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Page:The Prose Tales of Alexander Poushkin (Bell, 1916).djvu/405

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KIRDJALI.


KIRDJALI was by birth a Bulgarian. Kirdjali, in the Turkish language, signifies a knight-errant, a bold fellow. His real name I do not know.

Kirdjali with his acts of brigandage brought terror upon the whole of Moldavia. In order to give some idea of him, I will relate one of his exploits. One night he and the Arnout Mikhaelaki fell together upon a Bulgarian village. They set it on fire at both ends, and began to go from hut to hut. Kirdjali dispatched the inmates, and Mikhaelaki carried off the booty. Both cried: "Kirdjali! Kirdjali!" The whole village took to flight.

When Alexander Ipsilanti[1] proclaimed the revolt and began to collect his army, Kirdjali brought to him some of his old companions. The real object of the revolt was but ill understood by them, but war presented an opportunity for getting rich at the expense of the Turks, and perhaps of the Moldavians, and that was object enough in their eyes.

Alexander Ipsilanti was personally brave, but he did not possess the qualities necessary for the role which he had assumed with such ardour and such a want of caution. He did not know how to manage the people over whom he was obliged to exercise control. They had neither respect for him nor confidence in him. After the unfortunate battle, in which perished the flower of Greek youth, Iordaki Olimbioti

  1. The chief of the Hetairists (Philiké Hetairia), whose object was the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke.