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passion which is always visible in the It seems to the English of to-day an great poisoners, the thirst for a su- impossible belief, but something like it preme and sudden exercise of power, must have been in the mind of the first may be doubted, but only Carrier can Simon de Montfort when he extirpated be at all clearly shown to have exulted the Albigenses, and of Alva when he in bloodshed, or rather in slaughter for drowned the Low Countries in blood. its own sake. Nadir Shah, who in The passion of which the word northern India piled up columns of "bloodthirst" is truly descriptive seems heads, and the late shah of Persia, who to be a kind of temporary mania extore out traysful of eyes, would, we cited in human beings by killing huimagine, have declared, and declared man beings, and in them only by that truly, that they terrorized from policy, act. Animals are free of it. Even the and had no personal pleasure in the great felidæ, with their ferocity develdeath of any man. They would have oped by generations of hunger, never had no sorrow in the destruction of half display it,-never, for example, attack the human race, and would have felt whole herds for the pleasure of killing about it as little as the Mongol chief- beasts which they cannot eat. There tains who proposed to a son of Tchen- is a faint approach to it in the dog who gis Khan to extirpate the people of “worries” a flock of sheep, but he does China and turn their provinces into not kill on the spot, and seems at all grassy steppes excellent for feeding events to be actuated not by lust of borses, but if all the world had been pa- blood or even by the spirit of tyranny, tiently submissive they would have but by an insane desire for a special slaughtered no one. It is difficult for dainty,—the fat of the sheep's liver. modern minds to realize the mental The human being with the bloodthirst condition of such men, or conceive that on him wants most to kill after he has they could be free from a devilish lust been killing. Soldiers, otherwise most for blood, but it is quite possible that respectable, have acknowledged the they felt no more about killing in cold feeling as rising in them after a hardblood than great soldiers of the more fought day, when many friends have brutal type have felt about killing on fallen around them, and there are mothe field of battle. Such horrors were ments in battle when, as the soldiers incidental to their work, and they over- say, they "see red,” and in many arlooked them, as Marcus Aurelius or mies, perhaps in all, it is difficult for Diocletian overlooked the sufferings of their officers to induce them to give the thousands of Christians whom they quarter. Killing relieves their burndoomed to painful deaths. Abd-ul. ing thirst for vengeance.
There are Hamid seems, among rulers, to ap moments in almost every campaign, as proach a step nearer to the true blood- all military historians know, when thirst. His Armenians are so submis- even highly disciplined soldiers seem to sive and such good taxpayers that it is lose their reason, when their officers difficult to believe that in sanctioning are powerless, and perfectly useless their massacre he is not influenced by carnage cannot be stopped. The existthe desire for bloodshed for its own ence of this passion, which no expesake; but even he never sees his vic- rienced soldier doubts, is the true extims, and can control his appetite when planation of the awful slaughter which convenient. It is conceivable, too, to occurred in some ancient and some those who have studied the history of Asiatic battles, and of that ghastly infanaticism, that he believes himself in cident of warfare amongst savages, some dim way to have the right to slay their almost constant habit of killing tbat he is really appointed to be what out the wounded. It explains also the all the sultans call themselves, the devilish excitement and thirst for more Hunkiar, the man-slayer, divinely in- slaughter which, as the record of trusted with the right and the power to scenes like the St. Bartholomew murremove all infidels dangerous to Islam. ders or the murders recently committed in Constantinople proves, falls upon å has tasted blood. Till the first enemy crowd which has shed much blood. falls a mob can be moved by reason or Many, perhaps a majority, do not feel by pity; after that it listens, as a rule, it, but the ferocious remainder appear only to terror for its own life. to go literally and medically mad, with an impulse which has in it that of the murderer and of the hunter combined, and unless controlled by some form of terror they will go on killing while vic
From The Contemporary Review, tims remain to be discovered.
THE CONSTANTINOPLE MASSACRE. arate passion of bloodshedding arises [The following article, though for obvious in them, and tigers would be less cruel, reasons it cannot be signed, may be the cruelty-it is one of the strangest taken as thoroughly well-informed.—ED. of the arcana of human nature-in.
CONTEMPORARY REVIEW.] creasing with the absence of resistance. It is about two years since the masIt might, indeed, be possible to hold sacre in Sassoon which led England, them partly irresponsible, but for the France, and Russia to intervene in a fact that they can instantly be reduced feeble way for the protection of the to order and sanity by appealing to
Armenians in Turkey. It is just a year their fears. A few soldiers, a volley, since several hundred Armenians were and the wildest mob, mad, literally beaten to death by Softas and Zabtieh mad to all appearance with the blood in the streets of Constantinople. This thirst, will become on the instant rea- brought the fleets to the vicinity of the sonable, will take orders, will abandon, Dardanelles, and after much negotiaand in some instances even regret, its tion brought five small gunboats to frightful excesses. A whiff of grape- Constantinople. Beginning in October shot would have calmed the French at Trebizond, there were massacres and Terrorists at any moment, and a thou- looting in all the principal cities of sand of the Irish constabulary with seven provinces, and a general destrucrifles, would restore the worst mob. of tion of villages and rural population in Constantinople to comparative sanity the same provinces. According to the in ten minutes. It is because the En- latest estimates, about one hundred glish as a rule are so free of the blood- thousand were killed, and about half a thirst that we dare to be so lenient with million reduced to want. The Great our mobs, and because the rulers of Powers did nothing, and, England and foreign States know and dread the im- Italy excepted, looked on with inpulse that they are, as we all think, so difference. Russia entered into a new much too ready to resort to violent re- alliance with the sultan to guarantee pression. A Southern mob, an Asiatic the integrity of his empire. mob, or an African mob which has once On the Continent the people generbegun to kill cannot be stopped except ally were in sympathy with the policy by an appeal to terror, a grim fact of the governments and took no interwhich those who believe in human na- est in the fate of the Christian subjects ture, as we do not, will do well to pon- of the sultan—which naturally conder over. The wild beast latent in man firmed him in his belief that he could becomes, as we are now seeing every treat them as he pleased without fear week or so in Turkey, wilder, not of Europe. In the spring the Cretans tamer, with release from external re- revolted, and in August, through the straints. If the optimist philosophers intervention of the powers, secured were right, all men would be humane, all that they asked for in the way of for nothing can be so convenient as hu- autonomy. manity; but as a fact there is nothing The Armenian revolutionists, enon earth so cruel as man if once he has couraged by the outbreaks in Orete, broken loose from his fetters of custom, Syria and Macedonia, appealed anew to corscience, and social pressure, and the Embassies and to the Turkish gov
ernment to secure some reasonable itself, and made ridiculous by the way reforms
for the Armenians, and in which they failed to carry it out. accompanied this demand with the They went in bravely, and nothing threat that they would create disturb- hindered their destroying the Bank, but ances if their demands were not heeded. they allowed themselves to be talked They planned outbreaks at Adana, out of it by Mr. Maximoff, the Russian Angora, and Van. Only the last came dragoman, and would have been the to a head, and it resulted in the death laughing stock of the world if its attenof most of the revolutionists and the tion had not been absorbed by the massacre of several thousand innocent massacre which followed. The real persons.
This outbreak at Van was heroism of that day was displayed in utterly foolish in its conception, with another quarter of the city, by another out any possible hope of success, and small party of Russian Armenians, men very badly managed. Then early in and women, who took possession of two August came the threat of an outbreak stone houses and fought the Turkish at Constantinople, which was treated, troops to the death, the survivors killing as all such threats have been by the themselves when they could fight no ambassadors, with contempt. But longer. There was no serious fighting those who knew the city have known anywhere else, although dynamite for many months that some such out- bombs were thrown from the windows break was sure to occur if the persecu- of houses and khans upon the troops tion of the Armenians continued un- in a number of places, showing that checked, and have foreseen the conse
some preparation had been made for a quences. If the Armenians were not
extended outbreak. There is the most peaceable and submissive nothing to be said in justification of this people in the world, this city would attempt of the revolutionists. They have been in ashes before this time, for had provocation enough to justify anythey have had everything to drive them thing in reason, but there was othing to desperation. They have bowed their reasonable in this plan, nothing in it to heads and submitted to this also; but attract the sympathy of the powers or it was certain that the revolutionists to conciliate public opinion; and if the would try to rouse them and to startle statements are true which have been Europe in some way. The Turks also made by Armenians as to certain unexseem to have desired this outbreak. ecuted parts of the plan, it was diabolThey were fully informed as to the ical. This only can be said on behalf plan of seizing the Ottoman Bank on of these revolutionary committees. August 26. This is stated in the They are the natural outcome of the proclamation of the sultan, published in treatment of the Armenians by the the Turkish papers the next day, and Turkish government during the last has been affirmed by many of the twenty years. When oppression passes officers since. They did nothing to a certain limit and men become desperprevent it; but spent all their energy in ate, such revolutionary organization alpreparing for the massacre which was ways appears. They are the fruit and to follow.
not the cause of the existing state of The theory of the Russian Armenian things in Turkey, and if we can judge revolutionists who seized the Ottoman by the experience of other countries, Bank was, that if they could hold it the worse things become here, the more with the threat of blowing it up if their violent will be the action of these comdemands were not listened to, the mittees, whether Europe enjoys it or ambassadors would force the sultan to not. grant the reasonable reforms which Revolutionists are the same all the they demanded for the Armenians, world over, but the Turkish governrather than permit the destruction of ment is unique, and it is not the attack the Bank and its staff. It was a scheme on the Bank which interests us but the borrowed from the theatre, absurd in action of the government which folLIVING AGE.
lowed it. As we have said, the author. killed will never be known. The ambasities had full information of what was sadors putitat five thousand or six thouto be attempted and did nothing to sand; the official report to the palace prevent it, but they made every prep- at eight thousand seven hundred and aration for carrying out their own plan. fifty, besides those thrown into the sea. Bands of ruffians were gathered in Thousands of houses, shops, and offices Stamboul, Galata, and Pera, made up of were plundered, including a number Kurds, Lazes, and the lower class of belonging to Greeks and foreigners. Turks, armed with clubs, knives or fire. Everything was done in the most sysarms; and care was taken that no one tematic way, and there was not a moshould kill or plunder in the quarter to ment of anarchy, not a moment when which he belonged, lest he should be the army and police had not perfect recognized and complaint made after control of the city during all these days. wards by the embassies, with a demand Certain Armenian quarters — Scutari, for punishment. A large number of Koom Kapou and others—were for carts were in readiness to carry off the some reason protected, and were dead. The troops and police were in quiet and undisturbed as usual. The great force to prevent any resistance, outbreaks of violence at Bebec and and to assist the mob if necessary. It Candilli on the Bosphorus were probwas a beautiful day, the streets were ably spontaneous and contrary to crowded, and few had any idea of what orders, as was everything done after had happened at the Bank, when sud- Friday morning in town. denly, without any warning, the work The quarters where the slaughter and of slaughter and plunder began, every- pillage were most terrible were along where at once. European ladies on the the Golden Horn – from the Dolma way to the Bosphorus steamers sud- Baghtchè Palace to Hasskuei and from denly found themselves surrounded by Seraglio Point to Aivan Serai; also at assassins, and saw men beaten to death Samatia, nea the Seven Towers, and at at their feet. Foreign merchants saw the Adrianople gate. Large numbers their own employés cut to pieces at were killed in Pera. The majority of their doors. The streets in some places those massacred belonged to the workliterally ran with blood. Every man ing class—especially the hamals (porwho was recognized as an Armenian ters)—but a large number of gentlemen, was killed without mercy. In general,
merchants and other wealthy men, the soldiers took no part in the were killed, together with about fifty slaughter and behaved well, and this
and children. The savage somewhat reassured those in the streets brutality of the Moslem mob was somewho were not Armenians; but in a few thing beyond all imagination, and in moments the shops were closed and a many cases the police joined in beating wild panic spread through the city. men to death and hacking others to The one idea of every one was to get death with knives, in the very face of home; and as the foreigners and better Europeans. A friend of mine saw classes live out of the city in summer eighteen men dragged by the police, one they had to go to the Galata bridge to after another, out of a building in take the steamers, which ran as usual Galata, and cut to pieces at the door. all through the three days of massacre. A lady friend saw a procession of This took them through the streets Catholic schoolgirls in Pera Street. where the slaughter was going on, and An Armenian, flying from the mob, consequently we have the testimony of took refuge in the midst of them, and hundreds of eye-witnesses as to what was cut to pieces there — his blood took place. The work of death and spattered over the children's dresses. plunder continued unchecked for two Some twenty employés at the railway days. On Friday there were isolated station were seized by the police and outbreaks, and occasional assassinations beaten to death on the premises. Mr. occurred up to Tuesday. The number Maximoff, the Russian dragoman, saw
two men beating an Armenian to death and they killed him in his mother's in the street. With the help of his arms. cavass he captured one of them, took At Bebec the mob was made up of the him to the nearest police station, and Turkish hamals of the village, and at a demanded his imprisonment. This was signal from the Imam of the mosque refused, and he took him to Yildiz-he they first attacked the bakery, where turned out to be a well-known official they bought their daily bread, generally there. Mr. Herbert, H.M. Chargé on credit, murdered every man they d'Affaires, to whom the highest honor could find, and plundered everythingis due for his action during the massa- a Turkish woman in a neighboring cres, saw many terrible sights with his house pointing out the hiding place of own eyes among others Moslem one poor boy. crowd jeering at a man on the top of a In many cases European officials apcartload of dead, who was still in the pealed to the officers in command of the agonies of death. A man whom I knew troops, who were looking on at the very well was beaten to death, stripped, slaughter of helpless, unarmed men, to and a big cross cut on his breast with a interfere and put a stop to it. The sword. A living child was found in the reply was “We have our orders.” It pile of seven hundred mutilated bodies was an officer who killed the clerk of in the Chichli Cemetery. A friend of the British post-office on the steps. mine saw a mob of Turkish women loot. And some of the most cold blooded and ing the little shop of an Armenian just horrible murders took place in front of killed-shouting and laughing, and the guard house, at the Galata end of treading under foot what they did not the bridge, in the presence of officers care to take away. When there were of the sultan's household of the highno more Armenians in the streets they est rank. They also had their orders. were sought out in the khans, shops, Happily for the honor of the Turkish and houses, and here in many cases the people, there is another side to the military officers took an active part in story. It was the government and not the plunder-if not in the killing. At the people that conducted this massaHasskuei—where there is a large Jew. cre. And although the vile instruments ish population-after the Turks had employed were told that they were actmurdered the inmates of a house, the ing in the name of the Prophet, and officers sold the right to plunder it to freely used his name, and are boasting the Jews. I know one case where an to-day of what they did for Islam, the officer received nine pounds for the Sheik-ul-Islam forbad the Softas taking plunder of a large house. The Jews any part in the slaughter and many a also assisted the Turks in hunting the pious Turk did what he could to proArmenians out of their hiding-places, tect his neighbors. Some of theni and in some cases killed them them- sheltered scores in their own houses, selves. At Hasskuei, Samatia, and and there are Ulema who condemn the Kassim Pacha the women and children whole thing as directly contrary to the left alive are without any means of liv- teaching of the Koran. The common ing. The brutality of the mob in these people accept it as the work of the attacks upon the houses was even more caliph, which is not to be criticised. horrible than in the streets, for the One poor woman who had an Armenian women pleaded and sometimes fought family in her house said: “I will profor the lives of their husbands and tect you against the mob, but if tbey sons, who were mercilessly cut to demand you in the name of the Prophet pieces before their faces. I know of I must give you up to be killed.” I one case where a widow prayed for the think that many of the common Turks life of her only son-an innocent boy. are as much afraid of the Armenians Even the murderers were touched, but as the Armenians are of them. It is not the mob of Turkish women behind the people, not even the mob, who are cried out, “Don't listen; kill him!” responsible for this great crime. It was