« ZurückWeiter »
borough of Southwark; and third, the city and liberty of Weftminster. This is a very indifferent description of our capital.
The city of Westminster is not properly the city of London, more than all the buildings that lie in the county, which, to speak within bounds, contains above a hundred thousand inhabitants, such as Pancras, Marybone, St. Giles's, and other parishes. The same indefinite description has led other fo. reigners, as well as this author, into another mistake, which is still more important, by calculating the population of what is called London, from the bills of mortality, though some large parishes are not within those bills.-- After all, we are very ready to admit that Mr. Totze's description of the present state of Great Britain is more correct than that of any other foreigner.
The present state of the Netherlands next follows, and then that of Denmark, which is illustrated by some accurate notes, It is to be wished that other parts of this performance had undergone a like revisal. We have nothing to object to our au. thor's account of Sweden, Poland and Russia, with which the third volume closes.
We shall say nothing decisive concerning this work, because we look upon it, as yet, to be imperfect, and a few elucida-, tions in the unpublished part may render it of very general utility.
II. The History of the Negotiations for the Peace concluded at Bel
grade, September, 18, 1739, bei ween the Emperor, Russia, and the Ottoman Porte, by the Mediation and under the Guarantee of France. Shewing the Grounds of the prefent War bem 'tween the Russians and obe Turks. Translated from the French
of M. L'Abbe Laugier. 8vo. Pr. 55. 3d. in boards. Murray. THIS is an accurate and an instructive work: it discovers
1 great knowledge both of men and things. The ableft, negotiator may improve himself by attending to the conduct of the marquis de Villeneuve; as the best writer may profit, by imi, tating the eloquence and perspicuity of M. L'Abbe Laugier's narrative.
Having done this justice to the statesmen and the author, we can with the better grace differ from the English translator, when he says that the work before us News the grounds of the present war between the Russians and the Turks. Every nation, it is true, at war with another, considers its former engagements as being dissolved, and each resumes its original intentions, and either ratifies or alters them by a subsequent treaty. In the present war between the Porte and the court of
Russia, it is more than probable that the victor may revive thie claims that were either adjusted or remained dormant at the peace of Belgrade in 1739; but we apprehend that the present war was grounded upon events entirely unconnected with any thing contained in that treaty. In the present grand seignor's manifesto, delivered the 20th of October, 1768, to the foreign ministers residing at Constantinople, mention is indeed made that the Russians had sent troops to Balta, where they had committed hostilities, in violation of the peace of Belgrade; but the Ruffians denied the fact ; nor has it ever been considered since as a matter of any moment.
In the history before us the author first enters upon a review of the political interests that kindled up the war between the Russians and the Turks, which was terminated by the treaty of Belgrade. The cession of Afoph to the czar Peter by the treaty of Carlowitz in 1669, was the more mortifying to the Turks, as it was followed by the Russians acquiring an esta. blishment on the Black Sea, the exclusive navigation of which had, till that time, been enjoyed by the Porte. The war which followed between Sweden and Russia gave sultan Achmet III. a pretext for sending his grand visier at the head of a formidable army against that of Russia, commanded by Peter the Great in person. The event of that expedition, which promised to terminate in the total defeat of the Russians, when they were blocked up at Pruth, and were delivered by the address of the czar's mistress, afterwards the empress Catherine, is well known in history. It proved to the Turks to be a kind of a Furcæ caudinæ, as the Porte, by gaining little more than the restitution of Afophi, acquired either too little or too much, and the Ruffians were rather exasperated than humbled by their disgrace.
Between the conclusion of the peace of Pruth and the year 1730, both empires were employed in dismembering the unhappy Persian monarchy. Peter seized Derbent, and established an advantageous commerce on the Caspian Sea. Anne Iwannovena that year filled the throne of Ruflia, and a revolution had placed the sultan Mahomet on that of Constantinople. The latter proposed a peace with shah Thamas, and offered to allift him in retaking all the provinces conquered by Peter 1. on the Caspian Sea. The court of Petersburgh found means to break off this negotiation ; and the war going on, nah Thamas defeated the Turks near mount Tauris. Their subsequent disgraces obliged them to restore to the Persians all their conquests on that fide, and to aslift shah Thamas in dislodging the Russians from the borders of the Caspian Sea ; but the czarina
made proper dispositions, so that neither party succeeded in its designs against the Russian conquests.
The death of Augustus I. king of Poland, in 1732, engaged the czarina's whole attention to prevent his most Christian majesty's father in-law regaining the crown of Poland, which accordingly went in favour of the late king's son, Augustus II. The prosecution of this great measure obliged the Russians to make peace with shah Thamas, by yielding up to him part of their Persian conquests. The Turks were so much exasperated at this pacification, that they marched 100,000 men to Bender, but they durft not employ them against Rufiia, because the Persians had already commenced hoftilities against them. Thus their army at Bender was recalled to act against Thah Thamas; but the court of Petersburgh was so much engaged in fup. porting Augustus II. that it took no part in this new war. The Turks employed a seraskier as their minister to finish it by negotiation ; and thah Thamas, who had hitherto gained by every negotiation with both powers, would have gladly renewed the peace, had not his general and minister, the famous Kouli Khan, thrown him into priton, placed one of his sons upon the throne, and declared himself regent of the kingdom, and generaliffimo of the army, soon after confirming all former treaties between Persia and Russia, that he might employ his whole force against the Turks. Kouli Khan, after haughtily rejecting all terms offered him by the bashaw of Bagdat, was totally defeated by the Turks whom he hated and despised. By this time thah Thamas was reinstated on his throne, and would have made peace with the Turks had not Kouli Khan been at the head of his armies, and after losing a second battle re. mained completely victorious in a third.
Anguftus II. being confirmed on his throne, the Russians resumed their hostile measures against the Turks, and even ceded several places on the frontiers of Persia to keep Kouli Khan quiet during the war. He had again defeated the Turks. near Erivan, and the Porte had ordered the Khan of the Tartars to relieve Georgia, which obliged them to march through part of the Russian terrritories, where some disorders had been committed. The Rutlian resident at Conftantinople made complaints of this, but they were neglected by the Porte ; upon which count Munich, the Ruflian general, on the 26th of March 1736, invested Asoph, and the Turks proposed a peace with the Persians by restoring all their conquests in that kingdom. Even preliminaries were figned, but the ambition of Kouli Khan, who depended greatly on the czarina for mounting the throne of Persia, broke all measures of that kind. After this abridge
ment of one of the most curious and least utiderstood parts of modern history, our author shall speak for himself.
• The practices of this usurper, Koulican, were no secret at Constantinople, where a report had even been spread, and met with credit among those who had opportunities of being well acquainted with the secrets of the Turkish government, that the money lent by Ruflia to fhaw Thamas was to be reimbursed by the Porte, or, as an alternative, that Azoph thould be ceded to the Russians; that the Porte being in no condition to make the reimbursement, had consented to the Ruffian invasion, preferring the losing that place by a fiege to the expedient of yielding it up, in order to prevent the inurmurs and outrages of the people, which a voluntary ceffion must infallibly excite. It was affirmed, that this arrangement was settled in one of the secret articles of the peace between the Porte and Koulican; which opinion was favoured by the dilatory preparations of the Turks against Ruflia ; and by this circumstance, that the Russian minister still enjoyed his, liberty at Constantinople, contrary to their usual practice, as they feldom fail of Thutting up in the prison of the seven: towers, the ministers of those potentates who declare war against them.
• The event, however, proved this conjecture to be alto. gether groundless. The Cham of Tartary received orders to march with all expedition to the relief of Azoph; and he affembled near Orkapi an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men; and commissions were issued out, requiring all the militia of Greece and Romania to rendezvous at Bender; and the captain Bashaw failed for the Black Sea with a fleet of thirty gallies and twenty brigantines, which were joined, during their voyage, by a great number of transports and armed vessels.
• On the ad of June an envoy from Russia arrived at Conftanti. nople, and delivered to the grand vizier a manifesto, containing the declaration of war. In this paper, among the motives of the rupture, all subjects of complaint, whether an. cient or of a modern date, were recapitulated: the protection afforded to the Persian rebels against the czar Peter; the late irruptions of the Tariars into the Muscovite territories, and the refusal of the Porte to put a stop to them; the moderation which the reigning czarina had testified by restoring part of her conquests to the king of Persia, and refusing to join her forces to those of shaw Thamas against the Turks, which had been so far from rendering them better disposed, that they had given a fresh evidence of their ill-will towards the Rufo sians, by opposing their being included in the treaty with Tamas Koulican, Notwithstanding all these essential grievances,
fet forth at great length in the manifesto, the czarina declared herself ftill disposed to enter into an accommodation, provided it were upon reasonable terms.
"This manifesto bore date on the ist of May, though the Siege had been begun on the 26th of March. It, however, produced no change with respect to the Ruflian minister, who so little expected buing able to preserve his liberty, that he had already taken all necessary precautions for the security of his effects. As the czarina had left a door open in her manifesto for a negociation, the Turkish ministers were unwilling to deprive themselves of that refource by an act of violence, which would have afforded subjeci for fresh coinplaint. Therefore they took the resolu ion to send the Ruflian embassador to the army which was going to march to Bender, and ordered him to be e corted as far as the frontier by a body of janizaries.
On the 16th of June the Ottoman army under the grand vizier began its march to Bender; notwithstanding which warlike preparation, their ministers were infinitely more anxious about finding means of accominodating with the Rullians in the cabinet, then taking measures for resisting them in the field. From the first accounts of the siege of Azoph, they had been looking out for mediators between them. They would have preferred the mediation of France to any other; but as much time must elapse before the marquis de Villeneuve, the French embailador, could receive orders and instructions from his court, and their eagerness to finish this war admitting of no delay, they had accepted offers of mention made them by the embassadors of England and Holland, and the emperor's resident, in which last they pretended to repose the greatest confidence, with a view of diverting the court of Vienna from joining the Russians against them.
• They caused the marquis de Villeneuve to be founced oftner than once, with respect to the French mediation; which they were resolved to hold in reserve at all events. They even entreated him to send one of his drogmans to the army, in order to keep on fout a mutual correspondence with the greater facility.
• M. de Villeneuve, unwilling either to engage to a certain point without orders from his court, or to give occasion for any doubts about the favourable disposition of the king towards the Ottoman empire, concluded on defiring the drogman of the Porte to carry with him a relation of the Sieur de Laria, the French drogmian, who poflefled a great Thare of abilities, and a perfect knowledge of the Turkish language. This expedient being agreed to by the Turkish ministers, answered all their views of a correspondence with M. de VilleVuL. XXIX. Fab. 1770.