Between Tocat and Smyrna we did not see a single place worthy the name of town. I have marked with astonishment the weakness of the empire of the Osmanli: a diseased body, it is not supported by a plain and temperate diet, but by violent remedies, which exhaust and waste it away continually.
The pashas, who obtain office only by purchase, bankrupt when they enter their provinces, ravage them like conquered countries. The insolent militia are governed only by their own caprices. The towns are dismantled, the cities deserted, the country desolate, agriculture and commerce entirely neglected.
These barbarians have abandoned all the arts, even that of war. While the nations of Europe become more refined every day, these people remain in a state of primitive ignorance; and rarely think of employing new inventions1 in war, until they have been used against them a thousand times.
Although they are themselves unfit for commerce, it is with great reluctance that they allow the Europeans, always industrious and enterprising, to conduct their trade: they think they are conferring a favor on these strangers in permitting them to enrich themselves.
Throughout the wide stretch of country which I have crossed, Smyrna is the only town which can be regarded as rich and powerful; and Smyrna owes its prosperity to the Europeans: it is no fault of the Turks that it is not like all the others.