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death, departed for Constantinople to demand the aid of the Osmanli; at the same time, Macksim, dreading the effect of his enemy's representations, resolved to plead his own cause, and lost no time in setting off for the capital. The Sultan, flattered by the visit of the two Slavonian chiefs, entertained them most sumptuously, reconciled their differences, and finally converted them to Islamism; from this time they became the warmest supporters of the Crescent, and as a reward for their bravery and fidelity, Macksim was created hereditary Pacha of Scutari, and Ivan hereditary Pacha of Ipek, thus dividing between them the whole of Upper and Central Albania; the descendants of the former continued in possession of the pachalik till the rebellion of Moustapha in 1833, and those of Ivan, down to the last revolt of the Albanians in Ipek, a few years since. From this time, Tchernegora, deserted by its hereditary princes, the Government became vested in the spiritual ruler the Vladika; and the inhabitants, weary of their unequal contest with the Osmanli, consented to pay the harritch; at the same time Islamism made considerable progress among them, particularly as it absolved all who embraced that faith from paying any tax or tribute whatever, besides offering a career of military glory to whoever chose to embrace the profession of arms. Such was the state

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of Tchernegora, till about the end of the seventeenth century, when the Christians of Zeta, in the vicinity of Tchernegora, having purchased from the Divan the right of erecting a church, the Vladika of Tchernegora, Petrovich Niegowich, was invited to consecrate it. Relying on the assurances of perfect safety given him, and on the protection of a strong guard of pandours placed at his disposal by the Pacha of Scutari, in whose pachalik Zeta was situated, the Vladika set out to perform his sacred mission, but contrary to the laws of justice and good faith, on passing the frontier of Tchernegora, he found himself seized by the agents of the perfidious Pacha, and condemned to be impaled as a traitor, unless he embraced Islamism. Life was refused, at the expense of his creed, by the indignant Vladika, who was afterwards released, on the inhabitants of Zeta and Tchernegora paying the rapacious Pacha an exorbitant ransom, which reduced them to sell even the sacred vessels and ornaments of their churches. This base act of perfidy, on the part of the Mussulman authorities, was fearfully avenged by the Christians of Tchernegora and the surrounding districts, who rose en masse on Christmas Eve, in the year 1703, and massacred every Mahometan who did not submit to be baptized. This was the commencement of that horrible religious war, between the Arnouts and the Tchernegori, which has continued, without intermission, down to the present day. The warlike Vladika Petrovich Niegowich, worthy of being placed by the side of the Black Prince of Tchernegora, Ivan Tchernoievich, whose armorial ensign he assumed—the double eagle, became the terror of the Turks, and by his victories and wise administration, succeeded in securing to his own family the hereditary dignity of Vladika, which had been hitherto elective. Circumstances were also favourable to the establishment of national power in Tchernegora. The persecution of the Christians by the Mahometan authorities in retaliation for the massacre of their co-religionists, drove a multitude of desperate men to seek a refuge in the mountains of Tchernegora, and increased the army of the Vladika to twenty thousand warriors. At the same time, Peter the Great, of Russia, having declared war against the Turks, found an ally ready prepared to assist him, professing the same creed, and speaking a dialect of the same language as his own subjects, and thus revealed to Western Europe the existence of the little state of Tchernegora. Peter, having made peace with the Ottoman Porte, abandoned his new allies to their fate. An interesting piesma recounts the despairing appeal of the hapless people to their brethren of the North, when,

in 1712, they found their mountains invaded by an army of sixty thousand Mahometans, under the command of the Seraskier Achmet Pacha, who had orders, in revenge for the assistance they rendered the Russians, to exterminate the entire population. A nation, however valorous, never conquers its liberty, but by concentrating power in a military chief, and the good genius that inspired the inhabitants of Tchernegora, to place their safety in the hands of their warlike Vladika, saved them from annihilation, and truly the destruction of sixty thousand fanatic warriors of the Crescent was a feat sufficient to place the warlike priest, Petrovich Niegowich, on a level with any of the greatest warriors of ancient Greece. “At that dreadful hour,” says the Tchernegora piesma, “when ghosts leave their tombs—when vampires stalk abroad—when nought else is heard, save the thrilling midnight crow of the cock; a host of black warriors descended like a torrent upon the Turkish camp. It was in vain that the haughty Bey and the fierce Spahi attempted to defend themselves; in vain they sought safety in flight, since every pass was an ambuscade, where they were slaughtered as peace-offerings to the manes of our forefathers, who died for the liberty of Servia, on the fatal field of Cossova. O Servian wherever

thou art,” continues the piesma, “whether freeman or slave, celebrate at least one day of July, in commemoration of the glorious victory of thy brethren of Tchernegora in 1712, and rejoice that so long as the black mountains exist, thou hast liberty and a country.” This great victory of the mountaineers of Tchernegora, whose warriors did not amount to more than twenty thousand, might appear almost fabulous, were it not confirmed in the history of the Venetians, who then occupied the neighbouring provinces on the Adriatic. The Sultan, furious at the destruction of his army, swore by Mahomet, if it should cost him his empire, he would not only exterminate the rebel Giaours, but blow up the mountains, and thus make for ever a passage into the nest of brigands. “To effect this,” says the Tchernegora piesma, an “expedition of a hundred and twenty thousand men was confided to the command of the Pacha Keuprili, a descendant of the great Vizier of the same name, who figured as one of the most successful generals in Turkish history.” Keuprili, more anxious for his military reputation, than his character of a brave, open-hearted soldier, hesitated to attack a people who had already shown themselves such formidable antagonists; he had therefore recourse to duplicity, and offered the moun

taineers an honourable peace in the name of the

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