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memoirs of baron Tott which have lately appeared, with the very important remarks on them by Mr. De Peyssonnel, late Frenchconful general at Smyrna, are corroborating proofs of the truth of the accounts given in this history of the laws, manners, castoms, finances, and military force of this great nation.
As ábbot Mignot is the nephew of the celebrated Voltaire, it is natural to suppose that his work underwent the examination of his uncle, prior to its publication, more particularly as it was printed before the death of that extraordinary genius, at which time the abbot copied, by his uncle's permiffion, his, account of Charles XII.'s, reception in Turkey." .. . ..
How far the English translator has done justice to the French original, must be left te the determination of the public,
THOUGH the Turks are regarded as bar
barians, an opinion perhaps not destitute of foundation, I thought the knowledge of a great people, whose poffeffions extend over three parts of the world, and who have porTessed an important influence over the politics of the whole state of Europe, would be an interesting subject to the lovers of history, and that, in order to obtain a thorough know. ledge of mankind, it was requisite to be acquainted with their transactions. - Naturalists obferve all the species of animals from the elephant to the hand-worm, from the tiger to the dove. The differences that religion, climate, laws, government, may have introduced among mankind, merit the attention of those who are desirous of studying human * pature; the more the manners and genius of
a people differ from ours, the more it is nec cessary to examine them, were it only to convince ourselves, that man is every where the same, and that all these dissimilarities, however important, may very well constitute the character of a nation, but never influence human nature taken in its physical sense; that the laws and variety of manners no more change our dispositions, than the different fashions of our garments alter the forms of our bodies. The history of the Turks furnishes as many conquests, fewer laws, less order, more revolutions, more proscriptions, and, upon the whole, more bloodshed, than that of any other people; but we perceive in it the same interests, pafsions, crimes, talents, and virtues, as influence every other part of the globe.
When it shall be known that I am ignorant of the oriental languages, my undertaking perhaps will be thought presumptuous. · As it is essential for an historian to gain the con, fidence of his readers for their particular interest, I should give mine an account of the. sources from whence I have drawn my ina formation. Besides the well known authors,
such as Leunclavius, Ducas, the annals of the sultans, translated by Gaudier, Calcondilus and his continuators, prince Cantimir, Sagredo, Riçaut, the count of Marsigli, (whose ideas I have far from implicitly adopted) Baudouin, Boffio for the history of Malta, the memoirs of Montecuculli, those of prince Eugene, the history of Sobieski by abbot Coier; I have had the good fortune to find affistances which I had no reason to expect; they have determined me to undertake this work, of which, to speak properly, I am nothing more than the compiler. Mr. Cardonne, secretary interpreter to the king of France for the oriental languages, and professor of the Arabic tongue in the royal college, who has served the court, and the French commerce, . in quality of druggerman, in several Turkish ports during twenty years, has taken the pain to translate the most interesting and instructive parts of the three Turkish annalists, Naima Effendi, Rachid Effendi, and Tchelebi Zadé, which commence in the year 1594 of the Christian æra, and finish in 1727. He has been so obliging as to let me see his manuscript before it was deposited in the king's library. Mr. Bejault, keeper of the manu.
scripts of this library, has likewise been fo kind as to intrust me with several translations of Turkish originals, which contain interesting parts of their history. - Baton Tott, the fon of a Hungarian nobleman, sent by the king of France to the Porte, and who has him
felf been intrusted with affairs in that court, 'on setting out to execute other commissions, has left me the remarks which a fifteen years résidence at Constantinople, a spirit of obfervation, and a knowledge of the Turkish language, had enabled him to make. :)
These lights, fo useful for my purpose, have made me anxious for the acquisition of more. I have taken the liberty of foliciting the duke of Choiseul, for permission to con sult the correspondence of all the French ambassadors at the Porte, which is lodged in the repository of foreign affairs. The generous protection which this minifter has constantly given to literature and to truth, has prevailed on him to grant my request. I have found in these manuscripts the most circumstantiated, most interesting, and least suspected details. For near two succeeding centuries, the ambassadors have given an ac