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interior of Turkey. It entitled the holder to be fur- nished with horses at the public expense. At present he is very properly required to pay for them the same prices as other travellers. A firman is still desirable, though it is possible to make journeys of twenty or thirty days distance, with only the tescarees, or passports from local authorities.
Americans wishing to travel in Turkey, have almost invariably gone under English protection. In this character I obtained firmans for myself and others of my countrymen, through the friendly influence of the British Ambassador. The only charge was that of a dollar to the Turkish scribe. Mine is a sheet of firm paper, a yard in length, and half that in breadth, beginning with the name of the Sultan in large and complex characters. This it behooves every good Mussulman to apply to his lips and his forehead, in token of loyalty. Like inscriptions on Turkish tomb-stones, its lines gradually rise towards the left. The substance of it is thus noted by the English Dragoman.
66 Travelling firman for Mr. Josiah Brewer, an English gentleman, going with a Tartar and three servants to Broussa, Isparta, Kutakia, Angora, Conia, Caiseria, Tocat, Erzroom, Diarbekir, Mardin, Damascus, Jerusalem, Bagdad, Bassora, Cairo, Alexandria, Salonica, Yanina, Adrianople, Philipopoli, and Bucharest. To be treated every where in the most friendly manner, protected, and defended, consistently with the amity subsisting between the British government and the Ottoman Porte."
The number of places and attendants is purposely made sufficiently numerous, to meet every supposable emergency, and in any part of the empire,
Now that tidings of peace between Russia and Turkey have just been received, and the free navigation of the Dardanelles, the Bosphorus, and the Black Sea by all nations, is one of the conditions of the treaty, the importance of establishing permanent commercial relations with Turkey, Greece and Egypt will be sufficiently obvious to our government. In forming a treaty with the Porte, as Christians and as advocates of à system of entire reciprocity, one principle should be kept in view which seems not to have been regarded by other nations. The Russians however have one article that goes to sustain this principle, since the two nations have been at war. By the usages of the Turkish government, embracing the Mahometan religion is equivalent to becoming a citizen of the state. Now as Americans we admit the right of a citizen to expatriate himself. But if we allow that such a change of faith shall be equivalent to expatriation, which seems hardly according to the principles of our constitution, ought we not to have something as an offset? A Mahometan or a Jew who should become a Christian; or a Greek or Armenian who should become Protestants, might they not in some way be entitled to the protection of our public agents ? This seems hardly possible according to the genius of our government, and perhaps no more so according to the principles of international law. But at least we should insist by treaty that those unhappy individuals who from time to time in a moment of disaffection with their superiors, are induced to declare themselves Mahometans, shall be at liberty to withdraw from the country when they please unless they choose to become both Mahometans and Turks. The
English and other nations are under the necessity of smuggling away their countrymen under such circumstances.
RELIGION OF THE TURKS.
Union of Religion and Law--Priesthood-Attempted Reforms
Intolerance-Means of advancing Christianity.
1829.-The great outlines of the Mahometan religion and of the ecclesiastical establishment of the Turks are well understood. "There is no other God but God, and Mahomet is his messenger,” is the summary of . their creed, which is for ever on their lips. Accommodating himself somewhat to the pagan, Jewish and Christian nations of his age, but chiefly to the corrupt propensities of human nature, that great deceiver formed a system which has endured almost as long, and extended itself almost as widely as the religion of Christ. In this system, as with the Israelites of old, theology and jurisprudence are inseparably blended to together. The priest and the judge alike, appeal to the Koran and to the commentaries of distinguished Doctors, on that "Book of the Law.”
The Mufti is the chief priest, or nominal head of that class of Mahometans who are of the sect of Omar, and who are mostly within the limits of the Turkish empire. When the Sultans, says one, became weary of bearing both the sword and mitre of Mahomet, the latter was delegated to the Mufti. The fetwas, or
written opinions, of this high priest are necessary to give force to any law. In ordinary circumstances, the will of the Sultan is sufficient to secure these fetwas.
There have been times, however, when the Mufti, aided by the Ulemas, a body of the higher clergy, have formed a strong party against him. On such occasions, the disorderly Janissaries were the chief agents in executing their purposes. By secretly fomenting disturbances among those lawless soldiers, they have aften succeeded in setting aside the grand vizier, or prime minister, and sometimes in deposing if not putting to death the Sultan himself. During the disturbances which ended in the overthrow of the Janissaries, the priesthood have been sufficiently subservient to the will of the sovereign. And now that he is sustained like the other monarchs of Europe, by a regular military force, he will doubtless be careful that his sceptre shall again unite the authority of both the mitre and the sword—the priesthood and soldiery.
The Moolahs, or doctors of the law, are next in rank to the Mufti. The Imaums, or parish priests, stand in much the same relation to the former, as parochial clergy to their Bishop. Cadis, or judges of different ranks, are taken from both classes. The Sheiks, are preachers, who sometimes declaim very earnestly against the corruption of morals. The Dervishes, correspond to the monks of other religions. In general they are esteemed as persons of uncommon sanctity. Like the monks of the Eastern and Catholic churches, they are probably, however, the worst class of the people. There were said to be twelve orders of them, one of which has been suppressed, in consequence of its connexion with the Janissaries. The ciergy of all ranks at Constantinople, are estimated at at from 10 to 30,000. They monopolize most of the little learning which is found in the country, and are supposed to be from principle, hostile to the progress of civilization and political reform.
In different parts of the city, are to be seen covered tombs of the most holy of the derrishes. Some of these are reputed to have laid up for others such a superabundance of good works as will be available by them during hundreds of years to come. Multitudes are accustomed to resort to their tombs for this purpose, and to kindle their lamps around them. The iron gratings of the windows are filled likewise with shreds of garments, which the sick have sent thither, in expectation of thus obtaining some relief from their diseases.
Many of the dervishes wear a long conical cap, and a robe of a peculiar form. Others do not differ in their dress and apparently not in their ordinary employments, from the great body of the people. The former class, derive their support partly from permanent funds, and partly from the present credulity of the Mussulman, as well as the curiosity of the Christian.
The ostensible object of restoring Mohammedanism to its ancient purity, has been set forth by the Sultan in all the recent changes which he has effected. Such, too, have been the external results. Accordingly the use of wine, so common among the Janissaries, is now rarely indulged in, and that only in private. Games of chance, which are likewise forbidden in the Koran, are abstained from less rigidly, at least in Smyrna. Under the windows of Frank merchants