Imatges de pàgina
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himself in the study of it during a prolonged visit to Sicily, since repeated, in 1868.

It was not till his return from the East of Europe last October, that the author resolved to write upon the subject at all; and the analysis of Parliamentary Papers and other sources of evidence occupied his time uninterruptedly till the beginning of January, when he began—what has been comparatively a much easier task—the actual writing of his book. In point of style and literary execution the volume has, no doubt, suffered from the rapidity with which it has been written ; but the facts and arguments are not affected by this circumstance; and it is on these, rather than on graces of style, that the author relies. His aim has been to prove, by evidence which is above suspicion and incontrovertible, that the Government of Turkey has been going on-steadily, systematically, and on principle—from bad to worse from the Crimean War till now; that there is absolutely no security to the non-Mussulman subjects of the Empire for life, or honour, or religious freedom, or property ; that this is inevitable and of course while the Government of the Porte continues practically independent; that the Turkish Government is at this moment on the verge of dissolution—a catastrophe from which the enforcement, by the Great Powers, of a scheme of real reform giving practical autonomy to the disturbed provinces, offers the only escape ; that a sincere resolution on the part of any two of the Great Powers to coerce Turkey would insure the obedience of the Porte, while the policy which seems to have prevailed necessitates war

within a few—probably a very few—months, and with war the total collapse of the Turkish Empire, and the precipitation of several political problems which are hardly ripe for solution, and which a wise statesmanship should have striven to mature gradually.

For all these conclusions the author believes that he has furnished sound and stable reasons, based on evidence which hardly admits of refutation. Discarding theories and sentiment, he has appealed throughout to the stern logic of facts—many of them, as he believes, not otherwise accessible to English readers. The present is one of those crises which are sometimes a turning-point in a nation's history. For nations, as for individuals, which choose a wrong course from deliberate selfishness, there is sometimes “no place of repentance, though sought carefully with tears.'

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side.
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom

or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand and the sheep upon the right; And the choice goes by for ever 'twixt that darkness and that light.

A ‘great cause’ is now, humanly speaking, trembling in the balance, and on England apparently is laid the responsibility of deciding its issue. How terrible that responsibility is, the facts recorded in the following pages abundantly show. If the men and women of England could only be brought to realise the true condition, or even an approximation to the true condition, of the millions of human beings who are at this moment writhing in the agony of a bondage more

cruel and debasing than any that the world has ever seen, they would certainly rise in their might and sweep away

space all the charlatanry of an effete diplomacy, that seeks to hide its impotence under the guise of childish Protocols, at which one might laugh, if the lives and honour of some fourteen millions of people, as noble and virtuous as any in the world, were not in question. The author trusts that the following pages will, with the blessing of a higher Power, help to dissipate a few at least of the dense clouds of ignorance that envelope the true bearings and issues of this great argument. In his humble judgment it is not a question of religion, but of the elementary rights of humanity and the primary principles of natural justice; and his sympathy with the oppressed, as well as his indignation against a great and an intolerable wrong, would be none the less sincere and energetic if the Mussulmans were the victims and the Christians their tormentors. He has as little sympathy with some of the leading organs of public opinion when they advocate the divine right of Englishmen to tyrannise over Mussulmans in India, as when they advocate the indefeasible and eternal right of the Turk to torture, ravish, and slay defenceless Christians in Europeprovided only that • British interests' are subserved by the anguish of the victims. The great nation of England is indeed becomie degenerate if it do not make short work of this brutal policy when its full iniquity has been brought home to its heart and conscience.

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women

en-National character of the Slaves - The Lucretia of
Bulgaria : a tragic story of 1841–Consequent insurrection and
frightful atrocities—The Haiduks-Forcible conversions to
Islam-Violation of female chastity rewarded by Turkish
Government-A Fallacy exposed

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70

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A plea on behalf of key— The Turkish Government the Chief

Criminal-Proofs of this indictment—The Porte glories in its
iniquity-Humanity of Mussulmans to Christians punished as
a crime-Reason why Turkish misrule is incurable–Midhat's
constitution analysed, and shown to be an imposture—Turkish
official account of the constitution-Degeneration of the
Turkish race--Turkish devotions--Mr. Urquhart on Islam-
Condition of women in Turkey - Turkish population gangrened
by the sins of the Cities of the Plain-State of Albania de-
scribed by a British Consul

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