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J.C.1711. king's letters. He did more; he retrenched his Heg.1123.
thaïm, that is to say, the provision which the Porté allows those princes to whom it grants an asylum. That of the king of Sweden was immense, consisting of sixty-three guineas a day in money, and a profusion of every thing necessary
to maintain a court in splendor and affluence. When he “As soon as the king was informed that the is in want of every vizier had presumed to retrench his allowance, he thing, he increases turned to the steward of his household and said: his magni
.“ Hitherto you have only had two tables, I com“ mand you to have four for the future.”
Charles XII.'s officers had been used to find nothing impossible which their master ordered ; at present however they had neither money nor provisions. They were forced to borrow at twenty, thirty, and forty per cent. of the officers, servants, and janissaries, who were grown rich by the king's profusion. Fabricius the envoy of Holstein, Jeffreys the English minister, and their secretaries and friends, gave all they had. The king, with his usual magnificence, and without any concern about the morrow, lived on these presents, which could not have sufficed him long. It was necessary to elude the vigilance of the guards, and to send privately to Constantinople to borrow money of the European merchants. But every body refused to lend a king who seemed to have put himself out of a condition of ever being able to repay them. One English merchant alone, called Cook, ventured to lend him
about five thousand pounds sterling, contented to TC. 1711. lofe that sum if the king of Sweden should hap- en pen to die. This money was brought to the king's little camp just as they began to be in want of every thing, and even to give over all hopes of any further relief.
During this interval, count Poniatowski wrote, even from the camp of the grand vizier, an account of the campaign at Pruth, in which he accused Baltagi Mehemet of perfidy and cowardice. An old janissary, provoked at the vizier's weakness, and gained moreover by Poniatowski's liberality, undertook the delivery of the letter, and, having obtained a furlough, presented it himself to the sultan.
A few days after, Poniatowski left the camp, and repaired to the Ottoman Porte, to form cà. bals as usual against the grand vizier. Every thing favored his project. The czar being now at liberty, was in no haste to perform his engagements. The keys of Asoph were not yet come ; the grand vizier, who was answerable for them, justly dreading the indignation of his master, * durst' not venture to appear in his presence. VOL, IV. X
* This minister, full of impatience, sent for the Ruffian hostages, and, after the feverest reproaches on account of the non-performance of the treaty, he said to them : “My having trusted to your master is likely to cost me my life; but I will have the consolation to see you perish before me.” The hostages, frighted, desired two months, in order to give notice to their malter, and for the full execution of the treaty. Baltagi Mehemet was depofed before the expiration of these two months. AUTHOR,
The OTTOMANS. L.C. 1712. At that time the seraglio was filled more than Heg.1124•
e ver with intrigues and factions. These cabals, of trigues which prevail in all courts, and which in ours seraglio.
commonly end in the dismission, or, at most, in' the banishment of the minister, never fail at Conftantinople to occasion the loss of more than one head. The present plot cost the old vizier Chourlouli his life, and also Osman, the lieutenant of Baltagi Mehemet, who had been the principal author of the peace at Pruth, and had afterward obtained a considerable post at the Porte. Among Osman's treasures were found the czarina’s ring, and twenty thousand pieces of gold of Saxon and Russian coin ; a plain proof that money alone had extricated the czar from his dangerous fituation, and ruined the fortune of Charles XII. The vizier Baltagi Mehemet was banished to the the isle of Lemnos, where he died three years after. The sultan did not seize his effects, either at his banishment or at his death. He was far from being rich, and his poverty was a sufficient vindication of his character.
"This grand vizier was succeeded by Jussuf, (that is Joseph) whose fortune was as fingular as that of his predecessors. Born on the frontiers of Moscovy, and taken prisoner at fix years old, with his relations, he had been fold to a janissary. He was long a servant in the seraglio, and at last became the second person in the empire where he had been a Nave; but he was only the shadow of a minister,
A fiave made vie zier,
« The young felictar, Ali Coumourgi, raised J.C. 1712.
Heg.1124. him to that Nippery post, in hopes of one day filling it himself; and Jussuf, his creature, had nothing to do but to set the seals of the empire to whatever the favorite desired.* From the very beginning of this vizier's ministry, the politics of the Ottoman court seemed to undergo a total alteration. The czar's plenipotentiaries, who refided at Constantinople both as ministers and hostages, were treated with greater civility than ever. The grand vizier confirmed with them the peace of Pruth; but what mortified the king of Sweden more than all the rest was, to hear, that the secret alliance made with the czar at Conftan- . tinople was brought about by the mediation of che English and Dutch ambassadors.
Conftantinople, from the time of Charles's si retreat to Bender, was become, what Rome had often been, the ,centre of the negotiations of Christendoin, Count Desalleurs, the French ambassador at the Porte,, supported the interests of Charles and Stanislaus; the emperor of Germany's minister opposed them; and the factions of Sweden and Moscovy clashed, as those of France and Spain have long done at the court of Rome.
England and Holland seemed to be neuter, but were not so in reality. The new trade which the czar had opened at Petersburg attracted the attention of these two commercial nations. VOL, IV,
X 2 .
* Without doubt Sarai Li Kaden was then dead, or disgraced. We have not been able to find any more traces of her power, or of her. AUTHOR.
L.C. 1712. The English and Dutch will always side with Heg.1124.
that prince who favors their trade the most: there were many advantages to be derived from a connexion with the czar; and therefore it is no wonder that the ministers of England and Holland should serve him privately at the Ottoman Porte. One of the conditions of this new alliance was, that Charles should be immediately obliged to quit the dominions of the Turkish empire: whe ther it was that the czar hoped to seize him on the road, or that he thought him less formidable in his own kingdom than in Turkey, where he was always on the point of arming the Ottoman troops against the Russian empire.
The king of Sweden was perpetually solicitorders ing the Porte to send him back through Poland Charles to
with a numerous army. The divan was resolved to send him back with a simple guard of seven or eight thousand men, not as a king whom they meant to affist, but as a guest of whom they wanted to get rid. For this purpose the sultan Achmet wrote him the following letter.
“ Most powerful among the kings that adore “ Jesus, addresser of wrongs and injuries, and “ protector of justice in the ports and republics ut of the south and north, shining in majesty, « lover of honor and glory, and of our sublime « Porte, Charles, king of Sweden, whose enters prises may God crown with success.. .,
" As soon as the most illustrious Achmet, for« merly chiau pachi, shall have the honor to
The sultan orders