Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

woman in the Greek church. It was one of those frequent cases, where superstition has a most pernicious influence on the poor patient. She was suffering with the rheumatism, and had for thirty-five or forty days been lying with only a rug on the cold marble floor of the church. Of course the supposed demoniac bad not yet been dispossessed. Had the evil spirit taken the form of a fever, he would have found less congenial lodgings. I ought not however to leave the impression that all diseases are believed by the people to be of demoniacal origin, but only those, probably, which are long continued, or uncommon. Still all the sick are supposed to derive benefit from being placed within or near the door of the church. In the present instance, I began with representing strongly the importance in such complaints of a warm situation and clothing. Findding this was listened to, I cautiously intimated that as by her own account she had been constantly growing worse since she came, she might now feel at liberty to depart. It was accordingly ecided that as so n as it was day, the removal should take place. How much might a missionary physician do to overthrow like superstitions!

On our return, we sat down with the family to their principal meal. Tuis with the Greeks is usually at evening. Our table was only a small stool, scarcely a foot above the floor on which we sat. After we had reclined upon the carpet, a little boy by direction of the grandfather stood up and said grace with great propriety of manner. The company having crossed themselves, then set to eating with no small diligence. In the progress of the feast, the father took the wine cup and exchanging a formal compliment with him Vol. I.

15

who sat next, drank of it freely. In like manner it was passed around twice or thrice to each in order. The evening was closed by an interesting conversation on the peculiar exertions of the present age for spreading the scriptures, and with them the genuine spirit of christianity through the world.

. Aritchu, July 27. In the morning before I had time to take even a dish of coffee, the house was crowded with a multitude of miserable objects soliciting medical advice. I sat down among them with at least one advantage for successful practice--the implicit confidence of my patients. All ages, sexes, conditions and diseases were represented, and before one party had broken up another succeeded in their stead. To these I administered as well as the shortness of the time, and my little stock of medicines would permit. At last exhausted with fatigue, and seeing that the large room which had been given up to us, was becoming more and more thronged, I was constrained to break away and to retire to a more private apartment. The doors being closed after me, I then partook of some refreshments and prescribed more leisurely to a Turk and a few intimate friends whom the family had admitted. With the exception of this single individual, all who bad visited me to-day were Greeks. It was estimated that of those whose cases had been attended to, there were considerably more than an hundred, and nearly as many more went away without advice. They were quieted with the encouragement of a speedy return, which we then purposed. We took leave of our friends, strongly urged to make a longer stay on our return. A young man seeing us pass down the street, ran after

us, and in the most moving manner requested me to stop and visit his brother, at the same time offering me any sum of money in payment. I could not resist his intreaties, (I too had a brother beyond the seas,) and turned aside for a moment to a patient who was suffering as they supposed from a stroke of the sun.” Most of the sick were ailing of the fever which under various modifications was prevailing so widely around Constantinople. Palsy too and rheumatism, and other chronic disorders had presented themselves before me. It was truly painful to witness many whom their friends had dragged to the door. I felt that it was not strange such numbers should have followed the Saviour, and gathered about the dwelling in every city and village of Judea, when there was one within, whose word

is Was music to the sinner's ears,
Was life, and health and peace.”

Disregarding the cries of several who followed us to the water, I threw myself into the boat, sensible that I had already made exertions too great for my strength. The wind not being favorable for reaching Nicomedia at the head of the long and narrow gulf, we stretched directly accross to the Turkish village of Galloway, where we arrived in a couple of hours. On landing we were saluted with a hosh-geldin-welcome,” and sat down to take our coffee in this busy village of fifty houses. Travellers were continually coming and going ; bales of merchandize, particularly of silk from Brusa, were unlading from camels, and shipping for Constantinople, on board the small country vessels. For a town entirely Turkish, it has an air

of unusual activity. There are two mosques, and a school near one of them. We could hear the children rehearsing their task from the Koran, and the sound of the master's rod reminded us that human nature is the same in every climate and under every system of religious faith. Many of the men spoke Greek with great propriety, and in particular several who had been driven from the Morea. They have the reputation of being exceedingly cruel. In the destruction of the church and the outrages inflicted on the Greeks at Aritchu, they were largely concerned. A party of them also landed in Prinkipos, and made an unsuccessful attack on the monasteries, in the same period of anarchy. I was pained to see the looks of terror which a few Greek laborers exhibited, as their wallets were examined by the custom house officer.

It had been our intention to spend the night with a wealthy Greek in a village a few hours in the interior. He had bought several New Testaments and received tracts of me in Prinkipos. Most of his Greek neighbors spoke only Turkish, and when I informed him that I had the gospels in Greco-Turkish, he raised his hands and exclaimed amaun, amaun-mercy, mercy,

[This use of the word for expressing strong admiration, was new to me. The soldier repeats it when he begs for quarters. I have it associated in my recollection with a thrilling cry of distress uttered by a Greek, when a Turkish officer in Prinkipos caught up a stool and followed him, threatening to take his life. The poor fellow escaped by rushing through several houses, and his Turkship at length appeased by the entreaties of the principal Greeks, smoothed down his mustachoes and accepted of coffee and a pipe. Fearing

that he would execute his threat, I had hastened towards the spot, hoping by my presence to render some aid.]

In answer to his frequent solicitations, I had promised to visit this worthy man at his own house. On enquiring, however, the distance to the village, a Turk asked whether I was acquainted with any one there. I had forgotten the name of my friend, but found from description, that he was well known to them. There was something in the manner of these questions at this time of apprehended rupture with the Europeans, which made me fearful of exciting suspicion against one whose wealth had already perhaps attracted too much notice. Without seeming therefore to be disconcerted by his enquiries, I asked the like questions respecting other places, and determined to change my visit to the warm baths of Daghamam. Yielding more to the impulse of his generous and hospitable feelings than to any prudential considerations, I learned that having heard of our arrival, he came down on the following day to the landing place with presents of fruit, and beasts to convey us if we could be prevailed on to accompany him to his place of residence. Towards men of such precious character as his has appeared to me, I feel my soul beginning to be 6 grappled as with hooks of steel."

On our first arrival at Galloway, the aga sent to enquire if I had a firman and tescaree, but contented himself with seeing the latter. This local passport, is at present the most important document for the traveller. With this only, Mr. Gridley has gone up from Smyrna to Kaisarea, twenty days' journey. The firman which I have since procured and forwarded will give him greater security. Neither Frankis, ray

« ZurückWeiter »