« ZurückWeiter »
July 26.—In the morning, I had many urgent calls to visit the sick. While disposing of some of the patients who had presented themselves at the door, I was told that every thing must give place to a summons from one of the wives of the aga. On my hesitating, because I had not received a formal message from him, I was told by the multitude not to fear, and hurried along by them to the house of the principal Greek in the village. Here, after being ushered into the sitting room, I was requested to wait until the lady was veiled. It was the first time I had visited a Turkish female, and I felt slightly awkward in my new situation. She however, seated herself with a great deal of grace, and extended her hand, without any covering of gauze, which the older travellers have said was always used. The lady of the house sat by her side, and several other Greek woman stood in attendance, while with rapid articulation she went through the usual story of an invalid. There was no need for Panagiotes, my calpacked interpreter, to complete the translation. Her languid countenance which she suffered to be seen, as far as the usages of her sex would render delicate in the presence of so many strangers, indicated general debility. She enquired if I had any medicines which I thought would prove beneficial, and on my replying in the affirmative, I was told that the aga must first be consulted, and then if he approved, I should be invited to his house. As I received no further message, I could not be quite sure that cariosity to see the new hakem, might not have been one motive for desiring the interview. The people of the country improve the opportunity of a physician's passing, to obtain medicines for the prevention as well
as the cure of disease. At the urgent request of a Greek priest, I next went to visit his father; but the applications from the sick beginning to be too numerous for my health, I found it necessary to hasten my departure. · There are four churches in Tousla, and what is uncommon, only the same number of priests, who were all married. The place as we afterwards learned, sustains a bad character among the Greeks themselves. An evidence of their dishonesty we ourselves met with in the loss of all our rhubarb, one of the few ara ticles of the materia medica which they venture to use. My host felt chagrined at the loss. I had no disposition to suspect him, but I remembered a very officious woman, whose honeyed words had made me wonder what object she had in common with those who are attempting their daily impositions.
Leaving Tousla, we proceeded along an irregular shore, studded with islands. On one of them we landed to examine some ruins, probably those of a castle. The vineyard which overspreads the place, once guarded perhaps by some chivalrous knight of the crusaders, with difficulty yielded us a few ripe clusters, for the time of grapes 6 is not yet.” About noon we entered the gulf of Is-nik-mid, or Nicomedia, and after rowing along the northern shore for an hour or more, reached the large and flourishing town of Aritchy,
TOUR ALONG THE COAST OF BITHYNIA.
Aritchu-A worthy Greek family-Medical fame-Turkish pa.
tients—A Greek waiting in the church for miraculous cure An oriental feast-Crowd of sick-Galloway–Ride into the interior—Hot springs of Daghamam-A night on the mountains of Bithynia—Civilities of a Turkish family-Conversation with a Mahometan—Daghamam to Galloway-Return to Prinkipos.
Aritchu, July 26, 1827. This town, which is the most considerable of any between Constantinople and the ancient Nicomedia, is situated a little within the gulf of Is-nik-mid, and on its northern side. It is built on the ascent of a hill at a little distance from the shore." Many of its bouses though high and spacious, have this disagreeable peculiarity. Being raised upon piles, the open space beneath, which can easily be seen through the floor, answers the purpose of both pig sty and common sewer. The greater part of the population is Greek, although the Turks amount to several hundreds. Both classes appeared more wealthy than in any of the villages where we had been, and the Greeks are spoken of at Constantinople for their good character. At the commencement of the Greek revolution, Aritchu was the seat of the most savage enormities on the part of the Turks. One church was then destroyed, the houses of the wealthy were plundered, and numbers put to death. At present, so great is the desire of the Greeks to leave the country, that no females are permitted to go to Constantinople, lest they should fee thence with their husbands to the Archipelago.
We were not long in finding an introduction to a very worthy Greek family, whose son, an acquaintance of Nicholas, is now a professor in the College at Corfu. These excellent people could scarcely have given a more cordial welcome to their own children, than they did to us strangers. Every thing was made to give way to our accommodation, and no remuneration received but some tracts, and a copy of the New Testament, which at the low price of the Bible Society, would have amounted to but a few piastres. Having de posited our baggage, we sallied forth to explore the town.
My medical fame it seems had gone before me, for on entering the place, I was accosted by a woman, whom I with difficulty recognised as a very afflicted patient, that had visited me at Prinkipos. Owing in a very · considerable degree, doubtless, to the beneficial effects of her journey, a most distressing nervous and rheumatic affection of long standing, had been greatly relieved. Of course on seeing me, the grateful patient did not fail to proclaim aloud my skill, so that before evening, I had a considerable number of applications from the sick. One of these was from a well dressed young Turk, whom we met at the coffee house. He was suffering from an intermittent, and wished an emetic more powerful than one he had lately obtained. On receiving it, at the same time expressing his hopes that it was bono-good, he took out his purse to pay me. I told him to keep the money, and give it to the poor, upon which, a great company of Turks loudly expressed their approbation. Another, then, who appeared to be a man of considerable consequence, was anxious for medicine, but said it was not his custom to take it without having his physician with him. I explained to him, that journeying as I was for health, it would be inconvenient for me to stop on the morrow, but that I should probably return in a few days, when I would certainly call. Upon this, clapping me on the shoulder, he said I was peki adam,—a good man, and that when I came back I must stay at his house. After this, a third took me to visit his daughter, a poor girl, who cried aloud with fear when I entered. While some remedies were preparing, which I was to return and administer, a Constantinople Turk, wished my advice for his sister, with whom he was travelling for her health. But the most novel circle to which I was introduced, was that of the whole harem of another wealthy individual. Besides the interpreter, the person that accompanied me here was the father before mentioned, who appeared to be a dependent of the house. The evening was already approaching and I was impatient to return, but I had yet no small task to satisfy my noisy patients. Each of the wives gathering their respective children around them, sat on the floor atmy feet. Besides those who were really sick, all the others fancied themselves ill, or at least, wanted to at tract the notice of the hakem. It was no easy matter for me to determine the priority of their claims, nor perhaps would it have been possible for the mothers themselves to agree who should take precedence. At last I broke away, with clearer and more affecting ideas of the endless clamor and contention which must reign in such a household. I trust, too, I felt more dispused to exult in that pure and elevating system of faith, which is the great source of domestic happiness in truly christian lands.