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neighbour in a more mysterious way than we
do. The very tradesmen learn the trick of
it; and your tailor asks for his bill in such a
secret and confidential manner, that he takes
your breath away with the apprehension of
some imminent disaster. It must have been
long before the memory of any living man
that a plain question has been plainly asked
or plainly answered in Constantinople: and
I have a strong private opinionthough I
am far too secret and confidential to
mention it to my own shadowthat this little
fact accounts for a great many of the causes
of the milk in the cocoa-nuts. I have serious
thoughts of making a subterraneous passage
from my Pera lodgings to the hotel where
(when I am well enough) I dine, in order to
be able to come and go with proper secresy
and confidence; but am deterred by the

The true origin of this secresy is that the
Turks have nothing to tell. Although the
dominant race, they hardly number three
millions throughout Turkey, against
something like sixteen millons of Greeks,
Bulgarians, Armenians, and others. The Turks,
accustomed from the beginning to look upon
themselves as conquerors, are the most
ignorant and unskilful persons in Turkey.
The wealth, intelligence and commerce of
the land are all in the hands of the
conquered races. They have been obliged to
work hard for power and consideration, and
even to save themselves from the extremes of
ignominy and contempt. They have
perceived that the acquisition of knowledge was
the shortest road to attain these ends;
and they have taken it. Now it is precisely
this race, thus labouring under vexatious
disabilities, who are absolutely excluded from
all share in public affairs. No mistake can
be more fatal to the welfare of Turks than
this. The name of a government matters
little if the people who live under it are
free and happy. Let the Turks still smoke
their pipes on the Bosphorus; but, it is beyond
all doubt, that the nations who help them to
maintain a position they could not maintain
alone, have the right to hint a friendly counsel
to them without being considered either
meddling or offensive. Let them abolish all
the disabilities under which Christians labour
in Turkey; let justice be righteously administered;
let bribery and corruption be absolutely
abolished; let the public accounts be audited
by competent persons, and the taxes collected
honestly and under able superintendance.
When these things are done (and there is surely
nothing unreasonable in them) we shall hear
no more of a Byzantine empire, being an
assembly of small states, or of the partition of
Turkey in any way whatsoever. As for any
marauding attempt on the part of Russia
against Turkey free, united, and healthy-
hearted, the notion is absurd. Admiral Slade
and Omar Pasha would drive them from sea
and land single-handed.

I know and blush to know that there is
a strong party in England who appear to
dislike the notion of seeing Turkey powerful
or civilised, under the idea that she would be
a formidable rival to our commerce; and that
we should not send her so much merchandise
as we now export to her shores. Never was
an idea more false. In England at this
moment there are millions of unemployed
capital. This is just what Turkey wants.
She wants railways, engineers, schoolmasters,
accountants, artisans, machinery for her
mines and agriculture, and Heaven knows,
we could spare her enough of all of them
of things which lay idle in our magazines
and storehouses; of young and enterprising
gentlemen who would be delighted to
regenerate her and make their own fame and

But while one sulky ambassador with more
power than is good for him, has a right to
meddle in one way; and, while another sulky
ambassador, jealous of his national influence,
hastens to undermine and counteract him;
and, while a third sulky ambassadoralways
calling the two former to accountembroils
every question beyond all human comprehension,
I do not very well see daylight through
the darkness.

These are my thoughts while my mare
pads me cheerfully up to my hill-top lodging.
How my good, considerate landlord will abuse
me for giving him the slip!



Certain papers recently laid before Parliament,
on Mr. Hume's motion, in regard to the
relations existing between the British forts
on the Gold Coast of Africa and the Negro
kingdom of Ashantee which lies behind it,
exhibit so much progress on the part of
African tribes on this coast as well as
knowledge and skill on the part of British
functionaries in dealing with them, that we
propose briefly to throw into a narrative the
interesting events the papers disclose.

Along the Gold Coast England has, our
readers know, a series of forts, the chief of
which is Cape Coast Castle, where the
governor of these settlements resides. Our
territorial possessions are, strictly speaking,
limited to the sites of the forts and of the
towns around them; where little knots of
our enterprising countrymen carry on trade
with the interior. Gradually, however, our
political authority has extended into the interior
as far as the river Prah; which, for a
considerable distance, runs parallel to the coast,
and forms a natural frontier. Between this
frontier and the coast, the country is broken
up into a series of petty states; each possessing
a chief or ruler; who recognises our
general political supremacy, and whom we

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