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Title: Servia, Youngest Member of the European Family - or, A Residence in Belgrade and Travels in the Highlands and Woodlands of the Interior, during the years 1843 and 1844.
Author: Paton, Andrew Archibald, 1811-1874
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Servia, Youngest Member of the European Family - or, A Residence in Belgrade and Travels in the Highlands and Woodlands of the Interior, during the years 1843 and 1844." ***

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University Libraries., Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Sankar



                        RESIDENCE IN BELGRADE,


                            THE INTERIOR,

                    DURING THE YEARS 1843 AND 1844.


                     ANDREW ARCHIBALD PATON, ESQ.

                    AUTHOR OF "THE MODERN SYRIANS."

"Les hommes croient en general connaitre suffisamment l'Empire Ottoman
pour peu qu'ils aient lu l'enorme compilation que le savant M. de
Hammer a publiee ... mais en dehors de ce mouvement central il y a la
vie interieure de province, dont le tableau tout entier reste a

                           PATERNOSTER ROW.



The narrative and descriptive portion of this work speaks for itself.
In the historical part I have consulted with advantage Von Engel's
"History of Servia," Ranke's "Servian Revolution," Possart's "Servia,"
and Ami Boue's "Turquie d'Europe," but took the precaution of
submitting the facts selected to the censorship of those on the spot
best able to test their accuracy. For this service, I owe a debt of
acknowledgment to M. Hadschitch, the framer of the Servian code; M.
Marinovitch, Secretary of the Senate; and Professor John Shafarik,
whose lectures on Slaavic history, literature, and antiquities, have
obtained unanimous applause.



Leave Beyrout.--Camp afloat.-Rhodes.--The shores of the Mediterranean
suitable for the cultivation of the arts.--A Moslem of the new
school.--American Presbyterian clergyman.--A Mexican senator.--A
sermon for sailors.--Smyrna.--Buyukdere.--Sir Stratford
Canning.--Embark for Bulgaria.


Varna.--Contrast of Northern and Southern provinces of
Turkey.--Roustchouk.--Conversation with Deftendar.--The Danube.--A
Bulgarian interior.--A dandy of the Lower Danube.--Depart for Widdin.


River steaming.--Arrival at Widdin.--Jew.--Comfortless khan.--Wretched
appearance of Widdin.--Hussein Pasha.--M. Petronievitch.--Steam


Leave Widdin.--The Timok.--Enter Servia.--Brza Palanka.--The Iron
Gates.--Old and New Orsova.--Wallachian Matron.--Semlin.--A
conversation on language.


Description of Belgrade.--Fortifications.--Street and street
population.--Cathedral.--Large square.--Coffee-house.--Deserted


Europeanization of Belgrade.--Lighting and paving.--Interior of the
fortress.--Turkish Pasha.--Turkish quarter.--Turkish
population.--Panorama of Belgrade.--Dinner party given by the prince.


Return to Servia.--The Danube.--Semlin.--Wucics and
Petronievitch.--Cathedral solemnity.--Subscription ball.


Holman, the blind traveller.--Milutinovich, the poet.--Bulgarian
legend.--Tableau de genre.--Departure for the interior.


Journey to Shabatz.--Resemblance of manners to those of the middle
ages.--Palesh.--A Servian bride.--Blind
minstrel.--Gipsies.--Macadamized roads.


Shabatz.--A provincial chancery.--Servian collector.--Description of
his house.--Country barber.--Turkish quarter.--Self-taught priest.--A
provincial dinner.--Native soiree.


Kaimak.--History of a renegade.--A bishop's house.--Progress of
education.--Portrait of Milosh.--Bosnia and the Bosnians.--Moslem
fanaticism.--Death of the collector.


The banat of Matchva.--Losnitza.--Feuds on the frontier.--Enter the
back-woods.--Convent of Tronosha.--Greek festival.--Congregation of
peasantry.--Rustic finery.


Romantic sylvan scenery.--Patriarchal simplicity of
manners.--Krupena.--Sokol.--Its extraordinary position.--Wretched
town.--Alpine scenery.--Cool reception.--Valley of the Rogatschitza.


The Drina.--Liubovia.--Quarantine station.--Derlatcha.--A Servian
beauty.--A lunatic priest.--Sorry quarters.--Murder by brigands.


Arrival at Ushitza.--Wretched street.--Excellent khan.--Turkish
vayvode.--A Persian dervish.--Relations of Moslems and
Christians.--Visit the castle.--Bird's eye view.


Poshega.--The river Morava.--Arrival at Csatsak.--A Viennese
doctor.--Project to ascend the Kopaunik.--Visit the bishop.--Ancient
cathedral church.--Greek mass.--Karanovatz.--Emigrant priest.--Albanian
disorders.--Salt mines.


Coronation church of the ancient kings of Servia.--Enter the
Highlands.--Valley of the Ybar.--First view of the High Balkan.--Convent
of Studenitza.--Byzantine Architecture.--Phlegmatic monk.--Servian
frontier.--New quarantine.--Russian major.


Cross the Bosniac frontier.--Gipsy encampment.--Novibazar
described.--Rough reception.--Precipitate departure.--Fanaticism.


Ascent of the Kopaunik.--Grand prospect.--Descent of the
Kopaunik.--Bruss.--Involuntary bigamy.--Conversation on the Servian
character.--Krushevatz.--Relics of monarchy.


Formation of the Servian monarchy.--Contest between the Latin and Greek
Churches.--Stephen Dushan.--A great warrior.--Results of his
victories.--Kucs Lasar.--Invasion of Amurath.--Battle of Kossovo.--Death
of Lasar and Amurath.--Fall of the Servian monarchy.--General


A battue missed.--Proceed to Alexinatz.--Foreign-Office
courier.--Bulgarian frontier.--Gipsy Suregee.--Tiupria.--New bridge and
macadamized roads.


Visit to Ravanitza.--Jovial party.--Servian and Austrian
jurisdiction.--Convent described.--Eagles reversed.--Bulgarian


Manasia.--Has preserved its middle-age character.--Robinson
Crusoe.--Wonderful echo.--Kindness of the
people.--Svilainitza.--Posharevatz.--Baby giantess.


Rich soil.--Mysterious waters.--Treaty of Passarovitz.--The castle of
Semendria.--Relics of the antique.--The Brankovitch
family.--Panesova.--Morrison's pills.


Personal appearance of the Servians.--Their moral
character.--Peculiarity of manners.--Christmas
festivities.--Easter.--The Dodola.


Town life.--The public offices.--Manners half-oriental
half-European.--Merchants and tradesmen.--Turkish
population.--Porters.--Barbers.--Cafes.--Public writer.


Poetry.--Journalism.--The fine arts.--The Lyceum.--Mineralogical
cabinet.--Museum.--Servian Education.


Preparations for departure.--Impressions of the East.--Prince
Alexander.--The palace.--Kara Georg.


A memoir of Kara Georg.


Milosh Obrenovitch.


The prince.--The government.--The senate.--The minister for foreign
affairs.--The minister of the interior.--Courts of justice.--Finances.


Agriculture and commerce.


The foreign agents.



Improvements in Vienna.--Palladian style.--Music.--Theatres.--Sir Robert
Gordon.--Prince Metternich.--Armen ball.--Dancing.--Strauss.--Austrian


Concluding observations on Austria and her prospects.



Leave Beyrout.--Camp afloat.--Rhodes.--The shores of the Mediterranean
suitable for the cultivation of the arts.--A Moslem of the new
school.--American Presbyterian clergyman.--A Mexican senator.--A
sermon for sailors.--Smyrna.--Buyukdere.--Sir Stratford
Canning.--Embark for Bulgaria.

I have been four years in the East, and feel that I have had quite
enough of it for the present. Notwithstanding the azure skies,
bubbling fountains, Mosaic pavements, and fragrant _narghiles_, I
begin to feel symptoms of ennui, and a thirst for European life, sharp
air, and a good appetite, a blazing fire, well-lighted rooms, female
society, good music, and the piquant vaudevilles of my ancient
friends, Scribe, Bayard, and Melesville.

At length I stand on the pier of Beyrout, while my luggage is being
embarked for the Austrian steamer lying in the roads, which, in the
Levantine slang, has lighted her chibouque, and is polluting yon white
promontory, clear cut in the azure horizon, with a thick black cloud
of Wallsend.

I bade a hurried adieu to my friends, and went on board. The
quarter-deck, which retained its awning day and night, was divided
into two compartments, one of which was reserved for the promenade of
the cabin passengers, the other for the bivouac of the Turks, who
retained their camp habits with amusing minuteness, making the
larboard quarter a vast tent afloat, with its rolled up beds, quilts,
counterpanes, washing gear, and all sorts of water-cans, coffee-pots,
and chibouques, with stores of bread, cheese, fruit, and other
provisions for the voyage. In the East, a family cannot move without
its household paraphernalia, but then it requires a slight addition of
furniture and utensils to settle for years in a strange place. The
settlement of a European family requires a thousand et ceteras and
months of installation, but then it is set in motion for the new world
with a few portmanteaus and travelling bags.

Two days and a half of steaming brought us to Rhodes.

An enchanter has waved his wand! in reading of the wondrous world of
the ancients, one feels a desire to get a peep at Rome before its
destruction by barbarian hordes. A leap backwards of half this period
is what one seems to make at Rhodes, a perfectly preserved city and
fortress of the middle ages. Here has been none of the Vandalism of
Vauban, Cohorn, and those mechanical-pated fellows, who, with their
Dutch dyke-looking parapets, made such havoc of donjons and
picturesque turrets in Europe. Here is every variety of mediaeval
battlement; so perfect is the illusion, that one wonders the waiter's
horn should be mute, and the walls devoid of bowman, knight, and

Two more delightful days of steaming among the Greek Islands now
followed. The heat was moderate, the motion gentle, the sea was liquid
lapis lazuli, and the hundred-tinted islets around us, wrought their
accustomed spell. Surely there is something in climate which creates
permanent abodes of art! The Mediterranean, with its hydrographical
configuration, excluding from its great peninsulas the extremes of
heat and cold, seems destined to nourish the most exquisite sentiment
of the Beautiful. Those brilliant or softly graduated tints invite the
palette, and the cultivation of the graces of the mind, shining with
its aesthetic ray through lineaments thorough-bred from generation to
generation, invites the sculptor to transfer to marble, grace of
contour and elevation of expression. But let us not envy the balmy
South. The Germanic or northern element, if less susceptible of the
beautiful is more masculine, better balanced, less in extremes. It was
this element that struck down the Roman empire, that peoples America
and Australia, and rules India; that exhausted worlds, and then
created new.

The most prominent individual of the native division of passengers,
was Arif Effendi, a pious Moslem of the new school, who had a great
horror of brandy; first, because it was made from wine; and secondly,
because his own favourite beverage was Jamaica rum; for, as Peter
Parley says, "Of late years, many improvements have taken place among
the Mussulmans, who show a disposition to adopt the best things of
their more enlightened neighbours." We had a great deal of
conversation during the voyage, for he professed to have a great
admiration of England, and a great dislike of France; probably all
owing to the fact of rum coming from Jamaica, and brandy and wine from
Cognac and Bordeaux.

Another individual was a still richer character: an American
Presbyterian clergyman, with furi-bond dilated nostril and a terrific

"You must lose Canada," said he to me one day, abruptly, "ay, and
Bermuda into the bargain."

"I think you had better round off your acquisitions with a few odd
West India Islands."

"We have stomach enough for that too."

"I hear you have been to Jerusalem."

"Yes; I went to recover my voice, which I lost; for I have one of the
largest congregations in Boston."

"But, my good friend, you breathe nothing but war and conquest."

"The fact is, war is as unavoidable as thunder and lightning; the
atmosphere must be cleared from time to time."

"Were you ever a soldier?"

"No; I was in the American navy. Many a day I was after John Bull on
the shores of Newfoundland."

"After John Bull?"

"Yes, Sir, _sweating_ after him: I delight in energy; give me the man
who will shoulder a millstone, if need be."

"The capture of Canada, Bermuda, and a few odd West India Islands,
would certainly give scope for your energy. This would be taking the
bull by the horns."

"Swinging him by the tail, say I."

The burlesque vigour of his illustrations sometimes ran to
anti-climax. One day, he talked of something (if I recollect right,
the electric telegraph), moving with the rapidity of a flash of
lightning, with a pair of spurs clapped into it.

In spite of all this ultra-national bluster, we found him to be a very
good sort of man, having nothing of the bear but the skin, and in the
test of the quarantine arrangements, the least selfish of the party.

Another passenger was an elderly Mexican senator, who was the essence
of politeness of the good old school. Every morning he stood smiling,
hat in hand, while he inquired how each of us had slept. I shall never
forget the cholera-like contortion of horror he displayed, when the
clerical militant (poking his fun at him), declared that Texas was
within the natural boundary of the State, and that some morning they
would make a breakfast of the whole question.

One day he passed from politics to religion. "I am fond of fun," said
he, "I think it is the sign of a clear conscience. My life has been
spent among sailors. I have begun with many a blue jacket
hail-fellow-well-met in my own rough way, and have ended in weaning
him from wicked courses. None of your gloomy religion for me. When I
see a man whose religion makes him melancholy, and averse from gaiety,
I tell him his god must be my devil."

The originality of this gentleman's intellect and manners, led me
subsequently to make further inquiry; and I find one of his sermons
reported by a recent traveller, who, after stating that his oratory
made a deep impression on the congregation of the Sailors' chapel in
Boston, who sat with their eyes, ears, and mouths open, as if
spell-bound in listening to him, thus continues: "He describes a ship
at sea, bound for the port of Heaven, when the man at the head sung
out, 'Rocks ahead!' 'Port the helm,' cried the mate. 'Ay, ay, sir,'
was the answer; the ship obeyed, and stood upon a tack. But in two
minutes more, the lead indicated a shoal. The man on the out-look sung
out, 'Sandbreaks and breakers ahead!' The captain was now called, and
the mate gave his opinion; but sail where they could, the lead and
the eye showed nothing but dangers all around,--sand banks, coral
reefs, sunken rocks, and dangerous coasts. The chart showed them
clearly enough where the port of Heaven lay; there was no doubt about
its latitude and longitude: but they all sung out, that it was
impossible to reach it; there was no fair way to get to it. My
friends, it was the devil who blew up that sand-bank, and sunk those
rocks, and set the coral insects to work; his object was to prevent
that ship from ever getting to Heaven, to wreck it on its way, and to
make prize of the whole crew for slaves for ever. But just as every
soul was seized with consternation, and almost in despair, a tight
little schooner hove in sight; she was cruizing about, with one Jesus,
a pilot, on board. The captain hailed him, and he answered that he
knew a fair way to the port in question. He pointed out to them an
opening in the rocks, which the largest ship might beat through, with
a channel so deep, that the lead could never reach to the bottom, and
the passage was land-locked the whole way, so that the wind might veer
round to every point in the compass, and blow hurricanes from them
all, and yet it could never raise a dangerous sea in that channel.
What did the crew of that distressed ship do, when Jesus showed them
his chart, and gave them all the bearings? They laughed at him, and
threw his chart back in his face. He find a channel where they could
not! Impossible; and on they sailed in their own course, and everyone
of them perished."

At Smyrna, I signalized my return to the land of the Franks, by
ordering a beef-steak, and a bottle of porter, and bespeaking the
paper from a gentleman in drab leggings, who had come from Manchester
to look after the affairs of a commercial house, in which he or his
employers were involved. He wondered that a hotel in the Ottoman
empire should be so unlike one in Europe, and asked me, "If the inns
down in the country were as good as this."

As for Constantinople, I refer all readers to the industry and
accuracy of Mr. White, who might justly have terminated his volumes
with the Oriental epistolary phrase, "What more can I write?" Mr.
White is not a mere sentence balancer, but belongs to the guild of
bona fide Oriental travellers.

In summer, all Pera is on the Bosphorus: so I jumped into a caique,
and rowed up to Buyukdere. On the threshold of the villa of the
British embassy, I met A----, the prince of attaches, who led me to a
beautiful little kiosk, on the extremity of a garden, and there
installed me in his fairy abode of four small rooms, which embraced a
view like that of Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore; here books, the piano,
the _narghile_, and the parterre of flowers, relieved the drudgery of
his Eastern diplomacy. Lord N----, Mr. H----, and Mr. T----, the other
attaches, lived in a house at the other end of the garden.

I here spent a week of delightful repose. The mornings were occupied
_ad libitum_, the gentlemen of the embassy being overwhelmed with
business. At four o'clock dinner was usually served in the airy
vestibule of the embassy villa, and with the occasional accession of
other members of the diplomatic corps we usually formed a large
party. A couple of hours before sunset a caique, which from its size
might have been the galley of a doge, was in waiting, and Lady C----
sometimes took us to a favourite wooded hill or bower-grown creek in
the Paradise-like environs, while a small musical party in the evening
terminated each day. One of the attaches of the Russian embassy, M.
F----, is the favorite dilettante of Buyukdere; he has one of the
finest voices I ever heard, and frequently reminded me of the easy
humour and sonorous profundity of Lablache.

Before embarking the reader on the Black Sea, I cannot forbear a
single remark on the distinguished individual who has so long and so
worthily represented Great Britain at the Ottoman Porte.

Sir. Stratford Canning is certainly unpopular with the extreme
fanatical party, and with all those economists who are for killing the
goose to get at the golden eggs; but the real interests of the Turkish
nation never had a firmer support.

The chief difficulty in the case of this race is the impossibility of
fusion with others. While they decrease in number, the Rayahs increase
in wealth, in numbers, and in intelligence.

The Russians are the Orientals of Europe, but St. Petersburg is a
German town, German industry corrects the old Muscovite sloth and
cunning. The immigrant strangers rise to the highest offices, for the
crown employs them as a counterpoise on the old nobility; as burgher
incorporations were used by the kings of three centuries ago.

No similar process is possible with Moslems: one course therefore
remains open for those who wish to see the Ottoman Empire upheld; a
strenuous insistance on the Porte treating the Rayah population with
justice and moderation. The interests of humanity, and the real and
true interests of the Ottoman Empire, are in this case identical.
Guided by this sound principle, which completely reconciles the policy
of Great Britain with the highest maxims of political morality, Sir.
Stratford Canning has pursued his career with an all-sifting
intelligence, a vigour of character and judgment, an indifference to
temporary repulses, and a sacrifice of personal popularity, which has
called forth the respect and involuntary admiration of parties the
most opposed to his views.

I embarked on board a steamer, skirted the western coast of the Black
Sea, and landed on the following morning in Varna.


Varna.--Contrast of Northern And Southern Provinces of
Turkey.--Roustchouk.--Conversation with Deftendar.--The Danube.--A
Bulgarian interior.--A dandy of the Lower Danube.--Depart for Widdin.

All hail, Bulgaria! No sooner had I secured my quarters and deposited
my baggage, than I sought the main street, in order to catch the
delightfully keen impression which a new region stamps on the mind.

How different are the features of Slaavic Turkey, from those of the
Arabic provinces in which I so long resided. The flat roofs, the
measured pace of the camel, the half-naked negro, the uncouth Bedouin,
the cloudless heavens, the tawny earth, and the meagre apology for
turf, are exchanged for ricketty wooden houses with coarse tiling,
laid in such a way as to eschew the monotony of straight lines;
strings of primitive waggons drawn by buffaloes, and driven by
Bulgarians with black woolly caps, real genuine grass growing on the
downs outside the walls, and a rattling blast from the Black Sea, more
welcome than all the balmy spices of Arabia, for it reminded me that I
was once more in Europe, and must befit my costume to her ruder airs.
This was indeed the north of the Balkan, and I must needs pull out my
pea-jacket. How I relished those winds, waves, clouds, and grey skies!
They reminded me of English nature and Dutch art. The Nore, the Downs,
the Frith of Forth, and sundry dormant Backhuysens, re-awoke to my

The moral interest too was different. In Egypt or Syria, where whole
cycles of civilization lie entombed, we interrogate the past; here in
Bulgaria the past is nothing, and we vainly interrogate the future.

The interior of Varna has a very fair bazaar; not covered as in
Constantinople and other large towns, but well furnished. The private
dwellings are generally miserable. The town suffered so severely in
the Russian war of 1828, that it has never recovered its former
prosperity. It has also been twice nearly all burnt since then; so
that, notwithstanding its historical, military, and commercial
importance, it has at present little more than 20,000 inhabitants. The
walls of the town underwent a thorough repair in the spring and summer
of 1843.

The majority of the inhabitants are Turks, and even the native
Bulgarians here speak Turkish better than their own language. One
Bulgarian here told me that he could not speak the national language.
Now in the west of Bulgaria, on the borders of Servia, the Turks speak
Bulgarian better than Turkish.

From Varna to Roustchouk is three days' journey, the latter half of
the road being agreeably diversified with wood, corn, and pasture; and
many of the fields inclosed. Just at sunset, I found myself on the
ridge of the last undulation of the slope of Bulgaria, and again
greeted the ever-noble valley of the Danube. Roustchouk lay before me
hitherward, and beyond the river, the rich flat lands of Wallachia
stretched away to the north.

As I approached the town, I perceived it to be a fortress of vast
extent; but as it is commanded from the heights from which I was
descending, it appeared to want strength if approached from the south.
The ramparts were built with great solidity, but rusty, old,
dismounted cannon, obliterated embrasures, and palisades rotten from
exposure to the weather, showed that to stand a siege it must undergo
a considerable repair. The aspect of the place did not improve as we
rumbled down the street, lined with houses one story high, and here
and there a little mosque, with a shabby wooden minaret crowned with
conical tin tops like the extinguishers of candles.

I put up at the khan. My room was without furniture; but, being lately
white-washed, and duly swept out under my own superintendence, and laid
with the best mat in the khan, on which I placed my bed and carpets,
the addition of a couple of rush-bottomed chairs and a deal table,
made it habitable, which was all I desired, as I intended to stay only
a few days. I was supplied with a most miserable dinner; and, to my
horror, the stewed meat was sprinkled with cinnamon. The wine was bad,
and the water still worse, for there are no springs at Roustchouk, and
they use Danube water, filtered through a jar of a porous sandstone
found in the neighbourhood. A jar of this kind stands in every house,
but even when filtered in this way it is far from good.

On hearing that the Deftendar spoke English perfectly, and had long
resided in England, I felt a curiosity to see him, and accordingly
presented myself at the Konak, and was shown to the divan of the
Deftendar. I pulled aside a pendent curtain, and entered a room of
large dimensions, faded decorations, and a broad red divan, the
cushions of which were considerably the worse for wear. Such was the
bureau of the Deftendar Effendi, who sat surrounded with papers, and
the implements of writing. He was a man apparently of fifty-five
years of age, slightly inclining to corpulence, with a very short
neck, surmounted by large features, coarsely chiselled; but not devoid
of a certain intelligence in his eye, and dignity in general effect.
He spoke English with a correct accent, but slowly, occasionally
stopping to remember a word; thus showing that his English was not
imperfect from want of knowledge, but rusty from want of practice. He
was an Egyptian Turk, and had been for eight years the commercial
agent of Mohammed Ali at Malta, and had, moreover, visited the
principal countries of Europe.

I then took a series of short and rapid whiffs of my pipe while I
bethought me of the best manner of treating the subject of my visit,
and then said, "that few orientals could draw a distinction between
politics and geography; but that with a man of his calibre and
experience, I was safe from misinterpretation--that I was collecting
the materials for a work on the Danubian provinces, and that for any
information which he might give me, consistently with the exigencies
of his official position, I should feel much indebted, as I thought I
was least likely to be misunderstood by stating clearly the object of
my journey to the authorities, while information derived from the
fountain-head was the most valuable."

The Deftendar, after commending my openness, said, "I suspect that you
will find very little to remark in the pashalic of Silistria. It is an
agricultural country, and the majority of the inhabitants are Turks.
The Rayahs are very peaceable, and pay very few taxes, considering the
agricultural wealth of the country. You may rest assured that there is
not a province of the Ottoman empire, which is better governed than
the pashalic of Silistria. Now and then, a rude Turk appropriates to
himself a Bulgarian girl; but the government cannot be responsible for
these individual excesses. We have no malcontents within the province;
hut there are a few Hetarist scoundrels at Braila, who wish to disturb
the tranquillity of Bulgaria: but the Wallachian government has taken
measures to prevent them from carrying their projects into execution."
After some further conversation, on indifferent topics, I took my

The succeeding days were devoted to a general reconnaissance of the
place; but I must say that Roustchouk, although capital of the
pashalic of Silistria, and containing thirty or forty thousand
inhabitants, pleased me less than any town of its size that I had seen
in the East. The streets are dirty and badly paved, without a single
good bazaar or cafe to kill time in, or a single respectable edifice
of any description to look at. The redeeming resource was the
promenade on the banks of the Danube, which has here attained almost
its full volume, and uniting the waters of Alp, Carpathian, and
Balkan, rushes impatiently to the Euxine.

At length the day of departure came. The attendant had just removed
the tumbler of coffee, tossing the fragments of toast into the
court-yard, an operation which appeared to have a magnetic effect on
the bills of the poultry; and then, with his accustomed impropriety,
placed the plate as a basis to my hookah, telling me that F----, a
Bulgarian Christian, wished to speak with me.

"Let him walk in," said I, as I took the first delightful whiff; and
F----, darkening the window that looked out on the verandah, gave me a
fugitive look of recognition, and then entering and making his
salutation in a kindly hearty manner, asked me to eat my mid-day meal
with him.

"Indeed," quoth I, "I accept your invitation. I have not gone to pay
my visit to the Bey, because I remain here too short a time to need
his good offices; but I am anxious to make the acquaintance of the
people,--so I am your guest."

When the hour arrived, I adjusted the tassel of my fez, put on my
great coat, and proceeded to the Christian quarter; where, after
various turnings and windings, I at length arrived at a high wooden
gateway, new and unpainted.

An uncouth tuning of fiddles, the odour of savoury fare, and a hearty
laugh from within, told me that I had no further to go; for all these
gates are so like each other, one never knows a house till after
close observation. On entering I passed over a plat of grass, and
piercing a wooden tenement by a dark passage, found myself in a
three-sided court, where several persons were sitting on rush-bottomed

F---- came forward, took both my hands in his, and then presented me
to the company. On being seated, I exchanged salutations, and then
looked round, and perceived that the three sides of the court were
composed of rambling wooden tenements; the fourth was a little garden
in which a few flowers were cultivated.

The elders sat, the youngers stood at a distance;--so respectful is
youth to age in all this eastern world. The first figure in the former
group was the father of our host; the acrid humours of extreme age had
crimsoned his eye-lids, and his head shook from side to side, as he
attempted to rise to salute me, but I held him to his seat. The wife
of our host was a model of fragile delicate beauty. Her nose, mouth,
and chin, were exquisitely chiselled, and her skin was smooth and
white as alabaster; but the eye-lid drooped; the eye hung fire, and
under each orb the skin was slightly blue, but so blending with the
paleness of the rest of the face, as rather to give distinctness to
the character of beauty, than to detract from the general effect. Her
second child hung on her left arm, and a certain graceful negligence
in the plaits of her hair and the arrangement of her bosom, showed
that the cares of the young mother had superseded the nicety of the

The only other person in the company worthy of remark, was a Frank.
His surtout was of cloth of second or third quality, but profusely
braided. His stock appeared to strangle him, and a diamond breast-pin
was stuck in a shirt of texture one degree removed from sail-cloth.
His blood, as I afterwards learned, was so crossed by Greek, Tsinsar,
and Wallachian varieties, that it would have puzzled the united
genealogists of Europe to tell his breed; and his language was a
mangled subdivision of that dialect which passes for French in the
fashionable centres of the Grecaille.

_Exquisite_. "Quangt etes vous venie, Monsieur?"

_Author_. "Il y a huit jours."

_Exquisite_ (looking at a large ring on his _fore_ finger). "Ce sont
de bons diables dans ce pays-ci; mais tout est un po barbare."

"Assez barbare," said I, as I saw that the exquisite's nails were in
the deepest possible mourning.

_Exquisite_. "Avez vous ete a Boukarest?"

_Author_. "Non--pas encore."

_Exquisite_. "Ah je wous assire que Boukarest est maintenant comme
Paris et Londres;"

_Author_. "Avez-vous vu Paris et Londres?"

_Exquisite_. "Non--mais Boukarest vaut cent fois Galatz et Braila."

During this colloquy, the gipsy music was playing; the first fiddle
was really not bad: and the nonchalant rogue-humour of his countenance
did not belie his alliance to that large family, which has produced
"so many blackguards, but never a single blockhead."

Dinner was now announced. F----'s wife, relieved of her child, acted
as first waitress. The fare consisted mostly of varieties of fowl,
with a pilaff of rice, in the Turkish manner, all decidedly good; but
the wine rather sweet and muddy. When I asked for a glass of water, it
was handed me in a little bowl of silver, which mine hostess had just
dashed into a jar of filtered lymph. Dinner concluded, the party rose,
each crossing himself, and reciting a short formula of prayer;
meanwhile a youthful relation of the house stood with the
washing-basin and soap turret poised on his left hand, while with the
right he poured on my hands water from a slender-spouted tin ewer.
Behind him stood the hostess holding a clean towel with a tiny web of
silver thread running across its extremities, and on my right stood
the ex-diners with sleeves tucked up, all in a row, waiting their turn
at the wash-hand basin.

After smoking a chibouque, I took my leave; for I had promised to
spend the afternoon in the house of a Swiss, who, along with the agent
of the steam-boat company and a third individual, made up the sum
total of the resident Franko-Levantines in Roustchouk.

A gun fired in the evening warned me that the steamer had arrived;
and, anxious to push on for Servia, I embarked forthwith.


River Steaming.--Arrival at Widdin--Jew.--Comfortless Khan.--Wretched
appearance of Widdin.--Hussein Pasha.--M. Petronievitch.--Steam

River steaming is, according to my notions, the best of all sorts of
locomotion. Steam at sea makes you sick, and the voyage is generally
over before you have gained your sea legs and your land appetite. In
mail or stage you have no sickness and see the country, but you are
squeezed sideways by helpless corpulence, and in front cooped into
uneasiness by two pairs of egotistical knees and toes. As for
locomotives, tunnels, cuts, and viaducts--this is not travelling to
see the country, but arrival without seeing it. This eighth wonder of
the world, so admirably adapted for business, is the despair of
picturesque tourists, as well as post-horse, chaise, and gig letters.
Our cathedral towns, instead of being distinguished from afar by their
cloud-capt towers, are only recognizable at their respective stations
by the pyramids of gooseberry tarts and ham sandwiches being at one
place at the lower, and at another at the upper, end of an apartment
marked "refreshment room." Now in river steaming you walk the deck, if
the weather and the scenery be good; if the reverse, you lounge below;
read, write, or play; and then the meals are arranged with Germanic
ingenuity for killing time and the digestive organs.

On the second day the boat arrived at Widdin, and the agent of the
steam packet company, an old Jew, came on board. I stepped across the
plank and accompanied him to a large white house opposite the
landing-place. On entering, I saw a group of Israel's children in the
midst of a deadly combat of sale and purchase, bawling at the top of
their voices in most villainous Castilian; all were filthy and
shabbily dressed. The agent having mentioned who I was to the group, a
broad-lipped young man with a German _mutze_ surmounting his oriental
costume, stepped forward with a confident air, and in a thick guttural
voice addressed me in an unknown tongue. I looked about for an answer,
when the agent told me in Turkish that he spoke English.

_Jew_. "You English gentleman, sir, and not know English."

_Author_. "I have to apologize for not recognizing the accents of my
native country."

_Jew_. "Bring goods wid you, sir?"

_Author_. "No, I am not a merchant. Pray can you get me a lodging?"

_Jew_. "Get you as mush room you like, sir."

_Author_. "Have you been in England?"

_Jew_. "Been in London, Amsterdam, and Hamburgh."

We now arrived at the wide folding gates of the khan, which to be sure
had abundance of space for travellers, but the misery and filth of
every apartment disgusted me. One had broken windows, another a
broken floor, a third was covered with half an inch of dust, and the
weather outside was cold and rainy; so I shrugged up my shoulders and
asked to be conducted to another khan. There I was somewhat better
off, for I got into a new room leading out of a cafe where the
charcoal burned freely and warmed the apartment. When the room was
washed out I thought myself fortunate, so dreary and deserted had the
other khan appeared to me.

I now took a walk through the bazaars, but found the place altogether
miserable, being somewhat less village-like than Roustchouk. Lying so
nicely on the bank of the Danube, which here makes such beautiful
curves, and marked on the map with capital letters, it ought (such was
my notion) to be a place having at least one well-built and
well-stocked bazaar, a handsome seraglio, and some good-looking
mosques. Nothing of the sort. The Konak or palace of the Pasha is an
old barrack. The seraglio of the famous Passavan Oglou is in ruins,
and the only decent looking house in the place is the new office of
the Steam Navigation Company, which is on the Danube.

Being Ramadan, I could not see the pasha during the day; but in the
evening, M. Petronievitch, the exiled leader of the Servian National
party, introduced me to Hussein Pasha, the once terrible destroyer of
the Janissaries. This celebrated character appeared to be verging on
eighty, and, afflicted with gout, was sitting in the corner of the
divan at his ease, in the old Turkish ample costume. The white beard,
the dress of the pasha, the rich but faded carpet which covered the
floor, the roof of elaborate but dingy wooden arabesque, were all in
perfect keeping, and the dubious light of two thick wax candles rising
two or three feet from the floor, but seemed to bring out the picture,
which carried me back, a generation at least, to the pashas of the old
school. Hussein smoked a narghile of dark red Bohemian cut crystal. M.
Petronievitch and myself were supplied with pipes which were more
profusely mounted with diamonds, than any I had ever before smoked;
for Hussein Pasha is beyond all comparison the wealthiest man in the
Ottoman empire.

After talking over the last news from Constantinople, he asked me what
I thought of the projected steam balloon, which, from its being of a
marvellous nature, appears to have caused a great deal of talk among
the Turks. I expressed little faith in its success; on which he
ordered an attendant to bring him a drawing of a locomotive balloon
steered by flags and all sorts of fancies. "Will not this
revolutionize the globe?" said the pasha; to which I replied, "C'est
le premier pas qui coute; there is no doubt of an aërial voyage to
India if they get over the first quarter of a mile."[1]

I returned to sup with M. Petronievitch at his house, and we had a
great deal of conversation relative to the history, laws, manners,
customs, and politics of Servia; but as I subsequently obtained
accurate notions of that country by personal observation, it is not
necessary on the present occasion to return to our conversation.


[Footnote 1: Hussein Pasha has since retired from Widdin, where he
made the greater part of his fortune, for he was engaged in immense
agricultural and commercial speculations; he was succeeded by Mustapha
Nourri Pasha, formerly private secretary to Sultan Mahommud, who has
also made a large fortune, as merchant and ship-owner.]


Leave Widdin.--The Timok.--Enter Servia.--Brza Palanka.--The Iron
Gates.--Old and New Orsova.--Wallachian Matron.--Semlin.--A
Conversation on Language.

I left Widdin for the Servian frontier, in a car of the country, with
a couple of horses, the ground being gently undulated, but the
mountains to the south were at a considerable distance. On our right,
agreeable glimpses of the Danube presented themselves from time to
time. In six hours we arrived at the Timok, the river that separates
Servia from Bulgaria. The only habitation in the place was a log-house
for the Turkish custom-house officer. We were more than an hour in
getting our equipage across the ferry, for the long drought had so
reduced the water, that the boat was unable to meet the usual
landing-place by at least four feet of steep embankment; in vain did
the horses attempt to mount the acclivity; every spring was followed
by a relapse, and at last one horse sunk jammed in between the ferry
boat and the bank; so that we were obliged to loose the harness, send
the horses on shore, and drag the dirty car as we best could up the
half dried muddy slope. At last we succeeded, and a smart trot along
the Danube brought us to the Servian lazaretto, which was a new
symmetrical building, the promenade of which, on the Danube, showed an
attempt at a sort of pleasure-ground.

I entered at sunset, and next morning on showing my tongue to the
doctor, and paying a fee of one piastre (twopence) was free, and again
put myself in motion. Lofty mountains seemed to rise to the west, and
the cultivated plain now became broken into small ridges, partly
covered with forest trees. The ploughing oxen now became rarer; but
herds of swine, grubbing at acorns and the roots of bushes, showed
that I was changing the scene, and making the acquaintance not only
of a new country, but of a new people. The peasants, instead of having
woolly caps and frieze clothes as in Bulgaria, all wore the red fez,
and were dressed mostly in blue cloth; some of those in the villages
wore black glazed caps; and in general the race appeared to be
physically stronger and nobler than that which I had left. The
Bulgarians seemed to be a set of silent serfs, deserving (when not
roused by some unusual circumstance) rather the name of machines than
of men: these Servian fellows seemed lazier, but all possessed a
manliness of address and demeanour, which cannot be discovered in the

Brza Palanka, at which we now arrived, is the only Danubian port which
the Servians possess, below the Iron Gates; consequently, the only one
which is in uninterrupted communication with Galatz and the sea. A
small Sicilian vessel, laden with salt, passed into the Black Sea, and
actually ascended the Danube to this point, which is within a few
hours of the Hungarian frontier. As we approached the Iron Gates, the
valley became a mere gorge, with barely room for the road, and
fumbling through a cavernous fortification, we soon came in sight of
the Austro-Hungarian frontier.

_New_ Orsova, one of the few remaining retreats of the Turks in
Servia, is built on an island, and with its frail houses of yawning
rafters looks very _old_. Old Orsova, opposite which we now arrived,
looked quite _new_, and bore the true German type of formal
white-washed houses, and high sharp ridged roofs, which called up
forthwith the image of a dining-hall, where, punctually as the
village-clock strikes the hour of twelve, a fair-haired, fat,
red-faced landlord, serves up the soup, the _rindfleisch_, the
_zuspeise_, and all the other dishes of the holy Roman empire to the
Platz Major, the Haupt-zoll-amt director, the Kanzlei director, the
Concepist, the Protocollist, and _hoc genus omne_.

After a night passed in the quarantine, I removed to the inn, and
punctually as the clock struck half past twelve, the very party my
imagination conjured up, assembled to discuss the _mehlspeise_ in the
stencilled parlour of the Hirsch.

Favoured by the most beautiful weather, I started in a sort of caleche
for Dreucova. The excellent new macadamized road was as smooth as a
bowling-green, and only a lively companion was wanting to complete the
exhilaration of my spirits.

My fair fellow-traveller was an enormously stout Wallachian matron, on
her way to Vienna, to see her _daughter_, who was then receiving her
education at a boarding-school. I spoke no Wallachian, she spoke
nothing but Wallachian; so our conversation was carried on by my
attempting to make myself understood alternately by the Italian, and
the Spanish forms of Latin.

"_Una bella Campagna_," said I, as we drove out Orsova.

"_Bella, bella_?" said the lady, evidently puzzled.

So I said, "_Hermosa_."

"_Ah! formosa; formosa prate_," repeated the lady, evidently
understanding that I meant a fine country.

"_Deunde venut_?" Whence have you come?

"Constantinopolis;" and so on we went, supposing that we understood
each other, she supplying me with new forms of bastard Latin words,
and adding with a smile, _Romani_, or Wallachian, as the language and
people of Wallachia are called by themselves. It is worthy of remark,
that the Wallachians and a small people in Switzerland, are the only
descendants of the Romans, that still designate their language as that
of the ancient mistress of the world.

As I rolled along, the fascinations of nature got the better of my
gallantry; the discourse flagged, and then dropped, for I found myself
in the midst of the noblest river scenery I had ever beheld, certainly
far surpassing that of the Rhine, and Upper Danube. To the gloom and
grandeur of natural portals, formed of lofty precipitous rocks,
succeeds the open smiling valley, the verdant meadows, and the distant
wooded hills, with all the soft and varied hues of autumn. Here we
appear to be driving up the avenues of an English park; yonder, where
the mountain sinks sheer into the river, the road must find its way
along an open gallery, with a roof weighing millions of tons,
projecting from the mountain above.

After sunset we arrived at Dreucova, and next morning went on board
the steamer, which conveyed me up the Danube to Semlin. The lower town
of Semlin is, from the exhalations on the banks of the river,
frightfully insalubrious, but the cemetery enjoys a high and airy
situation. The people in the town die off with great rapidity; but, to
compensate for this, the dead are said to be in a highly satisfactory
state of preservation. The inns here, once so bad, have greatly
improved; but mine host, zum Golden Lowen, on my recent visits, always
managed to give a very good dinner, including two sorts of savoury
game. I recollect on a former visit, going to another inn, and found
in the dining-room an individual, whose ruddy nose, and good-humoured
nerveless smile, denoted a fondness for the juice of the grape, and
seitel after seitel disappeared with rapidity. By-the-bye, old father
Danube is as well entitled to be represented with a perriwig of grapes
as his brother the Rhine. Hungary in general, has a right merry
bacchanalian climate. Schiller or Symian wine is in the same parallel
of latitude as Claret, Oedenburger as Burgundy, and a line run
westwards from Tokay would almost touch the vineyards of Champagne.
Csaplovich remarks in his quaint way, that the four principal wines of
Hungary are cultivated by the four principal nations in it. That is to
say, the Slavonians cultivate the Schiller, Germans the Oedenburger
and Ruster, Magyars and Wallachians the Menesher. Good Schiller is the
best Syrmian wine. But I must return from this digression to the guest
of the Adler. On hearing that I was an Englishman, he expressed a wish
to hear as much of England as possible, and appeared thunderstruck,
when I told him that London had nearly two millions of inhabitants,
being four hundred thousand more than the population of the whole of
the Banat. This individual had of course learned five languages with
his mother's milk, and therefore thought that the inhabitants of such
a country as England must know ten at least. When I told him that the
majority of the people in England knew nothing but English, he said,
somewhat contemptuously, "O! you told me the fair side of the English
character: but you did not tell me that the people was so ignorant."
He then good-humouredly warned me against practising on his credulity.
I pointed out how unnecessary other languages were for England itself;
but that all languages could be learned in London.

"Can Wallachian be learned in London?"

"I have my doubts about Wallachian, but"--

"Can Magyar be learned in London?"

"I suspect not."

"Can Servian be learnt in London?"

"I confess, I don't think that any body in London teaches Servian;

"There again, you travellers are always making statements unfounded on
fact. I have mentioned three leading languages, and nobody in your
city knows anything about them."


Description of Belgrade.--Fortifications.--Streets and Street
Population.--Cathedral.--Large Square.--Coffe-house.--Deserted

Through the courtesy and attention of Mr. Consul-general Fonblanque
and the numerous friends of M. Petronievitch, I was, in the course of
a few days, as familiar with all the principal objects and individuals
in Belgrade, as if I had resided months in the city.

The fare of a boat from Semlin to Belgrade by Austrian rowers is five
zwanzigers, or about _3s. 6d._ English; and the time occupied is half
an hour, that is to say, twenty minutes for the descent of the Danube,
and about ten minutes for the ascent of the Save. On arrival at the
low point of land at the confluence, we perceived the distinct line of
the two rivers, the Danube faithfully retaining its brown, muddy
character, while the Save is much clearer. We now had a much closer
view of the fortress opposite. Large embrasures, slightly elevated
above the water's edge, were intended for guns of great calibre; but
above, a gallimaufry of grass-grown and moss-covered fortifications
were crowned by ricketty, red-tiled houses, and looking very unlike
the magnificent towers in the last scene of the Siege of Belgrade, at
Drury Lane. Just within the banks of the Save were some of the large
boats which trade on the river; the new ones as curiously carved,
painted, and even gilded, as some of those one sees at Dort and
Rotterdam. They have no deck--for a ridge of rafters covers the goods,
and the boatmen move about on ledges at the gunwale.

The fortress of Belgrade, jutting out exactly at the point of
confluence of the rivers, has the town behind it. The Servian, or
principal quarter, slopes down to the Save; the Turkish quarter to
the Danube. I might compare Belgrade to a sea-turtle, the head of
which is represented by the fortress, the back of the neck by the
esplanade or Kalai Meidan, the right flank by the Turkish quarter, the
left by the Servian, and the ridge of the back by the street running
from the esplanade to the gate of Constantinople.

We landed at the left side of our imaginary turtle, or at the quay of
the Servian quarter, which runs along the Save. The sloping bank was
paved with stones; and above was a large edifice with an arcade, one
end of which served as the custom-house, the other as the Austrian

The population was diversified. Shabby old Turks were selling fruit;
and boatmen, both Moslem and Christian--the former with turbans, the
latter with short fez's--were waiting for a fare. To the left was a
Turkish guard-house, at a gate leading to the esplanade, with as smart
a row of burnished muskets as one could expect. All within this gate
is under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Pasha of the fortress; all
without the gate in question, is under the government of the Servian
Prefect of Belgrade.

We now turned into a curious old street, built quite in the Turkish
fashion, and composed of rafters knocked carelessly together, and
looking as if the first strong gust of wind would send them smack over
the water into Hungary without the formality of a quarantine; but many
of the shops were smartly garnished with clothes, haberdashery, and
trinkets, mostly from Bohemia and Moravia; and in some I saw large
blocks of rock-salt.

Notwithstanding the rigmarole construction of the quarter on the
water's edge, (save and except at the custom-house,) it is the most
busy quarter in the town: here are the places of business of the
principal merchants in the place. This class is generally of the
Tsinsar nation, as the descendants of the Roman colonists in Macedonia
are called; their language is a corrupt Latin, and resembles the
Wallachian dialect very closely.

We now ascended by a steep street to the upper town. The most
prominent object in the first open space we came to is the cathedral,
a new and large but tasteless structure, with a profusely gilt
bell-tower, in the Russian manner; and the walls of the interior are
covered with large paintings of no merit. But one must not be too
critical: a kindling of intellectual energy ever seems, in most
countries, to precede excellence in the imitative arts, which latter,
too often survives the ruins of those ruder and nobler qualities which
assure the vigorous existence of states or provinces.

In the centre of the town is an open square, which forms a sort of
line of demarcation between the crescent and the cross. On the one
side, several large and good houses have been constructed by the
wealthiest senators, in the German manner, with flaring new white
walls and bright green shutter-blinds. On the other side is a mosque,
and dead old garden walls, with walnut trees and Levantine roofs
peeping up behind them. Look on this picture, and you have the type of
all domestic architecture lying between you and the snow-fenced huts
of Lapland; cast your eyes over the way, and imagination wings
lightly to the sweet south with its myrtles, citrons, marbled steeps
and fragrance-bearing gales.

Beside the mosque is the new Turkish coffee-house, which is kept by an
Arab by nation and a Moslem by religion, but born at Lucknow. One day,
in asking for the mullah of the mosque, who had gone to Bosnia, I
entered into conversation with him; but on learning that I was an
Englishman he fought shy, being, like most Indian Moslems when
travelling in Turkey, ashamed of their sovereign being a protected
ally of a Frank government.

I now entered the region of gardens and villas, which, previous to the
revolution of Kara Georg, was occupied principally by Turks. Passing
down a shady lane my attention was arrested by a rotten moss-grown
garden door, at the sight of which memory leaped backwards for four or
five years. Here I had spent a happy forenoon with Colonel H----, and
the physician of the former Pasha, an old Hanoverian, who, as surgeon
to a British regiment had gone through all the fatigues of the
Peninsular war. I pushed open the door, and there, completely secluded
from the bustle of the town, and the view of the stranger, grew the
vegetation as luxuriant as ever, relieving with its dark green frame
the clear white of the numerous domes and minarets of the Turkish
quarter, and the broad-bosomed Danube which filled up the centre of
the picture; but the house and stable, which had resounded with the
good-humoured laugh of the master, and the neighing of the well-fed
little stud (for horse-flesh was the weak side of our Esculapius),
were tenantless, ruinous, and silent. The doctor had died in the
interval at Widdin, in the service of Hussein Pasha. I mechanically
withdrew, abstracted from external nature by the "memory of joys that
were past, pleasant and mournful to the soul."

I then took a Turkish bath; but the inferiority of those in Belgrade
to similar luxuries in Constantinople, Damascus, and Cairo, was
strikingly apparent on entering. The edifice and the furniture were of
the commonest description. The floors of the interior of brick
instead of marble, and the plaster and the cement of the walls in a
most defective state. The atmosphere in the drying room was so cold
from the want of proper windows and doors, that I was afraid lest I
should catch a catarrh. The Oriental bath, when paved with fine
grained marbles, and well appointed in the departments of linen,
sherbet, and _narghile_, is a great luxury; but the bath at Belgrade
was altogether detestable. In the midst of the drying business a
violent dispute broke out between the proprietor and an Arnaout, whom
the former styled a _cokoshary_, or hen-eater, another term for a
robber; for when lawless Arnaouts arrive in a village, after eating up
half the contents of the poultry-yard, they demand a tribute in the
shape of _compensation for the wear and tear of their teeth_ while
consuming the provisions they have forcibly exacted.


Europeanization of Belgrade.--Lighting and Paving.--Interior of the
Fortress--Turkish Pasha.--Turkish Quarter.--Turkish
Population.--Panorama of Belgrade--Dinner party given by the Prince.

The melancholy I experienced in surveying the numerous traces of
desolation in Turkey was soon effaced at Belgrade. Here all was life
and activity. It was at the period of my first visit, in 1839, quite
an oriental town; but now the haughty parvenu spire of the cathedral
throws into the shade the minarets of the mosques, graceful even in
decay. Many of the bazaar-shops have been fronted and glazed. The
oriental dress has become much rarer; and houses several stories
high, in the German fashion, are springing up everywhere. But in two
important particulars Belgrade is as oriental as if it were situated
on the Tigris or Barrada--lighting and paving. It is impossible in wet
weather to pay a couple of visits without coming home up to the ankles
in mud; and at night all locomotion without a lantern is impossible.
Belgrade, from its elevation, could be most easily lighted with gas,
and at a very small expense; as even if there be no coal in Servia,
there is abundance of it at Moldava, which is on the Danube between
Belgrade and Orsova; that is to say, considerably above the Iron
Gates. I make this remark, not so much to reproach my Servian friends
with backwardness, but to stimulate them to all easily practicable

One day I accompanied M. de Fonblanque on a visit to the Pasha in the
citadel, which we reached by crossing the glacis or neck of land that
connects the castle with the town. This place forms the pleasantest
evening lounge in the vicinity of Belgrade; for on the one side is an
extensive view of the Turkish town, and the Danube wending its way
down to Semendria; on the other is the Save, its steep bank piled with
street upon street, and the hills beyond them sloping away to the
Bosniac frontier.

The ramparts are in good condition; and the first object that strikes
a stranger on entering, are six iron spikes, on which, in the time of
the first revolution, the heads of Servians used to be stuck. Milosh
once saved his own head from this elevation by his characteristic
astuteness. During his alliance with the Turks in 1814, (or 1815,) he
had large pecuniary transactions with the Pasha, for he was the medium
through whom the people paid their tribute. Five heads grinned from
five spikes as he entered the castle, and he comprehended that the
sixth was reserved for him; the last head set up being that of
Glavash, a leader, who, like himself, was then supporting the
government: so he immediately took care to make the Pasha understand
that he was about to set out on a tour in the country, to raise some
money for the vizierial strong-box. "Peh eiu," said Soliman Pasha,
thinking to catch him next time, and get the money at the same time;
so Milosh was allowed to depart; but knowing that if he returned spike
the sixth would not wait long for its head, he at once raised the
district of Rudnick, and ended the terrible war which had been begun
under much less favourable auspices, by the more valiant but less
astute Kara Georg.

We passed a second draw-bridge, and found ourselves in the interior of
the fortress. A large square was formed by ruinous buildings.
Extensive barracks were windowless and tenantless, but the mosque and
the Pasha's Konak were in good order. We were ushered into an
audience-room of great extent, with a low carved roof and some
old-fashioned furniture, the divan being in the corner, and the
windows looking over the precipice to the Danube below. Hafiz Pasha,
the same who commanded at the battle of Nezib, was about fifty-five,
and a gentleman in air and manner, with a grey beard. In course of
conversation he told me that he was a Circassian. He asked me about my
travels: and with reference to Syria said, "Land operations through
Kurdistan against Mehemet Ali were absurd. I suggested an attack by
sea, while a land force should make a diversion by Antioch, but I was
opposed." After the usual pipes and coffee we took our leave.

Hafiz Pasha's political relations are necessarily of a very restricted
character, as he rules only the few Turks remaining in Servia; that is
to say, a few thousands in Belgrade and Ushitza, a few hundreds in
Shabatz Sokol and the island of Orsova. He represents the suzerainety
of the Porte over the Christian population, without having any thing
to do with the details of administration. His income, like that of
other mushirs or pashas of three tails, is 8000l. per annum. Hafiz
Pasha, if not a successful general, was at all events a brave and
honourable man, and his character for justice made him highly
respected. One of his predecessors, who was at Belgrade on my first
visit there in 1839, was a man of another stamp,--the notorious
Youssouf Pasha, who sold Varna during the Russian war. The
re-employment of such an individual is a characteristic illustration
of Eastern manners.

As my first stay at Belgrade extended to between two and three months,
I saw a good deal of Hafiz Pasha, who has a great taste for geography,
and seemed to be always studying at the maps. He seemed to think that
nothing would be so useful to Turkey as good roads, made to run from
the principal ports of Asia Minor up to the depots of the interior, so
as to connect Sivas, Tokat, Angora, Konieh, Kaiserieh, &c. with
Samsoun, Tersoos, and other ports. He wittily reversed the proverb
"_El rafyk som el taryk_" (companionship makes secure roads) by
saying, "_el taryk som el rafyk_" (good roads increase passenger

At the Bairam reception, the Pasha wore his great nishau of diamonds.
Prince Alexander wore a blue uniform with gold epaulettes, and an
aigrette of brilliants in his fez. His predecessor, Michael, on such
occasions, wore a cocked hat, which used to give offence, as the fez
is considered by the Turks indispensable to a recognition of the
suzerainety of the Porte.

Being Bairam, I was induced to saunter into the Turkish quarter of the
town, where all wore the handsome holyday dresses of the old fashion,
being mostly of crimson cloth, edged with gold lace. My cicerone, a
Servian, pointed out those shops belonging to the sultan, still marked
with the letter f, intended, I suppose, for _mulk_ or imperial
property. We then turned to the left, and came into a singular looking
street, composed of the ruins of ornamented houses in the imposing,
but too elaborate style of architecture, which was in vogue in Vienna,
during the life of Charles the Sixth, and which was a corruption of
the style de Louis Quatorze. These buildings were half-way up concealed
from view by common old bazaar shops. This was the "Lange Gasse," or
main street of the German town during the Austrian occupation of
twenty-two years, from 1717 to 1739. Most of these houses were built
with great solidity, and many still have the stucco ornaments that
distinguish this style. The walls of the palace of Prince Eugene are
still standing complete, but the court-yard is filled up with
rubbish, at least six feet high, and what were formerly the rooms of
the ground-floor have become almost cellars. The edifice is called to
this day, "_Princeps Konak_." This mixture of the coarse, but
picturesque features of oriental life, with the dilapidated
stateliness of palaces in the style of the full-bottom-wigged
Vanbrughs of Austria, has the oddest effect imaginable.

The Turks remaining in Belgrade have mostly sunk into poverty, and
occupy themselves principally with water-carrying, wood-splitting, &c.
The better class latterly kept up their position, by making good sales
of houses and shops; for building ground is now in some situations
very expensive. Mr. Fonblanque pays 100£. sterling per annum for his
rooms, which is a great deal, compared with the rates of house-rent in
Hungary just over the water.

One day, I ascended the spire of the cathedral, in order to have a
view of the city and environs. Belgrade, containing only 35,000
inhabitants, cannot boast of looking very like a metropolis; but the
environs contain the materials of a good panorama. Looking westward,
we see the winding its way from the woods of Topshider; the Servian
shore is abrupt, the Austrian flat, and subject to inundation; the
prospect on the north-west being closed in by the dim dark line of the
Frusca Gora, or "Wooded Mountain," which forms the backbone of
Slavonia, and is the high wooded region between the Save and the
Drave. Northwards, are the spires of Semlin, rising up from the
Danube, which here resumes its easterly course; while south and east
stretch the Turkish quarter, which I have been describing.

There are no formal levees or receptions at the palace of Prince
Alexander, except on his own fete day. Once or twice a year he
entertains at dinner the Pasha, the ministers, and the foreign
consuls-general. In the winter, the prince gives one or two balls.

One of the former species of entertainments took place during my stay,
and I received the prince's invitation. At the appointed day, I found
the avenue to the residence thronged with people Who were listening to
the band that played in the court-yard; and on arriving fit the top
of the stairs, was led by an officer in a blue uniform, who seemed to
direct the ceremonies of the day, into the saloon, in which I had, on
my arrival in Belgrade, paid my respects to the prince, which might be
pronounced the fac simile of the drawing-room of a Hungarian nobleman;
the parquet was inlaid and polished, the chairs and sofas covered with
crimson and white satin damask, which is an unusual luxury in these
regions, the roof admirably painted in subdued colours, in the best
Vienna style. High white porcelain urn-like stoves heated the suite of

The company had that picturesque variety of character and costume
which every traveller delights in. The prince, a muscular middle sized
dark complexioned man, of about thirty-five, with a serious composed
air, wore a plain blue military uniform. The princess and her _dames
de compagnie_ wore the graceful native Servian costume. The Pasha wore
the Nizam dress, and the Nishan Iftihar; Baron Lieven, the Russian
Commissioner, in the uniform of a general, glittered with innumerable
orders; Colonel Philippovich, a man of distinguished talents,
represented Austria. The archbishop, in his black velvet cap, a large
enamelled cross hanging by a massive gold chain from his neck, sat in
stately isolation; and the six feet four inches high Garashanin,
minister of the interior, conversed with Stojan Simitch, the president
of the senate, one of the few Servians in high office, who retains his
old Turkish costume, and has a frame that reminds one of the Farnese
Hercules. Then what a medley of languages; Servian, German, Russian,
Turkish, and French, all in full buzz!

We proceeded to the dining-room, where the _cuisine_ was in every
respect in the German manner. When the dessert appeared, the prince
rose with a creaming glass of champagne in his hand, and proposed the
health of the sultan, acknowledged by the pasha; and then, after a
short pause, the health of Czar Nicolay Paulovitch, acknowledged by
Baron Lieven; then came the health of other crowned heads. Baron
Lieven now rose and proposed the health of the Prince. The Pasha and
the Princess were toasted in turn; and then M. Wastchenko, the Russian
consul general rose, and in animated terms, drank to the prosperity of
Servia. The entertainment, which commenced at one o'clock, was
prolonged to an advanced period of the afternoon, and closed with
coffee, liqueurs, and chibouques in the drawing-room; the princess and
the ladies having previously withdrawn to the private apartments.

My time during the rest of the year was taken up with political,
statistical, and historical inquiries, the results of which will be
found condensed at the termination of the narrative part of this work.


Return to Servia.--The Danube.--Semlin.--Wucics and
Petronievitch.--Cathedral Solemnity.--Subscription Ball.

After an absence of six months in England, I returned to the Danube.
Vienna and Pesth offered no attractions in the month of August, and I
felt impatient to put in execution my long cherished project of
travelling through the most romantic woodlands of Servia. Suppose me
then at the first streak of dawn, in the beginning of August, 1844,
hurrying after the large wheelbarrow which carries the luggage of the
temporary guests of the Queen of England at Pesth to the steamer lying
just below the long bridge of boats that connects the quiet sombre
bureaucratic Ofen with the noisy, bustling, movement-loving new city,
which has sprung up as it were by enchantment on the opposite side of
the water. I step on board--the signal is given for starting--the
lofty and crimson-peaked Bloxberg--the vine-clad hill that produces
the fiery Ofener wine, and the long and graceful quay, form, as it
were, a fine peristrephic panorama, as the vessel wheels round, and,
prow downwards, commences her voyage for the vast and curious East,
while the Danubian tourist bids a dizzy farewell to this last snug
little centre of European civilization. We hurry downwards towards the
frontiers of Turkey, but nature smiles not,--We have on our left the
dreary steppe of central Hungary, and on our right the low distant
hills of Baranya. Alas! this is not the Danube of Passau, and Lintz,
and Molk, and Theben. But now the Drave pours her broad waters into
the great artery. The right shore soon becomes somewhat bolder, and
agreeably wooded hills enliven the prospect. This little mountain
chain is the celebrated Frusca Gora, the stronghold of the Servian
language, literature, and nationality on the Austrian aide of the

A few days after my arrival, Wucics and Petronievitch, the two pillars
of the party of Kara Georgevitch, the reigning prince, and the
opponents of the ousted Obrenovitch family, returned from banishment
in consequence of communications that had passed between the British
and Russian governments. Great preparations were made to receive the
popular favourites.

One morning I was attracted to the window, and saw an immense flock of
sheep slowly paraded along, their heads being decorated with ribbons,
followed by oxen, with large citrons stuck on the tips of their horns.

One vender of shawls and carpets had covered all the front of his shop
with his gaudy wares, in order to do honour to the patriots, and at
the same time to attract the attention of purchasers.

The tolling of the cathedral bell announced the approach of the
procession, which was preceded by a long train of rustic cavaliers,
noble, vigorous-looking men. Standing at the balcony, we missed the
sight of the heroes of the day, who had gone round by other streets.
We, therefore, went to the cathedral, where all the principal persons
in Servia were assembled. One old man, with grey, filmy, lack-lustre
eyes, pendant jaws, and white beard, was pointed out to me as a
centenarian witness of this national manifestation.

The grand screen, which in the Greek churches veils the sanctuary from
the vulgar gaze, was hung with rich silks, and on a raised platform,
covered with carpets, stood the archbishop, a dignified
high-priest-looking figure, with crosier in hand, surrounded by his
deacons in superbly embroidered robes. The huzzas of the populace grew
louder as the procession approached the cathedral, a loud and
prolonged buzz of excited attention accompanied the opening of the
grand central portal, and Wucics and Petronievitch, grey with the dust
with which the immense cavalcade had besprinkled them, came forward,
kissed the cross and gospels, which the archbishop presented to them,
and, kneeling down, returned thanks for their safe restoration. On
regaining their legs, the archbishop advanced to the edge of the
platform, and began a discourse describing the grief the nation had
experienced at their departure, the universal joy for their return,
and the hope that they would ever keep peace and union in view in all
matters of state, and that in their duties to the state they must
never forget their responsibility to the Most High.

Wucics, dressed in the coarse frieze jacket and boots of a Servian
peasant, heard with a reverential inclination of the head the
elegantly polished discourse of the gold-bedizened prelate, but nought
relaxed one single muscle of that adamantine visage; the finer but
more luminous features of Petronievitch were evidently under the
control of a less powerful will. At certain passages of the discourse,
his intelligent eye was moistened with tears. Two deacons then prayed
successively for the Sultan, the Emperor of Russia, and the prince.

And now uprose from every tongue, and every heart, a hymn for the
longevity of Wucics and Petronievitch. "The solemn song for many days"
is the expressive title of this sublime chant. This hymn is so old
that its origin is lost in the obscure dawn of Christianity in the
East, and so massive, so nobly simple, as to be beyond the ravages of
time, and the caprices of convention.

The procession then returned, the band playing the Wucics march, to
the houses of the two heroes of the day.

We dined; and just as dessert appeared the whiz of a rocket announced
the commencement of fire-works. As most of us had seen the splendid
bouquet of rockets, which, during the fetes of July, amuse the
Parisians, we entertained slender expectations of being pleased with
an illumination at Belgrade. On going out, however, the scene proved
highly interesting. In the grand square were two columns _a la
Vicentina_, covered with lamps. One side of the square was illuminated
with the word Wucics, and the other with the word Avram in colossal
letters. At a later period of the evening the downs were covered with
fires roasting innumerable sheep and oxen, a custom which seems in all
countries to accompany popular rejoicing.

I had never seen a Servian full-dress ball, but the arrival of Wucics
and Petronievitch procured me the opportunity of witnessing an
entertainment of this description. The principal apartment in the new
Konak, built by prince Michael, was the ball-room, which, by eight
o'clock, was filled, as the phrase goes, by all "the rank and fashion"
of Belgrade. Senators of the old school, in their benishes and
shalwars, and senators of the new school in pantaloons and stiff
cravats. As Servia has become, morally speaking, Europe's youngest
daughter, this is all very well: but I must ever think that in the
article of dress this innovation is not an improvement. I hope that
the ladies of Servia will never reject their graceful national
costume for the shifting modes and compressed waists of European

No head-dress, that I have seen in the Levant, is better calculated to
set off beauty than that of the ladies of Servia. From a small Greek
fez they suspend a gold tassel, which contrasts with the black and
glossy hair, which is laid smooth and flat down the temple. Even now,
while I write, memory piques me with the graceful toss of the head,
and the rustle of the yellow satin gown of the sister of the princess,
who was admitted to be the handsomest woman in the room, and with her
tunic of crimson velvet embroidered in gold, and faced with sable,
would have been, in her strictly indigenous costume, the queen of any
fancy ball in old Europe.

Wucics and Petronievitch were of course received with shouts and
clapping of hands, and took the seats prepared for them at the upper
end of the hall. The Servian national dance was then performed, being
a species of cotillion in alternate quick and slow movements.

I need not repeat the other events of the evening; how forms and
features were passed in review; how the jewelled, smooth-skinned,
doll-like beauties usurped the admiration of the minute, and how the
indefinably sympathetic air of less pretentious belles prolonged their
magnetic sway to the close of the night.


Holman, the Blind Traveller.--Milutinovich, the Poet.--Bulgarian
Legend.--Tableau de genre.--Departure for the Interior.

Belgrade, unlike other towns on the Danube, is much less visited by
Europeans, since the introduction of steam navigation, than it was
previously. Servia used to be the _porte cochere_ of the East; and
most travellers, both before and since the lively Lady Mary Wortley
Montague, took the high road to Constantinople by Belgrade, Sofia,
Philippopoli, and Adrianople. No mere tourist would now-a-days think
of undertaking the fatiguing ride across European Turkey, when he can
whizz past Widdin and Roustchouk, and even cut off the grand tongue at
the mouth of the Danube, by going in an omnibus from Czernovoda to
Kustendgi; consequently the arrival of an English traveller from the
interior, is a somewhat rare occurrence.

One day I was going out at the gateway, and saw a strange figure, with
a long white beard and a Spanish cap, mounted on a sorry horse, and at
once recognized it to be that of Holman, the blind traveller.

"How do you do, Mr. Holman?" said I.

"I know that voice well."

"I last saw you in Aleppo," said I; and he at once named me.

I then got him off his horse, and into quarters.

This singular individual had just come through the most dangerous
parts of Bosnia in perfect safety; a feat which a blind man can
perform more easily than one who enjoys the most perfect vision; for
all compassionate and assist a fellow-creature in this deplorable

Next day I took Mr. Holman through the town, and described to him the
lions of Belgrade; and taking a walk on the esplanade, I turned his
face to the cardinal points of the compass, successively explaining
the objects lying in each direction, and, after answering a few of his
cross questions, the blind traveller seemed to know as much of
Belgrade as was possible for a person in his condition.

He related to me, that since our meeting at Aleppo, he had visited
Damascus and other eastern cities; and at length, after sundry
adventures, had arrived on the Adriatic, and visited the Vladika of
Montenegro, who had given him a good reception. He then proceeded
through Herzegovina and Bosnia to Seraievo, where he passed three
days, and he informed me that from Seraievo to the frontiers of Servia
was nearly all forest, with here and there the skeletons of robbers
hung up in chains.

Mr. Holman subsequently went, as I understood, to Wallachia and

Having delayed my departure for the interior, in order to witness the
national festivities, nothing remained but the purgatory of
preparation, the squabbling about the hire of horses, the purchase of
odds and ends for convenience on the road, for no such thing as a
canteen is to be had at Belgrade. Some persons recommended my hiring a
Turkish Araba; but as this is practicable only on the regularly
constructed roads, I should have lost the sight of the most
picturesque regions, or been compelled to take my chance of getting
horses, and leaving my baggage behind. To avoid this inconvenience, I
resolved to perform the whole journey on horseback.

The government showed me every attention, and orders were sent by the
minister of the interior to all governors, vice-governors, and
employes, enjoining them to furnish me with every assistance, and
communicate whatever information I might desire; to which, as the
reader will see in the sequel, the fullest effect was given by those

On the day of departure, a tap was heard at the door, and enter Holman
to bid me good-bye. Another tap at the door, and enter Milutinovich,
who is the best of the living poets of Servia, and has been sometimes
called the Ossian of the Balkan. As for his other pseudonyme, "the
Homer of a hundred sieges," that must have been invented by Mr. George
Robins, the Demosthenes of "_one_ hundred rostra." The reading public
in Servia is not yet large enough to enable a man of letters to live
solely by his works; so our bard has a situation in the ministry of
public instruction. One of the most remarkable compositions of
Milutinovich is an address to a young surgeon, who, to relieve the
poet from difficulties, expended in the printing of his poems a sum
which he had destined for his own support at a university, in order to
obtain his degree.

Now, it may not be generally known that one of the oldest legends of
Bulgaria is that of "Poor Lasar," which runs somewhat thus:--

"The day departed, and the stranger came, as the moon rose on the
silver snow. 'Welcome,' said the poor Lasar to the stranger;
'Luibitza, light the faggot, and prepare the supper.'

"Luibitza answered: 'The forest is wide, and the lighted faggot burns
bright, but where is the supper? Have we not fasted since yesterday?'

"Shame and confusion smote the heart of poor Lasar.

"'Art thou a Bulgarian,' said the stranger, 'and settest not food
before thy guest?'

"Poor Lasar looked in the cupboard, and looked in the garret, nor
crumb, nor onion, were found in either. Shame and confusion smote the
heart of poor Lasar.

"'Here is fat and fair flesh,' said the stranger, pointing to Janko,
the curly-haired boy. Luibitza shrieked and fell. 'Never,' said Lasar,
'shall it be said that a Bulgarian was wanting to his guest,' He
seized a hatchet, and Janko was slaughtered as a lamb. Ah, who can
describe the supper of the stranger!

"Lasar fell into a deep sleep, and at midnight he heard the stranger
cry aloud, 'Arise, Lasar, for I am the Lord thy God; the hospitality
of Bulgaria is untarnished. Thy son Janko is restored to life, and thy
stores are filled.'

"Long lived the rich Lasar, the fair Luibitza, and the curly-haired

Milutinovich, in his address to the youthful surgeon, compares his
transcendent generosity to the sacrifice made by Lasar in the wild and
distasteful legend I have here given.

I introduced the poet and the traveller to each other, and explained
their respective merits and peculiarities. Poor old Milutinovich, who
looked on his own journey to Montenegro as a memorable feat, was
awe-struck when I mentioned the innumerable countries in the four
quarters of the world which had been visited by the blind traveller.
He immediately recollected of having read an account of him in the
Augsburg Gazette, and with a reverential simplicity begged me to
convey to him his desire to kiss, his beard. Holman consented with a
smile, and Milutinovich, advancing as if he were about to worship a
deity, lifted the peak of white hairs from the beard of the aged
stranger, pressed them to his lips, and prayed aloud that he might
return to his home in safety.

In old Europe, Milutinovich would have been called an actor; but his
deportment, if it had the originality, had also the childish
simplicity of nature.

When the hour of departure arrived, I descended to the court yard,
which would have furnished good materials for a _tableau de genre_, a
lofty, well built, German-looking house, rising on three sides,
surrounded a most rudely paved court, which was inclosed on the fourth
by a stable and hay-loft, not one-third the height of the rest.
Various mustachioed _far niente_ looking figures, wrapped _cap-a-pie_
in dressing gowns, lolled out of the first floor corridor, and smoked
their chibouques with unusual activity, while the ground floor was
occupied by German washer-women and their soap-suds; three of the
arcades being festooned with shirts and drawers hung up to dry, and
stockings, with apertures at the toes and heels for the free
circulation of the air. Loud exclamations, and the sound of the click
of balls, proceeded from the large archway, on which a cafe opened. In
the midst of the yard stood our horses, which, with their heavily
padded and high cantelled Turkish saddles, somewhat _a la
Wouvermans_, were held by Fonblanque's robust Pandour in his crimson
jacket and white fustanella. My man Paul gave a smack of the whip, and
off we cantered for the highlands and woodlands of Servia.


Journey to Shabatz.--Resemblance of Manners to those of the Middle
Ages.--Palesh.--A Servian Bride.--Blind
Minstrel.--Gypsies.--Macadamized Road.

The immediate object of my first journey was Shabatz; the second town
in Servia, which is situated further up the Save than Belgrade, and is
thus close upon the frontier of Bosnia. We consequently had the river
on our right hand all the way. After five hours' travelling, the
mountains, which hung back as long as we were in the vicinity of
Belgrade, now approached, and draped in forest green, looked down on
the winding Save and the pinguid flats of the Slavonian frontier. Just
before the sun set, we wound by a circuitous road to an eminence
which, projected promontory-like into the river's course. Three rude
crosses were planted on a steep, not unworthy the columnar harmony of
Grecian marble.

When it was quite dark, we arrived at the Colubara, and passed the
ferry which, during the long Servian revolution, was always considered
a post of importance, as commanding a communication between Shabatz
and the capital. An old man accompanied us, who was returning to his
native place on the frontiers of Bosnia, having gone to welcome Wucics
and Petronievitch. He amused me by asking me "if the king of my
country lived in a strong castle?" I answered, "No, we have a queen,
whose strength is in the love of all her subjects." Indeed, it is
impossible to travel in the interior of Turkey without having the mind
perpetually carried back to the middle ages by a thousand quaint
remarks and circumstances, inseparable from the moral and political
constitution of a half civilized and quasi-federal empire. For, in
nearly all the mountainous parts of Turkey, the power of the
government is almost nominal, and even up to a very recent period the
position of the Dere Beys savoured strongly of feudalism.

We arrived at Palesh, the khan of which looked like a new coffee-shop
in a Turkish bazaar, and I thought that we should have a sorry night's
quarters; but mine host, leading the way with a candle up a ladder,
and though a trap-door, put us into a clean newly-carpeted room, and
in an hour the boy entered with Turkish wash-hand apparatus; and after
ablution the khan keeper produced supper, consisting of soup, which
contained so much lemon juice, that, without a wry face, I could
scarcely eat it--boiled lamb, from which the soup had been made, and
then a stew of the same with Tomata sauce. A bed was then spread out
on the floor _a la turque_, which was rather hard; but as the sheets
were snowy white, I reckoned myself very lucky.

I must say that there is a degree of cleanliness within doors, which I
had been led to consider as somewhat foreign to the habits of Slaavic
populations. The lady of the Austrian consul-general in Belgrade told
me that she was struck with the propriety of the dwellings of the
poor, as contrasted with those in Galicia, where she had resided for
many years; and every traveller in Germany is struck with the
difference which exists between the villages of Bohemia and those in
Saxony, and other adjacent German provinces.

From Palesh we started with fine weather for Skela, through a
beautifully wooded park, some fields being here and there inclosed
with wattling. Skela is a new ferry on the Save, to facilitate the
communication with Austria.

Near here are redoubts, where Kara Georg, the father of the reigning
prince, held out during the disasters of 1813, until all the women and
children were transferred in safety to the Austrian territory. Here we
met a very pretty girl, who, in answer to the salute of my
fellow-travellers, bent herself almost to the earth. On asking the
reason, I was told that she was a bride, whom custom compels, for a
stated period, to make this humble reverence.

We then came to the Skela, and seeing a large house within an
enclosure, I asked what it was, and was told that it was the
reconciliation-house, (_primiritelnj sud_,) a court of first instance,
in which cases are decided by the village elders, without expense to
the litigants, and beyond which suits are seldom carried to the higher
courts. There is throughout all the interior of Servia a stout
opposition to the nascent lawyer class in Belgrade. I have been more
than once amused on hearing an advocate, greedy of practice, style
this laudable economy and patriarchal simplicity--"Avarice and
aversion from civilization." As it began to rain we entered a tavern,
and ordered a fowl to be roasted, as the soup and stews of yester-even
were not to my taste. A booby, with idiocy marked on his countenance,
was lounging about the door, and when our mid-day meal was done I
ordered the man to give him a glass of _slivovitsa_, as plum brandy is
called. He then came forward, trembling, as if about to receive
sentence of death, and taking off his greasy fez, said, "I drink to
our prince Kara Georgovich, and to the progress and enlightenment of
the nation." I looked with astonishment at the torn, wretched
habiliments of this idiot swineherd. He was too stupid to entertain
these sentiments himself; but this trifling circumstance was the
feather which indicated how the wind blew. The Servians are by no
means a nation of talkers; they are a serious people; and if the
determination to rise were not in the minds of the people, it would
not be on the lips of the baboon-visaged oaf of an insignificant

The rain now began to pour in torrents, so to make the most of it, we
ordered another magnum of strong red wine, and procured from the
neighbourhood a blind fiddler, who had acquired a local reputation.
His instrument, the favourite one of Servia, is styled a _goosely_,
being a testudo-formed viol; no doubt a relic of the antique, for the
Servian monarchy derived all its arts from the Greeks of the Lower
Empire. But the musical entertainment, in spite of the magnum of wine,
and the jovial challenges of our fellow traveller from the Drina,
threw me into a species of melancholy. The voice of the minstrel, and
the tone of the instrument, were soft and melodious, but so
profoundly plaintive as to be painful. The song described the
struggle of Osman Bairactar with Michael, a Servian chief, and, as it
was explained to me, called up successive images of a war of
extermination, with its pyramids of ghastly trunkless heads, and
fields of charcoal, to mark the site of some peaceful village, amid
the blaze of which its inhabitants had wandered to an eternal home in
the snows and trackless woods of the Balkan. When I looked out of the
tavern window the dense vapours and torrents of rain did not elevate
my spirits; and when I cast my eyes on the minstrel I saw a peasant,
whose robust frame might have supported a large family, reduced by the
privation of sight, to waste his best years in strumming on a
monotonous viol for a few piastres.

I flung him a gratuity, and begged him to desist.

After musing an hour, I again ordered the horses, although it still
rained, and set forth, the road being close to the river, at one part
of which a fleet of decked boats were moored. I perceived that they
were all navigated by Bosniac Moslems, one of whom, smoking his pipe
under cover, wore the green turban of a Shereef; they were all loaded
with raw produce, intended for sale at Belgrade or Semlin.

The rain increasing, we took shelter in a wretched khan, with a mud
floor, and a fire of logs blazing in the centre, the smoke escaping as
it best could by the front and back doors. Gipsies and Servian
peasants sat round it in a large circle; the former being at once
recognizable, not only from their darker skins, but from their traits
being finer than those of the Servian peasantry. The gipsies fought
bravely against the Turks under Kara Georg, and are now for the most
part settled, although politically separated from the rest of the
community, and living under their own responsible head; but, as in
other countries, they prefer horse dealing and smith's work to other

As there was no chance of the storm abating, I resolved to pass the
night here on discovering that there was a separate room, which our
host said he occasionally unlocked, for the better order of
travellers: but as there was no bed, I had recourse to my carpet and
pillow, for the expense of _Uebergewicht_ had deterred me from
bringing a canteen and camp bed from England.

Next morning, on waking, the sweet chirp of a bird, gently echoed in
the adjoining woods, announced that the storm had ceased, and nature
resumed her wonted calm. On arising, I went to the door, and the
unclouded effulgence of dawn bursting through the dripping boughs and
rain-bespangled leaves, seemed to realize the golden tree of the
garden of the Abbassides. The road from this point to Shabatz was one
continuous avenue of stately oaks--nature's noblest order of sylvan
architecture; at some places, gently rising to views of the winding
Save, with sun, sky, and freshening breeze to quicken the sensations,
or falling into the dell, where the stream darkly pellucid, murmured
under the sombre foliage.

The road, as we approached Shabatz, proved to be macadamized in a
certain fashion: a deep trench was dug on each side; stakes about a
foot and a half high, interlaced with wicker-work, were stuck into the
ground within the trench, and the road was then filled up with gravel.


Shabatz.--A Provincial Chancery.--Servian Collector.--Description of
his House.--Country Barber.--Turkish Quarter.--Self-taught Priest.--A
Provincial Dinner.--Native Soiree.

I entered Shabatz by a wide street, paved in some places with wood.
The bazaars are all open, and Shabatz looks like a good town in
Bulgaria. I saw very few shops with glazed fronts and counters in the
European manner.

I alighted at the principal khan, which had attached to it just such a
cafe and billiard table as one sees in country towns in Hungary. How
odd! to see the Servians, who here all wear the old Turkish costume,
except the turban--immersed in the tactics of _carambolage_, skipping
most gaily and un-orientally around the table, then balancing
themselves on one leg, enveloped in enormous inexpressibles, bending
low, and cocking the eye to catch the choicest bits.

Surrendering our horses to the care of the khan keeper, I proceeded to
the konak, or government house, to present my letters. This proved to
be a large building, in the style of Constantinople, which, with its
line of bow windows, and kiosk-fashioned rooms, surmounted with
projecting roofs, might have passed muster on the Bosphorus.

On entering, I was ushered into the office of the collector, to await
his arrival, and, at a first glance, might have supposed myself in a
formal Austrian kanzley.

There were the flat desks, the strong boxes, and the shelves of coarse
foolscap; but a pile of long chibouques, and a young man, with a
slight Northumbrian burr, and Servian dress, showed that I was on the
right bank of the Save.

The collector now made his appearance, a roundly-built, serious,
burgomaster-looking personage, who appeared as if one of Vander
Helst's portraits had stepped out of the canvass, so closely does the
present Servian dress resemble that of Holland, in the seventeenth
century, in all but the hat.

Having read the letter, he cleared his throat with a loud hem, and
then said with great deliberation, "Gospody Ilia Garashanin informs me
that having seen many countries, you also wish to see Servia, and that
I am to show you whatever you desire to see, and obey whatever you
choose to command; and now you are my guest while you remain here. Go
you, Simo, to the khan," continued the collector, addressing a tall
momk or pandour, who, armed to the teeth, stood with his hands crossed
at the door, "and get the gentleman's baggage taken to my house.--I
hope," added he, "you will be pleased with Shabatz; but you must not
be critical, for we are still a rude people."

_Author_. "Childhood must precede manhood; that is the order of

_Collector_. "Ay, ay, our birth was slow, and painful; Servia, as you
say, is yet a child."

_Author_. "Yes, but a stout, chubby, healthy child."

A gleam of satisfaction produced a thaw of the collector's ice-bound
visage, and, descending to the street, I accompanied him until we
arrived at a house two stories high, which we entered by a wide new
wooden gate, and then mounting a staircase, scrupulously clean, were
shown into his principal room, which was surrounded by a divan _a la
Turque_; but it had no carpet, so we went straight in with our boots
on. A German chest of drawers was in one corner; the walls were plain
white-washed, and so was a stove about six feet high; the only
ornament of the room was a small snake moulding in the centre of the
roof. Some oak chairs were ranged along the lower end of the room, and
a table stood in the middle, covered with a German linen cloth,
representing Pesth and Ofen; the Bloxberg being thrice as lofty as the
reality, the genius of the artist having set it in the clouds. The
steamer had a prow like a Roman galley, a stern like a royal yacht,
and even the steam from the chimney described graceful volutes, with
academic observance of the line of beauty.

"We are still somewhat rude and un-European in Shabatz," said Gospody
Ninitch, for such was the name in which the collector rejoiced.

"Indeed," quoth I, sitting at my ease on the divan, "there is no room
for criticism. The Turks now-a-days take some things from Europe; but
Europe might do worse than adopt the divan more extensively; for,
believe me, to an arriving traveller it is the greatest of all

Here the servants entered with chibouques. "I certainly think," said
he, "that no one would smoke a cigar who could smoke a chibouque."

"And no man would sit on an oak chair who could sit on a divan:" so
the Gospody smiled and transferred his ample person to the still
ampler divan.

The barber now entered; for in the hurry of departure I had forgotten
part of my toilette apparatus: but it was evident that I was the first
Frank who had ever been under his razor; for when his operations were
finished, he seized my comb, and began to comb my whiskers backwards,
as if they had formed part of a Mussulman's beard. When I thought I
was done with him, I resumed the conversation, but was speedily
interrupted by something like a loud box on the ear, and, turning
round my head, perceived that the cause of this sensation was the
barber having, in his finishing touch, stuck an ivory ear-pick against
my tympanum; but, calling for a wash-hand basin, I begged to be
relieved from all further ministrations; so putting half a zwanziger
on the face of the round pocket mirror which he proffered to me, he
departed with a "_S'Bogom_," or, "God be with you."

The collector now accompanied me on a walk through the Servian town,
and emerging on a wide space, we discovered the fortress of Shabatz,
which is the quarter in which the remaining Turks live, presenting a
line of irregular trenches, of battered appearance, scarcely raised
above the level of the surrounding country. The space between the
town and the fortress is called the Shabatzko Polje, and in the time
of the civil war was the scene of fierce combats. When the Save
overflows in spring, it is generally under water.

Crossing a ruinous wooden bridge over a wet ditch, we saw a rusty
unserviceable brass cannon, which vain-gloriously assumed the
prerogative of commanding the entrance. To the left, a citadel of four
bastions, connected by a curtain, was all but a ruin.

As we entered, a cafe, with bare walls and a few shabby Turks smoking
in it, completed, along with the dirty street, a picture
characteristic of the fallen fortunes of Islam in Servia.

"There comes the cadi," said the collector, and I looked out for at
least one individual with turban of fine texture, decent robes, and
venerable appearance; but a man of gigantic stature, and rude aspect,
wearing a grey peasant's turban, welcomed us with undignified
cordiality. We followed him down the street, and sometimes crossing
the mud on pieces of wood, sometimes "putting one's foot in it," we
reached a savage-looking timber kiosk, and, mounting a ladder, seated
ourselves on the window ledge.

There flowed the Save in all its peaceful smoothness; looking out of
the window, I perceived that the high rampart, on which the kiosk was
constructed, was built at a distance of thirty or forty yards from the
water, and that the intervening space was covered with boats, hauled
up high and dry, and animated with the process of building and
repairing the barges employed in the river trade. The kiosk, in which
we were sitting, was a species of cafe, and it being Ramadan time, we
were presented with sherbet by a kahwagi, who, to judge by his look,
was a eunuch. I was afterwards told that the Turks remaining in the
fortified town are so poor, that they had not a decent room to show me

A Turk, about fifty years of age, now entered. His habiliments were
somewhere between decent and shabby genteel, and his voice and manners
had that distinguished gentleness which wins--because it feels--its
way. This was the Disdar Aga, the last relic of the wealthy Turks of
the place: for before the Servian revolution Shabatz had its twenty
thousand Osmanlis; and a tract of gardens on the other side of the
_Polje_, was pointed out as having been covered with the villas of the
wealthy, which were subsequently burnt down.

Our conversation was restricted to a few general observations, as
other persons were present, but the Disdar Aga promised to call on me
on the following day. I was asked if I had been in Seraievo.[2] I
answered in the negative, but added, "I have heard so much of
Seraievo, that I desire ardently to see it. But I am afraid of the

_Cadi_. "And not without reason; for Seraievo, with its delicious
gardens, must be seen in summer. In winter the roads are free from
haiducks, because they cannot hold out in the snow; but then Seraievo,
having lost the verdure and foliage of its environs, ceases to be
attractive, except in its bazaars, for they are without an equal."

_Author_. "I always thought that the finest bazaar of Turkey in
Europe, was that of Adrianople."

_Cadi_. "Ay, but not equal to Seraievo; when you see the Bosniacs, in
their cleanly apparel and splendid arms walking down the bazaar, you
might think yourself in the serai of a sultan; then all the esnafs are
in their divisions like regiments of Nizam."

The Disdar Aga now accompanied me to the gate, and bidding me
farewell, with graceful urbanity, re-entered the bastioned miniature
citadel in which he lived almost alone. The history of this individual
is singular: his family was cut to pieces in the dreadful scenes of
1806; and, when a mere boy, he found himself a prisoner in the Servian
camp. Being thus without protectors, he was adopted by Luka
Lasarevitch, the valiant lieutenant of Kara Georg, and baptized as a
Christian with the name of John, but having been reclaimed by the
Turks on the re-conquest of Servia in 1813, he returned to the faith
of his fathers.

We now returned into the town, and there sat the same Luka
Lasarevitch, now a merchant and town councillor, at the door of his
warehouse, an octogenarian, with thirteen wounds on his body.

Going home, I asked the collector if the Aga and Luka were still
friends. "To this very day," said he, "notwithstanding the difference
of religion, the Aga looks upon Luka as his father, and Luka looks
upon the Aga as his son." To those who have lived in other parts of
Turkey this account must appear very curious. I found that the Aga was
as highly respected by the Christians as by the Turks, for his
strictly honourable character.

We now paid a visit to the Arch-priest, Iowan Paulovitch, a
self-taught ecclesiastic: the room in which he received us was filled
with books, mostly Servian; but I perceived among them German
translations. On asking him if he had heard any thing of English
literature, he showed me translations into German of Shakspeare,
Young's Night Thoughts, and a novel of Bulwer. The Greek secular
clergy marry; and in the course of conversation it came out that his
son was one of the young Servians sent by the government to study
mining-engineering, at Schemnitz, in Hungary. The Church of the
Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, in which he officiates, was built in
1828. I remarked that it had only a wooden bell tower, which had been
afterwards erected in the church yard; no belfry existing in the
building itself. The reason of this is, that, up to the period
mentioned, the Servians were unaccustomed to have bells sounded.

Our host provided most ample fare for supper, preceded by a glass of
slivovitsa. We began with soup, rendered slightly acid with lemon
juice, then came fowl, stewed with turnips and sugar. This was
followed by pudding of almonds, raisins, and pancake. Roast capon
brought up the rear. A white wine of the country was served during
supper, but along with dessert we had a good red wine of Negotin,
served in Bohemian coloured glasses. I have been thus minute on the
subject of food, for the dinners I ate at Belgrade I do not count as
Servian, having been all in the German fashion.

The wife of the collector sat at dinner, but at the foot of the table;
a position characteristic of that of women in Servia--midway between
the graceful precedence of Europe and the contemptuous exclusion of
the East.

After hand-washing, we returned to the divan, and while pipes and
coffee were handed round, a noise in the court yard denoted a visiter,
and a middle-aged man, with embroidered clothes, and silver-mounted
pistols in his girdle, entered. This was the Natchalnik, or local
governor, who had come from his own village, two hours off, to pay his
visit; he was accompanied by the two captains under his command, one
of whom was a military dandy. His ample girdle was richly embroidered,
out of which projected silver-mounted old fashioned pistols. His
crimson shaksheers were also richly embroidered, and the corner of a
gilt flowered cambric pocket handkerchief showed itself at his breast.
His companion wore a different aspect, with large features, dusky in
tint as those of a gipsy, and dressed in plain coarse blue clothes. He
was presented to me as a man who had grown from boyhood to manhood to
the tune of the whistling bullets of Kara Georg and his Turkish
opponents. After the usual salutations, the Natchalnik began--

"We have heard that Gospody Wellington has received from the English
nation an estate for his distinguished services."

_Author_. "That is true; but the presentation took place a great many
years ago."

_Natch_. "What is the age of Gospody Wellington?"

_Author_. "About seventy-five. He was born in 1769, the year in which
Napoleon and Mohammed Ali first saw the light."

This seemed to awaken the interest of the party.

The roughly-clad trooper drew in his chair, and leaning his elbow on
his knees, opened wide a pair of expectant eyes; the Natchalnik, after
a long puff of his pipe, said, with some magisterial decision, "That
was a moment when nature had her sleeves tucked up. I think our Kara
Georg must also have been born about that time."

_Natch_. "Is Gospody Wellington still in service?"

_Author_. "Yes; he is commander-in-chief."

_Natch_. "Well, God grant that his sons, and his sons' sons, may
render as great services to the nation."

Our conversation was prolonged to a late hour in the evening, in which
a variety of anecdotes were related of the ingenious methods employed
by Milosh to fill his coffers as rapidly as possible.

Mine host, taking a candle, then led me to my bedroom, a small
carpeted apartment, with a German bed; the coverlet was of green
satin, quilted, and the sheets were clean and fragrant; and I
observed, that they were striped with an alternate fine and coarse


[Footnote 2: The capital of Bosnia, a large and beautiful city, which
is often called the Damascus of the North.]

[Footnote 3: In this part of Turkey in Europe robbers, as well as
rebels, are called Haiducks: like the caterans of the Highlands of
Scotland, they were merely held to be persons at war with the
authority: and in the Servian revolution, patriots, rebels, and
robbers, were confounded in the common term of Haiducks.]


Kaimak.--History of a Renegade.--A Bishop's house.--Progress of
Education.--Portrait of Milosh.--Bosnia and the Bosniacs.--Moslem
Fanaticism.--Death of the Collector.

The fatigues of travelling procured me a sound sleep. I rose
refreshed, and proceeded into the divan. The hostess then came
forward, and before I could perceive, or prevent her object, she
kissed my hand. "Kako se spavali; Dobro?"--"How have you slept? I hope
you are refreshed," and other kindly inquiries followed on, while she
took from the hand of an attendant a silver salver, on which was a
glass of slivovitsa, a plate of rose marmalade, and a large Bohemian
cut crystal globular goblet of water, the contents of which, along
with a chibouque, were the prelude to breakfast, which consisted of
coffee and toast, and instead of milk we had rich boiled kaimak, as
Turkish clotted cream is called.

I have always been surprised to find that this undoubted luxury, which
is to be found in every town in Turkey, should be unknown throughout
the greater part of Europe. After comfortably smoking another
chibouque, and chatting about Shabatz and the Shabatzians, the
collector informed me that the time was come for returning the visit
of the Natchalnik, and paying that of the Bishop.

The Natchalnik received us in the Konak of Gospody Iefrem, the brother
of Milosh, and our interview was in no respect different from a usual
Turkish visit. We then descended to the street; the sun an hour before
its meridian shone brightly, but the centre of the broad street was
very muddy, from the late rain; so we picked our steps with some care,
until we arrived in the vicinity of the bridge, when I perceived the
eunuch-looking coffee-keeper navigating the slough, accompanied by a
Mussulman in a red checked shawl turban.--"Here is a man that wishes
to make your acquaintance," said Eunuch-face.--"I heard you were
paying visits yesterday in the Turkish quarter," said the strange
figure, saluting me. I returned the salute, and addressed him in
Arabic; he answered in a strong Egyptian accent. However, as the depth
of the surrounding mud, and the glare of the sun, rendered a further
colloquy somewhat inconvenient, we postponed our meeting until the
evening. On our way to the Bishop, I asked the collector what that man
was doing there.

_Collector_. "His history is a singular one. You yesterday saw a Turk,
who was baptized, and then returned to Islamism. This is a Servian,
who turned Turk thirty years ago, and now wishes to be a Christian
again. He has passed most of that time in the distant parts of Turkey,
and has children grown up and settled there. He has come to me
secretly, and declares his desire to be a Christian again; but he is
afraid the Turks will kill him."

_Author_. "Has he been long here?"

_Collector_. "Two months. He went first into the Turkish town; and
having incurred their suspicions, he left them, and has now taken up
his quarters in the khan, with a couple of horses and a servant."

_Author_. "What does he do?"

_Collector_. "He pretends to be a doctor, and cures the people; but he
generally exacts a considerable sum before prescribing, and he has had
disputes with people who say that they are not healed so quickly as
they expect."

_Author_. "Do you think he is sincere in wishing to be a Christian

_Collector_. "God knows. What can one think of a man who has changed
his religion, but that no dependence can be placed on him? The Turks
are shy of him."

We had now arrived at the house of the Bishop, and were shown into a
well-carpeted room, in the old Turkish style, with the roof gilded and
painted in dark colours, and an un-artistlike panorama of
Constantinople running round the cornice. I seated myself on an
old-fashioned, wide, comfortable divan, with richly embroidered, but
somewhat faded cushions, and, throwing off my shoes, tucked my legs
comfortably under me.

"This house," said the collector, "is a relic of old Shabatz; most of
the other houses of this class were burnt down. You see no German
furniture here; tell me whether you prefer the Turkish style, or the

_Author_. "In warm weather give me a room of this kind, where the sun
is excluded, and where one can loll at ease, and smoke a narghile; but
in winter I like to see a blazing fire, and to hear the music of a

The Bishop now entered, and we advanced to the door to meet him. I
bowed low, and the rest of the company kissed his hand; he was a
middle sized man, of about sixty, but frail from long-continued ill
health, dressed in a furred pelisse, a dark blue body robe, and Greek
ecclesiastical cap of velvet, while from a chain hung round his neck
was suspended the gold cross, distinctive of his rank. The usual
refreshments of coffee, sweetmeats, &c. were brought in, not by
servants, but by ecclesiastical novices.

_Bishop_. "I think I have seen you before?"

_Author_. "Indeed, you have: I met your reverence at the house of
Gospody Ilia in Belgrade."

_Bishop_. "Ay, ay," (trying to recollect;) "my memory sometimes fails
me since my illness. Did you stay long at Belgrade?"

_Author_. "I remained to witness the cathedral service for the return
of Wucics and Petronievitch. I assure you I was struck with the
solemnity of the scene, and the deportment of the archbishop. As I do
not understand enough of Servian, his speech was translated to me word
for word, and it seems to me that he has the four requisites of an
orator,--a commanding presence, a pleasing voice, good thoughts, and
good language."

We then talked of education, on which the Bishop said, "The civil and
ecclesiastical authorities go hand in hand in the work. When I was a
young man, a great proportion of the youth could neither read nor
write: thanks to our system of national education, in a few years the
peasantry will all read. In the towns the sons of those inhabitants
who are in easy circumstances, are all learning German, history, and
other branches preparatory to the course of the Gymnasium of Belgrade,
which is the germ of a university."

_Author_. "I hope it will prosper; the Slaavs of the middle ages did
much for science."[4]

_Bishop_. "I assure you times are greatly changed with us; the general
desire for education surprises and delights me."

We now took our leave of the Bishop, and on our way homewards called
at a house which contained portraits of Kara Georg, Milosh, Michael,
Alexander, and other personages who have figured in Servian history. I
was much amused with that of Milosh, which was painted in oil,
altogether without _chiaro scuro_; but his decorations, button holes,
and even a large mole on his cheek, were done with the most painful
minuteness. In his left hand he held a scroll, on which was inscribed
_Ustav_, or Constitution, his right hand was partly doubled a la
finger post; it pointed significantly to the said scroll, the
forefinger being adorned with a large diamond ring.

On arriving at the collector's house, I found the Aga awaiting me.
This man inspired me with great interest. I looked upon him, residing
in his lone tower, the last of a once wealthy and powerful race now
steeped in poverty, as a sort of master of Ravenswood in a Wolf's
crag. At first he was bland and ceremonious; but on learning that I
had lived long in the interior of society in Damascus and Aleppo, and
finding that the interest with which he inspired me was real and not
assumed, he became expansive without lapsing into familiarity, and
told me his sad tale, which I would place at the service of the gentle
reader, could I forget the stronger allegiance I owe to the
unsolicited confidence of an unfortunate stranger.

When I spoke of the renegade, he pretended not to know whom I meant;
but I saw, by a slight unconscious wink of his eye, that knowing him
too well, he wished to see and hear no more of him. As he was rising
to take leave, a step was heard creaking on the stairs, and on turning
in the direction of the door, I saw the red and white checked turban
of the renegade emerging from the banister; but no sooner did he
perceive the Aga, than, turning round again, down went the red checked
turban out of sight.

When the Aga was gone, the collector gave me a significant look, and,
knocking the ashes out of his pipe into a plate on the floor, said,
"Changed times, changed times, poor fellow; his salary is only 250
piastres a month, and his relations used to be little kings in
Shabatz; but the other fellows in the Turkish quarter, although so
wretchedly poor that they have scarcely bread to eat, are as proud and
insolent as ever."

_Author_. "What is the reason of that?"

_Collector_. "Because they are so near the Bosniac frontier, where
there is a large Moslem population. The Moslems of Shabatz pay no
taxes, either to the Servian government or the sultan, for they are
accounted _Redif_, or Militia, for which they receive a ducat a year
from the sultan, as a returning fee. The Christian peasants here are
very rich; some of them have ten and twenty thousand ducats buried
under the earth; but these impoverished Bosniacs in the fortress are
as proud and insolent as ever."

_Author_. "You say Bosniacs! Are they not Turks?"

_Collector_. "No, the only Turks here are the Aga and the Cadi; all
the rest are Bosniacs, the descendants of men of our own race and
language, who on the Turkish invasion accepted Islamism, but retained
the language, and many Christian customs, such as saints' days,
Christian names, and in most cases monogamy."

_Author_. "That is very curious; then, perhaps, as they are not full
Moslems, they may be more tolerant of Christians."

_Collector_. "The very reverse. The Bosniac Christians are not half so
well off as the Bulgarians, who have to deal with the real Turks. The
arch-priest will be here to dinner, and he will be able to give you
some account of the Bosniac Christians. But Bosnia is a beautiful
country; how do you intend to proceed from here?"

_Author_. "I intend to go to Vallievo and Ushitza."

_Collector_. "He that leaves Servia without seeing Sokol, has seen

_Author_. "What is to be seen at Sokol?"

_Collector_. "The most wonderful place in the world, a perfect eagle's
eyrie. A whole town and castle built on the capital of a column of

_Author_. "But I did not contemplate going there; so I must change my
route: I took no letters for that quarter."

_Collector_. "Leave all that to me; you will first go to Losnitza, on
the banks of the Drina, and I will despatch a messenger to-night,
apprising the authorities of your approach. When you have seen Sokol,
you will admit that it was worth the journey."

The renegade having seen the Aga clear off, now came to pay his visit,
and the normal good-nature of the collector procured him a tolerant
welcome. When we were left alone, the renegade began by abusing the
Moslems in the fortress as a set of scoundrels. "I could not live an
hour longer among such rascals," said he, "and I am now in the khan
with my servant and a couple of horses, where you must come and see
me. I will give you as good a pipe of Djebel tobacco as ever you

_Author_. "You must excuse me, I must set out on my travels to-morrow.
You were in Egypt, I believe."

_Renegade_. "I was long there; my two sons, and a married daughter,
are in Cairo to this day."

_Author_. "What do they do?"

_Renegade_. "My daughter is married, and I taught my sons all I know
of medicine, and they practise it in the old way."

_Author_. "Where did you study?"

_Renegade_ (tossing his head and smiling). "Here, and there, and
everywhere. I am no Ilekim Bashi; but I have an ointment that heals
all bruises and sores in an incredibly short space of time."

Me gave a most unsatisfactory account of his return to Turkey in
Europe; first to Bosnia, or Herzegovina, where he was, or pretended to
be, physician to Husreff Mehmed Pasha, and then to Seraievo. When we
spoke of Hafiz Pasha, of Belgrade, he said, "I know him well, but he
does not know me; I recollect him at Carpout and Diarbecr before
the battle of Nisib, when he had thirty or forty pashas under him. He
could shoot at a mark, or ride, with the youngest man in the army."

The collector now re-entered with the Natchalnik and his captains, and
the renegade took his leave, I regretting that I had not seen more of
him; for a true recital of his adventures must have made an amusing

"Here is the captain, who is to escort you to Ushitza," said the
Natchalnik, pointing to a muscular man at his left. "He will take you
safe and sound."

_Author_. "I see he is a stout fellow. I would rather have him for a
friend than meet him as an enemy. He has the face of an honest man,

_Natchalnik_. "I warrant you as safe in his custody, as if you were in
that of Gospody Wellington."

_Author_. "You may rest assured that if I were in the custody of the
Duke of Wellington, I should not reckon myself very safe. One of his
offices is to take care of a tower, in which the Queen locks up
traitorous subjects. Did you never hear of the Tower of London?"

_Natchalnik_. "No; all we know of London is the wonderful bridge that
goes under the water, where an army can pass from one side to the
other, while the fleet lies anchored over their heads."

The Natchalnik now bid me farewell, and I gave my rendezvous to the
captain for next morning. During the discussion of dinner, the
arch-priest gave us an illustration of Bosniac fanaticism: A few
months ago a church at Belina was about to be opened, which had been a
full year in course of building, by virtue of a Firman of the Sultan;
the Moslems murmuring, but doing nothing. When finished, the Bishop
went to consecrate it; but two hours after sunset, an immense mob of
Moslems, armed with pickaxes and shovels, rased it to the ground,
having first taken the Cross and Gospels and thrown them into a
latrina. The Bishop complained to the Mutsellim, who imprisoned one or
two of them, exacted a fine, which he put in his own pocket, and let
them out next day; the ruins of the Church remain _in statu quo_.

The collector now produced some famous wine, that had been eleven
years in bottle. We were unusually merry, and fell into toasts and
speeches. I felt as if I had been his intimate friend for years, for
he had not one atom of Levantine "humbug" in his composition. Poor
fellow, little did he think, that in a few short weeks from this
period his blood would flow as freely as the wine which he poured into
my cup.

Next morning, on awaking, all the house was in a bustle: the sun shone
brightly on the green satin coverlet of my bed, and a tap at the door
announced the collector, who entered in his dressing gown with the
apparatus of brandy and sweetmeats, and joined his favourable augury
to mine for the day's journey.

"You will have a rare journey," said the collector; "the country is a
garden, the weather is clear, and neither hot nor cold. The nearer you
get to Bosnia, the more beautiful is the landscape."

We each drank a thimbleful of slivovitsa, he to my prosperous journey,
while I proposed health and long life to him; but, as the sequel
showed, "_l'homme propose, et Dieu dispose_." After breakfast, I bade
Madame Ninitch adieu, and descended to the court-yard, where two
carriages of the collector awaited us, our horses being attached

And now an eternal farewell to the worthy collector. At this time a
conspiracy was organized by the Obrenowitch faction, through the
emigrants residing in Hungary. They secretly furnished themselves
with thirty-four or thirty-five hussar uniforms at Pesth, bought
horses, and having bribed the Austrian frontier guard, passed the Save
with a trumpeter about a month after this period, and entering
Shabatz, stated that a revolution had broken out at Belgrade, that
prince Kara Georgevitch was murdered, and Michael proclaimed, with the
support of the cabinets of Europe! The affrighted inhabitants knew not
what to believe, and allowed the detachment to ride through the town.
Arrived at the government-house, the collector issued from the porch,
to ask what they wanted, and received for answer a pistol-shot, which
stretched him dead on the spot. The soi-disant Austrian hussars
subsequently attempted to raise the country, but, failing in this,
were nearly all taken and executed.


[Footnote 4: The first University in Europe was that of Prague. It was
established some years before the University of Paris, if I recollect


The Banat of Matchva.--Losnitza.--Feuds on the Frontier.--Enter the
Back-woods.--Convent of Tronosha.--Greek Festival.--Congregation of
Peasantry.--Rustic Finery.

Through the richest land, forming part of the ancient banat of
Matchva, which was in the earlier periods of Servian and Hungarian
history so often a source of conflict and contention, we approached
distant grey hills, which gradually rose from the horizon, and, losing
their indistinctness, revealed a chain so charmingly accidented, that
I quickened my pace, as if about to enter a fairy region. Thick turf
covered the pasture lands; the old oak and the tender sapling
diversified the plain. Some clouds hung on the horizon, whose
delicate lilac and fawn tints, forming a harmonizing contrast with the
deep deep blue of the heavens, showed the transparency of the
atmosphere, and brought healthful elevation of spirits. Even the
brutes bespoke the harmony of creation; for, singular to say, we saw
several crows perched on the backs of swine!

Towards evening, we entered a region of cottages among gardens
inclosed by bushes, trees, and verdant fences, with the rural quiet
and cleanliness of an English village in the last century, lighted up
by an Italian sunset. Having crossed the little bridge, a pandour, who
was sitting under the willows, rose, came forward, and, touching his
hat, presented the Natchalnik's compliments, and said that he was
instructed to conduct me to his house. Losnitza is situated on the
last undulation of the Gutchevo range, as the mountains we had all day
kept in view were called. So leaving the town on our left, we struck
into a secluded path, which wound up the hill, and in ten minutes we
dismounted at a house having the air of a Turkish villa, which
overlooked the surrounding country, and was entered by an enclosed
court-yard with high walls.

The Natchalnik of Losnitza was a grey-headed tall gaunt figure, who
spoke very little; but as the Bosniac frontier is subject to troubles
he had been selected for his great personal courage, for he had served
under Kara Georg from 1804.[5]

_Natchalnik_. "It is not an easy matter to keep things straight; the
population on this side is all organized, so as to concentrate eight
thousand men in a few hours. The Bosniacs are all armed; and as the
two populations detest each other cordially, and are separated only by
the Drina, the public tranquillity often incurs great danger: but
whenever a crisis is at hand I mount my horse and go to Mahmoud Pasha
at Zwornik; and the affair is generally quietly settled with a cup of

_Author_. "Ay, ay; as the Arabs say, the burning of a little tobacco
saves the burning of a great deal of powder. What is the population of

_Natchalnik_. "About twelve or fifteen thousand; the place has fallen
off; it had formerly between thirty and forty thousand souls."

_Author_. "Have you had any disputes lately?"

_Natchalnik_. "Why, yes; Great Zwornik is on the Bosniac side of the
Drina; but Little Zwornik on the Servian side is also held by Moslems.
Not long ago the men of Little Zwornik wished to extend their domain;
but I planted six hundred men in a wood, and then rode down alone and
warned them off. They treated me contemptuously; but as soon as they
saw the six hundred men issuing from the wood they gave up the point:
and Mahmoud Pasha admitted I was right; but he had been afraid to risk
his popularity by preventive measures."

The selamlik of the Natchalnik was comfortably carpeted and fitted up,
but no trace of European furniture was to be seen. The rooms of the
collector at Shabatz still smacked of the vicinity to Austria; but
here we were with the natives. Dinner was preceded by cheese, onions,
and slivovitsa as a _rinfresco_, and our beds were improvised in the
Turkish manner by mattresses, sheets, and coverlets, laid on the
divans. May I never have a worse bed![6]

Next morning, on waking, I went into the kiosk to enjoy the cool fresh
air, the incipient sunshine, and the noble prospect; the banat of
Matchva which we had yesterday traversed, stretched away to the
westward, an ocean of verdure and ripe yellow fruits.

"Where is the Drina?" said I to our host.

"Look downwards," said he; "you see that line of poplars and willows;
there flows the Drina, hid from view: the steep gardens and wooded
hills that abruptly rise from the other bank are in Bosnia."

The town doctor now entered, a middle-aged man, who had been partly
educated in Dalmatia, and consequently spoke Italian; he told us that
his salary was £40 a year; and that in consequence of the extreme
cheapness of provisions he managed to live as well in this place as he
could on the Adriatic for treble the sum.

Other persons, mostly employes, now came to see us, and we descended
to the town. The bazaar was open and paved with stone; but except its
extreme cleanliness, it was not in the least different from those one
sees in Bulgaria and other parts of Turkey in Europe. Up to 1835 many
Turks lived in Losnitza; but at that time they all removed to Bosnia;
the mosque still remains, and is used as a grain magazine. A mud fort
crowns the eminence, having been thrown up during the wars of Kara
Georg, and might still be serviceable in case of hostile operations.

Before going to Sokol the Natchalnik persuaded me to take a Highland
ramble into the Gutchevo range, and first visit Tronosha, a large
convent three hours off in the woods, which was to be on the following
day the rendezvous of all the surrounding peasantry, in their holyday
dresses, in order to celebrate the festival of consecration.

At the appointed hour our host appeared, having donned his best
clothes, which were covered with gold embroidery. His sabre and
pistols were no less rich and curious, and he mounted a horse worth at
least sixty or seventy pounds sterling. Several other notables of
Losnitza, similarly broidered and accoutred, and mounted on caracoling
horses, accompanied us; and we formed a cavalcade that would have
astonished even Mr. Batty.

Ascending rapidly, we were soon lost in the woods, catching only now
and then a view of the golden plain through the dark green oaks and
pines. For full three hours our brilliant little party dashed up hill
and down dale, through the most majestic forests, delightful to the
gaze but unrelieved by a patch of cultivation, and miserably
profitless to the commonwealth, till we came to a height covered with
loose rocks and pasture. "There is Tronosha," said the Natchalnik,
pulling up, and pointing to a tapering white spire and slender column
of blue smoke that rose from a _cul-de-sac_ formed by the opposite
hills, which, like the woods we had traversed, wore such a shaggy and
umbrageous drapery, that with a slight transposition, I could exclaim,
"Si lupus essem, nollem alibi quam in _Servia_ lupus esse!" A steep
descent brought us to some meadows on which cows were grazing by the
side of a rapid stream, and I felt the open apace a relief after the
gloom of the endless forest.

Crossing the stream, we struck into the sylvan _cul-de-sac_, and
arrived in a few minutes at an edifice with strong walls, towers, and
posterns, that looked more like a secluded and fortified manor-house
in the seventeenth century than a convent; for in more troubled times,
such establishments, though tolerated by the old Turkish government,
were often subject to the unwelcome visits of minor marauders.

A fine jolly old monk, with a powerful voice, welcomed the Natchalnik
at the gate, and putting his hand on his left breast, said to me,
"_Dobro doche Gospody_!" (Welcome, master!)

We then, according to the custom of the country, went into the chapel,
and, kneeling down, said our thanksgiving for safe arrival. I
remarked, on taking a turn through the chapel and examining it
minutely, that the pictures were all in the old Byzantine
style--crimson-faced saints looking up to golden skies.

Crossing the court, I looked about me, and perceived that the cloister
was a gallery, with wooden beams supporting the roof, running round
three sides of the building, the basement being built in stone, at one
part of which a hollowed tree shoved in an aperture formed a spout for
a stream of clear cool water. The Igoumen, or superior, received us at
the foot of the wooden staircase which ascended to the gallery. He was
a sleek middle-aged man, with a new silk gown, and seemed out of his
wits with delight at my arrival in this secluded spot, and taking me
by the hand led me to a sort of seat of honour placed in a prominent
part of the gallery, which seemed to correspond with the _makaa_ of
Saracenic architecture.

No sooner had the Igoumen gone to superintend the arrangements of the
evening, than a shabbily dressed filthy priest, of such sinister
aspect, that, to use a common phrase, "his looks would have hanged
him," now came up, and in a fulsome eulogy welcomed me to the convent.
He related how he had been born in Syrmium, and had been thirteen
years in Bosnia; but I suspected that some screw was loose, and on
making inquiry found that he had been sent to this retired convent in
consequence of incorrigible drunkenness. The Igoumen now returned, and
gave the clerical Lumnacivagabundus such a look that he skulked off on
the instant.

After coffee, sweetmeats, &c., we passed through the yard, and
piercing the postern gate, unexpectedly came upon a most animated
scene. A green glade that ran up to the foot of the hill, was covered
with the preparations for the approaching festivities--wood was
splitting, fires lighting, fifty or sixty sheep were spitted, pyramids
of bread, dishes of all sorts and sizes, and jars of wine in wicker
baskets were mingled with throat-cut fowls, lying on the banks of the
stream aide by side with pigs at their last squeak.

Dinner was served in the refectory to about twenty individuals,
including the monks and our party. The Igoumen drank to the health of
the prince, and then of Wucics and Petronievitch, declaring that
thanks were due to God and those European powers who had brought about
their return. The shabby priest, with the gallows look, then sang a
song of his own composition, on their return. Not being able to
understand it, I asked my neighbour what he thought of the song.
"Why," said he, "the lay is worthy of the minstrel--doggrel and
dissonance." Some old national songs were sung, and I again asked my
neighbour for a criticism on the poetry. "That last song," said he,
"is like a river that flows easily and naturally from one beautiful
valley to another."

In the evening we went out, and the countless fires lighting up the
lofty oaks had a most pleasing effect. The sheep were by this time
cut up, and lying in fragments, around which the supper parties were
seated cross-legged. Other peasants danced slowly, in a circle, to the
drone of the somniferous Servian bagpipe.

When I went to bed, the assembled peasantry were in the full tide of
merriment, but without excess. The only person somewhat the worse of
the bottle was the threadbare priest with the gallows look.

I fell asleep with a low confused murmur of droning bagpipes, jingling
drinking cups, occasional laughter, and other noises. I dreamed, I
know not what absurdities; suddenly a solemn swelling chorus of
countless voices gently interrupted my slumbers--the room was filled
with light, and the sun on high was beginning to begild an irregular
parallelogram in the wainscot, when I started up, and hastily drew on
some clothes. Going out to the _makaa_, I perceived yesterday's
assembly of merry-making peasants quadrupled in number, and all
dressed in their holiday costume, thickset on their knees down the
avenue to the church, and following a noble old hymn, I sprang out of
the postern, and, helping myself with the grasp of trunks of trees,
and bared roots and bushes, clambered up one of the sides of the
hollow, and attaining a clear space, looked down with wonder and
pleasure on the singular scene. The whole pit, of this theatre of
verdure appeared covered with a carpet of white and crimson, for such
were the prevailing colours of the rustic costumes. When I thought of
the trackless solitude of the sylvan ridges round me, I seemed to
witness one of the early communions of Christianity, in those ages
when incense ascended to the Olympic deities in gorgeous temples,
while praise to the true God rose from the haunts of the wolf, the
lonely cavern, or the subterranean vault.

When church service was over I examined the dresses more minutely. The
upper tunic of the women was a species of surtout of undyed cloth,
bordered with a design of red cloth of a liner description. The
stockings in colour and texture resembled those of Persia, but were
generally embroidered at the ankle with gold and silver thread. After
the mid-day meal we descended, accompanied by the monks. The lately
crowded court-yard was silent and empty. "What," said I, "all
dispersed already?" The superior smiled, and said nothing. On going out
of the gate, I paused in a state of slight emotion. The whole
assembled peasantry were marshalled in two rows, and standing
uncovered in solemn silence, so as to make a living avenue to the

The Igoumen then publicly expressed the pleasure my visit had given to
the people, and in their name thanked me, and wished me a prosperous
journey, repeating a phrase I had heard before: "God be praised that
Servia has at length seen the day that strangers come from afar to see
and know the people!"

I took off my fez, and said, "Do you know, Father Igoumen, what has
given me the most pleasure in the course of my visit?"

_Ig_. "I can scarcely guess."

_Author_. "I have seen a large assembly of peasantry, and not a trace
of poverty, vice, or misery; the best proof that both the civil and
ecclesiastical authorities do their duty."

The Igoumen, smiling with satisfaction, made a short speech to the
people. I mounted my horse; the convent bells began to toll as I waved
my hand to the assembly, and "Sretnj poot!" (a prosperous journey!)
burst from a thousand tongues. The scene was so moving that I could
scarcely refrain a tear. Clapping spurs to my horse I cantered over
the bridge and gave him his will of the bridle till the steepness of
the ascent compelled a slower pace.


[Footnote 5: Servia is divided into seventeen provinces, each governed
by a Natchalnik, whose duty it is to keep order and report to the
minister of war and interior. He has of course no control over the
legal courts of law attached to each provincial government; he has a
Cashier and a Secretary, and each province is divided into Cantons
(Sres), over each of which a captain rules. The average population of
a province is 50,000 souls, and there are generally three Cantons in a
province, which are governed by captains.]

[Footnote 6: Whether from the climate or superior cleanliness, there
are certainly much fewer fleas in Servia than in Turkey; and I saw
other vermin only once.]


Romantic sylvan scenery.--Patriarchal simplicity of
manners.--Krupena,--Sokol.--Its extraordinary position.--Wretched
town.--Alpine scenery.--Cool reception.--Valley of the Rogatschitza.

Words fail me to describe the beauty of the road from Tronosha to
Krupena. The heights and distances, without being alpine in reality,
were sufficiently so to an eye unpractised in measuring scenery of the
highest class; but in all the softer enchantments nature had revelled
in prodigality. The gloom of the oak forest was relieved and broken by
a hundred plantations of every variety of tree that the climate would
bear, and every hue, from the sombre evergreen to the early suspicions
of the yellow leaf of autumn. Even the tops of the mountains were
free from sterility, for they were capped with green as bright, with
trees as lofty, and with pasture as rich, as that of the valleys

The people, too, were very different from the inhabitants of Belgrade,
where political intrigue, and want of the confidence which sincerity
inspires, paralyze social intercourse. But the men of the back-woods,
neither poor nor barbarous, delighted me by the patriarchal simplicity
of their manners, and the poetic originality of their language. Even
in gayer moments I seemed to witness the sweet comedy of nature, in
which man is ludicrous from his peculiarities, but "is not yet
ridiculous from the affectations and assumptions of artificial life."

Half-way to Krupena we reposed at a brook, where the carpets were laid
out and we smoked a pipe. A curious illustration occurred here of the
abundance of wood in Servia. A boy, after leading a horse into the
brook, tugged the halter and led the unwilling horse out of the stream
again. "Let him drink, let him drink his fill," said a woman; "if
everything else must be paid with gold, at least wood and water cost

Mounting our horses again, we were met by six troopers bearing the
compliments of the captain of Krupena, who was awaiting us with
twenty-two or three irregular cavalry on an eminence. We both
dismounted and-went through the ceremony of public complimenting, both
evidently enjoying the fun; he the visit of an illustrious stranger,
and I the formality of a military reception. I perceived in a moment
that this captain, although a good fellow, was fond of a little fuss;
so I took him by the hand, made a turn across the grass, cast a
nonchalant look on his troop, and condescended to express my
approbation of their martial bearing. True it is that they were men of
rude and energetic aspect, very fairly mounted. After patronizing him
with a little further chat and compliment we remounted; and I
perceived Krupena at the distance of about a mile, in the middle of a
little plain surrounded by gardens; but the neighbouring hills were
here and there bare of vegetation.

Some of the troopers in front sang a sort of chorus, and now and then
a fellow to show off his horse, would ride _a la djereed_, and instead
of flinging a dart, would fire his pistols. Others joined us, and our
party was swelled to a considerable cavalcade as we entered the
village, where the peasants were drawn up in a row to receive me.

Their captain then led the way up the stairs of his house to a
chardak, or wooden balcony, on which was a table laid out with
flowers. The elders of the village now came separately, and had some
conversation: the priest on entering laid a melon on the table, a
usual method of showing civility in this part of the country. One of
the attendant crowd was a man from Montenegro, who said he was a
house-painter. He related that he was employed by Mahmoud Pasha, of
Zwornik, to paint one of the rooms in his house; when he had half
accomplished his task, the dispute about the domain of Little Zwornik
arose, on which he and his companion, a German, were thrown into
prison, being accused of being a Servian captain in disguise. They
were subsequently liberated, but shot at; the ball going through the
leg of the narrator. This is another instance of the intense hatred
the Servians and the Bosniac Moslems bear to each other. It must be
remarked, that the Christians, in relating a tale, usually make the
most of it.

The last dish of our dinner was a roast lamb, served on a large
circular wooden board, the head being split in twain, and laid on the
top of the pyramid of dismembered parts. We had another jovial
evening, in which the wine-cup was plied freely, but not to an
extravagant excess, and the usual toasts and speeches were drunk and
made. Even in returning to rest, I had not yet done with the pleasing
testimonies of welcome. On entering the bed-chamber, I found many
fresh and fragrant flowers inserted in the chinks of the wainscot.

Krupena was originally exclusively a Moslem town, and a part of the
old bazaar remains. The original inhabitants, who escaped the sword,
went either to Sokol or into Bosnia. The hodgia, or Moslem
schoolmaster, being on some business at Krupena, came in the morning
to see us. His dress was nearly all in white, and his legs bare from
the knee. He told me that the Vayvode of Sokol had a curious mental
malady. Having lately lost a son, a daughter, and a grandson, he could
no longer smoke, for when his servant entered with a pipe, he imagined
he saw his children burning in the tobacco.

During the whole day we toiled upwards, through woods and wilds of a
character more rocky than that of the previous day, and on attaining
the ridge of the Gutchevo range, I looked down with astonishment on
Sokol, which, though lying at our feet, was yet perched on a lone
fantastic crag, which exactly suited the description of the collector
of Shabatz,--"a city and castle built on the capital of a column of
rock." Beyond it was a range of mountains further in Bosnia; further
on, another outline, and then another, and another. I at once felt
that, as a tourist, I had broken fresh ground, that I was seeing
scenes of grandeur unknown to the English public. It was long since I
had sketched. I instinctively seized my book, but threw it away in
despair, and, yielding to the rapture of the moment, allowed my eyes
to mount step after step of this enchanted Alpine ladder.

We now, by a narrow, steep, and winding path cut on the face of a
precipice, descended to Sokol, and passing through a rotting wooden
bazaar, entered a wretched khan, and ascending a sort of staircase,
were shown into a room with dusty mustabahs; a greasy old cushion,
with the flock protruding through its cover, was laid down for me, but
I, with polite excuses, preferred the bare board to this odious
flea-hive. The more I declined the cushion, the more pressing became
the khan-keeper that I should carry away with me some reminiscence of
Sokol. Finding that his upholstery was not appreciated, the
khan-keeper went to the other end of the apartment, and began to make
a fire for coffee; for this being Ramadan time, all the fires were
out, and most of the people were asleep. Meanwhile the captain sent
for the Disdar Aga. I offered to go into the citadel, and pay him a
visit, but the captain said, "You have no idea how sensitive these
people are: even now they are forming all sorts of conjectures as to
the object of your visit; we must, therefore, take them quietly in
their own way, and do nothing to alarm them. In a few minutes the
Disdar Aga will be here; you can then judge, by the temper he is in,
of the length of your stay, and the extent to which you wish to carry
your curiosity."

I admitted that the captain was speaking sense, and waited patiently
till the Aga made his appearance.

Footsteps were heard on the staircase, and the Mutsellim entered,--a
Turk, about forty-five years of age, who looked cross, as most men are
when called from a sound sleep. His fez was round as a wool-bag, and
looked as if he had stuffed a shawl into it before putting it on, and
his face and eyes had something of the old Mongol or Tartar look. He
was accompanied by a Bosniac, who was very proud and insolent in his
demeanour. After the usual compliments, I said, "I have seen some
countries and cities, but no place so curious as Sokol. I left
Belgrade on a tour through the interior, not knowing of its existence.
Otherwise I would have asked letters of Hafiz Pasha to you: for,
intending to go to Nish, he gave me a letter to the Pasha there. But
the people of this country having advised me not to miss the wonder of
Servia, I have come, seduced by the account of its beauty, not
doubting of your good reception of strangers:" on which I took out the
letter of Hafiz Pasha, the direction of which he read, and then he
said, in a husky voice which became his cross look,--

"I do not understand your speech; if you have seen Belgrade, you must
find Sokol contemptible. As for your seeing the citadel, it is
impossible; for the key is with the Disdar Aga, and he is asleep, and
even if you were to get in, there is nothing to be seen."

After some further conversation, in the course of which I saw that it
would be better not to attempt "to catch the Tartar," I restricted
myself to taking a survey of the town. Continuing our walk in the same
direction as that by which we entered, we completed the threading of
the bazaar, which was truly abominable, and arrived at the gate of the
citadel, which was open; so that the story of the key and the
slumbers of the Disdar Aga was all fudge. I looked in, but did not
enter. There are no new works, and it is a castle such as those one
sees on the Rhine; but its extraordinary position renders it
impregnable in a country impracticable for artillery. Although
blockaded in the time of the Revolution, and the Moslem garrison
reduced to only seven men, it never was taken by the Servians;
although Belgrade, Ushitza, and all the other castles, had fallen into
their hands. Close to the castle is a mosque in wood, with a minaret
of wood, although the finest stone imaginable is in abundance all
around. The Mutsellim opened the door, and showed me the interior,
with blank walls and a faded carpet, opposite the Moharrem. He would
not allow me to go up the minaret, evidently afraid I would peep over
into the castle.

Retracing our steps I perceived a needle-shaped rock that overlooked
the abyss under the fortress, so taking off my boots, I scrambled up
and attained the pinnacle; but the view was so fearful, that, afraid
of getting dizzy, I turned to descend, but found it a much more
dangerous affair than the ascent; at length by the assistance of Paul
I got down to the Mutsellim, who was sitting impatiently on a piece of
rock, wondering at the unaccountable Englishman. I asked him what he
supposed to be the height of the rock on which the citadel was built,
above the level of the valley below.

"What do I know of engineering?" said he, taking me out of hearing: "I
confess I do not understand your object. I hear that on the road you
have been making inquiries as to the state of Bosnia: what interest
can England have in raising disturbances in that country?"

"The same interest that she has in producing political disorder in one
of the provinces of the moon. In some semi-barbarous provinces of
Hungary, people confound political geography with political intrigue.
In Aleppo, too, I recollect standing at the Bab-el-Nasr, attempting to
spell out an inscription recording its erection, and I was grossly
insulted and called a Mehendis (engineer); but you seem a man of more
sense and discernment."

"Well, you are evidently not a _chapkun_. There is nothing more to be
seen in Sokol. Had it not been Ramadan we should have treated you
better, be your intentions good or bad. I wish you a pleasant journey;
and if you wish to arrive at Liubovia before night-fall the sooner you
set out the better, for the roads are not safe after dark."

We now descended by paths like staircases cut in the rocks to the
valley below. Paul dismounted in a fright from his horse, and led her
down; but my long practice of riding in the Druse country had given me
an easy indifference to roads that would have appalled me before my
residence there. When we got a little way along the valley, I looked
back, and the view from below was, in a different style, as remarkable
as that from above. Sokol looked like a little castle of Edinburgh
placed in the clouds, and a precipice on the other side of the valley
presented a perpendicular stature of not less than five hundred feet.

A few hours' travelling through the narrow valley of the Bogatschitza
brought us to the bank of the Drina, where, leaving the up-heaved
monuments of a chaotic world, we bade adieu to the Tremendous, and
again saluted the Beautiful.


The Drina.--Liubovia.--Quarantine Station.--Derlatcha.--A Servian
beauty.--A lunatic priest.--Sorry quarters.--Murder by brigands.

The Save is the largest tributary of the Danube, and the Drina is the
largest tributary of the Save, but it is not navigable; no river
scenery, however, can possibly be prettier than that of the Drina; as
in the case of the Upper Danube from Linz to Vienna, the river winds
between precipitous banks tufted with wood, but it was tame after the
thrilling enchantments of Sokol. At one place a Roman causeway ran
along the river, and we were told that a Roman bridge crossed a
tributary of the Drina in this neighbourhood, which to this day bears
the name of Latinski Tiupria, or Latin bridge.

At Liubovia the hills receded, and the valley was about half a mile
wide, consisting of fine meadow land with thinly scattered oaks,
athwart which the evening sun poured its golden floods, suggesting
pleasing images of abundance without effort. This part of Servia is a
wilderness, if you will, so scant is it of inhabitants, so free from
any thing like inclosures, or fields, farms, labourers, gardens, or
gardeners; and yet it is, and looks a garden in one place, a trim
English lawn and park in another: you almost say to yourself, "The man
or house cannot be far off: what lovely and extensive grounds, where
can the hall or castle be hid?"[7]

Liubovia is the quarantine station on the high road from Belgrade to
Seraievo. A line of buildings, parlatorio, magazines, and
lodging-houses, faced the river. The director would fain have me pass
the night, but the captain of Derlatcha had received notice of our
advent, and we were obliged to push on, and rested only for coffee and
pipes. The director was a Servian from the Austrian side of the
Danube, and spoke German. He told me that three thousand individuals
per annum performed quarantine, passing from Bosnia to Sokol and
Belgrade, and that the principal imports Were hides, chestnuts, zinc,
and iron manufactures from the town of Seraievo. On the opposite bank
of the river was a wooden Bosniac guard-house.

Remounting our horses after sunset, we continued along the Drina, now
dubiously illuminated by the chill pallor of the rising moon, while
hill and dale resounded with the songs of our men. No sooner had one
finished an old metrical legend of the days of Stephan the powerful
and Lasar the good, than another began a lay of Kara Georg, the
"William Tell" of these mountains. Sometimes when we came to a good
echo the pistols were fired off; at one place the noise had aroused a
peasant, who came running across the grass to the road crying out, "O
good men, the night is advancing: go no further, but tarry with me:
the stranger will have a plain supper and a hard couch, but a hearty
welcome." We thanked him for his proffer, but held on.

At about ten o'clock we entered a thick dark wood, and after an ascent
of a quarter of an hour emerged upon a fine open lawn in front of a
large house with lights gleaming in the windows. The ripple of the
Drina was no longer audible, but we saw it at some distance below us,
like a cuirass of polished steel. As we entered the inclosure we found
the house in a bustle. The captain, a tall strong corpulent man of
about forty years of age, came forward and welcomed me.

"I almost despaired of your coming to-night," said he; "for on this
ticklish frontier it is always safer to terminate one's journey by
sunset. The rogues pass so easily from one side of the water to the
other, that it is difficult to clear the country of them."

He then led me into the house, and going through a passage, entered a
square room of larger dimensions than is usual in the rural parts of
Servia. A good Turkey carpet covered the upper part of the room, which
was fenced round by cushions placed against the wall, but not raised
above the level of the floor. The wall of the lower end of the room
had a row of strong wooden pegs, on which were hung the hereditary and
holyday clothes of the family, for males and females. Furs, velvets,
gold embroidery, and silver mounted Bosniac pistols, guns, and
carbines elaborately ornamented.

The captain, who appeared to be a plain, simple, and somewhat jolly
sort of man, now presented me to his wife, who came from the Austrian
aide of the Save, and spoke German. She seemed, and indeed was, a trim
methodical housewife, as the order of her domestic arrangements
clearly showed. Another female, whom I afterwards learned to be the
wife of an individual of the neighbourhood who was absent, attracted
my attention. Her age was about four and twenty, when the lines of
thinking begin to mingle with those of early youth. In fact, from her
tint I saw that she would soon be _passata_: her features too were by
no means classical or regular, and yet she had unquestionably some of
that super-human charm which Raphael sometimes infused into his female
figures, as in the St. Cecilia. As I repeated and prolonged my gaze,
I felt that I had seen no eyes in Belgrade like those of the beauty of
the Drina, who reminded me of the highest characteristic of
expression--"a spirit scarcely disguised enough in the flesh." The
presence of a traveller from an unknown country seemed to fill her
with delight; and her wonder was childish, as if I had come from some
distant constellation in the firmament.

Next day, the father of the captain made his appearance. The same old
man, whom I had met at Palesh, and who had asked me, "if the king of
my country lived in a strong castle?" We dined at mid-day by fine
weather, the windows of the principal apartments being thrown open, so
as to have the view of the valley, which was here nearly as wide as at
Liubovia, but with broken ground. For the first time since leaving
Belgrade we dined, not at an European table, but squatted round a
sofra, a foot high, in the Eastern manner, although we ate with knives
and forks. The cookery was excellent; a dish of stewed lamb being
worthy of any table in the world.

Our host, the captain, never having seen Ushitza, offered to
accompany me thither; so we started early in the afternoon, having the
Drina still on our right, and Bosniac villages, from time to time
visible, and pretty to look at, but I should hope somewhat cleaner
than Sokol. On arrival at Bashevitza the elders of the village stood
in a row to receive us close to the house of conciliation. I perceived
a mosque near this place, and asked if it was employed for any
purpose. "No," said the captain, "it is empty. The Turks prayed in it,
after their own fashion, to that God who is theirs and ours; and the
house of God should not be made a grain magazine, as in many other
Turkish villages scattered throughout Servia." At this place a number
of wild ducks were visible, perched on rocks in the Drina, but were
very shy; only once did one of our men get within shot, which missed;
his gun being an old Turkish one, like most of the arms in this
country, which are sometimes as dangerous to the marksman as to the

Towards evening we quitted the lovely Drina, which, a little higher
up, is no longer the boundary between Servia and Bosnia, being
entirely within the latter frontier, and entered the vale of
Rogatschitza, watered by a river of that name, which was crossed by an
ancient Servian bridge, with pointed arches of admirable proportions.
The village where we passed the night was newly settled, the main
street being covered with turf, a sign that few houses or traffic
exist here. The khan was a hovel; but while it was swept out, and
prepared for us, I sat down with the captain on a shopboard, in the
little bazaar, where coffee was served. A priest, with an emaciated
visage, sore eyes, and a distracted look, came up, and wished me good
evening, and began a lengthened tale of grievances. I asked the
khan-keeper who he was, and received for answer that he was a Greek
priest from Bosnia, who had hoarded some money, and had been squeezed
by the Moslem tyrant of his village, which drove him mad. Confused
ejaculations, mingled with sighs, fell from him, as if he supposed his
story to be universally known.

"Sit down, good man," said I, "and tell me your tale, for I am a
stranger, and never heard it before. Tell it me, beginning with the
beginning, and ending with the end."

"Bogami Gospody," said the priest, wiping the copious tears, "I was
once the happiest man in Bosnia; the sun never rose without my
thanking God for having given me so much peace and happiness: but Ali
Kiahya, where I lived, received information that I had money hid. One
day his Momkes took me before him. My appeals for mercy and justice
were useless. I was thrown down on my face, and received 617 strokes
on my soles, praying for courage to hold out. At the 618th stroke my
strength of mind and body failed, and I yielded up all my money, seven
hundred dollars, to preserve my life. For a whole year I drank not a
drop of wine, nothing but brandy, brandy, brandy."

Here the priest sobbed aloud. My heart was wrung, but I was in no
condition to assist him; so I bade him be of good cheer, and look on
his misfortune as a gloomy avenue to happier and brighter days.

We slept on hay, put under our carpets and pillows, this being the
first time since leaving Belgrade that we did not sleep in sheets. We
next day ascended the Rogatschitza river to its source, and then, by
a long ascent through pines and rocks, attained the parting of the

Leaving the basin of the Drina, we descended to that of the Morava by
a steep road, until we came to beautifully rich meadows, which are
called the Ushitkza Luka, or meadows, which are to this day a
debatable ground for the Moslem inhabitants of Ushitza, and the
Servian villages in the neighbourhood. From here to Ushitza the road
is paved, but by whom we could not learn. The stones were not large
enough to warrant the belief of its being a Roman causeway, and it is
probably a relic of the Servian empire.


[Footnote 7: On my return from Servia, I found that the author of
Eothen had recorded a similar impression derived from the Tartar
journey on the high road from Belgrade towards Constantinople: but the
remark is much more applicable to the sylvan beauty of the interior of

[Footnote 8: After seeing Ushitza, the captain, who accompanied me,
returned to his family, at Derlatcha, and, I lament to say, that at
this place he was attacked by the robbers, who, in summer, lurk in the
thick woods on the two frontiers. The captain galloped off, but his
two servants were killed on the spot.]


Arrival at Ushitza.--Wretched streets.--Excellent Khan.--Turkish
Vayvode.--A Persian Dervish.--Relations of Moslems and
Christians.--Visit the Castle.--Bird's eye view.

Before entering Ushitza we had a fair prospect of it from a gentle
eminence. A castle, in the style of the middle ages, mosque minarets,
and a church spire, rose above other objects; each memorializing the
three distinct periods of Servian history: the old feudal monarchy,
the Turkish occupation, and the new principality. We entered the
bazaars, which were rotting and ruinous, the air infected with the
loathsome vapours of dung-hills, and their putrescent carcases,
tanpits with green hides, horns, and offal: here and there a hideous
old rat showed its head at some crevice in the boards, to complete the
picture of impurity and desolation.

Strange to say, after this ordeal we put up at an excellent khan, the
best we had seen in Servia, being a mixture of the German Wirthshaus,
and the Italian osteria, kept by a Dalmatian, who had lived twelve
years at Scutari in Albania. His upper room was very neatly furnished
and new carpeted.

In the afternoon we went to pay a visit to the Vayvode, who lived
among gardens in the upper town, out of the stench of the bazaars.
Arrived at the house we mounted a few ruined steps, and passing
through a little garden fenced with wooden paling, were shown into a
little carpeted kiosk, where coffee and pipes were presented, but not
partaken of by the Turks present, it being still Ramadan. The Vayvode
was an elderly man, with a white turban and a green benish, having
weak eyes, and a alight hesitation in his speech; but civil and
good-natured, without any of the absurd suspicions of the Mutsellim of
Sokol. He at once granted me permission to see the castle, with the
remark, "Your seeing it can do us no good and no harm, Belgrade
castle is like a bazaar, any one can go out and in that likes." In the
course of conversation he told us that Ushitza is the principal
remaining settlement of the Moslems in Servia; their number here
amounting to three thousand five hundred, while there are only six
hundred Servians, making altogether a population of somewhat more than
four thousand souls. The Vayvode himself spoke Turkish on this
occasion; but the usual language at Sokol is Bosniac (the same as

We now took our leave of the Vayvode, and continued ascending the same
street, composed of low one-storied houses, covered with irregular
tiles, and inclosed with high wooden palings to secure as much privacy
as possible for the harems. The palings and gardens ceased; and on a
terrace built on an open space stood a mosque, surrounded by a few
trees; not cypresses, for the climate scarce allows of them, but those
of the forests we had passed. The portico was shattered to fragments,
and remained as it was at the close of the revolution. Close by, is a
Turbieh or saint's tomb, but nobody could tell me to whom or at what
period it was erected.

Within a little inclosed garden I espied a strangely dressed figure, a
dark-coloured Dervish, with long glossy black hair. He proved to be a
Persian, who had travelled all over the East. Without the conical hat
of his order, the Dervish would have made a fine study for a
Neapolitan brigand; but his manners were easy, and his conversation
plausible, like those of his countrymen, which form as wide a contrast
to the silent hauteur of the Turk, and the rude fanaticism of the
Bosniac, as can well be imagined. His servant, a withered
baboon-looking little fellow, in the same dress, now made his
appearance and presented coffee.

_Author_. "Who would have expected to see a Persian on the borders of
Bosnia? You Dervishes are great travellers."

_Dervish_. "You Ingleez travel a great deal more; not content with
Frengistan, you go to Hind, and Sind, and Yemen.[9] The first
Englishman I ever saw, was at Meshed, (south-east of the Caspian,)
and now I meet you in Roumelly."

_Author_. "Do you intend to go back?"

_Dervish_. "I am in the hands of Allah Talaa. These good Bosniacs here
have built me this house, and given me this garden. They love me, and
I love them."

_Author_. "I am anxious to see the mosque, and mount the minaret if it
be permitted, but I do not know the custom of the place. A Frank
enters mosques in Constantinople, Cairo, and Aleppo."

_Dervish_. "You are mistaken; the mosques of Aleppo are shut to

_Author_. "Pardon me; Franks are excluded from the mosque of Zekerieh
in Aleppo, but not from the Osmanieh, and the Adelieh."

_Dervish_. "There is the Muezzin; I dare say he will make no

The Muezzin, anxious for his backshish, made no scruple; and now some
Moslems entered, and kissed the hand of the Dervish. When the
conversation became general, one of them told me, in a low tone, that
he gave all that he got in charity, and was much liked. The Dervish
cut some flowers, and presented each of us with one.

The Muezzin now looked at his watch, and gave me a wink, expressive of
the approach of the time for evening prayer; so I followed him into
the church, which had bare white-washed walls with nothing to remark;
and then taking my hand, he led me up the dark and dismal spiral
staircase to the top of the minaret; on emerging on the balcony of
which, we had a general view of the town and environs.

Ushitza lies in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains. The Dietina,
a tributary of the Morava, traverses the town, and is crossed by two
elegantly proportioned, but somewhat ruinous, bridges. The principal
object in the landscape is the castle, built on a picturesque jagged
eminence, separated from the precipitous mountains to the south only
by a deep gully, through which the Dietina struggles into the valley.
The stagnation of the art of war in Turkey has preserved it nearly as
it must have been some centuries ago. In Europe, feudal castles are
complete ruins; in a country such as this, where contests are of a
guerilla character, they are neglected, but neither destroyed nor
totally abandoned. The centre space in the valley is occupied by the
town itself, which shows great gaps; whole streets which stood here
before the Servian revolution, have been turned into orchards. The
general view is pleasing enough; for the castle, although not so
picturesque as that of Sokol, affords fine materials for a picture;
but the white-washed Servian church, the fac simile of everyone in
Hungary, rather detracts from the external interest of the view.

In the evening the Vayvode sent a message by his pandour, to say that
he would pay me a visit along with the Agas of the town, who, six in
number, shortly afterwards came. It being now evening, they had no
objection to smoke; and as they sat round the room they related
wondrous things of Ushitza towards the close of the last century,
which being the entre-pot between Servia and Bosnia, had a great trade,
and contained then twelve thousand houses, or about sixty thousand
inhabitants; so I easily accounted for the gaps in the middle of the
town. The Vayvode complained bitterly of the inconveniencies to which
the quarantine subjected them in restricting the free communication
with the neighbouring province; but he admitted that the late
substitution of a quarantine of twenty-four hours, for one of ten days
as formerly, was a great alleviation; "but even this," added the
Vayvode, "is a hindrance: when there was no quarantine, Ushitza was
every Monday frequented by thousands of Bosniacs, whom even
twenty-four hours' quarantine deter."

I asked him if the people understood Turkish or Arabic, and if
preaching was held. He answered, that only he and a few of the Agas
understood Turkish,--that the Mollah was a deeply-read man, who said
the prayers in the mosque in Arabic, as is customary everywhere; but
that there was no preaching, since the people only knew their prayers
in Arabic, but could not understand a sermon, and spoke nothing but
Bosniac. I think that somebody told me that Vaaz, or preaching, is
held in the Bosniac language at Seraievo. But my memory fails me in
certainty on this point.

After a pleasant chat of about an hour they went away. Our beds were,
as the ingenious Mr. Pepys says, "good, but lousy."

Next day, the Servian Natchalnik, who, on my arrival, had been absent
at Topola with the prince, came to see me; he was a middle-aged man,
with most perfect self-possession, polite without familiarity or
effort to please; he had more of the manner of a Moslem grandee, than
of a Christian subject of the Sultan.

_Natchalnik_. "Believe me, the people are much pleased that men of
learning travel through the country; it is a sign that we are not
forgotten in Europe; thank God and the European powers, that we are
now making progress."

_Author_. "Servia is certainly making progress; there can be no
spectacle more delightful to a rightly constituted mind, than that of
a hopeful young nation approaching its puberty. You Servians are in a
considerable minority here in Ushitza. I hope you live on good terms
with the Moslems."

_Natchalnik_. "Yes, on tolerable terms; but the old ones, who remember
the former abject position of the Christians, cannot reconcile
themselves to my riding on horseback through the bazaars, and get
angry when the Servians sing in the woods, or five off muskets during
a rejoicing."

The Vayvode now arrived with a large company of Moslems, and we
proceeded on foot to see the castle, our road being mostly through
those gardens, on which the old town stood, and following the side of
the river, to the spot where the high banks almost close in, so as to
form a gorge. We ascended a winding path, and entered the gate, which
formed the outlet of a long, gloomy, and solidly built passage.

A group of armed militia men received us as we entered, and on
regaining the daylight within the walls, we saw nothing but the usual
spectacle of crumbling crenellated towers, abandoned houses, rotten
planks, and unserviceable dismounted brass guns. The doujou, or keep,
was built on a detached rock, connected by an old wooden bridge. The
gate was strengthened with heavy nails, and closed by a couple of
enormous old fashioned padlocks. The Vayvode gave us a hint not to ask
a sight of the interior, by stating that it was only opened at the
period of inspection of the Imperial Commissioner. The bridge which
overlooked the romantic gorge,--the rocks here rising precipitately
from both sides of the Dietina,--seemed the favourite lounge of the
garrison, for a little kiosk of rude planks had been knocked up;
carpets were laid out; the Vayvode invited us to repose a little after
our steep ascent; pipes and coffee were produced.

I remarked that the castle must have suffered severely in the

"This very place," said the Vayvode, "was the scene of the severest
conflict. The Turks had twenty-one guns, and the Servians seven. So
many were killed, that that bank was filled up with dead bodies."

"I remember it well," said a toothless, lisping old Turk, with bare
brown legs, and large feet stuck in a pair of new red shining
slippers: "that oval tower has not been opened for a long time. If any
one were to go in, his head would be cut off by an invisible hangiar."
I smiled, but was immediately assured by several by-standers that it
was a positive fact! Our party, swelled by fresh additions, all well
armed, that made us look like a large body of Haiducks going on a
marauding expedition, now issued by a gate in the castle, opposite to
that by which I entered, and began to toil up the hill that overlooks
Ushitza, in order to have a bird's-eye view of the whole town and
valley. On our way up, the Natchalnik told me, that although long
resident here, he had never seen the interior of the castle, and that
I was the first Christian to whom its gates had been opened since the

The old Vayvode, notwithstanding his cumbrous robes, climbed as
briskly as any of us to the detached fort on the peak of the hill,
whence we looked down on Ushitza and all its environs; but I was
disappointed in the prospect, the objects being too much below the
level of the eye. The landscape was spotty. Ushitza, instead of
appearing a town, looked like a straggling assemblage of cottages and
gardens. The best view is that below the bridge, looking to the


[Footnote 9: This is a phrase, and had no relation to the occupation
of Sind or Aden.]


Poshega.--The river Morava.--Arrival at Csatsak.--A Viennese
Doctor.--Project to ascend the Kopaunik.--Visit the Bishop.--Ancient
Cathedral Church.--Greek Mass.--Karanovatz.--Emigrant Priest.--Albania
Disorders.--Salt Mines.

On leaving Ushitza, the Natchalnik accompanied me with a cavalcade of
twenty or thirty Christians, a few miles out of the town. The
afternoon was beautiful; the road lay through hilly ground, and after
two hours' riding, we saw Poshega in the middle of a wide level plain;
after descending to which, we crossed the Scrapesh by an elegant
bridge of sixteen arches, and entering the village, put up at a
miserable khan, although Poshega is the embryo of a town symmetrically
and geometrically laid out. Twelve years ago a Turk wounded a Servian
in the streets of Ushitza, in a quarrel about some trifling matter.
The Servian pulled out a pistol, and shot the Turk dead on the spot.
Both nations seized their arms, and rushing out of the houses, a
bloody affray took place, several being left dead on the spot. The
Servians, feeling their numerical inferiority, now transplanted
themselves to the little hamlet of Poshega, which is in a finer plain
than that of Ushitza; but the colony does not appear to prosper, for
most of the Servians have since returned to Ushitza.

Poshega, from remnants of a nobler architecture, must have been a
Roman colony. At the new church a stone is built into the wall, having
the fragment of an inscription:--

     A V I A.  G E N T
    I L  F L A I I  S P R

and various other stones are to be seen, one with a figure sculptured
on it.

Continuing our way down the rich valley of the Morava, which is here
several miles wide, and might contain ten times the present
population, we arrived at Csatsak, which proved to be as symmetrically
laid out as Poshega. Csatsak is old and new, but the old Turkish town
has disappeared, and the new Servian Csatsak is still a foetus. The
plan on which all these new places are constructed, is simple, and
consists of a circular or square market place, with bazaar shops in
the Turkish manner, and straight streets diverging from them. I put up
at the khan, and then went to the Natchalnik's house to deliver my
letter. Going through green lanes, we at length stopped at a high
wooden paling, over-topped with rose and other bushes. Entering, we
found ourselves on a smooth carpet of turf, and opposite a pretty
rural cottage, somewhat in the style of a citizen's villa in the
environs of London. The Natchalnik was not at home, but was gracefully
represented by his young wife, a fair specimen of the beauty of
Csatsak; and presently the Deputy and the Judge came to see us. A dark
complexioned, good-natured looking man, between thirty and forty, now
entered, with an European air, German trowsers and waistcoat, but a
Turkish riding cloak. "There comes the doctor," said the lady, and the
figure with the Turkish riding cloak thus announced himself:--

_Doctor_. "I' bin a' Wiener."

_Author_. "Gratulire: dass iss a' lustige Stadt."

_Doctor_. "Glaub'ns mir, lust'ger als Csatsak."

_Author_. "I' glaub's."

The Judge, a sedate, elderly, and slightly corpulent man, asked me
what route I had pursued, and intended to pursue. I informed him of
the particulars of my journey, and added that I intended to follow the
valley of the Morava to its confluence with the Danube. "The good
folks of Belgrade do not travel for their pleasure, and could give me
little information; therefore, I have chalked out my route from the
study of the map."

"You have gone out of your way to see Sokol," said he; "you may as
well extend your tour to Novibazaar, and the Kopaunik. You are fond of
maps: go to the peak of the Kopaunik, and you will see all Servia
rolled out before you from Bosnia to Bulgaria, and from the Balkan to
the Danube; not a map, or a copy, but the original."

"The temptation is irresistible.--My mind is made up to follow your

We now went in a body, and paid our visit to the Bishop of Csatsak,
who lives in the finest house in the place; a large well-built villa,
on a slight eminence within a grassy inclosure. The Bishop received us
in an open kiosk, on the first floor, fitted all round with cushions,
and commanding a fine view of the hills which inclose the plain of the
Morava. The thick woods and the precipitous rocks, which impart rugged
beauty to the valley of the Drina, are here unknown; the eye wanders
over a rich yellow champaign, to hills which were too distant to
present distinct details, but vaguely grey and beautiful in the
transparent atmosphere of a Servian early autumn.

The Bishop was a fine specimen of the Church militant,--a stout fiery
man of sixty, in full-furred robes, and a black velvet cap. His
energetic denunciations of the lawless appropriations of Milosh, had
for many years procured him the enmity of that remarkable individual;
but he was now in the full tide of popularity.

His questions referred principally to the state of parties in England,
and I could not help thinking that his philosophy must have been
something like that of the American parson in the quarantine at
Smyrna, who thought that fierce combats and contests were as necessary
to clear the moral atmosphere, as thunder and lightning to purify the
visible heavens. We now took leave of the Bishop, and went homewards,
for there had been several candidates for entertaining me; but I
decided for the jovial doctor, who lived in the house that was
formerly occupied by Jovan Obrenovitch, the youngest and favourite
brother of Milosh.

Next morning, as early as six o'clock, I was aroused by the
announcement that the Natchalnik had returned from the country, and
was waiting to see me. On rising, I found him to be a plain, simple
Servian of the old school; he informed me that this being a saint's
day, the Bishop would not commence mass until I was arrived. "What?"
thought I to myself, "does the Bishop think that these obstreperous
Britons are all of the Greek religion." The doctor thought that I
should not go; "for," said he, "whoever wishes to exercise the virtue
of patience may do so in a Greek mass or a Hungarian law-suit!" But
the Natchalnik decided for going; and I, always ready to conform to
the custom of the country, accompanied him.

The cathedral church was a most ancient edifice of Byzantine
architecture, which had been first a church, and then a mosque, and
then a church again. The honeycombs and stalactite ornaments in the
corners, as well as a marble stone in the floor, adorned with
geometrical arabesques, showed its services to Islamism. But the
pictures of the Crucifixion, and the figures of the priests, reminded
me that I was in a Christian temple.

The Bishop, in pontificalibus, was dressed in a crimson velvet and
white satin dress, embroidered in gold, which had cost £300 at Vienna;
and as he sat in his chair, with mitre on head, and crosier in hand,
looked, with his white bushy beard, an imposing representative of
spiritual authority. Sometimes he softened, and looked bland, as if
it would not have been beneath him to grant absolution to an emperor.

A priest was consecrated on the occasion; but the service was so long,
(full two hours and a half,) that I was fatigued with the endless
bowings and motions, and thought more than once of the benevolent wish
of the doctor, to see me preserved from a Greek mass and a Hungarian
law-suit; but the singing was good, simple, massive, and antique in
colouring. At the close of the service, thin wax tapers were presented
to the congregation, which each of them lighted. After which they
advanced and kissed the Cross and Gospels, which were covered with
most minute silver and gold filagree work.

The prolonged service had given me a good appetite; and when I
returned to the doctor, he smiled, and said, "I am sure you are ready
for your _cafe au lait_."

"I confess it was rather _langweilig_."

"Take my advice for the future, and steer clear of a Greek mass, or a
Hungarian law-suit."

We now went to take farewell of the Bishop, whom we found, as
yesterday, in the kiosk, with a fresh set of fur robes, and looking
as superb as ever, with a large and splendid ring on his forefinger.

"If you had not come during a fast," growled he, with as good-humoured
a smile as could be expected from so formidable a personage, "I would
have given you a dinner. The English, I know, fight well at sea; but I
do not know if they like salt fish."

A story is related of this Bishop, that on the occasion of some former
traveller rising to depart, he asked, "Are your pistols in good
order?" On the traveller answering in the affirmative, the Bishop
rejoined, "Well, now you may depart with my blessing!"

Csatsak, although the seat of a Bishop and a Natchalnik, is only a
village, and is insignificant when one thinks of the magnificent plain
in which it stands. At every step I made in this country I thought of
the noble field which it offers for a system of colonization congenial
to the feelings, and subservient to the interests of the present

We now journeyed to Karanovatz, where we arrived after sunset, and
proceeded in the dark up a paved street, till we saw on our left a
_cafe_, with lights gleaming through the windows, and a crowd of
people, some inside, some outside, sipping their coffee. An
individual, who announced himself as the captain of Karanovatz,
stepped forward, accompanied by others, and conducted me to his house.
Scarcely had I sat down on his divan when two handmaidens entered, one
of them bearing a large basin in her hand.

"My guest," said the captain, "you must be fatigued with your ride.
This house is your's. Suppose yourself at home in the country beyond
the sea."

"What," said I, looking to the handmaidens, "supper already! You have
divined my arrival to a minute."

"Oh, no; we must put you at your ease before supper time; it is warm

"Nothing can be more welcome to a traveller." So the handmaidens
advanced, and while one pulled off my socks, I lolling luxuriously on
the divan, and smoking my pipe, the other washed my feet with water,
tepid to a degree, and then dried them. With these agreeable
sensations still soothing me, coffee was brought by the lady of the
house, on a very pretty service; and I could not help admitting that
there was less roughing in Servian travel than I expected.

After supper, the pariah priest came in, a middle-aged man.

_Author_. "Do you remember the Turkish period at Karanovatz?"

_Priest_. "No; I came here only lately. My native place is Wuchitern,
on the borders of a large lake in the High Balkan; but, in common with
many of the Christian inhabitants, I was obliged to emigrate last

_Author_. "For what reason?"

_Priest_. "A horde of Albanians, from fifteen to twenty thousand in
number, burst from the Pashalic of Scodra upon the peaceful
inhabitants of the Pashalic of Vrania, committing the greatest
horrors, burning down villages, and putting the inhabitants to the
torture, in order to get money, and dishonouring all the handsomest
women. The Porte sent a large force, disarmed the rascals, and sent
the leaders to the galleys; but I and my people find ourselves so
well here that we feel little temptation to return."

The grand exploit in the life of our host was a caravan journey to
Saloniki, where he had the satisfaction of seeing the sea, a
circumstance which distinguished him, not only from the good folks of
Karanovatz, but from most of his countrymen in general.

"People that live near the sea," said he, "get their salt cheap
enough; but that is not the case in Servia. When Baron Herder made his
exploration of the stones and mountains of Servia, he discovered salt
in abundance somewhere near the Kopaunik; but Milosh, who at that time
had the monopoly of the importation of Wallachian salt in his own
hands, begged him to keep the place secret, for fear his own profits
would suffer a diminution. Thus we must pay a large price for foreign
salt, when we have plenty of it at our own doors."[10]

Next day, we walked about Caranovatz. It is symmetrically built like
Csatsak, but better paved and cleaner.


[Footnote 10: I have since heard that the Servian salt is to be


Coronation Church of the ancient Kings of Servia.--Enter the
Highlands.--Valley of the Ybar.--First view of the High
Balkan.--Convent of Studenitza.--Byzantine Architecture.--Phlegmatic
Monk.--Servian Frontier.--New Quarantine.--Russian Major.

We again started after mid-day, with the captain and his momkes, and,
proceeding through meadows, arrived at Zhitchka Jicha. This is an
ancient Servian convent, of Byzantine architecture, where seven kings
of Servia were crowned, a door being broken into the wall for the
entrance of each sovereign, and built up again on his departure. It is
situated on a rising ground, just where the river Ybar enters the
plain of Karanovatz. The environs are beautiful. The hills are of
moderate height, covered with verdure and foliage; only campaniles
were wanting to the illusion of my being in Italy, somewhere about
Verona or Vicenza, where the last picturesque undulations of the Alps
meet the bountiful alluvia of the Po. Quitting the valley of the
Morava, we struck southwards into the highlands. Here the scene
changed; the valley of the Ybar became narrow, the vegetation scanty;
and, at evening, we arrived at a tent made of thick matted branches of
trees, which had been strewn for us with fresh hay. The elders of
Magletch, a hamlet an hour off, came with an offer of their services,
in case they were wanted.

The sun set; and a bright crackling fire of withered branches of pine,
mingling its light with the rays of the moon in the clear chill of a
September evening, threw a wild and unworldly pallor over the sterile
scene of our bivouac, and the uncouth figures of the elders. They
offered me a supper; but contenting myself with a roasted head of
Indian corn, and rolling my cloak and pea jacket about me, I fell
asleep: but felt so cold that, at two o'clock, I roused the
encampment, sounded to horse, and, in a few minutes, was again
mounting the steep paths that lead to Studenitza.

Day gradually dawned, and the scene became wilder and wilder; not a
chalet was to be seen, for the ruined castle of Magletch on its lone
crag, betokened nothing of humanity. Tall cedars replaced the oak and
the beech, the scanty herbage was covered with hoar-frost. The clear
brooks murmured chillingly down the unshaded gullies, and a grand line
of sterile peaks to the South, showed me that I was approaching the
backbone of the Balkan. All on a sadden I found the path overlooking
a valley, with a few cocks of hay on a narrow meadow; and another turn
of the road showed me the lines of a Byzantine edifice with a graceful
dome, sheltered in a wood from the chilling winter blasts of this
highland region. Descending, and crossing the stream, we now proceeded
up to the eminence on which the convent was placed, and I perceived
thick walls and stout turrets, which bade a sturdy defiance to all
hostile intentions, except such as might be supported by artillery.

On dismounting and entering the wicket, I found myself in an extensive
court, one side of which was formed by a newly built crescent-shaped
cloister; the other by a line of irregular out-houses with wooden
stairs, _chardacks_ and other picturesque but fragile appendages of
Turkish domestic architecture.

Between these pigeon-holes and the new substantial, but mean-looking
cloister, on the other side rose the church of polished white marble,
a splendid specimen of pure Byzantine architecture, if I dare apply
such an adjective to that fantastic middle manner, which succeeded to
the style of the fourth century, and was subsequently re-cast by
Christians and Moslems into what are called the Gothic and

A fat, feeble-voiced, lymphatic-faced Superior, leaning on a long
staff, received us; but the conversation was all on one side, for
"_Blagodarim_," (I thank you,) was all that I could get out of him.
After reposing a little in the parlour, I came out to view the church
again, and expressed my pleasure at seeing so fair an edifice in the
midst of such a wilderness.

The Superior slowly raised his eyebrows, looked first at the church,
then at me, and relapsed into a frowning interrogative stupor; at
last, suddenly rekindling as if he had comprehended my meaning, added
"_Blagodarim_" (I thank you). A shrewd young man, from a village a few
miles off, now came forward just as the Superior's courage pricked him
on to ask if there were any convents in my country; "Very few," said

"But there are," said the young pert Servian, "a great many schools
and colleges where useful sciences are taught to the young, and
hospitals, where active physicians cure diseases."

This was meant as a cut to the reverend Farniente. He looked blank,
but evidently wanted the boldness and ingenuity to frame an answer to
this redoubtable innovator. At last he gaped at me to help him out of
the dilemma.

"I should be sorry," said I, "if any thing were to happen to this
convent. It is a most interesting and beautiful monument of the
ancient kingdom of Servia; I hope it will be preserved and honourably
kept up to a late period."

"_Blagodarim_, (I am obliged to you,)" said the Superior, pleased at
the Gordian knot being loosed, and then relapsed into his atrophy,
without moving a muscle of his countenance.

I now examined the church; the details of the architecture showed that
it had suffered severely from the Turks. The curiously twisted pillars
of the outer door were sadly chipped, while noseless angels, and
fearfully mutilated lions guarded the inner portal. Passing through a
vestibule, we saw the remains of the font, which must have been
magnificent; and covered with a cupola, the stumps of the white marble
columns which support it are still visible; high on the wall is a
piece of sculpture, supposed to represent St. George.

Entering the church, I saw on the right the tomb of St. Simeon, the
sainted king of Servia; beside it hung his banner with the half-moon
on it, the insignium of the South Slavonic nation from the dawn of
heraldry. Near the altar was the body of his son, St. Stephen, the
patron saint of Servia. Those who accompanied us paid little attention
to the architecture of the church, but burst into raptures at the
sight of the carved wood of the screen, which had been most minutely
and elaborately cut by Tsinsars, (as the Macedonian Latins are called
to this day).

Close to the church is a chapel with the following inscription:

"I, Stephen Urosh, servant of God, great grandson of Saint Simeon and
son of the great king Urosh, king of all the Servian lands and coasts,
built this temple in honour of the holy and just Joachim and Anna,
1314. Whoever destroys this temple of Christ be accursed of God and of
me a sinner."

Thirty-five churches in this district, mostly in ruins, attest the
piety of the Neman dynasty. The convent of Studenitza was built
towards the end of the twelfth century, by the first of the dynasty.
The old cloister of the convent was burnt down by the Turks. The new
cloister was built in 1839. In fact it is a wonder that so fine a
monument as the church should have been preserved at all.

There is a total want of arable land in this part of Servia, and the
pasture is neither good nor abundant; but the Ybar is the most
celebrated of all the streams of Servia for large quantities of trout.

Next day we continued our route direct South, through scenery of the
same rugged and sterile description as that we had passed on the way
hither. How different from the velvet verdure and woodland music of
the Gutchevo and the Drina! At one place on the bank of the Ybar,
there was room for only a led horse, by a passage cut in the rock.
This place bears the name of Demir Kapu, or Iron Gate. In the evening
we arrived at the frontier quarantine, called Raska, which is situated
at two hours' distance from Novibazar.

In the midst of an amphitheatre of hills destitute of vegetation,
which appeared low from the valley, although they must have been high
enough above the level of the sea, was such a busy scene as one may
find in the back settlements of Eastern Russia. Within an extensive
inclosure of high palings was a heterogeneous mass of new buildings,
some unfinished, and resounding with the saw, the plane, and the
hatchet; others in possession of the employes in their uniforms;
others again devoted to the safe keeping of the well-armed caravans,
which bring their cordovans, oils, and cottons, from Saloniki, through
Macedonia, and over the Balkan, to the gates of Belgrade.

On dismounting, the Director, a thin elderly man, with a modest and
pleasing manner, told me in German that he was a native of the
Austrian side of the Save, and had been attached to the quarantine at
Semlin; that he had joined the quarantine service, with the permission
of his government, and after having directed various other
establishments, was now occupied in organizing this new point.

The _traiteur_ of the quarantine gave us for dinner a very fair
pillaff, as well as roast and boiled fowl; and going outside to our
bench, in front of the finished buildings, I began to smoke. A
slightly built and rather genteel-looking man, with a braided surtout,
and a piece of ribbon at his button-hole, was sitting on the step of
the next door, and wished me good evening in German. I asked him who
he was, and he told me that he was a Pole, and had been a major in the
Russian service, but was compelled to quit it in consequence of a

I asked him if he was content with his present condition; and he
answered, "Indeed, I am not; I am perfectly miserable, and sometimes
think of returning to Russia, _coute qui coute_.--My salary is £20
sterling a year, and everything is dear here; for there is no
village, but an artificial settlement; and I have neither books nor
European society. I can hold out pretty well now, for the weather is
fine; but I assure you that in winter, when the snow is on the ground,
it exhausts my patience." We now took a turn down the inclosure to his
house, which was the ground-floor of the guard-house. Here was a bed
on wooden boards, a single chair and table, without any other

The Director, obliging me, made up a bed for me in his own house,
since the only resource at the _traiteur's_ would have been my own
carpet and pillow.


[Footnote 11: Ingenious treaties have been written on the origin of the
Gothic and Saracenic styles of architecture; but it seems to me
impossible to contemplate many Byzantine edifices without feeling
persuaded that this manner is the parent of both. Taking the Lower
Empire for the point of departure, the Christian style spread north to
the Baltic and westwards to the Atlantic. Saint Stephen's in Vienna,
standing half way between Byzantium and Wisby, has a Byzantine facade
and a Gothic tower. The Saracenic style followed the Moslem conquests
round by the southern coasts of the Mediterranean to Morocco and
Andaloss. Thus both the northern and the eastern styles met each
other, first in Sicily and then in Spain, both having started from


Cross the Bosniac Frontier.--Gipsy Encampment.--Novibazar
described.--Rough Reception.--Precipitate Departure.--Fanaticism.

Next day we were all afoot at an early hour, in order to pay a visit
to Novibazar. In order to obviate the performance of quarantine on our
return, I took an officer of the establishment, and a couple of men,
with me, who in the Levant are called Guardiani; but here the German
word Ueber-reiter, or over-rider, was adopted.

We continued along the river Raska for about an hour, and then
descried a line of wooden palings going up hill and down dale, at
right angles with the course we were holding. This was the frontier of
the principality of Servia, and here began the direct rule of the
Sultan and the Pashalic of Bosnia. At the guard-house half a dozen
Momkes, with old fashioned Albanian guns, presented arms.

After half an hour's riding, the valley became wider, and we passed
through meadow lands, cultivated by Moslem Bosniacs in their white
turbans; and two hours further, entered a fertile circular plain,
about a mile and a half in diameter, surrounded by low hills, which
had a chalky look, in the midst of which rose the minarets and
bastions of the town and castle of Novibazar. Numerous gipsy tents
covered the plain, and at one of them, a withered old gipsy woman,
with white dishevelled hair hanging down on each side of her burnt
umber face, cried out in a rage, "See how the Royal Servian people
now-a-days have the audacity to enter Novibazar on horseback,"
alluding to the ancient custom of Christians not being permitted to
ride on horseback in a town.[12]

On entering, I perceived the houses to be of a most forbidding
aspect, being built of mud, with only a base of bricks, extending
about three feet from the ground. None of the windows were glazed;
this being the first town of this part of Turkey in Europe that I had
seen in such a plight. The over-rider stopped at a large
stable-looking building, which was the khan of the place. Near the
door were some bare wooden benches, on which some Moslems, including
the khan-keeper, were reposing. The horses were foddered at the other
extremity, and a fire burned in the middle of the floor, the smoke
escaping by the doors. We now sent our letter to Youssouf Bey, the
governor, but word was brought back that he was in the harem.

We now sallied forth to view the town. The castle, which occupies the
centre, is on a slight eminence, and flanked with eight bastions; it
contains no regular troops, but merely some _redif_, or militia.
Besides one small well-built stone mosque, there is nothing else to
remark in the place. Some of the bazaar shops seemed tolerably well
furnished; but the place is, on the whole, miserable and filthy in
the extreme. The total number of mosques is seventeen.

The afternoon being now advanced, I went to call upon the Mutsellim.
His konak was situated in a solitary street, close to the fields.
Going through an archway, we found ourselves in the court of a house
of two stories. The ground-floor was the prison, with small windows
and grated wooden bars. Above was an open corridor, on which the
apartments of the Bey opened. Two rusty, old fashioned cannons were in
the middle of the court. Two wretched-looking men, and a woman,
detained for theft, occupied one of the cells. They asked us if we
knew where somebody, with an unpronounceable name, had gone. But not
having had the honour of knowing any body of the light-fingered
profession, we could give no satisfactory information on the subject.

The Momke, whom we had asked after the governor, now re-descended the
rickety steps, and announced that the Bey was still asleep; so I
walked out, but in the course of our ramble learned that he was
afraid to see us, on account of the fanatics in the town: for, from
the immediate vicinity of this place to Servia, the inhabitants
entertain a stronger hatred of Christians than is usual in the other
parts of Turkey, where commerce, and the presence of Frank influences,
cause appearances to be respected. But the people here recollected
only of one party of Franks ever visiting the town.[13]

We now sauntered into the fields; and seeing the cemetery, which
promised from its elevation to afford a good general view of the town,
we ascended, and were sorry to see so really pleasing a situation
abused by filth, indolence, and barbarism.

The castle was on the elevated centre of the town; and the town
sloping on all aides down to the gardens, was as nearly as possible in
the centre of the plain. When we had sufficiently examined the carved
stone kaouks and turbans on the tomb stones, we re-descended towards
the town. A savage-looking Bosniac now started up from behind a low
outhouse, and trembling with rage and fanaticism began to abuse us:
"Giaours, kafirs, spies! I know what you have come for. Do you expect
to see your cross planted some day on the castle?"

The old story, thought I to myself; the fellow takes me for a military
engineer, exhausting the resources of my art in a plan for the
reduction of the redoubtable fortress and city of Novibazar.

"Take care how you insult an honourable gentleman," said the
over-rider; "we will complain to the Bey."

"What do we care for the Bey?" said the fellow, laughing in the
exuberance of his impudence. I now stopped, looked him full in the
face, and asked him coolly what he wanted.

"I will show you that when you get into the bazaar," and then he
suddenly bolted down a lane out of sight.

A Christian, who had been hanging on at a short distance, came up and

"I advise you to take yourself out of the dust as quickly as possible.
The whole town is in a state of alarm; and unless you are prepared for
resistance, something serious may happen: for the fellows here are
all wild Arnaouts, and do not understand travelling Franks."

"Your advice is a good one; I am obliged to you for the hint, and I
will attend to it."

Had there been a Pasha or consul in the place, I would have got the
fellow punished for his insolence: but knowing that our small party
was no match for armed fanatics, and that there was nothing more to be
seen in the place, we avoided the bazaar, and went round by a side
street, paid our khan bill,[14] and, mounting our horses, trotted
rapidly out of the town, for fear of a stray shot; but the over-rider
on getting clear of the suburbs instead of relaxing got into a gallop.

"Halt," cried I, "we are clear of the rascals, and fairly out of
town;" and coming up to the eminence crowned with the Giurgeve
Stupovi, on which was a church, said to have been built by Stephen
Dushan the Powerful, I resolved to ascend, and got the over-rider to
go so far; but some Bosniacs in a field warned us off with menacing
gestures. The over-rider said, "For God's sake let us go straight
home. If I go back to Novibazar my life may be taken."

Not wishing to bring the poor fellow into trouble, I gave up the
project, and returned to the quarantine.

Novibazar, which is about ten hours distant from the territory of
Montenegro, and thrice that distance from Scutari, is, politically
speaking, in the Pashalic of Bosnia. The Servian or Bosniac language
here ceases to be the preponderating language, and the Albanian begins
and stretches southward to Epirus. But through all the Pashalic of
Scutari, Servian is much spoken.

Colonel Hodges, her Britannic Majesty's first consul-general in
Servia, a gentleman of great activity and intelligence, from the
laudable desire to procure the establishment of an entre-pot for
British manufactures in the interior, got a certain chieftain of a
clan Vassoevitch, named British vice-consul at Novibazar. From this
man's influence, there can be no doubt that had he stuck to trade he
might have proved useful; but, inflated with vanity, he irritated the
fanaticism of the Bosniacs, by setting himself up as a little
Christian potentate. As a necessary consequence, he was obliged to fly
for his life, and his house was burned to the ground. The Vassoevitch
clan have from time immemorial occupied certain mountains near
Novibazar, and pretend, or pretended, to complete independence of the
Porte, like the Montenegrines.

While I returned to the quarantine, and dismounted, the Director, to
whom the over-rider related our adventure, came up laughing, and said,
"What do you think of the rites of Novibazar hospitality?"

_Author_. "More honoured in the breach than in the observance, as our
national poet would have said."

_Director_. "I know well enough what you mean."

_By-stander_. "The cause of the hatred of these fellows to you is,
that they fear that some fine day they will be under Christian rule.
We are pleased to see the like of you here. Our brethren on the other
side may derive a glimmering hope of liberation from the

_Author_. "My government is at present on the best terms with the
Porte: the readiness with which such hopes arise in the minds of the
people, is my motive for avoiding political conversations with Rayahs
on those dangerous topics."


[Footnote 12: Most of the gipsies here profess Islamism.]

[Footnote 13: I presume Messrs. Boue and party.]

[Footnote 14: The Austrian zwanziger goes here for only three piastres;
in Servia it goes for five.]


Ascent of the Kopaunik.--Grand Prospect.--Descent of the
Kopaunik.--Bruss.--Involuntary Bigamy.--Conversation on the Servian
character.--Krushevatz.--Relics of the Servian monarchy.

A middle-aged, showily dressed man, presented himself as the captain
who was to conduct me to the top of the Kopaunik. His clerk was a fat,
knock-kneed, lubberly-looking fellow, with a red face, a short neck, a
low forehead, and bushy eyebrows and mustachios, as fair as those of a
Norwegian; to add to his droll appearance, one of his eyes was
bandaged up.

"As sure as I am alive, that fellow will go off in an apoplexy. What a
figure! I would give something to see that fellow climbing up the
ladder of a steamer from a boat on a blowy day."

"Or dancing to the bagpipe," said Paul.

The sky was cloudy, and the captain seemed irresolute, whether to
advise me to make the ascent or proceed to Banya. The plethoric
one-eyed clerk, with more regard to his own comfort than my pleasure,
was secretly persuading the captain that the expedition would end in a
ducking to the skin, and, turning to me, said, "You, surely, do not
intend to go up to day, Sir? Take the advice of those who know the

"Nonsense," said I, "this is mere fog, which will clear away in an
hour. If I do not ascend the Kopaunik now, I can never do so again."

Plethora then went away to get the director to lend his advice on the
same side; and after much whispering he came back, and announced that
my horse was unshod, and could not ascend the rocks. The director was
amused with the clumsy bustle of this fellow to save himself a little
exercise. I, at length, said to the doubting captain, "My good friend,
an Englishman is like a Servian, when he takes a resolution he does
not change it. Pray order the horses."

We now crossed the Ybar, and ascending for hours through open pasture
lands, arrived at some rocks interspersed with stunted ilex, where a
lamb was roasting for our dinner. The meridian sun had long ere this
pierced the clouds that overhung our departure, and the sight of the
lamb completely irradiated the rubicund visage of the plethoric clerk.
A low round table was set down on the grass, under the shade of a
large boulder stone. An ilex growing from its interstices seemed to
live on its wits, for not an ounce of soil was visible for its
subsistence. Our ride gave us a sharp appetite, and we did due
execution on the lamb. The clerk, fixing his eyes steadily on the
piece he had singled out, tucked up his sleeves, as for a surgical
operation, and bone after bone was picked, and thrown over the rock;
and when all were satisfied, the clerk was evidently at the
climacteric of his powers of mastication. After reposing a little, we
again mounted horse.

A gentle wind skimmed the white straggling clouds from the blue sky.
Warmer and warmer grew the sunlit valleys; wider and wider grew the
prospect as we ascended. Balkan after Balkan rose on the distant
horizon. Ever and anon I paused and looked round with delight; but
before reaching the summit I tantalized myself with a few hundred
yards of ascent, to treasure the glories in store for the pause, the
turn, and the view. When, at length, I stood on the highest peak; the
prospect was literally gorgeous. Servia lay rolled out at my feet.
There was the field of Kossovo, where Amurath defeated Lasar and
entombed the ancient empire of Servia. I mused an instant on this
great landmark of European history, and following the finger of an old
peasant, who accompanied us, I looked eastwards, and saw Deligrad--the
scene of one of the bloodiest fights that preceded the resurrection of
Servia as a principality. The Morava glistened in its wide valley like
a silver thread in a carpet of green, beyond which the dark mountains
of Rudnik rose to the north, while the frontiers of Bosnia, Albania,
Macedonia, and Bulgaria walled in the prospect.

"_Nogo Svet_.--This is the whole world," said the peasant, who stood
by me.

I myself thought, that if an artist wished for a landscape as the
scene of Satan taking up our Saviour into a high mountain, he could
find none more appropriate than this. The Kopaunik is not lofty; not
much above six thousand English feet above the level of the sea. But
it is so placed in the Servian basin, that the eye embraces the whole
breadth from Bosnia to Bulgaria, and very nearly the whole length from
Macedonia to Hungary.

I now thanked the captain for his trouble, bade him adieu, and, with a
guide, descended the north eastern slope of the mountain. The
declivity was rapid, but thick turf assured us a safe footing. Towards
night-fall we entered a region interspersed with trees, and came to a
miserable hamlet of shepherds, where we were fain to put up in a hut.
This was the humblest habitation we had entered in Servia. It was
built of logs of wood and wattling. A fire burned in the middle of the
floor, the smoke of which, finding no vent but the door, tried our
eyes severely, and had covered the roof with a brilliant jet.

Hay being laid in a corner, my carpet and pillow were spread out on
it; but sleep was impossible from the fleas. At length, the sheer
fatigue of combating them threw me towards morning into a slumber; and
on awaking, I looked up, and saw a couple of armed men crouching over
the glowing embers of the fire. These were the Bolouk Bashi and
Pandour, sent by the Natchalnik of Krushevatz, to conduct us to that

I now rose, and breakfasted on new milk, mingled with brandy and
sugar, no bad substitute for better fare, and mounted horse.

We now descended the Grashevatzka river to Bruss, with low hills on
each side, covered with grass, and partly wooded. Bruss is prettily
situated on a rising ground, at the confluence of two tributaries of
the Morava. It has a little bazaar opening on a lawn, where the
captain of Zhupa had come to meet me. After coffee, we again mounted,
and proceeded to Zhupa. Here the aspect of the country changed; the
verdant hills became chalky, and covered with vineyards, which,
before the fall of the empire, were celebrated. To this day tradition
points out a cedar and some vines, planted by Militza, the consort of

The vine-dressers all stood in a row to receive us. A carpet had been
placed under an oak, by the side of the river, and a round low table
in the middle of it was soon covered with soup, sheeps' kidneys, and a
fat capon, roasted to a minute, preceded by onions and cheese, as a
rinfresco, and followed by choice grapes and clotted cream, as a

"I think," said I to the entertainer, as I shook the crumbs out of my
napkin, and took the first whiff of my chibouque, "that if Stephan
Dushan's chief cook were to rise from the grave, he could not give us
better fare."

_Captain_. "God sends us good provender, good pasture, good flocks and
herds, good corn and fruits, and wood and water. The land is rich; the
climate is excellent; but we are often in political troubles."

_Author_. "These recent affairs are trifles, and you are too young to
recollect the revolution of Kara Georg."

_Captain_. "Yes, I am; but do you see that Bolouk Bashi who
accompanied you hither; his history is a droll illustration of past
times. Simo Slivovats is a brave soldier, but, although a Servian, has
two wives."

_Author_. "Is he a Moslem?"

_Captain_. "Not at all. In the time of Kara Georg he was an active
guerilla fighter, and took prisoner a Turk called Sidi Mengia, whose
life he spared. In the year 1813, when Servia was temporarily
re-conquered by the Turks, the same Sidi Mengia returned to Zhupa, and
said, 'Where is the brave Servian who saved my life?' The Bolouk Bashi
being found, he said to him, 'My friend, you deserve another wife for
your generosity.' 'I cannot marry two wives,' said Simo; 'my religion
forbids it.' But the handsomest woman in the country being sought out,
Sidi Mengia sent a message to the priest of the place, ordering him to
marry Simo to the young woman. The priest refused; but Sidi Mengia
sent a second threatening message; so the priest married the couple.
The two wives live together to this day in the house of Simo at
Zhupa. The archbishop, since the departure of the Turks, has
repeatedly called on Simo to repudiate his second wife; but the
principal obstacle is the first wife, who looks upon the second as a
sort of sister: under these anomalous circumstances, Simo was under a
sort of excommunication, until he made a fashion of repudiating the
second wife, by the first adopting her as a sister."

The captain, who was an intelligent modest man, would fain have kept
me till next day; but I felt anxious to get to Alexinatz; and on
arrival at a hill called Vrbnitzkobrdo, the vale of the Morava again
opened upon us in all its beauty and fertility, in the midst of which
lay Krushevatz, which was the last metropolis of the Servian empire;
and even now scarce can fancy picture to itself a nobler site for an
internal capital. Situated half-way between the source and the mouth
of the Morava, the plain has breadth enough for swelling zones of
suburbs, suburban villas, gardens, fields, and villages.

It was far in the night when we arrived at Krushevatz. The Natchalnik
was waiting with lanterns, and gave us a hearty welcome. As I went
upstairs his wife kissed my hand, and I in sport wished to kiss her's;
but the Natchalnik said, "We still hold to the old national custom,
that the wife kisses the hand of a stranger." Our host was a
fair-haired man, with small features and person, a brisk manner and
sharp intelligence, but tempered by a slight spice of vanity. The
_tout ensemble_ reminded me of the Berlin character.

_Natchalnik_. "I am afraid that, happy as we are to receive such
strangers as you, we are not sufficiently acquainted with the proper
ceremonies to be used on the occasion."

_Author_. "The stranger must conform to the usage of the country, not
the country to the standard of the stranger. I came here to see the
Servians as they are in their own nature, and not in their imitations
of Europe. In the East there is more ceremony than in the West; and if
you go to Europe you will be surprised at the absence of ceremonious
compliments there."

_Natchalnik_. "The people in the interior are a simple and uncorrupted
race; their only monitor is nature."

_Author_. "That is true: the European who judges of the Servians by
the intrigues of Belgrade, will form an unfavourable opinion of them;
the mass of the nation, in spite of its faults, is sound. Many of the
men at the head of affairs, such as Simitch, Garashanin, &c., are men
of integrity; but in the second class at Belgrade, there is a great
mixture of rogues."

_Natchalnik_. "I know the common people well: they are laborious,
grateful, and obedient; they bear ill-usage for a time, but in the end
get impatient, and are with difficulty appeased. When I or any other
governor say to one of the people, 'Brother, this or that must be
done,' he crosses his hands on his breast, and says, 'It shall be
done;' but he takes particular notice of what I do, and whether I
perform what is due on my part. If I fail, woe betide me. The
Obrenovitch party forgot this; hence their fall."

Next day we went to look at the remains of Servian royalty. A
shattered gateway and ruined walls, are all that now remain of the
once extensive palace of Knes Lasar Czar Serbski; but the chapel is as
perfect as it was when it occupied the centre of the imperial
quadrangle. It is a curious monument of the period, in a Byzantine
sort of style; but not for a moment to be compared in beauty to the
church of Studenitza. Above one of the doors is carved the double
eagle, the insignium of empire. The great solidity of this edifice
recommended it to the Turks as an arsenal; hence its careful
preservation. The late Servian governor had the Vandalism to whitewash
the exterior, so that at a distance it looks like a vulgar parish
church. Within is a great deal of gilding and bad painting; pity that
the late governor did not whitewash the inside instead of the out. The
Natchalnik told me, that under the whitewash fine bricks were disposed
in diamond figures between the stones. This antique principle of
tesselation applied by the Byzantines to perpendicular walls, and
occasionally adopted and varied _ad infinitum_ by the Saracens, is
magnificently illustrated in the upper exterior of the ducal palace of


Formation of the Servian Monarchy.--Contest between the Latin and
Greek Churches.--Stephan Dushan.--A Great Warrior.--Results of his
Victories.--Knes Lasar.--Invasion of Amurath.--Battle of
Kossovo.--Death of Lasar and Amurath.--Fall of the Servian
Monarchy.--General Observations.

I cannot present what I have to say on the feudal monarchy of Servia
more appropriately than in connexion with the architectural monuments
of the period.

The Servians, known in Europe from the seventh century, at which
period they migrated from the Carpathians to the Danube, were in the
twelfth century divided into petty states.

     "Le premier Roi fut un soldat heureux."

Neman the First, who lived near the present Novibazar, first cemented
these scattered principalities into a united monarchy. He assumed the
double eagle as the insignium of his dignity, and considered the
archangel Michael as the patron saint of his family. He was brave in
battle, cunning in politics, and the convent of Studenitza is a
splendid monument of his love of the arts. Here he died, and was
buried in 1195.

Servia and Bosnia were, at this remote period, the debatable territory
between the churches of Rome and Constantinople, so divided was
opinion at that time even in Servia Proper, where now a Roman Catholic
community is not to be found, that two out of the three sons of this
prince were inclined to the Latin ritual.

Stephan, the son of Neman, ultimately held by the Greek Church, and
was crowned by his brother Sava, Greek Archbishop of Servia. The
Chronicles of Daniel tell that "he was led to the altar, anointed with
oil, clad in purple, and the archbishop, placing the crown on his
head, cried aloud three times, 'Long live Stephan the first crowned
King and Autocrat of Servia,' on which all the assembled magnates and
people cried, _'nogo lieto_!' (many years!)"

The Servian kingdom was gradually extended under his successors, and
attained its climax under Stephan Dushan, surnamed the Powerful, who
was, according to all contemporary accounts, of tall stature and a
commanding kingly presence. He began his reign in the year 1336, and
in the course of the four following years, overran nearly the whole of
what is now called Turkey in Europe; and having besieged the Emperor
Andronicus in Thessalonica, compelled him to cede Albania and
Macedonia. Prisrend, in the former province, was selected as the
capital; the pompous honorary charges and frivolous ceremonial of the
Greek emperors were introduced at his court, and the short-lived
national order of the Knights of St. Stephan was instituted by him in

He then turned his arms northwards, and defeated Louis of Hungary in
several engagements. He was preparing to invade Thrace, and attempt
the conquest of Constantinople, in 1356, with eighty thousand men, but
death cut him off in the midst of his career.

The brilliant victories of Stephan Dushan were a misfortune to
Christendom. They shattered the Greek empire, the last feeble bulwark
of Europe, and paved the way for those ultimate successes of the
Asiatic conquerors, which a timely union of strength might have
prevented. Stephan Dushan was the little Napoleon of his day; he
conquered, but did not consolidate: and his scourging wars were
insufficiently balanced by the advantage of the code of laws to which
he gave his name.

His son Urosh, being a weak and incapable prince, was murdered by one
of the generals of the army, and thus ended the Neman dynasty, after
having subsisted 212 years, and produced eight kings and two emperors.
The crown now devolved on Knes, or Prince Lasar, a connexion of the
house of Neman, who was crowned Czar, but is more generally called
Knes Lasar. Of all the ancient rulers of the country, his memory is
held the dearest by the Servians of the present day. He appears to
have been a pious and generous prince, and at the same time to have
been a brave but unsuccessful general.

Amurath, the Ottoman Sultan, who had already taken all Roumelia,
south of the Balkan, now resolved to pass these mountains, and invade
Servia Proper; but, to make sure of success, secretly offered the
crown to Wuk Brankovich, a Servian chief, as a reward for his
treachery to Lasar.

Wuk caught at the bait, and when the armies were in sight of each
other, accused Milosh Kobilich, the son-in-law of Lasar, of being a
traitor. On the night before the battle, Lasar assembled all the
knights and nobles to decide the matter between Wuk and Milosh. Lasar
then took a silver cup of wine, handed it over to Milosh, and said,
"Take this cup of wine from my hand and drink it." Milosh drank it, in
token of his fidelity, and said, "Now there is no time for disputing.
To-morrow I will prove that my accuser is a calumniator, and that I am
a faithful subject of my prince and father-in-law."

Milosh then embraced the plan of assassinating Amurath in his tent,
and taking with him two stout youths, secretly left the Servian camp,
and presented himself at the Turkish lines, with his lance reversed,
as a sign of desertion. Arrived at the tent of Amurath, he knelt
down, and, pretending to kiss the hand of the Sultan, drew forth his
dagger, and stabbed him in the body, from which wound Amurath died.
Hence the usage of the Ottomans not to permit strangers to approach
the Sultan, otherwise than with their arms held by attendants.

The celebrated battle of Kossovo then took place. The wing commanded
by Wuk gave way, he being the first to retreat. The division commanded
by Lasar held fast for some time, and, at length, yielded to the
superior force of the Turks. Lasar himself lost his life in the
battle, and thus ended the Servian monarchy on the 15th of June, 1389.

The state of Servia, previous to its subjugation by the Turks, appears
to have been strikingly analogous to that of the other feudal
monarchies of Europe; the revenue being derived mostly from crown
lands, the military service of the nobles being considered an
equivalent for the tenure of their possessions. Society consisted of
ecclesiastics, nobles, knights, gentlemen, and peasants. A citizen
class seldom or never figures on the scene. Its merchants were
foreigners, Byzantines, Venetians, or Ragusans, and history speaks of
no Bruges or Augsburg in Servia, Bosnia, or Albania.

The religion of the state was that of the oriental church; the secular
head of which was not the patriarch of Constantinople; but, as is now
the case in Russia, the emperor himself, assisted by a synod, at the
head of which was the patriarch of Servia and its dependencies.

The first article of the code of Stephan Dushan runs thus: "Care must
be taken of the Christian religion, the holy churches, the convents,
and the ecclesiastics." And elsewhere, with reference to the Latin
heresy, as it was called, "the Orthodox Czar" was bound to use the
most vigorous means for its extirpation; those who resisted were to be
put to death.

At the death of a noble, his arms belonged by right to the Czar; but
his dresses, gold and silver plate, precious stones, and gilt girdles
fell to his male children, whom failing, to the daughters. If a noble
insulted another noble, he paid a fine; if a gentleman insulted a
noble, he was flogged.

The laity were called "dressers in white:" hence one must conclude
that light coloured dresses were used by the people, and black by the
clergy. Beards were worn and held sacred: plucking the beard of a
noble was punished by the loss of the right hand.

Rape was punished with cutting off the nose of the man; the girl
received at the same time a third of the man's fortune, as a
compensation. Seduction, if not followed by marriage, was expiated by
a pound of gold, if the party were rich; half a pound of gold, if the
party were in mediocre circumstances; and cutting off the nose if the
party were poor.

If a woman's husband were absent at the wars, she must wait ten years
for his return, or for news of him. If she got sure news of his death,
she must wait a year before marrying again. Otherwise a second
marriage was considered adultery.

Great protection was afforded to friendly merchants, who were mostly
Venetians. All lords of manors were enjoined to give them hospitality,
and were responsible for losses sustained by robbery within their
jurisdiction. The lessees of the gold and silver mines of Servia, as
well as the workmen of the state mint, were also Venetians; and on
looking through Professor Shafarik's collection, I found all the coins
closely resembling in die those of Venice. Saint Stephan is seen
giving to the king of the day the banner of Servia, in the same way as
Saint Mark gives the banner of the republic of Venice to the Doge, as
seen on the old coins of that state.

The process of embalming was carried to high perfection, for the mummy
of the canonized Knes Lasar is to be seen to this day. I made a
pilgrimage some years ago to Vrdnik, a retired monastery in the Frusca
Gora, where his mummy is preserved with the most religious care, in
the church, exposed to the atmosphere. It is, of course, shrunk,
shrivelled, and of a dark brown colour, bedecked with an antique
embroidered mantle, said to be the same worn at the battle of Kossovo.
The fingers were covered with the most costly rings, no doubt since

It appears that the Roman practice of burning the dead, (probably
preserved by the Tsinsars, the descendants of the colonists in
Macedonia,) was not uncommon, for any village in which such an act
took place was subject to fine.

If there be Moslems in secret to this day in Andalusia, and if there
were worshippers of Odin and Thor till lately on the shores of the
Baltic, may not some secret votaries of Jupiter and Mars have lingered
among the recesses of the Balkan, for centuries after Christianity had
shed its light over Europe?

The Servian monarchy having terminated more than half a century before
the invention of printing, and most of the manuscripts of the period
having been destroyed, or dispersed during the long Turkish
occupation, very little is known of the literature of this period
except the annals of Servia, by Archbishop Daniel, the original
manuscript of which is now in the Hiliendar monastery of Mount Athos.
The language used was the old Slaavic, now a dead language, but used
to this day as the vehicle of divine service in all Greco-Slaavic
communities from the Adriatic to the utmost confines of Russia, and
the parent of all the modern varieties of the Southern and Eastern
Slaavic languages.


A Battue missed.--Proceed to Alexinatz.--Foreign-Office
Courier.--Bulgarian frontier.--Gipsey Suregee.--Tiupria.--New bridge
and macadamized road.

The Natchalnik was the Nimrod of his district, and had made
arrangements to treat me to a grand hunt of bears and boars on the
Jastrabatz, with a couple of hundred peasants to beat the woods; but
the rain poured, the wind blew, my sport was spoiled, and I missed
glorious materials for a Snyders in print. Thankful was I, however,
that the element had spared me during the journey in the hills, and
that we were in snug quarters during the bad weather. A day later I
should have been caught in the peasant's chimneyless-hut at the foot
of the Balkan, and then should have roughed it in earnest.

When the weather settled, I was again in motion, ascending that branch
of the Morava which comes from Nissa. There was nothing to remark in
this part of Servia, which proved to be the least interesting part of
our route, being wanting as well in boldness of outline as in
luxuriant vegetation.

On approaching a khan, at a short distance from Alexinatz, I perceived
an individual whom I guessed to be the captain of the place, along
with a Britannic-looking figure in a Polish frock. This was Captain
W----, a queen's messenger of the new school.

While we were drinking a cup of coffee, a Turkish Bin Bashi came upon
his way to Belgrade from the army of Roumelia at Kalkendel; he told us
that the Pasha of Nish had gone with all his force to Procupli to
disarm the Arnaouts. I very naturally took out the map to learn where
Procupli was; on which the Bin Bashi asked me if I was a military
engineer! "That boy will be the death of me!"--so nobody but military
engineers are permitted to look at maps.

For a month I had seen or heard nothing of Europe and Europeans
except the doctor at Csatsak, and his sage maxims about Greek masses
and Hungarian law-suits. I therefore made prize of the captain, who
was an intelligent man, with an abundance of fresh political
chit-chat, and odds and ends of scandal from Paddington to the Bank,
and from Pall-mall to Parliament-street, brimful of extracts and
essences of Athenaeums, United-Services, and other hebdomadals.
Formerly Foreign-Office messengers were the cast-off butlers and
valets of secretaries of state. For some time back they have been
taken from the half-pay list and the educated classes. One or two can
boast of very fair literary attainments; and a man who once a year
spends a few weeks in all the principal capitals of Europe, from
Madrid to St. Petersburg and Constantinople, necessarily picks up a
great knowledge of the world. The British messengers post out from
London to Semlin, where they leave their carriages, ride across to
Alexinatz on the Bulgarian frontier, whence the despatches are carried
by a Tartar to Constantinople, via Philippopoli and Adrianople.

On arriving at Alexinatz, a good English dinner awaited us at the
konak of the queen's messenger. It seemed so odd, and yet was so very
comfortable, to have roast beef, plum pudding, sherry, brown stout,
Stilton cheese, and other insular groceries at the foot of the Balkan.
There was, moreover, a small library, with which the temporary
occupants of the konak killed the month's interval between arrival and

Next day I visited the quarantine buildings with the inspector; they
are all new, and erected in the Austrian manner. The number of those
who purge their quarantine is about fourteen thousand individuals per
annum, being mostly Bulgarians who wander into Servia at harvest time,
and place at the disposal of the haughty, warlike, and somewhat
indolent Servians their more humble and laborious services. A village
of three hundred houses, a church, and a national school, have sprung
up within the last few years at this point. The imports from Roumelia
and Bulgaria are mostly Cordovan leather; the exports, Austrian
manufactures, which pass through Servia.

When the new macadamized road from Belgrade to this point is
finished, there can be no doubt that the trade will increase. The
possible effect of which is, that the British manufactures, which are
sold at the fairs of Transbalkan Bulgaria, may be subject to greater
competition. After spending a few days at Alexinatz, I started with
post horses for Tiupria, as the horse I had ridden had been so
severely galled, that I was obliged to send him to Belgrade.

Tiupria, being on the high road across Servia, has a large khan, at
which I put up. I had observed armed guards at the entrance of the
town, and felt at a loss to account for the cause. The rooms of the
khan being uninhabitable, I sent Paul with my letter of introduction
to the Natchalnik, and sat down in the khan kitchen, which was a
parlour at the same time; an apartment, with a brick floor, one side
of which was fitted up with a broad wooden bench (the bare boards
being in every respect preferable in such cases to cushions, as one
has a better chance of cleanliness).

The other side of the apartment was like a hedge alehouse in England,
with a long table and moveable benches. Several Servians sat here
drinking coffee and smoking; others drinking wine. The Cahwagi was
standing with his apron on, at a little charcoal furnace, stirring his
small coffee-pot until the cream came. I ordered some wine for myself,
as well as the Suregee, but the latter said, "I do not drink wine." I
now looked him in the face, and saw that he was of a very dark
complexion; for I had made the last stage after sunset, and had not
remarked him.

_Author_. "Are you a Chingany (gipsy)?"

_Gipsy_. "Yes."

_Author_. "Now I recollect most of the gipsies here are Moslems; how
do you show your adherence to Islamism?"

_Gipsy_. "I go regularly to mosque, and say my prayers."

_Author_. "What language do you speak?"

_Gipsy_. "In business Turkish or Servian; but with my family

I now asked the Cahwagi the cause of the guards being posted in the
streets; and he told me of the attempt at Shabatz, by disguised
hussars, in which the worthy collector met his death. Paul not
returning, I felt impatient, and wondered what had become of him. At
length he returned, and told me that he had been taken in the streets
as a suspicious character, without a lantern, carried to the
guard-house, and then to the house of the Natchalnik, to whom he
presented the letter, and from whom he now returned, with a pandour,
and a message to come immediately.

The Natchalnik met us half-way with the lanterns, and reproached me
for not at once descending at his house. Being now fatigued, I soon
went to bed in an apartment hung round with all sorts of arms. There
were Albanian guns, Bosniac pistols, Vienna fowling-pieces, and all
manner of Damascus and Khorassan blades.

Next morning, on awaking, I looked out at my window, and found myself
in a species of kiosk, which hung over the Morava, now no longer a
mountain stream, but a broad and almost navigable river. The lands on
the opposite side were flat, but well cultivated, and two bridges, an
old and a new one, spanned the river. Hence the name Tiupria, from the
Turkish _keupri_ (bridge,) for here the high road from Belgrade to
Constantinople crosses the Morava.

The Natchalnik, a tall, muscular, broad-shouldered man, now entered,
and, saluting me like an old friend, asked me how I slept.

_Author_. "I thank you, never better in my life. My yesterday's ride
gave me a sharp exercise, without excessive fatigue. I need not ask
you how you are, for you are the picture of health and herculean

_Natchalnik_. "I was strong in my day, but now and then nature tells
me that I am considerably on the wrong side of my climacteric."

_Author_. "Pray tell me what is the reason of this accumulation of
arms. I never slept with such ample means of defence within my
reach,--quite an arsenal."

_Natchalnik_. "You have no doubt heard of the attempt of the
Obrenovitch faction at Shabatz. We are under no apprehension of their
doing any thing here; for they have no partizans: but I am an old
soldier, and deem it prudent to take precautions, even when
appearances do not seem to demand them very imperiously. I wish the
rascals would show face in this quarter, just to prevent our arms from
getting rusty. Our greatest loss is that of Ninitch, the collector."

_Author_. "Poor follow. I knew him as well as any man can know another
in a few days. He made a most favourable impression on me: it seems as
it were but yesternight that I toasted him in a bumper, and wished him
long life, which, like many other wishes of mine, was not destined to
be fulfilled. How little we think of the frail plank that separates us
from the ocean of eternity!"

_Natchalnik_. "I was once, myself, very near the other world, having
entered as a volunteer in the Russian army that crossed the Balkan in
1828. I burned a mosque in defiance of the orders of Marshal Diebitch;
the consequence was that I was tried by a court-martial, and condemned
to be shot: but on putting in a petition, and stating that I had done
so through ignorance, and in accomplishment of a vow of vengeance, my
father and brother having been killed by the Turks in the war of
liberation, seven of our houses[15] having been burned at the same
time, Marshal Diebitch on reading the petition pardoned me."

The doctor of the place now entered; a very little man with a pale
complexion, and a black braided surtout. He informed me that he had
been for many years a Surgeon in the Austrian navy. On my asking him
how he liked that service, he answered, "Very well; for we rarely go
out to the Mediterranean; our home-ports, Venice and Trieste, are
agreeable, and our usual station in the Levant is Smyrna, which is
equally pleasant. The Austrian vessels being generally frigates of
moderate size, the officers live in a more friendly and comfortable
way than if they were of heavier metal. But were I not a surgeon, I
should prefer the wider sphere of distinction which colonial and
trans-oceanic life and incident opens to the British naval officer;
for I, myself, once made a voyage to the Brazils."

We now went to see the handsome new bridge in course of construction
over the Morava. The architect, a certain Baron Cordon, who had been
bred a military engineer, happened to be there at the time, and
obligingly explained the details. At every step I see the immense
advantages which this country derives from its vicinity to Austria in
a material point of view; and yet the Austrian and Servian governments
seem perpetually involved in the most inexplicable squabbles. A gang
of poor fellows who had been compromised in the unsuccessful attempts
of last year by the Obrenovitch party, were working in chains,
macadamizing the road.


[Footnote 15: Houses or horses; my notes having been written with
rapidity, the word is indistinct.]


Visit to Ravanitza.--Jovial party.--Servian and Austrian
jurisdiction.--Convent described.--Eagles reversed.--Bulgarian

The Natchalnik having got up a party, we proceeded in light cars of
the country to Ravanitza, a convent two or three hours off in the
mountains to the eastward. The country was gently undulating,
cultivated, and mostly inclosed, the roads not bad, and the _ensemble_
such as English landscapes were represented to be half a century ago.
When we approached Ravanitza we were again lost in the forest.
Ascending by the side of a mountain-rill, the woods opened, and the
convent rose in an amphitheatre at the foot of an abrupt rocky
mountain; a pleasing spot, but wanting the grandeur and beauty of the
sites on the Bosniac frontier.

[Illustration: Ravanitza.]

The superior was a tall, polite, middle-aged man. "I expected you long
ago," said he; "the Archbishop advised me of your arrival: but we
thought something might have happened, or that you had missed us."

"I prolonged my tour," said I, "beyond the limits of my original
project. The circumstance of this convent having been the burial-place
of Knes Lasar, was a sufficient motive for my on no account missing a
sight of it."

The superior now led us into the refectory, where a long table had
been laid out for dinner, for with the number of Tiuprians, as well as
the monks of this convent, and some from the neighbouring convent of
Manasia, we mustered a very numerous and very gay party. The wine was
excellent; and I could not help thinking with the jovial Abbot of

    "Quand nos joyeux verres
    Se font des le matin,
    Tout le jour, mes freres,
    Devient un festin."

By dint of _interlarding_ my discourse with sundry apophthegms of
_Bacon_, and stale paradoxes of Rochefoucaud, I passed current
throughout Servia considerably above my real value; so after the usual
toasts due to the powers that be, the superior proposed my health in a
very long harangue. Before I had time to reply, the party broke into
the beautiful hymn for longevity, which I had heard pealing in the
cathedral of Belgrade for the return of Wucics and Petronievitch. I
assured them that I was unworthy of such an honour, but could not help
remarking that this hymn "for many years" immediately after the
drinking of a health, was one of the most striking and beautiful
customs I had noticed in Servia.

A very curious discussion arose after dinner, relative to the
different footing of Servians in Austria, and Austrians in Servia. The
former when in Austria, are under the Austrian law; the latter in
Servia, under the jurisdiction of their own consul. Being appealed to,
I explained that in former times the Ottoman Sultans easily permitted
consular jurisdiction in Turkey, without stipulating corresponding
privileges for their own subjects; for Christendom, and particularly
Austria, was considered _Dar El Harb_, or perpetually the seat of war,
in which it was illegal for subjects of the Sultan to reside.

In the afternoon we made a survey of the convent and church, which
were built by Knes Lasar, and surrounded by a wall and seven towers.

The church, like all the other edifices of this description, is
Byzantine; but being built of stone, wants the refinement which shone
in the sculptures and marbles of Studenitza. I remarked, however, that
the cupolas were admirably proportioned and most harmoniously
disposed. Before entering I looked above the door, and perceived that
the double eagles carved there are reversed. Instead of having body to
body, and wings and beaks pointed outwards, as in the arms of Austria
and Russia, the bodies are separated, and beak looks inward to beak.

On entering we were shown the different vessels, one of which is a
splendid cup, presented by Peter the Great, and several of the same
description from the empress Catharine, some in gold, silver, and
steel; others in gold, silver, and bronze.

The body of Knes Lasar, after having been for some time hid, was
buried here in 1394, remained till 1684, at which period it was taken
over to Virdnik in Syrmium, where it remains to this day.

In the cool of the evening the superior took me to a spring of clear
delicious water, gushing from rocks environed with trees. A boy with a
large crystal goblet, dashed it into the clear lymph, and presented it
to me. The superior fell into eulogy of his favourite Valclusa, and I
drank not only this but several glasses, with circumstantial
criticisms on its excellence; so that the superior seemed delighted at
my having rendered such ample justice to the water he so loudly
praised, _Entre nous_,--the excellence of his wine, and the toasts
that we had drunk to the health of innumerable loyal and virtuous
individuals, rendered me a greater amateur of water-bibbing than

After some time we returned, and saw a lamb roasting for supper in the
open air; a hole being dug in the earth, chopped vine-twigs are burnt
below it, the crimson glow of which soon roasts the lamb, and imparts
a particular fragrance to the flesh. After supper we went out in the
mild dark evening to a mount, where a bonfire blazed and glared on the
high square tower of the convent, and cushions were laid for
chibouques and coffee. The not unpleasing drone of bagpipes resounded
through the woods, and a number of Bulgarians executed their national
dance in a circle, taking hold of each other's girdle, and keeping
time with the greatest exactness.


Manasia--Has preserved its middle-age character.--Robinson
Crusoe.--Wonderful Echo.--Kindness of the
people.--Svilainitza.--Posharevatz.--Baby Giantess.

Next day, accompanied by the doctor, and a portion of the party of
yesterday, we proceeded to the convent of Manasia, five hours off; our
journey being mostly through forests, with the most wretched roads.
Sometimes we had to cross streams of considerable depth; at other
places the oaks, arching over head, almost excluded the light: at
length, on doubling a precipitous promontory of rock, a wide open
valley burst upon us, at the extremity of which we saw the donjons and
crenellated towers of a perfect feudal castle surrounding and fencing
in the domes of an antique church. Again I say, that those who wish
to see the castellated monuments of the middle ages just as they were
left by the builders, must come to this country. With us in old
Europe, they are either modernized or in ruins, and in many of them
every tower and gate reflects the taste of a separate period; some
edifices showing a grotesque progress from Gothic to Italian, and from
Italian to Roman _a la Louis Quinze_: a succession which corresponds
with the portraits within doors, which begin with coats of mail, or
padded velvet, and end with bag-wigs and shoe-buckles. But here, at

    "The battle towers, the donjon keep,
     The loophole grates, where captives weep.
     The flanking walls that round it sweep,
        In yellow lustre shone;"

and we were quietly carried back to the year of our Lord 1400; for
this castle and church were built by Stephan, Despot of Servia, the
son of Knes Lasar. Stephan, Instead of being "the Czar of all the
Servian lands and coasts," became a mere hospodar, who must do as he
was bid by his masters, the Turks.

Manasia being entirely secluded from the world, the monastic
establishment was of a humbler and simpler nature than that of
Ravanitza, and the monks, good honest men, but mere peasants in cowls.

After dinner, a strong broad-faced monk, whom I recognized as having
been of the company at Ravanitza, called for a bumper, and began in a
solemn matter-of-fact way, the following speech: "You are a great
traveller in our eyes; for none of us ever went further than Syrmium.
The greatest traveller of your country that we know of was that
wonderful navigator, Robinson Crusoe, of York, who, poor man, met with
many and great difficulties, but at length, by the blessing of God,
was restored to his native country, his family, and his friends. We
trust that the Almighty will guard over you, and that you will never,
in the course of your voyages and travels, be thrown like him on a
desert island; and now we drink your health, and long life to you."
When the toast was drunk, I thanked the company, but added that from
the revolutions in locomotion, I ran a far greater chance now-a-days
of being blown out of a steam-boat, or smashed to pieces on a

From the rocks above Manasia is one of the most remarkable echoes I
ever heard; at the distance of sixty or seventy yards from one of the
towers the slightest whisper is rendered with the most amusing

From Manasia we went to Miliva, where the peasantry were standing in a
row, by the side of a rustic tent, made of branches of trees. Grapes,
roast fowl, &c. were laid out for us; but thanking them for their
proffered hospitality, we passed on. From this place the road to
Svilainitza is level, the country fertile, and more populous than we
had seen any where else in Servia. At some places the villagers had
prepared bouquets; at another place a school, of fifty or sixty
children, was drawn up in the street, and sang a hymn of welcome.

At Svilainitza the people would not allow me to go any further; and we
were conducted to the chateau of M. Ressavatz, the wealthiest man in
Servia. This villa is the _fac simile_ of the new ones in the banat of
Temesvav, having the rooms papered, a luxury in Servia, where the
most of the rooms, even in good houses, are merely size-coloured.

Svilainitza is remarkable, as the only place in Servia where silk is
cultivated to any extent, the Ressavatz family having paid especial
attention to it. In fact, Svilainitza means the place of silk.

From Svilainitza, we next morning started for Posharevatz, or
Passarovitz, by an excellent macadamized road, through a country
richly cultivated and interspersed with lofty oaks. I arrived at
mid-day, and was taken to the house of M. Tutsakovitch, the president
of the court of appeal, who had expected us on the preceding evening.
He was quite a man of the world, having studied jurisprudence in the
Austrian Universities. The outer chamber, or hall of his house, was
ranged with shining pewter plates in the olden manner, and his best
room was furnished in the best German style.

In a few minutes M. Ressavatz, the Natchalnik, came, a serious but
friendly man, with an eye that bespoke an expansive intellect.

"This part of Servia," said I, "is _Ressavatz qua_, _Ressavatz la_.
We last night slept at your brother's house, at Svilainitza, which is
the only chateau I have seen in Servia; and to-day the rapid and
agreeable journey I made hither was due to the macadamized road,
which, I am told, you were the means of constructing."

The Natchalnik bowed, and the president said, "This road originated
entirely with M. Ressavatz, who went through a world of trouble before
he could get the peasantry of the intervening villages to lend their
assistance. Great was the first opposition to the novelty; but now the
people are all delighted at being able to drive in winter without
sinking up to their horses' knees in mud."

We now proceeded to view the government buildings, which are all new,
and in good order, being somewhat more extensive than those elsewhere;
for Posharevatz, besides having ninety thousand inhabitants in its own
_nahie_,[16] or government, is a sort of judicial capital for Eastern

The principal edifice is a barrack, but the regular troops were at
this time all at Shabatz. The president showed me through the court of
appeal. Most of the apartments were occupied with clerks, and fitted
up with shelves for registers. The court of justice was an apartment
larger than the rest, without a raised bench, having merely a long
table, covered with a green cloth, at one end of which was a crucifix
and Gospels, for the taking of oaths, and the seats for the president
and assessors.

We then went to the billiard-room with the Natchalnik, and played a
couple of games, both of which I lost, although the Natchalnik, from
sheer politeness, played badly; and at sunset we returned to the
president's house, where a large party was assembled to dinner. We
then adjourned to the comfortable inner apartment, where, as the chill
of autumn was beginning to creep over us, we found a blazing fire; and
the president having made some punch, that showed profound
acquaintance with the jurisprudence of conviviality, the best amateurs
of Posharevatz sang their best songs, which pleased me somewhat, for
my ears had gradually been broken into the habits of the Servian muse.
Being pressed myself to sing an English national song, I gratified
their curiosity with "God save the Queen," and "Rule Britannia,"
explaining that these two songs contained the essence of English
nationality: the one expressive of our unbounded loyalty, the other of
our equally unbounded ocean dominion.

_President_. "You have been visiting the rocks and mountains of
Servia; but there is a natural curiosity in this neighbourhood, which
is much more wonderful. Have you heard of the baby giantess?"

_Author_. "Yes, I have. I was told that a child was six feet high, and
a perfect woman."

_President_. "No, a child of two years and three months is as big as
other children of six or seven years, and her womanhood such as is
usual in girls of sixteen."

_Author_. "It is almost incredible."

_President_. "Well, you may convince yourself with your own eyes,
before you leave this blessed town."

The Natchalnik then called a Momke, and gave orders for the child to
be brought next day. At the appointed hour the father and mother came
with the child. It was indeed a baby giantess, higher than its
brother, who was six years of age. Its hands were thick and strong,
the flesh plump, and the mammae most prominently developed. Seeing the
room filled with people, it began to cry, but its attention being
diverted by a nodding mandarin of stucco provided for the purpose, the
nurse enabled us to verify all the president had said. This phenomenon
was born the 29th of June, 1842, old style, and the lunar influences
were in operation on the tenth month after birth. I remarked to the
president, that if the father had more avarice than decency, he might
go to Europe, and return with his weight in gold.


[Footnote 16: _Nahie_ is a Turkish word, and meant "_district_." The
original word means "_direction_," and is applied to winds, and the
point of the compass.]


Rich Soil.--Mysterious Waters.--Treaty of Passarovitz.--The Castle of
Semendria--Relics of the Antique.--The Brankovitch
Family.--Pancsova.--Morrison's Pills.

The soil at Posharevatz is remarkably rich, the greasy humus being
from fifteen to twenty-five feet thick, and consequently able to
nourish the noblest forest trees. In the Banat, which is the granary
of the Austrian empire, trees grow well for fifteen, twenty, or
twenty-five years, and then die away. The cause of this is, that the
earth, although rich, is only from three to six feet thick, with sand
or cold clay below; thus as soon as the roots descend to the
substrata, in which they find no nourishment, rottenness appears on
the top branches, and gradually descends.

At Kruahevitza, not very far from Pasharevatz, is a cave, which is, I
am told, entered with difficulty, into the basin of which water
gradually flows at intervals, and then disappears, as the doctor of
the place (a Saxon) told me, with an extraordinary noise resembling
the molar rumble of railway travelling. This spring is called
Potainitza, or the mysterious waters.

Posharevatz, miscalled Passarowitz, is historically remarkable, as the
place where Prince Eugene, in 1718, after his brilliant victories of
the previous year, including the capture of Belgrade, signed, with the
Turks, the treaty which gave back to the house of Austria not only the
whole of Hungary, but added great part of Servia and Little Wallachia,
as far as the Aluta. With this period began the Austrian rule in
Servia, and at this time the French fashioned Lange Gasse of Belgrade
rose amid the "swelling domes and pointed minarets of the white
eagle's nest."[17]

Several quaint incidents had recalled this period during my tour. For
instance, at Manasia, I saw rudely engraven on the church wall,--

                Wolfgang Zastoff,
     Kaiserlicher Forst-Meister im Maidan.
                Die 1 Aug. 1721.

Semendria is three hours' ride from Posharevatz; the road crosses the
Morava, and everywhere the country is fertile, populous, and well
cultivated. Innumerable massive turrets, mellowed by the sun of a
clear autumn, and rising from wide rolling waters, announced my
approach to the shores of the Danube. I seemed entering one of those
fabled strong holds, with which the early Italian artists adorned
their landscapes. If Semendria be not the most picturesque of the
Servian castles of the elder period, it is certainly by far the most
extensive of them. Nay, it is colossal. The rampart next the Danube
has been shorn of its fair proportions, so as to make it suit the
modern art of war. Looking at Semendria from one of the three land
sides, you have a castle of Ercole di Ferrara; looking at it from the
water, you have the boulevard of a Van der Meulen.

The Natchalnik accompanied me in a visit to the fortress, protected
from accident by a couple of soldiers; for the castle of Semendria is
still, like that of Shabatz, in the hands of a few Turkish spahis and
their families. The news from Shabatz having produced a alight
ferment, we found several armed Moslems at the gate; but they did not
allow the Servians to pass, with the exception of the Natchalnik and
another man. "This is new," said he; "I never knew them to be so wary
and suspicious before." We now found ourselves within the walls of the
fortress. A shabby wooden _cafe_ was opposite to us; a mosque of the
same material rose with its worm-eaten carpentry to our right. The
cadi, a pompous vulgar old man, now met us, and signified that we
might as well repose at his chardak, but from inhospitality or
fanaticism, gave us neither pipes nor coffee. His worship was so
proud, that he scarcely deigned to speak. The Disdar Aga, a somewhat
more approximative personage, now entered the tottering chardak, (the
carpenters of Semendria seem to have emigrated _en masse_,) and
proffered himself as Cicerone of the castle.

Mean and abominable huts, with patches of garden ground filled up the
space inclosed by the gorgeous ramparts and massive towers of
Semendria. The further we walked the nobler appeared the last relic of
the dotage of old feudal Servia. In one of the towers next the Danube
is a sculptured Roman tombstone. One graceful figure points to a
sarcophagus, close to which a female sits in tears; in a word, a
remnant of the antique--of that harmony which dies not away, but
swells on the finer organs of perception.

"_Eski, Eski_. Very old," said the Disdar Aga, who accompanied me.

"It is Roman," said I.

"_Roumgi_?" said he, thinking I meant _Greek_.

"No, _Latinski_," said a third, which is the name usually given to
_Roman_ remains.

As at Sokol and Ushitza, I was not permitted to enter the inner
citadel;[18] so, returning to the gate, where we were rejoined by the
soldiers, we went to the fourth tower, on the left of the Stamboul
Kapu, and looking up, we saw inserted and forming part of the wall, a
large stone, on which was cut, in _basso rilievo_, a figure of Europa
reposing on a bull. Here was no fragile grace, as in the other figure;
a few simple lines bespoke the careless hardihood of antique art.

The castle of Semendria was built in 1432, by the Brankovitch, who
succeeded the family of Knes Lasar as _despots_, or native rulers of
Servia, under the Turks; and the construction of this enormous pile
was permitted by their masters, under the pretext of the strengthening
of Servia against the Hungarians. The last of these _despots_ of
Servia was George Brankovitch, the historian, who passed over to
Austria, was raised to the dignity of a count; and after being kept
many years as a state prisoner, suspected of secret correspondence
with the Turks, died at Eger, in Bohemia, in 1711. The legitimate
Brankovitch line is now extinct.[19]

Leaving the fortress, we returned to the Natchalnik's house. I was
struck with the size, beauty, and flavour of the grapes here; I have
nowhere tasted such delicious fruit of this description. "Groja
Smederevsko" are celebrated through all Servia, and ought to make
excellent wine.

The road from Semendria to Belgrade skirts the Danube, across which
one sees the plains of the Banat and military frontier. The only place
of any consequence on that side of the river is Pancsova, the sight of
which reminded me of a conversation I had there some years ago.

The major of the town, after swallowing countless boxes of Morrison's
pills, died in the belief that he had not begun to take them soon
enough. The consumption of these drugs at that time almost surpassed
belief. There was scarcely a sickly or hypochondriac person, from the
Hill of Presburg to the Iron Gates, who had not taken large quantities
of them. Being curious to know the cause of this extensive
consumption, I asked for an explanation.

"You must know," said an individual, "that the Anglo-mania is nowhere
stronger than in this part of the world. Whatever comes from England,
be it Congreve rockets, or vegetable pills, must needs be perfect. Dr.
Morrison is indebted to his high office for the enormous consumption
of his drugs. It is clear that the president of the British College
must be a man in the enjoyment of the esteem of the government and the
faculty of medicine; and his title is a passport to his pills in
foreign countries."

I laughed heartily, and explained that the British College of Health,
and the College of Physicians, were not identical.

The road from this point to Belgrade presents no particular interest.
Half an hour from the city I crossed the celebrated trenches of
Marshal Laudohn; and rumbling through a long cavernous gateway, called
the Stamboul Kapousi, or gate of Constantinople, again found myself in
Belgrade, thankful for the past, and congratulating myself on the
circumstances of my trip. I had seen a state of patriarchal manners,
the prominent features of which will be at no distant time rolled flat
and smooth, by the pressure of old Europe, and the salient angles of
which will disappear through the agency of the hotel and the
stagecoach, with its bevy of tourists, who, with greater facilities
for seeing the beauties of nature, will arrive and depart, shrouded
from the mass of the people, by the mercenaries that hang on the
beaten tracks of the traveller.


[Footnote 17: In Servian, Belgrade is called Beograd, "white
city;"--poetically, "white eagle's nest."]

[Footnote 18: I think that a traveller ought to see all that he can;
but, of course, has no right to feel surprised at being excluded from

[Footnote 19: One of the representatives of the ancient imperial family
is the Earl of Devon, for Urosh the Great married Helen of


Personal Appearance of the Servians.--Their Moral
Character.--Peculiarities of Manners.--Christmas
Festivities.--Easter.--The Dodola.

The Servians are a remarkably tall and robust race of men; in form and
feature they bespeak strength of body and energy of mind: but one
seldom sees that thorough-bred look, which, so frequently found in the
poorest peasants of Italy and Greece, shows that the descendants of
the most polite of the ancients, although disinherited of dominion,
have not lost the corporeal attributes of nobility. But the women of
Servia I think very pretty. In body they are not so well shaped as the
Greek women; but their complexions are fine, the hair generally black
and glossy, and their head-dress particularly graceful. Not being
addicted to the bath, like other eastern women, they prolong their
beauty beyond the average climacteric; and their houses, with rooms
opening on a court-yard and small garden, are favourable to health and
beauty. They are not exposed to the elements as the men; nor are they
cooped up within four walls, like many eastern women, without a
sufficient circulation of air.

Through all the interior of Servia, the female is reckoned an inferior
being, and fit only to be the plaything of youth and the nurse of old
age. This peculiarity of manners has not sprung from the four
centuries of Turkish occupation, but appears to have been inherent in
old Slaavic manners, and such as we read of in Russia, a very few
generations ago; but as the European standard is now rapidly adopted
at Belgrade, there can be little doubt that it will thence, in the
course of time, spread over all Servia.

The character of the Servian closely resembles that of the Scottish
Highlander. He is brave in battle, highly hospitable; delights in
simple and plaintive music and poetry, his favourite instruments
being the bagpipe and fiddle: but unlike the Greek be shows little
aptitude for trade; and unlike the Bulgarian, he is very lazy in
agricultural operations. All this corresponds with the Scottish Celtic
character; and without absolute dishonesty, a certain low cunning in
the prosecution of his material interests completes the parallel.

The old customs of Servia are rapidly disappearing under the pressure
of laws and European institutions. Many of these could not have
existed except in a society in which might made right. One of these
was the vow of eternal brotherhood and friendship between two
individuals; a treaty offensive and defensive, to assist each other in
the difficult passages of life. This bond is considered sacred and
indissoluble. Frequently remarkable instances of it are found in the
wars of Kara Georg. But now that regular guarantees for the security
of life and property exist, the custom appears to have fallen into
desuetude. These confederacies in the dual state, as in Servia, or
multiple, as in the clan system of Scotland and Albania, are always
strongest in turbulent times and regions.[20]

Another of the old customs of Servia was sufficiently characteristic
of its lawless state. Abduction of females was common. Sometimes a
young man would collect a party of his companions, break into a
village, and carry off a maiden. To prevent re-capture they generally
went into the woods, where the nuptial knot was tied by a priest
_nolens volens_. Then commenced the negotiation for a reconciliation
with the parents, which was generally successful; as in many instances
the female had been the secret lover of the young man, and the other
villagers used to add their persuasion, in order to bring about a
pacific solution. But if the relations of the girl mode a legal affair
of it, the young woman was asked if it was by her own will that she
was taken away; and if she made the admission then a reconciliation
took place: if not, those concerned in the abduction were fined, Kara
Georg put a stop to this by proclamation, punishing the author of an
abduction with death, the priest with dismissal, and the assistants
with the bastinado.

The Haiducks, or outlawed robbers, who during the first quarter of the
present century infested the woods of Servia, resembled the Caterans
of the Highlands of Scotland, being as much rebels as robbers, and
imagined that in setting authority at defiance they were not acting
dishonourably, but combating for a principle of independence. They
robbed only the rich Moslems, and were often generous to the poor.
Thus robbery and rebellion being confounded, the term Haiduck is not
considered opprobrious; and several old Servians have confessed to me
that they had been Haiducks in their youth, I am sure that the
adventures of a Servian Rob Roy might form the materials of a stirring
Romance. There are many Haiducks still in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and on
the western Balkan; but the race in Servia is extinct, and plunder is
the only object of the few robbers who now infest the woods in the
west of Servia.

Such are the customs that have just disappeared; but many national
peculiarities still remain. At Christmas, for instance, every peasant
goes to the woods, and cuts down a young oak; as soon as he returns
home, which is in the twilight; he says to the assembled family, "A
happy Christmas eve to the house;" on which a male of the family
scatters a little grain on the ground and answers, "God be gracious to
you, our happy and honoured father." The housewife then lays the young
oak on the fire, to which are thrown a few nuts and a little straw,
and the evening ends in merriment.

Next day, after divine service, the family assemble around the dinner
table, each bearing a lighted candle; and they say aloud, "Christ is
born: let us honour Christ and his birth." The usual Christmas drink
is hot wine mixed with honey. They have also the custom of First Foot.
This personage is selected beforehand, under the idea that he will
bring luck with him for the ensuing year. On entering the First Foot
says, "Christ is born!" and receives for answer, "Yes, he is born!"
while the First Foot scatters a few grains of corn on the floor. He
then advances and stirs up the wood on the fire, so that it crackles
and emits sparks; on which the First Foot says, "As many sparks so
many cattle, so many horses, so many goats, so many sheep, so many
boars, so many bee hives, and so much luck and prosperity.'" He then
throws a little money into the ashes, or hangs some hemp on the door;
and Christmas ends with presents and festivities.

At Easter, they amuse themselves with the game of breaking hard-boiled
eggs, having first examined those of an opponent to see that they are
not filled with wax. From this time until Ascension day the common
formula of greeting is "Christ has arisen!" to which answer is made,
"Yes; he has truly arisen or ascended!" And on the second Monday after
Easter the graves of dead relations are visited.

One of the most extraordinary customs of Servia is that of the Dodola.
When a long drought has taken place, a handsome young woman is
stripped, and so dressed up with grass, flowers, cabbage and other
leaves, that her face is scarcely visible; she then, in company with
several girls of twelve or fifteen years of age, goes from house to
house singing a song, the burden of which is a wish for rain. It is
then the custom of the mistress of the house at which the Dodola is
stopped to throw a little water on her. This custom used also to be
kept up in the Servian districts of Hungary; but has been forbidden by
the priests.


[Footnote 20: The most perfect confederacy of this description is that
of the Druses, which has stood the test of eight centuries, and in its
secret organization is complete beyond any thing attained by


Town life.--The public offices.--Manners half-Oriental
half-European.--Merchants and Tradesmen.--Turkish
population.--Porters.--Barbers.--Cafes.--Public Writer.

On passing from the country to the town the politician views with
interest the transitional state of society: but the student of manners
finds nothing salient, picturesque, or remarkable; everything is
verging to German routine. If you meet a young man in any department,
and ask what he does; he tells you that he is a Concepist or

In the public offices, the paper is, as in Germany, atrociously
coarse, being something like that with which parcels are wrapped up in
England; and sand is used instead of blotting paper. They commence
business early in the morning, at eight o'clock, and go on till
twelve, at which hour everybody goes to the mid-day meal. They
commence again at four o'clock, and terminate at seven, which is the
hour of supper. The reason of this is, that almost everybody takes a

The public offices throughout the interior of Servia are plain houses,
with white-washed walls, deal desks, shelves, and presses, but having
been recently built, have generally a respectable appearance. The
Chancery of State and Senate house are also quite new constructions,
close to the palace; but in the country, a Natchalnik transacts a
great deal of business in his own house.

Servia contains within itself the forms of the East and the West, as
separately and distinctly as possible. See a Natchalnik in the back
woods squatted on his divan, with his enormous trowsers, smoking his
pipe, and listening to the contents of a paper, which his secretary,
crouching and kneeling on the carpet, reads to him, and you have the
Bey, the Kaimacam, or the Mutsellim before you. See M. Petronievitch
scribbling in his cabinet, and you have the _Furstlicher
Haus-Hof-Staats-und Conferenz-Minister_ of the meridian of Saxe or

Servia being an agricultural country, and not possessing a sea-port,
there does not exist an influential, mercantile, or capitalist class
_per se_. Greeks, Jews, and Tsinsars, form a considerable proportion
of those engaged in the foreign trade: it is to be remarked that most
of this class are secret adherents of the Obrenovitch party, while the
wealthy native Servians support Kara Georgevitch.

In Belgrade, the best tradesmen are Germans, or Servians, who have
learned their business at Pesth; or Temeswar; but nearly all the
retailers are Servians.

Having treated so fully the aspects and machinery of Oriental life, in
my work on native society in Damascus and Aleppo, it is not necessary
that I should say here any thing of Moslem manners and customs. The
Turks in Belgrade are nearly all of a very poor class, and follow the
humblest occupations. The river navigation causes many hands to be
employed in boating; and it always seemed to me that the proportion
of the turbans on the river exceeded that of the Christian short fez.
Most of the porters on the quay of Belgrade are Turks in their
turbans, which gives the landing-place, on arrival from Semlin, a more
Oriental look than the Moslem population of the town warrants. From
the circumstance of trucks being nearly unknown in this country, these
Turkish porters carry weights that would astonish an Englishman, and
show great address in balancing and dividing heavy weights among them.

Most of the barbers in Belgrade are Turks, and have that superior
dexterity which distinguishes their craft in the east. There are also
Christian barbers; but the Moslems are in greater force. I never saw
any Servian shave himself; nearly all resort to the barber. Even the
Christian barbers, in imitation of the Oriental fashion, shave the
straggling edges of the eyebrows, and with pincers tug out the small
hairs of the nostrils.

The native _cafes_ are nearly all kept by Moslems; one, as I have
stated elsewhere, by an Arab, born in Oude in India; another by a
Jew, which is frequented by the children of Israel, and is very dirty.
I once went in to smoke a narghile, and see the place, but made my
escape forthwith. Several Jews, who spoke Spanish to each other, were
playing backgammon on a raised bench, and seemed to have in their furs
and dresses that "_malproprete profonde et huileuse_" which M. de
Custine tells us characterizes the dirt of the north as contrasted
with that of the southern nations. The _cafe_ of the Indian, on the
contrary, was perfectly clean and new.

Moslem boatmen, porters, barbers, &c. serve Christians and all and
sundry. But in addition to these, there is a sort of bazaar in the
Turkish quarter, occupied by tradespeople, who subsist almost
exclusively by the wants of their co-religionists living in the
quarter, as well as of the Turkish garrison in the fortress. The only
one of this class who frequented me, was the public writer, who had
several assistants; he was not a native of Belgrade, but a Bulgarian
Turk from Ternovo. He drew up petitions to the Pasha in due form, and,
moreover, engraved seals very neatly. His assistants, when not
engaged in either of these occupations, copied Korans for sale. His
own handwriting was excellent, and he knew all the styles, Arab,
Deewanee, Persian, Reka, &c. What keeps him mostly in my mind, was the
delight with which he entered into, and illustrated, the proverbs at
the end of M. Joubert's grammar, which the secretary of the Russian
Consul-general had lent him. Some of the proverbs are so applicable to
Oriental manners, that I hope the reader will excuse the digression.

"Kiss the hand thou hast not been able to cut."

"Hide thy friend's name from thine enemy."

"Eat and drink with thy friend; never buy and sell with him."

"This is a fast day, said the cat, seeing the liver she could not get

"Of three things one--Power, gold, or quit the town."

"The candle does not light its base."

"The orphan cuts his own navel-string," &c.

The rural population of Servia must necessarily advance slowly, but
each five years, for a generation to come, will,--I have little
doubt,--alter the aspect of the town population, as much relatively
as the five that are by-gone. Let the lines of railway now in progress
from Belgium to Hungary be completed, and Belgrade may again become a
stage in the high road to the East. A line by the valleys of the
Morava and the Maritsa, with its large towns, Philippopoli and
Adrianople, is certainly not more chimerical and absurd than many that
are now projected. Who can doubt of its _ultimate_ accomplishment, in
spite of the alternate precipitancy and prostration of enterprise?
Meanwhile imagination loses itself in attempting to picture the
altered face of affairs in these secluded regions, when subjected to
the operation of a revolution, which posterity will pronounce to be
greater than those which made the fifteenth century the morning of the
just terminated period of civilization.


Poetry.--Journalism.--The Fine Arts.--The Lyceum.--Mineralogical
cabinet.--Museum.--Servian Education.

In the whole range of the Slaavic family there is no nation possessing
so extensive a collection of excellent popular poetry. The romantic
beauty of the region which they inhabit, the relics of a wild
mythology, which, in its general features, has some resemblance to
that of Greece and Scandinavia,--the adventurous character of the
population, the vicissitudes of guerilla warfare, and a hundred
picturesque incidents which are lost to the muses when war is carried
on on a large scale by standing armies, are all given in a dialect,
which, for musical sweetness, is to other Slavonic tongues what the
Italian is to the languages of Western Europe.[21]

The journalism of Servia began at Vienna; and a certain M. Davidovitch
was for many years the interpreter of Europe to his less enlightened
countrymen. The journal which he edited is now published at Pesth, and
printed in Cyrillian letters. There were in 1843 two newspapers at
Belgrade, the _State Gazette_ and the _Courier_; but the latter has
since been dropped, the editor having vainly attempted to get its
circulation allowed in the Servian districts of Hungary. Many copies
were smuggled over in boats, but it was an unremunerating speculation;
and the editor, M. Simonovitch, who was bred a Hungarian advocate, is
now professor of law in the Lyceum. Yankee hyperbole was nothing to
the high flying of this gentleman. In one number, I recollect the
passage, "These are the reasons why all the people of Servia, young
and old, rich and poor, danced and shouted for joy, when the Lord gave
them as a Prince a son of the never-to-be-forgotten Kara Georg." A
Croatian newspaper, containing often very interesting information on
Bosnia, is published at Agram, the language being the same as the
Servian, but printed in Roman instead of Cyrillian letters. The _State
Gazette_ of Belgrade gives the news of the interior and exterior, but
avoids all reflections on the policy of Russia or Austria. An article,
which I wrote on Servia for an English publication, was reproduced in
a translation minus all the allusions to these two powers; and I think
that, considering the dependent position of Servia, abstinence from
such discussions is dictated by the soundest policy.

The "Golubitza," or Dove, a miscellany in prose and verse, neatly got
up in imitation of the German Taschenbucher, and edited by M.
Hadschitch, is the only annual in Servia. In imitation of more
populous cities, Belgrade has also a "Literary Society," for the
formation of a complete dictionary of the language, and the
encouragement of popular literature. I could not help smiling at the
thirteenth statute of the society, which determines that the seal
should represent an uncultivated field, with the rising sun shining on
a monument, on which the arms of Servia are carved.

The fine arts are necessarily at a very low ebb in Servia. The useful
being so imperfect, the ornamental scarcely exists at all. The
pictures in the churches are mostly in the Byzantine manner, in which
deep browns and dark reds are relieved with gilding, while the
subjects are characterized by such extravagancies as one sees in the
pictures of the early German painters, a school which undoubtedly took
its rise from the importations of Byzantine pictures at Venice, and
their expedition thence across the Alps. At present everything
artistic in Servia bears a coarse German impress, such as for instance
the pictures in the cathedral of Belgrade.

Thus has civilization performed one of her great evolutions. The light
that set on the Thracian Bosphorus rose in the opposite direction from
the land of the once barbarous Hermans, and now feebly re-illumines
the modern Servia.

One of the most hopeful institutions of Belgrade is the Lyceum, or
germ of a university, as they are proud to call it. One day I went to
see it, along with Professor Shafarik, and looked over the
mineralogical collection made in Servia, by Baron Herder, which
included rich specimens of silver, copper, and lead ore, as well as
marble, white as that of Carrara. The Studenitza marble is slightly
grey, but takes a good polish. The coal specimens were imperfectly
petrified, and of bad quality, the progress of ignition being very
slow. Servia is otherwise rich in minerals; but it is lamentable to
see such vast wealth dormant, since none of the mines are worked.

We then went to an apartment decorated like a little ball-room, which
is what is called the cabinet of antiquities. A noble bronze head,
tying on the German stove, in the corner of the room, a handsome Roman
lamp and some antique coins, were all that could be shown of the
ancient Moesia; but there is a fair collection of Byzantine and Servian
coins, the latter struck in the Venetian manner, and resembling old

A parchment document, which extended to twice the length of a man,
was now unrolled, and proved to be a patent of Stephan Urosh, the
father of Stephan Dushan, endowing the great convent of Dechani, in
Albania. Another curiosity in the collection is the first banner of
Kara Georg, which the Servians consider as a national relic. It is in
red silk, and bears the emblem of the cross, with the inscription
"Jesus Christ conquers."

We then went to the professor's room, which was furnished with the
newest Russ, Bohemian, and other Slaavic publications, and after a
short conversation visited the classes then sitting. The end of
education in Servia being practical, prominence is given to geometry,
natural philosophy, Slaavic history and literature, &c. Latin and
Greek are admitted to have been the keys to polite literature, some
two centuries and a half ago; but so many lofty and noble chambers
having been opened since then, and routine having no existence in
Servia, her youth are not destined to spend a quarter of a lifetime in
the mere nurseries of humanity.


[Footnote 21: To those who take an interest in this subject, I have
great pleasure in recommending a perusal of "Servian Popular Poetry,"
(London, 1827,) translated by Dr. Bowring; but the introductory
matter, having been written nearly twenty years ago, is, of course,
far from being abreast of the present state of information on the
subjects of which it treats.]


Preparations for Departure.--Impressions of the East.--Prince
Alexander.--The Palace.--Kara Georg.

The gloom of November now darkens the scene; the yellow leaves sweep
round the groves of the Topshider, and an occasional blast from the
Frusca Gora, ruffling the Danube with red turbid waves, bids me
begone; so I take up pen to indite my last memoranda, and then for
England ho!

Some pleasant parties were given by M. Fonblanque, and his colleagues;
but although I have freely made Dutch pictures of the "natives," I do
not feel at liberty to be equally circumstantial with the
inexhaustible wit and good humour of our hospitable Consul-general. I
have preserved only a scrap of a conversation which passed at the
dinner table of Colonel Danilefsky, the Russian agent, which shows the
various impressions of Franks in the East.

A.B.C.D. discovered.

_A_. "Of all the places I have seen in the east, I certainly prefer
Constantinople. Not so much for its beauty; since habit reconciles one
to almost any scene. But because one can there command a greater
number of those minor European comforts, which make up the aggregate
of human happiness."

_B_. "I am not precisely of your way of thinking. I look back to my
residence at Cairo with pleasure, and would like well enough to spend
another winter there. The Turkish houses here are miserable barracks,
cold in winter, and unprotected from the sun in summer."

_C_. "The word East is certainly more applicable to the Arab than the
Turkish countries."

_D_. "I have seen only Constantinople, and think that it deserves all
that Byron and Anastasius have said of it."

_C_. "I am afraid that A. has received his impressions of the East
from Central Asia, which is a somewhat barbarous country."

_A_. "_Pardonnez-moi_. The valley of the Oxus is well cultivated, but
the houses are none of the best."

_B_. "I give my voice for Cairo. It is a city full of curious details,
as well in its architecture, as in its street population; to say
nothing of its other resources--its pleasant promenades, and the
occasional society of men of taste and letters--'_mais il faut aimer
la chaleur_.'"

_C_. "Well, then, we will take the winter of Cairo; the spring of
Damascus, and the summer of the Bosphorus."

M. Petronievitch took me to see the Prince, who has got into his new
residence outside the Constantinople gate, which looks like one of the
villas one sees in the environs of Vienna. In the centre of the
parterre is a figure with a trident, which represents the Morava, the
national river of Servia, and is in reality a Roman statue found near
Grotzka. The usual allowance of sentries, sentry-boxes, and striped
palisades stood at the entrance, and we were shown into an apartment,
half in the German, and half in the Oriental style. The divan cover
was embroidered with gold thread.

The Prince now entered, and received me with an easy self-possession
that showed no trace of the reserve and timidity which foreigners had
remarked a year before.

    "New honours ...
     Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould
     But with the aid of use."

_Prince_. "I expected to have seen you at Topola. We had a large
assemblage of the peasantry, and an ecclesiastical festival, such as
they are celebrated in Servia."

_Author_. "Your highness may rest assured that had I known that, I
should not have failed to go. At Tronosha I saw a similar festival,
and I am firmly convinced that no peasantry in Europe is freer from

_Prince_. "Every beginning is difficult; our principle must be,
'Endeavour and Progress.' Were you pleased with your tour?"

_Author_. "I think that your Highness has one of the most romantic
principalities in Europe. Without the grandeur of the Alps, Servia has
more than the beauty of the Apennines."

_Prince_. "The country is beautiful, but I wish to see agriculture

_Author_. "I am happy to hear that: your highness's father had a great
name as a soldier; I hope that your rule will be distinguished by
rapid advancement in the arts of civilization; that you will be the
Kara Georg of peace."

This led to a conversation relative to the late Kara Georg; and the
prince rising, led me into another apartment, where the portrait of
his father, the duplicate of one painted for the emperor Alexander,
hung from the wall. He was represented in the Turkish dress, and wore
his pistols in his girdle; the countenance expressed not only
intelligence but a certain refinement, which one would scarcely expect
in a warrior peasant: but all his contemporaries agree in representing
him to have possessed an inherent superiority and nobility of nature,
which in any station would have raised him above his equals.


A Memoir of Kara Georg.

The Turkish conquest was followed by the gradual dispersion or
disappearance of the native nobility of Servia, the last of whom, the
Brankovitch, lived as _despots_ in the castle of Semendria, up to the
beginning of the eighteenth century; so that at this moment scarcely a
single representative of the old stock is to be found.[22]

The nobility of Bosnia, occupying the middle region between the sphere
of the Eastern and Western churches, were in a state of religious
indifference, although nominally Catholic; and in order to preserve
their lands and influence, accepted Islamism _en masse_; they and the
Albanians being the only instances, in all the wars of the Moslems, of
a European nobility embracing the Mohamedan faith in a body. Chance
might have given the Bosniacs a leader of energy and military talents.
In that case, these men, instead of now wearing turbans in their grim
feudal castles, might, frizzed and perfumed, be waltzing in pumps; and
Shakespear and Mozart might now be delighting the citizens assembled
in the Theatre Royal Seraievo!

The period preceding the second siege of Vienna was the spring-tide of
Islam conquest. After this event, in 1684, began the ebb. Hungary was
lost to the Porte, and six years afterwards thirty-seven thousand
Servian families emigrated into that kingdom; this first led the way
to contact with the civilization of Germany: and in the attendance on
the Austrian schools by the youth of the Servian nation during the
eighteenth century, were sown the seeds of the now budding
civilization of the principality.

Servia Proper, for a short time wrested from the Porte by the
victories of Prince Eugene, again became a part of the dominions of
the Sultan. But a turbulent militia overawed the government and
tyrannized over the Rayahs. Pasvan Oglou and his bands at Widdin were,
at the end of last century, in open revolt against the Porte. Other
chiefs had followed his example; and for the first time the Divan
thought of associating Christian Rayahs with the spahis, to put down
these rebels, who had organized a system which savoured more of
brigandage than of government. They frequently used the holiday
dresses of the peasants as horse-cloths, interrupted the divine
service of the Christian Rayahs, and gratified their licentious
appetites unrestrained.

The Dahis, as these brigand-chiefs were called, resolved to anticipate
the approaching struggle by a massacre of the most influential
Christians. This atrocious massacre was carried out with indescribable
horrors. In the dead of the night a party of Dahis Cavasses would
surround a house, drive open gates and doors with sledge-hammers; the
awakened and affrighted inmates would rush to the windows, and seeing
the court-yard filled with armed men with dark lanterns, the shrieks
of women and children were added to the confusion; and the unhappy
father was often murdered with the half-naked females of his family
clinging to his neck, but unable to save him. The rest of the
population looked on with silent stupefaction: but Kara Georg, a
peasant, born at Topola about the year 1767, getting timely
information that his name was in the list of the doomed, fled into the
woods, and gradually organized a formidable armed force.

His efforts were everywhere successful. In the name of the Porte he
combated the Dahis, who had usurped local authority, in defiance of
the Pasha of Belgrade. The Divan, little anticipating the ultimate
issue of the struggle in Servia, was at first delighted at the success
of Kara Georg; but soon saw with consternation that the rising of the
Servian peasants grew into a formidable rebellion, and ordered the
Pashas of Bosnia and Scodra to assemble all their disposable forces,
and invade Servia. Between forty and fifty thousand Bosniacs burst
into Servia on the west, in the spring of 1806, cutting to pieces all
who refused to receive Turkish authority.

Kara Georg undauntedly met the storm; with amazing rapidity he marched
into the west of Servia, cut up in detail several detached bodies of
Turks, being here much favoured by the broken ground, and put to death
several village-elders who had submitted to them. The Turks then
retired to Shabatz; and Kara Georg at the head of only seven thousand
foot and two thousand horse, in all nine thousand men, took up a
position at an hour's distance, and threw up trenches. The following
is the account which Wuk Stephanovitch gives of this engagement.

"The Turks demanded the delivery of the Servian arms. The Servians
answered, 'Come and take them.' On two successive mornings the Turks
came out of Shabatz and stormed the breastwork which the Servians had
thrown up, but without effect. They then sent this message to the
Servians: 'You have held good for two days; but we will try it again
with all our force, and then see whether we give up the country to
the Drina, or whether we drive you to Semendria.'

"In the night before the decisive battle (August, 1806,) Kara Georg
sent his cavalry round into a wood, with orders to fall on the enemy's
flank as soon as the first shot should be fired.

"To the infantry within the breastworks he gave orders that they
should not fire until the Turks were so close that every shot might
tell. By break of day the Seraskier with his whole army poured out of
his camp at Shabatz, the bravest Beys of Bosnia bearing their banners
in the van. The Servians waited patiently until they came close, and
then opening fire did deadly execution. The standard-bearers fell,
confusion ensued, and the Servian cavalry issuing from the wood at the
same time that Kara Georg passed the breastworks at the head of the
infantry, the defence was changed into an attack; and the rout of the
Turks was complete. The Seraskier Kullin was killed, as well as Sinan
Pasha, and several other chiefs. The rest of the Turkish army was cut
up in the woods, and all the country as far as the Drina evacuated by

The Porte saw with astonishment the total failure of its schemes for
the re-conquest of Servia, resolved to temporize, and agreed to allow
them a local and national government with a reduction of tribute; but
previous to the ratification of the agreement withdrew its consent to
the fortresses going into the hands of Christian Rayahs; on which Kara
Georg resolved to seize Belgrade by stratagem.

Before daybreak on the 12th of December, 1806, a Greek Albanian named
Konda, who had been in the Turkish service, and knew Belgrade well,
but now fought in the Christian ranks, accompanied by six Servians,
passed the ditch and palisades that surrounded the city of Belgrade,
at a point between two posts so as not to be seen, and proceeding to
one of the gates, fell upon the guard, which defended itself well.
Four of the Servians were killed; but the Turks being at length
overpowered, Konda and the two remaining Servians broke open the gate
with an axe, on which a corps of Servians rushed in. The Turks being
attracted to this point, Kara Georg passed the ditch at another place
with a large force.

After a sanguinary engagement in the streets, and the conflagration of
many houses, the windows of which served as embrasures to the Turks,
victory declared for the Christians, and the Turks took refuge in the

The Servians, now in possession of the town, resolved to starve the
Turks out of the fortress; and having occupied a flat island at the
confluence of the Save and the Danube, were enabled to intercept their
provisions; on which the Pasha capitulated and embarked for Widdin.

The succeeding years were passed in the vicissitudes of a guerilla
warfare, neither party obtaining any marked success; and an auxiliary
corps of Russians assisted in preventing the Turks from making the
re-conquest of Servia.

Baron, subsequently Marshal Diebitch, on a confidential mission from
the Russian government in Servia during the years 1810, 1811, writes
as follows:[23]

"George Petrovitch, to whom the Turks have given the surname of Kara
or Black, is an important character. His countenance shows a greatness
of mind, which is not to be mistaken; and when we take into
consideration the times, circumstances, and the impossibility of his
having received an education, we must admit that he has a mind of a
masculine and commanding order. The imputation of cruelty and
bloodthirstiness appears to be unjust. When the country was without
the shadow of a constitution, and when he commanded an unorganized and
uncultivated nation, he was compelled to be severe; he dared not
vacillate or relax his discipline: but now that there are courts of
law, and legal forms, he hands every case over to the regular

"He has very little to say for himself, and is rude in his manners;
but his judgments in civil affairs are promptly and soundly formed,
and to great address he joins unwearied industry. As a soldier, there
is but one opinion of his talents, bravery, and enduring firmness."

Kara Georg was now a Russian lieutenant-general, and exercised an
almost unlimited power in Servia; the revolution, after a struggle of
eight years, appeared to be successful, but the momentous events then
passing in Europe, completely altered the aspect of affairs. Russia in
1812, on the approach of the countless legions of Napoleon,
precipitately concluded the treaty of Bucharest, the eighth article of
which formally assured a separate administration to the Servians.

Next year, however, was fatal to Kara Georg. In 1813, the vigour of
the Ottoman empire, undivided by exertions for the prosecution of the
Russian war, was now concentrated on the re-subjugation of Servia. A
general panic seemed to seize the nation; and Kara Georg and his
companions in arms sought a retreat on the Austrian territory, and
thence passed into Wallachia. In 1814, three hundred Christians were
impaled at Belgrade by the Pasha, and every valley in Servia presented
the spectacle of infuriated Turkish spahis, avenging on the Servians
the blood, exile, and confiscation of the ten preceding years.


[Footnote 22: The last of the Brankovitch line wrote a history of
Servia; but the most valuable portion of the matter is to be found in
Raitch, a subsequent historical writer.]

[Footnote 23: The original is now in the possession of the Servian
government, and I was permitted to peruse it; but although
interesting, it is too long for insertion.]


Milosh Obrenovitch.

At this period Milosh Obrenovitch appears prominently on the political
tapis. He spent his youth in herding the famed swine of Servia; and
during the revolution was employed by Kara Georg to watch the passes
of the Balkan, lest the Servians should be taken aback by troops from
Albania and Bosnia. He now saw that a favourable conjuncture had come
for his advancement from the position of chieftain to that of chief;
he therefore lost no time in making terms with the Turks, offering to
collect the tribute, to serve them faithfully, and to aid them in the
re-subjugation of the people: he was, therefore, loaded with caresses
by the Turks as a faithful subject of the Porte. His offers were at
once accepted; and he now displayed singular activity in the
extirpation of all the other popular chiefs, who still held out in the
woods and fastnesses, and sent their heads to the Pasha; but the
decapitation of Glavash, who was, like himself, supporting the
government, showed that when he had accomplished the ends of Soliman
Pasha, his own turn would come; he therefore employed the ruse
described in page 55, made his escape, and, convinced that it was
impossible ever to come to terms with Soliman Pasha, raised the
standard of open revolt. The people, grown desperate through the
ill-treatment of the spahis, who had returned, responded to his call,
and rose in a body. The scenes of 1804-5-6, were about to be renewed;
but the Porte quickly made up its mind to treat with Milosh, who
behaved, during this campaign, with great bravery, and was generally
successful. Milosh consequently came to Belgrade, made his submission,
in the name of the nation, to Marashly Ali Pasha, the governor of
Belgrade, and was reinstated as tribute-collector for the Porte; and
the war of mutual extermination was ended by the Turks retaining all
the castles, as stipulated in the eighth article of the treaty of

Many of the chiefs, impatient at the speedy submission of Milosh,
wished to fight the matter out, and Kara Georg, in order to give
effect to their plans, landed in Servia. Milosh pretended to be
friendly to his designs, but secretly betrayed his place of
concealment to the governor, whose men broke into the cottage where he
slept, and put him to death. Thus ended the brave and unfortunate Kara
Georg, who was, no doubt, a rebel against his sovereign, the Sultan,
and, according to Turkish law, deserving of death; but this base act
of treachery, on the part of Milosh, who was not the less a rebel, is
justly considered as a stain on his character.

M. Boue, who made the acquaintance of Milosh in 1836, gives a short
account of him.

Milosh rose early to the sound of military music, and then went to his
open gallery, where he smoked a pipe, and entered on the business of
the day. Although able neither to read, write, nor sign his name, he
could dictate and correct despatches; and in the evening he caused the
articles in the _Journal des Debats_, the _Constitutionnel_, and the
_Augsburg Gazette_, to be translated to him.

The Belgrade chief of police[24] having offended Milosh by the boldness
of his language, and having joined the detractors of the prince at a
critical moment, although he owed everything to him, Milosh ordered
his head to be struck off. Fortunately his brother Prince Ievren met
the people charged with the bloody commission; he blamed them, and
wished to hinder the deed: and knowing that the police director was
already on his way to Belgrade from Posharevatz, where he had been
staying, he asked the momkes to return another way, saying they had
missed him. The police director thus arrived at Belgrade, was
overwhelmed with reproaches by Milosh, and pardoned.

A young man having refused to marry one of his cast-off mistresses, he
was enlisted in the army, but after some months submitted to his fate.

He used to raise to places, in the Turkish fashion, men who were
unprepared by their studies for them. One of his cooks became a
colonel. Another colonel had been a merry-andrew. Having once received
a good medical advice from his butler, he told him that nature
intended him for a doctor, and sent him to study medicine under Dr.

"When Milosh sent his meat to market, all other sales were stopped,
until he had sold off his own at a higher price than that current, on
the ground of the meat being better."

"The prince considered all land in Servia to belong to him, and
perpetually wished to appropriate any property that seemed better than
his own, fixing his own price, which was sometimes below the value,
which the proprietor dared not refuse to take, whatever labour had
been bestowed on it. At Kragujevatz, he prevented the completion of
the house of M. Raditchevitch, because some statues of wood, and
ornaments, which were not to be found in his own palace, were in the
plan. An almanack having been printed, with a portrait of his niece
Auka, he caused all the copies to be given back by the subscribers,
and the portraits cut out."

There can be no doubt, that, after the miserable end of Kara Georg,
and the violent revolutionary wars, an unlimited dictatorship was the
best regimen for the restoration of order. Milosh was, therefore, many
years at the head of affairs of Servia before symptoms of opposition
appeared. Allowances are certainly to be made for him; he had seen no
government but the old Turkish regime, and had no notion of any other
way of governing but by decapitation and confiscation. But this
system, which was all very well for a prince of the fifteenth century,
exhausted the patience of the new generation, many of whom were bred
at the Austrian universities. Without seeking for democratic
institutions, for which Servia is totally unfit, they loudly demanded
written laws, which should remove life and property from the domain of
individual caprice, and which, without affecting the suzerainty of the
Porte, should bring Servia within the sphere of European
institutions. They murmured at Milosh making a colossal fortune out of
the administration of the principality, while he rendered no account
of his intromissions, either to the Sultan or to the people, and
seized lands and houses merely because he took a fancy to them.[25]
Hence arose the _national party_ in Servia, which included nearly all
the opulent and educated classes; which is not surprising, since his
rule was so stringent that he would allow no carriage but his own to
be seen in the streets of Belgrade: and, on his fall, so many orders
were sent to the coach-makers of Pesth, that trade was brisk for all
the summer.

The details of the debates of the period would exhaust the reader's
patience. I shall, therefore, at once proceed to the summing up.

1st. In the nine years' revolt of Kara Georg nearly the whole
sedentary Turkish population disappeared from Servia, and the Ottoman
power became, according to their own expression, _assassiz_

2nd. The eighth article of the treaty of Bucharest, concluded by
Russia with the Porte, which remained a dead letter, was followed by
the fifth article in the treaty of Akerman, formally securing the
Servians a separate administration.

3rd. The consummate skill with which Milosh played his fast and loose
game with the Porte, had the same consequences as the above, and
ultimately led to

4th. The formal act of the Sultan constituting Servia a tributary
principality to the Porte, in a _Hatti Sherif_, of the 22nd November,

5th. From this period, up to the end of 1838, was the hard struggle
between Milosh, seeking for absolute power, supported by the peasantry
of Rudnik, his native district, and the "Primates," as the heads of
the national party are called, seeking for a habeas-corpus act and a
legislative assembly.

Milosh was in 1838 forcibly expelled from Servia; and his son Michael
having been likewise set aside in 1842, and the son of Kara Georg
selected by the sublime Porte and the people of Servia, against the
views of Russia, the long-debated "Servian Question" arose, which
received a satisfactory solution by the return of Wucics and
Petronievitch, the exiled supports of Kara Georgevitch, through the
mediation of the Earl of Aberdeen.


[Footnote 24: M, Boue, in giving this anecdote, calls him "Newspaper
Editor:" this is a mistake.]

[Footnote 25: It is very true that the present Prince of Servia does
not possess anything like the power which Milosh wielded; he cannot
hang a man up at the first pear-tree: but it is a mistake on the part
of the liberals of France and England, to suppose that the revolutions
which expelled Milosh and Michael were democratic. There has been no
turning upside down of the social pyramid; and in the absence of a
hereditary aristocracy, the wealthiest and most influential persons in
Servia, such as Ressavatz, Simitch, Garashanin, &c. support Alexander
Kara Georgevitch.]


The Prince.--The Government.--The Senate.--The Minister for Foreign
Affairs.--The Minister of the Interior.--Courts of Justice.--Finances.

Kara Georgevitch means son of Kara Georg, his father's name having
been Georg Petrovitch, or son of Peter; this manner of naming being
common to all the southern Slaaves, except the Croats and Dalmatians.
This is the opposite of the Arabic custom, which confers on a father
the title of parent of his eldest son, as Abou-Selim, Abou-Hassan, &c.
while his own name is dropped by his friends and family.

The Prince's household appointments are about £20,000 sterling, and,
making allowance for the difference of provisions, servants' wages,
horse keep, &c. is equal to about £50,000 sterling in England, which
is not a large sum for a principality of the size of Servia.

The senate consists of twenty-one individuals, four of whom are
ministers. The senators are not elected by the people, but are named
by the prince, and form an oligarchy composed of the wealthiest and
most influential persons. They hold their offices for life; they must
be at least thirty-five years, and possess landed property.

The presidency of the senate is an imaginary dignity; the duties of
vice-president being performed by M. Stojan Simitch, the herculean
figure I have described on my first visit to Belgrade; and it is
allowed that he performs his duties with great sagacity, tact, and
impartiality. He is a Servian of the old school, speaks Servian and
Turkish, but no European language. The revolutions of this country
have brought to power many men, like M. Simitch, of good natural
talents, and defective education. The rising generation has more
instruction, and has entered the career of material improvements; but
I doubt if the present red tape routine will produce a race having
the shrewdness of their fathers. If these forms--the unavoidable
accompaniments of a more advanced stage of society,--circumscribe the
sphere of individual exertion, they possess, on the other hand, the
advantage of rendering the recurrence of military dictatorship

M. Petronievitch, the present minister for foreign affairs, and
director of the private chancery of the Prince, is unquestionably the
most remarkable public character now in Servia. He passed some time in
a commercial house at Trieste, which gave him a knowledge of Italian;
and the bustle of a sea-port first enlarged his views. Nine years of
his life were passed at Constantinople as a hostage for the Servian
nation, guaranteeing the non-renewal of the revolt; no slight act of
devotion, when one considers that the obligations of the contracting
parties reposed rather on expediency than on moral principles. Here he
made the acquaintance of all the leading personages at the Ottoman
Porte, and learned colloquial Turkish in perfection. Petronievitch is
astute by education and position, but he has a good heart and a
capacious intellect, and his defects belong not to the man, but to
the man's education and circumstances. Although placable in his
resentments, he is without the usual baser counterpart of such pliant
characters, and has never shown himself deficient in moral courage.
Most travellers trace in his countenance a resemblance to the busts
and portraits of Fox. His moral character bears a miniature
resemblance to that which history has ascribed to Macchiavelli.

In the course of a very tortuous political career, he has kept the
advancement and civilization of Servia steadily in view, and has
always shown himself regardless of sordid gain. He is one of the very
few public men in Servia, in whom the Christian and Western love of
_community_ has triumphed over the Oriental allegiance to _self_, and
this disinterestedness is, in spite of his defects, the secret of his

The commander of the military force is M. Wucics, who is also minister
of the interior, a man of great personal courage; and although
unacquainted with the tactics of European warfare, said to possess
high capacity for the command of an irregular force. He possesses
great energy of character, and is free from the taint of venality;
but he is at the same time somewhat proud and vindictive. His
predecessor in the ministry of the interior was M. Ilia Garashanin,
the rising man in Servia. Sound practical sense, and unimpeachable
integrity, without a shade of intrigue, distinguish this senator. May
Servia have many Garashanins!

The standing army is a mere skeleton. The reason of this is obvious.
Servia forms part of one great empire, and adjoins two others;
therefore, the largest disciplined force that she might bring into the
field, in the event of hostilities, could make no impression for
offensive objects; while for defensive purposes, the countless
riflemen, taking advantage of the difficult nature of the country, are
amply sufficient.

Let the Servians thank their stars that their army is a skeleton. Let
all Europe rejoice that the pen is rapidly superseding the sword; that
there now exists a council-board, to which strong and weak are equally
amenable. May this diplomarchy ultimately compass the ends of the
earth, and every war be reckoned a civil war, an arch-high-treason
against confederate hemispheres!

The portfolios of justice and finance are usually in the hands of men
of business-habits, who mix little in politics.

The courts of law have something of the promptitude of oriental
justice, without its flagrant venality. The salaries of the judges are
small: for instance, the president of the appeal court at Belgrade has
the miserable sum of £300 sterling per annum. M. Hadschitch, who
framed the code of laws, has £700 sterling per annum.

The criminal code is founded on that of Austria. The civil code is a
localized modification of the _Code Napoleon_. The first translation
of the latter code was almost literal, and made without reference to
the manners and historical antecedents of Servia: some of the blunders
in it were laughable:--_Hypotheque_ was translated as if it had been
_Apotheke_, and made out to be a _depot of drugs_! When the translator
was asked for the reason of this extraordinary prominence of the drug
depot subject, he accounted for it by the consummate skill attained
by France in medicine and surgery!

A small lawyer party is beginning in Belgrade, but they are disliked
by the people, who prefer short _viva voce_ procedure, and dislike
documents. It is remarked, that when a man is supposed to be in the
right, he wishes to carry on his own suit; when he has a bad case, he
resorts to a lawyer.

The ecclesiastical affairs of this department occupy a considerable
portion of the minister's attention.

In consequence of the wars which Stephan Dushan, the Servian emperor,
carried on against the Greeks in the fourteenth century, he made the
archbishop of Servia independent of the patriarch of Constantinople,
who, in turn, excommunicated Stephan and his nominee. This
independence continued up to the year 1765, at which period, in
consequence of the repeated encouragement given by the patriarchs of
Servia to revolts against the Turkish authority, the nation was again
subjected to the immediate spiritual jurisdiction of Constantinople.
Wuk Stephanovitch gives the following anecdote, illustrative of the
abuses which existed in the selection of the superior clergy from this
time, and up to the Servian revolution, all the charges being sold to
the highest bidder, or given to courtiers, destitute of religion, and
often of common morality.

In 1797, a Greek priest came to Orsova, complaining that he had not
funds sufficient to enable him to arrive at his destination. A
collection was made for him; but instead of going to the place he
pretended to be bound for, he passed over to the island of New Orsova,
and entered, in a military capacity, the service of the local
governor, and became a petty chief of irregular Turkish troops. He
then became a salt inspector; and the commandant wishing to get rid of
him, asked what he could do for him; on which he begged to be made
Archbishop of Belgrade! This modest request not being complied with,
the Turkish commandant sent him to Sofia, with a recommendation to the
Grand Vizier to appoint him to that see; but the vacancy had already
been filled up by a priest of Nissa, who had been interpreter to the
Vizier, and who no sooner seated himself, than he commenced a system
of the most odious exactions.

In the time of Kara Georg, the Patriarchate of Constantinople was not
recognized, and the Archbishop of Carlovitz in Hungary was looked up
to as the spiritual head of the nation; but after the treaty of
Adrianople, the Servian government, on paying a peppercorn tribute to
the Patriarch of Constantinople, was admitted to have the exclusive
direction of its ecclesiastical affairs. The Archbishop's salary is
800_l_. per annum, and that of his three Bishops about half as much.

The finances of Servia are in good condition. The income, according to
a return made to me from the finance department, is in round numbers,
eight hundred and eighty-seven thousand dollars, and the expenditure
eight hundred and thirty thousand. The greater part of the revenue
being produced by the _poresa_, which is paid by all heads of
families, from the time of their marriage to their sixtieth year, and
in fact, includes nearly all the adult population; for, as is the case
in most eastern countries, nearly every man marries early. The
bachelors pay a separate tax. Some of the other items in the budget
are curious: under the head of "Interest of a hundred thousand ducats
lent by the government to the people at six per cent." we find a sum
of fourteen thousand four hundred dollars. Not only has Servia no
public debt, but she lends money. Interest is high in Servia; not
because there is a want of capital, but because there are no means of
investment. The consequence is that the immense savings of the
peasantry are hoarded in the earth. A father of a family dies, or _in
extremis_ is speechless, and unable to reveal the spot; thus large
sums are annually lost to Servia. The favourite speculation in the
capital is the building of houses.

The largest gipsy colonies are to be found on this part of the Danube,
in Servia, in Wallachia, and in the Banat. The tax on the gipsies in
Servia amounts to more than six thousand dollars. They are under a
separate jurisdiction, but have the choice of remaining nomade, or
settling; in the latter case they are fiscally classed with the
Servians. Some settled gipsies are peasants, but for the most part
smiths. Both settled and nomade gipsies, are alike remarkable for
their musical talents. Having fought with great bravery during the war
of emancipation, they are not so despised in Servia as in some other

For produce of the state forests, appears the very insignificant sum
of one hundred and twenty-five dollars. The interior of Servia being
so thickly wooded, every Servian is allowed to cut as much timber as
he likes. The last item in the budget sounds singularly enough: two
thousand three hundred and forty-one dollars are set down as the
produce of sales of stray cattle, which are first delivered up to the
captain of the district, who makes the seizure publicly, and then
hands them over to the judge for sale, if there be no claimant within
a given time.


Agriculture and Commerce.

Upon the whole, it must be admitted, that the peasantry of Servia have
drawn a high prize in the lottery of existence. Abject want and
pauperism is nearly unknown. In fact, from the great abundance of
excellent land, every man with ordinary industry can support his wife
and family, and have a large surplus. The peasant has no landlord but
the Sultan, who receives a fixed tribute from the Servian government,
and does not interfere with the internal administration. The father of
a family, after having contributed a _maximum_ tax of six dollars per
annum, is sole master of the surplus; so that in fact the taxes are
almost nominal, and the rent a mere peppercorn; the whole amounting
on an average to about four shillings and sixpence per caput per

A very small proportion of the whole soil of Servia is cultivated.
Some say only one sixth, others only one eighth; and even the present
mode of cultivation scarcely differs from that which prevails in other
parts of Turkey. The reason is obvious: if the present production of
Servia became insufficient for the subsistence of the population, they
have only to take in waste lands; and improved processes of
agriculture will remain unheeded, until the population begins to press
on the limits of the means of subsistence; a consummation not likely
to be brought about for many generations to come.

Although situated to the south of Hungary, the climate and productions
are altogether northern. I never saw an olive-tree in Servia, although
plentiful in the corresponding latitudes of France and Italy (43°--44°
50'); but both sorts of melons are abundant, although from want of
cultivation not nearly so good as those of Hungary. The same may be
said of all other fruits except the grapes of Semendria, which I
believe are equal to any in the world. The Servians seem to have in
general very little taste for gardening, much less in fact than the
Turks, in consequence perhaps of the unsurpassed beauty and luxuriance
of nature. The fruit-tree which seems to be the most common in Servia
is the plum, from which the ordinary brandy of the country is made.
Almost every village has a plantation of this tree in its vicinity.
Vegetables are tolerably abundant in some parts of the interior of
Servia, but Belgrade is very badly supplied. There seems to be no
kitchen gardens in the environs; at least I saw none. Most of the
vegetables as well as milk come from Semlin.

The harvest in August is the period of merriment. All Servian peasants
assist each other in getting in the grain as soon as it is ready,
without fee or reward; the cultivator providing entertainment for his
laborious guests. In the vale of the Lower Morava, where there is less
pasture and more corn, this is not sufficient, and hired Bulgarians

The innumerable swine which are reared in the vast forests of the
interior, at no expense to the inhabitants, are the great staple of
Servian product and export. In districts where acorns abound, they
fatten to an inconceivable size. They are first pushed swimming across
the Save, as a substitute for quarantine, and then driven to Pesth and
Vienna by easy stages; latterly large quantities have been sent up the
Danube in boats towed by steam.

Another extensive trade in this part of the world is in leeches.
Turkey in Europe, being for the most part uncultivated, is covered
with ponds and marshes, where leeches are found in abundance. In
consequence of the extensive use now made of these reptiles, in
preference to the old practice of the lancet, the price has risen; and
the European source being exhausted, Turkey swarms with Frenchmen
engaged in this traffic. Semlin and Belgrade are the entrepots of this
trade. They have a singular phraseology; and it is amusing to hear
them talk of their "marchandises mortes." One company had established
a series of relays and reservoirs, into which the leeches were
deposited, refreshed, and again put in motion; as the journey for a
great distance, without such refreshment, usually proves fatal.

The steam navigation on the Danube has been of incalculable benefit to
Servia; it renders the principality accessible to the rest of Europe,
and Europe easily accessible to Servia. The steam navigation of the
Save has likewise given a degree of animation to these lower regions,
which was little dreamt of a few years ago. The Save is the greatest
of all the tributaries of the Danube, and is uninterruptedly navigable
for steamers a distance of two hundred miles. This river is the
natural canal for the connexion of Servia and the Banat with the
Adriatic. It also offers to our summer tourists, on the completion of
the Lombard-Venetian railway, an entirely new and agreeable route to
the East. By railroad, from Milan to Venice; by steamer from thence to
Trieste; by land to Sissek; and the rest of the way by the rapid
descent of the Save and the Danube. By the latter route very few
turnings and windings are necessary; for a straight line drawn from
Milan to Kustendji on the Black Sea, the point of embarkation for
Constantinople, almost touches Venice, Trieste, Belgrade, and the


The Foreign Agents.

So much for the native government. The foreign agents in Belgrade are
few in number. The most prominent individual during my stay there was
Baron Lieven, a Russian general, who had been sent there on a special
mission by the emperor, to steer the policy of Russia out of the
shoals of the Servian question.

On calling there with Mr. Fonblanque, I found a tall military-looking
man, between forty and forty-five years of age. He entered at once,
and without mystery, into the subject of his mission, and concluded by
saying that "Servia owed her political existence solely to Russia,
which gave the latter a moral right of intervention over and above the
stipulations of treaties, to which no other power could pretend." As
the public is already familiar with the arguments pro and contra on
this question, it is at present unnecessary to recur to them.

Baron Lieven had in the posture of affairs at that time a difficult
part to play, inasmuch as a powerful party sought to throw off the
protectorate of Russia. The baron, without possessing an intellect of
the highest order, was a man of good sound judgment, and in his
proceedings showed a great deal of frankness and military decision,
qualities which attained his ends in all probability with greater
success than if he had been endowed with that profound astuteness
which we usually attribute to Russians. This was his fifth mission
into the Turkish dominions; so that, although not possessing the
language, he was yet well acquainted with the Turkish character and
Eastern affairs in general. His previous mission had for its object to
announce to the Sultan that, in accordance with the stipulations of
the treaty of the 15th of July, 1840, the military and naval forces of
the Emperor of Russia were at the service of his Highness.

Baron Lieven was accompanied to Servia by his lady, a highly talented
person, who spoke English admirably; and the evenings spent in his
hospitable house were among the most agreeable reminiscences of my
residence at Belgrade.

The stationary Russian consul-general was M. Wastchenko, a stout
middle-aged gentleman, with the look of a well-conditioned alderman.
M. Wastchenko had been originally in a commercial establishment at
Odessa; but having acquired a knowledge of the Turkish language he was
attached to the embassy at Constantinople, and subsequently nominated
Russian consul at Belgrade, under the consul-general for the
principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia; but his services having been
highly approved by Count Nesselrode, he was advanced to the rank and
pay of consul-general. M. Wastchenko possesses in an eminent degree
what Swift calls the aldermanly, but never to be over estimated
quality, Discretion; he was considered generally a very safe man. In
fact, a sort of man who is a favourite with all chanceries; the
quality of such a mind being rather to avoid complications than to
excite admiration by activity in the pen or the tongue. M. Wastchenko
was most thoroughly acquainted with everything, and every man, in
Servia. He spoke the language fluently, and lived familiarly with the
principal persons in Belgrade. He had never travelled in Europe, and,
strange to say, had never been in St. Petersburg.

The present Russian consul-general in Servia is Colonel Danilefsky, who
distinguished himself, when a mere youth, by high scientific attainments
in military colleges of Russia, rose rapidly to a colonelcy, and was
sent out on a mission to the khan of Khiva; the success of which ensured
his promotion to the Servian consulate-general, an important position as
regards the interests of Russia.

From the circumstance of there being three thousand Austrian subjects
in Belgrade, the consul-general of that power has a mass of real
consular business to transact, while the functions of the other agents
are solely political. France has generally an agent of good capacity
in Servia, in consequence of the influence that the march of affairs
in the principality might have on the general destinies of Turkey in
Europe. Great Britain was represented by Mr. Consul-general
Fonblanque, a gentleman whose conduct has been sharply criticized by
those who suppose that the tactics of party in the East are like those
in England, all fair and above-board: but let those gentlemen that sit
at home at ease, experience a few of the rude tempestuous blasts which
fall to the lot of individuals who speak and write truths unpalatable
to those who will descend to any device to compass a political object,
and they would sing another song.

I now take leave of Servia, wishing her Prince and her people every
prosperity, and entertaining the hope that she will wisely limit all
her future efforts to the cultivation of the arts of peace and
civilization. From Belgrade I crossed to Semlin, whence I proceeded by
steam to Vienna.


VIENNA IN 1844[26]

Improvements in Vienna.--Palladian style--Music.--Theatres.--Sir
Robert Gordon.--Prince Metternich.--Armen
Ball.--Dancing.--Strauss.--Austrian Policy.

Vienna has been more improved and embellished within the last few
years than during the previous quarter of a century. The Graben and
the Kohlmarket have been joined, and many old projecting houses have
been taken down, and replaced by new tenements, with the facades put
back, so as to facilitate the thoroughfare. Until very lately, almost
every public building and private palace in Vienna was in the
Frenchified style of the last century, when each petty prince in
Germany wished to have a miniature Versailles in his village capital.
All the new edifices are in the Palladian style; which is suitable,
not only to the climate, but to the narrow streets, where Greek
architecture would be lost for want of space, and where the great
height of the houses gives mass to this (the Palladian) style, without
the necessity of any considerable perspective. The circumstance of
many of the architects here being Italian, may probably, in some
measure, account for the general adoption of this style. It is
singular, that although Vienna possesses in St. Stephen's one of the
most beautiful specimens of Gothic architecture, not a single edifice
in this taste of recent date is to be seen, although a revival of it
is noticeable in several other parts of Germany.

Music is one of the necessaries of existence in Vienna, and the
internal consumption is apparently as great as ever: there is
now-a-days no Mozart or Haydn to supply imperishable fabrics for the
markets of the world; but the orchestras are as good as ever. The
Sinfonia-Eroica of Beethoven catching my eye in a programme, I failed
not to renew my homage to this prince of sweet and glorious sounds,
and was loyally indignant on hearing a fellow-countryman say, that,
though rich in harmony, he was poor in melody. No; Beethoven's wealth
is boundless; his riches embarrass him; he is the sultan of melody:
while others dally with their beauties to satiety, he wanders from
grace to grace, scarce pausing to enjoy. Is it possible to hear his
symphonies without recognizing in them the germs of innumerable modern
melodies, the precious metal which others beat out, wherewith to plate
their baser compositions,--exhaustless materials for the use of his
successors, like those noble temples which antiquity has raised in the
East, to become, in the sequel, the quarries from which whole cities
of lowlier dwellings are constructed?

At the Karnthner Thor I heard the Huguenots admirably performed.
Decorations excepted, I really thought it better done than at the
Academie Royale. Meyerbeer's brilliant and original conceptions, in
turning the chorus into an oral orchestra, are better realized. A
French vaudeville company performed on the alternate nights. Carl, the
rich Jew manager of the Wieden, and proprietor of the Leopold-Stadt
Theatre, is adding largely to his fortune, thanks to the rich and racy
drolleries of Nestroz and Schulz, who are the Matthews and Liston of
Vienna. The former of these excellent actors is certainly the most
successful farce-writer in Germany. Without any of Raimund's
sentimental-humorous dialogue, he has a far happier eye for character,
and only the untranslatable dialect of Vienna has preserved him from
foreign play-wrights.

Sir Robert Gordon, her Majesty's ambassador, whose unbounded and truly
sumptuous hospitalities are worthy of his high position, did me the
honour to take me to one of Princess Metternich's receptions, in the
apartments of the chancery of state, one side of which is devoted to
business, the other to the private residence of the minister. After
passing through a vestibule on the first floor, paved with marble, we
entered a well-lighted saloon of palatial altitude, at the further
end of which sat the youthful and fascinating princess, in
conversation with M. Bailli de Tatischeff ex-ambassador of Russia.

There, almost blind and bent double with the weight of eighty years,
sat the whilom profoundly sagacious diplomatist, whose accomplished
manners and quick perception of character have procured him a European
reputation. He quitted public business some years ago, but even in
retirement Vienna had its attractions for him. There is an
unaccountable fascination in a residence in this capital; those who
live long in it become _ipsis Vindobonensibus Vindobonensiores_.

Prince Metternich, who was busy when we entered with a group,
examining some views of Venice, received me with that quaker-like
simplicity which forms the last polish of the perfect gentleman and
man of the world; "_les extremes se touchent_," in manners as in
literature: but for the riband of the Golden Fleece, which crossed his
breast, there was nothing to remind me that I was conversing with the
statesman, who, after the armistice of Plesswitz, held the destinies
of all Europe in his hands. After some conversation, the prince asked
me to call upon him on a certain forenoon.

Most of the diplomatic corps were present, one of whom was the amiable
and well-known Marshal Saldanha, who, a few years ago, played so
prominent a part in the affairs of Portugal. The usual resources of
whist and the tea-buffet changed the conversational circle, and at
midnight there was a general movement to the Kleine Redouten Saal,
where the Armen Ball had attracted so crowded an assemblage, that more
than one archduchess had her share of elbowing. Strauss was in all his
glory; the long-drawn impassioned breathings of Lanner having ceased
for ever, the dulcet hilarity of his rival now reigns supreme; and his
music, when directed by himself, still abounds in those exquisite
little touches, that inspire _hope_ like the breath of a May morning.
Strange to say, the intoxicating waltz is gone out of vogue with the
humbler classes of Vienna,--its natal soil. Quadrilles, mazurkas, and
other exotics, are now danced by every "Stubenmad'l" in Lerchenfeld,
to the exclusion of the national dance.

On the third day after this, at the appointed hour, I waited upon Prince
Metternich. In the outer antechamber an elderly well-conditioned
red-faced usher, in loosely made clothes of fine black cloth, rose from
a table, and on my announcing myself, said, "If you will go into that
apartment, and take a seat, his Excellency will be disengaged in a short
time." I now entered a large apartment, looking out on the little garden
of the bastion: an officer, in a fresh new white Austrian uniform, stood
motionless and pensive at one of the windows, waiting his turn with a
most formidable roll of papers. The other individual in the room was a
Hungarian, who moved about, sat down, and rose up, with the most
restless impatience, twirled his mustachios, and kept up a most lively
conversation with a caged parrot which stood on the table.

Two large pictures, hanging from the wall opposite the windows, were a
full length portrait of the emperor in his robes, the other a picture
of St. John Nepomuck, the patron saint of Bohemia, holding an olive
branch in his hand. The apartment, although large, was very simply
furnished, but admirably decorated in subdued colours, in the Italian
manner. A great improvement has lately taken place in internal
decoration in Vienna, which corresponds with that of external
architecture. A few years ago, most large apartments were fitted up in
the style of Louis XV., which was worthy of the degenerate nobles and
crapulous financiers for whom it was invented, and was, in fact, a
sort of Byzantine of the boudoir, which succeeded the nobler and
simpler manner of the age of Louis XIV., and tormenting every straight
line into meretricious curves, ended with over-loading caricature

I found Prince Metternich in his cabinet, surrounded with book-cases,
filled mostly with works on history, statistics, and geography, and I
hope I am not committing any indiscretion in saying that his
conversation savoured more of the abstractions of history and
political philosophy than that of any other practical statesman I had
seen. I do not think that I am passing a dubious compliment, since M.
Guizot, the most eminently practical of the statesmen of France, is at
the same time the man who has most successfully illustrated the
effects of modifications of political institutions on the main current
of human happiness.

It must be admitted that Prince Metternich has a profound acquaintance
with the minutest sympathies and antipathies of all the European
races; and this is the quality most needed in the direction of an
empire which comprises not a nation, but a congregation of nations;
not cohering through sympathy with each other, but kept together by
the arts of statesmanship, and the bond of loyalty to the reigning
house. The ethnographical map of Europe is as clear in his mind's eye
as the boot of Italy, the hand of the Morea, and the shield of the
Spanish peninsula in those of a physical geographer. It is not
affirming too much to say that in many difficult questions in which
the _mezzo termine_ proposed by Austria has been acceded to by the
other powers, the solution has been due as much to the sagacity of the
individual, as to the less ambitious policy which generally
characterizes Austria.

The last time I saw this distinguished individual was in the month of
November following, on my way to England, I venture to give a scrap of
the conversation.

_Mett_. "The idea of Charlemagne was the formation of a vast state,
comprising heterogeneous nations united under one head; but with all
his genius he was unequal to the task of its accomplishment. Napoleon
entertained the same plan with his confederation of the Rhine; but all
such systems are ephemeral when power is centralized, and the minor
states are looked upon as instruments, and not as principals. Austria
is the only empire on record that has succeeded under those
circumstances. The cabinet of Austria, when it seeks the solution of
any internal question, invariably reverses the positions, and
hypothetically puts itself in the position of the provincial interest
under consideration. That is the secret of the prosperity of Austria."

_Author_. "I certainly have been often struck with the historical
fact, that 1830 produced revolutions then and subsequently in France,
Belgium, Poland, Spain, and innumerable smaller states; while in
Austria, with all its reputed combustible elements, not a single town
or village revolted."

_Mett_. "That tangible fact speaks for itself."


[Footnote 26: This chapter was written in Vienna in the beginning of
1844; but I did not wish to break the current of my observations on
Servia by the record of my intervening journey to England.]


Concluding Observations on Austria and her Prospects.

The heterogeneousness of the inhabitants of London and Paris is from
the influx of foreigners; but the odd mixture of German, Italian,
Slaavic, and I know not how many other races in Vienna, is almost all
generated within the limits of the monarchy. Masses, rubbing against
each other, get their asperities smoothed in the contact; but the
characteristics of various nationalities remain in Vienna in
considerable strength, and do not seem likely soon to disappear by any
process of attrition. There goes the German--honest, good-natured, and
laborious; the Hungarian--proud, insolent, lazy, hospitable, generous,
and sincere; and the plausible Slaav--his eye, twinkling with the
prospect of seizing, by a knowledge of human nature, what others
attain by slower means.

How curious again, is the meeting of nations that labour and enjoy! In
Paris, the Germans and the English are more numerous than any other
foreigners. The former toil, drudge, save their littles to make a
meikle. The latter, whatever they may be at home, are, in Paris,
generally loungers and consumers of the fruits of the earth. The
Hungarian's errand in Vienna is to spend money: the Italian's to make
it. The Hungarian, A.B., is one of the squirearchy of his country,
whose name is legion, or a military man, whiling away his furlough
amid the excitements of a gay capital. The Italian, C.D., is a
painter, a sculptor, a musician, or an employe; and there is scarcely
to be found an idle man among the twenty thousand of his
fellow-countrymen, who inhabit the metropolis.

The Hungarian nobility, of the higher class, are, in appearance and
habits, completely identified with their German brethren; but it is in
the middle nobility that we recognize the swarthy complexion, the
haughty air and features, more or less of a Mongolian cast. The
Hungarians and native Germans are mutually proud of each other, and
mutually dislike each other. I never knew a Hungarian who was not in
his heart pleased with the idea, that the King of Hungary was also an
emperor, whose lands, broad and wide, occupied so large a space in the
map of Europe; and I never knew an Austrian proper, who was not proud
of Hungary and the Hungarians, in spite of all their defects. The
Hungarian of the above description herds with his fellow-countrymen,
and preserves, to the end of his stay, his character of foreigner;
visits assiduously places of public resort, preferring the theatre and
ball-room to the museum or picture-gallery.

Of all men living in Vienna, the Bohemians carry off the palm for
acuteness and ingenuity. The relation of Bohemia to the Austrian
empire has some resemblance to that of Scotland to the colonies of
Britain, in the supply of mariners to the vessel of state. The
population of Bohemia is a ninth part of that of the whole empire; but
I dare say that a fourth of the bureaucracy of Austria is Bohemian.
To account for this, we must take into consideration the great number
of men of sharp intellect, good education, and scanty fortune, that
annually leave that country.

The population of Scotland is about a ninth of that of the United
Kingdom. The Scot is well educated. He has less loose cash than his
brother John Bull, and consequently prefers the sweets of office to
the costly incense of the hustings and the senate. How few,
comparatively speaking, of those who have made themselves illustrious
in the imperial Parliament, from the Union to our own time, came from
the north of the Tweed; but how the Malcolms, the Elphinstones, the
Munros, and the Burns, crowd the records of Indian statesmanship!

The power that controls the political tendencies of Austria is that of
the _mass_ of the bureaucracy; consequently, looking at the proportion
of Bohemian to other employes in the departments of public service,
the influence exercised by this singularly sagacious people, over the
destinies of the monarchy, may be duly appreciated. Count Kollowrath,
the minister of the interior, and Baron Kubeck, the minister of
finance, are both Bohemians, and thus, next to the Chancellor of
State, occupy the most important offices in the empire.

The Bohemians of the middling and poorer classes, have certainly less
sincerity and straight-forwardness than their neighbours. An anecdote
is related illustrative of the slyness of the Bohemians, compared with
the simple honesty of the German, and the candid unscrupulousness of
the Hungarian: "During the late war, three soldiers, of each of these
three nations, met in the parlour of a French inn, over the
chimney-piece of which hung a watch. When they had gone, the German
said, 'That is a good watch; I wish I had bought it.' 'I am sorry I
did not take it,' said the Hungarian. 'I have it in my pocket,' said
the Bohemian."

The rising man in the empire is the Bohemian Baron Kubeck, who is
thoroughly acquainted with every detail in the economical condition of
Austria. The great object of this able financier is to cut down the
expenses of the empire. No doubt that it would be unwise for Austria,
an inland state, to reduce her military expenses; but the
_viel-schreiberei_ might be diminished, and the pruning-hook might
safety be applied to the bureaucracy; but a powerful under-current
places this region beyond the power of Baron Kubeck. He is also a
free-trader; but here again he meets with a powerful opposition: no
sooner does he propose a modification of the tariff, than the saloons
of the Archdukes are filled with manufacturers and monopolists, who
draw such a terrific picture of the ruin which they pretend is to
overwhelm them, that the government, true to its tradition of never
doing any thing unpopular, of always avoiding collision with public
opinion, and of protecting vested interests, even to the detriment of
the real interest of the public, draws back; and the old jog-trot is

The mass of the aristocracy continues as usual without the slightest
political influence, or the slightest taste for state affairs. The
Count or Prince of thirty or forty thousand a year, is as contented
with his chamberlain's key embroidered on his coat-skirt, as if he
controlled the avenues to real power; but the silent operation of an
important change is visible in all the departments of the internal
government of Austria. The national reforms of the Emperor Joseph were
too abrupt and sweeping to be salutary. By good luck the reaction
which they produced being co-incident with the first French
Revolution, the firebrands which that great explosion scattered over
all monarchical Europe, fell innocuous in Austria. The second French
revolution rather retarded than accelerated useful reforms. Now that
the fear of democracy recedes, an inclination for salutary changes
shows itself everywhere. A desire for incorporations becomes
stronger, and the government shows none of its quondam anxiety about
public companies and institutions. The censorship has been greatly
relaxed, and many liberal newspapers and periodicals, formerly
excluded, are now frequently admitted. Any one who knew Austria some
years ago, would be surprised to see the "Examiner," and
"Constitutionnel" lying on the tables of the Clubs.

A desire for the revival of the provincial estates (Landstande), is
entertained by many influential persons. These provincial parliaments
existed up to the time of the Emperor Joseph, who, with his rage for
novelty, and his desire for despotic and centralized power, abolished
them. The section of the aristocracy desirous for this revival is
certainly small, but intelligent, and impatient for a sphere of
activity. They have neither radical nor democratic principles; they
admit that Austria, from the heterogeneous nature of her population,
is not adapted for constitutional government; but maintain that the
revival of municipal institutions is quite compatible with the present
elements of the monarchy, and that the difficulties presented by the
antagonist nationalities are best solved by allowing a development of
provincial public life, restricted to the control of local affairs,
and leaving the central government quite unfettered in its general
foreign and domestic policy.

St. Marc Girardin remarks, with no less piquancy of language than
accuracy of observation, that "no country is judged with less favour
than Austria; and none troubles herself less about misrepresentation.
Austria carries her repugnance to publicity so far as even to dislike
eulogium. Praise often offends her as much as blame; for he that
applauds to-day may condemn to-morrow; to set one's self up for
praise, is to set one's self up for discussion. Austria will have none
of it, for her political worship is the religion of silence, and her
worship of _that_ goes almost to excess. Her schools are worthy of the
highest admiration; we hear nothing about them. She is, after England,
the first country in Europe for railways; and we hear nothing of them,
except by a stray paragraph in the Augsburg Gazette."

The national railroad scheme of Austria is certainly the most splendid
effort of the _tout pour le peuple--rien par le peuple_ system that
has been hitherto seen; the scheme is the first of its class: but its
class is not the first, not the best in the abstract, but the best in
an absolute country, where the spirit of association is scarcely in
embryo. From Vienna to Cracow is now but a step. Prague and Dresden
will shake hands with Vienna next year. If we look southwards, line
upon line interpose themselves between Vienna and the Adriatic, but
the great Sommering has been pierced. The line to Trieste is open
beyond Gratz, the Styrian capital. The Lombard-Venetian line proceeds
rapidly, and is to be joined to that of Trieste. In 1847, the
traveller may go, without fail, from Milan to Stettin on the Baltic.
But the most interesting line for us is that of Gallicia, in connexion
with that of Silesia. If prolonged from Czernowitz to Galatz, along
the dead flat of Moldavia, the Black Sea and the German Ocean will be
joined; _Samsoun and the Tigris will thus be, in all probability, at
no distant day, on the high road to our Indian empire_.

But to return to Austria; this spectacle of rapid material
improvement, without popular commotion, and without the trumpets and
alarm-bells of praise and blame, is satisfactory: but when we look to
the reverse of the picture, and see the cumbrous debt, the frequent
deficits, and the endless borrowing, we think the time has come for
great financial reforms,--as Schiller hath it:--

     "Warum denn nicht mit einem grossen Schritte anfangen, Da sie mit
     einem grossen Schritte doch enden mussen?"


MR. PATON'S WORK ON SYRIA, Post 8vo, price 10_s_. 6_d_.




"Lebanon and its inhabitants, particularly the Druses, Damascus, and
Aleppo, are his leading subjects. His statements, under the first of
those heads, form by far the most valuable portion of the work,
affording, as it does, information not elsewhere to be found
respecting the social condition, the politics, and the state of
religion in a highly interesting region, our knowledge of which has
hitherto been of the slightest description. Next to this, in interest,
is the account of Aleppo, which has been less visited by English
travellers than Damascus; but even at Damascus, the information of
this writer has considerable novelty, and embraces many points of
interest arising from his leisurely sojourn, from his mixing more than
other travellers with the native population, and from his ability to
converse with them in their own language. Hence we have pictures more
distinct in their outlines, facts more positive, and information more
real than the passing traveller, ignorant of the local language, can
be reasonably expected to exhibit ... makes larger additions to the
common stock of information concerning Syria, than any work which
could easily be named since 'Burckhardt's Travels in Syria'
appeared."--_Eclectic Review_.

"Remarkably clever and entertaining."--_Times_.

"In many of the conversations and reports in this volume, there seems
to us a _reality_, which European writing and discourse often

"I willingly testify to the fact of your having enjoyed facilities
over all our modern travellers, for accurately describing the manners,
customs, and statistics of Syria."--_Letter of Mr. Consul-General

For a detailed analysis, see _Athenaeum_, 24th Aug. 1844.


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