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the Turks, which was formerly animated by religious fanaticism, has been long in a state of decline, and the members, which compofe the vast body of their empire, are feeble and difunited.
In 1774, with its utmost efforts the Turkish empire could only bring 142,000 men into the field; and these numbers, resembling a
Turkish power in Europe-an event defirable to moft Christian nations, and particularly to Great Britain. The Ruffian fleet at Sebaftopolis in the Black Sea is now strong enough to risk the lofs of half its numbers in an attack on Conftantinople, and the remainder alone might be more than a match for the Sultan's navy." In the laft war the grand fleet of the Turks confifted of only feventeen or eighteen fhips of the line, and they have not now near so many. Eton, p. 81, 193.
"The institution of the Janizaries [by Amurath I.] gave at that time a decifive fuperiority to the Turkish arms, as they prefented a fyftem of difcipline, and a permanency of organization, till then unknown in Europe. These haughty and celebrated legions were long the terror of furrounding nations, and continued to be looked upon as formidable, until the middle of the seventeenth century. At that time the Turkish power ceafed to aggrandite itfelfs it made a paufe in its conquefts, a pause prophetic of that downfal toward which it has fince fo rapidly verged, and which feems now to threaten a speedy approach. The steps which led to this degradation are easily discernible.” Eton, p. 62.
• Eton, p. 67.
mob affembled, rather than an army levied, were foon leffened by desertion. In 1773, when the Porte fent 60,000 Janizaries towards Trebizonde, to be embarked for the Crimea, all but 10,000 difperfed themselves on their route f. Their cavalry (which is the only part of their army that deferves the name of regular forces) is as much afraid of their own foot, as of the enemy; for in a defeat they fire at them to get their horfes, in order to escape quicker. Their force lies in their attack, but for that they must be prepared; taken unawares, the fmalleft number puts them to flight; and when their fudden fury of attack is abated, which is at the least obstinate resistance, they are feized with a panic, and have no rallying as formerly."
Cafting our view over the pashaliks, or governments most immediately connected with the feat of empire, we fhall find them diftracted, diforganized, and fcarcely yielding more, than a nominal obedience to the Sultan: fuch are the pashaliks of Asia Minor and Syria. With regard to the more diftant provinces, they may be confidered connected with the
The hordes of Tartars, which formerly affifted she regular troops, are now principally under the dominion of Ruffia,"
Porte rather by treaty than as integral parts of the empire. In this light I view Moldaviaand Walachia in the north, and Egypt in the fouth. These unfortunate countries (unfor tunate in their political regulation, however bleffed by the bounty of nature) fuffer, thought in different degrees, from the harpy touch of defpotifm "." The Sultan is the nominal fovereign of Bagdad; but the Pafha' has the real power in his own hands. "In Armenia Major, and all the neighbouring countries, there are whole nations or tribes of independent people, who do not even acknowledge the Porte, or any of its pafhas. The three Arabias do not acknowledge the fovereignty. of the Sultan, who only poffeffes in these countries a few unimportant towns h"
The Pafhas of Ahifka, of Trebizonde, and Acri, often fet the Porte at defiance. Near Smyrna the great Agas, or independent chiefs, maintain armies, and often lay that city under contribution. All the inhabitants from Smyrna to Palestine are independent, under different lords, and of different religions, and are confidered by the Porte as enemies. In Syria the Sultan virtually poffeffes the ports of Latachia
Eton, p. 287.
Eton, p. 292.
h Eton, p. 289.
(Laodicea,) Alexandretta (or Scanderoon), the port of Aleppo, Tripoli, Sidon, Jaffa, and a few infignificant places: but the country belongs to the Curds; and the caravans from Scandaroon to Aleppo are obliged to go round by Antioch, as they will not fuffer the Turks to pass through it. In Europe the Morea, Albania, Epirus, and Scutari, are more or less in a state of rebellion. Bofnea, Croatia, &c. obey the Porte only as long as it fuits them to defend themselves against its enemies, in the war with Germany. Lately we have seen all European Turkey in arms against the Porte: Adrianople in imminent danger, and even Conftantinople itself trembling for its fafety." The advances of Pafwan Oglou become every day more formidable; but the fatal-blow will perhaps be ftruck by a power the least suspected by the deluded Mahometans. And when we confider the astonishing decrease in population throughout the Empire, and the failure of every attempt to
* The number of inhabitants in Conftantinople is eftimated by Mr. Eton at lefs than 300,000; and he fuppofes the population of the empire to hold the fame proportion with the common calculation. After fome inquiry into the causes of this aftonishing decrease, he adds, "It is therefore reasonable to conclude, that depopulation could
revive the antient military fpirit of the people', fince the period allotted for the decline of its power; fuch a combination of circumstances not only justifies the expectation of its fall upon every principle founded on human experience, but holds out a most striking example of the accuracy of Prophecy, for the contemplation of the prefent age. The teftimony of this unbiaffed writer is too valuable to be easily abandoned; and I am much deceived, if the Reader will not fee ample confirmation of the fyftem, refpecting the three
not formerly have made fo rapid a progress as at present, and that in a century more, things remaining in their present situation, the Turkish empire will be nearly extinct. It is worthy of remark, that the Curds in the mountains, and other independent tribes who do not mix with the Turks, are exempt from the mortality occafioned by all the calamities, which afflict the countries more immediately subject to the Porte." Eton, p. 270, &c.
Many attempts have been made within the last century, principally by French officers, to renew the antient military spirit of the Turks, and to inftruct them in European tactics. Gazi Haffan, the celebrated Pafha, tried, with unlimited power for nineteen years, to inspire his own spirit into the troops; but he found all his efforts ineffectual. The present Sultan, Selim, has attempted to abolish the Janizaries, and introduce the European difcipline into the army gradually, by inftituting a new corps trained to the mufket and bayonet; but this attempt is not likely to fucceed to any extent. Eton, chap. iii.