+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

The districts administered by the Mudirs
are subdivided into several cantons, under
the orders of a Boulu-bashi, or chief of a
picket of soldiers, who keep the peace and
enforce the orders of the government. In
each city where there is a Pacha or a Mudir
there is a Kadi, or Judge, and a Mufti, or chief
of the clergy, who administer justice
independently one of the other. The Tanzimat
also instituted a municipal council, the
Soura, presided over by the Pacha, or Mudir,
and consisting of the Kadi, the Mufti, the
local treasurer, the Cogia-bashi, or Mayor,
and two other primates of the place. It is
before this council that all serious cases of
dispute and all appeals are brought.

The people of Bulgaria cannot be said to
be heavily taxed, and seldom offer any kind
of resistance to regular demands. The imposts
are direct and indirect. Each canton pays a
tax, the total amount of which is fixed by
the government; whilst the primates, in the
case at least of the Christians, determine
how much each family must contribute. The
same system is pursued in most of the
European provinces of the Ottoman empire.
Each district is assessed in a lump, and the
people divide the responsibihty as they choose.
In Bulgaria the quota of each family varies
from twelve shillings to four pounds per
annum. It is probable that the division is
made fairly; for the primates are chosen by
universal suffrage. The Cogia-bashi is also
chosen amongst the Rayahs; and he, with the
two primates, is responsible for the whole of
the tribute. He acts, also, as a sort of justice
of the peace, or rather arbitrator, among the
Christians, whose disputes are never carried
before the Turkish authorities, unless it has
been found impossible to come to an
understanding in this primary court.

We have already mentioned the insufficiency
of the port of Varna. It will be interesting
at this moment to say something of the other
maritime cities of Bulgaria and Roumelia.
Nearly all of them were originally Greek
colonies, and some have nearly preserved
their ancient names. Others bear modern
names, either Turkish or Greek. A little
while ago it would have been thought
extremely important to determine accurately,
by elaborate researches, the agreement of
ancient and modern geography. But, although
it is not good entirely to despise these studies,
we may safely omit to notice the anxious and
painful process by which Histriopolis has
been identified with Kara Kerman, or
Anadolkioi with Tomis, the place of exile in
which Ovid expiated his mysterious fault.

Koustenji, the first town south of the
Danube, is the chief place of the district of
Dobritza. It contains about three thousand
souls, of which five hundred are Greek
Rayahs. It is built upon a creek visited
by a few ships that take in cargoes of
wheat and wool for Constantinople. In
winter the sea is nearly always stormy in
that neighbourhood, and the shore, bristling
with rocks, is the scene of frequent shipwrecks
of vessels which venture to leave the
Danubian ports in the bad season. When
M. Vr├ęto visited the place in the month of
August, the air was chill, and a violent north
wind blew. During the long and severe
winter the inhabitants suffer much from the
cold; their huts being ill built, and wood
being dear on account of the distance of the
forests. The air is healthy, but water is rare,
and of inferior quality. There are no kitchen
gardens, and all the country round is arid.
It is not until late in the spring that flocks of
sheep appear on the pasturages, and the fields
become green with the rising crops of wheat
or barley.

Mangallia is now inhabited entirely by
Moslems, in number not exceeding a thousand.
The Aga, who resides there, has several
villages under his jurisdiction, all inhabited by
Turks, who trade exclusively in grain. The
port is a great inlet, ill protected from the
north winds, and shipwrecks are common,
not only in winter, but even in summer, on
account of the fogs which suddenly appear,
and envelope the vessels, which are carried
by violent currents upon the coast.

Kavarna is inhabited by five hundred
Christian Ottoman subjects, and some Greeks
and lonians. Vessels may take refuge in its
road from the north wind, and it is visited
by a few regular traders. It is under the
jurisdiction of the Ayani of Balzick, which
lies a league and a half to the south. Its
position is strong, and there was formerly there
a fortress built by the Turks when they
conquered Bulgaria, and taken after a sanguinary
assault by King Ladislaus of Hungary. Before
eighteen hundred and forty it was a
miserable village, and inhabited by a few Turks;
since the free exportation of grain it has
made rapid progress on account of the safety
of its road, which is better protected than that
of Varna. In eighteen hundred and fifty this
road presented a most animated appearance,
for a whole fleet of merchantmen from Braila
and Galatz were compelled to take refuge
there from a violent tempest. It is principally
visited by Greek ships, although only
one-sixth of its population of three thousand
is Christian. Every year in the month of
June a small fair is held in a plain near
Balzick, for the sale of horses, cattle, and sheep.
In the neighbourhood are many vineyards,
studded with fruit-trees, among which the
principal are the quince and the cherry. Indeed
the cherries of Balzick are quite famous,
and so also is its honey. A few fish are
caught in the offing. The air and the water
are good; and, although the winter is very
severe, it is probable that Balzick before long
will have become a very important place, the
rival of Varna, which lies six leagues to the

Passing over the last-mentioned city, which
we have already described, we come to