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to Masuah, likewise on the Red Sea. The manners of the people of Souakin, like those of all the nations of Africa, are, according to Burckhardt, more or less tainted with ill faith, avarice, drunkenness, and debauchery. The town is governed by an Aga, a Turkish officer, whose tyranny would have proved fatal to Burckhardt, had he not been luckily protected by the firman which he received from the Pasha of Egypt.
At Souakin Burckhardt embarked in company with a crowd of Mahometan pilgrims for Djidda, and the account of this voyage terminates the present publication. The journal of his travels in Arabia, and of his pilgrimage to Mecca, is reserved for a subsequent work, which, judging from the interest and the merits of what is now published, the public will expect with no small degree of impatience. Mr. Burckhardt is an enterprising and judicious traveller, whose details never fail to amuse, because they always tend to illustrate some important point in the character and manners of the people among whom he is travelling. They bear the stamp of an active mind, curious to inquire and eager to communicate, and he never bespeaks the attention of his readers, unless for information both satisfactory and import
The journeys of Mr. Burckhardt place in a very clear view, the difficulty of penetrating with safety into the interior of Africa. The barbarous manners and prejudices of the inhabitants oppose almost insuperable difficulties to any European traversing this Continent alone, in his own native character. Burckhardt suggests, that 100 Europeans, well armed, might make their way over the whole country in perfect security; and this is no doubt true, as fire-arms are not used, and scarcely known in the interior. Even at Shendy, on the Nile, Burckhardt's musket was an object of general terror, and some of the traders would not remain in the apartment where it was placed. But to bodies of men attempting such an enterprise, the fatality of the climate, which gradually reduces their numbers, and leaves them at length to the mercy of the inhabitants, is found a formidable obstacle. In such barbarous countries, the disguise of the Mahometan religion and manners seems, after all, the traveller's best safeguard; and it is probably to some scheme of this nature, conducted by a more fortunate, but not more enterprising adventurer, than the author of the present work, that we must trust for farther discoveries in the interior of Africa.
ART. IV. An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia; including various political Observations relating to them. By WILLIAM WILKINSON, Esq. late British Consul to the above mentioned principality. London. Longman & Co. 1820. Pp. 304. 8vo.
WHEN the constitutional moderation, or the prospective envy of Augustus, decreed the Danube as a boundary of the Roman empire, he virtually acknowledged the independence, as he probably meant to imply the unprofitableness of a country, which was destined to give a title and an increase of glory to one of the worthiest of his successors. The inhabitants of that part of Europe which he thus left unsubdued, had by no means conducted themselves in such a manner as to merit forbearance. They more than once disturbed the repose, and offended the majesty of the emperor, when the possession of undisputed power, and the establishment of unquestioned authority throughout the wide extent of his dominions, furnished, at once, the means and a fit season for taking vengeance. Their insolence, heightened it may be by the impunity which they had experienced, and urged by the augmenting necessity for extending their predatory visitations, proved vastly more vexatious in the reign of the infamous Domitian, who had the vanity to claim the honours of a triumph over them, which neither his courage nor his prudence could have achieved. The indignant Juvenal enjoys a sneer at this event in the miscreant's history, and alludes, with sarcastic glee, to the gold medals, which a contemptible subserviency of the senate ordered to be struck in commemoration of his very problematical conquest
cum lance beata
Dacicus et scripto radiat Germanicus auro-Sat. vi.
It was reserved for Trajan to deserve the renown, thus fraudulently anticipated, by the substantial acquisition of the province; and, by imparting to it the redeeming features of Roman civilization, to compensate for the loss of its barbarous independence. He joined it to Moesia by a stupendous bridge, the most magnificent of his works, and of which the rock-like piles are still to be seen in the Danube, when its waters are low. The boundaries of Dacia, for so was this territorial appendage denominated, were the rivers Niester, Theyss or Tibiscus, and the lower Danube, with one of the shores of the Euxine Sea, comprehending a space of about thirteen hundred miles in circumference.
The people, originally a Scythian tribe, were a warlike and a hardy race, and had generally been governed by princes who set a due value on their national freedom. Decebalus, the last of them, disdaining the bondage of a tributary and the sufferings of a captive, after having waged unsuccessful war with the masters of the world, destroyed himself that he might not fall into the hands of the victors.
Agreeably to their wonted policy, the Romans set about improving the country which their arms had subdued. For this purpose they sent colonies into it, built new cities, and constructed high roads. Marks of this judicious conduct are now to be traced, in the fragments of pavements, the corrupted names of places, and the mongrel Latin that is occasionally employed as a medium of oral communication. Dacia, like other portions of the decaying fabric, suffered grievously from the attacks of those tribes which finally rioted over the empire. Of these the Goths were early conspicuous, by the frequency and the violence of their barbarous inroads. They obtained entire ascendancy about the middle of the fourth century, when they embraced a form of the Christian religion, which thenceforward predominated among the inhabitants. the inhabitants. To the Goths succeeded the Huns, whose dominion was overturned by the Gepida. These gave way to the Lombards, who yielded to the Avari or White-Huns, by whom the country was held till their destruction by the Franks and Bulgarians. Other transitions occurred between the seventh century and the time when the Turkish power began to be felt in this part of Europe. Between these periods, Dacia, which, under the protection and government of the Romans, existed as one province, occasionally designated by the name of its conqueror, and at other times by the epithet Vera, in order to distinguish it from Dacia Nova, a district lying to the south of the Danube, was broken down and divided among various petty tribes, whose origin and connexions have afforded ample scope for the ingenuity and research of the antiquarians. We shall content ourselves with that subdivision of it which exists to the present day, and with the chief events in the history of those portions of it in which we are now professedly concerned.
The Roman Dacia comprehended Transylvania, a province united in modern times to the dominions of the house of Austria, and the two provinces of which our author treats. One of these, Wallachia, a name of uncertain etymology, and which is not recognized by the inhabitants, who style themselves "Rum"unn," or Romans, and their countryTsara-Rumaneska," or Roman-land, became tributary to the Turks about the end of
the fourteenth or early in the following century, during the Sultanship of Bajazet, who defeated the troops of Mirtza the Voivode or sovereign of the Wallachians. The tribute was regularly paid till the year 1444, when Ladislas, King of Hungary, engaged the Voivode Dracula in an enterprise against the Turks, which proved unfortunate, as did another in 1448, when the Wallachians re-acknowledged their subjection. They revolted again in 1460, but, after some inconsiderable advantages, were forced into a treaty, which laid the basis of their present subordinate constitution. The rank and title of a Pashah, now conferred on their Voivode, furnished an ostensible badge of dependence. The people, however, soon discovered that their subjugation was any thing but a name. Increase of oppression urged them to new efforts for freedom, at the close of the sixteenth century, when the Voivode Michael, a spirited and energetic prince, formed an alliance with some of his neighbours, who, equally with himself, detested the odious tyranny of the Turkish power. The contest, which lasted for several years, frequently promised liberty to the Wallachians; but the death of their valorous leader threw them into confusion, which terminated in a return to their tributary character. Any attempts which have since been made to throw off the yoke were of short duration and unsuccessful.
The subjection of Moldavia to the same iniquitous despotism was of later occurrence, and, as is imagined, was partly voluntary. In reality it seems to have been dictated by apprehension of a worse fate, should the Sultan Suleyman I. chuse to direct his arms against it; and it is certain that better terms were procured by offering or consenting to become tributary, than could have been expected after hazarding a struggle. The government established in it was similar to that of the sister vince, in the fortunes of which it has commonly shared. About the end of the sixteenth century, it was seized by Sigismund of Transylvania, from whom it was taken by a Polish army, which, after a short possession, restored it to the Turks in 1602. Since that period it has made several short-lived attempts to redeem itself from a baneful servitude, the mischiefs of which have actually grown apace with the declining fortunes of the Ottoman Porte.
As the constitution established in these two provinces is very similar, it may be satisfactory to inform the reader what are its peculiar features. These will be easily understood from the terms of the treaty granted by Mahomet II. to Wallachia, which, as we have already mentioned, forms the basis.
"1. The sultan consents and engages for himself and his succes
sors, to give protection to Wallachia, and to defend it against all enemies, assuming nothing more than a supremacy over the sovereignty of that principality, the Voivodes of which shall be bound to pay to the Sublime Porte an annual tribute of ten thousand piastres. 2. "The Sublime Porte shall never interfere in the local administration of the said principality, nor shall any Turk be ever permitted to come into Wallachia without an ostensible reason.
3. " Every year an officer of the Porte shall come to Wallachia to receive the tribute; and on his return shall be accompanied by an officer of the Voivode, as far as Giurgevo on the Danube, where the money shall be counted over again, a second receipt given for it, and when it has been carried in safety to the other side of that river, Wallachia shall no longer be responsible for any accident that may befal it.
4. "The Voivodes shall continue to be elected by the archbishop, metropolitan, bishops, and boyars (nobles), and the election shall be acknowledged by the Porte.
5. "The Wallachian nation shall continue to enjoy the free exercise of their own laws; and the Voivodes shall have the right of life and death over their own subjects, as well as that of making war and peace, without having to account for any such proceedings to the Sublime Porte.
6. " All Christians, who, having once embraced the Mahometan faith, should come into Wallachia and resume the Christian religion, shall not be claimed by any Ottoman authorities.
7. "Wallachian subjects, who may have occasion to go into any part of the Ottoman dominions, shall not be there called upon for the haratsh or capitation tax paid by other Rayahs (Christian tributary subjects.)
8. "If any Turk have a law-suit in Wallachia with a subject of the country, his cause shall be heard and decided by the Wallachian Divan, conformably to the local laws.
9. "All Turkish merchants coming to buy and sell goods in the principality, shall, on their arrival, have to give notice to the local authorities of the time necessary for their stay, and shall depart when that time is expired.
10. "No Turk is authorized to take away one or more servants of either sex, natives of Wallachia; and no Turkish mosque shall ever exist on any part of the Wallachian territory.
11. "The Sublime Porte promises never to grant a firman (a written order issued by the Grand Vizier in the Sultan's name) at the request of a Wallachian subject for his affairs in Wallachia, of whatever nature they may be; and never to assume the right of calling to Constantinople, or to any other part of the Turkish dominions, a Wallachian subject on any pretence whatever.”
With the exception of the 1st, 3d, 4th, and latter part of the 5th, which have undergone alterations in no small degree injurious to the liberties of the country, these articles are punctually observed to this day. But it is easy to perceive through