« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
1.C.1713. him speak with the greater boldness. The preA tended officer of the janissaries said to Villelongue:
- Christian, be assured that the sultan, my master, " has the foul of an emperor; and that thy king “ of Sweden, if he has reason on his side, shall “ obtain justice.” Villelongue was soon set at liberty; and, in a few weeks after, a sudden change took place in the seraglio, which the Swedes attributed to this conference alone. The mufti was deposed; the khan of the Tartars was banished to Rhodes; and the seraskier bashaw of Bender was confined in one of the isles of the Archipelago.
(The Ottoinan Porte is so subject to these revolutions, that it is hard to say whether the sultan really meant to gratify the king of Sweden by these sacrifices. From the treatment which that prince received, it cannot surely be inferred that the Porte had any great inclination to oblige him. The favorite, Ali Coumourgi, was suspected of having brought about all these changes, in order to serve his own particular views. The khan of the Tartars and the seraskier of Bender were said to have been banished for giving the king of Sweden the twelve hundred purses, in contradiction to the express orders of the grand feignior. Coumourgi raised to the throne of Tartary the brother of the depofed khan, a young man of his own age, who had little regard for his brother, and upon whom the favorite depended greatly in prosecuting the wars he had already planned.
With respect to the grand vizier Juffuf, he was 1.C.1713: not deposed 'till some weeks after; and the title of prime minifter was bestowed on Solyman bashaw. Truth obliges me to declare, that Mr. Villelongue and several Swedes assured me, that all these great revolutions at the Porte were entirely owing to the letter which was presented to the sultan in the king's naine; whereas the marquis of Fierville is of a quite contrary opinion. I have sometimes found the like contradictions in such papers as have been submitted to my perusal. In all these cases, it is the duty of a historian honestly to relate the plain matter of fact, without endeavouring to dive into the motives; and to confine himself to the relation of what he does know, instead of indulging his fancy in vague conjectures about what he does not know.
Meanwhile Charles XII. was conducted to the little castle of Demirtash, in the neighbourhood of Adrianople. An innumerable multitude had crowded to this place to see his majesty arrive, who was carried from his chariot to the castle on a sofa ; buc Charles, in order to conceal himself from the view of the populace, put a cushion upon his head.
• The Porte was strongly solicited to allow him to reside at Demotica. Coumourgi said to the grand vizier Solyman: “Go and tell the king “ of Sweden, that he may stay at Demotica all “ his life long, if he pleases; but I will answer « for him, that, in less than a year, he will want
T.C.1713. “ to be gone of his own accord.
« however, not to give him any money.'
Thus was the king conveyed to the little town of Demotica, where the Porte allotted him a considerable quantity of provisions for himself and his retinue ; but all the money they would grant him was three guineas a day, to buy pork and wine, two kinds of provisions which the Turks never furnish to others. The allowance of fixty guineas a day, which he had enjoyed at Bender, was entirely withdrawn.
· Hardly had he reached Demotica with his little court, when the grand vizier Solyman was deposed, and his place filled by Ibrahim Molla, a man of a high spirit, of great courage, and unpolished manners. It may not be amiss to give a short sketch of his history, that so the reader may be the better acquainted with the characters of all those viceroys of the Ottoman empire upon whom the fortune of Charles so long depended.
"He had been a common failor 'till the accelsailor grand
fion of Achmet III. This emperor frequently disguised himself in the habit of a private man, of a priest, or a dervis, and nipped into the coffee-houses and other public places of Constantinople, to hear what the people said of him, and what were their opinions concerning the affairs of ftate. One day he overheard this Molla complaining that the Turkish ships never took any' prizes, and swearing, that, if he were captain of a fhip, he would never enter the port of Constan
tinople without bringing some veffel of the Infidels J.C.1713.
He invited his Majesty to come and see him,
1.C. 1713. providea: all these they had lost at Bender ;
meals were served with much pomp or elegance.
Whilft Charles XII. was thus passing his time
in bed, he received the disagreeable news of the 1.C. 1714. desolation of all his provinces that lay without Heg.1126.
the limits of Sweden.
'Pomerania, all but Stralsund, the isle of Rugen, and some neighbouring places, being left defenceless, became a prey to the allies, and fell into the hands of the king of Pruflia. Bremen was filled with Danish garrisons. At the same time the Russians over-ran Finland, and beat the Swedes, who, being now dispersed, and inferior in point of number, began to lose that superiority over their enemies which they had poffessed at the commencement of the war.
To complete the misfortunes of Sweden, the king resolved to stay at Demotica, and still Alattered himself with the delusive hopes of obtaining affiftance from the Turks, in whom he ought no longer to have reposed any confidence.
• Ibrahim Molla, that bold vizier who had been so obstinately bent on a war with the Rusfians, in opposition to the favorite, was strangled in one of the passages of the seraglio.
• The place of vizier was become so dangerous, that no one would venture to accept of it; and