Page images
PDF
EPUB

molish the important citadels built upon the J.C.1711.

Heg.1123 Palus Mæotis, and deliver all the cannon and a ammunition of these fortresses into the hands of the grand seignior; that the czar should withdraw his troops from Poland, give no further disturbance to the few Coffacks that were under the protection of the Poles, nor to those that were subject to the Turks; and that for the future he should pay the Tartars an annual fubsidy of forty thousand sequins ; an odious tribute formerly imposed, but from which the czar had delivered his country.*

• At last the treaty was going to be signed, without so much as making mention of the king of Sweden. All that Poniatowski could obtain of the vizier, was, to insert an article, by which the Russian emperor bound himself not to incommode the return of Charles XII. and, what is very remarkable, it was stipulated in this article, that the czar and the king of Sweden should make peace, if they thought proper, and could agree upon the terms.

'On these conditions the czar was permitted to retire with his army, cannon, artillery, colours, and baggage; the Turks supplied him with provisions, and he had plenty of every thing in his camp two hours after the signing of the treaty, vol. IV. . U 2

which

* The grand vizier wanted to have prince Cantimir delivered up to the Porte as a rebellious subject; but the czar would never consent to it. He even settled upon that prince lands in the Ukraine, with a considerable pension. AUTHOR.

J.C. 1711. which was begun, concluded, and signed the 21st
Heg. 1123.
W of July, 1711.

- Just as the czar, now extricated from this terrible dilemma, was marching off with drums beating and colours Aying, the king of Sweden arrived, impatient for the fight, and happy in the thoughts of having his enemy in his power. He had ridden post above fifty leagues, from Bender to Jazy. He arrived the very moment that the Russians were beginning to recire in peace ; but he could not penetrate to the Turkish camp without passing the Pruth by a bridge three leagues distant. . Charles XII. who never did any thing like other men, swam across the river, at the hazard of being drowned, and traversed the Rusfian camp at the risk of being taken. At length he reached the Turkish army, and alighted at the tent of count Poniatowski, who informed me of these particulars, both by letter and perfonally. The count came out to him with a sorrowful countenance, and told him that he had lost an opportunity, which perhaps he would never be able to recover.

"The king, infamed with resentment, Aew straight away to the tent of the grand vizier, and, with a stern air, reproached him with the treaty he had made. “I have a right,” says the grand vizier, with a calm aspect, “either to make peace " or war.” “ But,” adds the king, “halt thou « not the whole Russian army in thy power ?". « Our law commands us,” replies the grand vi.

[ocr errors]

zier, with great gravity, « to grant peace to our :C: 1717. « enemies when they implore our mercy.” “And “ does it command chee,” resumes the king in a passion, “ to make a bad treaty, when thou "mayest impose what laws thou pleasest? Hadst « thou not a fair opportunity, if thou wouldft . “ have embraced it, of leading the czar a pri« soner to Constantinople ?".

- The Turk, driven to this extremity, replied very coldly : “And who would have governed « his empire in his absence? It is not proper that « all kings should leave their dominions.” Charles made no other answer, than by a smile of indignation. He then threw himself down upon a sofa, and, eying the vizier with an air of contempt and resentinent, stretched out his leg, and, entangling his fpur in the Turk's robe, purposely tore it: after which he rose up, mounted his horse, and, with a sorrowful heart, returned to Bender. Poniatowsķi continued some time longer with the grand vizier, to try if he could not prevail upon him, by more gentle means, to extort greater concessions from the czar; but the hour of prayer being come, the Turk, without answering a single word, went to wash and attend divine service.

"The fortune of the king of Sweden, now so different from what it had formerly been, harrassed him even in the most trifling circumstances. On his return, he found his little caip at Bender, and all his apartment, overflowed by the water of the Niester. He retired to the distance of some

miles,

was

THE OTTOMANS. 1.C. 1711. miles, near the village of Varnitza; and, as if he Heg. 1123. war had had a secret foreboding of what was to befal

him, he there built a large house of stone, capable, on occasion, to sustain an assault for a few hours. He even furnished it in a magnificent manner, contrary to his usual custom, in order the more effectually to attract the respect of the Turks.

He likewise built two other houses, one for his chancery, and the other for his favorite Grothusen, who kept a table at the king's expence. Whilft Charles was thus employed in building near Bender, as if he had always intended to remain in Turkey, Baltagi Mehemet, dreading more than ever the intrigues and complaints of this prince at the Porte, had sent the resident of the emperor of Germany to Vienna, to demand a free passage for the king of Sweden through the hereditary dominions of the house of Austria. The envoy, in the space of three weeks, brought back a promise from the imperial regency, importing, that they would pay Charles XII. all due honors, and conduct him fafely into Pomerania.

Application was made to the regency of Vikes enna, because Charles, the emperor of Germany, against his when

"s who had succeeded Joseph I. was then in Spain, disputing the crown of that kingdom with Philip V. Whilst the German envoy was executing this commission at Vienna, the grand vizier sent three bashaws to acquaint the king of Sweden, that he must quit the Turkish dominions.

- The

Charles

[ocr errors]

bad fortune,

Heg.1123:

The king, being previously apprised of the J.C.1711. orders with which they were charged, caused in- c timation to be given them, that if they presumed to make him any proposals contrary to his honor, or to the respect that was due to his character, he would have them all three hung up immediately. The bashaw of Salonichi, who delivered the merfage, disguised the harshness of the commission, under the most respectful terms. Charles put an end to the audience without deigning to give them an answer. His chancellor Mullern, who staid with the three bashaws, briefly explained to them his master's refusal, which indeed they had sufficiently understood by his profound silence.

"The grand vizier was not to be diverted from his purpose: he ordered Ishmael bashaw, the new seraskier of Bender, to threaten the king with the sultan's indignation, if he did not immediately come to some resolution. This seraskier was a man of a mild temper and engaging address, which had gained him the good will of Charles, and the friendship of all the Swedes. The king entered into a conference with him, but it was only to tell him, that he would not depart 'ill Achmet had granted him two favors: the punishment of his grand vizier, and a hundred thousand men to conduct him back to Poland. .

· Baltagi Mehemet was fensible that Charles remained in Turkey only to ruin him. He therefore took care to place guards in all the roads from Bender to Constantinople, to intercept the

king's

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »