Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

be questioned, if either the flavour or qualities, once so commended, be at all impaired. In several we found the former truly admirable.

To the peculiar possession of the Arvisian vine, now no longer talked of, has succeeded the profitable culture of the Lentiseus or mastic-tree. This employs, as we were told, twenty one villages, which are required to provide as many thousand okesf- of gum annually, for the use of the seraglio at Constantinople. They procure it by boring the trunks with a shall sharp iron, in the summer months. In October their harvest is conveyed with music into the city, and lodged in the castle. The cadi and officers, who attend, while it is weighed, have each a certain portion for their perquisite. The remainder is delivered to the farmer or planter, to be disposed of for his own advantage. The Greeks of these villages have a separate governor, and enjoy many privileges. In particular, they are allowed to wear a turban of white linen, and their churches have each a bell to call them to prayers, an indulgence of which they speak with much glee. The Asiatic ladies are excessively fond of this gum, which they chew greedily, believing it good for the breath, and attributing to it various other excellent properties.

Prosperity is less friendly to antiquity than desertion and depopulation. We saw no stadium, theatre, or odeum; but so illustrious a city, with a marble quarry near it, could not be destitute of those necessary structures, and perhaps some traces might be discovered about the hill, on which the citadel stood. A few bass-reliefs and marbles are fixed in the

+ An oke is a Turkish weight of about two pounds three quarters awir

depois.

walls, and over the gate-ways of the houses.-)- We found by the sea-side, near the town, three stones with inscriptions, which had been brought for ballast from the continent of Asia. The Chiote, our attendant, was vociferous in his enquiries, but to little purpose. We were more than once desired to look at a Genoese coat of arms for a piece of ancient sculpture ; and a date in modern Greek for an old inscription.

The most curious remain is that which has been named, without reason, The School of Homer. It is on the coast at some distance from the city, northward, and appears to have been an open temple of Cybele, formed on the top of a rock. The shape is oval, and in the centre is the image of the goddess, the head and an arm wanting. She is represented, as usual, sitting. The chair has a lion carved on each side,* and on the back. The area is bounded by a low rim or seat,, and about five yards over. The whole is hewn out of the mountain, is rude, indistinct, and probably of the most remote antiquity. From the slope higher up is a fine view of the rich vale of Scio, and of the channel, with its shining islands, beyond which are the mountains on the main-land of Asia.

* Inscript. Ant. p. 4.

+ Pococke has metamorphosed the goddess and the two lions on the sides of the chair, into Homer and a couple of the Muses. The three figures, instead of certain parts only, were, I should suppose, supplied by the fancy of the drawer. The reader may have a much better idea of the original from a relief among the Oxford Marbles, n. cxv. The image, it is likely, held in the hand, which is missing, either a patera, or tympanum. See n. cxiii. cxiv.

CHAP. XVII.

Set sail from ScioMoor in a creekWeather Cape KarabornnThe InhatView of Smyrna from the seaThe Frank streetThe Consul's houseLive cameleons.

The inconveniences, under which we had laboured for some time, rendered us impatient to get as fast as possible to Smyrna. We had been advised not to carry servants with us from England, and had made our way thus far alone. Besides the want of proper attendants, we were without our beddingj which, in our hurry at quitting the Anglicana, had been left on the quarter-deck The weather was unfavourable to our departure from Scio. Thick clouds covered the mountains, and the southerly wind called Sirocco, prevailed. It thundered very much, with lightning, and rained hard in the night. We had hired a boat manned with Greeks, and our baggage was carried to the custom house to be inspected, but it blew so violently, we were advised not to go on board. The next day the wind still continued high and contrary; but, as it seemed not likely to change, and our boat was stout, we resolved to venture, and accordingly about noon embarked with a rough sea.

Leaving the mole of Scio, we bufFetted the waves across to the continent, where we took in more ballast. We then stood to and fro the whole afternoon, but made little way. Our boat carried a large unhandy sail, which, when we tacked about, did not readily clear, and once we barely escaped being overset. In the evening we entered a small creek, and moored by two other vessels. In the rock close by, were caverns black with smoke. These afford shelter to mariners and fishermen, in dark nights and tempestuous weather, when the sea is not navigable. We landed very wet from the salt spray, and half-starved with hunger. We had endeavoured, when we stopped before, to make the crew understand, that our keen appetites required present gratification, but did not succeed. Some of them now made a fire on shore, and boiled the fowls, which we had provided. We supped in a manner sufficiently disgusting, and retired to the boat, where the fresh ballast was our bed.

We were under sail again as soon as the morning dawned; plying between mount Mimas on the continent and the Spalmadore islands, called anciently CEnussae. They belonged to the Chians, who had refused to sell them to the Phoc6ans. About two we weathered the southern promontory of the gulf of Smyrna, formerly called AcraMelama, or Black point. The Turkish name, which now prevails, signifies nearly the same. It is Kara-bournu, or Black Nose~

Smyrna is situated in the latitude of 38d. 40m. at the end of a long bay. As soon as we had gained the mouth of this gulf, the wind called Inbat, began to waft us pleasantly along. This, which is a westerly wind, sets regularly in during the hot months, in the day time; and is generally succeeded by a land-breeze in the night. The city was in view before us, when evening came on, and the gale died away.

We arrived at the Frank Scale, or key for Europeans, early in the morning, and beheld Smyrna, no longer remote, spreading on a slope, the summit of the hill crowned with a large solitary castle; domes and minarets, with cypress-trees interspersed, rising above the houses. On the south side, where the Armenians and Jews have extensive burying grounds, on flats one above another, the surface of the acclivity appeared as covered with white marble. The quarter assigned to the Franks is on the north side; and by the shore, not far from us, the English flag was hoisted. Soon after, the consul, then Antony Hayes, Esq. sent an Armenian, one of his dragomen or interpreters, to be our guide to his house.

We landed and passed through the bezesten or market, which is " in form like a street, shutting up at each end, the shops being little rooms with cupolas leaded, and holes on the top with glass to let the light in.*" We then entered the street of the Franks, which had a dirty kennel, was of a mean aspect, and so narrow that we could scarcely get by a camel laden with charcoal. It was partly in ruins, a terrible fire having happened in the preceding year; and some of the consuls and merchants were now rebuilding, or had recently finished their houses, which in general extend from the street backward to the beach, and have an area or court. The apartments are in the upper story, spacious and handsome, with long galleries and terraces, open to the sea and the refreshing Inbat. Beneath them are large and substantial magazines for goods.

We were received by the consul, and visited by Mr. Lee, one of the principal merchants, and-by the factory and other gentlemen, with great civility. As we were likely to make some stay, we enquired for lodgings, but were told that the families, which had been burned out, occupied all, and were distressed for room. The consul politely offered us a detached part of his house, which consists of a large quadrangle, with a court behind it. We were here much at our ease, and close by an ample

[ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »