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butter much used here. It is several months since I have eaten any. Cow's milk is scarce on these hilly and rocky islands. Yaourt, or milk soured in a particular manner, is one of the most common, and is regarded by the people as one of the most grateful and healthful luxuries. You may see at evening on the marina, (our whole town is built along the shore,) numbers of small brown earthen dishes in which it is exposed for sale. The price is from thirty to sixty paras, exclusive of the vessel which is exchanged from day to day. Our bread which is made from Russian wheat is good. Some of the people use barley bread. Indian corn is grown in the country, but I do not see it eaten by the people. Pilaf or soup begins the daily meal. The rice for the former comes from Egypt. Olive oil and lemons are seldom absent from the table. Should the lemons fail, the Turks would almost rise in rebellion. There is no molasses here, but petmes, a syrup prepared from grapes, is a partial substitute. Tea is only the luxury of Franks. Coffee closes the meal of every one, from the Sultan to his meanest slave. An ass is the only beast used for riding. One may be purchased for fisteen or twenty dollars. Horses and camels, particularly the first, are most common in this part of Asia Minor,
About half the children in Prinkipos are able to read a little. I can now talk with them in Greek as well as with the Catholic children in Italian. A good deal is said about a war with the English, but I rather think the storm will blow over.
RESIDENCE AT THE PRINCES' ISLANDS.
Situation-Desolate islets-Mineral and vegetable productions
A widowed family-Permanent and occasional residents-Intercourse with the city-Monasteries—Their secular character
- Property-Ecclesiastical prison-Superstitious resort of the sick-Brutal conduct of an Hegumenos—A benevolent monkChurches-Agiasmas-Priests.
Syra, Dec. 1827. The Princes’ Islands, of which I promised you a more particular account, are situated in the sea of Marmora, at the distance of twelve and twenty miles, south east from Constantinople. The channel between them and the coast of Asia, varies from three to six miles, and is the ordinary passage for vessels to the gulf of Is-nik-mid—the ancient Nicomedia.
The four principal islands, and the only ones now inhabited, are Prinkipos, Chalke, Antigone and Protos. These are separated from each other, for the most part only by narrow channels. Their relative extent as well as distance from Constantinople, is in the order of their names; Prinkipos being ten or twelve miles in circumference, and Protos scarcely half as much. The latter derives its name from its position, being the first as you approach from the city.
Oxeia and Plateia, so called from their narrow and broad forms, are at a considerable distance to the north west of the group. On these, and several of the other islets and the larger islands, are ruins, probably of the time of the Greek emperors. Myriads of gulls
and other sea fowls have taken possession of them, and by their clamors and fearlessness, forcibly remind one of the neighboring country of the harpies. I once landed here with a company, which amused themselves with catching some dozens of their young. The noise of the thousands just over our heads was such, that we could with difficulty hear each other's voices. A shower of feathers constantly descended from birds, which but seldom were roused on the wing, while the ground beneath, was covered like a poultry yard. Their unwonted tameness, added to the tall and rank weeds with which foundations of dwellings, fountains and fortresses are overspread, give an air of indescribable desolation to these solitary islets.
All the islands exhibit the same general aspect, rising gradually from the sea, to the height of from one to four hundred feet, and having little or no plane sur. face. The summits, and indeed the greater part even of the larger islands, is uncultivated, and where not rocky, extensively covered with low evergreens. Of these, the principal are the pine, the juniper, and the arbutus or strawberry tree. The soil is argillaceous, and strongly impregnated and colored red with iron. Clays resembling the cimolite, or fullers' earth, form the basis of the islands at the level of the sea; on this rest beds of argillaceous iron ore ; while the upper strata are of naked quartz rock. Copper ore is also found in small quantities.
On the lower grounds are some fine gardens, and wheat was extensively cultivated ten or twelve years since. Latterly, however, the vine has become the chief object of culture, for which the sunny hills are well adapted. Besides wise and grapes for home con.
sumption, a considerable quantity of both are sent to Constantinople.
My own summer residence was 66 in the midst of a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.” It belonged to a Greek family, which formerly had the care of training the female children of the Seraglio. Here, without the presence of a single male Turk, they were taught chiefly music and dancing. Some offence given to the Sultan by a friend of the family, cost the father and two oldest sons their heads. The lone females still enjoy the friendship of their former pupils, and receive occasional presents from them, in return for the fruits of the island. After the death of their husbands, their dwellings were plundered as usual, of every thing valuable. At present, their scanty support is derived from the rent of their houses, and the income of a vineyard. They have little intercourse with any people of the village, save their worthy priest, and exhibit (the young women particularly,) the deepest marks of corroding grief and disappointed pride. “On the side of oppressors is power,” but a day of retribution will
In Antigone are fifty or sixty houses, and one hundred and fifty or two hundred in Chalke and Prinkipos, respectively. These all, with very few exceptions, belong to the Greeks, and are clustered together at the principal landing place in each island. During the summer months, they are crowded with some additional thousands of Greeks, Franks and Armenians, who are glad of the smallest shelter from the heat and plague of the city. Occasionally some of the foreign ambassadors spend a few months early in the summer at Chalke. Only the Austrian ambassador has been
there the present year. Prinkipos would perhaps be thought as pleasant a residence, but there are no houses here so large as those which the wealthy Greeks of the Phanar, have built on the former island. Heretofore no Turk has resided in the islands, except individual agents of the Aga of Charlatami, to whose jurisdiction they belong. In years when like the present, the plague is not too rife at Constantinople, numbers of light four oared boats, ply daily between the islands and the capital. The usual time of going from Prinkipos, (the most distant,) is from two to three hours. The principal profits of the boatmen are derived from the transportation of passengers, who pay in ordinary circumstances but two or three piastres. More is however expected from Franks, and variations of weather, feast days, and like causes, often greatly increase the price. The boatmen profit also by executing various commissions for the wealthier residents, such as conveying letters and making purchases.
On approaching the islands, the most prominent and beautiful objects which meet the eye, are the Greek monasteries. Of these there is one in Protos, (which has no other dwellings, two in Antigone, and three in both Chalke and Prinkipos. They occupy generally the most commanding, and always the finest situations, having succeeded here probably as elsewhere, to the idol temples of antiquity. Like the same temples, they are dedicated to some patron saint, after whom they are called, as St. George, St. Nicholas, or St. Elias. On entering the chapel, the picture of the saint presents itself in a conspicuous place, to receive little short of the idolatrous worship which was paid to the images of Jupiter and Apollo.