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pedigree up to Zinghis. According to some accounts, the Crimea in the eighteenth century was a home of nomad innocence and bliss, like the Scythian paradise to which Jupiter in the Odyssey averts his eyes from the carnage before Troy. A primitive race of traders and shepherds, long separated from the bloody traditions of Karizm and Jagatai, sedentary in neat towns and villages, or wandering with numerous flocks over the face of the peninsula, lived happily under the patriarchal government of venerable chiefs, who set examples of virtue, dispensed justice and hospitality, and accumulated commercial or pastoral wealth. Such a picture evidently owes many touches to the belief in the noble savage' proper to the disciples of Rousseau, and it might be easily darkened by the mention of some of the evil traits and habits charged on the Turk subjects of the Mongol representatives of the Ottoman Padishah.
Whatever the virtues or faults of the Tartars, the ambition of Catherine and Potemkin brought on the peninsula undeserved miseries of bloodshed, oppression, and deportation Tempted by the vines and corn that fringe the margin of the blue Euxine, by the myrtles, olives, and almonds of Tschatyr Dagh, and by the opportunity of the spacious harbours of Sevastopol, Balaclava, and Aktiar, so well placed both for commerce and war, the brood of winter' had long marked the Crimea for their own. We should do injustice to Catherine if we failed to observe the forethought and contrivance shown in the various stages of the process whereby this convenient stepping-stone towards Constantinople fell into her hands. The Treaty of Kainardji had severed the tie between the Sultan and his Tartar subjects, establishing the Crimea as an independent State, in whose concerns neither Russia nor Turkey was on any pretext to mix. But the Russian occupation anterior to that settlement had produced consequences from which neither Russians nor Turks, even if bent more piously than usual on the observance of promises, could altogether escape. For two rival parties had arisen amongst the Tartars, a patriotic and a foreign one, headed by a succession of Khans and anti-Khans, who were elected, bolstered up, and pulled down, by Ottoman and Russian influence or arms.
Not to mount too high in a bewildering series of rulers, the knowledge of whose names, dates, and doings is not worth remembering, it is sufficient to say that two years after the peace of Kainardji we find, as legitimate or Ottoman Khan, one Dewlet Gherai ; as intrusive or anti-Khan, Schahin Gherai, a nominee of Catherine and of the Tartar foreign faction. Backed by Russian troops, Schahin dethroned Dewlet, who fled to Con
stantinople, stantinople, where the claims and complaints of the rivals came before the Divan. The Beys, Ulemas, and Agas, deputed by Schahin to plead his cause, professed to vouch for the legality of his election, which, they declared, had been perfectly free, and by no means due, as the national party pretended, to the countenance and threats of the Russian troops. Hereupon certain acute Turks replied, that their own documents proved the whole thing to have been a sham. There was nothing Mohammedan about them. The whole twang of the letter announcing the so-called election of the anti-Khan, the assumption with which Schahin asked the mere blessing of the Khalif instead of the investiture prescribed by law, proved the document to be an emanation from the Russian military mind. Therefore, said the Reis Effendi to Catherine's representative, . Let your troops withdraw from the Crimea, and a new election be made, with which neither Russia nor Turkey shall interfere.'
But Catherine would by no means abandon her man, who, having lived for some years at her Court and having served in the Preobrajensky regiment of her Guard, might well be trusted to Russianize his Tartars. According to an adjutant of Frederick, who visited the Crimea, the anti-Khan was a particularly wise and enlightened person, full of the genius wanted for the conversion of vagabond and superstitious tribes into a civilized nation. Fashionable Russian opinion was less favourable to Schahin, who was called in St. Petersburg a respectable blundering donkey; Panin, in particular, describing him as an ass and a wretch, not worth the fuss he caused. Judging from his behaviour as ruler, he must have been a kind of Tartar Catherine or Joseph-a royal radical, bent on premature reforms, which could not be enforced without gross tyranny, or without leading to the edge of revolution.
All Schahin's proceedings, actual or reported, were utterly obnoxious to the untutored Turanian mind. Scorning the traditional methods of Tartar locomotion, he drove about the Crimea in a six-horse Parisian coach ; and, no longer satisfied with kvass, horse-hams, and caviar, he had his table served by a Russian cook. He tried to supersede the patriarchal government of Asia by an administration of the European military type; he increased taxation, and threatened to turn Christian with all his Tartars. Furthermore, he surrounded himself with a large body-guard, and, in order to be in proximity to the Russians who were stationed at Kertch and Yenikale, he moved the royal residence from Baktasherai to Kaffa, where the contempt of the Tartars was excited by his European furniture, liveries, and silver plate. Kaunitz and M. de Vergennes must have known whose influence
version enlightened rim
was in play, when they heard that the infant nomads were learning French and other foreign tongues, and that Schahin was taking measures for the translation of the great French · Encyclopédie' into the Tartar vernacular, in order that the highly-educated local Turanian population might indulge the desire so acutely felt in the Crimea for intellectual communings with D'Alembert and Voltaire ! In her own practice, let us observe, Catherine turned out to be a considerable backslider from this philosophical ideal, for, after the annexation of the Crimea, she contented herself with printing and distributing to the Tartars a fine edition of the Koran.
The anger of the Tartars was chiefly roused by the anti-Khan's military innovations. One day, when he appeared on parade with a Russian general at his side and the Czarina's order of St. Andrew on his breast, and commanded the soldiers to put on some brand-new Russian uniforms, the men refused to obey, fired on their sovereign, and broke out into open mutiny, the precursor of a general insurrection. Schahin was saved from popular vengeance by the Russians, who made a terrible butchery of the Tartars, which was only a prelude to a more elaborate massacre perpetrated soon afterwards on the supporters of Selim Gherai, another anti-Khan, whom the Porte, or the national party, set up in opposition to Schahin. This additional anti-Khan was obliged to fly. The Russians now expelled the Tartars wholesale; 75,000 Greeks and Armenians being also driven from the Crimea and sent to colonize Cherson and the territory between the Don and the Bug, where most of them perished utterly.
A general submission to Schahin followed, and the Porte, which wisely treated the whole business as a mere auxiliary war of Tartars,' under the advice of France and of Frederick, confirmed and extended, in the Treaty of Ainali-Kawak (signed with Russia in 1779), the previous stipulations for the independence of the Crimea. Schahin was now invested by the Porte with the turban, pelisse, and sword, which symbolized the spiritual dignity reserved to the Sultan to confer. But the previous cycle of events recurred. Schahin's oppressions, crimes, and follies knew no bounds. Fresh commotions broke out, upon which the Russians called in Behadir, brother to Schahin, and set him up as third or extra anti-Khan against their own man. The Crimea was thus rapidly approaching some of the conditions of a constitutional State, for three parties were struggling for the mastery, each seemingly headed by a representative of the popular will. Under Russian advice, Schahin now fled, when, Catherine having given orders that the extra anti
Khan of her choice should not be recognized, Schahin was restored for the last time by Russian troops. Behadir was again brought forward for a moment, and Schahin, being held in duress by his allies, was compelled to sign his abdication in the Czarina's favour, a step arranged through the instrumentality of the son of a German barber.
Thus ended the independence of the Tauric Chersonese. Before Schahin's temporary restoration, the Russians had deliberately weighed the alternatives of an entire destruction of the Tartars and of their wholesale deportation to Siberia. The method actually selected was a sort of compound of both forms of extermination. The peninsula and the adjacent provinces were plundered and devastated, till there was little left to pillage or destroy, and 30,000 Tartar prisoners, men, women and children, were butchered by the Russian soldiery in cold blood. The ruin of the Crimea was consummated under the administration of Potemkin, who, for his share in these glorious deeds, was afterwards dignified in classical style with the appellation of
the Taurian. The paradise of Tschatyr Dagh, the blooming groves of Orianda, became a howling waste: of 1400 towns and villages, there was hardly one which was not laid in ashes : the people fled from the oppressions and exactions of Potemkin into Asiatic Turkey, until a wretched remnant of 17,000 Tartars was all that was left of the hordes, which in their palmy days had been able to put nearly 200,000 horsemen into the field.
Had our space allowed us, we should have spoken of the further correspondence of the two sovereigns, told the picturesque story of Joseph's second visit to Catherine, and narrated their joint war against Turkey, in which Frederick William II., renouncing the neutral attitude of his great predecessor, made a stand against Russian usurpation. We should also have shown how England, silent under Whig leadership, or subservient to Russia, during the transactions above described, inaugurated under the younger Pitt a worthy national policy in Oriental affairs.
Without a knowledge of these events there can be no adequate appreciation of Catherine's political character, on which indeed every verdict must be taken as provisional, pending the completion of the vast history of Soloviev, and the further progress of those documentary and biographical collections which do so much honour to enterprise and research at Moscow. There is, however, no risk in pointing out, that Catherine was the first of her line to conceive, and to instal as a national object, that system of unremitting Russian crusade against Turkey, which has proved so permanent and so dangerous a disturber of
Europe's Europe's diplomatic repose. Her towering ambition transformed the latent aims of the houses of Rurik and Romanof into a conscious and systematic resolve for the destruction of a neighbouring Empire, for the conquest of the metropolis whose palaces and treasures had excited Slav cupidity nine hundred years before. Catherine's projects may have included some chimerical elements, but they cannot be called the mere jumbled rubbish of a dream. Transferred from the languid hands of the Sultan and the Hospodars to the keeping of Constantine and Potemkin, the Christians of the Byzantine empire and of the Principalities would doubtless have found that, like the subjects of Rehoboam, they had exchanged the chastisement of whips for that of scorpions. But the modern Greece and Dacia, once founded, might well have existed on the terms designed by Catherine. Further, seeing that Frederick was not disposed to interfere, that Joseph was the perpetual slave of feverish and fluctuating impulse, that France and England were held to neutrality or alliance, there was no risk of a European concert to oppose Catherine; while, if Austria finally fell in with her schemes, the problem would become a simple one of military strength and resistance. Catherine's conquests in her first war, which gave Russia access to the Black Sea and prepared the annexation of the Crimea, brought her such territorial and commercial advantages, and rights of intervention in Turkey, as neither Peter nor Anna Ivanovna had aspired to obtain. In her second war, the reasonable hopes of the Imperial Courts were frustrated by accidents and conjunctures not to be foreseen, and beyond the control of prudence and contrivance. We may not then rank amongst the fools of vaulting ambition' the great Princess whose example has never ceased to inflame the councils of her adopted country; whose spirit guides them now!
ART. VIII.-1. The Military Forces of the Crown ; their Admi
nistration and Government. By Charles M. Clode. London,
1869. 2. Liberty in the East and West. By the Right Honourable
W. E. Gladstone, M.P., Nineteenth Century, June, 1878. 3. The Movement of Indian Troops. Debates in Parliament,
Times,' May 21st to May 24th, 1878. 4. The Mutiny Acts, 1689 to 1878. W H EN the intelligence reached this country, that seven
V thousand Indian troops had been despatched from Bombay to Malta, the feeling of the people of England was not