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heart of the conspiracy it displayed great activity, and the denunciations to the Palace were numerous; for, as with the other spy commissions, proofs of complicity in the plot were not necessary to condemnation, and to be known as an honest and patriotic Ottoman subject was sufficient ground for accusation. The Commission also had its branches in the interior of Macedonia. In Monastir, Persepe and other garrison towns certain officers became its agents; but most of these were discovered by the Committee and had to fly, and some, including Sami Bey, Commissioner of Police in Monastir, were destroyed by the executioners of the Committee. So thoroughly had all the machinery of official authority been destroyed in Macedonia that it was difficult for the Commissioners to secure the arrests of those who had been denounced, therefore treacherous methods were now employed to get the ringleaders within the clutches of the Palace. The Sultan believed that every man had his price, and on previous occasions he had found bribery succeed where terrorism failed. The most flattering letters were sent to Enver Bey and other young staff officers who had been forwarding the revolutionary cause in the interior of Macedonia with such marked success; they were invited to the Palace and were promised not only forgiveness but large pecuniary rewards and promotion to general rank. Many a good man from the time of Midhat Pasha had been tempted by the Palace to come out from some secure sanctuary to his destruction by such wiles as these. So Enver Bey and his comrades ignored this invitation, but at the same time, realising the danger of noncompliance, they fled to the mountains, organised bands, and as open insurgents precipitated the doom of the Despotism. At the same time other methods of conciliation were attempted by the Palace. A large sum of hastily borrowed money was sent to Salonica to discharge the arrears of pay due to the troops, and the authorities in Constantinople refrained from doing any injury to the thirty-eight young officers of the Macedonian army who had been imprisoned at the Ministry of War. To anticipate a little, these officers were pardoned and released on July 21 as the result of the Committee's threat to kill all the general officers in Macedonia unless this was done. Ismail Pasha and his fellow Commissioners returned to Constantinople, their efforts having had the effect of spreading the growth which they had been sent to root up. The Palace, which throughout this crisis exemplified the truth that whom the gods wish to destroy they first make demented, for it took every precaution too late and displayed a vacillation that ruined what chances it had, now decided to do what, if it had been done some months earlier, might have crushed the Young Turk movement and left Abdul Hamid the undisputed master of the Ottoman Empire. It was decided to despatch a large army from Asia to overpower the mutinous troops in Europe, and orders were given that no less than forty-eight battalions of Anatolian troops should be landed forthwith at Salonica. But before describing the failure of this last move on the part of the Despotism it will be necessary to go back a little to give an account of what had been happening in the interior of Macedonia since Niazi Bey had raised the standard of revolt at Resna on July 3, and of how everything was there being made ready for the general insurrection.

CHAPTER X

Niazi Bey—His military career—Decision to open the insurrection in the Resna district—Niazi forms a band—The fedais and their duties—Niazi's manifestoes to the Government—Niazi raises the standard of revolt—He and his band take to the mountains—His address to his men.

THE situation in Macedonia in July 1908, when Niazi Bey took to the mountains, may be summed up thus: The Bulgarian, Greek, Servian, Wallach and Albanian bands were murdering, robbing, outraging each other's kin all over the country; the Committee of Union and Progress, having established its branches in Monastir, Ochrida, Resna, Persepe, and other places, was engaged in steadily spreading its propaganda through all the countryside, a large proportion of the young officers of the Macedonian army being initiates or sympathisers with the cause ; and, lastly, the Palace had taken its precautions, and there was not a town or regiment without its secret Government agents ferreting out the secrets of the conspiracy and denouncing the suspects. Niazi Bey, the young officer who was the first to raise the standard of revolt, was a good example of the men who were forthcoming in numbers at this period of Turkey's great danger, men who proved to the world the stubborn virtues of the old Ottoman stock, intensely patriotic, brooding over the sorrows of their country, seeking a plan for her deliverance, and, that plan once found, devoting themselves, with the passionate zeal of men obsessed by a fixed idea, to the carrying out of their high aim. They were not self-seeking; if they cherished ambition, it was for the martyr's death; they were prepared to sacrifice their careers, their wives and families, and their property, for the cause, and, as we shall see, when Niazi set out with his little band of followers on that wonderful forlorn hope of his, each took an oath not to return to his wife and family until Turkey was freed; before going they bade last farewells to those they loved; for them it was to be victory or death. With a Mussulman Turk, love of country is a part of his religion, and his singleminded devotion has the strength of fanaticism. When in an oppressed country there is a sufficiency of men of this stamp, the days of the tyranny are numbered. This spirit breathes through the published letters and diary of Niazi Bey, wherein, telling us a good deal in very frank fashion about his thoughts, aspirations and emotions, he provides us with a most interesting human document. That he thus writes so freely and often with poetical

diction concerning his sentiments will surprise

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