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has the gift of miracle. . . . The votary that brave leader. Of Schamyl it may of Sufism lives without any worldly certainly be said that the prophet's ties or pre-occupations ; to the man mantle was forced upon him. He did who is on the road to the divine, every not seek it, and indeed at first tried occupation is repugnant, except music, hard to put it from him ; but when he dance, and song, for these exalt the found that the choice of the electors soul. It is curious that the sect which was fixed, he accepted the position, is most decidedly pantheistical, the sect and held it for a quarter of a century which affirms that God lives in every- with much genius and dignity. He thing and everything lives in God, is began auspiciously by a victory over said among the Persians to proceed di- the Russians, which at once increased rectly from the Greek and especially his popularity and deepened the conthe Platonic philosophy.”
viction of his followers that he was a It was to this system Schamyl owed true prophet of Allah. The aim of his the religious inspiration of his youth, life was to give to the tribes of the at a time when the advance of Russia Caucasus an effective military organwas filling the unconquered natives ization, and to build up a system of with a keener hatred of the Slav. government suited to the needs of the There came another kind of inspiration country. Though the newspapers and from the prophets who were preaching memoir-writers have said so little about a holy war against the aggressor. Dur- Schamyl, it would be easy to name a ing this period there was indeed in the dozen famous European statesmen of Caucasus a great spread of religious the last century who in fact have not and patriotic enthusiasm, owing to the accomplished half so much. skill with which these prophets had The historian, of whose task we acted the part of Peter the Hermit. have ventured to give a sketch, will They had succeeded in uniting the have the space to tell in full the story natives in the common cause, a thing of Russian aggression ; he will tell also by no means easy, for the scattered of many a battle fought between the tribes were proud of their indepen- natives of the Caucasus and the soldence and fierce in maintaining it, diers of the czar; he will have much whereby Russia had hitherto profited. to say of the miseries endured by both, In spite, however, of these attempts at of the dogged persistence of the Rusunity, the tribes that acknowledged the sians, and the valor and chivalry of the authority of the prophets had neither mountaineers. We cannot here in any an effective organization nor a common way anticipate such a work ; our consystem of government, until Schamyl cern is with Schamyl alone, and the subsequently enjoyed something like rest can only occupy us in so far as it absolute power.
may serve to illustrate his character. Schamyl's life for many years was As that character is shown most clearly that of an active soldier, whose courage by his work, we cannot do better than and resource were the wonder of the describe the purely theocratic system Caucasus. His perfect self-mastery, which he organized. It was called his refined and handsome presence, the Muridism, and was mainly if not stories told of his daring and of his avowedly borrowed from Sufism ; it escapes from the enemy, his high was held to be a strictly orthodox form character and distinction of mind, the of the Mahommedan religion. Though combination in him (so rare and so full Schamyl developed the ideas of Muridof charm for the imagination) of the ism with a severe consistency, they religious solitary and the leader of were not originally his own, but were men,- all went to make him a true said to have been received by a devotee hero of romance. It is therefore not in a vision ; thought and feeling in the singular that he was elected to succeed Oriental world are favorable to visions the prophet Kasi Mullah, after a and devotees. The perfect flower of shower of Russiau bullets had killed this system was the Imam, who was supreme in things temporal as well as manner it is like the soul of the spiritual; in the case of Schamyl, the prophet, and consequently capable of Imam was soon hailed as prophet and thinking and feeling like him. A consultan, while he was in the estimation stant meditation upon nature, the of his followers little below Mahom- knowledge (acquired by study and remed. After the Imam came the Naibs, flection) of the substance of things, his vicegerents, uncrowned members give supernatural ideas to man, and of the royal family, let us call them ; bring the ecstatic vision in which he then came the Murids, who may be sees truth (hakikat). From this state said to stand upon a level with our of exaltation the initiate at length peers, and lastly the commonalty. enters into direct and immediate comThe past is always repeating itself, and munication with God; he then touches new social distinctions are like the old the utmost limit of knowledge. In this ones, in spite of different names and last state the soul breaks the chains high spiritual pretensions.
which have bound it to earth ; it is susThe law of spiritual growth, as ex- pended between existence and non-expounded by Muridism, is strictly in istence; the mortal eye sees no longer, accordance with the theocratic idea. but the inward eye has a full intuition “Muridism,” says the learned Du- of the Divinity. The essential part of laurier, “like Islamism, is based on this body of precepts is, strictly speakthe revelation contained in the Koran; ing, the tharikat, which points the way ... but in the sacred text it finds two to perfection. In this, according to the meanings, the literal, and the allegor. Mahonimedan theologians, there are ical, which must not be confounded with five stages, corresponding with five each other; two doctrines, one exoteric periods in the history of the human for the mass of believers, the other race on its way to moral perfection. esoteric for the initiated, those who Each of these five periods has had for aspire to perfection. There are four its law-giver a prophet who bore the degrees in the religious education of mark of his divine office, chosen from man, which lead from the simple pre- all those of his day who were most cepts of morality to ecstasy, contem- gifted with the heavenly grace, Adam, plation of the Deity and absorption Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mahommed. in him ; these are the External Law In the social and political order of (scharyat), the Way (tharikat), the things, Muridism proclaims the absoTruth (hakikat), and Knowledge (mari- lute equality of all men who have fat). The first degree is that in which entered into the way of salvation, and the believer, while observing external the futility of every distinction or practices such as prayer, ablutions, prerogative among them. The repubfasting, and almsgiving, acquires the lican spirit of this dogma fell in so well simple merit of observing strictly the with the democratic customs of the precepts contained in the Koran, or in mountaineers, that it rapidly gained the words of the prophet as handed converts to Muridism. In a few years down by tradition. In the second de- it filled them all with the same religree the neophyte seeks to become as gious thought, and the same feeling of virtuous as Mahommed by imitating hatred for the Russian giaours. In the him in all things. He reaches this place of social rank as usually settled point by the help of a series of exer- by birth, power, or wealth, it substicises taught to the disciples (murids) tuted a hierarchy purely theocratic, the by the professor or guide (murschid); degrees of which corresponded with spiritually he ascends step by step un- advancement in initiation. The schartil, in place of confining his effort to yat was reserved for those who needed the mere observance of the law, he the restraint of an external authority ; is capable of an intellectual adoration the tharikat was for the disciples or of God. The third degree is that in Murids, who were capable of meritoriwhich the soul is purified, until in a lous acts without the help of the law ;
the hakikat was for the Naïbs or vicars | square mile of earth which belongs to of the Imam, and the marifat for the him and his fellows ; but the welfare Imam (or supreme pontiff) himself.” of the clansmen down in Wigtownshire
We ventured just now to compare makes no appeal to him. His patriotour own social ranks with those of ism is little more than a love of family Muridism ; but perhaps in face of this and the back-garden ; it is not an imdescription, the comparison may ap- perial sentiment. pear a little absurd. It is so, however, Schamyl, then, had first to unite the only on the surface. Muridism did not scattered tribes, whether of one race put into practice the doctrine of social or of different races, in one common equality, any more than republican cause against the aggressor. Good governments do so to-day. Modern generalship, and Schamyl often proved democratic governments find a means himself a good general, was comparaof soothing the prejudices of mankind tively but a small part of his task; the in these matters, and so did Muridism, other part was the more difficult, for for it chose its Murids and Naïbs not he was not only general, but king, lawpromiscuously from all classes of the giver, and high priest also. He had to people, but from the upper class. create an army out of materials in There are so many ways of out-reach- many respects unpromising, and to deing the populace.
vise the means of maintaining it amid Schamyl's ideas, as we have said, a population poor, scattered, and unwere not original; they were rather sympathetic. His army was formed on the expression of the genius of a race, the decimal system : every ten houses which a multitude of thinkers and of the villages within his jurisdiction dreamers, ascetics and poets, had had to provide a soldier; he was helped to shape. The greatness of equipped and supported by the nine Schamyl lay in the moral force by families, while the one family from which he imposed these ideas upon which he was chosen was not taxed. large masses of men. It is hard to Every ten soldiers had a leader or offirealize the process of this evolution ; cer, every ten leaders a superior officer, indeed, to conceive a picture of human while each Naïb had three hundred life in the Caucasus at any time during soldiers under his command. The the last two thousand years, is ex- bodyguard of the Imam (called murtotremely difficult; we get so little help sigators) was organized in the same from literature, for the romantic part way, though unscrupulous care of it is meagre, and the historical is taken in choosing these men ; there contradictory. Perhaps it would assist were so many dangers on every side, us to conceive of Scotland, from Caith- and traitors were so common, that ness to Wigtownshire, as inhabited by without these precautions Schamyl an untold number of clans, all of them would probably soon have shared the tenacious of old customs and privileges, fate of Cæsar. bating each other, cherishing blood- With the skill of the statesman, and feuds and every other form of pugna- the iron will that befits the leader of cious heathenism. Conceive of half men, Schamyl devoted himself to the the country as (however unwillingly) occupation of his life ; behind everyunder the authority of a powerful in- thing of course was the desire to drive vader, while the other half acknowl-out forever from the Caucasus the sol. edges no common authority ; each clan diers of the terrible czar. He failed; is proud of its independence, and is great men have often failed, and governed only by custom and tradition. smaller men have succeeded, or bave Is it according to experience that the appeared to succeed. There is in the clans would readily unite even to repel world no certainty of success for any of an invader? The clansman in Caith- the sons of men ; the great soul is alness would, if it were possible, give up ways thrown back upon itself, and his life a huudred times to defend the forced to see that the poblest work of
all is to bring light and order into one's | made a last stand at Mount Gunib, but inner world ; into that kingdom the the survivors (among whom was the armies of the czar have no power of Imam) had to yield to the Russian goventrance. Many a hero of old time, ernor-general of the Caucasus, Prince and many a hero of our own time have Bariatinsky, on the 6th of September, failed ; not only Schamyl, but Kos- 1859. Schamyl was taken to Russia, ciusko, Hofer, Abd-el-Kader, Kossuth, and lived there for about ten years ; he and Gordon have failed, if there is in was in a sense a prisoner, but he lived the world nothing but the kaleidoscopic in his own house, and was indeed changes which meet the public eye. treated with singular kindness. What But if there be any beauty or dignity could the brave old man do in these in human life, it is not in what you years but read the Koran, live the past leave behind, but in what you take over again, and dream of the moun. away. Schamyl for a quarter of a cen- tains that he loved ? In 1870 he went tury ruled his subjects with so much as a pilgrim to Mecca, and died in wisdom, he worked out his ideas with March, 1871, at Medina. Such a man so much skill, that it is impossible to should die upon the field of battle, resist a feeling of sadness that all his The scattered tribes did not all yield genius and heroism, all the devotion, at once. It was not until 1864 that the the bravery, and the chivalry that they last of them submitted to the Russians, inspired, should have left behind noth- and this was followed by the exodus of ing but a memory. The soldier does nearly half a million of the mountainnot usually know what he is fighting eers, who, unwilling to recognize the for, but there was not a soldier in the authority of the czar, left the Caucasus Caucasus who did not know it.
forever to find new homes in various It was inevitable that Schamyl should parts of the Turkish Empire. There is fail ; if he could have put under arms nothing of its kind so dramatic in modevery male adult among his subjects, ern history, except that Aight of the and if his provisions and ammunition Tartars, which the art of De Quincey had been inexhaustible, he must still has made known to the reader of good have failed. What could all have literature. availed before the army Russia could There remains an interesting portrait have brought into the Caucasus ? She of Schamyl in his exile. " Although could have left the dead bodies of a he is now [in 1861] more than sixty million men bleaching on those moun- years old, he still seems robust; he is tains, and could have sent another mil- very tall, with square shoulders and a lion to take their place ; she is the only slender waist. You see at once that power in Europe whose resources can- he is of a type peculiar to the Caucanot be measured. During his tenure of sus; an oval head, regular features, command Schamyl had harassed the grey eyes, a long nose, small extremRussians, and had often routed them, ities - especially the feet. His carsometimes with terrible slaughter ; he riage is sedate, and is not wanting in had been their prisoner at Achulko, dignity ; it is heavier than it used to and had escaped in so marvellous a be, partly owing to age, partly to the way that the mountaineers henceforth fatigues of war, and to the nineteen believed him to bear a charmed life. wounds which he has received ; of Up to the time of the Crimean War these the most serious is that caused by Schamyl, though for nearly ten years a bayonet, which pierced the chest and he had been slowly losing ground, was entered the lung. Meditation, the ausstill a formidable enemy; but after this terities and agitations of his life, have the Russian operations were carried furrowed his face with deep lines. If out on so extensive a scale, that the you study it in the excellent photoresistance of the mountaineers became graph which M. Moritz, of Tiflis, took less effectual month by month. Scha- when he passed through that city, you myl and four hundred of his Murids' will certainly be struck by the calm and austere expression, which, however, man of average intellectual power like has a shade of goodness. The eyes, Garibaldi who separates himself enhalf hidden under thick eyebrows, tell tirely from them, gives up a world of of resolution and bolduess ; lifted up- beauty and poetry, and never finds wards, they appear to be seeking inspi- anything to take its place. Schamyl ration. The character of the face is, was a great religious force, one of the if I may so express it, entirely spiritu- greatest of our century ; and both as alized; you might think that he was soldier and as priest he was one of the one of the old Christian ascetics, trans- really notable men in the history of figured by meditation and prayer; or Mahommedanism. There were in him (if you prefer the comparison) like one some of the characteristics of the old of the Knights of the Temple in the prophets and patriarchs ; above all he hey-day of the order, wbile the white had their thirst for righteousness and clothing of the Imam helps to complete their noble patriotism. He had not, the illusion.'
like Gordon, the best qualities of the There is little more that need be said saint; not as a type of transcendent about him. He was a hero in a century goodness does one think of him, but which has produced a great number of as a lofty ascetic, a stern warrior who celebrities and a very small number of even in the camp could lead a life of heroes. We do not think with Carlyle contemplation. We prefer the saints, that the hero is the sum and substance the pure souls that have distinction, of history, nor do we think with Mr. yet are entirely simple and human. Herbert Spencer that the world can do But Schamyl was a great man; and so its work just as well without heroes. long as there are readers in the world It is possible to feel the charm of hero- who love the heroic virtues, he will be worship, and yet to love moderation. an attractive personality. Let us say that a true hero is wholesome and interesting, and that it is well to put one's self in touch with him. Schamyl was not so attractive a per
From The Speaker, sonality as Kosciusko ; he can better
AN INFORMER'S FAMILY. be compared with Garibaldi, Abd-el- THE Irish poor have long memories. Kader, or Kossuth, and to us he seems The Wrights lived in a fine castellated a greater man than any of the three. structure on a hill. Below stretched Mazzini might be mentioned with Gari- their park-land, and beyond it their baldi, but we confess (if Mr. Swin- cornfields and their pastures, studded burne will forgive us for saying it) that with flocks and herds, even to the we do not greatly like him ; there were roots of the mountains. Mrs. Wright doubtful elements in his system of was a real lady ; that every peasant ethics, and he was too fond of talking acknowledged, with an indefinite half about sacrifice, which is a mark of pity in their tones as they spoke of her, effeminacy. Schamyl of course had as though she had made a mésalliance, defects of character, but he was unaf- and were different from her husband fectedly virile, as a hero ought to be. and her handsome sons and daughters. He was in more than one direction a If John Wright were of lowly origin greater man than Garibaldi ; the Ital- neither he vor his bore traces of it in ian was only a soldier, while Schamyl their looks. He was a beetling-browed, was a great deal more. He had an ad- pursy, successful man, slightly arrovantage also in not having broken with gant, but looking no more a parvenu the old religious systems, whereas than my Lord Castlehyde in the next Garibaldi's intellectual life was a mat- county. The sons were tall, slight, ter of the most barren negation. One and handsome boys, no whit different of the chief values of the old systems from the young bloods of officers and lies in the fact that they have crystal- squires with whom they associated. lized the poetry of the human soul; a The daughters were also tall, and