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some remote hills, and the illuminated portion grew less and less, until it appeared as a small star. The next night we shortened sail, being near land, and the moon rising late. In the morning we approached Cythera or Cerigo. A rock called The Egg, at the west end of the island, with The Two Brothers, which stand out in the water, renders the pass dangerous to ships in the dark.
We sailed by Cape Malea, now St. Angelo, the sea almost smooth, but the waves swelling at intervals, with a hollow noise, and seeming to pursue us. We had the small island of Hydre in view at sun-set; with that called anciently Belbina, now St. George d'Alboraa-head. The horizon was hazy, and it was the opinion of our sailors, that the friendly gale, which had accompanied us so long, was still likely to continue.
Our attention had been, for some time, agreeably engaged by the classical country, which surrounded us, and we were now near Sunium or Cape Colonne, and the coast of Attica. We regretted the approach of night, but the wind slackened, and in the morning we could see the mountains Hymettus and Pentele, and the island iEgina, and Calaurea or Poro in the Saronic gulf. At eleven, August the 23d, we had a distinct view of the ruin of the temple of Minerva Sunias on the promontory, and, by the help of a reflecting telescope, could count the number of the columns then standing.
We sailed close by the island Cea, which was of a parched aspect, with a few green trees on it, scattered among inclosures, wind-mills, and solitary churches or chapels. One of these, dedicated to St. Elias, stands on the summit of a high mountain. We had a brisk sky, and the sea, gently agitated by the wind, resembled a wide stream; but the tops of the mountains of Andros and of Eubcea were enveloped in thick clouds, and awful darkness. We steered between the two islands, and had a fine run in the night.
The next morning we had passed Psyra, corruptly called Ipsera: Scio was on our right hand; Lesbos or Mitylene on our left; and the mouth of the gulf of Smyrna not very remote before us. The plague, as we were informed at Leghorn, having appeared at this place in the spring, our captain was unwilling to arrive there before it should have ceased, and now resolved to proceed directly to Constantinople. The gale was fair, and the opportunity too favourable to be neglected, it being common in summer to meet with a contrary wind, and to be detained on the sea, or forced to anchor off Tenedos. We were opposite Cape Baba or Lectos, a promontory of M. Ida, in the evening; and had in view Tenedos and Lemnos, and the main land both of Europe and Asia. We could discern fires on Lesbos, as before on several islands and capes, made chiefly by fishermen and shepherds, who live much abroad in the air, to burn the strong stalks of the Turkey wheat and the dry herbage on the mountains. In the day-time a column of smoke often ascends, visible afar.
Saturday, August the 25th, the sun rising beautifully behind M. Ida, disclosed its numerous tops, and brightened the surface of the sea. We were now entering the Hellespont, with, the Troad on our right hand, and on the left the Chersonese or peninsula of Thrace. About six in the morning we were within Sigeum, and the opposite promontory Mastusia. They are divided by a very narrow strait. We then passed between the two castles erected by Mahomet the Fourth in 1659: that on the European side stands high, the other low; and by each is a town. These structures, with the houses, the graceful minarets or turrets of the mosques, the domes and cypresses, the mountains, islands, and shining water, formed a view exceedingly delightful. The cocks crowed ashore, and were answered by those in our coops on board, the waves broke on the Asiatic beach with an amusing murmur, and the soft air wafted fragrance.
We now saw a level and extensive plain, the scene, as we conceived, of the battles of the Iliad, with barrows of heroes, and the river Scamander, which had a bank or bar of sand at the mouth. The stream was then inconsiderable, but, we were told, is in winter frequently swollen to a great size, and discolours the sea far without the promontories. The shore of the Chersonese, as we advanced, was steep, of a dry barren aspect, and contrasted by the Asiatic coast, which rises gently, M. Ida terminating the view. The width of the Hellespont, the smoothness of the water, and the rippling of the current, reminded us of the Thames. Xerxes but slightly degraded it, when he styled it a salt river.
We now approached the inner castles, which were erected by Mahomet the Second, and command a very narrow strait, dividing the two continents. By each is a town; and at that in Asia was hoisted a white flag, near the sea-side, and also a red one with the cross. These belonged to the English and French nations. As we had agreed to land here, the captain, when we were abreast with the Asiatic castle, brought the ship to, and made a signal for a scheick or wherry to come alongside. Our baggage was lowered into it with great expedition, and we quitted the ship, which fired three guns, and sailed away.
Turks described—Reception on shore—Dinner—The town—The river—The site of the two castles ascertained—The night.
After leaving the Anglicana, we had scarcely time to contemplate the savage figures of our boat-men, who had their necks and arms bare, and their faces yellow from the sun, before we reached land. The current carried us below the castle, where we saw on the shore two Turkish women. But what figures! each wrapped in a white sheet, shapeless, and stalking in boots. A company of Turks, assembled on the beach to view the ship, seemed, as it were, a new species of human beings. They were in general large and tall; some with long, comely or venerable beards, of a portly mien and noble presence, to which their high turbans and loose garments, of various lively colours, greatly contributed; adding, besides their majesty, to the apparent bulk of the wearers.
We were received on shore by the English consul, a fat welllooking Jew, who, after bidding us welcome in broken Italian or Lingua Franca, conducted us through the town to his house, in the quarter assigned to that nation. We ascended some stairs into a room, which had a raised floor, covered with a carpet. Round three sides was a low sopha with cushions for leaning. The cooling breeze entered at the wooden-lattices of the windows. Their law, not permitting the Jews to touch fire on their sabbath, our host was in distress about our entertainment. However we were soon presented with the customary refreshments, a pipe of lighted tobacco; a spoonful of sweetmeat, put into our mouths; and coffee in a China cup, which was placed in one of fillegree-work to prevent it from burning our fingers. The consul then introduced to us a young man, his brother, and his wife and daughter; the latter a girl in a long white vest, with a zone about her middle, her feet naked, her nails dyed red, her hair platted, and hanging down her back. She came to us, and taking the right hand of each separately, kissed and gently moved it to her forehead.
We found some difficulty in complying with the oriental mode of sitting cross-legged, but at dinner it was necessary, the table being only a large low salver, placed on the carpet. A variety of dishes were served up in quick succession, and we were supplied as rapidly with cups of wine. We had no plates, or knives and forks, but used our fingers. The whole repast and the apparatus was antique. It concluded with fruits of wholesome quality, and exquisite flavour, figs and melons, such as are peculiar to hot climates, and grapes in large and rich clusters, fresh from the vineyard. The consul ate with us, while his brother waited with another Jew. When we had finished, we washed, one of our attendants bringing an ewer, a bason and a towel, and pouring water on our hands. We then received each a cup of coffee, and our host, who was much fatigued with his sultry walk to the beach, and afterwards to the governor to inform him of our arrival, retired with the whole family to sleep, as is the universal practice toward noon, when the heat becomes exceedingly intense.
In the evening we went with the consul to view the town. We found the houses numerous, mostly of wood, and mean, and the streets very narrow. We saw the manufactory of earthen ware, which is considerable; and we supposed the fashion had never altered, the jars and vessels, in general, re