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Armenia: A year at Erzeroom, and on the frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia by Robert Curzon who was an English traveller, diplomat and author. This book was published in 1854. And now republish in ebook format. We believe this work is culturally important in its original archival form. While we strive to adequately clean and digitally enhance the original work, there are occasionally instances where imperfections such as missing pages, poor pictures or errant marks may have been introduced due to either the quality of the original work. Despite these occasional imperfections, we have brought it back into print as part of our ongoing global book preservation commitment, providing customers with access to the best possible historical reprints. We appreciate your understanding of these occasional imperfections, and sincerely hope you enjoy reading this book.
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A year at Erzeroom, and on the frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia
SKETCH OF ARMENIA
Ruined Armenian Church near Erzeroom.
Almost from time immemorial a border warfare has been carried on between the Koordish tribes on the confines of Turkey and Persia, in the mountainous country beginning at Mount Ararat toward the north, and continuing southward to the low lands, where the Shat al Arab, the name of the mighty river formed by the junction of the Tigris and the Euphrates, pours those great volumes of water into the Persian Gulf. The consequence of the unsettled state of affairs in those wild districts was, that the roads were unsafe for travelers; merchants were afraid to trust their merchandise to the conveyance even of well-armed caravans, for they were constantly pillaged by the Koords, headed in our days by the great chieftains Beder Khan Bey, Noor Ullah Bey, Khan Abdall, and Khan Mahmoud. The chains of mountains which occupy great part of the country in question are for months every year covered with snow, which even in the elevated plains lies at the depth of many yards; the bands of robbers constantly on the watch for plunder of any kind prevented the mountain paths from being kept open, so that those who escaped from the long lances of the Koords perished in the avalanches and the snowdrifts by hundreds every year.
To put a stop, or at least a check, to so lamentable a state of things, the governments of Turkey and Persia requested the assistance of England and Russia to draw up a treaty of peace, and to come to a distinct understanding as to where the line of border ran between the two empires; for hitherto the Koordish tribes of Turkey made it a virtue to plunder a Persian village, and the Persians, on their side, considered no action more meritorious, as well as profitable, than an inroad on the Turkish frontier, the forays on both sides being conducted on the same plan. The invading party, always on horseback, and with a number of trained led horses, which could travel one hundred miles without flagging, managed to arrive in the neighborhood of the devoted village one hour before sunrise. The barking of the village curs was the first notice to the sleeping inhabitants that the enemy was literally at the door. The houses were fired in every direction; the people awoke from sleep, and, trying in confusion to escape, were speared on their thresholds by their invaders; the place was plundered of every thing worth taking; and one hour after sunrise the invading bands were in full retreat, driving before them the flocks and herds of their victims, and the children and girls of the village bound on the led horses, to be sold or brought up as slaves; the rest having, young and old, men and women, been killed without mercy, to prevent their giving the alarm: their victors frequently coming down upon them from a distance of one hundred to three hundred miles.
In hopes of remedying these misfortunes, a conference was appointed at Erzeroom, where a Turkish plenipotentiary, Noori Effendi; a Persian plenipotentiary, Merza Jaffer Khan; a Russian commissioner, Colonel Dainese; and an English commissioner, Colonel Williams, of the Royal Artillery, were to meet, each with a numerous suite, to discuss the position of the boundary, and to check the border incursions of the Koordish tribes, both by argument and by force of arms, the troops of both nations being ordered to assist the deliberations of the congress at Erzeroom by every endeavor on their part to keep the country in a temporary state of tranquillity. The plenipotentiaries on the part of Turkey and Persia, and the English and Russian commissioners, entered upon their arduous task at the beginning of the year 1842. Colonel Williams, to whom the duties of the English commission had been intrusted, was too unwell to proceed to Erzeroom, and I was appointed in his stead, being at that time private secretary to Sir Stratford Canning, her majesty’s embassador at Constantinople. Colonel Williams afterward recovered so much that he was able to set out, and we started together as joint commissioners, in company with Colonel (afterward General) Dainese, on the part of Russia, a gentleman of very considerable talents and attainments. The discussions between the two governments were protracted by every conceivable difficulty, which was thrown in the way of the commissioners principally by the Turks. At length, in June, 1847, a treaty was signed, in which the confines of the two empires were defined: these, however, being situated in places never surveyed, and only known by traditional maps, which had copied the names of places one from another since the invention of engraving, it was considered advisable that the true situations of these places should be verified in a scientific manner; consequently, a new commission was named in the year 1848, whose officers were instructed to define the actual position of the spots enumerated in the treaty above mentioned. These commissioners consisted of Dervish Pasha for Turkey, Merza Jaffer for Persia, Colonel Williams for England, and Colonel Ktchirikoff for Russia.
This party left Bagdad in 1848, surveyed the whole of that hitherto unexplored region, among the Koordish and original Christian tribes, which extends to the east of Mesopotamia, till they finished their difficult and dangerous task at Mount Ararat, on the 16th of September, 1852. The results of this expedition are, I hope, to be presented to the public by the pen of Colonel Williams, and will, I trust, throw a new and interesting light upon the manners and customs of the wild mountaineers of those districts, and give much information relating to the Chaldeans, Maronites, Nestorians, and other Christian Churches converted in the earliest ages by the successors of the Apostles, of whom we know very little, no travelers hitherto having had the opportunities of investigating their actual condition and their religious tenets which have been afforded to Colonel Williams and the little army under his command.
Armenia, the cradle of the human family, inoffensive and worthless of itself, has for centuries, indeed from the beginning of time, been a bone of contention between conflicting powers: scarcely has it been made acquainted with the blessings of tranquillity and peace, through the mediation of Great Britain, than again it is to become the theatre of war, again to be overrun with bands of armed men seeking each other’s destruction, in a climate which may afford them burial when dead, but which is too barren and inhospitable to provide them with the necessaries of life; and this to satisfy the ambition of a distant potentate, by whose success they gain no advantage in this world or in the next.
It is much to be deplored that the Emperor of Russia, by his want of principle, has brought the Christian religion into disrepute; for throughout the Levant the Christians have for years been waiting an opportunity to rise against the oppressors of their fortunes and their faith. The manner in which the Czar has put himself so flagrantly in the wrong will be a check to the progress of Christianity. That the step he has now been taking has been the great object of his reign, as well as that of all his predecessors since the time of Peter the Great, will be illustrated in the following pages.
The accession of a Christian emperor to the throne of Constantinople will be an event of greater consequence than is generally imagined; for the Sultan of Roum is considered by all Mohammedans in India, Africa, and all parts of the world, to be the vicegerent of God upon earth, and the Caliph or successor of Mohammed; his downfall, therefore, would shatter the whole fabric of the Mohammedan faith, for the Sultan is the pride and glory of Islam, and the pale Crescent of the East will wane and set when Kurie Eleison is chanted again under the ancient dome of St. Sofia.
What an unfortunate mistake has been made in not waiting for a real and just occasion for pressing forward the ranks of the Cross against the Crescent! Then who would not have joined a righteous cause? Who would not have given his wealth, his assistance, or his life, in the defense of his faith against the enemies of his religion?
I feel that, in laying this little book before the public, I am committing a rash act, for I am perfectly aware that it has many imperfections. I was prevented from visiting several important places in Armenia by an illness so severe, brought on by the unhealthy climate, that I have not been able to take an active part in life since that time. The following pages were written in a very few days, at a time when other occupations prevented me from giving them that attention which should always be afforded to a work that is intended for the perusal of the public.
Nevertheless, I consider that, as the countries described are so little known, and as it is not improbable that events of great importance may take place within their boundaries, I should be open to greater blame in withholding any information, however humble, than in presenting to the reader a meagre account of those wild and sterile regions, whose climate and manners are so different from those which are generally described in the works of Oriental travelers.
These sketches, slight as they are, may perhaps be found useful to the members of any expedition which the chances of war may occasion to be sent into those remote countries, by giving them beforehand some intimation of the preparations necessary to be made for their journey through a district where they would encounter at every step difficulties which they might not have been led to expect in a latitude considerably to the south of the Bay of Naples.
The “Bad Black Sea.”—Coal-field near the Bosporus.—Trebizond from the Sea.—Fish and Turkeys.—The Bazaars.—Coronas.—Ancient Tombs.—Church of St. Sofia.—Preservation of old Manners and Ceremonies.—Toilet of a Person of Distinction.—Russian Loss in 1828–9.—Ancient Prayer.—Varna.—Statistics of Wallachia.—Visit to Abdallah Pasha.—His outward Appearance.—His love of medical Experiments.—Trade of Trebizond.
Fena kara Degniz, “The Bad Black Sea.” This is the character that stormy lake has acquired in the estimation of its neighbors at Constantinople. Of 1000 Turkish vessels which skim over its waters every year, 500 are said to be wrecked as a matter of course. The wind sometimes will blow from all the four quarters of heaven within two hours’ time, agitating the waters like a boiling caldron. Dense fogs obscure the air during the winter, by the assistance of which the Turkish vessels continually mistake the entrance of a valley called the False Bogaz for the entrance of the Bosporus, and are wrecked there perpetually. I have seen dead bodies floating about in that part of the sea, where I first became acquainted with the fact that the corpse of a woman floats upon its back, while that of a man floats upon its face. In short, at Constantinople they say that every thing that is bad comes from the Black Sea: the plague, the Russians, the fogs, and the cold, all come from thence; and though this time we had a fine calm passage, I was glad enough to arrive at the end of the voyage at Trebizond. Before landing, however, I must give a passing tribute to the beauty of the scenery on the south coast, that is, on the north coast of Asia Minor. Rocks and hills are its usual character near the shore, with higher mountains inland. Between the Bosporus and Heraclea are boundless fields of coal, which crops out on the side of the hills, so that no mining would be required to get the coal; and besides this great facility in its production, the hills are of such an easy slope that a tram-road would convey the coal-wagons down to the ships on the sea-coast without any difficulty. No nation but the Turks would delay to make use of such a source of enormous wealth as this coal would naturally supply, when it can be had with such remarkable ease so near to the great maritime city of Constantinople. It seems to be a peculiarity in human nature that those who are too stupid to undertake any useful work are frequently jealous of the interference of others who are more able and willing than themselves, as the old fable of the dog in the manger exemplifies. I understand that more than one English company have been desirous of opening these immense mines of wealth, on the condition of paying a large sum or a good per centage to the Turkish government; but they are jealous of a foreigner’s undertaking that which they are incapable of carrying out themselves. So English steamers bring English coal to Constantinople, which costs I don’t know what by the time it arrives within a few miles of a spot which is as well furnished with the most useful, if not the most ornamental, of minerals, as Newcastle-upon-Tyne itself.
Beyond Sinope, where the flat alluvial land stretches down to the sea-shore, there are forests of such timber as we have no idea of in these northern regions. Here there are miles of trees so high, and large, and straight, that they look like minarets in flower. Wild boars, stags, and various kinds of game abound in these magnificent primeval woods, protected by the fevers and agues which arise from the dense jungle and unhealthy swamps inland, which prevent the sportsman from following the game during great part of the year. The inhabitants of all this part of Turkey, Circassia, &c., are good shots with the short, heavy rifle, which is their constant companion, and they sometimes kill a deer. As their religion protects the pigs, the wild boars roam unmolested in this, for them at least, “free and independent country.” The stag resembles the red deer in every respect, only it is considerably smaller; its venison is not particularly good.
Trebizond presents an imposing appearance from the sea. It stands upon a rocky table-land, from which peculiarity in its situation it takes its name—τραπεζα being a table in Greek, if we are to believe what Dr. —— used to tell us at school. There is no harbor, not even a bay, and a rolling sea comes in sometimes which looks, and I should think must be, awfully dangerous. I have seen the whole of the keel of the ships at anchor, as they rolled over from one side to the other. The view from the sea of the curious ancient town, the mountains in the background, and the great chain of the Circassian Mountains on the left, is magnificent in the extreme. The only thing that the Black Sea is good for, that I know of (and that, I think, may be said of some other seas), is fish. The kalkan balouk, shield-fish—a sort of turbot, with black prickles on his back—though not quite worth a voyage to Trebizond, is well worth the attention of the most experienced gastronome when he once gets there. The red mullet, also, is caught in great quantities; but the oddest fish is the turkey. This animal is generally considered to be a bird, of the genus poultry, and so he is in all outward appearances; but at Trebizond the turkeys live entirely upon a diet of sprats and other little fish washed on shore by the waves, by which it comes to pass that their flesh tastes like very exceedingly bad fish, and abominably nasty it is; though, if reclaimed from these bad habits, and fed on corn and herbs, like other respectable birds, they become very good, and are worthy of being stuffed with chestnuts and roasted, and of occupying the spot upon the dinner-table from whence the remains of the kalkan balouk have been removed.
On landing, the beauty of the prospect ceases, for, like many Oriental towns, the streets are lanes between blank walls, over which the branches of fig-trees, roofs of houses, and boughs of orange and lemon trees appear at intervals; so that, riding along the blind alleys, you do not know whether there are houses or gardens on each side.
The bazaars are a contrast, by their life and bustle, to the narrow lanes through which they are approached. Here numbers of the real old-fashioned Turks are to be seen, with turbans as large as pumpkins, of all colors and forms, steadily smoking all manner of pipes.
I do not know why Europeans persist in calling these places bazaars: charchi is the Turkish for what we call bazaar, or bezestein for an inclosed covered place containing various shops. The word bazaar means a market, which is altogether a different kind of thing.
The bazaars of Trebizond contain a good deal of rubbish, both of the human and inanimate kind. Cheese, saddles, old, dangerous-looking arms, and various peddlery and provisions, were all that was to be seen. Many ruined buildings of Byzantine architecture tottered by the sides of the more open spaces, some apparently very ancient, and well worth examination. In the porches of two little antiquated Greek churches I saw some frescoes of the twelfth century, apparently in excellent preservation; one of portraits of Byzantine kings and princes, in their royal robes, caught my attention, but I had not time to do more than take a hasty look at it. The tomb of Solomon, the son of David, king of Georgia or Immeretia, standing in the court-yard of another Greek church, under a sort of canopy of stone, is a very curious monument; and in two churches there are ancient coronas, which seemed to be of silver gilt, eight or ten feet in diameter, most precious specimens of early metal-work, which I coveted and desired exceedingly. They were both engraved with texts from Scripture, and saints and cherubim of the grimmest aspect, so old, and quaint, and ugly, that they may be said to be really painfully curious. While on this subject I may remark that I am not aware where the authority is to be found for introducing the quantities of coronas which are now hung up in modern antique churches in England. I never saw one in any Latin church, except at Aix-la-Chapelle; there are, I presume, others, but they certainly never were common nor usual any where in Europe. All those I know of are Greek, and belong to the Greek ceremonial rite. I have never met with an ancient Gothic corona, and should be glad to know from whence those lately introduced into our parish churches have been copied.
On the other side of the town from the landing-place, a mile or so beyond the beautiful old walls of the Byzantine citadel, is a small grassy plain, with some fine single trees. This plain is situated on a terrace, with the open sea on the right hand, on a level of fifty or more feet below. The view from hence on all sides is lovely. The glorious blue sea—for it is not black here—on the right hand; the walls and towers crumbling into ruin behind you, the hills to the left, at the foot of which, built on the level grass, are several ancient tombs, whether Mohammedan or Christian I do not know; they are low round towers, with conical roofs, like old-fashioned pigeon-houses, but rich in color, with old brick, and stone, and marble. Parasitical plants, growing from rents and crevices occasioned by time, are left in peace by the Turks, who, after all, are the best conservators of antiquity in the world, for they let things alone. There are no churchwardens yet in Turkey; there are no tasty architects, with contemptible and gross ignorance of antiquity, architecture, and taste, to build ridiculous failures for a confiding ministry in London, or a rich gentleman in the country, who does not pretend to know any thing about the matter, and falls into the error of believing that if he pays well he will be well served, and that a man who has been brought up to build buildings must know how to do it: and this knowledge is displayed in the production of the British Museum, the National Gallery, and other original edifices.
The spleen aroused in writing these words is calmed by the recollection of the ruins of the fortified monastery, as it would appear to have been, before my eyes at the further end of this charming open plain; a Byzantine gate-house stands within a ditch surrounding a considerable space, in which some broken walls give evidence of a stately palace or monastery which once rose there; but there still stands towering to a great height the almost perfect church of St. Sofia—the Holy Wisdom, not the saint of that name, but the deity to whom the great cathedral of St. Sofia is dedicated at Constantinople. This church is curious and interesting in the extreme; it is most rich in many of the peculiarities of Byzantine architecture outside, and within there are very perfect remains of frescoes, in a style of art such as I have hardly seen equaled, never in any fresco paintings. The only ones equal to them are the illuminations in the one odd volume of the Μηνολογία in the Vatican Library, and some in my own. There are several half figures of emperors in brilliant colors, in circular compartments, on the under sides of some arches, and numerous other paintings, of which the colors are so vivid that they resemble painted glass, particularly where they are broken, as the sharp outlines of what is left betoken that they would be still as bright as jewelry where they have not been destroyed by the plaster, on which they are painted, giving way.
The position, beauty, and antiquity of this Christian relic in a Mohammedan land, give a singular interest to the Church of St. Sofia at Trebizond. I longed to give this place a thorough examination. Perhaps a portrait of some old Comnenus would present itself to my admiring eyes. Many likenesses of by-gone emperors, Cæsars, and princesses born in the purple, might be recovered in all the splendor of their royal robes and almost sacred crowns and diadems, to gladden the hearts of antiquarians enthusiastic in the cause, and who, like myself, would be ten times more delighted with the possession of a portrait, or an incomprehensible work of art of undoubted Byzantine origin, than with the offer of the hand, even of the illustrious Anna Comnena herself. Her portrait, after the lapse of 600 years, would be most interesting; but I do not envy the Cæsar who obtained the honor of an alliance with that princess of the cærulean hose.
At this point, feeling myself entangled with the reminiscences of Byzantine history, I must branch off into a little episode relating to the singular preservation of ancient manners and ceremonies still in use, or, at least, remaining in the year 1830 in Wallachia and Moldavia. The usages and the etiquette of those courts, together with the names and the costumes of the great officers of state, are all derived from those of the Christian court of Constantinople before the disastrous days of Mohammed the Second. Now that those fertile lands are overrun by the descendants of the Avars, and the fierce tribes of northern barbarians, who so often in the Middle Ages carried fire and sword, tallow and sheepskins, almost to the walls of the city—την βολὶν· εις την βολὶν—from whence comes Stamboul, I may be, perhaps, excused if I put in a few lines relating to another country, but which, I think, are interesting during the present state of the affairs of the Turkish empire.
In the year 1838 I left Constantinople on my way to Vienna. I went to Varna, and from thence proceeded up the Danube in a miserable steamer, on board of which was a personage of high distinction belonging to a neighboring nation, whose manners and habits afforded me great amusement. He was courteous and gentlemanlike in a remarkable degree, but his domestic ways differed from those of our own countrymen. He had a numerous suite of servants, three or four of whom seemed to be a sort of gentlemen; these attended him every night when he went to bed, in the standing bed-place of the crazy steamer. First they wound up six or seven gold watches, and the great man took off his boots, his coat, and I don’t know how many gold chains; then each night he was invested by his attendants with a different fur pelisse, which looked valuable and fusty to my humble eyes. Each morning the same gentlemen spread out all the watches, took off the fur pelisse, and insinuated their lord into a fashionable and somewhat tight coat, not the one worn yesterday; but on no occasion did I perceive any thing in the nature of an ablution, or any proof that such an article as a clean shirt formed a part of the great man’s traveling wardrobe.
Varna is situated on a gentle slope a short distance from the shores of the Black Sea, and three or four miles to the south of a range of hills, between which and the town the unfortunate Russian army was encamped during the war of the year 1829. I say unfortunate, and all will agree with me, if they take into consideration a fact which I write on undoubted authority. When the Russians invaded Turkey in 1828, they lost 50,000 men by sickness alone, by want of the necessaries of life, and neglect in the commissariat department: 50,000 Russians died on the plains of Turkey, not one man of whom was killed in battle, for their advance was not resisted by the Turks.
In the next year (1829) the Russians lost 60,000 men between the Pruth and the city of Adrianople. Some of these, however, were legitimately slain in battle. When they arrived at Adrianople, the troops were in so wretched a condition from sickness and want of food that not 7000 men were able to bear arms: how many thousands of horses and mules perished in these two years is not known. The Turkish government was totally ignorant of this deplorable state of affairs at Adrianople till some time afterward, when the intelligence came too late. If the Turks had known what was going on, not one single Russian would have seen his native land again; even as it was, out of 120,000 men, not 6000 ever recrossed the Russian frontier alive. Since the days of Cain, the first murderer, among all nations, and among all religions, he who kills his fellow-creature without just cause is looked upon with horror and disgust, and is pursued by the avenging curse of God and man. What, then, shall be thought of that individual who, without reason, without the slightest show of justice, right, or justifiable pretense, from his own caprice, to satisfy his own feelings, and lust of pride, and arrogance, destroys for his amusement, in two years, more than 100,000 of his fellow-creatures? Shall not their blood cry out for vengeance? Had not each of these men a soul, immortal as their butcher’s? Had not many of them, many thousands of them perhaps, more faith, more trust in God, higher talents than their destroyer? Better had it been for that man had he never been born!
The following prayer is translated from one at the end of an ancient Bulgarian or Russian manuscript, written in the year 1355: “The Judge seated, and the apostle standing before him, and the trumpet sounding, and the fire burning, what wilt thou do, O my soul, when thou art carried to the judgment? For then all thy evils will appear, and all thy secret sins will be made manifest. Therefore now, beforehand, endeavor to pray to Jesus Christ our Lord. Oh, do not thou reject me, but save me.”
The fortifications of Varna are very flat and low, though they are said to be of great strength; but, as the town is built of wood, I should think there would be little difficulty in setting it on fire by the assistance of a few shells or red-hot shot, from ships at sea or batteries on the land. From all such fortresses I am delighted to escape: the bastions, ditches, and ramparts keep me in, though they are intended to keep others out. There is nothing picturesque in a modern stronghold, as there are no battlements and towers, or any thing pleasing to the eye; only, whichever way you turn, you are sure to be stopped by a green ditch with a frog in it; I therefore only remained long enough at Varna to see that there was nothing to be seen.
The principality of Wallachia contains 1,500,000 inhabitants liable to taxation, 800 nobles, and 15,000 strangers, subjects of various powers.
It is governed by a prince (gika), who reigns for life. The civil list amounts to—
50,000 Austrian ducats yearly.
All the officials are paid by the government.
The revenues of the principality are derived from tribute, which amounts to
The salt-works, which yield
Domains of the prince
The expenses are, yearly:
Civil List of the prince
The Ottoman Porte for tribute
Salaries of officials
Troops, 4000 men
Ten quarantine stations on the Danube
Repair of roads
The capital of Wallachia is Bucharest, containing 12,000 houses and 80,000 inhabitants, of whom 10,000 are strangers.
There is one metropolitan, who lives at Bucharest, and has a revenue of 10,000 ducats; and three bishops, of Rimnik, Argessi, and Buzeo, who have 8000 each. The salary of the first minister is 3600 ducats yearly. There are three ranks of nobles. The highest consists of sixty individuals, who have the right of electing the prince; the second numbers 300, and the third 440. The prime minister is called the bano; the commander-in-chief, spathar; the minister of the interior, the great dvornic; the minister of justice, the great logothete. The greatest family is that of Brancovano, the revenue of its chief being 12,000 ducats. The titles of the great officers of state, and the principal people about the court of the Hospodar, are derived from the institutions of the Byzantine emperors. These nobles are divided into three classes. The following is the order of their precedence:
Marshal of the Palace.
Inspector of Police.
Commander of 1000 men.
Inspector of the Ovens.
It is in the power of the government to raise any of these nobles a step after a service of three years. Before the year 1827 these officers were paid by contributions raised on the subjects of the Prince, who were then exempted from any other taxes. The Bano had one hundred and twenty men, the Dvornic one hundred, the Paharme twenty-five, and so on; from these they took as much as they could, one man averaging three ducats a year in value to his lord.
The treaty of Adrianople contains an article insuring the independence of the interior administration of the country. On the 18th of May, 1838, an order was brought from Constantinople by Baron Rukman, in which it was stated that the General Assembly are to insert a clause in the Constitution, which obliges them to have leave of the Russians before any alteration whatever is made in the regulation of the interior. The army can not be increased, or any differences made in the administration of the quarantine, &c., without permission from Russia, which is in direct contradiction to the Treaty of Adrianople. Sentence of death is abolished by the Constitution, but great offenders are sent to the mines for life.
Having accomplished our little tour to Wallachia, we will recross the sea to Trebizond, and return to the inspection of that ancient city, so famous in the romance of the Middle Ages. The Pasha and Governor, Abdallah Pasha, resides in the citadel, a large space of ruinous buildings, surrounded by romantic walls and towers, in the same style as those of Constantinople. As in duty bound, we proceeded in great state to pay a visit of ceremony to the viceroy. As our long train of horsemen wound through the narrow streets, and passed under the long dark tunnel of the Byzantine gateway, we must have looked quite in keeping with the picturesque appearance of that ancient fortress. From the gloomy gate we emerged into a large, ruinous court or space of no particular shape, but surrounded by tumble-down houses, with wooden balconies festooned with vines. I was struck with the absence of guards and soldiers, who are usually drawn up on these occasions in a wavy line, to do honor or to impose upon the awe-stricken feelings of the Elchi Bey.
We passed through another court, if I remember right, till we found a number of servants and officials waiting our arrival at an open door, and, having dismounted, with the assistance of numerous supporters we scrambled up a large, dark, crazy wooden stair, at the top of
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