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it is in the centre of Bosnia, ought not to be left unprovided with a representative of Great Britain, who would be able to supply the English Government with intelligence of the progress of political events, which in these provinces are daily becoming more important, and at the same time, watch over the commercial interests of Great Britain, more especially in countries so destitute of manufactures. At present, Austria monopolizes the entire commerce of these inland provinces: Austrian ducats, zwanzigers and bank-notes, are more current than even Turkish coins. While having undisputed possession of the field, particularly Bosnia and Herzegowina, which join her own states of Dalmatia, Ragusa and Cattaro on one side, and Croatia and Slavonia on the other, the country is filled with her political agents, who, whether disguised by the cowl of the monk, or the pack of the pedlar, are gradually preparing the minds of the people, both Mahometan and Rayah, for some important change—perhaps to be sheltered by the wing of the Austrian Eagle ! She has already appointed a Consul-General for Bosnia——Mr. D. Atanaskovics— with whom I made a tour in these provinces in 1850, on his way to his station at Bania-Louka. The annexation of these two provinces to the Slavonian States of Austria on the Adriatic and the Danube (and which, as we before observed, occupy a corner of European Turkey, separated by a vast chain of moun
tains from the rest of the empire), would at once open to the inhabitants a maritime communication with the commercial countries of Europe; consequently, their union with a state which would so materially add to their importance, and develop their financial and commercial resources, would be more favourably received, even by the Mahometan population, than might be expected, so great is their antipathy to the rule of the Osmanli ; besides, however much they may differ in creed, they are all Slavonians, of the same tribes and kindred, whether subjects of Austria or Turkey. We may be solicitous to uphold an empire whose integral existence is so necessary to the balance of power, still we cannot close our eyes to the fact, that the rule of the Osmanli is rapidly approaching a termination in these provinces; indeed, the more we penetrate into the interior of the country, and become more intimately acquainted with the grievances of the inhabitants, whether Rayah or Mahometan, the more we are convinced of the truth of this assertion; for how is it possible that any Government, much less one so weak as Turkey, can maintain itself for any length of time, that has lost the sympathy of every class and every denomination of religious creed among its subjects, and whose authority is based upon no firmer support, if we can term it such, than the religious dissensions of the people? We will therefore briefly sketch the contemporary history of Bosnia during the last few years, and leave the reader to draw his own inferences.
After the death of Scanderbeg, the hero of Albania, who long supported the declining power of the Christians in these provinces, the aristocracy—who, as we before observed, were tainted with the Bogomilian heresy—now that the valiant chief who had so long encouraged their patriotism was no more, gradually forsook their strongholds in the mountains, and having made peace with the Turk, embraced the Mahometan creed, and placed themselves and their country under the rule of the Crescent, but not without first securing, by the most sacred treaties, all their ancient rights and privileges—the nobles, the enjoyment of their fiefdoms, and the citizens of towns their municipal institutions; only accepting from the Sultan, in token of submission to his rule, a Grand Vizier, who was to be aided in his administration by two adjuncts, as his councillors, always natives of Bosnia, under the title of Grand Cadi and Grand Voiavodi—so jealous were these people of their ancient liberty.
We will pass over the numberless instances in Turkish history, in which the formidable warriors of Bosnia distinguished themselves as the most illustrious chiefs and soldiers of the Crescent; it is sufficient for our purpose to say, that the inhabitants of Bosnia continued to enjoy all their rights and privileges, without interruption, down to the reign of the late Sultan Mahmoud, who, having succeeded in creating an army disciplined a l'Européenne, made the first attempt to break through the fence, by which the aristocrats and democrats of Bosnia had so admirably guarded their rights and privileges. He commenced by the introduction of a few reforms in the costume of the people, then the occupation of all the forts and strong places by the Nizam, and last of all, the arbitrary system of obtaining recruits by having recourse to the European mode—the conscription; this led to a serious revolt, which caused the measure to be withdrawn, and the people again remained quiet till the massacre of the Janissaries, when a new epoch commenced, perhaps the most bloody and disastrous in the history of Bosnia. The Janissaries, from their first organization, were composed of the robust natives of Bosnia and Albania— a race far more brave and enterprizing than the enfeebled sons of Asia, the Osmanli. A few of this illfated corps, having escaped the general slaughter, fled to their countrymen in Bosnia, where, becoming the objects of popular sympathy, reports quickly spread in every direction that the Sultan had abjured the faith of Mahomet, and, with an army of tacticoes and Russian Giaours, was destroying his own subjects, the elect of the Prophet; at the same time, a host of fanatic Mussulman priests were everywhere to be seen, in sackcloth and ashes, exciting the people by their cries of vengeance against the Sultan. It required but little persuasion to raise an insurrectionary army among
a people so warlike, and well trained to arms as the Slavon-Mussulmans of Bosnia. The Vizier of Bosnia, Hadji Mustapha, who had been hitherto popular, endeavoured to convince the enraged multitude of their error: his words of peace were met by cries of death to the Giaour Sultan, and if we are to be baptized, we will choose a prince of our own race, the Czar of Moscovy, as our godfather, but never the descendant of a contemptible Poularki-eating son of Othman. The insurrection having now extended from Bosnia into Albania, perhaps the existence of the Ottoman Empire—at least, the rule of the Sultan in these provinces—was never in greater danger than at this moment, and may be said to have owed its preservation entirely to the Machiavelian policy of Kosref, the Seraskier, and Reschid Mehmet, the Grand Vizier. These ministers were fully aware of the danger, and that the only chance of checking the revolt would be to arm the Christian population against their old tyrants, the Mussulmans. When the plot was ripe for execution, an unforeseen event deranged their plans— the Russian invasion of Turkey, in 1828. The Divan, with no other troops than the ill-disciplined, ill-appointed Nizam-y-Djedid, found itself in the agony of despair, and now that the country was in danger, regretted the massacre of the Janissaries, who, if they were occa