Page images

to hold them ready to join his feet. A capiggi 1.C.1723. pachi was sent at the fame time to Petersburg, tp & 1136. declare to the czar, that if he protected the Georgians, either against the Porte, or against either of the two sovereigns of Persia, the grand feignior would think himself obliged to declare war against him ; 'that moreover his vengeance against the Leghis had been carried far enough, and that the emperor of the Turks could not refuse the protection demanded of him by Sunnite Murfulmen like himself. The bashaw of Erzerum received orders to enter Georgia with twenty thousand men, where he did not meet with the least resistance.

Meanwhile the khan of Crimea wrote continually to the Porte, that it was their common interest to inake an irruption into Russia, to employ the czar in his own dominions, and hinder his invading Persia. Ibrahim, always inclined to peace, replied, that the Porte was seriously me. ditating to repress the czar, but that if he, the khan, dạrst begin hoftilities without the approbation of the sublime emperor his sovereign paramount, he must not only expect to be deposed, but he might be sure that his disobedience would be punished with death. By the precept of the Alcoran, which admits buc of one sovereign in a country, however large it may be, when ic is not separated by seas or Infidel nations not subjugated, Ibrahim considered the khan of the Tartars as a prince in subjection to the sword of Othman, and VOL, IV.


M m 2

1.C.1723. he hoped that Mir Mamout, who was a Sunnite Heg.11359 & 1136. Mussulman like Achmet III., would be as faithful

to the law of Mahomer as the khan of the Tartars had always been, and that he would acknowledge the Ottoman emperor for the father of the true Believers. But when he had learned by an aga, whom the bashaw of Bagdad had dispatched to Mir Mamoud, that this usurper was resolved to be an independent king the same as the fophis had been, the vizier saw there was no other course to take than that of dismembering Persia; that in order thereto it became more and more necessary to agree with Peter the Great. The czar was as desirous as Ibrahim not to multiply the obstacles to the conquests which he meditated; and, as he knew it to be the interest of France to diffuade the Porte from combating any other power than the house of Austria, at that time the rival of the house, of Bourbon, he prevailed on Mr. Decampredon, the French minister at Petersburg, to write both to his court and to the marquis of Bonac, the French ambassador at the Porte, in order that this ambassador might take upon him in the name of his master the mediation between Turkey and Russia.

The marquis of Bonae, a man of fine talents and great zeal, kuew the court in which he was negotiating, as much as the interests of that. which he was to serve. He had so ingratiated himself with the grand vizier Ibrahim, that that minifter believed the French ambassador his parti


of war.

cular friend, and as much attached to the Porte J.C.1723.

Heg.1135, as himself.

The grand vizier, holding for a & 1736. certainty that the Ottoman empire and the kingdom of France ought to make but one in the order of policy, earnestly listened to the advice which the marquis of Bonac gave him. He particularly approved the being sparing of the forces of the Ottoman empire, in order to keep his neighbours in awe, by threatening to attack whichfoever should attempt to oppose the designs of the Porte. This pacific plan Aattered the avarice of the grand feignior, and the timidity of the grand vizier, who knew that the heads of his predecessors had often answered for the events

He feared however the divan, and particularly the janissaries, who cried aloud that the czar would be let make himself master of Persia, in order to be able afterward to possess himself of the Ottoman dominions in Asia. The marquis of Bonac had frequent conferences with the reis effendi, as likewise with the grand vizier; and these two ministers, worked upon by the French ambassador, fought the means to disarm Ruflia. The capiggi pachi, who had been sent to the czar, brought back a rather haughty answer. The Ruflian monarch declared to the Porte, that it was not his intention to infringe the peace in the lealt; but that, if the Turks endeavoured to oppose his designs on the coast of the Caspian sea, he should on his side traverse the views which they might have on the countries situated between


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

The French ambassador

J.C. 1723. the two seas. The marquis of Bonac, who was
& 11362" in the secret of the court of Ruflia, observed to

the grand vizier, that, notwithstanding the me-
naces which the czar's answer seemed to contain,
it offered a mean of pacification ; that it was just
to let that prince extend his conquests on the bor-
ders of the Caspian sea, if, as hé infinuated, he
fuffered the Otcoman empire to take provinces
that lay convenient for it. The marquis added,
that if the usurper Mir Mamouc should be de-
firous of claiming what had belonged to Persia,
it was equally the interest of the Porte and of
Russia to live in peace, and even in alliance, in
order to fight together the common enemy; that

the czar was so persuaded of the advantage of offers his fuch an agreement, that Mr. Nepluief, the Rus

fian resident at the Porte, had said to hiin, that
he had powers to conclude a treaty. On this
overture, the grand vizier proposed to the French
ambassador to act as mediator.

The marquis,
who wrote an exact account to his court of the
steps that he had thoughe proper to cake, re-
ceived no answer to it. Either through negli.

of cardinal Dubois, at that time prime minister, or that this prelate did not like the marquis of Bonac, he left him in the greatest embarraffinent, without directing, or approving, or blaming his conduct. In this disagreeable fituation, the ambassador, sure that it was the interest of his court to hinder a war between two powers who, both independent and allies, might disquiet



[ocr errors]

the house of Austria, made a bold step which the 1.C. 1723. love of doing good suggested to him. He re. & 1136. plied to the proposal of the grand vizier, that it being then the ramazan or Turkish lent, it appeared to him an improper time for opening.conferences; that moreover he had no instructions from his court for this mediation ; but that nevertheless, if he did not receive any before the end of that season, as he was the ambassador of a prince equally the ally of the Ottoman emperor and of the czar of Moscovy, he would act in that quality for mediator between the two powers, if both should desire it; that he was already sure of the Russian resident; that after the ramazan the grand vizier might proceed as he thought fit; and that he considered as a good introduction to the treaty, that Peter the Great had declared he fhould not cominand his troops in person that campaign.

During this interval, a Persian arrived at Con- Embassy ftantinople, whose retinue was but small, and who without appeared to have suffered greatly from fatigue and misery. He had been stopped a long time on the frontiers of Turkey, before he was permitted to continue his journey. He stiled himself ambaffador from Shah Thamas, the son of Shah Hussein. This prince, inheritor of the pretensions and misfortunes of his father, was retired into the mountains of Armenia : fome poor provinces which had been laid waste ftill held out for him. He had sent both to the Ot

from Perfio



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »