Page:The Sclavonic Provinces of the Ottoman Empire.djvu/13

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absolute power was established in the whole of the country, and a large portion of it still continues under the direct government of the Turks. But one important portion of it—namely, Servia—has exempted itself from the direct government. In 1804 a very serious rebellion took place, and there was a long struggle for liberty, ending in the establishment of that liberty about the year 1829 or 1830; and that part of the country is now called, and is to be regarded as, free Servia. But the other provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which we have heard so much talked about, are inhabited by people of Servian race just as much as Servia itself is. The consequence is that Servia did not stand with them as a foreign country or a foreign state. A great number of people thought it very odd that Servia, which was very weak, and had only a million and a quarter of people, should declare war in the beginning of last July against an empire of thirty or forty millions like Turkey. These people said: "What has Servia to do with Bosnia and Herzegovina? Nothing has been done against Servia." I can only explain this by an illustration. Suppose that all England had been subdued in the same way as all Servia was, and then, that after a length of time Yorkshire or Wales had made a gallant fight, and had shaken off the yoke of the conqueror, and established its right to self-government in its own affairs. Do you think there would be no sympathy in Yorkshire for the rest of England? and do you not think that the rest of England would look to Yorkshire to assist them to recover their liberty? That is the case with the little state of Servia. The people of Servia, of Bosnia, and of Herzegovina are the same people, and have suffered in a common servitude. The people of Servia have been able to shake off that yoke; the others are still in servitude, and they look to free Servia as their rallying-point, and as an indication of what they themselves trust they will come to be in the future. When travelling in Old-Servia, Misses Mackenzie and Irby once lodged in the house of Pope Dantcha, a person well known for his intelligence, courage, and uprightness, and looked up to as he deserved. "There are here," he said, "but 200 Christian houses, and from 400 to 500 Mussulman, so the Arnaouts have it all their own way. They rob the Christians whenever and of whatever they please . . . and as the Christians receive no support against them, no enlightenment nor hope from Constantinople, they naturally look for everything to Servia." It is not an incredible thing, therefore, that this country should rush into a war which its resources were inadequate to maintain.

I shall now give to you some instances which will show the persecution and indignities to which Christians are subjected in Turkey, and the deplorable condition in which they are placed by being treated as the inferiors of the Turks. The book I hold in my hand is Mr. Evans' "Through Bosnia and the Herzego-