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DEPARTURE FROM TURKEY.
Temperance of the Mahometans—Island of Marmora—Charac
ters of my companions—Conversation on the usages of their church—Broukolakas—Gallipoli–The Dardanelles as a missionary station–Tenedos—Alexandria Troas.
Sea of Marmora, Sept. 15, 1827. Though the wind has been contrary during the night, yet with the aid of the current, which sets very strongly from the Bosphorus, we have made considerable progress. On our right hand, the low shore of Europe stretches along distinctly in view; and on our left, the snow-clad summit of the Mysian Olympus has drawn near to greet us.
From this and the neighboring mountains, ship loads of ice and snow, during the summer season, are constantly brought to Constantinople.
Every where in the city and suburbs, sherbet cool. ed with this mixture, is exposed or carried round for sale. Sherbet may be prepared from a variety of fruits. Most frequently however, it is the expressed juice of raisins. After it has been poured through a colander filled with snow, a little rose water is added from a vessel resembling a pepper box. Thus prepared, it is an agreeable beverage, and with the coffee which is to be had at every corner, takes the place of the more pernicious draughts of our country. The sherbet is sold at two paras, and the small cup of coffee for five,-less than a penny, yet most of this coffee
is brought from America. Though served up without milk, and often without sugar, the coffee soon becomes very acceptable to foreigners. In the coffee houses a vessel of hot water is kept constantly by the fire, from which a smaller one is filled whenever you call for a dish. Into this, the moment that the water boils, a table spoonful of coffee is poured, which has usually been beaten very fine in a mortar. As soon as the bubbles make their appearance again, without being clarified, it is ready for use. Hence it is that the traveller has only time to seat himself, and take into bis hands the chibouke, or pipe, before it is presented. They only who have made trial of it, are able to say, whether it is a Turkish coffee house and a semi-bar. barous land, that give it all its zest.
Those who wish to check the progress of intemperance in our own country, do well to know the substilutes for wine and ardent spirits, which religious scruples or other causes have elsewhere introduced. Many who will not be prevailed on to become water drinkers, might, during the winter months, content themselves with a cup of coffee, though prepared in the hasty manner of the Turks. It is earnestly to be desired that innholders, and especially the keepers of small groceries should be persuaded to offer their customers, this cheap and wholesome refreshment.
In all my intercourse with the Turks, I do not remember to have seen more than two in a state of intoxication. One of these was the servant of a foreign consul at Smyrna, and the other a soldier at Constantipople, whom the guard were leading away, probably to punishment. And yet no people in the world have greater muscular power, or bear heavier burdens than Vol. I.
the Turkish porters. A traveller would hardly be credited, who should speak of some well authenticated facts, but most masters of vessels and naval gentlemen who visit Smyrna, are aware, that they make no account of carrying four or five hundred pounds weight. What a reproach to Christian nations, that the holier principles of their faith, should not do as much to suppress and prevent intemperance.
In the suburbs and in the Christian quarters of the city, the mild wines of the country are publicly sold. A species of brandy, called by the Greeks rakie, and which is distilled from wine or the residuum that is left after treading the wine press, also tempts the unwary to the formation of ruinous habits. Still the number of confirmed drunkards among the Greeks is small, though on occasion of their festivals, they too often violate the rules of temperance.
P. M.-The wind has freshened, and become more unfavorable, so that we are standing off towards the island of Marmora. Its height as well as that of the peninsula of Cyzicus which we have passed, and the European coast from which we are receding, must be several hundred feet. The island, and from that, the sea of Marmora, derives its name from the extensive quarries of marble which are still wrought there. These are now visible, as we approach, from the piles of ruins around them. We discover also, lights glimmering along the shore, belonging probably to the vessels which have come to obtain materials for the new palaces and barracks erecting at Constantinople. The marble of Paros is no longer at the command of the Sultan, and it is easier for the people of the capital to raise stones from their native bed, than to bring
them from ruined cities in the interior of Asia. At Smyrna, on the contrary, their new structures are supported by marble, porphyry and granite pillars, which once adorned the temples and palaces of Ephesus, Sardis, and other Ionian and Lydian cities. The vast cemeteries of Constantinople and its suburbs, are likewise dependent on Marmora for their tomb stones.
During the evening, I was interested in a plaintive song of the sailors as they leaned over the side of the vessel towards their native island. They had been absent three months from home, but were now probably within a few days sail, and hope must have prevailed over their anxieties. Of the passengers, who like myself, were going out not knowing whither they went, and without my sources of consolation, there were several whose countenances indicated the deepest sadness. May the God of the stranger and pilgrim, be their God, and bring their wandering feet at length to
a city of habitation” more fixed than the dwellings of earth.
Rarely it is that I have heard among the Greeks any of the 66 songs of Zion."
Most of those now in common use, especially in the independent parts of Greece as I am assured, are patriotic and warlike. These have taken the place to a great degree of their former kleftic, or piratical songs.
Sept. 16.–Found ourselves at morning, but a little distance below the island of Marmora.
I learn more and more as we advance, of the character of our company. Probably they are a pretty good specimen of the Greeks with whom I shall meet in the islands below. The captain and his brother who are the principal owners, are still devoted to the super
stitions of their church. During the night, their lamp is kept burning before the picture of the Virgin. Their devotions are performed with commendable regularity, yet with more publicity than is needful or consistent with the direction, “But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet.” In the morning, instead of retiring for this purpose into their cabin which would be quite convenient, they merely turn aside on the deck of the vessel. And yet there is a simplicity of manners about these gentlemen, which discountenances the idea, of gross Pharisaism. The views entertained by Protestants of private devotions, are widely different from those of the Greek; the Catholic; or the Mahometan.
Before beginning their meals, they are careful to make the hasty sign of the cross, and indeed on occasions far less important. With the more, devout part of their countrymen, should they at any time happen to sneeze, they would not fail. to perform this ceremony, and exclaim, dóžas ó Okos — praised be God. It is thought essential to good breeding with them, as with other classes of people in the Levant, to say on such an occasion, mè ims vyréas oas—your good health. “To this you are expected to reply, Evxaproló oas—I thank you." These last are compliments of very familiar use on presenting a dish of coffee, a cup of wine or the like.
Our clerical friend reads the New Testament very regularly, and seems not to be a companion with the captain and supercargo in their religious observances, Indeed, judging from his conversation and conduct, he is less under the influence of superstition than inclining to scepticism. With him and the officers I have had