« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
chesnut-colour, which is the most desired. Their apparel and carriage are alike antique. It is reinarkable, that the trowsers are mentioned in a fragment of Sappho*. The habit is light, loose, and cool, adapted to the climate. When they visit each other, they put over their heads a thin transparent veil of muslin, with a border of gold tissue. A janizary walks before, and two or more handmaids follow them, through the streets. When assembled, they are seen reclining in various attitudes, or sitting cross-legged on a sofa. Girls of inferior rank from the islands, especially Tino, abound; and are many of them as beautiful in person, as picturesque in their appearance. They excel in a glow of colour, which seems the effect of a warm sun, ripening the human body as it were into uncommon perfection. The women of the Turks, and of some other nations, are kept carefully concealed ; and when they go out, are enwrapped in white linen, wear boots, and have their faces muffled.
The principal buildings in Smyrna are the mosques, the public baths, the bezesten or market, and the khans or inns. Some of these are very ample and noble edifices. The khans have in general a quadrangle or square area, and sometimes a fountain in the middle. The upper story consists of an open gallery, with a range of apartments, and often a small mosque, or place of worship, for the use of the devout mussulmen, Below are the camels with their burthens, and the mules, or horses. A servant dusts the floor of a vacant chamber, when you arrive, and spreading a mat, which is all the furniture, leaves you in possession. The gates are shut about sunset, and a trifling gratuity is expected by the keeper at your departure. * Warton's Theocritus, p. 304. They are now called Bpáry.
The streets of Smyrna, a few excepted, are very narrow, and exceedingly intricate. Caution is requisite in going out of the Frank quarter, and it is proper to be preceded by a janizary as a safe-guard. The lofty mountains,* which shelter the town, and leave it open only to the sea, concenter the rays of the sun, as it were into a focus. The intense heat commences in June, and continues, without intermission, to the end of August, or the middle of September. During this period, if the Inbat fail, the inhabitants are distressed, and even gasp for breath. The ground is then burnt up, and has large chasms and fissures, which, as some have imagined, give vent to bituminous vapours. These, if confined, are supposed to occasion earthquakes by their explosion. A year seldom passes without a shock or two, but generally slight, and less hurtful than alarming. They happen chiefly in spring and autumn, when the weather is calm; and it has been remarked at those times, that the sea commonly withdraws from the beach, and the water is unusually low. Besides this calamity, Smyrna is visited almost annually by the plague. If the distemper rage, the consuls and factors either retire into the country, or, as the phrase is, shut up, not admitting even the market-men to enter their gatés. Many of the people abandon their dwellings, and live abroad under tents. The islanders return home, and the streets of the Frank quarter, which is exceedingly populous, cease to be trodden.
The Turks bury chiefly without the town, where the inclosures are very extensive, it being their custom not to open
* The mountains behind Smyrna were anciently called Mastusia and Termetis. Pliny.
the grounds filled with bodies, until a long term of years has elapsed. The graves have stones or pillars at the head and feet, and are sometimes shaded with cypress-trees. In their cemeteries, and in those of the Christians and Jews, are found many marble slabs and fragments of architecture. The English ground, which is at a distance from the Frank quarter, at the opposite end of the town, is walled in, and contains some monuments worthy notice for the beauty of their sculpture. These were brought from Italy. Mr. Bouverie, the friend and companion of Mr. Dawkins and Mr. Wood, is interred there, and has over him a plain marble, with a long Latin inscription. He died at Guzelhissar, or Magnesia, by the Meander.
Smyrna is well supplied with provisions. The sheep have broad tails, hanging down like an apron, some weighing eight, ten, or more pounds. These are eaten as a dainty, and the fat, before they are full grown, accounted as delicious as marrow. The flesh of wild hogs is common, and in esteem among the Europeans and Greeks, who purchase the animal, when killed by the Turks. Fine fish is taken in the bay. Hares, with game and fowl, are cheap. The partridges are bigger than the English, of a different colour and species, with red legs. The olive-groves furnish doves, fieldfares, thrushes, quails, snipes, and the like, in abundance. A variety of excellent wines are produced in the country, or imported from the islands. The fruits are of an exquisite flavour. Among those of the gourd kind, the water-mellon which grows to a great size, is not only highly palatable, but so innocent as to be allowed to the sick in fevers. The figs are deservedly famous. The rich clusters of grapes are as wholesome as beautiful. Many on the stalk are found converted by the sun into raisins. We were shewn one species, which had no stones. Large and heavy bunches are hung on strings, and preserved in the shops, for sale in the winter. Lemons and oranges, with citrons, are in plenty. The sherbets made with the juice of the two former, newly gathered, in water, sweetened with white honey, are as cooling, as grateful to the taste. Coffee is brought from Arabia. We partook almost daily of eatables unknown to us before. It is the general custom to sleep after dinner; and this indulgence is recommended as conducing, and even necessary, to health, in that climate.
Our situation was not, however, without grievances. We were much infested by a minute fly, which irritates by its puncture, and, settling on the white wall, eludes the angry pursuer with surprising activity. But this species, and the other insects which annoyed us, were petty offenders compared with the mosquitos, or large gnats, which tormented us exceedingly by their loud noise, and by repeated attacks on our skin where naked, or lightly clothed, perforating it with their acute proboscis, and sucking our blood, till they were full. A small fiery tumour then ensues, which will not soon subside, unless the patient has been, as it were, naturalized by residence ; but the pain is much allayed by lemon-juice. At night they raged furiously about our beds, assaulting the gauze-veil, our defence, which, thin as it was, augmented the violent heat to a degree almost intolerable. Their fondness of foreign food is generally but too visible, in the swollen and distorted features of persons newly arrived.
Of the adjacent country--The river Meles—The inner bay--Old
Smyrna-Ancient sepulchres-Origin of old Smyrna-Story of Homer-Of another poet of Smyrna--The aqueducts--The cave of Homer--The river god.
· SMYRNA has on the south-east* a fine plain, in which are villages, and the houses of the principal factors, who reside in the country in the summer. Norlecui and Hadjelar are toward the east. On the north side is Bujaw, distinguished by tall cypress-trees; and about a league from the sea Bonavre. In the way to this village, not far from the road, is a pool or two, now called the Baths of Diana, the water clear and warm; a steam arising from it in winter. The fragments of a marble edifice near it have been removed. Some arches and foundations of buildings have been discovered in digging. In the middle of the plain are several small canals, which communicate with aqueducts behind the castle hill. The bed of a torrent, which after rains falls into the river Meles, is on the south of the plain; and beyond, or toward the feet of the mountains is a village called Sedicui. Wild animals abound; and especially jackalls, which are heard nightly, howling on the hills or in the plain. When one begins, the rest join, as it were, in full cry. Cameleons and lizards are commonly seen, about the rubbish of old buildings, basking in the sun ; and several kinds of snakes are found, some of a great length, which frequently are discovered by their musky smell.