Lee's Travel Guide

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Journal of a Visit to Constantinople
and Some of the Greek Islands
in the Spring and Summer of 1833
by John Auldjo

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Title: Journal of a Visit to Constantinople and Some of the Greek Islands in the Spring and Summer of 1833
Author: John Auldjo
Release Date: December 10, 2008  [eBook #27484]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

E-text prepared by Frank van Drogen, Turgut Dincer,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Transcriber's note:

Turkish names seem to be spelled generally in French, which was the Lingua Franca of the period. These have not been corrected. The correct Turkish spellings of some of these names are given at the end of the book.








&c. &c.

"You have nothing to do, but transcribe your little red books, if they are not rubbed out; for I conclude you have not trusted every thing to memory, which is ten times worse than a lead pencil. Half a word fixed on or near the spot, is worth a cart load of recollection."

Gray's Letters.

Printed by A. Spottiswoode,









Drawn by Sir W. Gell






    Dear Sir,

On quitting Naples, for those scenes which your pen and pencil have so faithfully illustrated, I promised to fill my note book. I now offer you its contents, as a small and unworthy token of my gratitude for the long continued kindness you have shown.

Your faithful and obedient servant,

The Author.

  Naples, April, 1835.


The publication of the pages of a journal in the crude and undigested form in which they were originally composed appears so disrespectful to the public, that it requires some explanation. They were written, "currente calamo," among the scenes they describe; more as a record of individual adventure, and to fix the transient impressions of the moment for the after gratification of the author, than with any hope of affording amusement during an idle hour, even to those who might feel an interest in all he saw and noted.

The intense curiosity, however, which exists at present to learn even the minutest particulars connected with Greece and Turkey, and the possibility that some of his hurried notices might not be altogether devoid of interest, have induced the author to submit them to the public attention. In so doing, he has preferred giving them in their original state, with all their defects, to moulding them into a connected narrative; his object being not to "make a book," but to offer his desultory remarks as they arose; to present the faint outline he sketched upon the spot, rather than attempt to work them into finished pictures.

With some hope, therefore, of receiving indulgence from the critics, whose asperity is rarely excited except by the overweening pretensions of confident ignorance and self-sufficiency, he ventures on the ground already trodden by so many distinguished men, whose works, deep in research, beautiful in description, and valuable from their scrupulous fidelity, have left little to glean, and rendered it a rather hazardous task for an humble and unskilful limner to follow in their wake.

While thus disclaiming all pretensions to the possession of their enviable talents, still, if the author should succeed in affording his readers a few hours' pleasure from the perusal of his Journal, or enable any one to re-picture scenes he may himself have visited, the principal object of its publication will have been attained.

Naples, April, 1835.



Departure of H.M.S. Actæon with the British Embassy to Constantinople


Island of Capri. Moonlight Scene


My first Night at Sea


Sunday on Board


Schoolmaster of the Actæon. Muster of the Crew


Stromboli. Somma. Vesuvius


Scylla and Charybdis. Homer


The Faro. Messina. Preparations to land


Sea-sickness. A Host of Grievances


Man overboard. Life Buoy


Cerigo. Taygetus


Piping up the Watch. Pursers Bantam


Nauplia de Malvoisie


Classic Reminiscences. Argos


Sharks. Greek Costume


Character of King Otho


Hydra. Egina. Poros. Russian Fleet


Beautiful Landscape. Gulf of Salamis


Athens. The Piræus. Olive Grove


English Residents at Athens


Visit to the Acropolis. Death of the Chieftain Ulysses


Insolence of the Turks


Grave of Tweddel. Byron's Grave


American Missionaries. Temple of Theseus


Metropolis of modern Greece


Modern Improvements. Sir P. Malcolm


Value of Land. Speculators Plain of Troy. Fidelity of Sir W. Gell's Map


Sources of the Scamander. The Golden Xanthus


Tombs of Hector and Paris. Bounarbashi


The Simois. Rural Excursion. Segean Promontory. Tombs of Achilles and Patroclus


Passage of the Dardanelles. Influenza


Present to the Ambassador. French Fleet


Feast of the Bairam. Oriental Splendour


Sestos. Turkish Colonel. Castles of the Dardanelles


Beautiful Scene. Turkish Salute


First View of Constantinople. The Seven Towers


The Pasha's Gate. The Slaves' Gate


Sultanas. Golden Horn. Beauties of Stamboul


Pera. Scutari. Approach of the Actæon to her Anchorage


Turkish Fleet. Size and Condition of the Ships


Castle of the Janissaries. Royal Kiosk. Turkish Houses


Unwelcome Visitation. Giants' Mountain. Russian Camp. Saluting the Russian Fleet


Jealousy and Remonstrance of the Russian Admiral. French and English Embassies


Russian Military Music. Plague. Orange and Jasmine Bowers


The Caique. Turkish Boatmen


Paras. Splendid Fountain.


Pera. Destructive Fire.


Mr. Cartwright, British Consul. A Sail upon the


Funeral of a Russian Soldier


Landing of the British Ambassador


Greek and Armenian Women. Visit to the Bazaars


Public Promenades. Oriental Perfumes


Pipe-stick Bazaar. Amber Mouth-pieces


Value of the Turkish Pipe


Salonica Tobacco. The Nargile


Coffee Houses. Shoe Bazaar


Jewellery. Broussa Silks


Close of the Bazaars. Funeral of the Sultan's Physician


Lord Ponsonby's Audience


His Reception. Count Orloff


Admiral Roussin. Naval Punishments


Cricket. Turkish Fleet


Cabobs. Rapacity of the Sultan. "Valley of the Sweet Waters"


Naval Arsenal. Cemeteries


Palace. Turkish Horses


Interesting Scene. Beautiful Greek


The Erraba. Turkish Ladies


Dancing Dervishes


Greek Bookseller


Mosque of Solimanie


Seraskier's Tower. Conflagrations


View of Constantinople. Hermitage on Vesuvius. Burnt Pillar




The Author in danger of arrest. Anecdote. St. Sophia


Visit to the Seraglio. Effects of a Golden Key


Coffee Shop in a Plane-tree. Funeral Pomp


Costume. Mustapha the Scent Dealer. Beed Caimac. Mahalabé


Turkish Printing Office. Anecdote of a Sultana


Ibrahim Pasha. Affront offered to the Captain of the Actæon


Insolence of the Russians. Military Punishments


Sultan's Valley. Buyukdere. Aqueduct


Cossack Horses. Russians hated by the Turks


Horn Bands. Beautiful Airs


Fondness of the Turks for Champagne. A Venetian Story


College of Pages. Christian Burying-ground


Sultan's Visit to the Mosque


Politeness of a Turkish Officer. The successful Shot


Namik Pasha. Count Orloff and the Sultan


The Procession. Turkish Horses. Appearance and Dress of the Grand Signior


His Bacchanalian Propensities. Laughable Anecdote


New Regulation Soldier


Palace of the British Embassy


Scene in the Arm Bazaar


George Robins. Curious Weapons. Damascus Blades. Turkish Merchants


Swords of Khorassan. Their Temper


Jew Brokers. Actæon


Humours of a Turkish Auction


Slave Market


A Georgian Beauty. Scarcity of white Slaves


Price of a Female Slave. Turkish Confectionary


Armenian Visiters. Residence of an Armenian Gentleman


Oriental Costume


Turks. Armenians. Greeks


Jew Interpreters. Flattering Compliment to the English Character


Oriental Politeness. Portraits


Decrease of Fanaticism. Persian Silk. St. John's Egypt


Cashmere Shawls. Angora Shalée. Ladies' Dresses




Eastern Story-teller


Matthews at Constantinople. Turkish Politeness. Description of an "At Home" in Stamboul


Naval Banquet


Seven Towers


Tomb of Ali Pasha


Russian Insolence


Visit to Ibrahim Pasha


Violent Conduct of the Russians to an English Gentleman


Laughable Anecdote of a Turk


Beautiful Scene. Contrasted Manners of the Turks and Greeks


The Muezzin


Madame Mauvromati. The Plague


Massacre of the Greeks


Anecdote of the Sultan


Neapolitan Steam-boat. English Travellers


Jewish Musician. Merry Greeks


Greek Lady. Elegant Costume


Affability of the Turkish Females


The Pilot of the Actæon and the Seraskier


Foreign Visiters


Oriental Beauty


The Ottoman Empire. Lord Grey


Morning Prayer. The Muezzin


Sunrise. Power of Religion on the Heart


Russian Camp. Lady Ponsonby


Russian Insolence to an English Party


Namik Pasha. Tahir Pasha


Excursion on the Black Sea. Beauties of the Seraglio


The Symplegades


Colour of the Black Sea. Experiment the Test of Truth


Character of the Russians by a Turkish Innkeeper


Grand Review. Splendid Staff


Giant's Mountain


Extensive Prospects. Mt. Olympus


Prince Butera and the Sultan


Detention of the Steamer. Illiberal Conduct of the Prince


Royal Country Seat


Insecurity of Property. The Bowstring


Author's Preparations to Depart. H. M. Ship Actæon. Lord Ponsonby


Visit to the Mosques. St. Sophia


Fate of Constantinople. Tribute of Respect to Lord Ponsonby


Armenian Painter. Poetical Description of Constantinople


My fellow-Passengers


Marble Quarries. Isle of Marmora


Greek Deputation. Anecdote


Pleasant Dormitory. Extraordinary Transformation


British Fleet. Gulf of Smyrna


French Squadron. King of Greece


Smyrna. Excessive Heat


Departure for Syra


Accident. Island of Scio


Island of Tinos. Quarantine


Landing of the King. Ship Launch


Festival of St. John the Baptist


Syra. Bishop's Palace


Ladies of Mycone. Costume


Delos. Vulgar Tourists


Modern Antique


Naxos. Paros. Beautiful Anchorage


Visit to Antiparos


Marine Prospects. Spotico


Entrance to the Cavern


Perilous Descent


Melodramatic Scene


Description by a Naval Officer. Magnificent Passage


Excessive Terror. Disappearance of the Guides


Splendid Transition


Dimensions of the Grotto


Terrified Frenchman. Our Return


A Hint to the Ladies. Ludicrous Scene


Port of Milo


Warlike Mountaineers




Parting of the Royal Brothers


Cerigo. Gulf of Coron. Zante


Distant View of Etna. Valetta


Lazzaretto. Days of Quarrantine


The Parlatorio


Persian Carpets. The Mantilla. Maltese Women


Medical Examination. Steamer from Corfu


Valetta. Maltese Gazette


Garrison of Malta. Strange Conduct of the Prince


Lady Briggs's Ball. Alicata


Miserable State of Sicily. Girgenti


Temple of Hercules. Concord


Reflections. Coliseum. The Parthenon


Temple of Giants. Galley Slaves. Custom-house


Marsala. Mazzara. Vintage


Palermo. Orange and Lemon Groves


Duchess de Berri


Scene on Board


Capri. Conclusion



List of the Turkish Fleet in the Bosphorus, and of Mohammed Ali's Navy


State of the Thermometer at Constantinople


Note to page 24








Saturday, 6th April, 1833.—Well! All seems at length arranged, and the oft postponed departure of H. M. S. Actæon for Constantinople, will probably take place this evening. But is there no chance of a further detention? Yes; and many a palpitating heart watches anxiously the state of the heavens.

The morning had been dark and stormy, and heavy vapours rolled along from the north: about noon, however, the weather brightened; yet an occasional cloud, passing over and discharging its liquid contents on the lovely Naples, afforded some expectation that the evening might2 prove unfavourable. If there were heaving bosoms on shore, there were responding hearts on board; where there were few, indeed, who did not feel some pang at bidding the syren city farewell.

The St. Lucia was thronged with numerous groups of pedestrians, and a long line of carriages, with "weeping beauty filled,"—all manifesting a deep interest in the scene. Sailors have generous hearts, which, like wax, are soon warmed, and easily impressed; but as easily the image may be effaced. Thus ladies assert, that blue jackets

"In every port a true love find."

Reflections akin to these, probably, may have tortured more than one of the fair spectators; and mamma, perhaps, considered it extremely mortifying that an opportunity was not given to land the prize, as well as hook it; and that sailors, like jacks, were exceedingly difficult to catch.

Boats pass rapidly to and from the ship;—the yards are manned; the ambassador's flag flies at the main; and as the smoke from the salute cleared away, the shore, with its precious and weeping burthen, was seen fast receding from the sight. The Actæon had actually sailed; and3 the white handkerchiefs, with the ivory arms that waved them, gradually became lost to the view, till distance mingled the entire scene into one grey mass, and

"All was mist, and Naples seen no more."

Such were the transactions that marked the 6th of April, 1833, when I became one of the ship's company, and received an honourable place in her log.


We were compelled to pass close under Capri1, and its bold perpendicular cliffs towered magnificently above us, casting a deep shadow over the vessel as she sailed along. There was little wind outside the isle, and we were nearly becalmed; but this delay was amply compensated by the extreme beauty of the night. The brilliant moon, shining with far greater lustre than I ever remember to have witnessed, during the height of summer, in less favoured climes, lighted up with its silver beams the whole of that beautiful coast extending along the bay of 4Salerno, from Amalfi to Palinuro. Long did I remain upon deck, gazing on

"Heaven's ebon vault, Studded with stars unutterably bright; Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls."


But at length, overcome by weariness, I hastened to my cot.—My cot! how shall I describe thee? thou oblong, narrow, swinging thing! rest still a while, nor fly me thus each time I essay to get within thy narrow precincts. Oh! for a chair, a stool, a rope; or have they purposely swung thee so high? hadst thou been o'er a gun, indeed, one might have scaled thee by the breech. So! In at last; yet, with that eternal sentinel walking his rounds within a few paces of my ear, how is it possible to sleep? Exhausted, however, by the novelty and excitement of the past day, at length wearied nature asserted her rights; and I had just begun to sink into a refreshing slumber, when "Quarter," rang in my ears: again I start; ducks cackle, geese scream, pigs grunt, cocks crow, men bawl; all the horrors of the incantation scene in Der Freyschütz would seem to accompany that same striking of the bells.

"A ship is a thing you never can sleep quiet in,"

says an old song; and most feelingly did I subscribe5 to the veracious assertion: at length, towards morning, by dint, I think, of conning over that very line, I once more fell asleep.

But my slumbers were of short duration, for with daylight came the order, "Wash decks." Then began slushing and swabbing, and bumping my cot. All the live stock, too, were again in motion, and in fact, I soon perceived it would be better at once to turn out. This was neither easy nor agreeable, the deck being drenched with wet. However, I made up for my night's restlessness by a hearty breakfast, and appeared on the quarter-deck with a face exhibiting no symptoms of squeamishness. We are making for Stromboli, which was visible in the horizon.


Sunday, 7th.—This morning, after the crew had appeared at quarters,—that is, every man to his station,—the bell rang for divine service, and all the chairs and benches above and below, were put in requisition. The captain then read prayers on the main deck, in a manner at once solemn and impressive. It may here be remarked, that, when the ship carries out an ambassador, the youngsters are exempt from school duties, and their holidays on the present occasion are likely to be of considerable duration. The6 schoolmaster of the Actæon is a Scotchman, and his office cannot be an enviable one, if half the tricks in store for him be ever put in practice; while the fact of his hammock being swung close alongside those of his pupils, by no means diminishes the facility of their execution. To-day being Sunday, we dined at three o'clock; and our band, consisting of a drummer and amateur fifer, played us to table with the well-known enlivening air of "The roast beef of old England."


In the evening we had a general muster, and I am confident very few ships ever possessed a finer company than the Actæon. Really it was a gallant sight to witness this assemblage of stout, able, daring fellows, equipped with their cutlasses and boarding pikes. Looking at them, one no longer felt surprised at the vast naval superiority which Great Britain has ever maintained in her contests with foreign nations. The boatswain's mates, and the quartermasters, are really handsome men, weatherbeaten and bold. Williams, one of the latter, seems a most eccentric character. He is married, and constantly receives letters from his absent rib: these, however, he never takes the trouble to open, but keeps them all neatly tied up. On his return,7 he says, she can read them to him, all of a lump!


We are now close to Stromboli, which appears to be the remaining half of a large conical crater; the semicircle which is lost, having fallen away into the sea. There is a small cone in the very centre, from which the explosions take place. They were but slight on the present occasion; and two small apertures emitted a continual cloud of white vapour. The upper part of the old crater consists of layers of rock rising regularly one above the other; and the whole surface much resembles that of Somma.2 The atmosphere was so clear that the island appeared quite close to us, and I could scarcely credit the master when he asserted it was full fifteen miles distant.

My cot being moved forward, I am infinitely more comfortable, having now only the geese to disturb me. The vessel continued beating to windward till mid-day, when she approached the 8Faro; and the breeze strengthening, we had every prospect of clearing it.


Scylla now appeared in view,—the bold, rocky, and much dreaded Scylla,—

"Where sing the syren maids, Uttering such dulcet and harmonious sounds, That raptured mortals cannot hear, and live." Lycophron. Cassandra.

It exhibits itself in the form of a grey perpendicular cliff; and as we sailed by, the town appeared behind it, built on the face of a steep slope, of the same colour as the surrounding mass. This is a dangerous lee shore for a speranaro, but not much to be dreaded by a skilful seaman. However, we were not gratified with the sight of any of those monsters with which the imaginations of classic poets have peopled this celebrated spot; we heard no barkings, nor did the waves even roar as they lashed its famous rocks. Out of one scrape, into another!—

"Close by, a rock of less tremendous height Breaks the wild waves, and forms a dangerous strait: Full on its crown a fig's green branches rise, And shoot a leafy forest to the skies; Beneath, Charybdis holds her boisterous reign, Midst roaring whirlpools, and absorbs the main. Thrice in her gulphs the boiling seas subside; Thrice in dire thunders she refunds the tide. 9 Oh! if thy vessel plough the direful waves, When seas, retreating, roar within her caves, Ye perish all! though he who rules the main Lend his strong aid, his aid he lends in vain." Odyssey, B. 12.


We were now close upon Charybdis, where the water is shallow, and the low sands exceedingly dangerous, as at times it is difficult to discern them. A most wretched village, and a miserable lighthouse, represent this terror of the ancient Greek mariners. A few Indian figs and stunted olive trees are almost the only symptoms of vegetation discernible; and two fat priests, who were basking in the sun, upon the sand, seemed the only inhabitants.

The coast on either side the Faro is very beautiful; and the land, judging from the number of houses, villages, and appearance of general cultivation, must be fertile. The wind having changed, we approached Messina rapidly, gallantly nearing it, with all sail set. The heavens threatened bad weather; and therefore the ambassador, tempted by the neat and clean appearance of the town, resolved to go ashore. Every preparation was made accordingly; the chain cable was clear, and the men at the best bower-anchor; when, it being considered injudicious to lose so fair a breeze, we again set sail, to the10 disappointment of most persons on board; and Messina, with all its gay attractions, was soon far astern. The wind, though fair, was rising into a gale as we got into the open sea off Spartivento, and the ship rolled terribly. Dined to-day with the captain, and found some difficulty in stowing away his good fare, but got creditably through, until the wine began to circulate at the dessert, when I was compelled to make a precipitate retreat, and arrived at the gangway only just in time to save the honour of the quarter-deck. However, I soon righted again, and at night took my grog kindly in the pighole; which was considered no bad sign for an incipient tar.


The following morning I was awakened at daylight by a host of grievances,—a scraping above and a scraping below, that set all my nerves in commotion. Oh! that some other means could be devised for cleaning decks, than that of holy stoning them! It roused me from a pleasant slumber, to the horrid consciousness of the ship's pitching and rolling to such a degree that I was unable to raise my head from the pillow. Then the alarm I was in, lest I should be compelled to get up, and have my cot stowed away before eight o'clock. Yet it was some consolation to know that we were scudding across the Adriatic at the tremendous rate of ten, and11 sometimes eleven, knots an hour; so that, if we continue to proceed thus rapidly much longer, the voyage will soon be at an end. I was allowed to swing in my cot all day, and partook of a good dinner into the bargain, which Master Thew, one of the ship's boys, with whom I had become a great favourite, brought and forced me to partake of. Got up in the evening for half an hour, and showed on deck. What a splendid sight! The ship, with comparatively very little canvas set, majestically ploughed her course through the mighty billows, that seemed vainly endeavouring to arrest her career; though, from the way in which she rolled, she must occasionally have been so unpolite as to display her naked keel to the heavens.


The mountains around Navarino are in sight: 'tis the land of Arcadia. The gale still continues, the wind whistles shrilly through the rigging, and the sea roars and tosses us about. Perceiving a great stir on deck, I sang out to inquire the cause: "A man overboard," was the reply. I made instant preparations to hasten up, in the hope of seeing him rescued. The cutter and gig were down, and the life-buoy out, in an instant, but, poor fellow! he could not swim; and, though he rose near the buoy, he had not strength to seize it; and after struggling for a12 few moments, now deep in a trough of the sea, now mounted aloft on the summit of the waves, he sank to rise no more. The swell was so tremendous, that the boats with difficulty reached the buoy; and some fears were entertained lest they should be unable to live in such a sea. After considerable suspense, they returned in safety to the ship, and we proceeded in our rapid course, as if nothing extraordinary had happened. The life-buoy is a most admirable invention. It hangs astern the tafrail, and is dropped by pulling a trigger, which is always done by the person next at hand on the occurrence of an accident. If it should happen at night, a similar contrivance fires a train, which lights a lamp in the buoy; and the poor drowning man discerns, in an instant, the means of preserving his life. The gale increasing from the N.W., the storm sails were set; but, by noon, we neared the coast, and ran into the bay of Servia, where we found shelter and calm water. The coast is extremely bold, but very barren.


Thursday, 11th.—At eight o'clock A.M. we were sailing, with a gentle breeze, between the island of Cerigo and the mainland. The snow-capped mountain of Taygetus rose behind the lofty coast in the extreme distance. Cerigo is also very barren: I could perceive very little13 appearance of cultivation. There are two villages in the upper part of the island; and there is another, considerably larger, on the south side. Two companies of British soldiers, with a resident, are stationed here, and a state of perfect banishment it must prove, the only amusement being field sports, and the island is by no means well stocked with game. Cerigo was famous, in antiquity, for the worship of Venus; and the goddess of beauty rose from the sea somewhere near the spot where we now are. After getting out of the strait, and weathering Cape St. Angelo, the sea again became rough, and we beat about the point all day, much to my regret, for the quiet experienced in the bay of Servia was quite delightful, after the tossing boisterous weather we had in the Adriatic. A Greek steamer passed us in the course of the day, but did not come within hail.


Among the various grievances which nightly disturb my rest, the piping up of the different watches must not be omitted. A long shrill whistle first rouses me, followed by the hoarse cry of "All the starboard watch." Another similar prelude, is the forerunner of "Hands to shorten sail," or, "Watch make sail:" and as if each of these was not in itself sufficient to "murder sleep," the purser's bantam cock invariably responds14 with a long loud crow. From the first, I have vowed the death of that hero; but he is so great a favourite among the crew, that I can tempt no one to be his executioner. However, the captain's steward has been argued into the propriety of killing the old gander, which is a great victory. With it I am fain to be content for the present; and the "Purser's Tom" must still crow on in a solo, though the other has ceased to sing second.


This is a most lovely morning; a light breeze wafts us up the gulf of Napoli, while far on the eastern horizon, rise the islands of Spezzia and Hydra; and further to the south, that of Kaimena. We are now off the singular looking town of Nauplia di Malvoisie, built on a square island, having two platforms, each resembling a gigantic stair. The lower town is walled on three sides only, as the perpendicular face of the cliff renders any defence unnecessary on that side; and on the summit of the precipice stands the upper town and castle. The rock is of a red colour, and the whole has a very picturesque appearance. A narrow isthmus and a lofty bridge connect the island with the adjacent continent. The mountains are barren; but the valleys appeared green and beautiful.


Early the following morning, we anchored 15 off Nauplia di Romania, and were saluted by H. M. S. Barham, a French store-ship, and two Russian brigs. From the delay occasioned by the minister's coming on board, and by visits from the authorities and captains of the men of war, it was late ere we got on shore. I had therefore time to gaze on the beautiful panorama around, embracing the land of Argos, once so celebrated, and still associated with the school-boy's earliest recollections. In the distance, on a pointed hill, stands its ruined city. Before me, on the plain, I beheld all that remained of Tirynth; in the mountains stood Mycenæ; and to the north, Epidauras. How many interesting fictions are connected with these scenes! Here Hercules was born and passed his youthful days; and here, too, he performed many of his most illustrious labours; here stood the brazen tower of the lovely Danäe; here Perseus reigned; here the fifty daughters of Danäus murdered their new-married husbands in a single night; here Juno was born; and in Argos, too, Agamemnon reigned. On the left of my position, looking towards the sea, rises a lofty sombre cliff, whence a chain of sloping rocks extend to the fortress above Nauplia, the castellated Palamide. Within its dungeons, Grievas and several other rebels, with the pirates lately taken, are now confined.16 At the base of the Palamide, rises a second hill, on which is built the town, extending down to the water's edge. I am told there are some remains of ancient fortifications on the side next to the citadel, but I could discover none that boasted of very remote antiquity. Outside the town, is a public walk beautifully embowered in trees.


Several sharks made their appearance round the Barham, and sometimes approached our vessel. As they sailed rapidly up and down, their sharp serrated fins rising above the surface of the calm unruffled waves, reminded me of the circular saw at Portsmouth dockyard, working its way through some vast beam of timber, verging neither to right or left, but keeping on its steady course heedless of all impediments. The rifles were quickly in requisition, and several of the officers of the Barham repeatedly shot at them, but did not manage to boat one.

Went on shore, and visited the modern town of Nauplia; where I observed that many respectable houses have been recently erected, several good shops opened, and the streets are much cleaner than might be expected. Its old palace was an insignificant building, but they are adding considerably to it. The Greeks being forbidden to carry arms, their costume is less picturesque than17 formerly; but, on some of the noble-looking figures I saw, it still appeared handsome and becoming. None of Græcia's beauteous daughters were visible to-day, all the women being invariably ugly, and by no means well dressed. To-morrow is a festa, when perhaps I shall have more reason to admire them.


Sunday, 14th.—Walked towards Argos, and took a sketch of the bay, but observed no pretty faces, and very few handsome dresses either native or foreign. The Bavarian troops are mean-looking men, and their light blue uniform is far from imposing. On my return I saw the king walk in procession to church. The Greeks, no doubt, dislike his religion, they being much more intolerant towards Roman Catholics than the Protestants are; yet, as he visits the churches on all festas, they do not openly murmur. His personal appearance certainly wants dignity, and his Tartar features appear to great disadvantage when contrasted with those of true Grecian mould, by which he is surrounded. However, his prepossessing manners and perfect urbanity, in some measure compensate for these personal defects; and, upon the whole, the people appear well pleased and contented with their youthful monarch. It is said the palikari, or soldiers of the late governments, do not unite themselves with the regular army which is18 forming, so readily as was expected, and that recourse must again be had to Bavarian troops to keep the country in a state of subjection, and protect the industrious. Our Greek pilot (he was once a pirate), with a large party of his friends, met us in the town. We enquired how they liked their king: their reply was, they had no alternative, since the allies had sent him; but added, that they were ready to treat him as they had previously done Capo d'Istrias, should he attempt any thing against their liberties.

The king mixes a good deal with his new subjects; he rides out every day without guards, and almost unattended; and strolls upon the public promenade at the hours when the beau monde frequent it. His presence, however, excites little attention; and, except by his uniform, the star upon his breast, and the few aides-de-camp who attend him, he would hardly be recognised by a stranger.


Monday, 15th.—The ambassador having received despatches from Constantinople, announcing the arrival of Russian troops, we were unexpectedly compelled to set sail again immediately, and our vessel passed between the island of Spezzia and the main land this morning with a fair wind. The town is pretty, the houses being detached, and displaying an appearance of19 great neatness. Spezzia, from its exceedingly commodious harbour, has always engrossed much of the carrying trade to and from the continent of Greece; and the inhabitants are, consequently, wealthy. In the afternoon we coasted along the island of Hydra, which presents nothing but lofty barren cliffs, until you arrive close to the town that is built round the crater of an extinct volcano, the centre of which forms the harbour. Owing to the extreme depth of the water, there is no anchorage, and all craft are moored to the wharfs. The town very much resembles Amalfi, and is protected by two forts, one of which mounts twelve, and the other sixteen, guns. From the proximity of either shore, the entrance to the harbour is singularly beautiful; and the surrounding country, though barren, is very bold and picturesque. Passing Poros in the distance, we now entered the Gulf of Egina, the prospect hourly increasing in richness and beauty. The Russian fleet lay at anchor in Poros, and we plainly descried the admiral's flag flying on shore. In the evening we approached

"Egina's beauteous isle,"

and could distinguish, on the summit of a hill, the ruins of its temple, of which there are, I believe, twenty-three columns still remaining upright.20 It is impossible for the imagination to conceive any landscape more lovely than the one now before us. The wooded isle,—the ruined temple, rising above the dense masses of foliage,—Athens and its Acropolis, just distinguishable in the distance,—Pentelicus and Hymettus ranging behind it, and, farther to the right, Cape Colonna. The sky was clear and beautifully blue, and a light breeze wafted us slowly over the rippling waves. There was not the slightest swell; all was calm, tranquil, and serene. Then, when the sun sunk behind Morea's hills, and shed a flood of gorgeous light over the whole landscape, it produced a picture, the loveliness of which will for ever remain impressed upon my memory.


Tuesday, 16th.—The gulf, or bay, of Salamis, into which we were now sailing, is a deep inlet, surrounded by an amphitheatre of low semicircular hills. Here the army of Xerxes was posted; and the highest of these knolls is still pointed out as the spot where stood the golden throne of the Persian monarch, when he looked upon that battle which so humbled his pride.

"A king sat on the rocky brow Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis; And ships, by thousands, lay below, And men in nations:—all were his. He counted them at break of day, And when the sun set, where were they?"


Again weighing anchor, in a quarter of an hour we entered Porto Leone,—the ancient Piræus; which, though deep enough to float a seventy-four, is so very narrow at the entrance, that there is but sufficient space for a vessel to pass, with a few feet on either side to spare. We regretted the orders were, to be on board at night, and that we should sail again at daylight. The ambassador landed under a salute; but I waved this ceremony, and hastened ashore with a party of officers and youngsters. We walked towards Athens, along the old road, and struck into the olive grove, very little of which now remains, it having been destroyed by both Greek and Turk. At length the Acropolis burst upon our anxious view; and, as we toiled up the hill of the Areopagus, the Temple of Theseus presented itself. Passing along the miserable collection of mud and stones, here dignified with the name of a wall, we entered this renowned city, once the seat of civilization and the arts, but which, at present, consists of little more than an assemblage of wretched hovels, the principal buildings having been nearly all destroyed. Near the gate, one good house has been rebuilt; and, a little farther on, a still larger mansion on speculation.


This being a holyday, the bazaar was closed, and after examining22 the remains of a building of Corinthian architecture, supposed to have been Adrian's Library, we passed on to the residence of Mr. Bell, an English gentleman, who has lately bought property near Athens, where he resides, in a building which has suffered less than many others. Mr. Finlay, who has lived upwards of ten years among the Greeks, also possesses large property in and about Athens. This gentleman undertook to be our cicerone, and we proceeded to the hotel in search of the Bavarian commandant, from whom it is necessary to obtain an order for admission, before we could visit the interior of the Acropolis. On reaching the hotel, which, by the by, is a most excellent and commodious house, we found the colonel at dinner, and the necessary permission was immediately granted. The Acropolis had only been surrendered to the new dynasty on Sunday last; and, had we arrived one week earlier, we should have seen the crescent still towering over this "abode of the Gods," instead of the Greek cross, by which it has been replaced.


Passing the ruins of the Temple of Victory, involucris Victoria3, we soon arrived at the gate of the fortress, and found the ambassador and Lady Ponsonby, with the captain of the 23 Actæon, and other persons, endeavouring to gain admission, which was resolutely refused by the Bavarian guard. Luckily my order sufficed for us all; and we hurried up,—a motley group of officers, sailors, Greeks, donkeys, horses, and idlers,—shouting, laughing, and dissipating all the charm of the visit and the sanctity of the spot. I therefore detached myself from the party as soon as possible; and, in company with Mr. Finlay, endeavoured to pay that attention to the wonders of the place, which I could not otherwise have done. From the lofty tower erected by the Venetians, the brave chieftain Ulysses was thrown down, and dashed to pieces. He was confined there; and though his keepers assert that he met his death from the breaking of a rope, by which he attempted to escape, there is little doubt he was cast from the giddy height by design. The propylæa or vestibule is nearly destroyed, and buried in ruins; but the columns, still extant, are exceedingly beautiful: and the stone, which formed the architrave of the door, is of an enormous size, but it is cracked in the centre. Hence we proceeded to the Erechtheon, whose southern portico is still supported by five caryatides, the sixth having been thrown down. INSOLENCE OF THE TURKS.

The neighbouring temple, which was reserved as a harem for the women, whilst Athens was24 in possession of the Turks, suddenly fell in, and crushed the whole of its unfortunate occupants to death. In the centre of the temple of Minerva stands a mosque, which is at present occupied as a barrack by the Bavarian troops. Whenever the Osmanlis take possession of a Greek village, they invariably ride into its Christian church, and endeavour to force their horses to defile the altar. By way of retaliation, when their mosque was delivered up last Sunday, certain Englishmen imitated their example. As may be readily supposed, this incensed the Turks to a great degree; but, like the conquered Christians, they were compelled to submit.

It were a needless task to expatiate on the beauty of this temple, with its noble columns, and its magnificent metopes; for the best still remain, where Lord Elgin could not reach them. The prospect from the summit of the building, whither I mounted to inspect these interesting relics, is most splendid; but then,

"Where'er we tread, 'tis haunted, holy ground; No earth of thine is lost in vulgar mould; But one vast realm of wonder spreads around, And all the muse's tales seem truly told; Till the sense aches with gazing, to behold The scenes our earliest dreams have dwelt upon."


We next visited what is called Demosthenes's Lantern, situated close to a ruined house, formerly25 the Franciscan convent. Mr. Finlay and some others have cleared away the rubbish and masses of fallen masonry from about the Lantern: they have also dug a ditch around it, to prevent the devastation committed by visiters who attempt to break and carry away the ornaments: they have not yet learnt

"To pass in peace along the magic waste; To spare its relics:—let no busy hand Deface the scenes, already how defaced!"

The Temple of Theseus, one of the most perfect existing specimens of ancient architecture, is an admirable combination of lightness and solidity. Neither time, war, nor the hand of man, often a more ruthless destroyer than either, has yet invaded the sanctity of this splendid relic of Grecian art. The bodies of the unfortunate Tweddel, and of a person named Watson, are buried within its precincts; and it struck me, at the moment, that the remains of Byron might here have found an appropriate resting-place.


Having finished the round of antiquities, we proceeded to Mr. Finlay's house, a very comfortable mansion; in which he has collected some interesting relics of antiquity, and among them, many very curious inscriptions. In this neighbourhood is a large house built by the26 American missionaries, who have a school of between 200 and 300 children, and do much good. The pupils follow the religion of their parents, whether Greek or Turk; the missionary confining his exertions to instructing them in reading, writing, and some mechanical art, as well as in their duties to their parents and the state. We returned to the hotel, and had an excellent dinner; with an ample supply of good wine and English porter, although there were thirty individuals present. The charges, too, were moderate; there was, of course, a little attempt at imposition, à la Grecque; but that matter was quickly arranged. Before we left the town it was quite dark, and on passing the Temple of Theseus, it was then illuminated by the glare of a large fire, round which a party of Greeks were dancing: it looked even more beautiful than by daylight. On reaching the vessel, I retired to my cot, and endeavoured to recall the splendid objects of the day's ramble. But a very confused and imperfect representation remained, like the recollection of a dream, of which some few prominent points had alone been remembered.


It is not improbable that Athens may be selected as the seat of government: this choice, however, will arise less from the advantages of27 position, than from the associations connected with its former history. Corinth is infinitely more central; and Nauplia, from the excellence of its harbour, and the facility of communication with the principal towns and with the isles, would be a desirable city for that purpose. With this latter, the government ought to be satisfied; and it is hardly to be conceived that the king longs for fine palaces, and his ministers for superb hotels, in the present depressed state of the country. Should they leave Nauplia, and migrate to Athens, one half of the revenue will be expended in building, if the plans which have been sketched out for the new town are adhered to. One of these, proposes the Piræus as the port, and that the necessary warehouses, counting-houses, docks, &c. shall be erected there; and from thence, a fine macadamised road is to lead to the city. There, palaces, streets, public buildings are to be built, and walks and gardens laid out. With this arrangement, all the plans, except one, coincide; but they differ as to the exact site which the city ought to occupy. MODERN IMPROVEMENTS.

One suggests that the palace and the principal buildings shall be outside the present town; and that a large and broad street should extend from the temple of Theseus to these modern improvements. I believe this is Gropuis's plan, who has28 purchased all the property in the suburbs. Another proposes that the palace shall be built on the side of the Acropolis towards the sea, near the Odeum. The author of this scheme owns all the ground thereabouts; so that private interest, and not patriotism, would seem to be the primum mobile of their suggestions. In fact, the whole of the land in and about Athens is now the property of foreigners, who are speculating on the immense prices to be obtained for ground-rent, &c. The landed proprietors, and the common people, who are all labourers, are well contented with the new arrangements; but the military chiefs and their followers will, for a long time, be a stumbling-block in the way of the government, even if they do not thwart and render nugatory all its attempts at improvement.


Sir Pulteney Malcolm has built a magnificent house, about two miles from the town, at the enormous cost of 3000l.; but at one time was on the eve of selling it for half that sum, so discouraging were appearances on the political horizon of Greece. Now, however, he is exceedingly glad that he did not; for, his being the only house at all calculated for the king's residence, should the court establish itself at Athens, it will probably be advantageously let to the government. The value of land was extremely 29 depreciated a few months back, but it has since risen to such a height, that, for the future, speculators arriving in Greece will be unable to purchase with any prospect of advantage. The system of farming is that of the métayer; and those who bought property when it was cheap, have realised a certain profit, but far less than they expected. However, such as own land within the walls will sell or let it again at a considerable gain.

Wednesday, 17th.—We quitted the Piræus, with great regret, early this morning, and continued beating about in the Bay of Egina, near Cape Colonna, the whole day, which was fine, though excessively hot.

A light breeze carried us by Ipsara and Mitylene, and every one on board was in high spirits at the prospect of seeing the Asiatic coast next day.


Saturday, 20th.—We passed close under the shore of Asia, opposite Alexandria Troas, the ruins of which were visible, and, at length, came to anchor in Basike Bay, a little south of the mouth of the Amnis Navigabilis, and opposite to Æsachus's tomb. I landed after dinner, and, having waded up to the middle through the river, walked to a tumulus on the south side of Jene Keni, the top of which affords a fine view of the30 plain of Troy and the entrance to the Dardanelles. Luckily, I had with me a tracing of Sir William Gell's map, the exactness of which enabled me to point out to my companions the principal points of interest. The plain is extremely rich and fertile, and, altogether, had quite an English air. A considerable quantity of timber is scattered about very picturesquely, and numerous herds of goats and cattle grazing added to the beauty of the scene. The ground was enamelled with the bright colours of millions of anemones; and storks, small tortoises, and brown-coloured snakes were seen in vast numbers in all directions.

Sunday, 21st.—The wind blew so hard to-day, and there was such a swell on the beach, that it was impossible to land. A French government cutter passed us from Constantinople, with despatches for the French admiral. The captain came on board, and reported that the Russian force was receiving daily accessions; that Lord Ponsonby's arrival was anxiously expected; and that peace had been concluded between Ibrahim and the Porte.


Monday, 22nd.—Started this morning, with the doctor, the master, and the tutor for Troy. We ascended Æsachus's tomb, and proceeded thence across undulating hills, covered with31 stunted oaks and brambles, varied occasionally by large tracts of cultivation, towards the sources of the Scamander, indicated by the grove of willows and poplars around them. Passing a large swamp, where there were innumerable storks and waterfowl, we at last arrived at the famous spring, called the Cold Spring, in Gell's map. It lies under a hill, and is surrounded by oak, willow, fig, and poplar trees, having brambles and wild vines hanging from them in festoons. Here, the clear water of the golden Xanthus flowing among the reeds, and over the ochre-coloured stones, tempts the thirsty passer-by with its cool and refreshing appearance.

We sat down on a green mound, between the largest of the two springs, and tried the temperature of them all. There are three principal sources rising out of the base of the rock, which is a limestone breccia; the fragments imbedded being limestone and reddish sandstone, which communicates to the water its golden hue. The temperature of the air was 55-6/10, and that of the springs, No. 1, 64°; 2, 65°; 3, 65°.4


Thence we proceeded to the source called the Hot Springs; the only difference in the actual temperature being one degree, but on immersing the hand there is a sensible warmth. These are also under a grove of trees, situated near the village of Bounarbashi.5 We ascended the tombs of Hector and Paris, which command a 33fine view of the Simois in its entire course, from the point where it issues from the mountains, to its junction with the Hellespont. There were no antiquities, besides a remnant of a granite column, neither did we observe any inhabitants, except an old man and a few children; but myriads of storks covered the fields in every direction. Returning to the Scamander, we lunched at its sources; and then reclining on a beautiful piece of turf, under the shade of a wide spreading oak, we enjoyed our pipes until the declining sun warned us to bend our course towards the ship.


Tuesday, 23d.—We sailed this morning, as the wind proved fair for entering the Dardanelles. In passing close to the Segean promontory, which is covered with windmills, the view of the Asiatic fort and the town, with the tombs of Achilles and Patroclus, and, further on, that of Ajax, opened upon us.6 PASSAGE OF THE DARDANELLES.

The castles appeared well fortified on the side exposed to the sea, 34their enormous guns lying on a level with the surface of the water; but, landward, they are defenceless. The shores of the channel are by no means so lofty as I was prepared to find them, and of their much vaunted beauty I saw nothing, saving now and then a green and cultivated valley, which are indeed "few, and far between." The cliffs appeared to be composed of a coarse and soft sandstone, nearly white, resembling chalk at a distance. We came to anchor a few miles above the castles, with the consolation that the north wind, now set in, might perhaps continue to blow for weeks. Contrary to our expectations, however, the breeze having veered to the southward in the course of the day, we weighed, and advanced a short distance up the channel; but the wind again dying away, the current bore us back, and we anchored in our former position.

There are now seventy of the crew on the sick list, including the first and third lieutenant, the master, and several of the youngsters, all like myself, suffering from the influenza. The sailors have christened it the Dardanelles fever; and the men who are well, swear the others sham illness, in order to escape the working through the Hellespont. Should the captain get impatient and resolve to beat up, there will35 be no end to the tacking, and the orders, "Her helm's a lee, and mainsail haul," will be sufficiently imprinted on my memory.


Monday, 29th.—Heavy rain all day, accompanied by cold, and a strong gale. In the evening it cleared up, and I went on shore for a short time. On either side of the channel were a great number of vessels, waiting for the southerly wind to carry them up to Constantinople; and now, with their sails out to dry, they presented the singular appearance of a fleet in full sail—without advancing. A small cutter, which serves as a packet between Smyrna and Stamboul, worked by us before dark; she was crowded with passengers, among whom were several ladies. The news she brought was of no great importance, saving the certainty that the French fleet, consisting of four sail of the line and two frigates, had arrived at Vourla. A present of two sheep, with some poultry and vegetables, arrived from the Pasha at the Upper Castles, for the ambassador; which looked as if the knowing ones on shore, expected we should keep our present berth for some time.


Tuesday, April 30th.—At daylight this morning, we were all attracted on deck by the loud report of cannon, which came booming down the Hellespont, announcing the commencement36 of the Bairam, or grand religious festival of the Turks, when they play the same "antics before high Heaven," which Catholics do at their carnival. The guns were shotted, and we could distinctly see the splash of the marble balls as they dropped into the water. To-day the Sultan visits one of the principal mosques in state; and, though latterly the pageant has lost much of the oriental splendour that once distinguished it, yet, from the number of fine horses, and the richness of their caparisons, which are covered with gold, diamonds, and precious stones; and the splendid dresses of the officers of state and their attendants, this procession has still an air of great magnificence. In the evening, strings of variegated lamps, with festoons of flowers, swing from minaret to minaret, and hang over the illuminated city like a faëry crown. From the prevalence of an unlucky northern wind this morning, we were prevented from reaching Constantinople in time to witness these festivities.

The breeze, however, suddenly veering round to the south, swiftly went round the capstan, and merrily did our band, the solitary fiddler, rosin away to the tune of "drops of brandy," while, with every stretch of canvass set, we joyfully proceeded in our course, saluting the Pasha, according to custom, as we came abreast of the village of the Dardanelles, which37 occupies a low situation, and its mean-looking houses are huddled together in a very unpicturesque manner. The celebrated castles look formidable enough, with their enormous guns lying upon the ground without carriages, and sweeping the surface of the waves from shore to shore. The entire population was assembled upon the wharfs, or on the tops of the houses, and the flags of the consuls were displayed; so that, altogether, we saw the town to the best advantage. They returned our salute, and, immediately after, a mech-men-dar, or colonel, appointed by the Sultan to accompany the ambassador to Constantinople, came on board with his pipe-bearer. He wore a splendid dress, and was a remarkably well made man, of a dark copper colour, probably a Nubian by birth. The village on the European side of the Dardanelles is not so large as that on the shore opposite; but, being built on a declivity, and having gardens and cypress trees intermingled with the houses, it is far more beautiful. Sestos, the European fort, is also very strong seaward, but is commanded by a hill that rises behind it. Were the guns well served, the vessel that should attempt to force a passage between these two castles could only escape being sunk by a miracle.


As we glided onwards to our destination, the scene became exceedingly animated: the sea was covered with innumerable vessels having all their canvass spread; some were following in our wake towards Constantinople even with skysails, but the superior sailing of the Actæon gradually left them far astern. As we passed Gallipoli, two Russian men-of-war were lying off the town, which is of considerable size; and in the Bay of Lampsacus, on the opposite coast, were also several Turkish ships. The landscape on the European side of the Sea of Marmora, in which we now were, is composed of gently sloping hills, well cultivated, while on that of Asia, it is bolder and more rugged.

There was now every probability of our arriving at Constantinople to-morrow, and we enjoyed the satisfaction of sailing past the Smyrna packet, which, having hauled too close in shore, lost the wind and lay there quite becalmed.


Wednesday, May 1st.—Off Cape St. Stefano at day break. Three Turkish frigates lying at anchor there, fired the usual salute in honour of the festival of the Bairam, which is repeated at sunrise and sunset from all the men-of-war and batteries during the three days of its continuance. The guns of the fort were shotted, like those of the Dardanelles. As the darkness gave place39 to light, Stamboul disclosed itself to our anxious gaze, and we arrived opposite the Seven Towers, just as the sun cast its morning tints over the gilded cupolas and tall graceful minarets of this "Queen of Cities."

Long, long ago, my anxious hope was to behold, some day or other, the spot I was now approaching; at that time with little chance of its ever being accomplished, but now fulfilled to my perfect satisfaction. The Seven Towers, and the city walls, which are in many places thickly covered with ivy, appear to be in a very ruinous condition. These latter are trebled on the land-side, having a ditch between each. From the numerous fragments of marble and granite columns, many of them bearing inscriptions, every where intermingled with the masonry, it is evident that the fortifications of Constantinople were built of the remnants of the ancient capital. This is peculiarly visible in the neighbourhood of the seraglio, where Irene's palace is supposed to have formerly stood. Facing the water is that portion of the suburbs inhabited by the Armenians, but presenting no attractions to the stranger, being exceedingly crowded and dirty; and along the shore are the stations for washing, slaughtering cattle, and throwing into the sea the filth collected by the scavengers.


40 If these objects were calculated to excite feelings of disgust, the scene which next presented itself was beautiful as fairy land. The ship sailed close under the lofty wall of the seraglio garden, which is separated from the sea by only a narrow wharf. Shady groves, bowers of oranges, roses and jasmine, lofty cypresses, and wide spreading plane trees, embosom the elegant pagoda-shaped buildings, which comprise the kiosks of the Sultan, and the women's apartments; all of which, together with the stables and other inferior offices, are richly gilt and painted of various gaudy colours. Near one of the seraglio gates is erected a large wooden house, where many a disobedient Pasha has awaited the decree of banishment issued against him by his imperious master. There, too, he was shipped on board the vessel destined to carry him into exile; or, if condemned to expiate his offences with his life, it was there the bowstring was applied. Hence this entrance is known by the appellation of the Pasha's gate. A little further on, we observed a small low door in the wall, scarcely high enough to admit an ordinary sized man. Through this opening the slaves newly purchased, for either the Sultan or Sultana, are conveyed into the palace; through it also, they make their exit, when barbarous41 jealousy or revenge prompts their destruction; and many a lovely Dudú or Lolah, and many a fair Sultana sewn in the cruel sack, have been borne through this fatal opening, and cast into the

"Rolling waves, which hide Already many a once love-beaten breast, Deep in the caverns of the deadly tide."


We now sailed round the promontory of the Golden Horn, when all the beauties of Stamboul, Pera, the Bosphorus, and Scutari, burst suddenly upon the view. Looking towards the seraglio point is seen the richly gilded palace of the Sultan, with a gate that glitters as if formed of polished gold; and backed by a profusion of foliage, and the buildings of the Serai. Farther distant is St. Sophia and the other mosques, whose golden domes and graceful, tapering minarets, tower above the mass of painted buildings interspersed with dark cypresses and beautiful plane trees, which covers the surface of the "seven hills." Thousands of roses hang clustering on the trellis work which adorns the gardens of the numerous villages, summer palaces, and villas occupying the shores of the Bosphorus, and the harbour between Constantinople and42 Galata appears crowded with ships, and with numberless caiques, gliding rapidly from shore to shore. PERA.—SCUTARI.

Lastly, Pera, with its vast range of cypresses, crowns the hill, and extends along the whole length of the town. Looking in another direction, appears the burying ground of Scutari, also with its cypress grove, many miles in extent; the mosque, and barracks of Sultan Selim; Leander's tower in the channel which we have just quitted; and, lastly, the Turkish fleet of many sail lying at anchor, and displaying all their colours in honour of the Bairam.

Meanwhile, the Actæon held on her silent majestic course towards the destined anchorage; and as I stood upon the quarter deck, contemplating the magnificent objects that presented themselves wherever I turned my sight, I felt all those thrilling emotions of rapture and delight which such scenes are calculated to inspire, and which constitute a sort of oäsis in the memory of those who have experienced them. Here nature and art have gone hand in hand, assisting each other, and scattering roses; here every thing that falls from the bosom of the former is rich and luxuriant, and every thing that proceeds from the latter is novel, extraordinary, in a word, it is oriental; and faults,43 which in more civilised communities would be considered inconsistent with good taste, are here ever pleasing, and seem necessary to the unity of the whole.


A royal salute was fired as we passed the summer palace of Dolma Bashi, where the Sultan at present resides. It was immediately returned by the Mahmoudie, the Capitan Pasha's ship. What splendid vessels! Among them two are three-deckers, the largest ships in the world, one carrying 140, the other 136 brass guns, and the whole armament appeared to be in a condition that would not discredit an English dockyard. Considering how short a period has intervened since the Sultan lost his entire fleet, it is really miraculous to see him with another, amounting to two three-deckers, four line of battle ships, eight frigates, three corvettes, three sloops, and a number of cutters, all completely equipped for active service. The recently erected palace of the Sultan on the Asiatic side of the channel, next came in sight. It consists of a long range of magnificent buildings, painted a rich colour, between fawn and yellow, picked out with white, and profusely ornamented with gilding. The interior, I am told, displays a singular mixture of European and oriental luxury. Parisian furniture, mirrors, and ornaments from Germany, Persian44 carpets, and hangings, in short every thing rare or beautiful, from the east and west being collected there. CASTLE OF THE JANISSARIES.

We now passed the old castle of the janissaries, the first fortress the Turks possessed in Europe. It lies opposite to the beautiful valley of the sweet waters of Asia, where the Sultan has a kiosk: and hither, in summer, the Turkish ladies come on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, to pic-nic. Formerly, when a janissary was condemned to die, he was confined in this castle. At the appointed hour, he was led through a small arched doorway, which opens on the Bosphorus, and there decapitated, and the body was thrown into the sea; at the same instant the firing of a long gun, which stands by the side of the gate, announced the execution of his sentence.

The Russian encampment on the Giant's Mountain

Drawn G. C. from a Sketch by the Author.

The Russian encampment on the Giant's Mountain from the English Palace Garden.

As I before observed, every portion of the European and Asiatic coast is covered with villas and gardens. The houses are painted of various colours, and have verandas, with trellis work, covered with roses, running round them. Those situated near the water are built with an arched entrance for the caiques, through which, by means of a short canal, they glide into the centre of the court-yard. The water here is very deep, and we were sailing so close to the shore, that the mainyard scarcely cleared the houses.45 Indeed, instances have occurred, where the inhabitants have been surprised by the visit of a bowsprit pushing its way through the wood-work, and carrying off the roof of their dwellings.


We now came in sight of the Russian encampment, and the tents which covered the summit of an extensive range of hills, called the Unkiar Skelessi, or Giant's Mountain7, resembled so many snowy pinnacles. Their fleet, consisting of ten ships of the line, a number of frigates, and small craft, lay on the opposite side of the channel.

Beyond the village of Jani Keni, and opposite the Sultan's valley, we also found the Russian head quarters established, and a Russian frigate occupying the berth in which the Actæon had anchored twice before. We therefore passed on, and dropped anchor a little a-head of a French frigate, opposite Terapia, and close to the Russian camp. The usual firing immediately commenced, but, by some oversight, the Russian admiral's salute was returned with two guns less than the usual number. In about an hour afterwards, he sent his flag lieutenant, who spoke English, on board the Actæon, to inquire why we had only fired fifteen guns when he had paid 46the compliment of seventeen. The omission was immediately acknowledged, the two remaining guns discharged, and the gallant lieutenant rowed off again well satisfied. We soon ascertained that this sensitiveness proceeded from their anxiety to convince the Turks that no ill-will existed between England and Russia, and that no insult was meditated by our ship, more particularly as the British ambassador to the Porte, was known to be on board. I doubt much, however, if the Turks, although quite au fait to all matters of ceremony, understood the firing of the two guns afterwards.


The town of Buyukdere, or the deep valley, off which lies the Russian fleet, is also the residence of the Russian, Austrian, and German ambassadors; the very hotbed of plots and etiquette. At Terapia the French and English embassies reside alongside each other; indications of that perfect unanimity which ought to subsist between these two great powers; and, if they remain true to each other, I would confidently back Terapia politics and manœuvres against those of Buyukdere. The French palace is a spacious building, with beautiful and extensive gardens. That inhabited by the English ambassador, on the contrary, is small, comfortless, and with only a small slip of ground.


This day was occupied in visits from the secretaries of embassy of the different missions. As the plague was in Terapia a few days since, that village is put in quarantine with the palace; which also lies under the same regulations in respect to the Actæon: and as the Russian sentinels refused to allow any one to land in the Sultan's valley, we had nothing to do but to watch their drills and parade exercises, while listening to the music of the horn bands, which played on a hill close to our anchorage; and the beauty of these national airs, somewhat compensated for the rudeness with which they turned us off the shore. It was very cold in the afternoon; the shifting of the wind to the north caused a great change in the weather, and towards evening we were glad to keep below.

Thursday, 2d. It is a most lovely morning: all nature seems to rejoice in the freshening breeze, which, blowing from the Black Sea, tempers even the hottest days with its refreshing coolness, and extracts the sweets from millions of roses, which ever bloom on the shores of the Bosphorus. From the jasmine or orange flower, it floats with its odorous burthen along the current, and lays all its perfume at the foot of Stamboul.


A party of us embarked in a sort of light boat48 called a caique, than which no species of vessel, save the gondola, cuts more softly and noiselessly through the waters. It is a narrow wooden canoe, with a long beak; the outside is painted black, with a strip of bright red inside the stern piece; and is ornamented with carvings of flowers, and a thousand other devices. A Persian carpet, or a piece of oil cloth, covers the part on which the foot steps in entering, and here the slippers are left or retained, as the owner pleases. Those who ride in them do not sit on benches, but in the bottom of the caique, on a Persian carpet. The interior is white as snow, and there is an ornamented back board which runs across, and separates the stepping place from that appropriated to the purpose of a seat. It has no keel, and the paddles are long, and broad at the end. Some caiques are rowed by one, others by two boatmen, with two oars or sculls each; but the most elegant of these vessels have three rowers. The employés of high station about the Porte, and the ministers of the different foreign courts, keep superb caiques, rowed by eight, ten, or even twelve men; but although these boats are very striking in their appearance, they want that air of comfort and neatness which distinguish the smaller caiques.


The rowers are either Greeks or Turks, and49 wear a fez just large enough to cover the crown of the head, which is close shaved. The remainder of their dress consists of a thin transparent shirt, with large sleeves reaching to the elbows; and cotton drawers fastened to the knees; both as white as snow. They are a fine robust race of men, and their muscular sun-burnt forms are displayed to advantage through the gauze which so slightly covers them. At each stroke they utter a grunt, by forcing the breath suddenly from the chest; to acquire this accomplishment, is considered a necessary part of the boatman's education, and his character depends much upon it.

When we arrived at the landing-place of Tophana, a Turk, splendidly habited, pulled the caique close up with a long pole, and assisted us out; for which service he was rewarded with a few paras.8

A fountain of singular beauty is here erected in the centre of the fish and vegetable market, which, from its vicinity to the arsenal, and from its being the landing-place for all pleasure boats coming from Scutari and the neighbouring villages50 of the Bosphorus, is constantly occupied by a crowd of idlers.

In the street leading up to Pera, the throng, which was also considerable, presented an infinite variety of novel and picturesque costume. The pavement is bad, but very clean, and greatly exceeds in this respect the narrow streets of the generality of Italian or Scotch towns. There is no cry of "heads below;" and a man may wander about at night without any fear of other rain than that of heaven, provided he carries a light with him.


Pera is recovering but slowly from the destructive fire, which two years ago ravaged this quarter of Constantinople; for, owing to the unsettled condition of public affairs, and the uncertainty as to who may be the future masters of this capital, the rich are unwilling to embark their property in building speculations on any very extensive scale. However, three handsome streets have been finished, the houses of which appear better and more commodiously built than they were formerly. Having secured apartments in a very comfortable lodging-house, kept by one Guiseppino Vitali, we paid a visit to Mr. Cartwright, the consul-general, perhaps one of the most excellent and kind-hearted individuals ever invested with the consular authority.51 Since the fire, he has built a very comfortable house, where he exercises a generous and unbounded hospitality.


From Messrs. Black and Hardy, our bankers in Galata, we also experienced the most friendly attentions. We thence proceeded to Mr. Stampa's, that emporium of all good condiments, where Adrianople tongues, Yorkshire bacon, Scotch whisky, French cogniac, Scotch ale, London porter, English cheese, and Havannah segars may be obtained for "a consideration." In fact, no shop can be supplied with a greater variety of articles, nor in any city upon the surface of the globe are luxuries, whether foreign or domestic, to be obtained more plentifully than in Stamboul. Returning to Guiseppino, we dined at the Europa, a good inn—at least, we had a good dinner; and as evening advanced, proceeded to Tophana, and after a two hours' pull up the Bosphorus, we arrived at the ship. The current runs so strong, that the boats are obliged to keep in close to the shore, and at three points are towed by old men and boys, who are stationed there for the purpose, and receive a few paras for their labour.

Friday, 3d.—To-day it poured with rain without cessation, and in consequence, the ambassador could not go on shore. In the evening52 I went to the palace for a few minutes, but it felt so cold and comfortless that I had no wish to remain. This is by no means a fit residence for our ambassador. I returned to the ship loaded with newspapers, the appearance of which on the gun-room table was hailed with satisfaction, nearly a month having elapsed since any one on board had heard of the state of home and Europe.


Saturday, 4th.—This morning a Russian soldier was buried, and we observed the ceremony from the quarter deck. He was borne in an open wooden coffin; a priest in black, and with a long beard, headed the procession, and a company of soldiers brought up the rear. On arriving at the grave, the priest put on an additional garment, having a yellow cross upon it, and then read the service, sprinkling the body at intervals with holy water (as we supposed), for the distance was too considerable to enable us to see distinctly. After each person present had repeated this portion of the ceremony as he walked round the corpse, the priest resumed his duties, scattering more water upon the body, and the lid being put on the coffin, a blessing was pronounced while it was lowered into the grave, and with the casting in of the earth, the ceremony ended. The soldiers then53 filed up the hill; while the priest, disencumbering himself of his robes, proceeded to saunter about the shore.


At two o'clock the ambassador landed in state: the yards were manned, and the salute fired. Soon after, the rest of the suite followed; and the Actæon was now left to quiet and regular duty. The cabins fitted up for the party were cleared away in the course of an hour; and before the dinner drum beat, the main deck had been again restored to its just proportions. In the evening, my companion and self also left the ship, and went down to Pera, to establish ourselves for the present in the house of Master Tongo; a name by which I find our landlord is better known than by that of Vitali.

Sunday, 5th.—On looking out of window into the street this morning, I beheld crowds of Armenian and Greek women proceeding to church, the former wearing the gashmak, or veil, and their long dark feridges, or cloaks, with red morocco slippers just peeping out beneath. They differ from the Turkish women only in not covering the nose, and having red instead of yellow slippers, in which they shuffle along slowly to their worship. Of the Greeks, however, some wore over their hair embroidered54 handkerchiefs, arranged à la Française in the shape of a toque; others were muffled in cloaks of a snuff-brown colour, with a white muslin veil arranged upon the back of the head, and having both ends brought round upon the breast: thus exposing the whole face, and setting off to the best advantage the handsome regular features, and the dark eye, with its long black silky lash.


After breakfast, a party was made to visit the bazaars; and we embarked at the new custom-house stairs, in Galata, where numbers of caiques lie ready for hire, and where the same scramble occurs for passengers as at Blackfriars or Tower Stairs in England. We glided rapidly across, skilfully avoiding the numerous caiques that were plying in a contrary direction, the boatman calling out, "On the European side,"—"On the Asiatic side," as it suited his purpose to pass to the right or left, there appearing to be no established law for regulating their motions.

On landing at the Balouk9, or fish bazaar, we passed through the bazaar of drugs, called also that of Alexandria, an extensive covered building, where rhubarb, paints, senna, and other 55commodities of that sort, are sold in stalls fitted up on both sides of the passage. The articles are all exposed in the most tempting manner, according to the fancy of the vendor, who sits cross-legged on the shop-board behind, waiting anxiously for his customer; and when any one stops but for an instant, he pops out his head like a spider, to ascertain whether it is a bite or not. We passed through the pipe-stick bazaar, situated in an open street: on one side of which, pipe-sticks and amber mouth-pieces are exposed to sale; the other being almost entirely occupied by turners, who work with extraordinary neatness, considering the imperfect nature of their tools. From the bazaar where cotton handkerchiefs and shawls, English and German, are sold, we passed to the shop of Mustapha, the scent dealer, where we established ourselves for a luncheon, consisting of pipes, coffee, and lemonade, while the various bottles of perfume,—viz. attar of roses and jasmine, musk, musk rat-tails, lemon essence, sandal wood, pastilles, dyes, all the sweet odours that form part and parcel of a sultana's toilet, were temptingly exposed to our view. From time to time, portions of these delicacies were rubbed on our whiskers, hands, and lips, to induce us to purchase; so that when we left the shop to return to56 Pera, we were a walking bouquet of millefleurs, and might have been scented a mile off. After visiting the dockyard, where a line of battle ship and two frigates were getting ready for sea, we climbed the hill of Pera, under the shade of the dark and splendid cypress trees covering the burial ground, and from which long avenues lead to various parts of the town. PUBLIC PROMENADES.

These are the favourite walks of the Perotes; and the gay dresses of the ladies, who, in joyous parties, ramble along the silent and gloomy pathways, contrast oddly with the sad and mournful character of this place of tombs. We again strolled about in this ground after dinner; but were soon tired, the cold being too severe to be pleasant; and even the inhabitants retire early. The evenings at Pera are not agreeable, there being no public amusements into which one can enter; and society is so garbled with form and etiquette, that it is hardly worth seeking; smoking, therefore, is the only resource, and most people adopt it.

Monday, 6th.—This morning we landed at the Lemon Skalese, where the fruit bazaar stands. Here were shops full of Smyrna figs, dried dates, plums, and various other fruits; with cheese, and Russian butter. PIPE-STICK BAZAAR.

We went thence through the place where wax candles are57 sold, to the pipe-stick bazaar, where I intended to be a purchaser both of amber and cherry sticks. Of the former there are two sorts: the white, creamy, or lemon-coloured amber is the most valuable; and a large mouth-piece of the very purest is sometimes worth 5000 or 6000 piastres, equal to about 50l. or 60l. sterling. The second or yellow kind, being more common, is comparatively little esteemed, for the perfection of this article consists in its being free from flaws, cracks, or spots; and if the tube of wood can be seen through the amber, it is considered as very inferior in a Turk's estimation. There is a third sort, which is valueless from its transparency. It is either real or factitious, and often consists merely of the scrapings and refuse morsels, melted into lumps, and manufactured into cheap mouth-pieces. This portion of the Turkish pipe is frequently adorned with precious stones, enamelling, or carved wood, according to the fancy of the purchaser. The cost of those generally exposed for sale varies from 20 to 1500 piastres, and when one of a higher price is required, it is found in the possession of some wealthy Turkish or Armenian merchant. The amber is imported from Dantzic in lumps; there is considerable risk in the purchase of the crude article, and hence arises its excessive dearness58 when it turns out well. The cherry sticks come from Persia by Trebisond; they are brought to Constantinople in pieces of about two feet long; and after being set straight, are dressed and polished with infinite care. They are united into sticks generally of five or six feet, though some are as long as twelve feet, and the junction is so skilfully concealed with the bark, that in a well-made pipe it is impossible to discover it. When repolished, they are ready for sale, being left unbored until the merchant has found a purchaser. From 30 to 100 piastres is the usual price demanded, but it differs according to the length, size, and fineness of the bark; and dark-coloured sticks are preferred to those which are lighter. Pipe-sticks are also made of rose-tree and other woods; but the favourite summer pipe is of jasmine, which is not so dear as the cherry, and is very light and flexible. I have seen them of one entire piece, measuring ten feet. These are cleaned by squeezing lemon juice through them, which is also rubbed over the outside to render them cool. Another species of pipe is the narghilé or water pipe; our sailors have christened it the hubble-bubble: it is a species of hookah, consisting of a glass bowl partly filled with water, a pipe holder fitted into its taper neck, and a long flexible tube, made of59 embossed leather and brass wire, through which the smoke is drawn. The bowls are manufactured of clay in various forms; some being very plain, others really elegant, with abundance of gilding and ornament.


The tobacco smoked in the ordinary pipe, is brought from the Crimea, Salonica, Latakia, Ormus, and other parts of the East. The Salonica tobacco is mild and excellent; that from Latakia, on the contrary, is strong and dark coloured. The price varies between four and ten piastres the oke, of two pounds and three quarters English; it is also sold in bales of ten okes each, at the same rate. The tobacco smoked in the narghilé is of a different quality and cut: the best comes from Shiraz, and it is damped previously to being put into the clay bowl. The mode of using the narghilé is not only difficult to acquire, but, to a beginner, is painful and sickening; the air being exhaled from the lungs, and replaced by the smoke and breath. Every Turk, and indeed every inhabitant of Stamboul, carries about his person a square bag, either of cachemire ornamented with embroidery, or of common silk, in which he keeps a supply of tobacco; and as the coffee-house supplies him with a pipe-stick and pipe gratis, he pays only for the cup of coffee which accompanies it. He loads his pipe from60 his own bag, and the boy of the establishment places a small bit of lighted charcoal on it. They may be seen by hundreds before every coffee-shop, seated on low stools, blowing clouds, sipping Mocha juice, and exhibiting the most solemn taciturnity and perfect content. In driving bargains, the Turk, having seated the purchaser at his side, presents him with coffee and a pipe, and between the puffs of smoke the negotiation is carried on. If it does not succeed, the pipe is resigned, thanks are returned for the coffee, and the business is at an end; should they agree, another pipe generally concludes the affair.


We next went through the shoe bazaar, where are arranged thousands of pairs of slippers and boots, some of yellow, others of red morocco, and of all sizes. But the most superb exhibition consists of the embroidered slippers for the use of the women within doors; these are made of velvet, silk, or cloth, covered with gold and silk embroidery, pearls, &c. Here also are sold mirrors of different shapes, with the backs likewise embroidered in various colours and devices, intended for the fair inhabitants of the harem.


Though this bazaar, from its novelty, is generally acknowledged to be the most attractive, it does not offer such splendid temptations as61 that devoted to the sale of jewellery, which we now entered, and which consists of a series of low, narrow arched passages, opening into each other, and very badly paved. The shops or stalls, instead of the usual inner apartment, have only high counters, behind which sits the Armenian jeweller. Before him is placed a square glass case, in which are huddled together, in precious confusion, silver filagree coffee-cup holders, chased gold and silver boxes for talismans, silver heads for narghilés, female ornaments, pastile burners, old snuff-boxes, rings, cornelian ointment boxes, gems, and agate-hilted dirks. The more valuable articles are probably kept in drawers under the counter, or in the strong room of some fire-proof khan or warehouse. Thence I went into the Broussa silk bazaar, a square building divided into compartments, in which are piled up pieces of the silk of a thousand different patterns. The produce of the Broussa manufacture is a mixture of cotton and silk, with which gold and silver thread is frequently intermingled; the pattern is exceedingly splendid, and it is used for the gowns and jackets of both men and women. There is also a stuff made in Constantinople of similar materials, which, though all of one colour, is exceedingly handsome, and well adapted for62 dresses. The bazaars closing at two o'clock, we returned to Pera highly gratified with the day's excursion.


Tuesday, 7th.—Went up this morning to Terapia to pay a visit at the palace, and learned that Count Orloff had arrived from Odessa as ambassador extraordinary and commander-in-chief of the Russian force, with a carte blanche from his sovereign as to the treaties and measures he might think fit to adopt. I went over the palace, which is but just large enough to accommodate the family of our ambassador, and the attaché is obliged to live in a house higher up the hill, but within the walls of the government property. Returned in the evening to Pera, more than ever captivated with the beauties of the Bosphorus; though the cold weather still retards the progress of vegetation, and the leaves are but slowly making their appearance. Indeed so late a spring, and such inclement weather, have rarely been experienced at Constantinople before.


Wednesday, 8th.—The funeral of the Sultan's French physician passed our lodgings, on its way to the burying-ground. It was accompanied by about 100 officers and soldiers without arms; and, this being the first time any Turks had appeared at a Christian ceremony,63 a great sensation was excited in Pera. The man was much esteemed by the Sultan, and was a favourite with all classes, both Turks and Christians. The following was the order of the funeral. First came the soldiers, divided into two bodies, one occupying either side of the street, with the officers in the centre; then followed a number of Capuchin monks, with priests and servitors of the Greek church; lastly appeared the body, carried upon a bier, and covered with a black silk pall, with a yellow cross, its four orange tassels being held by supporters. A crowd of Franks, Turks, and Armenians, wearing crape upon their arms, closed the procession. The bearers were distinguished by large fur caps, decorated with red cloth, resembling the calpac of the Armenians, and every individual carried in his hand a long thin wax taper.

Thursday, 9th.—I again went up to Terapia, where there is a report, that the pilots of the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles have gone on board the Russian fleet, and that more troops have arrived. The Russians, however, strongly deny both facts.


Our ambassador had a private audience of the Sultan this morning, an express having arrived, somewhat unexpectedly, at the palace of the British embassy yesterday64 evening, intimating that the Sultan would receive Lord Ponsonby at nine o'clock on the following day. It seems that Count Orloff had peremptorily demanded an audience; but as our ambassador arrived before him, he was entitled to precedence in this matter; and Count Orloff's reception was accordingly arranged to take place one hour afterwards. Lord Ponsonby went with his nephew Captain Grey, and Mr. Waller, the attaché. They were received at the palace or new kiosk at Dolma Batché, on the European side; and as they landed, the Sultan's band struck up "God save the King." On being ushered into the presence, they found his Highness seated on his divan, an apartment splendidly painted and decorated, and after the ambassador had paid and received the usual compliments, coffee and pipes were introduced. The Sultan shewed them a portrait, in a wide gilt frame, of himself on horseback, painted by some Sardinian artist. It was a resemblance, but indifferently executed. After remaining an hour, they took leave; and found a Russian steamer, with Count Orloff on board, waiting near the palace. The Count's audience lasted two hours. Many plans were, no doubt, formed; and every one feels in great anxiety to know the result of this conference.65 I dined to-day at the palace. Admiral Roussin, the French ambassador, came in, in the evening. He is frank and undisguised, as a sailor ought to be; and entered at once upon the policy intended to be adopted by his government. He seemed persuaded that Ibrahim would retire behind Mount Taurus; and expressed himself very doubtful of the good faith of the Russians.

Slept on board the Actæon, in the cockpit,—a terribly close berth, and hot as an oven. Penny, one of the carpenter's crew, who had been ill for a long time with rheumatic pains, died in the course of the afternoon, and will be buried to-morrow.


Friday, 10th.—There being a punishment this morning, of course I remained in the gun-room. Two sailors received the cat, and although the thing is perfectly disgusting, my experience convinces me it is necessary to the maintenance of discipline. The captain and first lieutenant are averse to the practice of flogging; but, if the first man had been punished for a similar dereliction of duty, a fortnight since, he very probably would not have repeated the offence; and his fate might have served as a warning to his companion in suffering. In fact, the knowledge that the captain dislikes to proceed to this66 extremity, encourages the unruly to get drunk and be insolent.


The Russians exercise their troops daily in marching, counter-marching, skirmishing, and firing at a mark. The officers of the Actæon have written orders to be admitted into the camp, and now go on shore every afternoon to play cricket in the Sultan's Valley, much to the amusement of both Russian and Turk. The Russian general recently came on board, and expressed his surprise that the captain had not visited the camp, inviting him to do so, and at the same time leaving these orders for the officers. Returned to Pera in the evening. The shore on either side the channel daily acquires new beauties, as the warm weather advances, and the trees assume their summer clothing. As I passed the Turkish fleet at sunset, the Mahmoudiel fired a gun; and, in an instant, every topmast was lowered, with as much precision and celerity as would have been displayed by an English fleet at Spithead.

Sweet Waters

Drawn & Etched by George. Cruikshank, from a Sketch by the Author.

Sweet Waters


Saturday, 11th.—Went to a cabob shop. Cabobs are made of small pieces of mutton, about the size of a small walnut; which being strung on iron or silver skewers, and roasted over a fire, with plenty of grease, are served up with a67 species of soft cake, toasted, and soaked in gravy, or with milk, water, parsley, and garlic, brought all together in a large bowl. The Turks eat it with their fingers; we had forks: they were, however, so dirty, that we quickly abandoned them for the Oriental method. This is a capital dish, with the single exception of the garlic. A glass of cold water, and a pipe at the nearest coffee shop, finished our repast, and we then went to a rich Greek merchant's strong room, to see some amber mouth-pieces; and he certainly did shew us a splendid collection, valued at 200,000 piastres. On returning to his shop, when about to pay him a large sum on account of my purchases, he requested me not to do so there, but accompany him to a more convenient situation, lest the Turks should observe that he was receiving money. Both Armenians and Greeks most anxiously conceal their wealth, as it might subject them to be pillaged by the Sultan, ei ther directly, or through the extortions of his tax gatherers.


Sunday, 12th.—This afternoon I visited the Valley of Sweet Waters; an appellation conferred on it by the Franks, instead of its proper name, Keathane, or "paper manufactory." Greeks, Armenians, and Turks make parties on Sundays and holidays to this retired and beautiful 68promenade, where they dine and pic-nic. In proceeding thither, our caique passed the Arsenal, and we saw one line-of-battle ship afloat, and nearly ready to join the fleet, another on the stocks, and two frigates in a forward state. The American builder, at present at the head of the dockyard, has built a range of very neat workshops and stores; and great activity characterises the whole department. In passing up, I saw the remains of the old palace of Theodorus, on one side of which is the Jewish cemetery, extending an immense distance, but without a single tree; and the grey head-stones, thickly strewed over the inclosure, look as if they had fallen from heaven in a shower. A prettily situated village, with its Turkish burying-ground, is on the opposite side; there cypresses cast their mournful shade upon the tombs of the departed Mahomedans, and numerous parties had landed there from their caiques, and were regaling themselves under the large trees, where any happened to border the river. On arriving, we found the landing-place thronged with boats, and the walks crowded by visitors. Sultan Selim erected a palace here, which he intended should resemble that of Versailles. His ambassador, on returning from Paris, had brought back some views of that splendid abode of the69 PALACE.—TURKISH HORSES.

French monarchs; and Selim, struck by its magnificence, determined to build a kiosk in imitation of it. Accordingly he changed the river into a straight canal; formed avenues, which were planted with long lines of trees; contrived waterfalls, and laid out a beautiful park. The trees have grown up to a magnificent size, and cast a pleasant shade over the walks and water; but the deserted palace is fast falling to decay, and the park is frequented only in the spring. Here the Sultan's horses are sent to graze; and their visit is celebrated with great pomp on St. George's day (Old Style), when they come in procession, and to each of them is allotted a place in the park, in which they are picketed after the fashion usual in the East. The tents pitched near them are occupied by Bulgarians, whose duty it is to watch the animals night and day; and, perhaps, a more magnificent collection of fine horses was never seen feeding together, or in an equally beautiful spot. AUDIENCE OF THE SULTAN.

Here were assembled parties of all nations. Crowds of Turkish women, closely veiled, sat under the trees, listening to the performances of itinerant musicians and dancers, whose instruments were fiddles, dulcimers, and tambourines. The singing consists solely in dwelling a considerable time on a single note, with the mouth wide open, the70 head thrown back, and the eyes half shut; then, suddenly changing to another tone, about half a dozen words are strung together, and a sort of dialogue, in recitative, is kept up by the performers. In one direction, a conjurer is seen exhibiting his feats of manual dexterity, surrounded by a motley gaping crowd;—in another, a story-teller exercises the risible faculties of the sedate Turk, as well as of the merry laughter-loving Greek. A string of Armenian women approach, walking two and two with slow solemn steps, and followed by a slave carrying a basket of refreshments. Behind these come a party of gaily dressed Greeks of Pera, laughing and joking, the very personification of merriment; while their more stately country-woman of the Fanal, moves majestically along in another direction, with the pride of a thousand years of ancestry, conspicuous in her air and carriage, and all the consciousness of perfect classic beauty, in her form and face. THE ERRABA.

Nor does she omit to display her delicate foot with its stocking of snowy white, and neat morocco shoe. Under the shelter of yonder magnificent plane trees, stands an erraba or Turkish carriage, in which the Sultan's sister and a large party of female slaves are seated, eating mahalabé and drinking sherbet, while they enjoy the busy scene before them. The erraba has no springs,71 and is richly ornamented with a profusion of gilding, and covered with beautiful shawls, crimson silk, or white muslin fringed with silk or gold, according to the taste and fancy of the owner. The interior is furnished with cushions, and the entrance is from behind, by a small ladder: it is drawn by two oxen, guided by a man on foot; and when out on distant excursions, is generally followed by a boy, carrying provisions. The heads of the oxen alone are furnished with harness, to which a string of large bright blue glass beads is added, to protect the animals from the fascination of the evil eye. From either yoke, a long curved stick, painted alternately with blue and red, and decorated with woollen tassels of the same colour, extends backwards over the oxen, as far as the front of the carriage.


The Turkish women, when none of their countrymen are present, are fond of conversing with a Frank, particularly if he appears to be a stranger newly arrived, and not a resident at Pera. They will offer confectionary, mahalabé, and remove their yashmaks, as several did to-day; but not one of the fair wearers could vie in personal beauty with some of the Greeks who surrounded them. Still, however, they were pretty, with fine dark eyes, but the total absence72 of the rosy hue of health is unpleasing; and the custom of staining the lips and blackening the eyelashes, communicates a ghastly paleness to their features. Yet their skin is excessively delicate; and many of the small white hands I saw to-day, would create an envious feeling in more than one lady patroness of Almacks. I particularly noticed one lady, apparently the wife of some Turk of distinction, who was seated upon a splendid Persian carpet spread upon the grass, and surrounded by fourteen young female slaves, whose beautiful eyes were alone visible, the rest of their faces being closely covered up. They appeared very fond of music, for they had two bands singing and playing different airs at the same moment, both parties contending which could scream the loudest. On returning towards the landing-place, we met numbers of Greek ladies and gentlemen with guitars and clarionets coming up to pass the evening in singing and dancing upon the green turf.

As our caique again glided swiftly down the stream, we passed many similar vessels, containing seven or eight Turkish women each, and up went the yashmak at our approach. Boat loads of Perotes, with gay turbans and toques, were also seen hastening to the festive scene;73 and, on arriving at our homes, we found the churchyard empty, and all Pera silent and tranquil, as if deserted by its inhabitants.


Tuesday, 14th.—Visited the mosque at Pera, to witness the ceremonies of the dancing dervishes. This edifice is built in the form of an octagon, having a gallery extending round the interior on six of the sides, under which the public sit. In one of these galleries hung the cloaks of the dervishes; and in another was posted the music, consisting of a drum, Turkish flutes, and a dulcimer. Outside the building on the left of the entrance, but only separated by a trellis-work, is the women's receptacle. This was crowded, as was also the part assigned to such as took no share in the ceremonies. The centre of the mosque is railed off; and the chief priest, who wore a green dress, with a white hat, partly covered by a green shawl, was seated opposite the grand entrance on a red cushion, placed upon a carpet spread upon the floor, which is of chestnut wood, polished to brightness by the constant friction of the dervishes' feet. From the centre of the roof, was suspended an octagonal bar of brass, to which lamps of different sizes were attached, and from the galleries, which are supported by pillars, hung several square pieces of cloth or74 pasteboard, painted black, and inscribed with passages from the Koran.

I left my shoes at the entrance; and on gaining the interior of the edifice, found the service had commenced. As each dervish entered, he saluted the chief priest; besides whom, there were five other priests, seated in various situations close to the railing. One, on the right of the entrance, held a book, from which he chanted certain verses in a monotonous voice; while the others sat silent and motionless, with their eyes fixed on the ground. When he stopped, a slow and solemn air was played upon the flutes, accompanied by the drum, which had an effect by no means unpleasing; but in a few moments the other instruments commenced a species of tune between a waltz and march, and all the dervishes jumping up, the whole assembly followed each other slowly round the enclosed space, led by the high priest. On arriving opposite the seat of their leader, they bowed thrice to the ground, with their arms crossed upon the breast, and on passing close to it, they stepped by, with a stride and a whirl, and then resumed their march. After the third performance of these absurdities, the high priest sat down, and the music, which had hitherto continued playing the march, presently struck into an air resembling75 a sauteuse, accompanied by the chanting of several voices. The dervishes, having thrown off their cloaks, again folded their arms across their breasts, and bowing three times, re-commenced walking before the high priest, bending low as they passed his seat, and kissing his hands, which were joined together. The whirling at length began in reality: at first with folded arms, then with one arm extended, the other slightly bent, and held so as to form an obtuse angle at the elbow. Thus, with closed eyes and erect body, these singular people whirled round and round on one leg, making a pirouette with the other, and proceeding by degrees round every part of the enclosure, accelerating or retarding their movements as the music and the chant became more or less animated. By looking at a stop watch, I ascertained that on an average they turned sixty-four times in a minute. After spinning round for about five minutes, at a signal from the high priest, both music and dancers suddenly stopped, but re-commenced in a few seconds, bowing as before. The third time, they kept it up for nine minutes and three quarters; my brain was swimming too, so much so, that I could hardly count their evolutions; and it is extraordinary their heads should escape being affected in the76 same manner. I noticed one little fellow who went round at an amazing pace. The fourth and last time they whirled for five minutes and three quarters, thus making in all

5 + 3 + 9¾ + 5¾ = 23½ x 64 = 1504 turns.

Having been highly amused with this extraordinary exhibition, I was most anxious to ascertain when and where their brethren, the howling dervishes, performed their antics; I found, however, that they had been banished Stamboul and Pera, and now went through their orgies at Scutari, but in secret, and very seldom.


Thence I went to the shop of a Greek bookseller in Galata, who has English and Italian as well as French and modern Greek books for sale, all which pay an ad valorem duty of three per cent. I did not find any worth buying, except a description of the manners, customs, and new regulations of Constantinople, up to 1832; written by an Italian attached to the Sardinian mission, and published in Genoa. The only Greek books were some wretched translations of French tales, and of one or two German plays.

Wednesday, 15th.—This morning we took Mustapha, once the consul's janissary, and now his servant, as a guide to the curiosities on the other side of the water. He is by birth a Swiss,77 who, after having experienced various vicissitudes and adventures, was taken by pirates, sold as a slave, turned Mussulman, and is now happy and contented in the service of so good a master. Few English visitors who have remained any time in Constantinople during the last fifteen years, have quitted it without making the acquaintance of our friend Mustapha.


The first object to which he conducted us was the mosque of Solimanie, the largest and most elegant in Stamboul; though it does not possess the same interest or renown as St. Sophia, nor the beauty and lightness of that of Sultan Achmet. The outer court is surrounded by fine old plane trees, and we looked into the inner one, which is surrounded on three sides by cloisters, and several antique pillars, with a fine ornamented fountain in the centre. On entering by the principal door, we took off our shoes, which was no hardship, the whole floor being covered with soft carpeting. The dome is supported by four enormous pillars of grey granite, polished by age. I was desirous to have measured them, but the priest or servitor, who accompanied us, refused permission. From the ceiling of the aisles, and around the dome, hung innumerable lamps of different sizes; an octangular frame of iron, suspended under the dome, also supported78 an immense quantity about ten feet from the floor. The aisles were filled with many little recesses, in which were placed books on stands; and one of them was occupied by a Turkish priest, who chanted some verses from one of these open volumes. Neither ornaments nor pictures decorate the interior, all being plain and simple, except that portion nearest Mecca, where an enormous wax candle is placed on each side of a little niche in the wall. There is something extremely impressive in the unadorned simplicity, vast extent, and sombre aspect of this mosque, which is the only religious edifice in Constantinople, that can be seen by a Christian without a firman; a donation to the priest of thirty-five piastres being sufficient to admit a large party.


We now proceeded to the Seraskier's tower, situated in a large court by the side of the palace of the Seraskier Pasha. In the upper chamber a party of men are constantly stationed to watch for fires, and, I believe also, to give notice of any unusual assembling of the people. On the appearance of a fire, they sound the alarm by beating gongs, and by despatching messengers to various parts of the city. From the windows of this apartment, is a most perfect bird's eye view of the whole capital and its vicinity. In the whole course of my travels,79 I can recall but one prospect, whose exquisite loveliness affords a similar combination of all the ingredients necessary to a perfect landscape, and which I, in some degree, prefer, as presenting even a still greater variety of beautiful objects,—I mean the view of Naples from the hermitage on Vesuvius.

The Burnt Pillar.

Etched by G. C. from a Sketch by the Author.

The Burnt Pillar.

Published by Longman & Co. April, 1835.


A short walk brought us to the Tchernberlé Tasch, or burnt pillar, built of red porphyry, which has been cracked and splintered by the numerous fires that have taken place around it; and, to prevent its falling to pieces, it has been enclosed within a sort of iron cage. It is ninety feet in height, and thirty in circumference at the base. Of the inscription, only a few letters can at present be made out. It originally ran thus:—

Το θειον εργον ηενθαδε φθΑρεν χρονω Καινει μανουῃΛ ευσεβης ΑυτοκρΑτωρ.

Passing onwards, we came to a dark dismal place, called the Cistern of the Thousand and One Pillars, a large reservoir for water, but now dry and occupied by the winders of silk thread. Its extent is very great, and the number of pillars far exceeds that above-mentioned. There is also another cistern, but as the entrance is through a Turk's dwelling, it cannot be visited except as a special favour, not always granted. HIPPODROME.

80 From this, we were led to the Atmeidan, or place of horses, the ancient hippodrome; a large oblong area, on one side of which is the beautiful mosque of Sultan Achmet, separated from the open square by a handsome screen of masonry; over which a number of plane trees hang their luxuriant foliage, and through its windows we were gratified with a view of the court of the mosque. The Atmeidan is famous as being the scene of countless insurrections and tumults; it was the rendezvous of the turbulent janissaries; here they made their last noble stand, and were hewn to pieces and swept down by the Sultan's cannon and cavalry. Here too were held games and reviews, and here stands the obelisk of Theodosius, the brazen serpents from Delphi, and the lofty monument of Constantine, built of rough masonry, and supposed to have been once covered with brass. It is ninety feet in height. The obelisk was brought from Egypt and placed there by Theodosius, as appears from the following inscription on the pedestal, which is now covered up with earth, and the Turks will not allow of its being cleared away.

Difficilis quondam Dominis parere serenis Jussus, et extinctis palmam portare tyrannis: Omnia Theodosio cedunt sobolique perenni; Terenis sic victus ego, duobusque diebus, Judice sub Proclo, superas elatus ad auras.

81It measures sixty feet in height, and each of its faces is covered with hieroglyphics. On the pedestal is a badly executed alto relievo, intended to represent the victories of Theodosius. Between these two monuments is the celebrated tripod from the island of Delphos; the heads of the serpents of which it is composed are lost: one of them was cut off by Sultan Mechmed with a single blow of his sword. From the number of people that gathered about me, I had some difficulty in making a drawing of these objects; and the soldiers from a neighbouring guard-house really appeared to consider I was forming a plan to pocket the columns and run away with them. Had not Mustapha been with me, it is probable I should have been arrested, as a friend of mine was yesterday, when he attempted to sketch Constantinople from Tophana. A superior officer, however, soon ordered him to be released, and gave him two soldiers as a protection whilst he finished his drawing. ST. SOPHIA.

Thence our course lay to St. Sophia, which is a confused heap of unsightly buildings; the centre having enormous buttresses built against it, and the dome is much too low in proportion to the great size of this edifice. The principal entrance to the seraglio is also situated in the square, of which St. Sophia occupies one side, the walls of82 the palace another, and a row of small houses and coffee shops a third. In the centre is a very beautiful fountain; which, though inferior in size to that of Tophana, is much more richly ornamented.


The guard having allowed us to pass the gate, we entered the first court of the seraglio—a large oblong enclosure, formed by the Sultan's gardens, the inner gate, the grounds of the serai, barracks, stables, and a portion of the outer wall. Within a niche on the left-hand side of this entrance, the heads of rebellious Pashas and other traitors are exhibited to the gazing multitude, and among the more recent of those placed there, may be mentioned that of Ali Pasha. The second gate, which is flanked by double towers, resembles that of an ancient Gothic abbey; the interior is highly ornamented with gilding and inscriptions in letters of gold; and a large gilt cipher of the Sultan decorates the front. Our attempt to pass into the second court was less successful: Mustapha being a great coward, he was afraid to offer the sentinels a bribe; yet I have no doubt that the sight of a gold dollar never fails to gain admission for the unbeliever, whether Jew or Christian. Turning away from this forbidden paradise, we proceeded to examine a fine old plane tree, in the trunk83 of which three people live and keep a coffee-shop. A grove of plane, oak, chestnut, and cypress trees, conducted us out by the lower gate, and we walked to the sultanas' mosque, where the bodies of the late Sultan, and of the wives of his two predecessors, lie in state. The present Grand Signior's favourite sultana, and her son, also repose upon the same bier.


On looking through the window, we distinguished the Sultan's coffin, deposited on a kind of throne, with four large wax tapers burning around it, and covered with the most splendid Cashmere shawls. All the other coffins were decorated in a similar manner: those of the women being distinguished by having no turban at the head; and the Fez, or Greek cap, with a feather and diamond aigrette, lay on that of the Sultan's son. The court of the Sultana Valide's mosque conducted us to the water-side; and, embarking at the steps of the Balook bazar, we glided swiftly across to Galata, highly delighted with the novelty of the objects witnessed during our day's excursion.


Thursday, 16th.—The clothes' bazar attracted our curiosity to-day, where, in a few minutes, a person may be rigged out, either à la Turque, or as an Armenian, the whole dress costing about 270 piastres. A cloth cloak, a silk gown, a silk84 jacket, camlet trowsers, yellow or red morocco boots, a shawl for the waist, with a waistcoat, shirt, and a calpac or turban, form the dress of a gentleman or merchant. The Jews wear a low black hat, round which is twisted a white handkerchief, inscribed with some Hebrew sentences from their law. The calpac of the Greek differs from that of the Armenian, by having a hole at the top, out of which peeps a bit of red cloth. The Turks wear yellow, Greeks and Armenians red, and Jews black, boots. The day was finished at Mustapha's, the scent dealer; or, to describe him by his real appellation, "Kortz Sultanée Amel Mehemet Said," as his card duly setteth forth. There we generally took a luncheon of beed caimac, a species of curd; or of mahalabé, a mixture of rice boiled to a jelly, and eaten with ice and cream; at other times we discussed a large dish of cabobs and a few glasses of lemonade. Occasionally our party adjourned to the coffee-house built in his garden, where, under the shelter of a delicious rose and jasmine bower, we spent the interval between dinner in all the luxury of idleness, smoking and drinking sherbet.


Friday, 17th.—I visited a printing-office in Galata, and saw the types of a work on the Greek church, some specimens of music, and a85 few Turkish books. The types were cast in Paris, and brought here at a great expense. The proprietors are now preparing a Hebrew work for the press, which will take them two years to execute. Went again in the afternoon to the Valley of Sweet Waters, where a greater crowd had assembled than even on the former occasion. I walked to the village, where there is a coffee-shop in a very agreeable situation, overshadowed by plane trees, one of which is nearly as large as that of the seraglio, and also quite hollow. In one part of the canal, near the palace, where the water is very deep, the favourite sultana of Selim drowned herself. She was young and exceedingly beautiful, but grew so jealous of the attentions paid by her lord and master to a Greek slave whom he had recently purchased, that she determined on committing suicide. Accordingly, having succeeded in eluding the vigilance of the guards and eunuchs, she one night escaped from the palace; and having procured a large stone, she carried it to the edge of the canal, and there fastened it to her person by means of the Cashmere shawl which she wore round her waist. On her absence being discovered next morning, the utmost consternation prevailed throughout the harem; and her slaves and attendants trembled at the fate86 which awaited them when the Sultan was informed of his favourite's escape. The harem, the palace, the gardens, the whole neighbourhood, were instantly searched, but in vain; no one had seen the sultana, and her absence remained a mystery. The eunuchs were threatened with death, if she were not found; and the horror of all was aroused by the suggestion that she might possibly have eloped with some giaour10, and several of the slaves were sent to atone for their neglect with the forfeit of their lives. In the mean time, the poor Sultan remained inconsolable: all his former love returned, and the Greek slave was sent as a present to one of the Pashas. At the expiration of a few days, as the disconsolate Selim was seated smoking on the borders of the canal, the body became detached from the stone, and rose to the surface of the water. Overwhelmed by the heart-rending spectacle, which too well explained the mystery of his beautiful queen's disappearance, he was with difficulty prevented by his attendant slaves from throwing himself upon the corpse. When he retired, it was taken out, and sent into Constantinople to be buried. Thus ends this little episode in the life of the mighty Selim.


Saturday, 18th.—I went up to Terapia in the evening, and dined at the palace. Ibrahim's army is passing the Taurus, and will soon be followed by its chief, who is taking the baths near Kutahieh. It is perfectly true, that Greek pilots are on board the Russian men-of-war, and that the Count Orloff has proposed to the Sultan to man the Turkish fleet with Russian artillery-men; so little dependence can be placed on their own sailors, should they come to blows with France or England.

Sunday, 19th.—This morning I went over to the Sultan's Valley, which is kept by outposts of Turks and Russians, one of each nation mounting sentinel together. The Russian has orders to instruct his Turkish comrade in the manual exercise, and in marching, during the time they are on duty. The poor Turks do not like it; for, when left to themselves, they make but lazy guards.

The Captain of the Actæon considers that he has received a marked affront from the Russian Commander-in-Chief. In consequence of his invitation, he went to head-quarters, and sent in his name; but after being kept standing for twenty minutes in the hall, among orderlies and common soldiers, he came away in disgust. Next day the General, who was probably a little88 alarmed, came on board to make an apology, saying the whole matter originated in a mistake, and that the attendants were ignorant of the rank of his English visiter. What! not recognise a captain in his Britannic Majesty's navy, commanding a frigate which lies moored within sight of the Russian army, when he visits its General in full uniform, in his boat, and with his pennant displayed? I think it is full time that these northern barbarians should be instructed, with the point of the bayonet, in the respect due to a British officer. However, it is to be hoped that such insolence will not long remain unpunished.


In this beautiful valley there is a kiosk of the Sultan, at present used as a paper-mill; and near the landing-place stands a large house once occupied by an Englishman, sent hither by the Sultan to establish a leather manufactory. It is now the Russian head-quarters, the valley being their exercising ground. This morning a Russian soldier was flogged at parade. I was not in time to witness the punishment, but it was explained to me by one of the midshipmen. The whole regiment was drawn up in two lines facing each other, each man having in his hand a small twig or stick. The offender, stripped of his jacket and shirt, was made to run the gauntlet89 through the ranks, every man giving him a sharp cut as he passed, while the officers and sergeants stood by to see that the blows were sufficiently severe; and in case of any neglect, the delinquents are punished themselves. The man roared like a bull, and seemed to suffer immensely.


Under the pleasant shade of some remarkably fine plane trees growing near to each other, close to the borders of a stream, thousands of Turkish and Armenian, as well as Greek parties, formerly came to spend the day during the summer months. This is all over now: the presence of the Russians prevents a single pic-nic, and the lovely valley is deserted. Crossing over to the European side, I walked along the shore towards Buyukdere, and at the point of Kerridge Bournu enjoyed a fine view of the entrance to the Black Sea, and the old Venetian castles which rise so romantically on the opposite coast, a little beyond the Giant's Mountain. The view in the Sultan's Valley is very grand, and the undulating hills approach each other in a picturesque manner, forming a wooded vista, terminated in the distance by the arched aqueduct which carries the water across several deep valleys from the bents near Belgrade to Constantinople. These bents are large reservoirs, resembling artificial90 lakes, bordered by thick woods, groves, and pasture land, and converting their immediate vicinity into a beautiful and luxuriant landscape, while all around is barren and exhausted.


Monday, 20th.—I strolled about in the Sultan's Valley till dinner-time; and on returning again in the evening to play at cricket with the officers of the Actæon, I found all the Russian cavalry horses had been turned out to graze. They are sorry steeds, supplied for the Cossacks by the Sultan; they seemed, however, to enjoy this liberty very much. Just before dusk, some Russian soldiers came down to catch them, and we amused ourselves with observing their motions. In vain they drove them from one side to the other, and into all the corners of this extensive pasture-ground; it was of no use, they would not be caught either by stratagem, or the temptation of corn. An old white stallion seemed to be the prime devil of the lot; for the moment the men got near, away he gallopped, kicking and flinging, with all the others at his heels. The Turkish commmandant of the army encamped near the Russians now came and sat down, and took a pipe. He laughed heartily at the discomfiture of his Frankish allies; and when we asked him how he liked them, (for he understood Italian, though he could not speak91 it,) making every sign of contempt, he spat upon the ground, pronouncing the word Rusky; as much as to say, he spat in their faces, and called them some very unpolite names in Turkish. But the Inglez—oh! and then he shook our hands—they were good fellows, he liked them exceedingly. When our midshipmen visited the Russians, they did not offer them any refreshment; but on their arrival at the Turkish encampment they were immediately taken to the officers' tent, and regaled with ices, coffee, pipes, lemonade, &c.; and it was with difficulty that they got away from their hospitable entertainers. When it became dark, there came down a reinforcement of Cossacks, and after a short chase the horses were caught. RUSSIAN HORN BANDS.

The Russian and Turkish bands play every evening for a couple of hours. The latter also chant hymns at meal-time and at sunset; and the sound of so many voices, pealing forth these solemn and beautiful airs, and swelling and modulating as the breeze wafts them over the waves, diffuses over the mind a sensation of tranquillity which it is difficult for language to describe.

Thursday, 23d.—Went to the other side of Pera, to visit a garden established by a Frenchman for vegetables and the cultivation of the 92vine. He makes a delicious wine from the Chious grape, called Altintash, resembling the white lachryma of Vesuvius, but neither so strong nor so highly flavoured. He also manufactures an effervescing liquor, in imitation of champagne, but very inferior to that sparkling elixir, of which many of the Turks are, in secret, decided worshippers.


This evening, while sitting under the cypresses near the walls of Galata, upon the grass-covered tomb of an old Turk, our guide, Guiseppino, amused us with some Venetian tales, of which the following is a specimen:—"Many years since, there arrived in Venice a traveller of commanding exterior, and very magnificently dressed. He appeared exceedingly inquisitive respecting the curiosities of the city, and spent all his time in visiting the palaces, the museums, cathedrals, &c. One day, he called a gondolier, desiring that he might be carried to the church of a certain saint. The boat accordingly plied through several canals, and pulled up, at length, near the stairs of a church. The gentleman entered the building, but quickly returned, saying,—'That it was not the church he sought.'—'Well, then,' replied the gondolier, 'we will try another.' In this way they visited half a dozen churches; but the traveller 93was still unsatisfied. The gondolier was in despair: he had been rowing to and fro, from one end of Venice to the other, for the last four hours. At length he suddenly pulled up before a very ancient and venerable building; the gentleman entered, but as quickly came out again, with the same complaint. 'Not right this time?' said the gondolier: 'Why this is the church of Tutti Santi11; and if your patron saint is not here, by San Giacomo, he is in no other church of Venice!'".


Friday, 24th.—To-day I passed by the ruins of the College of Pages, situated at the north end of Pera. Here were educated, in various languages and accomplishments, the pages of the Sultan,—selected from the sons of persons of the greatest distinction among the Turks. Their education began about the age of nine years, and continued till they were thought sufficiently instructed to attend to the duties of their appointments about the Sultan's palace. This noble structure was destroyed in the great fire; and will, probably, never be rebuilt, unless some rich merchant purchases the ground and materials, or some foreign ambassador receives it as a present. Passed through the Christian burying-ground, which is adorned with beautiful walks, overshadowed 94by cypresses; it is the favourite winter promenade. Thence a steep descent leads to the Sultan's new barracks; which are handsome square buildings, with regular windows, and a turret at each angle. SULTAN'S VISIT TO THE MOSQUE.

The Sultan himself is now staying at his new palace in the neighbourhood of Dolma Batché; and the streets of the village were gravelled for him to go to prayers, which we were informed he would do at twelve o'clock. From a dread of tumult or assassination, he never visits any mosque in the city, contrary to the custom of his predecessors; and, for similar reasons, he never announces to which he will go until the same morning, and that as late as possible: in fact, time is only allowed for the guards to assemble, and the ordinary preparations to be made for receiving him.

The Sultan going to Mosque.

Drawn & Etched by George. Cruikshank, from a Sketch by the Author.

The Sultan going to Mosque.

At half past eleven we were enlivened by the distant sounds of "Zitti, Zitti," played by a military band; and in a short time afterwards a regiment marched by the coffee-house in which we were smoking, and drew up on either side of the street, which extends from the new palace to the mosque. The band was stationed about midway, and no one was allowed to pass or remain standing. On taking our position in front of the crowd at the appointed hour, a Turkish95 officer came up, and politely addressed us in French, with an invitation to come within the file. He led us some distance nearer the palace, and placed us under a doorway; where we were joined by a German baron, who resides near the village, and who appeared to be on very friendly terms with all the officers, three of whom speak French. The one to whom we were indebted for our present advantageous situation remained some time conversing with us. He was a very handsome man, the son of a Georgian; and is esteemed a good officer, being second in command, although only nineteen years of age. He quitted us, to join a party of American ladies, who came within the lines, and as soon as the Sultan had passed by, he ordered ices and lemonade for them; and although he has never been out of Constantinople, he behaved just as any well-bred European officer would have done under similar circumstances. ANECDOTE.

As we stood chatting together, our German friend related a curious adventure which happened to him last year:—He was out shooting behind the village, when his Highness rode up, accompanied by two or three officers; and as it is unlawful to appear in the Sultan's presence with fire-arms, the German felt himself in a very embarrassed situation. However, he stood still,96 taking off his hat. The Sultan, on passing, looked hard at him; and just at that moment, a swallow, happening to fly towards the party, he pointed to it, and said "Tirez!" The German, though in a great fright, understood him perfectly: he fired, and, as luck would have it, killed the bird, which fell at the head of the Sultan's horse. His Highness was quite delighted, exclaiming, "Eh, eh," (good, good,) and desired one of the attendants to enquire who the sportsman was, and where he lived; after which he rode away. Next morning, a person attached to the court came to the baron's house, with a present of china, flowers, and a purse containing 5000 piastres, which his sublime Highness had condescended to present to the successful shot. The baron requested the bearer to take his compliments and thanks to his master, and say, that he was ready to kill a swallow every day for the same reward.


Namik Pasha, who had arrived from England, France, and Prussia only a few days before, now came to tell us, that as it was past the usual time of the Sultan's going to the mosque, he was afraid he would not come at all to-day; that he had left him with Count Orloff, with whom he was in a towering passion, many angry speeches having passed between the cunning diplomatist and the97 enraged sovereign. However, soon after, the order to fix bayonets and shoulder arms, both of which were very well executed, announced his approach, and in a few minutes afterwards the band struck up his favourite march. At the head of the procession were three led horses, richly caparisoned, having saddle-cloths embroidered with gold and precious stones, and bridles ornamented in a similar gorgeous style. They were noble-looking animals, and seemed as if conscious of the magnificence with which they were decorated. Next to these followed about thirty officers, consisting of generals, colonels, and captains of the fleet, walking two and two: they wore a sort of frock coat, with that description of cap called a fez. HIS PERSONAL APPEARANCE.

After the ministers of state, came his Sublime Highness himself on horseback, closely wrapped up in a greyish brown cloak, with a collar of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, arranged in the form of flowers—the richest and most brilliant ornament I ever beheld. Like his officers, he also wore a plain fez, to the silk tassel of which the paper was still left attached, as is customary with the lower orders of the people; this fashion, in fact, seems almost universal; and when the paper is destroyed, a new tassel is put to the cap. It was drawn close over his ears, and98 down to his large black eyebrows, and his beard hung over the diamond clasp of the cloak. His face is long; his nose, slightly arched, indicates talent and resolution; and his eye is remarkably large, bright, and penetrating. We took off our hats as he passed: he looked earnestly at us, without turning his head, and after acknowledging the salute by a slight inclination of his body, again addressed himself to Namik Pasha, with whom he had been conversing before he came up to us. Another party of officers closed the procession. The Sultan has the appearance of being about fifty-five years of age; and his blotched face, and red nose, sufficiently indicate a penchant for the bottle: indeed, on the present occasion, he displayed strong symptoms of being in what is called "a state of liquor," as well as in a most particular bad humour. It is reported that he and his sword-bearer get drunk together every day, and that he once forced the Grand Mufti to drink half a bottle of Champagne, which he refused at first, declaring that to do so was contrary to the religion and ordinances of the Prophet. But the Sultan told him that he was himself the Head of the Church, and that he would make a new ordinance, bidding the Mufti swallow what was offered him, or take the consequences99 of disobedience. Upon this the Chief Priest drank off the potion, perhaps, after all, by no means new or unacceptable; and the Sultan, turning to a certain officer of state, who had also refused the wine on account of similar scruples, said, "Now then you may drink, seeing that the Head of the Church and the Chief Priest have set you the example."


In about a quarter of an hour the Sultan returned in the same manner, and entering his palace, the regiment marched off in good order. It was almost entirely composed of boys; and though the whole body looked rather imposing when together, yet individually they have by no means a military air or appearance. Their uniform is extremely mean and unbecoming: it consists of a fez cap, worn slouching over the eyes and ears; an ill-made jacket of coarse blue cloth, faced and turned up with red; coarse white Russia duck trousers, always exceedingly dirty; Wellington boots in the same condition, into one of which the right leg of the pantaloon is generally stuffed, while the left hangs in the ordinary fashion, or is turned up over the ankle; the bayonet and cartouch box are both suspended at least half a foot lower than they should be; and their linen and persons are also disgustingly filthy. The whole of this description100 is by no means an exaggerated sketch of the new regulation soldier—the hope of the Sultan, and the terror—of whom? of himself. It is but justice, however, to add, that the officers of this regiment presented a striking contrast to their men, being all good looking, well dressed, and of a soldier-like appearance; the band also was respectable, and executed their different marches in a masterly style.


I returned by Tophana, where there is a great mart for tobacco pipes in the vicinity of the fountain before described. In the evening I went into the garden of the English palace, which is very beautiful, with shrubberies, shady walks, and bowers; but the building itself is in ruins, having been destroyed during the late fire. Being quite isolated from any other dwelling, and surrounded by a large garden enclosed with lofty walls, it was positive negligence that caused its destruction. The ambassador, Sir Robert Gordon, was up the Bosphorus, and his principal servant obstinately refused to allow any one to enter the room where the fire had originated, until it was too late. The damages are estimated at 20,000l., and perhaps the best thing that could now be done would be to sell the materials, and either let the ground on building leases, or dispose of it altogether. By either of101 these methods, a large sum would certainly be realised, and with the produce a suitable house might be purchased in Pera, when it is decisively ascertained that the Russians are not to be the future masters of Constantinople; until then, it would be useless to think of spending the money. In fact, there can be no question that the ambassador ought to reside in Pera, in the winter season, when the roads are often blocked up with snow, and the wind on the Bosphorus so violent, that all communication by water, with the villages far up the channel, is cut off; so that serious evils might arise, not only from the distance, but occasionally from the impossibility of claiming the ambassador's protection on any sudden emergency. The Russians are building a splendid palace in Pera; that of the Austrian mission was not injured; and the representatives of the new Allies, England and France, are the only two who do not make Pera their residence, much to the inconvenience of merchants, and all persons connected with the embassy, particularly the members of the diplomatic corps.


Saturday, 25th.—Went to the arm bazar, or curiosity shop, which I found stored with a motley show of weapons, dresses, ornaments, horse trappings, and armour, such as would102 make George Robins's fortune, could he send his myrmidons of porters to lay hands on all they could carry away. Helmets, spears, bucklers, bows, battle-axes, swords, daggers, rifles, long guns; in a word, every species of offensive and defensive weapon, from the common musket of the English soldier to the stiff bow of the Persian, were here gathered together from every kingdom of the East and West. DAMASCUS SWORD BLADES.

A fat Turk, squatting on his counter, tempts you, on one hand, with a blade of the rarest Damascus steel, inscribed from hilt to point with some verse from the Koran in Arabic letters of gold; such as an invocation to the one God,—"Strength to the arm who wields the blade in a righteous cause, and death to him it reaches," &c. Drawing the sword from the gold-embroidered velvet scabbard, he rings it with his nail, to convince you of its soundness and temper. SCENE IN THE BAZAR.

Cast your eyes in the opposite direction, and you may observe the Armenian, in the next stall, winking and slily beckoning you towards him. He smiles, should you condescend to notice him, but frowns and shows impatience when you appear to disregard his attempts to seduce you from his portly rival. The latter, finding you will not buy the sword, displays his pistols, silks, mouth-pieces of tempting amber,103 and appears determined that you shall purchase something; till at length, his patience being fairly exhausted, he packs up his wares, and surrenders you to the wiles of his now triumphant opponent, who feels satisfied that he can make you take something off his hands, though the Turk was unsuccessful. As most Englishmen appear to value swords, he takes from his cupboard a black-looking, dust-covered, white-handled weapon; and pushing aside his long robe with an air of the utmost importance, he draws forth the blade, which proves to be a black Khorassan, entirely destitute of ornament: he rings it, it returns a silver sound; he points out the beautiful watering, the gradual deepening of the colour from the edge to the back, and finishes by swearing to you, whilst he looks towards the Armenians and Jew brokers gathered around for their attesting nods, that it is the most exquisite blade in Stamboul; that it will cut a lawn kerchief, thrown into the air, into two parts, as clean as a pair of scissors. He then closes his panegyric with the demand of, "How much will you give?" Scarcely waiting for a reply, he throws it aside, as if of no value; and, in imitation of his neighbour the Turk, endeavours to keep your curiosity awake, by placing all his wares104 before you.


The instant you turn from the disappointed merchant, you are assailed by twenty Jew brokers at once, who, having espied their quarry from afar, have assembled from all quarters of the bazar, and, like a flock of vultures, are waiting near to devour you, congratulating themselves on your unwillingness to buy of the cunning Armenian. One attacks you in bad Italian, another in modern Greek, interlarded with a few words of unintelligible English or French. Each is master of a stall; where, according to his own account, you can purchase whatever you want at the greatest advantage, though, as yet, they know not what that is, even if you do yourself. Thus, like Actæon, the unfortunate stranger is exposed to the chance of being torn to pieces by the dogs who profess to call him master, and to do his utmost bidding.

The bazar is always crowded with buyers, sellers, and idlers, so that it costs some little squeezing and pushing to get through its various passages. When a large purchase is contemplated, or if the seller be an Armenian or Greek, he will adjourn with you to the neighbouring coffee-house, and there, over a pipe and a cup of coffee, the bargain is concluded on much better terms than in public, where, possibly,105 the merchant's pride would not relish the exposure of abating some hundred piastres, and where the sharks of brokers might lay claim to a good recompense, for bringing the Ingles capu dou to be plucked.


In the bazar the noise is deafening from the screams of the disputing parties, and the vociferating of prices by those who have articles for sale. It is a sort of Babel in miniature, where Jews and brokers push by you every instant, hastily shuffling along, and loaded with some piece of second-hand finery to be put up at auction; such as, for instance, an incense salver, a piece of Persian silk, an Albanian rifle, an old silk or velvet robe, embroidered with gold, the property of some gay Turkish lady, who having exhausted her purse the day before in a party of pleasure to the Keathane or "Sweet Waters," wishes to replenish it by the sale of a portion of her wardrobe. To these may be added, amber mouth-pieces, bundles of long pipe-sticks, a lot of worn-out clothes, a Persian battle-axe, China ornaments for scents, coffee cups with their silver filigree stands, a Cashmere shawl, &c. Each seller bawls out the last bidding for his separate commodity in the highest note of which his voice is capable; and as all are pitched in different keys, the106 stranger is soon driven forth to seek a purer and more quiet retreat, either within the gold and silver embroidery bazar, or in that of the Broussa silks, close by.

Slave Market, Constantinople.

Drawn G. C. from a Sketch by the Author.

Slave Market, Constantinople.


Quitting this scene of tumult, I visited a place of a very different character,—the slave market, situated in a square yard, three sides of which are occupied by low stone buildings, with wooden sheds projecting in front. They were divided into rows of cells, each having a window and door opening into the wooden enclosure just mentioned. Within these dens,—and they exactly resemble the cells usually occupied by wild beasts,—a "crowd of shivering slaves" were seen either penned up within the inner apartment, or lying about, like cattle, in the open space in front. They appeared to be all Nubians,—black, dirty, and clothed in ragged blankets. Born to no other inheritance but slavery, they seemed wholly unconscious of their degraded state; and continued chattering unconcernedly, and, to all appearance, very happy. As I stood gazing on the novel scene, the ruffian keeper (and never did a vile, debasing occupation stamp its character more indelibly on the physiognomy of man) led one of the black victims forth, to meet the speculating caprices of a haggard old Turkish woman. He proceeded 107 to point out her good qualities, and to descant on the firmness of her muscles, the robustness of her limbs, and her mature age; at the same time pinching her tender flesh, by way of proving the truth of his assertions, till the poor creature shrieked out with agony. He then tore down her eye-lids, to exhibit the healthiness of her eye-balls; and wrenched open her mouth, to prove, by ocular demonstration, that he practised no deception in speaking of her age. The old woman herself examined her all the time, and haggled, as to the price, like a butcher when purchasing an ox in the cattle market. As I witnessed all this, my heart sickened, and I turned with loathing from the disgusting spectacle. Yet the poor negress was wanted only for a domestic slave, and would, probably, be kindly treated, when once the property of the old hag, who, I believe, purchased her at last for 1000 piastres, or fifty dollars. Indeed the girl appeared to be conscious that the change would be advantageous to her, from the meekness with which she bore the treatment of her persecutors. Proceeding a little further on, we observed, sitting at the window of one of the cells, a solitary female, whose head was covered with a linen veil. On hearing our approach, she looked at us through108 its folds; in an instant after, the covering was removed, and a pair of brilliant, dark eyes shed their lustre upon us. Nowadays a white slave is seldom found in the market, the Russians protecting the Circassian and the Georgian, and the French and English the Greek. When they do appear, they are generally disposed of at a high price. GEORGIAN SLAVE.

This beautiful captive, who proved to be a Georgian, was neither bashful nor timid. She saluted us with smiles, severing her raven locks, and trying to captivate the spectators, by making her beauty appear to the greatest advantage. However, it did not seem to possess any power over the Turks; and as to the Christians, they are not allowed to purchase slaves publicly, though sometimes it is done indirectly, and by the assistance of some friendly Osmanli. I saw but three or four men-slaves, with a few boys, all Nubians, and, like their female companions, in a dirty, miserable condition. They were chained together, two and two, by the ankles. Having now satisfied my curiosity in regard to this much talked-of but loathsome spot, I was most glad to hear the proposition that we should adjourn to Mustapha's. From him we learned that the Georgian beauty had been exposed to sale for several days; but that no one had offered to purchase her, the sum demanded being exorbitant.109 Her proprietor was a rich man, and could afford to wait until some one consented to put down the 2500 piastres at which he valued her.


Passing through the old-clothes' bazar, the Monmouth Street of Stamboul, we came to a range of stalls occupied by the engravers and cutters of precious stones. Many talismans were offered to us, set very neatly in blood-stone, carnelian, and lapis lazuli. The day was wound up with the important business of tasting the different varieties of confectionery to be found in a large, handsome shop near the Balouk bazar. All were luscious, and many, particularly the preserved rose leaves, were even delicate. We partook of some thirty or forty different sorts; in which flowers, scents, fruits, and gums were mixed with sugar, until of the consistence of damson cheese. The Turks eat a vast quantity of these cloying sweetmeats, after which they drink abundance of sherbet. A glass of good brandy, however, would, in my opinion, be a much better corrective.


Sunday, 26th.—Went up to Terapia this morning, and spent the day in wandering through the Sultan's Valley, under the superb plane trees, and returned to dine on board the Actæon. After dinner, a party of young110 Armenians came on board, accompanied by their tutor. They were sons of a man of distinguished rank among his countrymen, residing on the Bosphorus; and one of them, the eldest, about eighteen years of age, was so fat, round, and sleek, that we all decided him to be what Baba threatened to make poor Juan. The other two brothers were very fine intelligent lads, and there was also a cousin with them, a heavy, shy, youngster. The tutor, who was a young man of about twenty-two, spoke French, Italian, English, and Latin, fluently. His pupils, likewise, understood a little English, and French uncommonly well. They were delighted with their reception, and remained a long time at table in the gun-room, drinking their wine with much relish, and seeming to prefer it to coffee, especially the younger boy, who, had he been permitted, would have willingly finished a whole bottle to his own share. On taking leave, they invited us all to their father's residence; but we never availed ourselves of the invitation, possibly because we discovered that they had no sisters; and the inside of the black house, below Jené Keni, was in itself an insufficient attraction, without the chance of getting a glimpse of a fair Armenian girl, divested of her odious gashmak, and the form-concealing cloak.

111The evening was lovely, and my sail down to Pera delightful: no sound broke upon the ear, save the rippling of the current against the caique as it glided lightly along, like the bird, which skims closely over the surface of the ocean, and appears to bathe its plumage in the waves, though in reality without wetting its crescent wings.


Monday, 27th.—Strolled again in the bazar: this word means barter, or the act of bargaining for the sale or purchase of any commodity; and it is in them that all the retail trade of Constantinople is carried on. As these cloistered passages exclude the rays of the sun, they are cool and pleasant places to lounge in, except that the pavement is usually in a very dilapidated state. The merchants themselves present an interesting spectacle, each wearing the proper costume of his respective country, which, with the motley garb of the crowd incessantly passing to and fro, amuses the stranger's eye with a curious and almost infinite variety of dress and appearance. For the convenience of those who arrive periodically at Stamboul from the most distant portions of the empire, in caravans, there are large khans provided; which, being built entirely of stone, are fire-proof, and afford ample accommodation for the merchants112 with their attendants and property. TURKS.—ARMENIANS.—GREEKS.

Yonder sits the Turk, grave and taciturn: his goods are spread before him on his counter, and samples hang around in neat array; but satisfied with this, and trusting to their intrinsic value to recommend them, he smokes with a haughty air, and disdains to utter a single word to arrest the stranger's passing steps. Should you question him about the price, and attempt to cheapen his merchandise, the answer will be comprised in two words; and if the abatement be again proposed, he replies with an economical "No," and a whiff of smoke, after which he again relapses into his former apathy.

That bearded elder, seated on a low stool with the dark clouds of thought and mental calculation visible on his countenance, is an Armenian. Though he will submit to a diminution of his price, he is honest; and though a man of few words also, yet is he civil without affectation, and persuasive from the apparent sincerity of his professions.


Their neighbour, however, makes ample amends for the taciturnity of both. He is a Greek, and you may hear him at the other extremity of the bazar. The most laboured efforts of the rhetorician bear no comparison with the honied, artful speeches, and the gay113 and cheerful air by which he detains, wheedles, and finally succeeds in obliging the passer by to purchase, or at least examine the contents of his stall. Observe yon poor devil, dragged first this way, then thrust back again, trying in vain to still the tempest which rages around him, by speaking half a dozen languages in a breath. He is an interpreter, or go-between in a purchase, and seems torn to pieces in the whirlwind of voices which assail him from the disputing parties, in each of whose languages he tries to explain; but, poor patient Jew! you never could speak any of them intelligibly, and your nasal twang, and drawling accent, so disguises what you do say, that nothing but a miracle could make you understood. The screams, the grimaces, the gestures which these people exhibit, during their unavailing efforts to render themselves understood, appear inexpressibly ludicrous to the indifferent spectator, and their perseverance is still more extraordinary, since it rarely happens that their best endeavours are repaid by any thing better than reproaches, kicks, and imprecations.


Our old friend Mustapha reposes so much confidence in the honour of an Englishman, that this morning he offered to lend me any sum I wished, with no other security than my simple114 word. In order to convince me of his ability to make good this promise, after removing a stone from the floor, he unlocked an iron trap-door, and showed me a mine of gold pieces concealed below. He was delighted with a rough sketch I made of him; indeed, many circumstances go to prove that the fanatical aversion of the Turks to portraits and pictures is much on the decline, notwithstanding all representations of the human figure are strictly prohibited by the Mahomedan law. The Sultan has had his likeness taken twice already, and he is going to sit a third time to an English artist of the name of Atkins.

Tuesday, 28th.—A ship arrived from Malta to-day, bringing intelligence that the formidable English fleet destined to join the French squadron might soon be expected in the Dardanelles. All Pera is in raptures at this news, and there is now some hope that the Russian Bear will be forced to draw in his claws.


I walked about Stamboul to-day, and experienced much civility from the Turks, who took infinite trouble to answer all my enquiries. When I made them understand by signs that I wished to cross the Horn, many left their little stools and walked some distance to put me in the right course. How changed is their conduct in this respect from what it was at no very remote period,115 when a Christian hardly dared be seen in the streets, and when the Turk, for mere sport, thought nothing of drawing a pistol and shooting at any Frank whom he happened to observe looking out of his window; and not only the foreign merchant, but even the consul, was obliged to have a guard of janissaries to attend him from his house to his office. At that time, too, the wealthy Christian, in passing through the streets of Stamboul, was often stopped and compelled to sweep the muddy crossing; and even the dogs were allowed to worry him, without his daring to beat them off. Happily those days of fanatical intolerance are for ever passed; and the irresistible march of civilisation, by gradually weakening his prejudices, has humanised even the intolerant and ferocious Mussulman.12


Thursday, 30th.—To-day a man brought for sale a quantity of Persian silk, which was very soft and beautiful, and the colours were 116bright and well arranged; he had also some black Cashmere shawls with variegated borders: though the patterns looked handsome, they were of inferior qualities, and not to be compared with the French and Scotch imitations. Not being inclined to purchase any, I posted off to the khan, where the Angora shalée is sold, and saw some beautiful specimens of this soft and warm manufacture, whose fine silky texture renders it a great object of commerce for ladies' dresses: the price is about 300 piastres for eight pics, which is the requisite quantity.


I returned to Pera to take the hummum or bath, the one there being very clean, quiet, and well managed. A narrow platform, raised about three feet from the ground, and covered with cushions, runs round the whole of the first chamber, which is lighted from above by a glazed cupola; and a fountain of clear water playing continually in the centre, spreads a delicious coolness throughout. As soon as we had mounted the stage, one of the bath-men offered carpets and cushions, but my companion refused them, for the plague is often communicated by using these pro bono publico comforts; and a Perote lives in constant dread of this terrible malady. After undressing, we hung our clothes on pegs, and covered ourselves with a linen towel, devoted to that laudable pur117pose, and which, if neglected in the slightest degree, calls forth the most energetic remonstrances from the old Turk, who sits smoking near the fountain.

The wooden pattens or slippers used by the bathers were arranged on the steps by which we mounted the stage, and I had several narrow escapes from being prostrated on the marble pavement ere I reached the small door leading into the hummum; so difficult do the uninitiated find the use of these wooden bridges, which are clumsy, heavy, and slippery as skates. I shuffled along very awkwardly, much to the amusement of three sedate old gentlemen, who were puffing and melting from the effects of a long sojourn in the heated atmosphere of the inner chamber. The first hot room was rather pleasant; and after remaining there a few moments, to break ourselves in for the furious attack on the pores to be expected in the next, we entered the second chamber, and again pushed on into the third, where the sensation, though at first unpleasant, gradually became delightful. Coffee and pipes were now brought in; and sitting down on a low marble bench, we consigned ourselves to the influence of the melting atmosphere, thinking of the unhappy condition of the mutton-chop, when it exclaimed in a piteous voice to the118 gridiron, "I am all of a perspiration." There were several other bathers undergoing this process of fermentation; and when the coffee was finished, and the pipe laid aside, two fellows placed me gently on my back, and commenced rubbing, squeezing, and twisting my arms, ribs, and legs till I thought every joint would be dislocated. I soon felt satisfied with this sort of discipline, though, upon the whole, the sensations were rather disagreeable than painful. The room where we underwent the operation is an octagon, with an arched roof, into which light is admitted through a number of bulls' eyes, or knots of glass; and a marble basin is fixed against the wall on each of its eight sides, into which two pipes, with stop-cocks, admit both hot and cold water. With this you deluge yourself by means of a large metal ladle chained to the wall; or it is done by the bath-man, should you prefer the assistance of another. Within this chamber was a smaller one, containing similar basins, and to one of these I moved, followed by one of the men, who, after lathering me from head to foot with a sort of slimy caustic soap, scrubbed me down with a brush made of aloe shreds. Having overwhelmed me once more with cold and hot water, and given a finishing pull or two at my limbs, he left me119 to duck myself, if I thought fit; but I had had quite enough, and hurried back into the second chamber. Here I was enveloped in hot towels, one being wound round my head, another round each leg, &c., and in this way I returned to the first court, where I mounted the stage, and sat down to dry, smoking a good half hour before I resumed my clothes. Instead of being exhausted, as might have been expected, I felt highly refreshed, and grew delightfully cool in a short time, though I fancied I had lost some pounds of flesh.

As regards the natives of the East, bathing can scarcely be styled a luxury; to them, it is really indispensable; for as they do not change their clothes even at night for months together, in fact, not until worn out, they would be otherwise insufferable beasts; but by frequenting the bath every day, or every other day, and performing the ablutions imposed on them in the Koran, with their quiet sedate mode of life, they are actually rendered very cleanly animals. The women have the use of the baths in the afternoon, when they assemble in crowds, and all the scandal and news of the town is circulated, marriages concluded, and the secret intrigues of the parties are reciprocally detailed; in short, every thing which may be supposed to be brought120 on the tapis in an exclusive meeting of the fair sex. Nature is every where the same; and I presume, whether in a bath at Stamboul, a Parisian saloon, or a drawing-room in London, a similar love of gossip is their distinguishing characteristic. Almost every quarter of Stamboul is furnished with its baths or hummums; and the houses of all rich Turks possess this desirable luxury, which is used by the male part of the family in the morning, and by the females afterwards. The plan on which they are constructed is the same throughout the East: in them shaving is universally performed; the hair is dyed, the beard is made to assume a beautiful glossy black; and the depilatory pincers and ointments of the ladies are applied to the purposes for which they are designed. The bath I used was opposite the sherbet vender, on the hill of Pera, who is so well described in "The Armenians" of Macfarlane; and whose little fountain of water, flowing through machinery, and setting wheels, circles, and bells all in motion together, is no slight decoy to the thirsty passenger. I have read "The Armenians" with great pleasure. The description of the locale, as well as of the manners, customs, and general appearance of the native and foreign inhabitants of Constantinople, is given with admirable fidelity; in short,121 no modern work with which I am acquainted presents a more lively and faithful picture of this queen of cities.


Friday, 31st.—Instead of making an excursion to the Sweet Waters, I went with my friend the American secretary to visit the coffee-houses in the Armenian quarter, where an improvisatore exhibits his talents every holyday. Immense crowds of respectable Turks assemble there to listen to the narrations of this accomplished story-teller; and it is even said that the Grand Signior himself is often present as an auditor in disguise. In all the coffee-houses there were concerts of vocal and instrumental music; the former consisting of songs or chants performed by a number of voices together, or else one man sang a single verse, to which all the others responded by way of chorus. Occasionally they varied their performances by singing alternate verses of the same song. We sat in the open air, on a long pier of wood built out into the sea, where there were hundreds besides, perched upon low stools, smoking, or eating delicious ices and mahalabé, and laughing and talking with more vivacity than I could have expected in beings generally so taciturn, and so absorbed in the contemplation of their own importance. At last, a man came to the door of the largest coffee-room122 and clapped his hands, when the Turks immediately moved into this apartment, in which seats were arranged in a semicircular form one above the other, as in a theatre. A portion of the floor, in front of the benches, was occupied by low stools, probably reserved for visiters of distinction; and close to the wall was a rostrum and a large easy arm-chair, on one side of which stood a little desk.


Our Oriental friends behaved with much politeness: for, perceiving from our European costume that we were strangers, they offered us places in front of the stage; and after a few minutes' delay a man entered, and was handed up to the platform and chair amidst a buzz of universal applause. In his hand he carried a small stick, and in gait, physiognomy, and manner bore a singular resemblance to our English Matthews. He was dressed in a frock coat, now so generally worn in Constantinople, and wore, on one of his fingers, a most superb brilliant ring, which, it is said, was presented to him by the Sultan, as a mark of his especial approbation. A profound silence prevailed among the company the moment he made his appearance; every one seeming desirous to be amused, and most anxious to catch every word that fell from his lips. ORIENTAL JOHN TROT.

No story-teller of Stamboul had ever enjoyed so much123 fame and popularity as this Turkish Matthews, who, rising from his seat and making three very profound obeisances to the company, commenced his "At Home" with a series of imitations, in which he personated a Turk from Aleppo, the Yorkshire or Calabria of the East. This Oriental John Trot, is represented as setting out on his journey to see the world and make his fortune; and with this intent visits various places. On one occasion, being mistaken for a Pasha in disguise, he is every where feasted, and treated with the most respectful attention, until the real truth being discovered, he is bastinadoed, spit upon, plucked by the beard, and, in short, maltreated in a thousand different ways. At last he finds his way to Stamboul, and manages to obtain an interview with his Sublime Highness; after which he visits England, France, &c., and on his way back is taken by a pirate, who carries him to the coast of Africa. During this compulsatory voyage, he describes himself as affected with the most horrible sea sickness; and here his representation of a person labouring under that detestable malady was so accurate, that I almost fancied myself again in the cockpit of the Actæon, and all the terrors of the voyage across the Adriatic arose fresh to my imagination. After many other adventures, he returns safe to124 INGENIOUS MIMICRY.

Aleppo, his native city, no richer than he set out; but, like the monkey who had seen the world, "full of wise saws," and strange assertions. His hairbreadth escapes, the unlucky scrapes he gets into, the blunders he is incessantly committing from his imperfect knowledge of the languages of the various nations among whom he is thrown, the continual equivoque and play upon words, his absurd misconceptions of the orders he receives, his buffetings, bastinadoes, feasts, imprisonments, and escapes, the odd satirical remarks elicited by the different objects, places, and strange fashions he encounters,—all afforded opportunities to the ingenious mimic for displaying the versatility of his powers. The changes, too, of voice, manner, look, gesture, suitable to the various characters he assumed, were infinitely ludicrous and entertaining. In this respect he was little, if at all, inferior, to his mirth-inspiring brother of the Adelphi; in proof of which, I need only state, that, though utterly unacquainted with his language, and enabled to follow the thread of the story only by the hurried explanations of Hodgson, I sat listening and laughing with the greatest satisfaction for more than two hours, without feeling my attention at all beginning to flag. A DELIGHTED AUDIENCE.

As to the Turks, they were literally convulsed125 with laughter; shouting, screaming, and uttering a thousand exclamations of delight; and more than once it was evident, from their uproarious mirth, that he had succeeded in satirising the peculiarities of some well-known individual. At every pause in the story—very necessary for the actor, who was often exhausted by the violence of his gesticulations—wooden trays were handed about, and every one was expected to contribute a few paras. Of course the liberality of the audience was proportioned to the gratification they received; and on the present occasion he, no doubt, experienced substantial proofs of their approbation in a pretty considerable harvest of silver pieces. I could have remained with pleasure to hear another tale, but the heat was overpowering, and my friend also seemed anxious to get away; so we quitted the room with our risible muscles somewhat sore from long-continued exertion.

The refreshing coolness of the sea breeze induced us to hire a caique, and we coasted along towards the Seraglio Point. The walls on this side of the triangle, which encloses Constantinople, are, perhaps, the most ancient of all, and remains of former splendour are every where seen intermingled with the ordinary materials of which they are composed. Capitals of superb workmanship,126 friezes, and columns, are not only embedded in the masonry, but thousands of pillars piled one above the other form the foundations, in many parts, which may be plainly distinguished beneath the transparent waves.


Saturday, June 1st.—Notwithstanding it rained heavily this morning, I went over to Stamboul to see what I could pick up in the Sahof Charshousi, or book-market. This bazar is very quiet, as befits a temple devoted to literature, and most of the merchants are old fellows with spectacle on nose, who sit in a corner of their shop-board, and pass the time in poring over the Koran, or some of the thousand and one commentaries written upon it. Their books and manuscripts are piled up without order, and they seem never to know where to put their hands upon any work which may be demanded. There was an infinite number of manuscripts of Persian poetry, and I bought several beautifully illuminated almanacks; but if, while examining these, I approached a volume of the Koran, or, indeed, any religious book, they either snatched it away, or interposed themselves in such a manner, that I could not touch the object of this extraordinary precaution.


I bought one book, which the owner said was a treatise on mathematics; it however appeared127 to me to be more like a genealogical tree, and so it turned out. My friend Hodgson, who is well versed in the Oriental languages, pronounced it to be a Silsileh-nameh, or genealogy of the Ottoman emperors from Adam to the present Sultan; a work of extreme rarity, and the most complete he had ever seen. Through his assistance I procured a very good copy of the Koran, and also a firman, signed by Sultan Selim, granting permission to a rich Turk to bequeath his fortune as an endowment for four priests, on condition that they employed themselves in sweeping the mosque at Mecca. This document, which is very long, is beautifully written on gold, and is altogether a very splendid specimen of Oriental penmanship. I also bought some Turkish spelling-books, very tastefully painted and ornamented, such as are used in the schools.

Monday, 3d.—As the heat of the weather begins to be oppressive, my companion and myself have determined to remove to Terapia, where we have, after some difficulty, engaged a house close to the back gate of the English palace, and commanding a fine view of the Bosphorus. This morning we took possession of our abode, which is furnished by its proprietor, Mauvromati, with all we required; and we have hired one Demetrio, a most obliging, clever fellow, who128 speaks Persian, Turkish, Greek, French, and English; besides these accomplishments, he is an excellent cook.

The mids of the Actæon found a name for the establishment immediately: pipes, porter, bread and cheese, and whisky toddy, became the order of the day, and night, too; and these jovial youths have transferred their berth to the "Jolly Landsmen."


But there was another inducement to move to Terapia; for the midshipmen of the Actæon gave their brother officers of the French frigate Galatea a dinner, in return for one to which they had been invited. The starboard side of the main deck was partitioned off by sails, and converted into a very handsome cabin, which was hung with a drapery of the flags of all nations, except the Rusky, whom we unanimously voted unworthy to hold companionship with the Jack and the Tricolor, which, with the Turkish blood-red flag, formed a handsome canopy at the head of the table. The ambassador and the captain lent their plate, and the ship's cooks were put under the orders of the palace chef. The pièces montées, sweetmeats, &c. were under the direction of the ambassador's Italian confectioner; the wines were partly from the embassy cellar, and partly from the captain, and the renowned Stampa of Galata. Plenty of volunteers from the marines129 and sailors joined the ship's boys as attendants; so that altogether, the affair was splendidly got up, and did honour to the British mids. Our dinner was a capital one; for the cook, fired with national emulation, surpassed all his previous efforts, and, in consequence, the table was covered with the rarest delicacies that art and nature could supply; the dessert consisted of all the rich and exquisite fruits which this sunny clime and fertile soil produce in an almost endless variety; and of ices and Champagne there was no lack. Twenty-six sat down to the sumptuous repast; and when the cloth was removed, the wine circulated briskly, while the bond of amity between the French and English sailor, was strengthened by the interchange of many a loyal toast and happy well-timed allusion to the brave and martial character of the two nations; nor was music wanting to complete our joyous revelry: the whole budget of lower deck songs was completely exhausted; the guests contributing their quota of chansons à boire, &c. to the general hilarity; and "God save the King" and "Rule Britannia" were succeeded by the "Parisienne" and the "Marseilloise." Thus was the party bravely kept up till about midnight, when twenty out of the number, though sailors, were "half-seas over;" and though the sea was, in reality, as smooth as130 a lake, they imagined themselves tossing in some heavy swell, bidding their companions remark how dreadfully the ship pitched and rolled, and declaring unanimously that a retreat into the hammocks was next to an impossibility. Three of our ancient and hereditary foes were borne (not steadily, I trow) to the ship's side, and gently lowered from the gangway, 'mid tears of joy; dead,—but not from piercing of cruel shot, nor from "ghastly wound of glittering steel:" no, they were laid prostrate by rapid discharges from the circling bottle, and the overpowering draughts of glorious red hot "bishop." Being at length all safely stowed in the Actæon's jolly-boat,—for in what other could so noble a band of topers have been appropriately embarked?—

"They were row'd to their ship, By the mess they had dined with."

In returning to the Actæon, after a game of cricket in the Sultan's Valley, we approached as close as possible to head-quarters, where the Russian and Turkish bands were playing. The Russians often sang between the airs; and some two or three hundred voices joining in chorus, during the stillness of evening, produced a very impressive effect. Parties of the soldiers were engaged in dancing; and, in fact, it seemed to be a gala day, for there was a display of fireworks, and an illumination throughout the camp in the evening.


This spectacle, which had all the air of enchantment, was seen to great advantage from the quay at Terapia. It continued to a late hour; and the inhabitants of that quarter assert it to have been merely a ruse, to occupy the attention of the idle and inquisitive, who might otherwise be spying about and discover the other and more serious game going on behind the Point, where soldiery are daily landed from the fleet, and the small craft which come in from the Black Sea. The stratagem is a good one, and I dare say some hundreds of men will be added to the encamped army, while certain unconscious diplomatists are sipping their coffee, and complacently gazing at these fiery devices.

Thursday, 6th.—Jeddi Calé, or the Seven Towers, may be considered as the Bastile of the East. They were erected by the immediate successors of Constantine the Great, to strengthen the fortifications at one of the angles of the wall which surrounds the city, but in succeeding ages were converted into a formidable state prison. This cluster of forts was originally five in number, until Theodosius, in order to commemorate his victory over Maximus, erected a triumphal arch, which being flanked by towers, the structure thenceforward received the appellation which it now bears. In 1768, one of the most ancient of132 these castles fell down, and its majestic ruins afford ample proof of the vast solidity of the masonry. Each tower is about 200 feet high, and the walls which enclose them are double, and enormously thick, being constructed of immense blocks of stone; but since the invention of gunpowder they are no longer considered impregnable. This edifice, after being first used as a barrack for the janissaries, was converted into a prison, in which, contrary to the law of nations and every principle of justice, the minister of any power against whom the Sultan happened to declare war, was immured, until the termination of the quarrel.

This shameful and barbarous violation of the usages which prevail in every other European government, has at all times been regretted by the respectable Turks, who acknowledge it to be a base and disgraceful stigma upon their national character.

From the time when the Seven Towers thus became the prison of ambassadors, they acquired an interest and celebrity which otherwise they never could have attained. Mystery and romance took them under their especial protection; and Eastern imaginations joined themselves to those of the West, in inventing tales of horror, dark, deep, and tragical, connected with the dungeons133 and caverns beneath these dreaded walls. That gloomy aperture which yawns beneath your footsteps is called the Well of Blood; even the Turkish guide acknowledges that it has often overflowed with human gore! Within this low arched vault, from which the cheerful sun is for ever excluded, the victim lay extended upon the rack, until death itself became a welcome relief; and upon its walls were arranged, in dreadful order, all the infernal instruments of torture, by which the cruelty of man endeavoured to extort from the wretched prisoners a confession of crimes, perhaps never committed, and of conspiracies, existing only in the guilty imaginations of their oppressors. A little court within the precincts of the building was pointed out to me as having frequently contained a pyramid of human heads, reaching so high, that, standing upon its summit, you might have looked over the walls, and beheld the pure and peaceful Sea of Marmora. The guide also made me remark a number of narrow passages, scarcely high enough to admit a dog, through which it is reported that the miserable captive was formerly compelled to crawl upon his belly, and then left to perish from starvation, while he licked the dust in the extremity of his agony.

Thanks, however, to civilisation, these horrors are now no longer perpetrated; and, indeed, for134 the honour of human nature, one is desirous of believing that the greater portion of them are mere fables, invented by the guides, for the purpose of gratifying a morbid taste for the horrible, and to enhance the interest of the place. A few old soldiers are at present the only occupants of this redoubtable fortress, which is rapidly falling to ruin, though a remnant of the jealousy of former ages still requires a firman to be obtained, before you are allowed to visit its once formidable interior.


Leaving the towers, and proceeding on towards the village of Ejub, we came to the range of tombs, which formed one of the principal objects of the day's excursion. It is situated near the gate Selyori, through which passes the road leading in the direction of Santo Stefano.

It is a low square piece of rough masonry, erected of oblong stones, in the centre of a small verdant grove, and canopied by the luxuriant foliage of a magnificent plane tree.

Intermingled with this mass of smiling verdure and blossom-loaded boughs, appeared the dark funereal cypress, the emblem of death, intruding itself in melancholy contrast with the smiling and cheerful tints by which it is encircled.

The tombs consist of five tall sculptured stones, of unequal height, surmounted by turbans, and135 inscribed with the following legend in gilded characters, explanatory of the fate of the individuals whose names it commemorates:—"Here is deposited the head of the once celebrated Ali of Tepeleni, governor of the Sanjak of Janina, who for upwards of fifty years aspired to independence in Albania. Also, the heads of his three sons, Mouktar Pasha, Veli Pasha, Saelik Pasha; and that of his grandson, Mehemet Pasha."


Being unable to proceed farther along the walls, we returned, through the city, to the Golden Horn, and arrived rather late in Pera, where Hodgson and a friend of his from Beiroot, were waiting dinner. The latter gentleman is the American Vice-consul in Syria, and has visited Constantinople in the hope of recovering some money to which he is entitled for the salvage of a valuable English ship, lost on the coast near Beiroot. He amused us until a late hour with many interesting descriptions of Beiroot, Lady Stanhope, and the monks and cedars of Lebanon. Among other anecdotes, he related a curious incident that happened to him yesterday. He accompanied a party of Americans to Buyukdere, where they took a caique, and rowed alongside the Russian flag-ship. The sentinel at the gangway immediately ordered136 them to sheer off, and, on demanding the reason, they were told that they must not attempt to approach without the admiral's permission. Nothing daunted, they desired the man to ask the officer of the watch to allow them to inspect the interior of the vessel; but he flatly refused, because "they were Englishmen."

No sooner, however, was it explained that they were Americans, than they were desired to wait, while the officer reported this communication to his superior; the result of which was, that the admiral himself came on deck and took them down to his cabin, where he treated them to a luncheon of bread and cheese, fruit, and porter. When he had shown them over the ship, he ordered his boat to be manned, and conducted them himself to the head-quarters of the camp, sent an officer as their guide, and patiently waited until they had fully gratified their curiosity. But his attentions did not end there; for he took them on board again, gave them another luncheon, and afterwards sent them ashore at Buyukdere in his own boat.

My friend Marriot, who left us some time ago to visit Ibrahim at Kutahieh, has returned with Mr. Costingen, who went to meet him at Broussa, a charming city, surrounded by mulberry groves, situated at the foot of Mount Olympus.137 It was the first residence of the Ottoman Emirs, commencing with Orchan, whose mausoleum, strange to say, is a beautiful octagonal church, belonging to a Greek monastery of that period. The tombs of sultans, Ilderim, Bayazid, and of Amurath I., are also at Broussa.


Marriot remained a day with Ibrahim, taking the bath and dining with him. He is a fine fellow by his account; he said he would have been in Stamboul, in spite of the Russians, if the French and English had not interposed, and prevented him by their threats; adding, that they would, ere long, back him, and wish they had not interfered. If the allies would furnish him with 50,000 muskets, he declared himself ready to begin the war again, with certain hopes of success, provided they took no part in the contest; for he could raise 150,000 Syrians, besides the assistance of 45,000 Persians, who were offered to him. He says, the day must arrive, when he shall be in Stamboul, with the full approbation of both English and French, who will find their truest policy is, to establish him on the throne of Constantinople; and thus erect an effectual barrier against the encroaching ambition of the Northern powers.

Marriot and his friend went up to Olympus, and remained encamped there two days, for the138 purpose of bear-hunting; but meeting with no success, they returned, and, taking boat, arrived at Constantinople by night.


As they were quietly ascending the hill towards Pera, the guard seized upon them, and, notwithstanding their remonstrances, took them to the common prison, where they were thrust in among a crowd of wretches who had been pining there for several days. Indignant at this outrage, they sent a messenger for the consul, and for Giuseppino, at break of day; and in the course of the morning, after a tremendous row with the colonel of the guard-house, they were set at liberty. The consul is exasperated, but they will get no redress, so long as the present system of English diplomacy exists. Be it in Pera or in Madrid, Petersburg or Naples, poor John Bull must always be kicked and cuffed, ill used, and treated contrary to the law of the land in which he happens to be sojourning. Is it to be supposed that any minister would give himself the trouble to mix himself up in such affairs? He might address a note to the authorities, when the facts would in all probability be denied, or some paltry excuse made: the minister declares himself satisfied, and the Perotes have the laugh against us and our boasted powerful and energetic government. Now, had it been a Frenchman,139 a Russian, or even a Prussian, who had been served in this scandalous manner, how different would have been the result! The colonel would have been dismissed, if not imprisoned; an apology from the government, with the corporal punishment of the insolent soldiers, and every satisfaction that could have washed away such foul treatment, would have assuredly followed. For, though the law allows the arrest of persons going through the streets at night without a light; yet, the officer, seeing they were gentlemen, and just arrived by sea, had full discretionary power to send them home with a guard; or, if it was thought requisite to detain them, he had a good chamber in which they might have been placed. But, insolent and obstinate, he turned a deaf ear to every remonstrance, and ended by placing them in the same room with filthy beggars and malefactors.


As an illustration of what has been just stated, I will present the reader with a similar and somewhat more ludicrous anecdote. A few weeks since, Costingen had gone on horseback to Buyukdere, where, in passing the Sultan's kiosk at Dolma Batché, it is always necessary to dismount. Woe betide the unlucky wight who, failing to comply with this custom, happens140 to ride through the precincts of the palace. Our Turk, however, forgot all this, and was instantly arrested and insulted by the officer of the guard and the soldiers, who dragged him into the guard-house, preparatory to his being sent off to prison. Having discovered that he was mistaken for an Englishman, and finding matters were assuming a rather serious aspect, he luckily bethought of saying he was a Russian, "Rusky effendi ben! Rusky, Rusky!" roared he. Consternation immediately spread itself over the sleepy countenances of the Turks at this announcement. The captain, in the utmost alarm, begged his pardon, and pipes, coffee, ices, &c. were offered him by the soldiers, who declared themselves ready to fulfil his slightest commands. The captain of the guard, as well as he could explain himself, enquired why did he not say at once that he was a Russian? "Mashallah! it was an unlucky mistake. Am I not blind, not to see that you were no Englishman?" Further to propitiate the newly created Muscovite colonel's wrath, a guard of five men, a guard of honour,—hear it, ye Englishmen!—was sent to conduct him safe home, and to protect him from further insult; and with this guard of honour, Costingen the Turk actually marched[141 through the streets of Pera, and came to Tongo's house!


Such is the respect paid to the subjects of an energetic government. Yet it must not be supposed that the Russian finds any real sympathy in the breasts of the people: no! the Turks hate them as they do Satan, and declare in private that they would "spit upon their beards, and burn their fathers;" an oriental expression, indicative of extreme hatred and contempt.

It was very late when I started from Tophana13 to return to Terapia. The evening was calm and beautiful, and as the caique glided slowly up the stream, following all the sinuosities of the shore, the jasmine and orange flower, and the sweet roses which are now blooming in myriads, filled the air with their perfumed odours.


As we passed the house of the Moslem, all was gloomy silence; but on nearing a Greek village, the enlivening sound of the song, the guitar, and followed by bursts of merriment, broke upon the ear; and the frequent clapping of hands, and the strain of the romaika, or the Italian waltz, which came floating over the water, 142told of the merry joyous inmates, who are ever seen to prefer the dance and song, to the pipe and coffee-cup; the twinkling feet, and sparkling smile, to the grave nod and solemn demeanour of their former tyrants. A little below Jené Keni, near one of the Turkish batteries, the Turkish Punchinello was exhibiting his grotesque antics. It is long since this merry devil has been allowed to stroll about, and amuse the lower orders; but he does sometimes make his appearance. A transparent skreen, illuminated from behind, concealed him from the spectators, so that his shadow was the sole actor of all his tricks and adventures, which appeared to resemble very closely those of his English and Neapolitan namesake. His conversation must have been exceedingly humorous, from the bursts of laughter which it extorted from the soldiers and boatmen; for I lay to some time, in order to give them a view of master Punch, who appeared to have his hands fully occupied with the contests of his white and black slaves. On one occasion, his four wives, jealous of his favourite black sultana, attacked him together; but he eventually got the upper hand, by thrashing them all. Of course he breaks the head of a pasha; sets the bowstring at defiance; decapitates the eunuch sent to perform that merciful office on himself;143 and at last provokes the attack of the Shaitanculy, or devil's assistant. Just, however, as the prince of darkness had made his appearance, an alarm was given, away scampered the crowd, out went the lights, Punch disappeared, and before my men had the caique well on her way again, all was quiet and solitary, as if nothing forbidden had been there.


How lovely Terapia appears as I approach it; not a breath of wind ruffles the surface of the water, while the blaze of innumerable lights, which flash and glitter through the leafy skreen of the casement-covered hill, reminds me of the fabled splendours of Aladdin's cave. An almost perfect silence prevails, interrupted only at intervals by the faint splash of some distant oar, or the notes of thousands of nightingales, which swarm in every rose-garden and orange grove, pouring forth "their amorous descant through the livelong night."

The only persons I met, were the soldiers composing the Turkish guard, which perambulates the streets every hour. Their leader carries a staff armed with a large iron ferrule, which he strikes against the pavement, to give notice that he is on duty.


Friday, 7th.—This was the first morning that I heard the Ezan, or cry of the muezzin from144 the minaret, calling the faithful to prayer. I believe the invocation he makes, is something like the following:—"Come to prayer; come to the temple of salvation. Great God! there is no God but God.

"La Allah ila Allah, Muhammed14 Resoul Allah:" No God but God! Mahomet, prophet of God.

This exhortation is uttered in a loud and piercing tone of voice, which steals through the calm morning, producing a powerful effect: it is like the shrill call of a spirit to devotion, and has an unearthly sound. Though the bell tolling to prayer, possesses over the soul a power whose influence is very generally acknowledged, yet the awful voice of the priest crying from the minaret is infinitely more solemn, and seems as if it proceeded from the Divinity itself. There are few Mohammedans in Terapia who obey the summons, except those in authority.

I walked out this afternoon with the ambassador, and took him to a garden belonging to 145my landlord, an entrance into which I had stipulated for on taking the house. It commands a view of Terapia and the Bosphorus, and the prospect is so beautiful and picturesque, that it has even been visited by the Sultan.


On entering, we found Madame Mauvromati and her pretty daughters sitting under the wide-spreading plane trees; and they presented us with some delicious strawberries. Madame Mauvromati is a very old woman, and has been a witness of most of the atrocities inflicted on the Greeks during their recent struggles: she is herself of Genoese parents, but was married to a Greek, who perished in the great massacre. Of course she speaks Italian fluently; and her children, like their mother, are well educated, as, in addition to their native language, they understand Italian, French, and one of the sons, English: I suspect also, that the dark-eyed beauty, who so modestly proffered the strawberry basket, understood me better than she chose to acknowledge. We sat listening to tales of the cruelties perpetrated on the Greeks and Armenians; the exploits of the Sultan, and the destruction of the janissaries; interspersed with various little anecdotes of individuals well known in Stamboul, till it grew late, and, in consequence, dinner was not served at the palace till much beyond the146 usual hour. The French ambassador having sent word he should come in at ten o'clock, our meal was despatched at double quick time. Admiral Roussin was accompanied by two of his suite: politics, the most interesting of topics at the present crisis, were not the order of the evening; and, by one o'clock, I believe we were all glad to hear the pipe to hammocks. I then strolled up to my lodgings, where, however, I found that the piping had not reached.


Saturday, 8th.—A short time since, as two of the midshipmen were strolling about the country, they discovered a retired valley, and on proceeding towards the only dwelling in it, they were suddenly stopped by a sentinel. On inquiry, they learned that it contained part of a family resident in Terapia, three of whom had died of the plague in April last. They are now shut up in this solitary building, doing their eighty days penance or purification; and, of course, no one is allowed to approach them. The guard places water, bread, and, perhaps, some other coarse provisions in a certain spot, and the half-starved wretches are allowed to remove it, some time after they have seen their keepers retire.


In the evening I visited my landlord's garden, in the hope of meeting with Madame Mauvromati, and learning the concluding portion of her147 history of the massacre of her countrymen, and the destruction of the janissaries. The dark-eyed houri, with her basket of strawberries, was there as usual; and the old lady led us to a seat under the plane trees, commanding a view of Terapia and the Sultan's kiosk.

"Observe," said she, "that range of dark houses which lines for some distance the shore beneath us: they were once the happy homes of my dearest friends and connexions. The evening which preceded the fatal day to which you allude, had been passed in their society, and when I quitted them, to return to my own residence, it was with feelings of security as great as could be reasonably indulged in a city, where, at that time, the life of a Greek was exposed to a thousand perils. Alas! it was the last time I ever saw them alive. On the following morning, when I looked from my window, I beheld the body of each of my friends suspended from his own threshold, where they remained for the greater part of the day. In vain we petitioned to have them delivered up, that we might perform towards them the last sad duties of humanity. No! the request was denied, and they were delivered to the Jews, who, with a brutal feeling unequalled, except among the most ferocious savages, mutilated and defiled the remains of148 these descendants of the Grecian princes;—yesterday men of rank and fortune,—to-day treated as dogs, and refused even Christian burial.


"Though this occurrence took place in 1822, ten years ago, yet the horrid spectacle is still as fresh in my memory as if it had happened but yesterday. My husband, being a great favourite with the Sultan, was allowed to purchase his life by the sacrifice of nearly all he possessed; but he was long obliged to remain in concealment. Those were, indeed, times of misery and distress: there was not a single family belonging to my nation but had to deplore the loss of some one of its members; and every Greek village presented a scene of pillage and wanton massacre.

"But enough of this; let us now converse on more agreeable subjects. Two years ago, our noble Sultan,—may his beard be white!—having heard of the beauty of this garden, and the extensive prospects it commands, sent a message to signify it was his pleasure to pay me a visit; and, a day being appointed, he came with his sword-bearer, and two other officers of the court. Let me first inform you, however, that some hours previous, every dish and sweetmeat intended to be placed before his Highness, was commanded to be sent over to the kiosk, in order that they might be tasted before he partook of149 them, to prevent the possibility of poison being administered through their means. After each dish had undergone the necessary scrutiny, it was returned to me, enclosed in a gauze net, carefully sealed by the proper officer.

"Well, the Sultan came, as I said before, and eat, drank, and was merry. He is passionately fond of music, and the piano-forte was placed out under the trees, where Anna and Zuleika sat singing and playing Greek and Italian music to him, until he was quite enraptured.

"In the course of the evening, several of the young people of Terapia were sent for by his Highness's special desire; and we waltzed, and danced quadrilles, until long after the morn had shed its golden beams on the smooth waters of the Bosphorus.

"Our sovereign remained during the whole time, so perfectly did he relish and enter into the entertainments we had provided for him. Next day, I received a magnificent present of flowers, sufficient to deck some half dozen churches, and sweetmeats enough to last for a whole year; accompanied by a message from the Sultan, expressive of the pleasure he had experienced the evening before.

"But he could not be more delighted with my150 poor efforts to entertain him, than I was by his affability, condescension, and engaging demeanour. He promised to renew the visit; but, the aspect of public affairs has ever since been too stormy and menacing, to allow the anxious Mahmoud any opportunity of relaxation. Should days of peace return, and the father of his people still remember his promise, he may again delight us by his presence."

Whilst thus expatiating with an air of enthusiasm on the virtues of Sultan Mahmoud, all the cruelty, indignity, and outrage committed on her countrymen and relations, by his orders, seemed to vanish from the old lady's recollection, as though she had tasted of the fabled Lethe.

Happy the tyrant, who, by a single act of condescension, can thus obliterate the sanguinary records of his earlier days; and wash out the remembrance of blood in libations to Bacchus, and draughts of the too seductive and all-powerful Champagne!


On returning to the house, I found an express from Pera awaited me, announcing the arrival of the Neapolitan steam-boat Francesco, with the Prince of Bavaria.

Sunday, 9th.—I went down to Pera at an early hour this morning, and found the Francesco Primo floating proudly in the centre of the151 Horn. She was surrounded by hundreds of caiques, full of Turks and Greeks, admiring this fine vessel, the largest steamer that had ever visited Constantinople.

At Tongo's, I roused up some of its passengers, whom I had expected, and who were in our old quarters. They had been delighted with their trip, but were highly dissatisfied with the treatment on board, where they had to quarrel with bad provender, bad wine, and disobliging servants. In the course of the voyage, they had visited Corfu, Napoli, Egina, Corinth, Athens, and Smyrna. At the consul's I found Taylor, and near the house, Lord Wiltshire, Ruddel, and Hatfield: every lodging-house, every thing which went by the name of an albergo, was occupied; and such an immigration of visitors with purses full of money, and pockets crammed with note books, had probably never happened in Stamboul before. The Prince of Bavaria and his suite occupied the Palace of Austria.


After dinner, we sallied forth for the Sweet Waters of Europe, where I believe the whole crew of the boat had gathered together. The crowd of natives was also considerable to-day; and I saw many very beautiful Greeks among them. We stopped to observe a party of Turkish152 ladies, to whom a Jew was singing, and accompanying himself on a guitar. After listening to various songs, they asked him for a French or English ditty, as he professed to have visited all countries; but he attempted to evade the request, afraid, no doubt, of being detected by the Europeans standing round, for, probably, he had never been five miles from Constantinople in his life. As the ladies insisted, he at last commenced the following ditty;

Alendo falendo Malendo Calendo Li fuli Culendo Buon Giornò.

which he repeated five or six times, much to the satisfaction of his Turkish auditors, but more to our amusement, for most of us laughed heartily, notwithstanding the sour looks of the old Turks, who, I presume, were scandalized at seeing us expose ourselves in the presence of the fair. The poor singer was heartily glad when we moved away, when he, no doubt, treated his attentive listeners to another series of English or Italian airs.

Boat loads of laughing, joyous Greeks now began to crowd the landing-place; and every caique had either a guitar, flute, or violin on153 board. After landing, the parties strolled about, while their servants spread the carpets and viands upon the velvet turf. This done, each jovial company squatted down on their cushions, and commenced feasting and merry-making, which generally lasted until the night was far advanced.


Many of the Greeks present were from the Fanal, and three ladies from that quarter, who stepped out of the same caique, attracted universal admiration wherever they moved; for, if not princesses by birth, they were, at all events, entitled to claim that distinction in the court of beauty; and the eldest was the most lovely creature I ever beheld. She possessed one of those fine intellectual faces, which, once seen, can never be obliterated from the gazer's remembrance; and there was a languor and a softness in her countenance, and in the expression of her large, dark, sleepy eyes, inexpressibly fascinating, though more allied to Oriental than Grecian loveliness. They were,

"Black as death, their lashes the same hue, Of downcast length—in whose silk shadow lies Deepest attraction."

Her hair was of a deep glossy brown, nearly approaching to black, and fell in luxuriant ringlets154 on a neck of ivory; while her tall, commanding figure seemed to have been moulded by the Graces; and though somewhat inclining to the embonpoint, she moved with an elegance and dignity befitting Juno herself.

I have already observed, that the ankle of the true Grecian race is remarkable for its exquisite symmetry; and hers was a model of perfection, which plainly indicated her descent from a people, among whom beauty is the most decided national characteristic. Her delicate small foot was chaussée'd in a very neat black shoe, with a stocking of snowy whiteness: in a word, she seemed the personification of Dudú,

"Somewhat large, languishing, and lazy, But of a beauty that would drive you crazy."


The ferridgè or cloak, worn by this "Queen of the Sweet Waters," was thrown loosely on her shoulders, disclosing a dress remarkable for its elegant simplicity. Her veil of white gauze, worked at the ends with silk and gold, floated at random over her head and shoulders; a rich shawl was bound round her waist, and served to confine the tunic close to her bust: the remainder of her dress was of muslin, plain, neat, and of the purest white. She appeared perfectly unconscious of her superior beauty, and though this155 costume was calculated to display her attractions to the greatest advantage, her whole demeanour was characterised by the most perfect modesty.

The other ladies, if seen elsewhere, might have been considered handsome; but on this occasion their charms were completely eclipsed. In attempting to describe the person of so singular and lovely a female, I feel conscious how inadequate my language has been to convey any idea of the reality; which, like a Peri descended from the celestial paradise, flits before my eyes, "rich in all woman's loveliness."

"Who hath not proved how feebly words essay To fix one spark of Beauty's heavenly ray? Who doth not feel, until his failing sight Faints into dimness with its own delight— His changing cheek—his sinking heart confess The might—the majesty of loveliness?"

I could not discover who the enchantress was, further than that her party came from the Fanal. After remaining but a very short time, they reentered their light bark, and sped swiftly down the stream.


Some Turkish ladies present were exceedingly affable, lowering their gashmaks, and conversing for some time with us, through Tongo's brother, who performed the office of interpreter. They made various inquiries respecting our156 nation—why we had come to Stamboul?—how long we intended to remain? And then came that question, at once so natural and delightful to a pretty woman, "Did we think them handsome?" To this home-thrust at our gallantry, we of course made a suitable reply; which, unlike such answers in general, was strictly consistent with truth, for they were really beautiful, though the artificial junction of their painted eyebrows, and their stained nails, by no means heightened the effects of their natural charms. Our compliments appeared to amuse them exceedingly, for they laughed and chattered to each other with a vivacity not surpassed by the most accomplished gossips of any country, and which formed a perfect contrast to their affected sober demeanour. Just as they were beginning to be delightfully familiar, and had presented us with some delicious ices, two or three old Turks hove in sight. In an instant, every dimpling smile vanished; their countenances were again enshrouded in the odious linen masks; their ample veils dropt around them, and making a hasty sign for us to depart, our talkative and merry friends were again as demure and discreet, as any "magnificent three-tailed bashaw" in the empire could possibly have desired.

This was my farewell excursion to the Keathane,157 for I had no opportunity of visiting it afterwards; but the happy moments I passed there, will ever be among the most delightful recollections of my visit to the East.


Monday, 10th.—To day I took upon myself the duties of a cicerone, and volunteered to pioneer the uninitiated, and show them the wonders of Stamboul. The first place we visited was the arm bazaar, with the others in succession; and when they closed, we went to the Seraskier's tower. As we were coming away, the pilot of the Actæon joined us, and we climbed up the circular stair a second time. In descending, the cavash who had conducted us, observed, that he thought he had hit upon the means of getting admitted into St. Sophia. As he addressed himself to me, I promised to give him 100 piastres if I could accomplish it; and after consulting his brother cavashes, he returned, saying, it would only be necessary to ask permission of the Seraskier. Ask the Seraskier! beard the lion in his den! Who would undertake to present himself before him on such an errand? George, however, the fearless pilot of the Actæon, would have belled the Sultan himself in his divan; so he was unanimously chosen to represent the company of English nobles, and pushed into the presence forthwith.

158He found the Seraskier seated smoking upon his divan, and he politely inquired the purport of his visit. George, who was in his plain sailor's clothes, addressed his Excellency by all his titles, and replied, that he was a British officer, one of several others, who were waiting outside, because they felt unwilling to intrude on his Seraskiership; that the party could remain in Stamboul but a few days, and having heard much talk of the magnificent mosque of St. Sophia, they were most anxious to be admitted within its sacred precincts; for which favour they should be ever grateful, and devoutly pray, &c.

To this the Seraskier replied, that he highly applauded the laudable curiosity of the spokesmen and his friends: that truly, the mosque was an object worthy of their inspection, and did the order for admission depend on him, he would grant it instanter. It was, however, entirely foreign to his department, and he could only refer them to the Scheik Islam, or to the Reis Effendi, either of whom, on his recommendation,—and he desired George to convey to them his humble respects,—would grant the object of their petition. He prayed to God they might succeed, for God was great.

So saying, he bowed George out of the audience chamber into the court, where we stood,159 bursting with laughter at the ridiculousness of the scene, and well aware, that the permission was never granted, except as an especial favour, and always by a firman regularly signed and sealed by the Sultan, and delivered through the various officers about the court, on the payment of heavy fees.


To console ourselves for this disappointment we bowled away to a cabob shop, and having made a good luncheon, repaired to Mustapha's, to assist our digestion with a pipe, and make ready for the consul's dinner, to which we were invited. The shop was full of English, French, Germans, and Russians, all passengers in the Francesco; indeed, there was hardly a bazaar where some one of them was not to be found. The Jew interpreters were making a rare harvest, and the price of every article had nearly been doubled. Mustapha pawned off Attar Gul, as well as every other scent, manufactured for the occasion: having promised, if I would not peach, he would serve my friends honestly, he probably did so; but I am certain he made a good thing of the contraband.


Tuesday, 11th.—I enjoyed the pleasure, this morning, of being introduced to a very handsome Turkish lady, whom Madame Giuseppino purposely invited to her house, in order to160 give me an opportunity of witnessing a perfect specimen of Oriental beauty. After a good deal of persuasion, she allowed me to copy her profile.

Her eyes and eyelashes were intensely black; though I suspect the latter were stained of a dye deeper than the natural one. Her complexion was beautifully fair, with the slightest tint of carnation suffused over the cheek. Her lips! sweet lips! "that make us sigh even to have seen such." Her glossy hair, which was bound with a kalemkeir or painted handkerchief, representing a whole parterre of flowers, fell in loose curls upon her shoulders, and down her back: she wore a short black velvet jacket, embroidered with gold lace; trowsers of sky blue silk; an under-jacket of pink crape, and one of those beautiful transparent shirts which ravish the beholder, and "half reveal the charms they fain would hide." A magnificent Persian shawl encircled her waist, which had nature's own form, never having been compressed by the cruel bondage of stays.

Her feet were in slippers, and two or three ugly rings deformed her white and slender fingers, the nails of which were dyed with henna. Around her neck she wore a double row of pearls, from which hung an amulet. Her skin was very161 white and beautiful; the constant use of the dry vapour bath having reduced it to a fineness, which I can only compare to highly polished marble; and it looked as glossy and as cold. She was well pleased with the drawing I made of her; and, on rising to go away, she put on her yellow boots over the beautiful white foot and ankle, which it was a sin to conceal: then donning her gashmak and cloak, she bade us adieu, with a grace and elegance which few English ladies could equal.

No wonder the Turks sigh for paradise, when they believe heaven to be peopled with houris such as these! Egad! it requires the exertion of all one's philosophy and self-denial to resist the temptation of turning Turk too.

It was really delightful to watch the elegant manner in which this young and lovely creature moved, and with how graceful, yet unstudied attitude she accepted the sweetmeats I presented to her. Who would wish for spoons, forks, or knives, when such fair hands are plunged with yours into the dish, and draw forth the contents with an air that fills one with admiration? So soft, so gentle is the touch with which every thing is handled,—the contact being effected with the extreme tip of the finger alone,—that it reminds you of the half hesitating, half fearful,162 yet graceful, motion with which a well-bred cat dips her paw into water.

I repeatedly thanked our hostess for the pleasure she had afforded me, by an introduction to this very beautiful representative of the much talked-of, and far-famed, Turkish ladies.

Considering the rigid seclusion of eastern women at home, and the ingenuity with which their apparel is contrived for concealing their persons when abroad, I have reason to congratulate myself on my good fortune in having seen so many.


Wednesday, 12th.—I took a long ramble to-day over hill and valley with Lord Ponsonby; during which we had a very interesting conversation on the present position of this country. The Sultan's future prospects were canvassed; but the opinions being confidential, I cannot report them here. Thus far, however, I am at liberty to observe, that to me they appeared sound, judicious, and suited to the exigency. His plan for the maintenance of the Turkish empire may not suit Lord Grey's views; but it is the best, and must inevitably be adopted, now, or at some future period. I, however, believe, that, when it comes to the "ultima ratio regum" with Russia, which will be sooner or later, Austria will forsake her quondam ally; that is, if France and England go hand in hand: Persia will rise in163 arms; her southern provinces will probably rebel; Poland will again revive; and the great empire fall to pieces. But I will say no more; for my own ideas appear so identified with those confided to me, that, in giving them utterance, I might unconsciously betray a trust, and make known that which, for the present, ought to be a secret.

Thursday, 13th.—To-day the Sultan crossed in the state caique to his new palace near Beglerbeg. The frigates, &c. manned yards, were dressed in all their colours, and fired a royal salute. Unfortunately, this transferring of his sacred person from Europe to Asia was not previously made known, so that I did not witness the procession; but the thundering of the cannon announced that some great event was going forward.


Friday, 14th.—The sound of the muezzin, calling the faithful to prayer, again arrested my attention this morning. Though it was late ere I got to my couch, I could not resist the pure and freshening air, which entered my chamber to summon me forth, and I reached the garden ere the sun rose upon Terapia. Just then, a loud voice came borne on the wings of the breeze, breaking the stillness which reigned below and around me. The village was yet in repose; Philomel164 had ceased her song, and the other choristers of the grove were silently awaiting the coming of the god of day. The night breeze, in dying away, had left the trees calm and motionless; and it was in that moment of breathless nature, that the usual solemn invocation to prayer spread itself in sonorous undulations through the silent valley, chanted forth in clear distinct tones from the tapering minaret of the little mosque on the opposite side of the bay.

In such a scene as this, it sounded like the voice of the Divinity calling on every frail mortal to confess and own the power of the omnipresent Being, the Great Spirit who made the temple of the universe for his worship. The humbled sinner acknowledges the awful summons, and offers the outpourings of a heart full of gratitude to the Eternal, who made him, and this beautiful world for his enjoyment; and responds to the voice of God, speaking through nature, with an intensity of feeling which is the sure pledge of its sincerity.


As these sounds died away upon the breeze, the sun arose; the morning gun of the camp responded to the echoes of that from the fleet; the rattling of the marine sentries' muskets, discharged immediately after; the roll of drums, and the blast of trumpets, proclaimed that man had started from his couch, to toil or idle165 through another day. The smoke soon curled in thin white masses from the cottage chimneys of the numerous villages around, and the complicated machinery of life's business was set in motion by the Great Engineer in full-orbed majesty arrayed.


I have already mentioned the slight offered to the captain of the Actæon, when he went to visit the Russian camp; and that the commander-in-chief had gone on board to make an apology, and had sent tickets for the officers to enable them to enter without future difficulty and trouble. To-day we espied the ambassador's boat coming over, and, on nearing the head-quarters, it deposited Lady Ponsonby and a party, who also went and made an inspection of this formidable army. On going to the palace to dinner, I learnt that they had been much gratified: the officers were attentive; the tents comparatively clean, much cleaner and more comfortable than they expected to have found them; but the men were rather badly clothed, and looked shabby.


The ambassador informed me that, in order to ascertain whether the American consul of Beiroot, had not made some unintentional mistake in his story respecting the contemptuous treatment offered by the Russians to a party166 whom they supposed to be English, he had recently sent the pilot of the Actæon, in plain clothes, on board the admiral's ship. The experiment, however, only served to elicit a still more flagrant and unequivocal manifestation of their rancorous insolence; for when George approached within hail, he received orders to "sheer off instantly, as he was very well known." He replied that he was not an Englishman; but that availed nothing: "Be off!" was the order of the day. I need not add, that Lord Ponsonby was now quite satisfied of the truth of the story; yet, though he felt highly indignant, and has manifested on all occasions the most earnest desire to shield us from the injurious treatment experienced from these northern barbarians, what could he do? The Russians would, of course, disclaim any intentional insult; say it was all a mistake, and then repeat the outrage.


Namik Pasha15 was at the palace to-day; he professes to be highly gratified with his reception in England, and is quite enthusiastic in his encomiums on Lord Grey, the English ministry, and the ladies. He appears to be a clever, sensible167 man; and much benefit must arise to this country, from the enlarged views he has no doubt acquired during his sojourn among the more civilised nations of Europe; especially as he is known to have considerable influence with the Sultan. I do not mean politically, for every one here believes he is bribed by Russia; but he will take an active part in improving the manners, customs, and feelings, and in bettering the condition, of his countrymen. Tahir Pasha divides the friendship of the Sultan with him, and will much assist any plans for the amelioration of the country. He commanded the Turkish fleet at Navarino, and is the best instructed and most intelligent man in the Sultan's service. He converses fluently in several of the European and Oriental languages; and, as I am informed, understands those of antiquity. The Sultan has appointed him general of cannoneers, and governor of Galata and Pera; while Namik holds the important post of commander of all the fortresses and batteries on the Bosphorus, on which he sails to and fro in a very beautiful caique, manned by three rowers, who pull up and down the current at an astonishing rate. His boat, and that of Dr.—— (I forget his name), are the most elegant on this stream.


Saturday, 15th.—It being arranged that the168 steam-boat should make an excursion into the Black Sea, some of the officers and myself went down to Stamboul this morning, with the intention of joining the party; and we expected that a great many Perotes would have accompanied us; but not above six were on board: as it was, the deck proved to be sufficiently crowded. The boat was detained one hour after all the passengers had arrived, in waiting for his Highness the Prince; who being at length on board, off we started. As her paddles revolved, the caiques of the Turks began to dance on the waves, much to the terror of their owners. On approaching the new kiosk, the Francesco stopped to salute the Sultan, who was sitting in one of the bow-windows with several of his suite about him, watching us through an English spy-glass; and we could discern that the apartment was fitted up in the Parisian style. A battery near the palace answered our salute; and the Sultan having retired, we started again. In that portion of the building appropriated to the harem, some females were observed peeping at us through the blinds; but none of the lineaments, not even the eyes, could be distinguished, the mere contour of the figure being all that was discernible; so those who were prepared to boast of having exchanged169 glances with the Sultan's dark-eyed beauties, were entirely disappointed.

On nearing the Actæon, the Captain came on board, and we lay to for some time, while a boat was despatched to that vessel for a Russian flag, and when it arrived we steamed on again. Another salute was fired as we passed the Russian admiral, which he was so long in returning, that it was supposed they did not think our boat worth replying to. However, it came at last, with a bad grace, though better late than never.


After sailing past the old ruined Genoese castles, which have been restored by some French engineer, we entered the Sea of Storms. Near the coast, which is low and sandy, in the direction of Rivaz, arise the "blue Symplegades," those fatal rocks, about which so many fables had been narrated by the ancient poets; and I expected to behold vast masses of rugged cliffs: but certainly these geese have been magnified into swans; for there was nothing to inspire terror on the present occasion, though it is possible the waves may break violently on them during a storm, and perhaps a Turkish vessel might be reminded of Davy Jones.

COLOUR OF THE BLACK SEA.We returned after

having gone about three miles out, and satisfied some of our learned associates that, although the element on which we were sailing was called170 the Black Sea, the water was not in reality of that colour: some of the more hardened unbelievers, however, aware that experiment is the test of truth, actually insisted on having a bucket of it hauled up, and examined in a tumbler, before they would renounce their preconceived opinions.

A long discussion now arose, whether the boat should remain until the next evening at Buyukdere, or proceed onwards to Galata, after landing those who wished to disembark at the former place. After a stormy debate, the first-named proposition was carried by a large majority, a majority decided by the democratic principle of vote by ballot. Notwithstanding this apparent settlement of the question, the captain changed his mind, and, landing those who were Buyukderotes, he left them to find their way to Stamboul, and obtain lodgings for themselves as they could: rather a difficult thing, by the by; for to-morrow evening the Austrian ambassador gives a grand fête, dinner, ball, and supper to the Prince of Bavaria, who is to review the Russian troops in the morning, and leave Stamboul on Monday. All attempts have failed to procure him an audience of the Sultan, who will not receive him, because, he says, naturally enough, "What has he to do with me, or I with171 him? He is brother of the King of Greece: granted: but why come to intrude himself here? I will not see him; it can do no good." These were the Sultan's words, in answer to the application.


Having landed at Buyukdere, with many of the Inglesi, we went to the hotel, a clean, comfortable well-fitted house, with a good cook and good wines. It was very laughable to hear the landlord execrating the Russians. "They never," said he, "spend a penny; stingy close fellows, who would eat a tallow candle down to the very end, and leave not a drop for the waiter!" He wished to God they were at the bottom of the Black Sea, with the English fleet anchored above them. "Then," said he, "we should see the porter corks fly, the tables swim with grog, cigar boxes burst their cedar sides, the cook roast all day, and I be happy in the general scramble: but, alas! there's no such luck nowadays."

After partaking of a few bottles of London porter, we embarked in my caique which had been waiting for me, and away we rowed to Terapia. We dined at the palace, and went to bed early, to be up betimes, and over the water, in order to accompany the Prince at the review. By the by, the splendid lobsters we had for172 supper must not be forgotten. I never saw such immense shell-fish; any one of them would have satisfied the cravings of an alderman.


Sunday, 16th.—Our party arrived in time to see the Prince received by a guard of honour. Count Orloff, the general, and a staff of officers, were present, superbly dressed in Polish, Russian, and Turkish uniforms. The guard consisted of one man in full dress, from each regiment, and a brass trumpet band; and, from what I afterwards observed, it was very evident that the uniform worn on this occasion by each soldier was the only one of the kind belonging to his respective regiment. After inspecting this body, the Prince got on horseback, and we also found horses provided for us all and many to spare, though most of us preferred going on foot.

We first visited the Turkish camp, and then proceeded to that of the Cossacks. A guard of the latter, wild fierce-looking marauders, led the way; then followed the Prince and his staff; and the procession was closed by a troop of Turkish lancers, very odd-looking soldiers, and our party of pedestrians, who managed, by making short cuts, to get before the main body of reviewers. The tents were all whitened, and put in the best possible order for the occasion; and it must be allowed they looked very pretty and comfortable, being173 surrounded by tall green branches, which were stuck into the ground; so that, in walking between them, we seemed to be moving through a grove of shady trees. Each regiment was drawn out, with its arms piled, and the soldiers were dressed in grey great-coats, though it was the hottest day I ever remember to have experienced during my stay at Constantinople.

As the royal cortège passed along the line, the soldiers doffed their caps, and when it arrived at the centre of each regiment, the fugle-man gave a signal, and they raised a loud shout, followed by a short expressive ejaculation, in their native language, which means, "God save the Emperor!" But the most striking and novel portion of the whole was, when the regiments, after being reviewed, successively poured forth one of those beautiful solemn chants, which I heard once before, from the quarter-deck of the Actæon. GIANT'S MOUNTAIN

In the present instance, the whole army did not commence singing together, but each regiment caught up the strain as the preceding one dropped it, so that the music lasted for a considerable period; and never did the elaborate productions of the most celebrated composers, sound to me half so beautiful as these sacred simple melodies, when chanted by a thousand united voices, and spreading heavenly music over174 the whole mountain. I shall not readily forget the effect produced on my feelings by this harmonious "concord of sweet sounds;" and at that moment how highly poetical did the rich descriptive imagery of Shakspeare appear, where he makes one of his characters exclaim:—

"That strain again;—it had a dying fall: O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south, That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing, and giving odour!"

After following the Prince to the top of the Giant's Mountain, we allowed him to descend without our train, and remained to enjoy the wide extended prospect.

Behind the mosque situated on this eminence, is an oblong narrow garden, full of rose trees and jasmine, which vulgar tradition points out as the grave of the giant who gives name to the mountain, and who figures in the Pagan annals as a hero of extraordinary size and valour. Among the Christians, he is said to have been a vast and ferocious giant; while the Mussulmans will have him to be a holy dervish. In each tradition he was a monster, that sat on the top of the mountain, and dangled his feet in the waters of Buyukdere to cool himself. According to the poets, every one who passed the Bosphorus was compelled to engage him in single175 combat, until he fell, at last, by the hand of Pollux. The Christian version of the story, that describes him as the stirrer up of whirlpools, and the devourer of the sailors who attempted to pass the channel without paying tribute, is equally wild and fabulous. The Mussulman account, which makes him a dervish that lived to a vast age, and whose favour it was the object of every one of the Faithful to gain, is the least improbable of the whole.


Near the mosque stands a pretty little kiosk, belonging to the Sultan, shaded by some amazingly fine plane trees. Constantinople is not seen from this spot, but the view extends along the whole channel, and the isles in the Sea of Marmora are just visible; while beyond them, towering into the skies, and of the most dazzling whiteness, appears Mount Olympus, the habitation of the gods. The prospect on the European side is tame and unpicturesque, consisting almost entirely of a succession of flat uncultivated downs, with nothing to break the dull monotony of the scene, except here and there, where the tall slender minaret of a mosque, or a single tree, rises against the horizon, and resembles the mast of some solitary vessel ploughing its course through the boundless waste of waters.

We descended by a different route, through176 part of the ground marked out for a new camp, the necessity for which it is difficult to comprehend, unless more troops are expected. We got into the Sultan's Valley, and lounged under the trees till dinner-time, when we passed over to Terapia.


Most of the Turkish ministers were present at the grand fête and dinner given by the Austrian embassy, at which the Seraskier got "plenissimus Bacchi," and, I believe, proved rather uproarious; at least he became terribly amorous, and attentive to the ladies. Had he been able, and dared, he would have waltzed and danced with them all. I did not go, for a good reason,—I was not asked. One had, after all, the satisfaction of the "fox and the grapes." It was a poor affair! There could, in reality, be no great pleasure in seeing an assembly of old grey-bearded Turks getting drunk on porter and Champagne, and making fools of themselves, however much gratification it might afford the sapient heir to the throne of Bavaria, and his attendant crowd of Germans and Neapolitans.


Monday, 17th.—This morning the Russians began to embark their tumbrils and heavy baggage, so that they seem to be absolutely going in earnest. I went down to Pera to learn the result of the negotiations for delaying the steam-boat,177boat, and found most of the passengers in a state of fury. Some among them had resigned their passage, and resolved to travel home by land; others were storming, because it was now proposed to put off the boat's starting till Saturday, Prince Butera having been offered an audience on Friday. It seems that when the Sultan refused the Austrian application, Orloff went and COMMANDED him to receive his Royal Highness, "UNDER PAIN OF INCURRING THE DISPLEASURE OF HIS IMPERIAL MASTER THE Emperor OF ALL THE Russias, THE Emperor OF THE East!" And how did Mahmoud act? Why, he consented; ay, consented, not only to receive with open arms this man, who is the brother of a king set over a portion of his empire, which has been wrested by force and treachery from his sublime grasp, and once the brightest jewel of his diadem, but also to present him with a snuff-box set in diamonds, with his own portrait on the lid! This is the first instance in which the great imperial monkey has made use of the sublime cat's paw!


Though the delay in the starting of the boat was openly resisted by all the English, as well as by the supercargoes, the Prince's governors continued running from one passenger to the other, canvassing for votes. The almost universal reply178 to this unreasonable application was, "that it appeared extraordinary a prince royal, who, together with his suite, had treated the passengers during the whole voyage with supercilious contempt, and thwarted them whenever they wished the slightest change in the route, should now condescend to solicit those same individuals to delay the boat a week, and inconvenience themselves, to further an object in which the Prince alone was at all interested."

The conduct of the royal party, on the very morning when this selfish request was made, was not at all calculated to remove the prejudices to which their previous behaviour had given rise. The Prince had obtained a firman to see the mosques, which would have admitted four hundred as readily as four; yet he had not the good feeling or politeness to announce to any single passenger that he was going to visit these exclusive curiosities, but went with his suite and his particular friends alone; and though he had appointed a certain hour for assembling before St. Sophia, he actually went thither an hour earlier, so that those who intended to spunge upon the royal firman came too late, and were disappointed. PREPARATIONS TO DEPART.

After such treatment, could they assent to postpone the departure of the boat for a single day? Though I am proud to say none179 of my countrymen gave in, yet the Neapolitans, Germans, and Spaniards, and one or two Frenchmen on board, uniting with the Prince's friends and suite, obtained a majority for the measure. As we dined at the palace, I determined to sound Lord Ponsonby, in the evening, as to the probability of the Actæon's departure; for hitherto he had repeatedly told me it would take place in a few days, or, at the latest, by the end of the month. This state of uncertainty was very unpleasant; for I was prevented from leaving Terapia on any excursion, even for two or three days; because it was possible she might sail any day at six hours' notice. Now, as it seemed very probable that the steam-boat would remain in the harbour till the end of the week, I might arrange to go in her, especially as my friend and fellow-lodger Barrow was very anxious to be off, and a house divided cannot go on smoothly. By taking a passage in the Francesco, I should also have an opportunity of visiting Smyrna and most of the Greek islands. Unfortunately, however, the French ambassador and several of his legation came in, and sat until a late hour; so the opportunity did not occur. In fact, the reply of Captain Grey, in answer to an observation made by the commander of the French frigate, in the course of the evening, sufficiently180 explained that his departure was altogether uncertain.

Tuesday, 18th.—I was informed to-day, by Hodgson, that on Thursday, the American chargé d'affaires intends visiting the mosques, having received a firman for that purpose; and he very kindly invited me to go, observing, at the same time, that if my two friends chose to be at the gate of the seraglio, opposite St. Sophia, at a certain hour, they might enter in the train.


On returning to Terapia, I joined a party who were going to see the Sultan's palace on the lower side of the bay. It is a very comfortable pleasant country seat, without containing any furniture of a costly description; the usual display of Oriental taste and magnificence being lavished on the baths, which are situated at a short distance from the main building, in a delightfully secluded spot; and are as splendid and luxurious as art can render them. The little valley in which the kiosk stands has been entirely enclosed by stone walls, in order to form gardens and pleasure-grounds; and it is possible to ride for five or six hours through the broad and stately alleys cut through the groves and shrubberies of this lovely domain, without passing twice over the same route.


This truly royal dwelling once belonged to an181 imân, whom the Sultan thought proper to bowstring16, and forfeit his lands. Of the precise nature of his crime I am ignorant; but in a country like Turkey, where the caprice of the Sultan is the law, a very slight pretext is sufficient to ensure the destruction of such as have excited his rapacity by an imprudent display of wealth, or his jealousy by attempts to acquire popularity: in the present case, it was probably the great beauty of this estate that caused its owner's destruction. However this be, I certainly envied his sublime highness the possession of so charming a retreat: it is a place to live and die in; and I felt a momentary desire to pass the remainder of my existence within its ever-blooming182 orange, rose, and jasmine bowers. I believe it might belong to the British government for a trifle, having been offered by the Sultan to Mr. Stratford Canning, who refused it, from very honourable motives, as he considered it possible he might be suspected of pressing the government to purchase it, with a view to his own private enjoyment.

The Sultan is now not sorry we declined his offer, for he spends a great portion of his leisure in this, the most pleasant, romantic, and delightful of all his summer residences. We left it highly gratified, after partaking of some delicious strawberries, cherries, and melons, which the gardeners brought us from the hot-houses.


After dining at the palace, I found an opportunity of mentioning to his Lordship that I was invited to return home in the Actæon, she being supposed to be on the point of sailing; but, if this was uncertain, I should endeavour to find another mode of conveyance. Lord Ponsonby, thus appealed to, acknowledged that there was no chance of the ship sailing till her time was up, for he had written to the admiral of the station, and the government at home, to have the Actæon fixed at Terapia, at his disposal. As he did not know what might happen between him and the Russians, he thought it183 right to have a frigate to go away in, if necessary; and he preferred that vessel for the purpose, as he felt a strong personal friendship and regard towards both captain and officers. This communication, which was highly complimentary to my friends, as well as particularly satisfactory to myself, decided me at once, and, on returning home, I announced to my gay warm-hearted companions on board the Actæon that the painful moment of separation was at hand. The blow was not unexpected, yet some of us would rather it had been deferred. The next morning I started for Pera, and bargained with the directors of the steam-boat for my own and my friend's passage to Malta.


Thursday, 20th.—This being the day fixed for the American chargé d'affaires' visit to the mosques, at nine o'clock our party sallied forth, and, on arriving opposite the Seraglio Gate, we bought slippers, took our pipes, and squatted in the shade, under the wide-spreading roof of the beautiful fountain in the centre of the square.

St. Sophia was built by Justinian on the ruins of a church of the same name, already twice destroyed; and part of the dome was a third time overthrown by an earthquake. Splendid and various were the treasures it once contained; but these have been long since removed by the184 desecration and sacrilege of the Latin and the Moslem; and nothing of that description is now left to astonish the pilgrim of either creed, who approaches this sacred temple. Justinian gloried that he had erected a place of worship which far surpassed the work of Solomon; and on dedicating it the second time, after the restoration of the dome, he was nearly maddened by joy. What would have been his feelings, could he have foreseen the day when the conquering Latin should defile its altar, and the infidel Turk convert it into a temple for the worshippers of his prophet, after being consecrated to the pure religion of Christianity for a period of nine hundred years! St. Sophia is thus equally an object of veneration to the Christian and the Musulman.

On the arrival of our American friends, we mustered in a large party before the bronze gates of the church, where we were all for a few moments busily engaged in taking off our boots and putting on the slippers we had purchased. This done, we proceeded into the interior of the edifice, with which I confess myself greatly disappointed; as the tout ensemble displays no magnificence, and the impressions on the gazer's mind, partake of none of that involuntary admiration and religious awe, which the sight of an185 old English cathedral, or the splendid churches of Italy, never fails to produce. One of its greatest defects arises from want of loftiness in the dome, the diameter of which is one hundred and fifteen, while its height does not exceed twenty feet. There is an immense number of columns, the spoils of various heathen temples. Of these, eight, of porphyry, are from that dedicated to the Sun by the Emperor Aurelian; and the same number, of green marble, verd antique, or serpentine, from the temple of Ephesus. Very little of the ancient mosaic now remains, as the devotees, both Turk and Christian, have for ages been in the habit of pillaging it, to make ornaments, beads, and talismans; so that the work of destruction is nearly complete, and a manufacture of these relics, which are composed of gilded glass, will soon be required. I bought a whole handful for a few paras; and having seen them dug out of their cement by the mufti who sold them, I can vouch for their being genuine.

We now ascended into the upper and lower galleries; in the former of which the Greek women performed their devotions, and the men in the latter. Two doors, one on either side of the passage in which we now were, opened into a third gallery, where I was told stood the "gates186 of heaven and hell." They are of marble, but the origin of this superstition I could not learn. The floor of the mosque was covered with beautiful carpets, and the ornaments resembled those I saw in that of Soliman the Magnificent, which is considered a much finer building. St. Sophia is also surpassed in beauty by the mosque of Sultan Mehemet, which may be considered as the St. Peter's of the East. The next in size and grandeur are those of Achmet and Osman; but as these buildings very much resemble each other, both in external and internal form and decorations, to see one is quite sufficient: "ab uno disce omnes." A greater or less number of elegant, tall, slender minarets or towers, are attached to each mosque in proportion to its size. They are dazzlingly white, like the edifices to which they belong, and are surmounted by golden crescents that flash and sparkle in the brilliant sunbeams of this sultry clime; and, as the number of public religious foundations is immense, independently of thousands of private mosques; the united splendour of so many glittering objects, added to the beauty of the deep blue cloudless sky, contribute to render the view of Constantinople, from a distance, one of the most singular and attractive prospects on the earth.

187On quitting St. Sophia, we proceeded to the mosque of the Sultan Achmet, situated in the Atmeidan17; but I did not observe any thing particularly worthy of notice, except the court, which is very beautiful and shaded by fine trees. The Osmalie, or "light of Osman," is built of pure white marble; and may be pronounced to hold the same rank among giomi, or mosques, as the Cathedral of Milan among Christian churches. Its clean and white appearance, the untarnished splendour of the gilded railings which surround that sacred spot, pointing eastward towards Mecca, the burial-place of the Prophet; together with the rich and brilliant patterns of the soft carpets that overspread the floor, called forth unqualified admiration from the whole party. We were equally pleased with the assiduity and politeness of the mufti, or priest, who acted as our conductor, in explaining every thing worthy of notice; as well as the purposes to which the different portions of the edifice were applied.

By this time, our fair American friends had pretty well satisfied their curiosity; and they judiciously resolved not to weaken these favourable impressions, by visiting any less respectable mosque. For my own part, I had been congratulating188 myself on the pleasure I should enjoy, in making a sort of pilgrimage to that of the lovely, gentle, and virtuous Rose, better known by the name of the Sultana Validè: but the ladies out-voted me; and, after expending a vast deal of eloquence in vain endeavours to inspire them with a portion of my sentimental enthusiasm, I was reluctantly compelled to submit to the disappointment; it being impracticable to get admitted any where without the firman. I therefore made my bow, and returned to Terapia, to complete the necessary arrangements for our intended departure.

Friday, 21st.—I again visited many of the beautiful spots in the vicinity of my residence, to-day; and crossed over to the Sultan's Valley to bid it a final adieu. In recalling to mind, hereafter, the scenes and occurrences of which I was there a partaker, I anticipate even more pleasure than was produced by their actual enjoyment. "Hæc olim meminisse juvabit."


Saturday, 22d.—To-day is, probably, the last of my present sojourn in a neighbourhood where I have passed so many happy hours; and I cannot help reflecting on the important changes which may take place in the destiny of this empire before I visit its capital again, in case it should ever be my good fortune to return. Who189 can at present decide whether the white-haired Russian or the cunning Egyptian, the subtle Greek or the ambitious Gaul, shall be the future monarch of the Queen of cities, and occupy the throne of the Cæsars and the Prophet? Yet, come what may, her glory can suffer but a temporary eclipse; for, independently of the vast political advantages of her position, the beauty of her capacious harbour, which, from the earliest period, has been crowded with the rich navies of the East and West, and which acquired from that circumstance the appellation of the Golden Horn, points out Constantinople as the mistress of a great empire. "The genius of the place will ever triumph over the accidents of time and fortune."


Having bidden farewell to the officers of the Actæon (the best and worthiest set of fellows whom I ever had the happiness of knowing), and taken leave at the embassy18, I glided away on the 190rapid current; and soon Terapia19, "the abode of health," was entirely lost to the view. After seeing my baggage safely deposited on board the Francesco, I hastened into Stamboul to take leave of Mustapha; and having given the worthy old Turk a hearty shake of the hand, I returned to Pera. The old Armenian, who paints the costumes of the Turks in water-colours, was there in waiting for me; and after disburthening him of all his collection, I copied the portrait of a Georgian slave, which he had in his possession. She was another rare specimen of Eastern loveliness. The evening was finished at Cartwright's, where we took a "doch'an doras," and bade farewell to that honest warm-hearted jovial fellow.


Sunday, 23d.—At 8 o'clock all were on board; and the Prince having done us the honour to be punctual, in one hour afterwards the anchor was up, the steam on, and away we went round the Seraglio Point; leaving the

"Queen of the morn! Sultana of the East! City of wonders, on whose sparkling breast 191 Fair, slight and tall, a thousand palaces Fling their gay shadows over golden seas! Where towers and domes bestud the gorgeous land, And countless masts a mimic forest stand; Where cypress shades; the minarets snowy hue, And gleams of gold dissolve on skies of blue; Daughter of Eastern art! the most divine, Lovely, yet faithless bride of Constantine: Fair Istamboul, whose tranquil mirror flings, Back with delight thy thousand colourings; And who no equal in the world dost know Save thy own image, pictured thus below! Dazzled—amazed—our eyes, half-blinded, fail, While sweeps the phantasm past our gliding sail. Like as in festive scene, some sudden light Rises in clouds of stars upon the sight. Struck with a splendour never seen before, Drunk with the perfumes wafted from the shore; Approaching near these peopled groves we deem That from enchantment rose the gorgeous dream. Day without voice;—and motion without sound; Silently beautiful! this haunted ground Is paved with roofs beyond the bounds of sight, Countless and colour'd; wrapp'd in golden light! 'Mid groves of cypress, measureless and vast, In thousand forms of crescents, circles, cast, Gold glitters; spangling all the wide extent, And flashes back to Heaven the rays it sent. Gardens and domes—bazars, begem the woods— Seraglio, harems, peopled solitudes, Where the veil'd idol kneels; and vistas through Barr'd lattices, that give th' enamoured view; Flowers, orange-trees—and waters sparkling near. And black and lovely eyes, alas! that fear To scare even fancy from her promised land."20 192 I long'd to see the isles that gem Old Ocean's purple diadem. I sought by turns—and saw them.

The Seraglio and its dark groves; the gilded domes and their snowy, arrow-like minarets; the Seven Towers, with their fancy-pictured terrors, fade gradually from my sight, as the steam-boat rapidly ploughs the glassy wave. The eye, straining itself for a last glimpse of the beautiful city, beholds it resting, like a phantom, on the indistinct verge where heaven and the waters meet, until it sinks into the bosom of the unruffled ocean.


What a motley crew! A royal prince; Spanish nobles; Italian counts; French marquises; Dutch chevaliers; and, I may proudly add, English gentlemen. We had also a quack doctor from Paris; a gaming-house-keeper from Milan; a clergyman, poor as an Apostle, from Iceland; a grim-looking student from the University of Göttingen; a Danish baron, music-mad; a singing count from Sienna; a crazy architect from Paris; and two Russian noblemen. There were only two ladies;—a Russian countess, who read nothing but Homer, and made classical mistakes; and a Bavarian lady, whose great merit was her inclination to render herself agreeable. Then there were the chief captain, the second193 captain, and the sub-captain; the manager, second manager, and sub-manager. However, two things most necessary to the establishment were still wanting; namely, a good cook, and an honest steward.


The vessel carried a Neapolitan pennant, and was armed with six brass cannon, a very sufficient stand of small-arms, and a forest of boarding-pikes; in case we should be attacked by any of the pirates infesting the Greek Archipelago. An awning was spread over its spacious deck, under which we lived like a swarm of flies, fifty in number, feeding on detestable provender, and sleeping in beds remarkable for uncleanness and their innumerable parasitical tenants. The place marked on our route to be first visited was that part of the Island of Marmora containing the quarries which have supplied Constantinople with building materials from time immemorial; but in reference to the precise spot where they were to be found, there were as many opinions as voices. The truth was plain, no one knew; neither captains, managers, pilots (of whom there were two), nor tourists; and in the midst of our Babylonish discussion, the boat arrived off the town of Marmora; and, of course, on the wrong side of the island for our purpose. Some insisted on returning; others were for crossing the isle on mules,194 or, if these could not be procured, on foot: but the majority, of which I was one, seemed satisfied with staying where fortune and steam had brought them. When the quarryites landed, they found it would take fourteen hours to visit their lion, and, as luck would have it, twelve hours only were marked on the itinerary as the period allowed for the passengers to remain at the island. Backed by this powerful argument, we the anti-quarryites demanded a ballot, and an overwhelming majority decided that the boat should start at midnight.


Soon after the return of the passengers who had landed, a deputation of the inhabitants, consisting of the papa, or chief priest, with some of his brethren, as well as the civil authorities, all Greeks, came on board to compliment the brother of their King. As the Prince did not understand one word of their language, he begged Madame Manochini (the owner of a lodging-house at Smyrna, who had been treated to a passage to Stamboul and back) to be his interpretress. After thanking them in his name, she enquired if they had any daughters?


"Are they pretty?"

Each father expatiated on the superior beauty of his own child; and the papa added that his195 was angelic,—"Καλὴ καλὴ." "Then," continued Madame, "I am desired to say, the Prince is very much obliged to you for your visit, and requests that you will immediately send the prettiest maiden of the whole to bear him company on board." Perfectly thunderstruck at this extraordinary address, the papa and his brethren looked first at each other, then at Madame and the Prince; and, making a hurried bow to the German Pasha, they jostled one another down the ladder, and into their boat, with a rapidity that amused as well as surprised us all; for, at the time, we were unacquainted with the nature of this audacious reply. They probably took him for a vardoulacha, or vampire, and thought to themselves, "If this Prince is such a curiosity, what must little Otho be!"

Well, of course his Royal Highness demanded the meaning of their abrupt and sudden flight, and wished to know what Madame had said to scare the holy fathers thus? "Was the reply complimentary? if so, it had produced a most extraordinary effect: they could not be pleased, that was evident."

"Oh yes," answered she, with a satirical smile; "I said you were delighted to see them, and that, knowing they had plenty of handsome daughters, you desired them to send the196 prettiest on board to bear your Highness company."

His Highness looked somewhat foolish: he did not know what to say; and appeared little less chagrined himself, than the Greek papas of the Isle of Marmora. We afterwards understood that the Prince had made some reductions in her bill while he occupied her house at Smyrna; and, by way of retaliation, she thus insolently attempted to injure his character among her countrymen; and, I have no doubt, completely succeeded, as far as the Greeks of this island are concerned.


Monday, 24th.—Myself and four companions in misery have passed a horrible night in a cabin worse than the Black Hole of Calcutta. The offensive odour from the chicken-coop, which stands just at the side of the only aperture where fresh air can find an entrance; the heat of the confined chamber; the myriads of insects, that devoured my body with ravenous appetite, after having endured a fortnight's starvation; kept me in such a fever, that I vowed never to enter the cabin again. EXTRAORDINARY TRANSFORMATION.

When I looked out, my fellow-passengers burst into a laugh; and Barrow, taking an observation, as my phiz came to the meridian above them, exclaimed, "Who has been painting your face? it is as yellow as a197 canary-bird!" "Nonsense!" I exclaimed; and, jumping upon deck, I seized my glass, and saw myself indeed as yellow as our good King's face on a sovereign. Not my face only, but, by all that's startling! hands, arms, legs, body, were in the same condition, as though I had been plunged into a curry-pot. I beheld myself with jaundiced eyes! It was wholly inexplicable; for I had not suffered a moment's illness, since I arrived in Stamboul; neither have I felt any symptoms of approaching disease; yet, in one night, my skin has been gilded over like a counterfeit sovereign,—

"Suffering a yellow change Into something rich and strange."

Nevertheless, I am afraid, unlike the false coinage, the gilt will not very easily rub off. On my first appearance, I observed the French doctor, who seemed to possess a hawk's eye for business, vanish from the quarter deck, and descend hastily below; in a few minutes he reappeared, bearing in his hand an ample supply of his rob; but I declined his services, as a medical officer from Corfu undertook to give me the necessary advice. We had also an English physician, and the Prince's body-surgeon.


At the Dardanelles we learned the very in198teresting news that the English fleet had arrived in Basiké Bay; and in swinging round "old Sigæum," we beheld the Admiral's ship at anchor, and several other large vessels sailing towards the harbour. At mid-day we were alongside the Britannia; and a boat came off from her, to ask intelligence from Constantinople. As I was anxious to renew my acquaintance with Sir Pulteney Malcolm, and as many of the passengers wished to see the ship, the boat took as many as could get into her, and in a few minutes we stood on the deck of the largest of those majestic floating castles which, I trust, are destined, ere long, to teach the Russian that all "Old England's wooden walls" have not got the dry rot in them. It is some years since I had the pleasure of seeing the Admiral before; and though the march of time has imprinted on his noble figure a few slight traces of its progress, yet he appears to be as active, enterprising, and determined as ever. He accompanied us over the ship; and was very anxious that we should inspect his improved kitchen, cattle-pen, and newly invented gun-screws for elevating the breech of the cannon. After a hearty luncheon, during which I forgot all my jaundice, we took leave, and on entering the Captain's gig the Francesco hoisted the British 199colours, and saluted. The compliment was immediately returned, and the thunder of the cannon re-echoed from Tenedos, and spread itself over the Plain of Troy, with a report loud enough to rouse Achilles, Ajax, and Hector, from their graves,—

"That with the hurly, death itself might wake."

It was a beautiful, no less than a proud and gratifying sight to behold the Malabar, the St. Vincent, and the Alfred, all sailing in with every stitch of canvass set; telegraphing the Britannia, and with the utmost precision taking up their positions as the Admiral announced them. At that moment there could not have been a soul on board the Francesco who did not acknowledge the superiority of Britain on the seas.


Passing Mitylene and the opposite ruins of Assos, we entered the Gulf of Smyrna as it was growing dark. As I was by no means comfortable from a slight fever which enervated me, I determined to sleep below no longer, and therefore brought my mattress on deck. I laid it out near the cabin skylight, and there courted sleep, rolled in my Greco. Thank Heaven and a clear sky for most delicious repose!

Towards morning, I was awakened by a sensation of damp and cold; and found myself and200 mattress soaking wet, and exhaling the odour of rose-water. I found that a stream of this rich perfume had inundated me; it was flowing from a large jar belonging to one of the passengers, which, standing too near the tiller of the helm, had been broken by it during the night.


Tuesday, 25th.—This morning we saw the French fleet lying at Vourla. The four combatants on these seas have thus passed in review before us; and I cannot suppose England and France have sent their fleets here on a pleasure trip; but that they actually mean to do something effective. Of these four, the Russian is the weakest, and the Turk the next in inferiority: report says, also, that the French fleet is not in the most perfect order; but, at all events, it is equal, if not superior, to the two former united. As soon as we came in sight of the Madagascar, which was lying in the harbour or roadstead of Smyrna, a boat put off from it towards the steam-vessel, and in a few moments the King of Greece was in the arms of his brother. The usual bustle incident to the transfer of luggage from one vessel to another, at sea, followed; and the Prince, with all his suite, left us, to accompany the King in his cruise on board the Madagascar.


We established our quarters at a wretched201 little inn, close to the water-side, kept by a negro, who had been cook on board some English man-of-war. Unpromising as was its external appearance, the house was clean notwithstanding; and, having all to ourselves, except the billiard-room, we got on famously; particularly as the dinners were wholesome, and of good, plain, English cookery. We had plenty of soda-water, porter, and ale, which were kept constantly flowing; for the heat was excessive. In the evening, I strolled about this celebrated sea-port for a short time, and was much struck with the beautiful appearance of the houses of the merchants, which, however, are situated in narrow dirty streets. The bazars are much inferior to those of Constantinople; and I did not see a single Smyrniote woman who had any pretensions to beauty. In the course of the day the King landed incog., and went through the town; and towards night, the Madagascar sailed away for Syra.


Thursday, 27th.—Hotter by several degrees than yesterday: I wish to heaven we could get away from this broiling place. Not a breath of air stirs to relieve me, or mitigate the weakness and fainting with which I am oppressed. I am incapable of exertion, and, indeed, there is no inducement to walk out: it is too much labour to play at billiards; and smoking sickens and disgusts202 me: I have but one pleasure, if such it can be called; namely, that of lying on the sofa, in a state of stupor. This afternoon the American corvette John Adams sailed away in fine style.

Friday, 28th.—Another oppressive day: a storm of thunder and rain, during the night, has had no effect in cooling the air. I walked out on the Marina in the evening; and having ascertained that they produce ices in great perfection at Smyrna, I have fully availed myself of the discovery, and the day was spent in cooling one's interior, as no means could be found to do the same for the outward man.

Saturday, 29th.—This morning the Rover, a very pretty and wicked-looking sloop, came in from the West, and sailed again soon after. I was occupied this entire day in making blue and white lights to burn in the grotto of Antiparos. By midnight all the passengers and crew were in their places on board the steamer; and the ladders were hauled up, the cook's assistant being the only individual missing. Our object was, to get a day off the quarantine, by having every one on board before midnight, and making that day count as one, as we might be said to have nominally left Smyrna on it. The Spaniards returned to the vessel, accompanied203 by a band, and three boat-loads of ladies, who continued sailing round and round the vessel until a very early hour, so unwilling were they to say farewell.


One of the young gallants, in leaning over the bows of the boat, overbalanced himself, and dropped into the water, from whence he was quickly rescued by these fair damsels, who thus became the guardian Naiads of the place; for without their assistance he most probably would have been drowned.


Drawn by Sir W. Gell


Sunday, 30th.—At five this morning we bade adieu to Smyrna; and never did I send aloft a more sincere prayer than when petitioning to see it no more. By the forenoon, we were off the Island of Scio, the coast of204 which presented much beautiful and picturesque scenery. The wind now gradually increased to a stiff breeze, and the weather became threatening; so that the first symptoms of turning in made their appearance among the passengers. The night following was black and stormy, and we had reason to anticipate an Archipelago gale: fortunately, however, it cleared up, much to the satisfaction of the captain and myself; for never did a boat traverse these seas with less of the seaman in the composition of its crew, from the said captain down to the slop-boy.


Monday, July 1st.—The Island of Tinos was in sight at daylight this morning; and, passing through the channel between it and Andros, we approached Syra, the quarantine station of the new Greek kingdom for all vessels coming from Smyrna or the plague countries. The situation of Syra is very beautiful; the houses rising gradually in a succession of terraces, built upon the slope of a steep mountain, situated at the bottom of an extensive bay, in which we found the Madagascar lying at anchor.


Shortly after our arrival, the officers of health came alongside, and informed us we were destined to seven days' quarantine. Of these, the day we left Smyrna counted as one, that passed at sea as another, and the one on which we got205 pratique as a third; so we had, in reality, only four days to remain in durance vile. To console us for the unwelcome detention, the inhabitants brought off quantities of delicious fruit, honey, and meat to regale our appetites; while, in the evening, our eyes were gratified with the brilliant spectacle afforded by the illumination of the Madagascar and the town. The presence of the King seemed to have transported the good people of the island beyond themselves: such firing of guns and blazing of bonfires, such screaming and hallooing, probably never before disturbed the quiet precincts of Syra. His Majesty gets pratique to-morrow, and there is to be a dinner and ball ashore. We could plainly discern them making preparations, and decorating the governor's house, but had no prospect of partaking of these festivities.

It was very late before I could get asleep, owing to the gambling going forward on deck until two o'clock in the morning. There was a rouge et noir table, and a whist party, by both of which very high stakes were played, much to the annoyance of the better disposed passengers, who wished for rest and quietness.


Tuesday, 2d.—At nine o'clock, after dressing the ship in her colours, and receiving a salute from the shore, the King left the Madagascar206 in the captain's gig. A deputation of the principal inhabitants awaited his arrival, and the keys of the town, according to "ancient and approved usage," were delivered to him under a triumphal arch. The governor then addressed him in a Greek speech, to which his Majesty replied; but in what language the court newsman has not thought fit to inform us. After parading through the town, the procession arrived at the governor's, where the King held a levee. In the afternoon, he returned to the vessel, on board of which a dinner was given to the principal inhabitants; and again the poor Greeks illumined their houses and burnt bonfires.

The English in the steamer set up a singing-party this evening, in opposition to the hazard-players; and we kept it up until there was a dissolution of the card table; it being impossible either to gain or lose money with any satisfaction while the jovial chorus disturbed their calculations.


Wednesday, 3d.—Great preparations were made for a ship-launch; and again the King went in state to the governor's residence, and proceeded thence to the dockyard, where he performed the ceremony of naming a small vessel; which glided beautifully into the ocean amid salvos of artillery, volleys of small-arms,207 and the cheers of the surrounding spectators. The grand festival and ball took place on shore in the evening; when they kept it up till past midnight; and the moment the King and his party returned on board, the Madagascar set sail, and "left us alone in our glory." It seems rather extraordinary that the Prince of Bavaria had not the inclination, as he certainly had the power, to put off these fêtes until the passengers of the Francesco, with whom he had sailed for two months, and to whom he was now under some obligation, could have participated in them. There was no reason for hurry; there existed no necessity for the King's immediate return to Nauplia; in short, no excuse can be found to palliate such paltry, ungenerous, unfeeling conduct: certainly unfeeling, when it is considered that his fellow-travellers were witnesses of these festivities, without the possibility of joining in them.

Friday, 5th.—By the first boat which came alongside to-day, many of the more restless part of our crew hurried ashore. I remained on board till the evening; and amused myself, during the interval, in watching the numerous boats, crowded with the inhabitants, which came off to visit the steamer. I did not notice a single Greek woman who maintained the reputation of her208 countrywomen for any thing but ugliness; and none of the men were of that fine race of beings whom I expected to see. There was nothing national in their costume; the women being mostly dressed in imitation of the Parisian mode; and, apparently, many of the men took their cut from Bond Street. Over a cabinet in the billiard-room, I afterwards observed several plates from the "Courrier des Dames;" and as Syra is destined to be the principal port of the Greek islands, I presume its inhabitants wish also to show themselves leaders in the march of improvement. Of course, the ladies will prefer stiff stays, gigot sleeves, and spacious bustle, to the loose jacket, short petticoat, and coloured stockings of their grandmothers.


There is to be a grand festa this evening, to-day being the eve of the γενεθλιον του προδρομου, or birth of St. John the Baptist. There was an incessant firing of muskets and petards; which proved that the gunpowder had not been all expended upon King Otho. Towards night, every one lighted a large bonfire before his house, and the favourite amusement seemed to be, who would run the oftenest through it when the blaze was at the fiercest. Shouts of laughter burst from the crowd, as each unlucky wight issued, scorched and singed, from the fiery trial; while209 the applause was proportionate towards those who ventured bravely, and escaped uninjured.

Many of us joined in the sport, leaping through the mass of newly kindled flame, and, among others, I had the satisfaction of presenting myself on the other side, minus a good portion of whiskers, and with eyelashes singed into little tufts, close to the lid.


Syra, like many of the Greek towns, is best seen at a distance; for it is, in reality, but an insignificant place, and there is not a respectable street in it. The houses, too, are low and dirty; and a disagreeable smell of dried fish and bad olives salutes one in every quarter. However, the inhabitants appear to be wealthy and enterprising; and at some future period it may become a large, populous, flourishing city.

Saturday, 6th.—We started at midnight, and in the morning were off St. Nicolo, in the island of Tinos. The town is very pretty; and the house of the bishop, near the church, is a very favourable specimen of Greek domestic architecture.


After remaining here a short time, we proceeded on our course to Mycone. Several boat-loads of the natives put off to see the vessel; and on being received on board, they expressed the greatest surprise and admiration at the size and210 beauty of the steamer's cabin and deck. On our part, we were no less gratified with the graceful, varied costume, worn by our island visiters; one of whom, a female, was dressed in a most superb style; and being also exceedingly pretty, she set off her decorations to great advantage. Dark eyelashes overshadowed a pair of eyes, blue, soft, and beautiful as the heaven of her native clime. A shawl of parti-coloured silk was so disposed upon her head as to cover its upper part, and form a bow on the right side; while the ends hung over each ear, allowing the rich tresses of her glossy auburn hair to flow from under them unconfined. A plain loose jacket of light blue cloth covered a deep-red bodice laced close to the form; and a petticoat of the same colour, descending in ample folds to the knee, was fastened round the waist by a narrow black silk shawl. Her stockings were black, and the garters vermilion. Another lady of the party, a dark beauty, also wore a dress of rich and elegant fashion. Her hair, black as jet, was closely bound round her head, and fastened in a knot upon the crown, as one sees it arranged on the Greek statues. A thin gauze veil, ornamented at the two extremities with flowers and gold embroidery, was thrown carelessly over this elegant coiffure, heightening and adding new graces to a beauty211 it was intended to conceal. Her jacket was of green velvet braided with gold, and lined with white silk. The remainder of her dress consisted of rose-coloured silk; and a magnificent shawl, of that brilliant red and yellow pattern so common among the Greeks, encircled her waist. I believe she was the wife of the Neapolitan consul, who also fulfilled the duties of that office for half a dozen countries besides.


Proceeding next to Delos, we anchored opposite Mount Cynthus, and went on shore immediately, to visit the ruins of the theatre, and of some vast temple, built upon the ascent of that hill. Thence we passed to the Thermæ, and to the ruins of the great Temple of Apollo, which cover an immense extent of ground, where capitals, columns, architraves, friezes, and cornices, lie mingled in undistinguished confusion; and from their size and number they had more the appearance of the fragments of some fallen mountain, than the remains of man's handiwork. While engaged in contemplating these stupendous ruins, the rest of the party wandered about, and saw many things which necessarily escaped my observation. But four hours only were granted us to examine one of the most interesting of the places marked down in the itinerary; and it was necessary to hurry over the scene. It really212 seemed, that the feelings of the generality of our tourists must be of a very low and vulgar description, thus to visit any spot consecrated by history or fable, as it were for an instant, merely to gratify the empty vanity of being able to say "Oh! I have been there;" and then to hurry on towards the next object with the same heartless indifference. How different is their conduct on arriving at the busy haunts of men, which promise balls, dinners, or festás! Then, hours and days are not sufficient for the gratification of their favourite enjoyments, and every stratagem is put in practice to create delay.

Hardly one third of the passengers landed at Delos, yet five days were absolutely lost in Smyrna. The same parties who grumbled, and grudged four short hours at this isle, would have detained us as many days over the number specified in the city of figs, had they been permitted. Nor was the cool morning, or evening, freshened by the never-failing breeze, selected for going ashore; but the very hottest time of day, when on this treeless, barren, granite island, the reflection of light and heat is almost insupportable: when Apollo darts his fiercest rays on those who wander to seek his fane, and Diana was unable to offer them any cool, shady retreat which, at such an hour, she would herself have loved so well.213 Yonder, under the soot-imbued awning of the Francesco, sits many a listless cold-hearted being gazing without emotion,—

——"on the sacred place, Where once stood shrines and gods;"

and with no enviable feelings putting the question to him, who, with his imagination rapt on the thoughts of other days, hastens to the classic shore:—"What is the use of running out in the sun; cannot you see those piles of stones from the deck?"—Senseless, unfeeling, sordid, and degraded! what can have induced you to approach this consecrated land?


There was one of our party who thought he had made a grand discovery and capture. With great labour and exertion, we carried for him to the water's edge a large block of marble, resembling a portion of a basin or font. He at once decided, that it had been some receptacle for water belonging to the temple, and resolved on carrying it to Palermo. Unfortunately, however, it was shortly afterwards recognised to be nothing more than a Turkish mortar for pounding the sulphur, nitre, and charcoal used in the manufacture of gunpowder; and on examination, there was no doubt of its being perfectly modern. "Never mind," said its proprietor;214 "it shall go to my palace; and there being no reason to explain what it really is only whence it came, the Sicilians will admire and venerate it as a relic from Delos!"


Sunday, 7th.—In the middle of the night we started for Naxos, bidding adieu to Delos over a cup "mantling with rosy wine," and with the song of sociality; thus worshipping the glorious gods of the table, as, leaving the temple of the one, we approached the spot hallowed by the worship of the other. Where, indeed, should the chorus sound more joyously than in the waters of Delos, or the sparkling wine flow faster than in the sight of Naxos?

It was a beautiful night; the moon shone with resplendent lustre, and the sea, calm and unruffled as a mountain lake, reflected all its beams, until each rippling wave became like molten silver.

Crossing from Naxos to Paros, and coasting along the latter mountainous isle, we stopped opposite the town of the same name, to discover the most convenient anchorage, for visiting the celebrated grotto. While waiting for the necessary information, several of the passengers went in search of the quarries which supplied the ancients with marble; but as, without interpreters, they could not make themselves215 understood, they returned unsuccessful. We, however, were fortunate in meeting with a rich proprietor, who lived opposite the grotto and village of Antiparos, and who promised to have men and torches ready for us by daylight. We then started again, and at length dropt anchor in a beautiful strait between the two islands. The greatest caution is requisite in getting to this position; the passage being extremely narrow, and the water shallow: the latter was so beautifully transparent, that each pebble on the yellow sand appeared distinctly visible, and myriads of sportive fish were seen darting in every direction from the clamorous hissing monster that invaded their quiet abode.

Grotto Antiparos.

Drawn & Etched by George Cruikshank, from a Sketch by the Author.

Grotto Antiparos.

Published by Longman & Cº. April, 1835.


Monday, 8th.—The expedition to Antiparos seemed to suit the general taste, and all were ready by the appointed hour. At four o'clock we embarked in two large country boats, and proceeding through the strait, we landed in a little bay, and found an assemblage of donkeys and guides awaiting our arrival. The distance, as we were informed, was two hours, and all being mounted, away we started on this grotto chase at a double quick step; so that in a short time many began to show symptoms of fatigue.


For the first half hour the country appeared almost destitute of trees, but arriving at length216 on the brow of a hill, after a long and gradual ascent, a richly cultivated and finely wooded hollow, surrounded by mountains, opened upon our view. As the abrupt faces of these eminences form an insurmountable barrier on three sides of the basin just alluded to, we fancied that the grotto must be there. But no! we had to descend, cross it, and mount again towards the south, by a steep path that wound up the least precipitous side of this punchbowl. Hitherto the rock had been primitive limestone lying on gneiss, but we now came upon a thick stratum of pure limestone.

Interior of the Grotto of Antiparas.

Drawn & Etched by George Cruikshank, from a Sketch by the Author.

Interior of the Grotto of Antiparas.


Passing over the brow of a tolerably high mountain, we found that it declined towards the south into the plain; and thence to the sea by a gentle slope. The ground was covered with myrtle and arbutus, and presented a wild but beautiful aspect. We had now nearly reached the further end of the island, where a narrow promontory extends far into the calm blue waters. Far off in the distance appeared the islands of Sikyno and Raclia, floating like huge birds upon the bosom of the waves. Close under the western shore, where the island of Paros terminates in bold perpendicular cliffs, lay the little island of Spotico; while all around, the sea bristled with rocks as far as the eye could217 reach. On one side of a steep path, which we were now slowly ascending, the guides pointed out a huge fissure or break in the rock, which they said was the platform in front of the grotto. At the further end of this cavern, behind a vast stalactite, reaching from the roof to the ground, and suggesting to the imagination the idea of some gigantic sentinel before the pit of Acheron, yawned a low narrow opening, the interior of which presented to the view a more than Egyptian darkness. Around this spot were assembled a band of kirtled Greeks, provided with ropes, ladders, and flambeaux. Our appearance was the signal for a general uproar: each commenced talking, screaming, and fighting for possession of the ladies, and every now and then edging in a word of French or English, by way of additional recommendation. Much time was lost in squabbling for the torches, the number of which proved to be less than that of the adventurers; and it was only fair that "first come should be first served." Those who had loitered behind complained bitterly of the deficiency in this respect; especially the chevalier d'industrie from Milan, who, being less expert with his feet than with his hands, had been one of the last to arrive. Of his adroitness with the latter, he quickly gave us a specimen; for, while one of my friends was218 peering into the entrance of this Acherontic cave, he very cunningly appropriated his torch; and it was not until the matter became serious, that he could be induced to restore it.


It was with feelings wrought up to a high degree of excitement, in which I believe all my companions participated, that I heard the order given to advance, when the whole party trod closely on the footsteps of the guides, who preceded us with torches. Our speed, however, soon received a check; for by the time we had advanced fifteen or twenty paces, the light of day entirely failed us. All now became enveloped in utter darkness, except a small space in front, where the tapers of our conductors, nearly extinguished by the damp and unwholesome atmosphere, emitted a pale and livid blaze, which, failing to reveal the extent and termination of this frightful cavern, produced a "darkness visible," and magnified every danger. It was a long, narrow, winding chasm, gradually increasing in the abruptness of the descent as we advanced; and the floor, that consisted of carbonate of lime, was rendered slippery as ice by the damp and the friction of the feet of those who, for the last three thousand years, have visited this extraordinary place from motives similar to our own. A single cable of no very219 satisfactory appearance was all we had to depend upon for support, and it chafed against the sharp, rugged, angular projections of the rocks in a fearful manner, when violently dragged from side to side by the united action of the forty individuals who clung to it. The feelings of insecurity to which this naturally gave rise were not at all diminished by the shrieks and exclamations of terror proceeding from such as lost their footing upon the polished floor, and lay struggling in ineffectual efforts to get up, without letting go the rope. My own personal safety did not so wholly occupy my attention as to prevent me from being affected with wonder and admiration at the exceeding beauty of some portions of this subterranean corridor, which glittered in the torch-light with a splendour no language can describe; for the innumerable minute crystals scattered over its surface, glowed at one moment with a deep blood-red, and at another exhibited all the different hues of the most brilliant rainbow.


It is hardly possible to conceive a more extraordinary spectacle than that in which I was now an actor: it was perfectly melodramatic, and would make the fortune of any minor theatre in London, though the pen of a Dante is alone equal to its description.


First and foremost, were seen the Greek guides exciting us to persevere, and the220 beckoning us onwards by waving the flaming torches high above their heads; and when the light flashed upon their savage countenances, wild streaming locks, and picturesque garments, as well as over the pale, stumbling, struggling crowd which followed, it required no great stretch of fancy to imagine that I saw the attendant demons of some mighty sorcerer, the inhabitant of this rocky den, deluding us onwards to destruction. The laughter, screams, and hallooing, which accompanied our efforts to maintain a hold upon the cable, our only hope of safety, united to the smoke and stench of the flambeaux, rendered the whole scene no unapt representation of Pandemonium. The Greeks shouted forth oaths, warnings, entreaties, and directions, in their native tongue: with these were intermingled, in indescribable confusion, the English "d—n," the French "sacre," the German "mein Got," the Italian "corpo di Bacco," and the gentler exclamations of certain of the fair sex who, strange to say, accompanied us in this hazardous expedition.


On reaching the brink of a most frightful precipice, we were instructed to crawl down by means of some rude steps cut in the surface of a sloping buttress or inclined plane of rock, which appeared to extend to the bottom. The221 sight of this horrible den acted as a "pretty considerable" sedative to our enthusiasm. Each exclaimed to himself, (at least I did for one) "Can I venture?"—as he contemplated the dismal, and, to all appearance, bottomless gulf, where nothing was visible but the strange figures of our guides at a prodigious distance beneath us, clinging to the wall with one hand, while they brandished their torches with the other. However, there was little space for reflection; and though, by this time, I shrewdly suspect most of the party had pretty well "satisfied the sentiment," as Sterne says, none were heard to say so; and after a short delay we pushed on again, apparently regardless of danger. Our progress, however, became every moment more and more difficult and discouraging; for this rude and imperfect staircase, also slippery as ice, was covered with loose stones, that came rattling down on our devoted heads at every false step of those above; and many who had eagerly contested at the outset for the distinction of leading the party, would now have gladly made an inglorious retreat rearward, to escape the contusions, or something worse, with which they were momentarily threatened; convinced, with Falstaff, that "honour hath no skill in surgery."

PETRIFIED GARDEN. After remaining for a few minutes suspended
from the cord, like a cluster of bees in the act of swarming, we again found ourselves on terra firma; and a passage behind some masses of projecting rock brought me to a platform, in front of which rose a stalagmite, admirably adapted by its position for the display of my fireworks. Accordingly I let off a blue-light, which illuminated the grotto beneath, the arches of which were of immense size; and their vast ribs, protruding from the rock, and extending to a great height, formed a magnificent dome, from which hung innumerable concretions of pointed form. Masses of crystallised limestone grew from the floor in every shape that fancy could picture. There were trees, teeth, flowers, houses, men, &c.: in short, imagination never could exhaust itself in pointing out resemblances between these phenomena, and the ordinary productions of nature and art.

The predominance of the figures of trees, plants, and flowers among these fantastical creations, gives to the whole grotto the appearance of a petrified garden; but it was no slight drawback on our gratification to find these objects covered with slime and mud, obscuring the brilliant ever-changing hues of the myriads of crystals with which they are studded, and which former travellers have alluded to in terms of ad223miration. It was only when the blue flame shed its beautiful light upon the scene, that it at all realised my preconceived ideas of this "Palace of the genii, the most beautiful of fairy land," as it has been frequently styled.

By a ladder fastened to the stalagmite, we descended into another frightful cavern, where on one side several dismal-looking pits, like the entrances to coal mines, and black pools of dirty, stagnant water, menaced us with death under a twofold aspect, until we reached the uneven and shelving floor of the grotto. There were several chambers, more or less resembling each other, being separated from the grand nave of this magnificent temple by the accumulation of the crystallising mass for ages.


It is a scene that ought to be visited by a few congenial spirits, quietly and leisurely. On the present occasion the effect and the illusion were dissipated by the glare of the torch lights, the hallooing and screaming of those present, and the thumping of hammers and blocks of stone to get fragments of the crystal. This part of the grotto is certainly the heaven, the paradise; though, of a truth, the descent into it is through purgatory; an opinion in which I am by no means singular; and in confirmation I shall beg leave to introduce a portion of the narrative of a224 gallant officer belonging to one of our vessels cruising in the Levant, who saw the grotto under more favourable auspices than we did; though, like the poor Frenchman, whom I shall have occasion to mention hereafter, he acknowledges that he purchased the gratification at the cost of some mortal terror.


Speaking of the deepest and most gloomy of the caverns into which we had penetrated, he says:—"I was quite disheartened at this horrible prospect, and declared I would go back, but our guides assured us there was no danger, and the rest of the company resolving to see the bottom after having come so far, I would not leave them: so we went to a corner where was placed an old slippery rotten ladder, which hung down close to the wall, and down this, one after another, we at length descended. When we reached the bottom we found ourselves at the entrance of another passage, which was indeed horrible enough; but in this there was not wanting something of beauty. It was a wide and gradual descent, at the entrance of which one of our guides seated himself, and began to slide down, telling us we must do the same. We could discover by the light of his torch that this passage was one of the noblest in the world. It was about nine feet high, seven wide, and had225 for its bottom a fine green glossy marble. The walls and arch of the roof, being in many places as smooth as if wrought with art, and made of a fine glittering red and white granite, supported here and there with columns of a deep blood red shining porphyry, made with the reflection of the lights an appearance not to be conceived. Our guides could here keep on each side of us; and what with the prodigious beauty and grandeur of the place, our easy travelling through it, and the diversion of now and then running over one another whether we would or not, made this the pleasantest part of the journey.


"When we had passed about two hundred yards, we found ourselves on the brink of another very terrible precipice; but this our guides assured us was the last, and there being a very good ladder to go down by, we readily ventured. After about forty yards' walking, we were again presented by our guides with ropes, which we fastened around our waists, though not to be swung by; but only for fear of danger, as there are lakes and deep wells all the way hence on the left hand. With this precaution, we entered the last alley; and horrible work, indeed, it was to get through it. The sides and roof of the passage were of black stone, and the rocks in our way were in some places so steep, that we were226 forced to lie all along on our backs and slide down; and so rough, that they cut our clothes and bruised us in passing. Over our heads there were nothing but rugged black rocks, some of them looking as if they were every moment ready to fall on us; and on the left hand the light of our torches showed us continually the surfaces of dirty and miserable-looking lakes of water.


"If I heartily repented my expedition before, here I was in a cold perspiration, and fairly gave myself up for lost, heartily cursing all the travellers that had written of the place, because they had described it so as to tempt people to visit it, without telling them of the horrors they must encounter in the way. In the midst of these reflections, and in the very dismallest part of the cavern, on a sudden we lost four of our six guides. What was my horror on this occasion! The place was a thousand times more dark and terrible for the want of their torches; and I expected no other but every moment to follow them into one or the other of these lakes, into which I doubted not they had fallen. The remaining two guides said all they could to cheer us up, and told us we should see the other four again soon, and that we were near the end of 227our journey. I do not know what effect this might have had on my companions, but I believed no part of their speech but the last, which I expected very soon to find fulfilled in some pond or precipice: in that sense, indeed, we were near our journey's end!


"While engaged in meditating on the perils that environed me, I suddenly heard a little hissing noise, and found myself in utter and indescribable darkness. Our guides, indeed, called cheerfully to us, and told us they had accidentally dropped their torches into a puddle of water, but that they should soon reach their companions, when they would light them again, and we had nothing to do but crawl forward. I cannot say but that I was amazed at the courage of these people in a place where I thought four of their number had already perished, and from whence none of us could ever escape; and I determined to lie down and die where I was.

"One of our guides, perceiving that I did not advance, came up to me, and, clapping his fingers over my eyes, dragged me a few paces forward. While I was in this strange condition, expecting every moment death in a thousand shapes, and trembling to think what the fellow meant by this rough proceeding, he lifted me at once over a great stone, set me down upon my feet, and took his hand from before my eyes. What words can228 describe my astonishment and transport at that instant! Instead of darkness and despair, all was splendour and magnificence around me; the place was illumined with fifty torches; and our guides, who all reappeared about us, with a loud shout welcomed us to the Grotto of Antiparos! The four that were first missing, I now found, had only given us the slip to get the torches lighted up before we came; and the other two had put out their lights on purpose, to make us enter out of utter darkness into this pavilion of splendour and glory.


"The grotto is a cavern of about 120 yards wide, 113 long, and seems about 60 yards high in most places. Imagine, then, an immense arch like this, almost entirely lined with fine bright white marble, and the mind will then acquire some faint idea of the place I had the pleasure to spend three hours in: this, however, is but a very insufficient description of its beauties. The roof, which consists of a fine vaulted arch, is hung all over with icicles of fine white marble, some of them ten feet long, and as thick as one's middle at the root; and among these there hung a thousand festoons of leaves and flowers of the same substance, but so very glittering that there was no bearing to look at them. All the sides of the arch are planted with the representations of trees of229 the same white crystal, rising in rows one above the other. From these trees were also hung festoons, tied, as it were, from one to another, in vast quantities; and in some places among them are seen rivers of marble flowing in a thousand meanders. All these things have been produced, during a long series of years, by the dropping of water, but really look like petrified trees and brooks. Our guides had tied torches two or three to a pillar, and kept continually beating them to make them burn bright: imagine, then, what a glare of splendour and beauty must be the effect of this illumination among such rocks and columns of marble. All around the lower part of the sides of the arch are a thousand white masses of crystal, in the shape of oak trees, which are in many places large enough for a bedchamber. One of these chambers has a fine white curtain, whiter than satin, of the same marble, stretching all over the front of it. In this we cut our names and the date of the year."


I shall not dwell upon our return, though it was, if possible, more laborious and difficult than the descent. Just as I had got upon the first ladder and my white light was extinguished, there arose the most shrill and piercing shriek I ever remember to have heard, followed by loud230 exclamations of "Sauvez moi! sauvez moi! je suis perdu!" It immediately occurred to me that some unfortunate creature had fallen into the abyss; and, lowering my torch, I beheld a figure convulsively grasping the rock with one hand and the ladder with the other; while a Greek, who stood underneath, was endeavouring to force him onwards. There he hung, in perfect safety, though unable to assist himself; trembling like an aspen leaf, pale as death, and crying like a child. After we had drawn him up, he sat down for some time, to recover his scattered senses; and, positively, I could hardly refrain from laughing as he made his piteous complaint. It seems, without reflecting that the man did not understand a word of French, he had charged the Greek, who followed him, not to get upon the ladder until he was off. Just, however, as his hand was on the last step, he felt some one climbing after him. The poor Frenchman's terror was then at its height: he fancied the ladder slipping from under his feet, and, grasping the wood still more tightly, in doing so he got his finger pinched against the rock. In the exertion of releasing it, he nearly overbalanced himself in reality, and again he screamed out with terror and dismay! All this occurred in a brief instant; though, between his tears and his heart231 throbbing, many minutes were consumed in the narration.


I am not a little surprised that the two ladies who accompanied the party had courage to descend into such a place. In my opinion, excursions like these are by no means adapted to either the mental or corporeal delicacy of the fair sex; and, however disagreeable the position might have momentarily proved to them, it was impossible to witness the tall slender figure of one of them, grasped in the arms of a bearded swarthy Greek, now squeezed against the wall, now almost astride upon his shoulders, without indulging in the laughter such a spectacle was well calculated to inspire.

Thanks to the kind influence of the guardian genii of the cave, who preserved us from falling victims to the perils of the way, we all got safely out; and as each, begrimed with dirt, and black as a chimney-sweep, emerged into upper air, enveloped in smoke, which now issued in huge volumes from the cavern's mouth, he was received by his companions with shouts of mirth that made the old vault echo again. Verily, we could be likened to nothing but the devils in the opera of Don Giovanni.

We now turned our steps again towards the village of Antiparos, and, under the influence of232 those potent stimulants, hunger and thirst, got over the ground more rapidly than might have been anticipated, considering how exhausted the whole party felt previously to starting. The time passed rapidly enough in the interchange of a good deal of lively and amusing raillery on the truly laughable appearance which every individual presented, with clothes rent almost to tatters, and visage bedaubed with oil and soot; besides, each of us became the "hero of his little tale," and could narrate a hundred perilous incidents and hairbreadth escapes which he had encountered during his descent and ascent from the "antres vast" of this extraordinary place.

It was eleven o'clock before we got on board, where all did ample homage to the breakfast that awaited us.


In the meantime the boat quitted the island, and after sailing between Serpho and Siphanto, and coasting along the Argentiera, all volcanic islands, she came in sight of the port of Milo. By properly fortifying the entrance of this harbour, it might be rendered perfectly impregnable. In shape it resembles a horse-shoe much contracted at the two extremities; and consists of the crater of an extinct volcano, the cone of which remains on three sides, but more or less233 in a state of degradation. The town is built on the top of the cone, and the whole island appears to be volcanic. In our passage here, we sailed by the Pelican sloop of war, bound to Malta, on her voyage home.


Tuesday, 9th.—Early this morning, the Madagascar came in, in fine style, with every sail set, and anchored close to us. After bathing in the sea with the midshipmen, by leaping off the vessel's chains, the King of Greece landed, to go up to the town. The Greek soldiers and sailors, most of whom were pirates formerly, hailed his disembarkation on an old Turkey carpet, with shouts and acclamations, followed by a discharge of their long guns loaded with ball; several of which plunged into the water within a few feet of the steam-boat.

When all was quiet we went ashore also, and landed on the snow-white beach, formed of pumice stone, which sparkled in the sun's rays like myriads of diamonds, and in which several large masses of grey lava, exceedingly fragile, lay deeply imbedded.


In the paltry collection of wine-shops, here dignified with the name of village, we saw a number of Greeks waiting the return of Otho: each wore a gaily coloured kerchief on the head; an embroidered jacket; a shawl encircling the234 waist; red greaves; a dirk; and a long gun, ornamented with gold, slung over the shoulder. Their wild fearless demeanour struck me as more characteristic of the freebooter, than the soldier of a regular government. Yet seldom have I seen more elegant graceful figures than were possessed by these mountain robbers, whose robust symmetry rendered each one of them a perfect model for the sculptor's art.

I went on board the Madagascar in the evening, and enjoyed a pleasant confab with the officers. There is a striking difference in the tempers and dispositions of the two royal brothers; the one being greatly beloved, while the other is disliked by every person in the ship. The King is very kind and affable, giving no unnecessary trouble, and mixing freely with the midshipmen and sailors: many a luncheon has he partaken of in the den of the former. His brother, on the contrary, is all fuss and superciliousness; and the very first morning after he embarked, the captain was compelled to read him a practical lecture on the necessity of complying with the established regulations. He had been told that, as punctuality was a most indispensable maxim on board a man-of-war, where every thing depended on the example afforded to the sailors by their officers and superiors, he would be235 expected at breakfast by eight o'clock every morning.


On the following day, at the hour prescribed, the King was seated at the cabin table, and, after waiting a quarter of an hour, as the Prince came not, breakfast was finished. About half past nine his Royal Highness made his début, and expressed some surprise at seeing the table cleared; however, the Captain told him he was sorry he had lost his breakfast, particularly as it was a long time to dinner; and the regulations of the ship precluded his having any meal served before that was ready. The Prince frowned and looked marvellously discomfited; but, pocketing his lecture, he made an apology, and went sulkily on deck.

The moment of parting between the royal brothers had now arrived, and they came on board the steamer together at a late hour. The anchor was already up:—"Give way!" cried the captain: the heir of Bavaria and the hope of Greece fell into each other's arms; and, after a short embrace and a kissing of each cheek, the latter hurried down the ladder; the Prince hastened to his cabin; and in a few minutes more we were merrily ploughing our way through the rippling waves of the calm and beautiful harbour of Milo.

236Wednesday, 10th.—Cerigo was in sight this morning; and, after coasting along its almost uninhabited shore, and rounding Cape Matapan, we entered the Gulf of Coron,—the scene of one of the most beautiful spirit-stirring poems that ever proceeded from the heaven-inspired pen of Byron. We sailed slowly along its wild and wooded coast, anxious to reach the town21 of the same name in the evening; for, by going on shore there, we might probably avoid some days' quarantine at Zante.

When off the island, a boat was sent ashore, and on its return we started again, and, passing between the Isle of Venetico and the main land, and rounding the point of Modon, we kept the high and barren coast of Arcadia in sight.


Thursday, 11th.—This morning Zante appeared in the distance, and about mid-day we entered the harbour of this fine island. The interior is a beautiful plain, rich in pastures, well wooded, and cultivated with the greatest assiduity. The town looked clean and cheerful: but we were not permitted to land; for it turned out that our quarantine had been of no use. Seven additional days' purification being required, we decided on starting again immediately. Several237 barge loads of coal, therefore, were brought alongside, and, their crews having quitted them (for they fled as if the plague had been actually on board), our men got to work, and we soon had our quantum of fuel for the voyage to Malta.

Friday, 12th.—We landed ten passengers to-day; four of them British officers belonging to the garrison of Corfu; and the other six, disgusted with the boat, and with the prospect of twenty days' detention at Malta, had resolved to await the steamer expected in six days from the former place, and bound to Ancona, where they understood the quarantine was limited to five days.


The swell becoming unpleasant towards evening, one by one the passengers went below; and the Prince, turning gradually pale, showed unequivocal symptoms of being affected by a malady which, like death, is no respecter of persons, but fastens indifferently on the sceptred monarch and the shoeless cowherd, when either ventures to go "ploughing the billows of the faithless deep."

We took in two English passengers who had been making the tour of Greece and Asia Minor, and who strongly advised the seceders not to trust to the expected boat, but to stick to the Francesco. However; as they still remained obstinately bent on following their own plans,238 we left them, and were soon out in the Ionian Sea.


Sunday, 14th.—At four o'clock this morning, the mountains of Calabria, above Branco and Cape Spartivento, were visible. About seven, Ætna reared its giant head, towering magnificently over the scene through the clouds of mist that enveloped its base. At half-past two we entered the harbour of Syracuse, after a few hours' delay, started again in a gale. We had a very rough time of it during the night, but to-morrow our troubles will end.

Monday, 15th.—At daybreak a speck was seen in the horizon; now it is visible above the hollow wave, now curtained from our sight by the swelling billow: we approach nearer; the speck divides, and two spots appear; they are Calypso's Isles,—

"The sister tenants of the middle deep, There, for the weary, still a haven smiles, Though the fair goddess long hath ceased to weep."


At ten o'clock we passed into the quarantine harbour.

What a formidable array of guns! what bustle in every direction! and what a clean comfortable-looking place is this Valetta, with its white houses encircled with verandas. What a contrast is afforded239 by the neat trim boats, the well-appointed sentinel, and the civil, attentive officer of health, when compared with what I have been so long accustomed to! Every thing around bespeaks the influence of English habits and feelings. The whole of the great lazzaretto and Fort Emanuel were prepared for us: the latter for the Prince, and such as chose to go there in preference to the former. We landed in a hurry; the object of every one being to secure a good room for himself, as, with a piece of chalk in hand, he wandered through the vast corridors of this immense building. All were well satisfied. Myself and two friends agreed to mess together, and we secured a couple of good apartments, one for a bed, and the other for a sitting-room; to which two great comforts were attached, namely, a thorough draught and a kitchen. Valetta supplied the necessary furniture, and every luxury we required; and we made our engagements for getting our dinners brought from thence daily. With a boat and a servant in addition to these comforts, we found ourselves established in so agreeable a manner, that our party became the envy of the surrounding messes. Every liberty was permitted that the regulations of the place could sanction; and we were allowed to row about the harbour, and amuse ourselves in any240 other way we liked, from daybreak until night. Some of the messes had regular cooks in their establishment; but I think our plan was preferable, and we certainly lived better than they.


Notwithstanding the heat of the weather, our domicile was cool, and the spacious apartments attached to the building, and the cloisters below, afforded plenty of space for exercise. In the evenings we generally visited the fort, or went to the quarantine ground on the other side of the water: sometimes we took a row out to sea; and, on our return, the English portion of the crew generally came into our reception room, where we smoked, drank, and sang far into the night. No musquitoes, no little blood-sucking tormentors, were there to tease us; and the time passed gaily and delightfully. Thus we held the even tenor of our course for a fortnight, when our confinement had virtually expired; for though the established period of quarantine was sixteen days, yet the one on which we went into the lazzaretto, and that on which we came out, were allowed to count as two. Though very few incidents occurred to break the uniformity of our lives, the time flew on rapidly.

The gaming-table was established, as usual, by the foreigners; and heavy were the fluctuations of fortune, if we might judge from the changeful241 demeanour of those who frequented it. His Royal Highness never deigned to visit us; indeed, it could hardly be expected he should do so, when he did not even condescend to pay his respects to the ladies in the fort, or the party there established, though living within the same walls as himself.


In consequence of its having been decided that the boat was to go to Alicata, Girgenti, and Palermo, I arranged with one of the passengers to take a felucca and sail direct for Naples. The Pelican came in, and immediately went off again to England, leaving her first lieutenant, who was promoted, to join the boat for Naples. Some portion of every day was spent at the parlatorio eating ices, and looking at the curious scene going forward there; for some fresh ship daily arrived to undergo the same ordeal as ourselves; or a knot of lucky fellows, having finished their purgatory, were seen sallying forth to enjoy a ramble through the clean and pleasant streets of Valetta.

The lazzaretto is a little world within itself, highly interesting for many reasons; and I confess I felt rather sorry as the time approached when we were to quit our quiet, tranquil abode, and be again let loose upon the busy, noisy world.

242We narrowly escaped having forty days allotted us, owing to the circumstance of there being a quantity of carpets on board; but, by entering them as ship's furniture, they were put into long quarantine, and we escaped with a comparatively short one. Every passenger seemed to possess two or three Persian carpets: Prince Butera had a great number; but I saw none that were at all valuable.


At the parlatorio we saw many of the Maltese women coming to speak with their husbands, fathers, brothers, and lovers; most of whom were sailors or owners of craft in the harbour. Their dress is very becoming, and some of them were pretty. The black silk mantilla is a very beautiful head dress, and much to be preferred to the misshapen bonnet with which fashion commands the fair to disfigure themselves in other parts of Europe. The petticoat is also of black silk, with the body of white muslin. Some one likened them to magpies: i'faith, they talked as fast; but who would not wish to hear the beautiful Arabic flowing softly from such ruby lips, and watch the smiling flashes of—

"The coal-black eye, that mocks the coal-black veil?"

that pleasant lightning which warms, but scathes not.

243Thus our time passed until—

Sunday, 29th,—when the medical officer of the establishment came round to make the usual examination, which was over in a few minutes. Our party were in bed when he entered; and, approaching each of us with a bow, he said, "Pretty well?—ah! I see, quite well;"—and then, with another congé, he left us. We afterwards understood that he addressed every single person in the lazzaretto, the fort, and the vessel, from the Prince to the Steward's boy, precisely with the same words.

Tuesday, 30th.—I rose early, for the steam-packet from Corfu had arrived in the night, and, lo! all the passengers who quitted us at Zante were on board of her. It appears there had been a mistake in the number of days first allotted them for quarantine; and, instead of three, they were condemned to seven days' misery, all crowded together in a very small building, where they suffered dreadfully from the combined effect of heat, vermin, and bad living. The expected steam-boat had met with an accident at sea, and she passed in sight of Zante, without entering the harbour; so that these unlucky fellows were obliged to hire a speranaro, in which, after being twice driven back, and suffering244 various hardships and misfortunes, they arrived at Corfu.

There was no truth in the report respecting the short quarantine at Ancona, and, eventually, they all embarked in the steam-packet for Falmouth.


At eight o'clock, we landed from our boat at the harbour stairs, and entered Valetta. Rarely have I seen a city so remarkable for its cleanliness: in that very essential quality, it may be said to equal the most agreeable towns of Flanders and Holland. My first visit was to the Neapolitan consul, when I found there was some difficulty about the Turkish tobacco which I had in my possession. As this knotty affair could not be arranged, it was decided we should remain one day more; and I engaged myself to dine at the palace. As the Malta gazette did us the honour to publish a detailed account of the festivities of that day, let me transcribe it here.

"Malta, 31st.—The passengers by the Neapolitan steamer, Francesco Primo, were yesterday admitted to pratique.

"His Excellency the Governor entertained His R. H. the Prince of Bavaria, the Prince of Butera, and the other noblemen and gentlemen, passengers in the steamer, at a grand dinner at the palace.


"The whole of the garrison was afterwards reviewed on the Florian parade; and, certainly, in no quarter of the world could a finer body of troops be seen, than those composing the garrison of Malta; consisting of a detachment of the Royal Artillery, the Royal Fusileers, the Royal Highlanders, the 73d and 94th regiments, and the Royal Malta Fencibles.


"In the evening, Lady Briggs gave a magnificent ball, at which his R. H. the hereditary Prince of Bavaria, Prince Butera of Sicily, and the other distinguished personages who came by the steamer, were present."

The writer of this "Court Journal" was right in saying that no finer body of troops could be seen; and the foreigners present were particularly struck with the Fusileers and the Highlanders; but the whole garrison was greatly offended at the conduct of the Prince, who never acknowledged the salute of the officers, nor the lowering of the colours to the ground in passing his royal person. Every one besides stood uncovered, and the populace cheered loudly; while he displayed a sort of contemptuous indifference, and remained motionless as a statue. The Admiral's ball was given as much in honour of Sir Thomas Briggs's elevation to the Grand Cross of St. Michel as of the illustrious persons of the246 steam-boat. It was crowded and splendid; but there was a sad lack of beauty.

The Captain of the Speranaro having refused to take the tobacco, our bargain became void, and the baggage was again shifted to the steam-boat, which sailed about eight o'clock on a beautiful moonlight night. We were kept waiting outside the harbour for nearly an hour for Captain Hayland, one of the passengers, who, it seems, went to sleep, and the people in his hotel forgot to wake him in due time. He was greatly alarmed, all his baggage being on board; and for some time he supposed we had really left him behind. The boat he hired was engaged to take him to Syracuse, in case it did not overtake the steamer. The commander of the Francesco, however, behaved very well on this occasion; for, when some of the passengers remonstrated at the delay, he replied, that the absent person was not only attentive and obliging to all on board, but had been punctual hitherto; and, therefore, he would stretch a point for him, though he would not do as much for many others who sailed with him.


Thursday, August 1st.—We are off Alicata, having landed Prince Butera, whose estates are situated near the town. I was not sorry for the opportunity of seeing Girgenti thus afforded me;247 and a day or two sooner or later in Naples made no difference. Some extra charge was made for this addition to the eastern voyage, merely sufficient to pay the expenses of the boat.

We coasted along this beautiful island, now almost a wilderness, and nearly depopulated by a long series of oppressive edicts and taxes, imposed by the government of a nation which has no sympathy with its distresses. It may be truly called the Ireland of the great kingdom of the two Sicilies; a wretched country, which can only be preserved from destruction by a war to which Naples is a party. When that occurs, Sicily may again raise its desponding head, and, by seeking the protection of England, whose remembrance is indelibly stamped on the hearts of its inhabitants, it would soon be regenerated, and, with a liberal government and free trade, might once more become the rich and happy Sicily, the garden of Europe.


We anchored off Girgenti: in the distance, against the clear blue vault of heaven stood its ruined temples, the sad enduring monuments of former greatness; which appeal to the miserable and oppressed inhabitants, impressively reminding them of the glory of their forefathers, and the power which has passed away from the land.

248Half an hour after midnight, a party I had formed, started to view the temples by that light,

"Which mingles dark shadows into gentleness."

After rambling across the country, and losing ourselves among groves of olive trees, we were obliged to take a guide at last. We were several times stopped by the deep ravines which the torrents have cut in the face of the country. There were an immense number of aloes in the hedges, many in flower.

The night was as fine and clear as could be desired; and the moon shone with an intensity of light. On arriving at the Temple of Hercules, nothing met our eyes but one solitary column rising from a mass of prostrate ruins, and over-topping the cluster of Indian fig-trees that grew around it. Pointing towards the heavens, it seemed to whisper,—"Mortals, there must you look for eternity: here all is crumbling to decay!"


We passed on through groves of the above-mentioned trees, and alongside walls and turrets excavated from the solid rock, until the whole of the Temple of Concord, and, immediately afterwards, that of Juno, burst upon our sight. In this still hour, as we stood upon their ruins, and extended our view over the boundless prospect of249 sea and land,—the one calm and tranquil as a sleeping child; the other, like an old but vigorous man, marked and furrowed by the devastating hand of time,—how impressive was the scene! Can I ever lose the recollection of that moment? No. Girgenti,—

"My eye hath play'd the painter, and hath steeled Thy beauty's form in table of my heart!"

Often have I lingered within the Coliseum when its majestic ruins were silvered o'er by the light of the same lovely orb, which now threw its lustre on these prostrate relics of departed greatness: I have wandered alone among the temples of Pæstum; I have stood on the Parthenon while the sun threw his latest, brightest ray over that hallowed spot: but never did I feel as among the ruins of Girgenti. On all these former scenes, the combination of nature and art has fixed the impress of mere beauty; here their union is sublime.

The Eastern sky is brightening with the beams of the morning sun, and its reflection tints each mouldering column with a purple light. The moon slowly resigns her influence over the scene, and a splendid prospect of earth and sea bursts upon the eye, as the sun springs upwards from250 behind the ruins, like the presiding deity of the spot.

We next proceeded to the Temple of Giants; and, judging from the fragments which lie scattered, over a vast area, how colossal must have been the proportions of this once magnificent edifice! The caryatide, or giant, which lies prostrate there, the last of his race, is 27 feet long; and the remains of the columns, capitals, ovaca, tryglyphi, &c., are all on the same enormous scale, and tend to impress the gazer's mind with the idea that its erection was in reality the work of supernatural agency.

The space between the temple and the town affords a beautiful prospect, varied with undulating hills, green valleys, wooded slopes, and sharp-pointed rocks, and interspersed with gardens in the richest cultivation.


There is a great number of galley-slaves at Girgenti; and they must be a happy race, if laughing and merriment be any criterion to judge by.

In the evening, Prince Butera having joined us from Alicata, we started for Palermo. Poor Marquis St. Isodore has lost all his curiosities which he landed here; his property being close to Girgenti. The servant who was in charge of his baggage easily passed it through the custom-house by means of a bribe; and, having loaded251 a cart, instead of going off at once to the country, he placed it under a shed, and went to drink with some of his companions. In the mean time, one of those on board, who had an enmity against either the Marquis, or his man, laid an information, that there were many contraband articles; and the officer went to the shed and seized every thing.


Saturday, 3d.—The sea has become very boisterous, and most of the passengers are sick. We passed Marsala and Mazzara, where an increasing people enjoy comparative abundance, and are happy in consequence. All this benefit arises from the attention paid to the cultivation of the grape for Marsala wine, set on foot by an enterprising Englishman.

At two o'clock the steamer was off Trapani, and many of our passengers landed to visit Selinuntum; more, I believe, with the desire of escaping the horrors of sea-sickness, than for the purpose of searching after ruined temples.

Our course now lay along the shore, which presented a succession of bold mountainous scenery, interspersed with rich and smiling valleys. It was evening when we approached Palermo, and the setting sun shed a flood of golden light over each mountain summit, dark grey rock, and wooded glen: it was a beautiful scene,252 and reminded me of one of those landscapes which so often employed the immortal pencil of Claude Lorraine.

An unfortunate delay of half an hour in rounding Point Pellegrino, prevented us from getting pratique that night; and we had to endure the mortification of hearing the hum of enjoyment arising from every part of this gay city, without the possibility of being partakers in the amusement going forward. The marina was well illuminated, and the distant sound of music, which ever and anon came softened over the waves, communicated an air of enchantment to the scene.


Sunday, 4th.—We landed in Palermo at daylight; and I established myself in the same hotel where, two years before, I had spent a pleasant fortnight. Here it is that an Italian summer may be truly enjoyed; for pleasure would seem to be the presiding deity of the place. The inhabitants spend the whole night in driving about, eating delicious ices, listening to music, or in wandering among the orange and lemon groves situated in and about the town.

"This is the land where the lemon trees bloom; Where the dark orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, Where a wind ever soft from the kind Heaven blows, And the groves are of myrtle, and laurel, and rose."


After visiting every object of curiosity in Palermo, I surrendered myself to that pleasing indolence in which every one appears more or less to indulge. Nevertheless, I could not resist the temptation of making an excursion to Prince Butera's villa, in order to catch a glimpse of her who had soared so high and sunk so low.22 She came to the window while we were in the garden; and a Carlist, who formed one of our party, seemed to gaze at her as though she had been a deity. A dispute having arisen about some trivial circumstance, she stormed with rage, and her gesticulations were perfectly furious. She is a perfect Neapolitan.

As this illustrious lady had expressed a desire to go to Naples, we were requested to agree to a delay of a few days. Who could resist the temptations of a longer sojourn in the city of the syren pleasure? and it was readily agreed to. It was not, therefore, until the morning of—


Friday, 9th—that we bade adieu to Sicily. The Duchess came on board with her husband and suite, Count Menars, and the Prince and Princess——. Her face is by no means a handsome one; and she is very short, thin, and vulgar-looking. Nothing in her personal 254appearance marks her out for a heroine, or is calculated to inspire her followers with the awe and respect with which they seem to worship her. She soon sat down to whist with her husband, Butera, and the old Princess St. Theodore; but the game received many unpleasant interruptions from the pitching and rolling of the boat. Each time the fit came on, she sprang upon the bench on which she had been sitting, and, after bending her head sans cérémonie over the vessel's side, quietly sat down again to resume her cards. This rather unroyal and unlady-like exhibition occurred repeatedly; and we were impressed with the idea that her manners altogether were very unfitting her rank and station. As it was publicly known that we had the Duchess de Berri on board, she attracted considerable attention; otherwise her carriage would never have distinguished her from the most ordinary passenger. Our Carlist friend appeared on the quarter deck, wearing the colours of his party: at first, she took no notice of him; but at length it occurred to her that he might be a spy in disguise, and she haughtily demanded who he was. His loyalty and devotion were not proof against this affront: in an instant he retreated below, and, having disencumbered himself of the once-cherished badge, reappeared on deck with a255 countenance glowing with indignation; and, if I am not much deceived, "Louis-Philip" gained a convert from that moment.

We had a great increase of passengers, besides the Duchess and her suite; most of whom, being unaccustomed to sailing, were quickly on their beam ends. The weather, which, at starting, had threatened to be stormy, now cleared up; and, though the evening was calm and beautiful, a heavy swell still continued to render the motion of the vessel disagreeable. The heroine of La Vendée is sleeping in her arm-chair: the faithful Menars reposes at her feet; and her husband, whom she hardly seems to notice, is sitting on a bench beside her.


Saturday, 10th.—All hail to thee, Capri! Four months have glided away on the stream of time since I last beheld the sun casting thy shadow far over the surface of the azure waters, and then leave thee in darkness. Now his morning beams paint with gold the summits of thy lofty indented cliffs, that resemble the battlements of some magnificent cathedral: they will soon envelope thee in brightness. During the long interval between that setting and this rising, many beautiful pictures, painted by Nature's hand, have been spread out before me, but none more perfect than that which now unfolds itself,256 as, passing thy rocky isle, I enter the bay, where—

"Truth and Fable have shed, in rivalry, Each her peculiar influence."


Once more in port, my task is finished; and, gentle reader, I must now e'en bid thee adieu!



List of the Turkish Fleet in the Bosphorus.

  Frigates 8
  Line of Battle 5
  Three Deckers 2
  Corvettes 3
  Sloops 5
  Cutters 5
At Lamsacké Frigates 4
  Sloops 2
  Cutters 1
At St. Stefano. Frigates 3
  Total 38

Mohammed Ali's Navy.23

1. Masr 138     13. Mufti Gehat 22
2. Acre 138     14. Tantah 24
3. Mahellet-el-Kebir 100     15. Pelenga Gehat 22
4. Mansourah 100     16. Psyche 22
5. Alexandria 96     17. Fouah 20
6. Aboukir 90     18. Genah Baharia 20
7. Jaffaria 62     19. Cervelli 20
8. Bahirah 60     20. Satalia 20
9. Rashid 58     21. Washington 18
10. Kafr-el-Sheïkh 58     22. Semuda Gehat 18
11. Sheergehat 54     23. Timsah 13
12. Damietta 50        


State of the Thermometer at Constantinople, from May 6. to June 3. inclusive.
May 6. 46° 8 56°
7. 42°
8. 45° 60°
9. 47° 56°
10. 47°
11. 57°
12. 44° 55°
14. 49° 56°
15. 51° 55°
16. 47° 7 52°
17. 55°
18. 52° 8 58°
22. 59° 69°
23. 52° 55°
24. 57°
25. 42° 51°
26. 49° 60°
27. 58° 62°
28. 59° 69°
29. 56° 60°
30. 55° 65°
31. 55° 64°
June 1. 56° 58°
2. 52° 80°
3. 55° 59°
Here it ceased to be an object of remark.


Note to Page 24.

This practice of insulting the religion of such as profess a faith different from their own has ever been a characteristic of the Oriental nations, and is illustrative of a passage in the New Testament, which I have not seen explained by any of the commentators: I mean the expression of our Saviour, where he denounces the votaries of avarice, by declaring that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

For a long time previous to Christ's appearance, it had been usual for the "Sons of Ishmael," or pagan Arabs of Asia Minor, to make hostile incursions into the provincial towns of Judea, and riding their dromedaries into the synagogues, to desecrate the altar in the manner here ascribed to the Turks. In order to put a stop to these enormities, the Jews hit upon the expedient of constructing the doors of their churches so low, that an ordinary-sized man could only enter by stooping; and thus they completely foiled their persecutors, for the disinclination of the Arabs to dismount, even on the most pressing occasions, is well known to such as have travelled among these sons of the Desert. In the hyperbolical phraseology of the East, these diminished apertures were compared to the eye of a needle; and the impossibility of a camel making his way through them, became at length a proverbial expression for any impracticable undertaking.


1 As we sailed through the strait formed by it and the mainland,—and a very beautiful scene it affords,—I was informed by those on board, that a shoal is marked down upon the ship's chart as being in the centre. Having never before heard the slightest allusion to this fact, I intend to ascertain its accuracy, by actual inspection, at some more favourable opportunity.

2 "The ridge of the Somma forms a semicircle, the curve of which lies north-east, its two extremities stretching out south-east. The front, which faces the south-west and the cone of Vesuvius, is almost perpendicular; but the side towards the north is a sloping plain, cut lengthwise by deep ravines, and covered with vineyards, except a few hundred feet near the summit, which are clothed with small chestnut and oak trees."—Sketches of Vesuvius, p. 2.

3 Wingless Victory.

4 "About 170 yards distant from the warm springs of the Scamander, towards the west, the cold sources are found, throwing out a considerable quantity of water from many openings in the rock. It has been discovered, by the help of a thermometer, which was thrust into a fissure as far as the arm would permit it to go, that this spring is equally warm with the former. The pool, however, which contains the water being of so considerable a size as to suffer it immediately to acquire the temperature of the atmosphere, it must undoubtedly have appeared cold before the invention of an instrument for ascertaining the real degree of heat. It would, therefore, have been thought cold in the days of Homer; and the poet is not incorrect who describes places and things as they appear to the generality of mankind. Several other sources contribute to swell this division of the stream of the Scamander before its junction with the rivulets which proceeds from the warm springs."—Sir W. Gell's Topography of Troy, p. 76.

5 "The women of Bounarbashi yet frequent the spring, as their predecessors, the Trojan virgins, did before the invasion by the Greeks. The convenience afforded by the blocks of marble and granite to the women of the country, who always beat their linen on stones or boards during the time they are washing, added to the sensible warmth of the water, has, in all probability, continued the practice of resorting to this spring in preference to any other. The Count de Choiseul Gouffier was informed by the Aga of Bounarbashi, that the water threw up a very perceptible steam in the winter; and later experiments, made with the thermometer, prove beyond doubt that this is a warm source."—Ibid.

There, on the green and village cotted hill, is (Flank'd by the Hellespont, and by the sea,) Entombed the bravest of the brave—Achilles,— They say so—(Bryant says the contrary); And further downward, tall and towering still, is The tumulus—of whom? Heaven knows: 't may be Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus,— All heroes, who, if living still, would slay us.

7 Celebrated in history as being the place where the crusaders, under Godfrey of Bulloigne, were encamped.

8 These pretty diminutive coins are called dust by the common people; a name not at all inapplicable, as in size they resemble the following mark ◯, and are thin as a gum wafer. A handful of them scarcely equals a shilling in value.

9 Balouk, a fish in Turkish.

10 Infidel.

11 All Saints.

12 Similar changes have been produced in other parts of the East. "An extraordinary revolution," says Mr. St. John, "has been effected since the year 1817, when the Christian, according to a former traveller, was turned away with insult from the Castle (the Pharos); for now a Christian, having examined at his leisure the military portion of the structure, entered into the mosque in his boots, under the guidance of a Turkish officer."—Egypt and Mohammed Ali, vol. ii. p. 386.

13 Cannon foundry: from top, the Turkish word for a cannon, and hana, a manufactory.

14 In Turkish, the Prophet is styled Peigshamber: the French, whose vanity induces them to alter and vilify every proper name not derived from their own language, persist in spelling it Pegchamber: this, however, seems so ludicrous, when we consider the exalted rank of the individual to whom it is applied, that the reader will exclaim involuntarily with Hamlet,—"To what vile uses may we not come, Horatio!"

15 Since the above was written, he has returned to London as ambassador from the Porte.

16 This mode of executing criminals seems peculiar to the East, and is partly explained by the word itself. The Turkish bowstring, which is amazingly strong, is formed of untwisted silk, generally white, bound together at intervals by threads of a different colour. At either end is a large loop attached to the centre portion of the cord, by a very curious and intricate knot: the executioners slip their hands through this, and having passed the string once round the victim's neck, who was placed on his knees, they drew it in opposite directions with all their force, and thus produced death by strangulation. Since the gradual decline of archery among the Turks, the bowstring has also been falling into disuse; for the original cause of its being adopted as an instrument of criminal punishment was the readiness with which it could be procured, when every man carried at his shoulder the weapon of which it formed a part.

17 At, a horse; and Meidan, a course.

18 I cannot bid adieu to Lord Ponsonby and his amiable family, without acknowledging how much the pleasure derived from my voyage and visit to Constantinople was enhanced by their unceasing kindness. Indeed, from the first moment I became acquainted with his Lordship in Naples, he has uniformly treated me with a degree of affability as flattering to me as it was kind in him; besides honouring me, up to the present moment, with a confidence which, in general, is the result only of long tried and intimate friendship. This is the more gratifying, because he has always been surrounded by young men in every respect as worthy of the same distinction as myself.

19 I ought to have mentioned before, that Terapia is a village some miles distant from Constantinople.

20 Foreign Quarterly Review.

21 Vignette in title-page.

22 Duchess of Berri.

23 St. John's Egypt.


Altintash Altıntaş
Balouk Balık
Bounarbashi Pınarbaşı
Buyukdere Büyükdere
caique kayık
caimac kaymak
erraba araba
Dolma Batché Dolmabahçe
ferridgè ferace
gashmak yaşmak
hummum hamam
Jeddi Calé Yedi Kule
Keathane Kağıthane
Kutahieh Kütahya
mahalabé mahallebi
narghilé nargile
Seraskier Serasker
Sultanée Sultani
Tchernberlé Tash Çemberli Taş
Tophana Tophane
Validè Valide
Printed by A. Spottiswoode,



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