas, not- 
withstanding the increased confidence of the garrison, 
overruled doubt, and incredulity prevailed at head- 


quarters in regard of hostile reinforcements arriving in 
time. Russia's ability to march troops and forward 
supplies over the steppes, measured by the western 
standard, caused erroneous calculation then and thence- 
forwards. The batteries of the Allies and of Sevastopol 
continued to fire at each other with equal results from 
dawn to dusk, and it soon became evident that for 
every Russian gun disabled there was another in store. 

Castrametation, the art sedulously practised by the 
Romans, one of the causes of their uniform success, had 
formed no part of the studies of the British Staff; or if 
it had, the theory was not put in practice. The lines of 
the British army, uncovered from Inkerman heights to 
Balaclava, temptingly invited the enemy, now beginning 
to gather on the plain of Baidar. His first attempt, or 
rather feeler, occurred near Balaclava ; where, on a low 
ridge, in advance of the lines, three redoubts had been 
thrown up, and were entrusted to the keeping of esnan, 
— Turkish militia. This exposed aqd dangerous post, 
above 2,000 yards away from any support, requiring the 
staunchest troops of the army to hold, if worth holding, 
was entrusted to men under depressing influences ; men 
not long enrolled, and never in action. Ignorant and 
suspicious, in a strange army, they may have fancied 
themselves placed there by the '* infidel " to be sacrificed. 
In this mood they were surprised at daylight of the 
25th October, 1854, by the advance of a body of infantry, 
cavalry, and aiiillery . Those in the first redoubt attacked 
resisted with gallantry ; those in the others, obeying 
their khismet, abandoned them and fled towards Balac- 
lava, pursued over the intervening plain by cavalry. 
The 93rd Highlanders turned out, with cavalry and 


artillery, to cover the fugitives, and the former drawn up 
in one line fired a harmless volley. The detonation 
sufficed ; its effect was as good as though fifty saddles 
had been emptied. Halting a few hundred yards off, 
the Eussians wheeled to the right, and, unnoticing the 
Heavy Brigade, were charged in flank and routed with 
loss of hfe and credit. In the harbour all was commo- 
tion. Transports got up steam ready to go out, and 
men-of-war laid their guns to fire up the valley. Thus 
far all went well ; and had the logical sequence of the 
capture of the redoubts been admitted all would have 
remained well. But Lord Raglan seeing, from an 
eminence whence he had watched the fray, the Russians 
carrying off the guns left in the redoubts, sent an order 
(which admitted under ordinary conditions of two 
readings) to the commander of the cavalry, to recover 
them by a vigorous charge. When it reached the 
lieutenant-general's hands the guns were irrecoverable 
save by a battle ; and with that conviction he should 
have galloped up to the commander-in-chief, to explain 
the gravity of the position, presumedly unnoticed by him. 
He had not been ordered to charge: he had been 
directed to order a brigade to charge ; and therefore no 
personal consideration stood in the way of his discharging 
an important part of a second's duty, — that of pre- 
venting, by timely caution or action, the consequences 
likely to flow from an erroneous order. Various examples 
mi^ht be cited of the exercise of such discretion. Had 
Nelson obeyed his chief's signal at Copenhagen to cease 
action, the Danish batteries would have crippled his 
retiring fleet. Had General M'Mahon carried out his 
instructions at Magenta, victory would have graced the 


Austrian standards. The bearer of Lord Baglan's order, 
Captain Nolan, had written a work on the superiority of 
cavalry to every other arm ; he was eager to prove his 
theory ; and when asked what there was for the Light 
Brigade to charge, pointed to an army. Suiting his 
actions to his words, he placed himself in front with the 
advancing squadrons ; where, before he had gone far, a 
fragment of shell terminated his brief promising career. 
The single view of the enthusiast ought not to have 
affected the circumspection of the general. Appropriately 
made, the memorable charge, resistless as a torrent, 
would, hke Kellerman's charge at Marengo, have decided 
a battle had one been raging; but, under the circum- 
stances, it was only a rare spectacle of courage and 
discipline, — fruitless : deplored by two, admired by three 
armies. Li olden days the Turks used to open a battle 
by hurling a self-devoted body of cavalry (serden 
ghefchdi) at the enemy, and their reckless valour often 
made confusion in his ranks, their own army standing 
ready to profit by it : the survivors each received a 
pension for life. Unexcited by opium, uninspired by 
fanaticism, the Light Brigade charged home ; but no 
army stood ready to second their headlong daring : no 
exceptional distinction awaited them. The charge of 
Balaclava was, individually and collectively, the valorous 
deed of the war. The Light Brigade saw destruction 
before it ; yet not one drew his rein, not one swerved 
from his path. They charged through a storm of grape 
and shells up to the enemy's batteries, sabred his gunners, 
and cut their way out again through masses of cavalry 
supported by infantry. Every one who rode out of that 
fiery circle merited a special cognizance. 


The disputed guns remained in the enemy's hands, 
and the redoubts in charge of his Cossack vedettes. 
Afterwards the English lines were bounded by the next 
interior ridge, breastworked and ditched, with batteries 
at intervals to cover the approaches to Balaclava ; the 
exposure of which to a coup de main General Liprandi's 
attempt had disclosed. Encouraged, the Russians made 
a vigorous sortie next day from Sevastopol, and were 
repulsed by the British fourth division. During the 
ensuing ten days nothing occurred to vary the monoton- 
ous booming of the siege-guns ; shot returned for shot, 
with equal injury to the works on either side. The first 
breath of winter, however, a cold warning gale, swept 
in the interval over sea and land, proving fatal to the 
Moslems. An Egyptian Une-of-battle ship and a frigate, 
on their passage from Eupatoria to Constantinople, were 
totally wrecked, October 31st, on the coast of Roumelia 
— the former near Midia, the latter near Kiha ; with the 
loss of above 1,000 men drowned, including the estimable 
Hassan Pasha commander of the Egyptian division. 
The change of temperature with the gale developed 
dysentery among the scantily clad, low fed, morally 
depressed Turkish troops ; who merited more considera- 
tion than they received from the Allies, by whom they 
had been brought to a barren land. They early discovered 
quanta $a di sale il pane altrui. With sorrow we write it : 
the neglect of them was ungenerous, the disdain for them 
insulting. Yet there was a nobility about them deserving 
respect. When subsequently offered remuneration for 
forced labour they resented it, saying they had come 
there to fight and work in common, not to work 
exclusively. They passed the winter on unequal terms 


with the Allies. They were as the potter's vase con- 
tending with the iron vessel. They had neither extra 
clothing nor food ; nor money to buy even tobacco with. 
They received neither praise nor sympathy from their 
countrymen. There were no commodious transports, 
with surgeons, beds, and restoratives, to convey them 
when sick to Constantinople. They had no press to 
stimulate their rulers ; no philanthropists among then* 
countrymen eager to run thousands of miles to administer 
to their wants. The hovel denominated their hospital at 
Balaclava presented early in November a deplorable 
spectacle. About 400 men, some groaning with 
abdominal pains, some breathing thick at the point of 
death, were strewed on the damp mud floors of unglazed 
rooms, the doors and windows closed to exclude the cold 

Qual sovra il ventre e qaal sovra le spalle 
L*un dell' altro giacea, e qual carpone 
Si trasmutava per lo tristo calle. — nin/enw. 

They lay dressed as brought in from camp, without 
beds, covering, or attendance. The doctor, an Armenian, 
had no means of alleviating their sufferings : he had not 
even utensils to heat sufficient water for drink, far less 
for purification. Many were thus early dying every day, 
and the deaths rapidly augmented in the course of the 
winter, through overtoil in the British lines as night 
working parties.* 

Seeing there was nothing to be done for them at 
Balaclava, where the Turks were regarded as pariahs, 

"^ General Sir Colin Campbell, on being asked by the engineers, on 
the 18th Januai7, 1855, for more Turks to work on the lines, answered 
that 2,000 had died, 2,000 were sick, and the remainder unfit for work. 


the author impetrated from his chief a steamer to convey 
the woret cases to Constantinople. Out of 158 invalids 
embarked in her 75 died on the passage. It was giving 
them a chance : that was all. He then, seeing the 
difficulties in the way of attending the sick on shore, 
wrote to the naval council at Constantinople a recom- 
mendation to station hospital ships, one at Balaclava 
another at Kamiesh ; but scepticism in regard of a pro- 
tracted siege, aided by official routine, prevailed. No 
sufficient reason appeared to induce the naval authorities 
to go out of their way for the sake of the army. Oriental 
indifference to unseen woes also prevented consideration 
of the subject. Moslems, high and low, like other 
mortals left to their own promptings, are careless about 
sufferings not appealing to the senses ; and this 
indifference prevails in the East more than in the 
West, through the want of publicity and the habitual 
reluctance of those in power to probe the ills of society. 
A man of rank in the East rarely visits prisons or 
hospitals, and when by chance he makes himself remark- 
able that way a veil is thrown over some things. 
Fatalism also plays its part. That terrible dogma, 
repudiated for self while accepted for others, often 
reconciles a Moslem chief to the consequences of neglect 
of the sick. ** Their hour was come ; no human agency 
could have availed," is the answer to reproaches on that 
head. This argument does not come seemly from men 
who seek medical aid for the slightest ache in their own 
persons, and who in their last hours summon doctors to 
their couch in the hope of deterring Azrael, who stands 
mocking in the doorway behind them. 

Two months later (anticipating the narrative) the 

THE author's efforts TO SAVE THE SICK. 333 

adjutant-general of the army wrote to the author, in Lord 
Baglan's name, to inform him of the sad state of the 
Turkish troops under his orders, and to request his 
assistance in relieving it. On that showing, the Capitan 
Pasha ordered a 60-gun frigate to be disarmed and 
arranged for a hospital, with a steam tender in connection 
to convey necessaries to her, and bring away sick in 
excess of room. She was fitted with 300 beds complete. 
Two physicians, two surgeons, and two apothecaries, with 
an ample supply of medicines and comforts, were embarked 
in her. Due appreciation of this aid appeared in the 
following letter from the adjutant-general to the author. 

'* Camp before Seyastopol, Feb. 7ih, 1855. 

" Sib, — I am directed by Lord Raglan to thank you 
for your efibrts to promote an arrangement which his 
lordship considers of so very much consequence. The 
numbers of sick at Balaclava have always exceeded very 
much the number you say that frigate will accommodate ; 
and, in order to meet this difficulty, it will be the more 
necessary that the steamer to be employed in conveying 
the sick from Balaclava to the Bosphorus should be 
constantly making trips for that purpose. Much suffering 
and the saving perhaps of lives may result from the 
efficient working of the plan now set in motion." 

Fate, mysterious agent, which often dims clear eyes, 
frustrated this healing arrangement. Towed to the 
Crimea by her Majesty's ship Terrible^ proceeding there 
with a batch of Croat labourers for the army, the 
hospital frigate remained ten days in the offing of 
Kamiesh, waiting the pleasure of the British authori- 


ties, and was then sent back to Constantinople by order 
of the naval commander-in-chief, on the plea of want 
of room for her either at Kamiesh or Balaclava. Large 
vessels were then lying in those harbours for the accom- 
modation of a few officers, and a berth might have 
been found for one more, exclusively for the service of 
humanity. Everything conspired against the Turkish 
soldiers in the Crimea in the winter of 1854-55. Many 
a gallant decorated English or French soldier would 
have sunk under their privations. Many a sneer would 
have been spared had a charitable thought been given to 
the effect of destitution and isolation on body and mind. 
One day the pasha in command at Kadykeuy spoke to 
the author about the slender rations issued to his troops : 
each man, he said, received a daily allowance only of 
biscuit and rice, without butter to cook the latter into 
pilaf, and fresh meat about once a week. Had he repre- 
sented the case in the right quarter, I asked. He had 
not : he declined doing so ; and the tenor of his remarks 
showed an indisposition, in common with other pashas 
serving with the Allies, to say or do aught likely, in his 
opiiiion, to make him seem troublesome. The loss of a 
thousand men was not to be named in the same breath 
with the loss of the English general's smile. An offer to 
speak officiously on the subject was thankfully accepted, 
provided no allusion were made to our conversation. 
The pasha's version, corroborated elsewhere, of partial 
treatment, was unwelcome at head-quarters, and was 
met by an assurance, conscientiously made, that equal 
rations were served out to all under Lord Raglan's 
orders, English and Turks alike. Theoretically equal, 
practically they were unequal. Pork and rum, decUned 


on religious grounds, were not issued to the Turks. 
The commissariat was the gainer by so much ; and the 
issue of an additional half pound of biscuit was advo- 
cated in lieu of them. With more wit, the Turks would 
have accepted the ** unclean thing" and the '* fire- 
water," to give or sell to their Frank comrades; who 
would then have regarded them more benignly. The 
courteous secretary did not exactly approve of official 
interference with '* regulations," to suit *' Turkish pre- 
judices," and suggested an appeal rather to the feelings 
of the commissary-general. That tender-hearted func- 
tionary was unlikely I thought to heed officious pleading 
— an indifferent voucher — but certain to comply cheer- 
fully with an order. Finally, a promise for the desired 
issue, conditional on the amount of biscuit in store, was 
given, and on inquiry, fulfilled. Tea, coffee, sugar, &c. 
— appropriate articles — always abounding in store, were 
never regularly issued to the Turks; who were more 
dependent, with their pay in arrears, than others with 
silver in their pockets, on the commissariat for comforts. 
The hucksters in the Crimea, unUke the bakkak of Con- 
stantinople, gave no credit. Whence arose this indiffer- 
ence about the Turks is difficult to say; unless one 
might trace it to the habitual bearing of Anglo-Saxons 
towards an '* inferior race." It did npt certainly proceed 
from economic motives. These could never be attributed 
to an administration which brought cavaliy regiments 
from India, liberally entertained on their way by the 
Pasha of Egypt, to gaze on the siege of a fortress in 
the Crimea, and enriched its supply agents in Roumelia 
and Asia Minor by the overflow of a lavish expenditure. 



RuBsian Reinforcements — Prince Mentchikof tries to raise the Siege — 
His Choice hetween two Courses — Rassian Plan of Attack — 
Conflict at Inkerman — Merits of the respective Troops — ^Perilous 
Position of the British — Timely Aid of the French — Rassian 
Retreat — Loss of the Assailants — A Prisoner shot hy his Captor — 
Temptation to a British Sentry — Medals for Balaclava and Inker- 
man — Theory of Distribution of War Medals — ** Urgent 
private Affairs " — ^A noble Example — ^Violent Hurricane — Loss of 
Transports — Force of the Tempest — Cossacks come to the Rescue 
— ^Damage to Ships of War — Captain Christie, R.N. — Court- 
martial ordered upon him — The Case of the Prince Transport Ship — 
State of Anchorage at Balaclava- — Rear Admiral Boxer and Captain 
Christie yielded to Clamour — Posthumous Honours awarded them. 

Within three weeks of the opening bombardment of 
Sevastopol, that is, on the 2nd of November, 1854, 
General Danneborg's division arrived from Odessa, at 
Bakchesaray, by forced marches made with enthusiasm 
by the troops. They are said to have marched that 
distance in twelve days : a remarkable feat even with the 
aid of transports, to bring on wearied men and the 
knapsacks. Another division reached Sevastopol the 
following day. Thus reinforced. Prince Mentchikof, 
giving his troops barely time to recover from their 
fatigue, resolved to make an effort to raise the siege. 
He would have acted more judiciously by waiting, his 
strength concealed, for his best ally, cold. Summoning 
a council to deliberate on the choice between attacking 


the British position at Balaclava, its base and depot, 
weak by nature, but covered since General Liprandi's 
attempt by ' batteries on commanding eminences ; .or 
the heights of Inkerman, strong by nature, where its 
right wing lay in careless security ; he decided on the 
latter, as offering the fairest chance of immediate and 
ultimate success. In possession of these heights, he 
w^ould flank the southern approaches to the city, and be in 
easy communication with the garrison. The project was 
hazardous, requiring tried and trusty troops to carry out : 
one of those in which a commander hardly dares to look 
at the reverse of the picture. Repulsed, he would have 
to retire down a steep decUvity, across a valley, under 
.fire. On the threshold of war, with the traditions of 
former campaigns — when field-pieces were unprovided 
with tangent scales, and percussion locks were unknown 
— generals had to learn the risk of exposing retreating 
troops to the fire of modern artillery and rifles during 
the extent of their range. 

The Russian plan of attack was good, the execution 
faulty. While the garrison of Sevastopol, making a sortie, 
should occupy the French on the left, and a strong 
division menace Kadkeuy, the reheving army in two 
columns was to ascend the heights by two ravines and 
meet on the plateau above. Through the inherent 
diflBculty of night operations, the columns meeting at the 
foot of the hills ascanded by one ravine, whereby their 
dense masses had not room for deployment. Fewer men 
at first would have proved more efficient. Screened by 
mist, the advanced guard, infantry and artillery, gained 
unnoticed the shoulder of the hill early in the morning 
of November 5, and nearly surprised the sleeping: camp. 



Warned just in time, by the vigilance of Colonel Codring. 
ton, of the enemy's approach, the outposts fell back, 
formed, fired ; again fell back, reformed ; and thus gave 
time for a few thousand men, soon reinforced by every 
disposable man, to assemble. What followed none with 
a due regard for accuracy would venture to describe. It 
was a melee, a struggle, a fight hand to hand, foot to foot ; 
but not a battle involving command and manoeuvi-es. 
Generals and soldiers were commingled — were shot down 
side by side. Captains fought like privates, privates 
fought Hke captains, each man striving like a knight for 
his own honour. No orders were given ; but words of 
encouragement resounded on all sides — now to attack this 
batteiy, now to recapture that gun ; now to charge on 
the right, now to stand firm on the left. Wanting pre- 
conception and arrangement it was in regard of pluck 
and manhood the repetition on a small scale of the stand 
made at Waterloo. 

All troops have their pecuHar merits. The French, 
with eagles displayed, drums beating, and generals waving 
their embroidered hats on the points of their swords, 
charge briUiantly, checked by no surmountable obstacle. 
The Russians, with stoical fortitude, stand for weeks to be 
struck down in entrenchments, five hundred a day, by a 
fire which can neither be avoided nor replied to. The 
Turks, cold and hungry, remain unrepining by their guns 
till their last biscuit and their last cartridge are expended. 
The English excel on the open, when grape answers 
grape, and bayonets cross. We doubt, divesting ourselves 
of national predilections, if any other troops would have 
held the position at Inkerman till such time as the 
French, having repulsed the vigorous sortie on the left, 


were free to send a division to their aid. Nor did it 
arrive too soon. Onwards dashed the Zouaves and the 
Chasseurs d'Afrique into the midst of the fray ; their 
shouts and the British cheers making wild and welcome 
harmony. Again, as at the Alma, shattered, mowed 
down by ranks, the Russians showed the force of their 
discipline, and retreated in order, carrying off every gun. 
The resolve of the Russians to leave no trophies in the 
enemy's hands impaired the action of their artilleiy in 
every battle. They halted under a bright sun, on the 
slope of the hill, on the opposite side of the valley which 
they had crossed in the morning mist ; and before sunset 
some battalions marched into Sevastopol. We heard the 
cheers in the city for their arrival, simultaneously w^ith 
the cheers in the French camp for the return of tl^e 
Zouaves from the field of battle, strewn with the bodies 
of their comrades. 

The Russians lost at the battle of Inkerman nine or 
ten thousand men, killed or wounded. Some of the 
latter remained on the field of battle, hid among bushes, 
a week before the searchers discovered them ; having 
supported life in the interval with the biscuit and water 
which every soldier carries with him into action. The 
''Odessa" regiment had, it is said, 1,400 men killed or 
wounded, out of 2,200, being probably the heaviest loss 
sustained by a regiment in one battle. 

Livy's remark on the Roman army surprised by the 
Volscians is applicable to the army surprised at Inker- 
man : *' Militum etiam sine rectore stabilis virtus tutata 

That heady fight darkened one man's nature. Near 
the field of battle we aldressed congratulations to a party 



of soldiers returning to camp. Their spokesman vaunted 
of having killed one hundred men for his share of the 
day's work. ** How do you know ? " '* No doubt of it ; 
I have fired away all my ammunition, and I rarely miss 
my aim." *' Did you take any prisoners?*' ** I took 
one." *• What have you done with him ? " ** I shot him." 
*' Why ? " ** Because he was troublesome." And 
shifting his rifle from one shoulder to the other, he 
marched on ; little thinking, by his complacent mien, 
that in the scales of eternal justice one prisoner's life 
will weigh down a hundred lives taken in fair fight. 

Riding back in the evening to re-embark in a frigate 
in the ofl&ng of Balaclava we saw in a sequestered glen 
an illustration of discipline resisting temptation, in the 
juxtaposition of a British soldier and a cask of spirits. 
'* This," he said, *'is a cask of rum abandoned in the 
night by its carrier. I was planted sentiy over it this 
morning. I have been forgotten in the turmoil of the 
battle. I am hungry, tired, and thirsty. I expect to be 
left here all night." We gave notice of his position to 
the nearest post ; and then riding on overtook after dark 
an illustration of reversed expectations, in a body of 
Russian prisoners toihng through the mud escorted by 
Turkish infantry. 

The battles of Balaclava and Inkerman led to medallic 
confusion, and inclement weather developed nostalgia 
under the designation of '* urgent private affairs." In- 
fantry miles away from the charge claimed the Balaclava 
medal : cavahy out of sight of the struggle claimed the 
Inkerman medal. The difficulty of drawing a line is 
usually urged in excuse for indiscrimination, but in the 
above-cited cases the line of demarcation seemed self- 


drawn. When evanescent none should be traced, for 
it is better to honour many too much than one too 
little. The mode of distribution during the late war 
has made medals a geographical, clasps an equivocal 
distinction. A medal guarantees the wearer to have 
been in a given locality within a given period, but a 
clasp does not indicate as surely his having shared in 
the battle commemorated by it. We do not mean 
that as a rule it should be conferred only on those 
actually or likely to be engaged : that would be incon- 
sistent. Some of your best troops may be ordered to 
hold a distant pass, or a bridge, to the last man, which if 
attacked and carried, would expose the flank of the army 
to be turned ; and your engaged forces are encouraged 
to persevere by confidence in the arrival of reinforcements 
on the march, guided by the cannon's roar. Yet a 
sophist might ask, if that be not the limit where are you 
to stop ? On the issue of the Turkish war-medals to 
the army and navy, the enrolled artisans of the ordnance 
department and the dockyard murmured at their exclusion 
from the distinction. ** Without us," said the former, 
** your troops could not have taken the field." ** Without 
us," said the latter, " your ships could not have gone to 
sea." Our own view, hazarded with diffidence, of a 
sensitive matter, is this : When a medal records an 
elaborately designed operation of war — an epoch in 
history — all concerned in it should be considered worthy 
of the distinction ; and equity, we think, was lost sight 
of by witholding the Crimean medal from the crews of 
the transports employed in conveying the British armj 
to the Crimea. When given for a battle in which the 
component parts of an army have concurred, or have 


been liable to concur, one way or the other — in action, 
in reserve, in charge of baggage, or in a preconcerted 
march — everybody, far or near, has an equal claim. 
But when it is commemorative of a chance rencounter, 
child of error or of surprise, combatants alone seem 
legitimate recipients of it. 

Contemporaries confer distinction, posterity awards 
fame. There can be slight doubt that the Count de 
Thoulouse and Provence, the Duke of Normandy, the 
Count de Chartres, the Viscount de Melun, with other 
nobles and gentles, who, variously inspired, abandoned 
the famous siege of Antioch, were rapturously welcomed 
to their ancestral halls by their friends and partisans, 
who might reasonably have despaired of seeing them again ; 
that banquets were spread and tournaments held, and 
that troubadours sung jocund lays in honour of the gallant 
Crusaders. There can be little doubt that private affairs 
were distressingly urgent in the twelfth century, when an 
absentee's property was exposed to despotic violence, 
clerical avidity, and rabble lawlessness; and that sus- 
pense about ail whom a man held dear must have been 
painful, when news from home depended on the chance 
arrival of a retainer of the house, or of a friendly pilgrim. 
There can be little doubt that trifling ailments grew often, 
under indifferent leechcraft, into grave indisposition, and 
that the Genoese and Pisan traders failed at times to 
supply the crusading army with necessaries, let alone 
luxuries, twenty miles away from a stormy coast. But 
neither these nor other considerations seemed to our 
great historian adequate to excuse him from commenting 
in caustic language on the motives which made them 
leave their comrades when cold and wet, woe and want, 


beset the camp. Will the historian, describing the third 
phase of the revolution of the Orient since the Hegira, 
speak more daintily of nobles and gentles who — with 
luxuries on the spot, with no misgivings about their 
rights and properties, and with postal communication 
twice a week with home — seceded from the siege of 
Sevastopol when winter set in ; leaving in sorrow and 
suffering the soldiers who had helped them to win their 
honours, and who would have felt comforted by theii* 
continued presence among them ? Likening no one m 
the aUied armies to Bohemond or Tancred, he will speak 
approvingly — glancing perhaps askance at the portrait of 
Godfrey de Bouillon — of one noble, who, though he had 
attained his highest distinction, a field-marshal's baton, 
and had every comfort and solace adapted to his advanced 
age awaiting him at home, remained at his post until 
relieved by death. Time, rolling on, will efface the aber- 
rations of his mihtary career ; and he will be remembered 
as one of the true race, keeping steadily in view the 
beacon which has guided England with augmenting renown 
through ages of varied fortune— the beacon Duty. 

A few days after the battle of Inkerman, a tempest 
from south-west (bar. 29-38) — such as blows in the 
Euxine twice or thrice in a century — burst, November 14, 
on the allied armies, sweeping down their tents, and on 
the allied fleets lying off Balaclava, off the Eatcha, and off 
Eupatoria ; telling with direst effect on the first-named 
anchorage, where deep water and a rocky coast rendered 
escape from its violence impossible for vessels without 
steam to ease the strain on their cables, and with diffi- 
culty even then. Eight fine English transports, some 
laden with winter clothing, some with pressed hay — 



precious cargoes — perished oJBF Balaclava, with 460 men 
(all but six) of their crews. luside the harbour two 
steamers were wrecked, one steamer was dismasted, and 
many other vessels were more or less damaged by the 
wash of the sea from side to side. At Eupatoria, a 
French and a Turkish line-of-battlc ship, a French 
steam frigate, and eight transports were lost; and a 
Turkish steam frigate only avoided the same fate by 
slippmg her cables and standing out to sea. At the 
Katclia, where we lay, fourteen transports (English and 
others) went on shore, and one vessel foundered at her 
anchors. From 8 a.m. till 6 p.m., the gale blew violently ; 
the sea increasing from hour to hour, with hurricane 
squalls at intervals of rain, sleet, or snow. No one could 
stand on deck: whoever trusted to his feet alone was 
carried along it by the force of the wind. We gazed 
anxiously on eacli vessel successively as she parted from 
her anchors ; we watched her borne helplessly from wave 
to wave, and when she struck and the first sea broke 
over her, there was a moment of breathless suspense. 
In general sound ships, grounding on a sandy bottom 
under wind-lulling chffs, iliey held together till moderate 
weather allowed boats to approach and bring away their 
crews. Three of them were set fire to by their own 
people. One of them, the Lord Eaglan, was afterwards 
got off, and her salvage was hailed as a good omen. 

A detachment of Cossacks soon came to the beach. 
Their officers parleyed with the crews of the nearest 
stranded vessels under the cliff, and invited them to 
land, with assurances of good treatment. Some of the 
Cossacks, spurring their horses shoulder deep into the 
waves, made eflbrts to succour the crews of two small 


merchant vessels stranded off the valley of the Katcha, 
where the surf ran highest. Those hapless vessels went 
to pieces. Had the gale blown through the night with 
equal force the entire fleet would have been wrecked ; 
but soon after sunset it abated sensibly (bar. 29-85), and 
though freshening up again at midnight, it was only a 
farewell squall ; sending nevertheless two merchant craft 
on shore which had ridden out the day with their masts 
cut away. Next morning (bar. 30) found every man- 
of-war off the Katcha at her anchors, several more or less 
damaged. A Turkish Hne-of-battle ship had cut away 
her fore and mizen masts ; an English steam frigate had 
been dismasted by collision with a drifting transport; 
and the rudders of five French line-of-battle ships had, 
as stated, been washed loose. 

Self-imprisoned or sunk, there was no Kussian fleet 
to come out and attempt to profit by the consequences 
of that fatal gale. Seeing the state of affairs on the 
J 5th November, and the nervous excitement of the 
admirals indisposed to let their sail ships remain longer 
off the coast, we became confirmed in the opinion that 
nothing short of a sense of absolute necessity justified 
the defenders of Sevastopol in making a sacrifice which 
shut the chapter of accidents to them. 

The wrath of the gale, as before said, fell on Bala- 
clava. In the ofl&ng of that harbour the Prince and 
seven other transports had been dashed to pieces on the 
rocks. Captain Christie, K.N. — whom I had met a few 
weeks earlier at the mouth of the Alma, superintending 
with wonted solicitude the embarkation of invalids — had 
nearly shared their fate, through a high sense of duty ; 
and he mwy have regretted an escape which reserved him 


to die in sorrow, under arrest, a few months later. In 
imminent danger, his ship, the Melbourne, rode heavily 
in a deep rolling sea, her masts gone by the board, her 
stem within a few hundred yards of rocks, to touch 
which and to perish were one and the same tiling. Her 
master wished to slip her cables and steam for an offing, 
while the state of the sea rendered that possible ; but 
Captain Christie withheld his consent, saying he would not 
leave the other transports in danger. His devotion was 
ill-rewarded. The press blamed him for the perilous posi- 
tion of the transports, and the Admiralty accredited the 
imputation by ordering a court-martial (averted by his 
death) to sit on him for the loss of the Prince. Con- 
trary to the rule and custom of the service, the Admiralty 
ordered him to be tried for the loss of a ship which he 
neither commanded nor was on board of. Unaware of 
circumstances, the press imagined Captain Christie in pos- 
session of an independent command over the transports. 
Such was not the case. A commissioned officer on full 
pay he was amenable to the orders of any senior officer 
present ; and though charged with the details of the 
transport service he had not authority to originate or 
alter the destination of a transport, nor to select the 
time for lading or unlading her. His suggestions on 
those points might or might not be attended to. 

The Prince arrived at Balaclava four days before the 
gale, and coming to in deeper water than anticipated, 
with the ends of her cables unclinched, lost her bower 
anchors. Captain Christie, seeing her peculiarly exposed, 
with inadequate ground tackling, recommended the 
authorities either to receive her into the harbour or^ 
allow her to remain under way until it might be con- 


venient to land her cargo. Both sides of the alternative 
were rejected. Want of room inside was alleged on 
the one hand, and the general's anxiety to have the 
winter clothing landed as early as possible was assigned 
as a reason on the other hand for retaining her at 
anchor outside. So she remained there with other 
transports waiting for means to land their cargoes. The 
means, two light steamers, were too often diverted from 
their legitimate object to carry unimportant messages to 
and from the fleets lying oflf the mouth of the Katcha. 
There should have been no illusion about the peril of 
the anchorage when the weather began to break and 
southerly winds might be expected. On the arrival of a 
transport at that season, the authorities at Balaclava 
should have cleared her at once, and sent her away 
to a safer anchorage, — especially if a sail ship. Before a 
southerly breeze might freshen into a gale, a sail ship 
would be exposed, when casting, to be thrown on the 
rocks by the swell before gathering way. 

A Turkish frigate had gone to Balaclava a few days 
previously, with a supply of shot and shell for the army, 
and a detention in the oflSng of five days for what might 
have been accomplished in as many hours gave every 
one on board a keen perception of its insecurity : the 
faintest breeze from the southward raising a swell 
dangerous for boats. She need not, distrusting the 
anchorage, have remained there on an uncertainty, but 
did not like to disappoint expectation. Danger is a 
problem which in most cases has to be worked out : the 
party immediately interested is rarely allowed to assume 
^ its value : the apprehended gale may not blow home, the 
bristling fort may not fire true. If Captain Christie had 


gone away of his own accord with the transports, and the 
gale had held oflf or had hlown from another direction, 
he would have laid himself open to censure for over- 
caution. No one remained longer at that season in 
the oflSng of Balaclava than his sense of duty prescribed. 
On the 12th, two days before the storm, of which there 
were already premonitory signs, the second in command 
of the British fleet left it with his division for Kamiesh 
roads ; and with that prudent example before their eyes, 
those invested with discretionary authority at Balaclava 
might have taken upon themselves to let the transports 
go to sea or to another anchorage. The Betrihution 
alone of the men-of-war, with the Duke of Cambridge 
sick on board, remained oflf Balaclava to brave the storm. 
Captain Christie was not the only suflferer by the 
clamour excited by the general and locnl administration 
of the year 1854; not the only oflScer dropped by 
superiors bound to hold out a helping hand. Rear 
Admiral Boxer — v»hom I last saw at Balaclava, in the 
spring of 1855, toiling from morning till night in the 
task of creating, order and enforcing police regulations — 
was another. One has no right to blame the press, 
guided by appearances, dependent often on partial infor- 
mation, for erring sometimes in regard of public 
servants; but one has a right to expect those in posses- 
sion of justificatory data to denote unequivocally their 
dissent from an unfair verdict. Those oflScers had 
shared, one way or another, in the worry and anxiety 
of the Crimean expedition ; and all knew they had 
striven, indiflferently aided, with a zeal beyond their 
years. No one need feel disparaged by the expression of 
a doubt if any other oflScer would have been equal to the 


work— demanding exceptional energy and nautical expe- 
rience — ^performed by Admiral Boxer at Constantinople 
in the winter of 1854-55. His exertions may be esti- 
mated by comparing the scanty means doled out to him 
in days of parsimony with the ample means ably used at 
the disposal of his successor in days of prodigality. His 
temper, it was said, ruffled philanthropists and specu- 
lators. Little wonder ! A bishop in his place would have 
spoken irreverently. Admiral Boxer and Captain Christie 
were advanced in years. If deemed politic to yield them 
as peace-oflferings to clamour, they should have been 
recalled — but recalled with honour — to pass the evening 
of their days at home, or in employments congenial with 
their age. Instead thereof, mortification was their lot. 
One was placed under arrest, an indignity which reacted 
on a weakened frame, and the other was superseded in 
the Bosphorus just as he had made the position tolerable 
and had been joined by his family, and was sent to pioneer 
anew alone in the slough of Balaclava. Both died in the 
fatal Crimea with the sense of injustice weighing on 
their minds ; and then, in recognition of their merits, the 
Cross of the Bath was laid upon their tombs.* 

• Id the Gazette of — July, 1855, the names of Roar- Admiral Boxer 
and Captain Christie appeared posthamously honoured >vith the order 
of the Bath, respectively K.C.B. and C.B. 



Dispersion of the Fleets — ^Preparations for Winter — Helplessness of 
English Soldiers — Obvious Precautions neglected — Ayailable 
Resources of Constantinople — Mr. Filder, the Commissary- 
General — English Sympathy and Aid— Evils of Routine — The 
Army pampered — State of Things at Constantinople — Turks 
Amazed and Disgusted, but Powerless— Capitulations — Paralysis 
of Justice — Consular Privileges abused — Gibbon's Picture of St. 
Jean d'Acre realized at Pera — British Subjects abandoned — 
Turkish Jails — Public Buildings of Constantinople occupied by 
the Allies — The French dominate the City — Aspect and Bearing 
of the Ottomans — Separation of Turks and Europeans — 
Exceptional Cases — Russian Military Schools — Fate of Turkish 
Invalids — Turkish Naval Hospital — The Dockyard occupied by 
the Allies — Solicitude of a noble Eltchee for Russian Prisoners 
— An Ambassador at Constantinople — Military Hospital at 
Scutari — Sympathies of Miss Nightingale and Lady Stratford de 
Redcliflfe — Soyer's Cookerj' — Sick Officers lodged in the Imperial 
Kiosk — Exertions of Colonel Moore's Widow — British Cemetery 
— French Hospitals at Constantinople — Mortality of French 
Surgeons — Boy Soldiers — ScuiTy and Dysentery rife — ^Visitors 
— Invaluable Services of Sisters of Charity. 

The storm of November 14th, 1854, blew away the last 
hope of reducing Sevastopol before Christmas. The 
fleets dispersed. The Allies' admirals, hoisting their 
flags on board steamers in Kamiesh harbour, sent some 
ships to Constantinople for repairs, others to France for 
troops. The French Euxine fleet was far different in 
composition from the fleet off Cadiz thirty years earlier, 
under the command of another Admiral Hamehn ; re- 
garding which the Due d'Angouleme, in a letter to M. de 

THE allies' prepare FOR WINTER. 851 

Villele, dated Manzanares, 80th August, 1823, wrote, — 
**Nous n'avons guere a nous louer de notre marine 
sur aucun point; elle nous coute cependant soixante 
millions." The French navy in the late war may be 
said to have saved that amount in transport hire.* 

The allied armies then began to think seriously about 
the mode of getting through- the winter. Mature and 
intelligent organization enabled the French to meet the 
crisis with comparative faciHty ; but the English, sur- 
prised, discovered their deficiencies. Accustomed to be 
cared for, cooked for, washed for, the English soldiers 
were unable to help themselves. They could only fight 
and eat : could do both right well ; and the less distance 
they had to go for their foe or their food the better 
pleased they were : they preferred having either brought 
to them. Untaught, inexperienced, the Staff was un- 
equal to its task. The machinery of organization existed, 
but motive power was wanting : as in an engine with 
leaky valves and priming boilers steam could not be 
kept up. Obvious measures of easy execution were 
neglected : such as cementing with stone and bridging 
with plank those parts of the thoroughfare likely to 

• The imperial French navy, without ceasing to meet all the other 
wants of the service, co operated as follows in the work of transport : 
82 sail-of-the-line, 88 frigates, 21 corvettes, 24 transports, 17 small 
steamers, total 182 vessels, made 905 voyages, and transported either 
out or home, 278,780 men, 4,2G6 horses, and 116,081 tonsof mat<^riel. 

The French war department chartered, in 1854-65, 66 steamers 
and 1,198 sail vessels. 

The steam -packets (messageries) carried troops and stores twice a 

The English Government placed at the disposal of the French Govern- 
ment 8 naval transports and 42 merchantmen, which carried to the 
East 88,353 men, 1,972 horses, and 6,624 tons of stores.— 3/oni/«/r. 


become quagmires from convergent traffic, and forming 
limited depots of provisions in the camp, to meet 
inability (from weather or other cause) to convey up the 
day's consumption from Balaclava. The artisans of 
the fleet might readily, with ships* spare sails and light 
spars, have stabled the cavalry ; and ready-made tchids 
(iiorse clothing) were to be had in any reasonable 
number at Constantinople. A requisition was sent to 
the commissariat at Pera towards the end of November 
for 2,000 suits of horse clothing ; but unfortunately 
accompanied by directions to make them of a given 
pattern, so that with all the trade set on the work 
they were not completed under a month, when most 
ot the horses were dead. 

An army with unlimited command of money, in a 
locality by the sea-side, only thirty hours' steaming from 
the capital of the East — a city of commercial impor- 
tance, with a million of inhabitants, dwelUng in wooden 
houses, with nomade tastes — ought not to have been 
subjected to any privations. As encamped soldiers, 
heedless of the past, careless for the future, so in 
general live the Constantinopolitans. They eat hurriedly, 
in or out of doors, on a mat under a spreading tree, or 
on cushions in a gilded saloon ; and sleep dressed, as 
ready by night as by day to go wherever summoned. 
Their houses are as airy as tents. They are ever on the 
alert for the enemy — fire. Their markets and auctions 
are held in the open air. They bury their dead as soon 
as the breath is out of the body, and forget them on 
the morrow. Wild dogs howl through the night in 
concert with the sentries' challenges. Lean cows browze 
in the outskirts. Dirt accumulates in the streets, till 


washed away by rain. Inanimate dogs and cats taint 
the lanes, till decomposed by the elements. Traffic is 
carried on in military fashion : strings of horses or 
mules convey food, fuel, and forage from one quarter 
of the city to the other ; strings of camels, led each by 
a patriarchal donkey, bring in supplies from outside. 
Apart from the gorgeous mosques, the stately barracks, 
the marble mausoleums, the ornate fountains, the 
cypresS-shaded cemeteries, all at Constantinople savours 
of a camp. There are always stored there, for the 
casualties of fire, plank enough to hut 60,000 men. 
Building materials are carried facilely up its steep hills 
and through its narrow lanes by a docile asinine race. 
With a timely appreciation of the congruous resources 
of Constantinople, the British army could have been as 
well sheltered in December 1854 as in December 1855, 
and at one-fourth the cost, with exemption from scandal. 
Artisans, labourers, donkeys, planks, and stoves might 
have been shipped in a few days, and the troops hutted 
within a month. Yorghans (wadded coverlids) and 
•Salonica socks were procurable in the bazaars in any 

Mr. Filder, the commissary-general, was made the 
scapegoat for all sins of omission ; but Mr. Filder, 
wanting Atlas' shoulders, was unable to bear the load 
put on him. Not his fault that the troops six miles off 
were cold and hungry, through want of means to convey 
his supplies to camp, or of organization to march thut 
distance to fetch them. In despair at last the army 
lay down and called upon Hercules. Hercules, grumb- 
ling and growling, bestirred himself; he made the air 
ring with his voice ; he shook the ground with his club. 



He stimulated torpor, directed energy, and shamed 
indiflference. He called forth the might, he roused the 
sympathy of the nation. Reinforcements and supplies 
streamed out to the scene of war. France also made 
noble efforts. Turkey sent a reinforcement of 7,500 
troops. So that the allied armies before Sevastopol, 
after all losses, exceeded in January, 1855, double the 
number originally landed in the Crimea. As much as 
England felt for her army, had that army reason to be 
proud of her. Such concord, such desire to assist brave 
men in distress, had never before been witnessed. 
Hams, jams, fur-coats, woollen comforters, worsted 
stockings, pipes, tobacco, preserved meats, potted game, 
plum puddings, offerings from all classes, sent partly 
in private yachts led by the Fairy cutter belonging to 
Major Lyon, were the visible tokens of homely aflfection ; 
and they told a tale, on the moral of which statesmen 
may dwell. 

A nation forgives a breach of national trust once, not 
twice. Since the general peace the English nation had 
given its rulers five hundred millions sterling for an- 
army, and at the first heavy strain the machine gave 
way. Whole regiments nearly dissolved away through 
the operation of routine. By mid-January, 1855, the 
46th Regiment, which had landed in the Crimea after 
the battle of Inkerman, 1,000 strong, was reduced to 150 
valid men ; and of the 63rd Regiment not twenty men 
remained fit for duty. The authorities, excited by the 
general outcry, sinned afterwards in the opposite sense. 
Overstepping the line of efficiency, they pampered the 
army, and rendered it, by reason of its wants, incapable 
of operating ten miles from the sea coast. The transport 


corps in the end numbered 18,000 animus, with a 
motley crew of drivers. They were to feed the army. 
Who would feed them ? 

Shaken by the storm, the Turkish fleet — wanting 
repairs and necessaries, — returned to the Bosphorus the 
latter end of 1854. We found matters changed indeed 
since our departure five months earlier. In that interval 
Constantinople had been fully occupied by the Allies. 
The Turks, in stupor, were drinking the bitter waters of 
humiliation, were expiating the sins of their ancestors. 
Frank soldiers lounged in the mosques during prayers, 
ogled licentiously veiled ladies, poisoned the street dogs, 
part and parcel of the desultory bizarre existence of the 
East, shot the gulls in the harbour and the pigeons in the 
streets, — which till then, like the water-fowl in St. James's 
Park, had regarded every human face with confidence, 
mocked the muezzins chanting ezzan from the minarets, 
and jocosely broke up carved tombstones for pavement. 
Custom was disturbed in its cradle, prejudice was shaken 
to its roots. The Turks had heard of civilization : they 
now saw it, as they thought, with amazement. Robbery, 
drunkenness, gambling, and prostitution revelled under 
the glare of an eastern sun, or did mild penance in the 
shadow of a dozen legations : to each of whom the with- 
drawal of a rascal from the station-house was a duty, the 
shielding of a miscreant from punishment was a triumph. 
The Sultan still sat in his palace, but his power was in 
abeyance. His ministers met at the Porte as usual ; but 
their councils were a formality : their monitors spoke 
from the French and English embassies. The Allies' 
troops had possession of the capital, — the English on 
the Asiatic the French on the European side of the 

28— a 


Bosphorus ; and their guards patrolled Pera and Galata 
— sanctuary for a hybrid swarm from all parts of the 
Meditenanean, whose avocations the police were cautious 
in interfering with, for fear of drawing on themselves the 
wrath .of some legation, by confounding an Ionian with a 
Hellenist, a Genoese with a Sicilian, or a Javanese with 
a Hindoo. 

The necessity of framing capitulations in the sixteenth 
century — when human heads were struck oflf with as 
little ceremony as fowl's necks are wrung by the mistress 
of an Italian inn on the appearance of hungry travellers 
— for the protection of a few European traders, was a 
disgrace to Turkey ; the strict enforcement of them in 
the nineteenth century, under altered circumstances, 
when it is difficult to get a murderer hanged, is a 
reproach to Europe. They were framed on behalf of 
limited associations, self-restrained by by-laws, and 
self-responsible for the conduct of their servants and 
employes : they are now enforced in favour of 50,000 
Europeans of various nationalities and callings at Con- 
stantinople, and twice as many thousands or more domi- 
ciled in provincial cities, in pursuit, one and all, per fas 
et nefasj of one object— gain; and, though divided by 
clashing interests, united by the common bond of 
rancour against the dominant race. Probed to their 
source, the occasional outbreaks in Turkey called fanati- 
cal would b^ seen to be the natural reaction against the 
overbearings and insolence of foreigners and protected 
natives. Would you abolish 'the ^' capitulations ? '* asks 
the Levantine. Not altogether, so long as the separa- 
tion of administrative and judicial functions in Turkey 
remains indistinct: but we would modify them in the 


interests of society by drawing a line between protection 
and impunity, between privilege and licence. 

The interests of society do not require any Frank store 
or dwelling in Turkey to be an asylum for every kind of 
offender, long enough occasionally to baffle police action. 
A thief or a homicide may, as things are, run to a shop 
or a dwelling under the aegis of the *' capitulations,'* and 
the policeman, witness of the deed, cannot follow him 
beyond the threshold without consular co-operation ; 
which, never attainable under many hours, may, in 
summer, when people reside miles away from the city, be 
delayed for days. Two examples, of no distant occur- 
rence, will suffice to show the working of the system. 
1. A merchant's counting-house at Galata was broken 
into one fete day, its iron safe forced, and 5,000/. 
abstracted therefrom. With prompt action the police 
would have caught the suspected burglars red-handed ; 
but the co-operation of their respective authorities was 
necessary, and was not obtained until the third day, — 
too late for the search then made in the rookery to be 
of any avail. 2. An Algerine was stabbed through the 
back one evening, at the entrance to Pera from the 
cemetery. His assassin, apparently a Sclavonian, fled 
along the gas-lit music-enlivened Frank promenade, 
les peiits champs, closely followed by two cavasses, who 
were on the point of laying hands on him; when the 
guests at a cafe, before which the chase passed in full 
cry, interposed between the pursued and the pursuers, 
hustled the latter, and carried off the former in triumpli. 
The deep murmur of the Moslems gathered round 
the victim, on hearing of the mode of the murderer's 
escape, was stilled by the arrival of a guard summoned 


ad hoc, and the prompt removal of the corpse to the 
mosque' of another quarter dispersed the excited crowd. 
The interests of trade do not require each member of the 
consular legion in Turkey to have the privilege — in 
some instances much abused — of importing duty-free 
everything he pleases to declare for the use of his house- 
hold ; or the right of protecting in the obnoxious sense 
of the term every individual, of fair or ill repute, said to 
be in his service. 

The picture, drawn by a masterly hand, of St. Jean 
D'Acre when it was the capital of the Latin Christians in 
Palestine, is somewhat apposite. *'The population was 
increased by the incessant stream of pilgrims and fugi- 
tives. The markets could offer the products of every 
chme and the interpretation of every tongue. But in 
this conflux of nations every vice was propagated and 
practised : of all the disciples of Jesus and Mohammed, 
the inhabitants of Acre were esteemed the most corrupt. 
Nor could the abuse of religion be corrected by the dis- 
ciphne of law. The city had many sovereigns and no 
government. The Kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus, the 
Prince of Antioch, the Counts of Tripoli and Sidon, the 
Grand Masters of the Hospital, the Temple and the 
Teutonic Orders, the republics of Venice, Genoa, and 
Pisa, the Pope's legate, the Kings of France and Eng- 
land, assumed an independent command. Seventeen 
tribunals exercised the power of life and death ; every 
criminal was protected in the adjacent quarter." 
Substituting the European governments represented in 
Turkey : to wit, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, 
Great Britain, the Hanse Towns, Hellas, Holland, 
Naples, Prussia, Portugal, Russia, Sardinia, Spain, and 


Sweden, for the above-named powers, and making due 
allowance for assuaged manners and milder laws, we 
have seen, in several respects, the counterpart of Gibbon's 
picture in Pera and Galata. Cognizant of this state of 
things — unusually developed in 1855-56-57 — the Secre- 
tary of State for Foreign Affairs, in a memorandum dated 
July 2, 1844, addressed to the consuls in the Levant, 
said: **If her Majesty's Government are obliged to 
abandon any attempt to place British jurisdiction in 
Turkey on a sound footing, the Porte may reasonably 
require that a jurisdiction should be renounced which is 
not enforced, but the nominal existence of which is 
incompatible with the security of the society at large." 

An order in council, passed in that year with a 
remedial view, empowered consuls in Turkey, under 
certain circumstances, to abandon British and "pro- 
tected " subjects ; in other words, acquiesce in their 
consignment to life-long imprisonment in a Turkish jail.* 

* The order in coancil empowered a consul to expel any one under 
his jurisdiction from Turkey after two convictions before a competent 
tribunal, the expelled person not to be entitled to British protection 
should he return to Turkey. Want had originally brought such indivi- 
duals to Turkey, and want, supplemented by local ties, generally 
brought them back to it. Taken up for any offence after his return, 
an individual was at once, without inquiry, disowned by his consulate. 
He then became a nondescript. He was not a Turk, nor a raya, nor a 
European. His offence, if tried by the native authority, would probably 
have been atoned for by a few mouths* imprisonment in the Zaptie, 
which would have done him no harm ; but in his quality of European 
he could not in virtue of treaty be tried witliout the concurrence of his 
consul. His consul's disavowal did not change his nature. The Turks 
solved the problem by dropping him into prison, leaving it to his consul 
to extract him therefrom. Had they drowned him in the Bosphorus his 
consulate would have been none the wiser. His death, when occurring, 
would not be reported to the consulate. Abandoned loniaus, in a hope- 


The framers of that order little imagined the mode of its 
operation, combining cruelty with inefficiency ; and were 
not enhghtened on the subject by its executors. The 
practice was brought to light in 1857 by an English 
officer with Turkish rank meeting in the bagnio an 
Ionian in chains, there since twelve years, linked to a 
fellow-prisoner, other lonians being in the same predica- 
ment, all of whom, but for that fortuitous rencontre, 
would to a moral certainty have died there. The jailors 
even considered that Ionian's case pecuHarly hard: a 
hale man, thirty-five years old, he was Hkely to live long, 
without hope of liberation. The extreme sentence in 
Turkey, when blood is not demanded, being fifteen 
years in the bagnio, that man, with no recorded offence, 
might have lived to see three generations of murderers 
pass out before his eyes. A native of the United Kingdom, 
abandoned since four years, was subsequently lighted on 
in like manner in that dismal abode : he was found 
coupled with another prisoner, unable to converse with 
him tlirough want of a common language. He gave 
direct evidence of his nationahty, at first doubted, by 
saying, ** Is it not a d — d shame, sir, that I, an English- 
man, am chained here like a felon, without having been 
tried ? " His case drew public attention to the subject 
of ''abandonment,'' and led, with the liberation of the 
'' abandoned," to the disuse of the melancholy practice in 
1862. Many scores of lonians, and some others, aban- 

less state, were allowed by the prison authorities to he removed to the 
Greek hospital near the Seven Towers, where they were tended gratis. 

England, Spain, and Naples were the only countries which aban- 
doned their subjects. Spain is alone now in that respect. A juris- 
consult might say that a person unable to surrender his allegiance 
could not foifeit his protection. 


doned under the provisions of the said order in council, 
too rigidly interpreted, are understood to have wasted 
away unto death in Turkish jails. Those jails, in regard 
of natives, are simply jails, far better than several visited 
by the author in Naples and Cuba ; but for ** abandoned " 
Europeans, who, with dissimilar habits, have no local 
sympathies, they have been oubliettes. 

The Allies had demanded and obtained nearly all the 
public edifices at Constantinople, including the naval, 
military,* and medical schools, for barracks and hospitals ; 
leaving, in their liberality, tw^o barracks for the native 
garrison and hospital room for about 800 men. The 
French thus obtained accommodation for 12,000, the 
English for 5,000 patients. By means of their estab- 
lishments, selected with military judgment — hospitals or 
fortified barracks, as the case might require — the French 
dominated the city in every sense, outside and inside. 
They were quartered in the barracks of Daoud Pasha,f 
Maltepeh and Ramistchiftlik, on the eminences where 
Mahomet II. had encamped with his conquering army 
400 years before. They occupied the palace of the 
Russian embassy in the heart of Pera, dominating the 
entrance of the harbour. They sat down in the Tash 
and Gumuchsouyou barracks flanking the approaches to 
Pera and overlooking the imperial palace. They planted 
themselves on Seraglio Point, and occupied the adjoining 
barracks of Gulhane. They encamped at Maslak and 
stationed guards over the bendts (reservoirs). They 
estabHshed themselves in the sensitive quarter of St. 
Sophia (where they had on one occasion a sanguinary 

♦ The Military School was burnt down when in French occupation. 
I Daoad Pasha bairacks were bamt down when in French occupation. 


fray with Tunisian soldiers) in a vast building near the 
venerable fane, dear alike to the Turk and to the Greek 
— trophy of conquest to one, memorial of empire to the 
other. And they built a hut camp along the course of 
the subterranean aqueducts, ready for a contemplated 
reserve army of 60,000 men. 

The bearing of the Ottomans under this infliction, 
with gloomy prospects, darkened further by sinister pre- 
dictions, was instructive to behold and impossible to 
depict. Once a great, always a proud race thus humbled 
by foreigners in the eyes of their rayas quivering with 
joy at their rulers' abasement, their faith gave them 
resignation to support it with dignity; their dread of 
ulterior consequences gave them strength to dissemble. 
Daily enduring mortifications more than enough to drive 
into wild excesses the population of a western capital, 
recalhng the scenes enacted by the Crusaders on their 
passage through Constantinople, they conducted them- 
selves with forbearance and urbanity. Their attitude 
betrayed not the dejection in their hearts. Moved by 
one impulse, under the apprehension of a great impending 
calamity, all ranks, high and low, instinctively concurred 
in the policy of abstaining from doing or saying anything 
to irritate their *' guests." The war with Kussia had 
become of secondary importance : the evacuation of their 
capital was uppermost in their minds. In this spirit 
they held aloof from the stranger ; they avoided his 
haunts ; and the slight social intercourse heretofore 
existing between Turks and Europeans soon ceased, or 
became formal. They attended not his military spec- 
tacles, nor encouraged him to witness their religio-civic 
ceremonies. The review of the English cavalry at Scutari 


had no Turkish spectators beyond the imperial suite ; 
and the gathering at the mosque of Codja Mustapha 
Pasha in commemoration of the martyrdom of the imams 
Hassan and Hussein — the most characteristic of Moslem 
religious pageants, assembling both sexes of all classes, 
including royalty — was unchequered by a foreign uniform. 
Some few forgot their ideas of self-respect. One might 
occasionally see a grave official, w^ho the year before had 
scarcely deigned to rise for the representative of a second- 
rate power, now advance several steps to meet the booted 
aide-de-camp of a general or the bustling dragoman of 
an embassy with an importunate message or an irksome 
demand, draw him with ^oft words to a seat beside him 
on the sofa, and give him the diamond-ringed pipe and 
Mocha cofiFee in a china cup within a gilded zarj. The 
Turkish proverb, '* Honey flows from his lips while the 
blood is boiling in his heart " was exemplified in those 
days. The fair sex shared with their lords the feeling of 
repulsion. Not a hownt fortane left a souvenir of the 
presence of the alhed armies on the banks of the 

While the French converted the Turkish military 
schools into hospitals, the Kussians opened two additional 
military schools for the eventualities of the war. 

We have debated in our mind if the Allies, in their laud- 
able anxiety about their own sick, ever asked themselves 
what became of the Turkish sick, who were more numerous 
and more intensely diseased. They had deprived them 
of their hospitals and barracks, and knew that no others 
would be extemporized. We were not in the w^ay to see 
the w^hole of that harrowing picture. We saw parts of 
it, and perused reports on the subject from the captains of 


English transports in Turkish pay. Devoid of resources, 
with no public to stimulate their rulers, the Turkish sick, 
all more or less influenced by the dogma of fate, in 
general died where they had sickened. From time to 
time some hundreds of invaUds by the sea-side, obstin- 
ately tenacious of life, were shipped in transports unpro- 
vided with necessaries, for conveyance to Varna or 
Constantinople, the only ports where relief awaited them. 
On one occasion 900 were embarked from Eupatoria, in 
the Antelope steamer, in so wretched a condition that 
twenty-six were found dead in the morning before she 
weighed anchor, and nearly a hundred died on her pas- 
sage to Varna. More would probably have died, but for 
the solicitude of Mrs. Reid, the captain's wife. That 
worthy lady directed tea and coffee from her own stores 
to be given to them from time to time, and saw it done. 
Biscuit used to be supplied for the sustenance of men 
whose teeth were loose from scurvy. 
. The Turkish Naval Hospital avoided surrender, by 
the location of the French and English fleets' hospitals 
on the Bosphorus, respectively in an airy yali at Eand- 
lidja and in the embowered imperial kiosk at Therapia, 
But in other respects the navy shared the common lot. 
We found on our return to Constantinople the dockyard, 
sole resource of four fleets for necessary repairs, in part 
a receptacle for Allies' commissariat stores, with conse- 
quent relaxation of rules conducive to safety ; and the 
marine barracks occupied, through English influence, by 
Russian prisoners, who should rather have been berthed 
in a hulk, like their comrades in the hands of the French. 
The fire one night proceeding from a French depot in 
the dockyard went no further ; but the ejected marines 


spread mischief. Doubled up with the artisan brigade 
in their quarters, the agglomeration bred typhus fever, 
notwithstanding that additional windows and skylights 
had been opened in the walls and roof of the building. 
Several hundreds of the commingled corps died, and as 
many more were invalided to their villages. On the 
departure of the intruders for England, the marines 
regained possession, of their barracks ; but were, some 
months later, required to vacate th6m again, to make 
room for miUtary stores sent from England for the 
" contingent." This was worse. The stores might have 
been housed more commodiously for the public service 
in vacant buildings by the water side, in embassy 
grounds, at Buyukdereh or Therapia. The naval 
authorities, reluctant to oflfend an eltchee of mark by 
refusal, were nevertheless indignant at this exaction. 
The marine barracks was also a depot for naval super- 
numeraries. Apprehending further sufiFering, they offici- 
ously brought to l\is Excellency's notice the mortality 
consequent on the previous ejectment ; and, although 
the letter addressed to him remained unanswered, it was 
tacitly acknowledged by a relaxation of the pressure, 
whereby the marines retained one floor of their barracks 
with its mosque. 

The noble eltchee's solicitude for those prisoners 
grew, he said, out of a letter written him by the Czar 
Nicholas on their account : a plausible though inadequate 
reason for turning men in the Sultan's uniform out of 
house and home for their sake. His repetition of an 
irksome demand in favour of less interesting objects 
flowed from unconsciousness of the existence of people 
with feelings of self-respect outside a hmited circle, and 


the difficulty of realizing privations by those who have 
never suffered any. Like an Oriental grandee, feared 
and flattered, an ambassador at Constantinople dwells in 
a pleasant house, secluded from plague, dogs and 
beggars, and like him may naturally say ** Allah kerim " 
for the rest of the world. Armed cavasses guard his 
gates, ready at his behest to cut any intruder down ; 
armed cavasses precede him in the streets to clear the 
way. Like the Oriental, he may be thoughtlessly 
unjust ; no one remonstrates : he may indirectly inflict 
pain ; no one repines, save in secret. His scorn is 
pardoned, his smiles are courted. The instincts of 
nature give way to the force of habit; and therefore 
one knowing the influences of the clime readily acquits 
the noble eltchee of all but inadvertence ' in the cited 
case. Others however, strangers to the Levant, came 
on the 'scene with the war ; men with tongues in their 
heads and pens in their hands ; and they, inferring 
duties from position, imputed to him at the outset 
indifference to the alleged wants of the Scutari military 
hospital. The inference was as illogical as the imputation 
was unjust. That hospital was in no way dependent 
on his countenance. Moreover, supposing it otherwise, 
as one can only judge of any thing by reference to a 
known standard, so, by comparison with the only 
hospital he had been in the way of seeing, the 
British seamen's hospital at Pera,* the Scutari hospital 

• The old British seamen's hospital at Pera,-^a self-supporting 
estahlishment, comhining a maximum of expense with a minimum of 
relief — unahle to hear the light reflected on it from the military hospi- 
tal, ended its gloomy existence in 1856. Its successor, the British 
seamen's hospital at Galata, — a suitahle stone edifice built by the 
Government, — is supported by a duty of Ij penny per ton on British 


in its decried state seemed replete with comfort and 

When we first saw it, the military hospital at Scutari 
had passed the stage of angry criticism. Its linen was 
clean washed, its dead were decently interred, its sinks 
were deodorized. Three simple accessories to comfort — 
the real medicine for disease induced by exposure — 
were still deficient : viz., bedside mats, unstinted bed- 
clothing, and sun-blinds. Wind circulating freer than 
agreeable to sound sleepers through broad stonepaved 
corridors made the patients laid in them sensibly aware 
of the atmospheric inconstancy of the Bosphorus, and 
daylight streaming in through lofty windows broke the 
precious morning slumber. The treatment early pursued, 
in ignorance of climatic action, was unsatisfactory. 
Native and foreign practitioners domiciled at Constanti- 
nople trust chiefly for the relief of complaints such as 
usually arrived from the Crimea to low diet and regu- 
lated warmth. Recovery then, in five cases out of six, 
ensues* naturally. The hospital, reversing the process, 
gave its patients stimulating sustenance and let them lie 
chilly in bed; and therefore it is not surprising that 
during the winter of 1854-55 the average number of 
daily deaths was fifty, the maximum having been eighty. 
Rum in camp and port wine in hospital dug many 
graves. Routine at length listened to reason. 

Under the eyes of the Court represented by Miss 
Nightingale, under the eyes of the House of Commons 
represented by Mr. Stafford, under the eyes of the press 
represented by Mr. McDonald, the hospitals of Scutari 

shipping at Constantinoplo, and has a resident surgeon with requisite 
attendants : and like every such establishment under the Crown it 
is creditable to the nation. 


aud Kouleli, — owing much to Lady Stratford de Redcliffe's 
active sympathy, — progressed step by step, until they 
united the comforts of a sanatorium and a club, with 
reading and dining-rooms for convalescents ; the former 
suppUed with agreeable literature, and the latter with 
palatable food result of Mr. Soyer's gratuitous instruc- 
tion. That renowned artist's soul was in his art. He 
had tarried on his way eastwards a day at Athens, and 
his feat of cooking a muttoa-chop in the Parthenon 
remained his favourite recollection of the city of Minerva. 
He used to say there were three humbugs in the East, 
good-humouredly including himself in the triumvirate. 
Intelligent Soyer ! He was no humbug ; he was a prac- 
tical enthusiast. He would have made cookery part of 
the scheme of national education ; and many witnesses of 
the inexpertness of our soldiers in that respect in 
the Crimea, with consequent waste, will agree with 
him in thinking such teaching might benefit the poor 
more than some things pretended to be taught them. 
Sick officers were accommodated in the imperial kiosk * 
of Haidar Pasha, under the matronship of Mrs. Moore, 
widow of Colonel Moore. This estimable lady, following 
her gallant husband's example, die J at her post. The 
remains of the brave who died near the Bosphorus repose 
in a cemetery, consecrated by the Bishop of Gibraltar, 
on the brow of a chff overlooking the Golden Horn 
and the Propontis, between Scutari and Kadykeuy. This 
interesting spot, which merits a cypress plantation, is 
inclosed by wall and rail ; it is under the charge of 
an English non-commissioned officer, and is indicated 
to the passing vessel by a granite column designed 

• This kiosk was burnt down when in English occupation. 


by Baron Marochetti. The remains of Khourshid Pasha 
(General Guyon) , contested for by Christian and Mos- 
lem,* closed the long list. They were interred there, 
October 15th, 1856, by the chaplain of the British embassy, 
with Turkish (in default of British) military honours. 

While the French hospitals in the Crimea might 
have advantageously taken example from the English 
hospitals there, their hospitals at Constantinople never 
required suggestion or stimulus from any quarter. 
Organized on the practice of former wars, with the 
improvements of modem science, and arranged in due 

* General Gayon, a son of Captain Gay on, K.N., and a naturalized 
Hungarian by his marriage with a Hungarian lady, was one of that 
distinguished band of refugees who claimed Turkish hospitality in 1849. 
He received from the Porte then the rank of liva (major-general) — 
his rank in the Hungarian army — and a few years later promotion to the 
rank of ferik (lieutenant-general). 

Having resided in Turkish fashion during the last year of his life in 
the orthodox quarter of Bozdan Kemereh at Constantinople, he was 
considered by the neighbours a '* true believer,'* and therefore on his 
death the imams of the quarter came to his house to prepare the body 
for interment : but Countess Gayon put them oflf with fair words and 
sent for an English dragoman, who learned from the seraskir that 
although the deceased appreciated the merits of the Koran, he had 
died a Chiistian. The seraskir, seeing the incredulity in that respect 
among the inhabitants of the quarter, advised the removal of the 
body after sunset to Galata. This circumstance, coupled with the 
selection of the military cemetery at Scutari as the place of inter- 
ment, suggested the propriety of applying to the commander of the 
British squadron in the Bosphorus for a man-of-war's boat to carry the 
body across the water and for a guard of honour. Compliance with 
this application was refused. General Guyon's body was therefore 
conveyed to Scutari in a Turkish man-of-war's barge, followed by two 
other man-of-war's boats with mourners, and was met at Harem 
Sh'Uesi (the landing-place) by a company of the Imperial Guard with 
music, who escorted it to the gates of the cemetery, where they drew 
up in two lines with arms presented between which the funeral cortege 
passed. General Guyon's two sons were, after his death, placed in the 
College Henri 1 V, by Napoleon III. 



time for the eventualities of a campaign, they met com- 
posedly the trials of the winter of 1854-55, and the 
heavier trials of the spring of 1856, when typhus fever 
prevailed. Eighty French surgeons died in them. The 
diseases were in general severer than in the English 
hospitals ; owing in part to inferior food and raiment in 
the field, and in part to the comparative youth of the 
troops. Numbers wei:e mere lads, appearing from their 
slight make younger than they really were. One day, 
among a group of convalescents airing themselves before 
the hospital at Gulhaneh, we remarked two lads under 
18 years of age, as they said, who between ihem had 
given much flesh and bone to the moloch of war. What 
a prospect, we thought, for these poor boys ! Virtual 
imprisonment for hfe in the H6tel des Invalides. Osten- 
tation lodges a disabled soldier in a palace : sympathy 
would nestle him in his mother's cottage with a pension. 
The distressing complication of scurvy and dysentery 
was common in the French hospitals, and proved very 
fatal ; while a Uberal issue of anti-scorbutics rendered it 
all but unknown in the British army. Men used to 
arrive from the Crimea, barely able, from debility, to 
state their names: such were sent on immediately to 
France as the fairest chance of recovery. The French 
steam-packets from Constantinople to Marseilles carried 
twice a week from 160 to 200 sick or wounded soldiers, 
of whom many are reported to have died on the passage. 
The sick generally arrived from the Crimea in a state 
which necesscirily rendered a bath the first process. The 
French hospitals being uncommented upon were less 
seen by the public than the English hospitals ; which 
was to their advantage. Visitors might amuse con- 


valescents, but they often seriously disturbed the sick. 
The sight of fashionably-dressed Jiadies and fine gentle- 
men in the wards constrained decent-minded men to 
regard conventionalities more than their condition 
advised. Free permission was given to visitors to per- 
ambulate the French hospitals, when a better motive 
than idle curiosity was assigned. Their organization 
was evidently the result of high professional knowledge 
joined with extensive practice. The familiarity of every- 
body with his duties rendered their performance easy. 
The intelligence of the attendants, a trained body, saved 
the surgeons much time and trouble : they made the pre- 
liminary arrangements for operations, and were adepts in 
the art of assuaging pain with pad and pillow. 

The invalids derived inappreciable solace from the 
presence of Sisters of Charity amongst them. These 
self-denying women tended them as mothers and sisters 
are expected to attend sons and brothers. They fed those 
unable to feed themselves; they nursed the wounded 
with gentle hands ; they cheered the desponding by their 
gaiety ; they smoothed the pillows of the sleepless. We 
saw many a poor fellow's eyes Ught up as one of those 
good spirits, noiseless and smiUng, approached his bed- 
side, if only to say a kind word and pass on to another. 
In our unworthiness we have been unable to elevate our 
thoughts to that frame of mind which leads women, 
many of them fair and young, to devote themselves, 
uncheered by fame, their names and garb conventual, to 
the service of humanity in its most repulsive form. They 
seemed to be ubiquitous. Wherever sufiFering lay there 
they were sure to be found. One stormy rainy day a 
French line-of-battle ship arrived in the Bosphorus with 

24— » 


wounded Kussians. Although we early went off to her, 
two Sisters of Charity had preceded us with a supply of 
lemonade, sugared wine, which they diluted with water 
on board, soft biscuits, and chocolate. We found them 
at their task, gay and smiling, administering restoratives 
to the wounded ; who, excepting some who had suffered 
amputation, were lying or sitting on a sail spread on the 
main deck, in the dirty blood-stained clothes worn in the 
battle where they had fallen four days previously — ^the 
battle of the Tchemaya. 

Only warm sympathy can overcome in the uninitiated 
the sickness of heart occasioned by these scenes. It was 
afflicting to behold those sufiFering men, some in a dying 
state, seeking relief by shifting their irksome position on 
the deck, or by leaning in various attitudes against gun- 
carriages. Fourteen had died on the passage. The 
lower jaw of one poor mortal had been shot away. He 
was sitting up, supported by an iron stanchion, his eyes 
staring with an expression of apprehensive agony, the 
forefinger of his right hand pointing to the ghastly 
wound. ** Is there no hope of his death ? " we inquired 
of a surgeon, feeling that to be the greatest blessing for 
him on earth. ** There is," he replied, **when the 
reactionary fever sets in.'' He alone was passed by the 
good sisters : he could not swallow. When their jugs 
were emptied they repaired aft to replenish them ; and 
on recommencing the distribution, misled by the resem- 
blance of Russians to each other, they proffered the grate- 
ful beverage a second time to some individuals ; but each 
resisted the temptation, and indicated his comrade in turn 
for it. As they had not calculated on so large a number, 
the captain of the ship furnished them- with additional 


wine and sugar, so that each of the wounded received a 
refreshing drink of negus or lemonade, according to his 
state. Sister Bertha and her young companion, a novice, 
then stepped into their caik, and rowed to another 
similarly freighted French line-of-battle ship. 

The wounded were landed next day, and conveyed, 
some to the hospital of Tash Eishlasi, some to the 
hospital of Gulhaneh. We saw them at the former, two 
days afterwards, laid in the same wards with French 
wounded, and receiving equal care and kindness. " They 
merit it," said our cicerone, a French sergeant, himself 
limping with a stick; ** fes braves! They have been 
fightmg in defence of their country." Each prisoner in 
hospital received four sous a day, tobacco money. In 
one of the wards that day we witnessed an interesting 
scene. A French soldier, a handsozie brown-bearded 
fellow, was lying on his back in bed ; his left arm had 
been amputated, and his right arm, bound in spUnts, lay 
useless on the coverlid. By his side stood a Sister of 
Charity, feeding him. She had broken bread in suitable 
morsels, and lain them on his broad chest, and she held 
a basin of soup, in the composition of which eggs seemed 
to have a large share. All the while chatting, that he 
might not eat too fast, she alternately put a spoonful 
of soup and a morsel of bread into his mouth. When 
they were disposed of, she raised his head higher with 
her left hand, and with her right hand held a cup of 
liquid to his lips. Good sister, we thought, the recording 
angel is noting thee down ! 

Thirty-six Sisters of Charity died at Constantinople 
and three at Varna during the war, from the effects of 
their attendance in the French hospitals. 



Result of the Battle of Inkerman — Council of War— The Army of the 
Danube transferred to the Crimea — The Russians attack Omar 
Pasha at Eupatoria and are defeated — Death of the Egyptian 
Selim Pasha — Omar Pasha's Tactics — What the Army of Eupa- 
toria might have done — Omar Pasha with his Brigade at Sevastopol 
— Comment of the Turks on the death of the Czar — The Porte 
ill able to bear the absence of their Army in the Crimea — The 
Anglo-Turkish Contingent — Its European Officers — Proposal of 
the Porte rejected — Head-quarters of the Contingent at Buyuk- 
dereh — Life of Officers and Men — The Contingent transferred to 
Kertch — Skirmish with Cossacks — The Bashi-Bazouks — ^Their 

The battle of Inkerman was remotely advantageous to 
Russia. That event, while it opened the eyes of the 
Allies' generals to their own position, closed them to 
every other consideration, and dwarfed the war, which 
demanded comprehensive strategy, to the siege of a town. 
Sceptical as those generals had been about the amval of 
Russian reinforcements, they had now become no less 
apprehensive of further arrivals ; and in sufficient force, 
perhaps, to render their own position critical. In this 
mood a council, composed of the military and naval 
commanders-in-chief and their seconds in command, 
met in the camp soon after that battle, to deliberate 
on the means of isolating Sevastopol. The vaunt 
attributed to General Caurobert, that no Russian soldier 
should leave the plain of Baidar except as a prisoner. 


had fallen into discredit. Eupatoria, already feebly 
garrisoned by English, French, and Turks, appeared a 
favourable point from which to make a telling diversion. 
An army operating from thence would, they thought, 
command the road from Perekop to Bakchesaray. 
Unable to spare troops for that object, the AUies' 
generals recommended the transfer of the bulk of the 
army of the Danube to the Crimea. The EngUsh and 
French ambassadors at Constantinople concurred in their 
view and backed their recommendation. The Porte 
consented : but consented unwillingly. No argument 
seemed valid in its eyes to justify the grave error of 
sending the best Turkish army, under a chief whose 
proverbial caution forbade the hope of enterprising co- 
operation, to a land where its deterioration would rapidly 
follow the difficulty (non-existent in its own provinces, 
where ordou caimh passed in exchange for bread, rice, 
and mutton,) of supplying its wants: and although no 
longer required in the valley of the Danube, there was 
fitting scope for its activity in Armenia, whence cries of 
distress were already heard. 

No delay intervened. Under rain or snow, the 
lightly clad Turkish troops marched from their canton- 
ments to the coast ; and in four months, between mid- 
December 1854 and mid-April 1855, 60,000 men, 12,000 
horses, and eighteen batteries were conveyed, with stores 
and provisions, from Varna and Sisepolis to Eupatoria. 
Cold rendered warm clothing indispensable, and to meet 
this want the Constantinopolitans were called upon for a 
** benevolence " of hirkas (wadded vests) for the army of 

Omar Pasha had scarcely established his head-quarters 


At Eapatoiia when that place was attacked, 17th Februarr, 
1855, by a Russian army of 30,000 infantry, 3,000 
v«v«ilry, and fifty guns, which hoped to snatch the 
honours of war on its march to Bakchesaray. Its ability 
to move in winter across the steppe was less surprising 
than its presumption in attacking 20,000 men on the sea 
iH^Hst, covered by entrenchments and supported by English 
ijun-boats : one of which did good service in the action 
bv dislodging a body of riflemen from a strong position, 
. — the cemetery near the windmills. The Russians 
i^Vivnced tentatively three times to the attack, and then 
retreated, leaving 420 men and 300 artillery horses on 
the field. The Turkish soldiers, traditionally excited, 
cut off the heads of some of the slain and planted them 
on pikes on the hues of Eupatoria ; but on this abuse of 
victory being pointed out to the general by European 
officers attached to his staff, he ordered their removal. 
The Turks had 103 killed and 298 wounded, including 
among the former the Egyptian Selim Pasha, who united 
experience and valour. An eleve of Soliman Pasha 
(Colonel Selve) he had served under Ibrahim Pasha 
during his campaigns in the Morea, in Syria, and in 
Asia Minor. His death is supposed to have contributed 
to the inaction of the army at Eupatoria. Omar Pasha, 
wary in defensive, with no turn for offensive operations, 
was not the man for the situation. His favourite tactics, 
which had served him often in irregular warfare, 
consisted in raising redoubts or barricades and waiting 
to be attacked. Satisfied with the repulse of the 
Russians, he enlarged the circle of his entrenchments, 
and with Cossacks often in sight remained tranquil 
behind them. The agglomeration of numerous troops. 


refugee Tartars, and horses, within narrow Umits under 
unwholesome conditions, bred fever and scurvy, and thus 
reaUzed the Porte's worst anticipations. 

The army of Eupatoria was negatively of service, by 
obUging the Russians to station permanently in observa- 
tion of it a division of iiifantry aijd two divisions of cavalry ; 
but in other respects it might as well have been in 
Arabia. Had that army gone in the spring of 1855 to 
the Asiatic frontier, Russia would (presumedly) have 
been reduced to sign away the Caucasus at the Peace of 
Paris, instead of acquiring then, for the first time, virtual 
recognition of her sovereignty over it. The Khans of 
Turkistan might now have been smoking their pipes, and 
the Ameer of Bokhara telling his beads, with confidence. 
Civilization would have then been spared the sad spectacle 
of the expulsion of half-a-million of Caucasians from 
their homes for the crime of having fought in defence of 
them for thirty years, and humanity the pain of seeing 
their misery traded on by cupidity and lust : the cupidity 
which conveyed the exiles from shore to shore in ill-con- 
ditioned vessels, as closely stowed as Africans in slavers,* 
and the lust which culled girls of all ages from destitute 
crowds in border towns of the Black Sea. 

Omar Pasha, afterwards invited by the Allies* 
generals to share in the reduction of Sevastopol, joined 

* A batch of 2,700 Circassians, male and female, embarked in 
three Greek vessels, measuring collectively 840 tons, were a fortnight 
on their voyage from Constantinople to Cyprus in September, 1864. 
More than 1,400 of them died on board ; and of those landed in a 
state of exhaustion at Lamaca, only 800 were alive in January, 1865. 
The inhabitants of Lamaca did themselves no honour by their conduct 
towards those hapless refugees. This was the worst case ; but there 
were others very bad. 

878 turkj:y and the Crimean war. 

them by sea with 20,000 men, on condition of exemption 
from trench duties. He did not long remain with them. 
He found himself in an ambiguous position. He thonght 
himself slighted by generals of whose talents he pro- 
fessed a low opinion, and saw his troops despised by 
troops whom he did not consider superior. Deference 
he fancied was not paid to his experience; his advice 
seemed asked for form's sake only. So after the failure 
of the bombardment of April, he returned with his own 
brigade to Eupatoria, and there amused himself after his 
wonted fashion. 

The mortification occasioned by the repulse of his 
troops at Eupatoria embittered the last hours of the Czar 
Nicholas. This startling demise made Turks reflect in 
the following strain : — '* See," they said, *' our Sultan 
has enjoyed himself as usual during the war, with his 
harem and his palaces, undisturbed by cares. His allies 
fight for him ; he is well and prosperous. See, on the 
contrary, his enemy has toiled and fretted, Europe has 
banded against him, and now he dies broken-hearted. 
For whom has God declared ? " 

The Porte was ill able to sequester an army in the 
Crimea. The expense of maintaining it there, ineffi- 
ciently, was the least objectionable feature of that mis- 
direction of force. The cost alone of its transport from 
Bulgaria to Eupatoria absorbed 250,000/., part of the 
proceeds of the first foreign loan made by Turkey, the 
commencement of a ** facile descent : " a sum sufficient 
to have re-equipped the Asiatic army. Men had been 
miscalculated. The decrement of the Turkish armies 
since the declaration of war was already serious, teUing 
on the demands for home service in Europe, Asia, and 


Africa. The northern provinces, Koumelia, Mesopotamia, 
and Tripoli, all required troops. ThessaJy and Epirus 
required military restraint. Montenegro, Servia, and the 
Grecian frontier invited military observance. Constanti- 
nople required a garrison to meet a possible outbreak of 
popular exasperation, as well as to furnish disposable troops 
fol" an emergency. The Asiatic army, weakened by several 
battles and disease, demanded reinforcements. Syria, 
Arabia, Anatolia, and the Archipelago, had been all but 
denuded of troops. Few of the above-named places were 
considered adequately garrisoned. Bagdad, temptingly 
alluring Persia, had only about 7,000 regulars. In 
Tripoli there were indications of the discontent of the 
Arabs breaking forth in insurrection ; and it became ne- 
cessary, on the evasion of their exiled sheick, Ghuma, 
from Trebizond, to send a reinforcement of five batt^ions 
to that province. 

In this strait the Porte was further called upon to 
furnish 25,000 regular troops for an Anglo-Turkish 
Contingent. Unaware of the intention to collect them 
at the capital for new formation — believing them intended 
for immediate active service — the Porte acceded, though 
reluctantly, to the demand. Having acceded, it repented, 
but had not the firmness to state its reasons ; feeling, 
perhaps, they would be unavailing. By the course 
pursued in regard of this corps, it seems to have been in 
contemplation to raise an Anglo-Turkish army after the 
Indian model ; but if this vision had floated before the 
eyes of any person with influence to excuse the hope of 
its realization, slight reflection would have shown him 
that the Turks, with all their confidence in Great Britain, 
would never have consented to such an amalgamation of 


interests : nor, supposing obvions means adopted to 
render it comparatively popular, would other powers 
have remained silent thereon. No other power, however, 
had real motives for the jealousy which it excited, and 
which stimulated the premature desire for peace in 
certain quarters. The indisposition to furnish the Contin- 
gent, on national and reUgious grounds, felt by the 
Sultan, the Ulema, and the people, appeared from the 
outset. That of the army was natural. Officers who 
had served for years with their regiments in various 
grades were superseded by foreigners unknown to fame, 
with antipathetic notions derived from service in a land 
where natives are regarded as inferior beings. 

Indian officers, accustomed to rule haughtily a subject 
race, were not the men (with few exceptions) to act judi- 
ciously with a dominant race, imbued with traditions of 
military renown. The soldiers they had graduated with 
were debarred the honours of the profession ; the soldiers 
they were called upon to command carried each, in French 
phrase, a marshal's baton in his haversack. The seraskir 
(war minister) of that day had risen from the ranks. 
Those selected came out, not in the spirit of their 
comrades. Captain Ballard, Captain Ogilvie, Lieutenant 
Caddell, and Lieutenant Hinde, to identify themselves 
with the Turks; but with exclusive ideas, fostered by 
brevet rank, high expectations, and double pay. They 
were, nevertheless, a gallant set of men, eager for an 
opportunity to repeat on the Turkish the part they had 
nobly acted on the Indian stage. Things were so 
managed at the outset as to worry all parties. The 
Contingent officers, hurriedly sent from England, arrived 
at Constantinople with bed and baggage, expecting to 


find an army drawn up to receive them, and found less 
than a guard of honour. Their disappointment was 
keen, their position false. Thronging in no pleasant 
mood the thoroughfares, they talked of Turkey and the 
Turks as at Calcutta of India and the Indians. White 
scarves twisted round their foraging caps distinguished 
them at first in the crowd, and hy that sign the sentries 
received orders to salute them. But the fashion, at once 
agreeable and becoming, was soon adopted by the Perotes, 
when the distinction ceased, and with it naturally the 
salutes. More than one puzzled sentry at the bridge 
head was called eshek (ass) by the officer of the guard, 
amidst the laughter of the bystanders, for having carried 
arms to a pekin — an itinerant dragoman or a broker's 
clerk — in mistake for a contingent officer. This was the 

Aware of its error, and dreading the effect on the 
mind of the ConstantinopoUtans of the spectacle of a 
native force under foreigners who declined lending them- 
selves to a slight illusion by wearing the fez^ the Porte, 
when urged on the subject, too sensitive to avow the 
truth, cited, in excuse for delay, the expense and incon- 
venience of withdrawing troops from the provinces, and 
proposed, instead of bringing the men to the officers, 
sending the officers to the men, either in Europe or 
Asia, as might be preferred. Out of sight out of mind. 
The troops idly disseminated in MingreUa and Lazistan 
might, with 10,000 men from RoumeUa, have been 
collected at Trebizond ; and thus formed, in the right 
place, the Contingent would have given effective support 
to the forces in Armenia. In presence of the enemy, 
officers and men would soon have come to understand 


each other's merits. No suggestion of the kind had any 
chance of being heeded. Her Majesty's Commissioner 
in Armenia, on the one hand, argued in disfavour of the 
services of the Contingent in that quarter ; and the com- 
mander of the Contingent on the other hand considered 
it right, out of regard for his and his officers' credit, to 
reserve his force until organized in his own way on the 
shores of the Bosphorus. The former objected to be 
joined by a body of men bringing with them all he had 
been lamenting the want of in scores of despatches, and 
the latter did not reflect that with the money and means 
at his disposal, with unquaUfied support wherever he 
might be from every quarter, preparatory delay was 
unnecessary. In war, a game of chance and opportunities, 
one should make the best use of materials at hand ; not 
wait for the attainment of an ideal standard of efficiency. 
General Bonaparte, pointing towards Italy, said to the 
ragged army of the Alps, " We will find clothes and 
shoes there." The Russian palace at Buyukdereh became 
the head-quarters of the Contingent, and pleasant 
heights in the vicinity the site of the camp of troops 
urgently wanted elsewhere. The Contingent officers, 
unaccustomed to heed social prejudices, lived in Buyuk- 
dereh and in camp as at a relaxed Indian station. The 
original mistake lay in giving officers to already organized 
regiments having a certain esprit de corps. Turkish 
troops only required, in the late war, to render them 
incomparable for ser\dce in their own country — a country 
beset with difficulties for European troops — a few able 
staflf officers, a commissariat to ensure them their modicum 
of food, and skilful surgeons to tend them when seriously 
ill or wounded. Thus organized, chafing neither national 


pride nor regimental amour proprCj the Contingent would 
have become an efficient corps at comparatively trifling 
expense ; with a maximum of quaUties for campaigning 
in Armenia and Trans-Caucasus. 

Warily, at intervals, the Porto gave over troops to 
the Contingent, till the number reached about 12,000. 
Their comeliness improved with liberal rations, regular 
pay, and gentle exercise ; but on the other hand their 
lithesomeness diminished. Some, moreover, learned to 
drink wine ; and sundry disputes, involving on one occa- 
sion loss of life, between soldiers and the cultivators of 
adjoining vineyards — the question being who had the 
best right to the grapes — showed impaired discipline. 
After some months passed in the tranquil existence dear 
to Orientals, under canvas on breezy thyme-scented 
uplands, it was thought necessary to transfer the Con- 
tingent to some other quarter; for the most sanguine 
began to despair of its completion near Constantinople, 
and the most indulgent to desire fitter occupation for it. 
The dilemma was, where to send it ? It would not suit 
everybody; it would not fit everywhere. The British 
commander-in-chief declined its company, on account of 
jealousies excited by the brevet rank of its officers. 
The Turkish commander-in-chief shunned the con- 
trast between its comforts and the wants of his troops. 
After receiving various destinations from home, nine in 
all, the order of one day, sent by the electric telegraph 
— perplexing instrument in indecisive hands — being con- 
tradicted the next, Kertch was fixed upon as being a 
neutral out-of-the-way place. There it accordingly went, 
after the fall of Sevastopol, and was joined by the troops 
previously stationed in that quarter ; making a total of 


about 18,000 infantry with some artillery and a few 
cavalry. Its own artillery remained at Scutari. The 
bulk of its cavalry followed, remained ten days in the 
roadstead, and were then, through unfounded fears about 
forage, sent to winter at Buyuk-Tchekmedjeh and 
Sehvria on the Propontis. 

Surprised at this destination, the seraskir asked, if 
not required at Kertch, why the cavalry did not go to Asia 
Minor, where they were required ; rather than incom- 
mode the inhabitants of country towns, who were com- 
pelled to give up without remuneration their best houses 
for the accommodation of its officers. Deprived of this 
arm, invaluable in its position, the Contingent remained 
behind their fortified lines of Kertch and Yeni-Kaleh 
until the peace ; watched by the Cossacks of the division 
on the isthmus of Arabat, who burnt large quantities of 
forage in the neighbourhood : the cavalry in Kertch were 
too few to deter them. One day a troop of Contingent 
horse, incautiously extending a reconnaissance, led on by 
a few Cossacks cantering a-head, were attacked unex- 
pectedly by a superior body of cavalry previously con- 
cealed from view behind a hillock. Three of the former, 
including their gallant commander. Captain Sherwold, 
were slain in the skirmish, two mortally wounded, and 
forty-two captured. Next day a Contingent officer went 
with a flag of truce to the Russian camp, fifteen miles 
distant, to inquire after the prisoners. He found them 
well cared for, and saw the body of Captain Sherwold, 
bandaged with white linen and covered with a sheet, 
treated with due respect. In doubt of the captain's 
religion, the Russian general had invited a Greek and a 
CathoUc priest to pray over it. The envoy also saw in 


the Russian camp some horses of the 10th Hussars, 
objects of pecuUar soUcitude. 

The Contmgent was the most expensive item of the 

The Bashi-bazouks, addenda of the Contingent, fell 
under the same law of contrariety ; being also retained 
from the theatre of war, to prepare them (so ran the 
phrasjB) for service. Raised as a suitable force, with 
nomade watchful habits, for confronting Cossacks, they 
were stationed, during the eventful summer and autumn 
of 1855, near the plain of Troy ; where their pranks — 
exaggerated in recital to the prejudice of General 
Beatson who had campaigned Jon the Danube in 1854 
with the few originally raised as an experiment — obtained 
for them unenviable notoriety. From that classic scene 
they marched, about 3,000 strong, across Roumeha and 
the Balkan, to winter quarters at Schumla; and the 
order acquired by them on the march showed the error 
of having kept such lads inactive. The Turks had no 
feeling about them: they only wondered at England 
thinking it worth her while to incur expense on their 
account. Independent of the first outlay, they are said 
to have cost about 40,000/. a month. 




Brassa destroyed by Earthquake — Strength of the Allied Forces before 
Sevastopol — Second Bombardment and its Eflfects — The Malakof 
the Key of the Position — ^French Forces predominant — Sevas- 
topol as fortified by General Todleben — General Canrobert^s 
Opinion — The Garrison short of Provisions and Ammunition — 
The Governor empowered to act on his Judgment — Generals 
Caurobert and Pelissier — Plans for cutting off Russian Supplies — 
Mr. Satler*s Organization of Russian Transport Corps — ^Naval and 
Mililtary Expedition to open the Sea of Azof — The Russian 
Garrisons of Kertch and Yenikaleh retire — Tokens of Amity from 
the Tartars to the Allies — Strange conduct of the Allied Troops 
— Destruction of the Museum at Kertch — Spoil shipped to Pera — 
Destitution of Jewish Families — Destruction of Property by the 
Allied Squadron in the Sea of Azof — The Russians evacuate 
Soudjouk and Anapa — Return of the Expedition to Sevastopol — 
Capture of the Mamelon by the French — High Expectations of 
Success — Combined Attack on the Malakof and Redan — Cause of 
its Failure — Bravery of the French and English Columns — 
Captain Peel and the Naval Brigade — Death and Funeral of Lord 
Raglan — Prince Gortschakof constructs a Raft-bridge for the 
Retreat of the Garrison — Russian Corps d'Armee defeated at 
Tchernaya — Loss of Men in the Siege Operations — Earthworks 
yield to a Vertical Fire of Shell — Rejoicings in Sevastopol on the 
Opening of the Raft- bridge — Final Bombardment of Sevastopol — 
False Attacks to deceive the Garrison — Their successful Result in 
the Surprise of the Malakof by the French — Resistance of the 
Russians — Repulse of the French at two Points, and of the 
English at the Redan — Evacuation of Sevastopol — Cause of 
Failure at the Redan — Masterly Retreat of the Garrison of Sevas- 
topol — What the Allies had gained — Losses on both Sides — 
Total Loss of Russian Soldiers — The Siege of Acre in the 12th 
Centuiy a Type of that of Sevastopol — Dissimilar Features. 

Before the experiments mentioned in the preceding 
chapter and others were begun, and while war was 


waiting for spring, nature, as if to mock man's most 
gigantic efforts in destruction, overthrew in a few 
minutes (February 28th, 1856) by a gentle heave of 
the plain great part of the beautiful and venerable city 
of Brussa, resting-place of the remains of the first five 
Sultans of the Ottoman race. Mosque and church, bath 
and tomb, bazaar and khan, konak and cabin, fell 
together. The famous sulphur springs ebbed and 
flowed. The edge of the undulation reached, and 
slightly rocked, Constantinople. This dire disaster, 
mourned from the Danube to the Indian Ocean, aroused 
apathy and made resignation impatient. The wreck 
seemed ominous. 

Careless about earthquakes, and uninfluenced by the 
conference of Vienna, the Allies had made strenuous 
eflbrts, since the commencement of the year, to reinforce 
their army and advance their Unes, in the hope of 
reducing Sevastopol ere the violets should fade. By 
April, 1855, the English and French armies numbered 
145,000 men ; 600 guns were in position, with 800 
rounds of ammunition for each ; and a railway, novel 
instrument of war, had been laid down from Balaclava 
to the camp. All promised success. Letters, semi- 
official and private, written from the theatre of war,' 
coincided in that sense. But the recently-appointed 
commandants of engineers had yet, like their prede- 
cessors, to learn the nature of a redoubt; had yet to 
witness the endurance of Bussian soldiers. Slaves those 
soldiers may be, but not recreant. Put six ounces of 
meat a day into their mouths, serviceable arms into their 
hands, wearable shoes on their feet, give them more kind 
words, fewer blows, and less vodtka, and we should see a 

25— a 


soldiery able to encounter both the troops of the West 
and the hardships of the East. 

The second bombardment of Sevastopol opened on 
the 9th of April and continued until the evening of the 
17th, with a daily expenditure of nearly 1,000 tons of 
shot and shell : it then ceased, through exhaustion. 
Although a higher application of the principle of force 
than the opening bombardment of the previous October, 
having lasted as many days as that had lasted hours, 
the result was scarcely more fructuous. The works of 
the Malakof and the Eedan, twisted and torn by the iron 
storm, seemed shapeless mounds of earth ; fascines and 
sandbags stood at all angles. But on looking narrowly 
through interstices, one saw remounted guns in position 
to fire on advancing troops ; and while on the left the 
French batteries, at 300 yards' distance, had opened a 
breach twenty-five yards wide, in the curtain between 
the Quarantine battery and the Central bastion, inner 
batteries frowned wamingly beyond. Many bold spirits, 
impatient and repining then, may in their hearts have 
applauded later the prudence which forbade the assault : 
in expectation of which the enemy had reserved fifty 
rounds per gun. 

There was nothing left for the Allies but to sap 
nearer the enemy's lines, bring up heavier guns, and 
plant more mortars in position. The Malakof was now 
clearly recognized as the key of the position, with the 
necessity of taking preliminarily the Mamelon ; which, 
long neglected by all parties, had been occupied and 
entrenched by the Kussians only six weeks earlier. 
Thenceforward the Gallic element predominated in the 
siege. Of the six positions, — the Quarantine battery, 


the Central battery, the Flag-staff bastion, the Redan, 
the Malakof, and the Mamelon, — the French undertook 
to grapple with four. 

This trial proved the strength of the works thrown 
up, under tire, by the genius of General Todleben, 
seconded by scientific officers of all arms and by devoted 
soldiers and sailors. They defied a threefold mightier 
host than the force Sevastopol had trembled before 
five months earlier, and showed that, under ordinary 
siege conditions, Sevastopol had been rendered impreg- 
nable. But if the defence was unique so was the 
attack. The facility of drawing supplies by sea from 
inexhaustible resources, indicated, with perseverance, 
a termination to the defence and no limit to the attack. 
Nevertheless, the failure of an eight days' bombard 
ment of unparalleled severity had shaken the confi- 
dence of one of the allied chiefs ; not in the result, but 
in the mode of attack. " Sevastopol," observed General 
Caurobert to the author a few days afterwards, "is an 
entrenched camp, defended by an army relieved at 
pleasure from outside ; it is an exceptional place, for the 
attack of which the rules of war offer no example/' 
General Caurobert saw no good reason for retaining all 
the allied forces in one spot, while in possession of a 
steam fleet able to carry 40,000 men at once in a few 
hours' run. He, it has been said, was for embarking 
part of the army and landing it further north, to make 
a diversion in the Crimea in co-operation with the army 
of Eupatoria. Isolated, Sevastopol would have fallen of 
itself. Indeed, it would soon have fallen ; for there was 
not a month's supply of provisions in the city for 35,000 
men : the number at which the garrison was permanently 


maintained. Their ammunition was nearly exhausted ; 
little more than sufficient remaining, besides the fifty 
rounds per gun spoken of, for the infantry to fight a 
battle with. The army in the field was weaJk, and the 
towns in the peninsula were hospitals. 

Fresh supplies of ammunition reached Sevastopol 
three weeks after the bombardment, and with them the 
governor received powers to act on his own judgment ; 
either to abandon the place or continue the defence : as 
no more troops could be spared to reinforce him. He 
decided on the latter course ; and the reception, three 
weeks later, of intelligence of the despatch of two more 
divisions to the Crimea, approved his judgment. General 
Caurobert's opinion, if given as stated, was overruled. 
Loved by his soldiers, and tender of their lives, General 
Caurobert seemed eminently fitted to lead an army 
through a dashing campaign. On the other hand, 
General Pelissier, stem, uncompromising, as ready to 
roast Arabs as chestnuts for the attainment of a military 
object, was the man to press a siege. Accordingly, the 
Arbiter of war having decided on Russia sustaining the 
least possible amount of injury by the war, in virtue of 
her opponents' determination not to swerve from their 
original plan of attack, the two generals changed places 
by imperial order. General Pelissier justified the decision. 
Week by week he circumscribed the enemy more closely, 
and 5,000 French hors de combat gave the measure of his 
exertions during the first month of his command. 

Previous to the transference of command, — submitted 
to with a cheerful countenance by General Caurobert 
though with a wrung heart,-^subsidiary means of 
straitening the enemy had been contemplated, and were 


afterwards carried out. The Russians were supposed to 
draw large supplies from the Sea of Azof, and the occupa- 
tion of that sea had accordingly been decided upon. The 
Allies, with all Turkey to draw from, yet supplied their 
own armies with much cost and trouble ; they naturally 
inferred from then: own experience great difficulty in 
that respect for the enemy, and expected to enhance it 
decisively by cutting off that channel of supply. Their 
calculation was erroneous. Russia, in anticipation of that 
diversion, deferred unaccountably long, had organized 
the supply of her forces in the Crimea chiefly by 
land carriage ; and although drawing supplies by sea 
as long as she was -able, they were not depended upon 
for a permanent resource : nor, as it appeared, were they 
of sufficient importance to influence the result. Russia 
possessed in Mr. Satler, her commissary-general in the 
Crimea, as remarkable a man as General Todleben, 
each in his own line, and she gave him unrestricted 
powers. Mr. Satler, in addition to the ordinary army 
transport corps of 6,000 horses, organized six draught 
brigades of 1,000 pair of oxen each, two pair to. a 
waggon, to bring provisions and stores from Perekop and 
Tchongar as they arrived there from the interior to 
Sevastopol and other stations in the Crimea, and to 
convey away sick and wounded to the hospitals. The 
dangerously wounded and seriously diseased were depo- 
sited chiefly at Simpheropol ; the less afflicted were con- 
veyed to Nicolaief and other places beyond the peninsula. 
This vast movement shows demonstratively the 
connection between the defence of Sevastopol and the 
faculty of traversing the Crimea in every direction ; and 
skilful diversional operations on the part of the Allies, 


with the aid of their steam fleet, would have deranged it. 
The diversion by turning the hills from the south, 
planned by the French Emperor in Paris, proved on trial 
impracticable. Mr. Satler — through whose hands 
24,000,000/. sterling are said to have passed — kept the 
army in the Crimea well supplied ; obtaining cordial 
co-operation from every quarter by prompt payments 
and by closing his eyes to the discrepancy between the 
amount of forage drawn for by colonels of cavalry 
regiments and of transport brigades and the number of 
animals in existence. The Russians, nevertheless, ought 
to have rendered the Sea of Azof safe, for the sake of the 
defenceless towns on its shores. They had forgotten the 
traditions of their wars in other days with the Turks, 
when they strove with flat-bottomed frigates for the 
mastery of that sea. The Cimmerian Bosphorus was 
ill fortified, weakly garrisoned, and a few insignificant 
steamers composed its naval defence. 

After a false start, the combined naval and military 
expedition to open the Sea of Azof reached its destina- 
tion towards the end of May, 1855, and landed 15,000 
troops (English, French, and Turkish), at St. Paul, a 
few miles from Kertch, on which place they marched. 
Simultaneously the Kussian garrisons of Kertch and 
Yenikaleh retired on Arabat. Those places immediately 
surrendered, or rather invited occupation. The notables 
of Kertch met the allied chiefs and tendered them bread 
and salt — an immemorial Tartar custom — in token of 
amity. In return, the Allies conducted themselves after 
the fashion of Arabs with a caravan. Making little 
distinction between public and private property, they 
destroyed government steamers and merchant vessels ; 


burnt planks enough to hut an army ; threw com and 
flour into the sea sufficient to feed for a month the 
refugee Tartars at Eupatoria, to whom the Sultan was 
then sending food from Constantinople where distres- 
sing prices ruled; and crowned their exploits by the 
dispersion of the unique museum — pride of the Crimea 
— of the Mithridatic era, wantonly breaking many of the 
rehcs in pieces. The nationality of the perpetrators of 
this act of vandalism is in dispute : all that is certain is, 
no Turk had a hand in it ; nor in the subsequent rifling 
of tombs which Greeks, Komans, Scythians, Genoese, and 
Bussians had respected. Chairs, mirrors, pianos, cande- 
labra, &c., — vulgar Bpoil — were shipped in AUies' trans- 
ports on Frank or Levantine account, and sent to Pera ; 
where they were afterwards seen, as reported, in various 
fashionable saloons. 

Athens mourned her statues and Egypt her obelisks 
carried away by the Bomans, and Spain sent male- 
dictions after her pictures carried oflf by the French ; 
but no one had cause to blush : the nature of the spoil 
condoned the act. 

The Allies' proceedings ill-accorded with recognized 
rules of war. Kertch having come peaceably into their 
possession, its inhabitants with their property were 
entitled to respect ; the more so on account of their sym- 
pathies ; and its occupation having been decided upon, 
the care of stores and provisions became a miUtary duty. 
Had their town been besieged, it would scarcely have 
suflered more injury at the hands of an enemy than their 
friends inflicted.* Many of the inhabitants were reduced 

* At the termination of the Allies* occnpation of Kertch, out of 2,500 
dwellings, only 400 remained entire. 


to beggary. Eighty-five Jewish famihes, for example, 
bereft of shelter and subsistence, were sent soon after- 
wards by the Allies to Constantinople, and there east on 
the bounty of their co-religionists. 

The navy followed suit. Fourteen steamers (French 
and English) entered the Sea of Azof, 25th May, with 
the laconism ** Bum, sink, and destroy,'' for their 
orders. They acted up to them with zeal and discern- 
ment. Complaisant towns — Berdiansk, &c. — were let 
oflf with the destruction of their public stores ; recusant 
towns — Taganrog, &c. — were shelled and rocketed. 
In a few days, in their rapid course from place to place, 
they destroyed ashore large quantities of com, oil, and 
timber, chiefly private property ; afloat, above 200 
vessels. Disinterestedly they bumt com-laden vessels 
at sea, instead of sending them to market to convert 
into prize-money. No corresponding result in distress 
at Sevastopol followed this stirring cruise, nor was its 
reduction facilitated thereby. An inconvenience certainly 
ensued. Expecting the Allies to pass the Strait of 
Yenitchi, and with their boats thread the mazes of the 
Siwash, the Eussians thenceforwards abstained from 
forwarding supphes to the Crimea by Tchongar bridge,, 
which had shortened the road from some of the supply 
districts by 100 versts. The Turkish galleys which in 
the reign of Sultan Ibrahim ascended the Don as far as 
Azof, bumt by the Cossacks on their approach, had made 
a milder visitation. The Allies were able in the end to 
boast of having swept the Sea of Azof of its last boat. 

The presence of the allied fleets ofi* St. Paul, where 
they tarried about three weeks, waiting the return of 
the flotilla, warned the Bussians in garrison on the 


opposite coast to decamp. Accordingly, razing the 
works and disabling the guns of Soudjouk and Anapa 
respectively on May 28 and June 6, they retreated in 
order with their baggage towards the Kuban. When 
the Allies' admirals, apprised by a Circassian of the 
enemy's movements, reached Anapa, they found it had 
been already evacuated a week and was in possession of 
the Circassians. 

Leaving a garrison in Eertch, and a few steamers in 
the Sea of Azof to keep the inhabitants of the coast on 
the alert and carry on war against the sturgeon fisheries 
in that sea, the expedition returned to Sevastopol, to be 
present at the projected attack on June 18th. 

Since April the siege had made notable progress. 
Although still distant, the AUies' hues had been advanced 
considerably nearer, and the vertical fire from nunuerous 
mortars had acquired fatal intensity. The e£fect of a 
sharp bombardment on June 6th, followed up next day 
by the capture of the Mamelon by the French, and of 
the Quarries by the English — both with distinguished 
gallantry — indicated diminished resources on the part of 
the enemy, and allowed discouragement to be inferred. 
These successes, the extent of the preparations, the con- 
fidence of the engineers, and the ardour of the troops, 
excited unmingled hopes, and raised expectation higher 
than on any previous occasion. The expectation was 
equally shared in London and in Paris, then in electric 
communication with the Crimea. The initiated in these 
capitals into the designs of the aUied armies, warned by 
the lesson of the previous October, were doubtless 
cautious of betraying their sense of confidence ; but in 
the camp no reticence existed : champagne was laid 


ready for libations at head-quarters and at every mess ; 
and the Banshee was ordered to be ready to start for 
Marseilles with the despatches. The armies were to be 
under arms before dayhght of the 18th, the French and 
English assaulting columns in position, the Turkish and 
Sardinian troops in the field — to meet a possible flank 
movement by the Kussian corps d'armee, supposed to be 
on M'Kenzie's heights — and the fleets, under way, out of 
gunshot, ready to go in on the fall of the southern defences 
to impede the retreat of the garrison. The French were 
to attack the Malakof, the Enghsh the Kedan. 

At daylight on the 17th, the French and English 
lines opened a heavy fire on the Malakof and Bedan, 
and sustained it till evening; when the silence of the 
enemy's guns confirmed the generals in their intention 
to storm the defences next day. Suspecting, however, 
that the enemy might, according to custom, remount his 
guns at night, or have feigned exhaustion. Lord Eaglan 
wisely proposed to open a preluding fire ip the morning 
for a couple of hours, to try his strength ; but General 
Pelissier, seeing no reason for that precaution, intimated 
his resolve to attack at three in the morning. Soon after 
midnight the troops were massed in the trenches, and 
as they lay in anxious expectation shells thrown from 
cohom mortars dropped occasionally amongst them. 

On a signal, to be given by General Pelissier from 
the Lancaster battery, the French divisions — right, 
centre, and left — told oflf for the assault, were to advance 
rapidly on the Malakof. With simultaneous action they 
might have carried it ; but General Mayran, in command 
of the right division, misled by a chance rocket, marched 
prematurely. When the real signal flashed through the 


air, his division had already been exposed nearly half-an- 
hour to a warm fire from the enemy ; who, warned by a 
French deserter, were prepared at every point: the 
General himself, in the meanwhile, being carried oflf the 
field mortally wounded. The other divisions then ad- 
vanced, enveloped the Malakof, and fell by hundreds on 
the edge of the ditch. On no other occasion in the war 
did the French, losing that morning 1,600 men, display 
more resolute bravery. They persevered until further 
perseverance would have been temerity. Made in day- 
light and with concert, the attack would in all probability 
have predominated ; made in darkness, with confusion, it 
was weak, and animating for the Bussians. 

The EngUsh attacking column, ignorant at the 
moment of their ally's discomfiture, left their trenches at 
daylight, 800 strong, as many thousands being in reserve, 
accompanied by a party of the naval brigade with scaling 
ladders led by the paladin Captain William Peel. With 
buoyant steps and stout hearts they traversed 240 yards 
of open ground, in face of grape and canister ; and one 
of that resolute band (the author's nephew a youth 
fresh from Cambridge) though wounded continued to 
advance till checked by another missile at the abattis of 
the Redan. There fell his colonel, shot dead, with many 
other gallant men ; while others, passing that frail 
barrier, found cover in rifle-pits. Their courage and 
valour were not altogether wasted on the sulphurized 
air. They drew on themselves, with heavy loss, the 
fire of the Redan away from the French, who were then 
retreating from the Malakof. Another column, operating 
on the left, made its footing good for a while in the 
cemetery at the head of the Dockyard creek ravine ; 


whence^ ultimately, the first explorers of Sevastopol pro- 

This grievous failure, result of divided command, 
disturbed Lord Baglan's equanimity; which was akin 
to Oriental resignation. Weakened bodily, and mentally 
depressed, the veteran sank ten days afterwards. He of 
the noble house of Somerset breathed his last on a 
camp bed, in a lone farm-house on the Heracleotic 
steppe, June 28, 1855. Mourned by his staff, who lost 
in him an indulgent chief, and attended by two armies, 
who had admired his serene intrepidity on the field of 
battle, his body was borne with mihtary pomp to the 
Caradoc for conveyance to England. She tarried on her 
way at Constantinople to coal and there lay alongside 
a hulk, unnoticed and unnoted save by her coat of black 
paint. No minute-guns from the Allies' men-of-war in 
the Bosphorus, no colours half-mast, announced the 
melancholy cause of her arrival in the Golden Horn. 
The Porte wished to pay honours to the remains of 
Lord Raglan similar to those paid by it eight months 
earlier to the remains of Marshal St. Amaud ; but the 
proposal of AaU Pasha, the minister for foreign affairs, 
to that eflfect was decUned. 

Prince Gortschakof did not let himself be deluded 
by his success on June 18th: he knew he had only 
obtained a respite. Foreseeing the inevitable result, he 
had, on losing the Mamelon, the outwork of the Malakof, 
given orders to collect materials for the construction of 
a raft bridge across the harbour of Sevastopol, on the 
plan of General Bauchmaer, to ensure the retreat of the 
garrison; with purpose to maintain himself at all hazards 
till its completion, longer if feasible, in order to deter 


the Allies by the lateness of the season from an autumnal 
campaign in the Crimea. He made a vacillating attempt, 
on the faith of General Keed's report, to disturb the 
siege with a corps d'arm^e, sent, August 16th, against 
the French supported by Sardinians and Turks, who 
repulsed it with a loss of seven or eight thousand killed 
or wounded. Men had never been more idly sacrificed. 
General Pehssier was proud of the battle of Tchemaya. In 
his order of the day he congratulated his troops on having 
beaten the ** vaunted Russian infantry; " but inspection 
of their arms * should have moderated his exultation. 

The besiegers continued to push their approaches to the 
Malakof with animation ; the enemy disputing the ground 
manfully step by step. During the last two months of sap- 
ping, their severest trial, the French had on the average 150 
men killed or wounded each night. Science was no longer 
in doubt. The tentative process pursued during eight 
months had taught the lesson. It was simply recurrence 
to Vauban's practice : subdue the enemy's fire, and have 
your trenches sufficiently near to profit by opportunity. 
Vast formations of earth, disposed with art, the Russian 

* Extract from a letter from the Crimea dated 20th August, 1855, 
about the battle of the Tchemaya : — 

'< An attempt seems to have been made by the Russian army to supply 
the want of rifles it laboured under. A number of their new rifles 
were picked up, and judging from their appearances they were equally 
as indifferent and quite as clumsy as their old muskets ; they seemed 
for the most part to have been old muskets rifled and fitted with a 
sight after the Li^ge pattern. Probably there is no army in Europe 
BO badly armed as the Russian. The Turkish army is immeasurably 
superior. The swords of the Russians seem as if made of the hoops 
of a barrel ; one can bend them easily with the fingers ; and their 
muskets are long, awkward, unwieldy things. They have no half-cock, 
and their locks are so stiff as almost to require both hands to lift the 


works on the south defied horizontal fire, how well 
soever directed and sustained ; but were powerless under 
a rain of shells with accurately cut fuses. The Russian 
admission of a daily loss of from 500 to 700 men killed 
or wounded during the last twenty days of the siege, 
showed the efficacy of the Allies' vertical fire. To 
protect themselves in some degree from it, they made 
bomb-proof burrows in their works : a choice of evils, 
since their batteries were thereby exposed to be un- 
manned at a critical moment. 

The saving raft-bridge over the harbour being com- 
pleted September 1, was opened that night with religious 
solemnities and civic rejoicings. The transport of 
archives, precious objects, and stores, immediately 
commenced from the south to the north side. A month 
would scarcely have sufficed to remove the immense 
materiel in the place. That interval was not granted. 

Four days afterwards, September 5th, the final 
bombardment of Sevastopol opened from all points, and 
continued for more than three days. The 7th French 
parallel was twenty yards from the Malakof, with a spacious 
place d'armes: the nearest English parallel was 200 
yards from the Redan, with a narrow place d'armes. 
Eight hundred guns and mortars were in position. In 
deception, to throw the enemy oflf his guard, the Allies 
from time to time slackened their fire, or directed it 
beyond the works, on the reserves. The Russians, each 
time deeming the assault imminent, left their retreats 
to man their ramparts; when shells again rained in 
amongst them with deadly effect. Shortly before noon, 
on the 8th, this manoeuvre was repeated ; but the 
Russians giving no heed to it, remained in their 


blindages eating their dinners. The device had suc- 
ceeded. Ready, with all conceivable appliances, the 
columns of attack, the leader of each with his eyes 
fixed on his watch, waited silently for noon.: then 
unseen, unexpected, they leaped all together out of their 
trenches, rushed forwards, and in a few seconds reached 
the ditch. The first regiment of Zouaves had the 
honour of leading the way. Some, jumping into the 
ditch, climbed up to the embrasures, and the eagle- 
bearer first appeared above the smoke and dust ; others 
crossed it on planks thrown across by attendant sappers. 
In five minutes the French were mthin the precinct of 
the Malakof, w^ith trifling loss. As they entered they 
met the enemy emerging like Troglodytes from the 
earth, and shot them down easily. 

The Russians made desperate resistance from the 
basement of the White Tower, and at other points of 
the vast area of the Malakof. Disregarding lesser 
matters. General M^Mahon directed his forces to the 
narrow gorge — Todleben's only fault — and thus pre- 
vented the enemy, who made five attempts, from effec- 
tively bringing up his reserves. In the meanwhile the 
French engineers, running a sap up to the edge of the 
ditch, threw a bridge over it ; along which the reserves 
passed continuously, till opposition ceased and the 
tricoloured flag floated triumphant. On all other points 
the Russians were successful. They repulsed the French 
with intimidating loss at the Central and Flag-staflF 
bastions ; and although the English, after running the 
gauntlet of a sweeping cross-fire, had gallantly carried 
the Redan — being left there unsupported, while expect- 
ing an attack from the enemy's reserve foiled at the 



Malakof — they abandoned it, and made no attempt to 
reoccupy it. General Pelissier sent a message at 4 p.m. 
to his colleague to advise another attempt, prognostica- 
ting its success ; on which General Simpson sent for two 
of his divisional generals to consult with ; but on their 
joining him, it being then 8 p.m., further operations 
were deferred till morning : when, let alone the Redan, 
Sevastopol itself was evacuated. Disappointment ascribed 
backwardness to the English storming party on that 
day ; but without reason. They were sent forward 
immethodically over a furlong of ground swept by the 
enemy's balls. The disposition for the attack inspired 
no confidence: no reserves appeared massed ready 
to support them. Nevertheless they foUbwed their 
leader into the Redan, and did not follow him out of it 
until twenty minutes after his departure to seek reinforce- 
ments, — a step which none but a man of courage could 
have ventured to take. More could not fairly be 
ijxpeeted from young troops. Had the French attack, 
with all the advantages of proximity and surprise, been 
thus languidly conducted, it would have failed even 
more signally. 

The capture of the Malakof compensated for all 
failures. Aware that Sevastopol w^as no longer tenable, 
that further delay would compromise the safety of the 
garrison, Prince Gortschakof at once organized his 
retreat, and conducted it with a masterly hand. War 
has rarely witnessed a diflScult operation more success- 
fully performed. Preserving order amidst exploding 
mines and falling edifices, the dismaying scene lighted 
up by the flames of his ships, he gathered his troops in 
from the outposts, marshalled them on the shore, and 


abandoning some hundreds of wounded (in too sad a 
plight for removal), ten days' provisions, and many 
hundred pieces of siege ordnance, led them, in the grey 
dawn of the morning, over the tremulous bridge provided 
by his foresight. The sun rose on the 9th September 
on a deserted ruined city * and on the vestiges of a 
sunken fleet. The Allies had won the place, but were 
scarcely masters of it. They had driven the enemy from 
the field of battle, but could not sit down in it themselves. 
They had gained the power of destruction of everything 
remaining in it, but not of occupation, and the harbour 
remained impervious to their ships. 

The loss on the 8th of September was about equal 
on either side. The Russians had 11,000, the French 
9,000, and the English 2,500 killed, wounded, or 

During the war 180,000 Russian infantry and 
20,000 cavalry passed Perekop ; and 106,000 of that 
force were buried in the Crimea. Allowing for unnoted 
casualties by explosions and drownings, and for deaths 
beyond the Crimea from wounds received in it, we may 
estimate the Russian direct loss by the siege of Sevas- 
topol at 125,000 men. The indirect heavier loss, by 
fatigue and sickness on the march from the interior to 
the Crimea, will never probably be known outside the 
Russian war-office. In addition, the Russian Asiatic 
army lost 40,000 men. 

The nearest parallel in history to the siege of 
Sevastopol is the siege of Acre in 1189-91, alike 

* At the termination of the war there remained, of 15,000 dwellings 
which had composed Sevastopol, 16 habitable hoases, and 60 repairable. 
The rest was ruin. 



tasking the might of three empires, alike holding Europe 
and Asia in suspense. Substituting Moslems for Rus- 
sians, we read the siege of Sevastopol typified in Gibbon's 
account of the siege of Acre. The similar features are 
these : Acre was besieged by the united forces of France 
and England, with contingents from minor States, their 
wants being supplied from friendly Mediterranean ports ; 
nearly invested by land — inversion of the Allies' disposi- 
tion—the naval blockade could not be strictly main- 
tained, and therefore, whenever bad weather drove the 
royal fleets away temporarily from the coast, supplies 
were thrown into the city. A few miles from Acre the 
Ccaliph lay encamped, intent on raising the siege, during 
the progi-ess of which several battles favourable to the 
Crusaders were fought near Mount Carmel. One hun- 
dred thousand of the Crusaders perished in the siege. 
The intimate union between England and France began 
to cool at its termination. 

The dissimilar features are as follow: at Acre the 
sovereigns of France and England and the Caliph were 
present with their armies ; the chief honour fell to the 
English ; the success of the AlUes was complete ; the 
defenders of Acre capitulated, paid 200,000 pieces of 
gold in ransom for their lives, freed all Christian cap- 
tives, and restored the wood of the true cross. But the 
striking dissimilarity appears in the mode of following 
up the victory. Richard CoBur de Lion marched imme- 
diately, in the heat of a Syrian summer, along the coast, 
reducing Jaffa and Csesaria on the way, to Ascalon. He 
fought the Moslem army every day, and routed it so 
completely, that at length Saladin remained alone in the 
field with his personal guards. The action at Koughil, 


near Eupatoria, September 29, between French and 
Turkish and Russian cavalry — in which the latter were 
defeated with losses in men, horses, and guns ; and the 
reduction of Kilburn, 19th October, by the Allies' fleets, 
when the French iron-cased floating batteries made a 
successful debut, were a poor set-oflF for the inaction of 
150,000 matchless troops before Sevastopol in the balmy 
coolness of a Crimean autumn. 



Critical Position of Kars— The Turkish Asiatic Army — Zarif Miistapha 
Pasha app<jinted to the Command — liattle of Kurekderah — Report 
of the English Commissioner of the Efficiency of the Turkish 
Troops and their Artillery — Report of the English Medical 
Officer on the Hospitals at Kars — The British Commissioner's 
Despatches— His Estimate of the Turks — Inadequate Grounds 
for his unfavourahle Opinion — Zarif Mustapha Pasha and others 
recalled at the Instance of the Commissioner — Charge of want 
of Respect curiously disproved — The Porte unjustly reproached 
for not sending Supplies to Kars — Isolation of that City — The 
Decision to ahandon it as untenable overruled by the English 
Commissioner — His Aim — The Question considered — The Asiatic 
Army concentrated at Kars — General Maravief encamps on the Ai-jia 
Tchai — Advance of the Russians — Brilliant Sortie from Kalafat 
an Example for Kars — General Muraviefs Feint — He invests 
Kars — Successful Defences of Garrisons mainly due to Soi-ties — 
Instances cited — Russian Ravages — Protection of Kurdish Brigand 
Chiefs by the English Commissioner — Their Condemnation. 

The lamentations of Kars, faintly heard in the intervals 
of the bombardment of Sevastopol, had been scarcely 
heeded by the AUies ; although they may have appre- 
hended the surrender of it, with the army, chief defence 
of Asia Minor. Whatever doubts may have existed about 
the prudence of occupying Kars, there could be none 
about the policy of preventing its fall, viewing the 
seasoned troops and valuable ordnance inside, and the 
effect of its re-echo. The eyes of Central Asia were 
concentrated on Kars. Whatever doubts may have been 


entertained of Russia's intention to act energetically in 
Asia, had been removed by the appointment of Genera^ 
Muravief, distinguished under Paskievitch in the cam- 
paign of 1828-29, to the command of the Trans- 
caucasian army. 

The Turkish Asiatic army, with ill-luck from the 
commencement, had suffered more from its friends than 
its foes. Superior in the quality of its men, artillery, 
and small-arms, but ill commanded, it had gallantly 
fought in the first campaign three battles — the battles of 
Beyendir, Akiska, and Subahtan ; and had lost the two 
latter through their generals' 'deficient knowledge of the 
art of war, coupled with divided authority. Those battles, 
costing the Turks 12,000 men in killed, wounded, and 
prisoners, and many guns, were nevertheless all but 
drawn. Tlie Russians were unable to follow up their 
successes, and the Turks remained on the field. Various 
pashas, who had been proved incompetent, were then 
successively recalled, and Zarif Mustapha Pasha was 
appointed in March, 18f54, to the chief command, with 
other divisional generals. The army, demoralized by the 
joint operation of his predecessors' incapacity and alien 
rivalries, was then at its lowest ebb of destitution. Fifty 
men a day were then dying at Kars. He reorganized 
the staflF, reorganized the hospitals, and raising thus the 
tone of his army morally and physically, made it, in 
four months, again eager to be led under fire. The 
battle of Kurekdereh, fought early in August, within 
twenty miles of Kars, was lost by him, more, it is said, 
through the hesitation arising out of the rival plans of 
liis foreign military advisers, than by the tactics of his 
opponent Prince Bebutof. The Russians, sustaining a 


heavy loss in killed and wounded, did not advance 
beyond the field of battle. The Turks ralUed with sus- 
tained ardour, and within a few weeks were again in 
heart and spirits ; according to a despatch written by her 
Majesty's commissioner in Armenia to the Secretary of 
State for Foreign Aflfairs. That officer inspected 12,000 
of the infantry soon after his arrival at the theatre of 
war, and thus described them : — 

** Camp, near Kars, September 26, 1854. 
** In closely inspecting the troops as I rode through 
their ranks, I was struck with their healthy and soldier- 
like mien. I doubt if any army could produce better 
materials for working with in this country. Even from 
my horse I observed the brightness and good condition 
of their arms, and having expressed to the mushir my 
wish to inspect a certain number of privates taken pro- 
miscuously from each corps, his Excellency caused them 
to fall out as they passed him. I minutely inspected 
each man in succession. I found the greater proportion 
of the muskets and bayonets in good order. The greater 
proportion of them were flint firelocks, but three bat- 
talions of chasseurs were armed with the minie rifle, and 
seven battalions of infantry had detonating muskets.'* 
In the same despatch the commissioner thus speaks of 
the artillery :* — ** The guns and the carriages were in an 
efficient state ; and the horses, considering the season 

• The artillery consisted of six batteries of horse artillery, 5-pounders, 
excepting ono battery of 15 lb. howitzers ; seven batteries of foot artillery, 
viz., five of 9-pounders, one of 12-pounders, and one of 24 lb. howitzers ; 
cue mountain batter}' — total 84 guns. The horse artiDery had six horses 
and all the others eight horses per gun. Each heavy gun had 80 rounds, 
each light gun 120 rounds, of ammunition. In the magazines there were 
400 rounds per gun. — Oett. WiUiam:t' AV/>o/r. 


of the year and the diflSciilty of procuring forage, were 
in tolerably working condition ; although those animals 
had been cheated out of at least a third of their com by 
the malpractices of the commander-in-cliief and his 
generals of division. The harness will require consider- 
able repair during the winter ; but considering the con- 
stant exposure to sun and rain, it has been well cared for 
by its commanding oflScer, Tahir Pasha. . • . Everj-- 
body present in the late battle admits the efficiency of 
this arm, by which the enemy suffered most severely, and 
those guns which were taken by the Russians did not 
fall into their hands until they had inflicted severe 
chastisement on the attacking columns. . . . The 
small stores appear to be in very good order and ready 
for use. The ammunition is made up with great care 
and packed in boxes adapted for transport on mules or 

The English medical gentleman in his suite, in a report, 
dated 24th September, 1854, thus speaks of the hospitals 
at Kars : — ** The number of sick at present in the army 
at Kars amounts to between 500 and 600, which in an 
army of 28,000, suflfering from the effects of recent 
engagements and defeats, is not extraordinary. To 
these, however, must be added about 2,000 of the worst 
cases sent to the central hospitals of Erzeroom, a largo 
percentage of which died on the road. The hospitals 
are large buildings, such as khans, mosques, &c., fitted 
up and furnished for the reception of the sick. These 
places are, on the whole, and considering the resources 
of the country, not ill-adapted for their present service. 
The beds of the patients consist of a good straw mattress, 
and a quilt stuffed with cotton ; this quilt being enve- 


loped in a covering of calico, which could he taken oflF 
and washed when necessary. The patients are supplied 
with clean shirts, cahco drawers, nightcaps, and bed- 
gowns ; in short, the bedding and body linen of the 
patients, as far as I observed, and considering the cir- 
cumstances, are unexceptionable.'' 

The commissioner, in a despatch to the Foreign 
Office of the same date, speaks from his own observation 
of the hospital at Kars : — " The beds are comfortable, 
the rooms as clean as the nature of the buildings would 
admit of, the kitchen and offices in better order than I 
had been led to expect ; the patients were well cared for 
on all those points on which a military officer can be 
supposed to oflFer an opinion.'' He had previously in a 
despatch, dated Erzeroom, September 16, 1854, spoken 
of the military hospital in that town in the following 
terms : — ** I found the sick and wounded much better 
lodged and taken care of than I had any reason to anti- 
cipate, and all the arrangements which meet the eye of 
the visitor show a regard to cleanliness and comfort 
which is very commendable. These arrangements are 
principally to be attributed to the care and attention 
bestowed on them by Emin Bey, the chief medical 

A general able to show his troops, artillery, and 
hospitals in the condition described at the end of two 
unfortunate campaigns, within seven weeks of a reverse, 
deserved credit for administration, and — taking men as 
they were in that day — support. The cited condition of 
the hospitals of Kars and Erzeroom was far superior to 
that of the hospitals of the anny of the Danube. The 
afore-quoted reports seem irreconcileable with the charges 


of remissness and corruption, to the prejudice of the 
well-being of their men, brought against Zarif Mustapha 
Pasha and his seconds by her Majesty's commissioner. 
That distinguished officer was already known in the 
East, but less in a military than in a civil capacity. His 
estimate of the Turks, formed while employed on the 
dehmitation of the Turko-Persian frontier, was unfavour- 
able : — the inevitable consequence of his dependence 
on interpreters, drawn from classes prone from infancy 
to exaggerate in disfavour of the ruling class, and 
who, when conflicting opinions respecting them are 
deducible, invariably deduce the least flattering. He 
had seen the Turks with their rayas' eyes, he had 
heard about them from their rayas' lips, and had 
passed judgment accordingly. As well might an 
Algerine's sketch of the French, or a Hindoo's 
colouring of the English, be accepted as a genuine 

Thus impressed, the commissioner, face to face with 
proud susceptible men, unconsciously passed the faint 
line of demarkation between counsel and dictation. 
Strong in his integrity, he measured the authorities 
in Armenia by a higher than the national standard of 
morality : — an unphilosophical error, which made his 
remonstrances on certain points appear fanciful and 
irrelevant to the business in hand, — as fanciful as similar 
utterances in Marlborough's camp in the Low Countries 
would have sounded ; and he fancied, in the professional 
jealousy excited by his visitorial character, disrespect for 
his position : — singular hallucination, in days when the 
humblest individual in French or Enghsh uniform was 
caressed ! He, or those in his confidence, saw concerted 


fraud in every transaction ; and trifles light as air — as 
the superscription of a letter carelessly or disloyally 
translated — became matters of grave import. Indica- 
tions of latent power are ever watched for in the East, 
and when detected stimulate envy and defamation. As 
soon as it became known that the stranger in camp, 
himself above law, could convey praise or censure of any 
one directly to the British indirectly to the Turkish 
Government, his quarters became the focus of attraction 
for jealousies and ambitions. Undercurrents of intrigue 
set in, of a nature to aflfect the disciphne of a firmer 
body than a Turkish army. Concord between individuals, 
the one exacting the other impatient and both distrust- 
ful, became difficult. Both viewing one thing in diflferent 
lights, neither understood the other. One accustomed 
to the rule and routine of British troops, saw irregularity 
and disorder in the organization familiar to the other. 
The discrepance between the number of men and of 
rations — indicative of peculation to one brought up in a 
service where they are convertible terms — resulted from 
rations increasing in geometrical ratio with rank, and the 
customary distribution of bread rations to camp-followers 
and oth'ters having claims on the service ; and if some- 
what in excess of recognized practice, it need not, under 
the circumstances, have been closely scrutinized. Turkish 
generals during the late war had difficulties to contend 
with, such as officers drawing their pay regularly from 
the British Treasury and backed by the British authori- 
ties in Turkey, were ill able to form a correct notion of. 
They had their enemies at Constantinople ; their letters 
were not always answered ; their demands often seemed 
importunate. They had no ** correspondents" by their 


side to set them right with the pubhc when misrepre- 
sented. The fact of a body of oflficers without private 
means remaining long in arrears of pay was of itself a 
grave difficulty. 

On the demand of H.M.'s ambassador, based on the 
commissioner's representations, the Porte recalled suc- 
cessively the Mushir Zarif Mustapha Pasha, and the 
feriks, Shukri Pasha and Husseyin Pasha ; replacing 
the first ultimately by Wassif Pasha, who promised 
docility. The Porte thereby impaired its dignity in the 
eyes of the people, who were indignant at seeing men of 
rank condemned unheard on the ipse dixit of a foreigner. 
The evidence adduced in support of the charge against 
Shukri Pasha, while temporarily in command of the 
army, of want of respect for the commissioner, was dis- 
proved by a curious process ;* and the charges against 
others might, if submitted to test, have been equally dis- 
covered to rest more or less upon imperfect or malignant 
information. Arslan Pasha (General Bystrzonowsky) 

* The commissioner sent the superscription of a letter written to 
him by Shukri Pasha to the Foreign Office, in proof of his charge of 
that officer's intentional disrespect towards him. The Foreign Office 
sent the superscription to the embassy at Constantinople ** as an instance 
of the disrespect shown to Brigadier-General Williams by the Turkish 
military authorities," with instructions to demand Shukri Pasha's 
recall. The superscription being translated at the embassy and found 
becoming, was sent back to London with that information. The Foreign 
Office then placed the superscription in the hands of Mr. Hedhouse, its 
official interpreter. Mr. Redhouse summed up a critical report thus ; — 
*'From my own knowledge and experience, derived from many years* 
service in Turkey, I am bound to pronounce the original superscription 
to be, as far as it goes, a very polite and flattering specimen of the 
turgid mode in which letters are there constantly addressed, since many 
of the terms used in it are of a class more laudatory than strict 
etiquette demanded. . . . The terms actually employed are, under the 
system in use, as polite and deferential as language can make them." 


and Shahin Pasha (General Breansky) were also recalled. 
Kerim Pasha, afterwards much distinguished in action, 
was complained of, but escaped recall by timely depre- 
cation. The Porte was unable to comply with some of 
the commissioner's other demands. 

Turkish history afforded no precedent of an Asiatic 
army looking to the capital for everything, — for neces- 
saries, expected to be drawn, as in previous wars, from 
local sources. Asia Minor was not a desert; it was a fertile 
country with many cities. The Porte, when reproached 
for not sending supplies via Trebizond to Erzeroom — along 
180 miles of furrowed mule track, over two mountain 
ranges,* — then 100 miles further on to Kars, through 
defiles and over plains watched more or less by the 
enemy's cavalry, might have answered by citing the trouble 
of supplying the Aihes' armies before Sevastopol, Lord 
Stratford de Redcliffe subsequently, in a self exculpatory 
despatch, expressed the diflference between giving and 
following advice, by contrasting the facility of taking a 
horse to water and the diflficulty of making him drink : 
meaning that he had urged the Porte to forward supplies 
to Kars, but in vain. His Excellency had better have 
made a plain statement of the case and trusted in it to 
justify both himself and the Porte. Between November, 
1854, and May, 1855, the route from Trebizond to Erze- 
room was passable, as a rule, only by couriers and 
carriers with hght goods, and not always by them. 
Between May, 1855, and the ensuing December a 
Russian army lay interposed between Erzeroom and 

* The route between Trebizonde and Erzeroom traverses Hodja- 
Bounar-diujhf at an altitude of 7)800 feet above the level of the sea. 


Kars was ill selected for the station of the Asiatic 
army. Isolated on the extreme frontier of Turkey, 
900 miles from the capital, 300 miles from the nearest 
port, Trebizond, and 100 miles from the nearest support, 
Erzeroom, it was a place at once difi&cult to relieve and 
to retire from. The Kussian fortress of Ghumri, rela- 
tively impregnable, lay thirty miles from it in facile com- 
munication with Tiflis, the capital of the Transcaucasian 
provinces. Kars was a fitting base for offensive opera- 
tions. With that view the Porte had given orders, 
carried out under the directions of Kliourshid Pasha 
(General Guy on) , for ajtrengthening Kars with redoubts, 
and had sent there seventy siege-guns, with ample 
supplies of ammunition. But reverses in the field and 
other considerations indicated, the following year, to 
those on the spot the prudence of razing the works and 
removing the cannon — conveyed there with months of 
toil, and invaluable in a region 6,000 feet above the 
sea-level — to a securer place. If taken fortified, Kars 
would be an advanced post to Ghumri ; if taken dis- 
mantled, it would prove a barren acquisition. The 
council of the army, after mature deliberation recorded 
in a note, decided on abandoning Kars as untenable, but 
their decision was overruled by the commissioner, who, 
having shown himself in possession of influence to pro- 
cure the removal of pashas in disagreement with him, was 
deferred to. The council, aware of imperial embarrass- 
ments and topographical obstacles, placed no rehance on 
the arrival of reinforcements ; aware, also, of the tenden- 
cies of the Armenians and Kurds, it may have appreliended 
encouragement to them by the sequestration of the army. 
Europeans in the late war never sufficiently dwelt on 


the grave fact of the Porte having, whether in Europe or 
in Asia, an internal as well as an external enemy to 
occupy its thoughts ; and in regard of the former, its 
pecuUar position counselled discretion in speaking of it. 
The council saw in the abandonment of Kars safety for 
the army. The commissioner aimed at saving both the 
army and Kars, one by the other. An eminent writer on 
the art of war, discoursing on the tactics for an inferior 
army anxious to avoid a battle, says : ** Si vous vous 
enfermez dans une ville, votre perte est inevitable ; car 
en vous enfermant avec votre armee dans une ville vous 
ne pourrez manquer d'etre assiege, et dans peu force par 
la famine de vous rendre.'' We will not try the value of 
these divergent opinions by the result, but by the 
doctrine of probabilities. Were the probabilities in 
favour of the arrival in time of succour on the scale 
required ? An inspection of the map and consideration 
of the general military position would answer that in the 
negative. The overland route from Scutari followed by 
the warrior sultans in their Persian wars had ceased to 
be used even by tartars : the vast posting establishment 
along it had disappeared ; the menzil khans had fallen to 
ruin. Shorter routes from the sea coast scarcely 
admitted of the passage of artillery. The inhabitants 
of the surrounding districts, even if paid for their 
services, were not likely to incur risk by attempts to 
supply an army resigned to inaction. Every authority 
in Armenia had reason to know, when the occupation 
of Kars was decided on in expectation of reinforce- 
ments arriving before the exhaustion of its provi- 
sions, that the available Turkish troops were detained 
in the Crimea indefinitely; save those demanded for 


the Contingent whose co-operation the commissioner 
objected to.* 

The real question at issue was not whether succour 
might or might not arrive in time, but whether Kars 
was of sufi&cient importance to justify incurring the 
slightest risk of sacrificing an army for its sake. The 
advocates for its occupation might colourably argue tha<" 
their expectation of holding out would have been 
justified if the serdari ekrem had operated, in their 
opinion, energetically ; but this, at the best, was relying 
on a remote contingency ; while, on the other hand, it 
might be as reasonably argued that if the Russians had 
undertaken a siege rather than an investment Ears 
would probably have fallen before that general left 
Constantinople. The vital question, however, for con- 
sideration was this : Was there anything in Asia Minor 
better worth preserving than the best army in it ? Ears, 
without redoubts and guns, was an obscure country 
town, of no strategic value. The strategic value formerly 
belonging to it had been impaired by the territorial 
changes eflFected by the Peace of Adrianople. The 
capture of Beyazid by the Russians, July, 1854, had 

* From General Williams to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 


" Erzeroom, May 8, 1855. 
" With reference to the nature and composition of the troops to be 
sent to co-operate with the Kars army, I feel myself justified in warning 
her Majesty's Government of the danger which would threaten us were 
that force to consist solely of the Turkish Contingent about to be fonned 
under British officers. No sudden influence can be obtained over men by 
officers ignorant of their language, manners, and habits ; and however 
gallant and good those officers are, they would not, in my opinion, be so 
far seconded by the Turkish soldiers as to successfully cope with Russian 
discipline and combination in the open field." 



circumscribed it still further. Ears derived importance 
in the late war, not from its position, but from its 
becoming an entrenched camp with the bulk of the 
Asiatic army inside. Wherever that army might have 
been stationed, the Russians would not have left it far 
in their rear. They wanted it, not Kars. There is a 
mountainous ridge, Sowanly Dagh, between Kars and 
Erzeroom, twelve hours from the former place. By 
occupying its passes, strengthened by redoubts, with 
a few troops, the Asiatic army, in communication then 
with the sea and the interior, would have equally held 
the Eussians in check. The desire to send it supplies 
/.nd reinforcements in detail as the means presented 
themselves would not have been controlled by appre- 
hension of their falhng into the enemy's hands. At the 
worst, the alternative of retreat from position to position 
was open to them. Long marches would not have been 
needed. No Kussian general, with the possible move- 
ments of the Allies and the Caucasians on his mind, 
would have gone far from his base of operations ; still 
less have disseminated his forces by the occupation of 
open towns, with a Turkish army in the field. 

By the end of May, 1855, the Asiatic army, less 
10,000 men at Erzeroom, Kiupri-Keuy and Hassan 
Kaleh, was concentrated in Kars. About 15,000 infantry, 
well armed, 2,530 cavalry, and fourteen batteries fairly 
horsed, composed it. The inhabitants of Kars, used to 
arms, like all Turks in frontier districts, furnished, in 
addition, 3,000 fighting men. The passes of Sowanly 
Dagh were unoccupied, the depots of provisions on the 
way were unguarded, the communications with Erzeroom 
were unassured. Therefore, from that hour, the army, 


dependent bn its own resources, was bound to watch for 
and profit by opportunities given by the enemy's careless- 
ness or presumption. 

General Muravief left Ghumri about June 1, and 
encamped on the Arpa Tchai (barley river) to complete 
his organization. Whereupon the military council in 
Kars proposed, in accordance with the rule of war based 
on expediency and humanity, sending away non-com- 
batants to neighbouring villages, or to Erzeroom. Not 
deluding themselves with hopes of succour, they wished to 
economize their provisions. Their proposition was 
overruled. When it was subsequently entertained in 
October, the inhabitants declined to expose their wives 
• and children to the nearly certain risk then of perishing 
of cold on the way or falling into Cossacks' hands. 
General Muravief thought he saw his foe in a trap. 
Promising his army possession of Kars without loss, he 
marched from the Arpa Tchai with about 20,000 infantry, 
4,000 cavalry, and ten batteries, and appeared in sight 
of Kars on the feast of Bairam, 1271, corresponding to 
June 16, 1855. His cavalry drove in the Turkish out- 
posts and advancing within range of the artillery of the 
place sustained a trifling loss. Two days later he 
encamped four miles south of Kars. From that position 
he sent, June 29, one-third of his force towards the 
Sowanly Dagh ; thus rendering his plans doubtful. The 
detachment found at Yeni-Keuy, a place fifty miles from 
Kars, six weeks' supply of biscuit, wheat, and barley for 
the army. It destroyed part, brought away part, and 
having sounded the neighbouring country, rejoined the 
main body : which had been left unmolested during its 



The example of the garrison of Kalafat under some- 
what similar circumstances should have inspired the 
garrison of Kars with confidence to make a sortie ; which 
might have reversed the position of the opposing armies 
in Armenia. General Muravief, despising the enemy, 
had exposed his army to be attacked in detail. The 
sortie from Kalafat, the most brilliant affair of the war, 
has been little spoken of, through the absence of Euro- 
peans. Brief mention of it, therefore, may not seem 
out of place here. The Russians in the winter of 1853-54 
concentrated considerable forces including three regiments 
of cavalry at Zetate, for an attack on the entrenched camp 
of Kalafat. The feriks, Ahmed Pasha and Ismael Pasha, 
entrusted with the defence, resolved to anticipate their ' 
movement. Accordingly, at 10 p.m., January 18, 1854 (the 
Oriental Epiphany), they marched from Kalafat with 
15,000 infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and three bat- 
teries, expecting to surprise the enemy; but their intention 
having transpired, they found him ready to give battle. 
They attacked the enemy at dawn, routed him after a 
struggle of five hours, and returned to Kalafat with their 
wounded by 7 p.m. The defeated Russians retired to 
Crajova, and Kalafat was never again menaced. The 
combination of a twelve hours' march out and home, and 
five hours' combat, with twenty hours' continuous expo- 
sure in the valley of the Danube in the month of 
January, renders this sortie a remarkable event. 

Towards the end of July, General Muravief again, as 
it were, laid a bait to allure the garrison out. Leaving 
fifteen battalions of infantry, one regiment of dragoons, 
and two regiments of Cossacks, at Komansoor, near 
Kars, he marched out of sight with the remainder of his 


force in the direction of Erzeroom. Driving in the 
slender garrisons of Kiupri-Keuy and Hassan Kaleh, 
which rallied at the entrenched pass of Deveboyounou, 
his vanguard halted at Hassan Ealeh, eighteen miles 
from Erzeroom ; alarming that city enough to make the 
consuls in it pack up, ready for a start to Trebizond. 
General Muravief, intending no more than a reconnais- 
sance in force, to ascertain the strength of the enemy in 
that quarter, went no further. He carried away 100 
araba-loads of grain from the pubUc store at Kiupri-Keuy, 
left detachments in the passes of Sowanly Dagh, and 
rejoined his division before Kars in the middle of August. 
Tranquil then about his rear, with his communications 
assured, he sat down in two camps; investing Kars by 
detachments of cavalry and Cossacks. Tartars with 
despatches easily escaped their vigilance. The Russian 
army now consisted of twenty-eight battahons of infantry, 
5,000 cavalry, and twelve batteries. General Muravief 
had probably received incorrect information about the 
amount of provisions in Kars, or had measured an 
Oriental by the scale of a Russian appetite. Otherwise 
it is presumable he would have opened trenches before 
that place. 

The undisturbed investment of an entrenched army 
during months, by an army in the field numerically 
about one-half superior, and inferior when disjoined 
as spoken of, is probably unexampled. Inferiority in 
cavalry, in part compensated for by three battalions of 
expert minie-aimed ridemen, seems an inadequate 
explanation. Of the two modes of reducing a town — ^by 
force of arms or by dint of hunger — General Muravief 
chose the latter, and having a choice he was liable to 


err ; but there being only one recognized mode of 
opposition, the garrison had no motive for hesitation. 

All writers on the art of defence recommend sorties. 
Sorties harass the enemy ; they oblige him to keep large 
bodies of men under arms ; they cause him the loss of 
good ofi&cers, always on such occasions exceptionally 
exposed ; they sustain the spirits of the garrison, and 
animate their partisans outside. All favourable defences 
have been mainly due to sorties. Londonderry, Limerick, 
Gibraltar, and Jellalabad, are familiar examples to the 
English. The two first had, like Kars, been extempo- 
raneously fortified, and were garrisoned by troops com- 
paratively inferior in numbers and organization : both 
made sorties and saved themselves. The garrison of the 
last, after an investment of five months, like that of 
Kars, sallied out and routed the Afghan army under 
Mehemet Akbar Khan. The sortie from Gibraltar against 
the Due de Crillon's lines is ever memorable. The gar- 
rison of Candia, — ^Venetians and French — often renewed, 
resisted the Ottomans many years : withstanding 
sixty -nine assaults, they made eighty-three sorties, and 
finally capitulated on honourable terms. Sevastopol 
prolonged her defence till it became famous by sorties ; 
and the date of the day of the decision, in February, 
1855, to rest the defence mainly upon systematic sorties, 
is annually celebrated by the surviving engineers. 

The object, as stated, of holding Kars to cover Asia 
Minor by retaining the enemy in one position, was frus- 
trated at the outset by the passive attitude of the garri- 
son. For, as we have seen, half the Russian army held 
Kars in check, while the other half traversed the country 
between it and Erzeroom, and was free to march in any 


other direction. The shame of abandoning the in- 
habitants and crops of the plains between Kars and 
Erzeroom to the enemy had been prominently put 
forward as a motive for occupying the former town. 
Nothing was ever more completely abandoned. The 
letters of the EngUsh consul at Erzeroom to the Secre- 
tary of State for Foreign Affairs, in August, 1855, show 
that the Kussians had ravaged the country to that extent 
that ** it would be difficult to estimate the immense 
loss of property which had been already incurred." He 
described all the villages as abandoned, and the cattle 
left at the mercy of the Kurds, who drove them oflF and then 
burnt the houses. The protection accorded to two Kurdish 
chieftains, Isdinshir Bey and Manzour Bey, formed not 
the least curious incident of the episode of Kars. 
Those noted brigands, long the terror of the country, 
were tracked by troops sent from Bagdad in the autumn 
of 1854, and their escape was cut oflF. In this strait a 
messenger reached the former from the commissioner, who 
had been led to beheve him an oppressed man, with 
an invitation to surrender on the faith of his word for 
his personal safety. The Porte confirmed the guarantee, 
on condition of liis being brought to Constantinople for 
trial. Tried before the Grand Council, Isdinshir Bey 
was proved guilty of the death of sixty individuals slain 
by himself. The council in its mashata (decree), signed 
unanimously, declared that in accordance with the laws 
of God and man he ought also to suffer death. The 
Grand Vizir professed himself unable to accept this 
decision, out of consideration for the British Government 
to whom the criminal's life had been promised, and 
advised reconsideration of it. The criminal was then, 


together with his lieutenant, Manzour Bey, sentenced to 
imprisonment in a fortress for Ufe.* 

* Early in 1858, Isdinshir Bey and Manzonr Bey escaped from 
Widdin. and Ronght for refage in Austrian territory. Failing iu that, 
they joined the Bashi-bazoaks in the Herzgovine ; deserted from them ; 
went next to Bosnasaraj, were there recognized, and reimprisoned. 

( 425 ) 


Council of War in the Crimea — Omar's Pasha's Proposals overruled — 
He returns to Constantinople — His Censures of the Porte and the 
Allies — He undertakes the Relief of Kars — Naval and Military 
Resources placed at his Disposal — Honours and an Estate be- 
stowed on him — Darkened Prospects of Kars — Proposal to retire 
on Erzeroom negatived — ^Letter from Omar Pasha — Kars to be 
saved by attacking Tiflis — Omar Pasha embarks for Trebizond — 
General Muravief resolves to storm Kars — Vigilance of General 
Kmety — Gallant resistance of the Garrison — Defeat of the 
Russians — The English Commissioner thanks General Kmety — 
Who, however, is passed over without Mention — Exultation at 
Constantinople — General Muravief re-establishes the Investment 
of Kars — His Position — Omar Pasha at Soukhoum Kaleh — His 
Plan for relieving Kars — His unaccountable Delay — Selim Pasha 
sent to reinforce Erzeroom — Its Garrison — Selim Pasha's Des- 
patches — Weak State of the Garrison of Kars — It surrenders to 
General Muravief — His Consideration for the vanquished — Effect 
of the Fall of Kars — Omar Pasha roused to Action — He defeats 
the Enemy at Rouki — His Caution — Abundant Supplies sent to 
him — Efficiency of his Troops — His leisurely March — ^Appropria- 
tion of Spoils — Deluge of Rain — Omar Pasha retreats to Redout 
Kaleh — Disappointment at Constantinople — Russia accepts the 
Ultimatum of the Allies. 

CoiNciDENTLY with the investment of Kars, a council 
was held in the Crimea, composed of the Allies' military 
and naval commanders. In that council Omar Pasha 
requested the allied generals to sanction the departure 
of a portion of the Turkish troops, then in the Crimea, 
to reinforce the army of Asia Minor. His arguments 


were overruled by the supposed necessity of retaining 
every man in the Crimea until the fall of Sevastopol. 
Omar Pasha, tired of acting a subordinate part, then 
quitted the Crimea and arrived, unheralded, at Con- 
stantinople, 17th July, 1855. Going, in disregard of 
etiquette, from his ship to the imperial palace, he 
accused the Porte to the Sultan of negligence and inca- 
pacity in regard of military matters. He also censured 
the allied generals ; saying they were intent on ruining 
Turkey, by keeping her best troops in the Crimea to no 
purpose ; and he averred their inability to reduce Sevas- 
topol. This irregular proceeding hushed intrigue, and 
increased his temporary popularity. 

The people looked to him to save Kars ; and 
he undertook the mission. All the resources of tha 
capital were placed at his disposal. He named his 
officers and selected his troops. Fourteen steam and 
fifty sail transports were taken up in the course of the 
autumn to ensure his supplies. His plan of campaign 
was approved of by the military advisers of the Allies' 
ambassadors. Time was the most precious material ; 
nevertheless he tarried more than six weeks at Constan- 
tinople, enjoying a long ovation. He was invested with 
the Order of the Bath by the British ambassador, in the 
presence of the Sultan's ministers, with extraordinary 
ceremonial ; a guard of honour of 100 English and 500 
Turkish soldiers received him in the garden of the 
embassy, and the English guard-ship in the Bosphorus 
fired a royal salute. The Sultan gave him an estate, 
part of the succession of Khosref Pasha, — that remark- 
able individual, who, originally a slave of Selim III.r, 
had traversed with increasing wealth and honours the 


most troubled period of Turkish history, and died in 1854 
at the age of 97. The Turkish minister for foreign affairs 
and the English and French ambassadors spread ban- 
quets in his honour. Finally, the ministers of war and 
of marine were replaced by two of his friends. Secure 
then of support, ministerial and diplomatic, he, towards 
the end of August, wrote to Wassif Pasha at Kars to 
hold out twenty days longer, with the certainty of relief. 
The tenacious pasha held out four times as long. 

About the date of that letter the prospects of the 
garrison of Kars became darkened by diminution of 
forage. Without horses, Kars would become, nolens 
volensj a prison. Whereupon it has been stated the 
military council proposed, while yet a fortnight's supply 
remained, the garrison being still efficient, in good health 
and spirits,* to dismantle the works, leave invalids 
with surgeons to the clemency of the enemy, and retire, 
fighting their way if necessary, on Erzeroom by a cir- 
cuitous route, partly through a hilly district difficult for 
cavalry to act in. But the commander-in-chief, it is said, 
declined the responsibihty of abandoning Kars ; and the 
arrival of Omar Pasha's letter enabled him to reprove 
the council complacently for having manifested distrust 
ifi the ability of the imperial government to succour 
them. Soon after the arrival of that letter, forage being 
nearly exhausted, most of the horses were turned out 
of the place ; and thenceforward the garrison saw no 
prospect of escape save in winter or in Omar Pasha's 

* ** The health and spirits of onr troops are most satisfactory. 
On the part of the enemy, on the contrary, I heliere much sickness to 
exist." — Gen. Williains to the Secretary of State for Foreig^n Affairsy 
Sept. 14, 1855. 


movements compelling the enemy's retreat before the 
failure of their provisions. 

On the question being discussed of the mode of 
succouring Kars, some proposed for the reUeving army 
to proceed direct to Erzeroom via Trebizond. The 
enemy would then be placed between two fires. But 
the seraskir and Omar Pasha said, ** From Trebizond to 
Erzeroom the movement would be of long duration, and 
difficult, from the distance and the mountainous nature 
of the country ; which is only traversed by mule roads, 
rendering the passage of artillery a work of great labour 
and of slow process." They decided in preference on 
the invasion of Georgia, in expectation of inducing 
thereby General Muravief to retreat, to cover that im- 
portant province. This plan found favour with the Porte 
and the diplomatic circle. It especially pleased the Turks. 
Turks love the figurative. Omar Pasha, they said, will 
strike the serpent's head at its tail : Tiflis is the tail, 
and when he touches it the head before Kars will recoiL 

With this avowed object, Omar Pasha embarked at 
Constantinople in a Turkish war steamer, September 1, 
1855. Desirous of conferring with the allied generals, 
he proceeded, after a detour, to Eamiesh, and arrived 
there in time to co-operate, if he had pleased, in the 
fall of Sevastopol. He declined the honour. For- 
bidding the Turkish troops before Sevastopol to take part 
in the assault designed for the following day (the failure 
of which he predicted in a letter to Constantinople), he 
re-embarked on the 7th September, and • steamed for 
Trebizond. Thence, after making hospital arrange- 
ments, he steamed on the 21st to Batoom and Redout 
Kaleh, to meet the division of his army coming from 


Roumelia. The other division, completed with picked 
men from the regiments at Eupatoria, having been 
detained three weeks in the Crimea after the fall of the 
Malakof, reached their destination later. 

General Muravief, on hearing of Omar Pasha's 
arrival on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, and soon 
afterwards of the fall of Sevastopol, which would leave 
the Allies free to send part of their troops to Asia 
Minor, knowing how much there was for an enterprising 
general to accomplish, felt his confidence shaken in his 
position before Kars and alarmed about the exposure of 
Georgia to invasion. Foregoing, therefore, his intention 
to win Kars by patience, yet loth to relinquish a prize on 
which depended Russia's prestige in Central Asia, he 
resolved as a desperate resource to try and carry the 
place by storm, then fall back on the menaced line. 
Accordingly, late in the evening of September 28, he 
summoned his divisional generals to his tent, and 
informed them of his resolve. Soon after midnight 
his troops left their camp and marched on Kars in three 
columns, the main object of their attack being the 
Tachmasp heights, the outwork and bulwark of Kars. 
Those heights were trenched and counter-trenched : reso- 
lute troops occupied them ; the artillerymen were skilful ; 
and Ismael Pasha (General Kmety) in command of 
them had seen much and varied service. 

General Kmety's practised ear detected the distant 
measured tread of advancing troops. He sent word 
thereof to the town, and made due preparations to 
receive the enemy. His vigilance had saved the heights 
from a surprise. Disclosed by the moonlight, and 
exposed to a fire of shot and grape during the extent of 


the range of the Turkish guns, the Russians came on 
with cheers, rushed up the ascent, penetrated the outer 
line of defence, and were then checked by well -posted 
riflemen in interior redoubts. Exposed to a cross-fire of 
grape and musketry, they fell like game in a battue. 
Foiled in their principal assault, their subsidiary attack 
on the Ingliz iahias, chiefly manned by Karslees and 
Lazistan irregulars, was momentarily successful. They 
carried them ; but were driven out again at the point of 
the bayonet by reinforcements, gallantly led by Captam 
Thompson, sent by the commander-in-chief from the 
camp. The battle remained long undecided ; the daring 
of the assailants taxing severely the resolution of the 
defenders. Officers and men on both sides, animated by 
their respective leader's example, vied with each other in 
courage and devotion ; and among the brave on the side 
of the defence, Kerim Pasha, Hussein Bey, and Lieu- 
tenant Teasdale, were observed. After a desperate 
struggle of seven hours, the Eussians, bewildered, their 
leaders killed, fled in disorder, leaving 6,000 slain and 
some hundreds of wounded on the field of battle. The 
Turkish loss was insignificant by comparison ; 362 killed 
and 631 wounded. The remnant of the assaultinsr 
columns ralhed under cover of their cavalry, mournful 
spectators of the fray. 

General Muravief s feelings at that moment may be 
easier imagined than depicted. All the possible conse- 
quences of his rash impulsive act must have rushed like 
arrows through his brain. There he stood with a 
shattered army, the fortress he was bent on taking 
intact before him, its defenders refreshed by victory, and 
the eUte of the Turkish armies gathering in his rear. 


After a pause, the Russians retired to their original 
position at TchiviUi ; except a body of 3,000 men which 
halted at AinaU, one hour and a half distance from Ears, 
and four hours' distance from the main encampment. 
The garrison, by making a sortie the ensuing night 
against the detached force at Ainali would, in the opinion 
of a competent witness, have achieved further important 
success. ** The least result of its dispersal,-" quoting 
the words of General Kmety, ** would have been the 
impossibility of the enemy continuing the investment — 
shutting the garrison within a circumference of ten 
hours' march." 

The omission of mention of Ismael Pasha (General 
Kmety) in the despatches addressed respectively to the 
British and Turkish Governments, announcing the battle 
of the 29th September, 1855, is noticeable. This omis- 
sion was not the result of ignorance of that oflBcer's 
services. After the retreat of the Russians her Majesty's 
commissioner repaired to the field of battle, and thus, it 
is said, addressed him : — '* General Kmety, I thank you 
in the name of the Queen of England for your gallantry 
and exertions on this day." Corresponding mention of 
him in his despatch,* written the same evening, would 
have seemed becoming. 

* General Williams, on the 29th of September, wrote a despatch to the 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs about the battle of Kars, in which 
no mention of or allusion to General Kmety is made. On the 80th of 
September be wrote a second despatch, with equal reserve in regard of 
General Kmety. Those two despatches, which left Kars on September 80, 
formed European public opinion on the subject. No one could deduce 
from them the existence even of General Kmety, the chief actor in tho 
battle. On October 8rd General Williams wrote a third despatch, 
containing a detailed account of the battle, in which General Kmety'a 
name appeals with the names of others, but not prominently. 


The news of the battle reached Constantinople a 
fortnight later, and excited rapturous exultation among 
all classes. Viewing the number of the enemy interred by 
the garrison, the Kussian army was considered as good as 
annihilated, and Kars relieved by its own eflForts. Honours 
and rewards liberally showered on the principal persons 
excepting General Kmety,* who, not having been 
mentioned in despatches, was not officially meritorious, 
showed the Porte's sense of the importance of the event, 
seemingly calculated to make a salutary impression on 
the Kurds and Armenians. The people, usually chary, 
were profuse of praise. They viewed the battle as their 
own, and they were justly proud of it. Depressed as 
they had been by the previous successes of the Rassians 
in Asia, cradle of their power, they were now equally 
elated by the converse. Expecting the garrisons of Kars 
and Erzeroom to assume the oflfensive, and Omar Pasha 
to advance triumphantly, the Porte and people reckoned 
on a Turkish army wintering at Tiflis ; and any one who 
ventured to hint a doubt thereon had no chance of beinsr 
listened to for ten days. 

The evening of the battle. General Muravief called 
in his circumlying cavalry outposts. Kars remained, in 
consequence, open during thirty-six hours, joyfully anti- 
cipating the retreat of the enemy altogether ; of .which 
he gave signs by sending away materiel and heavy 
baggage to Ghumri next day. But on receiving intel- 

* General Kmety received promotion to the rank of ferik on his return 
to Constantinople, four months later. General Kmety, with his health 
enfeebled by his exertions in the war, passed the last two years of his 
life in England, and died in London in the month of April, 1865. His 
remains were interred in the Kensal Green Cemetery and a monument 
erected over them at the expense of the Turkish Government. 


ligence of vacillation in Omar Pasha's movements, of 
indications of Soukhoum Kaleli becoming his base of 
operations, General Muravief re-established the invest- 
ment ; and maintained it, with diminished forces, regard- 
less of Erzeroom in his rear and of the enemy on the 
Mingrehan shore. 

Seldom, if ever, has a general been placed in a more 
arduous position, and one involving graver responsibility. 
It called for the highest faculty of generalship, — the 
faculty of estimating the military eflfects of time and dis- 
tance, and of reading an opponent's plan of a campaign. 
Menacing at Redout Kaleh, Omar Pasha's presence at 
Soukhoum Kaleh would be comparatively innocuous. 
From Redout Kaleh his march to Kutais must have been 
viewed by Muravief as an affair of a few days ; and even 
if, satisfied with an admirable base for a campaign in the 
ensuing spring, he had halted there, the apprehension 
of his advancing on the high-road to Tiflis would have 
sufficed to relieve Kars. Tranquillized on that account, 
Muravief prepared to hut his army. 

The news of the battle of Kars found Omar Pasha, 
not according to his programme, at Kutais, but far away 
at Soukhoum Kaleh, disporting himself more hke a young 
sultan after victory than a veteran at the commencement 
of a campaign. His motive for going there, what- 
ever it was, involved self-contradiction. His avowed 
object before leaving Constantinople had been to relieve 
Kars strategically by the invasion of Georgia. He had 
stated the impossibility of reheving it in any other way, 
because *^ seeing that the roads are extremely bad, 
his army, with its artillery and munitions complete, 
would hardly reach Erzeroom (from Trebizond) in 



three or four months." On the other hand, ** the road 
which leads straight from Eedout Ealeh to Kutais is 
perfectly level and easy. The goodness of the road is 
favourable to the transport of artillery and munitions, 
and the march of a large army by this road will be rapid 
and free from diflBculty/' Such were the arguments 
brought forward to induce general concurrence with his 
plan for relieving Kars by threatening Tiflis, ** This ^the 
Turkish) army will be in the rear of the Russian army, and 
will march straight on Tiflis, which is the very soul of the 
Russians in the Caucasus ; as soon as it has advanced a 
little, the Russians will evidently be obliged to abandon 
Kars and fly to the defence of Tiflis and Suram.*' 

The first stage to Tiflis was Kutais (Colchis), twenty 
leagues distant from Redout Kaleh, with water communi- 
cation nearly parallel the greater part of the way. The 
stream up which the Argo had rowed 3,000 year before, 
flowed sufficiently deep for the light steamers and boats 
of the flotilla on the coast. Redout Kaleh was the 
precise spot for commencing the campaign at. Troops 
had been stationed there and in the neighbourhood during 
eighteen months, in anticipation of Transcaucasian 
operations. The bare fact of Omar Pasha's presence 
there urged General Muravief to an act of desperation, 
which cost him half his infantry and rescued the garrison 
of Kars from the ignoble fate of being starved out without 
a redeeming feat of arms to excite public sympathy on 
their behalf. 

Omar Pasha's delay at Soukhoum Kaleh was 
variously commented upon at Constantinople. His par- 
tisans fancied some deep design in it. His rivals hinted 
at treason. The public, still exulting for the battle of 


Kars, gave little heed to it : ignorant moreover of locali- 
ties, they were unable to estimate the gravity of the error. 
No pasha, probably, since the Vizir seduced by Catherine's 
jewels and promises on the Pruth, had unwittingly done 
Russia a greater service than Omar Pasha rendered her 
by deviating more that a hundred miles from the pro- 
jected scene of operations, in a country where distance 
is measured by natural impediments, at a conjuncture 
when every hour was precious. 

The Porte — finding Omar Pasha tranquil by the sea- 
side, as though under the influence of a charm, and 
General Muravief abiding before Kars as though he 
had won, not lost, a battle — sent Selim Pasha with a 
battalion of the guards to reinforce the garrison of 
Erzeroom, for its defence ; not, as has been pretended, to 
try and throw supplies into Kars. Had Selim Pasha 
attempted its reUef', as certain enthusiastic parties 
expected of him, he would have lost both his troops and 
Erzeroom. This statement is due to a traduced ofl5cer. 
The problem was to send provisions for 30,000 mouths 
eight or ten day's march over devastated plains. Two 
thousand horses or mules would barely have carried a 
week's consumption. Where were those animals with 
drivers to be found ? If found, how were they to feed 
and be sheltered at night on the road ? Who was 
to escort them ? The enemy must first have been 
driven from his intermediate positions and then de- 
feated before Kars. The Turkish minister for foreign 
aflFairs, in a despatch to the British ambassador, had 
stated that, in the opinion of the Porte and of Omar 
Pasha, ** to save Kars a force is required at least equal 
to the besieging army." 



The garrison of Erzeroom, in November, 1855, con- 
sisted of about 1,000 cavalry, little better than Bashi- 
bazouks, four or five batteries indififerently horsed, and 
about 8,000 infantry. With this slender force, Selim 
Pasha has been censured officially and officiously by 
military men and civilians then at Erzeroom, for having 
declined to march to the relief of Kars in its agony, in the 
face of an enemy whom the garrison with undiminished 
health and strength had declined to encounter in the 
field. Had Selim Pasha, yielding to their importunities, 
undertaken such a quixotic expedition, Russia would 
have come to the conference of Paris with Erzeroom, as 
well as Ears, in her hands ; with every gun and every 
regiment of the Asiatic army in her possession, and with 
the passes to the coast between Trebizond and Sampsoon 
in her occupation. 

Selim Pasha has also been bitterly censured in a 
work called The Siege of Kars, for having by his ** men- 
dacious despatches " encouraged the garrison of Kars 
*' to hold out to the utmost limits of human endurance ; '* 
but for which '* they would, acting on a favourite idea of 
General WilUams, have cut their way through the enemy 
. while their strength allowed them to march.*' What- 
ever may have been the tenor of Selim Pasha's despatches, 
they ought not to have been deceptive. The pashas in 
Kars had means of knowing — did presumedly know 
(one of them being in direct communication with the 
English consul and staff officers at Erzeroom,) to a man 
and horse the force in that city ; they knew the nature of 
the country, and were as well able as SeKm Pasha to 
read Omar Pasha's strategy. It might have been 
judicious, while a few days' provisions remained, to have 


disabled the artillery in Kars, and have retired under 
cover of darkness in a direction away from the hostile 
camp ; but it is presuming too much on credulity to 
expect any one to credit an emaciated army of infantry 
and dismounted cavalry — even if confident of being as 
well led as the Ten Thousand on their retreat over the 
same ground — with the idea of cutting their way through 
an enemy who had tranquilly invested them in their best 
days, undeterred from continuing the investment by one 
of the bloodiest repulses on record. 

When succour was no longer calculated on, and when 
no military object was obtainable, the policy became 
questionable of prolonging a passive resistance, at the 
cost of women and children dying hourly of hunger, 
and daily executions of poor wretches, miscalled deser- 
ters, for endeavours to escape from starvation ; until the 
garrison being on the verge of inanition, no choice 
remained but surrender nearly at discretion, with the 
works and materiel intact, — with seventy position guns, 
eighty-four field-pieces, and 24,000 stand of arms, 
including several thousand minie rifles which were 
turned afterwards in Russian hands against the Circas- 
sians ; thus giving General Muravief a solid triumph, a 
triumph enhanced by his previous failure, and adorned 
by his consideration for the vanquished. His first act 
was sending provisions to the starving population of 
Kars: not an hour too soon. In nearly every house 
his commissaries found corpses; in one as many as 
eight. The position guns dragged to Ghumri, the field 
batteries driven to Tiflis, there parked in the square, 
and several thousand prisoners marched by detachments 
at intervals to Odessa, announced victory in more 


stirring terms than a gazette to the Caucasus and New 

On the news of the fall of Kars transpiring in Persia, 
the Shah sent troops and munitions of war to the frontier 
of Bagdad. 

Omar Pasha at length roused himself. Re-embarking 
with part of his infantry at Soukhoum Kaleh, he relanded 
at Tchamshirah, forty miles to the southwards ; the 
remainder of the army proceeding there hy land. He had 
lost a month. From Tchamshirah he marched coastwise 
to the Entischai, crossed that river, and then advanced 
inland with thirty- two battalions of infantry, four battahons 
of riJBes, 1,200 cavalry, and forty guns; leaving 10,000 
men to guard his depots of provisions at various places. 
On the 4th November, 1855, he reached the Ingour at 
the ford of Bouki, five leagues from its mouth. He there 
first saw the enemy— nine battalions of infantry — ^posted 
on the left bank of the river, with field-guns in position. 
At noon of the 5th, fire opened on them from counter 
batteries established in the night, and with their attention 
thus occupied, troops, detached upwards and downwards, 
crossed the river at two other fords. Attacked on both 
flanks, the enemy gave way after a stout resistance, and 
retreated into the forest, lea^dng three guns and near 
400 men on the field of battle. The Turkish loss was 
numerically trifling, but it included a promising young 
officer. Captain Dymoke, serving as aide-de-camp to 
Colonel Simmons, B.E. ; who, with Colonel Ballard, an 
Indian officer in command of a rifle regiment, bore a 
prominent part in the action. 

Now came into high rehef Omar Pasha's characteristic 
quality — caution. He had still time, the serene aatunmal 


weather of those regions heing unusually prolonged in 
1855, to make up in part for delay. The prisoners 
reported the Russians nowhere in force, the Mingrelians, 
though unfriendly, passive, and the country unorganized 
for defence by the process of devastation. He had only 
to advance. He could not have indirectly relieved Kars : 
the time for that had gone by; but he might have 
reached Kutais, the occupation of which would have 
enabled the Porte to style itself in possession of Imeritia, 
Mingrelia, and Gouriel (a fair set-ofif for the pashalik of 
Kars), and have given his troops comfortable winter 
quarters in the barracks and khans of that town, ready 
for further operations in spring. The zeal of his friends, 
the Seraskir and the Capitan Pasha, had sent him four 
months' provisions, winter clothing, 100,000/. in gold, 
and two light steamers for the navigation of the Phasis. 
The English Government had provided him a hospital 
staff in its pay. Too often in the East administration 
sacrifices a general: this time the general failed the 
administration. Twenty leagues separated Rouki on the 
Ingour from the corresponding ford of the Tchanniskal, 
and Kutais lay seven leagues farther ; in all, a week's 
easy march for his troops. 

Omar Pasha had under his command troops willing 
to march for a week on a few biscuits a day, seasoned 
with olives, and aided by gatherings on the road— troops 
able to dig entrenchments, cook their food, wash their 
linen, make shoes, and saddle-girths from hides, take 
care of their horses, and construct huts with branches 
and boughs of trees. Overlooking their essential quahties, 
he encumbered them with baggage, and made his advance 


conditional on the formation of depots of provisions. 
Leaving the Ingour on the 7th November, he marched a 
few miles to Sugdidi, the capital of Mingrelia, already 
abandoned by its inhabitants and the Russians. He 
reposed there several days. He admired the Princess 
Dadian*s palace ; and, partially relaxing his order to 
respect property, transferred from it to his own and 
friends' konaks, costly furniture, rare exotics, and 
carriages. The captains of the Turkish steamers which 
carried these trophies to Constantinople said, ** Aib dir " 
(It is a shame). His next stage was Tachlis, on the Sieva. 
In that pleasant spot he halted several days to allow time 
to accumulate provisions ; and continuing his march 
thence at an episcopal pace, his advanced guard reached, 
on the 21st of November, the Tchanniskal, a tributary of 
the Phasis, the boundary between Miugreha and Imeritia, 
at a point six leagues from Kutais. As far as the 
confluence of those rivers, perhaps some way up the 
former, provisions and stores might have been conveyed 
to meet him. 

Simultaneously with his arrival on the Tchanniskal, 
the apprehended rain began to fall, to fall diluvially, as 
customary in those regions at that season. The stream 
lazily flowing knee-deep in the morning, became a heady 
torrent by night ; and in a few days the plain over which 
his guns might have trotted lightly was converted into a 
swamp. In this strait, with an uufordable river in front and 
a spreading morass in the rear, he received .the intelligence 
of the fall of Ears. Deeming then all motive for per- 
severance over, and fearing to compromise the subsistence 
of his army by longer delay, he retreated, and led it in 


four days to Hopi, on a small navigable stream, fifteen 
miles north-east of Redout Kaleh. He encamped the 
bulk of his forces there, fixing his own head-quarters at 
Redout Kaleh. Sickness breaking out among his troops, 
by their exposure to wet and cold, sent many of them 
to hospital at Soukhoum Kaleh and Trebizond. 

The news of the fall of Kars and the failure of the 
Mingrelian expedition reached Constantinople together, 
and created a painful sensation ; for the pubhc had just 
been reading hopefully in the Gazette the roseate despatch 
for the passage of the Ingour. All, impressed with grief 
and disappointment, seemed instinctively to feel the 
connection between the discredit of the campaign and the 
absence of zeal, and, but for the diplomatic cloak thrown 
round him, the Porte w^ould, probably, in deference to the 
public sentiment, have invited the serdari ekrem to Con- 
stantinople to explain his reasons for having converted 
a four days' direct march from Redout Kaleh to the 
Tchanniskal into a six weeks' circuit by Soukhoum Kaleh 
and Sugdidi ; which had rendered unavaiUng the devotion 
of the garrison and inhabitants of Kars, and had saved 
Russia from a damaging blow in her vulnerable quarter. 
The Porte — well entitled to say, *' save me from my 
friends,'' — behaved with dignity. Bowing to the 
decree of Fate, it uttered no lamentations, expressed 
no vindictiveness ; but alarmed about Erzeroom,it directed 
troops to proceed to that city from Eupatoria, and the 
gradual transfer of the army in Mingrelia to Trebizond, 
in preparation for a campaign in Asia Minor the ensuing 

Such was the position of affairs, gloomy for Turkey, 


when the telegraph electrified the public of Constantiuople, 
January 7th, 1856, by the announcement of Russia's 
acceptance of the Allies' ultimatum as interpreted by 
Austria. The announcement fell on the sarafs and 
speculators of Galata like a live shell among a company 
of gamesters. 


( 443 ) 


Constantinople y 
Excellence, Mars 22 — Avril 1, 1854. 

Je me permets la liberty de soomettre a voire jagement ^clair^ 
qaelqaes idces snr Temploi de la flotte Ottomane lors de sa prochaine 
sortie dans la Mer Noire, laqaelle, soit dit en parentbese, a canse de la 
t^noit^ des v^tements des matelots et de Tinexperience de la plnpart des 
^qnipages, soit officiers soit matelots, doit Stre diff^r^e jasqa*a ce qne le 
temps 8*adoacit, ce que Ton ponrra attendre dans une qninzaine de 

Ya la position de la flotte Anglo •Fran9aise dans les eanx de 
Eavama, d'ou elle veille les c6tes de la Boam^lie, et est k m^me 
d'observer les mouvements de la flotte Basse k Sevastopol, il serait, 
il me semble, inutile que la flotte Ottomane aille de ce c6t^ \k. Elle 
saurait ^tre mieux occupee ailleurs pour la cause commune. 

II y'a en outre une consid^tion toute particuli^re qui m^rite atten- 
tion : c*est que la flotte ajant peu nayigue depuis douze ans, elle pourrait 
faire mauvaise figure en allant se joindre k la flotte Alli^e, sans avoir 
fait pr^alablement un court voyage. Par consequent, 8*il n'existe pas des 
raisons majeures centre, je suis d'avis que la flotte, en sortant du 
Bosphore avec un vent du midi, doive aller directment k Sinope. Elle 
devrait j rester quelques jours pour completer son eau et pour rem^dier 
les defauts de gr^ment et d'autres que le voyage aura immanquable- 
ment fait ressortir. Elle y aurait des facilit^s pour voir k Tarmement 
et au conditionnement de see embarcations ^ fin de pouvoir sans confusion 
debarquer, en cas de besoin, une partie de ses ^uipages pour coop^er 
avec les troupes de terre quelque part : s'approfitant de I'occasion, elle 
pourrait faire un exercise du tir de canon au blanc, et faire descendre 
ses Equipages a terre pour les habituer au maniement de leurs fusils. 
II pourrait se faire que dix au quinze jours seraient avantageusement 
^coules dans cette mani^re \k ; de plus, la sant^ des Equipages, engourdis 
par un long ennuyant sejour a bord dans le Bosphore, s'ameliorerait. 

Partant de Sinope, la flotte devrait alonger la cote de TAnatolie 
jusqu'a Trebizonde, touchant en route, si Ton vcut, a Sampsoon. Partout 
elle inspirerait de Torgueil et de la confiance parmi les habitants des 
c6tes. De Trebizonde elle se dirigerait a Batoom et a Tchuruksu, et 


se mettant en communication Ik avec les antorit^s militaires, ferait ce 
qni bon semblerait poor le service de la Sublime Porte. L*occnpation 
de Sokhoum Kaleh nous serait d'one grande avantage. Ensnite la flotie 
navignerait le long de la c6te de TAbazie jusqn*^ Anapa, avec 
le but de s'emparer des forts (ou les detroire) que les Rnsses anront 
pa y garder, et d'encourager et d'aider les braves Circassiens, leor 
donnant des munitions de guerre et meme des pieces de campagne 
avec des artilleurs. Ensuite elle cdtoyerait la rive m^ridionale de la 
Crim^e, k fin de faire des observations necessaires et d'inspirer par la 
vue de son pavilion des sentiments convenables dans la population 
Tartare de la presqu*tle. 

Termini ce petit course, la flotte irait sans ordre contraire rallier la 
flotte AUiee dans les parages oix elle se trouverait. 

Si dans cette intervalle une forte division de la flotte Russe sortat 
inapper9ue de la flotte Alli^e, la flotte Ottomane saurait bien, il fant 
esp^rer, y tenir tete. 

Celle-ci n*est qu'une esquisse : si Ton en adopts le principe, la 
sagesse de votre Excellence y saurait faire les developpements opportnns. 

J'ai rhonneur d'etre, &c. 

(Signed) - Mushaver. 
A son Excellence Mehemet Pasha, 

Grand Amiral de la FlotU Ottomane, 


Excellency, March 22 — April 1, 1864. 

I take the liberty of submitting to your enlightened judgment a 
few considerations as to the employment of the Ottoman fleet, on the 
occasion of its next cruise in the Black Sea, which (I would observe 
parenthetically) had better be deferred until the weather becomes more 
favourable, on account of the thin clothing of the crews and the inex- 
perience of both officers and seamen. It is presumable that such a 
change in the weather may be expected in about a fortnight. 

Considering the position taken up by the Anglo-French fleets in the 
waters of Kavama, from which they can protect the coasts of Roamelia, 
and at the same time watch the movements of the Russian fleet at Sevas- 
topol, I believe that it would be useless to send the Ottoman fleet in 
that direction, and that our ships might be better employed for the 
common good elsewhere. 

There is, too, another point especially deserving attention. Our 
fleet having been but little at sea for the last twelve years, might 


possibly cut a bad figure were it at once to join the allied fleets, without 
having made a short preliminary cniise ; I am therefore of opinion, il 
no reason to the contrary exists, that, sailing out of the Bosphoms with 
a southerly wind, we should steer direct for Sinope, and should remain 
there a few days to fill up our water and to repair any defects that may 
be discovered during the voyage thither. Wo should thus have an oppor- 
tunity of seeing to the armament and to the fitting of our boats, so as 
to be able to land a portion of our crews without confusion, should it be 
necessary for them to co-operate with our forces on shore ; we could also 
take the opportunity of practising with ball-cartridge, and could land 
and drill our crews. 

A fortnight might be advantageously spent in this manner, and the 
health of the men, deteriorated by a long and tedious confinement ou 
board ship in the Bosphorus, would certainly gain by the delay. 

On leaving Sinope our fleet might coast along Anatolia as far as 
Trebizond, anchoring, if neccssaiy, at Sampsoon. Its appearance would 
inspire confidence and pride amongst the population of the coast. From 
Trebizond it might proceed to Batoom and Tchuruksou, and placing 
itself in communication with the military authorities in those places, act 
as might seem best for the service of the Sublime Porte. The occupa- 
tion of Soukhoum Kaleh would be very advantageous to us. The fleet 
might then hug the coast of Abasia, as far as Anapa, in order to 
obtain possession of or destroy any forts still in the hands of the 
Russians, and encourage and assist the brave Circassians by sup- 
plying them with munitions of war, and even with field-pieces and 
artillerj-men to work them. It might then sail along the southeni coast 
of the Crimea, collecting such information as might be u^ful, and 
inspiring, by the sight of its flag, loyal sentiments amongst the Tai-tar 
population of the peninsula. 

At the close of this short cruise our fleet might join the allied fleets 
wherever they might happen to be, unless orders to the contrary were 
received by it. And if, during this interval, a strong division of the 
Russian fleet should escape to sea, unobserved by the allied fleets, it is 
to be hoped that the Ottoman fleet would be able to give a good account 
of it. 

This is merely a sketch ; should your Excellency adopt the prin- 
ciple of it, you will doubtless be able in your wisdom to fill up the 
outline which I have taken the liberty to submit to you. 

I have the honour to remain, &c. 

(Signed) Mushaver. 



Excellence, Kavarna, — Mai, 1854. 

J'ai rhoDDear de vous annoncer que d'apr^s les ordres de mon 
GonYernement la flotte Ottomane ct la division Egyptienne a faite voile 
le 6 Mai pour la Mer Noire, avec ordre d'aller rejoindre les flottes Alliees, 
meme devant Sevastopol, conf^rer avec leurs Excellences les Amiranx 
qui les commandent, etapres s'dtre mis d'accord avec leurs Excellences, 
se rendre sur la cote de la Circassie, pour y debarquer S. E. Sefer 
Pacha, Behchet Pacha, qnelques autres chefs des tribus Circassiennes, 
envoyes en mission en Circassie par la S. Porte, et y debarquer en 
meme temps les munitions de guerre que mon Gouvemement a fait 
embarqner sur la flotte. Sefer Pacha et Behchet Pacha, chefs de 
tribus Circassiennes, et des personnes d'influence dans leur pays, 
parmi lesquelles se trouve Tenvoye de Scheik Shamyl pres la Sublime 
Porte, accompagn^s d 'environ trois cents personnes, sont attendns par 
leurs compatriotes, avec lesquels ils ont et^ en correspondance. Le 
debarquement sur la c6te de la Circassie de ces personnages, avec six 
canons tout months, 7,000 fusils, 2,000 sabres, 500 barils de la poadre 
a canon, 500 caisses contenant des cartouches, 10,000 balles de 
plomb, une quantity des pierres k feu, 10,000 okes de plomb, 15,000 
okes de sel, etc. etc., sera d*une grande utility, soit pour Tarm^e de 
TAnatolie soit pour la Circassie elle-m^me. C'est dans ce but anssi que 
mon Gouvemement, apr^s en avoir fait part aux representants des 
puissanfces d'Occident, s'est d6cidi^ de faire cette expedition. Pendant 
que j'^tait en route, au large de Kalaghria, pour rejoindre votre Excel- 
lence, le consul Anglais a Varna m'a fait parvenir le 9 Mai la lettre que 
votre Excellence m'a fait Thonneur de m'adresser sous la date du 
5 courant : lettre qui m*a mis dans Tembarras, parcequ'elle a mis nion 
ardent desir d'agir en tout de concert avec leurs Excellences les 
Amiraux en opposition avec les ordres que j'avais re^us d'aller trouver 
les flottes Allies meme devant Sevastopol, pour m*enteudre avec leur 
Excellences sur la maniere a faire le debarquement surindique. C^est 
dans cette circonstance que I'idee m'est venu d*envoyer aupr^s de lears 
Excellences les Amiraux un oflicier superieur qui possede ma con fiance 
et qui m'a paru pouvoir faire plasir a votre Excellence. Apr^s avoir 
confere avec Hassan Pacha, le commandant de I'escadre Egyptienne, 
nous avons juge convenable de vous deputer Mushaver Pacha, pour 
exposer a leurs ExccUencaf les Amiraux la position dans luquelle se 


tronvait la flotte Ottomane, a cause des personnages et dcs manitions 
destines ponr la c&te de la Circassie. Mushaver Pacha, a son retour, 
m*a remis nne lettre portant la date du 13 Mai, par laqaelle voire 
Excellence me fait savoir qn'elle aurait mieux aime que je m'adressasse k 
votre Excellence par ecrit ; en outre, Mushaver Pacha m'a dit que votre 
Excellence avait Tintention, si les batiments absens arrivaient a temps, 
de faire voile le 15 Mai pour venir a Baltchik, et que votre Excellence 
desirait qub la flotte Ottomane mouillat at Kavama, pour laisser libre le 
mouillage dc Baltchik. Pret a etre agr^able a votre Excellence dans tout 
ce que depend de moi, j'ai abandonn^ mon intention d'aller a Baltchik, 
et je viens mouiller a Kavama pour attendre votre arrivee a Baltchik. 

Je prie votre Excellence de vouloir bien communiquer la presente 
lettre ^ S. E. I'Amiral Hamelin, et de la considerer comme si elle ^tait 
aussi adi'essee a son Excellence. 

Je saisis cette occasion pour renouveller a votre Excellence les 
sentimens de la haute consideration avec laquelle j'ai Thonneur d'etre, 

Monsieur I'Amiral, 
Votre tres-humble et tr^s-obeissant serviteur, 

(Signed) Achmet. 

A son Excellence ^fon.veur Je Vice-Amiml DundaSf 
Comni. en Chef de CEnciulre Antjlaise en Orient, 


I have the honour to inform you that, acting under instructions 
from my Government, the Ottoman fleet and the Egyptian division 
sailed on the 6th of May for the Black Sea, with orders to join the 
allied fleets, even if they should be before Sevastopol, confer with the 
admirals in command of them, and after having come to an under- 
standing with their Excellencies, proceed to the coast of Circassia, to 
laud there their Excellencies Sefer Pacha, Behchet Pacha, and other 
Circassian chiefs, disembarking at the same time a quantity of muni- 
tions of war which had been shipped by my Government on board the 

Sefer Pacha, Behchet Pacha, chiefs of Circassian tribes, and other 
influential persons belonging to that country — amongst others the 
enroj/e of Sheik Schamyl to the Sublime Porte — accompanied by about 
three hundred followers, are expected by their countrymen, with whom 
they have been in correspondence. 

The disembarkation of these personages on the Circassian coast, 
with six guns complete, 7,000 muskets, 2,000 sabres, 500 barrels of 


powder, 500 cases of cartridges, 10,000 bullets, 10,000 okes of lead, 
15,000 okes of salt, a quantity of flints, &c. &c., will be of immense 
service both to the army of Anatolia and to Circassia itself ; a con- 
sideration which induced my Government, after having communicated 
with the representatives of the Western Powers, to undertake this expe- 
dition. Whilst I was at sea oflf Kalaghria on my way to join your 
Excellency, the English consul at Varna forwarded to me, on the 
^ 9th of May, the letter which your Excellency did me the honour of 
writing to me on the 5th instant : a letter which embarrassed me con- 
siderably, inasmuch as it placed my earnest desire to act in all things 
in concert with the admirals of the allied fleets in antagonism with the 
orders I had received to seek out their Excellencies even before Sevas- 
topol, and to consult with them as to the best means of effecting the dis- 
embarkation of the men and munitions of war to which I have adverted. 
It occurred to me in this difficulty to send to their Excellencies 
an officer of high rank, who possesses my confidence, and who 
seemed to me likely to be agreeable to them. After having consulted 
with Hassan Pasha, .the officer in command of the Egyptian squadron, 
we thought it right to depute to you Mushaver Pasha, to explain to your 
Excellencies the position in which the Ottoman and Egyptian fleets 
are placed, by reason of the persons and the munitions of war destined 
for the coast of Circassia on board of them. Mushaver Pasha, on his 
return, handed me a letter dated May 18, in which your Excellency 
informs me that you would have preferred that I should have addressed 
myself to your Excellency in writing ; Mushaver Pasha tells me, 
moreover, that your Excellency purposed, if the detached ships rejoined 
you in time, to sail on the 15th of May for Baltchik, and that your 
Excellency desired that the Ottoman fleet should anchor at Kavama in 
order to leave the anchorage at Baltchik free. 

Wishing to act as far as I can in all points in the way most agree- 
able to your Excellency, I have abandoned my design of going to 
Baltchik, and have anchored at Kavama, where I shall await your 
arrival at Baltchik. 

I beg your Excellency to communicate this letter to Admiral 
Hameliu, and to consider it as addressed also to his Excellency. 

I take this opportunity of renewing to your Excellency the expres- 
sion of the sentiments of high consideration with which I have the honour 
to be your Excellency's most humble and obedient servant, 

(Signed) Achmet. 

To his Kxcellency Vice- Admiral Duudmy 
Commnnder-iU'Chief of the Britiah Squadron in the East. , 


AoA An inferior title. 

AiB DiR It is a shame. 

AiYAK-DivAN A mass meeting. 

Allah Kerim God is bountiful. 

Aman Pardon. 

Angaria Forced labour (corvee). 

Araba Waggon ; any wheeled veliicle. 

Araoadgi A waggon or carriage-driver. 

Backshish A present. 

Bagnio Convicts' prison at Constantinople. 

Bairam Feast of three days after the ramazaii. 

Bakalum Let us see. 

Bash-hodja A chief teacher ; a purser in a ship. 

Bashi-bozouk Irregular soldiers. 

Bashueis Boatswain. 

Beeat Act of submission to tlie Sultan. 

Bkndt Reservoir. 

Bosh lakerueh Empty words ; tall talk. 

BosTANDGis Ancient seraglio guard (literally gardeners). 

BouYOURouLTOu A vizir's order for safe conduct. 

Caaba Ancient temple at Mecca. 

Cadi A police magistrate; inferior judge. 

Caik A skiff. 

Calpac An ancient head dress. 

Capitana bey Rear-admiral (not used now). 

Capitan Pasha Lord High Admiral. 

Cavedgi Coffee-house keeper. 

Cazi-Asker Lord Chief Justice. 

Coi)jA-BA8Hi Chief of a rural municipality. 

CoDRBAN-BAiRAM Fcast of the Sacrifice. 

Damad Son-in-law (as used in the text of the Sultan). 

Dejterdar Accountant ; paymaster. 

Derbknt aoa A chief of rural police. 

Dere-beys iVncient Turkish feudal nol)los. 

DivAN-EFENDisi Chief of a correspondence department. 

DicH PARA8I Teeth money. 

DiURHEM Unit of weight. 

D.JIN X spirit. 

Djenableri Excellency. 

IXiEBEDGis Ammunition guardians. 

Dragoman An interpreter. 



Efendi ...An educated man ; a gentleman ; tlic title of the 

princes of the hlood. 

Eltchee An ambassador. 

EvcAF NAZiRi Minister of pious and charitable ondowments. 

EsHEK. An ass. 

EsKi ADET Old custom. 

EsNAN A class of militia. 

Etmeidan Meat-market. 

EzzAN Summons to prayers. 

Fakir A religious mendicant. 

Fanab Greek quarter at Constantinople. 

Ferik A lieutenant-general, or vice-admiral. 

Fktwah A decree of tlie Sheick Islam. 

Firman An imperial document. 

Galiongi Ancient man-of-war's man. 

Ghazi.'. Victorious. 

Ghioksou ** Sweet waters " of Asia. 

Heoira Commencement of the Moslem era. 

Hadis Oral sayings of Mohammed. 

Harem Skeu^si A landing-place at Scutari. 

HiETERU Greek propagandist society. 

Hashmetly Magnificent. 

Hatti-sherif. An unpenal emanation of grace. 

Hazretleri Highness. 

Hekim A physician. 

HiRKA Wadded vest. 

HuNKiAu IsKKLLEssY The " Koyal Stairs " opposite Tlierapia. 

Iani-umoumib General contribution. 

Imam A parish priest ; an army or navy chaplain. 

Imaret A refectory for tiieological students; soup kitchen. 

Inshallau Please God. 

Jerreed A blunt lance (for sport). 

Kadaif :A favourite sweet disli. 

Kalem Public office. 

Kapouoi bash I An honoraiy title given indiscriminately to civilians 

of ordinary dem*ee. 
Kapou KiAYA Political agent at 3ie Porte of a feudal vassal, or 

of a provincial governor. 

Kesh-Kesh Pounded wheat boiled. 

Khademes Royal domestics. 

Kharatch ^ Graduated poll-tax on non-Mahommcdan nmle 

Kharadj I subjects of tlie Porte (abolished in 1H50). 

Khismet Fate. 

Kief Dreamy repose. 

KiATHANE *• Sweet waters" of Europe. 

KiATiB Scribe ; government clerk. 

KiAYA Steward. 

Kiosk Summer-house. 

K1SI.AR AOA Cliief of tlie black eunuchs. 

KoNAK A mansion. 

Koub'ai.ti Ceremonial spot in tlic old seraglio. 


KouRsiiAf.TAi Ancient Tartar national assembly. 

KuTcuKK Dancing boys. 

Kyzil-»a8h Persian free-Uiinker : a disreputable term. 

Laghumdoih Miners. 

LivA Major-general or rear-admiral. 

LoKMA A sweet morsel. 

Mahalleh A parish. 

Masbata A decree. 

Meixilis A council. 

Mkdresseh A college. 

Mekteb A school. 

Mekkiemeh Mussulman tribimul. 

MEKTODBDjf A letter writer. 

Menzil khan A post-house. 

MisAFiR A guest. 

MoALEBBi A sweet dish, like blanc-mauge. 

MoHABREM First montli of the Moslem year. 

MoLLAH A legal dignitary ; judge of a city. 

MooKTAR A parish overseer. 

MuAviN An official assistant, less than a colleague. 

Muezzin A caller to prayers. 

MusHiR The highest Turkish rank (military and civilian) . 

MuDiR. Governor of a town or hundred. 

MuDERRiB Koran reader in the mosque. 

MupHTi Expounder of the Holy Law; a chamber counsel. 

MusTESHAR Under Secretary of State. 

Naib A vicar or deputy. 

Namaz I^yer. 

Nazir ;Vn overseer or superintendent. 

Nizam llegular troops. 

NoosKiLv A ** charm." 

Oda A room. 

Okmeidan Archery ground. 

Orta A company (of Janissaries). 

Ordou CAIME8 Gamp paper money (during lato war). 

Padishah The sovereign of Turkey. 

Pasterma Dried meat. 

Para Smallest denomination of Turkish money. 

PiLAF Rice cooked with butter. 

Ramazan The Moslem fast ; the nintli month. 

Raya A non-Mohammedan subject. 

Redif Military reserve. 

RusHDiEH Progressing, advancing. 

Sadr'azam The Grand Vizier. 

Salathix lloyal founded mosques. 

Salian Property-tax. 

Sandjak A flag; a military government ; province. 

Sar.vV A palace. 

Sarraf A banker. 

Salaam A salutation. 


Sedjadeh A prayer rug. 

Selkm Rural usurer. 

Selve Bouboux Cypress point, opposite Therapia. 

Ser-akhor Master of the horse, head groom. 

Seraskir Minister of War ; commander-in-chief. 

Seyah A roaming dervish. 

Shalan A flat quadriform barge. 

SHAU.UM The chief i>orter of the Tabernacle. 

SiiEVKETLY Majestic. 

Shirket Hairie A promising company. 

Shalwar. Loose trowsers. 

SiNNi A metal dinner-tray. 

Serden ghetcudi A forlorn hope. 

SoFTA A theological student. 

Sourei Fethi Sheref The war hymn in the Koran. 

Spahis Hereditary yeomanry (non existent now) 

Tabia A redoubt. 

Tain Rations. 

Taksim A division; a partition. 

Tanzimat Reforms. 

TcHALGHiGiLER Turlosh musicians. 

TcuAMAsuA A0A8I Mastcr of tlie robes ; first valet. 

TcHAousH A sergeant. 

TcHiFiLiK A farm ; a country estate. 

TcuiAUsuBASHi Head of a pohce corps ; ancient title of the 

minister of police. 

Techrifatdji Master of the ceremonies. 

Tekieh A dervish hall. 

TiMABLEE Ancient Turkish feudatory ; timariot. 

TopcHi A gunner. 

TopuANA Gun wharf; ordnance department. 

UiJSMA Wise men ; a clerico-legal body. 

Ulufb A gratification. 

Vacoof A pious or charitable endowment. 

Valideh Sultana The sultan's mother. 

Vizir A first class functionary. 

ViADiKA The chief of Montenegro. 

Yali ......A residence on the shore of the Bosphorus. 

Yamak Ancient garrison soldier. 

Yanghen var There is a fire. 

YoRGHAN A wadded covcrUd. 

Zarf A coffee cupholder. 

Zem-Zem Holy-water at Mecca. 

Zeymen .....Ancient irregular troops. 

London : Printed by Smith, Eldxb and Co., Old Bt^j, E.C. 




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