Page images

For answer, the king Thewed him his forti- J.C. 1713.

Heg.1125. fications, and begged he would employ, his good offices in procuring him fome provisions. The Turks were easily prevailed upon to allow provisions to be conveyed to the king's camp, until the return of the courier from Adrianople. The khan himself had strictly enjoined his Tartars, who were eager for pillage, not to make any attempt against the Swedes 'till the arrival of fresh orders; so that Charles XII. went sometimes out of his camp with forty horse, and rode through the midst of the Tartars, who, with great respect, left him a free passage. He even marched directly up to their lines, which, instead of resisting, readily opened and allowed him to pass.

At last the order of the grand feignior being come, to put to the sword all the Swedes that should make the least resistance, and not even to spare the life of the king, the baihaw had the complaisance to shew the order to Mr. Fabricius, with a view of inducing him to make his laft effort, to bend, if possible, the obstinacy of Charles.

* Fabricius went immediately to acquaint him with these fad tidings. « Have you seen the “ order you mention?!” said the king. “I have,” replied Fabricius. « Well then, go and tell them « in my name, that this second order is another “ forgery of theirs, and that I will not depart." Fabricius threw himself at his feet, fell into a passion, and reproached him with his obstinacy; VOL.IV. A a



L.C.1713. but all to no purpose. “ Go back to your Heg.1125 m " Turks," said the king to him smiling; “ if

“ they attack me, I know how to defend myself.” His obti. The king's chaplains likewise fell on their knees

before him, conjuring him not to expose to certain death the unhapöy remains of Pultoway, and especially his own sacred person; assuring him, at the same time, that resistance in such a case was altogether unjustifiable; and that it was a direct violation of all the laws of hospitality to resolve to continue with strangers against their will, efpecially with those strangers who had so long and so generously supported him. The king, who had heard Fabricius with great patience, fell into a passion with his priests, and told them, that he had taken them to pray for him, and not to give him advice.

Generals Hord and Dardoff, who had always declared against hazarding a battle, which could not fail to be attended with fatal consequences, shewed the king their breasts covered with wounds, which they had received in his service ; and assuring him they were ready to lay down their lives for his sake, begged that it might be, at least, upon a more necessary occasion. “I “ know,” says Charles XII., “ by your wounds “ and by my own, that we have fought valiantly .“ together. You have hitherto done your duty; “ do ic to-day likewise.” Nothing now remained but to pay an implicit obedience to the king's command. Every one was alhamed not

. ... to

to court death with his sovereign. Charles being L.C. 1713.

"• Heg.1125. now prepared for the assault, enjoyed in secret the pleasing thoughts, that he should have the honor of sustaining, with three hundred Swedes, the united efforts of a whole army. He assigned to every man his post. His chancellor Mullern, and the secretary Empreus and his clerks, were to defend the chancery-house; baron Fief, at the head of the officers of the kitchen, was stationed in another post. A third place was to be guarded by the grooms and the cooks, for with him every one was a soldier. He rode from the intrenchments to his house, promising rewards to every one, creating officers, and assuring them that he would exalt the very meanest of his servants, who should fight with courage and resolution, to the dignity of captains.

It was not long before they beheld the combined army of the Turks and Tartars advancing to attack this little camp, with ten pieces of cannon and two mortars. The horse-tails waved in the air; the clarions founded; the cries of Alla, Alla, were heard on all sides. Baron Grothusen observing that the Turks did not mix in their cries any injurious reflections on the king, but only called him demirbath, i. e, iron-head, he instantly resolved to go out of the camp alone and unarmed; and having accordingly advanced to the lines of the janissaries, most of whom had received inoney from him: “ What then, my “ friends,” says he to them in their own lanVOL.IV, - Aaa



J.C.1713. guage, “are you come to massacre three hundred Heg, 1125

" defenceless Swedes? You brave janiffaries, 5 who pardoned a hundred thousand Russians ç upon their crying Amman, i. e. pardon, have ç you forgotten the many favors you have re

ceived from us? and would you assassinate that « great king of Sweden for whom you have so ç high à regard, and from whom you have rew « ceived so many presents ? All he asks, my « friends, is but the space of three days; and " the sultan's orders are not fo ftrict as you are

« made believe." . The janis- "These words produced an effect which Grosaries take pity on thusen himself could have little expected. The

janiffaries swore by their beards that they would not attack the king, but would grant him the three days he demanded, In vain was the signal given for the affault. The janiffaries were so far from obeying, that they threatened to fall upon their leaders, unless they woulà consent to grant three days to the king of Sweden, They came tumultuously to the balhaw of Bender's tent, crying out, that the sultan's orders were fictitious, To this unexpected sedition the baihaw had nothing to oppose but patience,

• He affected to be pleased with the generous resolution of the janiffaries, and ordered them to return to Bender. The khan of the Tartars, a man of headftrong and impetuous passions, would have given the affault immediately with his own troops; but the balhaw, unwilling that


the Tartars should have all the honor of taking 1.C.1773a

Heg. 1 1256 the king, while himfelf, perhaps, might be pu- a nished for the-disobedience of the janiffaries, persuaded the khan to wait 'till the next day.

"On his return to Bender, the bashaw affeinbled all the officers of the janiffaries, and the oldest soldiers, to whom he both read and shewed the sultan's pofitive orders, and the mufti's fetfa. Sixty of the oldest of thein, with venerable grey beards, who had received numerous presents from the king's hands, proposed to go to him in person, to intreat him to put himself into their hands, and to permit them to serve him as guards.

The bashaw agreed to the proposal, as indeed there was no expedient he would not willingly have tried, rather than be reduced to the necefsity of killing the king. Accordingly, these fixty veterans repaired next morning to Varnitza, haying nothing in their hands but long white rods, the only arms which the janiffaries carry, unless when they are going to fight; for the Turks consider the Christian custom of wearing swords in time of peace, and of entering armed into churches and the houses of their friends, as a barbarous practice.

They addressed themselves to baron Grothusen and chancellor Mullern. They told thein, that they were come with a view to serve as faithful guards to the king; and that, if he pleased, they would conduct him to Adrianople, where he might have a personal interview with the



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »