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This statue is to be erected in Gramercy Park. New York City, near the home of The Players, the well-known club
founded by Mr. Booth. The design for this statue was submitted by Mr. E. T. Ouinn and was chosen in
preference to several others by a committee of the club members. Among Mr. Quinn's works in
sculpture are a bust of Edgar Allan Poe, in Poe Park, New York; a statue of Zoroaster, in
Brooklyn, N. Y.\ ana figures on the Battle Monument at King's Mountain, S. C.
to remember! . The city walls still stand, much as they were left after the conqueror Mohammed rode through the breach into the city and delivered it up to his soldiers. The anguish and peril of the population of the city were hardly more than will be suffered if Paris or Vienna fall a few months hence ;■ but the loss of Constantinople meant the breaking down of the line of European defense.
For the first time in the history of Mongol invasion in Europe, a great empire was carved out of European territory. Within a few years the Turks conquered the whole of the Balkans, Greece, and the Greek islands, where they all but extinguished the remnants of old Greek civilization. They were the first of their race to learn seafaring, and contested the Mediterranean till, in the time of the great Louis XIV, Moliere makes a dramatic incident out of the supposed fate of the young man who trusts himself on board a Turkish galley. Having firmly established an empire that reached eastward to Persia and the Red Sea, northward to Mount Ararat, and west to the Adriatic, they pushed straight northwestward. The Servian Empire was smashed at Kossovo in 1389; the Hungarians were conquered at the second Kossovo in 1448, and again at the mournful battle of Mohacs in 1526; and the Turks twice all but took Vienna.
These conquests were due to the excellent Turkish armies and military system, which were for a time the most efficient in the world. The Turks were by tradition splendid horsemen, and they developed the renowned infantry of the Janissaries. They had the best artillery of their time, and the best system for provisioning their armies. They fought under their Sultan's eye. The rewards of success were honors, riches, sultans' daughters in marriage, the governorships of provinces. They were strong in the open field. adepts, in sieges, and a legion of devils to non-combatants.
List of the Sultans. Few of the Sultans, except Mohammed the Conqueror, are now known to the West, but the list brings out some striking facts with regard to the Turkish ideas of monarchy:
1. Mohammed II (the
2. Bavezid II (son).. 1481-1512
3. Sel'im I (son) 1512-1520
4. Suleiman I, " The
5. Selim II (son) 1566-1574
6. Murad III (son).. 1574-1595
7. Mohammed III
8. Ahmed I (son)... 1603-1617
9. Mustafa I(brother) 1617-1618 (declared in
10. Osmanll(nephew) 1618-1622 (dethroned by
11. Mustafa I (re
turned) 1622-1623 (abdicated)
12. Murad IV (son
of Ahmed) 1623-1640"
13. Ibrahim (brother). 1640-1648(dethronedand
14. M oh a mined IV
(son) 1648-1687 (deposed)
15. Suleiman II (bro
16. Ahmedll(brother) 1691-1695
17. Mustafa II (son of
Mohammed IV) 1695-1703 (abdicated)
18. Ahmed III (bro-
19. Mahmud I (son of
Mustafa II) 1730-1754
20. Osman III (bro
21. Mustafa III (cou
22. Abd-ul-Hamid I
23. Selim III (son of
Mustafa III).... 1789-1807 (dethroned)
24. Mustafa IV (son
of Abd-ul-Hamid) 1S07-1808 (assassinated)
25. Mahmud II (bro
26. Abd-ul-Mejid (son) 1839-1861
(brother) 1861-1876 (deposed)
28. Murad V (son of
Abd-ul Mejid... 1876 (incompetent)
29. Abd-ul-Hamid II
(brother) 1876-1909 (deposed)
30. Mohammed V
Ten out of this list of thirty sovereigns have ended their reigns by a sudden and usually forcible process. Ever since 1617 the succession has gone oftener to brothers than to sons, which means that there is no well-defined rule of succession. Various Sultans have been killed by their soldiers or their slaves; and if we could go into the details of the character and lives of these rulers we should mark the downhill course of the Osman line. When, about two centuries ago, they ceased to head their armies and spent their lives in the poisonous atmosphere of the court and the harem, their Empire lost its terrific grip upon the world.
Christians in the Empire. The present ruin of Turkey is due less to the Sultans than to the variety of rival races and religions within the Empire. The Turks found, both in Asia Minor and the Balkans, a civilized population, with arts, crafts, commerce, religion, and education. They themselves were not business men, and they allowed the Greeks and the Armenians in their Empire to carry on trade. They wanted peasants to till their lands, and they left the Bulgarians and Macedonians on the soil. With such masses of non-Turkish people, in many provinces always outnumbering the Turks, the question of religion complicated the whole system of government. The only way to unify the population was to Mohammedanize the Christians, or to exterminate them, or to let them have their own religion. Many thousands, perhaps millions, of them accepted the Prophet and the Koran. About a third of the people of Bosnia, for instance, are Mohammedan Serbs, descended from Christians. For several centuries the tribute boys (perhaps five thousand every year) were taken out of the highest Christian families, and brought up to become fanatical Moslems and Janissaries, generals, and ministers. Nevertheless, most of the Christians stood by their religious colors.
There was a moment when extermination was all but adopted as the Turkish policy. Sultan Selim the Grim about 1520 issued a decree that all the Christians who would not forthwith become Moslems should be slain. This, of course, was simply an extension of the doctrine which then prevailed in Christian Europe, that the prince had a right to decide what his people should believe. Under the absolute Turkish system there was nobody to dispute the wisdom or the humanity of the Sultan's decisions. Then unexpectedly arose the Mufti, the highest ecclesiastical authority in the Moslem world, and he "recalled" the decree, for a reason which is familiar in American government, namely, that it was contrary to the higher law of Turkey.
Thereupon the Sultan gave way, and the Christians were allowed their worship. That involved keeping their churches; that involved having a priesthood; that involved schools to educate the priests; that involved the continued use of the languages of the Christians; that involved the permanence of Christian race groups inside the Turkish
Empire. Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Wallachs, Hungarians, German Transylvanians, profited by this degree of liberty; but in the end it meant the downfall of the Turkish Empire.
Decay of the Turks. In the process of pushing back the Turks into Asia all the neighbors assumed a cheerful part; Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Austrians, Venetians, Spaniards, and the Pope took turns at hammering the Turks. They maintained themselves only by desperate efforts, for commonly they could not safely enlist in their armies the Christian populations. The tide turned at the famous raising of the siege of Vienna in 1683. They still point out to you the "Turkish trenches " where the camp of the infidels was attacked by the relieving force from Poland under John Sobieski.
In the course of the next hundred years there were six or eight wars against the Turks, ending with a series of treaties under which the Russians and the Hungarians gained ground. During the next fifty years Greece, Servia, and Rumania were peeled off. One of the evidences of changed conditions was the massacre of the Janissaries in 1826, because they had become the Pretorian Guard of the Empire, setting up and controlling Sultans. Egypt and the four Barbary Powers on the north coast of Africa practically gained their independence. The remaining Christian subjects of Turkey in Europe were straining at their chains. Turkey seemed dissolving.
Then the concert of Europe united to prevent the "disappearance of the unfittest," which is a natural law of nations as of individuals. Fearing lest Russia and Austria should gain by uprooting the Turks, the English and French from 1840 to 1890 protected the worst Government in Europe and kept their fellow-Christians in bondage. The Turks were cursed with unusually weak Sultans, and then with an abnormally strong Sultan. From 1876 to 1909 Abd-ul-Hamid II was the actual as well as the nominal despot of Turkey, and showed himself a consummate master of the art of playing off the great Powers of Europe against each other, promising reforms to the virtuous, giving valuable concessions to the unrighteous, cutting off any heads which arose in opposition or criticism—a bad man who made a naturally bad system bad to the «th power. When England and France showed signs of interest in the Christians in Turkey, the Sul