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A Levantine Picnic by E. S.

 

We had been a long time in Suda Bay—one of the numerous indentations on the north coast of Crete—in company with Turkish, Egyptian, Russian and Austrian men of war. Fighting was going on at intervals on the mountains—of which Mount Ida and some of the other peaks were covered with snow—and we could sometimes see from our anchorage the spirts of white smoke where the Cretans (not "slow-bellies" now) were ambushing the Turkish columns as they struggled up the mountain-defiles. Egyptian transports came in and landed their long-legged, white-uniformed troops, who perhaps bivouacked that night on the shores of the bay, and the next day were absorbed in the great reticulations of the mountain-island, which must have seemed a strange country indeed to the Fellah recruits, to whom the Mokattam Hills were mountains.

We could do nothing in Crete. We were closely bound down by orders, and sympathies had no play. Hundreds of women and children, the families of the insurgents, were interned at Retimo in an old fort and in other similar strongholds. Some were hovering about the south coast, not far from St. Paul's Fair Havens, in hopes of being taken off from there. The condition of these people was very pitiable. The Russian frigate General Admiral had taken one load of them to Greece, but the pacha in command, Mustapha Kiritli, positively refused to allow us or the Russians to take any more. The blockade-runners (one of which, at least, had distinguished herself in our own then recent war) took off a few, but could not, of course, stay on the coast long enough to accomplish much without having a Turkish cruiser down upon them. As a war-measure the refusal of the pacha was right, for the possession of the women and children gave the Turks a certain hold upon the Cretans who were bushwhacking in the mountains.

The pacha did give us permission to go down to Retimo to see for ourselves the condition of the families detained there. They were not so badly off, according to Levantine notions. They had lentils, oil, flour and firewood, a shelter for their heads, and their rugs and rags to sleep under. The Turkish officers asked, What more could people want? What they wanted was the Turks out of the island for ever, but it was of no use to say that. Such a remark on our part might have been thought personal.

Sometimes during our stay we went over to the town of Canea, where the only things of interest were—first, a red-hot consul, who sympathized so violently with the Cretans that he had lost all his influence with the Turks, to whom, of course, he was accredited; and, secondly, the fine old Venetian slips and galley-houses, in such preservation as almost to make one fancy that the days of Francesco Prioli, the admiral, had not yet departed.

At Suda Bay there was a large Turkish camp, which was interesting for an hour or two. About its outskirts it had a curious collection of half-savage camp-followers and hangers-on, the close inspection of whom on their own ground, with their queer ways of butchering and cooking and what not, was interesting, but not altogether unattended with a spice of danger to a solitary Giaour. We had visited and entertained the Russians and the Austrians, and they had returned our civilities and tried to make things cheerful; but we were very weary of Suda Bay long before orders came permitting us to go over to Smyrna; which place, when we got there, seemed a very Naples by comparison with Canea.

The Bay of Smyrna is far famed as a fine one. The imbat, or sea-breeze, usually blows every day and all day long, so that, however close one may lie to the town, the odors from its filthy, narrow streets are all blown the other way—sufficiently rich, one would think, to fertilize any soil over which they may be wafted. I suppose there is no better instance of the whited sepulchre than Smyrna. The view of the city and its environs from an anchorage in the bay, with the sun shining upon its blue waters dancing and crisping under the brisk imbat; the Greek spires and the minarets of the mosques relieved by the cypresses of the graveyards; the amphitheatrical situation of the whole place, crowned by Mount Pagus with its picturesque ruined castle, and the fine mountain-scenery in the background,—must impress every visitor. And yet nowhere has the plague so often reaped its harvest, owing to neglect of everything which goes to make life clean and decent.

We had been many days in Smyrna, and had eaten many bunches of grapes, each as fine as any the spies brought from Eshkol. We had seen the famous rahat-li-coom boiling in the caldrons, and then flavored and beaten and drawn, and then had eaten it. We had smoked many okes of Latakia. We had spent pleasant evenings among the foreign residents at Bournabat, where the dress-coat and claret-jug and piano represent Western civilization to the merchants and consuls tired after a long day in the hot, reeking, noisy town. We had learned to find our way through the bazaar without a guide, and had bought shawls and rugs in the Persian khan, driving close bargains, as we thought, after hours of patient sitting and much smoking and coffee-drinking, and being cheated frightfully, as we found out afterward on comparing notes with resident ladies. We had ridden up, on donkeys, to the huge ruined castle dominating the city, said, popularly, to have been built by the English Richard, and certainly dating from the thirteenth century, and we had come down from there in a high state of heat, dust and disgust. We had been to see figs packed for the market in a place and after a manner which made us think of the motto of the Garter. We had gone to see the Whirling Dervishes, and had witnessed the drill of the Turkish nizam at the grand new barracks. We had visited the English military cemetery formed in Crimean days, and had experienced a strange home-feeling as we read the familiar names on the headstones. We had had sailing-parties on the bay for consuls and consulesses, landing at Sanjak Kalessi to take luncheon and to see the huge old-fashioned guns in the fort, with their stone balls (of granite or marble, two feet in diameter), once thought so formidable. We had been the round of the Greek cafés which flourish in such numbers in Smyrna, where polyglot concerts and the worst features of the café chantant seem never to tire their patrons. We had seen a Persian caravan start—a sight well worth rising early for, if only to see their outlandish drivers lash the loads upon the camels, which groan and bellow and scold during the operation, retracting their hare-lips, showing their long yellow teeth, and projecting from their mouths the very hideous and peculiar bag of flesh and blue color; in which condition they attain a point of repulsiveness possessed by no other animal I know of.

An official reception and visit by the pacha had of course been accomplished, both parties seeming to be about equally bored by the ceremony, and Smyrna seemed, for us, to be pretty well "played out." We were reduced to dropping small coin over the taffrail for expectant men and boys to dive for through the clear blue water, and to betting upon the time of arrival of the Austrian Lloyds or the Russian mail-steamer.

Clearly, this was not a wholesome state to be in; and knowing this, a Good Samaritan, our acting consul, Mr. G——, proposed as a distraction trips to neighboring places of interest, especially to Ephesus and Magnesia. They were both to be reached by rail, and so near as to require but a single day's absence, which was of importance to us, as we were expecting orders to sail at any moment.

The first-mentioned place naturally attracted us most, from its association with our youthful studies, both biblical and secular; and so it was decided that we should make a day of it at Ephesus, and have a picnic. The party consisted of our consul and his two nieces, very excellent specimens of Levantine-born people of English stock; an Armenian gentleman, Mr. A——, and his wife; and three of our officers. Due preparation was made by kind Mr. G—— in the way of sending hampers of provision and wine, and in ordering horses to meet us at Aïasulouk, the nearest station to Ephesus, and about fifty miles by rail from Smyrna.

We were obliged to start very early in the morning, for there was only one daily passenger-train each way on the Smyrna and Aidin Railroad. The road was far from being remunerative to the bond- and stock-holders at that time, and I fancy it has not been so since. There seemed, indeed, scant reason for any passenger-train at all, for, besides our own party, there were only two or three Zaptiehs, truculent-looking fellows, a couple of English merchants and some rayahs.

The contrast between the bustling noise and modern associations of the railway-train and the mediæval-looking environs of Smyrna, through which it threaded its way, was sufficiently striking to occupy one's thoughts for some time after starting, especially as alongside the railway ran for some distance the caravan-route, already filled by strings of camels and their drivers—most picturesque objects in such a landscape. Most of the native traders prefer that time-honored mode of transportation to the iron horse, and a large proportion of the merchandise received at this most important commercial centre came on the backs of camels, mules and asses. Aidin, the southern terminus of the road on which we were travelling, is a great dépôt of the figs which we have all eaten from infancy put up in drums; and the freight of these is one of the principal sources of revenue to the railway. That more products of the soil are not sent in this way is rather the fault of the wretched government than of the rayahs or agricultural laborers. They are ground to the very earth by iniquitous taxation, and only manage to live from hand to mouth in what should be a land of plenty.

After the railroad turns southward it follows a broad valley between two low mountain-ridges, the western one being rather precipitous. Here and there were ledges which were occupied by the flocks of Bedouins and of Yourouks (a true nomad race, speaking a Turkish dialect), as well as by their low, broad black tents, scarcely distinguishable at that elevation. These people had encroached upon land formerly cultivated and very fertile—in some places merely in the fallow-time, but in others in consequence of the proper tillers of the soil being driven away, hopeless from endless exactions on the part of the greedy pachas and kaimacans set over them. There was one comfort. They got little from the Bedawee or the Yourouks, who flitted when tax-time came. These hills had quite recently been the scene of the exploits of Kitterji Janni, a celebrated robber-chief not long gone to his account. From all we heard of him he was not altogether a bad fellow, but robbed the rich and gave to the poor in a quite Rinaldo-Rinaldini sort of style.

We were already on friendly terms with all our entertainers except the Armenian lady, the wife of Mr. A——, whom we now met for the first time. She was still a young woman, tall, with a very comely face and laughing black eyes, but hugely fat, as Armenians are apt to become very early. She was dressed in bright colors and in the latest Parisian style, including the bonnet and parasol. A jolly, wholesome, honest look and manner prepossessed us in her favor, but, unfortunately, she did not speak a word of either English or French. Her husband, tall and fat too, was a good fellow, and, unlike his wife (who possessed only Turkish, Greek and Armenian), spoke in addition French, Italian and English with great ease and fluency. Indeed, the Armenians are the best of the different nationalities of Asia Minor and Syria: diligent in business, moderately honest, good linguists and accountants, they have more dignified manners and stability than the Fanariot Greeks, and more brains than the Turks. They retain their physical type as distinctly as do the Parsees in India, and are equally ready to turn an honest penny, en gros and en détail.

We rattled along the excellent railway in a style calculated to make the "limited express" look to its laurels, and in less than two hours drew up at the station of Aïasulouk. Here the western chain of hills which we had skirted ceases, and the great marshy plain of Ephesus opens out, the river Cayster meandering through it. The insignificant station-house and platform, with a small coffee-house and some dwellings, reminded me of a prairie station in our Western country. But the eye was at once attracted by something we should not find in the Western World—to wit, some ruins, large, roofless, but with solid walls, two domes, some pinnacles and a graceful minaret. These are the ruins of the mosque of Sultan Selim, called by the Greeks the church of St. John, though it was certainly not the church under which the saint was buried. There are the remains of a Christian church behind those of the mosque, and below a ruined Turkish castle with a Roman gateway which crowns the hill still farther north. The apse of this ruined church, also called St. John by the native Greeks, is still visited and venerated by them.

A ruined aqueduct stalked across the plain from east to west, bearing high in air the rude nests of numerous storks, which were to be seen sitting or standing on their nests or flying deliberately to and fro with that air of being perfectly at home which belongs to storks in whatever part of the world they may chance to make their sojourn. This aqueduct received its water from a tunnel in the eastern range, and was probably the principal source of supply for the city in Roman times. The ruins of another (tunnelled) aqueduct have been discovered of late years coming from the mountains to the south of the city; and this is probably much older than the first named, as the Greeks preferred that mode of conducting water wherever practicable, their subterranean channels, a sort of syphon arrangement, being in use long before any of the Roman aqueducts were built. The fact is, that the Greeks early found out that water would find its own level, while the Romans, if they knew the fact, did not always act upon it.

Far off from the railway-station, to the west and south-west, in the midst of the dreary marshy plain, rose Mount Coressus, about which as a centre formerly clustered the imperial city of Diana. Hardly a moving thing was in sight but the flying storks and the waving green patches of rushes and of grain bowed by the strong imbat, which wafted cloud-shadows over the rather melancholy landscape. The peasants who till the arable part of the plain only come down there to work at the planting and the harvest, and live at Kirkenjee, a town on the mountain-side. Malaria does not permit them to live nearer to their work. Indeed, the traces of the swamp-poison were plainly seen in the faces of the railway employés and other residents in the vicinity of the station. While we were taking this glance about us our hampers were deposited on the platform and the train rattled off again with great briskness, as if time were of any importance, and as if the whole arrangement were not an anachronism in this part of the world!

We were to return to have our picnic at the ruins on our right, after which we should be in readiness for the evening train; but just now the great thing was to get to horse and to finish the necessary sight-seeing before the heat of the day if possible. And so the horses were brought up. Such horses! Plucky enough, but small and lean and scraggy, of all colors and all degrees of ugliness. Three English side-saddles had been brought out in the train for the ladies, while the men of the party took the horse-gear provided by the owner of the animals, instruments of torture known as Turkish saddles. The two young ladies, light weights, were soon mounted. Then the horse intended for the Armenian lady was brought up alongside the platform, and her husband placed her upon the side-saddle after a careful tightening of girths. When the horse, which seemed lighter than his burden, moved away, the saddle at once began to turn in a very deliberate fashion, depositing the fair rider gently upon the ground. There they were, the rider seated quietly upon the turf, and the side-saddle pendulous between the horse's legs, the animal apparently much puzzled to know what to make of the strange machine, but evidently not intending any such nonsense as running away. The men rushed at the animal, righted the saddle, and hauled away at the girths until the horse became quite wasp-like in form. He was then led back to the platform, and the lady's ponderous form was once more placed on the side-saddle, only to repeat the turning operation, gravity asserting itself with all the ease and certainty belonging to natural laws. Our laughter was by this time uncontrollable, the good-natured Armenian joining in it heartily, and a consultation was held to determine what was to be done. She was out for a day's pleasure, and evidently did not mean to be left behind. Finally, it was determined that she should take one of the other saddles; and she mounted one accordingly, the horse then moving off slowly, but well enough, as the weight was evenly balanced. I have seldom seen a jollier sight than that portly dame, in her resplendent skirts and spick-and-span French bonnet and parasol, mounted en cavalier.

Having discreetly and safely accomplished this difficult piece of business, we all set off by a narrow footpath, muddy in many places, toward the site of the ancient city. We passed patches of cultivated ground here and there, a good deal of which was tobacco, but for the most part our way was through marsh-grass and low bushes. Nearly a mile north-east of the ruins of the city we passed what the best authorities positively say are the ruins of the temple. The archæologists have been quarrelling over this point for generations, and some think that the ruins are those of a great Christian fane. The fact is, that almost all the ruins have been quarries of building- and lime-stone for centuries, and those edifices which stood farthest to the east and north-east, as the temple did, suffered most because most accessible.

I do not propose to inflict upon the reader a list of the ruins which we saw, some well authenticated, and some not. It is not every mind, however well regulated, that will bear the personal inspection of ruins, much less a catalogue of them.

We passed on, still westward, skirting the rocky Mount Coressus, on the western side of which was the great theatre, then in process of excavation by Mr. Wood, who has since published an elaborate account of his discoveries. Far toward the west stretched the ruins where had been the markets, the stadium and the ports, with crumbling walls and towers of all stages of antiquity, Greek, Roman and Byzantine. One of the towers or forts, on an elevation to the westward, and of somewhat cyclopean construction, passes popularly for "St. Paul's Prison."

Far to the west glittered the sea in the Bay of Scala Nova, and beyond rose the mountains of Samos, still famed for fruity wine. It is generally supposed that the sea once came up to the site of Ephesus, but there is no good reason for the belief. The Cayster has undoubtedly in the course of ages brought down and deposited much soil, and has formed a delta, but we know that in the palmy days of the city a long canal, with solid quays of cut stone, led the ships up to the two ports. The remains of these canals have been traced for a long way, showing that the distance to the sea was always considerable, while the ports are still defined by the extra-luxuriant growth of bulrushes and cat-tails.

We had stopped at the theatre to examine the curious sculptures collected there by the excavators, and to enjoy the view. To do this we all dismounted, with the exception of the Armenian lady, who mildly but firmly declined to descend, no doubt feeling that there would be a difficulty in remounting where there was no railway-platform. In her own mind she no doubt said with MacMahon, "J'y suis! j'y reste!" Mounting again, we rode round to the south of Coressus, passing along a regular street, with the remains of paving and curbing, parallel with the southern wall of the ancient city, which ran along the declivity of Mount Pion. Here was pointed out the tomb of St. Luke. Extensive excavations were being made near here under English auspices, and tombs were daily being discovered, both pagan and early Christian. On the very day of our visit a substantial tomb had been exposed, cut clearly and deeply into the stone of which was the inscription in Greek, "Alexander the Rich."

The sun by this time was more than warm, and we were three or four miles from our luncheon. So the horses' heads were turned toward Aïasulouk; on which sign of being homeward bound they developed a speed little to be expected from their looks and previous conduct. Passing a breach in the wall of the ancient city, more tombs and the remains of an extensive colonnade, we came out upon the marshy plain which we had crossed once before, having completely circled Coressus. On the left, as we rode along, the ruins of the church dedicated to the Seven Sleepers were pointed out to us. The church or chapel was cut out of the solid rock as to the walls, with a groined roof of stone. We have all heard of the "Seven Sleepers" from our boyhood, perhaps the toughest yarn incident to that period. The Turks and Persians have their legends about them as well as the Christians. The Mohammedans preserve one set of names and the Christians another, so an inquirer may take his choice. The Moslems certainly make the most of the legend, for they place the names of the Sleepers upon buildings to prevent their being burned, and upon swords to prevent them from breaking; and they preserve the name of the dog which was shut up with them. The legend refers to the persecution of the Christians in the reign of Diocletian—some say the Decian persecution. The story goes that seven noble youths of Ephesus (being Christians and under persecution) fled to this cave for refuge—were pursued, discovered and walled in. In this dreadful condition they were miraculously put into a sleep which lasted, some say two, some three, hundred years.

The Koran relates the tale in a circumstantial way, regarding Moslems persecuted by Christians of course. It declares that the sun, out of respect for these young martyrs, altered his course, so that twice in the day he might shine upon the cavern. The name of the dog, "Kit Mehr," has always appeared in the traditions of the Mussulmans, but I believe no name has been preserved for him in the Christian story. This dog, having consumed three hundred years in standing erect, growling and guarding his masters' slumbers, was for his faithfulness considered worthy of translation to heaven. He was admitted to that beatitude in company with Abraham's ram, Balaam's ass, the foal upon which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and Mohammed's mare upon which he ascended to heaven.

What says Alcoran?—"When the youths betook them to the cave they said, 'O our Lord! grant us mercy from before thee, and order for us our affairs aright!' ... And thou wouldst have deemed them awake, though they were sleeping; and we turned them to the right and to the left; and in the entrance lay their dog with paws outstretched. Hadst thou come suddenly upon them thou wouldst surely have turned thy back on them in flight, and have been filled with fear of them.... Some say, 'There were three, their dog the fourth;' others say, 'Five, their dog the sixth,' guessing at the secret; others say, 'Seven, and their dog the eighth.' Say, 'My Lord best knoweth the number: none save a few shall know them.' Therefore be clear in thy discussions about them, and ask not any Christian concerning them. Haply, my Lord will guide me that I may come near to the truth of this story with correctness.... And they tarried in this cave three hundred years, and nine years over."

Half an hour brought us back to Aïasulouk and the mosque of Sultan Selim. Here everything seemed still more quiet than when we left. Even the storks were sitting or standing in a meditative posture, not one flying about. The railway porters and some rayahs were lying on the platform in the enjoyment of their midday slumbers, their heads and faces carefully wrapped up in their capotes, while their bare, bronzed shanks and huge feet, in shapeless red shoes, projected in what seemed absurd disproportion to the rest of their bodies. I must make an exception. There was one wide-awake individual awaiting us, the owner of the horses. He was no sooner paid for the hire of his animals than, tying them fast, he went into the miserable little café; and we found the animals still made fast, still saddled, unwatered and unfed, when we took the evening train, the owner being descried in the house of entertainment at work at a nargileh, and evidently the worse for raki.

It is rather a difficult thing to acknowledge, in the face of the great ruins then about us, with all their associations, that the thought of our dinner was by this time uppermost in the minds of nearly all our company. I have generally found, however, in much journeying about this wicked world, that the amount of condescension and interest with which one looks upon ancient remains depends very much upon the company in which one finds one's self, the state of the weather and the state of one's stomach.

Our worthy entertainer was a man of the world, and understood this little trait of humanity; so he led us straight to the roofless mosque, where we were shaded from the afternoon sun, but at the same time had his cheerful reflection from the upper part of the marble walls, from which trailed and waved lovely vines and parasites. There we found, spread upon a spotless cloth which rested on a clean-swept though cracked pavement parqueted in different marbles, a most delightful and plentiful luncheon. Shawls and rugs were placed, and we fell to at once, the Armenian lady playing her part as manfully as she had done in the saddle, and causing grilled fowls, kibabs and claret-cup to disappear in a way which reflected upon the capacity of some of the males of the party.

We had nearly finished our repast when a gypsy-woman peeped in at one of the doorways, but with instinctive good manners retired again until we had done with dessert and cigarettes were lighted. Then she came into the huge unroofed hall in which we were, and brought a pretty girl of about twelve and a boy of ten, who danced for our amusement a wild sort of prance with a castanet accompaniment. The mother then begged leave to divine our fortunes from the coffee-grounds in the cups, with the contents of which we had just wound up our feast. There is this difference between Levantine coffee and that made in our Western World: grounds are essential to the one, and are eagerly shaken up and swallowed, while in our parts the grounds are the opprobrium of the cook. There were, however, grounds enough left for the gypsy. But she made a very mild use of them mostly, predicting "good health and a good fig-season" to an American officer who did not grow figs and who had the constitution of a horse. Then she took a handful of pebbles, shells and the small cubes of stone extracted from ancient mosaic floors, and threw them broadcast upon a very dirty cotton handkerchief, predicting from their relative positions the fortunes of the two young ladies. As interpreted by one of the servants the prediction was decidedly hazy. It may have lost in being translated, but it amounted to this: "Him husband hab—werry good: plenty piastre got." A very small gratuity sent our gypsy friend off perfectly satisfied after salaams and kissing the hands of all the men of the party. Nobody ever kisses women's hands in the East—at least in public.

The conscientious member of the party, who "understood we had come mainly to inspect the ruins, and not for a picnic," and who had all day been very uncomfortable at the slight put upon antiquity by our light conduct in the face of so many centuries, now insisted upon at least a glance at the fine ruins in which we then were. They were well worthy of a close inspection, but I don't propose to inflict a description upon the reader. I may, however, mention a particularly picturesque minaret of very solid construction. Up the winding steps of this we all filed except the fat lady, who sat on the pavement below cross-legged, smoking a cigarette and smiling up at us benignly through the blue wreaths circling round her head from under the Paris hat.

After enjoying the view of the plain and the encircling hills with the satisfaction of persons who had "done" the thing and had not to do it again, we began to inspect the minaret itself and the dressed stone parapet against which we leaned; and there we found the name of the everlasting English (or American) snob who seems to pervade the universe for the sake of cutting or writing his name and the date of his visit upon every coign of vantage to which he can get access. Our Armenian friend, Mr. A——, pointed out that there were few Italian names in this record of fools, and scarcely any French or German; but Herostratus appears weak in comparison with our English and American travellers in the desire for cheap fame, for he had only to make a fire, a thing done in a very few moments, while the travelling snob must have worked industriously for an hour or two, and made his hands very sore, and probably spoiled a knife, in satisfying his aspirations.

The portals of this mosque are very fine. No doubt the greater part of the material for the building came from the ruins of Ephesus, but the portals and other principal points are of original design, and most undoubtedly erected by true architects and sculptors. They are Saracenic, not quite up to the examples we find in Spain and in Sicily, and in a modified and debased form in Morocco and elsewhere on the coast of Barbary. The inscriptions from the Koran are most elaborately and beautifully cut, and still in excellent preservation. The Moslem peasantry would not touch them, and the Christian rayahs are afraid to do so. There are, of course, no figures of men, or even of animals, but the charmingly correct arches and doorways, and the delicate tracery above them intermingled with Arabic characters, give a lightness to the portals which is hardly to be found anywhere east of the Alhambra or the Sevillian Alcazar.

But I must leave the ruins, for by this time the sun was sinking, giving the plain on which so many important events had occurred a more weird and deserted look than ever. The cavass in charge of the servants was beginning to be fussy, in fear that while we were dawdling about the one train might come and go, and the sitts and effendis be left to the limited accommodations of Aïasulouk for the night. So we filed down to the station, the servants preceding us with the hampers upon their heads, and the Armenian lady stepping out after them fresh and fair—indeed, much fresher than most of us, who were rather tired after the unusual exertions of the day.

As we retraced our morning's track we saw the same black tents of the Yourouks and Bedawee, the smoke from the fires of which mingled with the evening exhalations from the valley. Hundreds of sheep, horses and camels were now gathering close about the tents which had seemed so entirely deserted as we passed in the morning. There was no other moving thing to be seen as we rode north and the evening closed in—no lights in peasants' houses or fires on their hearths, for the Levantines are "early to bed and early to rise;" in addition to which custom they have, under the present paternal rule, acquired the habit of remaining as much out of sight as possible.

When we came into the station at Smyrna the night had fallen. A few flickering lamps and lanterns made the darkness visible, and except the porters and necessary officials there was not a soul there, Turk or Frank, to take the slightest interest in our movements. The place was perfectly deserted and dismal. At last we saw lights approaching, and another cavass (belonging to our excellent consul) appeared with lots of lanterns and men "with staves and swords," as becometh a Levantine consul, and, escorted by these, we walked a long way over the rough, slippery paving-stones before we reached the Armenian and Greek quarters. Here people were seen sitting in family groups at their doors and windows, gossiping with their neighbors and enjoying such evening air as is afforded by the streets of Smyrna. But they showed, at any rate, some human interest and enjoyment of life, and we must remember that they had been accustomed to the smells from childhood. Perhaps the weaker ones had all died off, for those we saw were very stout and hearty. In all respects their streets presented a pleasant contrast to the dark, filthy, windowless, cheerless lanes in the Turkish town, with the skulking, snarling, mangy dogs disputing one's right of way, and an occasional encounter with a scowling Moslem, lantern in hand and homeward bound, who drew up to the wall, and showed by the gleam of our lanterns upon his yellow face that he inwardly cursed us all for Giaours, and wondered that Allah in His providence permitted us to exist. In fact, the Anatolian Turk is still a good Mohammedan of the time of Solyman, and not one of the degenerate race of Stamboul.

E.S.