o enterprise and valor; they held the sultan in check; the ulemas gave sanction to their laws, and they in turn sustained the authority of the ulemas with their swords. As long as they experienced no change in their discipline and customs they were invincible. But they too had participated in the universal degeneracy. Like the Prætorian bands of Rome, they had become the absolute masters of the empire. They pulled down and set up sultans at their will; their valor had departed, but their unconquerable pride remained as part of their heritage. Their ranks were filled with crowds of Greeks, Jews, and Moslems, without discipline and without order. Many who had purchased the privilege of being numbered in this formidable body, lived outside of the barracks, and assembled only on pay day or in times of tumult and rebellion. They despised all laws, civil and religious, and were a constant source of annoyance to the people, whose lives and property were at their mercy. Such were the subjects upon whom Mahmoud
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