Page images

of Mecca

the Turks

the sums

J.C. 1694.

It was not in Europe only that the Ottomans & 1106. found enemies this year. The Afiatic bashaws had The emir to fight the emir of Mecca, the sovereign of those pillages a

vagabonds who inhabit the deserts between the and forces prophet's town and Damascus. This horde of to pay him freebooters plundered the caravans of all the pil. that are

grims who went to Mecca. Though these Arahis due. bians were such miserable wretches, they were

become very formidable, as it would have been necessary to keep a numerous army constantly on foot to protect the multitude of pilgrims drawn to Mecca by duty and devotion. The Turkish emperors would rather make a sort of bargain with these vagabonds, than endeavour to bring them under subjection, which in fact would be a difficult matter ; for these plunderers, accustomed to live on a little, to inhabit caverns, and to bear the inclemency of the air, easily massacre travelbers and escape the pursuit of regular troops. For eighty purses, which their emir received yearly from the treasures of the mosques, they were not only to discontinue their rapines, but likewise to be answerable for the safety of the roads. The wants of the state caused the

payment of this debt to be neglected a good while, which the viziers considered, with much reason as disgraceful for such a state as the Ottoman empire. The emir of the Arabians thought himself authorised to pillage the caravans anew, which he executed with so much cruelty, that fixty thousand defenceless pilgrims were plun


dered, wounded, and dragged into Navery, whilft 1.C. 1694. they thought themselves travelling in safety on & 1106." the faith of treaties. The neighbouring fangiacs assembled their troops too late; they were beaten by piece-meal. This disorder did more injury to the empire than a real war could. After a great many men had been lost, government' was obliged to satisfy a creditor who took advantage of circumstances to pay himself with his own hands. The eighty purses were again furnished, as the empire was not then in a state to free itself from this mortifying debt. This affair was scarcely terminated, when the J.C.1695.

Heg.1106. sultan was attacked with an inflammation of the lungs which carried him off in a few days. This princé, perceiving himself near his end, eagerly asked to see Mustapha, his nephew, who was to fucceed him. Either through insensibility or miltrust, Mustapha obstinately refused the expiring emperor this fatisfaction, who at length desired that his nephew might be told that he recommended his children to his protection. Achmet Achmet died the 27th of January aged fifty years, of which he had reigned four, if it may be called reigning to give way to every impression, to let good or evil be committed indifferently, and to view with the same eyes great or ill success, which the imbecility of this monarch prevented him from taking any part in,

Death of



J.C. 1695. Heg.1106.

MU S T A P H A 11.


How Muftapha gets on the throne.

ACHMET being dead, the grand vizier, Ta

rabolus Ali, who meant to choose an em-, peror, ordered the officers of the seraglio who had been present at the death of their master, to conceal this event. They renewed public prayers in the mosques for the sultan's recovery; and whilft the creatures of the vizier were publishing that there were great hopes for the emperor, the minister secretly assembled the mufti, the mollacs, the bashaws, and the agas of the different corps, proposing to them to place Ibrahim the son of Achmet on the throne, who was only three years old. “ This child," said Tarabolus, " is the is eldest son of our sovereign who died emperor " of the Ottomans. Has he not more right to " succeed his father, than Mustapha his cousin, " the son of a dethroned emperor?” This pretext, which seemed to satisfy the assembly, covered the true reason which no one said, but which all equally comprehended. The mufti and the grand vizier knew Mustapha to be a prince that would reign himself. They hoped on the contrary to be absolute masters under the name of an emperor of three years old, and there was not a single member of the divan who did


not aim likewise at some part in this government, Heg.1106


. . or who at least flattered himself with finding his independency in it. Whilst they were deliberating, not any longer on the choice of a sovereign, but how they should proclaim the prince whom they had chosen, the felictar aga and the chiau pachi entered the assembly, and commanded the mufti and the grand vizier to go instantly · and prostrate themselves at the feet of Muftapha II. who was waiting for them on his throne in the divan chamber. A black eunuch, who was treasurer of the haram, had informed this prince of his uncle's death. : Muftapha had shewn himself to the bostangis and icoglans, who had immediately published the death of Achmet and the accession of Mustapha, the oldest prince of the Ottoman blood, and consequently the lawful inheritor agreeably to the laws of the caliphs and of the empire. Already they heard the drums and the acclamations of the janiffaries, who were marching under the orders of their odas pachis to the outer court of the seraglio: the people assembled, and all blessed the new emperor aloud. Neither the mufti nor the grand vizier thought himself strong enough to resist this torrent: both having gotten up in silence, repaired to the divan chamber, where they were followed by those who composed the assembly. On their arrival at the foot of the throne, on which Mustapha already displayed all the majesty and pomp of an empen ror, they kissed with respect the bottom of the VOL. IV.



L.C. 1695. sultan's veft, who told them both that he would Heg.1106.

confirm them in their dignities, and that he should measure his affection for them by the fidelity of their services. He sent direcily for the defterdar, commanding him to bring an account of all the money then in the public treasury. The emperor, seeing that this sum amounted to no more than fifteen purses, asked what had been done with the rest. On the defterdar's answering

him that his predecessor had disposed of it: Declarati- « And I,” said he, looking at the grand vizier he makes with a menacing eye, “ will take care to bring acceßion. « those to a strict account who have diffipated

« it. But let not the troops expect the present " which the weakness of my predecessors has so “ often granted them on their ascending the “ throne. I am come to my estate, and want all “ the money that I can raise to defend this estate « and keep the enemy from it.” Mustapha de. clared that he would command the army in perfon the next campaign.

This sultan, aged at that time thirty-three years, had a manly, noble countenance, and was known to be a prince that would not be trifled with.' His refusal of the present to the janissaries, which had several times occasioned seditions, did not

then produce any effect. One of the first cares of his mother Mustapha was to take his mother from the old feold ferage raglio, where she had been languihing ever since

the deposition of Mahoinet IV. and bring her to Adrianople to enjoy all the honors and power



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »