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into action against a foreign foe, the bravest soldiers in the empire; and to add to its misfortunes, the Mussulman inhabitants of Bosnia and Albania were in arms against the authority of the Sultan. As a last resource, the Standard of the Prophet was unfurled, hosts of Mahometan priests were despatched all over the country, calling on the faithful to arm in defence of their creed, and the reforming Sultan saw himself reduced to the necessity of imploring the aid of a people, he had only a short time previous devoted to destruction: the insurgents were soothed by promises of future favours, and assurances that the hated conscription should never again be enforced, nor any European form or ceremony introduced, repugnant to the feelings of his faithful Slavon and Albanian Mussulman subjects. The great mass of the people—the hard-working peasant and the industrious citizens of the towns, who never resort to insurrection unless they are driven to it by some exciting cause—laid down their arms; but every attempt of the Mussulman clergy to create a diversion in favour of the old cry, “Death to the Russian Giaours!” proved abortive, and, for the first time in the annals of Islamism, the Standard of the Prophet was obliged to seek its supporters among the paid soldiers of the Crescent. It would require a more lengthened space than it is in our power to appropriate, to detail the scenes that followed, and to which we have alluded more at length while describing our travels in Upper Moesia, on the plain of Cossova. We will, therefore, only add that through the influence of promises never kept, the Slavo-Mussulmans of Bosnia were again induced to return to their mountains; however, having indirectly aided Russia in her invasion, by withholding their assistance when most needed, together with being the most inveterate opponents of the conscription, and every European institution contrary to their laws and customs, the sanguinary Government of Constantinople, which never forgives, determined to take the most ample vengeance, and the Stari Vlah, a space consisting of nearly five hundred square leagues, comprising six districts in Bosnia, and inhabited by more than two hundred thousand Slavo-Mussulmans, was the first to suffer. When all was quiet, at a time when the Slavo-Mussulman, weary of insurrection, had resumed his habits of industry, a hatti-sheriff of the Sultan suddenly appeared, awarding the whole of the district abovedescribed to Prince Milosh, of Servia, as a recompense for his fidelity to the Ottoman Porte during the Russian invasion. In fulfilment of the imperial mandate, Bosnia was now entered simultaneously by the Nizam, and a large army of Servians, commanded by Milosh: it may be almost unnecessary
to say, that the wretched inhabitants were driven from their homes at the point of the bayonet, the unhappy mother and her helpless infant lay without a shelter by the way-side, and the distress of the exiled wanderer was aggravated by the legalized spoliator being of the same race and language. But their creed poor humanity, this formed an impassable gulf between the two people !
Insurrection of the Slavonian-Mussulmans in Bosnia—Religious sectarianism in Bosnia—How useful to the Sultan as an instrument of government—Prince Milosh of Servia–Sultan Mahmoud and his reforms—Effects of his death in Bosnia– Vehighi, Vizier of Bosnia—Sketch of the Haiducs and the Ouskoks in Bosnia and Herzegowina—Contrast between the race of Othman and the Slavo-Mussulmans of Bosnia—Battle between the combined forces of the Nizam and the Christians against the non-reforming Mussulmans of Bosnia—Victory of the Vizier Vehighi—Plunder of Bosna-Serai—Disgrace and captivity of the Vizier—Perfidious policy of the Ottoman Government—Critical state of Bosnia–Geographical position —General view of the country—Its mountains, rivers and forests—Productions—Austrian influence in Bosnia—Bosnia in a military point of view—How situated with regard to Austria.
We may extol the enlightened despotism of this or that ruler—the paternal government of another— rejoice in the success of the Sultan's reforms; this is all very well, so long as we remain at home, and allow ourselves to be guided in our opinions by the representations of an interested party; but the traveller who seeks for his information beneath the surface, and truthfully tells the tale of what he has seen and heard in despotic countries, may bring to light many horrors which otherwise would have lain buried in oblivion. What a debt of gratitude then do we not owe to our glorious ancestors, who, having carved out their own freedom, social and religious, have left us their inestimable blessing, and which can only be appreciated at its full value by him who has wandered much in foreign lands. The arbitrary ejection of the miserable inhabitants of the Stari Vlah, and which henceforth formed a part of the principality of Servia, gave rise to another insurrection of the Slavo-Mussulmans; but this time the Divan was prepared to meet the insurgents, by arraying against them the Christian population. There was Prince Milosh, who had to defend his new possessions in the Stari Vlah, the Latins of Turkish Croatia, with their brethren of the Greek Church in Herzegowina, headed by the daring Haiducs and Ouskoks of the mountains, who, in conjunction with the Nizam, converted the land into a vast field of carnage. We refrain from attempting a description of the scenes of horror that took place during a contest, in which a fanatic Mussulman and an equally fanatic Christian were the principal actors; we will merely say, that the Slavo