Slike strani

method and rule except the law of similars,' which, however, they verbally accept as “true to some extent.'

IV. That all those who admit the truth of and apply in practice -to whatever extent—the law of similars,' are to that extent ipso facto practising homeopathy,' and are therefore homeopaths.' No exception can, therefore, be justly taken to this appellation, unless it be held also to imply the rejection of all other rules and methods, which it is shown not to do; that the name was conferred, not assumed, at a time when even the partial truth and application of the law' were scouted as absurd and denied, and that the separate organisations were originated at the same time and solely as a means of self-defence; and, finally, that their present maintenance is excusable when we consider the fact, of which ample evidence has been supplied, that even now, in spite of liberal professions, and an acknowledgment of the partial truth of the homøopathic law by the leaders of the profession, there is still on the part of the rank-andfile a disposition to make its acceptance and application—nay, even to make association with those who accept or apply ita ground of professional ostracism.

In a discussion in the Times in December of last year we were told by two of the writers, as certain medical journals never tire of telling us, and as the seceders from the Margaret Street Infirmary assured us, that the medical profession has long since 'definitively spoken 'on the subject. It is just such absurd and pitiable dogmatism as this which does more harm to the medical profession than any amount of quackery. On how many subjects has the medical profession yet spoken definitively' in regard to which it has not seen fit to change its opinion in course of time? This attempt to bar appeal, to stop discussion, is a most narrow-minded policy, and one which has proved disastrous in all times to every organisation that has tried it.




The history of the attempt to establish constitutional government in Turkey in 1875 and 1876 is not known as it deserves to be ; and, indeed, it is doubtful whether even those who descanted most freely on the affairs of that country were at all aware of its existence. It was, however, in many respects a remarkable movement, which, but for a succession of disastrous fatalities, seemed likely to lead to results that would have changed the whole nature of the Turkish Government; and it is not pleasant to remember how largely this country is answerable for its failure.

The position of England in the East was at that time very different from that which it became when the confidence that used to be felt in us as a friendly Power gave place to a distrust for which too much reason was afforded, and for long left our voice with scarcely more weight than that of a second-rate State ; and the reformers would hardly have ventured upon an undertaking full of difficulties and dangers unless they had believed that they could count upon receiving from the British people the moral support that would certainly not have been withheld if the nature of the movement had been understood. But, unfortunately, public opinion was then formed and guided by men animated by a blind hatred of everything Turkish, who represented the new constitution as a sham or “paper' constitution, invented for purposes of his own by Midhat Pasha, whom they denounced as an unscrupulous impostor, actuated only by motives of personal interest and ambition.

It would not be easy for them to explain how popular institutions are ever to be established in a despotically governed country otherwise than by means of what must at first be a 'paper' constitution or charter; and they must be difficult indeed to satisfy if they can require from any man greater proof of sincerity than was given by Midhat Pasha in the cause to which he devoted himself, and for which he risked and lost his life.

Their feelings are not to be envied if they reflect, as now perhaps they sometimes may, that by the merciless ridicule and contempt which they heaped on the constitution, emboldening the Sultan to

set aside the charter that had been obtained with so much difficulty, they did their part in again rivetting on Turkey the wretched arbitrary system of government from which she had so nearly been freed, and in sending the principal reformers into exile and to death.

To myself the collapse of the attempted reform was a deep mortification, for I had watched the development of the movement from its earliest beginning, and had followed its progress with extreme interest. As I had been long enough in Turkey to be well aware of the need for reform, and to be convinced that nothing effectual could be done till some control over the palace and the ministers was obtained, when Midhat Pasha took the matter in hand and endeavoured to secure this control, I gave him all the encouragement in my power, never doubting for an instant that he would be warmly applauded in England, whether he succeeded or failed in his attempt.

When I arrived in Turkey in 1867 Midhat Pasha was governorgeneral of the vilayet of the Danube, and when he left Rustchuk the following year our consul begged me to urge the Porte not to remove a man so unlike the ordinary Turkish vali, who was doing so much to develop the province, establishing schools, making roads, encouraging industries, and giving security to life and property by a firm and impartial administration of justice. Of the consular body the Russian alone saw him depart with pleasure, for his activity had paralysed the intrigues that were always carried on in the province.

At that time the direction of the government of Turkey was, and had long been, in the hands of Aali and Fuad Pashas, two extremely able men, who, by holding together, had succeeded in acquiring over the Sultan an authority under which he chafed, but from which he could not liberate himself, as they had jealously kept in the background every man whose abilities and character seemed likely to make him a dangerous rival to themselves.

When Aali died in 1871—Fuad having also died a short time before—the Sultan did not conceal his delight at becoming, as he declared, at last a free man; and from that time the government of the country was directed from the palace by the Sultan and the court favourites, instead of from the Porte by the Grand Vizier and the ministers, and the result was deplorable in every branch of the administration.

He made Mahmoud Nedim Pasha his Grand Vizier, and the event proved that he had rightly judged his man, and that he would be safe from being thwarted in any whim or extravagance; for Mahmoud was absolutely indifferent to the public interests, and thought of nothing but how to maintain himself in power. To secure this end he was careful never to oppose the Sovereign's wishes or to suggest difficulties in their fulfilment; and he courted the favour and won the support of the harem by a ready compliance with the unceasing demands for money by the sultanas and their ladies, and by the promotion and advancement of their relatives or favourites.

Appointments of all kinds, high and low, were purchased through the imperial harem ; governors and governors-general were shifted or replaced every few months or weeks for the sake of the customary presents given by them on receiving an appointment, and, while the more honest of them were ruined by the expenses of their constant transfers, the unscrupulous, who formed by far the greater number, took care to repay themselves by exactions extorted from their unfortunate provinces, which were being rapidly ruined.

At last, the continued demands for the millions, which were squandered on imperial palaces and gardens, and in every sort of extravagance, brought the finances to such a condition that it was impossible to provide for the salaries of the officials, the pay of the soldiers and sailors, or even for that of the ordinary Government labourers, whose families were left destitute and clamouring for the payment of the arrears, till the distress and discontent of all classes brought into existence a large party calling for reform.

Midhat Pasha, after leaving Rustchuk, had been made President of the Council; but Aali Pasha, who was then Grand Vizier, seeing probably that his rapidly increasing influence might make him a dangerous rival, sent him, after a time, as governor-general to Bagdad, where he remained till after Aali's death.

Under Mahmoud's vizieriate the constant demands upon him for money diverted to the capital all the resources of the province, which Midhat, in consequence, found it impossible to administer satisfactorily, and throwing up his appointment in disgust he returned to Constantinople, where the liberal and reforming party, which had been gradually developing, at once hailed him as their leader. Mahmoud dreaded his presence, and on reaching Constantinople he found himself appointed governor-general of Adrianople, with orders to proceed at once to his post. This, however, he absolutely refused to do until he should have had the audience of the Sultan to which his position entitled him; and having carried his point, in spite of the opposition of the Grand Vizier, at the audience which ensued he insisted so strongly that the corruption and maladministration of Mahmoud were not only bringing the Empire to ruin, but were creating a dangerous spirit of discontent, that the Sultan took alarm and dismissed the favourite the very next day, and appointed Midhat Grand Vizier.

It was impossible, however, that his tenure of power should be a long one, for he had nothing of the courtier in his composition ; being determined not to countenance irregularities or abuses, he had not the tact requisite in dealing with an imperious master too long accustomed to have his own way to be ready now patiently to brook remonstrance.

The whole influence of the harem and of the corrupt officials of the Augæan stable which he wished to purify being against him, he was dismissed at the end of a few months, and the Grand Vizierate, after a brief period, was again ultimately restored to Mahmoud Pasha, as the most docile instrument the Sultan could find.

Mahmoud, though hating Midhat, found it advisable to get him if possible into his Cabinet, and the latter was persuaded into accepting the office of President of the Council, in the hope that, with the assistance of several of his own friends among the ministers, he might be able to control the Grand Vizier, and prevent a return to Mahmoud's former evil ways.

When this proved impossible, and he found himself unable to do any good, he did not hesitate to take what was in Turkey an almost unknown step, by throwing up his appointment and declaring that he would serve no longer; a proceeding that enraged the Sultan, who could not admit the right of any man to refuse to serve in whatever office he thought fit to call him to.

But Midhat did not stop there. Though in disgrace, he carried his head high, and incurred still further displeasure by sending in a report in which he recapitulated the abuses that were going on, and warned the Sultan that he was drifting to the verge of an abyss. He then retired to a farm he had near Constantinople, where he remained out of sight but not idle ; for it was there that, under his guidance, the projects of the reforming party were matured, till, at the beginning of December 1875, I was informed by one of his partisans, a pasha who had filled some of the highest offices of the State, that the object was to obtain a constitution. This was the first time that I had heard the word pronounced ; but it was more than a year before its promulgation, when it was declared to have been invented only to defeat the Conference then sitting at Constantinople! A few days later Midhat himself called upon me and explained his views more fully than he had ever done before, though I was well acquainted with their general tenor.

The Empire, he said, was being rapidly brought to destruction; corruption had reached a pitch that it had never before attained; the service of the State was starved while untold millions were poured into the palace, and the provinces were being ruined by the uncontrolled exactions of the governors, who purchased their appointments at the palace, and nothing could save the country but a complete change of system.

The only remedy that he could perceive lay, first, in securing a control over the Sovereign by making the ministers—and especially as regarded the finances—responsible to a national popular Assembly; secondly, in making this Assembly truly national, by doing away with

« PrejšnjaNaprej »