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State of the Ottoman Empire at the opening of the congress at Bucharest. Abilities of the Grand Vix,ir; time of the ce£utun profitably employed'i unwearied perseverance in ejlabhjbing order and dijciptine in ibt army. French consul at the Dardanelles becomes a renegade, and cjiabt.jnes a military school. War in Syria. Ali Bey reduces juppa, and mareuej at the head of an army for the recovery of Egypt; is defated in a bloody battle near Cairo, and taken prisoner by Mahomet Bey Abouaaab ; his death. Tribute sent from Egypt ; good conj'equ■ nces of the, reduction of that country. Cheik Daher. Armaments in the Blai.it Sea • Some account of Hoffein Bey. Dreadful plague at Bagdat and Basfora. Rujfia. Observations on the armistice-. Migration of the Torgut tribe of Tartars. Fleet in the Baltic; alliance tvitb Denmark; cesfion of Holjiein. Grand Duke'j marriage. Duke of Courland. Rujj.au marine. Iffue of the •war in Georgia. Silver mines discovered. Magnanimity of the Empress; conduB voith respeQ to the commercial failures; attention and regard to the English merchants. Parties in Russia.
THE time gained from the hurry and fury of war, during the negociations at Foczani and Bucharest, was not unprofitably employed by the Porte. The disorders indeed, which, partly from the relaxation of government, and partly from faults in its original constitution, had been accumulating for near a century, were become so numerous and obstinate, that it seemed almost as difficult to determine which to begin with, as it was to form a right judgment, "pon the nature of the remedies Rhich were necessarily to be applied.
Egypt was scarcely delivered from an enterprizing usurper, who had long thrown off all dependence on the Ottoman empire: who was still strongly supported, and was preparing 10 recover a country which he considered as his own, wi;h ail the eagerness that revenge and ambition could inspire. Syria had long been a scene of open war
and rebellion, and the preservation
ruined navy, were left for the defence of the remainder.
Id these deplorable circumstances, the Ottomans had a sovereign, who bore his misfortunes with unparalleled firmness and dignity, and a miniiier, whose uncommon abilities gave hopes that he would redeem the errors of his predecessors. Of these they had already received a specimen, which gave room for every hope in the future; as the address with which Mousson Ogiou concluded the armistice, and brought on the negociations at Bucharest, may, perhaps, be ranked with the greatest services that any prince or state ever received from a minister.
During this momentous interval of cessation, when every quarter presented claims which at another time would have demanded his utmost attention, the Grand Vizir superseded all other considerations, to the great object of bringing about a reformation in the army. To effect this purpose, he kept the troops from dispersing, and the janissaries from returning to Constantinople, as they had hitherto done at the end of the campaign j and thereby preserved them from those excesses and debaucheries, which rendered them equally impatient of submission, and incapable of service, upon their return to the camp. Their bodies were now, on the contrary, hardened by the length and severity of a Bulgarian winter, where the harshness of the climate, and the roughness of the country, made them necessarily experience degrees of hardship and fatigue, with which they had hitherto been little acquainted j while the Vizir himself, who was an avowed enemy
to the Asiatic luxury, taught them by his own example, that vigilance, activity, and temperance, which he wished them to practise: and being thus constantly under the eyt, and in the power of their comir.v.iders, they became insensibly habituated to regularity and order. He at the same time took care that they should be plentifully supplied with necessaries, and their pay regularly issued; so that no real cause being left for complaint, the soldiers were assumed to murmur at doing what was only their duty.
Thus by perseverance, and an unremitting industry, the Grand Vizir gradually curbed that licentiousness, which, during this war, had made the soldiers terrible only to their officers; while their disobedience, and contempt of order and discipline, laid them continually open, as a defenceless prey to their enemies, and rendered their courage only a certain snare for their destruction. It is also said, that by the assistance of several French officers, he has taken great pains to introduce the European discipline among the troops, and that the Turks, grown wise at length by their misfortunes, have for once subdued their pride and their prejudice-, and now submit to receive instructions, which they had so often refused and so long despised.
A French renegade, who had been the consul to that nation at the Dardanelles, and had basely fixed the stigma upon his country, of producing the first public officer belonging to any western state, who had abandoned Christianity to embrace Mahometanifm, formed a kind of military school, under the sanction sanction and immediate inspection of (he Grand Signior, which, in the present disposition of the Turks, nay be productive of some effect. This man, having a competent degree of mathematical knowledge, and being well veried in ihe management of artillery, had been employed, prior to his apollacy, in repairing the caliles, and erecting new fortifications, at the Dardanelles, so that independent of the defence of a fleet, that passage might, from its own strength, be rendered impracticable to the Russians. That service having been performed to the satisfaction of the Forte, and this adventurer being now become its subject, he undertook the induction of the Turkilh engineers, and attended to this offite with such assiduity, that, it is slid, he has already accomplished a surprising improvement in the management of their artillery. • The appearances of peace by no means slackened the preparations for war during the negociations; new levies were made with great diligence, and (hips wrse built, manned, and equipped, with the greateil possible expedition. These objects, together with the restoration of order and tranquillity in the provinces, were immediately attended to by the Grand Signior, while the Vizir, in pursuance os the plan he had formed, continued Constantly with the army. In the mean time, the molt admirable order and police were preserved in the capital, which being purged of "s supernumeraiy crowds by the w»r, and cleared of the idle and profligate, became, with its beautiful environs, the most pleasant residence in the world.
Ihe winter in Syria was too moderate, to prove any restraint to
the troubles in that country. Ali Bey, by the assistance of his faithful ally the Cheik Daher, and through that veneration and compassion, which the brave and unfortunate experience more among barbarous tribes than civilized nations, was again grown considerable; and thele leaders became every day more formidable. They however spent much time in the besieging os towns, a service for which the kind of troops that they commander were totally unfit, and for which they notwithstanding seemed to have a great passion. Many inconsiderable places baffled their utmost efforts, notwithstanding the assistance given them by the Ruffians; and the decayed city of Jaffa, or Joppa, cost them a siege of seven or eight monns, though but meanly fortified, and as badly provided.
The taking of this place was however necelstry to Ali iiey, as it greatly facilitated the enterprize which he was meditating against Egypt, and which he then unmediately prepared to carry into execution. The forces which he was able to collect for this purpose, were very unequal to lo great a design; but his eagerness to regain so desirable a possession, outweighed all other considerations, and prompted him to put every thing to the hazard.
He accordingly set out with about 13,000 men for Grand Cairo, and met with no obstacle in his march till he approached to that city, near which, at a place called S tlekie, he found Mehemet Bey Aboudaab, too well prepared for his reception, at the... , hesid of an army of 60,000 *•' * men. Neither Ali Bey, <'*' nor his followers. weie discomposed posed at the sight of this great array; and though it was on a Friday, a day which the Mahometans scrupulously dedicate to prayer, and which Aboudaab wanted to keep sacred, by deferring the battle till the next day, they obliged him to change his resolution. A desperate engagement ensued, in which Ali Bey and his followers behaved with the utmost resolution; but being also encountered with a resolution which they probably did not expect, they were at fength overborne by numbers, and were almost all cut to pieces; not above five tomdred being taken prisoners, and their situation not admitting any to escape.
A son and a nephew of the Cheik Daher,. with several other Beys, •were among the slain. Ali Bey, *fter being desperately wounded, was. taken prisoner; and was the feme day brought in that condition fceJo»e the Divan at Cairo. In this fculocn situation, he lost his lorBer resolution, and throwing himfeif at the feet of Aboudaab, called birrv bis son, and requested his life in the most endearing terms. The conqueror did not intuit his misfortunes; be said he should receive no prejudice from him; but that he asked what it was not in his power to grant, at his life was in the kinds of the Grand Signior only. Aboudaab kept his word, and an mtiet was afterwards issued from Constantinople for his being bekxaded; but it is not known whether he died of his wounds, or in coafequence of that order.
Such was the fate of AH Bey. A man, who, independent of his ambition and rebellion, seemed yoSeffed of several qualities that jtrwfered him worthy of a better iaettme. It does not seem extraor
dinary that in his circumstances, he should have encountered any dangers, or engaged in any attempt however desperate, that might afford a potability of retrieving his affairs; but the attachment and intrepidity of his voluntary followers is truly astonishing; whose hearts, instead of being dejected at the sight of such an army, or of unking under a consciousness of their own miserable situation, which afforded neither retreat nor shelter, on the contrary, beat high for the engagement; and without any relource but their own native courage, fought till they were cut to pieces, with all the confidence which arises, in veteran troops, from a knowledge of their superiority in military skill and discipline.
There were about sour hundred Ruffians, Greeks, and Albanians, in this ill-fated army, who kept in a distinct body, and had the management of the artillery, which amounted to twenty pieces of cannon, and with which they did great execution during the engagement. They also behaved with great courage, and were all killed to about twenty. Some Russian ships appeared at the fame time upon the coast of Egypt; but disappeared as soon as they found the unhappy turn that affairs had taken.
The news of this, important success was received with great joy at Constantinople, which was still increased, by the arrival soon aster of four years revenue that was due from Egypt, which had been kept back by the troubles, and was now sent as the first-fruits of the settlement of that country. In truth, this event was the most fortunate to the Tnrkisli empire, of any that had taken place for many years. Besides the getting rid of
a most a most daring and dangerous rebel, and the recovery of a noble country, on which the subsistence os the capital, and the army in a great degree depended; this success served to restrain that spirit of disorder anj revolt which was so prevalent in other parts, and had a happy effect at the fame time, in removing that dangerous despondency at home, which was the inevitable consequence of a continued series of misfortunes. It also (hewed to its enemies the vast resources of that great empire, where such a man as Abouca.ib, with little more than the bare name of government to support him, could raise so considerable an army, in one of its most unsettled provinces.
The fate of his friend Ali Bey, did not discourage the Cheilc Daher, who, seconded by his numerous sons and nephews, and well supported by the Druses Mutiialis, and other barbarous tribes 'who have chosen to follow his fortunes, seemed to acquire new strength and courage by that event. He still carries on a very troublesome war in Syria, which keeps that and the neighbouring provinces in great disorder; nor does it seem probable that the Porte will be able, before the conclusion of a peace, to restore the tranquillity of that country.
The fleet which the Porte was able to fit out this year at Constantinople, was only equal to the task of attending to the defence of the Dardanelles, and of preserving the dominion of the Black Sea. A considerable part of it was employed in guarding tnc mouths of the Danube, to prevent any design the Russians might form for the invasion os Romania, by a sudden embarkation os troops, aboard
such vessels as they could procure in those vast channels. A second squadron was sent with troops, ammunition, and provisions, tor the relief of Oczacow and Kilburn; and a third was sent with the new Tartar Chan for the recovery of the Crimea. We are not well informed os any particulars relative to this expedition, except its having failed of success. The Ruffians fay that the Chan landed and was defeats;'; and the Turks inform us, that the fleet, having suffered much by tempests, was at length drove into the sea ports of Amasia, and obliged to land the troops to resit, who being mostly natives of that country, seized the opportunity to disband, and retire to their respective homes, by which the expedition was of necessity laid aside.
This state of inactivity, in which the Turkish marine was restrained by its weakness, ill suited the enterprising genius of the celebrated Hassan, or Hossein Bey, the Captain Bafha, or Admiral of the Black Sea. This brave commander, who had already distinguished himself with great honour in the course of the war, particularly in the fatal sea fight at Cisme, and by his bold and masterly conduct in the expulsion of the Russians from the islands of Lemnos, and Meteline, upon finding that the Ruffians had passed the Danube in the latter campaign, obtained leave from the Emperor to appoint a deputy for his naval command, and to go himself, in the rank of Serafkier, or principal general, to oppose the enemy. We have already seen the success that attended his bravery and conduct upon that expedition, and the precision with