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Shaffiroff, immediately repaired to the Turkish camp, and a negociation took place. The grand vizier at first demanded, that Peter, with his whole army, should surrender prisoners of war. The vice-chancellor replied, that the Russians would perish to a man, sooner than submit to such disho nourable conditions; that his master's resolution was already taken: he was determined to open a passage with the point of the bayonet. Baltagi, though little skilled in military affairs, was sensible of the danger of driving to despair a body of thirty-five thousand brave and disciplined troops, headed by a gallant prince. He granted a suspension of arms for six hours.-And before the expiration of that term, it was agreed by the Russian minister, that the czar should restore the city of Azoph, destroy the harbour of Tangarok, and demolish the forts built on the Palus Mæotis or sea of Zebach; withdraw his troops from Poland, give no farther disturbance to the Cossacs, and permit the Swedish monarch to return into his own kingdom.

JULY 21.

On these conditions, Peter was allowed to retire with his army. The Turks supplied him with provisions; so that he had plenty of every thing in his camp, only two hours after signing the treaty. He did not, however, a moment delay his retreat, aware of the danger of intervening accidents. And just as he was marching off, with drums beating and colours flying, the king of Sweden arrived impatient for the fight, and happy in the thought of having his enemy in his power. Poniatowski met him with a dejected countenance and informed him of the peace. Inflamed with resentment, Charles flew to the tent of the grand vizier, and keenly reproached him with the treaty he had concluded. "I have a right," said Baltagi, with a calm aspect, "to make either peace or war. And our law commands us "to grant peace to our enemies, when they implore our "clemency."" And does it command you," subjoined Charles, in a haughty tone, " to stay the operations of war, by

9. Id. Ibid.


an unmeaning treaty, when you might impose the law of the conqueror? Did not fortune afford you an opportunity of leading the czar in chains to Constantinople?" The grand vizier, thus pressed, replied with an imperious frown, "And who would have governed his empire in his absence? It is not proper that all crowned heads should leave their dominions!" Charles made answer only by a sarcastic smile. Swelling with indignation, he threw himself upon a sopha, and darting on all around him a look of disdain, he stretched out his leg, and entangling his spur in Baltagi's robe, purposely tore it. The grand vizier took no notice of this splenetic insult, which he seemed to consider as an accident; and the king of Sweden, farther mortified by that magnanimous neglect, sprung up, mounted his horse, and returned with a sorrowful heart to Bender1o.

Baltagi Mahomet, however, was soon made sensible of his error, in not paying more regard to the claims of Charles XII. For although the grand seignior was so well pleased with the treaty concluded with the czar, when the news first reached Constantinople, that he ordered public rejoicings to be held for a whole week, Poniatowski and the other agents of Charles, soon found means to persuade him, that his interests had been betrayed. The grand vizier was disgraced. But the minister who succeeded Baltagi in that high office, was yet less disposed to favour the views of the king of Sweden. His liberal allowance of five hundred crowns a day, beside a profusion of every thing necessary for his table, was withdrawn, in consequence of his intrigues. All his attempts to kindle a new war between the Turks and Russians proved ineffectual; and the divan, wearied out with his perpetual importunities, came to a resolution to send him back, not with a numerous army, as a king whose cause the sultan meant to abet, but as a troublesome fugitive, whom he want: ed to dismiss, attended by a sufficient guard.

10. Hist. Charles XII. liv. v. Voltaire had all these particulars from Poniatowski, who was present at this interview.


To that purport Achmet III. sent Charles a letter; in A. D. 1712. which, after styling him the most powerful among APRIL 19. the kings who worship Jesus, brilliant in majesty, and a lover of honour and glory he very positively requires his departure. "Though we had proposed," says the sultan, to march our victorious army once more against the czar, we have found reason to change our resolution. In order to avoid the just resentment which we had expressed at his delaying to execute the treaty concluded on the banks of the Pruth, and afterward renewed at our sublime porte, that prince has surrendered into our hands the castle and city of Azoph; and endeavoured, through the mediation of the ambassadors of England and Holland, our ancient allies, to cultivate a lasting peace with us. We have, therefore, granted his request, and delivered to his plenipotentiaries, who remain with us as hostages, our imperial ratification, having first received his from their hands. You must, therefore, prepare to set out, under the protection of Providence, and with an honourable guard, on purpose to return to your own dominions, taking care to pass through those of Poland in a peaceable manner"."

Although this letter is sufficiently explicit, it did not extinguish the hopes of the king of Sweden. He still flattered himself that he should be able to involve the porte in a new war with Russia; and he had almost accomplished his aim. He discovered that the czar had not yet withdrawn his troops from Poland. He made the sultan acquainted with that circumstance. The grand vizier was disgraced, for neglecting to enforce the execution of so material an article in the late treaty; and the Russian ambassador was again committed to the castle of the Seven Towers. This storm, however, was soon dissipated. The czar's plenipotentiaries, who had not yet left the porte, engaged that their master should withdraw his troops from Poland. The treaty of peace was

11. Voltaire, Hist. Ch. XII. liv. vi.


renewed; and the king of Sweden was given to understand, that he must immediately prepare for his departure.

When the order of the Porte was communicated to Charles, by the bashaw of Bender, he replied, that he could not set out on his journey till he had received money to pay his debts. The bashaw asked, how much would be necessary. The king, at a venture, said a thousand purses. The bashaw acquainted the Porte with this request; and the sultan, instead of a thousand, granted twelve hundred purses. "Our imperial munificence," says he, in a letter to the bashaw, "hath granted a thousand purses to the king of Sweden, which shall be sent to Bender, under the care and conduct of the most illustrious Mehemet Bashaw, to remain in your custody until the departure of the Swedish monarch; and then be given to him, together with two hundred purses more, as a mark of our imperial liberality, above what he demands."

Notwithstanding the strictness of these orders, Grothusen, the king of Sweden's secretary, found means to get the money from the bashaw before the departure of his master, under pretence of making the necessary preparations for his journey; and a few days after, in order to procure farther delay, Charles demanded another thousand purses. Confounded at this request, the bashaw stood for a moment speechless, and was observed to drop a tear. "I shall lose my head," said he, " for having obliged your majesty!" and took his leave with a sorrowful countenance. He wrote, however, to the porte in his own vindication; protesting that he did not deliver the twelve hundred purses, but upon a solemn promise from the king of Sweden's minister, that his master would instantly depart.

The bashaw's excuse was sustained. The displeasure of Achmet fell wholly upon Charles. Having convoked an extraordinary divan, he spoke to the following purport, his eyes flashing with indignation: "I hardly ever knew the king of Sweden, except by his defeat at Pultowa, and the request he made to me for an asylum in my dominions.

I have

I have not, I believe any need of his assistance, or any cause to love or to fear him. Nevertheless, without being influenced by any other motive than the hospitality of a mussulman, directed by my natural generosity, which sheds the dew of beneficence upon the great as well as the small, upon strangers as well as my own subjects, I have received, protected, and maintained himself, his ministers, officers, and soldiers, according to the dignity of a king; and for the space of three years and a half, have never withheld my hand from loading him with favours. I have granted him a considerable guard to conduct him back to his own kingdom. He asked a thousand purses to pay some debts, though I defray all his expences; instead of a thousand, I granted him twelve hundred purses; and having received these, he yet refuses to depart, until he shall obtain a thousand more, and a stronger guard, although that already appointed is fully sufficient. I therefore ask you, whether it will be a breach of the laws of hospitality to send away this prince? and whether foreign powers can reasonably tax me with cruelty and injustice, if I should be under the necessity of using force to compel him to depart1??”

A. D. 1713.

All the members of the divan answered, that such a conduct would be consistent with the strictest rules of justice. An order to that effect was accordingly sent to the bashaw of Bender, who immediately waited upon the king of Sweden, and made him acquainted with it. "Obey your master, if you dare!" said Charles, "and leave my presence instantly." The bashaw did not need this insult to animate him to his duty. He coolly prepared to execute the commands of his sovereign; and Charles, in spite of the earnest entreaties of his friends and servants, resolved, with three hundred Swedes, to oppose an army of Turks and Tartars, having ordered regular entrenchments to thrown 3 up for that purpose. After some hesitation, occasioned by the uncommon nature of the service, the word of command was given. The Turks march

12. Id. Ibid.


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