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THE OTTOMAN SUPREMACY.

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ambassadors lately sent to the Porte from the most distant parts of the Musalman world-from Bokhara and Khokand, from the Sultan of Achin and the Sultan of the Panthays-must have learnt to their cost, when they found that the so-called Commander of the Faithful was sufficiently employed nearer home, and had neither the power nor the will to give them the help or even the advice they asked.

Mohammedanism, therefore, can still renew its youth, and it is possible that the present generation, in face of the advance of semi-barbarous Russia, may see a revival of the old Crusading spirit-an outburst of stern fanaticism, which, armed with the courage of despair, obliterating, as it did among the tribes of the Caucasus in the Circassian war, even the immemorial schism of Sunni and Shiah, may hurl once more in simple self-defence the united strength of the Crescent

1 See Baron Von Haxthausen's Tribes of the Caucasus;' especially his interesting account of the rise of Muridism, and the heroic struggle of Shamil, his personal influence, and his genius for military and political organisation. Truly while Mohammedanism can throw off geniuses like Shamil, it may well be able to dispense with such governments as that of the Turks. The Baron's prophecies of a general collapse of Mohammedanism are being signally falsified. The union of Sunnis and Shiahs was one principle of Muridism as taught by Mulla Mohammed, and after him by Shamil. Elijah Mansur, the great Circassian hero towards the close of the last century, appears to have been far superior even to Shamil in ability. Like him, he united the characters of warrior, priest, and prophet, and there is a belief among the natives that he is to reappear at the end of a hundred years and drive back the Muscovite from his native country.

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upon the vanguard of advancing Christendom. It is a prospect formidable to every Christian Power-formidable above all to those who for good or for evil rule forty millions of Musalmans in India. Then if anywhen, and there if anywhere, will be the Armageddon of Islam.

It may be that nothing-not even a holy war waged in self-defence-can arrest the onward march of the Colossus which, gaunt and grim and inexorable, like one of the primeval forces of Nature, is pressing, or is being pressed on, towards the East and South; and is, in the nineteenth century, turning back, in some sense, itself upon itself, that tide of Tartar aggression which, in by-gone times, carried now an Attila from the wall of China to the Catalaunian fields, and now a Tamerlane from Karakorum to the Vistula or the Danube. Licking up Khanates and kingdoms like the grass of the field in its gradual but irresistible advance, it is threatening at once the national existence of Turks and Persians, and is exciting the uneasy apprehensions alike of those who rule at Calcutta, and of those who rule at Pekin. Doubtless it is well that something like order should be introduced into the wildest and most lawless people in the world, the nomade hordes of Turkistan; but it is at least open to question whether this could not be as well done by the religious en

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thusiasm of some new Commander of the Faithful, of some heroic Elijah Mansur or Shamil or Abdel Kader on a vaster scale, as by the dull, heavy tread of military despotism beneath the shadow of the Czars of All the Russias. The rule of General Kaufmann is not likely to do more for Central Asia1 than is already in the way of being done for it by Yakub Beg; and surely those who imagine that the Russian arms of precision are carrying any form of Christianity with them which will get hold of the native mind and character, are indulging in the wildest of chimæras. Injustice has doubtless often been done by travellers who know them but superficially to the sterling qualities which are to be found on a closer investigation in some of the scattered Christian communities of the East. They have expected to find in them energies which can only be the offspring of freedom; and one who knows them intimately avers that credit has not been given to the Christians of the East for the industry, the enterprise, and the social morality, which are to be found amongst them in spite of all the drawbacks of their political position. But Dr. Badger himself would probably admit that the isolation of these communities is too great, their superstitious

1 The attack on the Yomud Turkomans in the recent Khiva campaign was as murderous, as purposeless, and as cruel as any of which the wildest Asiatics were ever guilty.

practices and their mutual misconceptions too numerous, and the want of a missionary spirit amongst them too marked, to enable them, under any circumstances, to do more than hold their own in the East ; and as to the religion of the 'orthodox' Greek Church, which is the form of Christianity, if any, which will accompany the Russian arms, who can find in its history of a thousand years any germ of progress, any spark of missionary enthusiasm, any sublimer idea of God, or any nobler conception of man's duty to Him and to his brother man, than is to be found in the authentic documents of Islam?

And here, perhaps, will be the place to make a few remarks upon a subject which cannot have failed to attract the attention of the more thoughtful among us in recent years—I mean the attempt made to introduce Western manners and customs into Eastern countries.

We live in days when we hear of Khans and Khedives, Shahs and Sultans, giving up their immemorial passivity and seclusion, and even coming to Europe with the avowed intention of carrying back to Asia or Africa what they can of Western science and civilisation. I should be slow indeed to complain of any steps taken by the Western Powers to do away with any institutions which, like the Suttee, the festivals of Juggernaut, the East African slave trade, or the traffic in opium, are a curse to our common humanity,

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or are not grounded on any fundamental peculiarity of the Eastern world. But to attempt by force, or even by influence brought to bear upon Eastern rulers, to do away with any domestic or national institutions, such as the form of government, or patriarchal slavery, or even polygamy, can do no good.

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Eastern despotism is not what Western despotism is, nor is Oriental slavery like American. Nor is even polygamy in the East so intolerable an evil as it would be in the social freedom of the West. For example, an Eastern sovereign has all the power over his subjects that a father had in the most primitive times, and had even in Rome, over his children. His power is liable to the same abuses; but it has also some of its safeguards and redeeming points. introduce into his government, as the Shah has been supposed to wish, a system of Boards and Parliaments, of checks and counter-checks, such as works fairly well in this country because it has grown with our growth and is suitable to our instinct of compromise in everything, would be to make many tyrants instead of one, and to cripple the power and lessen the responsibility of the only man in Persia whose interest it is, whether he sees it or not, to let no one commit injustice but himself. Asia, till its whole nature be changed, can probably never be better governed than it was by the early Khalifs; and if an Abu Bakr or an Omar, or even a Harun or a Mahmud, a Baber or an Akbar, do not

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