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reminds him his emancipation is nominal, so long as the Turk remains in authority.
During my excursions in these provinces, I more than once witnessed the brutality of a Mahometan, when he was determined to enforce the privileges of his class: I have seen the unoffending object of his rage lashed with his whip, or unmercifully knocked down with the butt-end of his pistol. As an instance of this, I was travelling from Keuprili to Bittoglia, in Macedonia, with Georgy, my Rayah kiraidji, when we met one of these petty tyrants on horseback, in a pathway sufficient for two persons to pass a-breast: as a Frank, he allowed me to advance; but when my kiraidji attempted to follow, he was instantly struck from his horse by the haughty Mussulman. This was too much for my patience, I determined not to see my servant ill-treated, a scuffle ensued, he drew his pistol, I seized mine, and after looking at each other for a few seconds, my fiery Mussulman thinking, no doubt, I was some Frank Delhi, whose insane violence it might be dangerous to irritate, replaced his weapon, and we parted. Still, I must record this was a solitary instance; I found the Mahometans, of whatever race, uniformly polite; and so far from molesting any of my attendants, they were always ready to render me, in my character of stranger, any service I required.
Before we conclude this chapter of grievances, we must mention a circumstance connected with public education in Turkey. The reforming government of the Sultan, desirous of imitating the institutions of civilized Europe, resolved that a Minister of Public Instruction should be created, and public schools erected in every town and commune throughout the empire, for educating the rising generation, of whatever nationality or religious opinion. Unfortunately, the well-intentioned Sultan, in his anxiety to eradicate religious prejudice, did not calculate on the intolerance of the priests, particularly the Mahometan. When the scheme was communicated to the Scheik el Islam, the chief of the Mussulman religion, he immediately manifested the most determined opposition; he objected to the whole plan; and if it must be carried into effect, claimed the right, as the head of the only True Faith, of appointing the masters, controlling the funds, in short, of assuming the entire direction, contending that to educate the unbelieving Rayah was a dangerous and unwise proceeding, and must be productive of ruin, not only to the stability of the Turkish empire, but to the faith of Islam, unless carried out under his own superintendence. It was in vain to attempt contending against so powerful an authority, who had divine right to plead, consequently the projected measure was abandoned by the government, and the Rayahs, with the consent of the authorities, have themselves established schools in many of the large towns and populous communes. Thus we see, that priestly intolerance is the same in every country, and every religion, which cannot endure
Taxes—How levied in Turkey—Rayah grievances—Reforms of the late Sultan Mahmoud—Their consequences—Present condition of Turkey.
IN every country taxes must be levied to meet the demands of the State, and when this is done systematically and justly, so as not to press unequally upon any individual class of society, they are submitted to as an unavoidable necessity. Everything considered, the inhabitants of these provinces are not immoderately taxed; but it is the manner in which these imposts are levied, and the want of tact in the administration, together with the rapacity of the civil officers, which in too many cases render them an intolerable grievance, that presses more heavily on the Rayah than the Mussulman.
If we except the principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia, Servia, the independent tribes of Tchernegora
and Upper Albania, governed by their own laws, and here and there tributary to the Porte, the whole Turkish territory may be regarded as the private domain of the Sultan, who of his own free will and pleasure disposes of his rights and interest in the land to the most deserving among his subjects, or it may be to some fortunate favourite, who, whether invested with the title of Pacha, Aga, Soubachi, Spahi, &c., becomes entitled, by this grant, to the tenth of the produce of the land, without having any other interest in the possession. In Asiatic Turkey, where the population of the old race of the Osmanli are still numerous, and more attached to a Prince of the House of Othman, than the descendants of the renegades of Bosnia and Albania, several powerful families have been permitted to retain their hereditary pachaliks and spahiliks; with the exception of these, and one or two beglouks in Bulgaria, Albania, and Bosnia, there is no hereditary title to territorial property; and those who hold it, only do so during the pleasure of the Turkish Monarch. The taxes to which the Rayah is subject may be denominated regular and irregular. The regular taxes consist of the tithe to the lord of the village, or commune, for the time being, the imperial-tax, and the harritch (capitation-tax)—this degrading tax becomes a heavy burden to the poor Rayah, who may be blessed with a numerous family, since it is enforced upon the