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Observations on Bulgarian affairs (1880), John Alexander Thynne Bath

Observations on Bulgarian affairs (1880), John Alexander Thynne Bath

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paratively wealthy inhabitants of the towns and

the

peasantry in the

villages, with the

sufferings

they have so

lately undergone still fresh in their

memories, were all

agreed on this matter.

They

were under no illusions as to their

capacity to

resist the forces of the Turkish

Empire, even in

its

present enfeebled condition; nor were

they

ignorant of the fate which their resistance would
draw down on themselves and all

they hold most

dear. Their chief

hope lay in this—that

Europe

would for

very shame be

compelled to interfere

to

put an end to the acts of horror that would
be re-enacted on their soil.

Nor, desperate as it

appears, was their determination other than a

wise one. If the

garrisons had

entered, nothing

could have saved the Province from

anarchy, and

the

people preferred to

fight before and not after

an iron chain had been drawn round them.

It is not difficult to understand their

position.

Even if the moderate

party—and in Eastern Kou-

melia there are men who are both wise and

moderate—had been able to induce the mass of

the

population to

acquiesce in the

passage of the

Turkish troops through the

country, and in their

presence on the frontier, their

entry would have

been resisted

by the more ardent

spirits ; while

the Turks in the Province and on the

frontier,

looking on it as evidence of the restoration of

the Sultan's authority, cheered

by seeing his

army again among them, and

relying on it for

support, would have

profited by the disturbances

BULGARIAN AFFAIRS.

79

that must

inevitably have arisen to attack the

Bulgarians generally, whether or not

they had

participated in the outbreak. The

Bulgarians

defending their

homes, a civil war would have

ensued far

beyond the

power of the

provincial

militia to

suppress. The Turkish

troops are the

only ones that could have been called in to

establish order ; and the world

already knows but

too well what is meant

by the establishment of

order

among a

subject Christian

population by

Turkish

troops, especially when

they are

joined,

as

they would have

been, by the Turkish

popu-

lation. Even if the whole Christian

population

had remained

quiet, the mere

presence of the

Turkish

troops, arousing the

hopes and

inflaming

the

passions of the

Mussulmans, would have en-

couraged them to

outrages which, by provoking

resistance and retaliation on the

part of the

Christians, would have led to

anarchy, and have

been the

prelude to a

general massacre.

It is to be borne in mind that the

presence of

a Mussulman

population intensifies the miseries
which Turkish rule inflicts on its Christian sub-

jects. The

tyranny of a

governor may be mo-

derated

by a bribe ;

by the

venality of a

judge

some one

profits ; from the fiscal

rapacity of the

Government

many hope to

escape ; but, in addi-

tion to all these

evils, the Christians who live

amongst Turks have to submit to individual

tyranny on the

part of a

privileged race whose

only claim to

superiority consists in their

being

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