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to oppose this rebel- whose soldiers j nbadly 'disci- I-P-]J 5 »°« pliried, had all that ardour which sanaticism inv spires. The young prince had but very-few janissaries; the troops which he gathered in haste,'were not better trained than those of the riovator, and were much less experienced. Korcut was beaten, t and thought himself very happy to save his Head from the sword of this sanguinary fanatic/ He informed his father of this ill success, which it was high time to put a stop-to. Notwithstanding some success which Bajazet's generals had had' under his eyes, he was thoroughly tired of war.' Though the circumstances were painted to him as pressing, they could not prevail on this prince to" arm for the defence of his throne. He 1fent!his vizier-Ali, the successor of.Mustaphai to Natolia, The emptat the head of an army, • but the guard;which an army awatched around his seraglio at Constantinople,gain''"""' could not secure him from danger. As he was on= of.hIs
*.* . emissaries.
geing to the mosque, a dervis, an emissary of-end"*Lurs Scheitankuli's, asked alms of him; the Emperor "«e B»i»
stooped to give him something, when the traitor stabbed him in the breast with a poniard, andit was a long time before the wound was healed. Since i -'. this event, all those, who are neither members of the divan nor officers of the seraglio, never approach the emperor of the Turks, without<two .:'.'• chiaus' holding them by the arms.
The pretended prophet, as crafty and ambitious as Mahomet had been, had not the fame talents
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££-;1|J£;fo^ar. Some regular, disciplined troops, soon ^CT* dispersed this cro»d of enthusiasts, terrible to fulilr^- men without arms, but who, having no notion of hutm?* c^e art 9^ wajr» were more capable of massacring are/dsH l^m ^Sn^nS. -A-M. bashaw vanquished them in a flees into pitched battle, and re-took all the places of which
Persia. • i *
tJi,e rebels had possessed themselves, as easily as they had taken them. Scheitankuli comprehended, that; arms would not be so savorable to him as he had flattered himself. He renounced the character of conqueror, and, concealing his retreal, even from his dearest disciples, he fled into Persia, tjo the king, whose opinion on the succession Qf j^ was the fame as he had preached. This man is regarded, if not as the author, at least as the restores of the Persian schism, and as their third prophet. It is not then foreign to our subject, so. give a particular account of his success in that kingdom, and less so, as he was the cause of that inveterate hatred which still divides the Ottomans and Persians. He obtains Scheitankuli was no.t ignorant that lshmael, dence of* king of Persia, believed the dogmas of the su.ccesand, by" Cvhi of Ali. He went to shelter himself at the hutLhi- CQUJt.t of that prince, as a martyr of this pretended 'ite "tfo'ns truth. The, false prophet had acquired in his reef theAi- feat, more learning than is commonly found whiThare among the Mussulmen. He had some knowbyntheteiJ Udge of the mathematics, and particularly of Persian., judicial astrology, which was greatly esteemed in
that century and country. King Ifbmael, cap- J-c.i5io.
* . * Heg. 916.
tivated with the eloquence, doctrine, and erudi- *—v^-* tioa of this extraordinary man, intrusted him with the education of the princes his children, and submitted his own faith to the reveries of the pretended prophet. AU the Persians were not* ,
like their master, of the sect of Ali. 'Till then, the king bad tolerated the different opinions i all professed Islamism; but every one explained the Alcoran his own way, and peace reigned in Persia, because no person had undertaken to ex•plain what was not intelligible to any one* Scheitankuli, more powerful in Persia than he had ever been in Turkey, since he had subjugated the king, used this new power with more address, than in the Ottoman empire, but with still more cruelty. He raised no more armies, which he knew not how to conduct, but inculcated his opinions into a credulous, sanguinary foul; and, employing this great argument of Mahomet, that fire and sword are the strongest instruments of truth, he prevailed on Ishmael to banish all those who would not subscribe to the new dogmas. One of the most important was, to know if Mahomet required them to wash, their feet every morning with water, or if it were sufficient to rub them with the hand without wetting them. The Turks and Persians had always made use os water in this custom. The novator would have them only wipe their feet. This proceeding,
j.c.ifio. and several others of the fame kind, caused a
Heg. 916. ,
u—v—» great number of Mussulmen to revolt. As every one who complained was punished with death, the number of executions obliged a great many , subjects to leave Persia. Ishmael, affrighted at this desertion, presumed to complain of it to his prophet, who offered, in order to retain the people under -his law, to manifest, by miracles, the authenticity of his mission. For several days .Scheitankul'r carried his slaves to a wood contiguous to the palace of Ispahan. He made the youngest of the princes, who was particularly fond of his preceptor, take notice of an old plane tree, which he recommended him to point out to the king his father when it should be proper time. As they particularly reproached Scheitankuli with altering the text of the Alcoran, under pretence of explaining ir, the false prophet said to the king, that he would prove to the whole universe, that he alone was capable of expounding this sacred book. An assembly of the people was summoned in the wood which we have just spoken of. Scheitankuli desired the king to order the youngest of his sons, to choose what tree in the wood he liked. The child, well instructed, fixed on the same that he had agreed on with his master. The impostor then presented to the prince and people a book, which contained the Alcoran exactly according to the text; another, the leaves of which were all blank; and a third, in which
the Alcoran was written with the alterations that^15^Scheitankuli had thought necessary, and which he ^-*v—» pretended was the real text of Mahomet. 'The young prince placed the ancient Alcoran and the blank book in the trunk of the tree. Scheitankuli had the trunk closed up with bands of iron, sealed • it with the seal of the kingdom^ and declared, that, in forty days, God would manifest; in the fame place, his will, his law, and his prophet. He returned to the palace, holding in his hand .that of the three books which he had cqrrected himself. During this interval of forty days, the •hypocrite affected to go often under- this plane tree, and address fervent prayers to God. The time being arrived when the miracle was to be fulfilled, all the people flocked around the plane tree. Scheitankuli recommenced his prayers with more fervency than ever; after which, assuming the voice of inspiration, he ordered the tree to be opened. The little .Persian prince, who had placed the two books in the trunk of this planej took two from it. in. the fame form,' of which the one, said to be the ancient Alcoran, was rased and interlined in all the places that the, pretended prophet had thought ought to be changed, and the other, which was believed to be the blank book, was a faithful copy, without a rasijre, of this new, Alcoran, which he. wanted to have. received. The people, fascinated, without inform-, ing themselves if the plane had not been opened \, during