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pregnant, till her being delivered of a son, and the expiry of his minority. In the event of the emperor leaving no son, and a posthumous child proving a female, the crown itself devolved upon the grand duke Michael.
In the course of the year, the differences between Russia and Turkey, regarding the occupation of Wallachia and Moldavia, and the rights of the Servians, which had led to so much tedious negotiation at Constantinople, were brought to an amicable conclusion, of which we shall speak more at large, in detailing the public events which occurred in Turkey. But scarcely had the emperor arrived at this termination of a dangerous dispute with one neighbour, and escaped from the splendors of his coronation, when he found himself unexpectedly involved in actual war with another, though less formidable, adversary. When Russia, in 1812 and 1813, was collecting all her resources to oppose the invasion of Napoleon, and disentangling herself from every embarrassment which might hamper her exertions in a contest in which her existence was at stake, she put an end to the war then existing between her and Persia, by the treaty of Gulistan. In that treaty the boundary between the territory of the two countries on the north-west, towards Georgia, had not been marked out with sufficient distinctness, no other line of demarcation having been assumed than the positions occupied by the belligerent armies, not following either any natural limit, like that of the mountains and rivers, or any succession of artificial works such as towns and fortresses. The Khanats of Shirvan, Karabun, and Noucha had been ceded to Russia; but
they were still governed by their ancient Khans, who, acknowledging the emperor Alexander as their sovereign lord, instead of the Schah of Persia, still retained their ancient laws and customs, were separated by their religious belief from their christian superiors and, while paying formal homage to Russia, preserved their attachment to Persia, cemented as it was by conformity of faith, similarity of language and manners, and ancient recollections. The disputes about the frontier were perpetually renewed. Rnssiaalleged that Persia had taken possession of a tract of country expressly ceded to Russia, in the treaty of Gulistan; while it was certain that Russia, certainly without authority from that treaty, had taken possession of part of the Persian territories on the lake of Goktscha. These differences had long been the subject of negotiation between the two courts, and Russia had, in the meanwhile, continued to occupy the disputed ground. No threat or appearance of hostilities had as yet appeared on either side; Russia had offered to restore the territory in question, upon the district belonging to her ahd occupied by Persia, being given up in return; or to exchange it for another tract described to be of far less value, and whose dry and arid soil offered no compensation except the vicinity of the lake. At length it was agreed between general Yermoloff, the Russian commander in Georgia, and Abbas Mirza, the prince royal of Persia, that it should be retained by Russia, and that Persia should receive in return a tract of land between the rivers Kapan and Kapanatchy. Nicholas, immediately on his accession, despatched prince Menzikoff as ambassador extraor(Unary to the Court of Tehran, to announce his accession to the throne, and put the finishing hand to the arrangement regarding the line of demarcation; authorizing him, if it should be necessary for the final settlement of the matter, to give up to Persia, in addition to the district of the Kapan, part of the neighbouring district of Talys- chine. Prince Menzikoff, on his arrival on the frontiers, was treated with the highest respect; Abbas Mirza himself received him at Tauris, loaded him with honours, and gave him the most friendly assurances.*! nyJel hud al
But Abbas Mirza, who was heir apparent, having been named by his father to succeed him, and whom, therefore, Russia had bound herself by the terms of the treaty of Gulistan to recognize as successor, had been playing a double part. Whether from uncalculating ambition, national antipathy, or mere precipitate folly, he had been watching a favourable opportunity for recovering from Russia by force part, at least, of the spoils which she had secured to herself at the peace of-1813. He thought that he had now found it; and that the occupation of the disputed territory by Russia would furnish a good pretext for war, . while the discontents of the new subjects of Russia would both be useful instruments in prosecuting it, and render it popular at home. The Mahommedans of Georgia were averse to the rule of an infidel; thepetty chiefs w ere dissatisfied with a power which abridged their own prerogatives, and, by its greater strictness in comparison with the supremacy which had been exercised by Persia, compelled them to remember that they were subjects in reality, as well as in name. Ju some places the violence and
misconduct of the Russian soldiery, and of some of the inferior Russian agents, had produced general discontent among the lower orders of the people.* All these circumstances, exaggerated and enforced by the Mollahs, the Persian priesthood, had produced a general belief in the country, that Georgia was eager to rise in arms against its northern oppressors, and that now was the time for Persia to drive back the neighbour, before whose advance she had hitherto been compelled to recede. A solemn appeal in defence of the suffering believers in the prophet was made to the people by the Mollahs, and despatched to the provinces, to be read in 'all' thfe mosques; calling into action1 !r»-ligious prejudices which are such powerful motives to popular action every where, and, in the east, rise so easily to fanatical enthusiasm. Abbas Mirza was assisted by the prime minister Alaiar Khan, who was likewise his brother-in-law^ and, supported by the public wishes, they easily prevailed over the pacific dispositions of the king, representing to him how mttoh be would gain in the opinion of all true Mahommedans by standing forth as the champion and avenger of their religion, and to what degradation of character he must submit, if he refused to listen to the prayers of his brother-believers groaning under the oppression of an infidel yoke. The king re
• In the Persian camp at Sultania, a Chousk of Karabang made the following speech to the Schah. — "Man, do you call yourself the king of the Mohartim^<lnus, and idly pass your time in the J lai-eiu. when Mussulmen are daily abused by infidels? I was obliged to look on while five Russian soldiers violated my wife in Karabang. I at your bewd,"
I spit solved for war, and the troops were ordered to mareh to the frontier.
These, resolutions had been adopted, while prince Menzikov was on his journey to Sultania. On the road he had been passed by Abbas Mirza returning in great haste from Tauristo the camp; and, when he arrived at Sultania, he experienced a striking change from the deference and respect with which he had been received on the frontier. At his first audience, when he presented the emperor's letter to the Schah, the latter, instead of taking it in his own hand, the usual mark of respect to a foreign potentate, and which, in the course of the previous arrangement of the ceremonial of presentation, he had twice positively promised to do, made a sign to theprince to lay it upon a cushion, a mark of contempt and insult to his master.* War had been already resolved upon, but decency required that a reason should be given. The Persian minister accordingly made a peremptory demand to prince Menzikoff, that Russia should immediately give up possession of the country which she occupied on the lake of Goktcha. Prince Menzikoff answered by referring to the letter of Abbas Mirza to general YermolofF, in which his royal highness had consented to yield that district in exchange for the tract between the Kapan and Kapanatchy; but Alaiar Khan replied, that such an exchange had never received the sanction of the Schah, and was totally inadmissible. The Russian envoy, whose instructions had been framed on the supposition of that exchange being a point already fixed by the nego
* Prince Menzikov's Despatches.
tiations, stated that he would immediately apply to his government for further orders; but he was informed that he would be furnished with the means of returning to Teflis, and that, although the negotiations might be resumed in a frontier town, it would only be on the footing of the treaty of Gulistan, that was, upon Russia, as a preliminary, retiring instantly from the disputed territory. On the interposition of the English Charge d'Affaires, prince Menzikoff agreed to take with him to Teflis a Persian negotiator, whose efforts he might second, and who should endeavour to procure from general Yermolov the evacuation of the coast of the Goktcha during the ensuing winter, which could be employed in arranging the points in dispute regarding the frontiers. The Schah assented to this proposal, and named an envoy to proceed to Teflis; but the portion of territory in dispute were not the object or motive of the war party, and such an arrangement did anything but suit their views. The Khan of Talyche, a district subject to Russia, chose this moment to revolt; he put the Russian garrison of Arkevan to the sword, and demanded of Persia, what he instantly received, assistance against the infidel. Abbas Mirza and his adherents took advantage of this occurrence to decide the king for war. The king and the army which had been in the camp at Sultania, marched to the frontier of Georgia, and prince Menzikov set out on his return to Teflis. On his journey he was subjected to manifold species of insult, and bad treatment. His dragoman was put under arrest j the couriers coming to him as well as those sent by him, were stopped, and
the despatches taken from themAt Erivan he was detained for three weeks toy orders of the Persian minister, notwithstanding all his remonstrances against this breach of the law of nations; and he at last made his escape, and reached Teflis in safety, only by causing it to be represented to that minister, that, as his numerous enemies would assuredly make use of the first unsuccessful or even doubtful battle, to destroy his credit, it would be good policy for him to think beforehand of concluding a peace on advantageous terms, and thatsuch apeace was most likely to be obtained by allowing the departure of the Russian ambassador, who would have a personal interest to incline his government to an accommodation.
When these proceedings first became known at Petcrsburgh and Moscow, the emperor Nicholas was disposed to ascribe them to the disobedience of some Persian commander, who had disregarded the intentions of his sovereign; and he demanded nothing more than the immediate removal and exemplary punishment of the Sirdar of Erivan, whoni he considered to be the first aggressor. But when, these orders arrived in Georgia, it was no longer possible to execute them, and the affair was decided. Abbas Mirza,having returned from the camp of Sultania, had taken, in person, the command of the Persian forces. He already occupied a part of the province of Karabasch, belonging to Russia, and was exciting rebellion; his emissaries were encouraging the Mahommedan subjects of Russia in all the frontier provinces to revolt; and the Persian proclamations announced a religious war. Russia,
therefore, on the 28th September, issued a declaration of war against Persia, in which, after stating the facts, she concluded, that, as the treaty of Gulistan had been broken, she would not lay down her arms, "till she had obtained guarantees for perfect security for the future, and a just indemnity for the past, by a solid and honourable peace."
The folly, the precipitation, the fanaticism of Persia thus hurried her into an unnecessary war, for which she was not at all prepared, and that, too, with a power whose colossal strength, if directed towards schemes of conquest, could have wished for no better pretext to crush her. Even if Russia, by occupying the shore of the Goktcha, had extended her occupation beyond the limits prescribed bytreat)', it was not an aggression of yesterday, calling for immediate action to repel it. The encroachment, if such it were, had been, and was at that moment, the subject of negotiation; that negotiation had already come the length of an arrangement sanctionedJjy the prince royal; and if a refusal on the part of Persia to ratify it, rendered it necessary for the Russian envoy, necessarily uninstructed on an occurrence which had never been anticipated, to await the farther orders of his court, it could be no good reason for interrupting negotiation altogether by an unexpected appeal to arms. Persia rushed into war without a sufficient motive; and, as she brought to it neither adequate resources, nor sufficient preparation, she could not reasonably promise herself that the result would be favourable. The Persian army was trained by British officers; but when it marched to attack the Russian frontier, the British charge d' affaires forbade them to folloXv it.
The Persian army consisted of between thirty and forty thousand men; and, as the invasion took place in the midst of peace, it found, when it crossed the Araxes, the frontiers of Georgia almost stripped of troops. The Georgian army of Russia was dispersed in its cantonments, and to collect them required time. At first, therefore, success was on the side of the Persians; the Russian posts on the frontiers fell back as the enemy advanced, being too weak to resist them, and, the country being open to them for a time, the Persians issued their manifestos calling on the delivered population to take up arms in the name of Mahomet, and in defence of their religion, a call which was not very generally answered. Their prosperity was of short duration. General Yermolov rapidly concentrated his troops at Teflis, and strengthened the different points which were threatened. In the middle of September, the Persians were first encountered by general Madatov, who attacked a body of them amounting to about ten thousand men under the command of a son of Abbas, and a brother of the Schah. After a severe contest, the Persian cavalry took to flight, and the infantry, being thus left unsupported, were broken by the Russian cavalry, and completely routed. The Persians lost two thousand men in killed and wounded. Amur Khan, the uncle of Abbas Mirza, was killed while endeavouring to rally his troops, and the young prince, son of Abbas, after having been taken prisoner by a Cossack, was rescued by the
devotion of one of his attendants. The Russians now advanced, and took possession, of Elizabethpol without opposition. Abbas Mirza, having been joined by Alaiar Khau, burning to avenge their defeat, advanced against Madatov, who had prepared to meet him by effecting a junction with general Parkffiwitch, and a second battle was fought on the 25th September, in the neighbourhood of Elizabethpol. According to the Russian accounts, the Persians, though amounting to no fewer than thirty-five thousand men, with twenty-six pieces of artillery, were, after a short combat, routed with the loss of twelve hundred men, while the killed and wounded in the Russian army did not amount to three hundred men. The Persians retreated across the Araxes in confusion, leaving behind them great part of their bag'gage, and fell back upon the frontiers of Persia. General Parkewitch sent detachments across the river to seize the enemy's magazines, clear the frontier, and recover the numerous families of Russian subjects, who had been carried off as plunder. In the course of these operations numerous skirmishes took place, all of which terminated to the advantage of the Russians. In the end of October, they returned to the left bank of the Araxes to go into winter quarters; and, at the same time, Abbas Mirza, who had retreated to Ardebil, retaining a small body of troops round his own person, dismissed the remainder till the spring. From the province of Erivan, the Serdar, and his brother Hassam Khan, made various predatory incursions into the Russian territory, striving to excite the in