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Title: Rambles in Istria, Dalmatia and Montenegro
Author: R. H. R.
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.

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Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by =equal
  signs=.

  The following alternative spellings were identified and left
  unchanged.

     zigzags and zig-zags
     Broniewsky and Broniewski
     Petersburg and Petersburgh
     Niegosh and Niegosch
     Mahomedan and Mahommedan
     Roganovitch and Roganovich
     Vissegrad and Wissegrad
     trowsers and trousers



     RAMBLES IN ISTRIA, DALMATIA,
     AND
     MONTENEGRO.



     RAMBLES IN ISTRIA,
     DALMATIA AND MONTENEGRO.

     BY
     R. H. R.

     "Dirvi ch'io sia, saria parlar indarno."—DANTE.

     _IN ONE VOLUME._

     LONDON:
     HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS.
     13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

     1875.

     _All rights reserved._



PREFACE.


Every year more and more is the constantly recurring question ever put
"Where shall we go to this Summer?" and every year the field for selection
gets narrower and narrower.

In writing the following pages, my object has been less to make a book
than to point out to those who are tired of the old beaten tracks,
countries within easy reach of London, but seldom visited, and quite
outside the lines affected by the typical tourist:—countries where at
moderate expense and with total freedom from danger they may enjoy new
scenery, receive fresh impressions, acquire new information; and if by
so doing I shall have suggested to others one more field for exploration
that shall afford them half the enjoyment which I experienced during my
wanderings, I shall consider myself very amply rewarded.



CONTENTS.


     CHAPTER I.

     A CONVERSATION—WHERE SHALL WE GO FOR A HOLIDAY TRIP—ATTRACTIONS
     OF LAPLAND—REMINISCENCES OF ITALY—THE GRAND TOUR IN FORMER
     DAYS—HOW TO STUDY HISTORY—DIFFICULTY OF FINDING NEW GROUND
     FOR TRAVEL—AN INTERESTING COUNTRY WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF TEMPLE
     BAR                                                              1

     CHAPTER II.

     MAN PROPOSES, BUT GOD DISPOSES—VIENNA—ST. STEPHEN'S
     CATHEDRAL—OLD CATHEDRALS—SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE—USES OF EAU DE
     COLOGNE—INSECT ATTACKS—THE UNIVERSAL EXHIBITION—THE GARDENS
     AND ACCESSORIES—THE LADIES OF VIENNA—NEW OPERA-HOUSE—ON THE
     DANUBE—A WEALTHY PRELATE—WISSEGRAD—ARRIVAL AT PESTH             14

     CHAPTER III.

     PESTH—HOTEL UNGARIA—BUDA—STORY OF AN ARTIST—PROSPERITY OF THE
     CITY—NEW BRIDGE OVER THE DANUBE—ST. MARGUERITE'S ISLAND—ANCIENT
     ROMAN BATH—CONDITION OF HUNGARY—FIELD FOR THE JUNIOR BRANCHES
     OF THE UPPER TEN THOUSAND—KEEPING UP APPEARANCES—THE TERMINATION
     OF TURKISH MISRULE—FUTURE OF THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES        29

     CHAPTER IV.

     STEINBRÜCK—THE SÖMMERING—FIRST VIEW OF THE
     ADRIATIC—TRIESTE—SHOCKS OF EARTHQUAKE AT BELLUNO—AUSTRIAN
     IRONCLAD 'LISSA'—CAPTAIN R. BURTON—FLYING VISIT TO SAN
     CANZIANO—SUBTERRANEAN COURSE OF A MOUNTAIN STREAM—THE KARST—WILD
     SCENERY—A THUNDER-STORM—CHURCH OF SAN CANZIANO—STUD FARM        43

     CHAPTER V.

     THE "SAN CARLO" AND HER PASSENGERS—A DALMATIAN'S REMARKS
     ON THE PRESERVATION OF HEALTH IN INDIA—DALMATIAN DIGGERS
     FROM AUSTRALIA—COAST OF ISTRIA—PIRANO—CATHEDRAL OF
     PARENZO—ROVIGNO—POLA—THE AMPHITHEATRE—PICTURESQUE SIGHT
     —GIOVANNI ASTONISHED—MONTENEGRIN COSTUME—ZARA—EXTREME HEAT      61

     CHAPTER VI.

     DEPARTURE FROM ZARA—SEBENICO—PLEASANT COMPANIONS—NOBLE
     HARBOUR—THE CATHEDRAL—CURIOUS ROOF—CORAL
     FISHERY—SPALATO—SALONA—DIOCLETIAN'S PALACE—MR. PATON'S
     DESCRIPTION OF IT—BEAUTIFUL SPECTACLE—THE PORTA FERREA—QUAINT
     DWELLINGS—AMBROSIAL TOBACCO                                     79

     CHAPTER VII.

     A TYPE OF SHYLOCK—SCENE IN THE STREET—VARIED
     COSTUMES—MORLACCHI—TURKS FROM THE HERZEGOVINA—WOMEN OF
     SPALATO—INSPECTION OF THE CITY—THE PORTA AUREA—COURT OF THE
     VESTIBULE OF THE PALACE—INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL—ILLUSTRIOUS
     MEN OF SPALATO—MARK ANTONY DE DOMINIS—ST. JEROME—THE MORLACCHI  94

     CHAPTER VIII.

     ISLAND OF LISSA—NAVAL BATTLES—A BRIDAL PARTY TAKEN ON
     BOARD—LESINA—FORTRESS OF SAN NICOLO—THE LOGGIE—FORT
     SPAGNUOLO—ISLAND OF CURZOLA—LA CHROMA—BEAUTIFUL SCENE—RICHARD
     CŒUR DE LION—CATHEDRAL OF RAGUSA—EARTHQUAKE OF 1667—TERRIBLE
     CONFLAGRATION—PRINCE MAXIMILIAN                                107

     CHAPTER IX.

     THE PADRE ANSELMO—HIS LIFE AND LABOURS AMONG THE AMERICAN
     INDIANS—THE PIONEERS OF CIVILIZATION—AMERICAN INDIANS AND
     NEGROES—PADRE ANSELMO ON PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC MISSIONS—NATIVE
     CHRISTIANS IN INDIA—POPE PIUS IX. ONCE A MISSIONARY—CARDINAL
     P—.—PORT OF GRAVOSA—RAGUSA                                     125

     CHAPTER X.

     ATTRACTIONS OF DALMATIA—INTERESTING EXCURSION—ISLAND OF
     LACHROMA—CLIMATE—A. A. PATON, ESQ., FORMERLY CONSUL-GENERAL
     AT RAGUSA—AN ITALIAN DINNER—EPIDAURUS—THE CANAL OF
     CATTARO—TERRITORY OF RAGUSA—TOWER OF PERASTO AND FORT OF SANTA
     CROCE—STRANGELY BUILT CHURCH—A PALAZZO—SAN GIORGIO AND LA
     MADONNA—PICTURE ATTRIBUTED TO ST. LUKE                         141

     CHAPTER XI.

     CITY OF CATTARO—SIGNOR JACKSCHICH—STREETS AND PIAZZAS—WALKS AND
     FORTIFICATIONS—PUBLIC WALK—CAFÉ AND GARDENS—SONOROUS STONE—A
     MONTENEGRIN CHIEF—A HAPPY BEGGAR BOY                           150

     CHAPTER XII.

     MONTENEGRIN TRADERS—LE SCALE DI CATTARO—A GORGEOUSLY-ATTIRED
     MONK—OUR CARAVAN—MONTENEGRINS OF THE PRINCE'S
     BODY-GUARD—INTERESTING VIEW—ABSENCE OF TREES ON THE DALMATIAN
     COAST—A HOME FOR GERMAN EMIGRANTS—TURKISH MISRULE IN EUROPE—A
     FUTURE EMPIRE—A MAN FIT TO RULE                                164

     CHAPTER XIII.

     THE PRINCE OF MONTENEGRO—UNJUST DEPRIVATION OF TERRITORY—ORIGIN
     OF THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY—A FRIEND IN NEED—VILLAGE OF
     NIEGOSCH—PANORAMA SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE PASS—WILD-LOOKING
     HERDS AND FLOCKS—MONTENEGRIN LEGEND—ARRIVAL AT CETTIGNE—THE
     VLADIKA'S PALACE—THE TREE OF JUSTICE—TOWER OF CETTIGNE         177

     CHAPTER XIV.

     INSECT POWDER OF MONTENEGRO—DESCRIPTION OF THE
     MONASTERY—ENCAMPMENTS—FESTIVAL OF ST. PETER—A SAINT BY THE
     WILL OF THE PEOPLE—PICTURESQUE SCENE—BOSNIAN CAFÉ—THE NATIONAL
     INSTRUMENT—A TRAVELLED DALMATIAN—TALL MONTENEGRINS             194

     CHAPTER XV.

     A POLYGLOT JUMBLE—WAR CUSTOMS OF THE MONTENEGRINS—DEATH
     IN BATTLE—FORAYS FOR THE PLUNDER OF CATTLE—EQUIPAGE OF A
     MONTENEGRIN SOLDIER—PILLAGE—MANNER OF FIGHTING—TACTICS—SIGNAL
     CRIES—ON BOARD SHIP—DECAPITATION OF WOUNDED PRISONERS          208

     CHAPTER XVI.

     BATTLE BETWEEN TURKS AND MONTENEGRINS—ADDRESS OF PRINCE
     MIRKO—HIS PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND CHARACTER—THE PROJECTS OF
     PRINCE DANIELO—PRINCE NICHOLAS I.—SPORT IN MONTENEGRO—INTERVIEW
     WITH THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS—NATIONAL COSTUME—SPLENDID
     ILLUMINATION                                                   218

     CHAPTER XVII.

     A WALK WITH THE PRINCE—SALUTATIONS OF THE CROWD—THE
     GUZLA—MONTENEGRIN DANCE—THE PRINCE'S ACCOUNT OF ITS ORIGIN—THE
     CAMP AT NIGHT—ADVENTURE WITH A MONTENEGRIN—DEVOTION OF THE
     PEOPLE TO THEIR PRINCE                                         235

     CHAPTER XVIII.

     FALSE IMPRESSIONS OF MONTENEGRO—AGRICULTURE ON A
     MINOR SCALE—FIELD-LABOURERS—MONTENEGRIN FACCHINI AT
     CONSTANTINOPLE—FEMALE LABOUR—PRODUCTION OF SUMACH—COMMERCIAL
     RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IMPEDED—IMPOSING PAGEANT        248

     CHAPTER XIX.

     FOOT RACES—MONASTERY OF OSTROG—OTTOMAN ADMINISTRATION—A
     COURSE À LA MONTAGNE—RACING WITHOUT BETTING—BEN TROVATO—A FLAT
     RACE—CONVERSATION ABOUT ENGLISH LAWS AND CUSTOMS—LAW OF HABEAS
     CORPUS                                                         258

     CHAPTER XX.

     DEPARTURE FROM CETTIGNE—RUGGED ROAD—DELIGHTFUL VIEW—USEFUL
     OLD HELMET—NIEGOSH—EXCESSIVE HEAT—THE SCALA DI CATTARO—THE
     BOCCHESI—THE RUSSIAN CONSUL—SUNSET AT CATTARO—UNEXPECTED
     APPEARANCE OF PERO PEJOVICH                                    268

     CHAPTER XXI.

     BEAUTIFUL ROAD—ATTACK OF FEVER—ARRIVAL AT BUDUA—BARON HEYDEG
     AND SIGNOR MARCO MEDIN—A RESTAURANT—OUR HOST—DOCTOR, DENTIST
     AND APOTHECARY—WALK ROUND THE FORTIFICATIONS—EXPLORATION OF
     BUDUA—THE PARTING GLASS                                        280

     CHAPTER XXII.

     TOWN OF ANTIVARI—FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF TURKEY—ORIENTAL
     PASSENGERS—VALUE OF A KNOWLEDGE OF ARABIC OR TURKISH—A MAHOMETAN
     MERCHANT AND HIS FAMILY—TURKISH TROOPS IN ALBANIA—TOWN AND
     FORTRESS OF CASTEL DURAZZO—RETURN TO TRIESTE—FAREWELL TO THE
     READER                                                         291



RAMBLES IN ISTRIA, DALMATIA,

AND

MONTENEGRO.



CHAPTER I.

     A CONVERSATION—WHERE SHALL WE GO FOR A HOLIDAY TRIP—ATTRACTIONS
     OF LAPLAND—REMINISCENCES OF ITALY—THE GRAND TOUR IN FORMER
     DAYS—HOW TO STUDY HISTORY—DIFFICULTY OF FINDING NEW GROUND FOR
     TRAVEL—AN INTERESTING COUNTRY WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF TEMPLE BAR.


"Let us go to Lapland!" was the exclamation which rang on my ear, as I
was entering my club, one fine morning in the early part of June, 1873.

"Lapland!" said I, "what put that into your head?"

"Yes," replied my friend M—, in his rich, good-humoured voice, slightly
flavoured with Hibernian Doric. "I hear that somebody has written a book
about it. I have been everywhere else in Europe—and it is quite the
place to go to now, you know. We shall pic-nic on Cape North and then
drive across to Spitzbergen in reindeer sledges on the ice, it will be
awfully jolly!" and his joyous laugh echoed through the hall. "Do come,
like a good fellow," said he, "there will be just the four of us, R—,
C—, yourself, and I, and you really must not say no, for we none of us
can speak a word of anything but English, while you speak every language
under the sun. So agree to it at once; let us all meet here to dinner,
to-morrow at six, and then off by the mail to Calais."

At first I thought that M— was chaffing; but having now been joined by
R— and C—, who at once chimed in on the same subject, I said,

"Have you any idea about Lapland, my dear M—, do you know anything about
it? and what do you expect to see there?"

"Oh, dear me, yes," replied he, "it is a country in the North of Europe,
surrounded on all sides either by land or by water, and inhabited by
men who are four feet six high, and the darlingest little women just
four feet nothing. They go to church on Sundays, riding on reindeer, and
shoot Polar bears with bows and arrows! Oh dear, yes, I know all about
Lapland."

"Not at all a bad account," said I, "but what writes Captain Hutchinson
in his book? Is his description of Lapland very captivating?"

"Well," answered M—, "I confess I have not read his book; but go abroad
I must, London is getting too stupid, and I have been everywhere else in
Europe; and I want to see a country out of the beaten track, something
I have not yet seen."

"Now, my dear fellow," said I, "though I have not been exactly in Lapland,
I have been in Finland, and that, you know, is just next door to it;
and knowing what the mosquitoes are in those swampy northern latitudes,
nothing could induce me to visit those countries again in Summer, except
for very cogent reasons indeed. But come now, tell me where have you
been, that you say you have seen every other country in Europe?"

"Well," answered M—. "I have been twice to Italy, up and down, and done
it as thoroughly as any man could do it. I have been—"

"Stop a wee," said I, "how have you _done_ Italy? let me see, suppose we
just begin in the middle, let us take Florence—no doubt you were there."

"Oh dear, yes, and such a jolly place, where one could live and love
for ever! oh, yes,

     "'Of all the fairest cities of the world,
     None is so fair as Florence!'

"If it were not for the heat, and having been there twice already,
it would beat going to see the sun at midnight, which we shall see in
Lapland, old fellow. We shall see the sun going right round the horizon,
neither rising nor setting—not a bit—but going just as in the old riddle
we had when we were children, 'going round and round the house, and never
touching the house.' So now no more 'shirking and lurking,' but let's be
off to Lapland, and if there are a few mosquitoes, we can take plenty
of flea-powder to protect us; there now, I'll stand the flea-powder—a
whole pound's worth," and the laugh of that excellent fellow rings in
my ears still.

Here R— joined in the conversation; he had never been to Italy, and his
curiosity was raised by the enthusiastic expressions of my friend M—,
in regard to Florence.

"Do tell us something about that place, where you could live and love
for ever," said he.

"Well, what _can_ I tell you?" replied M—. "Florence was the capital
of Tuscany, and is situated on the banks of the river Arno, and it is
a most delightful place. What more do you want? There is the charming
Mrs. —, and her equally charming daughter, whose house opens just as
the opera closes; and once there, one never thinks of leaving till three
o'clock in the morning at soonest. Then there are the Cascine, the Café
Doney, and the club, and my friend G. M—y; and then the churches and
the galleries, and the pietre dure, &c., &c., I did every one of them."

"Where did you go when you left Florence?"

"To Rome, naturally."

"So all you know about Tuscany and Central Italy resolves itself into
the Cascine, the Café Doney, and our friend G. M—y. Did you not even
visit Siena on your way to Rome?"

"No, for, being fond of the sea, I went to Rome by Civita Vecchia."

"When you were at Civita Vecchia, did it not come into your head to
visit the birth-place of the Tarquins—Corneto? only a short drive from
Civita Vecchia, and one of the most interesting places in Italy."

"I never even heard of it," said M—.

I was going to say _ex uno disce omnes_, this is how _la jeunesse doré_
of the present time travel on the continent—to finish their education,
by the way! but my remark would be of too sweeping a character, for
there are many exceptions to be met with occasionally. Still, though
travelling is multiplied a thousand-fold compared with what it used to
be even only a century ago, it is doubtful, I think, if travelling is
as fruitful of good results in our days as it used to be in the days of
our grandfathers, when, under the guidance of a well qualified tutor,
young men used to take the "grand tour" with a view to completing their
education, the foundation and groundwork of which had been laid first in
our public schools, and then in our great universities. Now my friend
M— was a charming fellow, well educated to a certain point, pleasant,
agreeable, and good-tempered; he had travelled a good deal, and yet I may
safely say he had seen nothing, and simply because he had not prepared
himself for travelling with a view to thoroughly seeing the countries
he intended visiting, and obtaining the information they could bestow.
And how many are there that just travel in the same way! How many are
there among those who yearly flood the approaches to the Eternal City
who do more than lounge about the galleries, the Campo Vaccino, or the
Pincian Hill! and who, if asked about the City of Veii (for instance)
will simply open their eyes and say they never heard of it, where is
it? Why, my good fellow, Veii was a great city, and its inhabitants
among the most civilized and luxurious in the world, long before Rome
was built. What! before Rome was built? he will say; and then if some
mild reminiscence of the kind comes across his memory, he may, perhaps,
recall some fleeting visions of Agamemnon and Mycenæ, taking it for
granted that Veii, if anterior to Rome, must have been in Greece; but
when informed that Veii was the rival of Rome, that its ruins were within
twenty miles of the Eternal City, he will possibly get angry and think you
are chaffing him. He, no doubt, may have heard of Etruria, but probably
in his mind it was jumbled up with Minton's pottery; if associated with
Wedgewood, it will be a point in his favour. He may probably have heard
of Etruscan cities and Etruscan vases, but all his information in this
line is terribly hazy; and so he dawdles through his sojourn at Rome,
goes on to Naples, perhaps to Palermo and Malta, returning to England
by the P. and O. steamer, imagining that he has seen, or _done_, Italy,
as he terms it.

It so happened that I had made arrangements for another tour, and was
thus unable to join my three friends in their intended expedition; but
the following Winter M— and I went to the continent together, we spent
four months in Italy, that Italy he had so thoroughly "done" twice before!
and to his amazement, he had to confess that in his previous journeys
he had simply wasted his time and his money.

We visited numberless out of the way places, having made Florence
our head-quarters for Central Italy, and there under the guidance of
Micali's _Antichi Popoli Italiani_, we dived into the history of Italy,
beginning with the misty periods synchronous with the siege of Troy,
illustrating them as we went along by visits to the ancient cities and
cemeteries of Etruria, and thence through those glorious Middle Ages and
their unparalleled works of art, which can nowhere be so well studied
as in Italy! It was a surpassing pleasure to him, no doubt, to see for
the first time all those wondrous things; but it was almost as great a
delight to me to witness his raptures, his astonishment, as city after
city came under our examination—Fiesole, Volterra, Chiusi, Cortona.
This last, especially, struck him with astonishment, a city co-eval with
Ilium, and still in our days a city preserving its ancient name, while
of Ilium, _periêre ipsæ ruinæ_, and its very existence questioned, till
the researches of the indefatigable Schliemann brought monuments to light
within the last few months which have clearly identified the spot, and
proved to a demonstration that Ilium really had existed, and that the
siege of Troy was not simply a myth, a poet's dream!

I well remember helping him to measure the immense blocks of the ancient
walls of Cortona, fitted with such wonderful exactness that the blade
of a penknife can even at present be scarcely pushed in between them,
and which still remain _in situ_ without mortar or other cement, though
probably thirty centuries have rolled on since those walls were erected
by the ancestors of their present inhabitants. How I remember the
interest he took in scanning from the hill which looks over the rippling
water of the Trasymene Lake, pointing out the probable spot where those
false-hearted Romans had rested whilst the battle was raging below, only
to be overtaken, however, on the morrow by Hannibal and his victorious
legions, who made them pay so dearly for their treachery.

"This is the way I like to study history, and this is the way never to
forget it," said he. "I hated the very names of Tacitus and Livy, but how
delightful I think them now!" and so we did _do_ Italy from Agrigentum
to the Alps, and from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean, and many queer
out-of-the-way places we visited, and such scores of sketches we carried
away; and a more delightful trip never was made before or since.

Captain Hutchinson, in his introduction to "Try Lapland," writes, "The
difficulty of finding new ground for travel is increasing every year for
those who, with but a limited time at their disposal, are yet tired of
the beaten paths of Ramsgate or Scarborough, Switzerland or the Rhine,
and pant after lands fresh and fair, of which they have never seen the
photograph—where the gorgeous hotel with its elongated bills, and the
pertinacious touter with his cringing greasy manners, are alike unknown."

Now to a great extent that pleasant writer is correct; but the man who
rushing away from the turmoil and bustle of London life, whether he be
lawyer, merchant, or physician, seeking for fresh air and scenery, but
as far away as possible from those hackneyed tracks infested by the
typical tourist, both English and Transatlantic, and by poor Marryat's
"shilling-seeking, napkin-holding, up-and-downstairs son of a sea-cook"
of an hotel waiter, need not go to the Arctic Circle to find all the
above-named advantages, unless, indeed, he is bent on also seeing the
sun at midnight, and his own body a prey to the mosquitoes.

Within five days of Temple Bar, or as we soon shall have to say, where
Temple Bar once stood, there are as splendid countries to explore, as
fine ruins to contemplate, as glorious scenery and as gorgeous costumes
to admire, as the heart of man can wish for; and if the reader will trust
himself with me for a little while, excusing the many shortcomings he
will meet with in these pages, I will lead him over a trip I took last
Summer which I think will fully repay him, though he will often have
to make great allowances and deal leniently with the Author, who for
the first time in his life rushes into print, just for the same reason
that the stars shine above us, because he has nothing else to do! But
if through publishing this little book he shall have opened up a new
field of travel to those who yearly require to recruit their strength of
body and of mind by a ramble in foreign lands, if he shall have added
one more possible source of enjoyment to those within the reach of the
many, he will consider himself amply repaid for whatever trouble he may
have been put to in its compilation.



CHAPTER II.

     MAN PROPOSES, BUT GOD DISPOSES—VIENNA—ST. STEPHEN'S
     CATHEDRAL—OLD CATHEDRALS—SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE—USES OF EAU DE
     COLOGNE—INSECT ATTACKS—THE UNIVERSAL EXHIBITION—THE GARDENS
     AND ACCESSORIES—THE LADIES OF VIENNA—NEW OPERA-HOUSE—ON THE
     DANUBE—A WEALTHY PRELATE—WISSEGRAD—ARRIVAL AT PESTH.


I started from London for my holiday trip early in the month of June,
1873. The route I had laid out for myself on my departure was not exactly
that which I eventually adopted, for nothing is truer than that man
proposes, but God disposes. I had intended visiting the Crimea, and then
crossing over the Straits of Kertch, I meant to have rambled over the
Caucasus, finishing my trip with a visit to the Monastery of Echmiadzin,
at the foot of Mount Ararat.

But it was not to be; I got as far as Pesth, when the cholera, which
was then very active, not to say raging in Hungary, barred my further
passage down the river into the Lower Provinces of the Danube, by
threatening me with a quarantine of eleven days in a dirty lazzaretto,
at a temperature of at least 90° in the shade. I would have risked the
cholera, but I could not face the loss of eleven days in the limited
time I had at my disposal, nor could I contemplate at all the horrors
of an Oriental lazzaretto. All my plans were therefore upset; still the
result was eventually satisfactory, as I think I shall be able to prove
in the following pages.

After leaving London, I made straight for Vienna, by Brussels and
Cologne, where I remained only a few hours, during which I visited for
the twentieth time and more that exquisite specimen of ecclesiastical
structure, its unrivalled Cathedral; every time I see it I admire it
more and more, I think there are none to equal it, while most certainly
none surpass it.

St. Peter's at Rome is a magnificent building, astonishes one by its size
and its rich adornments, but it fails to impress one from a religious
point of view. It might be a church, or it might be a grand reception
room, a _salle des ambassadeurs_, or a colossal ball-room—whereas the
Cathedral of Cologne is a church, a place of worship, and nothing else.
I suppose there is something in the pure Gothic architecture conducive
to this impression. There is but one other church I know of in the world
which has the same solemn awe-producing effect, perhaps in a greater
degree even than the Cathedral of Cologne, and that is Santa Maria del
Fiore, the Cathedral of Florence. I have been hundreds of times in that
grand old edifice, but never without feeling an overwhelming sense of
solemnity and awe. It was not only the low murmuring notes of the organ
sounding the responses at eve to the plaintive litanies of the Virgin,
nor the deep tones of the full accompaniment to the _Miserere mei Deus_
in the Passion Week, which produced it, for I was perhaps oftener there
when all was silent, than during festive times, as I have always had
the greatest objection to going into Catholic churches during service,
gaping about and sight-seeing, to the evident annoyance and discomfort
of the worshippers—a habit which, I regret to say, many of our country
people too often indulge in, greatly to our detriment, especially in the
less frequented places of the continent, where the people have come to
regard us as heathens, and constantly to say of us, "Non sanno meglio,
non sono Cristiani."

It was something more than all this which ever filled me with a feeling
of intense devotion when I entered that grand old building. The severe
simplicity of the structure, with no tawdry ornamentation to obtrude
itself and take off the attention, may have played an important part in
giving birth to solemn thoughts, together with the height and size of the
three enormous pilasters which alone support the roof—the lofty arches,
the vast depth and gloom of the aisles, the intensity of the shade, the
deep silence made still more impressive by an occasional foot-fall—all
would combine to proclaim this a house of prayer, and nothing else; a
Temple in the fullest and most unequivocal sense of the word, offering
to the old and the broken-spirited, to the infirm and to all who sought
it in prayer, an assurance of tranquillity, consolation, and peace!

Having enjoyed my oft-repeated visit, and purchased a large supply of
Eau de Cologne from the Farina _gegenüber dem Julichs Platz_, (and don't
you believe that the others make it near as good), I got in the train
for Munich and for Vienna.

I think I see a smile, slightly perhaps savouring of a sneer, from
some of my readers of the masculine gender, at my purchase of a large
supply of Eau de Cologne; but just let them hold hard, till they shall
have endured the trials of hot winds and dusty roads in the daytime,
stuffy cabins and the ordinary accompaniment of flea invasions and other
entomological attacks in the night-time; and then if they have the luck
to have any of it with them, they will discover the use of Eau de Cologne
in allaying pain and irritation.

Travellers in all Eastern countries should have with them a supply of
good Eau de Cologne, not for scenting their pocket-handkerchiefs only,
but principally as a remedy. Some people suffer more, some suffer less
from insect attacks; but I have seen a man, a strong, stout, brawny
Britisher, set nearly wild by flea-bites, and I shall never forget his
appearance, as he stood before me one morning, after passing a restless
night in a very wild region in the South of Europe, like a patient with
small-pox, and scratching away at himself for bare life. I am sure he
would have been in a high fever that night, had I not bathed him with a
mixture of equal parts of Eau de Cologne, laurel water, and sal-volatile.
So don't forget it, kind reader, if ever in your travels you are likely
to be in countries infested with insect tribes; whatever their nature
may be, whether the mosquito which flieth, the flea which hoppeth, or
t'other thing which crawleth, my nostrum will be found a sovereign remedy
against them all.

Although the Vienna Exhibition was fully open, and that numbers were
flocking from all parts to that most charming capital, which has so
justly acquired the epithet of "le Paradis des Hommes," I was fortunate
in having but one companion in the train all the way, and thus we both
were enabled to extend our limbs and sleep as comfortably as in our
beds. It is wonderful the amount of comfort one can obtain through life
by the judicious distribution of a few cigars accompanied by a little
silver!

At Vienna, I went—as I always do—to the Archduke Charles' Hotel; a little
old-fashioned, perhaps, but unquestionably the best hotel in Vienna, and
where the cooking is always undeniable. During my short stay, I went
every day to the Universal Exhibition—the world's fair! but don't be
afraid that I mean to weary you by dragging you with me through those
confusing avenues of "all sorts," where nothing that was wanted could
be found, and everything we wanted not was sure to be everlastingly
obtruding itself before our eyes.

I confess that the Vienna Exhibition disappointed me; whereas the Paris
one of 1867 left me nothing to desire; and all owing to the want of
order and system in the one instance—while in the other, the arrangement
was so perfect that there was not the smallest difficulty in getting at
anything one wanted to find out.

But if the exhibitional department was less perfect in its arrangement
at Vienna than at Paris, the gardens and the outside accessories were
far more beautiful at the former than the latter; while Strauss's
delightful band always afforded an hour's luxurious enjoyment in the
cool of the afternoon, till the fearful braying of the steam trumpet,
(they called it a Telephone, I think) drove one out into the Prater.
Then the restaurants and cafés of the different Nationalities were so
well got up and so picturesquely scattered about the Gardens, as were
also the several buildings characteristic of the different Nations, and
among which was pre-eminent for elegance of form, design, and execution,
the kiosk of the Pasha of Egypt.

And then the Viennese ladies! I know I should have mentioned them the
first, I confess it; _confiteor, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa_, but, gentle
reader, it was from sheer diffidence! I did not know how to approach the
subject, I felt myself totally incompetent, and indeed I do so now! To
say that at Vienna there are more lovely women to be seen than in any
other city in Europe, is not saying one half. There are loads of pretty
women to be seen in Dublin of a fine Sunday afternoon, especially among
the middle and lower classes; but at Vienna they are not only lovely,
but terribly attractive, and winning, and seductive; there are none like
them anywhere else!

In the fine arts department there were many beautiful things to be seen;
but as I promised not to drag the reader round the World's Fair, I shall
keep my word, and shall only call his attention to two statues which
greatly attracted me, one was a bronze figure of a Hindoo charming a
cobra, the other a Negro running away, both figures perfectly alive!

I went twice to the opera, once to hear Meyerbeer's "Africaine," which
disappointed me; and once to see a grand ballet, I think it was called
"Eleonora," which did not. I had not been for several years at Vienna,
and had, therefore, not seen the new Opera House. I was greatly struck
with its size and beauty; it is unquestionably the finest theatre in
Europe, and the arrangements are perfect. But Vienna is now undergoing
such a process of transformation, and to such an extent, that in a few
years those who knew it ten or twelve years ago will be utterly unable
to recognise it. Even now it is one of the finest capitals in Europe,
but at the rate it is progressing, it bids fair to surpass in a short
time every other city, when the Viennese will really be able to give
utterance with truth to their old saying, "Gibt nur eine Kaiserstadt,
gibt nur ein Wien!"

After a very delightful week in Vienna, which seemed indeed far too short
a time to bestow upon the most enjoyable capital in Europe, I took my
passage in a steamer to Pesth, starting at six A.M., and arriving
at my destination at about the same hour in the evening. The steamer
was a very fine one, the accommodation excellent, the cuisine not good,
but then I had been terribly spoilt at the Erz-Herzog Karl; probably had
I been at a worse hotel, I would not have found so much fault with the
cookery on board the steamer. The company on board was worse than the
cookery—in all my rambles I don't think I ever met so unprepossessing
a lot.

The large steamers that navigate the Danube don't come up to Vienna,
but lie off the Island of Lobau, to which passengers are carried in
a smaller steamer. The morning I started was drizzling and chilly in
the extreme, in marked contrast with the weather of the previous week,
which had been intensely hot; and when I sat down on the deck of the
little steamer which was to take me down a branch of the Danube to the
main steamer, I was glad to avail myself of my top-coat and rugs. In a
short time we reached the larger vessel, and, having all got on board,
we started at a good round speed.

From Vienna to Gran, the Danube is uninteresting so far as scenery is
concerned. Its enormous volume of muddy water, wider than the Thames at
Westminster, though still upwards of nine hundred miles from its entrance
into the Black Sea, flows through a vast flat country; an interminable
front of sallows and alders on the one side, and an interminable plain
on the other, dotted all over with countless herds of white cattle with
long black horns like the Tuscan oxen, and endless troops of horses;
and as I gazed on the mighty flood of turbid waters, the old Italian
nursery rhyme came back to my memory.

     "Tre Ombroni fanno un Arno,
     Tre Arni fanno un Tevere,
     Tre Tevere fanno un Pò,
     E tre Pò di Lombardia
     Fanno un Danubio di Turchia."

We passed by Pressburg where the two sides of the river are united by a
bridge of boats. We only remained a short time and I had no opportunity
of going ashore, so that I could form but a very inaccurate opinion of
the place; it seemed to me from its outward look as not now prosperous,
but had quite the appearance of having seen better days.

After a time we came to Komorn, the celebrated fortress; if I had not
been told, "There is Komorn," I might almost have passed it without
observing it, so protected from sight are its bastions by the immense
earthworks in front of them. Still down we steamed, and still the same
country right and left met our view, till we came to Gran, the seat of
the Prince-Primate of Hungary, perhaps one of the wealthiest prelates
in the world, possessing no less an income than £90,000 per annum.

Here the scenery began to improve; the Cathedral of Gran, though in
itself unclassical, and one that in any other place might be passed by
unnoticed, yet served to relieve the monotony of the view. The river,
which up to this had flowed through boundless plains, became suddenly
contracted, and consequently swifter as the high lands approached the
edge of it; and now with every revolution of the paddles the scenery
improved, till on reaching Vissegrad it became absolutely lovely. Instead
of the interminable plains, we now had precipitous mountains on either
side, some clad with forest down to the water's edge, some bare, ragged,
and rocky, but all lovely, quite equal to the finest parts of the Rhine,
not even lacking a Drachenfels in the beautiful ruins of the ancient
castellated palace of the Kings of Hungary, the favourite retreat of
the learned Matthias Corvinus.

Nature has done everything to beautify this favoured spot, but man, as
is too often the case, has done his best to mar it. At the foot of the
cliff, the top of which is crowned by the ancient residence of the Kings
of Hungary, on a beautifully wooded spot between the mountain and the
rushing Danube, some enterprising German has erected, _horribile visu_,
three villa residences, in the correct suburban style, a few yards distant
from one another. Regardless of expense, everything about them, including
themselves, is radiant with white-wash, except where green paint asserts
its place. At first I thought it must be an hotel or pension, with two
_succursales_; but no, the skipper assured me they were country houses,
and seemed astonished when I said the man that built them deserved to
be hanged in front of them; he could not comprehend me, he thought them
lovely!

Often during my subsequent travels I thought of that lovely country
between Gran and Vissegrad; such exquisite scenery, so diversified; such
a combination of rolling pastures, of glorious hills clad with forests,
backed by rugged mountains, with that grand old Danube rushing through
the midst; such shooting and fishing, all in a compact locality, and only
four hours by rail from Vienna; such a spot for a country residence could
scarcely be equalled, and certainly not surpassed. If it were within
ten hours of London, what a fabulous price it would command! but here
no one seems to have placed any value on it since the days of Matthias
Corvinus.

After going through this gorge, the Danube spreads itself out again,
and the scenery becomes tame and uninteresting, and continues so till
one reaches Pesth, where I arrived somewhat later than I expected.



CHAPTER III.

     PESTH—HOTEL UNGARIA—BUDA—STORY OF AN ARTIST—PROSPERITY OF THE
     CITY—NEW BRIDGE OVER THE DANUBE—ST. MARGUERITE'S ISLAND—ANCIENT
     ROMAN BATH—CONDITION OF HUNGARY—FIELD FOR THE JUNIOR BRANCHES
     OF THE UPPER TEN THOUSAND—KEEPING UP APPEARANCES—THE TERMINATION
     OF TURKISH MISRULE—FUTURE OF THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES.


I drove to the Hotel Ungaria, to which I had been recommended, and
where a most comfortable apartment and an equally good dinner gave
me an _avant-goût_ of a comfortable night's rest, in which I was no
wise disappointed; and I can safely recommend the Ungaria as one of
the finest and most comfortable hotels in Europe, without at the same
time being extravagant in its charges. The only drawback I found was
with the person of the porter, a most respectable man no doubt, but he
could not speak either French or English; and I had to carry on all my
consultations respecting my intended future progress with the hall-porter
of the "Königin von England" hotel, close by. If that man could only
be installed at the Ungaria, that hotel would be as near perfection as
possible.

The windows of my bedroom at the Ungaria opened out on a balcony which
gave me a splendid view of the "blue Danube," which, however, I never saw
of any other shade but mud colour. Across the river, and just opposite,
I could see the ancient city of Buda, with the royal residence in front,
and a little to the left, on the top of the hill, the celebrated fortress
which played so important a part during the last Hungarian civil war.
A little to my right was the grand suspension bridge, guarded at each
end by two colossal couchant lions, about which the following improbable
anecdote was related to me.

The artist who executed them forgot to put tongues into their mouths,
to loll out in proper heraldic fashion, and when the defect was pointed
out to him as the lions were uncovered, he took it so to heart that he
at once put an end to himself by plunging headlong into the river! Now
when "le grand Vatel" committed suicide, because the turbot did not
arrive in time for the dinner of the Most Christian King, there was some
show of reason in the act, Vatel's credit was in some degree pledged to
that dinner; but not one man in ten thousand would have noticed whether
these lions had tongues or not.

Pesth seems, like Vienna, to be undergoing a process of rebuilding, and
that on a scale of considerable magnificence. I was told that its commerce
was daily increasing, and, certainly, to judge from the immense number
of vessels moored in the river, the ceaseless passing up and down of
immense steamers, the piles of merchandize, and the constant bustle on
the quays, a very considerable amount of business must be done there. The
grand suspension bridge which spans the Danube being found insufficient
for the increasing traffic, a new one is in process of construction,
to be built of iron on piers, and not a suspension bridge. It is to
cost an immense sum, and will require to be well protected against the
action of the ice on the one hand, while on the other it may become
the source of considerable danger to the low land in its neighbourhood
by arresting the free passage downwards of the ice, if not well looked
after. I went to see the works at the central pier, and remained there
some time watching the men at the bottom of the immense caisson out of
which a donkey engine was incessantly pumping water; outside it, the
river was running like a mill race at not less than eight miles an hour,
and I was assured that the depth at that spot was fully forty feet.

After visiting the works at the new bridge, I went to St. Marguerite's
Island, on which is a park beautifully laid out, and which forms one of
the favourite promenades of the pleasure-loving inhabitants of Pesth. As
it can only be approached by boat, it is frequented only by pedestrians;
but in order to cater for all tastes and gratify those who enjoy a jaunt,
there is a tramway running the whole length of the island. There are
also some capital restaurants, and several bands play every evening in
fine weather.

There is another park on _terra firma_, an imitation of the Prater
at Vienna, but it is small and shabby. There were a good many people
strolling about it when I went, but I did not see even one middling-good
turn-out, and though one constantly hears of the beautiful horses and
rare horsemanship of the Hungarians, I was doomed to be disappointed in
both cases.

Crossing over the suspension bridge one gets into the old town of Buda or
Ofen, in which are situated the Royal residence, the Government offices,
and some of the palaces of the native magnates.

There is a fine street by which one can drive to the upper part of the
town, which is considerably above the level of the Danube; but for
pedestrians there is an easy, cheap, and quick method of getting to
the summit, by means of a small counterpoised railway, which carries
one up and down very rapidly at an exceedingly moderate rate. There is
a fine view from the top, and several fine old palaces, but the most
interesting thing in the town of Buda is the old Roman bath erected over
some sulphurous springs, celebrated for the cures they perform. It is in
exactly the same condition as in the days of ancient Rome, and consists
of a large vaulted apartment lit by a circular opening in the centre of
the cupola, and containing a large hexagonal piscina with an ambulatory
all round. None bathe there save the lower classes—men, women, and
children promiscuously; in the immediate neighbourhood, however, there
are some very well appointed baths which are considerably patronized,
and bear a high reputation for the cure of skin disease.

From all I could collect during the brief stay I made at Pesth, Hungary in
general must be in a very progressive condition; and from the numbers of
agricultural machines and implements, all of English construction, which
I saw everywhere stacked upon the quays, not only at Pesth but at many
other stations on the Danube, including large numbers of steam-thrashing
and winnowing machines, a vigorous attempt is evidently being made to
exploit the unbounded fertility of perhaps the richest soil in Europe.
Land, however, is still cheap in Hungary, probably in consequence of
the extreme love of pleasure of its inhabitants, who preferring to spend
their days in the society of Vienna, Paris, or Pesth, draw exorbitantly
on their revenues, till at last compelled to sell their lands in order
to meet their engagements. Nice estates within twenty miles of Pesth,
with good substantial dwelling-houses, and all the necessary offices for
farming, with varied soil, vineyard, pasture, tillage, and forest, can
be had sufficiently cheap to ensure a clear return of five per cent,
free of taxes, for the capital laid out on them! A vast number of the
agricultural community in Hungary are Jews, and it is perhaps the only
country in Europe where we find the children of Israel as tillers of
the soil; and I was assured by many in Pesth that they make by far the
most satisfactory tenants—though naturally they require looking after
occasionally, as well as their _soi-disant_ Christian brethren.

When one reflects on the countless acres of the richest land in
creation, which to a great extent are still unoccupied and uncultivated
in the eastern and south-eastern regions of Europe, one cannot help
regretting that some of our surplus population do not try a venture in
those countries. I am thinking principally of that most unfortunate and
ill-used portion of society belonging to the upper classes, and which,
from circumstances beyond its control, is suffering from positive want in
its struggles to keep up a respectability as necessary for its existence
as the very air it breathes. The labourer, the artisan, the skilled
workman are well off at the present time in our country; wages are very
high and the friendly societies, to one of which almost every workman
belongs, provide for them amply in cases of sickness, and in some cases
even contribute something to the family when the illness terminates in
death—not to mention the numerous hospitals and asylums, all open to the
labouring classes, but which are all virtually closed to those I am now
speaking of.

The working classes, with few exceptions, are all well off at present,
and require none of our sympathy except when in affliction, when the
richest and poorest come to the same level. They can afford to supply
all their wants out of their wages, and lay out _one fifth_, and in
many cases _one fourth_, and even _one third_ (I am assured by good
authorities) in drink, for the gratification of the only pleasure which
they are capable of enjoying; for proof of which the police reports
throughout the country will bear ample evidence.

But I will tell who really deserve all our sympathy and all our aid,
the junior branches of our upper ten thousand—the families of officers,
poor clergymen, poor lawyers, &c., &c., all struggling for dear life
against difficulties of every kind; those are the classes who claim the
greatest share of our sympathy, and to whom the regions above mentioned
offer advantages unequalled any where else.

I remember when the Canterbury settlement was established in New Zealand,
it was intended in a great measure to provide for the classes I have
alluded to above; but the distance was too great, the mere cost of going
out was a most serious drawback, at the very least _ten times_ the amount
required to land one bag and baggage in the centre of Hungary, or better
still in Servia, among some of the most beautiful scenery in the world,
the richest soil, the best climate, and the finest fishing and shooting
that could be desired, where game laws and river preserves and licences
are still utterly unknown.

I hate croaking; still, if one hears rumbling noises underground for
any space of time, one is justified in apprehending an earthquake. For
several years I have been hearing these subterranean noises, and year
after year they have become more and more threatening, and the earthquake
must come at last. But as a volcanic eruption, acting as a safety valve,
often saves a country from the effects of a physical earthquake, so the
timely exodus of an excessive population may save a country from a moral
one.

By the very nature of my profession, I have innumerable times been
willingly or unwillingly let into the secrets of the private affairs of
scores of families; and I have watched with perfect dismay the misery,
the poverty, the utter wretchedness that were screened from the eyes of
the world by the decent exterior which was kept up in order to preserve
appearances.

If with Asmodeus we could but lift up the roofs of a few thousands
of houses in these prosperous islands and see the difficulties, the
make-shifts, and the make-believes which are resorted to, and that in
many cases where one would least expect them, it would make our very
hearts bleed at all the anxiety, all the wretchedness, all the scalding
tears which would be disclosed—all brought about by that great delusion
"keeping up appearances." Well, all this living under false pretences,
which is the distinguishing characteristic and the great evil, the real
"social evil" of the present time cannot go on for ever. It is an evil
of long standing, no doubt, but it has gone on increasing from year to
year, like a falling avalanche, with constantly increasing velocity. The
earthquake must come at last, if not averted by an emigration _en masse_
of those educated classes to which I have alluded above; and the best,
finest, healthiest, most fertile, and most accessible country, outside
the British dominions, I hold to be, roughly speaking, that tract of
Southern Europe bounded on the North by the Saave, on the South by the
Bosphorus, on the East by the Danube, and on the West by the Adriatic.

"But, my dear Sir," I think I hear some reader say, "that is Turkey in
Europe!" No doubt it is, but the Turks won't be there for ever, their
time is nearly run out; the period of their wretched misrule over the
Christian populations of Europe is nearly accomplished, and I still hope
to live long enough to see those barbarous hordes recrossing the Bosphorus
into Asia Minor, on their way back to the Steppes of Khiva and Bokhara,
from whence they originally emigrated. They have ever shown themselves
irreclaimable barbarians throughout. Look at the present condition of
European Turkey, after centuries of Ottoman dominion; contrast it with
the nascent state of Roumania, which only quite lately succeeded in
shaking off its Moslem chains. Let us look at both countries, as they
present themselves opposite to each other on the banks of the Danube.
On the left bank of that river we have Giurgevo in Roumania, the port of
Bukharest, where, notwithstanding centuries of slavery and misgovernment,
the natives, now under the government of an enlightened Christian Prince,
are all activity and progress—while on the right bank at Rustchuk, just
opposite, in dark contrast to the Christian, who is trying to turn to
account all the advantages of his country, the indolent, uncivilized
Turk is still lazily dozing away, leaning against his ancient painted
and bedizened araba, drawn by a pair of patient oxen, waiting for the
chance of some solitary, silent traveller!

A new era is dawning, however, over these south-eastern regions, but
much of their prosperity and future happiness may depend on the model
they will propose for themselves in their efforts at civilization;
whether the brilliant glitter of Parisian veneering and varnish, or the
less attractive, but more solid advantages of British institutions. A
great future is before the Danubian Principalities, may they use their
opportunities with wisdom, and may they prosper!



CHAPTER IV.

     STEINBRÜCK—THE SÖMMERING—FIRST VIEW OF THE
     ADRIATIC—TRIESTE—SHOCKS OF EARTHQUAKE AT BELLUNO—AUSTRIAN
     IRONCLAD 'LISSA'—CAPTAIN R. BURTON—FLYING VISIT TO SAN
     CANZIANO—SUBTERRANEAN COURSE OF A MOUNTAIN STREAM—THE KARST—WILD
     SCENERY—A THUNDER-STORM—CHURCH OF SAN CANZIANO—STUD FARM.


That odious and useless mediæval institution, the quarantine, having
barred my passage into the Lower Provinces of the Danube, I determined
to go to Trieste, then proceed by sea to Constantinople, and thence to
the Caucasus, but it was written differently in the book of Fate!

The line to Trieste was full of interest; during the first portion of
the journey I passed quite close to Lake Balaton, celebrated for its
fish, and then after traversing some wonderfully rich plains, dotted
here and there with patches of forest, and covered with herds of cattle,
horses, and geese, which are kept here in vast numbers for the sake of
their feathers, arrived at Steinbrück at one P.M., where I dined.
Here, at the junction of the Saane and the Saave, the scenery became
truly magnificent; we had been for some time following the banks of the
Saane, and the mountains had been getting closer and higher with every
mile we made, till at last they actually came down to the river, allowing
a bare passage to the railway which followed its every bend.

Having finished our mid-day meal at Steinbrück—where the Pesth line joins
on to that miracle of engineering, the celebrated railway between Vienna
and Trieste—we resumed our journey, the scenery retaining its grand
features, till having topped the Sömmering, we came on to the desert
Karst and got our first peep of the salt water—the glorious Adriatic.
Nothing could exceed the wild grandeur of the country on both sides of the
railway, as the engines (for we had two of them) slowly panted up those
steep inclines, winding in and out through the gorges of the Sömmering,
now plunging into a tunnel to traverse the heart of a mountain, and now
crossing a viaduct between two cliffs, over a precipice hundreds of feet
in depth. Once at the top, our pace increased considerably, and by eight
o'clock I found myself comfortably installed at my hotel at Trieste, on
the evening of the 29th of June.

After a most refreshing night, I descended the next morning to the café
on the ground floor of the hotel, and then heard for the first time of
the severe shocks of earthquake at Belluno and its neighbourhood, which
had been felt even in Trieste. Several lives had been lost, and one
church nearly shaken to the ground.

After breakfast I went to pay my respects to our excellent consul, Captain
Burton, and then hearing that the Austrian ironclad "Lissa" was outside
the harbour, I took a boat and went to have a look at her. She is a fine
vessel with a long projecting prow, and looks well in the water. Having
sent up my card, I was received and shown over the ship by Lieutenant
Count Petruski, who was most kind in pointing out every thing of interest
connected with it. I think he said she mounted 12 rifled fifteen-ton guns
of our Woolwich Infant type, and was furnished with a galvanic apparatus,
by means of which the captain could fire a whole broadside at a time.
Although she was only in after a cruise, and consequently not in the
best of trim for exhibition, I was much gratified by all I saw. The men
were a very fine set of fellows, the state cabins and officers' cabins
particularly neat and nice, and should these lines ever fall beneath
the eye of Count Petruski or any of his brother officers on board the
"Lissa" I beg them all to receive my warm thanks for their kindness to
me that day. I spent a couple of very pleasant hours on board, and as
Count Petruski spoke excellent English, it made our interview all the
more agreeable.[1]

Trieste is anything but an interesting place; though a couple of days
may be spent pleasantly enough visiting the neighbourhood, especially
if one has the advantage of the acquaintance and company of our consul,
Captain R. Burton; the Burton of Harar, of Mecca, and of Medina; the
_facile princeps_ of modern travellers and pleasant companions.

Why is Captain Burton kept at Trieste? It is not a difficult post, nor
one requiring a man with exceptional qualifications; and it does seem
a misapplication if not a waste of _force_ to keep a man like Burton at
Trieste, when he could be of so much greater use elsewhere. The thorough
and intimate knowledge that he possesses of Oriental character, his
perfect mastery of Arabic, together with the knowledge he has of Persian
and scores of other languages, not to mention the experience he has
acquired of Oriental affairs, customs and idiosyncrasies, all go to point
him out emphatically as the right man in the wrong place at Trieste. I
spent some very pleasant hours in his company during my short stay in
that city, and shall never forget the kindness I experienced both from
him and la bella Contessa, his most charming and accomplished lady.

Thus far, my observations have been of a strictly selfish nature. I know
Captain Burton's capabilities, I feel that he is utterly thrown away
where he is, and I want a _quid pro quo_ for my money—consequently I want
to see him in some post where his talents and exceptional qualifications
may be of some profit to me. The reader will perceive that I am strictly
selfish and utilitarian, and that in writing as above I have not been
led away by sentimentality in any shape. Had I been in the opposite
vein, I could have said, I met at Trieste Captain R. T. Burton, who
undoubtedly is the greatest of _living_ travellers, and also second
to none in that great phalanx of explorers, who from time to time have
devoted their lives to carrying civilization to the most remote corners
of the earth. He opened up Eastern Africa, and most probably discovered
in Lake Tanganyika the mysterious sources of the Nile. He directly opened
up the path and led the way which was subsequently trodden by Speke,
Grant, Stanley, Cameron, and others; indirectly he pointed out the way
to Baker, Schweinfurth and Gordon. To Richard Burton then is due the
discovery of this _New Africa_, this great Lake Region, so fertile and
so rich in the centre of a continent which fifty years ago was believed
to be one vast uninhabitable desert. What has been his reward? He has
been made consul at Trieste. Here is an inducement to our ardent British
youth! I hear there is some talk of making him a K.C.B.; for myself, I
wouldn't give a roll of ginger-bread for the distinction; however, let
him have it by all means, but let us see him also removed to some more
useful sphere of action where his exceptional talents and his great
knowledge of Oriental languages may be of service to us. Let him be sent
to Africa again—to Morocco for instance—at the first vacancy.

Having still to wait a couple of days for the departure of the steamer
which was to take me on my trip down the coast of Dalmatia, I employed my
time in paving a flying visit to San Canziano, where a good-sized river,
after meandering down a deep ravine like any other Christian stream,
suddenly plunges into the bowels of the earth, and after a mysterious
course of many miles, reappears again at the surface under a different
name, previous to losing itself in the Adriatic.

The little hamlet of San Canziano is about twenty miles from Trieste, it
consists of a very small and meanly built church, with a good campanile
however, with two sweetly-toned bells—why is it that ours are always so
unmusical and woody?—a small wretched Presbytery, a roadside pot-house
where nothing could be got for love or money, and half a dozen dilapidated
houses. The drive however, was very pleasant, for the weather was warm
and at the same time cloudy, so that we were never inconvenienced by
the sun. The road, on leaving Trieste, goes by easy windings over a
mountain clothed with oak, so beautifully kept, that it gives the idea
of driving through some private park. On reaching the top we came into
the open, and had a glorious view of the Styrian mountains on the one
side, and the Adriatic on the other. After driving for a short time on
the level, we again commenced ascending and soon got into the "Karst,"
as it is called; a wild barren tract where little or nothing appears to
grow, and where rocks and stones seem to have rained down from heaven,
not unlike some other spots I visited subsequently in Dalmatia, and
notably in Montenegro. But this bleak and barren spot owes its absolute
desolation, not so much to the rocky nature of its soil, as to the Bora,
a north-east wind, which often sweeps across it with the force of a West
Indian hurricane.

In many places on the road, traverses of immensely thick stone walls
had been erected for protection against the fury of the wind, but
notwithstanding all, the Karst is sometimes impassable when the Bora
blows in real earnest, and heavy-laden waggons which have tried to cross
it at such times, have been turned over and over like "leaves in Autumn
weather." After travelling for some short time along this elevated
plateau, we again began to descend, and soon reached our destination,
where, having eaten the lunch I had brought with me, I started on foot,
under the guidance of a native who could speak nothing but Styrian, to
seek the mysterious river.

In less than half an hour's walk, I found myself on a grass-covered
plateau of some miles in extent, fringed in the distance by lofty hills,
dotted with clumps of fir trees, and after a few minutes more walking
in an easterly direction, I suddenly came on a perpendicular precipice,
upwards of five hundred feet in depth, which completely barred my further
progress. The cliff on which I stood rose in a narrow valley, or glen,
or cleft, as if the crust of the earth had cracked here for a few miles.
This cleft, nearly of uniform depth, was not of uniform width; in some
places it was so narrow that the smooth river which glided through it
completely filled it from side to side, while in other places a sufficient
strip of soil remained between the river and the cliff to admit of some
amount of cultivation, and here and there a cottage.

This strange cleft, or valley, or crack in the plateau through which the
river flows is of a most irregular outline, going zig-zag, in and out,
just like the cracks one sees in a dried up pond at the end of a hot
Summer in England. I was standing where this precipitous crack barred
the way, by running exactly at right angles across the path, and here
right under me at a depth of about five hundred feet, the river which
could be seen coursing from a considerable distance at the bottom of
the cleft, suddenly leapt into a cavern and disappeared beneath my feet.

Having made a rapid sketch of this extraordinary landscape—or, more
correctly speaking, having tried to convey on paper some faint idea of
what the place was like—I again followed the guide, who now, turning
his back on the precipice, led me in a westerly direction, and brought
me in a few minutes to the brink of a fearful-looking circular chasm,
about fifty yards in diameter, with precipitous rocky sides, and from
the bottom of which could be heard the distant roar of the river rushing
among the rocks. The guide threw some large stones down this yawning
gulph, disturbing some thousands of rock-pigeons who build their nests
in the nooks and crannies of the rocks, and having timed the fall of one
of these stones by listening for its splash in the subterranean river,
I noted about seven seconds as the time it took in falling.

I now accompanied the guide through the little hamlet of San Canziano,
and still going westward came just beyond the village on another chasm,
of oblong form, about six hundred yards one way, and three hundred and
fifty yards the other way, while in depth it was no more than about fifty
yards. It looked to me as if this opening had been made by the subsidence
or falling-in of the roof of some cavern, of which the limestone rock
of these mountains, as well in Styria as in Dalmatia is so full. The
sides of this depression were not precipitous except in some places, and
an easy descent led me to the bottom, across which stretched from side
to side a fantastic ridge of rock pierced by a natural arch about the
middle, and under which an opening in the rock gave entrance to another
cavern, through which anyone desirous of exploring it could without much
difficulty, but at the cost of some fatigue and the risk of some falls,
descend by a series of about six hundred high and slippery ledges of
rock to where again the river makes its appearance after its subterranean
course.

As the day was pretty well advanced, and as the weather, which had been
cloudy all the morning seemed now to be threatening rain, I thought it
wisest not to venture on going further, although the guide had provided
himself with candles for the descent. So I scrambled up the sides of
the chasm, and was making for the roadside inn where the carriage was
waiting for me, when the storm-clouds, which had been gathering thicker
and thicker for some time, broke out at last into such a deluge of rain,
accompanied by thunder and lightning, that I was glad to take refuge
under the archway of the belfry of San Canziano, and from thence into
the church itself, the door of which was opened for me by a queer little
old dried-up chip of a sexton.

I am sure he said to me, "Pray take shelter in here from the rain,"
though as he spoke Styrian I could not understand a word, but his looks
and gestures were as eloquent as words. Having walked into the little
church, first taking off my hat, the little sexton became quite eloquent,
and pointed out with evident satisfaction to every part of the chapel,
which was poor and desolate in the extreme. Four white-washed walls,
a wretched altar piece of wood painted in a few gaudy colours, and a
crimson damask baldachino in tatters, which, stowed away in a corner,
served to shelter the "Santissimo" when carried about in procession,
two or three benches, a confessional box, and a lighted lamp hanging in
front of the altar, constituted _toute la baraque_! but the poor little
old man seemed delighted with himself and everything around him, and
kept repeating in a shrill voice the only Italian word he apparently
possessed "_Bella_," "_Bella_," to which I responded as in duty bound,
"_molto bella_," and I trust I may be forgiven the cram; for I never
told a bigger one in all my life!

The floor of this little church was formed of large flag-stones, in some
of which iron rings were inserted, while in others there only remained
the marks of where rings had formerly been; some had inscriptions, and I
should have been interested in hearing something of the ancient tenants
of these graves, but here the sexton and I came completely to a dead
lock. "_Bella_" could serve my friend no longer, still he understood
perfectly what I required, so when he sat down on a bench, pointing to
me to do the same, I complied at once, and all the more willingly as
the rain was still coming down in torrents.

The old fellow then commenced, and, pointing with his skinny finger to
the central slab, entered at once into what, I presume, must have been a
full, true, and complete history of the tenants of that grave, descanting
probably on their virtues, and dealing gently with their faults; but
alas! I could not understand one word. At last, I suppose the same
thought must have struck "Old Mortality," for he suddenly stopped and
bursting into a shrill, unearthly, and most discordant laugh, pointed
to the sky which was now clearing, and held out his palsied hand, when
I discovered he knew another word, not Slave, nor Italian, but this time
German, "_Geschenk!_" I gave him the only bit of silver I possessed, an
English sixpence, and left him seemingly contented.

The clouds had all melted away, and the sun shone brilliantly when I left
the little roadside tavern of San Canziano to return to Trieste; but,
as I wanted to visit a stud-park which the Emperor of Austria keeps in
this part of his dominions, we took another route on my return journey.
The country we now drove through was prettier than what we had traversed
in the morning, and the road passed through some fine oak woods, which
constantly prompted one to look out for a mansion, the country appeared
so park-like—but in vain.

After a drive of an hour or so we came to the stud-farm, a collection
of large buildings, consisting of several dwelling-houses, a spacious
riding-house for exercising the horses in severe weather, three large
stables intended to accommodate three hundred mares, and one lofty vaulted
stable fitted with nice large loose boxes in which were kept the sires.
The mares were all out at grass together with their foals, so that I did
not see them, as I should have had to drive some miles in a different
direction, and turn my back on Trieste in order to visit them. The sires
I did see, but as they were not led out I could not form as accurate an
opinion of them as I should have wished. They seemed, however, small,
and not exactly the style of horse we would select in this country with
a view to supplying our cavalry. The loose-boxes were commodious and the
stable was well-ventilated; the weather being extremely hot the windows
were closed with _tatties_, which served the double purpose of keeping
away the flies, which always seek the light, and keeping the stable
cool. The stable was fairly clean, but the grooming did not come up to
our ideas. On the whole I was disappointed, and as for the produce, I
should think that nothing but the very lightest of light cavalry horses
could be expected from them.

We returned to Trieste by nine o'clock, coming by the old post-road from
Vienna, and passing by that wonderful quarry of limestone slabs, perhaps
the largest in the world.



CHAPTER V.

     THE "SAN CARLO" AND HER PASSENGERS—A DALMATIAN'S REMARKS
     ON THE PRESERVATION OF HEALTH IN INDIA—DALMATIAN DIGGERS
     FROM AUSTRALIA—COAST OF ISTRIA—PIRANO—CATHEDRAL OF
     PARENZO—ROVIGNO—POLA—THE AMPHITHEATRE—PICTURESQUE SIGHT—GIOVANNI
     ASTONISHED—MONTENEGRIN COSTUME—ZARA—EXTREME HEAT.


On the 2nd of July I was up betimes. I had taken my place for Zara on
board the 'San Carlo,' a small coasting steamer which trades down the
Dalmatian side of the Adriatic, going in and out among that archipelago
of islands which fringe the coast of Dalmatia from the mouth of the
Guarnero to the entrance of the Gulf of Cattaro. It was a small, slow,
and dirty little steamer, but it stopped everywhere going on its way,
and that was just what I wanted.

Small as the vessel was, we had plenty of passengers, and a strange
lot they were. We had two Capuchin monks going to Ragusa, one of them a
most interesting man of whom I shall have more to say by and by; his lay
brother, a simple, ignorant monk, and no more. We had a tall, handsome
Dalmatian from Spalato, returning home to end his days in opulence and
comfort after spending twenty years in India, where he had accumulated
an independence which in Dalmatia will be considered a large fortune.
He spoke English remarkably well. Being struck by his hale and robust
looks, I asked him how he had managed to preserve his health so well
after residing for twenty years in India. "Many of them," added he, "in
unhealthy localities." "Simply by not drinking," he answered. "I don't
mean to say that I was a water-drinker—not at all, for I believe that
water-drinking is nearly as bad as spirit-drinking, and indeed I think
I have observed that those who were 'teatotallers' died even sooner than
drunkards. But I never drank anything before breakfast, I drank nothing
but good, full-bodied claret, and I never took more than two bottles of
it a day, and seldom so much; I smoked, but always in moderation, and I
never had a day's illness during those twenty years. India is not a bad
climate, it is the reckless habits of Europeans that make it apparently
so."

We had two other Dalmatians from Sebenico, who also were returning home
after residing many years abroad. These two had been in Australia; one
had been a digger, and seemed the reverse of well-off; the other had
kept a store at some gold-diggings, and had apparently made plenty of
money. Both spoke English well, and the last one brought with him from
Australia an Irish wife, who had emigrated to the Antipodes all the
way from Lurgan. She was a fine comely young woman of about twenty-six,
and was overjoyed at finding I knew her native place. In the afternoon
I made some tea in my portable kitchen, and gave her a cup of it with
some preserved milk, which she declared the most delicious thing she
had tasted for many a long day.

The rest of our passengers consisted of country people returning to
their homes along the coast of Istria and Dalmatia, after having been
to Trieste to dispose of the produce of their lands.

As the clocks struck five, we steamed out of Trieste on one of the finest
mornings that could be imagined. The sea was as smooth as a mirror,
and of the most intense blue. How often we stopped as we went down the
coast of Istria I cannot tell, as we were constantly heaving to for
the convenience of passengers going on shore in boats which put off to
receive them; we did stop however at Capo d'Istria, and then at Pirano,
where I was able to take a rough sketch of that most picturesque little
town, with its beautiful mediæval castle perched on the cliff behind it.

Then we came to Parenzo, where I should very much have liked to go ashore
for a couple of hours to look at the cathedral, of which I had heard so
much, but unfortunately the little business the steamer had to transact
was done in a few minutes, and the Captain would not delay (probably
because my bribe was insufficient), so I had to comfort myself with
the hope of seeing it on some future occasion, when I trust to be able
again to visit all those spots which interested me so much then, as also
many other places in the same countries, which accidental circumstances
prevented me from seeing.

The Cathedral of Parenzo, which I was so anxious to see, and which had
been described to me by a friend at Trieste as a _meraviglia_, was founded
by Bishop Eupatius, and completed in the year 526; it is therefore as old
as St. Sophia of Constantinople, and older than any other Cathedral in
Europe. "It is said to have a semicircular apse behind the altar, with
the Bishop's throne, and seats on either side for the clergy, instances
of which are now so rarely to be met with."[2]...

"At the east end is a round apse, as glorious in its mosaics as St.
Mark's, or St. Sophia. Every part of the wall and rounded roof is covered
with mosaics, &c. A group of nine saints and angels surrounding the
Blessed Virgin and Child, on a golden background, is exquisitely done.
Heads of saints adorn the arches, all are beautiful. Below these, to about
ten feet high, the walls are inlaid with whole shells of mother-of-pearl
let into a dark brown stone; it looks just like a piece of Damascus
furniture, and though rude it is effective and beautiful.

"The flooring of the whole church is of course mosaic, in Byzantine
patterns, the same as in Murano and St. Mark's; but one can scarcely look
at anything after the wall mosaics, save the capitals of the columns.
The pillars themselves are of a fine brown marble; the capitals are
identically the same as those in Santa Sophia, one more exquisitely
under-cut than the other into lace-work of leaves, flowers, birds, &c.;
they are perhaps a little bolder than those of St. Sophia, but full of
life and spirit, not a line wasted nor a thought thrown away. I longed
to sketch them, but I could only hope they may one day be photographed;
Jerusalem and Constantinople alone can rival them.

"The Baldacchino is exceedingly curious and fine, as are also the very
ancient altar hangings. There is a splendid altar front, of solid silver
gilt, of the Renaissance date. The interest appertaining to this is
that it is placed at the _back_ of the altar for high mass, facing the
Bishop, who is seated _behind the altar_, as at Torcello; this is an
ancient and I believe unique privilege.

"The Chapel of St. Andrew, at the north-east corner of the church, is
very interesting and curious. There has been a porch or cloister at the
west entrance, but only two or three columns remain of it. I venture to
think this church is well worth a special journey from England to see.
I could think of nothing else the rest of the day, although our onward
voyage was full of beauty."[3]

We then came to Rovigno with its beautiful campanile, and here again I
could not get half an hour to go on shore to look at it, though I believe
there is not much more to be seen beside it.

At three P.M. we came in sight of the harbour of Pola—the Portsmouth
of Austria;—but Pola itself we could not see, as it lies at the bottom
of a bay communicating with the sea by a deep and winding channel,
apparently well defended by numerous forts which surround it. The harbour
itself is of very considerable dimensions, and so deep that the largest
vessels can come alongside the quays.

Although so important a place, there did not appear to be much life or
bustle about it. The country around it is flat and marshy, and sometimes
in the year very unhealthy. It must have been, however, an important place
in the days of ancient Rome, judging from the size of its amphitheatre,
and the beauty of the Temple and triumphal arches which still remain, and
which constitute after all the great attractions of Pola. They are quite
close to the landing, so they can be visited with the utmost facility
during the stay which the steamer generally makes there. The amphitheatre
alone is worth a special visit, as the exterior of it is perfect, and
at a short distance does not even look like a ruin. It dates from the
third century and is very fine. It consists of a basement story about
four hundred and thirty feet in length, by three hundred and fifty feet
in width, surmounted by two tiers of arches, with half columns of the
Tuscan order between each, all about eighty feet high.

Beautifully preserved as is the exterior, the condition of the interior
is most disappointing, as nothing remains of the internal arrangement
except on one side, the one furthest from the sea, where there are still
a few seats cut in the rock, some even bearing what most probably were
the initials of their owners carved into them.

What can have caused this utter ruin of all the accommodation for the
spectators? Have the natives from time to time removed the building
materials from the inside, for the purpose of building the modern town?
not daring to lay a sacrilegious hand on the shell of the building
itself, which bore no semblance to a ruin, while at the same time they
treated the interior as a quarry! or were the seats made of woodwork,
and destroyed by fire, as some have imagined?

The steamer always remains long enough to permit the traveller to visit
the amphitheatre and the temples, as well as the triumphal arches, and to
take a stroll through the Piazza. I did so, and still further improved
the passing hour by eating an excellent dinner _al fresco_ under a
_pergola_ of vines at the _Trattoria_ of the place.

It was just dark as I got on board again, having been warned by the
unmusical steam-whistle that the vessel would soon be under way again.
Just before starting, a military band came to play before the Commandant's
house, which is on the quays just opposite to where the steamer was
moored. It being now dark, the band was accompanied by a score of soldiers
carrying a peculiarly shaped lantern fastened to the top of a pole, to
enable the men to see their music. At first as the band came marching
down the quays with their lights dancing high up in the air before and
behind, I could not make out what it was, and only for the liveliness
of the music I might have thought it was a funeral, the whole thing was
very picturesque and the music excellent. At last we got under way and
steamed out of the harbour on our way to the coast of Dalmatia, across
the Gulf of the Quarnero, so well known for its dangerous navigation and
so much dreaded even by the hardy sailors of the Adriatic, when swept
by the fierce impetuous Bora.

Fortunately for me, who am not the most intrepid of mariners, and who
prefer admiring a tempestuous sea from off a rocky vantage point upon
the shore, to tossing on its stormy waves, the dreaded Quarnero was as
smooth as a millpond. The night was magnificent; the heavens cloudless,
and studded with countless stars, but scarcely as bright as I have seen
them at other times, owing to the intense brilliancy of the moon now
nearly at the full. The track of the steamer was clearly marked out far
in the rear by a broad phosphorescent wake, while the water which was
dashed off from the paddles seemed like liquid fire.

The cabins were all occupied, so I had to make my bed on deck; but even
if I could have got one, I never could have slept below, it was so hot
and stuffy. I was soon settled for the night; a doubled-up rug laid
lengthwise on the deck was my bed, and my dressing-bag was my pillow.
It was so warm that I required no covering save my light tweed suit,
and I was no sooner down than I was fast asleep. I don't know how long
I slept; but I would have slept still longer, if I had not been awoke
by the steamer stopping to put down and take up passengers and goods at
some place on the coast of Dalmatia.

We had safely crossed the mouth of the Quarnero, the moon had set, and
the blue black vault of heaven was studded with countless stars sparkling
like diamonds. The steamer was hove to a little distance from the shore,
while scores of boats, each with a coloured lantern at the prow, came
and went, making as pretty a scene as can be imagined; but for all that,
after sitting up and admiring it for a few minutes, I lay down again on
my rug, and falling asleep never awoke again till the sun was high in
the heavens the next morning.

By degrees the passengers one by one came on deck, when by making
interest with Giovanni, the steward, I obtained the use of a _camerino_
(cabin) to make my toilet in. Having completed my ablutions I called in
Giovanni to empty my tub, for as the _camerino_ was extremely small it
was next to impossible to stand in it, unless with one's feet in the
water. Never was steward so astonished and so puzzled as Giovanni was
at the sight of my flimsy mackintosh tub; he had no idea of how to take
it up to empty it, he was afraid to touch it until I had taken it up
on three sides and showed him how to lift it, when he was so delighted
with the whole arrangement that he placed it on the table of the cabin
just as it was, and fetched down the passengers to see the ingenious
English device. By the time it had been well examined and then emptied,
I was up and dressed. When I came out of the _camerino_, I showed the
assembled company how it could be rolled up into the smallest compass,
and stowed away in a travelling bag.

There was no regular breakfast on board, but everyone as he wanted it
got a cup of coffee and a bit of bread or a biscuit; preserved milk also
could be had, but of butter there was none.

Our passengers had somewhat varied since leaving Trieste. We had deposited
many on the coast of Istria as we went along, and taken up others in
their place. We had a remarkable Oriental-looking woman, plain perhaps,
and yet handsome, a Montenegrin of rank, a cousin of the present Prince,
dressed in full native costume. She was on her way to her native country
to petition the Prince to permit certain of his cousins, who had been
expatriated for political causes, to return to their homes.

The costume of the Montenegrin women is not becoming; even this handsome
woman, and the beautiful Princess whom I subsequently had the honour of
seeing at Montenegro, failed to render it attractive to my eyes, whereas
the costume of the men is eminently becoming. This lady's dress consisted
of a sort of white chemise of fine lawn, tight, but gathered very full
round the neck, without any frill, and open down the front for six or
eight inches, where it was closed by a row of very small buttons. This
white garment, which reached down to the ankles, was fastened round her
waist by a massive silver belt, made in compartments three inches by four
and joined together by hinges. Each compartment was highly ornamented
with rich _repoussé_ work in _alto rilievo_, and from a side-piece hung
down several ornaments of the châtelaine species, while from the other
side depended an exquisite little dagger in a sheath of silver _repoussé_.

The sleeves of this white garment were tight at the shoulders, but grew
wider and wider as they approached the wrist, where they were upwards of
two feet six inches in diameter. They were bordered with a rich margin of
embroidery in gold and silver thread, mingled with red and blue silk, in
excellent taste, and the same embroidery was continued up the external
seam of the sleeve on the outside of the elbow up to the shoulder. From
below the silver belt she wore a large apron of rich black silk coming
down to her ankles, and over all a peculiar white cloth coat without
sleeves, the typical garment of the Montenegrins, both male and female.
This coat was made of a very soft white cloth, so close and yet soft
and pliable, that although sitting next to her and touching it with
my finger, I could not at once determine if it was cloth or some sort
of beautifully tanned leather. As I said before, this coat was without
sleeves or collar, but scooped tight to the back of the neck. In front
it did not come further forward than about half way between the point of
the shoulders and the middle of the neck, and then straight down like
a sack till just below the calf of the leg. This coat was bound right
round the whole way with a narrow pattern of embroidery in the same style
as round the sleeves of the muslin dress, and in addition had a row of
very small round silver buttons down the front on one side. On her head
she wore a very large black Indian silk kerchief fastened into her hair
with pins, and hanging down behind her back as low as her waist.

The costume is decidedly ugly, though containing the elements of great
beauty, if only put together with taste and harmony. Nothing, for
instance, can be more attractive and becoming than that black kerchief,
be it of silk, gauze or lace, when gracefully put on the head, as the
women of Spain or Genoa know so well how to wear it; but the Montenegrin
arrangement is as clumsy and inelegant in the women as it is manly and
picturesque in the men.

We had on board also several Austrian officers going to join their
quarters, some to Zara and some to Cattaro, Budua, and Kosmatch. Very
nice, pleasant, gentlemanlike fellows they were, some of them speaking
French, but all able to converse freely in Italian, and all well-informed,
agreeable companions. Acquaintances are made much more easily abroad
than in England, so we were soon quite at home together, and what with
chatting, smoking and walking up and down the deck, we quickly passed
over the time, till at ten o'clock A.M., we came in front of Zara,
celebrated in ancient times for its long siege, when "in 1346 Marino
Faliero earned his laurels by the most daring assault," and in modern
times for its excellent Maraschino!

Zara is an important place even at the present time. It is the capital
of Dalmatia, and the seat of the Archbishop of the province. It is
well-built, clean, and tolerably well-paved, and well-worth a visit. The
time, however, allowed by the stay of the steamer is amply sufficient to
enable one to see it; but the heat was so great that I felt more inclined
to stay on board smoking cigarettes under the awning of the steamer than
to go on shore. The prospect of some _café à la glace_, however, which I
knew was to be obtained in the Piazza, added to the more important fact
that I was to receive here a letter for the Archimandrite of Montenegro,
induced me to shake off my apathy.

Having landed on the quay, I passed through the gate over which is
sculptured the grim effigy of the Lion of St. Mark, everywhere seen
down the Eastern shores of the Adriatic wheresoever the Venetians had
established their authority, I proceeded to execute my plans; but the
heat was so intense that I was glad to come back to the steamer where I
imagined it was something less stifling. But this day was unusually hot
and close, and with the exception of one at Cattaro, when the thermometer
registered at four o'clock P.M., 105° Fahrenheit, was the hottest
I experienced in all my journey.



CHAPTER VI.

     DEPARTURE FROM ZARA—SEBENICO—PLEASANT COMPANIONS—NOBLE
     HARBOUR—THE CATHEDRAL—CURIOUS ROOF—CORAL
     FISHERY—SPALATO—SALONA—DIOCLETIAN'S PALACE—MR. PATON'S
     DESCRIPTION OF IT—BEAUTIFUL SPECTACLE—THE PORTA FERREA—QUAINT
     DWELLINGS—AMBROSIAL TOBACCO.


AT about one o'clock P.M. we steamed away from Zara while we were
at dinner, and at five P.M. reached Sebenico. Should I ever travel
again in that part of the world, I think I should try to go from Zara
to Sebenico by land in order to see the ruins of Asseria, which I learnt
afterwards were well worth a visit; but the journey should in that case
be undertaken earlier in the year, to avoid the oppressive heats.

The afternoon between leaving Zara and arriving at Sebenico passed
quickly away, for I had the advantage of two most agreeable companions;
one the capuchin monk, the other a charming young fellow, an officer in
an Austrian Jäger regiment, Baron Heyd von Heydeg.

The Capuchin was a most interesting man, and we chatted many an hour
together by moonlight on the deck, when every one else had gone to sleep,
when I used to chaff him about the rules of his order, which forbid
the smoking of tobacco, while they permit the use of snuff without any
restriction. He used to take it most good-humouredly, and laughed as
if his sides would split when I would refuse to take a pinch of his
snuff unless he smoked one of my cigarettes. I verily think I should
have brought him round at last, had he not been constantly under the
surveillance, and in mortal "_soggezione_" of his lay brother.

Heyd was a different fellow altogether, but most agreeable. He was going
to join his regiment, then quartered at Budua. We travelled together as
far as Cattaro, and I met him subsequently both at Cettigne and Budua,
where I went expressly to pay him a visit.

The time sped swiftly and most agreeably in spite of the heat, and at
five o'clock P.M. we steamed through the narrow tortuous opening,
bordered by steep rocky sides, which leads into the bay, at the further
end of which stands Sebenico. It is a noble harbour, and so deep that
a frigate can lie alongside the quay. At the narrowest part of its
entrance, the approach is defended by what a few years ago would have
been considered a masterpiece of fortification, but which at present
would offer too fair a target to our projectiles to afford any great
protection against an enemy. It is still worth a visit, as its casemates
are perhaps among the finest in the world. It was engineered and built
in 1546, by the celebrated architect San Micheli. The entrance to the
fortress is surmounted by the usual Venetian Lion with the following
inscription:—

     "Pax tibi Marce Evangelista meus."[4]

Having landed with Baron Heyd, who had been quartered there some time
before, for cicerone, I proceeded to inspect the Duomo, or cathedral, the
principal object of interest there. Some people are lost in admiration
of this cathedral, I really could not see much about it to admire, and
the two statues on its façade representing Adam and Eve (they might
as well be Gog and Magog) are simply detestable. But the roof of the
cathedral is a curiosity in itself, and worth the journey. It is of its
kind unique, and though it is said to be perfectly safe, and I suppose
must be so, having continued so for so many years, still I could not
help feeling a sense of insecurity as long as I was in the church, and
enjoyed great relief when I finally came out of it.

This roof is simply a semi-cylinder made of enormous slabs of stone
joined edge to edge, but so beautifully adapted and fitted one into the
other that, without any other support save what they afford each other,
they form the vault of this cathedral. I trust they may never crack;
but I, for one, could never say my prayers with comfort under such a roof.

Having taken a ramble through the streets, which were clean and contained
many fine mansions, we went up to the fort on the hill behind the town,
and which commands the whole place, where we passed a pleasant hour with
the officers of the garrison.

My time being limited, I was unable to make an expedition from Sebenico,
which under different circumstances I should certainly have undertaken,
that is to the falls of the Kerka and the monastery above them. My
friend, the Capuchin, who had travelled a good deal both in Europe and
America, and had a good eye for the picturesque, told me they were well
worth seeing; but like many other interesting spots down that coast, I
must only hope to visit them at some future time.

At dusk we returned to the steamer, though we knew it would not leave
till the following morning early, and we could have spent a most pleasant
night on shore; but Sebenico shuts its gates at sunset, and then till
the following sunrise no one can come in or go out, and had we attempted
it we should only have lost our passage.

Having partaken of an excellent supper, I returned to the deck, where,
as was my wont, I sat down beside my friend the Capuchin, who always took
a cup of coffee with me though he would not consent to smoke. We chatted
till very late, when he went down to his _camerino_, and I settled myself
on deck as usual for my night's sleep. It turned out awfully hot, as
the steamer remained till break of day in the harbour of Sebenico, but
what must it have been in the cabin?

At the very earliest dawn we left our moorings, and steamed out of the
harbour by its well guarded entrance. Just outside we passed a group of
small islands, among which is established a considerable coral fishery.
The coral is not however of the finest quality, mostly of the common
deep red kind, and is principally sold on the spot or at the fair of
Sinigaglia in the Romagna on the opposite or Italian side of the Adriatic.

The dawn was just merging into daylight, when we steamed out of that
land-locked harbour. It had been stiflingly hot as long as we had lain
still alongside the quay, but the moment we came out into the open sea,
the

     "... Aura messaggiera ...
     Ad annunziar che se ne vien l'Aurora,"

came with a most refreshing breeze, so light, however, as not even to
raise a "cat's paw" on the glassy waters, but still deliciously cool
and invigorating.

The steward was not long manufacturing me a good cup of coffee, after
which, having made myself comfortable in a capital arm-chair, I again
went to sleep, not to awake until Giovanni summoned me again, "per far
colazione."

In the course of the morning we reached Spalato, a beautiful and most
interesting place, where an artist could with advantage spend many days.
It was celebrated in ancient times for the gorgeous palace which the
Emperor Diocletian built for himself after abdicating the Empire in 303
A.D., and the magnificent remains of which still form the glory of
the present city. After a reign of twenty years, "Diocletian executed
his memorable resolution of abdicating the Empire," and acquired the
glory of giving to the world the most remarkable, if not the first,
example of a resignation which has not been very frequently imitated by
succeeding monarchs. Withdrawing to Salona, he passed the last nine years
of his life in seclusion—the building of a palace in the neighbourhood,
and the superintendence of his garden, occupying his leisure hours.
The satisfaction he derived from these pursuits is sufficiently proved
by his well-known answer to Maximian, when urging him to re-assume the
purple, "If I could show you the cabbages I have planted with my own
hands at Salona, you would no longer urge me to relinquish the enjoyment
of happiness for the pursuit of power."

This immense palace, which covered very nearly nine English acres of
ground, was almost a perfect square terminating at the four corners by a
quadrangular tower. Its faces were directed as nearly as possible to the
four cardinal points—the southern side being pointed to the shore and
facing the sea. It still exists in good preservation and forms a grand
object of attraction to the visitor entering the harbour. Two streets
intersected each other at right angles nearly in the centre of it, which
has lately been completely excavated and is now fully exposed to view.

The following description by the late Mr. Paton (author of "Highlands and
Islands of the Adriatic," one of the most charming books ever printed)
will convey to the reader a far clearer impression than anything I could
pen; I therefore make no apology for inserting it here, and whoever
should wish to go still deeper into the matter and learn all that is
to be learned concerning this palace, I refer him to Mr. Adams' book
"Spalato Restored," which is a perfectly exhaustive treatise on the
subject.

"At the outset we are struck with the enormous extent of the palace,
which is not less than nine acres and a half; so that even Constantine
Porphyrogenitus speaks of it with admiration, as one of the greatest
edifices then extant. In the time of Diocletian, his great retinue and a
pretorian cohort could be lodged with convenience in it. Sixteen towers
gave strength and elegance to the edifice, of which the largest were those
at the four corners. The back of the edifice looked to the north-east on
the land-side, and there was the principal entrance, the Porta Aurea,
or golden gate, which led to the Peristylium, a great court of granite
columns; and the cross street which intersected the principal passage
at right angles was terminated at each end by gates, the one the Porta
Ferrea, or iron gate, the other the Porta Ænea, or gate of brass, which
are so called to this day.

"This peristylium, or court of granite columns, was flanked by two
temples; the greater of Jupiter, and the smaller of Esculapius; the
former, a lofty octagon, was ascended by a stair of fifteen steps; an
uneven number being generally found in the temples of the ancients, that,
beginning to move with the right foot, they might, of course, place it
first upon the uppermost step in order to enter the temple—a form which
was accounted respectful in approaching the Deity. From the peristylium,
or court of granite columns, the Roman entered the principal inhabited
part of the palace; first was the porticus of Corinthian order, then the
circular dome-covered vestibulum, with the Lares and Penates; then the
atrium, or quadrangular hall, ninety-eight by forty-five with its arms
and trophies dedicated to ancestry; and last of all the crypto-porticus,
or grand gallery, looking to the south-west, thus facing the sea, and
forming a noble promenade of five hundred and fifteen feet in length,
in which, during the heat of Summer or inclemency of Winter, the Emperor
could take exercise. This crypto-porticus was the principal feature of the
palace, and the well-known taste of Diocletian leads us to suppose that
the choicest statuary and paintings of the Old World must have adorned
its walls. The relics of Pompeii give some idea of the classic fancy in
ornament, the harmonizing contrasts in colour, and the consummate skill
in tessellation employed in the domestic architecture of the ancients;
and if we relieve these splendours with the latest fascination in the
unpretending forms of Greek statuary, how puny is the utmost magnificence
of Versailles compared with the dwelling of the retired Roman!

"Such was the Palace of Diocletian; what now remains of the edifice?
The shell or outer wall, of which the best preserved part is the grand
gallery facing the sea; for Spalato like its contemporary Baalbec being
used as a fortification, the rough stone and mortar of the middle-age
battlements surmount in many places the massive normal masonry of the
Roman Empire.... Within the town, fragments of Roman architecture are
scattered thickly enough, but so obscured and mingled with modern houses
as to present a mass of confusion."

Did we stop short here, the reader might well imagine that beyond the
shell, the walls which surrounded the palace, nothing has been preserved;
such however is not the case, and I shall now endeavour to describe
what I saw in Spalato the morning that I steamed into its harbour, when
from the deck of my vessel I gazed on that sea studded all over with
numberless boats spreading the most fantastic sails to the gentlest of
breezes!

The prevailing form, if not the only one, was the lateen in all its
varieties, most of the boats carrying but one. But such colours and
such devices painted on them! things that would look simply outrageous
at Cowes or Ryde, how lovely they seemed there! Some were striped from
above downwards with every colour of the rainbow, but only two colours
to each sail and these always harmoniously contrasted; others of one
uniform colour, with some fantastic ornament in sharp contrast in the
middle; while some, all of one colour had at the topmost angle of the
lateen a representation of the sun generally in burnished gold with its
rays coming down a long way over the sail. The glittering golden sea,
those fairy-looking boats gliding over it, the picturesque costumes
of the sailors, the whole scene bathed in that golden light was a fit
preparation for my introduction to the rare beauties of Spalato itself.

As we slowly approached the quay, there was ample time to admire the
long façade of Diocletian's Palace, with the tall and elegant campanile
which rises inside it on the right, and the strong hexagonal machicolated
tower on the left. The lofty steeple on the right, a very Giralda of
elegance and airiness—the dungeon on the left a sturdy emblem of the
iron-fisted middle ages.

After some customary formalities, during which I feasted my eyes on the
picturesque groups that crowded on the quay, permission was finally
given to go ashore; when crossing as quickly as could be the narrow
intervening space, I plunged through the Porta Ferrea into the vaulted
passage which on this side gives entrance to the city of Spalato; and
now commence the real difficulties of description, but having undertaken
it I must only try, trusting to the kind forbearance of my readers.

This vaulted entrance is narrow, perhaps not twelve feet wide, but very
lofty and formed of immense blocks of stone put together with wonderful
accuracy. After following it a little way, it opens out into a spacious
round hall rising up to a considerable height, this portion being
unroofed; from it open out several streets, all running about here and
there, crossing and recrossing each other as if in search of light and
air. The dwellings in these streets are full of quaint artistic beauty;
at one point one meets a massive wall of square-cut blocks dating from
the days of Diocletian, against which, perhaps, is built up a modern
house with wrought-iron balconies of the most delicate workmanship;
further on, an outside staircase of rude stone steps, partly covered
with a roof of russet tiles, leads to a door some thirty feet above our
heads, from which a flying buttress crosses over to an opening in an
ancient wall beyond, where a modern habitation has been constructed in
some mediæval donjon.

Each turn brings a new surprise, and so one passes on till one comes
to the piazza, and this day being a festival, it swarmed with natives
from all the surrounding _campagne_. The reader must now come with me
to the _café_, where under a thick awning and surrounded by a screen
of oleanders and orange-trees in full bloom, we shall take a _granita
di caffé_ (a water-ice flavoured with coffee), and study the moving
panorama before us, whilst we slowly puff away a cigarette made with the
ambrosial tobacco of Trebigna—a kind still unknown in London and in Paris!



CHAPTER VII.

     A TYPE OF SHYLOCK—SCENE IN THE STREET—VARIED
     COSTUMES—MORLACCHI—TURKS FROM THE HERZEGOVINA—WOMEN OF
     SPALATO—INSPECTION OF THE CITY—THE PORTA AUREA—COURT OF THE
     VESTIBULE OF THE PALACE—INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL—ILLUSTRIOUS
     MEN OF SPALATO—MARK ANTONY DE DOMINIS—ST. JEROME—THE MORLACCHI.


Sitting down cross-legged on the very oldest and dirtiest of rugs, and
just outside our fragrant hedge of oleander, is to be seen an old Jew,
the finest type of a Shylock that could be imagined; with ample, heavy,
flowing beard, aquiline nose with sharp cut nostril, and deep-set piercing
eyes shadowed by an ample turban. He has before him, on his rug, a
collection of arms, pistols of the old approved Turkish form and yataghans
of every price, from the common horn-handled weapon in a wooden sheath
to the jewel-hilted Kharjar in a sheath of _repoussé_ silver. Around is
a motley group of countrymen, all talking at the top of their voices in
their several languages, whilst examining and praising or depreciating
the weapons there for sale, just as they are either simple _flâneurs_
in the square, or really intending purchasers. The varieties of costume
rendered this picturesque group most interesting, there were Morlacchi
from the neighbouring mountains with full blue Turkish trowsers fast to
the knee; gold embroidered crimson jackets without sleeves, and gaiters
to match; the whole finished off by an immense Albanian scarf of many
colours wound round the waist, holding a perfect armoury of weapons in
the front. On the head most of them wore a small red fez, others wore
a turban, but it was not put on like the Jews, they did not seem _au
fait_ in settling it; but whatever head-gear they adopted they all were
decorated with a tail—a genuine plaited tail coming down their backs with
such luxuriance that it might have been the envy of any Celestial. I could
not bring myself to like it—though report says that the Morlacchi are
wonderfully attached to their tails, and cherish and pet them somewhat
in the manner of our old tars in the days of Collingwood and Nelson.

There were Turks from the Herzegovina, ill-looking, badly-clad, scowling
Mussulmans, who would willingly have earned ten paras by sending a
Christian to his latter home, but still gorgeous in their tatters and
vermin. There were Christian Albanians with their white fustanellas,
high aquiline nose, glittering eyes, and false smile, in dress somewhat
similar to the Morlacchi, but wearing a smaller fez with a long blue
tassel. Conspicuous above them all was a Risanese from the Gulf of
Cattaro, in full Montenegrin costume; but with a green instead of the
white characteristic coat, all overladen about the breast and shoulders
with plates of solid gold of considerable thickness, especially over the
shoulders, where they would, if required, afford some protection from
the blow of a sabre.

Mingled with the men were several women—some very good-looking—with
golden-brown hair and dark eyes and eyelashes; their hair in plaits, not
hanging but coiled round their heads, which were further adorned with
Turkish piastres and other coins. The dress is a mixture of red, white,
and blue artistically combined, with coral and coins twisted round their
necks.

The noise of this Babel of tongues was deafening, and the scene not to be
described. One wretched, tattered old man, but armed to the teeth like
the rest, long tried to persuade me to buy a hank of onions, and would
not be gainsaid when told by one of the waiters of the _café_ that I
was a traveller and did not require onions; what better or more portable
provisions could I carry with me in my travels than onions? said he.

Having finished my _granita_, I again started to explore the city; this
time under the guidance of a most obliging gentleman, well versed in the
antiquities of the place, and to whom I had brought an introduction.
We first went outside the city to inspect the grand Porta Aurea. This
had only lately been thoroughly excavated, and even in its present
dilapidated condition, not so much the effect of time as of the plundering
propensities of man, is still most beautiful and grand. What must it
have been before the eight columns which decorated its front were taken
away to adorn some modern church?

From the Porta Aurea, we again got into the city, proceeding straight to
the court of the vestibule of the Palace, where all that is best worth
seeing in Spalato is collected together. Here in front of us was the
façade of the peristyle, consisting of four large and beautiful granite
columns, supporting a triangular pediment, and which occupied the whole
breadth of the court. On each side were a row of six Corinthian columns,
equally large, and also of rose-coloured Egyptian granite, supporting
not an architrave as is generally the case, but a series of arches
which sprang from their capitals. On the right was the smaller temple,
dedicated to Esculapius, now converted into a baptistry, and dedicated
to St. John. On the left, the Temple of Jupiter—now the Cathedral of
Spalato, by the side of which rises that most elegant campanile, the
Giralda of Spalato, only one hundred and ninety-nine feet high, since
the two upper stories were thrown down by lightning.

The interior of the Cathedral does not offer much to admire—nevertheless
its general effect is sufficiently imposing. But it is outside in the
court, the present piazza, that all the beauty of the place reveals
itself. It is not a ruin—of the sixteen original granite columns not one
has been displaced, and this portion of the Palace of Spalato is as in
the days when Diocletian came into his Temple to pray. Can the reader
believe that all this is really within five days of London?

Dalmatia has been the birthplace of many men of letters and science,
and Spalato can boast of having even given a Protestant Dean to our
royal Windsor, in the person of the celebrated Mark Anthony de Dominis,
once Catholic Archbishop of Spalato, whose life and death would furnish
materials for a sensational novel. As his history is not commonly known,
it may, perhaps, interest some of my readers to hear it now.

He was born about the year 1570, and educated at the Illyrian College
of the Jesuits, in Loretto, from whence he passed to Padua, where he
became Professor of Mathematics. In the year 1600, he was created Bishop
of Segna, and in 1602 he was raised to the Archbishopric of Spalato,
where, during the terrible plague of 1607, he nobly distinguished himself
by his liberality to the poor, and his fearless and humane attendance
on the sick in the administration of his sacerdotal duties—emulating
the courage and devotion, under similar circumstances, of Borromeo of
Milan. He occupied the Archiepiscopal throne of Spalato for fourteen
years, during which period his time was divided between the performance
of his ecclesiastical duties, and the investigations of science. He
converted the upper part of the Palace, at Spalato, into a Laboratory
and an Observatory, and the window is still shown where he is supposed
to have made the discovery of the prismatic colour of light, "by the
falling drops of water;" which discovery, including a description of the
nature of the rainbow, he published to the world in a work printed at
Venice in 1611. His fickleness in matters of religion, however, proved
his ruin; his Chapter accused him of heretical opinions, upon which he
withdrew to Venice at the close of 1615, having previously vacated his
See in favour of his nephew Sforza Ponsoni. During his residence in that
city, he wrote a work in favour of the Republic, which was condemned
by the Inquisition, when he determined on withdrawing, for safety, to
a Protestant country.

He went first to Heidelberg, and thence came to England in the suite
and at the invitation of Sir Henry Wotton, Ambassador of James I. to
the Venetian Republic. In England, he published and dedicated to James
I. a history of the Council of Trent, which had been lent him, it is
said, by its author, Fra Paolo Sarpi. He also edified the Protestant
public by an open recantation of his religion in St. Paul's Cathedral,
and then published a work against the Papacy, entitled, "Scoglio del
Naufragio Christiano." He was particularly well received in England;
and was patronized by the King, who made him Dean of Windsor. He seems,
however, to have expected more, and to have been disappointed at not
getting a bishopric; and on Gregory XV., who was a friend and relative of
his, succeeding him to the Papal throne, he changed his religion again,
and yielding to the solicitations of the Pope, conveyed to him through
the Spanish Ambassador, who promised him a Cardinal's Hat, he returned
to Rome in 1622.

Gregory XV. received him kindly, and as long as he lived De Dominis
remained unmolested, but at his death Pope Urban VIII., who succeeded
him, saw no reason to extend his protection over the ex-Protestant Dean
of Windsor; he was accused of heresy, handed over to the tender mercies
of the Holy Inquisition, and thrown into a dungeon of the Castle of St.
Angelo, where he died in 1625—it is supposed by poison, and his body was
subsequently burned, together with his writings, in the Campo dei Fiori.

De Dominis was a very distinguished philosopher, and we must not be too
severe when judging him by the light of the present day. There can be no
doubt that the change from Popery to the Reformed religion was principally
due, not to a feeling of animosity against the Church of Rome, as many
have maintained, but chiefly to those doubts concerning the truth of the
things taught by that church, and to its conduct in persisting to refuse
the results of the investigations of science, as evinced by its treatment
of Galileo and others. His return to the church is more difficult to
account for on generous grounds; but he, himself, is stated to have said
that by becoming a Cardinal he might be of greater use in effecting a
reformation in that community to which he had originally belonged. The
Holy Inquisition had hoped to have enjoyed the satisfaction of publicly
roasting, "ad majorem Dei gloriam," a professor of Natural Science, a
renegade Catholic Archbishop and a Protestant Dean all in one; but some
charitable friend robbed that holy confraternity of its anticipated
triumph by passing in some poison to the unfortunate De Dominis, who
learnt too late that Rome never changes, "che il Lupo perde il pelo, il
vizio no" and that according to Papal ethics to keep faith with heretics
is at best a grievous sin.

Spalato, in common with the rest of Dalmatia, has given birth to many
able men, among which they claim even St. Jerome, the most learned of
the ancient fathers and the talented author of the noblest translation
of the Bible; but I fear on insufficient grounds, as all the authorities
I have looked into seem to make him a Pannonian and not an Illyrian;
Carrara, however, claims him as a compatriot in his "Uomini Illustri di
Spalato."

Within a few miles of Spalato are the ruins of Salona, I had not time to
visit them. There is not comparatively very much of interest to be seen
above ground, but I believe that methodically conducted diggings have
yielded some valuable results. It was the Roman capital of Dalmatia and
was destroyed by the Avars in 640, when the inhabitants who escaped from
the slaughter took refuge in Spalato and there founded the new city,
by grouping themselves around and under the protection of the Palace of
Diocletian.

The majority of the inhabitants of Spalato are Roman Catholics, with an
admixture of Greeks and a good number of Jews, who wear the turban and
the Oriental costume, and are principally descended from those who were
expelled from Spain in 1493. For many centuries they were subjected to
the same indignities as in other Christian countries, and compelled to
inhabit the Ghetto where they used to be locked up at night; but such
practices have long been abolished in Dalmatia, and the Jews of Spalato
have enjoyed for many years the same privileges as the other citizens
of that place.

My stay at Spalato was much too short for enjoyment; I saw indeed most
that was to be seen there, but it was not much more than a glance, and
I longed to be sketching amongst those picturesque nooks.

Having several times mentioned the Morlacchi, it will, I think, be
interesting to my readers to know something about them. Again I have to
regret that I was unable to visit them in their villages, and that the
only information I can give of them is, that they are inhabitants of the
wild mountainous district lying to the East of Dalmatia. They are a fine
race of men, though much smaller and inferior to the Montenegrin; their
women, on the contrary, are often very beautiful, and they have many
strange customs in their dealings with foreigners which would make an
excursion into the fastnesses of their mountains of more than ordinary
interest.

With the Lowland Dalmatians and the inhabitants of the towns on the
coast, the name of Morlacchi is always associated with plunder and
cattle-lifting, just as in Scotland a hundred years ago every Highlander,
in the eyes of a Lowlander, was a cateran and a robber; but I heard
from people that had been among them, that they are very hospitable, and
that their country can be freely traversed in any direction without the
smallest danger. They are Catholics and apparently of the same stock as
the Montenegrins, though these latter are schismatic Greeks.



CHAPTER VIII.

     ISLAND OF LISSA—NAVAL BATTLES—A BRIDAL PARTY TAKEN ON
     BOARD—LESINA—FORTRESS OF SAN NICOLO—THE LOGGIE—FORT
     SPAGNUOLO—ISLAND OF CURZOLA—LA CHROMA—BEAUTIFUL SCENE—RICHARD
     CŒUR DE LION—CATHEDRAL OF RAGUSA—EARTHQUAKE OF 1667—TERRIBLE
     CONFLAGRATION—PRINCE MAXIMILIAN.


Early in the afternoon we left Spalato, and steaming away from the coast
we stood out to sea, making for Lissa, a large island of the Adriatic,
celebrated in the days of the first Napoleon for the stout sea fight in
which, on the 13th of March 1811, Captain Hoste, (afterwards Sir William
Hoste), with four ships mounting 156 guns, utterly defeated the French
fleet of twenty-seven sail, mounting 284, having on board 500 troops.
In 1808 we occupied Lissa, and having established free trade and other
institutions, the island improved so much under our administration that
in less than three years from the time we occupied it the population
had risen to 12,000 inhabitants (at present it has scarcely 5000).

The French were naturally sorely tried by the advantageous position we
occupied in front of their coast, and the very good use we made of our
opportunities of pushing our commerce in every direction. They determined
therefore on expelling us from Lissa and the Adriatic, as from the
smallness of our armament there they had no doubt as to their success.
Swiftly and silently they fitted out an expedition at Ancona, which
under the command of the brave Captain Dubourdieu arrived at Lissa on
the 13th March, 1811. It consisted of four 44 gun frigates, ten 32 gun
corvettes, one 16 gun brig, a schooner, ten gun-boats, and a xebeque,
in all 284 guns.

The British Squadron consisted of only four ships, the 'Amphion,'
'Active,' 'Cerberus,' and 'Volage,' mounting but 156 guns all told, but
it was commanded and manned by British seamen! the result could not be
doubted, and although Dubourdieu fought like a gallant sailor as he was,
the victory remained with us. Our losses were severe, and in a quiet
retired little nook, on the left hand as one enters the land-locked
harbour of Lissa, are buried those who fell in that engagement; while
on the right hand side is another burial place, where under a handsome
sepulchral monument lie the remains of those Austrians who fell in the
latest naval engagement at Lissa when a few years ago the Italian Navy,
the pet toy, an expensive one by the by, of King Victor Emmanuel, was
all but annihilated by the Austrians under Admiral Tegethoff.

At Lissa we remained a very short time, so short that I had not even time
to go ashore, though I should have very much liked to visit the burial
place of those brave English sailors who fell in the naval action of
1811. The business of the steamer, which seemed principally to consist
in shipping a bridal party, was soon concluded, and after a very short
stay we were again under full steam for Lesina, another island of the
same archipelago, but much smaller and closer in to the Dalmatian coast.

The bridal party we had taken on board consisted of the bride and
bridegroom, both very plain and very much, even tawdrily over-dressed in
Parisian costume, and with remarkably dirty hands and otherwise unwashed
appearance. A bishop with a couple of priests in attendance on his
reverence, and half-a-dozen relations and friends of the newly-married
couple, who seemed principally to study not to take any notice of each
other but went about making themselves generally agreeable.

The groom most kindly insisted on my smoking his cigars (and villainously
bad they were, but had I declined them he would have been awfully
offended) and drinking his maraschino, which fortunately was as good
as his cigars were bad, whilst the bride, luckily for me, persistently
avoided me, probably from fear of heretical contamination, and exclusively
devoted her attentions to the Bishop and his priests.

After a few hours steaming through the smoothest and bluest of seas, in
full view of the grand mountains of Dalmatia, in due time we arrived
at Lesina a little before sunset. This island is said to derive its
name from being somewhat shaped like an awl, in Italian _lesina_. It
is just a thin strip of land forty-two miles long, blunt at one end
(which represents the handle) and sharp at the other. I doubt, however,
the correctness of its etymology, and am inclined to think that its
present name is more probably derived from its ancient one of "Pharos
Insula," often reduced by elision into simply "Insula;" now the anagram
of "Insula" is "Lusina," a word much more in harmony with the genius
of the Italian language, and from Lusina to Lesina is but a shade. I
think I am fortified in this etymology by the fact of at least two other
instances in the Adriatic of this identical transposition of letters,
and the conversion of Insula to Lusina, in the names of two islands near
the Quarnero, named respectively Lussin Grande and Lussin Piccolo, which
are evidently the anagram of Insula Grande and Insula Piccola.

We arrived just in time to enjoy the effect of the setting sun upon
that rocky landscape and the exquisitely pretty town at the foot of the
mountain, and sufficiently early to be able to take a rapid sketch just
as the sun was beginning to sink behind the tower which rises to the
west of the town. The fort behind and above the town was still in full
sunlight, as was also the more distant fortress of San Nicolo, brought
forcibly into relief by a bank of dark purple clouds which were massed
behind it. Down below, close to the water's edge, lay the town bathed
in a flood of amber light, partly caused by the reflection of the golden
sunset beyond, and partly by the colouring of the town itself, the houses
of which are all painted with the warmest tints.

In the middle of the town, close to the water's edge, are the "Loggie"
or Portico, an elegant building, which in the olden times of Venetian
supremacy was used by the merchants as an exchange to transact business
in, as well as a hall of justice for the administration of the laws, and
at the back a room is still shown where criminals and suspected persons
underwent the question by torture.

Immediately behind and above the Loggie rises Fort Spagnuolo, built by
Charles V, connected with the town below by two long crenelated walls,
enclosing in front a considerable space planted thick with colossal aloes
(_Agave Americana_), which in case of assault would, in olden times,
have offered a very considerable impediment to the advance of troops.

The island of Lesina is barren, and its commerce very insignificant; it
grows, however, an immense quantity of rosemary, from which is distilled
a celebrated essential oil _Oleum Anthos_, and the _Aqua Regia_, or
rosemary water, which are both largely exported.

It was dark when we left; shaping our way for Curzola where we arrived
about midnight. My friend, the Capuchin, who sat chatting with me till we
arrived there, regretted I could not see it by daylight, as contrary to
the other islands, which are conspicuous for their barrenness, Curzola
is well wooded, and is celebrated for the size and magnificence of its
pine trees.

We did not make any long delay here, and were soon threading our course
again between the islands and the mainland in the direction of Ragusa,
but I know nothing about them. The Monk wished me good-night and went
to his cabin, when again I took my usual place on deck, and was soon
as comfortably asleep on that oaken plank as if I had been in the most
luxurious bed in England.

I was awakened from my night's sleep by my friend the Capuchin monk,
who had been my travelling companion all the way from Trieste.

"Get up, my lazy friend," said he, touching me with his foot. "We shall
soon be entering the port of Gravosa; and there," stretching, out his
arm towards the Dalmatian coast, "is the island of Lachroma, once the
property of the unfortunate Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, and in ancient
times a harbour of refuge to your great King Richard, Cœur-de-Lion."

Hard though my bed had been, for nothing but my doubled up old rug had
interposed between myself and the deck, I had slept profoundly, "_à
la belle étoile_," and far more comfortably than if I had condescended
to take my place in the dirty and stuffy _camerino_ down below, where
all the other passengers, including my friend the Capuchin and his
lay-brother, fearing bad smells, fleas, and other small game much less
than the delicious night-air of the balmy Adriatic, had carefully stowed
themselves away the previous night. I was up in an instant, and I shall
not easily forget the sight that greeted my eyes from the deck of the
little 'San Carlo.'

We were about three miles from the shore; the sun, though high above the
horizon, had not yet acquired sufficient force to destroy the freshness
of the morning breeze which delicately rippled the surface of the sea,
making it in the sunshine like a sheet of frosted gold, while in the
shade it was like liquid sapphire. On my left rose the wild, rocky
cliffs of Dalmatia, rendered still more desolate-looking by the almost
total absence of vegetation; while in front and on my right, stretching
away to the extreme verge of the horizon, were the sparkling waters of
the Adriatic, thickly studded with countless islets, to the nearest of
which, Lachroma, the Monk had drawn my attention.

"It is now many years," said the Capuchin, "since your great crusading
King found a refuge in that island."

"I was not aware that King Richard was shipwrecked here," said I. "I
knew that he met with a terrific storm in this sea on his return from
Palestine, but I always imagined he had been wrecked near the top of
the Adriatic, on the coast of Istria, in the neighbourhood of Aquileia."

"Yes," replied the Monk, "it is not generally known that it was on the
rocks of Lachroma that Cœur-de-Lion was cast away; and it is strange how
this error should have crept into history and held its ground and place
in every standard work, including your own invaluable Cyclopædias. But we
have ample proofs of the truth of what I am telling you, and documentary
evidence to establish the accuracy of my assertion; for your King,
in gratitude to Divine Providence for delivering him from shipwreck,
vowed to build a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin, on whatever
land he should first set foot, and having safely landed at Lachroma, he
proceeded to make good his vow by committing to the abbot and monks of
a Benedictine monastery, which already existed on the island, the task
of building this church, to defray the expenses of which the good King
devoted no less than 100,000 _nummi argentei_, which sum he borrowed
from his British lieges. But the Rettore of Ragusa (so the President
of that ancient Republic was styled), having heard of King Richard's
shipwreck opposite his city, went to visit him in state, with all the
magistrates and councillors of the Republic, and invited him to Ragusa,
where he was received with every demonstration of respect, and all the
hospitality and attention due to so distinguished a guest.

King Richard, pleased at the reception given him by the Republicans, and
charmed by the attractive graces of the Ragusan ladies, rested there for
some time; and then at the suggestion of these fair ones and the urgent
entreaties of the authorities, who promised to obtain a dispensation for
him from the Pope, he altered the terms of his donation, and founded in
Ragusa itself the church to the Blessed Virgin which he had originally
vowed on the island of Lachroma; on the condition, however, that the
Benedictine Abbot of Lachroma, assisted by the monks of his convent,
should have the privilege and the right to celebrate mass in this church
in Ragusa every year on the day of the feast of the Purification. The gift
of Richard Cœur-de-Lion having been further increased by donations from
the inhabitants, this votive church grew into that celebrated cathedral
which for so many years held the first rank among all the churches of
Illyria.[5] At last, however, came one fatal morning, the 6th of April,
1667, when Ragusa was all but annihilated by an earthquake. In a few
moments all the principal edifices in the town were laid low, including
the Cathedral of King Richard, and upwards of six thousand inhabitants,
more than one-fifth of the entire population were buried in the ruins.
There was not a family in the whole city which had not one or more to
mourn for. Several of my ancestors perished, and among others a lineal
ancestor of my mother, Simone Ghetaldi, then Rettore of the Republic;
he and several senators were assembled in the Council Chamber, and about
to receive the visit of a Dutch Embassy (which had stopped at Ragusa on
its way to Constantinople, to which court it was accredited) when they
were all engulphed; not one escaped, and it is supposed that at that spot
the earth must have opened and closed over them again. The Archbishop
barely escaped with his life by jumping out of a window as the floors
of his palace were giving way beneath him, and more than nine-tenths
of the clergy perished. We preserve in our family a manuscript which
gives an accurate account of this terrible catastrophe; as a youngster,
I was often made to copy it out, and I therefore know it almost off by
heart. It tells how the morning of the 6th of April, 1667, broke calm and
bright, and that the atmosphere was still and serene, without anything to
indicate the approaching danger, when suddenly, without any premonitory
sound, about two hours after sunrise, while most of the inhabitants were
still in their houses, or in the churches hearing early mass, the earth
shook so violently that in a few minutes the whole town was in ruins,
with the exception of the fortress, and a few other buildings, the walls
of which were enormously thick. In addition to the destruction caused
by falling houses, large rocks came toppling down, detached from the
mountain, which, as you see, apparently overhangs the city. This added
greatly to the terror and devastation. So far as we know there was but
_one shock_, and it lasted only a few seconds; but no where and at no
time was so much damage done thus instantaneously.

"Many harrowing scenes were recounted, but perhaps the most terrible of
all was that of a school of boys which was swallowed up beneath the ruins.
All the unfortunate lads perished, most of them by a miserable lingering
death, and for days their moans and cries for help and water could be
heard by their distracted friends, without the possibility of giving
them any relief. One would have thought this a sufficient visitation for
poor Ragusa, but calamities never come singly. A fire broke out on the
same day, and towards evening a strong wind arose and fanned the flames,
thus increasing the conflagration beyond the power of control. Night came
on, and the whole side of the mountains was illuminated by the flames of
the burning city. Then the wild mountaineers, the Morlacchi, came down
in swarms to pilfer and snatch whatever they could from the universal
wreck. The scenes then enacted defied all powers of description. The
fires were burning with exceptional brightness and fury, in consequence
of the conflagration having reached the stores of oil, tallow and tar
accumulated in the Arsenal and elsewhere. Groups of Morlacchi, undeterred
by the crumbling walls and the scorching rafters, could be seen flitting
about among ruins regardless of the danger! Occasionally some such group
having ventured too far, would disappear with a fearful scream into some
yawning gulf; while in another spot two parties of the same plunderers
might be seen in deadly conflict, fighting with their long straight
knives over their unlawful booty. It was a fearful night.

"But all this is ancient history; there is another tragic episode
connected with Lachroma. Another calamity is brought to our minds when
we look upon its shores. Poor Prince Maximilian!—alas! alas! he was a
good and kind man,—and that noble unfortunate Princess Charlotte! I had
the honour of being in their company more than once, both in Europe and
Mexico; they were so good, so affable, so happy, till in an evil hour
they allowed themselves to be led away by ambition. The Prince seemed
all along to have had a presentiment of evil. I was told by one who was
present, that nothing could be more melancholy than his departure from
Miramar, and the leave-taking when he was waited on by a deputation from
Trieste was the most painful scene he ever witnessed. The Prince was
completely overcome, and fairly broke down on this occasion. After his
assassination the island was sold, and now I hear it is for sale again."

The good old Monk was silent for a few minutes, and then gently putting
his hand on my shoulder, he said,

"You are English, _non è vero_? You are not American? I would not say
a hurtful word to mortal, but I cannot help thinking that the President
of the United States was nearly as much to blame as the Mexican savage
for the murder of Maximilian; one word from the United States' President
would have saved the Emperor's life."

"But what about the French Emperor?" I asked; "he who got the poor Prince
into the scrape, and then left him to get out of it as best he could?"

"Ah; true—true," repeated the Monk. "_e quell'altro birbaccione di
Bazaine_! Ah! Providence will overtake them all. But look, see how
beautiful Ragusa is, how picturesque! Although I am only a poor Capuchin
monk, I feel proud of my native city—_che mi son Raguséo_!" he exclaimed,
breaking out into his native Venetian dialect. "Though most of my life
has been spent far away in foreign missions, I still cling with fondness
to my native shores, and feel thankful, most thankful," he repeated,
bending his head, "that it has pleased His Holiness and our General to
order me back here again at last."



CHAPTER IX.

     THE PADRE ANSELMO—HIS LIFE AND LABOURS AMONG THE AMERICAN
     INDIANS—THE PIONEERS OF CIVILIZATION—AMERICAN INDIANS AND
     NEGROES—PADRE ANSELMO ON PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC MISSIONS—NATIVE
     CHRISTIANS IN INDIA—POPE PIUS IX. ONCE A MISSIONARY—CARDINAL
     P—.—PORT OF GRAVOSA—RAGUSA.


I felt an unusual degree of regret, thinking I should so soon lose the
company of Padre Anselmo; we had come all the way together from Trieste,
and had spent many pleasant hours in genial conversation, flavoured from
time to time with spicy, sharp, but good-humoured polemics, during which
the Padre never lost his temper, and I had not always the best of the
argument.

He was a very remarkable man, of an ancient noble Ragusan family,
evidently pious, yet wonderfully large-minded. I shall always remember
with pleasure the conversations we had together on the deck of the 'San
Carlo,' by the bright Italian moonlight, on those deep, smooth waters of
the Adriatic that sparkled with phosphorescence at every stroke of the
paddle-wheel. He was aware I was a Protestant, and though he had been a
missionary for many years he knew how to avoid polemics whenever it was
fit. He had been in South America and in North America; in the plains
of the Amazon and the Orinoco, and among the Sierras of Mexico.

I asked him about his success among the Indians, and after reflecting
for a little he gave me a most interesting account of his life's labours
among them. I carefully noted down each night in my diary, after we had
parted, the principal headings of his narrative, and some day I may give
to the public an account of the labours, trials, and sufferings of this
good and conscientious monk.

In answer to my question as to the amount of success he had obtained
during his long intercourse with American Indians, he said,

"There is a most extraordinary difference in intelligence between
the different tribes, even among those living close together; some
are wonderfully more intelligent than others, and, strange to say, I
found them better the farther they were removed from the influence of
civilization. A great deal might be made of them were it not for the
evil influence of the traders who come among them—the most pernicious of
whom I invariably found were those coming from the United States. These
traders, pioneers of civilization—as they called themselves—were almost
invariably men without any religion or principle; awful blasphemers,
their oaths were too terrific! They generally consisted of the veriest
scum and offscourings of commercial cities; they showed the poor savages
the very worst examples, for fair trading was unknown to them, and lying,
overreaching, and brow-beating were their chief characteristics, while
of drunkenness and unblushing debauchery they were terrible examples.
I was once asked by a chief why we came so far to teach them, and left
our own people untaught."

Padre Anselmo also told me that some of the natives had some idea of
the Divinity, and were very teachable, not like the Negroes of the West
Coast of Africa among whom he had laboured a short time. He contrasted
the capabilities of both races, and shaking his head, added,

"I fear it will take hundreds of centuries of incessant teaching, and
that more by example than by word of mouth, before any good will come from
missions among the Negroes; they seem utterly incapable of understanding
any of the attributes of God. They look upon him invariably as one to
be feared, and propitiated by gifts and sacrifices, so that he may be
induced, if possible, to do them no harm."

A chief came to him one night by stealth, "but not like Nicodemus," as
the worthy Monk added; he brought various presents to the mission, some
of considerable value, consisting of native rings of twisted gold. He
whispered under his breath to the Monk,

"You white man know everything, and you say your God rules everything.
Tell me where I can find him, that I may kill him! he is a bad god—he
has killed my favourite wife, and now I must kill him!"

The Negro was foaming at the mouth from impotent rage, and his fearful
language, together with the rolling of his eyes and the contortions
of his body, impressed the Monk at first with the idea that he was an
impersonation of the Evil One. Yet this chief had till then been the most
promising of all those natives on whom he had been wasting his time,
his patience, and his doctrine. In vain the Missionary tried to reason
with the demoniac chief; his words made no impression, and the savage,
failing to discover from the Monk the whereabouts of the white man's God,
returned to his village, where he burned his own national fetish, and
then cut off the heads of half-a-dozen wretches, having first charged
them with messages to be delivered to his wife in dead-man's-land!

One evening Padre Anselmo and I, after making ourselves snug on a pile
of sacks near the binnacle, were talking about missionary work, when he
spoke to me about our Protestant missions, and asked me many questions
concerning them.

"You work your missions differently from the way we do ours; you pay
your missionaries well, and even allow them, I have been told, to trade
at times, and to buy and sell and follow different callings. I have also
heard that you send missionaries abroad without any particular regard to
their capabilities, for instance as to their knowledge of the language
of the country they are sent to. Now all our missionaries are strictly
prepared for the country where they are intended to labour, and are not
sent out until they have acquired a good knowledge of the language of
that country. How do you find your system to work? Have you had much
success in the East Indies during the hundred years you have had the
opportunity of working in them?"

I imagined I could detect something of a smile playing about the corners
of his mouth as he made these remarks, and just as I was about to reply, a
scene came to my mind of which I had read or heard an account somewhere,
of an English missionary addressing an Arab audience in Tangier through
the medium of a Gibraltar Jew, for the missionary was utterly innocent
of any language but his own London English, and my innate appreciation
of the ridiculous so overcame my sense of what was proper and decorous
that I laughed myself nearly into fits.[6] However, having recovered my
equanimity, I replied, "I did not know very much about the matter; but I
had always heard that, generally speaking, the native Christians were the
greatest blackguards in India, the least objectionable being certainly
the Goanese Catholics," at which the good old monk seemed highly pleased.

His ideas of missionary work were peculiar and interesting. "We should
always," he said, "treat savages and the utterly uneducated, whether
at home or abroad, who are scarcely better than savages, like little
children, like very little children in intelligence, yet endowed with the
passions and vices of grown up men. One should therefore, if possible,
never try to teach them things beyond their understanding, but make
their practical civilization proceed _pari passu_ with their religious
training—instilling morality before preaching doctrine and dogma, both
teachings being backed up by unexceptionable example. "These are not my
own ideas," added Padre Anselmo, "they are the precepts of the wonderful
man who preceded me in the Amazon Mission, the present Pontiff, His
Holiness Pope Pius IX., whose equal will never again occupy the chair
of St. Peter."

"What! was the Pope ever a missionary?" I asked with astonishment. I knew
he had been a soldier, and had been even assured that in his early days
he was initiated a Freemason in a Lodge in Sicily; there was nothing very
extraordinary in his having been a missionary, but I had never heard of
it before, and was therefore taken by surprise.

"Indeed he was," replied Padre Anselmo, "and a very zealous and
hard-working missionary, whose memory is reverenced to this day, among
many a wild tribe on the banks of the Amazon."

Then we began to talk politics, that is to say I talked, the Monk only
listened, till musingly I said, "I wonder who will succeed him in the
Chair of St. Peter?"

"Whoever he may be," replied the Monk, "he will have a difficult task
coming after such a man."

"Have you been lately at Rome?" said I.

"I was there two months ago," he replied.

"What then do you think of Cardinal P—? do you know him?"

The Monk fixed his eyes on me for a moment, as if he would have read my
most inmost thoughts, and then speaking very slowly, said:

"That Sicilian Monk has long been aiming at the Tiara; he lives within
himself, has no confidant, no intimate friend, has no talents, only plenty
of doggedness, _vorrebbe Papeggiare_, but no, never will he occupy the
Pontifical chair, never!" and the Monk, for a minute looked me full in
the face.

We were now getting quite close to the town, which is built on the narrow
strip of land that lies between the Adriatic and the Dalmatian mountains,
that here rise up almost perpendicularly behind it. The morning mists
were clearing off, and the hazy outlines of the towers and ramparts, the
cupolas and steeples, together with the bright colouring of the sails of
the felucas and trabaccoli gliding out of the harbour, threading their
way through the many islands scattered outside it, formed a picture
that might be realized by a painter but of which I will not attempt the
description.

We were now fairly in the port of Gravosa, and the steamer was surrounded
by native boats conveying eager candidates for the privilege of carrying
ourselves and luggage to the shore. The real port is at Ragusa itself,
sheltered and protected by the ancient bastions and towers of the city,
but, though amply deep enough for its ancient galleys, and for those
argosies (so named after this very city of Ragusa) which in ancient
times monopolized with Venice the commerce of the world, it is not now
large enough or deep enough to accommodate our modern practical, though
inelegant fire-ships. It has consequently been abandoned for the port
of Gravosa, which is not only large, safe, and commodious, but also
exquisitely beautiful, though inconveniently distant, being nearly a
mile from the city. An excellent road, however, originally made by the
French and subsequently improved by the Austrians, communicates between
the two places, and numerous small carriages drawn by one or two horses
are constantly in readiness to convey for a trifle those who do not wish
to walk to Ragusa.

The two monks and I were soon on shore, and there I reluctantly parted
with them; they went on foot towards their convent, while I took a small
one-horse carriage and started off to the city.

Away we went at full gallop skirting the harbour, till the rising ground
at the end of the little valley compelled our lively little horse to
a slower rate of progression. We soon however topped the hill, when we
again came in view of the sea on our right hand, while on our left were
numbers of villas peeping out through masses of oleanders and gigantic
aloes, whose flower stems, like colossal candelabra, fifteen to twenty
feet in height, gave a peculiarly exotic character to the scene. Many
of these villas were in ruins, and others more or less damaged, still
bearing evidence of the French occupation at the beginning of this
century, and of their expulsion by the Russian and Montenegrin troops.

Ragusa was now fairly again in sight, and a noble city it is, and how
picturesque! so far as its greatness is concerned, Ragusa is now but
the shadow of what it was in bygone days. Its political importance has
faded away—its commercial supremacy is a thing of the past; but its
local beauty, its domes, its campaniles, its lofty cut-stone palaces,
its churches and public buildings, its exquisitely clean streets, its
balmy air, its azure sea and its pleasant society—all these are things
real and of the present. But Ragusa is not a place to be described, it
must be seen and studied to be appreciated. See it from the land, or
from the sea—wander through its narrow, quaint, artistic streets, ramble
round its walls and ramparts, and you will find it from every point of
view a most remarkable place.

This grand old city, into which neither horse nor carriage is ever allowed
to enter, was founded about the beginning of the seventh century, not
very long after the foundation of Venice. Both cities were Republics,
rivals in commerce and in the arts, and their people were incessantly at
war with one another. But though Venice, by degrees, was able to subdue
and include in her grasp almost the entire Eastern coast of the Adriatic,
she never succeeded, either by cajolery or brute force, in conquering the
Ragusans, who maintained their freedom till 1806; when, after existing
as an independent State for upwards of a thousand years, during which
time it had remained as an advanced post of European civilization on the
borders of wild Bosnia and fierce Albania, it fell with Venice, Genoa,
and the other free communities of Europe which Napoleon I. wiped off
the map of the world.

All down the coast of the Adriatic may be seen the winged Lion of St.
Mark, wherever the encroaching ambition of the Venetians enabled them
to establish themselves; but in Ragusa you will seek that grim Venetian
effigy in vain. Ragusa never was conquered by her great rival!

The carrettella came spinning, at the rate of a hunt, down the hill, at
the bottom of which is the entrance to Ragusa, and turning sharp round
at a speed that threatened to upset us bag and baggage into the middle
of the road, pulled up suddenly on the right, where a very primitive
hotel offers the only prospect of refreshment to the chance traveller
in those parts; though, for such as intend remaining some little time,
good accommodation can be obtained within the city. The hotel is most
picturesquely situated on the very edge of the sea, opposite to the
fortifications "_di mare_," and has in front a considerable plantation
of beautiful Paolonias, then in full blossom; on the opposite side is
the café, where of a Summer's evening congregate the rank and fashion
of Ragusa to enjoy their ices and lemonade, and listen to the excellent
band of the Austrian regiment quartered there, and whatever gossip,
scandalous or otherwise, that may be buzzing about. And very enjoyable
it must be! fine climate, pleasant society, lovely scenery, easy access
to the rest of Europe, either East or West, and cheap living—what more
could be desired? I would not ask for more.



CHAPTER X.

     ATTRACTIONS OF DALMATIA—INTERESTING EXCURSION—ISLAND OF
     LACHROMA—CLIMATE—A. A. PATON, ESQ., FORMERLY CONSUL-GENERAL
     AT RAGUSA—AN ITALIAN DINNER—EPIDAURUS—THE CANAL OF
     CATTARO—TERRITORY OF RAGUSA—TOWER OF PERASTO AND FORT OF SANTA
     CROCE—STRANGELY BUILT CHURCH—A PALAZZO—SAN GIORGIO AND LA
     MADONNA—PICTURE ATTRIBUTED TO ST. LUKE.


It has always been a source of much astonishment to me, seeing the
facility with which these parts can be reached from Trieste, that so few
of the ubiquitous English—indeed, I might say none of them,—ever visit
them, or any of the other many beautiful and interesting localities
which crowd the Eastern shores of the Adriatic. I really believe those
countries are not visited because they are in a certain sense unknown.
I trust, however, that some of my readers who may perchance be tired
of those hackneyed tours which, year after year, are undertaken by the
travelling multitudes, will try a venture some day in Dalmatia.

Starting from Trieste in one of the many coasting steamers which trade
to Corfu, stopping at every place on the Eastern shores of the Adriatic
from Capo d'Istria downwards, and making excursions from each into the
interior, anyone fond of everything beautiful and picturesque, whether
in nature or in art, would have the most delightful trip imaginable;
and if getting out at Cattaro he will scale those wonderful mountains
which seem ever on the point of toppling over on that devoted city, and
penetrate into Montenegro, coming back to the Adriatic by the Lake of
Scutari (or Skodra as it _ought_ to be called) in Northern Albania, he
will have made an excursion in the heart of Europe, within seven days
from London, and in the short space of five weeks, which for beauty of
country, wildness of scenery, novelty of life, and magnificence of native
costumes cannot be equalled from Spain to the Caucasus, or from Norway
to the Lebanon!

Having made my adieux to Mr. Paton, our Consul at Ragusa, to whom as
well as to Persich Effendi, the Ottoman Consul, I was largely indebted
for much kind advice, as well as for a personal introduction to Mr.
Yonin, Russian Consul at Ragusa, who subsequently at Cattaro and at
Cettigne proved a kind friend and most valuable and charming companion,
I returned on board and was soon steering south again. We steamed quite
close inland, and had an excellent view of the ancient fortifications
of Ragusa and its old harbour, only frequented at present by the felucas
and trabaccoli which carry on the coasting trade of the country.

We also passed close to the island of Lachroma. The Russian Consul,
Mr. Yonin, told me it was for sale and would probably go cheap. I can't
conceive a spot on earth where a man tired of the bustle of life and the
feverish excitement and turmoil of cities could more delightfully spend
the remainder of his days. There is a fairly good house on the island,
which is itself beautifully wooded and laid-out. It is sufficiently
near to Ragusa to enable one to obtain everything one could require from
that city, it is right in the gangway of all the steamers going up and
down the Adriatic, within five days of London, and with such a number
of communications with the outer world that it would be seclusion only
as long as one wished it to be so.

As to the climate, none more beautiful could be desired—sufficiently
warm to grow figs, grapes, and oranges, yet daily tempered in Summer by
the delicious sea-breeze of the Adriatic, which prevents the heat from
ever being oppressive, while of Winter there is barely the name—the
thermometer seldom going down to frost.

The sea teems with fish of the most delicious kinds, some of which are
totally unknown among us; the dentale coronato, for instance, the true
sardine, and the rosy mullet, the woodcock of the sea, which here grows
to an immense size—while from the mainland one can always obtain at
wonderfully low prices abundance of small mountain mutton, poultry, and
game.

I never was in any place that took my fancy like Ragusa and Lachroma—so
lovely, so picturesque, so secluded, and yet so accessible!

Since my return to England I have heard with deep regret of the loss we
have sustained by the death of A. A. Paton, Esq., our Consul-General at
Ragusa. The country has to regret in him an able and industrious servant,
while literature has to mourn for one of its most gifted votaries, as
his works on Egypt, Servia, and the Adriatic will amply attest; but only
those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance can at all venture to
measure the loss which his death must be in his own family circle!

Now the bell rings, and Giovanni bustles up and down the deck, intimating,
"_che'l pranzo ze pronto_," so down we all plunged into the saloon,
where a good dinner, as usual, welcomed us.

As the coast is uninteresting, besides which I don't want to go on deck at
present, I may as well tell you of what our Italian dinner consisted. We
first had an excellent Julienne soup, with abundance of grated Parmesan
for such as appreciated it; next was served the "_fritto_," according
to old Italian custom, which always enumerates the following dishes,
to succeed each other in an orthodox dinner:—minestra, fritto, lesso,
umido, arrosto, dolce, frutta, and, when in season, slices of melon, or
fresh figs, served up immediately after the soup, to be eaten with thin
slices of raw ham or Bologna sausage. Figs being in season they were not
wanting, so conforming to the usage of the country I ate some with raw
Bologna sausage, and learnt fully to appreciate the strange compound,
which I afterwards always indulged in whenever I had a chance.

The _fritto_ was delicious (assuredly nowhere else can they fry as in
Italy); it consisted of zucchettine and fiori, _i.e._, young unexpanded
gourd flowers and very young gourds not bigger thin an egg, cut in thin
slices, dipped in the thinnest of batter and fried quite crisp and golden
brown, and served dry without a particle of grease. Then came a dish of
_gnocchi alla Milanese_, a superb dish, but difficult to explain; imagine
the ingredients of a colossal _vol-au-vent à la financière_, replete
with livers, cocks' combs, unborn eggs, &c., &c., surrounded by a bastion
of a peculiar preparation, made of maize-flour, and the whole bathed in
tomato sauce and sprinkled right over with grated Parmesan, "_proprio da
far riavere i morti_," as the _chef_ exclaimed to me after dinner, when,
handing him a cigar, I complimented him on his _gnocchi_. Then came the
_arrosto_ which consisted of veal and fowls, and after that a splendid
_piatto dolce_ of stewed peaches in an artistic cage of caramel sugar,
ornamented with strange devices of most delicious marzapane.

Having slowly worked our way through this sumptuous repast, we went on
deck, where coffee was served with its usual accompaniment of Maraschino,
both sweetened and unsweetened, together with the inevitable smoke, which
contrary to reason, as one would think, is even more comforting in hot
countries like the Levant, than it is in cold damp regions like Holland.

I have a dim recollection of the captain tapping me on the shoulder
and telling me something about Ragusa Vecchia and Epidaurus as we were
steaming down the coast; but I was in too dreamy a state to pay much
attention to him at the time, and as I knew the coast was uninteresting,
I told him to call me as soon as we should come in sight of the Bocche
and Castelnuovo, and dozed away again.

I afterwards learnt that this Epidaurus, about which I was rather fretting
for having refused to stir from my siesta to look at it, was really not
worth seeing, though an ancient city, having been founded by a Greek
colony somewhere about 700 years B.C., more or less; but all its
antiquities had been removed long ago.

It was between three and four in the afternoon when I awoke of my own
accord, thus anticipating the captain, who was just coming to tell me that
we were about entering the canal of Cattaro, as it is called, but which
to our ear is far better described by the name of Fjord of Cattaro. It
is to all intents and purposes a Fjord, being an arm of the sea running
up for eighteen miles into land, between high precipitous cliffs; and
if there is not a glacier at the end of it, but only a quaint Dalmatian
town with the most picturesque fort and fortifications in the world, it
does not alter the character of the inlet.

The entrance to this Fjord, called "le Bocche di Cattaro," is guarded
on the right by the Fort of Castelnuovo, and on the left is bounded by
a narrow strip of Turkish territory, a portion of Herzegovina, which
here comes down to the Adriatic, separating the Circolo of Ragusa from
that of Cattaro. By some strange political arrangement, or oversight
more probably, another narrow strip of Turkish territory comes down to
the Adriatic on the north of Ragusa, completely isolating that ancient
Republic which finds itself thus entirely surrounded by Ottoman territory
on three sides, while on the fourth it is bounded by the Adriatic.

The country about the entrance of the Bocche di Cattaro is fine,
well wooded and planted with olive trees, through which can be seen
numerous habitations, while many of the rugged heights are crowned with
semi-fortified churches, which served as places of refuge to the women
and children in troublous times.

Proceeding onwards, the scene varies and the trees lessen in numbers,
though the landscape loses nothing of its beauty, as by the constant
windings of the Fjord the changes are continuous and rapid, and the
many villages built on the edge of the water, and sharply reflected
in it, add one more charm to the picture. At one point the Fjord is
barely half a mile across, when suddenly it expands into a lake of many
miles in circumference, where all the navies of the world could lie in
safety. But now the scene changes again and the Fjord becomes a narrow
tortuous channel, bounded on either side by naked rocky cliffs. Like
the rest of the coast of Dalmatia it is, however, very beautiful. About
half way between Castelnuovo and Cattaro, the Fjord expands and divides
right and left forming two bays, that of Risano to the left, and that
of Cattaro to the right; while in front rise the almost perpendicular
crags of Montenegro, at the foot of which, with barely room to build
on, so near does the mountain come to the edge of the water, stands the
town of Perasto with the ancient fort of Santa Croce just above it.

This place must have been of considerable importance within late years,
still I never saw such a picture of poverty and desolation. The houses
are not in ruins, but look dilapidated; the windows are broken in, the
jalousies hanging by one hinge and in pieces, while in many places the
roofs are stripped of their tiles. The position of Perasto cannot be
surpassed; built on a promontory facing the west, it has the lake-like
expansion of the Gulf of Cattaro in front and does not consequently
labour under the disadvantage Cattaro suffers from, by having a chain of
mountains in front of it to the westward, which deprive it of the sun in
Winter before two o'clock in the afternoon. The style of the houses in
Perasto shows that not long ago it could boast of an opulent population,
which is further exemplified by the fortress built at the expense of
the town—by its lofty steeple and by its churches. One in particular
caught my eye from the steamer, _it had no façade_, not that it had
fallen into ruin, neither had it been shaken down by an earthquake, but
was built so; open to the weather with a half cupola something like one
of those little roadside shrines dedicated to the Virgin which we meet
with constantly in Italy and other Catholic countries, only on a very
much larger scale.

I felt quite interested in Perasto, it looked so picturesque, so noble,
so poor! One house especially struck my fancy, but the word house does
not convey its appearance, it was what an Italian would call a palazzo.
The entrance was evidently from a back street, while the side which faced
the water consisted of a _loggia_ of many pilasters and arches, into
which opened the rooms of the ground floor, while above it were tiers
of large and handsome windows. In front of the _loggia_ was a paved
terrace, from which a series of steps, the whole length of the house,
led down to the water. It was uninhabited and in fact going rapidly to
ruin! I fancied to myself what a little paradise one could make of it;
I saw in my mind's eye a row of orange trees growing on that terrace,
a yacht moored close into those steps, and life and bustle in those
chambers where all was now silence and decay. What can have brought
such desolation on Perasto? I asked several people but I could get no
satisfactory answer! some blamed Austria, some _il commercio_; I suppose
I could have bought the fee simple of that house in Perasto for a £10
note.

In front of Perasto are two small islands—San Giorgio and La Madonna. In
the church of La Madonna is to be seen an ancient picture of the Virgin,
attributed as usual to the artistic efforts of the Evangelist Luke, who
evidently, from what I have seen of his works of art in different places,
was not possessed of much talent in that line. Tradition states that
the picture was transported in 1452, by an unknown hand, from Negropont
to this rock; and being seen amidst lighted candles by some fishermen,
it was removed to the church of Perasto. The next night it returned to
the island; and the same action having been repeated three times, it was
presumed that the picture preferred remaining there; thus they built a
church for it, which no doubt turned out a profitable speculation.



CHAPTER XI.

     CITY OF CATTARO—SIGNOR JACKSCHICH—STREETS AND PIAZZAS—WALKS AND
     FORTIFICATIONS—PUBLIC WALK—CAFÉ AND GARDENS—SONOROUS STONE—A
     MONTENEGRIN CHIEF—A HAPPY BEGGAR BOY.


Turning our backs now on that branch of the Fjord which leads to Risano,
we steamed due south in the direction of Cattaro. Nothing could exceed
the wild grandeur of this portion of the Gulf. The right hand shore was
now entirely in the shade, while the crags on the left being exposed
to the full glare of the afternoon sun showed a play of colours too
beautiful to describe. Had these cliffs been clothed with varied foliage
interspersed with the rocks, they would have formed a picture unequalled
in any other place on the globe.

It was six o'clock when we moored alongside the quay of Cattaro, one
of the most picturesque cities of the whole Adriatic, so I had plenty
of time to walk about and see the place as well as to make arrangements
for my advance into Montenegro on the following day, as I was anxious to
proceed at once to Cettigne, in order to be present at the festival of
St. Peter, during which a fair is held, to which congregate thousands,
not only from Montenegro, but from all the surrounding countries. Thanks,
however, to Persich Effendi, the Ottoman Consul at Ragusa, to whom I had
brought an introduction from the Ottoman Ambassador at Vienna, I found
everything already prepared for my trip. The agent of the Austrian Lloyd
at Cattaro, Signor Jackschich to whom I can never feel too much obliged,
had already procured for me a guide and two horses, thus saving me all
trouble, and allowing so much more time to look about me at Cattaro. As
soon as we had obtained _pratique_, the formality of which we carried
out regularly at every place we touched, though, in reality, it was a
farce, Signor Jackschich came on board, and having introduced himself
and told me what he had arranged, placed himself at my disposal for the
rest of the evening. We at once went on shore, and traversing the Mall,
which lies between the quays and the walls of the city, and which serves
as the promenade of the _Bocchesi_, we passed through the principal gate
of Cattaro, and entered the precincts of the fortifications.

Here, as in most other cities in Dalmatia, no horse, or vehicle of
any kind (except sedan chairs) is allowed to enter. The streets in
consequence are beautifully clean, and the piazza, which is paved in
squares of alternate coloured marble, is more like the floor of the
hall of an Italian palace than anything else. The streets are narrow, as
might have been surmised, but there are some very fine old houses, some
exquisite bits of art hidden away in nooks and corners which one would
have loved to sketch had there been time, half built up porticoes with
oleanders peeping over them, and bits of lovely hammered iron work of
the Renaissance period. But I had no time, so after making a rapid tour
through the little city, we came out on the promenade, as I was anxious
to have another view of Cattaro, from the outside, before it became too
dark.

My friend Paton does not render half justice to this city in his charming
book, "The Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic;" but he is so in love
with Ragusa—and, if truth must be told, so am I—that he has nothing to
say for Cattaro; it is true he saw it in Winter, when it must be a dismal
place. But Cattaro, for all that, deserves a visit, and anyone fond of
sketching will spend, with profit, several days in and about the place.
It is situated at the extreme end of the Fjord of that name, on a very
narrow ledge of land at the foot of the most precipitous cliffs facing
the west, up which it extends for a short space. It is surrounded by the
ancient Venetian walls, bastions and fortifications, and crowned by a
fort perched on the very summit of the rock, a thousand feet above the
city. Looking at it from below, it seems scarcely balanced on the cliff,
and one expects to see it come tumbling down every moment.

The fortifications of the town are connected by crenelated walls with
the fort itself on two sides, thus inclosing a considerable space on the
face of the mountain, something in the shape of a triangle, of which
the town would form the base, and the fort the apex, which is still
garrisoned, and many a harmless rusty old cannon can be seen peeping
through the embrasures. Having returned from the opposite side of the
water, where I had gone the better to see the fortifications, we took a
walk up and down the esplanade between the water and the walls, to look
at the _beau monde_ on their boulevard, and then adjourned to the café
on the same esplanade to have some ices _al fresco_, and make our final
arrangements for the following morning.

The public walk at Cattaro is very well laid out, and the most is
made of the very contracted space at command. Two rows of large trees
extend along the walls on each side of the gate, above which is to be
seen, as usual, the Lion of St. Mark. Not so natural, perhaps, as Edwin
Landseer's animals at the foot of Nelson's column; but, certainly, a
more dignified beast than the one with straight tail which until lately
kept watch and ward over Trafalgar Square from the top of Northumberland
House. At the northern end of the Mall is the café, and round about it
the grounds are laid out in gardens, where, under the shade of gigantic
oleanders and mulberry trees, little round tables, made of enormously
thick slabs, resting on short central pillars, for all the world like
Brobdingnagian mushrooms, are laid out and surrounded with stools for
the accommodation of all comers. The stone of which these round tables
are made is powerfully sonorous, and if lightly struck, even with one's
knuckles, gives out a beautiful soft tone. If cut into lengths and
properly poised, excellent rock harmoniums could be made of it.

Here I fell in again with the Russian Consul, who introduced me to one
of the finest specimens of men I ever saw, a Montenegrin chief, by name
Pero Pejovich, commandant of the Grahovo (pronounced Graho), who had
come from Risano in a boat, and was bound for Montenegro to be present
at the Feast. He was dressed in full gala Montenegrin costume, _plus_
the Risano jacket of crimson cloth without sleeves, thickly embroidered
with gold, and on it the medals and decorations he had gained in battle.
At another table were seated, also in full costume, two Montenegrin
ladies of a family who had been exiled for political causes, and who
were waiting at Cattaro in hopes of obtaining an amnesty which would
permit them to return to their homes.

The sun had set, and the short twilight had nearly merged into darkness;
the great heat of the day was now tempered by a delicious balmy feeling,
as the cooler air from the mountains came down to mingle with that of the
lower strata; the musical hum of the many voices, the exquisite Trebigne
tobacco in our cigarettes, the delicious coffee, all conspired to make
that evening one of the most delightful I ever passed. I got another
chair, and stretched my legs on it; the natives stared—no Oriental ever
thinks of stretching his legs—the acme of comfort for him is to tuck
them under him. I felt supremely happy, and expressed myself so.

"I could live here for ever," I said to Signor Jackschich.

"Nay," rejoined Pero Pejovich, "but wait till it rains, and you will
soon wish to run away from Cattaro. I have known it rain here for six
weeks without stopping for a moment."

At this juncture, the band of the Austrian regiment quartered here came
on the scene, with the same lamp arrangement I had seen at Pola, and
for upwards of an hour played the most delicious music to our intense
delight. The Consul now reminded me that we should have to start betimes
the following morning, if we wanted to avoid being roasted in the middle
of the day on the rocks of Montenegro. But the sense of enjoyment was
too great, and I could not bear to break the spell of the hour which I
was enjoying to the fullest. That I should have an excuse for delaying
a little longer, I began to talk in Italian to a little beggar boy who
had quietly been asking me for something the whole evening, not with
noisy importunate appeals, but by the eloquent look of about the finest
pair of eyes that ever were seen.

"Don't take any notice of the young ruffian," said Signor Jackschich,
"he is the plague of the town, and the worry of his father. He won't
work, and he is in every mischief that is going."

"But I don't tell lies—neither do I steal," retorted the bold young
brat, who could be no more than eight or nine. "It is too hot to work,
and as to going home to sleep _la dentro_," he said, pointing over his
shoulder with his thumb to the town, "when I can enjoy the cool nights
under these trees _al fresco_, I would rather not!"

He spoke excellent Italian, and his manner was dignified and self
possessed.

"_Diable!_" said Yonin, "_nous avons ici un philosophe!_"

"Can you speak German or French, little chap?" I said.

"No," he replied in Italian, "_non parlo che Illirico ed Italiano_."

I gave him coins to the amount of about a franc; but when he saw so
much money in the palm of his hand—an amount which, to his eyes, seemed
perfectly fabulous—his first impulse was to hold it out to me again,
thinking I was joking with him; but when I assured him it was _veramente
tutto per lui_, he cut three capers in the air, and rushed away to where
some other children were, to show his treasures and recount his good
fortune. Of all the subjects of the Emperor of Austria, in all his vast
dominions, I venture to say that the happiest on that night was that
little beggar brat in the secluded little city of Cattaro at the far
end of his empire in the extreme point of Dalmatia.



CHAPTER XII.

     MONTENEGRIN TRADERS—LE SCALE DI CATTARO—A GORGEOUSLY-ATTIRED
     MONK—OUR CARAVAN—MONTENEGRINS OF THE PRINCE'S
     BODY-GUARD—INTERESTING VIEW—ABSENCE OF TREES ON THE DALMATIAN
     COAST—A HOME FOR GERMAN EMIGRANTS—TURKISH MISRULE IN EUROPE—A
     FUTURE EMPIRE—A MAN FIT TO RULE.


At the earliest peep of day on the morning of the 9th of July, I arose
from the deck of the steamer on which I had slept for so many pleasant
nights, notwithstanding its hardness. Thanks to the kind attention of
Giovanni, the steward, a cup of hot and tolerably good coffee was not
wanting to fortify me against the effects of the morning air. He wanted
me to add a small glass of maraschino unsweetened "_per scacciar l'aria
cattiva_," as he said in his Venetian dialect, but not being addicted
to _pegs_, I contented myself with the coffee and a few biscuits.

The faintest tinge of rose showing in the East over the rocks which hang
over Cattaro, seeming ever to threaten it with instant ruin, barely
enabled me at first to distinguish objects on the mole alongside of
which our steamer was moored; but as the light increased I could make
out, under the shadow of the trees which form the boulevard and public
promenade of the Bocchesi, the stalwart figures of a dozen Montenegrins
who had come down from Cettigne to accompany the Russian Consul on his
way to the festival of St. Peter, and the court of the illustrious Prince
who now so wisely rules those splendid mountain tribes.

Modestly drawn up on one side of them I could see my own portion of the
caravan, consisting of only two horses, one to carry myself, the other
to carry my luggage, all under the direction of the excellent guide
provided for me the day before by the kindness of Signor Jackschich.

Everything was now ready and myself in the saddle, when the Russian
Consul made his appearance, and we finally started just as the dawn was
quickening into day.

Skirting by the bastions which defend Cattaro on the sea side, we crossed
the bridge that spans the little mountain torrent which here empties
itself into the sea, and turning sharply to the right we passed through
the open market-place where the Montenegrins come down to sell their
farm-produce to the Bocchesi; but who, owing to the somewhat evil name
they have unfairly acquired, are never allowed to penetrate into the city
unless they first deliver up their arms at the military post outside,
just as we do at Aden with the Arabs of the surrounding districts.

Having crossed the market-place, we reached in a few minutes the base of
the rocks, and at once commenced ascending that wonderful road zig-zagged
across the face of the mountain, and known by the name of "_Le scale
di Cattaro_." Here we joined an additional party, also journeying to
Cettigne for the festival of St. Peter, and among them was conspicuous
the handsome Montenegrin Chieftain, Pero Pejovich, commandant of the
Grahovo, whose pleasant acquaintance we had made the evening before
under the mulberry trees of Cattaro.

There was also in the same group a monk, a most picturesque looking
individual, but certainly most unclerical-looking. He was dressed in
a costume very much resembling the Montenegrin fashion, only of sombre
colours, and had his jerkin trimmed with furs instead of embroideries. He
wore on his head a sort of black fez, from under which his sable curls
fell hanging on his neck, while his full beard, innocent of trimming,
flowed amply on his chest. His face was handsome and swarthy, and had a
not unkind expression. In figure he was slight, and of medium height.
He came from a monastery in the Herzegovina, a province of Turkey in
Europe lying co-terminous to Montenegro on its Northern border, and
which, strange enough, comes down at one point to the very sea at the
opening of the Fjord of Cattaro, thus thrusting itself into and dividing
the Austrian sea-board of Dalmatia into two.

What was he coming to Montenegro for? Simply to be inducted abbot of
his own monastery, which ceremony by right should have been performed
by the Greek Patriarch at Constantinople; but although Herzegovina is
subject to the Sultan, yet all the Christian mountaineers of that region,
though not Montenegrins by blood, are Montenegrins at heart, and all
look to the Metropolitan at Cettigne as their spiritual head, while to
the Prince they look up as the only sovereign to whom they owe absolute
allegiance.

The abbot elect rode a beautiful, small grey _entero_, wonderfully
quick and sure-footed, caparisoned with gorgeous trappings, consisting
of a large blue saddle-cloth embroidered with gold, over which lay an
immense saddle of crimson velvet studded with large gilt-headed nails.
The bridle was of the same Oriental style, while the bit was something
to be looked at, both as regards size, ornament and power.

The Abbot sat his _entero_, as if riding at the head of a party of
Baschi-Bazouks would be quite as much, if not more to his liking, than
leading the chaunts at matins and vespers in his own monastery. There
was nothing fierce about his countenance, but there was a sort of "stand
and deliver" look about his whole get up, that would have made one feel
somewhat anxious had one chanced to meet him _a quattr'occhi_ in some
lonely pass.

Our caravan consisted in all of about twenty-five persons, as we had been
joined by several parties all bent on the same excursion, to partake
of the rejoicings at Cettigne. First marched four Montenegrins of the
Prince's body-guard, splendid specimens of their race, the shortest over
six feet high, with rich ruddy complexions, deeply bronzed by exposure
in all weathers, with dark grey or blue eyes, dark brown, almost black
hair, cut short, close shaved beard and large moustachios, and fine,
open, manly countenances. They wore the national costume of the country,
namely, loose baggy blue trousers, made very full and confined under the
knee by a strap, below that, their legs were encased in tight-fitting
white woollen gaiters, fastened by a row of close-set small metallic
buttons all along the back, from the heel to below the knee, while
on their feet they wore a peculiar pointed shoe of undressed leather,
the upper of which is contrived of numberless small thongs plaited up
the middle over the instep, which afford wonderful pliancy and power
of grasping to the feet, and are quite characteristic of this region;
a sleeveless crimson jacket, and over all the well-known long surtout
of fine white cloth, without a collar, fastened round the waist by an
enormous silken scarf as much as eighteen feet long, and which supported
in front a perfect armoury of weapons. First a yataghan three feet long
with richly ornamented sheath and handle, then two highly ornamented
Turkish pistols nearly as long, then a poniard, and lastly a special
pair of tongs for lifting fire into their smoking pipes, which, excepting
when on duty, were never out of their mouths. But as if such an armoury
were insufficient, they carried at their sides a formidable-looking,
highly curved Turkish sabre, and over their shoulder a long, rakish,
Albanian-looking, breech-loading gun. This last they were ever shifting
in position, although the favourite mode of carrying it seemed to be
across the shoulders, something like the way young ladies at properly
conducted schools are made to shoulder their backboards, with their
hands hanging over the stock and barrel.

We all followed pell-mell, sometimes in single file, sometimes by twos,
according as the inequality of the path or its width, either prevented
or admitted of it, while the remainder of the guard brought up the rear.
So up we climbed, zigzag after zigzag, some of us above and some of us
below until we reach the top of the _scala_ where Austrian territory
ceases and Montenegro begins.

The sun was now well up above the Eastern horizon, when the sudden
cessation of the road gave us notice of our change of territory, and
looking round towards the Adriatic to which we mostly had been turning
our backs during the ascent, we saw a view that I don't know which would
be most difficult, whether to sketch or to describe.

I think we must have been at least three thousand feet above the sea.
At any rate, owing to the steepness of the rocks on which we stood,
together with the clearness of the atmosphere, the city of Cattaro seemed
perpendicularly beneath us, while the coast of Dalmatia, the entire
canal of Cattaro with all its windings and the many towns scattered on
its coast, the forts at its mouth, and the blue Adriatic beyond, seemed
laid out like a map at our feet.

The path, up which we had been toiling ever since we left the town, lay
in zigzags before us like a white ribbon stretched out upon the face
of the precipice. It reminded me somewhat of the pass of the Gemmi in
Switzerland, but was far more beautiful, while the bird's-eye view of
the town, with its fortress and its fortifications, was most novel and
astonishing. Perched as we were almost perpendicularly over Cattaro, and
thus looking right down over their heads, we could see its inhabitants
only like black specks moving about its miniature squares and streets,
while the old fortress with its crenelated walls and its antiquated
bastions, rising out of the bluish haze which hung over the chasm that
yawns between the rock on which it is built and the one on which we were
standing, made such a picture as Turner would have loved to study.

It was one of the most beautiful and extraordinary sights I ever saw, and
only lacked the presence of foliage to make it perfect. But total absence
of timber is the characteristic of the entire coast of Dalmatia, a fact
much to be regretted not only for the loss it is to the country from a
picturesque point of view, but principally from the economical aspect
of the question—as well-managed forests would be of immense value both
from the timber they would yield, and the increased humidity they would
afford to that arid region, where a sufficient rainfall would increase
the fertility, and consequently the revenue more than a hundredfold.

If some of the millions which are yearly wasted by the Austrian
Government, as well as by others too, in building ironclads and exploding
torpedoes, and in many other equally unreproductive undertakings, were
spent on the coast of Dalmatia in planting olive trees on the side of
those mountains as far up as they could flourish, then walnut trees,
then chestnut trees, and finally oaks and firs, I think I can safely
assert that in thirty years the full cost of the first outlay would be
repaid, while the benefit to the country at large would be incalculable.

It is not in a book like this that the best modes for bringing about the
cultivation of the Dalmatian shores of the Adriatic are to be discussed,
but that it could be done and should be done, is undoubted; and not
in Dalmatia alone, but also to the east of that country, in the lands
beyond the Vellebitch, through Servia, and all that vast tract of country
subject now to the impoverishing influence of Turkish mal-administration.

It always makes me sad when I think of those rich countries lying
fallow for want of hands to cultivate them, and a good government
to encourage industry, and when I see shipload after shipload of
hard-working industrious Germans leaving Hamburg, Bremen, and other
German ports, risking the perils, the inconveniences, and the expenses
of their voluntary exile, traversing thousands of miles of ocean route
to reach at last an unknown country, from which it is doubtful if they
will ever have a chance of returning to their Fatherland; when those
fertile lands of Servia lie at the very threshold of their country, with
no sea to intervene, and only a few days of rail and river to go over.
But the present state of things cannot continue for ever; and even now
promising signs of amendment are not wanting. The monstrous anomaly
of some of the richest lands of Christian Europe being still in this
nineteenth century under the misrule of barbarous Asiatic hordes, whilst
millions of wretched Christian inhabitants are kept in the most abject
servitude, must ere long be done away with; and all those countries,
Servia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Roumelia, and all lying between the Danube
and the Adriatic must before very long be amalgamated under some one
chief. Who the man may be upon whom the noble responsibility may fall
of governing this future empire, it is impossible now to conjecture, for
the several countries which would go to form this new dominion are still
scattered and disorganized; but the great bond of a common language will
soon unite them again, when the time comes, and probably that is not
distant, for now we do in weeks what our forefathers did in centuries.
When that moment shall come, I venture to hope, in the interest of this
new country, that one totally unconnected with the present contending
clans may assume the direction of affairs.

I know the man but I shall not name him. Handsome in person, brave,
courteous, highly educated, and unsullied by any of those Eastern vices
which so frequently shock our Western susceptibilities—equally unconnected
with either the Kara Georgevich or the Obrenovich parties—his elevation
to the throne of Servia would put a stop to that system of hereditary
vendetta which seems for the present too deeply rooted in both those
clans to permit us to hope in its extinction at least for a time, while it
would extend to those countries the benefits of that wise administration
which he has already so ably initiated in his own country. But I must
pull up my hobby-horse sharp; he is already in full gallop, and if he
once gets the bit between his teeth, he will never check his mad career
till he stops at the gates of Stamboul.



CHAPTER XIII.

     THE PRINCE OF MONTENEGRO—UNJUST DEPRIVATION OF TERRITORY—ORIGIN
     OF THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY—A FRIEND IN NEED—VILLAGE OF
     NIEGOSCH—PANORAMA SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE PASS—WILD-LOOKING
     HERDS AND FLOCKS—MONTENEGRIN LEGEND—ARRIVAL AT CETTIGNE—THE
     VLADIKA'S PALACE—THE TREE OF JUSTICE—TOWER OF CETTIGNE.


During my stay in Montenegro, I had the honour of several private
conversations with the Prince of that interesting country, and I was
astonished at the amount of practical knowledge he possessed, and the
advanced views he entertained, with regard to commerce, administration,
and political economy. But he is cramped up in every way, Montenegro has
no outlet, and though his native mountains come so near to the Adriatic
that a man could almost spring from them into the sea, still there
is everywhere a narrow strip of land between them and that sea, which
effectually excludes him from direct commercial or other intercourse
with the rest of the world.

This strip of land, in some places only a few yards wide, belongs to
Austria and forms part of the Province of Dalmatia. During the reign of
Napoleon I. the Principality of Montenegro extended for a short period
to the sea shore, and Cattaro was occupied by the Montenegrins till the
14th June, 1814, when it was most unjustly taken away from them again
and incorporated with the Austrian Empire by the Congress of Vienna. An
act of injustice all the more flagrant, that the Turkish territory was
allowed to come down to the sea at the opening of the Gulf of Cattaro,
dividing the territory of Ragusa from that of Cattaro, and thus affording
the Mahommedan rulers of a Christian land advantages which are denied
to the neighbouring Christian Principality.

But whilst I am admiring the scene before me and pondering over the
wrongs and the resources of these interesting countries, I must not
forget that the sun is every moment getting higher in the heavens, and
that it is important to get on with our journey, in order to avoid being
out on those arid rocks during the heat of the day.

Our caravan was now in motion again, but the road having almost ceased
to exist, we had to proceed more cautiously, picking our way among loose
stones and boulders, sometimes following a sort of path, and sometimes
climbing up the dried up water-courses of Winter torrents. After another
short interval of clambering, we reached a fountain where everyone
considered it his duty to dismount and drink, as did also our cattle.
When we had refreshed ourselves with copious draughts from that cool
spring we again faced up the mountain, but this time on foot, as owing
to the steepness and ruggedness of the rocks, it was not deemed advisable
to attempt it on horseback.

Except climbing up the cone of Vesuvius, where one generally makes two
steps in advance and three steps backwards, I never met anything more
trying than some parts of this ascent into Tchernagora or the "Black
Mountains," as the natives called this region, and which was rendered
by the Venetians into "Montenegro," the name it retains to this day.

The sun was becoming extremely hot, and I should have found it
considerably difficult to keep my place, but for the occasional assistance
afforded me by the powerful hand and arm of my Prince of Mountaineers,
Pero Pejovich, who whenever I came to some rugged impediment which
seemed to tax my energies more than usual, would quickly, with one hand
passed under my arms close below my shoulder, lift me bodily over it,
with his broad good-humoured face beaming with smiles; and when I tell
you, gentle reader, that I sometimes weigh _more_ but never less than
fourteen stone, I leave you to calculate the strength of my amiable giant.

We had now topped the worst of our ascent, and remounting our horses
commenced a short descent to a little plain surrounded by steep, rugged,
barren rocks seemingly the bed of some ancient dried up lake. At the
further extremity of this little plain could be seen half-a-dozen
scattered houses forming the village of Niegosch, the birth-place of
the Prince of Montenegro, as well as the cradle of his race, from which
they take their patronimic of Petrovich Niegosch.

We rode up straight to the principal house where we were expected and
received by a young Petrovich, a cousin of the Prince, a very handsome
young fellow, with whom unfortunately I could only have conversation by
the help of Pero Pejovich, who speaking Italian as well as Montenegrin,
always proved himself a most valuable interpreter.

We made a very short stay here, as we wanted to reach Cettigne before
the middle of the day; so having partaken of some excellent coffee,
served up with toast and such clotted cream as I never before tasted
out of Devonshire, and having admired the gorgeous arms which hung round
young Petrovich's room, each of which had some story attached to it, all
being trophies taken in battle from the Turks, we mounted our horses,
and again plunging into a ravine recommenced the difficult ascent.

After a short but arduous climb, we at length reached the top of the pass
and the highest point between Cattaro and Cettigne. Here a wonderful
panorama spread itself out before us—not beautiful, perhaps, but grand
in its way. Right, left, and front, nothing could be seen but barren,
grey mountain tops—except right in front of us, where at a short distance
lay the valley of Cettigne, also apparently the bed of an ancient Alpine
lake. Beyond that plain the bleak and rocky mountains closed in again;
and beyond them, far in the hazy distance, shining in the noon-day sun,
could be seen the glittering lake of Scutari, or more properly of Skodra,
in Northern Albania.

A scene like this could scarcely be conceived, such a wilderness of rocks,
such a picture of sterility, had never met my eyes. Peak after peak,
desolate and barren, rose in every direction, as far as the sight could
reach; and as the point on which we stood must have been more than four
thousand feet above the sea, the distance we could see in that bright
clear atmosphere may be imagined.

The rocks of which those mountains are formed looked ashy grey in the
bright sunlight, except here and there in some of the ravines where a
scanty, scrubby vegetation, struggling for existence, offered a precarious
subsistence to considerable flocks of small wild goats, herded by still
wilder-looking children. These grey rocky masses, when it rains, become
of a dark slate colour, nearly black, and hence arose the name of the
country, Tchernagora.

To account for the presence of such immense quantities of stones in their
country, the Montenegrins have a legend which says that after the Creator
had made this earth, the Devil was permitted to go and scatter stones
all over it. He carried the stones in a bag over his shoulder, but as
he passed in his flight over their country, the bag suddenly burst, and
thus a greater share of stones fell to their lot than they were fairly
entitled to.

I don't know which was the most fatiguing, the climb up to the top of the
pass, or the scramble down; I think the latter, and if I did reach the
bottom without a fall or a sprained ankle, I owe it all to my excellent
fellow-traveller, Pero Pejovich, who kept a sturdy hold of me all through,
and saved me, I am sure, from many an ugly tumble.

At last we found ourselves in the little plain of Cettigne, and putting
spurs to our small horses cantered over the turf till we reached the
first houses of the straggling street which constitutes the capital of
one of the most interesting countries in Europe.

The next travellers who visit Cettigne will find there good accommodation
in a spacious hotel, which was all but completed before I left; but when
I was there, nothing existed in the shape of an inn except a couple of
very wretched khans, where it would have been difficult to get rest,
owing to the activity of the insect population and the total absence of
every accommodation. Thanks to the liberal hospitality of His Highness,
I was provided, by his orders, with apartments in the ancient fortified
palace of the Vladikas, or Prince-Bishops of Montenegro, to which I was
conducted by one of His Highness's aide-de-camps, who had come to meet
me. This gentleman had been educated in France, at the Military School
of St. Cyr, spoke French like a Parisian, and was most kind in never
allowing me to want for anything. Guessing that I did not know a word
of Slave, he had most thoughtfully appointed a man in the town, who
could speak a few words of Italian, to attend me during my stay, and to
provide me daily with food from a sort of very primitive restaurant in
the place.

Having rested a couple of hours after eating an early dinner, according
to the fashion of southern countries, I received a visit from Mr. Nico
Matanovich, the gentleman alluded to above, and to whom I was indebted
for the comfort with which I was installed, who in company with the
Russian Consul (who was residing at the new Palace with the Prince), came
to propose a walk about the place as soon as the sun should be somewhat
nearer to the horizon. Having ordered up coffee, as is always expected
in these countries, Mr. Nico Matanovich conveyed to me the agreeable
information that His Highness would receive me the following day at
eleven o'clock in the morning. In reply, I begged he would present my
humble respects to His Highness, and my unbounded thanks for the handsome
manner in which I was treated.

The sun being now sufficiently low, we sallied forth to take a turn
round the place, and see what was to be seen. But before I leave my
quarters, let me try to give some idea of the Vladika's Palace, where I
was lodged. This quaint old building consists of a quadrangle of about
a hundred and fifty paces[7] either way, surrounded by a very massive
and high wall, pierced by two large roofed-in gateways, one in front
and one at the side, and having at each corner a round squat tower
with a conical roof, reminding one somewhat of those that surround, at
intervals, the Kremlin at Moscow. Running midway from side to side, and
dividing this enclosure into about two equal parts is the palace itself,
which consists of two stories, the second of which is divided into a
series of chambers, each about sixteen feet square and ten feet high,
all opening into each other, and communicating also at the back with a
wide corridor which goes the whole length of the building. The windows,
of which there are two to each room, look into the front compartment of
the quadrangle, while the windows of the corridor look on the back.

The entrance is by a hall door from which one ascends at once to the
upper story, by means of a massive wooden staircase formed of solid
beams of timber roughly hewn. The lower story has been turned partly
into an arsenal, principally filled with ancient weapons taken from the
Turks, and partly into a Government school; the upper rooms are occupied
at one end by the Archimandrite and some other officials—the rest are
untenanted. In the centre of the front court-yard is a deep well of the
most delicious water, and so cold that I used it to cool my wine and
beer with nearly as much success as if I had been using snow. The back
compartment was a kitchen-garden and orchard.

Leaving the old Palace by the side gate which opens upon one of the
two streets that constitute the town of Cettigne, we found ourselves
opposite to the new Palace lately built by the Prince—the style of which
I in no wise admire, though I do not doubt it is comfortable enough
inside; but it has no character whatever, and looks insignificant when
compared with the old Palace. If the money spent on building the new
had been judiciously laid out in adding to the old, a truly fine Palace
could have been erected, with all the old characteristics preserved,
which the eyes of the people, as well as of travellers, would have had
an historical stamp as the abode of all the old Vladikas, those ancient
Prince-Bishops—Bishops of the Church Militant—who for many years had
valiantly defended their country, their liberty, and their faith against
the unceasing attacks of the Infidels.

Opposite this gate, and just midway in the very broad street between the
old and the new Palace, stands a large carob tree, with a stone bench
of roughly hewn blocks round its trunk, and here in Summer from about
nine o'clock every morning the Prince sits for some hours administering
justice. I often watched him with the greatest interest from a window in
the old Palace. It was like acting a chapter in the Old Testament—Deborah
judging Israel under a palm tree, "between Ramah and Beth-el in Mount
Ephraim!" Beyond the "Tree of Justice" one came to the new Palace, a
homely structure, as I said before, and of no pretence. At the gate two
sentries of the Prince's bodyguard, in full Montenegrin costume, mount
guard, and are constantly relieved every hour, their barracks being
exactly opposite. The process of relieving guard is very simple—two
privates walk out of the barracks with their long breechloaders over
their shoulders "_à volonté_," and take their station on each side of
the gateway of the Palace, while the other two walk back into barracks,
and that is all.

We now turned our backs on the "Tree of Justice," and walked up the
street, which is but short, until we came to the main street which crosses
it at right angles. This main street is not paved, but is wide, and the
houses on each side, though seemingly poor and wretched in the extreme
in our eyes, are, most probably, comfortable enough in theirs; and as
they do not even possess a word in their language to denote "comfort,"
what we would consider such, would, perhaps, be only considered by them
an uneasy restraint.

Turning now to the right we walked to the end of the street, where
is the new hotel with the post and telegraph office. The hotel, as I
previously said, was not yet opened, though the building was completed,
and when supplied with beds, tables, and chairs will be a very creditable
affair, incomparably better than any hotel in Dalmatia. Near the hotel, a
little to the left, is another modern institution, evincing in no small
degree the enlightened anxiety of the Prince for the advancement of his
country. It is a _Pensionnat de demoiselles_ for the education of the
daughters of the better classes, both of Montenegro and the surrounding
countries; it can accommodate forty pupils, and is superintended by a
charming and highly accomplished Russian lady, assisted by efficient
governesses. The charge being very small, only £20 per annum, it must
be largely subsidized by His Highness.

Being vacation time, I had not the satisfaction of seeing any of the
boarders, much to the regret of Mademoiselle Pakievitch, who kindly
showed me all over the institution, which was admirably neat and clean.
She was anxious that I should have heard some of the pupils speak English
and French. "I think you would have been both pleased and surprised,"
said she. The majority spoke Illyrian, Russian and German, while several
were proficient in addition with both English and French, and one with
Albanian also. The institution is under the special patronage of the
Empress of Russia, who takes the greatest interest in it, and constantly
sends presents to it.

Keeping now a little to the right, and following the path which leads to
the town of Rieka, we soon came to the foot of the crags which on that
side close in with an impassable barrier the little plain of Cettigne.
We now turned sharp round and set our faces towards the town, as the
lengthening shadows warned us that the sun was already setting behind
the mountains which we had traversed in the morning. The smooth plain
covered with short grass was delightful to walk over, though one had
to be careful of one's steps owing to the many wells with which it is
dotted for the purpose of getting water for the cattle, and which, quite
level with the ground and without the semblance of a parapet, might have
swallowed one up before one would have had time to see them.

Right before us, standing a little to the left and just beyond the old
palace, could be seen in the distance the ancient monastery which in old
times used to be occupied by the Archimandrite, in the days when the
Vladika used to inhabit the palace; but now that Church and State are
separated, it is occupied by Monsignor Roganovitch, the Metropolitan of
Montenegro.

Just above it, perched upon a rock and standing out in bold relief
against the glowing sky, could be seen the old tower of Cettigne, an
ancient piece of masonry which until three or four years ago used to
be constantly decorated with the heads of Turks killed and decapitated
in their several skirmishes and forays. This barbarous custom has now
been abandoned, never to be resumed again it is to be hoped, and the
present Prince, further to turn away the thoughts of the natives from
the barbarous habit of their forefathers, has caused a belfry to be
erected on the top of the tower wherein is placed a large bell, which
is only rung in cases of great alarm to gather the tribes. The bell is
very heavy, and much ingenuity and labour were required to transport it
on men's backs from Cattaro to Cettigne.

By the time we got back to the Palace it was dark, so wishing good night
to my kind friends I made a frugal supper and went to bed.



CHAPTER XIV.

     INSECT POWDER OF MONTENEGRO—DESCRIPTION OF THE
     MONASTERY—ENCAMPMENTS—FESTIVAL OF ST. PETER—A SAINT BY THE
     WILL OF THE PEOPLE—PICTURESQUE SCENE—BOSNIAN CAFÉ—THE NATIONAL
     INSTRUMENT—A TRAVELLED DALMATIAN—TALL MONTENEGRINS.


I awoke early the next morning, having slept most luxuriously on a spring
mattress and totally unmolested by fleas, thanks to the ample supply of
flea-powder thoughtfully strewn by my attendant, between the mattress
and the undersheet.

The insect powder of Montenegro is celebrated, you must know, in Eastern
and Southern Europe, and I can vouch for its excellence. It consists
simply in the small dried flower of some species of Pyrethrum, which
when wanted for use is ground in a coffee-mill and strewed about the bed.
The plant is found abundantly all over Montenegro, and owes its greater
virtue to the fact of being grown in very arid soil, untempered by the
slightest moisture, and exposed to scorching suns—everything about it
therefore is in the most concentrated form, and hence its efficacy; it
is a very considerable article of commerce, and is largely exported to
Russia and the Levant.

It was not therefore due to insect attacks that I was so early disturbed
from my slumbers on the following morning; still I was disturbed,
and that by the momentarily increasing hum of many voices and general
bustle of the thousands who were flocking to Cettigne for the festival
which was to take place on the morrow; but the great day of the feast
throughout the south of Europe is invariably the day before the feast,
"la vigilia del Santo," as the wording goes. The day of the feast itself
one confesses, goes to mass, and does the proper; all the fun and the
rollicking is generally the day before. So I got up, and pushing open
the outside green shutters which secured my windows, I looked into the
courtyard of the Palace, and over the walls beyond into the little plain,
which was gradually filling with numberless men, women, and children,
some on horseback, more on foot, but all gorgeously attired.

The sun was now getting high on the horizon, and the scene before me
was becoming more and more animated and interesting. In the open space
under my window, within the high enclosure of the Palace wall, men were
busy picketing a dozen horses, evidently from the costliness of their
trappings belonging to Chiefs and Woyvodes. While under a group of carob
trees, in one corner of the enclosure, were spread several rugs on which
were sitting cross-legged some of the owners of those quadrupeds, with
their clumsy high-backed saddles behind them, passively smoking their
chibouks while their attendants busied themselves preparing coffee.

Close on my right and just beyond the old Palace was the monastery,
which, owing to the lateness of the hour the evening before, I had been
unable to examine. Like the old Palace it is a sort of semi-fortified
building, constructed more for safety than for comfort. On the right
hand, as the observer looks at it in front, is the church, and next to
it a tall, square, and very modern tower erected to the memory of the
Vladika Peter, who is buried on the top of a somewhat difficult peak to
the south-west of Cettigne and about six miles distant. The body of the
monastery comes next, conspicuous by two rows of arched openings placed
one over the other, and to the left of them again are the apartments of
the Metropolitan. The whole is surrounded by a high wall, enclosing a
primitive garden in which are located a large number of beehives, (upwards
of a hundred). This wall is pierced by one large gateway, roofed over
and secured by a massive door, in front of which is the circular-paved
thrashing floor, so characteristic of the East. Every thing about the
monastery is of the simplest and rudest construction, and the church is
utterly unadorned, not from choice, I am assured, but from necessity.

In the monastery itself are many shady corners that would well repay
a few hours spent in transferring them to one's portfolio, and just at
the entrance inside the building, is a most extraordinary chasm in the
rock, through which a piercing cold wind is constantly blowing, coldest
when the weather is hottest; and so intense is the cold in that opening
that it is used in Summer as an ice-house for the cooling of wine and
the preserving of food. This phenomenon has never been satisfactorily
explained, because it is not only that the cavity is cold, but a strong
sharp cutting wind rushes out of it. I shall not attempt to account for
it, but will leave it as a problem for sharper wits than mine to solve.

As the day waxed older the number of arrivals increased on the plain of
Cettigne, till by eight o'clock in the morning it was dotted all over
with picketed horses and temporary encampments of all sorts. Having had
my simple breakfast of coffee, milk, and toast without butter—which is
quite unknown there though cream is plentiful—but accompanied by a good
plate of Albanian figs, I went out with Pero Pejovich, who came to fetch
me to visit the fair. For this festival of St. Peter offers a double
stimulus to the inhabitants of the surrounding country for a visit to
Cettigne—a religious ceremony and a considerable fair. And it may be
right for me to observe that this St. Peter, Patron of Montenegro, in
whose honour this great gathering annually takes place, is a saint _sui
generis_—indeed I was on the point of saying, when I detected and checked
myself, that he was a saint _extra palum ecclesiæ_; for he is neither St.
Peter the Apostle, nor St. Peter the Martyr, nor St. Peter the Hermit,
nor even St. Peter Igneus, who in a fit of zeal for the maintenance of
the laws relating to the temporalities of the church, walked through the
flames at Settimo in the eleventh century, to establish a case of simony
against another Peter, one Peter of Pavia, then Bishop of Florence; nor
any other canonical St. Peter I ever heard of, but simply St. Peter of
Montenegro, the old Vladika Peter I., Prince-Bishop of Montenegro, not
yet canonized by any ecclesiastical authority or other licensing body,
as I was assured, but simply a saint in virtue of the will of the people,
the Plebiscite of Montenegro, who insisted _autoritate nostra_ on having
him for their patron saint. He probably deserved to be canonized just
as well, and perhaps better than many another saint, and if history
tells truth, certainly better than his namesake, the so-called Peter
the Martyr, for he wisely, mildly, and virtuously ruled in Montenegro
for fifty-three years, viz., from 1777 to 1830, and the mountaineers
are fully justified in reverencing his memory.

Passing my arm through that of Pero Pejovich, who seemed to know and
be known of everyone, I began my expedition through a crowd of men,
women and children, that every moment grew denser and denser. It was the
most picturesque scene that could be imagined; all the neighbouring and
surrounding countries had sent their contributions to the fair—Bosnians,
Servians, Herzegovinians, Morlacks, Dalmatians, Albanians, Roumelians,
Turks, Greeks, Croats, Italians, &c.; but conspicuous among them all
for height of stature and nobility of countenance were the Montenegrins
themselves. I think that, even independent of their costume, I could
have always singled them out by their ruddy though sunburnt complexions,
grey or blue eyes, and open honest countenances.

We went to a booth where arms were sold, and I was astounded at the
number, variety, and richness of the weapons that were not only displayed,
but were actually sold. They seemed to me dear. I should have much
liked to purchase a handsome yataghan with silver hilt and in a sheath
of _repoussé_ silver. It was a very handsome weapon, and was made by
a celebrated artificer of Skodra, but the price was sixteen Napoleons,
which was more than I liked to give, and I suspect I could get one just
like it in Tichborne Street for half the money.

From the armourer we went to a tailor's booth, where piles of costumes of
different nationalities were exposed for sale; Morlack suits, Albanian
suits, and Montenegrin suits, some of cloth and some of velvet, but
all more or less embroidered in gold, and some literally overladen with
plates of silver gilt. From thence we went to a Bosnian _café_ of the
most primitive kind; a couple of large blankets stretched over a few
poles made a pretence of shelter, and on the ground were a few Turkish
rugs on which we squatted, while a very ugly and dirty gipsy-looking
woman was boiling coffee outside over a small fire of sticks contrived
between two stones; nothing could be more primitive. So we sat and
smoked, and in due time drank our coffee, which was simply abominable. I
remember it was, though I was not minding it much, being occupied at the
time with listening to a man performing on the national instrument, the
_guzla_ (pronounced goozla), whilst a girl was singing a low, monotonous,
plaintive air.

The _guzla_ is not an instrument which offers much scope to the performer;
it is simply a very primitive fiddle, with only one string, played upon
with an equally primitive bow; still it was surprising the amount of
harmony the man contrived to scrape out of it. The song, as Pero Pejovich
told me, was all about the old story, love and war, while the music, as
is almost always the case among barbarous nations, was in a minor key.

Having paid for our coffee and thrown a few paràs to the minstrels, we
sallied forth again.

"And now, friend Pero," I said, "I should like to see some of your
Montenegrin beauties. I have seen lots of fine men this morning; but as
to the women, friend Pero, they are a caution. I never saw so many ugly
ones congregated together."

My conductor smiled, shrugged his shoulders, and looked me in the face;
he did not know exactly whether he ought not to be angry. However, his
habitual good-humour prevailed, and with a loud laugh, he said:

"_Avete ragione, son brutte come il Demonio._ But wait, only wait till
you see the Princess; she is a pure Montenegrina, and beautiful enough
for the whole nation." And he spoke truth!

We now wandered away again towards a sort of native inn or khan, where
he said we should get some good Vienna beer to wash away the taste of
that abominable coffee. As we were passing some booths, where a variety
of cheap Manchester goods were being displayed with some English Delft
ware of the very commonest description, I was hailed with a "How d'ye
do, stranger?" from a dapper, wide-awake-looking little man, who came
out and spoke such excellent English that I took him to be a Briton
or an American; but he was neither; he was a Dalmatian from Sebenico,
who had been a great deal in England and America, and spoke English as
fluently as his native Illyrian. I had a long chat with him, and asked
him how trade was, and if he was doing well.

"No," he replied; "they don't know what trade is in these countries, they
have too many restrictions; and yet," said he, "you won't go into the
poorest cabin that you won't find one of these," handing me a wretched
sample of English pottery with a vile brown pattern on it; "such is
their preference for everything of English make."

Here Pero reminded me of the beer we had to drink, and that the time was
drawing near when I was to present myself at the Palace for my audience.
So we went off to the khan, where, having refreshed ourselves with some
of Vienna's best, with a lump of virgin snow in it, I bid my guide good
morning, and returned to the old Palace; when, having dressed myself, I
crossed over to the new one to pay my respects to the Prince according
to the orders received the day before.

Having penetrated through the outer gate, where the guards, I thought,
looked rather scowlingly on my strange attire—viz., a dark blue frock
coat, light grey trousers, and patent leather boots, the whole topped
with my Indian quilted helmet—I ascended to the hall door by half a dozen
steps, where I was met by the Prince's own henchman, a brother of the
Commandant of the Grahovo. He was yet taller than his brother, and must
have been at least six feet eight inches. I do not say this quite by
guess-work, though I did not actually measure him; but on a subsequent
occasion I did measure an immense Montenegrin, and found him six feet
seven inches without heels, and the henchman was decidedly taller than
he.

Well, _pour revenir à nos moutons_, I followed my Goliath into the
hall, which is small and low, terminating in a double staircase, that
bending round from each side joins again in the middle to form but one
flight, at the top of which I found myself in a vestibule with two more
guards on duty, and from that I was ushered into a fine large and well
proportioned room, handsomely furnished in Viennese style, and hung all
round with good portraits of the Prince's father, the celebrated Mirko,
the Emperor and Empress of Russia, the Emperor and Empress of Austria,
and many others.

Rooms open right and left off this. I was conducted into a smaller room
to the right, where, after waiting for only a few seconds, the Prince
came in. He addressed me in French, congratulating me on my courage for
having ventured so far into his country, not on account of the difficulty
of the road, "for all English are good mountaineers," but from the bad
name the country has in Europe.

"Don't you know," said he, laughing, "que nous sommes des ogres, et que
nous mangeons les enfans; however, you shall try how we cook them if
you will dine here to-night at eight."

I thanked His Highness for his kindness, adding that I had never heard
of their cannibal propensities, but in any case I should be happy to
eat anything His Highness also would eat, and making my bow backed out
of the saloon.

I then left my card for the Russian Consul, who was staying at the Palace,
and afterwards went to pay the same compliment to Mr. Nico Matanovich,
aide-de-camp to the Prince; after which I returned to my quarters, to
convert into a luncheon the repast which otherwise would have served
for a dinner, but for the hospitality of His Highness.



CHAPTER XV.

     A POLYGLOT JUMBLE—WAR CUSTOMS OF THE MONTENEGRINS—DEATH
     IN BATTLE—FORAYS FOR THE PLUNDER OF CATTLE—EQUIPAGE OF A
     MONTENEGRIN SOLDIER—PILLAGE—MANNER OF FIGHTING—TACTICS—SIGNAL
     CRIES—ON BOARD SHIP—DECAPITATION OF WOUNDED PRISONERS.


I now discovered what a terrible nuisance it is to know only three
or four languages, especially when one finds oneself in a country the
language of which is a complete mystery. The attendant I had, who had
been so thoughtfully provided for me by Mr. Matanovich, professed to speak
Italian, and he did in fact know a few Italian words, but in his general
conversation with me, as was subsequently discovered and explained to me
by Pero Pejovich, the language in which he spoke consisted pretty much of
the following happy mixture: six-tenths of Montenegrin, three-tenths of
Albanian and Turkish, with one-tenth Italian! With this polyglot jumble we
got on fairly well, as far as hot water, coffee, pipe, tobacco, pranzo;
and he learned to appreciate eventually the American word "skedaddle,"
but when our necessities required further intercourse, it was perfectly
hopeless—language was utterly useless, and gesticulation the only chance
of making oneself understood. But he was a willing poor beggar, and
not more dishonest than the majority of his fellows. He had a wholesome
terror of the Prince's rigorous punishment of theft. "_Niente ladri in
Montenegro_," he used to say, "_Principe terrible_," turning up his eyes
and distorting his countenance to a fearful degree.

Now whilst my attendant is preparing and setting out my lunch, I may
as well entertain my reader with an account of the customs in war, and
mode of fighting of the Montenegrins, by the pen of M. Broniewsky, which
is so graphic, and accords so literally with what the Commandant Pero
Pejovich related to me at different times, that I cannot think I could
do better than transcribe it.

"A Montenegrin is always armed, and carries about during his most peaceful
occupation a rifle (many of them now have breechloaders), pistol, or
yataghan, and a cartouche-box. The Montenegrins spend their leisure time
in firing at a target, and are accustomed to this exercise from their
boyish years. Being inured to hardships and privations, they perform
without fatigue, and in high spirits, very long and forced marches. They
climb the steepest rocks with great facility, and bear with the greatest
patience hunger, thirst, and every kind of privation. When the enemy
is defeated and retiring, they pursue him with such rapidity that they
supply the want of cavalry, which it is impossible to employ in their
mountainous country.

"Inhabiting mountains which present, at every step, passes where a handful
of brave men may arrest the progress of an army, they are not afraid of a
surprise, particularly as they have on their frontier a constant guard,
and the whole of their force can be collected within twenty-four hours
upon the threatened point. When the enemy is in great force, they burn
their villages, devastate their fields, and after having enticed him
into the mountains, they surround and attack him in the most desperate
manner.

"When the country is in danger, the Montenegrins forget all personal
feelings of private advantage and enmity. They obey the orders of their
chief, and like gallant Republicans, they consider it a happiness and a
grace of God to die in battle. It is in such a case that they appear as
real warriors; but beyond the limits of their country, they are savage
barbarians, who destroy everything with fire and sword.

"Their ideas about war are entirely different from those adopted by
civilized nations. They cut off the heads of those enemies whom they take
with arms in their hands, and spare only those who surrender before the
battle. The property they take from the enemy is considered by them as
their own, and as a reward of courage. They literally defend themselves
to the last extremity; a Montenegrin never craves for mercy; and whenever
one of them is severely wounded, and it is impossible to save him from the
enemy, his own comrades cut off his head. When at the attack of Clobuk,
a little detachment of our troops was obliged to retreat, an officer
of stout-make and no longer young fell on the ground from exhaustion.
A Montenegrin perceiving it (the Montenegrins were fighting with the
Russians against the French) ran immediately to him, and having drawn
his yataghan, said 'You are very brave and must wish that I should cut
off your head; say a prayer and make a sign of the cross.' The officer
horrified at the proposition made an effort to rise, and rejoined his
comrades with the assistance of the friendly Montenegrin.

"They consider all those taken by the enemy as killed. They carry out of
the battle their wounded comrades on their shoulders; and be it said to
their honour they acted in the same manner by our officers and soldiers.

"Like the Circassians, they are constantly making forays in small
parties, for the plunder of cattle, and consider such expeditions as
feats of chivalry, (just as the Scotch Highlanders one hundred years
ago). Being safe in their habitations, where nobody dares to molest
them, they continue their depredations with impunity, disregarding the
threats of the Divan, and the hatred of their neighbours. Arms, a small
loaf of bread, a cheese, some garlic, a little brandy, an old garment,
and two pair of sandals, made of raw hide, form all the equipage of a
Montenegrin. On the march they do not seek any shelter from rain or cold.
In rainy weather, the Montenegrin wraps up his head in his strooka, lies
down on the ground, and sleeps very comfortably. Three or four hours'
repose are quite sufficient for his rest, and the remainder of his time
is occupied in constant exertion.

"It is impossible to retain them in the reserve; and it seems they cannot
calmly bear the view of the enemy. When they have expended all their
cartouches, they humbly request every officer they meet with to give them
some, and as soon as they have received them, they run headlong into the
further line. When there is no enemy in sight, they sing and dance, and
go on pillaging, in which we must give them the credit of being perfect
masters; although they are not acquainted with the high sounding names
of contribution, requisition, forced loan, &c., &c. They call pillage,
simply 'pillage,' and have no hesitation in confessing it.

"Their usual manner of fighting is as follows: If they are in great
force, they conceal themselves in ravines, and send out only a small
number of shooters, who by retreating lead the enemy into the ambush;
here, after having surrounded him, they attack him, usually preferring
on such occasions swords to fire-arms; because they rely on their
personal strength and bravery, in which they generally have the advantage
over their enemies. When their numbers are inferior, they choose some
advantageous position on high rocks, where pronouncing every kind of abuse
against their enemies, they challenge them to combat. Their attacks are
mostly made during the night, because their principal system is surprise.

"However small their force may be, they always try to wear out the enemy
by constantly harassing him. The best French _voltigeurs_ in the advanced
posts were always destroyed by them; and the enemy's generals found it
more advantageous to remain under cover of their cannon, of which the
Montenegrins were not at all fond. However, they soon became accustomed
to them, and supported by our rifles, they bravely mounted the batteries.

"The tactics of Montenegrins are confined to being skilful marksmen....
In a pitched battle their movements can be ascertained only by the
direction of their standards. They have certain signal cries, which
are uttered when they are to join in a compact body for attacking the
weaker points of the enemy. As soon as such a signal is given, they rush
furiously onwards, break into the squares, and at all events create a
deal of disorder in the enemy's ranks. It was a terrible spectacle to
see the Montenegrins rushing forward, with heads of slaughtered enemies
suspended from their necks and shoulders, and uttering savage yells....

"The Russian commander-in-chief had much difficulty in persuading them
not to cut off the heads of their prisoners. He finally succeeded in
this (chiefly by paying them a ducat for every prisoner) but what he had
more difficulty, with the assistance of the Vladika, in persuading them
to do, was to embark for an expedition on board of ship—a thing which
they had never done before.

"Notwithstanding that they were treated with the greatest kindness,
they proved very troublesome guests. Whenever the captains invited their
chiefs to breakfast, they all entered the cabin, and having observed that
more dishes were served to the officers than to common sailors, they
wanted to have a similar fare. When the Fortress of Curzola was taken
the feast of Easter was approaching; they gave the captain no repose,
entreating him to return to Cattaro; but when it was explained to them
that the vessel could not advance against the wind, they fell into great
despondency.

"When at last the ship approached the entrance of Boccha di Cattaro
and they caught a sight of their own black mountains, they uttered
joyous exclamations, and began to sing and dance. On taking leave they
affectionately embraced the captain and the officers, and invited those
to whom they had taken a liking to pay them a visit. But when the sailors
told them they could not leave the ship without the permission of their
superiors, they were much astonished, and said, 'If you like to do a
thing, what right has another to forbid you?'"

Does not the foregoing read like a chapter in "Waverley," or in "Rob
Roy?" but though it is now a good many years since M. Broniewski wrote
the foregoing, the Montenegrin is still much the same, with the exception
of cutting off the heads of those killed in battle, which he has given
up, principally, I believe, because he has had no fighting of late. But
at the period of the last attempted invasion of Montenegro on the Grahovo
side, by the Turks in, I think, 1862, heads were cut off as freely as
ever, and were liberally paid for by the chieftains; the only difference
was that instead of taking them to Cettigne to hang in festoons upon
the round tower at the back of the monastery, they were allowed to rot
on the battle-field among the rocks of the Grahovo where scores of them
are to be seen lying about to this day.



CHAPTER XVI.

     BATTLE BETWEEN TURKS AND MONTENEGRINS—ADDRESS OF PRINCE
     MIRKO—HIS PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND CHARACTER—THE PROJECTS OF
     PRINCE DANIELO—PRINCE NICHOLAS I.—SPORT IN MONTENEGRO—INTERVIEW
     WITH THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS—NATIONAL COSTUME—SPLENDID
     ILLUMINATION.


I regret more than I can express having lost some interesting notes
of several conversations I had with the Commandant Pedro Pejovich on
the subject of the campaign of 1864(?); all the more as they were most
graphically told me by him, who had been in the thick of the fight, and
carried in his body, in the shape of severe wounds, proofs of the active
part he had borne in that campaign. One only I partially remember still,
sufficiently well to venture to retail.

The Turks, apparently, were attacking the Montenegrins from the
Herzegovina in the north of Montenegro. They numbered about twelve
thousand men, together with a good force of Artillery; while the
Montenegrins collected to oppose them were not more than two thousand;
but whilst the Turks were in the plain fully exposed in sight of the
Montenegrins, these sturdy mountaineers, finding covert behind each
rock and bramble bush, were able to pick off the Turks with considerable
effect. Still the disparity of force was too great, and at the end of the
second day's fighting, although the Turks had not been able to make any
impression on the position held by the Montenegrins, still the number of
those killed and wounded bore a very large proportion to their numbers.
At sunset the fight being over for the time, and sentries having been
posted by the mountaineers as far forward as practicable to watch the
Ottoman camp, Prince Mirko, father of the present Prince of Montenegro,
then in command of the Montenegrins, summoned all the chiefs to a brief
council of war, and spoke thus:

"Two days we have been fighting the infidels, and the only result has
been the losses we have sustained in killed and wounded. Another day of
such fighting will leave us so crippled that the accursed Turks will
walk over us into our homes and villages. There is but one plan which
offers any hope, but if you adopt it and place faith in me, I promise
you a complete victory before to-morrow's sun shall gild the tops of
yonder mountains. To-morrow morning, one hour before daylight, be all
ready to follow me, leave behind your rifles and ammunition, and follow
me softly and stealthily, making no noise; so we shall pass the Turkish
advanced sentries without their noticing us, and when sufficiently near
I will call my cry, and then let you all rush forward with me, trusting
solely to your yataghans, and give no quarter."

This was carried out to the letter, and succeeded perfectly. The
Turks, never imagining they would be attacked, kept a bad look-out.
The Montenegrins, led on by the intrepid Mirko, rushed on the Turkish
batteries, cutting the gunners' heads off, and having spiked the cannons
attacked the remainder of the army with such impetuosity that they fled
from the field in the utmost disorder.

This was the last attack of the Turks against Montenegro, and I don't
think they will ever try it again. Prince Mirko was dead before my
visit to this country. I cannot therefore give any description of him
personally, but from all I heard he must have been a very remarkable
man in every way. Though small in stature and slight, contrary to the
general build of the Montenegrins, who are mostly all very tall and
powerful men, he had immense influence over the mountain-tribes; owing
to his well known sagacity and his fierce courage, wherever Mirko would
lead, the whole of Montenegro would follow. He had the eye of an eagle,
and strength of will and determination are portrayed in every line of
his face, as I have observed in his portrait which hangs in the Palace
of Montenegro, as well as the photograph I have seen of him. But he was
wise also; when Prince Danielo (the predecessor of the present ruler)
died by the hand of an assassin at Cattaro, his widow, the Princess
Darinka, at once caused the present Prince, Nicholas I. (nephew of the
murdered Danielo) to be proclaimed sovereign, passing over his father
Mirko, who, owing to the great youth of his son, might have expected and
claimed the succession; but as I said above, Mirko was wise as well as
valorous. He knew that from his own warlike tendencies, how much soever
he might be acceptable to his own mountaineers, his elevation to be
ruler of Tchernagora would be displeasing to most of his neighbours in
Austria, Servia, and Turkey. He therefore at once consented to his son's
promotion, and generously was the first in Montenegro to do homage to
the young Prince.

Up to the year 1850, when Prince Danielo succeeded to the throne of
Montenegro, the country had always been ruled by a Prince-Bishop, styled
the Vladika. This dignitary, generally, if not always, nominated his own
successor in the person of a nephew or some other near relative, who,
on the death of the Vladika at once took holy orders and became in his
turn Prince-Bishop.

Danielo, not wishing to give up the happiness of home and married
life, and also perhaps with the hope of founding a dynasty of his own
in Montenegro, which in the course of time might, by extension and the
absorption of other principalities, become an important kingdom, repaired
to St. Petersburgh on the death of the Vladika Peter II., his uncle, and
there obtained the full consent of the Emperor Nicholas to his effecting
a division between Church and State. On his return journey to Cettigne
he married at Trieste the Princess Darinka, hoping to have founded a
line of princes to succeed him. His hopes however were destined to be
blighted. Darinka had no children, and after reigning eight years, he
was murdered at Cattaro as I have related above.

The young Prince, (Nicholas I.) who had already been betrothed almost
in infancy, as is the custom among the upper classes in that country
to a relation of his own, daughter of one of the principal Voyvodes in
Montenegro, followed his studies under special direction in the Palace of
his ancestors; till one day the late Emperor Napoleon III., for reasons
of his own, proposed to have the young Prince sent to Paris, there to
be educated under his own eye; and the offer having been accepted, a
French man-of-war without loss of time steamed into the Gulf of Cattaro
and carried away the young Prince, together with two companions of his
own age, sons of two of the principal Voyvodes of the country. Whatever
care was bestowed upon the Prince's education, he amply profited by it;
he is an excellent French and Italian, as well as German and Russian
scholar. He is exceptionally well informed, and on a great variety of
subjects; and voracious to a degree for more information, especially
concerning English laws, customs, and manners, in all of which he takes
the greatest interest, and is most anxious that Englishmen should visit
his country. He was good enough to have me repeatedly at his house and
at his hospitable board, and he never omitted to repeat to me.

"I shall always be glad to see English gentlemen in my country; tell
them, when you go back, that if they are fond of shooting, they shall
have their choice of game, from an eagle to a blackbird, and from a bear
to a squirrel; if they prefer fishing, I promise them trout such as they
have never dreamt of,[8] and they shall have every assistance that I can
afford them in the way of tents to camp out, and men to guide and help
them."

In appearance, the Prince is tall and remarkably handsome; his hair is
black, he wears both beard and moustachios, contrary to the fashion of
his country, where only the latter are worn, often of immense size and
length. With a commanding appearance, he still has a most benevolent
expression of countenance, due to the softness of a very fine pair of
eyes, and his manners are most captivating. He is very dignified, but at
the same time most kind, without being in the least patronizing, and I
was told by those who knew him best that he has a most equable temper,
and that an angry word seldom was heard from him.

I had been careful before leaving the Palace to set my watch exactly
to their time, so as to ensure my punctuality in the evening; and at
eight P.M. to the minute, I found myself in the saloon of the
Palace. The Russian Consul was there already; he was showing me the
different portraits which hung round it, when the Prince walked in, in
full Montenegrin costume, but without any ceremony; and a few minutes
after a door was thrown open from the opposite side, when in walked the
Princess, accompanied by the widow of Prince Mirko and attended by her
lady-in-waiting, Mademoiselle Neukomm, all in full native costume.

Pero Pejovich had so often extolled the beauty of the Princess, that I
was quite prepared to be disappointed, as is almost always the case,
for anticipation seems invariably to exaggerate the reality; but on
this occasion it was just the reverse. I don't think I ever saw a more
beautiful creature than the lady to whom I was then introduced; tall,
pale, neither thin nor stout, but beautifully formed, and with exquisite
hands and arms. She wore a diamond ornament on her head, half hidden
by the masses of black hair among which it was nestled, and though it
shone at times like a star from among a mass of stormy clouds, it could
not subdue the light which shone from her glorious dark eyes.

Dinner was instantly announced, and we proceeded to the dining-hall, a
room of good size and well-furnished. The dinner, a German one, was good,
the wines better. The attendance consisted of two men in black and four
in native costume. The Princess, who speaks French fluently, did the
honours with most winning grace; and the Prince, by his affability, at
once put every one at his ease. At dinner I sat on his left, his mother
being on his right, with the Russian Consul _vis-à-vis_, principally, I
suppose, to facilitate her enjoyment of the conversation, as she speaks
only Slave.

During the repast His Highness constantly asked me questions, sometimes
about my impressions of Montenegro, which were easily enough answered,
as I had nothing to recount of myself but enjoyment since I had entered
his territory, having met with nothing but the most unbounded kindness
and hospitality. But in his anxiety for knowledge, he often put questions
which I found it difficult enough to reply to, and sometimes questions
which I could not answer at all. Having spoken with admiration of the
gorgeous costume of the Montenegrins, and how it set off their fine
figures, he replied:

"Yes, it is very fine; but I should be delighted to abolish it, if it
were possible; they spend a great deal too much money on it."

Being simply horrified at the idea of doing away with national dress, I
could not avoid expressing myself unreservedly, and I said at once that
depriving a country of its costume would be simply to destroy it.

"Ah!" replied the Prince sharply, "you look upon us only from a
picturesque point of view; in fact, you would like to keep us here like
a sort of menagerie of wild beasts, to come and look at us occasionally
for your amusement."

The Prince was almost angry; but fortunately I had an analogous example
to place before him, in our own Scottish Highlanders, who cling to
their costume with such tenacity. I told him of our Highlanders, of our
splendid Highland regiments, of how our Scottish nobility held by the
national dress, and of how our precious Queen dressed all her boys in
Highland costume; and yet we did not go to look at them as we would go
to look at wild beasts in a zoological garden, but we regarded it with
admiration, as an ancient national costume, associated in our minds with
devoted loyalty, stirring times, and valiant deeds; as their own costume
was also, which, I trusted, I should never live to see exchanged for a
bad imitation of the present universally adopted French fashion, ending
by saying that I was convinced that the supplanting of national costumes
with imitations taken from our neighbours, was decidedly a backward step
in civilization.

He questioned me very closely upon the law of primogeniture and entail
in our country, and could not understand how such a law did not produce
_des jalousies terribles, et d'autres inconvenances_. I endeavoured to
explain to him the present law of English entail, and how it differed
from the ancient Roman law of _fidéi-commis_, which still obtains in
Scotland, where entails are for ever. Still he did not like our system of
primogeniture, where the eldest son, in many instances, has £100,000 per
annum, and all the other children £10,000 each, representing about £400
a year. He thought it terribly unfair; indeed he could not understand how
they quietly submitted to it at all; and so we got through our dinner most
agreeably without the least _gêne_, while the Prince's band played some
excellent music outside, under the window. This band consisted entirely
of Montenegrin lads, some quite young, and considering the short time
they had been learning their new profession, was wonderfully good. The
bandmaster was from Prague, an excellent musician, and as he was a Czech,
he spoke a language very similar to Montenegrin, which contributed not
a little to his success.

Having left the dining-room in company with the ladies, we all adjourned
to the saloon, and from it to the terrace in front of the Palace, where
the Prince having lit a cigarette, offered some to me and Mr. Yonin.
As I hesitated to light mine, after having taken one, the Princess, who
immediately guessed that my hesitation was owing to her being present,
at once most kindly came forward and requested me to smoke "_de suite_"
&c. I therefore lit my cigarette at once, saying with a deep bow that
I dared not disobey her commands. She then bid me watch, as presently
a change would suddenly take place in the aspect of the scene.

It was now quite dark, when suddenly a cannon was fired, and
simultaneously, as if by magic, every window in the town, in the Palace
opposite, in the monastery, in the terrace, and at every point where a
candle could be stuck, was filled with lights, while the band played the
grand Russian National Hymn, and the people shouted with all the power
of their lungs, firing off their pistols in the air in every direction.

The illumination was so instantaneous that the effect was charming, and
coupled with the music, the enthusiastic cheering, and the booming of
the cannon, which kept up a sort of "contrabasso" accompaniment to the
whole, all contributed to produce a _coup de scène_ never to be forgotten.

We now all withdrew to the drawing-room for coffee and tea, _à la Russe_,
without cream and with a slice of lemon. I was not sorry to leave the
balcony, for that firing of pistols in the air is not so innocent a
pastime as might be imagined, as no Montenegrin ever dreams of loading
his weapons with anything else than ball-cartridge.

The Prince again resumed his conversation with me about English customs
and manners. He said, "I am told that in London one policeman, unarmed,
can control a mob, while in Paris it is very different, as nothing short
of loaded muskets and bayonets will do for the French."

I answered him that English mobs could be troublesome too, but that,
generally speaking, owing to our constitutional respect for the majesty
of the law, we came to look upon that solitary unarmed policeman as
an impersonation of it, and as such he was always sure of the active
assistance of all respectable citizens in the execution of his duty.

He then began to question me about the British constitution, and I never
felt more posed. Irish mother-wit, however, came to the rescue, and I
said, "To explain the British Constitution I should have to be a lawyer,
but one of the great characteristics of it, so far as a layman like me
can explain it, consists in what is called the Law of Habeas Corpus, by
which no man can be imprisoned by any authority whatever without being
immediately informed of the accusation against him, and brought up before
the constituted authorities within twenty-four hours."

He said he had heard of that before, and thought it a grand law, but
under certain circumstances he considered it might be advantageous for
the king to have the power of arresting dangerous characters, upon which
I told him that in certain emergencies the law of Habeas Corpus had been
suspended, but that could only be done by Act of Parliament, and not by
the sovereign's authority.

"In short," said he, "your Chambers are the real sovereign, the King
being only the outward and visible sign of regal authority."



CHAPTER XVII.

     A WALK WITH THE PRINCE—SALUTATIONS OF THE CROWD—THE
     GUZLA—MONTENEGRIN DANCE—THE PRINCE'S ACCOUNT OF ITS ORIGIN—THE
     CAMP AT NIGHT—ADVENTURE WITH A MONTENEGRIN—DEVOTION OF THE
     PEOPLE TO THEIR PRINCE.


THE firing had now ceased, and the illumination was fading out by degrees,
the band was still playing in front of the Palace, and the full moon was
rising well up in the sky. The crowd had increased, as we could see from
the window of the saloon, and the broad space in front of the Palace
was literally paved with heads and up-turned faces. After looking a few
minutes at that dense mass which was swaying to and fro and gradually
getting closer and closer, the Prince asked me what I thought of their
behaviour. "Most wonderfully quiet, orderly, and well behaved; but I
can't help looking upon them all as so many powder kegs. One cross word,
an imaginary insult, a little too much drink, one of a thousand trifling
incidents, might set a spark going, and it will be wonderful indeed
if among these thousands of wild and lawless men some turmoil does not
arise, and when their Oriental blood is once up, and arms are at hand
and ready, blood will scarcely fail to flow."

"Well," said the Prince, "I venture to say there won't be the smallest
misadventure to-night, though I haven't a policeman near here, and there
are probably twenty thousand armed men in and about Cettigne at this
moment. Do you think there are many Sovereigns in Europe who could with
safety walk about in such a crowd in one of their own capitals during
a time of excitement such as this?"

"Not one, I should think," I replied.

"Then," said he, "put on your hat and come along with me."

I followed him into the lobby, where throwing a scarf about his shoulders
he bid me follow him, first having told his henchman that he would go
out alone.

It was now about eleven P.M., and in a few minutes we were out
shouldering our way in the thickest of the crowd, making for the spot
where the band was playing. It was not long before he was recognised,
right and left, and now began one of the most interesting scenes I ever
witnessed. Where there had been a crowd so dense that progression seemed
almost an impossibility, an ample space was formed, and then one by one
men of all grades approached the Prince, and, according to their rank and
station, one and all saluted him in the following way—they took off their
caps, and those of the lowest grades took up the edge of his coat and
"literally kissed the hem of his garment;" then those of somewhat better
position kissed the same garment higher up; to others of higher rank
still, the Prince extended his hand, which they kissed most reverently,
and pressed to their foreheads three times; and lastly the Chiefs and
Voyvodes, almost on an equality with him, doffed their caps, while His
Highness did the same, and both holding each other's right hand pressed
the side of their cheek against each other. And so I accompanied him,
walking through that living mass, stopping every moment either to receive
some act of homage, or to caress some bold little curly-headed fellow who
had squeezed and wriggled himself in to get near to his Prince, and to
whom His Highness would speak a few words, asking his name and age, and
where he went to school, and what he could do, to the untold pride and
joy of the parents who were watching. And so we shortly made the tour of
the town, coming out on the plain right in front of the monastery where
many groups were busily engaged in the performance of the national dance.

The lights had now gone out, and the illumination had faded away, but
the moon nearly at the full was high up in the heavens, and shining
as it does not, alas! shine in these islands. The band was gone, and
the only music to be heard was the native _guzla_, accompanied by the
monotonous chaunt of the vocalists, interrupted occasionally by the wild
piercing shriek of some dancer. The Prince made for one of the groups
where apparently the dancing was most energetic, whilst I followed close
on his heels. Being at once recognised, ample way was made for him, and
I soon found myself alongside of him in the innermost circle of the ring.

Here I had full opportunity of observing the native Montenegrin dance,
which, if not elegant, has certainly the merit of originality. How shall
I describe it? In the area of that ring in which we found ourselves were
five couple of dancers, who were being constantly renewed, men and women,
as either became exhausted by their exertions. The dance itself did not
seem to consist of any peculiar steps, but mainly in jumping with the
arms extended horizontally, leaping as high as each one could opposite
the other, and twirling round at the same time like dancing dervishes,
whilst occasionally, as either man or woman had to give in from sheer
exhaustion, they uttered a piercing shriek. Though somewhat savage and
uncouth to behold, there still was a weird charm about that dance. The
tall mountaineers looked taller still from their long white surtouts in
the bright moonlight, and as they sprang high into the air they appeared
absolutely gigantic, while the glitter of the moon's rays on the metallic
ornaments of their dress and their jewelled arms produced a strange and
pleasing effect. From one group the Prince passed on to another, and
so through all till about one in the morning, when he turned his steps
towards the Palace,

"Our dance is not an elegant one," said the Prince, "but it is
characteristic; it is called the Dance of the Eagles, and its origin
is thus accounted for. Many years ago the Montenegrins had no national
dance, when some of the young men said, 'How is it all our neighbours
have national dances of their own and we have none? Let us imagine and
invent a dance; and, as our mountains are the country of the eagles,
let us make it like eagles rising from the rocks, and let us scream like
the young eagles.' And so they stretched out their arms and sprang into
the air as high as they could, dancing their Eagle Dance, which from
thenceforth became the national dance of the country."

At the gates of the Palace I made my bow, and the Prince, putting out
his hand, wished me good night, saying, "I must see you again before
you leave."

In a few minutes I was in my room. I required no light, the moon was so
brilliant. The night being warm, and not feeling at all sleepy from the
excitement I had gone through, I lit a cigar, and leaning with my elbows
on the window-sill, I looked out into the little plain where so shortly
before I had been walking about. The turmoil had now greatly diminished,
and in every direction I could see that preparations were being made to
bivouac _à la belle étoile_. The horses that up to this time had been
allowed to roam about here and there, cropping the scanty herbage, were
now being collected and picketed one by one near the spot which had been
selected by the owner for his own peculiar sleeping place; while the
court-yard of the old Palace was also fully tenanted, and apparently by
the same party I had watched in the early morning, and which, from the
better style of their horses, the glitter of their equipments, and the
appearance of their attendants, seemed to belong to some of the native
chiefs.

By degrees the different noises ceased, and in less than an hour the
whole camp was steeped in silence. Such a contrast to the noise and
turmoil of an hour before, when twenty thousand people, men, women and
children, were shouting, dancing, and yelling at the top of their voices!

I put on my helmet, and with a short stick in my hand, simply to keep
away any snarling dog that might be inclined to give trouble, I quickly
crossed the court-yard and let myself out by the gate into the plain.
The moon had barely passed the zenith, and shone almost perpendicularly
on the prostrate groups, who, in different attitudes of sleep, were
dotted all about; some wrapped up in their strookas, more from habit
than necessity, as the air was warm; some turned on their faces, some on
their back with their arms outstretched; but all profoundly asleep; and
such was the silence that, but for the absence of blood and mutilated
limbs and broken weapons, one could easily have imagined it the field
of some hard-fought fight.

I was surveying the placid scene and standing close to a magnificent
mountaineer who was sleeping on his back, with his face fully upturned
to the moon and his arms extended, when suddenly he awoke. In the
twinkling of an eye he was on his feet and his hand on his yataghan. I
don't imagine my life was the least in danger, even for a moment—but if
it was, my helmet and my cigar saved me. However, I instantly saluted
him in Slave, and with a "_Sbogo Gospodin_" he returned the compliment,
at the same time putting out his hand he shook mine warmly, and pointing
with the other to the ancient Palace, led me away towards it, talking
softly the while and smiling; but unfortunately I could not understand,
and the only response I could make was by offering him a cigar, which he
at once lit at mine and pronouncing it "_dobre_" (good) puffed away at
it with a will. At the great gate of the Palace he wished me good-night,
when I begged of him by signs to take another weed, and so we parted.

The next morning being the day of the feast, I was awoke pretty early by
the repeated firing of cannon just outside the gate of the Palace and in
front of my window. I should have been glad to have slept a few hours
longer, but the noise was too great, and my so-called Italian-speaking
servant coming in at the same moment, I jumped out of bed and called
out, "_Colazione!_"

I had not more than half finished, and was in the act of peeling some
grand specimens of Albanian figs, when in walked Pero Pejovich, who
came to tell me that the Prince and Princess, with all the notables
and Voyvodes of Montenegro, would attend High Mass at ten, and that the
_cortège_ would pass under my windows and would be worth seeing. He added
that if I liked he would take me into church and get me standing-room
inside before they arrived; but he feared the crowd and the heat would be
something fearful. Consequently, finding it quite hot enough already, I
determined to remain where I was and enjoy the procession from my window.

I then told the Commandant of my adventure the night before. He scolded
me awfully, but patted me on the back, as one would a child, and said
I might have run some risk had I not been fortunately recognised as a
guest of the Prince.

"Only imagine," said he, "if anything had gone wrong, the honour of
Montenegro might have been compromised."

We then lit our cigars, and while waiting for mass-time, fell, as usual,
into conversation about his country and its usages.

"What do you think of our Prince, and the way he goes among the people? I
saw you last night with him. Did you ever see such love, such devotion,
as we all have for him? But he deserves it fully. There never was such
a ruler as our Prince; we would all lay down our lives for him, and be
proud of the honour. If he were to call us to arms, we could muster in
twelve hours, here in this plain of Cettigne, twenty thousand able men,
fully armed and equipped, ready to march on any point, and that without
endangering Montenegro; for we should leave twenty thousand more behind
us, not so well adapted for advancing in an enemy's country, but fully
competent to guard our mountain passes and protect our strongholds."

I said I hoped such a contingency might never arise; but he shook his
head. The Turks, he said, hated them too much not to seek, sooner or
later, for a pretext to attack them, and then he added,

"But the sooner the better; we never were so well prepared to meet them.
The Turks pretend that Montenegro is an integral portion of the Ottoman
Empire; we insist that we have always been free, and though often hard
pressed by Ottoman forces, have never yet been conquered. What chance
then is there of our coming to an understanding? My great grief, however,
is to hear that England is against us and in favour of our enemies, and
if it were not for the friendship which Russia has ever shown us, we
might be exterminated by the infidels before you would lift a finger to
prevent our utter annihilation. We cannot understand it, for we read of
how England exerts herself always in favour of oppressed nationalities,
and how she has even spent hundreds of millions of piastres to put down
the slave trade; and yet she favours the Turks, who are the greatest
supporters of slavery, against us, though our religions are almost
identical, I am told. I wish more English would come to Montenegro. I
think they would end by appreciating us."

These words of the Commandant made a deep impression on me.



CHAPTER XVIII.

     FALSE IMPRESSIONS OF MONTENEGRO—AGRICULTURE ON A
     MINOR SCALE—FIELD-LABOURERS—MONTENEGRIN FACCHINI AT
     CONSTANTINOPLE—FEMALE LABOUR—PRODUCTION OF SUMACH—COMMERCIAL
     RELATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IMPEDED—IMPOSING PAGEANT.


Truly very little is known about Montenegro and its mountaineers, and
that little is very incorrect. They have been generally represented
as wild, savage, bloodthirsty, thieving scoundrels, closely allied to
Italian brigands and Greek palikari—if anything, worse than either. Fond
of fighting for fighting's sake, and when not engaged in that amiable
recreation, spending their time in strutting about in their fine clothes,
peacocking in the sunshine, while those too poor to have fine trappings
whiled away the weary hours and forgot their fleas and their sorrows
in the tones of their national _guzla_, while the women were left to do
all the labour in the fields.

Such was certainly not my impression. The part of Montenegro through
which I travelled, though sterile and barren to a degree, was a wonderful
specimen of what man could do when driven to it. Every little nook, where
the least bit of soil could be found, among that wilderness of rocks
where stones had rained from Heaven, was carefully taken advantage of;
the rocks adjoining these little nooks were often removed by the most
laborious exertions, and in some instances earth was scraped up here and
there, and carried in small baskets to these spots, in order to increase
their depth of soil. I saw clearings of so small a size as barely to
admit of _one potatoe plant_ or three of maize, and little fields not
_one yard_ in diameter!

Hard at work, cultivating the soil, I saw not only women but plenty
of sturdy mountaineers. At Niegosh I observed one of the Petrovichs,
the handsome young fellow who entertained me on my way to Cettigne,
superintending himself a number of men who were working in a field near
his house; and the only difference I could observe between them and our
own labourers was that they were all fully armed, although employed at
the peaceful occupation of agriculture. They have not yet turned their
yataghans into spades and reaping hooks, but they have done the next
best thing by keeping the first at ease while energetically plying the
others.

I have seen the Montenegrins in their own valleys and mountain fastnesses,
and I utterly deny the charges brought against them. They are not
lazy—leaving all the hard work to their women—that is utterly false, and
the best proof I perhaps can give, lies in the self-asserting fact of the
toiling colony of three thousand Montenegrin Facchini at Constantinople,
well known as about the most hard-working and honest labouring men in
that capital. It is true that they allow the women to do much of the
heavy agricultural work, and carry heavy loads up and down the mountains;
but it must be remembered that for years past the Montenegrins, like the
proscribed clans of Scotland in the last century, have been treated by
their neighbours, the Turks, very little better than wild beasts. They
would long ago have been exterminated, but for their indomitable courage
and constant fighting, during which period, of necessity, the agricultural
duties fell entirely on the decrepit old men and the women, as all men
who were at all able to carry arms were engaged in fighting—and many
of the women too! It must also be remembered that in all mountainous
countries the women toil more heavily than in the plains, and even in
civilized Italy hear what a distinguished Italian, Massimo d'Azeglio,
writes:

"For example, if a faggot of wood and a bunch of chickens have to be
carried down to the shore from one of the villages half way up the
mountain, the labour is thus distributed in the family. The wife loads
herself with the faggot of wood which weighs half a hundredweight, and
the husband will take the chickens which weigh a mere nothing." The
Montenegrins are not, therefore, singularly and atrociously barbarous
in this respect.

Considering the small extent of the Principality and its great sterility,
it is wonderful the amount of produce they are able to export, even with
the disabilities under which they labour, being entirely deprived of any
seaboard, though clearly entitled to one. One of the most important of
their natural products, one which under favourable circumstances might
be increased a thousandfold is "sumach," a substance largely used in
tanning the more expensive kinds of leather. A small amount is exported
to Holland, none comes to England, but a small parcel I brought over with
me was declared by competent judges to be equal to the best Sicilian,
which is considered the best of all sumachs.

They have vast forests of walnut trees which, under proper management and
due facilities of exportation, might be rendered most productive, both as
to walnut oil and timber for cabinet work. They export immense quantities
of a small dried fish "_scoranza_," much used in the neighbouring Catholic
and Greek countries during their religious feasts; and without further
wearying my readers, I will simply add that but for the difficulties
they labour under, they could export every one of the following articles
in very considerable quantities:—

Castradina (dried mutton and goat hams), honey, wax, goat and kid skins
to any amount, as also martin, fox, and hare skins, together with many
other substances I have forgotten.

The Prince is doing all he can to spread instruction among his people.
He has established numberless schools, and as all over the Principality
education is compulsory, in another generation the man or woman unable
to read and write will be a phenomenon indeed in Montenegro.

The renewed booming of the cannon and the ringing of the convent bells
now gave us warning that the Prince was going to hear Mass, and in a few
seconds I saw the whole _cortège_ pass on foot under my window. First
a squad of guards, then His Highness the Prince leading the beautiful
Princess, immediately accompanied by the Russian Consul in full uniform,
and then a number of Voyvodes in gorgeous costumes, while another squad
of body-guards brought up the rear. They walked quickly past, and in a
few minutes were lost completely to sight under the buttresses of the
old Palace. The pageant was of short duration, but it was well worth
seeing, even in that land of sunshine and gorgeous costumes.

Mass over, everyone turned in for his dinner and siesta. The Commandant
of the Grahovo went to his own abode, and I followed the general example.

In the afternoon some wonderful foot races were to be held, but not till
near sunset, when the great heat of the day would be somewhat abated. I
determined therefore to fill up the space between the end of my siesta
and the visit to the races, with a call on Monsignor Roganovich, the
Metropolitan of Montenegro. I had brought letters of recommendation to
the Archimandrite of Cettigne, and in his company I went to the monastery
to pay my respects. We entered by the great gate, after crossing the
threshing floor, and having crossed the court we ascended by a very
rough stone staircase, which landed us in a sort of primitive cloister
looking on a garden, on which opened the suite of rooms occupied by the
Metropolitan.

We were at once shown in, and had not to wait many seconds before
Monsignor Roganovich made his appearance. His reception was most
cordial. He took me by the hand and made me sit on the divan by his
side, expressing his regret that he could not converse with me except
through an interpreter, owing to his not speaking any other language than
Illyrian and Russian. We got on, however, remarkably well, thanks to the
rapidity with which the Archimandrite almost guessed what I was going
to say in Italian, translating it into Illyrian with equal rapidity.
Coffee, as usual, was served up, unaccompanied however by the customary
pipes, as the orthodox clergy are forbidden to smoke.

And now as I am sipping my coffee, let me endeavour to describe what I
saw as my eyes wandered about. The room itself was small and low, simply
white-washed, with no other furniture than one small table in front of
the divan, and four rush chairs of the homeliest description. Around the
walls were a few coloured prints of saints, and the floor was utterly
uncarpeted. All this simplicity, however, served to bring out in greater
contrast and relief the portly figure of Monsignor Roganovich, as he sat
on the divan in his ample cassock and gown of violet-purple silk. He was
not a handsome man, strictly speaking, his was more a jolly countenance
than a handsome one, still it was a face one liked to look at, with his
grand black beard flowing down to his waist. He wore his hair in ample
curls down his back as if it had never known the shears, and on his head
the little Montenegrin cap of black silk. On his breast glittered the
star of the Montenegrin order, and round his neck a massive gold chain,
from which depended a Panagia or image of the Virgin and Child, nearly
as large as a saucer, surrounded with large diamonds.

His manners were courtly and his smile most pleasing, and he gave me the
idea of one who would make an excellent companion for a little dinner
party of four, and who would be more in his element on the Boulevard
des Italiens at Paris, than in his monastic seclusion at Cettigne. We
conversed for half an hour or so when I rose to take my leave, and he gave
me the Apostolic Benediction, and embraced me on both cheeks. As we walked
back to the Palace, the Archimandrite told me he took great interest in
the schools, which he visited daily, examining and cross-examining the
students, to see that they made good use of their time.



CHAPTER XIX.

     FOOT RACES—MONASTERY OF OSTROG—OTTOMAN ADMINISTRATION—A
     COURSE À LA MONTAGNE—RACING WITHOUT BETTING—BEN TROVATO—A FLAT
     RACE—CONVERSATION ABOUT ENGLISH LAWS AND CUSTOMS—LAW OF HABEAS
     CORPUS.


In the afternoon I went out into the plain to see the foot races, which
the Prince had told me would be very amusing.

On my way to the plain, where the races were to take place, I rambled
again through the fair, and a second time got into conversation with the
fellow that spoke English so well. We chatted together on many subjects,
all more or less connected with the country; he praised the Montenegrins
to no end, and told me he would trust them to any amount, they were so
thoroughly honest and scrupulous in their dealings. He wanted me to go
with him, in a couple of days after the fair was over, to the monastery
of Ostrog, but my time was not my own, and I could not give myself that
additional pleasure.

It was a great disappointment, however, as Ostrog is a wonderful place,
cut out of the rock, not perched on one as some of the monasteries of
Mount Athos are, but partly excavated at a great height out of the face
of the rock, and partly built on a ledge which the upper part of the
rock overhangs. It is approached by a narrow path cut into steps, where
no more than two could walk abreast, and therefore easily defended by a
handful of men against any number of assailants. There is an ample supply
of water in it at all times, and it is always stored with a good supply
of rations, and an immense quantity of ammunition. Except by starving
out the garrison, it never could be taken.

My companion wanted me then to go with him into the interior of Northern
Albania, where he was well known, and where under his protection and
guidance I should have been perfectly safe; while his knowledge of the
languages, both Oriental and English, would have enabled me to make
many interesting inquiries. When I asked him about the administration
of those countries by the Ottoman Government, and the opening up of the
country by the projected railway from Adrianople to Novi-Bazar which
has already been surveyed, he shrugged his shoulders, and then, with a
toss of his head, said:—

"Railways are all very good, but they are almost useless here. What we
want is a good Government, and that we never shall have as long as this
Christian country is ruled by the Turks. You talk of the progress of
civilization among them; but you simply know nothing about them. I can
speak, for I have lived with them and among them from childhood; and as
to their civilization, it is simply a farce. Even at Stamboul, among the
better educated, among those who have been to Paris and London, their
civilization is nothing more than the gilding of Brummagem jewelry—the
slightest rubbing will cause the copper to blush out from beneath.
Civilization indeed! See what a powerful navy they possess; but let
Hobart Pasha go home and take with him all his European officers, men
and engineers, leaving nothing behind but pure full-blooded Turks to man
it, and the entire Ottoman navy would not be a match for the smallest
British ironclad. In making this disparaging statement as to the so-called
civilization of Turkey, I have selected the navy as an example because
in old times the Turks were able to hold their own at sea, and showed
a great aptitude in naval matters; but naval science has progressed
and they have remained stationary. But so it is—their civilization is
a dream; their finances a colossal sham; and their final exodus from
Europe, I trust, is in the very nearest distance. In fact, if all the
Christians in Ottoman employ—English, French, Armenian or Greek—were to
abandon their several posts, Turkey would simply collapse in six months."

I don't say that these are my opinions, but simply the clearly expressed
convictions of a sharp trader who had long been intimate with European
Turkey.

It wanted not much more than an hour of sunset; the western crags threw
long purple shadows along the plain of Cettigne, while the rocks which
bound it on the east were steeped in the richest tints of gold, and
russet, and purple. Up, near to the old Palace of the Vladikas, was a
splendid group of native magnates with the Prince in the midst, while
ranged in a row before them were about a hundred and fifty of the most
athletic men in Montenegro—competitors all in a coming foot race for
a splendid pair of silver-mounted pistols, offered by His Highness to
him who should first lay his hands on them. The pistols were placed on
a conspicuous rock a considerable way up the cliffs on the south-west
side of the plain.

The competitors may have been placed at a distance of three hundred
yards from the base of those cliffs; it was, therefore, partly a flat
race and partly a "_course à la montagne_:" as the Prince said, "_En
Angleterre vous avez les courses au clocher_, (steeple-chases) _ici nous
avons les courses à la montagne_." The men had divested themselves of
their white coats, and their belts and armour. For an instant there was
profound silence, and then, at a given signal, off they went at a good
pace, keeping wonderfully together for the first two hundred yards or
so; then the line began to get wavy, and with every stride more and more
fell behind, till, when they arrived at the foot of the crags, there
were not, perhaps, more than fifty that sprang up simultaneously to the
cliffs. Then, indeed, began the real race, and the mountaineers took to
it in right earnest, scaling the precipice like leopards. It was quite
exciting to watch the rapidity with which they swung themselves from
point to point, taking advantage of every cleft, every rootlet, that
offered the least hold to either hand or foot. At last, three arrived
almost simultaneously at the goal; but one, slightly in advance, made
a vigorous spring—touched the pistols first—barely winning by a hand!

It was, without exception, the prettiest thing by way of a race I ever
saw. The whole scene was before you like a panorama; the costumes of the
runners and the spectators; the gorgeous tints of the setting sun; the
enthusiasm of all, together with the shouts of the multitude, rendered
it a scene never to be forgotten; and as I watched them clambering up the
cliffs in front of me, guessing at the chances of the race, and mentally
gambling with myself on who would be the winner, I could not help feeling
a certain degree of surprise that no betting was going on in any part
of that vast assemblage. The chances were so many, the combinations
so varied, and the probabilities so constantly changing, that a fairer
game to try the luck of Dame Fortune could not have been devised, and
all the more, too, as all were honestly in earnest in striving for the
prize. There were no dark horses, no sickened favourites, no hard-pulling
jockeys to bewilder the backers; all was before you, fair and serene,
and the excitement was tremendous when some one fine mountaineer, well
in advance of the rest, maybe by five or six yards, would suddenly lose
his foothold through the giving way of some small projection of rock to
which, he was clinging, and after remaining suspended a short time by
his hands above his head, he would eventually have to let go his hold
and drop down some few feet, losing all chance in the race; while those
who had been nearest to him would redouble their efforts, and thus at
times the one who at first starting had seemed the least likely to win
would actually come to be in the first flight of the race; but he, in his
turn, by some unlucky chance would slip, and another would as instantly
get on before him. These constant changes of chances made the race a
most exciting one; still not a bet among the multitude of lookers-on!

One of the Prince's aide-de-camps having heard me express surprise at
the absence of all betting, said, "Betting is quite a characteristic
of you others (_vous autres_) in England. I am told you would bet on
anything. I have heard a story of a poor girl who once threw herself off
a bridge in London. The police-boat, fortunately, was near, and pulled
away to her rescue, when two lords happening to pass by, stopped on the
bridge for a bet as to whether the girl would be saved or not, and lost
and won an immense sum on the event."

I laughed, and replied,

"_Se non è vero è ben trovato._"

After this we had a flat race for about a mile across the plains. So
far as running went, it was a _flat_ race indeed, and I have often seen
better at an Irish country fair; but it was well worth seeing from the
rich colouring of the costumes of those taking part in it, as they ran
with their clothes on; and as every one was eligible to compete, and not
Montenegrins alone, the effect was most singular and picturesque. The
prize was in this case also a pair of silver-mounted Turkish pistols,
given by the Prince, and I was glad to hear that the winner was a
Montenegrin.

In the evening I had the honour of dining at the Palace, when the Prince
again asked me many questions concerning England, its habits and customs,
of which, although he had read much in French books, he knew absolutely
nothing.

We again spoke about the law of primogeniture, about which he could
not exactly make up his mind, and could not understand how it did not
produce disastrous occurrences in families. He understood, however,
quite well what I explained to him concerning the Law of Habeas Corpus,
and again declared it to be a grand institution, _so far as the people
were concerned_.

I left at a late hour, after spending a most delightful evening, and
as I went back to my rooms to pack my small valise for my early start
next morning, I felt an undefinable regret at leaving Tchernagora and
its interesting mountaineers. I had enjoyed among them a courteous
hospitality and a patriarchal welcome, the prominent characteristics of
which will, I fear, before very long disappear under the pressure and
_vis a tergo_ of our so-called European civilization. I should like,
above all things, to visit them again; but should it never be my lot to
enjoy that pleasure, I cannot take leave of Montenegro without expressing
my deep sense of the cordial reception I met with there on every side.



CHAPTER XX.

     DEPARTURE FROM CETTIGNE—RUGGED ROAD—DELIGHTFUL VIEW—USEFUL
     OLD HELMET—NIEGOSH—EXCESSIVE HEAT—THE SCALA DI CATTARO—THE
     BOCCHESI—THE RUSSIAN CONSUL—SUNSET AT CATTARO—UNEXPECTED
     APPEARANCE OF PERO PEJOVICH.


As the clock struck three in the morning of the 15th of July, 1873, the
guide walked into my room to say it was time to start; at the same moment
my servant brought me in a cup of _café-au-lait_ with some hot toast.
My toilette was soon made, and my breakfast swallowed, and I moved away
from Cettigne as the clock chimed the half-hour after three.

It was still night, but not dark, as the moon had not yet set, and a
band of rose-coloured light streaked the Eastern horizon. We started at
a rapid trot, startling the echoes up the solitary and deserted street
of Cettigne, and we never slackened our pace till we came to the verge
of the little plain in which it is situated, when the path up the ravine
which led westward to the Adriatic became so rugged that we were compelled
to walk our horses, and in less than half-an-hour more had to dismount
and proceed on foot.

In a short time we reached the crest of the range which encircles the
Plains of Cettigne, and the track becoming less precipitous, we remounted;
but before leaving the spot I turned my horse round to have a last look
at that mountain capital where I had been so hospitably entertained,
and where, most probably, I might never have the pleasure of being again.

I was now standing on the highest point of the pass, and I enjoyed a
most delightful view. The sun was just in the act of rising. My back was
to the Adriatic, while my face was turned to the East. At my feet lay
the Plain of Cettigne, girt round on all sides with precipitous rocks
and mountains. Beyond the plain, far in the hazy horizon—not foggy—but
rendered slightly indistinct by a faint cobalt haze, I could see the Lake
of Skodra glittering in the morning sun with the thin silver streak of
the Zeta river losing itself in it, while in the still further distance
I could perceive the faintest outline of the Albanian mountains. Right
and left, as far as the eye could reach, nothing but rocky peaks and
precipices met the view—nothing but rocks with here and there a few
scanty bushes, on which were browsing large herds of goats tended by
wild-looking men, carrying round their waist, as usual, the inevitable
arsenal of weapons, and the long Albanian gun over their shoulders.

I would have lingered over this scene, and I was already thinking of
getting down and sketching it, when the guide remonstrated against any
such proceeding on my part. "It was very near the dog days," he said,
"and to be caught by the noon-day sun on those bare rocks, was a thing
to be avoided;" so I was compelled to move on, after giving another long
look at the picture to which I was about to turn my back.

The guide was right; the track was abominable, and we could only proceed
at a slow pace. At the same time, the sun was gaining strength with
every inch it rose above the horizon, and by the time we reached the
_clachan_ of Niegosh, its rays come down upon us like molten lead; but
my old helmet was proof against them, and an excellent protection, while
the faint breeze which came up from the Adriatic prevented all feeling
of oppression.

At Niegosh, where a week before I had been so kindly entertained by
young Pejovich, we rested five minutes. I did not even dismount, but
the guide went into the very primitive khan to light his pipe; but, by
the way he smacked his lips on coming out, I suspect a glass of wodky
was not forgotten, while the fire for his pipe was being handed to him.

After a little, the path again became impracticable for riding, so I
had to dismount and walk, though the heat was something marvellous (I
afterwards heard from Signor Jackschich that in Cattaro, in the shade, the
thermometer stood at 33° Reaumur at four o'clock in the afternoon—about
105° Fahrenheit.) After some difficult scrambling, when I sorely felt
the want of the stout arm of Pero Pejovich, we reached the fountain, and
here we rested ten minutes; then having remounted, we soon arrived at
the top of the _scala_, with the Adriatic before us and Cattaro hundreds
of feet down below.

It seemed now as if I should be at the end of my journey in a few
minutes; the road was all before me, and I could count the zig-zags as
they unfolded themselves on the face of the rock, still they seemed as
if they would never come to an end. I counted one, two, three, twenty,
thirty, fifty, up to one hundred bends, and still more appeared beneath
me, so at last I gave it up through sheer exhaustion.

Everything, however, has an end eventually, and so the apparently
interminable Scala di Cattaro came to an end also. How I got on during
the last few turns and twists I forget—I was in a sort of doze; all I
remember is finding myself suddenly among those heavenly mulberry trees
of the Esplanade, and hearing the friendly sound of Signor Jackschich's
welcome.

Cattaro is innocent of either inn, hotel, khan, or caravansary, but good
accommodation had been prepared for me inside the town. I therefore rode
on to the gate where I had to dismount, as no horse is allowed to enter,
just as no carriage _can enter_ the narrow gateway.

The Bocchesi (as the natives call themselves) have one cause of
heart-burning and envy, less than we in our country; there are no
carriage-people in Cattaro to look down upon _you_ who have to trudge
on foot, and the nearest approach to anything of the sort is an antique
sedan-chair mounted on wheels exactly like the celebrated old _push_ at
Hampton Court, which was occasionally brought into requisition on gala
days, when such happened to be wet ones also.

Having reached my rooms I quickly made my toilet, and then returned to
the mulberries, under whose welcome shade I made an excellent breakfast
and lunch in one, while many of the natives were taking their dinner.

My further steps became now somewhat uncertain. I thought I should
have found the steamer here to take me down the Adriatic, but I had
miscalculated; it was not due till the following day. So I determined on
resting in Cattaro till evening, and then riding across the isthmus (about
eighteen miles only) to Budua, where Baron von Heydeg was quartered, and
picking up the steamer when it would call there in a couple of days. I at
once telegraphed to Heydeg that I was going, in order that the officer
on guard might open the gates for me on arrival, as no one is let in or
out of Budua after sunset, without an order from the Commandant. Then I
went to my room, and being fairly tired, I threw myself on the bed and
slept.

It was about half-past three when I was awoke by some one knocking at
my door, and to my surprise, in walked Mr. Yonin, the Russian Consul.
I had forgotten to mention that we had agreed to travel from Cettigne
together, and were to have met in the street opposite the Palace at
three A.M.; but the servants had forgotten to call him, and when
after waiting half an hour he did not come, and the guards on duty would
not allow my guide to knock at the Palace gate, I started without him,
thinking he had changed his mind. He had breakfasted late and then ridden
to Cattaro in the middle of the day in order to catch the steamer for
Ragusa that was to leave the same evening. I told him how long I had
waited, and how I had tried in vain to get the sentinels to allow us to
knock. He could only lament his misfortune, as, mopping his face, he
added, "I assure you the heat on those bare rocks was something to be
remembered all one's life." We then arranged to dine together at five
o'clock before parting.

Punctual to the hour appointed, we met on the _marina_. The heat of the
day had considerably diminished, for although the sun was still high in
the horizon, it had long ago set for the good folks at Cattaro, as the
city being built at the foot of the mountains looking to the West, and
having a range of high cliffs in front of it, behind which the sun sinks
long before it dips into the Adriatic, sunset at Cattaro occurs hours
earlier than at any other place on the Adriatic. In Summer this is a
great advantage, as it enables the inhabitants to walk out in the shade
on the _marina_ at a much earlier hour, the opposite cliffs protecting
them from the hot rays of the sun, and at the same time affording them
a sort of twilight, elsewhere unknown in those latitudes; but in Winter
it must be very gloomy, as the rising sun being shut out by the rocks
and mountains of Montenegro till near eleven o'clock in the morning, and
again disappearing so early in the afternoon, reduces the actual day to
as short a space as in the latitude of St. Petersburg.

Availing themselves of the comparative coolness of the hour, the _beau
monde_ of that primitive little place, among which the Bishop and the
Commandant of the garrison were conspicuous, had turned out for their
evening promenade, and the esplanade presented quite a gay appearance.
I ordered the horses for seven o'clock, and then we went to look for
our dinner at the café; but here something of a difficulty arose. The
Bocchesi dine at twelve noon, or at one at latest, and sup at nine, no
one ever thinking of a meal at five! so that nothing was ready. The cook,
however, was equal to the emergency, and in fifteen minutes served us up
a most excellent and varied dinner, to which we were about to sit down
and do ample justice, when who should turn up but Pero Pejovich!

He was returning to his post in the Grahovo, and found it easier to get
to it by coming round to Cattaro first, then going by sea to Risano and
thence, as it were, coming back on his own steps, thus going a round
of something like four times the direct distance. This will convey some
idea of the difficulties to be encountered in endeavouring to cross some
of the rocky regions of Montenegro.

I was delighted at seeing him again; we all dined together, and enjoyed
ourselves immensely notwithstanding the heat. After dinner, Pero Pejovich
pulled out from among the ample folds of his sash some Trebigne tobacco,
which had never seen the countenance of a Custom House officer, and we set
to work to make cigarettes, when we were joined by Signor Jackschich and
Signor Radanovich, the Prince's Agent at Cattaro. Coffee and maraschino
were brought out, fresh relays of cigarettes were manufactured, and we
could have enjoyed ourselves for hours more, but the inexorable bell of
the steamer rang out a summons that bade Mr. Yonin prepare for departure,
while the increasing darkness served to remind myself that I had yet a
journey before me ere I should be able to lie down to rest.

We stood up reluctantly, and in a body accompanied the Russian Consul
to the steamer, and there bade him adieu, probably for ever; though who
can tell? I have had at times the most unexpected _rencontres_ in the
most unlikely places. I first met him at Ragusa, where also I made my
first acquaintance with Mr. Paton, now unfortunately no more; both very
able and highly educated men, yet they seemed not to appreciate each
other as they might have done, perhaps from the diametrical opposition
of their political views.

Poor Paton is lost to us for ever, and we shall never have a better
member of our Consular service; a shrewd, sagacious man, and a first-rate
Oriental scholar.

As to Mr. Yonin, I trust I may yet meet him, and renew some of the
pleasant hours I spent with him.



CHAPTER XXI.

     BEAUTIFUL ROAD—ATTACK OF FEVER—ARRIVAL AT BUDUA—BARON HEYDEG
     AND SIGNOR MARCO MEDIN—A RESTAURANT—OUR HOST—DOCTOR, DENTIST
     AND APOTHECARY—WALK ROUND THE FORTIFICATIONS—EXPLORATION OF
     BUDUA—THE PARTING GLASS.


The twilight of Cattaro was fast merging into darkness when I returned
with my companions to the esplanade, where my horses were ready to take
me on to Budua. Our adieux were short but cordial, and in a few minutes
I was cantering away in company with Signor Jackschich, who lives in a
villa a couple of miles away from Cattaro.

If the tracks and paths of Montenegro are rugged and wild, the beautiful
road we were now travelling on made ample amends for the discomfort
I had endured in riding during the last few days. As we passed Signor
Jackschich's villa, I insisted on his remaining there, or his courtesy
would have induced him to keep me company ever so much further on; so
wishing him adieu for the twentieth time, I lit my cigar, and sticking
spurs into my pony, cantered away on my road to Budua. The ride was not
interesting. I started too late; I should have remembered that in those
latitudes, except at Cattaro, there is no twilight.

On leaving Cattaro the road is at first directly south, leading across
the isthmus of the peninsula which forms the western shore of the gulf
of that name. Having reached the sea, it continues to skirt the Adriatic,
except in those places where to avoid rounding a headland it runs inland
straight across the base of the promontory.

The night was fine, and we got on famously, but whether in consequence of
the good dinner, or the genial sensation produced by the atmosphere, or
the early hour I had risen in the morning, when it came to be about eleven
o'clock an indescribable feeling of lassitude and intense sleepiness came
over me. I would have given anything to lie down even for half-an-hour;
but it was out of the question, as we were at that time crossing a sort
of marsh, and there was not a dry spot to lie down on. So I was compelled
to ride on; but I suspect I dozed, and then during those moments of
extreme lassitude and prostration, when my vital powers were standing
at their lowest, I fear I imbibed some of those zymotic germs, some
malarious molecules, which a few days later manifested themselves by a
smart attack of fever. Thanks, however, to a good constitution and a few
doses of quinine, I was able to cut it short in three days, though it
stuck to me for a little while longer in the shape of an indescribable
sort of _malaise_.

At one o'clock A.M., we reached the gates of Budua, where I was met
by Baron Heydeg and Signor Marco Medin. Heydeg was an officer quartered
with his regiment at Budua, whose acquaintance I had made at Pola, and
with whom I had subsequently travelled. Medin was a native of Budua, who
had left his country many years before, had made money in California,
had married there a buxom Irish girl, a native of Ballinrobe, and had
now returned, a rich man, to end his days among his relations in Dalmatia.

They had been waiting for me a long time, and had walked some miles on
the road to Cattaro to meet me, but were beginning to think I was not
going to keep my word.

We were soon seated together at a comfortable supper, and at half-past
two A.M. I was finally allowed to retire to my bed, which Medin had
kindly procured for me in a private house—because here, as in Cattaro,
there is no hotel of any kind.

Tired and sleepy as I was, I passed but an indifferent night, for,
notwithstanding that my room had two large windows overlooking the sea,
and that I kept them both open, the heat was perfectly stifling.

I was just thinking of going out the next morning about ten, when in
walked the Baron and Signor Medin, and we at once adjourned for breakfast
at the same place where we had supped the previous night; I say place,
as it was neither an inn nor a _café_. How shall I describe it? The
following is the way we got at it, anyhow. In the main street of Budua,
near to the land gate, on the left hand as you come in, you meet with
five rugged stone steps, flanked by a shaky single iron railing. These
lead up to a strong wooden door, which at some period, of its existence
may have enjoyed the privilege of paint, but of which no trace remains
at the present moment, not even enough to enable one to make a guess at
the colour it once enjoyed.

Entering by this door, I found myself in a stuffy, dirty hall, "_a
terreno_" pervaded by a multitude of vile smells, one more awful than
the other, but all so dovetailed and commingled that it was perfectly
impossible to tell what the composition was. Turning sharp to the left,
we mounted a steep stone staircase, at the top of which we were greeted
by the same odour that had met us on entering, in which now the smell
of assafœtida and garlic clearly predominated. We found ourselves in the
kitchen of the establishment, over which reigned supreme a good-humoured,
fat German _Frau_ of fifty or more, assisted by two bright-eyed,
sharp-looking Dalmatian lads, begrimed with dirt and shining with grease
and perspiration. The _Frau_ piloted us through this kitchen, where
the heat must have been 110°, if not more, and brought us into the
dining-room, a pretty good-sized room with windows round the three sides
of it, the furniture consisting solely of one long deal table down the
middle, and a score of rush-bottomed chairs around it. At this table
were seated a dozen or so of German officers demolishing their "early
bit."

I was here received by the _Frau's_ worse half, a portly man of sixty
or thereabouts. His coat was off, but he had on instead a huge pair of
silver spectacles. He at once showed me to my seat at the table, when
I apologised, through the Baron, to the officers for disturbing them at
their breakfast.

Notwithstanding the unpromising condition of things, the breakfast was
excellent; but mine host in the shirt sleeves, with whom I kept up a
running conversation in Italian, was even better. An Italian by birth and
education (for he was very well educated), he had rambled all over the
Austrian dominions and the Turkish provinces in Europe. He had forgotten
most of his native tongue without learning any other, and the jargon
he spoke was something marvellous. Still, he varied this _pot-pourri_
according to the nationality of those he addressed. The foundation was
always Italian, but if he spoke to an Austrian the German element would
predominate, while if he spoke to a Montenegrin the Slave would be in the
ascendant. He was a most amusing character, and combined in himself the
functions of doctor, dentist and apothecary, as well as that of keeper
of a restaurant in Budua—hence the villainous combination of the odours
of a scullery, a kitchen, and a pharmacy.

In spite of his griminess and the vile odours, I had some very pleasant
conversation with him. I found him very well informed, and he gave me a
most interesting account of the last descent of the Montenegrins. He had
a most unconquerable horror of my favourite mountaineers, and believed
there could be no peace nor prosperity in that part of the world until
they should be all exterminated.

Having finished our breakfast, Heydeg and I strolled outside the walls
to where the market is held under some magnificent old carob trees, and
there, as at Cattaro, were numbers of Montenegrins disposing of their
produce. Here we had some delicious fresh figs, and then lighting our
cigars we went round the old fortifications, which are now only just
sufficient for protection at night against any sudden incursion of the
wild tribes of the interior. Then we had a good bathe in a most delicious
little cove, entirely girt round with rocks, and with a sandy bottom
that felt like velvet under our feet. We then again lit another cigar,
and started on a tour of exploration through this old town.

Budua, situated at the extreme end of Dalmatia, in what used to be called
Northern Albania, is the last Austrian city on the coast of the Adriatic.
It is built on a low rocky promontory, and possesses no interest, save
in its picturesque appearance, which it derives from its mediæval walls
and machicolated towers—useless, indeed, against a civilized enemy, but
still offering some protection against possible irruptions from Albanian
freebooters. It is especially picturesque as seen from the sea, with
its rugged background of naked mountains. Immediately about it there
is some cultivation on the narrow strip of land which lies between the
mountains and the sea; and corn, vines, olive trees, and mulberries for
the rearing of silk-worms, are diligently grown.

Inside, it is not attractive—its streets are extremely narrow, no more
than six feet wide in many instances; they are, however, well paved, and
would do well enough, were it not for the utter disregard to cleanliness
and drainage. Still there are some wealthy people living there, and many
of the houses are very good and substantial. There are several good shops,
(perhaps the word stores would best describe them), where a brisk trade
seemed to be carried on. The Baron and I poked our way through all the
nooks and crannies of the place. We found nothing to invite attention,
but a great deal to shock the sight, and even the sense of smell. So
we hurried on and went to pay a visit to my buxom Ballinrobe friend,
who had not only quite forgotten her ancestral brogue, but had actually
exchanged it for a decided American accent, which, to my ears, was not
an improvement. She offered us neither English tea nor Irish whiskey
punch, but gave us some delicious lemonade and maraschino; and showed
by her manner that, if the brogue was gone, the hearty Irish welcome
was there still.

From thence I went with the Baron to his own little apartment, which
opened on to an enchanting little terrace, covered over with a grand
"_pergola_" of vines, under whose refreshing shade we smoked away the
time till we should go to dinner.

We had not been long enjoying an excellent repast at our pharmaceutical
(deuced hard name to spell, by-the-by) restaurant when we were informed
that the steamer for Corfu was entering the harbour, and would leave in
two hours.

The time for parting had come at last, fresh bottles were tapped, and
we all drank each others' health, and a happy journey to me amidst
noisy demonstrations and much clinking of glasses. Dinner being at last
completed, we all arose and walked in a body to the Mole, where, my
luggage having preceded me, I went at once on board. There was no time
for lengthy adieux, the steamer was whistling, and almost while we were
shaking hands she cast off her moorings, and we were off.



CHAPTER XXII.

     TOWN OF ANTIVARI—FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF TURKEY—ORIENTAL
     PASSENGERS—VALUE OF A KNOWLEDGE OF ARABIC OR TURKISH—A MAHOMETAN
     MERCHANT AND HIS FAMILY—TURKISH TROOPS IN ALBANIA—TOWN AND
     FORTRESS OF CASTEL DURAZZO—RETURN TO TRIESTE—FAREWELL TO THE
     READER.


After leaving Budua we kept close in shore, enjoying the wild rugged
scenery of the Dalmatian coast till we reached Antivari, where we first
came into immediate contact with the Turks on their own Ottoman soil.
The first impression, I must confess, was certainly not a favourable one.

Should any one of my readers, with a bias in favour of Ottomans and
Ottoman rule, ever determine on visiting Turkey, let him not receive
his first impression of that empire by a visit to Antivari. A few
wretched hovels, a miserable white-washed house, with a small and dirty
red flag over it; a group of miserably-dressed, vile-countenanced,
ragamuffin-looking soldiers, in baggy blue trousers and crimson fezzes,
constituted all the features of the place. The town of Antivari itself,
I heard, was a few miles inland, but if one may judge of the town from
its villainous port, it must be wretched in the extreme.

The steamer remained here a couple of hours to land goods and take in
passengers, but as the heat was excessive and the prospect of the country
most unpromising, I made no attempt to land. I did not however lack
entertainment, and while I lounged over the bulwarks on the shady side
of the steamer, I amused myself pitching half-francs into the water,
which was of very considerable depth and of the clearest and limpidest
blue, to half a score or so of lads and small boys who were swimming,
and diving, and treading the water in the most surprising manner; they
seemed just as much at home in the sea as on the land, and fetched up
the coins from the bottom as easily as I could have picked them up from
the deck.

When tired of looking at the swimmers, I turned to watch the new arrivals,
of which we had a considerable number, all Orientals, and almost all
deck passengers. The first which caught my eye, coming up the side of
the steamer, was a wretched-looking, squalid creature, dressed in rags,
but most picturesque withal. He was small, slight, and extremely dark,
just short of black, but with distinctly Caucasian features, not a
negroid by any means. He had a small bundle over his shoulders, and in
his right hand he carried a short lance, with a very bright steel head,
ornamented with a few lines of Damascene work in gold. His head was
covered with a somewhat conical-shaped cap, encircled with a scanty and
very ragged green turban, while at his side he carried a moderate sized
bottle-gourd. He was a very singular looking being, and all I could make
out through the captain was that he thought he was a dervish returning
home from visiting some sacred shrine in Mahomedan Europe. As to his
home, he suspected from his costume it might be in Kurdistan, but it
was very much guess work, as the Captain spoke neither Arabic nor Turkish.

Another interesting group consisted of three gaily dressed Orientals, in
bag trousers tight at the knees, turban, and highly embroidered jackets.
They made their way to the quarter-deck abaft the paddle box, and were
about being summarily ejected by the steward in consequence of being deck
passengers, when I interposed, and got him to let them stay for a while.
They perfectly well understood that it was owing to my interference they
were allowed to remain, and so we knocked up a sort of acquaintance, and
carried on a lame, very lame conversation by the help of the youngest,
who could speak a very few words of Italian. I could not make out any
thing about them, whence they came, or whither they were going, but
from their features I could easily see they were Asiatics, Arabs most
probably, and the youngest, who was also the lightest in colour, had
three scars on each cheek, not unlike in shape to our broad arrow.

How I longed for a knowledge of Arabic, how I envied Captain Burton! If
he had been there we should at once have known all about them, and the
dervish and everyone else, including a tall, handsome Soudani slave,
who kept grinning and showing his teeth from ear to ear, while I was
carrying on my lame conversation with the Arabs.

Up to this point, Italian and German had enabled me to get on famously;
but now that I was getting among Asiatics, although I was still in
Europe, I felt my utter helplessness, and the absolute necessity for a
knowledge of the language of the Koran, for those who wish to visit the
East with pleasure and profit.

The whole deck forward was encumbered with passengers. In one corner
seated on a pile of luggage, but well bolstered up by rolls of
Persian carpets, was a most truculent-looking Oriental, attended by an
intelligent-looking young negro, with a most astonishing Caucasian type
of countenance. He wore nothing but a white calico sort of shirt with
loose sleeves, and a string of red beads round his neck. He had none of
the characteristics of the negro except the colour; had I known anything
of Arabic, I could most probably have learnt something about his origin.

In another corner of the deck a Mahomedan merchant (as I was informed he
was) had contrived to screen off a place for himself and his family, one
of whom, about three years old, was sprawling stark naked on a rug in
the broiling sun, while a closely veiled female, his mother I suppose,
was chasing small deer all over his person, which was closely spotted
as if with measles—but they were only bites!

Quite at the prow of the vessel, somewhat apart, and separated from
the rest, was a military officer, evidently of some considerable rank,
if one could judge by the orders and stars fastened to his breast, his
handsome hilted sabre, and his patent leather boots. He was a heavy
morose-looking man of about fifty, with close cropped black beard, blue
Turkish uniform, and crimson fez. I was told he was a real pasha, and
had with him a suite of two officers and half a dozen soldiers. He was
only a deck passenger like the others; but whether he travelled so from
poverty, from motives of economy, or from scorning to associate with the
hated and _envied_ Nazarenes, I cannot tell, though I strongly suspect
that genuine impecuniosity was the real cause of it.

The Turkish troops I saw in this part of Albania were the most wretched
specimens I ever witnessed, small, mean, dirty, disreputable-looking
in the extreme, and their officers matched them to perfection. Having
remarked on their appearance, I was told by the captain of the steamer
not to form an opinion of the Ottoman army by such samples, as they
always sent their worst regiments to Albania, and that these wretched
troops, both officers and men, were always months in arrears of pay.

At last every one was on board, the last package was hoisted over the
side, and again we were steaming down southwards. The afternoon was very
enjoyable, the heat much less, and as the number of cabin passengers
was small, we were able to have our supper on deck, which we enjoyed
immensely.

After the meal was concluded, I again went forward among the natives,
and soon made friends with many of the dusky passengers by means of a few
signs; but our conversation was not lively—signs and gesticulations and
dumb show were the principal means of conversation—of language we made
little or no use. Had I known ever so little of Arabic we could have got
on fairly enough—the pantomime of these Orientals being so wonderfully
expressive. So I returned to the quarter-deck, where I had some coffee
with the captain, and then feeling tired, I went down to my _camerino_,
and was soon asleep.

On awaking the next morning I found we were at anchor opposite the
town and fortress of Castel Durazzo, telling of its Venetian origin
by its name. Here we remained a few hours, but the place did not look
attractive, and as I did not feel quite "the thing," I did not go on
shore, but remained on deck looking at the motley groups as they passed
up and down. Again we had the usual interchange of passengers and goods,
and after a few hours' delay we were just about steaming away when the
return steamer from Corfu came alongside of us.

As chance would have it, it turned out to be the very boat which had
brought me down to Cattaro; and no sooner did the captain spy me out
on deck than he shouted that the quarantine had been declared at Corfu
against all vessels coming from Trieste, and that if I went on I should
be detained to perform fourteen days of quarantine in the Lazzaretto,
instead of being allowed to continue my journey on to Constantinople.
I asked him to come over, which he did at once, and having held a
consultation with the other captain, who entirely agreed with him that I
should most certainly be detained a fortnight at Corfu, and be compelled
to perform my quarantine in the Lazzaretto, I determined on returning
to Trieste. Fourteen days in a Lazzaretto anywhere would be a severe
ordeal, but fourteen days of such an imprisonment during the dog-days
at Corfu could not possibly have been faced; it would not only have been
a severe trial of patience in every shape and form, but might have been
conducive to serious illness.

There was no time to be lost, so my luggage was at once put into the
captain's boat, and in a few minutes I again found myself on board the
old steamer, where Giovanni, the steward, greeted me as if I had been
an old friend.

At sunset we steamed away northward from Castel Durazzo. The captain
was delighted to see me again, and Giovanni was most affable, doing his
utmost to promote my happiness. But like Rachel of old I would not be
comforted, all my plans were thoroughly upset; I could not bring myself
to make fresh arrangements. I was turning my back on my beloved South
and I was retracing my steps—both things I utterly detested. But _non
ci era rimedio_, the quarantine and the Lazzaretto I could not face, so
there was nothing else to do but resign oneself to the fates.

The next morning we came abreast of Budua, but I did not land as I did
not feel well. I screwed up my courage, however, and attempted a little
sketch of its castle and harbour, with its blue sea and its background
of rocky mountains. After a little, and just as we were leaving the
place, I felt worse, so I took some medicine and went to lie down. In
two hours more I was in high fever, with a racking pain in my head and
back, and I felt my mind almost wandering. We reached the Bocche that
evening, but the beauties of the Fjord were lost to me—I lay in my cabin
prostrated. Giovanni came instantly to see me, trying to comfort me by
telling me I had only caught "_la febbre_," and that I should send for
the doctor at Cattaro to get myself bled, and take quinine, when I should
be all right. I think that the idea of Giovanni's bringing a doctor and
having me bled, _nolens volens_, roused me up. I made myself some tea,
and just as we reached Cattaro I felt much better—the fever had abated,
and now, said I, is the time to take the quinine.

I had brought lots of it with me, so I measured out as much as I could
pile upon a shilling, and bolted it. It certainly cut short the disease,
as the fever did not set in again; but I was not well for many days
after, and even when I arrived at Trieste I felt quite weak and out of
sorts.

The next morning early we left Cattaro, and in the afternoon got to
Gravosa. I felt somewhat better, and hearing that Consul Paton, who was
then alive, and his family were in a villa just opposite to where the
steamer was moored, I took a boat and spent two delightful hours with
them, till the steam-whistle told me how quickly the time had flown. I
reluctantly made my adieux, and soon was steaming out of the harbour.

It wanted scarcely an hour of sunset: the sun was low in the horizon—all
the lights and shades were the more intensely marked, while the constantly
changing tints, from brightest rose and golden yellow to the deepest
violets and blues, created such a fairy scene that I would not venture
to describe it.

I was in the fullest enjoyment of that sunset, gazing on where the sun
was just dipping into the sea, sending a flood of golden light along the
surface from himself to us, when the captain tapped me on the shoulder,
saying, "_Vada giù_, you had _la febbre_ last night; don't expose yourself
to the air _al tramonto_;" so I took his advice, and went down below,
notwithstanding the heat, and so ended the 23rd day of July!

The following day saw us at Lesina and at Curzola, and again at Lissa. The
day after brought us abreast of Spalato, where again I enjoyed a couple
of hours' ramble among those glorious ruins. Then we cruised through the
countless islands near the mouth of the Quarnero, and finally reached
Trieste, where, after having enjoyed two pleasant days with Captain
Burton and his charming and talented lady, I turned my steps towards home.

Here I take my leave of the reader. If he shall be disappointed with my
style and my many shortcomings I shall not be surprised; but I shall be
disappointed indeed if, following a somewhat similar track to the one
I have been tracing, only penetrating, if possible, more into Servia
proper, and going across it from the Danube to the Adriatic, he shall
not feel himself amply repaid by having taken my advice in visiting
those countries which I have endeavoured to describe.

THE END.

London: Printed by A. Schulze, 13, Poland Street.



FOOTNOTES:


     [1] Since writing the above I have obtained the following
     authentic description of this ship. The "Lissa" ironclad was
     built at Trieste. She is a full-rigged casemated ironclad of
     5950 tons, 320 feet long, 60 feet beam, and drawing 28 feet
     of water. Armoured with 6-inch Austrian plates, the armament
     consisting of ten 9-inch breech-loading Krupp guns in her
     maindeck casemate, and two 9-inch breech-loading Krupp guns
     on turn-tables in semi-circular overhanging casemates on the
     open deck, the guns being protected from above by a sort of
     central hurricane deck. The "Lissa" steams at the rate of
     twelve knots, and carries coals for 420 hours; among other
     improvements she has a powerful electric light placed on the
     bridge, and gimballed, so as to allow it to be thrown in any
     direction.

     [2] Sir J. G. Wilkinson's "Dalmatia and Montenegro."

     [3] Lady Strangford's "Eastern Shores of the Adriatic."

     [4] In August, 1647, a Pasha of Bosnia, pouring an army of
     30,000 men into the lowlands, attempted the capture of Sebenico
     and its fort; but it was so well defended by the 6000 Venetians
     and German mercenaries of the garrison, that after twenty-six
     days' cannonade the Pasha was obliged to retire.

     [5] The brave King Richard, having recruited himself at
     Ragusa, is said, by some, to have gone to Aquileia by sea, by
     others to have continued his journey by land; anyhow, it is
     pretty certain, that having stopped to take some refreshment
     at a way-side inn in the mountains of Dalmatia, or Styria,
     he incautiously handed a large gold piece to the landlady to
     change, and her suspicions being roused by this circumstance,
     she informed the authorities; and the end was that the King was
     seized by the treacherous Leopold of Austria, and imprisoned,
     as everyone knows. There is a tradition, however, which is not
     so well known, that shortly after his treacherous conduct to
     his brother-in-arms, Leopold of Austria, when out hunting, met
     with a severe injury to his right leg—surgery was not then what
     it is now—the limb mortified, and it was agreed on all hands
     that nothing could save the Prince's life but amputation. But
     who was to do it? No one would venture—when Leopold himself
     proposed that a sharp hatchet should be laid across his limb,
     and that, at his word of command, it should be struck with a
     ponderous mallet, when it was expected that the limb would be
     severed. The operation succeeded so far as the cutting went,
     but the bystanders were unable to staunch the blood, and the
     Prince bled to death—a fitting retribution for his treachery.

     [6] The story, as well as I remember it, was as follows:—A
     probably well-meaning but decidedly weak-minded Protestant,
     bent on missionary work, arrived one day at Tangier. He had
     never been in the East, and did not know a word of Arabic. He
     was determined, however, to improve the opportunity by letting
     in a ray of Gospel truth into the minds of the benighted
     Mussulmans. That he did not know a word of their native
     language was no obstacle to this energetic missionary, he
     would employ an interpreter. Having found one in the person
     of a 'Gibraltar Jew,' he explained to him what he wanted;
     the bargain was soon struck, and the Jew undertook, for a
     consideration, to interpret for him on the next market day.
     He, however, advised the missionary to have a certain quantity
     of tobacco and coffee ready to treat the assembled hearers,
     as it was always customary to do so in that country whenever
     an important meeting was held—to which the missionary at once
     consented. The fact of the danger he would be running into
     himself, dragging his interpreter after him, from telling the
     most bigoted perhaps of all Mussulmans, that their religion was
     false, and their Prophet an emissary of the Evil One, never
     once entered into his head; but, fortunately for them both,
     the Jew had more brain than his employer. Market-day came,
     and the Jew had bespoke, in a couple of cafés, a large supply
     of coffee. The town and country people having been informed
     that an "Effendi Engleez" would make a great speech to them,
     they collected in large numbers in the market-place, where
     they squatted down round a hogshead, on which the missionary
     was mounted. He at once began in the usual terms—his religion
     was the only true one, and all those who differed from him
     went straight down head foremost into Gehenna, which the wise
     Jew translated thus: "The Effendi has come all the way from
     England to get cured; he is mad, but quite harmless, and if you
     only have patience, you will get plenty of coffee." And so the
     missionary went on ringing the changes on his subject, whilst
     the wiser Jew rang the changes on his; which, however, always
     ended in the stereotyped, "and you'll get plenty of coffee."
     The report, probably made to head-quarters by that enterprising
     missionary, would be interesting to read, especially by the
     light thrown upon it by the interpreter; and how many more
     missionary efforts might prove equally distressing could we
     but have together with the sermon the running commentary of
     a non-interested looker-on.

     [7] I had taken exact measurements, but some of my notes were
     unfortunately lost—the above measurements are, therefore, only
     approximative.

     [8] I was informed at Cettigne that trout were caught in the
     Moratcha of fifty or sixty pounds weight; not salmon, for
     the Moratcha does not go to the sea, and if it did go, there
     are no salmon in the Adriatic. Thinking it must be a joke, I
     asked several persons of standing, who all assured me that
     it was perfectly true. I regret that being unprovided with
     tackle, in addition to being short of time, I was unable to
     test the accuracy of these assertions, mainly in reference to
     my readers, because as to myself I have no reason whatever to
     doubt the truth, accuracy, and bona-fides of my informants;
     I fully accept what I heard from them, especially from my
     previous knowledge of the amazing number and size of the trout
     in the Servian rivers.





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