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their grave.* The Tartars, their subjects; are }.C. 1711.
Heg.1123. the most thievish people upon earth, and, what is hardly to be credited, are, at the same time, the most hospitable. They will go fifty leagues from home to attack a caravan, or pillage a town; and yet when any stranger happens to travel through their country, he is not only received, lodged, and maintained every where, but through whatever place he passes, the inhabitants dispute with each other the honor of having him for their guest; and the master of the house, his wife, and daughters, are ambitious to serve him. This inviolable regard to hospitality they have derived from their ancestors the Scythians; and they ftill preserve it, because the small number of strangers that travel ainong them, and the low price of all forts of provisions, render the practice of such a'. virtue no way burthensome. ,' ..i
? When the Tartars go to war, in conjunction with the Ottoman army, they are maintained by the grand feignior, but the booty they get is their VOL. IV. . . „T
" * Thesi
:ni * The khans of Crimea are all called Gerai. There is a tradition among .. the Tartars, which gives the reason of this hereditary name. Towards the year 1400, a general insurrection broke out in Little Tartary.' Not only the reigning prince was put to death, but all his posterity, and all those that bore his name.' A peasant, called Gerai, touched with pity, saved one of these princes, a child, and brought him up obscurely in his cottage. The rebels did not agree on the division of Crimea, and the peopte, oppressed by intertine wars, soon regretted the race of their masters. On this, Gerai produced the young prince that he had favéd, and got him acknowledged by incon. testable marks. This prince was unanimously placed on the throne of his ancestors, and he granted to the Tartar who had preserved him his fceptre and life, that, for the future, all the khans of Crimpea should add the name of Gerai to theirs. AUTHOR.
J.C.1711. only pay; and hence it is that they are much fitter
for plundering than fighting.
The khan, gained over to the king of Sweden's interest by presents and promises, at first obtained leave to appoint the general rendezvous of the troops at Bender under the eyes of Charles XII. in order the more effectually to convince that monarch that the war was undertaken folely for his fake. The new vizier Baltagi Mehemet, who did not lie under the fame engagements, would not flatter a foreign prince so highly. He changed the order; and Adrianople was the place where this great army assembled. 'Tis always in the vast and fertile plains of Adrianople that the Turks affemble their armies, when they are going to make war against the Chriftians: there, the troops that arrive from Asia and Africa repose and refresh themselves for a few weeks; but the grand vizier, in order to anticipate the preparations of the czar, allowed the army but three days rest, and then marched to the Danube, from whence
he advanced into Bessarabia. The czar " The czar, in all appearance, must have van
quished Baltagi Mehemet ; but was guilty of the . same fault with regard to the Turks, as the king of Sweden had committed with regard to him; he despised his enemy two much. Upon the first news of the Turkish preparations, he left Mofcow; and, having given orders for turning the siege of Riga into a blockade, he assembled a body of eighty thousand men on the frontiers of
Poland.* With this army he took the road 1.C.171!.
Heg.1123. through Moldavia and Walachia, formerly the sa country of the Daci, but now inhabited by Greek Christians, who are tributaries to the grand seignior. Moldavia was, at that time, governed by prince Cantimir, a Greek by birth, and who united in his person the talents of the ancient Greeks, the knowledge of letters and of arms. He was supposed to have sprung from the famous Timur, known by the name of Tamerlane. This extraction appeared more honorable than a Greek origin; and the reality of the descent is proved by the name of the conqueror. Timur, it is said, resembles Timir : the title of khan, or can, which Timur poffeffed before he conquered Asia, is included in the word Cantimir : therefore prince Cantimir is descended from Tamerlane. Such are the foundations of most genealogies !
From whatever family Cantimir was sprung, he owed all his fortune to the Ottoman Porte. Hardly had he received the investiture of his principality, when he betrayed his benefactor, the Turkilh emperor, to the czar, from whom he expected greater advantages. He fondly imagined that the vanquilher of Charles XII. would easily triumph over a vizier of so little reputation, who had never made a campaign, and who had chosen VOL.IV. T2
* The chaplain Norberg alledges, that the czar compelled every fourth man in his dominions, able to bear arms, to follow him to the field. Had this been the case, his army would have amounted, at least, to 'two millions of men. VOLTAIRE,
J:C..1911. for his kiaia, or lieutenant, the superintendent of
the customs in Turkey. He did not doubt that
with provilions, performed that contract with the 1.C.17.17.
Heg.1123 grand vizier which they had made with chę czar, Lavand The Walachians, who border upon the Moldavians, discovered the fame attachment to the Turks; so much had the remembrance of the Russian cruelty alienated all their affections. rifi ::. The czar, thus baulked of his hopes, which perhaps he had too rashly entertained; faw his army on a sudden destitute of -farage and pro visions. The soldiers deserted in troops; and the army was soon reduced to less than thirty thousand men, ready to die with hunger. "
. Meanwhile, the Turks passed the river, hemmed in the Russians, and formed an intrenched camp before them. It is somewhat surprising that the czar did not dispute the passage of the river, or, at least, repair this error by attacking the Turks immediately after the passage, instead of giving them time to destroy his army by hunger and fatigue. It would seem indeed that this prince did every thing in this campaign to hasten his own ruin. He found himself withouț provisions; the river Pruth in his rear; a hundred and fifty thousand Turks before him; whilft forty thousand Tartars were continually harrassing his army on the right and left. In this extremity he made no scruple of acknowledging in public, that he was at least reduced to as bad a condition as his brother. Charles had been at Pultoway.
Count Poniatowski, an indefatigable agent of the king of Sweden, was in the grand vizier’s