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Englishmen, who have always heard that reserve is one of the characteristics of the Turk. The Turk is reserved in his relations with the Western European, who so little understands him. But the Turk, as all his literature proves, is sentimental and emotional with the sentiment and emotion that are the sources of strength and not of weakness. The Turk reveals his heart to his friend with a truthful simplicity that would seem lack of proper reticence to Englishmen, many of whom appear to be ashamed to let it be supposed that they have any affection for their wives or parents; but we ourselves, as the memoirs of the time show, did not take so much care to hide our emotions when Nelson was gaining victories on the seas. So Niazi, having no false shame, makes no secret of his brave deeds, his musings and his affections, and one likes him the better for it. But Niazi, though devoted to high ideals, was no dreamer or unpractical and rash revolutionary. Like most of his countrymen he was endowed with plenty of cool common-sense, and displayed the shrewdness and cunning of the Homeric Odysseus in the carrying through of his audacious adventure. Niazi Bey is himself an Albanian, his family belonging to the Mussulman land-owning class. He was born in Resna, a little town between Monastir and Ochrida, in a region where fertile valleys studded with orchards and cornfields, grassy downs, forest-clad mountains, craggy
Balkan peaks and gorges, and broad lakes combine to make as beautiful a scenery as can be found in Europe. Niazi had known this countryside from his childhood, and he had friends in all the villages, so when it was decided to make this the scene of the first outbreak of the insurrection it was recognised that he was the right man to come forward as leader. Niazi entered the army as a very young man and greatly distinguished himself in the Greek war. Then he was sent to his own country, and for the five years preceding the revolution he was employed with his battalion of chasseurs in pursuing the various brigand bands in the mountains. Again he gained distinction, temporarily crushed the power of the Bulgarian insurrectionary Committee in the Resna district, and became very popular with the Moslem section of the population, whose property and lives he zealously set himself to protect. The Committee of Union and Progress, exercising its powerful underground influence, obtained for him promotion to the rank of Major and his appointment to headquarters at Resna, the place in which he could serve the cause best. For Niazi had been initiated into the secret Society by his brother officer, the now famous Enver Bey, and throughout his operations against the bands was acting as the instrument of the Committee rather than that of the despotic Government.
The story of Niazi's work at this time throws an interesting light on the condition of Macedonia. When he was moved to Resna, Bulgarian and Albanian bands, acting in conjunction, were terrorising that district. It was his duty to seize the leaders of the non-Moslem bands and to scatter the bands themselves. He was successful in doing this, though his methods were not cruel or vindictive; for, as he tells us, he was sorry to be hunting down these men who, after all, were fighting against a despotism which was as detestable to himself as it was to them. So he used to call together the Christian notables, who had known him from his childhood and trusted him, and point out to them that their separatist dreams could never be realised, that it was better for them to repudiate those bringers of bloodshed, the agitators in Athens, Sophia and Belgrade, and join in union and brotherhood with their Moslem fellow-countrymen, whose grievances against the Government were as heavy as their own. His words, recognised as sincere, produced a good effect. At Niazi's advice some Moslem inhabitants of the district formed themselves into a band which was under the direction of the Committee of Union and Progress. This band used to go about the country, protecting the villagers without any distinction of race or creed. Thus at one time it would be defending a village of Bulgarians against the attack of a Serb band, and at another time a Serb village against a Bulgarian band. This band was well disciplined, committed no excesses of any kind, and did not even requisition the necessaries of life in the villages; conduct so extraordinarily Quixotic for a Macedonian band that it gained for the Committee the good opinion of the Albanians, who began to come in numbers to Ochrida and Monastir to take the oath of allegiance to the revolutionary leaders. But so fast as the labours of Niazi and the Committee helped on the pacification of the country, so fast did the evil policy of the Government, alternating between encouragement of lawlessness and cruel repression, undo all the good that had been effected. The corrupt tribunals could be bought. Thus, after the troops under Niazi had brought in some hundreds of people who had been found in the possession of bombs and arms, their trial resulted in the condemnation of twenty poor peasants and the acquittal of all the really dangerous rebels who happened to be rich townsmen, a miscarriage of justice which held Niazi and his brother officers up to ridicule and of course encouraged the Christian bands to redouble their mischievous activity. On the other hand, the Government sent to Persepe, to put down the insurgents, an officer of passionate temper who did not know the customs or languages of the people, and was unable to gain their confidence. He tortured and beat the peasantry and behaved with such inhumanity that the foreign Powers made representations to the Porte on the subject. Thus dictated to, the Government arrested and sent away this officer, again with the result that the Bulgarian bands were encouraged in their brigandage, as was always the case when foreign intervention humiliated Turkey. At this time, too, the Committee found an enemy in the Russian Consul for this district. He exerted his influence to procure the withdrawal of Niazi Bey from the scene of his successful labours. So Niazi was summoned to Salonica and was rebuked by the General in command, but he was not impeached and, fortunately for his country, he was allowed to return to his post at Resna. The Government of Russia was then arranging with that of England its joint intervention in Macedonia, and any improvement in the state of affairs of that region that might render such intervention unnecessary would no doubt have been regarded as a calamity by Russian statesmen. At about this time Kermanle Metre, once a leader of a rebel band, who had been pardoned and had since done signal service as a Government officer, was tried and condemned to death unjustly, as the result of Russian intrigue. This cowardly betrayal of a valued servant by the Government aroused profound indignation throughout the Macedonian army, and was one of the most