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or two after midnight, when it was very | them of the step that had been taken, and dark and raining hard, they passed over to explained the necessity for it. He was Constantinople in a small caique, attended cheerfully obeyed when he ordered a guard by a single servant, and were landed at a of honor and an escort to proceed to the spot where they expected to find carriages palace of Prince Murad to announce to waiting for them, which, however, had not him his accession to the throne, and to arrived. They were left standing in a conduct him to the seraskeriat, where he drenching rain, exposed every moment to was at once proclaimed and saluted as a discovery which would have been fatal sultan by troops drawn up there, and by to their enterprise and no doubt to them- the people, who by that time had begun selves, till at last their servant found and to assemble. brought the carriages, which had gone to a wrong place.

Then, as had been arranged, Midhat Pasha proceeded to the seraskeriat, while Hussein Avni went to the barracks near Dolma Baghtche, where, as minister of war, he had no difficulty in bringing a regiment quartered in them to the palace, which he surrounded without any alarm being taken. He then knocked at the gates, and desired the Kislar Agha, the chief official of the household, to inform the sultan that he was a prisoner, and to urge him to put himself into the hands of the seraskier, who answered for his safety. The sultan's first and natural impulse was to resist, and it was not till Hussein Avni appeared before him and convinced him that resistance was impossible that he could be persuaded to submit to his kismet. A guard was placed over him without a blow being struck, and, as had been agreed upon, a gun was fired to announce to Midhat Pasha at the seraskeriat that the arrest of the sultan had been successfully carried out.

Abdul Aziz was first taken to the palace near the Seraglio Point; but he was soon removed from it at his own request, as I was told, though very possibly because it may have been thought that, if any strong party in his favor existed, it would most probably be found among the Mussulman population of Stamboul. He was then conveyed to Tcheregian, where by lavishing on the palace millions of money diverted from the service of the State, and by pulling down and confiscating the houses of the inhabitants of the neighborhood, he had largely added to the feelings which led to his overthrow.

Notification of the change of sovereigns was at once telegraphed to every quarter of the empire, and everywhere the news was received with unbounded satisfaction and rejoicing; but, till late in the afternoon, no messages were allowed to pass either from the embassies or from private persons, and our government, having heard nothing from me and knowing nothing of what had occurred, telegraphed in some perplexity to ask me the meaning of a telegram received from the consul at Salonica reporting that "the proclamation of Sultan Murad had given the greatest satisfaction there." By that time the telegraph offices were again open, and I was able to give the explanation.

One newspaper correspondent alone had contrived to send the news to his employers. He was at the head of the Turkish post-office, and, with a view to some possible emergency, he had arranged a pri

In the mean time Midhat's position had been intensely critical. He had no authority over the troops, no right to give them orders, and he had to rely solely on the personal influence that he might be able to exercise. He had arrived at the ministry of war under the most suspicious appearances, in the dark, unattended, and drenched to the skin; and it was with the utmost difficulty that, by representing himself as authorized by the seraskier, he at last succeeded in inducing the command-vate code by which he could communicate ing officer to call out his men and draw them up in the square. He had a long and anxious time to pass, during which at any moment, if sinister rumors arrived from the palace, the troops might assume a hostile attitude; for it was not till close upon daybreak that the signal gun put an end to the suspense, and announced the successful accomplishment of the enterprise.

Midhat then came out into the square to harangue the troops, and not a murmur of discontent was heard when he informed

political intelligence, while appearing to deal with purely private concerns, and he obtained permission to forward a message "of an urgent private nature," which ran as follows: "The doctors have found it necessary to bleed (depose) poor Jane (Abdul Áziz). Grandmamma (the validé) is with her, Cousin John (Murad) has taken charge of the business." This ingenious telegram conveyed, I believe, the first intelligence of what had occurred that reached any European capital.

Although the deposition of the sultan

had been effected quietly and without resistance, it remained to be seen how the news of it would be received by the population of the capital, and whether, perhaps, a strong party might not be found ready to stand up for the deposed monarch, and to dispute the rights of his successor. But all anxiety on that head was quickly set at rest by the universal exhibition of rejoicing, which showed that the misgovernment of the last few years had left Sultan Abdul Aziz almost literally without friends among his subjects.

None regretted his fall except the immediate dependants and hangers-on of the palace, the satellites of Mahmoud Pasha, and the Russian party; but these were too few in number to venture to make a show against the overwhelming mass of public opinion arrayed on the other side.

In order to satisfy the scruples of the stricter Mahometans, questions had been laid before the Sheikh ul Islam, the highest authority on the sacred law. They ran as follows: "If the first of the true believers gives signs of madness and of an ignorance of political matters, if he spends the public money on himself in excess of what the nation can grant him, will he not thus become the cause of trouble and of the public ruin? Ought he not to be dethroned?" To this the Sheikh ul Islam answered by a simple "Yes," signed with his name, Hassan Khairullah, and the questions and answer became a fetwa, of which every true Mussulman is bound to admit the authority.

But if the Mussulman population were in general well satisfied with what had been done, the Christians were still more exultant, because they knew that the leaders of the movement had adopted the absolute equality of all Turkish subjects as the fundamental principle of their reform. The revolution which was being carried out differed essentially, and deserves to be distinguished, from those cases where, in despotically governed countries, the sovereign has been deposed simply because he had become unpopular or had made himself obnoxious to his people. The deposition of the sovereign was not the object aimed at by those who carried it out. It was but a means to an end, that end being the establishment of constitutional freedom and it was not resorted to till it became certain that the object could not be attained in any other way; but if ever the deposition of a sovereign is justifiable, it certainly was so in the case of Abdul Aziz.

Everything had, so far, gone without a

drawback of any kind; but this was not fated to last long, and there came a succession of unfortunate incidents, which shattered the hopes that had been raised, the first of them being the tragical death of the ex-sultan. In England he is, I believe, universally supposed to have been murdered, and it is certainly not unnatural that this should be the case; for when, on the morning of June 4, five days after his deposition, it was announced that Abdul Aziz had committed suicide by opening the veins of his arms with a pair of scissors, there was probably not a person who doubted, any more than I did myself, that he had in reality been the victim of an assassination; and my suspicion of foul play was only removed in the course of the forenoon by the report of Dr. Dickson, the embassy physician, who made me acquainted with particulars and details which in this country are still almost, if not entirely, unknown.

Dr. Dickson was a man of great intelligence, of long experience in many parts of the East, where he had seen much of the secret and dark doings of the harems. He was of a suspicious rather than of a confiding character, little likely to shut his eyes to any evidence of a crime, and he certainly would not have concealed it from me, his ambassador, if he had entertained even the remotest doubt upon the case.

Dr. Dickson came to me at Therayia straight from an examination of the body, and declared in the most positive manner that there was not a doubt in his mind that it was a case of suicide, and that all suspicion of assassination must be discarded. He told me that early in the morning he had received a summons from the government inviting him to go to the palace to examine the body of the exsultan, and to ascertain the cause of his death. All the principal medical men of Constantinople had received a similar invitation, which eighteen or nineteen, including those of several of the embassies, together with Turkish, Greek, and Armenian physicians, had accepted.

Besides these there was another English doctor, an old Dr. Millingen, the same who was with Lord Byron when he died at Missolonghi, and who had ever since remained in the East, and was a medical attendant of the ladies of the imperial harem.

He and Dickson went together to the palace, but found on their arrival that the other doctors had finished their examina. tion, and Dickson told me that he and Millingen, being thus left alone, had made

well as Dr. Dickson, published a statement to the effect that nothing had in the slightest degree shaken the conviction originally arrived at by them. Even if the medical evidence stood alone, it would seem to be very conclusive; but it does not stand alone, and, taken in conjunction with the statements of the women of the harem, it appears quite irresistible.

as complete an examination of the body as it was possible to make. He told me that they had turned it over and looked minutely at every part of it, to see what traces of violence could be found upon it, but there were absolutely none, with the exception of cuts in both arms, partly severing the arteries, from which the sultan had bled to death. The skin, he said, was more wonderfully delicate than he had Dr. Millingen, as medical attendant of ever seen in a full-grown person, and was these ladies, went into the harem and more like the skin of a child, but there questioned them immediately after examwas not a scratch, mark, or bruise on any ining the body. They told him that, in part of it, and he declared that it was consequence of the state of mind into perfectly impossible that the force that which the sultan had fallen since his depwould have been required to hold so pow-osition, every weapon or instrument by erful a man could have been employed which he could do himself or others an without leaving visible marks. The artery injury had been removed from his reach ; of one arm was almost entirely and that of the other partially severed, the wounds being such, in Dickson's opinion, as would be made, not by a knife, but by sharppointed scissors, with little cuts or snips running in the direction that would be expected in the case of a man inflicting them on himself.

He had therefore no hesitation in accepting as correct the account that had been given of the manner of the sultan's death. The wounds, moreover, if not made by himself, must have been made from behind by some one leaning over his chair, where no one could have taken up his position without a struggle, of which traces must have remained, or without a noise, that would certainly have been heard in the adjoining room, in which the ladies were collected. It further appeared that when the sultan was seated in the chair in which the pools of blood proved him to have bled to death, the back of his head could be seen by the women who were watching at a flanking window in the next room, and to whom any one get ting behind the chair would be distinctly visible.

From all this Dr. Dickson and Dr. Millingen concluded, as I have said, without hesitation, that the sultan had destroyed himself; and when they went out and joined the other physicians who had examined the body before their arrival at the palace, they found that they also had been unanimous in arriving at the same opinion. Among them were foreigners whose independence of character was beyond dispute, and who would without hesitation have given a contrary verdict if there had been reason for it; but they one and all came to the same conclusion, and several years later Dr. Marouin, the eminent physician of the French embassy, as

that in the morning he had asked for a pair of scissors to trim his beard, which were at first refused, but afterwards, in spite of the urgent remonstrances of the women, they were sent to him by the order of the sultana validé, who did not like to refuse him, and that as soon as he got them he made the women leave the room and locked the door. The women took their station at the projecting side window of the adjoining room, of which I have spoken, from whence they could look into the part of the room where the sultan's chair stood, and could just see the back of his head as he sat in it. After a time they saw his head fall for ward, and alarm being taken, the validé ordered the door to be broken open, when the sultan was found dead, with pools of blood on the floor and with the veins of both arms opened. When Dr. Millingen, hearing that the validé was in a state of distraction, asked if she would see him, she exclaimed that it was not the doctor but the executioner who should have been sent to her, as it was she who had caused the death of her son.

All these details were given me by Dr. Dickson on coming straight from the palace, and nothing can be more certain than that the persons who would have been the very first to believe in an assas sination, i.e., the validé, the sultanas, and ladies of the harem, did not at the time entertain a suspicion of the sultan having died otherwise than by his own hand.

Sultan Abdul Aziz had an undoubted predisposition to insanity in his blood; the mind of his brother, Abdul Medjid, whom he succeeded, had broken down under his excesses while still a young man; and his nephew, Murad, who succeeded him, became hopelessly insane immediately after his accession. He had

himself, to my own knowledge, been out their right of cross-examining the witof his mind on several different occasions; nesses, affords sufficient proof that no real the first time as far back as the year 1863, evidence against them existed. As the when I find it mentioned in letters that I disgraceful mockery of the whole proceedwrote from Athens, where I was on a ings was admitted universally, even by special mission; and on two later occa- those who entertained no friendly feelings sions, within eighteen months of his dep- towards the accused, it is unnecessary to osition, I had spoken of his insanity in enter into an examination of them. The my letters to Lord Derby, reporting that object, however, was attained, and emiI had been told of it, as an undoubted nent persons, who were considered danfact, by one of the ministers with whom I gerous, and who might stand in the way was intimate, and mentioning some of the of the resumption of the absolute power peculiarities by which it was exhibited. of the palace, were effectually got rid of; At one time he would not look at anything while the men on whose perjured and subthat was written in black ink, and every orned evidence the convictions were obdocument had to be copied in red before tained, although they declared themselves it could be laid before him. Ministers to have murdered the sultan with their appointed to foreign courts could not proceed to their posts, and were kept waiting indefinitely, because their credentials addressed to foreign sovereigns could not well be written in red ink, and he would not sign those that were written in black. At another time, a dread of fire had got hold of him to such a pitch that, except in his own apartment, he would not allow a candle or a lamp to be lighted in the whole of his vast palace, its innumerable inmates being forced to grope about in the dark from sunset to sunrise; and in many other respects his conduct passed the bounds of mere eccentricity.

That such a mind as his should have entirely given way under the blow that had fallen upon him need hardly excite surprise; and under the circumstances there is nothing even improbable in the fact of his taking his own life, especially as he was known to hold that suicide was the proper resource of a deposed monarch. When the news of the abdication of the emperor Napoleon was brought to him, his immediate exclamation had been, "And that man consents to live!" When I first heard this story I did not know whether to believe it, but the truth of it was afterwards vouched for to me by the person to whom the sultan said it, and he is not a man whose word need be doubted. If at the time there was no ground for a suspicion of assassination, there was certainly no evidence deserving of the slight est attention brought forward at the iniquitous mock trial instituted three years later when the ruin of certain important personages had been resolved upon. The fact that the charges against them could only be supported by evidence which could not by any possibility be true, and the falseness of which could easily have been exposed if, in flagrant defiance of the law, the accused had not been denied

own hands, at the instigation of the pashas, were not only not executed, but are believed to have continued in the enjoyment of comfortable pensions ever since.

There is no way of explaining why, after the lapse of three years, a wrestler and a gardener should come forward and declare that they had assassinated the sultan, except by the assumption that they had been promised not only immunity but reward, if, while making their confession, they procured the conviction of Midhat and the other pashas as the instigators of their crime. They duly earned the promised recompense, and the sultan secured an iniquitous conviction that enabled him to rid himself of the men whom he dreaded; but it was at the cost of an indelible blot upon his reign.

The tragical end of Sultan Abdul Aziz was destined to prove fatal to the hopes of the reformers. Murad was known at one time to have indulged in habits of intemperance, though he was supposed lat terly to have overcome them; but he was of weak character and devoid of personal courage, and when Abdul Aziz, about a month before his deposition, caused him to be closely confined in his apartment, under the continued fear that an order would be given for his assassination, he again reverted to stimulants more immoderately than ever, drinking largely of champagne cut with brandy. While the conspiracy that was to place him on the throne was in progress he was in a state of terror, for he knew that its failure would cost him his life; and the news of the death of his uncle, Sultan Abdul Aziz, gave him a shock that left him in a state of imbecility, which necessarily put a stop to all the measures which it had been intended immediately to carry out.

Sensational events had been succeeding

each other with startling rapidity, but we were not yet at the end of them. Within ten days from the death of Abdul Aziz the calm which had followed it was again suddenly disturbed by the news that the ministers had been attacked while sitting in council, and that some of them were killed and others wounded.

It being naturally supposed that a counter-revolution was being attempted, a complete panic took possession of many people, and one of my colleagues, with a face as white as a sheet of paper and his teeth literally chattering, came into my room while I was dressing in the morning to ask what I proposed to do, and whether I intended at once to go on board the despatch-boat. Of course I said that I intended to remain quiet till I knew more of what was taking place, and that I certainly would do nothing likely to cause a panic or to make one spread.

It soon appeared that there was no cause for alarm, and that the outrage had been the act of a single man, who, without confederates or assistants, had carried it out with an audacity and resolution for which it would not be easy to find a parallel. He was a young Circassian officer, known as Tcherkess Hassan, and there is reason to believe that he entertained no particular resentment against any of the ministers except Hussein Avni, the minister of war; but that, like an Indian running amuck, he had maddened himself with bang, or Indian hemp, and attacked every one within his reach. In confirmation of this view, it was proved that he had first looked for Hussein Avni at his own house, but, finding that he was attending a council, he at once followed him there.

Nothing can show more conclusively the perfect tranquillity and confidence prevailing in a town where a revolution had just been carried out than the fact that the ministers were sitting at night without a sentry or armed guards of any kind. Tcherkess Hassan, who was a noted pistol-shot, saying to the doorkeepers that he was charged with a message to one of the ministers, walked without hindrance into the council-room, and fired two shots in rapid succession, the first killing Hussein Avni Pasha, the seraskier, and the second Rashid Pasha, the minister for foreign affairs. The other ministers rushed to the doors to escape, except the minister of marine, a gallant old seaman, who had given proofs of his cour age on many previous occasions, and, amongst others, when he was blown up in his ship at Sinope at the beginning of the VOL. LXI. 3167


Crimean War. He got behind the assassin and tried to pinion him by holding his arms, till he was wounded with a yataghan, and being obliged to let go, slipped though a door into a room where the grand vizier had already taken refuge; when the two old men, between them, managed to draw a heavy divan across the door, which fortunately opened inwards.

Hassan, failing in all his efforts to force the door, addressing Mehemet Ruschdi, the grand vizier, in the most respectful terms, said, "My father, I assure you that I have no wish to hurt you, but open the door and let me finish the minister of marine." To this appeal Mehemet Ruschdi answered, "My son, you are far too much excited for me to let you in while you are in your present state, and I cannot open the door." While this strange colloquy was going on the unarmed attendants made an attempt to seize Hassan, but they were shot down one after another, and it was not till a soldier came and ran him through the body that he was effectually secured. He had brought four revolvers two in his boots besides those he had in his hands and with these he had succeeded in killing seven persons, including two ministers, and had wounded eight others, of whom one was the minister of marine.

He was hanged the next day, maintaining an undaunted bearing to the end, walking, in spite of his wound, to the gallows, where he helped to adjust the rope round his own neck, and died showing to the end the reckless courage with which he had carried out the vengeance he had resolved to take. It did not appear that political considerations, in addition to the grudge which he certainly bore to the minister of war, had in any way actuated him; but if the attack was made with the view of setting on foot a hostile movement against the government, it signally failed of its effect, for the first excitement caused by it almost immediately subsided.

If it had been Midhat Pasha, instead of the seraskier, who had been killed, it would have been very different, for it was in the former that the whole hopes of the constitutionalists were centred; and though Hussein Avni had played such an important part in the deposition of Abdul Aziz, he was never supposed to be, in his heart, devoted to the cause of reform. Indeed, his own administration of the war office had not been so pure that he could wish to subject it to the control of a national assembly; and as it had always been feared that jealousy and rivalry might arise

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