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The mole was two stadia, or a quarter of a mile in length, but we were ten minutes in crossing it; the waves, which were impelled by a strong inbat, breaking over in a very formidable manner, as high as the bellies of our horses. The width, as we conjectured, was about thirty feet. On the west side it is fronted with a thick strong wall, some pieces appearing above the water. On the opposite is a mound of loose pebbles, shelving as a buttress, to withstand the furious assaults of storm and tempest. The upper works have been demolished, and the materials, a few large rough stones excepted, removed.
We computed the island to be about a mile long, and a quarter broad. The city was small, its port on the N. N. W. side. Traces of the walls are found by the sea, and in a hill are vestiges of a theatre. Three or four trees grow on it, and by one is a cave* hewn in the rock, and affording water. The soil was now covered with green corn. A vaulted room with a chimney at one end, and a hovel or two made with stones piled, are all the present structures; and these are chiefly frequented by fishermen, and by persons employed to watch, and to drive away birds, when the grain ripens. Referring to this confined situation of Clazomene, a famous sophist, when importuned to adorn his native city by residing in it, rather than at Smyrna, replied, the nightingale refuses to sing in a edge.
* A cave is mentioned by Pausanius, p. 211. It is thus described by Randolph. Nothing remains but the cave, which is cut out of a firm rock, almost square, supported with four pillars of the same rock. To the eastward is part of an altar, and in the middle is a well, but the water is brackish, and not fit to be drunk. State of the islands in the Archipelago, 1687
By Clazomene is a cluster of islets,-f-all once cultivated, now neglected and barren. Their number was eight, but I could count only six. One is called Long Island, and by some the English Island, because, as they relate, a party of our countrymen from Smyrna landing on it for diversion, were attacked suddenly, and murdered there by banditti or pirates. Some of these islets, and perhaps even of the GEnussae without the gulf, may owe their origin or increase to the river Hermus.
After making the circuit of the island, we sat down by the isthmus to dine, when our attention was engaged by a large company landed at the scale or road of Vourla, which is westward from the mole, and had in it some small-craft, with a few houses and a mosque on the shore. An irregular discharge of guns and pistols followed, in compliment, as our guide told us, to the new aga or governor, who was then arrived. In the mean time the inbat increased very fast, as usual toward sun-set* and with it the swell of the sea. We began to wish that we had repassed the mole, as soon as our curiosity was gratified; and to apprehend, that without a speedy removal, we might be detained much longer on this deserted spot than we should like. Our horses were shy of the surf, and one of our company, inclining too much to the left to avoid it, got into deep water, but soon recovered the track.
Among the causes, which have co-operated in bringing on the general desolation of these coasts, may be numbered the outrages suffered from licentious pirates, under a weak or bad government, and the hostilities committed by privateers.
t Three of them were called Marathusa, Pele, Drymusa. It is probable the names of all of them are contained in a passage of Pliny, I. 5. c. 37.
The former have in all ages infested these seas; encouraged by the frequent creeks and portlets; where they may lie unnoticed, looking out for their prey from eminences, which command extensive views of the canals between the islands; or ready, on the approach of a superior force, to abandon their vessels, and escape to the mountains. The Clazomenians, molested, it is said, by Corsairs of Tino, retired from the sea to the continent, where they were less liable to be surprised. Many other places owe their origin to the same motives of apprehension and prudence as Vourla.
Of the Kara-borniotes—Mount Mimas^Night—Arrive at Erythra—The site—Islets—Remains.
Beyond Clazomene the peninsula, becoming very mountainous, with narrow and difficult passes, affords many places of refuge, inaccessible, or easily defended. Hence the karaborniotes, or inhabitants of the southern cape of the gulf, were long infamous as pirates and robbers, and had the general character of a very bad people. We were now told, that their manners were changed, and their disposition less ferocious and inhuman; that they attend to the culture of the vine, and the management of the silk-worm, and frequent the market of Smyrna with the produce. We thought it prudent, however, to increase our guard, and hire another janizary, intending to go to Erythrae, now corruptly called Ritre, and reckoned eight hours distant.
We set out from Vourla early in the morning, and in an hour, after crossing a small promontory, came to the bottom of a deep bay, which, with an island in it, is almost landlocked, lying immediately within the cape. We then ascended a ridge of Mount Mimas; and, passing a stream, entered on a rugged narrow track between very lofty cliffs, and by the side of a water-course frightfully steep. We were engaged in this strait four hours, our baggage-horses falling, or being jammed with their burthens, where the rocks projected. At length we arrived in view of a plain deep-sunk among the hills, which surround it. Before us was a grey ridge seen at Smyrna; and a little on the left, a top of the island Scio; behind us were the two white conical summits of mount Corax, called The Brothers, which serve as a sea-direction in navigating the gulf. We descended to Cerhardam, a Turkish village, where we alighted about three in the afternoon. We had proposed passing the night here, as our men and horses were weary, but could get neither lodging nor corn.
After dining beneath a tree, we continued our journey across a ridge to Cadoagi, a small place near an hour farther on. Here we had our tent pitched, for the first time, within an inclosure by a cottage, and slept in it. Our bedding was a small carpet, mattress, and coverlet. Each had by his side a gun, sword, and a pair of loaded pistols. The Swiss guarded the mouth of the tent. The nights were as yet cold, and our janizary was provided with a cloak of a dark colour, shaggy, and very thick, made without a seam, with a cape, or rather cowl, for his head. Wrapped in this, he lay down like Diomed in his bull-skin, in the open air, with his pistol and sabre by him, and his gun in his hand. Our other attendants were likewise dispersed, mostly on the ground, round about the tent, armed as by day; and one of the Armenians watched the horses, which were fastened to stakes with their saddles on.
At the dawn of day we rose, and a table-cloth was spread on the ground, when we breakfasted on dried figs, bread, butter, which we carried with us, and garlic; drinking wine or water, and a cup of coffee. In the mean time our men struck the tent, and got reay our baggage. The sun only began to appear on the mountain-top, and a low shining mist, like water, concealed the valley beneath us, when we began our journey; travelling over and between the wild ridges of Mount Mimas. In two hours we came to a vale, well watered, and stored with myrtles and ever-greens. Here we observed some pieces of an ancient wall, which had been erected across it; and, after passing the ruin of a mosque, which has a sepulchral inscription fixed over the door-way, an opening afforded us a view of the site of Erythrre, of the sea, and of the island Scio. We entered at a gap in the ruins of the city wall, where we supposed .a gateway to have been; and finding no shade, pitched our tent on a green spot, extending it as a wide umbrella to shelter us from the sun, then shining exceedingly bright and powerful.
The walls of Erythrae were erected on two semicircular rocky brows, and had square towers at regular distances. They were very thick, the stones massive and rugged, the masonry is called Pseudisodomum. In the' middle is a shallow lively stream, clear as chrystal, which turns a solitary mill in its way, through thickets of myrtle and bushes, to the sea. This rivulet was anciently named Aleos, and was remarkable for producing hair on the bodies of those who drank