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In the suburb of one of the most there might be of a forcible interromantically situated towns in Asia vention on the part of England by Minor there lives the most remark- which these should be redressed. able oriental whom it has ever been In my intercourse with them I was my fortune to meet. Travelling struck by their constant allusion to through that interesting country a an apparently mysterious individual, few months ago, with the view of who evidently enjoyed a reputation assisting the British Government for an almost supernatural sagacity, to introduce some much - needed and whose name they never menreforms, I arrived at - I pur- tioned except in terms of the greatposely abstain from mentioning the est reverence, and indeed, I might name of the place, as my Eastern almost say, of awe. My curiosity friend, to whom I am indebted for at last became excited, and I made the following paper, desires his in- special inquiries in regard to this cognito to be observed, for reasons
I found that he which the reader will easily under- lived about a mile and a half out stand on its perusal. I remained of the town, on a farm which he there some weeks examining the had purchased about five years ago ; state of the surrounding country, at that no one knew from whence he that time a good deal disturbed, had come ; that he spoke both Turkand giving the local authorities the ish and Arabic as his native tongues ; benefit of a little wholesome coun- but that some supposed him to be sel and advice, which, I need scarce- a Frank, owing to his entire neglect ly say, they wholly disregarded. My of all the ceremonial observances of officious interference in their af- a good Moslem, and to a certain forfairs not unnaturally procured me eign mode of thought; while others some notoriety; and I received, in maintained that no man who had not consequence, numerous visits from been born an oriental could adapt members of all classes of the com- himself so naturally to the domestic munity detailing their grievances, life of the East, and acquire its and anxious to know what chance social habits with such ease and
VOL. CXXVII.-20. DCCLXXI.
perfection. His erudition was said excuse the preliminary formality of to be extraordinary, and his life a visit, but I have an appointment seemed passed in studying the liter- at some distance in the country, ature of many languages—his agent which will detain me until too late for the purchase and forwarding of
an hour to call.—Believe me, yours such books and papers as he needed, very truly,
EFFENDI. being a foreign merchant at the “ P.S.- As you may have some nearest seaport. He seemed pos- difficulty in finding your way, my sessed of considerable wealth, but servant will be with you at halfhis mode of life was simple in the past six to serve as a guide.” extreme; and he employed large sums in relieving the distress by “Dear me," I thought, as I read which he was surrounded, and in pro- this civilised epistle with amazetecting by the necessary bribes those ment, “I wonder whether he exwho were unable to protect them- pects me to dress ;” for I need selves from oppression. The result scarcely say I had come utterly unwas, that he was adored by the provided for any such contingency, country people for miles round, my wearing apparel, out of regard while he was rather respected and for my baggage-mule, having been feared than disliked by the Turkish limited to the smallest allowance officials—for he was extremely tol- consistent with cleanliness. Puncerant of their financial necessities, tually at the hour named, my and quite understood that they were dragoman informed me that compelled to squeeze money out of Effendi's servant was in attendance; the peasantry, because, as they re- and, arrayed in the shooting-coat, ceived no pay, they would starve knee - breeches, and riding - boots themselves unless they did.
which formed my only costume, I To this gentleman I sent my card, followed him on foot through the with a note in French, stating that narrow winding streets of the town, I was a travelling Englishman, with until we emerged into its gardens, a seat in the House of Commons and following a charming path bein immediate prospect at the com- tween orchards of fruit-trees, graduing election, consumed with a desire ally reached its extreme outskirts, to reform Asia Minor, or, at all when it turned into a narrow glen, events, to enlighten my countrymen down which foamed a brawling as to how it should be done. Per- torrent. A steep ascent for about haps I am wrong in saying that I ten minutes brought us to a large actually put all this in my note, gate in a wall. This was immedibut it was couched in the usual ately opened by a porter who lived tone of members of Parliament in a lodge outside, and I found mywho are cramming political ques- self in grounds that were half park, tions abroad which are likely to half flower-garden, in the centre of come up next session. I know the which, on a terrace commanding a style, because I have been in the magnificent view, stood the house House myself. The note I received of my host,—a Turkish mansion in reply was in English, and ran as with projecting latticed windows, follows:
and a courtyard with a colonnade
round it and a fountain in the mid“DEAR SIR, - If you are not dle. A broad flight of steps led to otherwise engaged, it will give me the principal entrance, and at the great pleasure if you will do me the top of it stood a tall figure in the honour of dining with me to-morrow flowing Turkish costume of evening at seven. I trust you will years ago, now, alas ! becoming very
fifty rare among the upper classes. I them,-prefacing his remarks by wondered whether this could be any explanation in regard to his the writer of the invitation to din- own personality which he might ner; but my doubts were speedily feel disposed to give. He was exsolved by the empressement with tremely reluctant to comply with which this turbaned individual, who this request, his native modesty and seemed a man of about fifty years shrinking from notoriety of any of age, descended the steps, and sort presenting an almost insurwith the most consummate ease and mountable obstacle to his rushing grace of manner, advanced to shake into print, even in the strictest inhands and give me a welcome of cognito. However, by dint of perunaffected cordiality. He spoke sistent importunity, I at last sucEnglish with the greatest fluency, ceeded in breaking through his though with a slight accent, and in reserve, and he consented to throw appearance was of the fair type into the form of a personal comnot uncommonly seen in Turkey; munication addressed to me whatthe eyes dark-blue, mild in repose, ever he had to say, and to allow me but, when animated, expanding and to make any use of it I liked. flashing with the brilliancy of the I confess that when I came to intelligence which lay behind them. read his letter, I was somewhat The beard was silky and slightly au
taken aback by the uncompromisburn. The whole expression of the ing manner in which the Effendi face was inexpressibly winning and had stated his case ; and I should attractive, and I instinctively felt have asked him to modify the lanthat if it only depended upon me, guage in which he had couched his we should soon become fast friends. views, but I felt convinced that had Such in fact proved to be the case. I done so, he would have withdrawn We had a perfect little dinner, cook it altogether. I was, moreover, ed in Turkish style, but served in ashamed to admit that I doubted European fashion ; and afterwards whether I should find a magazine talked so far into the night, that in England with sufficient courage my host would not hear of my re- to publish it. As, although my turning, and put me into a bedroom friend wrote English with extraas nicely furnished as if it had ordinary facility for an oriental, been in a country-house in England. the style was somewhat defective, Next morning I found that my I ventured to propose that I should dragoman and baggage had all been rewrite it, retaining not merely the
, transferred from the house of the ideas, but the expressions as far as family with whom I had been lodg- possible. To this he readily coning in town, and I was politely given sented ; and as I read it over to to understand that I was forcibly him afterwards, and he approved taken possession of during the re- of it in its present form, I can mainder of my stay at
- At guarantee that his theory as to the the expiration of a week I was so origin and nature of the collision much struck by the entirely novel between the East and the West is view, as it seemed to me, which accurately represented. I need not my host took of the conflict between say that I differ from it entirely, Christendom and Islam, and by the and in our numerous conversations philosophic aspect under which he gave my reasons for doing so. I presented the Eastern Question gen- will not enter into them here, howerally, that I asked him whether he ever, as they will at once occur to would object to putting his ideas in the intelligent reader ; but notwithwriting, and allowing me to publish standing the many fallacies contain
ed in the Effendi's line of argument, turbing to its self-complacency, that I have thought it well that it should, a little rough handling occasionally if possible, be made public in Eng- does no harm. land, for many reasons. In the first These considerations have induced place, the question of reform, especi- me to do my best to make “the bark ally in Asiatic Turkey, occupies a of the distant Effendi" be heard, to dominant position in English poli- use the fineimagery of Bon Gaultier;* tics ; and it is of great importance and with these few words of introthat we should know, not only that duction, I will leave him to tell his many intelligent Turks consider a
own tale, and state his opinions on reform of the Government hopeless, the burning questions of the day. but to what causes they attribute the present decrepit and corrupt “MY DEAR FRIEND, — condition of the empire. We can
“I proceed, in compliance gather from the views here ex. with your request, to put in writing pressed, though stated in a most a résumé in a condensed form of
a uncomplimentary manner, why many the views which I have expressed of the most enlightened Moslems, in our various conversations towhile lamenting the vices which gether on the Eastern Question, have brought their country to ruin, premising only that I have yielded refuse to co-operate in an attempt, to it under strong pressure, because on the part of the Western Powers, I fear they may wound the sensiwhich, in their opinion, would only bilities or shock the prejudices of be going from bad to worse. How- your countrymen. As, however, ever much we may differ from those you assure me that they are suffiwhom we wish to benefit, it would ciently tolerant to have the quesbe folly to shut our ears to their tion in which they are so much opinions in regard to ourselves or interested, presented to them from our religion, simply because they an oriental point of view, I shall are distasteful to us. We can best write with perfect frankness, and in achieve our end by candidly listen- the conviction that opinions, howing to what they may have to say. ever unpalatable they may be, which And this must be my apology, as are only offered to the public in the well as that of the magazine in earnest desire to advance the cause which it appears, for the publica- of truth, will meet with some retion of a letter so hostile in tone sponse in the breasts of those who to our cherished convictions and are animated with an equally earnbeliefs. At the same time, I can- est desire to find it. In order to not disguise from myself, that while explain how I have come to form many of its statements are preju- these opinions, I must, at the cost diced and highly coloured, others of seeming egoistic, make a few prefare not altogether devoid of some atory remarks about myself. My foundation in truth: it never can father was an official of high rank do us any harm to see ourselves and old Turkish family, resident sometimes as others see us. The for some time in Constantinople, tendency of mankind, and perhaps and afterwards in an important seaespecially of Englishmen, is so very port in the Levant. An unusually much that of the ostrich, which is enlightened and well-educated man, satisfied to keep its head in the he associated much with Europeans ; sand and see nothing that is dis- and from early life I have been
Say, is it the glance of the haughty vizier,
-“ Eastern Serenade : " Bon Gaultier’s ‘Book of Ballads.'