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thought it no small favour that they should be permitted to exist in their
neighbourhood. They had to witness the cruelties of despotism and the passions of armed and ignorant multitudes : and all this embellished with the fair probability of being swept off
, in some grand engagement, by the superior tactics and activity of the enemy to whom the Turks were opposed. To the filth, irregularity, and tumult of a Turkish camp, as it appeared to the British officers in 1800, it is curious to oppose the picture of one drawn by Busbequius in the middle of the sixteenth century: “Turcæ in proximnis campis tendebant; cum vero in eo loco tribus mensibus vixerim, fuit mihi facultas videndorum ipsorum castrorum, et cognoscendæ aliqua ex parte disciplinæ; qua de re nisi pauca attingam, habeas fortasse quod me accuses. Sumpto habitu Christianis hominibus in illis locis usitato, cum uno aut altero comite quacunque vagabar ignotus : primum videbam summo ordine cujusque corporis milites suis locis distributos, et, quod vix credat, qui nostratis militiæ consuetudinem novit, summum erat ubique silentium, summa quies, rixa nulla, nullum cujusquam insolens factum : sed ne nox quidem aut vitulatio per lasciviam aut ebrietatem emissa. Ad hæc summa mundities, nulla sterquilinia, nulla purgamenta, nihil quod oculos aut nares offenderet. Quicquid est hujusmodi, aut defodiunt Turcæ, aut procul à conspectu submovent. Sed nec ullas compotationes aut convivia, nullum aleæ genus, magnum nostratis militiæ flagitium, videre erat : nulla lusoriarum chartarum, neque tesserarum damna norunt Turcæ.”—Augeri Busbequii, Epist. 3, p. 187. Hanovia. 1622. There is at present in the Turkish army a curious mixture of the severest despotism in the commander, and the most rebellious insolence in the soldier. When the soldier misbehaves, the Vizier cuts his head off, and places it under his arm. When the soldier is dissatisfied with the Vizier, he fires his ball through his tent, and admonishes him, by these messengers, to a more pleasant exercise of his authority. That such severe punishment should not confer a more powerful authority, and give birth to a better discipline, is less extraordinary, if we reflect, that we hear only that the punishments are severe, not that they are steady, and that they are just; for if the Turkish soldiers were always punished with the same severity when they were in fault, and never but then, it is not in human nature to suppose that the Turkish army would long remain in as contemptible a state as it now is. But the governed soon learn to distinguish between systematic energy and the excesses of casual and capricious cruelty; the one awes them into submission, the other rouses them to revenge.
Dr. Wittman, in his chapter on the Turkish army, attributes inuch of its degradation to the altered state of the corps of Janissaries, the original constitution of which corps was certainly both curious and wise. The children of Christians made prisoners in the predatory incursions of the Turks, or procured in any other manner, were exposed in the public markets at Constantinople. Any farmer or artificer was ac liberty to take one into his service, contracting with government to produce him again when he should be wanted; and in the mean
time to feed and clothe him, and to educate him to such works of labour as are calculated to strengthen the body. As the Janissaries were killed off, the government drew upon this stock of hardy orphans for its levies ; who, instead of hanging upon weeping parents at their departure, came eagerly to the camp, as the situation which they had always been taught to look upon as the theatre of their future glory, and towards which all their passions and affections had been bent from their earliest years. Arrived at the camp, they received at first low pay, and performed menial offices for the little division of Janissaries to which they were attached : “Ad Gianizaros rescriptus primo meret menstruo stipendio, paulo plus minus, unius ducati cum dimidio. Id enim militi novitio, et rudi satis esse censent. Sed tamen ne quid victus necessitati desit, cum ea decuria, in cujus contubernium adscitus est, gratis cibum capit, eâ conditione, ut in culinâ reliquoque ministerio ei decuriæ serviat; usum adeptus tyro, necdum tamen suis contubernalibus honore neque stipendio par, unam in solâ virtute, se illis æquandi, spem habet : utpote si militiæ quæ prima se obtulerit, tale specimen sui dederit, ut dignus judicetur, qui tyrocinio exemptus, honoris gradu et stipendii magnitudine, reliquis Gianizaris par habeatur. Quâ quidem spe plerique tyrones impulsi, multa præclare audent, et fortitudine cum veteranis certant.”-Busbequius, De Re Mil. cont. Turc. Instit. Consilium.* The same author observes, that there was no rank or dignity in the Turkish army to which a common Janissary might not arrive, by his courage or his capacity. This last is a most powerful motive to exertion, and is perhaps one leading cause of the superiority of the French arms. Ancient governments promote from numberless causes, which ought to have no concern with promotion ; revolutionary governments, and military despotisms, can make generals of persons who are fit for generals : to enable them to be unjust in all other instances, they are forced to be just in this. What, in fact, are the sultans and pachas of Paris, but Janissaries raised from the ranks ? At present, the Janissaries are procured from the lowest of the people, and the spirit of the corps is evaporated. The low state of their armies is in some degree imputable to this; but the principal reason why the Turks are no longer as powerful as they were, is, that they are no longer enthusiasts, and that war is now become more a business of science than of personal courage.
The person of the greatest abilities in the Turkish empire is the Capitan Pacha; he has disciplined some ships and regiments on the European fashion, and would, if he were well seconded, bring about some important reforms in the Turkish empire. But what has become of all the reforms of the famous Gazzi Hassan ? The blaze of partial talents is soon extinguished. Never was there so great a prospect of improvement as that afforded by the exertions of this celebrated man,
* This is a very spirited appeal to his countrymen on the tremendous power of the Turks; and, with the substitution of France for Turkey, is so applicable to the present times, that it might be spoken in Parliament with great effect.
who, in spite of the ridicule thrown upon him by Baron de Tott, was such a man as the Turks cannot expect to see again once in a century. He had the whole power of the Turkish empire at his disposal for fifteen years; and after repeated efforts to improve the army, abandoned the scheme as totally impracticable. The celebrated Bonneval, in his time, and De Tott since, made the same attempt, with the same success. They are not to be taught ; and six months after his death, everything the present Capitan Pacha has done will be immediately pulled to pieces. The present Grand Vizier is a man of no ability. There are some very entertaining instances of his gross ignorance cited in the 133rd page of the Travels. Upon the news being communicated to him that the earth was round, he observed that this could not be the case; for the people and the objects on the other side would in that case fall off ; and that the earth could not move round the sun; for if so, a ship bound from Jaffa to Con. stantinople, instead of proceeding to the capital, would be carried to London, or elsewhere. We cannot end this article without confessing with great pleasure the entertainment we have received from the work which occasions it. It is an excellent lounging-book, full of pleasant details, never wearying by prolixity, or offending by presumption, and is apparently the production of a respectable worthy
So far we can conscientiously recommend it to the public : for any thing else,
Non cuivis homini contingit adire, &c., &c., &c.
EDGEWORTH ON IRISH BULLS.
Essay on Irish Bulls. By RICHARD LOVEL EDGEWORTH and MARIA
EDGEWORTH. London, 1802. WE hardly know what to say about this rambling, scrambling book;
but that we are quite sure the author, when he began any sentence in it, had not the smallest suspicion of what it was about to contain. We say the author, because, in spite of the mixture of sexes in the title-page, we are strongly inclined to suspect that the male contributions exceed the female in a very great degree. The Essay on Bulls is written much with the same mind, and in the same manner, as a schoolboy takes a walk ; he moves on for ten yards on a straight road with surprising perseverance; then sets out after a butterfly, looks for a bird's nest, or jumps backwards and forwards over a ditch. In the same manner, this nimble and digressive gentleman is away after every object which crosses his mind. If you leave him at the end of a comma, in a steady pursuit of his subject, you are sure to find him, before the next full stop, a hundred yards to the right and left, frisking, capering, and grinning in a high paroxysm of merriment and agility. Mr. Edgeworth seems to possess the sentiments of an accomplished gentleman, the information of a scholar, and the vivacity of a first-rate harlequin. He is fuddled with animal spirits, giddy with constitutional joy: in such a state he must have written on, or burst. A discharge of ink was an evacuation absolutely necessary, to avoid fatal and plethoric congestion.
The object of the book is to prove that the practice of making bulls is not more imputable to the Irish than to any other people ; and the manner in which he sets about it is to quote examples of bulls produced in other countries. But this is surely a singular way of reasoning the question ; for there are goîtres out of the Valais, extortioners who do not worship Moses, oat cakes south of the Tweed, and balm beyond the precincts of Gilead. If nothing can be said to exist pre-eminently and emphatically in one country, which exists at all in another, then Frenchmen are not gay, nor Spaniards grave, nor are gentlemen of the Milesian race remarkable for their disinterested contempt of wealth in their connubial relations. It is probable there is some foundation for a char er so generally diffused : though it is also probable that such foundation is extremely enlarged by fame. If there were no foundation for the common opinion, we must suppose national characters formed by chance; and that the Irish might, by accident, have been laughed at as bashful and sheepish, which is impossible. The author puzzles himself a good deal about the nature of bulls, without coming to any decision about the matter. Though the question is not a very easy one, we shall venture to say that a bull is an apparent congruity and real incongruity of ideas suddenly discovered. And if this account of bulls be just, they are (as might have been supposed) the very reverse of wit"; fór as wit discovers real relations that are not apparent, bulls admit apparent relations that are not real. The pleasure arising from wit proceeds from our surprise at suddenly discovering two things to be similar in which we suspected no similarity. The pleasure arising from bulls proceeds from our discovering two things to be dissimilar in which à resemblance might have been suspected. The same doctrine will apply to wit and to bulls in action. Practical wit discovers connection or relation between actions, in which duller understandings discover none; and practical bulls originate from an apparent relation between two actions, which more correct understandings immediately perceive to have no relation at all.
Louis XIV., being extremely harassed by the repeated solicitations of a veteran officer for promotion, said one day, loud enough to be heard, “That gentleman is the most troublesome officer I have in my service.” “ That is precisely the charge (said the old man) which your Majesty's enemies bring against me."
“An English gentleman (says Mr. Edgeworth, in a story cited from Joe Miller) was writing a letter in a coffee-house; and perceiving
that an Irishman stationed behind him was taking that liberty which Parmenio used with his friend Alexander, instead of putting his seal upon the lips of the curious impertinent, the English gentleman thought proper to reprove the Hibernian, if not with delicacy, at least with poetical justice. He concluded writing his letter in these words : 'I would say more, but a damned tall Irishman is reading over my shoulder every word I write.'
" You lie, you scoundrel,' said the self-convicted Hibernian.”(p. 29.)
The pleasure derived from the first of these stories proceeds from the discovery of the relation that subsists between the object he had in view, and the assent of the officer to an observation so unfriendly to that end. In the first rapid glance which the mind throws upon his words, he appears, by his acquiescence, to be pleading against himself. There seems to be no relation between what he says, and what he wishes to effect by speaking.
In the second story, the pleasure is directly the reverse. The lie given was apparently the readiest means of proving his innocence, and really the most effectual way of establishing his guilt. There seems for a moment to be a strong relation between the means and the object; while, in fact, no irrelation can be so complete.
What connection is there between pelting stones at monkeys, and gathering cocoa-nuts from lofty trees? Apparently none. But monkeys sit upon cocoa-nut trees; monkeys are imitative animals ; and if you pelt a monkey with a stone, he pelts you with a cocoa-nut in return. This scheme of gathering cocoa-nuts is very witty, and would be more so, if it did not appear useful ; for the idea of utility is always inimical to the idea of wit.* There appears, on the contrary, to be some relation between the revenge of the Irish rebels against a banker, and the means which they took to gratify it, by burning all his notes wherever they found them ; whereas they could not have rendered him a more essential service. In both these cases of bulls, the one verbal, the other practical, there is an apparent congruity and real incongruity of ideas. In both the cases of wit, there is an apparent incongruity and a real relation.
* It must be observed, that all the great passions, and many other feelings, extinguish the relish for wit. Thus lympha pudica Deum vidit et erubuit, would be witty, were it not bordering on the sublime. The resemblance between the sandal tree imparting (while it falls) its aromatic flavour to the edge of the axe, and the benevolent man rewarding evil with good, would be witty, did it not excite virtuous emotions. There are many mechanical contrivances which excite sensations very similar to wit ; but the attention is absorbed by their utility. Some of Merlin's machines, which have no utility at all, are quite similar to wit. A small model of a steam engine, or mere squirt, is wit to a child. A man speculates on the causes of the first, or on its consequences, and so loses the feelings of wit ; with the latter, he is too familiar to be surprised. In shoit, the essence of every species of wit is surprise : which, vi termini, must be sudden; and the sensations which wit has a tendency to excite, are impaired or destroyed, as often as they are iningled with much thought or passion,