« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Our Turks and the musicians, when tired, expected, as usual, bac-shish, or a present. After satisfying them, we went up to the place, at which the Greeks were assembled. It was about a quarter of a mile from the shore by a church of the Pa. nagia, or Virgin Mary, for so they called some walls of stones piled, without a roof, and stuck, on this solemnity, with waxcandles lighted, and with small tapers. Close by was an aperture in the surface of the ground, with a spring running under the rock. This cavity, at which a portrait hung of the Virgin, painted on wood, was also illuminated; and some priests, who took money of those, who came for water, were preparing to perform mass near it. We were told it was a place of great sanctity. The multitude was sitting under half-tents, with store of melons and grapes, beside lambs and sheep to be killed, wine in gourds and skins, and other necessary provisions.
We left this lively scene, with some regret, and re-coasting the rough European shore, landed not far from the town and castle, on a spot which we found was a favourite place of resort, being noted for its verdure and shade, and for cool water; each a source of pleasure, and as refreshing as grateful in climates of a warm temperature. Here a fire was presently kindled, and coffee made, and the whole company seemed to experience much self-enjoyment. We then returned on board, and our men tugged against the stream, until we were considerably above the two castles and their towns, when the tide set us over, and we landed in Asia, on the beach, from which we had embarked on our expedition.
On quitting the boat, we took leave of our mussulmen, upon the whole well satisfied with their attention and civility. The Rais was an obstinate hairy savage, as rough in figure as a bear. In their disputes some had displayed great ferocity, drawing their sabres and threatening; but some were of far gentler manners. They were all temperate in their diet; cheerfully sating their hunger with fruits, hard coarse bread, salt cheese, or sour curds called Caimac ; and contentedly quenching their thirst with water. Our janizary, Baructer-Aga, often requested we would speak well of him and his nation in England. He was tall, and polished in person and dress, and an excellent singer. Our 'Turks respected him, and he quelled their animosities, interposing with authority. He was exact, and regular in performing the customary ablutions, and failed not to rehearse his prayers at the stated times, then spreading his cloak on the ground, prostrating his body, and touching it with his forehead; or standing in a suppliant posture, with his hands composed, deeply intent on his duty, and to appearance, equally devout and humble.
Our embarrassment Arrival of an English ship-Its destination
-We embark for Scio-Quick passage.
The banditti, who infested these parts, were represented to us as numerous and cruel. We were assured, that in our Jate excursion, we had been fortunate, rather than prudent; danger was now apparent, and to curiosity we must add caution. The consul had been attacked going to Gallipoli, about two hours from home. We had been told of ruins, which we supposed to be remains of Abydos, on that side; but were warned not to venture that way by his recent peril. We had room to apprehend, that we might encounter some flying or lurking parties, and be intercepted or cut off, if we took the contrary direction, and, as had been proposed, set out on horseback to explore the region between the Scamander and Simois. We were much perplexed by our situation, and unable to determine how to proceed.
Night coming on, the recollection of our past sufferings here made us desire to sleep in another house ; but the evil we wished to avoid was not peculiar to that of the consul, and we had reason to long for the sea-shore or our vineyard again. The wind in the morning proved high, but we were too impatient, under present grievances, to tarry at this place, and resolved to get to Chomkali, the town we had lately left, and to pass on by sea to.Smyrna. It remained only to purchase provi, sions, with utensils for cooking, and other necessaries for the voyage, and to engage a boat, with proper servants and an interpreter; when a messenger from the beach announced the arrival of a ship with English colours.
We had scarcely time to congratulate each other, on this unexpected news, before the captain, whose name was Jolly, entered the room. He informed us that he had sailed with his ship the Delawar, not many hours since, from Gallipoli, where the Anglicana had entered not long before; that he was come to an anchor in the road, all vessels from Constantinople stopping there, to be searched for contraband goods or fugitive slaves ; that he was bound for Cyprus and England, but should touch at Scio, from whence we might easily get to Smyrna.
We were now relieved from our embarrassment. In the afternoon we took leave of our late companion, and the Jewish family, and embarked on board the Delawar. We were followed by a stately well-dressed Turk in a boat. The captain while the hold was examined, entertained him and some of his officers in the cabin, with pipes, coffee, and sherbet. When this ceremony was ended, we set sail with the wind fresh and fair. The pike of Tenedos appeared over the main-land of Asia. We soon cleared the Hellespont, and passing by the mouth of the Scamander, had a farewell view of a part of the Troad, which deserves to be carefully traversed; which I quitted with all the reluctance of inflamed curiosity; and which I then hoped we might be able to revisit with better fortune from Smyrna. · The satisfaction we derived from the sudden change of our situation for the better, received great addition from the liberal behaviour of our new captain, by whom we were elegantly entertained, and after supper accommodated with clean bedding, on the cabin-floor, which afforded us much refreshment. The prosperous gale continued, and the ship made great way.
We sailed by the western side of the island Mitylene in the night; and passing the mouth of the gulph of Smyrna, entered the channel of Scio, and before mid-day cast anchor in the road off the city.
Of Scio-Its modern history— Reduced by the Turks--The town
-Greek women-Number of dogs-Manner of bathingThe Consul, fc.— Parties—The wines—The lentiscus or mastic tree--The Antiquities--The temple of Cybele.
The island Chios, now Scio, is by Strabo reckoned nine hundred stadia, or one hundred and twelve miles and a half, in circuit; and about four hundred stadia, or fifty miles, from
the island Mitylene. The principal mountain, called anciently Pelinæus, presents to view a long, lofty range of bare rock, reflecting the sun ; but the recesses at its feet are diligently cultivated, and reward the husbandman by their rich produce. The slopes are clothed with vines. The groves of lemon, orange, and citron-trees, regularly planted, at once perfume the air with the odour of their blossoms, and delight the eye with their golden fruit. Myrtles, and jassmines are interspersed, with olive and palm trees, and cypresses. Amid these the tall minarets rise, and white houses glitter, dazzling the beholder.
Scio shared in the calamities, which attended the destruction of the Greek empire. * In the year 1093, when robbers and pirates were in possession of several considerable places, Tzachas, a Turkish malcontent, took the city. The Greek admiral, endeavouring to reduce it for the emperor Alexis, made a breach in the wall; and he came to its relief from Smyrna with a fleet and eight thousand men, but soon after abandoned it in the night. In 1306 this was one of the islands, which suffered from the exactions of the Grand Duke Roger, general of the Roman armies. The city was then seized by the Turks, who came before it with thirty ships, and put the inhabitants to the sword. In 1346 it was taken by some galleys, fitted out by thirty noble Genoese. A fleet of sixty vessels was sent by the Sultan in 1394 to burn it, and the towns adjacent, and to ravage the islands and sea-coast. The city purchased peace from Mahomet the second in 1455; giving a sum of money, and agreeing to pay tribute yearly. Scio experienced evil, but if it be compared with the sufferings of some other places, in these times of rapine and violence, fortune
* See Modern Universal History.