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pachalic of the deceased Kurd. This preference of a rival in an affair at once of ambition and love, is said to have fixed a thorn in the mind of Ali, which rankled during the rest of his life.
We have been unable to collect with much certainty, from the contradictory accounts, whether it was at this period of his life, that he entered into the service of the Pacha of Negropont, from which he returned enriched with pay and plunder, and with great reputation as a warrior. Supposing it to be at this period, it was of course with favorable prospects, that Ali engaged in a conflict with the enemies of his family at Tepeleni. It is difficult, in the confused statement of Pouqueville, to discover precisely the nature of the affair. In its result, Ali betrayed the hostile party into an abortive attempt to assassinate himself, and falling upon them during the revelry of this supposed joyful event, he involved them in an indiscriminate slaughter. Their estates were divided among his followers, whose obsequiousness and attachment were ensured by these donatives, and thus Ali transformed himself into the undisputed master or despot of the Canton of Tepeleni.
We have already observed, that Ali had given his sister Shaïnitza in marriage to Ali the Pacha of Delvino. At the period at which we are now arrived, M. Pouqueville informs us, that she was solicited by her brother to poison her husband. As she refused to lend herself to this atrocious act, Ali prevailed on Soliman, the brother of the Pacha of Delvino, to commit this crime, and gave him the widow, his sister, as the reward. To all these horrors, repeated by the French Consul with a particularity of detail, which could not be known at the time, and which has no probability in any supposed motive by which they were prompted, we take leave to deny our belief. To his brother in law thus disposed of, Ali failed of succeeding in the Pachalic of Delvino. It was given to Selim Bey Côka, of a powerful native Albanian family. M. Pouqueville, however, tells us, that the simple circumstance of having murdered his brother in law procured Ali great additional reputation among his neighbors, and that he was particularly admitted to the intimacy of Selim Bey Côka, who had superseded him in the succession of the pachalic; all which sounds to us highly improbable. Selim Bey, being on the frontiers of the Venetian possessions at Bucintro, had sold to the government of Venice the wood of certain forests in the Pachalic of Delvino. This act of treason against the Sultan's forest laws was no sooner committed, than Ali Pacha secretly denounced it to the Porte, and received in return a secret firman to take the life of Selim Bey. This he effected by artifice and fraud ; and received as his reward the Pachalic of Thessally, his first appointment from the Porte, and his first title to the name of Pacha. He received at the same time, the extraordinary commission of Dervendgi Pacha, or Chief of the Passes, with instructions to free Thessally from the bands of robbers, with which it was infested. We suppose him at this time to have attained the
of thirty years, and the energy of his character was now at once unfolded. With a force of four thousand men, which he was able to levy from among
his Albanian countrymen, the military Swiss of Turkey, --he swept his pachalic of the brigands that infested it; and did it at least the service of allowing it to be plundered by none but himself. His wealth, reputation, and influence grew with his successful administration of this small province; and in the course of a few years his reputation had so greatly increased, that he was advanced by the Porte to the Pachalic of Yanina. This place he held till his death, and from this, as a centre, extended his power over Albania, Thessally, and the greater part of continental Greece. His mother Kamco had thus far enjoyed the pleasure of witnessing his advancement, but about the time of his accession to the Pachalic of Yanina, she died, and left it as her death bed charge to her son Ali, and her daughter Shaïnitza, now wife of Soliman Pacha of Delvino, that they should exterminate the inhabitants of Cardiki, by whom, as we have related above, Kamco and her children were held for some time in bondage, and treated with indignity.
Till the accession of Ali Pacha to the government of Yanina, which happened in the year 1788, this city had been remarkable for the strength and independence of its factions; and Pouqueville tells us, that Ali was obliged to wage a kind of warfare against the villages and farms belonging to its Beys and wealthy inhabitants, in order to com
pel them to receive him into the city, and acknowledge him as Pacha. Once established in this city, his policy began to develope itself; and seems to have consisted in the following principles. The first was by no means original with him, but one of the leading rules of Turkish policy, viz. to humble all the distinguished individuals in the community, and to break the power of parties and of men. This measure was attended in the case of Ali with a great accession of riches, derived from the confiscation of the estates of the wealthy Beys, on whom his power fel. Another principle of his government was more original. He called Greeks to his council, professed great respect for their religion, and enforced a real toleration throughout his domains. Under the influence of this system, Yanina became one of the principal seats of modern Greek improvement. If in this, Ali Pacha departed from the jealous Moslem policy, he did so not less, in building up the power of the Albanians, a people who have ever been the object of Turkish hostility.
The mountains of Albania have long been a nursery of men, whence all the warlike Pachas of the Turkish empire have drawn recruits. Large numbers of Albanians have fought in the armies of the Bey of Egypt, and wherever else wages and plunder were to be had. Several regiments of them have been admitted even into the Neapolitan service, But hitherto the Albanians, when in Turkish service, have formed but a corps in a Turkish army. Under Ali Pacha, an Albanian himself, they formed his whole army, and though that army was never called out in a hostile attempt against the government of the Grand Seignor, till the final revolt in which Ali perished, yet it must have been highly offensive at Constantinople to see the strongest vassal of the state, deriving his strength from an armed force of a different language, and doubtful faith, hostile by nature to the genuine Turks. That Ali Pacha, under these circumstances, should have persisted in organizing and retaining an Albanian army, shows that he had resolved to live and die chief of Albania; and to establish himself a power at home, which would relieve him from a dependence on Constantinople, for support or promotion.
At the time of his accession to the government of Yanina, Ali had two sons, Muctar and Veli, the children of Emineh, whom we have mentioned above. They were already of an age to take a part in their father's military enterprises. The first of these, according to Pouqueville, was the destruction of Comovo, a town whose inhabitants were united with the Cardikiotes, on the occasion, when the mother of Ali was defeated, and with himself and sister made prisoner. We forbear to quote the anecdotes of the horrors of vengeance practised on the Primate of Cormovo, who, on the occasion above mentioned, had outraged the proud Kamco, regarding them as too disgusting to be repeated, on the mere assertion of Pouqueville. The Pacha of Berat, Ibrahim, of whom we have already spoken, alarmed at the progress of Ali Pacha, gathered his forces to resist him. He had soon reason to solicit peace at the expense of a part of his domains, which Ali had wrested from him, but which were assigned as a marriage portion to the eldest daughter of Ibrahim, who became the wife of Muctar, the oldest son of Ali Pacha.
We know not if there be any truth in Pouqueville's accounts of the attempts soon after made by Ali Pacha, to take off Ibrahim by poison. The French Consul tells us, that Ali endeavored to persuade the wife of Ibrahim to perform this perfidious act, that she refused, and that the intrigue remained buried in the secresy of the family.' How this poisoning intrigue, after being buried thirty years in the secresy of the family of a Turkish Pacha, was disinterred for M. Pouqueville's information, he has not told us. The same remark may be extended to another tale of poisoning, which immediately follows this.
In the year 1790, Ali Pacha made his first attempt against the Suliotes, a somewhat singular people, who, by a curious literary coincidence, have been brought into great celebrity, by the circumstance, that their country was visited on his travels, about fourteen years ago, by a poetical English lord. We have not room to give a minute account of this people, but will observe, in brief, that they constituted a sort of military, predatory, and pastoral confederacy, in the mountains between Yanina and the sea coast of Epirus. Protected in their fastnesses from the reach of the government arm, nominally christians in their faith, and virtually independent in their conduct, it is perfectly senseless to rail at Ali, the · legitimate' ruler of the country, for attempting to subjugate them, Had they remained quiet in their strong holds, it would have been his duty as the Viceroy of the Porte, to bring them into obedience to its laws; but when we consider that they were perpetually engaged in predatory wars upon all the neighboring villages, christian and Albanian, and that they thus filled the country with confusion and danger, we are at a loss for the motives, from which Ali's hostile policy toward these tribes is condemned.
In his first attempts on this people Ali met with little success. His
His troops made no impression upon their bands, in the inaccessible cliffs of Suli, and were harassed on their return to Yanina, laden with the spoils of the deserted Suliote villages. In the year 1792, he prepared with greater earnestness another attack upon them. As a preliminary step, he detached from their interest Ibrahim Pacha, who had hitherto stimulated them against Ali, proposed to Ibrahim to make a still closer union of their families in marrying his second son Veli with a younger daughter of Ibrahim, and thus succeeded in withdrawing the latter from the cause of the Suliotes. In pursuance of the same policy, he took occasion, according to M. Pouqueville, of the unsuspicious moments of the nuptial festivities to assassinate a nephew of Ibrahim, whom we suppose to have been forward in encouraging the Suliotes. The French Consul, after informing us that this assassination was perpetrated by the hand of Ali himself in the penetralia of his palace, in a room to which there was no access but by a ladder and a trap door, and to which he had betrayed his victim alone, undertakes to describe to us the manner, the gesture, the tone, and the instrument made use of by Ali on this occasion. To give such details of such scenes is to write romance, not history.
The second campaign was commenced against the Suliotes July 1st, with a corps of 9000 men. The Suliotes counted but 1300 in arms, and with these retired before the enemy into the interior of the mountains. The army of Ali, in the attempt to follow them, was annoyed by the missiles and rocks cast down on them from above, and fled, says M. Pouqueville, with a loss of 740 men. Why they should fly does not appear; but the good Consul tells us, that Ali himself took to flight with 1000 men, all that he had been able to rally, and entered Yanina in the night.