Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

already offered. Their party was from Constantinople, but were going on a visit farther into the country. They took a friendly leave of us, while we set forward at a brisk pace. I could not, however, but feel a new conviction that the impressions which I had been taught to cherish respecting the Turkish character, were in some respects too unfavorable. I felt thankful, I trust to our heavenly Father, that he had not suffered all the kindly feelings of our social nature, to be driven from the heart of either 6 Jew, or Turk, or infidel."

As we descended the hill, the vapour was rising very abundantly from the stream, indicating the situation of the different hot fountains. In the plain we met a Turk on horseback, and at a distance bebind him, his wife and two children. She gave us the usual morning salutation, and as if accidentally, suffered the veil to escape, by which an agreeable countenance was concealed. At the village of Samanderli, a young Mussulman very civilly handed us water, and another in the fields gave us of his melons. From no one, indeed, during the whole journey, did we experience the least degree of rudeness.

At Galloway, we met with an Ionian Greek, suffering from lameness, on whom Nicholas begged permission to use my lancet. A Turk standing by, asked if we were Englishmen, to which I as usual gave an affirmative answer, intending by this only that I had English protection. He remarked to some one afterwards, that I did not look like an Englishman. It seems he had been one of the guards at the English palace, but was lately dismissed, for alleged neglect, in suffering an Ionian prisoner to escape. He may have formed his opinion concerning me, from not having seen me often, or from conversation respecting me at the palace door. I regretted I had not gone into the trouble of explaining that I was an American lest he should have thought me insincere. Subsequently I was careful to make known my American character.

Finding the wind favorable for a return to the isl. ands, I relinquished the idea of visiting Brusa, Nice or Nicomedia, famous cities of Bithynia, or the little village on the north of the gulf supposed to have been the place where Hannibal the Carthaginian poisoned himself. In this place I had concealed the fact of my being a physician, so that summoning our boatmen, our little bark was soon under weigh. Even at Galloway we were within sight of Prinkipos, our home in which we safely reached before the Saturday sun was set.

My health had been much improved by the excursion; we had distributed tracts among the Greeks, and made as I hoped, some useful observations on the state of society. I hoped too, that such impressions were left on the minds of many, as would tend to prepare the way for more appropriate missionary labore hereafter.

CHAPTER XIX.

LITERARY NOTICES.

Interruption of plans for travel and study-Importance of preparato

ry reading in America – Opinion of Prof. Lee-First year's studies—Languages of the Levant-Best mode of acquiring them - Familiarity with oriental objects-Manuscripts and books.

Prinkipos, Aug. 10, 1827. I have been waiting to gather the rarest flowers that spring in all the orient, for one to whose judicious counsel and generous friendship, I am so much indebted. As yet however I have not been able on the spot where they tell us the first parents of our race dwelt in their innocence, to seek for those

“That never will in other climate grow.”

Still I have often looked towards the mountains of Ararat, for to tell you the truth, the word Armenia has not lost its charm for my ear. Indeed I have twice been on the point of setting out for that quarter. The first occasion was after some alarm of the plague, and we had a prospect of all being shut up in our houses for the summer. I was then earnestly solicited to accompany an English traveller who wished to visit Persia, and who was willing after that to go to Jerusalem. We had proposed to stop for a fortnight at Tocat, and Mr. B. had been furnished with such information as he hoped might enable us to find the grave of Martyn, or at least to glean some additional facts respecting his death. A second time Mr. Hartley Vol. I.

16

and myself having resolved to devote some months to the study of Turkish, made considerable preparation for going up to spend the summer with Mr. Gridley, at Caisarea. My leading object in both instances was the acquisition of that language, which I find from the trial already made needs pretty close application, and that too in the midst of a people where it is exclusively spoken. Such situations I am assured may be found in Armenian families at no greater distance than Brusa ; but I had thought to accomplish the object of exploring the country, while going forward with my principal employment. My English friends, whose opinions on political prospects I feel bound to regard without particularly enquiring their reasons, dissuaded me from such an undertaking. I was also informed by them that two English travellers in the interior had been dragged from village to village, and so ill treated that the death of one of them was the consequence. They were suspected of having made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but rumors of hostile intentions on the part of the Christian powers were perhaps the principal reason of the violence which was offered them. We heard also that the plague was extending its ravages westward from Syria, and by June had reached Beyrout, Tarsus and Caisarea. Mr. Gridley himself, whose opinion I asked, did not decidedly advise the journey. . But though my own travels have led me so little in regions where you felt a special interest, you will rejoice to hear that a learned German traveller has lately started for the Caucasian countries. These, I recollect, you often spoke of as an untrodden field, and I doubt not important results will follow his researches. He is I believe under the patronage of the French king, and direction of De Sacy.*.

I hope never to suffer literary and scientific objects to interfere with my higher calling, and would determine with the apostle, “to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Still, I greatly regret that I did not while with you, enter more vigorously on an examination of these and the neighboring countries, and the pursuit of kindred studies. But you know what were the unhappy causes that always restrained the wings of my desire, and made me grovel away the years, in which I was favored with your society. I thank you most sincerely for your counsels, and can freely say, that the impressions then made on my mind by your remarks on the preparatory study of the languages, history, opinions and customs of the people among whom a missionary is to dwell, have been deepened by the sentiments of all judicious men around me, and still more by my every day's experience. If a missionary is not wanted to write a learned journal, he should at least, be so conversant with the history of the country where he resides, as not to expose himself to ridicule. The time has gone by, when it is neces. sary to shew that a clergyman at home, who should be grossly ignorant of history, general literature and science, would be destitute of some important advantages, for exerting a good influence over his parishioners. The same holds truc of a missionary, and a mis

* Prof. Schultz, was, if I mistake not, the individual to whom reference was had. His valuable discoveries at Constantinople, hereafter mentioned, compensate for a failure in the proposed journey.

« ZurückWeiter »