Sidor som bilder

lished by Geier in Upsala, the excellent translation of the Edda, and of the Heimskringla of Snorre Sturleson, by Afzelius, were the first fruits of the revival of the study of Icelandic. The gods of Greece ceased to play the principal part in Swedish poems. The well of Mimer became the Castalian fountain ; Bragur conquered Apollo, and the Olympus fell into the back ground before the beautiful Asgard and Walhalla. Powerful antagonists of the French taste arose, and the German critics, the two Schlegels, and Tieck, lent the weapons for the national combat. Geijer, Atterbom, Palmblad, and Hammersköld were the leaders of the romantic school, and the periodicals Phosphorus, Polyphemus, Hermes, and Svea, supported their cause. The Allmäna Journal, and the Stockholm Post, were their antagonists. The consequence of this struggle has been, that the Swedish academy is no more regarded as a legislative authority: Shakspeare has been translated and studied, and the German literature has been generally preferred to the French.

Among the poets of our days rank highest Stagnelius and Tegnér, but Atterbom August Nicander, and Bernhard Beskow's last productions have been pleasant phenomena on the horizon of Swedish literature.

The study of philosophy has been pursued of late with great vigour. The systems of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling have been carefully examined by the professors Höijer, Biberg, and Grubbe. In history are distinguished Hallenberg, Hans Järta, and Geijer. Of all the Swedish authors, the two latter and Palmblad write the best prose. The discoveries of Berzelius, the chemist, are well known in England; and the works of Ehrenheim, Wahlenberg, and Nilsson deserve to be known.

The study of law has hitherto been unwarrantably neglected : the government endeavours to remedy this defect. The edition of the old Swedish provincial laws, at the expense of government, undertaken by Collin and Schlüter, will prove very welcome to every lawyer. A committee has been appointed by the king several years ago, to revise the code of 1734: the president of which is Count Gyllenborg, and the most active members Rückert, Zenius, and Staf; and an important part of a new code has already been submitted to the sanction of the diet. The French and Bavarian codes of law, and the works of Beccaria, Filangieri, Feuerbach, and Grollmann have been carefully consulted, and the principles of the old northern law preserved, wherever it was consistent with the present circumstances.

Art. XII.

perhaps it He speakene mende tine

Art. XII.—Charte Turque ; ou Organisation Religieuse, Civile,

et Militaire de l'Empire Ottoman, suivie de quelques Reflexions sur la Guerre des Grecs contre les Turcs. Par M. Grassi (Alfio), Officier Supérieur, Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, tom. 2. Paris. 1825. I 'ORGANISATION de l'empire Ottoman est peu connue en L Europe,' observes M. Alfio Grassi, in his preliminary notice on the Turks, and he thus continues; et ce peuple n'est presque connu parmi nous, dans ses lois, ses moeurs et ses coutumes, que par les contes des Mille et une Nuits, ou quelqu'autre histoire mensongère. In this observation he has our cordial assent, and perhaps it is the most veracious thing in his two thick octavo volumes. He speaks in big terms of the darkness of ages, the veil of time, and the mendacity of historians, but the boaster has done nothing to elucidate the subject : and as for truth, his prototype is the far-famed Mendez de Pinto. As a motto to his work should be inscribed the following witticism of the facetious Master Parolles :- That though a traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner, yet one that lies three-thirds, and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should be once heard and thrice beaten.' If this rule were observed, the flagellation of poor M. Grassi would be infinite. He thinks of the Turks what some of his countrymen have imagined the Chinesegods walking the earth. He idolizes their manners, customs, habits, peculiarities, laws, institutions—every thing. We shrewdly suspect, from the vivid and epicure-like yoút with which he has recounted the usages of the seraglio, that had he ever been at the great eastern capital, he must have spent his days in all the Sybarite luxuries of that city instead of employing the laudable curiosity of an intelligent traveller to procure correct information. But we much doubt this his boasted visit to Constantinople. He is so wretchedly ignorant of the Turkish language, that even the most learned linguist cannot guess at his meaning; every page is overrunning with palpable errors. He is not more happy in his friend, for his main authority is a certain Syllostri, a Greek Candiot, but a Catholic and an Abbé. Even if such a writer had existed, which we doubt, those two qualities of a Catholic and an Abbé, in Greece and in the seventeenth century, are sufficient to testify against his impartiality, and to prove his devotion to the Turks. The present struggle of the Greeks has too completely unmasked the patriotism of the Greek Catholics, to whom the catastrophes of Scio, Psara, and Missolonghi were the subjects of public exultation. Even the very title militates against truth. The author calls T 2

his his book the Charte Turque.' The Charte Turque! We, who were born in Constantinople, and have spent there the earlier portion of our life-we, who have witnessed the confiscations and murders which are every-day scenes in that seven-throned city--we who have beheld the horrible inflictions and plaguelike calamities showered on the people by the Ottoman Sultanwe know full well how to estimate the value of the Charte Turque.' The very Turkish epithet for the sultans gives the lie sufficiently to M. Grassi :—they are styled yoularsiz arslanunmuzzled lions.

We differ entirely from the Panegyrist. The religion of the Turks would disqualify them from deserving such applause as he has lavished upon them. Of all the theocratic governments, that of the prophet was the most arbitrary, the most absurd, and the most degrading to the human species. The legislator of his people, without deigning to assume the title, Mohammed interspersed the Koran with his laws, and by that means he gave them an irrevocable authority, as having been sent from the highest heaven by an angelic messenger. Having appropriated to himself, in the name of God, an absolute power, he pretended to prescribe to his successors their duties towards their subjects; the contract containing those duties was declared by God; the infraction of its articles was to be judged by divine arbitrement. It was thus very easy for him and his successors to speak of their obligation to govern with justice. The Mussulman subjects were called by them ibad-ullah, or · God's servants,' and the subjects not Mussulmen, vediat-ullah, or · God's deposit;' but these servants of God were too inferior to the mighty prophet, to the habib-ullah, or · favourite of God,' to dare to complain of him. And this prophet and favourite was believed to possess the right of treating them according to the divine will, which was not revealed, except to himself alone, and through him to his successors. As to the subjects not Mussulman, to whom he gave the name of God's deposit, they were at the entire disposal of those to whose care they were confided.

By the schism of Aly, by the divisions of the Caliphate branches, and by the irruption of the Tatars under Tzenghis-Khan and his descendants, the theocratic authority of the Caliphate lost much of its arbitrary character; but Osman, or Ottman, the usurper of the throne of other usurpers, the Seldgiucides, undertook to replace it in its primitive vigour; and established, as an incontestable attribute of his crown, the abnegation of the rights of life and property on the parts of his subjects in general. He says, “all property belongs to the Sultan :' again, that The neck of a slave is slenderer than a hair.' • Mussulmans or no Mussulmans, all his


subjects were considered by him as his slaves.' Thus all Mahometans termed themselves the Sultan's slaves, wearing on their neck the chain of servitude. He degraded them to such a baseness, that they not only boasted of being slaves of the king of kings, but also, when they belonged to other Mussulmans who bought them in Circassia, in Georgia, or in any other country, they took a pride in declaring their wish, never to be emancipated, and they used these words :- We are slaves who do not accept emancipation. It was in consequence of this most abject degradation that the Circassian and Georgian slaves, purchased by other Mussulmans, and then enfranchised, became afterwards Grand Viziers, Grand Admirals, and the chief dignitaries of the empire, their only claim being the lucky chance of having been purchased and brought up in slavery. The present Grand Admiral, KhuchrewPacha, and the Commander-in-Chief, Kioutahy Rechid Pacha, are freed Circassians, who boast of their ancient condition of kiolé, or slave sold in the market.'

It is true Osman entrusted the judicial power to the SerulIslam, or the great Ottoman Pontiff, whose fetva, or sentence, was to determine upon the life or death of an accused person. But in practice this check was nugatory, for the Mufti, when he contravened Osman's will, was deposed. · He also established, by an ordinance, that neither he nor his successors should ever have the power of declaring war, or concluding peace, without the previous consent of the higher clergy, the ministry, and the military chiefs; but the Ulémas, the Ridzals, and the Asqueris, are slaves, whose lives depend on the will of their master. Besides, by a gratuitous contradiction, he assumed

(1) The predilection entertained by the Mahometans for their slaves bought in the market, had its origin in the time of the ancient caliphs. Egypt was governed by slaves, who had been freed by other slaves. It was, so to say, a slavocratic order (Agunoxpatía). Mamlook is an Arab adjective, characterizing any thing acquired as property; applied to men it is used without its substantive; Abdi Mamlook, a slave acquired as property, Mehmed-Aly Pacha, when he undertook, for the first time, the reform of the army narrowly escaped being massacred by his undisciplined troops. He was consequently obliged to order eight hundred of his Circassian slaves to learn the European exercise, in a province remote from Cairo; declaring, at the same time, that he compelled nobody to enter this regular corps, but that those who would enter into it should receive quadruple pay. This stratagem succeeded, and the love of money triumphed over the esprit de corps. As the nucleus of Aly-Pacha's regular troops has been composed of slaves, and as almost all the chiefs of the disciplined army are taken from this nucleus, if any revolution should happen in Egypt, that country would again fall into doulocracy, or the government of the Mamlooks,

(2) Mustapha II., the father of the sultan Selim, having taken steps to put unjustly to death Gregory Callimaky, the Hospodar of Wallachia, required the sentence to be signed by the great Mufti, called Osman-Mulla. The latter refused to issue an unjust sentence; so that Mustapha, becoming furious, abolished for ever, by an imperial decree, the right which, until then, had been exercised by the Grand Mufti. The just and courageous Osman-Mulla was struck the next morning with apoplexy, and thus escaped the punishment which was preparing for him.


; tha

alle danissaries his steps to conclude ope

the title of possessor of the sword and the pen;' that is to say, of the power to make war and to conclude peace.' The successors of Osman followed his steps : Sultan Murad the First created the corps of Janissaries and Spahis, to strengthen his absolute power. He called them kioul, or, especial slaves.' Sultan Suleiman, surnamed Kanooni, or the legislator, established new ordinances, all tending, under the appearance of public good, to the increase of despotism.

We need not be astonished, at the immense accumulation to the despotic authority of these Ottoman sultans. They did not create it; they are indebted for it to Mohamedanism and its founder. It was Mohammed who gave so unmeasurable an extent to arbitrary power. He indeed experienced no difficulty in establishing theocratic despotism, in an age in which every broacher of a new religious system could easily obtain a crowd of proselytes, full of raving fanaticism, and in a country in which tyranny, like an endemic malady, had accustomed the people to suffer it patiently, as the neighbouring inhabitants of volcanoes resign themselves to the desolation of its eruptions. Thus, the Arabs endured the evils of tyranny, as indispensable, and their proverbial expression was," There are three merciless things, fire, the sultan, and time.' The Persians with similar apathy say,' That the vicinity of the sultan is a burning fire ;' and the Turks, as we have already observed, declare, that their sovereign is an unmuzzled


The theocratic despotism of the Mohamedans prescribes to them only two objects of indispensable duty ; religion and mo

(1) In the way of all conquerors, Osman and his successors, keeping themselves constantly on the offensive, did not require, either to declare war, or to sign peace, the previous consent of the three orders of the government. Their treaties of peace were only brief truces. The causes of war remained- the causes for resuming hostilities were permanent. For this reason, since Osman, all the Ottoman sultans have been always prepared to meet the enemy. Their orders, even in times of peace, have been considered as emanating from those who were prepared and willing for war. It is said, for instance, that such a firman has resulted from rikiabi-humayoon, or, the imperial stirrup. Every time that the Grand Vizier, with the ministers of the Porte, the great Mufti, the two Cazi-askeres, and the Great Admiral, repair solemnly to the audience of the sultan, it is said that they present themselves to the rikiabi-humayoon.

(2) All property which is not annexed to the Mosques belongs to the crown ; and as the possessors of immoveable property pay annually to the imperial treasury a fixed sum, in order to enjoy the right of usufruct, the sultan is not entitled to deprive them of this possession ; but, by putting them to death, on any pretext, he repossesses it by confiscation. Presumptive heirs to the crown receive a very shabby pension. Having ascended the throne, they become the irresponsible guardians of all the treasures of the crown, and of all its revenues. Although these treasures, kept in apartments for that purpose in the Seraglio, bear the name of béitoul muslimin, or, the deposit of the wealth of the true believers,' the sultans, deriding their duty of inspectors of this national property, dispose of it according to their own caprice.

(3) Salassata achyaen léüsa siha amānu : an-näru, vas-Sultanu, vaz-zamanu. (4) Kurb-i-Sultan, äteshi suzan est.


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