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by the Ruffian conful at Alexandria with the rebel beys of that country, refpecting the paffports granted by the Ruffian confuls to certain emigrants of Moldavia and Walachia, the afylum extended to the ex-governor Maurocordato, and the real views of the empress in her pro grefs to Crimea. Bulhakow un dertook to charge himself with their representations and to communicate to them the answer of his fovereign. We have already remarked that the Turks appear to have intended at no very diftant period to tempt the fortune of war for the purpose of suspending the incroachments of Ruffia. Their ultimate declaration however feems to have been unexpectedly precipitated. They had probably at least defigned to wait for the return of the capitan pacha from his fuccefsful expedition in Egypt. At the prefent moment they could not boaft of a fingle ally in any part of the world; and the recent interview and cordiality of the emperor and the czarina were peculiarly unfavourable to their purposes. The impolicy and rafhnefs of their conduct was at this time through all Europe believed to originate in the influence of the English ambassador; and the period, being that in which England and Pruffia had just refolved to annihilate by force of arms the French party in Holland, is exceedingly favourable to this fuppofition. Meanwhile the court of London was affiduous and explicit in contradicting this rumour. It must remain with the reader to decide upon the degree of credit he will afford to this difavowal. Undoubtedly there are men, whom the character and of fice of a minifter cannot corrupt, and who know that infincerity and
falfehood are neither themselves vir tue, nor can lead to that folid and genuine profperity which is the reward of virtue. But undoubtedly alfo fuch fentiments and fuch a difcernment are more rare than could be defired. We muft leave it to the ultimate verdict of a more diftant hiftorian to decide upon the parti cular inftances.
Scarcely had the czarina revisited her capital of Petersburgh before he was followed by the Turkish declaration of hoftilities. Conferences were held by the Ottoman adminiftration with Mr. de Bulhakow on the twenty-fixth and thirtieth of July, which promised no very aufpicious conclufion. On the fixteenth of Auguft he was unexpectedly fummoned to an audience of the grand fignior. Certain propofitions were immediately ftated to him, refpecting the restoration of the Crimea and the annihilation of the commercial treaty, which he was required to fign, as the only means for the prefervation of peace. Mr. de Bulhakow demanded time to communicate them to his court, but this was denied him. Upon his ultimate refufal he was formally declared an enemy of the empire, and arrested prifoner of war. He was conveyed with fufficient civility to the caftle of the Seven Towers, and the Ruffian fhips in the harbour of Conftantinople put under an embargo. The ambaffadors of Vienna and Versailles exerted their utmoft efforts to produce a reconciliation, but in vain. The grand vifier is faid to have been in the beginning almost the fingle advocate for war, but in the fequel to have brought over to his party the majority of the divan. One of the firt proceedings of the grand fig aior in confequence of the fyftem
adopted, was to appoint him commander in chief with an unlimited power for the levying and employment of the armies of the state.
The Turkish manifefto against the Ruffians is dated on the twentieth of Auguft, and is an uncommonly feeble and fpiritlefs compofition. Few nations have ever had more acumulated fubjects of complaint againft another, and yet it is difficult to collect from this paper which party was the real aggreffor, and it is certain that none of the caufes it alledges are a fufficient ground for hoftility. They declared the folicitude with which they had always adhered to the treaty of Cainargi, while the Ruffians had violated its most fundamental article by the invafion of the Crimea. In confequence of that invafion new ftipulations had been formed, and it was agreed that all enmity and hatred between the two parties fhould be extinguifhed. The court of Ruffia however had fince that time fent troops into Georgia, and feduced the khan of Teflis from his allegiance. They had interrupted the inhabitants of Oczakow in their ufe of the falt-pits of Kinburn. They had granted an afylum to the hofpodar of Moldavia. They had feduced the inhabitants of Moldavia, Walachia and the Archipelago to fettle in Ruffia; and, while the Turks granted on their part an unrestrained freedom of commerce, they were obliged to pay duties in Ruffia that doubled or tripled the duties paid by other nations. The manifefto farther alledged, that Mr. de Bulhakow had in the beginning of the prefent year threatened them with a Ruffian army of fixty or feventy thousand men under prince Potemkin, if they did not pafs an act calculated to fatisfy the czarina
refpecting the fubject of her complaints; and this threat was furely a fufficient provocation to war. The actual march of Potemkin was precifely fimilar to the incidents that had preceded the invafion of Crimea. Under thefe circumftances they conceived it neceffary that the peninfula fhould once more be vefted in the grand fignior, perfuaded that the capture of this country had been the fource of every fubfequent disorder, and that fecurity and repofe could never be recovered by any other means than its restoration.
The manifefto of the Turks did not long remain unanswered, and the memorials published by the czarina are fraught with the indignation of injured innocence. She expatiates on the clemency difplayed by her in the peace of Cainargi, when she had relaxed greatly from the claims she might have afferted and the pretentions to which her victories entitled her, that the might lay the foundation of a durable tranquillity. But the Porte had difplayed in every part of its conduct from that time the most notorious want of faith, and a perfect contempt for all its obligations. The Tartars of the Crimea had depofed their legitimate fovereign at the inftigation of the Turks and under the immediate countenance of a fleet commanded by the capitan pacha. His reftoration had been effected by the convention of 1779; but the Porte ftill continued its intrigues in the peninfula, and the czarina had found it neceffary to take the country into her own hands. The object of her tranfactions in 1783, the feizure of the Crimea and the treaty of commerce, had been no other than to confolidate peace between the two powers. She was actuated by no
oaths, upon which all nations found their folemn treaties, would at length have excited in the Porte an inclination to fulfil its engagements.
The emprefs had no fooner pub ifhed her refolutions than fhe began to mufter two great armies, one in the Ukraine under field marshal count Romanzow, who had been the Ruffian commander in chief in the preceding war, and the other, a foundation for which already existed in the neighbourhood of Cherfon, under prince Potemkin, a nobleman, who both by his influence in the ftate and his favour with the fovereign appears to be the firft fubject of the Ruffian empire; and upon whom the czarina, in gratitude for his fervices in that part of the world, had in her late progrefs beftowed the appellation of Tauritfkoi or Tauricanus. On the part of the Turks their first hostile meafure confifted in calling together the princes of the houfe of Gherai, and caufing them to elect a new khan of the Crimea. It is faid to have been at their requifition that the late khan was put to death.
defire to enlarge the limits of an empire already fufficiently extenfive. She had not proposed the indemnifying herself for the expences the had incurred; a purpose which the Crimea was not calculated to anfwer. Her object had been to civilize the inhabitants, to put an end to the diforders and depredations that fubfifted among them, and thus by eftablishing a firm and tranquil barrier to fecure the future harmony of Ruffia and the Porte. But the Turkish administration, which had immediately fucceeded after the peace of the Crimea, had adopted principles different from their predeceffors, had advanced groundless pretenfions refpecting the falt-works of Kinburn; had oppofed the admiffion of Ruffian confuls into fome parts of the Turkish dominions; and finally, perceiving that these objects were not of fufficient magnitude to bring on a rupture, had inftigated the Lefghis and the Cuban Tartars to difturb the dominions of the prince of Teflis, and to make inroads upon the territories of Ruffia. The emprefs how ever, faithful to her fyftem of moderation, had contented herself with reclaiming the ftipulations of treaties; but her remonftrances had been ineffectual, they had been anfwered with a harfhnefs and a haughtinefs, little fuited to the transactions of fovereign powers. For herself fhe had conftantly communicated her affairs in this refpect to the emperor; fhe had chearfully accepted the mediation of the king of France; and these monarchs were convinced of the juftice and equity of her pretenfions. The love of peace had given vigour to her hopes; fhe had imagined that the Porte would not always have recourfe to falfhood and artifice, but that the fanctity of 1789.
Their martial proceedings were not altogether fo prompt or fo formidable as their voluntary provocation of hoftilities might have led us to expect. The Turkish fleet appeared before Kinburri, a Ruffian fortrefs at the entrance of the Black Sea and oppofite to the city of Oczakow, on the twenty-fourth of September. They immediately be gan to throw their cannon balls and fhells into the place, and their fire was returned from the fort. During the bombardment one of their ships took fire and was blown into the air. In the night of the twentyfifth and twenty-fixth the Turks landed a body of forces on the peninfula upon which Kinburn is built,
but were each time obliged to retire. A part of the Ruffian fleet now appeared in fight, and after a fharp engagement obliged the Turks to withdraw to Oczakow.
A more ferious attack was meditated on the twelfth of October. The Turks appeared with a body of five thousand men, and, having landed, prepared to make a regular approach against the fortrefs. Their exertions upon this occafion were vigorous and obftinate; but they were at length driven back to their retrenchments, and fucceffively expelled from ten different lodgments which they had made. The fupport they received from the fire of their fhips was confiderable; the Ruffians were nearly put to flight, and, though ultimately victorious, it was not without having their two principal commanders, general Suwarow and general Reck, dangerously wounded. The fleet of the emprefs proceeded after this action to attempt the bombardment of Oczakow, but with no confiderable effect. Chevalier Lombard, a knight of Malta in the fervice of the czarina, who diftinguished himself in the preceding naval contefts by an intrepidity approaching to fool-hardinefs, perifhed upon this occafion with all his crew. The Ruffians had befides a fixty-four gun fhip taken by the enemy, and three frigates that perifhed by different accidents. The Turkish fleet foon after returned into the harbour of Conftantinople, and the admiral, who had been fent out with an exprefs order at all events to reduce the garrison of Kinburn, was ftrangled by command of the grand figuior. At the fame time a fort of partifan war was carried on with various fuccefs in the Cuban and Georgia. The capi
tan pacha arrived from his fucceff ful expedition into Egypt on the se cond of November.
But the queftion upon which the fuccefs of the war appeared at this time principally to depend related to the conduct which would be held by the emperor of Germany. The cza rina in the war of 1768 had alone appeared a fufficiently formidable adversary of the Ottoman power; but it could not be a trivial confideration for these barbarous and inexpe. rienced armies to obtain the co-ope ration and fupport of a regular force of two hundred thousand men, long difciplined in arms, and compofed of the natives of Germany, who had been fuppofed to a proverb the best foldiers in the world. It had by many been imagined that there was nothing the Turks could produce that could in any degree refift the union of the imperial powers, and they faw in idea the reduction of Conftantinople as the issue of a fin gle campaign. The emperor however by the capricioufnefs of his character kept the fpirit of curiofity in fufpenfe. The nature of his engagements with Ruffia was univerfally fufpected, but it was alfo univerfally fufpected that a dependence upon his fidelity to thofe engagements would prove extremely pre carious. Had France endeavoured to deter him by her threats, or had the new alliance of England and Pruffia peremptorily refifted his projects, he would no doubt have fhrunk from the uncertain and dangerous confequences to be apprehended from his undertaking. But France was at this moment difarmed by her internal contentions, and the Germa nic allies were too busy in fecuring their imaginary advantages in Hol
land, to be at leifure to turn their attention with vigour and effect to fo diftant a scene.
regiments of infantry and three battalions of grenadiers croffed the Save during the preceding night; but a body of equal force, which was to have croffed the Danube and appear before the town on the other fide, having through fome accident mifcarried, the defign proved abortive. The Auftrians had brought with them no heavy artillery, and the Turks might greatly have annoyed them in their retreat. But, the imperial commander having apologized for his fudden appearance, and declared that it was folely owing to a report that the Turks meditated an attack upon Semlin, the Auftrian town on the other fide the Save, he was fuffered to retire unmolested. The garrifon of Belgrade was foon after reinforced fo as to have nothing to apprehend from a fimilar attempt; and thus the emperor had the fatisfaction of difplaying the perfidioufnefs of his principles, without reaping any of the advantages he had expected to derive from it.
If indeed the character of the emperor would have admitted of the common rules of calculation and conjecture, his defigns would have been fufficiently manifeft from the outfet. Field marshal count Lafcy had been declared commander in chief of the army in Hungary on the fame day that the Turks had commenced the attack upon Kinburn; and the government was perpetually employed in marching troops and erecting magazines on the frontiers of the Auftrian dominions. The Turks however ftill hoped that they should be able to ward off the blow on this fide, and they exerted every effort to maintain harmony and a good understanding with the emperor. They accordingly received with moderation and temper the anfwer of Jofeph to the communication of the manifefto against the Ruffians, in which he exprefsly mentioned the obligation impofed on The imperial declaration of war him by treaty to affift the czarina was at length communicated to the with a reinforcement of eighty thou-Turkifh administration and to the fand men. He added, that, if the different courts of Europe on the Porte fhould conftrue this fuccour ninth of February 1788. Its alleinto an avowal of hoftility, he was gations did not relate to any fpecies prepared for every event; but that it of injury fultained by the emperor would depend upon themfelves whe- from the court of Conftantinople, ther he should be regarded as any thing but merely to the obftinate refiftance more than an auxiliary, he being per- of the latter to all terms of mediafectly willing to maintain the fubfift- tion or accommodation with the ing amity upon their mutual frontiers. court of Ruffia. On the fame day commenced the hoftilities of the Auftrian forces. Four armies had been formed on the frontiers of th Turkifh dominions, in Auftrian Poland under the command of the prince of Saxe Cobourg, in Tranfylvania under general Fabris, and in Croatia under prince Charles of Lichtenftein, governor of Vienna. The central force
But the emperor did not long reftrain himself within thefe limits. On the fecond of December an attempt was made to take by furprife the important fortrefs of Belgrade, the garrifon of which was faid to confift only of four thousand men reinforced by fifteen thoufand citi-zens capable of bearing arms. Four