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to an enterprizing commander. He would also have to contend against the utter absence of roads; and should the weather prove wet, such is the nature of the soil as almost to render it impossible, either for man or horse, to advance. To which we may add, the more numerous the army, the greater would be the difficulty to find subsistence; and to march by any route except the horsepath of the caravan, at best the precipitous bed of some mountain torrent, it would be necessary to cut a passage through the forests: again, the villages are always concealed in some sequestered nook, so that those unaccustomed to the country would consider it to be a desert. How then could an enemy maintain itself? Under any circumstances, we cannot suppose that Austria would attempt the invasion of Bosnia, a country where, in former years, she was so signally defeated; to which we may add, the Austrian is not popular in these provinces, except among the Roman Catholics of the Kraina, and they would prove too insignificant in numbers to afford any effectual aid, scarcely numbering, as we before observed, three hundred thousand; and such is the bitterness of religious feeling, that alone would be certain to arm the whole population, both Slavo-Greek and Slavo-Mussulman, against her. Even without invasion, Austria has it in her power to injure the interests of the Sultan, by
supplying the insurgents with the matériel of war, and by tacitly encouraging her own Slavonian troops to desert, and assist their brethren and co-religionists in this part of his dominions.
In a political and commercial point of view, the annexation of Bosnia, Herzegowina, and the Kraina, to the Slavonian possessions of Austria, on the Adriatic and the Save, would be most advantageous to the inhabitants, by opening to them a maritime communication with the commercial States of Europe, from which they are now excluded. To Austria the union would be of the highest importance: the possession of Bosnia, with its annexed provinces, the Kraina and Herzegowina, would form, altogether, one of the strongest mountain frontiers of any state in Europe, and at the same time secure to her peaceable possession of a long line of coast on the Adriatic, everywhere open to an attack, in the event of a war with the Ottoman Porte; and she cannot forget that during the palmy days of Turkish power, it was the Slavo-Mussulmans of Bosnia, those daring mountaineers, who ravaged and laid waste Austrian Croatia, Hungary, Styria, Carniola, on to Laibach and Trieste.
Character of the inhabitants of Bosnia—Social institutions —Self-government of the people—Its beneficial tendency —Native bards—Music—Superstitions—Similarity between the Slavonians of European Turkey and those of Hungary and Austria—Moral conduct of the people—Marriage ceremony—Mode of burial—Service of the Koran—Customs and manners—Medical science—Prevalent diseases— The hans in Bosnia—Mode of living—Cookery—State of agriculture—Forests—Mineral treasures in Bosnia—Ironworks—Mineral springs.
IN manners, customs and language, the inhabitants of Bosnia and its sister states, the Kraina and Herzegowina, resemble those of the Servians we have already described, and, like them, whether Christian or Mahometan, display the same generous feeling and hospitality. Even now, notwithstanding the demoralized state of the country, the Frank traveller who refrains from identifying himself with any of
the various religious and political parties that distract the country, may roam in any direction without the slightest danger, and be certain to receive a welcome reception alike from the Mahometan and the Christian. It is true, we occasionally hear of acts of brigandage, but, on inquiry, they generally arise from some political motive. In this respect, the moral character of the Slavonian is supérior to that of the Greek; he is not mercenary, and never a robber merely for the purposes of gain. We must not, therefore, give implicit credence to the accounts of the Austrians, who describe Bosnia as a country infested by brigands, since it is the interest of that power that these countries should not be visited by any traveller from the west: the whole of the commerce, such as it is, being in her hands, and the less these provinces are known to the great world, the greater is the hope that she may, at some future period, annex them to her dominions, or at least exercise over them something in the form of a protectorate. The social organization of the Bosnians is similar to that of the Servian principality, the country is divided into nahias, or circles, and these are subdivided into knejines, or communal tribes, and notwithstanding the numerous insurrections that are continually taking place, these institutions of the people remain unchanged; each tribe, or tribes, where it cannot be done openly, secretly elect their own chief, and administer the affairs of the cornmunity by a representative form of government— a perfect patriarchal republic. In short, the real tendency of the Slavonian inhabitants of European Turkey is the federal system; and whatever may be their ultimate fate, any attempt of a new ruler to introduce among them the bureaucracy and individual administration of other states, would be certain to excite universal discontent. Like all mountaineers, the Bosnians are much attached to their country, and expatiate with great complacency on the excellence and abundance of its products—their grain, their honey, their flocks and herds, all of which they affirm to be unequalled of their kind; nor are they insensible to the picturesque beauty of their luxuriant valleys, dense forests and lofty mountains. Taken altogether, the peasant of Bosnia is more intelligent than the peasant of Western and Central Europe; this is referrible to the nature of their social institutions, which obliges him to examine and decide for himself, and take a part in the discussion of the affairs of the community of which he is a member; whereas, in the majority of the countries of Europe, the Government alone wills and acts,