« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
J.C. 1705, tensions, his dangers, and the protection of France. Heg. 1117, A considerable party having called hiin into
Transylvania to repress the tyranny of the im. perial commissioners, he found there men at his service and money, and he took the title of prince of Transylvania. The French ambassador vainly negotiated with the Porte to obtain the investiture of Transylvania for this new sovereign, and permission for him to send a minister to Conftantinople. Whatever interest Achmet might have to stir up enemies against the Austrian monarch, he would not consent to any step that might break the peace which he thought so necessary for his empire; so much so, that the khan of the Tartars having earnestly desired permission to declare war against the Ruflians at the time when the king of Sweden had just beaten them, the grand feignior thought it right to depose that prince, and to give che throne of Crimea to his brother, who was
more docile and pacific. Mehemet The grand vizier, the husband of the favorite, is deposed..
was depofed after sixteen months ministry, without the cause of his deposition being ever well known. He was made governor of Aleppo. For several years there is nothing in the Ottoman annals worthy of being remarked. The monarch, too much given to women and pleasures, made an ill use of the leisure and abundance which a long peace procured himn. Chourlouli Ali bashaw, who suceeded Mehemet, married one of his master's daughters, and assumed over him the
influence which an able minister cannot fail of J.C. 1705,
to 1708. obtaining over an indolent, voluptuous monarch. Heg.1117. He was no more deGrous of war than Achmet, and constantly resisted the importunities of the French ambassador, who, under different pretences, was always endeavouring to arm the Porte against the emperor Joseph I. fucceffor to his father Leopold. It was during the ministry of Chourlouli that the Ottoman empire sheltered two European sovereigns, Charles XII. king of Sweden, and Stanislaus I. whom the former had placed on the throne of Poland.
By one of those fatal blows that have sometimes J.C. 1709. beaten down the greatest conquerors, the king of
Heg.1123• Sweden, after having dethroned Auguftus, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, after having driven back the Russians into their own country, and replied to Peter the Great, who humbly asked for peace, that he would treat with him at Mofcow, was himself beaten near Pultoway, a town situated near the eastern extremity of the Ukraine. His army had been ruined by the rigorous winter of 1709. This prince had been grievously wounded in the heel some days before the battle, which he would give contrary to the advice of his generals. He commanded at this action, car,
ried on a litter, as his wound would not then - permit him to mount on horseback; but necessity
at length constrained him to it, when all his general officers were killed or taken prisoners, and what remained of his army had been put to fight.
1.C. 1709. Twenty-one soldiers had been killed successively, Heg:1121.
carrying the litter of Charles XII. The enemy pressed so hard, that he was very near being made prisoner, and the horse, on which he was placed with
great difficulty, was killed under him. An officer, who was wounded, and spent with loss of blood, gave him his.* Thus, in the course of the Aight, they put this conqueror on horseback twice, though he had not been able to mount a horse during the battle. This astonishing retreat was of great consequence in such distressful circumstances; but he was obliged to flee to a still greater distance. They found among the baggage the coach of count Piper, the king's minister; for Charles XII. had never used one since he left Stockholm. They put him into this vehicle, and Aed towards the Boristhenes with great precipitation. The king, who had not said a single word, from the time he had been set on horseback, to his arrival at the baggage, at length asked what was become of count Piper. They told him that he was taken, with all the officers of the chancery. And general Renchild and the
* Being obliged to relate all the extraordinary events that happened during the residence of Charles XII. among the Turks, have consulted the work of Mr. Voltaire on that subject. The reading of this piece of hikory with reflection has convinced me, that it would be impossible for me to offer any thing to the public so agreeable or instructive. I am determined then to copy Mr. Voltaire faithfully, only retrenching from his narration what is foreign to the Turks. If any one accuse m; of plagiarism, I shall answer, that it is none when acknowledged ; that moreover I am Mr. Voltaire's me. phew and heir, and that he has accustomed me to partake of his property in his life-time.
duke of Wurtemburg, added he? They are like- J.C. 1909.
Heg.1121. wise prisoners, answered Poniatowski. Prisoners no to the Russians, 'replied Charles, shrugging up The king
of Sweden his shoulders! Come then, let us go rather to fees to the the Turks. They could not perceive however the least mark of dejection in his countenance ; and whoever had seen him at that time, without knowing his situation, would never have supposed him vanquished and wounded.. .
Whilst he was getting off, the Russians seized his artillery in the camp before Pultoway, his baggage, and his military chest, in which they found two hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling in specie, the spoils of the Poles and Saxons. Near nine thousand men, partly Swedes and partly Cossacks, were killed in the battle, and about six thousand taken prisoners. There still remained about 'fixteen-thousand men, Swedes, Poles, and Cossacks, who fled towards the Boristhenes, 'under the conduct of general Levenhaupt. He marched one way with these fugicive troops; and the king took another road with some of his horse. The coach, in which he was, broke down by the way, and they again set him on horseback. To complete his misfortune, he wandered all night in a wood : there, his courage being no longer able to support his exhausted spirits, the anguish of his wound becoming more insupportable through fatigue, and his horse falling under him through excessive weariness, he lay some hours at the foot of a tree, in danger of being surprised every VOL, IV.
L.C. 1709. moment by the vanquishers, who were searching w for him on all sides. At length, on the oth or
ioth of July, at night, he found himself on the bank of the Boristhenes, which he crossed in a bark with general Mazeppa.
· This Swedish army, which marched out of Saxony in such a triumphant manner, was now no
One half of them had perished with hunger, and the rest were enslaved or massacred. Charles XII, had lost in one day the fruit of nine years labour, and of almost a hundred battles. He made his escape in a miserable chariot, hav. ing major-general Hord by his fide dangerously wounded. The rest of his little troop followed, some on foot, others on horseback, and others in carts, through a defert where neither huts, tents, animals, nor roads were to be seen. Every thing was wanting, even water. It was now the beginning of July; the country lay in the forty-seventh degree of latitude; the dry land of the desert rendered the heat of the sun the more insupportable; the horses fell down by the way, and the men were ready to die with thirst. A brook of muddy water, which they found towards evening, was all they met with ; they filled some bottles with this water, which saved the lives of the king of Sweden's little troop. After a march of five days, he arrived on the banks of the river Hypanis, now called the Bogh by the Barbarians, who have disfigured even the very names of those countries, which once Aourished so nobly in the