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of consequence it continued vacant for six months. J.C. 1714.
Heg.1126. At last the favorite, Ali Coumourgi, assumed the title of grand vizier. This measure gave a fatal blow to all the hopes of the king of Sweden, who knew very well what he had to expect from Coumourgi, as he had never received any friendly office from him, unless his interest and that of his majesty happened to coincide.
Charles had now been eleven months at Demotica, buried in Noth and oblivion. This ex- He at
length retreme indolence, succeeding so suddenly to the folves to
depart. most violent exercises, had at last given him the disease which he had formerly feigned. All Europe believed him dead ; the council of regency, which he had established at Stockholm when he left his capital, no longer received any dispatches from him. The senate came in a body to the princess Ulrica Eleanor, the king's sister, and entreated her to take the regency into her own hands, during her brother's absence.
She accepted the proposal ; but finding that the senate wanted to force her to make a peace with the czar and the king of Denmark, who attacked Sweden on all sides; this princess, well knowing that her brother would never approve of such a measure, resigned the regency, and wrote a full and circumstantial account of the whole matter to the king in Turkey.
· The king received his sister's packet at Demotica. The arbitrary principles which he had sucked in with his mother's milk, made him for
J.C. 1714 get that Sweden had formerly been a free state,
and that, in ancient times, the management of
"To prevent therefore these attempts, as he More def- thought them, upon his authority in Sweden, and ever
, tha" to defend at length his country, deprived of all of every hopes of assistance from the Ottoman Porte, thing.
and relying upon himself alone, he signified to
Count Defalleurs, the French ambassador,
year, the king of Sweden would beg it as a
again bring us into such another scrape as that
' The French ambassador softened the harsh-
fore he would quit Turkey, Charles resolved to J.C. 1714.
Heg.1126. display the pomp of a great king, though involved in all the difficulties of a fugitive prince. He gave Grothusen the title of his ambassador extraordinary, and sent him, with a retinue of eighty persons, all richly dressed, to take his leave in form at the Porte.
« The splendor of this embassy was only exceeded by the meanness of the shifts which the king was obliged to employ, in order to collect a sum of money fufficient to defray the expence of it. Count Deralleurs lent him five thousand pounds sterling. Grothusen had agents at Conftantinople, who borrowed in his name, at the rate of fifty per cent, interest, a hundred and twentyfive pounds of a jew, two hundred and fifty of an English merchant, and furty guineas of a Turk. By these means they procured wherewithal to enable them to act the splendid farce of the Swedish embassy before the divan. Grothusen received at Constantinople all the honors that the Porte usually pays to ambassadors extraordinary 'on the day of their audience. The design of all this parade was only to obtain money from the grand
but that minister was inexorable. Grothusen made a proposal for borrowing forty thousand pounds sterling from the Porte. The vizier answered coldly, that his master knew how to give, when he thoughc proper ; but that it was beneath his dignity to lend; that the king should be supplied with plenty of every thing for
T.C. 1714. his journey, in a manner worthy of the person Heg.1126.
that sent him back; and that the Porte perhaps might even make him a present in gold bullion, though he would not have him depend upon it for certain.
At last, on the ist of October, 1714, the king of Sweden set out on his journey from Turkey. A capiggi pachi, with six chiaus, came to attend him from the castle of Demirtash, where he had resided for some days before. He presented Charles, in the name of the grand feignior, with a large tent of scarlet embroidered with gold, a sword the handle of which was set with jewels, and eight beautiful Arabian horses, with fine faddles, and stirrups of mafly filver. It is not beneath the dignity of history to observe, that the Arabian groom,
who took care of the horses, gave the king an account of their genealogy; a custom which has long prevailed among these people, who seem to be more attentive to the nobility of horses than of men ; which, after all perhaps, is noc so anreasonable, as these animals, if the breed is kept free from intermixture, are never known to degenerate.
The escort consisted of sixty waggons loaded with all sorts of provisions, and three hundred horse. The capiggi pachi being informed that several Turks had lent money to the king of Sweden's attendants at an immoderate interest, told his majesty that usury was forbidden by the Mahometan law: he therefore entreated him to
liquidate all these debts, and to order his resident 1.C.1714.
Heg.1126. at Constantinople to pay no more than the prin- Love cipal. “ No," says the king, “ if any of my « servants have given you bills for a hundred.
crowns, I will pay them, though they should " not even have received ten."
In order to shew the greater deference to their royal guest, the Turks made him travel by very short stages; but this now and respectful motion was ill suited to the impatient spirit of the king. During the journey, he got up at three in the morning, according to his usual cuftom. As soon as he was dressed, he went himself and awoke the capiggi and chiaus, and began to march in the dark. This new manner of travelling disconcerted the Turkish gravity; but Charles cook pleasure at their uneasiness, and said, that he should at least be a little revenged on them for their behaviour to him at Bender.
( About the time that Charles reached the frontiers of Turkey, Stanislaus was leaving them, though by a different road, and going into Germany, with a view of retiring into the dutchy of Deux-Ponts, a province bordering on the palatinate of Alsace and the Rhine, and which has belonged to the kings of Sweden ever since Charles X. the successor of Christina, united it to his crown.'*
From the retreat of the king of Sweden into Turkey, to the war with the republic of Venice,
* Here ends the extract from the history of Charles XII. by Mr. Voltaire.