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1.C.1712. enemy of the czar. It was neither his interest Heg. 1124. s nor his inclination to keep the king of Sweden

any longer, and much less to arm the Turkish empire in his favor. He not only resolved to dismiss that prince, but he openly declared, that, for the future, no Christian minister should be allowed to reside at Conftantinople; that all the common ambassadors were at best but honorable 'spies, who corrupted or betrayed the viziers, and had too long influenced the intrigues of the feraglio ; and that the Franks settled at Pera and in the sea ports of the Levant were merchants who needed a consul only, and not an ambassador. The grand vizier, who owed his post and even his life to the favorite, and who besides stood greatly in awe of him, complied with his intentions with so much the more alacrity, as he had sold himself to the Russians, and hoped by this mean to be revenged on the king of Sweden, who had endeavoured to ruin him. The mufti, a creature of Ali Coumourgi, was likewise an absolute Nave to his will. He had been a keen advocate for a war with Rusia, when the favorite was of that opinion ; but the moment this young man changed his mind, he pronounced it to be unjust: thus the army was hardly assembled when they began to listen to proposals of peace. The vice-chancellor Schaffirof, and young Czeremetof, the czar's plenipotentia ies at the Porte, proinised, after several negotiations, that their master should withdraw his troops from Poland. The grand vizier, who


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well knew that the czar would never execute this J.C.1712.

Heg.1124 treaty, made no scruple to sign it; and the sultan, satisfied with having, though only in appearance, imposed laws upon the Russians, continued still at Adrianople. Thus, in less than six months, peace was ratified with the czar, war declared, and peace renewed again.

« The chief purport of all these treaties was to The Porte oblige the king of Sweden to depart. The sultan inis quinta was unwilling to endanger his own honor, and ting Tur. that of the Ottoman empire, by exposing the king to the risk of being taken by his enemies on the road. It was ftipulated that he should depart; but only on condition that the ambassadors of Poland and Moscovy should be responsible for the fafety of his person. Accordingly these ambalfadors swore, in the name of their masters, that neither the czar nor the king of Poland should moleft him in his journey; and Charles was to engage on his side that he would not attempt to excite any commotions in Poland. The divan having thus settled the fate of Charles, Ishmael, seraskier of Bender, repaired to Vernicza, where , the king was encamped, and acquainted him with the resolutions of the Porte, insinuating to him with great politeness, that there was no time for any longer delay, but that he must necessarily depart. Charles made no other answer than this, that the grand seignior had promised him an army, and not an escort, and that kings ought to keep their word.

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J.C. 1712. Meanwhile general Fleming, the minister and
Heg. 1124

favorite of Augustus, carried on a secret correspondence with the khan of Tartary and the sea rafkier of Bender. La Mare, a French gentleman, a colonel in the service of Saxony, had gone several times from Bender to Dresden; and all these journeys were strongly suspected.

* At this very time the king of Sweden caused a courier, whom Fleming had sent to the Tartarian prince, to be arrested on the frontiers of Walachia. The letters were brought to him and decyphered ; and from them it clearly appeared, that a correspondence was carried on between the Tartars and the court of Dresden; but the letters were conceived in such ambiguous and general terins, that it was difficult to discover whether the intention of Augustus was only to detach the Turks from the interest of Sweden, or if he meant that the khan should deliver Charles to the Saxons as he conducted him back to Poland.

"We can hardly imagine, that a prince so generous as Augustus, would, by seizing the person of the king of Sweden, endanger the lives of his ambassadors, and of three hundred Polish gentlemen, who were detained at Adrianople as pledges for Charles's safety. But it is well known, on the other hand, that Fleming, the minister of Augustus, and who had an absolute power over his master, was a man devoid of every principle of virtue or honor. The injuries which the elector had received from the king of Sweden might


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seem to excuse any kind of revenge ; and it might He: 1727. .
be thought, that, if the court of Dresden could
buy Charles from the khan of the Tartars, they
would find it no difficult matter to purchase the
liberty of the Polish hostages at the Ottoman

* These reasons were carefully canvassed by the
king, Mullern his privy-chancellor, and Grothusen
his favorite. They read the letters again and
again; and their unhappy condition making them
more suspicious, they resolved to believe the worst.

A few days after, the king was confirmed in He is ahis suspicions by the sudden departure of count shall be deSapieha, who had taken refuge with him, and now left him abruptly, in order to go to Poland to throw himself into the arms of Auguftus. Upon any

other occasion he would have considered Sapieha only as a malecontent; but in his present delicate situation he at once concluded him to be a traitor. The repeated importunities with which he was pressed to depart, converted his suspicions into certainty. The inflexible obstinacy of his temper, co-operating with these circumstances, confirmed him in the opinion that they intended to betray him, and deliver him up to his enemies, though this plot has never been fully proved.

Perhaps he was wrong in supposing that Augustus had made a bargain with the Tartars for his person; but he was much more deceived in relying on the assistance of the Ottoman court. Be that as it may, he resolved to gain time.

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Fresh order' from the

J.C.1712 He told the bashaw of Bender, that he could Heg.1124

not depart ’till he had received money to discharge his debts; for though his thaïm had for a long time been duly paid, his unbounded liberality had always obliged him to borrow. The bashaw asked him how much he wanted. The king replied, at a venture, a thousand purses, amounting to fixty-two thousand five hundred pounds sterling. The bashaw acquainted the Porte with his request: the sultan; instead of a thousand purses, which Charles had required, granted him twelve hundred, and wrote the bashaw the following letter.

“ The design of this imperial letter is to acgrand seig-" quaint you, that upon your representation and

“ request, and upon that of the moft noble Del

vet Gerai khan, to our sublime Porte, our imperial munificence has granted a thousand

purses to the king of Sweden, which shall be “ sent to Bender, under the care and conduct of " the most illustrious Mehemet bashaw, formerly “ chiau pachi, to remain in your custody 'till the “ departure of the king of Sweden, whose steps

may God direct, and then to be given him, to"gether with two hundred purses more, as an 'c overplus of our imperial liberality, above 56 what he demands.

“ With regard to the route of Poland, which " he is resolved to take, you and the khan, who “ are to attend him, shall be careful to pursue " such wise and prudent measures as may, during

nior to make Charles depart.

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