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will go quietly away. This is a fair illustration of the condition of things in Europe, and of the sense and spirit of the Berlin Memorandum. Overwhelming and irresistible force was to be brought to bear against Turkey, in order that Turkey might have no possible excuse or opportunity for attempting resistance.
Unfortunately, however, Lord Derby and the English Government did not see their way to join in the Berlin Memorandum. Lord Derby, it seems, was of opinion that a secret agreement between Germany, Austria, and Russia had existed since 1873, and he feared to allow England to be drawn into what might have been a dangerous complication. Other English statesmen were convinced that Russia was all the while secretly stirring up that discontent in the Christian provinces which the Western Powers were using as an argument for intervention. Lord Derby had to decide, and it seems to us he decided in the wrong way. He refused to join in the Berlin Memorandum. Not merely did he refuse to join it, but he made no suggestion as to any other course which might be taken if the memorandum were abandoned. The refusal of England was fatal to the pro. ject. The memorandum was never presented. Concert between the European Powers was for the time at an end. From that moment every one in Western Europe knew that war was certain in the East. A succession of startling events kept public attention on the strain. There was an outbreak of Mussulman fanaticism at Salonica, and the French and German consuls were murdered. A revolutionary demonstration took place in Constantinople, and the Sultan Abdul Aziz was dethroned. The miserable Abdul Aziz committed suicide in a day or two after. This was the Sultan who had been received in England with so much official ceremony and public acclaim. It was he who had been welcomed at Windsor, had been entertained by the Corporation of London, had been the lion of the season,
and the sensation of the sight-seeing public. At the time when he was feasted and applauded in London the Cretan insurrection was going on, and his troops were doing the business of repression with an unsparing cruelty worthy of the Soldans of the Middle Ages. His death by his own hand in a fit of despair, as he found himself dethroned deserted, lonely, and hated, was a strange close for the career which had begun with so much promise and amid such universal expectation at the time of the Crimean War. His nephew Murad was made Sultan in his place. Murad reigned only three months and was then dethroned, and his brother Hamid put in his place. Suddenly the attention of the English public was called away to events more terrible than palace revolutions in Constantinople. An insurrection had broken out in Bulgaria, and the Turkish Government sent large numbers of Bashi-Bazouks and other irregular troops to crush it. They did not, however, stay their hand when the insurrection had been crushed. Repression soon turned into massacre. Rumors began to reach Constantinople of hideous wholesale murders committed in Bulgaria. The Constantinople correspondent of the Daily News investigated the evidence, and found it but too true. In a few days after accounts were laid before the English public of the deeds which ever since have been known as “the Bulgarian atrocities." A story was told of the wholesale massacre of women and children such as could hardly have found its parallel in the worst days of an ea:lier Byzantine rule, or under the odious reign of the later sovereigns of Delhi.
Nothing could have been more ill-advised and unforturate than the manner in which Mr. Disraeli at first dealt with these terrible stories. He treated them with a levity which jarred harshly on the ears of almost all his listeners. It was plain that he did not believe them or attach any importance to them, No one ever supposed that he was really wanting in humanity ; it is certain that it he had believed such crimes
were committed he would have been incapable of excusing them or making light of them. But he did not believe in any of the stories; he set them down too hastily as mere figment of rumor, and the newspaper correspondent, and what he called "coffee-house babble.” He took no trouble to examine the testimony on which they rested. He, therefore, thought himself warranted in dealing with them as if they were merely stories to laugh at. He evidently did not know much about the Turkish provinces of our day, or about Turkish affairs in general. He endeavored to make out that the Bashi-Bazouks were really the residents and occupiers of Bulgaria. He described them as Circassians who had been settled there long since, with the approval of all Europe. He reproached the Liberal party with the lack of sympathy they now showed for a race of beings in whom they once professed such an interest. Mr. Disraeli's ideas of Bulgaria were evidently drawn from vague reminiscences of Voltaire's “Candide;" and he depicted the Bulgarians as cruel oppressors of the Bashi-Bazouks. He expressed entire scepticism as to the tortures said to have been inflicted on their victims by the Turkish soldiery. Oriental races, he gravely observed, did not usually have recourse to torture, “they generally terminated their connection with culprits in a more expeditious manner." All this might have been what the German quack in Scott's “ Antiquary" calls " very witty and comedy;" but the House was not exactly in the vein for mirth. Mi. Disraeli had always the faculty of presuading himself to believe or disbelieve anything according as he liked. The statesman who could really persuade himself into the belief that Oriental races did not usually have recourse to torture, might well persuade himselt of anything. Probably, for the time, Mr. Disraeli actually believed that the Bashi-Bazouks were gentle exiles of the class of Thaddeus of Warsaw, sweetly incapable of harming any creature. But the House and the country would have
preferred the Prime Minister in a different mood just then. The subject proved to be far too serious for light-minded treatment. Mr. Disraeli felt this himself afterward, and made an attempt to persuade the country that there was no levity in his talk about the Oriental way of terminating the connection with a culprit. Mr. Baring, the English consul, sent out specially to Bulgaria to make inquiries, and who was supposed to be in general sympathy with Turkey, reported that no fewer than twelve thousand persons had been killed in the district of Philippopolis. He confirmed substantially some of the most shocking details of the massacre of women and children, which had been given by Mr. MacGahan, a correspondent whom the Daily News had sent out to the spot, to see with his own eyes, and report what he saw. There was no disputing the significance of some of that testimony. The defenders of the Turks insisted that the only deaths were those which took place in fight; insurgents on one side, Turkish soldiers on the other. But Mr. Baring, as well as the Daily News correspondent, saw whole masses of the dead bodies of women and children piled up in places where the bodies of no combatants were to be seen. The women and children were simply massacred. The Turkish Government may not have known at first of the deeds that were done by their soldiers. But it is certain that, after the facts had been forced upon their attention, they conferred new honors on the chief perpetrators of the crimes which shocked the moral sense of all Europe.
Mr. Bright happily described the agitation which followed in England as an uprising of the English people. At first it was an uprising without a leader. Soon, however, it had a chief of incomparable energy and power. Mr. Gladstone came out of his semi-retirement. He threw aside polemics and criticism. He forgot for a while Homer and the Pope. He flung himself into the agitation against Turkey with the impassioned energy of a youth. He made
speeches in the House of Commons and out of it; he attended monster meetings in doors and out-of. doors; he published pamphlets, he wrote letters, he brought forward motions in Parliament; he denounced the crimes of Turkey and the policy which would support Turkey, with an eloquence that for the time set England aflame. After a while, no doubt, there set in a sort of reaction against the fervent mood. The country could not long continue in this white heat of excitement. Some men began to protest against“ the sentimental" in politics; others grew tired of hearing Turkey denounced; others, again, complained that they got too much of the Bulgarian atrocities. Moreover, Mr. Disraeli and his supporters were able to work with great effect on that strong, deep-rooted feeling of the modern Englishman, his distrust and dread of Russia. Mr. Gladstone was accused of acting in such a manner as to make himself the instrument of Russian designs on Constantinople. He had in his pamphlet, “Bulgarian Horrors, and the Question of the East," insisted that the only way to secure any permanent good for the Christian provinces of Turkey was to turn the Turkish officials “bag and baggage" out of them. What people called the “ bag and baggage" policy was denounced as a demand for the expulsion of the Turks—all the Turks, the Turkish men and women-out of Europe. Of course, what Mr. Gladstone meant was exactly what he said, that the rule of Turkish officialism should cease in the Christian provinces; that these provinces should have autonomous governments subject to the Sultan; not that all the indivi. dual Turks should be turned out. But the cry went forth that he had called tor the expulsion of the Turks from Europe, and that the moment the Turks went out of Constantinople the Russians must come in. Nothing could have been better suited to rouse up reaction and alarm. A sudden and strong revulsion of feeling took place in favor of the Government. Mr. Gladstone was honestly regarded by