the Black Sea—and to enjoy themselves in a mild and beautiful climate, and to sail about in the Euxine like gentlemen.

And there is only one objection to this - this is, however, rather a strong one, i.e., that the country belongs to other people, and that to take it from them is a robbery. Only a robbery? Well, what of that? says the Autocrat. Who has not been a robber on a large scale whenever he had the power? Was not Alexander a robber; Zenghis Khan; Frederick the Great; Peter the Great ; Napoleon the Great ; and all other“ Greats”—and who ? not Nicholas ? For why?

“ Because the good old rule

Sufficeth him—the simple plan-
That they should take, who have the power,

And they should keep-who can !" So, you see, my young friends, that reasons are as plentiful as blackberries, if we chose to reason in an important manner -and this justifies the text which the Austrian put upon his cannon—"The Reasoning of Kings,”—for bursting bombshells beat all your logic, and charges of cavalry are more potent than the finest allegories, tropes, similies, or other flowers of the finest fields of rhetoric.

This, by way of flourish, and now for a few words about Russia. To you that read history, I need not say, that so long ago as the year 1802, the boundless ambition of Bonaparte led him to plan the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire. With a view of ascertaining the real state of the country, he sent, in that year, General Sebastiani, on a tour through the South of Europe, the Northern side of Africa, and the Islands of the Mediterranean. In 1803, this general made his report, and Bonaparte determined to seize upon

Egypt and Syria. At the same time, the Russians were equally desirous of laying hold of Turkey, and interfered with the Wallachian and Moldavian provinces in such a manner, as to induce the Turks to declare war against them. The Russian general, Michelson, now advanced through these provinces, and, to promote the success of Russia, a British squadron was despatched, under the command of Sir John Duckworth, which advanced through the Dardanelles, and appeared at a small distance from Constantinople, whence he was ingloriously obliged to retreat, and the object in view was completely frustrated. In the mean time, General Michelson continued to advance, and several of the nations on the Turkish frontier


joined the Russians. However, the Grand Vizier advanced against the Russians with a large army; but so full was the army of the seeds of insubordination, that before it had been

[ocr errors]

four days on its progress, two of its principal officers were massacred by their own battalions, and so slow were its movements that a considerable time elapsed before it came in contact with the enemy.

The forces of Russia were meanwhile successful by sea. A Russian fleet cut off the intercourse between Constantinople and the Black Sea, and another blockaded the Dardanelles, while the Islands of Lemnos and Tenedos were taken. The city of Constantinople suffered severely from the blockade, being deprived of all kinds of provisions, and this produced a rebellion among the soldiers and people. The Grand Seignior endeavoured in vain to stay the tumult, but nothing less than his deposition would satisfy the insurgents, who for this purpose immediately repaired to the seraglio. A list was read to him of his pretended offences; various passages from the Koran were solemnly recited, to show his unfitness to reign; and, finally, a deed of renunciation of the throne was proposed to him, and immediately executed. Mustapha, the son of Achmet, was the next day proclaimed Grand Seignior, who dispatched an order to the dethroned emperor to take poison, with which he instantly complied. The Grand Vizier was, also, to make matters sure, strangled within his camp.

Amidst all these commotions, the Turkish Pasha made several efforts to re-take the Island of Tenedos, but without effect. At last it was determined that he should risk an action with the Russians, whose fleet consisted of twenty-two sail, ten of which were of the line, while that of the Turks amounted to eleven sail of the line, and one smaller vessel. On the first of July, a sanguinary battle was fought, which lasted eight hours, and ended in favour of the Russians. Four Turkish ships of the line were taken, one of which was the Admiral's, who singly had fought two Russian ships; three were fired, two were driven on shore, and twelve hundred Turks killed in the engagement.

But, by this time, England began to suspect that she had got on the wrong side, and peace was concluded by the mission of Mr. Adair; but Russia still continued her aggressions upon the Turks, till her own country was invaded by Napoleon. This called some of the Russian forces from the Turkish frontier, and the Turks defeated the remainder in several engagements, by forcing them over to the right side of the Danube; but the Turks, having subsequently divided their forces, the Russians attacked and defeated their army. The camp equipage, treasury, and even the tent of the Vizier were taken, and the latter made his escape to Rudshuck in a twooared boat.

The total discomfiture of the Turks produced a great effect at Constantinople, but the Turks were sensible of the necessity of preserving their empire, and preparations were made for the further prosecution of the war. Bonaparte was however throwing his immense masses of men into Russia for the purpose of destroying her power. More than a million of men invaded the Russian territory. Moscow was burned and the whole country ravaged. This put a stop for a while to the encroachments of the Czar, but the time seems to have arrived when every effort will be made to realise the plans formed by the ambitious Catherine, to plant the cross of the Greek Church in the Mosque of Constantinople.

Such, my young friends, is the state of the quarrel between the Russians and the Turks, in it you will see a new version of the old story of the Wolf and Lamb, with this little difference, that the present contest between the powers is anything but a fable, for of this you may be sure, that although Russia is now foiled for a time, yet she is determined to steal these provinces from Turkey, and she will steal them.

« 上一页继续 »