Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/801

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784

MIDHAT PASHA.

to Syria to inquire into the finances of the country and their applica- tion. On his return to Constanti- nople he was made second secretary to the Grand Council of State, but he held that office only for a short time. He was next employed to put down brigandage in Boumelia. In the words of Captain Gtunbier,

  • ' the steps taken by Midhat were

prompt and effective. In a short time the roads became again safe. The detached bands of brigands were hunted down and shot; the bodies of the underhand and sneak- ing agents of secret societies swung wamingly from hundreds of gib- bets ; whilst by every possible out- let fled in precipitate haste the vermin of foreign intrigufe." On his return to Constantinople he became a member of the Grand Coimcil at the age of 35, and soon afterwards he was appointed to the temporary governorship of Bul- garia, where he adopted violent measures for the repression of inci- pient rebellion. Subsequently he paid a short visit to Europe, where he studied the different Constitu- tions that presented themselves to him. He next became secretary of the Grand Council: and in 1860 Governor of the province of Nish, and the provinces of Uscup and Prisrend, being created Pasha at the same time. There he intro- duced various reforms with such success that the Government re- solved to extend them throughout all the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Midhat was recalled to the capital, where the Sultan re- ceived him with marked honours, and requested him to associate himself with Fuad and Aali Pashas to draw up laws on the basis of his system of administration. The result of the labours of these three Commissioners is known as the Law of the Vilayets, which, if properly executed, is adequate to ensure prosperity, and to protect the lives and property of all nationalities and creeds in the Turkish Empire.

j It provides in substance for the I separation of the executive and judicial powers, the organisaticm of civil and criminal tribunals, of administrative councils and g^eneral councils, and the admission of Christians to those councils as well as to the tribunals. Midhat Pasha was then nominated Governor- General of the Vilayet of the Danube (geographical Bulgaria), which numbers upwards of 3,000,000 of inhabitants, and he was entrusted with the task of applying the new law to that province (1864). The work of the Ottoman reformer waa carried on in the midst of obstacles of every kind, and struggles caused by the spirit of reaction and of routine. Midhat ruled well and wisely for three years, during which time he constructed more than 2,000 miles of road, built 1,400 or 1,600 bridges, with schools, hospitals, and other public institutions, including three great schools of arts and manufactures at Bustchuk, Nish, and Sofia. In 1866 he was recalled to Constantinople to preside over the Council of State, which, under his direction, rapidly assumed an importance capable, in certain cases, of hol<&ng in check the Ministry and even the Palace. In that heterogeneous assembly, where men of all sects, creeds, and nation- alities in the Empire met, he was able to preserve harmony and to enforce proper behaviour. While he was in the midst of these peace- ful labours a fresh revolt broke out in Bulgaria, to which province Mid- hat was again sent to restore oitier. This he did most promptly and effectively. He was next appointed Governor of the province of Bag- dad, which was in a most turbulent state, and which he succeeded in pacifying. Betuming to the oa{»tal he boldly warned the Sultan Abdul Aziz of the danger of an attempt to change the succession to the throne, and denounced Mahmoud Nedhim, the Grand Vizier, and hia colleagues as traitors and intriguers