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blow from a negro officer, yet he regarded this as but a small drawback on the gratification which it afforded of his curiosity. As for myself, having had a previous opportunity of beholding him to better advantage, I chose to keep my more digpified station among the horses of his highness, and catch only a hasty view of his heron's plume studded with diamonds. We saw no other disposition to treat Franks with rudeness, and it is very possible, that had one of the Turks not belonging to the military, been thus forward, he might have met with a worse reception. Previous notice is always given, probably at the different mosques, of that at which the Sultan will attend. By enquiring in the streets, you can often ascertain this of the first Turk you meet. The occasion is improved by those who have petitions to present, and a particular officer always stands ready to receive them. The small mosque within the walls of the Seraglio, and which was formerly the church of St. Irene, is that, which on all other occasions, is frequented by the court.
On a subsequent day, we took a boat and ascended the Bosphorus, quite to its entrance into the Black Sea, a distance of thirty miles. My companion busied himself in tracing the route of the Argonauts, and we both of us rested for some time on the Cyanean rocks of Europe. As we passed near one of the royal summer houses, several barges with females of the Seraglio under the conduct of a black servant, were just pushing off. Our Turkish boatmen requested us to lay down our charts, and avoid a too scrutinizing gaze. We were careful on setting out to inform them that we were Americans. Besides the favorable light in which Americans are generally viewed by the Turks,
we soon found that as such, we had a peculiar share in the good graces of our conductors. The Americans, they said, had made war upon the Algerines, by whom a brother, and other friends had been killed. They themselves had met with ill treatment in a quarrel, which took place between the Algerine and Turkish sailors at the Dardanelles, and which seemed by their account, for a season to have threatened very serious consequences. Thus it would appear that Mussulmans too, notwithstanding a common faith, sometimes fall out by the way.
Upon the very day, when, as we afterwards learned, the Sultan's answer was given to the ambassadors, we were traversing the streets of Constantinople without molestation, from one extremity to the other. The same practice I continued, after the departure of my friend to rejoin his vessel. In one instance, I made a two days' excursion by way of Kiadh-hane and Belgrade, to the shores of the Black Sea. I felt it a luxury on leaving the barren and dreary country, to enter the royal forest, in the midst of which is situated the lovely village of Belgrade. It is several leagues in breadth, and stretches along the coast of the Euxine at intervals, for a hundred miles. No part of the country reminded me so forcibly of American scenery, as these groves of beech, chesnut and birch trees, with the silvery lakes which they embosom. On first visiting the bends or artificial reservoirs, which supply the city with water, it did not occur to my recollection that they were the work of art. In one or two villages beyond Belgrade, inhabited by Greeks, I found that small parties of Turkish soldiers, had just been quartered. Thus every precaution seemed to have
been taken, to prevent the slightest disorder at this critical period.
In a former passage up the rivulet Barbysses, which enters the barbor through the delightful valley of Sweet Waters, we met a fine looking Turk, travelling with only one or two attendants. From the awe which his approach inspired even among the Mussulmans, it was evident that he was a person of some consequence.
The boatmen said he was the Grand Vizier. As he glided past us, we discovered in his countenance as we thought, marks of care, which could not with his robes of office be laid aside. Besides the purposes of relaxation, he had been, we presumed, to inspect the preparations for a military fete that was exhibited a few days afterwards. A slight structure in imitation of a Greek fortress had been thrown up, and a mine constructed underneath. Here the Sultan reviewed his troops in person, and after a feigned action and flight of the pretended Greeks, fire was set to the train, and the whole blown into the air. This was understood by many, as indicating the monarch’s purpose of listening to no terms of accommodation. It is a common opinion of the people, and perhaps the idea is encouraged by the government, that not only the principal officers, but even the Grand Seignior himself, is in the habit of visiting different parts of the city in disguise. I was once walking in Pera, and met a Turk, probably one of the chief dignataries, by no means richly dressed, and striding along entirely alone. There was nothing in him to attract my notice but his haughty gait, and the quailing and shrinking back of the multitudes before the rapid glance of his keen black eye, A thousand anecdotes are related of the
strict and even handed justice, which the Sultan is said to administer on such occasions.
But though in this unrestrained manner I have traversed the city and country without fears of present disturbances, yet in the opinion of many, war will ultimately ensue. All therefore whose business permits, are withdrawing at least to Smyrna. Under these circumstances, and as access to every class of people is, for the time being, greatly interrupted, I have decided with the unanimous advice of my friends to go down to the Islands of the Archipelago. Mr. Leeves has confided to my care more than sixteen hundred copies of the Modern Greek Testament, to which others are to be added from the depot at Smyrna, as occasion shall require. As yet only a few copies have been circulated in Greece, and it seems highly desirable that small depots should be established for the sale of the Scriptures in different parts of the country. I wish also to ascertain what encouragement that country holds out for the labors of Missionaries.
Before leaving the country, I have given information of the gathering storm to the missionary family at Beyrout, and to Mr. Gridley my missionary brother at Caisarea, twenty five or thirty days' journey from Constantinople. The latter I have advised to hasten in some direction as fast as possible to the coast.*
* Little however, as it afterwards appeared, did this devoted missionary stand in need of such advice. Even then, he was within but a few days' remove of “ where the wicked cease from troub. ling, and the weary are at rest.” He died at Caisarea on the 27th of September. The Christian Spectator, speaking of the early Mediterranean missionaries, pays the following just tribute to his memory. “ The grave of Parsons is in a Greek convent at Alexans
Having thus discharged the duties of private friendship, and made every arrangement which the public interests of my mission seemed to demand, a few days since, with a passport from the English Ambassador, I presented myself before the Turkish authorities. [I had at an earlier period called at the hotel of the Prussian Embassy, but finding that the gentlemen attached to the legation were absent from town, and that nothing occurred to interrupt the public tranquility, I felt that any special precautions would be unnecessary.] Though I was mentioned in the document as an English subject, the chancellor nevertheless asked of what country l was. Having seen me often as I came in town from the islands, he was doubtless aware of my nation and of my object there. Indeed I was given to understand that my proceedings, in common with those of all foreigners, and especially the Bible men, had been carefully watched by the new police. On my replying to the enquiry that I was an American going to Syra, the principal Turk, putting his hand upon his breast in the oriental style of salutation, very politely wished me in Italian, buon viaggio—a good voyage.
dria; his companion in travel, (Fisk,) lies at Beyrout, and Gridley, worthy to be their successor in their toils, and their companion in that glory into which they as well as he, entered through much tribulation, sleeps in savage Cappadocia.”—“From long and familiar acquaintance with him, we may say, that a man of more indefati. gable industry, of more restless energy and enterprise, is rarely found. With uncommon vigor and hardihood of physical constitution, he combined a more uncommon disposition, to deny himself in all things for the cause of his master.”