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and Russian troops. And hence it arose that, though often rallied, and ever ready to repair to the banners of their chiefs, they were at last completely subdued.
We are now to attend to the means employed by the Poles to recover their independency.-As soon as the empress's war with the Turks had occasioned a diversion of her attention and her forces in their favour, they immediately began to adopt measures for that purpose. A proposal was made in the diet, in the late year, for augmenting their army from twenty to 60,000 men. And this was not only unanimously approved, but so prevalent was the spirit of patriotism, which revived on the first gleam of hope among them, that all the orders of the state relinquished their exemptions, and agreed to a general cess on their lands, to support the expence of the measure. Moreover, when a general subscription was opened for the same purpose, the zeal of all descriptions of people was seen in their liberal contributions.*
This could not but be highly offensive to the Russian empress; as it struck at the foundation of her ascendency in this country; and it was. more alarming on account of the countenance given to these revolters against her tyranny by his Prussian majesty. Her ambassador, count Stackelberg, was ordered, therefore, to present a memorial to the diet, wherein he complained of the infringement of the constitution of 1775 of which the empress was guarantee; and declared that they would forfeit her friendship by any infraction of that act.
The Poles, actuated by the spirit of a free people, disregarded the empress's admonitions: and, after complimenting her majesty on her justice and magnanimity, requested that she would order her troops, which had taken their winter quarters within their borders, to evacuate their country. - This requisition was received by Catharine with the disdainful inattention which might have been expected. But the feelings and demeanour of the Poles corresponded with the delusive hopes with which they flattered themselves. The diet was violently agitated at her refusal : the patriots even threatened their own sovereign that they would withdraw their support from him, should he continue his attachment to the Russian interests: and it was with difficulty that Augustus soothed them by an assurance that
he · Ann. Regist. 59. 61.
he was of no party, that the interests and prosperity of his country were the invariable objects of his pursuit, and the operating principle of his actions. - aptitu
The demeanour of the German emperor, in the mean-time, was such as *could not but excite some degree of uneasiness in the breasts of the patriots. When the envoy from the king and republic of Poland at the court of Vienna informed his imperial majesty of the treaty concluded by them with the king of Prussia; expressing a hope that he would view the transaction in a friendly light; and adding, “ that the republic saw with concern: E'that, inotwithstanding the tranquillity which reigned in the two respective *** states, the imperial court was assembling a very considerable force in “ Gallicia,” the wary count de Kaunitz answered, “ that the emperor felt * as a friend and good neighbour ought to feel, on hearing of the
accomplishment of the wishes of the republic; and that he most eer* tainly would not be the first to take any step that might disturb or impair " the friendship that subsisted between him and the republic: that, with -“ regard to the troops which he was assembling on the frontier of Poland, ** his majesty had given the most positive orders that they should scrupu* lously respect the territory of the republic; but that the had given them pasno less positive orders to cover the frontiers of Gallicia, and guard it -« against any unexpected attack.”
This evasive answer, corresponding with the movements of the Austrian troops, could not but be
considered as implying an intention on the part of the emperor to support: bhis ally in her designs in Poland. 2o. Bisen naa gola mort miles en plant 10 ungd? Of T-Juic! by WI YALITE siel; 10 board and se beasla bue llezmit y sien hu
No state or nation is, from its character and religion, so liable to sudden changes as the Ottoman. The ardour which nature has given them derives additional force from the principle of predestination, when they are prepossessed with a persuasion of success: and upon the same principle they : sink at once into despondency upon a reverse of fortune. This was very
observable Ann. Regist. 63.
c Hist. of Poland. 358.
observable in the present war. We have seen them taking the field with the
Some sacrifice was now to be made to appease the popular fury: and
In this state were the affairs of the Turkish empire when its distresses were increased by the decease of sultan Achmet the Fourth,t in his sixtyfifth year; a monarch whose enlarged mind, whose liberal sentiments, whose information in arts, sciences and languages, and knowledge of the world, entitled him to the highest rank among the Ottoman emperors.--He was succeeded by his nephew, Selim THE THIRD: and it was soon seen in his conduct how severe a loss the empire had sustained by the death of his predecessor. His first measure was the dismission and banishment of the grand vizier; whose wealth, not his demerit, marked him out an object of vengeance to his rapacious sovereign. He was succeeded by the bashâ of Widin; who took the command on the Hungarian frontier; whilst Hassan Pachâ was called from the command of the fleet, wherein he had signalized himself, and placed at the head of the army in Bessarabia.-The events of the campaign having been given in the histories of Germany and Russia, we need only add, that these capricious changes appear to have contributed to the disgrace of the Turkish arms, Their troops were, in effect, vanquished by their own prepossessions. And a train of disasters ensued which threatened entire ruin to the Ottoman empire.
The rajah of Travancore was the power first destined to experience Tippoo Saib's vengeance on account of his attachment to the British interests. The dominions of that prince, situated near the extremity of the peninsula, were desirable to the sultan, because the possession of them would have given him the command of the whole Malabar coast. Therefore, when he had endeavoured in vain to detach him from the company's alliance, he instigated the rajah of Cochin, his tributary, to lay claim to some lands on their common boundary, which were deemed a part of the Travancore territories, and advanced with a strong army to co-operate with him.
This enterprise was defeated by the excellent state of preparation in which the company's affairs then were. On information from the rajah of the invasion of his frontier, and the sultan's movements, sir Archibald Campbell, with advice of the government of Bengal, dispatched a body of troops to his aid; declaring that an attack on Travancore would be esteemed tantamount to a declaration of war against the company.—This spirited conduct had the desired effect; Tippoo, on observing his enemy's formidable aspect, retiring to Seringapatam.
It was soon evinced that the sultan was determined on hostilities, and only deferred them till a more favourable opportunity should offer itself.-On the weak pretext of a groundless claim to the ports of Cranganore and Jacottah, which the rajah of Travancore had purchased of the Dutch,* he attacked the strong lines which guard that kingdom, at the close of this
year, • Mackenzie's Sketch of the War. 1. 8.
* Captain Mackenzie, who served in the British army during the war that ensued, and appears to have bestowed great pains to inform himself of whatever related to it, says, " that Tippoo was “ well aware that this, (meaning the support of the English company) might defeat his purpose of " conquering Travancore; and, although no claim whatsoever had been hitherto preferred on those “ districis, which had been in possession of European powers for upwards of two hundred and " eighty years, without paying homage or tribute to any prince or people; for a period of time far " beyond what constitutes right in all civilized countries; and, beyond the existence of the house
66 of VOL. III.
year, † and attempted to take them by storm. His impetuous onset at first bore down all opposition. The fortune of the day was, however, recovered by the good behaviour of the Travancore troops. Rallying, after their first unsuccessful encounter, they repulsed the Mysoreans with great slaughter.—Tippoo himself narrowly escaped: and, in his flight, he was thrown from his horse into the ditch which made a part of the lines and was much bruised by the fall. When extricated, he swore, in his rage, that he would never wear his turban till he had taken the lines of Travancore.
When the day appointed for choosing a president of the congress arrived, no one appears to have doubted with respect to the person who should be raised to that high station. That honour was unanimously conferred on general George Washington, as the greatest testimony of respect for his talents, and of esteem and gratitude for his signal services to the states.
The person who was thus distinguished by his countrymen had all the stern virtues of a republican: Aristides was his hero; and he followed his illustrious architype with equal steps. He was inflexibly just and upright: grave and sedate in his temper, distant, reserved, and stately in his general deportment: averse to luxury from inclination as well as principle: under all the externals of moderation, he was actuated by an ambition which aspired to the glory of having the most distinguished place among the founders of American independency.
After the resignation of his military appointments, he had retired to Mount Vernon, a pleasant seat on the Potoumac River, in Virginia; where he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits and the amusements of the field.
But, + December 29. "s of Hyder seven times told; yet the sultan, under the pretence that neither the Dutch had a " right to sell, nor the rajah to purchase Cranganore, without his consent, not only threatened to 4 invade Travancore, but actually assembled fifteen thousand chosen men to put that threat in ( execution.” – Mackenzie's Sketch of the War with Tippoo, Sultan. 1. 12. • Mackenzie's Sketch of the War. p. 15. 43. .
a Annual Register. 1792, 198,