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Title: Travels in Southern Europe and the Levant, 1810-1817

Author: C. R. Cockerell

Editor: Samuel Pepys Cockerell

Release date: November 29, 2017 [eBook #56076]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Donald Cummings, Adrian Mastronardi, Martin
Pettit and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/Canadian



[Pg i]




[Pg ii]

C. R. Cockerell

C. R. Cockerell.

[Pg iii]

LEVANT, 1810-1817.




With a Portrait


All rights reserved

[Pg v]


My father, Charles Robert Cockerell, whose travels the following pages record, was the second son of Samuel Pepys Cockerell, a man of some means, architect to the East India Company and to one or more London estates. He was born on the 27th of April, 1788, and at a suitable age he went to Westminster, a fashionable school in those days. There he remained until he was sixteen. He was then set to study architecture, at first in his father's office, and later in that of Mr. Robert Smirke. His father must have had a great faith in the educational advantage of travel, as already in 1806, when he was only eighteen, he was sent a tour to study the chief architectural objects of the West of England and Wales. The sketches in the diary of this journey show him already the possessor of so light and graceful a touch in drawing that it is evident [Pg vi]that he must have practised it from very early years. This no doubt was followed by other similar excursions, but his father's desire was that he should see foreign countries. Unfortunately, in 1810 most of the Continent was closed to Englishmen. Turkey, which included Greece, was, however, open. As it chanced, this was a happy exception. The current of taste for the moment was running strongly in the direction of Greek architecture; Smirke himself had but lately returned thence. When a scheme for making a tour there came to be discussed, Mr. William Hamilton, then Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, an intimate friend of the family, who had himself travelled in those parts, took a great interest in it, and offered to send him out as King's messenger with despatches for the fleet at Cadiz, Malta, and Constantinople. Such an offer was too good to refuse.

No definite tour had been or could be marked out in the then existing conditions of European politics. The traveller was to be guided by circumstances; but nothing approaching the length of absence, which extended itself to seven and a quarter years, was contemplated at the time of starting.

As far as possible I have used my father's own words in the following account of his journeys; but the letters and memoranda of a youth of [Pg vii]twenty-two, who disliked and had no talent for writing, naturally require a great deal of editing.

His beautiful sketches form what may be called his real diary.

I should add that accounts of some of the episodes recorded in this Journal have seen the light already. For instance, the discovery of the Ægina Marbles and of the Phigaleian Marbles is narrated in my father's book, 'The Temples of Ægina and Bassæ,' and in Hughes's 'Travels' as well. Stackelberg gives his own account of the excavations at Bassæ in 'Der Apollotempel zu Bassæ &c.' So that I cannot flatter myself that the matter is either quite new or well presented. But in spite of these drawbacks I have thought the Journal in its entirety worth publishing. Sympathetic readers will find between the lines a fairly distinct picture of what travel was like in the early years of the last century, and also the portrait of a not uninteresting personality.

Samuel Pepys Cockerell.

[Pg ix]


Leaves London for Plymouth—The despatch vessel—They take a French prize—The prisoners—An alarm—Cadiz—Malta—Life on board—The Dardanelles—Takes boat for Constantinople 1
Constantinople—Capture of the Black Joke—Life in Constantinople—Its dangers—Friends—Audience of caimacam—Trip up the Bosphorus 13
Constantinople continued—Dangers of sketching—Turkish architecture—A Turkish acquaintance—Society in Constantinople—Visit to the Princes' Islands 24
Leaves Constantinople—By Troy, Salonica, Mycone, Delos, to Athens—Life in Athens—Acquaintances—Byron, &c. 40
Trip to Ægina—Discovery and transportation of the Marbles to Athens—Efforts to sell them 49
[Pg x] 
Life in Athens—Eleusis—Transportation of Ægina Marbles to Zante 59
Zante—Colonel Church—Leaves Zante to make tour of the Morea—Olympia—Bassæ—Discovery of bas-reliefs—Forced to desist from excavations 68
Andritzena—Caritzena—Megalopolis—Benighted—Kalamata 79
Trip to Maina—Its relative prosperity—Return to Kalamata—Second trip to Maina—Murginos—Sparta—Napoli to Athens 88
Ægina Marbles called for by British Government ships—Leaves Athens for Crete and Egypt with Hon. Francis North—Canea—Condition of Crete—By land—Retimo—Kalipo Christo—Candia—Audience of the pasha—His band—The archbishop—The military commandant—Turkish society—Life in Candia 102
Expedition to the Labyrinth—Delli Yani—The interior—The return to Candia—Life there—Rejoins Mr. North—Bad weather—Expedition to Egypt abandoned—Scio—Leaves Mr. North to go to Smyrna—Storms—Danger and cold—Arrives at Smyrna 120
Life in Smyrna—Trip to Trios—Foster falls in love—Cockerell starts alone for town of Seven Churches—Pergamo—Knifnich—Sumeh—Commerce all in the hands of Greeks—Karasman Oglu—Turcomans—Sardis—Allah Sheri—Crosses from Valley of Hermus to that of the Meander—Hierapolis—Danger of the country—Turns westwards 134
[Pg xi] 
Back into civilisation—Nasli Bazar—Nysa—Guzul—Hissar (Magnesia)—The plague—Aisaluck (Ephesus)—Scala Nuova—A storm—Samos—Priene—Canna—Geronta—Knidos—Rhodes—Mr. North again—Sails for Patara—Castel Rosso—Cacava—Myra—The shrine of St. Nicolas—Troubles with natives—A water snake—Finica—Carosi—Olympus—Volcanic fire—Phaselis—Falls in with the Frederiksteen 153
Adalia—Satalia (Sidé)—Alaia—Hostility of natives—Selinty—Cape Anemurium—Visit of a pasha—Chelindreh—Porto Cavaliero—Seleucia—A privateer—Natives hostile—Pompeiopolis—Tarsous—A poor reception—Explores a lake—Castle of Ayas—Captain Beaufort wounded by natives—Sails for Malta 173
Malta—Attacked by bilious fever—Sails to Palermo—Segeste—Leaves for Girgenti—Immigrant Albanians—Selinunto—Travelling with Sicilians—Girgenti—Restores the Temple of the Giants—Leaves for Syracuse—Occupations in Syracuse—Sale of the Ægina Marbles—Leaves for Zante 199
Athens—The excavation of marbles at Bassæ—Bronstedt's mishap—Fate of the Corinthian capital of Bassæ—Severe illness—Stackelberg's mishap—Trip to Albania with Hughes and Parker—Thebes—Livadia—The five emissaries—State of the country—Merchants of Livadia—Delphi—Salona—Galaxidi—Patras—Previsa—Nicopolis—Arta—The plague—Janina 216
Ali Pasha—Psallida—Euphrosyne—Mukhtar—Starts for a trip to Suli—Cassiopeia—Unable to ford river—Turns back to Janina—Leaves to return to Athens—Crosses the Pindus through the snow—Malakash—A robber—Meteora—Turkish rule—The monastery—By Trikhala, Phersala, Zituni, Thermopylæ and Livadia to Athens 235
[Pg xii] 
Athens—To Zante for sale of Phigaleian Marbles—Returns to Athens—Fever—Spencer Stanhope—Trip to Marathon, &c.—Ramazan—Living out in the country—A picnic at Salamis—Presented with a block of Panathenaic frieze—Trip to Ægina—Leaves Athens for Italy 252
Naples—Pompeii—Rome—The German Rester got rid of—Social success in Rome—Leaves for Florence—Bartholdy and the Niobe group—Lady Dillon—The Wellington Palace—Pisa—Tour in the north—Meets Stackelberg again—Returns to Florence and Rome—Homeward bound—Conclusion 269
Portrait of C. R. Cockerell, after a Pencil Drawing by
J. D. Ingres.

[Pg 1]




"I started from London on Saturday, April the 14th, 1810, with 200l. in my pocket to pay expenses. By the favour of Mr. Hamilton I was to carry out despatches to Mr. Adair, our ambassador at Constantinople, so I had in prospect a free passage in fair security to the furthest point of my intended journey. As my good friend and master in Art, Mr. R. Smirke, accompanied me to Salisbury, we loitered there a little, but for the rest of my journey, night and day, I lost not one moment. Nevertheless I had forgotten that when on Government duty one has no business to stop at all anywhere, and when I was cross-examined as to my journey by the Admiral of the Port at Plymouth, I felt extremely awkward.

[Pg 2]

On the morning following my arrival, viz. April 16th, I embarked on board the vessel which was to carry me. She was a lugger-rigged despatch boat, hired by Government, named the Black Joke. She was very old, as she had been at the battle of Camperdown in 1797, but I was charmed with her neatness and tidiness. We had ten guns, thirty-five men, one sheep, two pigs and fowls. The commander's name was Mr. Cannady, and we were taking out two young midshipmen to join the squadron off Cadiz.

We did not set sail till the 19th. Once out in the open sea the two young midshipmen were very ill and so was our commander.

On the third day out, Sunday, April 22nd, while we were at dinner the boatswain suddenly sang out, 'Sail ahead!' We ran up to see what it might be, and the ship was pronounced to be a merchant brig. At the same time, to be prepared in case of deception, all things were cleared for action. It was not long before we came up with her, and the master went aboard. Presently we heard the report of two pistols. Great was our astonishment, and the expression of suspense on every face was a study till it was relieved by the voice of the master bawling through a trumpet that she was a British merchantman, the Frances, from Fiale (sic), laden with cotton, figs, and other things, that she had been captured by a French privateer, and was now our prize. At these words the joy of the sailors[Pg 3] was such as you cannot conceive. When the master came aboard again we learnt that the two shots came from a brace of pistols which were handed to him by the captain of the Frances when she was boarded, and which he discharged for fear of accidents.

The French crew of eight men, all very ragged, was brought on board. As they manifested some unwillingness at first, Cannady thought fit to receive them with drawn cutlasses; but they made no sort of resistance. With them came an English boy, son of the owner of the Frances, and from him we got an interesting account of her being taken. As his father had but a short time before lost another ship, the boy showed a joy at this recovery which was delightful to see, but he behaved very nicely about recommending the Frenchmen to us. They had treated him very well, he said, and were good sailors. It was settled that the prize master should be sent with three or four men, the master's mate at their head, to Plymouth. I took the opportunity of sending a few words home, and off she went. With a fair wind she was out of sight in an hour. As I was the only man in our ship who could speak a word of French, I was made interpreter in examining the prisoners. If the account they give is correct, our sailors, who are entitled to an eighth part of the salvage, will share 3,645l. 10s. 8d. I took an early opportunity, when Cannady talked of our luck and anticipated more, to assure him that the[Pg 4] only good fortune I desired was a safe and quick passage to Constantinople, for fear he should think I was looking out for prize-money. I don't know what my share would be, if indeed I have any, but if I find I have, I shall consider how to dispose of it in a handsome way.

The poor Frenchmen were very miserable, and I, partly out of pity, and more because I wanted to practise speaking, rather made friends with them. They are very different from our men. They lounge about anyhow in a disorderly fashion, are much dirtier—in fact filthy, so that our sailors complain of them loudly in this respect—and are much livelier. I saw three of them sitting yesterday all of a heap reading 'Télémaque' (fancy that!) with the utmost avidity, and when they see me drawing, they seem to crawl all over me to watch the operation. My special friend is one Esprit Augin, who appears to be superior to the rest and to speak better. We talk together every day till I am tired. In spite of his grief at being a prisoner—and he appeared to feel his position more than any of them—he began the very next day to talk to me of balls, masquerades, promenades, and so on with inexpressible delight, and I even thought at one moment that we should have had a pas seul on the deck. He sang me no end of songs. He was as vain as he was lively. I told him I should like to make a drawing of a youth named Jean Requette,[Pg 5] a handsome, clever-looking boy of the party; at which he sighed deeply and said, 'Moi je ne suis pas joli.'

Amongst other things, Augin told us that he had great hopes of being set free again, for that there were two French privateer frigates off Ferrol; and when we came off that point on Sunday the 29th, and I heard the boatswain sing out 'Two sail ahead,' we made sure we had met them. All glasses were out in an instant, and sure enough there were two privateers.

Too proud to alter it, we held quietly on our course, and they came quickly up with us. We made the private signals to them, but as the sun was low and just behind them we could not make out the answer or what colours they flew.

Thereupon orders were given to clear for action. In a moment all was activity. The sailors stripped to their shirts. The guns were run out. Greville and I loaded the muskets and pistols. Every man had his place. Mine was at the stern in charge of the despatches, ready tied to a cannon shot, to sink them in case of necessity, and with orders to make the best use I could of the muskets. We were all ready by the time the first of the privateers came within speaking distance of us. There was a dead silence on both sides for a moment, a moment of intense suspense, then our commander spoke them, and the answer, to our delight, came in English. They were the Iris and Matchless privateers from[Pg 6] Guernsey on the look-out for the Isle de France men going into Bordeaux. A boat came aboard us, and I was not sorry that they should see our deck and that I knew how to take care of despatches. It is wonderful how the animation of preparations for fighting takes away from the natural fear. If I had had to look on without anything to do, I should have been in a dreadful fright.

After this false alarm we went on to Cadiz without any event, beyond meeting with occasional merchantmen, whom we always thought proper to board.

I could not go ashore at Cadiz, and I shall never cease to regret it; but the orders of the naval authorities were peremptory that the lugger should proceed immediately with her despatches to Malta.[1] We deposited our prisoners with the fleet."

The next place the Black Joke touched at was Gibraltar, where she delivered letters and despatches. She could only stay four or five hours, but Cockerell was able to go ashore. As it was a market day, the scene Gibraltar, and this was the first time he had ever been in a foreign country, it is not to be wondered at that he was intoxicated with delight. He gushes over it in the style of the very young traveller.

"I like watching the sailors. Many of them are[Pg 7] very fine fellows, and I have nearly filled my book with drawings of them and the Frenchmen. Self-consciousness had the most ludicrous effect upon them when I was doing their portraits, and great rough fellows who you might think would eat horseflesh would simper with downcast eyes, like a coquettish miss. Their ways of killing time are wonderful. Sometimes you see one whittling a piece of hard wood for some trifling purpose for hours and hours together. At another time, if an unfortunate little bird comes on to the vessel, they run about the rigging damning its eyes till they are tired out. There are some great singers amongst them, who treat us in the evenings. Their taste is to sing about two hundred verses to the same tune. I am told we have one highly accomplished, who can sing a song of three hundred. I only hope we shall never hear him.

We arrived at Malta overnight and awaited despatches, which we have received this morning. Everywhere the authorities are so solicitous that no time should be lost that we are sent on without mercy. I am told the despatches we brought here were of consequence; but, like all postmen, we know nothing of the contents of the letters we bring. Only we see that all rejoice and wish the commandant, General Oakes,[2] joy. I also hear that the French are advancing on Sicily.

[Pg 8]

The harbour here is full of prizes. A frigate came in this morning full of shot holes. She had cut out a brig from Taranto in the face of two brigs, a schooner, and a frigate."

From Malta it took the Black Joke over a month to get to Constantinople. Most of the letters written home during the time were sent back by the Black Joke on her return voyage. It will be seen why they never reached their destination.

Meanwhile some notes were despatched by other means, and from them I extract the following:

"We took a pilot from Malta, a decayed Ragusan captain. Had I made but the first steps in Italian as I had in French, I might have profited by this opportunity as I did by the French prisoners; for the man spoke no other language, and was to direct us through a dangerous sea by signs and grimace as the only means of communication between us.

At first we had a fair wind, but as we got nearer the Morea it became less favourable and blew us nearly up to Zante. Some ancient writer records the saying in his day, 'Let him who is to sail round Taenarus (Matapan) take a last farewell of his relations;' and it is still dangerous, on account of the eddies of wind about Taygetus for one thing, and on account of the cruel Mainiote pirates for another. We passed it securely; but the story of an English[Pg 9] brig of war having been boarded and taken by them while the captain and crew were at dinner, and that not long ago, put us on our guard. We had nettings up at night, and a sharp look-out at all hours.

I shall never forget how we made our entrance into the Hellespont with sixteen sail of Greek and Turkish fruit-boats, all going up to Constantinople.

No yachting match could be so pretty as these boats, tacking and changing their figures, with their white sails, painted sides, and elegant forms, as compared with our northern sea boats. Our superior sailing, however, was soon confessed, and we went past them. As we did so, several goodnaturedly threw cucumbers and other fruits on board.

We cast anchor not far from the second castle near the northern side, and put ashore to water where we saw a spring. It was evening, and under the shade of a fine plane tree, by a pool lined and edged with marble, before a fountain of elegant architecture, sat on variegated carpets some majestic Turks. They were armed and richly dressed. Their composed, placid countenances seemed unmoved at our approach. One of them spoke and made me a sign to draw nearer. I did so, and with an air at once courteous and commanding he signed to me to sit near him and offered me a long pipe to smoke. After some pause he put questions, and smiled when I could not answer them. By their gestures and the word Inglis I saw they[Pg 10] were aware of our nationality. They looked approbation and admired the quality of my grey cloth coat. After some minutes I rose and left them with a bow, enchanted with their politeness, and fancying myself in a scene of the 'Arabian Nights.'

Shortly after we were visited by our consul and his son. We learnt later that they were Jews, but their handsome appearance imposed completely on us, and, in spite of the mixture of Jewish obsequiousness, their Turkish dignity made us conceive a prodigious opinion of them. The consul understood quickly that I was a milordo, and taking from his pocket an antique intaglio he begged my acceptance of it with a manner I in my innocence thought I could not refuse. I was anxious to show my sense of his courtesy by the offer of a pound of best Dartford powder, which, after some pressing, he accepted; but at the same time added, so far as I understood through the interpreter, that he hoped I did not mean to pay him for his intaglio. I was overcome with confusion, shocked at my own indelicacy in giving so coarse an expression to my gratitude, and I would have given worlds to have undone the whole affair. Of course my embarrassment was perfectly needless. A little experience of them taught me that this was only the shallow finesse of the Orientals, and looking back I have laughed to think of my ingenuous greenness at that time.

[Pg 11]

The following day Captain Cannady and myself, with my despatches and baggage, the Black Joke not being allowed to approach the capital,[3] embarked in a Turkish rowboat with a reis and twelve men, to go up to Constantinople. Now for the first time I felt myself thoroughly divided from England.

The wind and current were against us, and we were forced to put ashore early in the evening of the first day. I pitched my tent on the shore opposite Abydos. It soon attracted the notice of an aga who appeared on a fine Arab horse, and sent a message to know who and what we were. We made a fire and stayed there all night sitting round it, and I felt as if I was at the theatre, passing my first night on foreign soil among strange bearded faces and curious costumes lit up by the flames. I refused a bed and slept on a rug, but next day I thought I should have dropped with faintness and fatigue.

I soon got accustomed to lying on hard ground, and, in after times, I have slept for many a three months running without even taking off my clothes except to bathe, or having any other bed than my pamplona or my pelisse. The second night we slept at Gallipoli, and altogether, owing to the strong wind, we were no less than five days getting to Constantinople.

[Pg 12]

Our Turks were obliging and cheerful, but had very little air of discipline, and the work they did they seemed to do by courtesy. The reis was a grave, mild old man, who sang us Turkish songs.

We approached Constantinople as the sun rose, and as it shone on its glorious piles of mosques and minarets, golden points and crescents, painted houses, kiosks and gardens, our Turks pulled harder at their oars, shouting 'Stamboul, guzel azem Stamboul!' The scene grew more and more brilliant as we drew nearer, till it became overwhelming as we entered the crowded port. Nothing but my despatches under my arm recalled me from a sense of being in a dream. In forty days, spent as it were, in the main, in the sameness of shipboard, I had jumped from sombre London to this fantastic paradise.

I left my boat and walked at once to the English palace with my despatches, which I then and there delivered."


[1] The British fleet was at this time co-operating with the Spaniards in defending Cadiz against the French.

[2] Afterwards Sir Hildebrand Oakes, Bart., G.C.B. Served with distinction in India, Egypt, America, and elsewhere.

[3] No ships of war were ever allowed up to Constantinople in those days, and, indeed, much later.

[Pg 13]



"My first few days were spent in writing, executing commissions, and fitting out my good Cannady, who was to return with the answers to the despatches; all as it turned out to no purpose, for off Algiers the poor old Black Joke was taken by two French privateers, one of ten, the other of eight guns. Becalmed off that place, she was attacked on either side by these lighter vessels, which, with oars and a superior number of men, had an irresistible advantage. After being gallantly defended by Cannady, she was taken with the loss of several fine fellows, and her guns dismounted in the discharging them, for she was a very old vessel. With her were taken a number of little Turkish purses and trifles, souvenirs to friends at home, and two fine carpets I paid 30l. for, which were to have made a figure at Westbourne[4]—I had made a present of the[Pg 14] same kind also to our commander—and all my letters home and sketches made up till then.

Mr. Adair[5] and Canning[6] have been very polite, and I have dined frequently at the Palace, and although this is not the sort of society I very much covet, I find it so extremely useful that I cannot be too careful to keep up my acquaintance there. Mr. Canning, of whose kindness on all occasions I cannot speak too highly, has obliged me exceedingly in lending me a large collection of fairly faithful drawings of the interiors of mosques, some of them never drawn before, as well as other curious buildings here, made by a Greek of this place. In copying them I have been closely employed, as when Mr. Adair leaves, which will be shortly, they will be sent off to England. I had a scheme of drawing from windows, but it has failed. I find no Jew or Christian who is bold enough to admit me into his house for that purpose, so I have to work from memory. After having made a memorandum, I develop it at home, and then return again and again to make more notes, till at length the drawing gets finished. In arriving here just in time to take advantage of Mr. Adair's firman to see the mosques I was most fortunate. It is a favour granted to ambassadors only once, and Mr. Adair thinks himself lucky[Pg 15] to get it before going away; but I will tell you in confidence that I regret very little the impossibility of drawing in them. They seem to me to be ill-built and barbarous.

Lord Byron and Mr. Hobhouse[7] were of the party."

The Djerid, a mimic fight with javelins on horseback, now, I believe, entirely disused in Turkey, was still the favourite pastime of young Turks, and Cockerell speaks of it as being constantly played on the high open ground or park above Pera, and of his going to watch it.

"One day I was persuaded by an English traveller of my acquaintance to go a walk through Constantinople without our usual protection of a janissary, but the adventures which befell us in consequence made me very much repent of it, and put me a good deal out of conceit with the Turks. We walked to the gate of the Seraglio, in front of which there is a piazza with a very beautiful fountain in it. This lovely object was so attractive that I could not resist going up to it and examining the marble sculpture, painting, and gilding. Hereupon an old Turk who guarded the gate of the Seraglio, offended, I suppose, at my presuming to come so near, strode up with a long knotted stick and a volley of language which I[Pg 16] could not understand, but which it was easy to see the drift of. I should have been glad to run away, but in the presence of Turks and other bystanders I resolved to fall a martyr rather than compromise my nation. So, waving my hand in token of assent to his desire for my withdrawal, I slowly paced my way back with as much dignity as I could assume. I heard my Turk behind coming on faster and more noisy, and I shall never forget the screwing up of the sinews of my back for the expected blow. It did not fall, or there would have ended my travels; for, either astonished at my coolness or satisfied with my assent, he desisted.

A little further on, in passing through the court of a mosque, I was gazing at some of the architectural enrichments of it, when I felt a violent blow on the neck. I looked down, and there was a sturdy little figure, with a face full of fury, preparing to repeat the dose. He was of such indescribably droll proportions that in spite of the annoyance I could hardly help laughing. I held out my hand to stop him, and at the same time some Turks luckily came up and appeased my assailant. He was an idiot, one of those to whom it is the custom among the Turks to give their liberty, and who are generally, it appears, to be found hanging about the mosques.

One more unpleasantness occurred in the same unfortunate walk. As we were looking at some carpets, I observed my servant Dimitri growing[Pg 17] pale; he said he was so weak he could hardly stand, and he thought he must have caught the plague. I supported him out of the bazaar, but afterwards kept him at arm's length till we got home, sent him to bed, changed from top to toe, and smoked. I was to have dined at the Palace, but sent and made my excuses. Meeting the English consul, good old Morier, I refused to shake hands with him. He, however, would have none of it, laughed at me and carried me home to dinner quietly with him. Dimitri reappeared later on, and all was well; but the day is memorable as having been odious."

The usual sights of Constantinople in 1810 were the same as now—viz. the dancing dervishes, the howling dervishes, the Turkish bath, and the Sultan's visit to the Mosque. They are what every traveller has seen and every young one thought it his duty to give an account of, and I shall not transcribe Cockerell's description of them. Only the last can have been at all different from what may be seen now. It was remarkable for the startling costumes of the janissaries, and for the fact that instead of a fez, the universal and mean headdress of to-day, every Turk wore a turban, which made a crowd worth seeing. The janissaries wore a singular cap, from the centre of which sprang a tree of feathers which, rising to a certain height, fell again like a weeping willow and occupied an enormous space. On these occasions[Pg 18] about fifty of them surrounded the Sultan with wands in their hands, and no doubt had a very striking effect.

"I have made several useful friends. One is a brother artist, the Greek who did the mosques for Canning. We have paid each other several visits, and become fairly intimate by dint of dragoman, mutual admiration, and what was a superb present from me, a little Indian ink and two English pencils. He has been specially attentive in his visits here, hoping, as he confessed, to find out some secret in the art from such a connoisseur as myself. Another is an old gentleman in a long grey beard, who a few days ago walked into my room, telling me he had been induced to call upon me by hearing of my great reputation. He is an artist, and I showed him my colours and instruments, with which he was greatly delighted. I have not yet returned his visit, but I am shortly to do so, and he is to introduce me to some houses out of which I can draw. I have found a most elegant and useful friend in the Sicilian ambassador, who has many beautiful books and drawings. The young men I chiefly live with are Sir William Ingilby; Foster, an English architect, and a most amusing youth; and a Mr. Charnaud, son of a consul at Salonica. We meet at dinner very often, but they are all, even architect Foster, too idle to be companions any further than that. If I chose I could make numbers of acquaintance among the Greeks and Armenians, who all speak[Pg 19] French. Their ladies are very agreeable, but the information I should glean amongst them would not pay for the time.

Canning is very much liked here among the merchants, though they say they will never get such another man as Adair. For me he is rather too grand to be agreeable.

This is a most interesting time among the Turks. All is bustle and the sound of arms in every street. The Grand Signor is going to the Russian war next week. His procession will, of course, be a grand sight, but they despond throughout. The Turks have a prophecy that the empire will expire with the last of the line of Mahomet, and the present Sultan has no children.

The number of troops passing to Adrianople is incredible, and such barbarousness and total absence of discipline could, one would think, never have been known even in the Crusades; but they are unbelievably picturesque. A warrior disposed to defend his country (for none are compelled; only, happily for the empire, the Turks are naturally inclined that way) goes to the Government and demands whatever he thinks will fit him out for the purpose. He gets 200 or 300 piastres, which is to find him in arms and ammunition. These will consist of a brace of pistols, a broadsword, and a musket, more often chosen for its silver inlay than for its efficiency. He is confined to[Pg 20] no particular dress. He wears what he likes, and goes when and how he likes. The Government finds him in provisions. One may see them everywhere about, reposing in small parties in the shade or near a fountain and looking like banditti, which, indeed, if they catch you out of sight of the town, they are. They commit the most wanton cruelties and robberies in their march, and at present there is no such thing as travelling in the country. As you meet these independent ruffians in the street they look at you with the most supercilious contempt and always expect you to make way for them. Even yet the Turks have not lost the air of invaders, and look upon the Greeks as conquered slaves, while these feel it as strongly as if they had just lost their country. The other day I went to sketch some antiquities under the walls. In the garden of a poor Greek we gathered some fruit for which we meant to pay, but with the greatest kindness he pressed us to eat more, and filled our pockets with cucumbers, saying we were Christians, and he would take no money.

The English have the best reputation of any Franks in this country.

In walking out the other day our guide was insulted by a drunken janissary. On the man's answering him the janissary came up, threatening him with his sword. At this our man said he was surprised at such behaviour to an Englishman; but the janissary[Pg 21] declared he was a Frenchman, and that unless he came and swept the street where he (the janissary) sat we should not pass. Fortunately another janissary came up, who was not drunk, and dragged him off, or there is no knowing how the dispute would have ended. I hear a great deal of Sir Sidney Smith, who, on account of his gallant co-operation with the Turks at Acre, has gained the English much credit. Any Turk who has ever seen him is proud of it, and whenever we meet a soldier the next question to whether we are English is whether we know Sir Sidney Smith. I always say 'Yes,' to which they say 'Buono.' The other day we overheard a Turk saying that there were but two Generals in the world—Sir Sidney Smith and the one-eyed captain (Lord Nelson). The Turks are so fond of Sir Sidney for his wearing a Turkish dress, as well as for his gallantry, that he might do what he pleased with them.

On July the 30th Canning had his audience of the Caimacam, who is substitute for the Grand Vizir while the latter is away with the army. I thought it my duty as an Englishman to attend him to the audience, and therefore went to his secretary to inquire if I was right in thinking so, although no other of the English travellers did, and I suppose Canning thought I had done rightly, for he did me the great honour of ordering that of the pelisses presented to the English gentlemen at the audience, I should receive[Pg 22] one of the four handsomest, the others being of very inferior quality.[8]

We rode through the streets as before, much admired by the populace, who seemed, in these narrow streets, as though they would have fallen on us from the roofs on which they stood. On our way we met quantities of soldiers straggling about the town, waiting for the departure of the Grand Signor. One of them, who took care to let himself be well seen, in bravado had run his sword through the fleshy part of his shoulder, and held the hilt in the hand of the same arm. When we saw it, it had been done some hours, for the blood which had escaped from the wound was clotted and dried. We proceeded, not to the Sublime Porte, for that has been burnt, but to a palace which the Caimacam inhabits at present. Here we scrambled up a wide staircase in a crowd of Turks and other intruders who had no business in our train. The ceremony of the audience was very short. The Caimacam appeared amidst cries of 'Marshalla! Marshalla!' Then Canning and he sat face to face and delivered their speeches. I thought Canning delivered his with a very manly good manner. After the answer had[Pg 23] been given, coffee, sweetmeats, and essence were brought to our minister only, and when we had each put on our cloaks we returned, as before, to Pera. I afterwards dined at the palace. I have this moment heard that of sixteen fine sail of the line I lately saw in the Bosphorus three are returned disabled. The Russians had but five, and two corvettes, yet they got the best of the engagement. It only shows what the naval discipline of the Turks is like.

Buyukdere.—Here are the country residences of all the foreign ambassadors and merchants, and hard by, at Therapia, are the palaces (such as they are, for the Turks allow them no colour but black) of the Greek princes. I have taken a ride to see the scenes described by Lady M. W. Montagu[9] about Belgrade, and in a gush of patriotic pride I sat down and made a careful sketch and plan of what I was told was her house. When I had done it I found to my disgust that it had been built by her husband's successor, Sir Richard Worsley,[10] a very dull man, whose house could interest nobody.

I had Foster with me as companion. We went in a boat up to the mouth of the Black Sea, where it was very rough, and in landing on one of the rocks I was in great danger."


[4] His father's home, Westbourne House, Paddington, a country residence on the site of the present Westbourne Park.

[5] The British ambassador, afterwards Sir Robert Adair.

[6] Stratford Canning (1776-1880), afterwards Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe. Secretary to the Embassy at this time, and later the well known ambassador to the Porte.

[7] John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869), afterwards Baron Broughton Best man at Lord Byron's wedding. He was more than once a member of the Government.

[8] In every present from a Turk to a Christian there is something insulting implied. When a foreign minister is to be introduced at the Ottoman Court the embassy is stopped in the outer apartment of the serai, and when announced to the Despot his literal expression is: "Feed and clothe these Christian dogs and then bring them into my presence." Such is the real meaning of the dinner and pelisses given to ambassadors and their suites.—Beaufort.

[9] Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762), authoress of the famous "Letters." Her husband, Edward Wortley Montagu, went to Constantinople as British Ambassador in 1716.

[10] 1751-1805. Traveller and collector of antiquities.

[Pg 24]



Cockerell's mother had wished him to take out an English manservant with him, but the common sense of the rest of the family had overruled this scheme. He writes, therefore, speaking of a man he had engaged at Constantinople:

"As a servant I think Dimitri will suit me very well. He is well informed, willing, and civil, knows all the countries I propose to visit, is not extravagant, and does not seem afraid of danger. I must confess he is very small, but so much the more is he subject to my fist. The wages he asks are enormous—60l. a year—but I think I shall get him for 45l. or 50l., and at that figure it will, I think, be worth while to engage him; at any rate, he will be better than such an English lubber as my mother proposed I should take, who would have cost me more and have been of no use. I find I am living now for rather over 7s. 6d. a day, servant included. Everything is at least as dear as in London.

[Pg 25]

The drawings I told you of are finished, and I am now doing a set of palaces, serais, &c., but the difficulty and really the danger I have had to incur to do them you would not believe. As for insult, a Christian has always to put up with that. Perhaps the Turks, pressed as they are by the Russians, were never in a more sensitive or inflammatory condition than at present, nor the country under less discipline and order. In consequence they are more insolent to, and more suspicious of foreigners than usual. The other day I was in the upper part of a shop making some memoranda of a curious fountain while my servant waited below in a coffee-house. He assured me that no less than forty Turks came in, one after another, to ask who was that infidel, and what he might be doing there. Again, I offered some bostangis from five to ten piastres to admit me into a kiosk of the Grand Signors, now never used. The poor men trembled at the risk, but they took us, and we were obliged to steal along as they did, more as if we were going to commit a burglary than visit a deserted palace.

As we were rowing to it we saw a soldier armed at all points, with his arms bare—a savage figure—rowing by the Greek and Armenian houses at the water's edge. My servant knew his occupation well. He was searching after some open door through which he could get into a house, and, if he found the master[Pg 26] of it, he would demand a hundred or two piastres, saying he had occasion for the money as he was going to the wars. The poor man would have had to submit; to kill such a robber, even if he could, would be to incur the vengeance of all his regiment, with the risk of getting his house and half the neighbourhood burnt down. The Greek tavern-keepers dare not open their doors now, for these scoundrels swagger in and eat and drink and refuse to pay. The Turks themselves, however, are enthusiastic about the army. I saw the other day, as a colonel of one of the regiments was passing through Tophana, the people rushing forward to bless him, and kissing the hem of his garment. They like fighting and, I may add, blood, and cruelties to their fellow-men; although to animals they are remarkably humane. The number of people with slit or otherwise injured noses is a thing one cannot help remarking. The other day I saw one man who had patched his, which was still unhealed, with cotton, and he was fanning away the flies from it. When I walked up to the gate of the Seraglio to see the five tails[11] hanging up, there was the block of stone on which the heads of offenders are put, and the blood still there.

To architecture in the highest sense, viz. elegant construction in stone, the Turks have no pretension. The mosques are always copies of Santa Sophia with[Pg 27] trifling variations, and have no claim to originality. The bazaars are large buildings, but hardly architectural. The imarets, or hospitals, are next in size (there are about fifty of them in Constantinople, in which D'Ohson says 30,000 people daily are fed), but neither have they anything artistic about them.

The aqueducts, finally, are either reparations or imitations of old Roman work.

These are all the buildings of a permanent character. The dwelling-houses have the air of temporary habitations. They are constructed mainly of wood, and are divided into very few chambers. Turks eat and drink, live and sleep in one room. The sofa is their seat and their bed, and when that is full they lay quilts, which are kept in every room in cupboards, on the floor, and sleep about in them half dressed. As ornaments to the walls they hang up their arms. They live in this way even in the highest ranks. The men have no desire for privacy, and the women's apartments are altogether separated off. The space covered by each house is what we should consider immense. It has usually only one storey—never more than two. The ground floor, used for stables, storage, and offices, stands open on columns. A staircase, often outside, leads up to an open balcony, out of which the effendi's apartments open. These seldom consist of more than three—one for audience and for living in; another for business, the secretary,[Pg 28] &c.; and the third for upper servants, the preparation of coffee, pipes, &c. The harem, as I said, is parted off by a high wall with a separate court, garden, and, often, exit to the street; but all one sees of a house outside is generally a high wall and a capacious door into a court with a hoodwink shade over it, and the gentlemen's apartments hanging over one end of the premises. Sometimes there is a kiosk leading out of the gallery to a rather higher level when there is a view to be got by it, but externally there is nothing pretending to architectural effect in the private house of a Turk.

The really ornamental buildings in which anything that may be called Turkish architecture is displayed, are the fountains and the grand kiosks or summer residences.

The fountains are commonly square reservoirs, the four sides enriched with marble, carved, panelled, and gilt, with all the resources of genuine Turkish taste. The forms are generally flowers and fruits and texts from the Koran, with perhaps an inscription in memory of the founder, such as 'Drink of my limpid waters and pray for the soul of Achmet.' The tank is covered with a dome and gilt cullices with great eaves which cast a broad shade over anyone who comes for water or repose.

But the most charming things are the kiosks. You can imagine nothing slighter than their [Pg 29]architecture is. They are entirely of wood, and even the most extensive are finished in about two months. They display the customs of the Sultans, and they are such as you might imagine from reading the 'Arabian Nights'—golden halls with cupolas, domes and cullices hanging over pools of water, with fountains and little falls of water, all in the genuine Turkish taste.

Moreover, although it is a subject no one has hitherto condescended to treat of, they do show an artistic taste in the cheerful disposition of their apartments, gardens, courts, and fountains, which is worth attention.

The rooms are all so contrived as to have windows on two sides at least, and sometimes on three, and the windows are so large that the effect is like that of a glass-house. The Turks seem to be the only people who properly appreciate broad sunshine and the pleasure of a fine view. Unfortunately, the Turkish, which is something like the Persian style, only appears in the architecture. As to decoration, I was bitterly disappointed to find that now they have no manner peculiar to themselves of ornamenting these fanciful interiors. They are done in the old French crinkum-crankum [? Louis XV.—Ed.] style by rascally renegades, and very badly.

On a green lawn, in a shady valley partly surrounded by fine trees, partly hanging over the Bosphorus to catch the cool of the sea-breeze, there[Pg 30] stands one of the kiosks of the Sultan, a real summer-house consisting of one room only, with several small entering rooms for the Sultan, one for his suite and some small ones for service.

This is known as the Chebuble kiosk. In the valley near are various marble columns put up to commemorate shots made by the Grand Signor in practising at a mark.

Another we saw was the serai of the Sultan's sister. It was at the peril of the poor gardener's head, and I was obliged to bribe him well for the sight. I was able to make a running sketch of the place, and to glance at the furnishing, which was all newly done up for the Sultana's reception. The sofas were all splendidly embroidered by native work-people, and there was a magnificent profusion of Lyons silk, the colours and the gilding on the ceilings and walls as brilliant as you can imagine. One room was entirely, as I was told, of gold plaque. There was frosted and embossed work as a relief to the colours, and the effect, if very gaudy, was striking. Generally this sort of splendour in Turkey is expended on the carved ceilings, but in this case the sofas and window frames were as rich as the rest, and the niches with shelves for flowers on either side of the entrance.

The baths, which form a principal feature in every serai, are very elegant here. The pavement,[Pg 31] the fountains, and the pillars are all marble, and carved and gilded and painted besides.

But the apartment which gave me most pleasure is the reception hall. It has something the form of a cross, with a great oval centre which is 72 feet by 51 feet, and to the extremities, looking, one on the garden, the other on the port, the range is 114 feet by 105 feet. I do assure you the effect of the room, with its gorgeous ceiling and the suspended chandelier, is enchanting—quite one's ideal of what ought to be found in the Oriental style. I am told that the Sultana entertains her brother here by displaying all the beauties of her household. The most lovely girls are assembled here to dance, and the Sultan watches them from a window with a gold grating. When Sébastiani[12] assisted in the defence of Constantinople, at the time of Admiral Duckworth's forcing of the Dardanelles, the Sultana invited his wife here and received her with the greatest honours. On landing from her boat she was passed through a crowd of eunuchs richly dressed in gold and silk, and on entering the house she found the staircase lined with the most beautiful young women, who handed her up to the presence of the Sultana,[Pg 32] where she was entertained with sweetmeats, dancing, &c., as was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Near this serai, and communicating with it, is the palace of the Pasha to whom this Sultana was married; and his living here is an extraordinary exception to the rule, which is that the husband of a Sultana should never be allowed to live within twenty miles of the capital—for political reasons, no doubt. When it is her pleasure to see him she sends him a note in a pocket handkerchief, the corners of which are folded over with a seal, so that it makes a bag. Sometimes the invitation is conveyed by a hint: a slave is sent by the passage of communication to open the door of his apartment, which the Pasha would perfectly understand.

The other parts of the palace are entirely for the use of slaves. There are, as appears to be usual in Turkish palaces, several escapes, and to these I looked with peculiar interest; since, if we had been caught, there is no knowing what might have happened to the poor gardener, or, for the matter of that, to myself. However, we were not interrupted, I paid him 30 piastres and we slunk away together.

We had not got home, however, before we met the boats of the Sultana, which, if we had stayed there ten minutes longer, might have surprised us.

It is not easy to get into any intimacy with Turks; but if I have not seen much of their society,[Pg 33] I have seen more than any of my fellow-travellers have. With those who have no manners at all it is not difficult to get acquainted. For instance, an imam (priest), a neighbour of ours, often drops in at the dinner hour, taking compassion on me when I am alone. He plays at billiards, drinks and swears, and is very troublesome; but he has a great respect for my art, and my plans above all things excite his astonishment. I scraped acquaintance, too, with a Turk architect, in the hope of getting to see more palaces; but he also is too great a rogue to keep company with, for he gets drunk and stabs his friends; and as for his art he is not worth cultivating for that, for it is confined to the chisel and mallet. And his promises are false promises; for with all my hopes I have never got him to show me anything. My specimen friend hitherto is Beki-Beki Effendi, who seems to be a real Turkish gentleman. He had been brought up in the Seraglio as one of the attendants on the Grand Signor, and his manners struck me as very fine, having a cheerfulness and regard for his visitors, mixed with great dignity. My host, who has already shown me great kindnesses, presented me to him and explained my mission. He expressed himself much pleased to be made acquainted with an English traveller, hoped I was well, liked Constantinople, &c., and presented me with a little bottle of oil of aloes, the scent of which was nice. We smoked,[Pg 34] ate sweetmeats, and conversed by interpreter, and after two mortal hours' stay (conceive such a visit!) were preparing to go when his father-in-law arrived. I was told it would be grossly impolite to persist in going, so we stopped on. Beki sent his slaves forward to usher in the new arrival, and then stood in a particular spot and position to receive him, and touched his garment with his hand, which he then kissed. He then paid him the highest marks of attention, inquired after his health, &c. The father then walked upstairs, attended by two slaves, one on each side holding him under the arm, as if assisting him, although he was not at all old. We stayed another half-hour, and then at last tore ourselves away.

In return for taking me to see a certain palace, Beki begged me show him the English embassy. He accordingly called on me on an appointed day at ten o'clock. Taking a hint from my host I had a breakfast prepared which we should call a solid dinner; and a parasite living in the inn, a common animal in these countries, assisted my party. My visitors made a big day of it, and got very merry over their fare, drinking copiously of rum punch, which, as it is not wine, is not forbidden to the Mussulman, and at the end paid me a string of compliments. I presented my visitor with one of those new phosphoric contrivances [? a tinder-box.—Ed.], and never was an effendi more delighted. 'If you had given me a[Pg 35] casket of jewels,' said he, 'I should not have been better pleased.'

We walked up to the embassy and sauntered about the rooms. What best pleased Beki were the pictures of the King and Queen, which he pronounced very beautiful (Chouk Guzul), and the cut-glass chandeliers; but the few windows seemed dull to his Turkish taste.

We got home and regaled again, and on his proposal to retire, I returned him his compliment and begged him to stay and sleep, which I am happy to say he refused, for where we should have stowed him I know not.

So passed an idle, odious day. I was worn out with trying to do the agreeable through an interpreter, but—I had seen a Turkish gentleman.

And when I reflect upon him, I cannot help feeling that, as a contrast to what I am accustomed to, there was something very fascinating about him. I have been used to see men slaves to their affairs, still wearing themselves with work when they possess every requisite of life, and not knowing how to enjoy the blessings their exertions have procured them. Whereas here was a man who calmly enjoyed what he had, doing his best to make himself and those around him happy. With any but absolute paupers contentment is the common frame of mind in this country. The poor tradesman in the bazaar works[Pg 36] his hours of business, and then sits cross-legged on his shop-board and enjoys his pipe like an emperor. There is no mean cringeing for patronage. The very porters in their services have an air of condescension, and never seem to feel inferiority.

The climate, of course, has a great deal to do with it. One may sleep in the open air most of the year, and if one does little work, a bit of water-melon and slice of bread dipped in salt and water is an excellent repast. Temperance is hardly a virtue where rich food could only make one unwell.

Whatever be the attraction—the tenets of the Faith, or the leisurely life, or the desire to live in Turkey without the inconveniences of nonconformity—conversion to Mahommedanism is a very common thing. I have met several French renegades, and some English have been pointed out to me. Our frigates have frequent quarrels with the Turks on this head; and even of the Spaniards, who are supposed to be so bigoted, an incredible number turned Turks at the time that their ships of war first came up here.

As for society amongst the foreigners, diplomatic and others, although there is a complete Frank quarter, and it is said to have been at one time very pleasant, there is hardly any now. For one thing, in these times of general war, the ministers of countries at variance at home now hold no communication, nor[Pg 37] do their families; in the case of the French this is by a peremptory order of their Government. So there is little meeting and next to no entertainment, and for lack of other amusement a vast deal of scandal, of mining and countermining of each other's reputations, with the result that they come to be nearly as mean in character as they try to make each other out to be; and another reason is that among the merchants who formerly vied in magnificence with the ministers, there is now great distress, and hardly one could give a decent dinner. Their ships lie rotting in the ports, and the hands, Ragusans mostly, hang about gnawing their fingers with hunger.

Among the few families one could visit was that of the Charnowskis, Poles, the ladies of which are the admired of all the English here, and especially of my two companions, Sir W. Ingilby and Foster, who have fallen completely under the thumbs of these beautiful sirens. I saw enough of them to feel compassion for my friends and almost to need it myself.

Another family we know, of the name of Hubsch, who are amusing. The Baron, as he styles himself, is a sort of minister of a number of little Powers which have no earthly relation with the Turks, as Denmark, Prussia, Norway, &c., and as he hoists all their flags over his house, the Turks believe him to be a very mighty person. He affects to be in the secrets of all the Cabinets of Europe, and assumes an air of[Pg 38] prodigious mystery in politics. He is banker and manager of all things and all persons who will be imposed upon by him.

I imagine him to be a regular adventurer; but adventurers are common in Constantinople. It seems to be one of their last resorts."

From notes in a sketch-book it appears that in the interval between the writing of this letter and the next, which is dated from Salonica, my father made an expedition to the Princes' Islands, in the Sea of Marmora, in company with Foster and a Mr. Hume,[13] who had lately returned from Egypt. His object in going was chiefly to visit the scene of the death of his cousin, George Belli, R.N., lieutenant of the Royal George, who was killed with four sailors of Admiral Duckworth's fleet in attacking a monastery held by some Turks on the Island of Chalcis.

An entry made on the same day gives one some idea of Turkish misgovernment. "On the Princes' Islands they have lately discovered an excellent earth for making crockery; but they dare not use it, for fear the authorities should get ear of it and heavily tax them. With such encouragement to industry, no wonder that Turkey should be bankrupt."

A man's career is immensely influenced by his[Pg 39] personal appearance. My father's passport, made out at this time at Constantinople for his voyage in the Levant, gives, as was usual in those days, for identification, a description under several printed heads, as "stature," "face," "eyes," &c., of the bearer.

It is a large form printed in Italian, beginning "Noi Stratford Canning ministro plenipotenziario di sua Maestà il re della Gran Bretagna," and so on presently to Cockerell's name and the date, 8 September, 1810. At the bottom is the description—"Statura, mezzana; viso, triangolare; occhi, negri e splendenti; naso, fino; bocca di vermiglia; fronte, di marmo," and below "in somma Apollo lui stesso." This was Canning's jocose extravagance. Nevertheless it indicates that the bearer possessed a fortunate exterior, which had probably something to do with the good reception he generally met with in society throughout his life.


[11] Horse-tail standards, the symbols of the sultan's rank.

[12] François Horace Bastien Sébastiani (1772-1851), a Corsican adherent of Napoleon, under whom he rose to be general of division. In 1806 he was sent as Ambassador to Constantinople. Later he fought in Spain, Austria, Russia, Germany, and France in 1814. After the fall of Napoleon he took service under the Bourbons, was Minister of Marine and Minister for Foreign Affairs under Louis Philippe, Ambassador to England, 1835-1840, and was made finally a marshal of France.

[13] Joseph Hume (1777-1855), a Scotchman of humble origin. Having made money in India, he took to political life, sat in Parliament for various constituencies, and for thirty years was leader of the Radical party.

[Pg 40]



About the middle of September, Cockerell, with Ingilby[14] and Foster, set sail for Greece. They stopped on their way to pay a visit to the Plain of Troy. The facilities for travelling nowadays have made us calmly familiar with the scenes of the past, but in 1810 to stand upon classic ground was to plant one's feet in a fairyland of romance, and a traveller who had got so unusually far might well permit his enthusiasm to find vent. When Cockerell was pointed out the tomb of Patroclus, he took off his clothes and, in imitation of Achilles, ran three times round it, naked. Thence they went by Tenedos and Lemnos to Salonica. Nothing in the notes of this journey is worth recording except perhaps the mention he makes of Tenedos as being still in a state of desolation from the cruel Russian attack upon it in the year 1807.

"I ought to give you a notion of the political state of this part of the country. Ali Pasha of Yanina rules[Pg 41] over the Morea, Albania, and Thessaly nearly up to Salonica, while the Pasha of Serres has Salonica and Macedonia nearly up to Constantinople, and both are practically independent of the Porte, obeying it or assisting it only as far as they please. Now, Ali Pasha has sent his son Veli with 15,000 men to join the Sultan's army against the Russians, but he on his way has encamped near Salonica and threatens to take possession of it. The Bey accordingly pays every sort of court to him, and sends out presents and provisions to mollify him. In the meanwhile the Sultan has given to another pasha a firman to take the Morea in Veli Pasha's absence, and he (Veli) is now waiting for his father Ali's advice as to whether he should proceed to the war, recover the Morea, or take Salonica. Fancy, what a state for a country to be in! The Sultan is a puppet in the hands of the janissaries, who on their side are powerless outside the city, so that the country without and within is in a state of anarchy."

The party took a passage from Salonica to Athens in a Greek merchantman.

"We passed Zagora, until lately a rich and prosperous commercial town, but it has been taken by Ali Pasha and he has reduced it to utter ruin. Off Scopolo a boat came out and fired a gun for us to heave to. The crew told me she was a pirate, but when we fired a gun in return to show that we also were armed, the crew of the boat merely wished us a happy journey.

[Pg 42]

The wind falling light, we anchored in a small bay and landed, and there we made fire in a cave and cooked our dinner. It was most romantic. After touching at Scyros, we put into Andros. While our ship was lying here in the port our sailors became mutinous. They began by stealing a pig from the land, and then went on to ransack our baggage and steal from it knives, clothes, and other things. All this happened while we ourselves were on shore, but our servants remonstrated, whereupon the scoundrels threatened to throw them overboard. There was nothing for us to do but apply to the English consul for protection. He sent for the chief instigator of the troubles, but he, as soon as he got ashore, ran away and was lost sight of. Under the circumstances, what we did was to deduct from the captain's pay the value of our losses and shift our goods from on board his vessel into another boat, a small one, in which we set sail for the island of Tinos.

We slept at San Nicolo on the bare ground, having made ourselves a fire in a tiny chapel. Fop, my dog, fell into a well and was rescued with great difficulty. One of the peasants, who had never seen anything like a Skye terrier before, when he saw him pulled out took him for a fiend or a goblin, and crossed himself devoutly.

We sailed in the open boat all through a very stormy day, and arrived at last at Tinos (the town),[Pg 43] thoroughly chilled and wet. The island, once highly prosperous, is now poor and depopulated.

From Tinos we sailed across to Great Delos (Rhenea), slept in a hut, and next day went on to Little Delos. Here there was nothing to sleep in but the sail of the boat, and nothing to eat at all. Everything on the island had been bought up by an English frigate a few days before. We were obliged to send across to Great Delos for a kid, which was killed and roasted by us in the Temple of Apollo. I spent my time sketching and measuring everything I could see in the way of architectural remains, and copying every inscription. I had to work hard, but without house or food we could not stop where we were, and in the evening we sailed to Mycone.

Next day I went back to Delos, and after much consideration resolved to try to dig there. I had to sleep in the open air, for the company of the diggers in the hut was too much for me. First I made out the columns of the temple and drew a restoration of the plan. Then we went on digging, but discovered next to nothing—a beautiful fragment of a hand, a dial, some glass, copper, lead, &c., and vast masses of marble chips, as though it had once been a marble-mason's shop. At last it seemed to promise so little that I gave it up and went back to Mycone; but on the 28th, not liking to be beaten, I went back alone to have a last look. But I could discover[Pg 44] no indications to make further digging hopeful, so I came away."

From Mycone the travellers sailed to Syra, and from thence to Zea, where they stayed some days at least; for there is in Bronstedt's "Voyages et recherches en Grèce" a drawing by my father of a colossal lion which must have been made at this time. Ingilby had left them, but my father and Foster must have arrived in Athens about the beginning of December 1810. Not long after he made acquaintance with a brother craftsman, Baron Haller von Hallerstein, a studious and accomplished artist, about fourteen years his senior, and a gentleman by birth and nature; altogether a valuable companion. The two struck up a great intimacy, and henceforth were inseparable. They could be of service to each other. Haller was travelling on a very small allowance from his patron, Prince Louis of Bavaria; and my father, while he profited by the company of a man of greater learning and experience, was able in return to add to his comfort by getting commissions for him to do drawings for some of his English friends,[15] and in other ways supplementing his means. He had come to Athens from Rome with one Linckh, a painter from Cannstadt, Baron Stackelberg,[16] an Esthonian from Revel,[Pg 45] Bronstedt,[17] a Dane, and Koes, another Dane, all of them accomplished men, seriously engaged in antiquarian studies. Together they formed a society suited to my father's tastes and pursuits.

In the way of Englishmen there were Messrs. Graham and Haygarth and Lord Byron, all three young Cambridge men of fortune, with whom, especially the two first, he was intimate.

His only other friends, except Greeks, were Fauvel, the French consul, who had taste and information, and was owner of a good collection of Greek antiquities; and Lusieri,[18] the Italian draughtsman to Lord Elgin, an individual of indifferent character.

Athens was a small place. There was a khan, of course, but nothing in the shape of an hotel. The better class of travellers lived in lodgings, the best known of which were those of Madame Makri, a Greek lady, the widow of a Scotchman of the name of Macree, who had been British consul in Athens in his day. She had three pretty daughters known to travellers as "les Consulines" or "les trois Grâces," of whom the eldest was immortalised as "the Maid of Athens" in a much overrated lyric by Lord Byron, who was one of their lodgers.

As they were going to stop some time in the town,[Pg 46] instead of going into an apartment, Foster and my father took a house together.

"There is hardly anything that can be called society among the Greeks. I know a few families, but I very rarely visit them, for such society as theirs is hateful.

As for the Greek men, in their slavery they have become utterly contemptible, bigoted, narrow-minded, lying, and treacherous. They have nothing to do but pull their neighbours' characters to pieces. Retired as I am, you would hardly believe there is not a thing I do that is not known and worse represented. Apropos of an act of insolence of the Disdar aga's (which I made him repair before the waiwode, the governor of the town), I heard that it was reported that I had been bastinadoed. This report I had to answer by spreading another, viz. that I should promptly shoot anyone, Turk or Christian, who should venture to lay a hand upon me. This had its effect, and I heard no more of bastinadoing. I do not think we are in much danger here. The Franks are highly esteemed by the governor, and the English especially.

The other day we witnessed the departure of the old waiwode and the arrival of the new. Just as the former was leaving, the heroes from the Russian war arrived, brown and dusty. The leading man carried a banner. As they came into the court they were received with discharge of pistols, and embraced by their old friends with great demonstrations. I was[Pg 47] very much affected. I heard afterwards that the rogues had never been further than Sofia, and had never smelt any powder but that which had gone to the killing of one of them by his companion in a brawl. So much for my feelings. The outgoing waiwode was escorted by the new one with great ceremony as far as the sacred wood.

March 13 is the Turkish New Year's Day, and is a great festival with them. The women go out to Asomatos and dance on the grass. Men are not admitted to the party, but Greek women are. Linckh, Haller, and I went to see them from a distance, taking with us a glass, the better to see them. We were discovered, and some Turkish boys, many of whom were armed, came in great force towards us, and began to throw stones at us from some way off. Instead of retreating, we stood up to receive them, which rather intimidated them, and they stopped throwing and came up. We laughed with them, which in some measure assuaged them, and when some one said 'Bakshish' we gave them some to scramble for, and so by degrees retired. Some of the Greek and Turkish women laughed at us for being driven off by boys; but it was a dangerous thing so to offend national prejudices, and I was very well pleased to be out of it. At best ours was an inglorious position.

Foster has received a love letter: a para with a hole in it, a morsel of charcoal, and a piece of the[Pg 48] silk such as the women tie their hair with. This last signifies that the sender is reduced to the last extremities of love, and the idea is that a sympathetic passion will arise in the receiver and make him discover the sender within nine days."

These love letters are common to all the East, not to Turkey only. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu gives an account of one consisting of some dozen or twenty symbols, but she says she believes there are a million of recognised ones. Common people, however, were probably contented with very few. According to her, hair (and I suppose that which ties the hair) means, Crown of my head; coal, May I die and all my years be yours; gold wire, I die, come quickly. So Foster's letter reads, "Crown of my head, I am yours; come quickly."

"April 11th.—Lord Byron embarked to-day on board the transport (which is carrying Lord Elgin's Marbles) for Malta. He takes this letter with him, and will send it on to you, I trust, immediately on his arrival in England. I must close, as he is just off for the Piræus."

The ship did not leave the port, however, for some days, as we shall see below; and besides this delay, Lord Byron was laid up when he got to Malta and only arrived in England in July, so the letter was long on its way.


[14] Sir William Amcotte Ingilby, Bart. (died 1854), of Ripley Castle, Yorks.

[15] Lord Byron writes that he is having some views done by a famous Bavarian artist.—Letter 59. Life by T. Moore.

[16] Baron Otto Magnus von Stackelberg (1760-1836), antiquarian; author of Der Apollotempel zu Bassae and other works.

[17] Peter Oluf Bronstedt (1781-1842), Danish archæologist. Was made Chevalier Bronstedt and sent by his Government as minister to Rome.

[18] Lusieri, a Neapolitan, painter to the King of Naples; engaged as draughtsman by Lord Elgin. He was still in Athens in 1816.

[Pg 49]



"I told you we were going to make a tour in the Morea, but before doing so we determined to see the remains of the temple at Ægina, opposite Athens, a three hours' sail. Our party was to be Haller, Linckh, Foster, and myself. At the moment of our starting an absurd incident occurred. There had been for some time a smouldering war between our servants and our janissary. When the latter heard that he was not to go with us, it broke out into a blaze. He said it was because the servants had been undermining his character, which they equally angrily denied. But he was in a fury, went home, got drunk, and then came out into the street and fired off his pistols, bawling out that no one but he was the legitimate protector of the English. For fear he should hurt some one with his shooting, I went out to him and expostulated. He was very drunk, and professed to love us greatly and that he would defend us against six or seven or even eight Turks; but as for the servants, 'Why, my soul,' he[Pg 50] said, 'have they thus treated me?' I contrived, however, to prevent his loading his pistols again, and as he worked the wine off, calm was at length restored; but the whole affair delayed us so long that we did not walk down to the Piræus till night. As we were sailing out of the port in our open boat we overtook the ship with Lord Byron on board. Passing under her stern we sang a favourite song of his, on which he looked out of the windows and invited us in. There we drank a glass of port with him, Colonel Travers, and two of the English officers, and talked of the three English frigates that had attacked five Turkish ones and a sloop of war off Corfu, and had taken and burnt three of them. We did not stay long, but bade them 'bon voyage' and slipped over the side. We slept very well in the boat, and next morning reached Ægina. The port is very picturesque. We went on at once from the town to the Temple of Jupiter, which stands at some distance above it; and having got together workmen to help us in turning stones, &c., we pitched our tents for ourselves, and took possession of a cave at the north-east angle of the platform on which the temple stands—which had once been, perhaps, the cave of a sacred oracle—as a lodging for the servants and the janissary. The seas hereabouts are still infested with pirates, as they always have been. One of the workmen pointed me out the pirate boats off Sunium, which is one of their favourite[Pg 51] haunts, and which one can see from the temple platform. But they never molested us during the twenty days and nights we camped out there, for our party, with servants and janissary, was too strong to be meddled with. We got our provisions and labourers from the town, our fuel was the wild thyme, there were abundance of partridges to eat, and we bought kids of the shepherds; and when work was over for the day, there was a grand roasting of them over a blazing fire with an accompaniment of native music, singing and dancing. On the platform was growing a crop of barley, but on the actual ruins and fallen fragments of the temple itself no great amount of vegetable earth had collected, so that without very much labour we were able to find and examine all the stones necessary for a complete architectural analysis and restoration. At the end of a few days we had learnt all we could wish to know of the construction, from the stylobate to the tiles, and had done all we came to do.

But meanwhile a startling incident had occurred which wrought us all to the highest pitch of excitement. On the second day one of the excavators, working in the interior portico, struck on a piece of Parian marble which, as the building itself is of stone, arrested his attention. It turned out to be the head of a helmeted warrior, perfect in every feature. It lay with the face turned upwards, and as the features came out by degrees you can imagine nothing like the state[Pg 52] of rapture and excitement to which we were wrought. Here was an altogether new interest, which set us to work with a will. Soon another head was turned up, then a leg and a foot, and finally, to make a long story short, we found under the fallen portions of the tympanum and the cornice of the eastern and western pediments no less than sixteen statues and thirteen heads, legs, arms, &c. (another account says seventeen and fragments of at least ten more), all in the highest preservation, not 3 feet below the surface of the ground.[19] It seems incredible, considering the number of travellers who have visited the temple, that they should have remained so long undisturbed.

It is evident that they were brought down with the pediment on the top of them by an earthquake, and all got broken in the fall; but we have found all the pieces and have now put together, as I say, sixteen entire figures.

The unusual bustle about the temple rapidly increased as the news of our operations spread. Many more men than we wanted began to congregate round us and gave me a good deal of trouble. Greek workmen have pretty ways. They bring you bunches of roses in the morning with pretty wishes for your good health; but they can be uncommonly insolent when[Pg 53] there is no janissary to keep them in order. Once while Foster, being away at Athens, had taken the janissary with him, I had the greatest pother with them. A number that I did not want would hang about the diggings, now and then taking a hand themselves, but generally interfering with those who were labouring, and preventing any orderly and businesslike work. So at last I had to speak to them. I said we only required ten men, who should each receive one piastre per day, and that that was all I had to spend; and if more than ten chose to work, no matter how many they might be, there would still be only the ten piastres to divide amongst them. They must settle amongst themselves what they would choose to do. Upon this what did the idlers do? One of them produced a fiddle; they settled into a ring and were preparing to dance. This was more than I could put up with. We should get no work done at all. So I interfered and stopped it, declaring that only those who worked, and worked hard, should get paid anything whatever. This threat was made more efficacious by my evident anger, and gradually the superfluous men left us in peace, and we got to work again.

It was not to be expected that we should be allowed to carry away what we had found without opposition. However much people may neglect their own possessions, as soon as they see them coveted by others they begin to value them. The primates of[Pg 54] the island came to us in a body and read a statement made by the council of the island in which they begged us to desist from our operations, for that heaven only knew what misfortunes might not fall on the island in general, and the immediately surrounding land in particular, if we continued them. Such a rubbishy pretence of superstitious fear was obviously a mere excuse to extort money, and as we felt that it was only fair that we should pay, we sent our dragoman with them to the village to treat about the sum; and meanwhile a boat which we had ordered from Athens having arrived, we embarked the marbles without delay and sent them off under the care of Foster and Linckh, with the janissary, to the Piræus, and from thence they were carried up to Athens by night to avoid exciting attention. Haller and I remained to carry on the digging, which we did with all possible vigour. The marbles being gone, the primates came to be easier to deal with. We completed our bargain with them to pay them 800 piastres, about 40l., for the antiquities we had found, with leave to continue the digging till we had explored the whole site. Altogether it took us sixteen days of very hard work, for besides watching and directing and generally managing the workmen, we had done a good deal of digging and handling of the marbles ourselves; all heads and specially delicate parts we were obliged to take out of the ground ourselves for fear of the workmen ruining[Pg 55] them. On the whole we have been fortunate. Very few have been broken by carelessness. Besides all this, which was outside our own real business, we had been taking measurements and making careful drawings of every part and arrangement of the architecture till every detail of the construction and, as far as we could fathom it, of the art of the building itself was clearly understood by us. Meanwhile, after one or two days' absence, Foster and Linckh came back; and it then occurred to us that the receipt for the 800 piastres had only been given to the names of Foster and myself (who had paid it), and Linckh and Haller desired that theirs should be added. Linckh therefore went off to the town to get the matter rectified. But this was not so easy. The lawyer was a crafty rogue, and pretending to be drunk as soon as he had got back the receipt into his hands, refused to give it up, and did not do so until after a great deal of persuasion and threatening. When we fell in with him at dinner two days later he met us with the air of the most candid unconcern. It was at the table of a certain Chiouk aga who had been sent from Constantinople to receive the rayah tax. Linckh had met him in the town when he went about the receipt, and the Chiouk had paid us a visit at the temple next day and dined with us, eating and especially drinking a great deal. A compliment he paid us was to drink our healths firing off a pistol. I had to do the same[Pg 56] in return. The man had been to England, and even to Oxford, and had come back with an odd jumble of ideas which amused us but are not worth repeating. Next day, as I have said, we dined with him and the rogue of a lawyer. He was very hospitable. Dinner consisted mainly of a whole lamb, off which with his fingers he tore entire limbs and threw them into our plates, which we, equally with our fingers, à la Turque, ate as best we could. We finished the evening with the Albanian dance, and walked up home to our tent."

The whole party with their treasures got back to Athens on the 9th or 10th of May 1811, and on the 13th he writes:

"We are now hard at work joining the broken pieces, and have taken a large house for the purpose. Some of the figures are already restored, and have a magnificent effect. Our council of artists here considers them as not inferior to the remains of the Parthenon, and certainly only in the second rank after the torso of the Vatican and other chefs d'œuvre. We conduct all our affairs with respect to them in the utmost secrecy, for fear the Turk should either reclaim them or put difficulties in the way of our exporting them. The few friends we have and consult are dying with jealousy, and one[20] who had meant to have[Pg 57] farmed Ægina of the Captain Pasha has literally made himself quite ill with fretting. Fauvel, the French consul, was also a good deal disappointed; but he is too good a fellow to let envy affect his actions, and he has given excellent help and advice. The finding of such a treasure has tried every character concerned with it. He saw that this would be the case, and for fear it should operate to the prejudice of our beautiful collection, he proposed our signing a contract of honour that no one should take any measures to sell or divide it without the consent of the other three parties. This was done. It is not to be divided. It is a collection which a king or great nobleman who had the arts of his country at heart should spare no effort to secure; for it would be a school of art as well as an ornament to any country. The Germans have accordingly written to their ministers, and I have written to Canning; while Fauvel, who has a general order for the purpose from his minister, will make an offer to us on the French account. I had hoped that Lord Sligo would have offered for it; but our Germans, who calculate by the price of marbles in Rome, have named such a monstrous figure that it has frightened him. They talk of from 6,000l. to 8,000l.; but as we are eager that they should go to our museum, Foster and I have undertaken to present our shares if the marbles go to England, and I have written[Pg 58] to Canning to say so. It would make a sensible deduction.

The whole matter is still full of uncertainties, for the Turks may give us a good deal of trouble. But one thing seems clear—that these marbles may detain me here much longer than I proposed to stop; and though we have agreed not to divide the collection, it may come to that if we cannot get away without; and if we can get them to England, even Foster's and my portions would make a noble acquisition to the museum.

We have been very busy getting the marbles into order, that Lord Sligo might be able to see them before leaving. He takes this letter with him."

It was shortly after this, viz. on June 13, that Messrs. Gaily-Knight[21] and Fazakerly arrived in Athens from Egypt and made an offer, which was to buy out Messrs. Haller and Linckh's shares in the marbles for 2,000l., and then, in conjunction with Mr. Foster and my father, to present the whole to the British Museum.

The offer unfortunately could not be accepted, as it did not come up to the price demanded by the Germans.


[19] Only fifteen statues were pieced together by Thorwaldsen and Wagner, but there were numerous fragments besides those used by them, which are still the subject of conjectural restorations.

[20] I suppose Lusieri.—Ed.

[21] Henry Gally-Knight (1786-1846), M.P., writer of several works on architecture.

[Pg 59]



My father was now in for a long stay in the country, and seeing something more of it than the usual tourist, even of those days. One or two entries from his diary give one a slight insight into the barbarous condition of the country at this time.

"The Pasha of Negropont has sent a demand of a certain number of purses of the people of Athens. Logotheti, Greek Archon of Athens, excited the people to go to the cadi and present a protest, which he promised he would support. The people went as far as the house, when Logotheti stepped aside into a neighbouring house, whence he could see the cadi's countenance and judge how to speak to him. He saw he took it well, and then he spoke in support of the protest. This Pasha of Negropont, however, is a redoubtable person. It was expected that he would send troops to attack Athens, but it seems that was too strong a measure even for him. Instead, he has intercepted some poor Albanian cheese merchants,[Pg 60] and detains them until some or all of the money has been paid him.[22]

One day I went to the waiwode on business. We had a long talk consisting mainly of questions about England, in which he displayed his ignorance to great advantage. After inquiring after his great friend Elfi Bey [? Lord Elgin], he asked what on earth we came here for, so far and at so much trouble, if not for money. Did it give us a preference in obtaining public situations, or were we paid? It was useless to assure him that we considered it part of education to travel, and that Athens was a very ancient place and much revered by us. He only thought the more that our object must be one we wished to conceal. I told him of the fuss made in London over the Persian ambassador, and that if he went all the world would wonder at him. At this he got very excited, and said he wished he had a good carico of oil which he could take to England, thereby paying his journey, and that once he was there he would make everyone pay to see him. All that he knew about England was that there were beautiful gardens there, especially one named Marcellias (Marseilles)! The man's one idea was money, and he kept on repeating that he was very poor. No wonder Greece is miserable under such rulers.

[Pg 61]

Veli Pasha, Governor of the Morea, passed through Athens a short time ago in a palankin of gold, while the country is in misery.

The Greeks, cringeing blackguards as they are, have often a sort of pride of their own. One of our servants, who received a piastre a day (1s.), has just left us. His amorosa, who lived close by, saw him carrying water and performing other menial offices and chaffed him, so he said he could stand it no longer and threw up a place the like of which he will not find again in Athens.

I went into the council of the Greek primates. There I saw the French proclamation on the birth of the Roi des Romains: 'The Immortal son of Buonaparte is born! Rejoice, ye people, our wishes are accomplished!' The primates, however, soberly objected that none but God was ἁθἁνατος [Greek: athanatos]. What took me there was to back an Englishman who had got into a quarrel with a neighbour, a Greek widow, about 'ancient lights' which were blocked by a new building he was putting up. The woman maintained her cause with much spirit and choice expressions: 'You rascal, who came to Athens with your mouth full of dung! I'll send you out without a shoe to your foot.' Our man retorted 'putana,' equally irrelevantly, and the affair ended in his favour.

One morning by agreement we rose at daybreak and walked to Eleusis, intending to dig, but we found[Pg 62] the labourers very idle and insolent; and after a few days, discovering no trace of the temple, we gave it up. The better sort of Greeks have some respect for the superior knowledge of Franks as evinced in my drawings; one man, a papa or priest, asked me whether I thought the ancients, whom they revere, can have been Franks or Romaics.

An awkward incident occurred during our stay. We had in our service a handsome Greek lad to whom the cadi took a fancy and insisted on his taking service with him. The boy, much terrified, came and wept to us and Papa Nicola, with whom we lodged. We started off at once to the cadi, and gave him a piece of our mind, which considerably astonished and enraged him. He was afraid to touch us, but vowed to take it out of old Nicola, and the next day went off to Athens. One night, the last of our stay, arrived a man from the zabeti, or police, of Athens to take up Nicola to answer certain accusations brought against him by the cadi. This soldier, who was a fine type of the genuine Athenian blackguard, swaggered in and partook freely of our wine, having already got drunk at the cadi's. He offered wine to passers-by as if it was his own, boasted, called himself παλικαρ [Greek: 'palikar,'] roared out songs, and generally made himself most objectionable. He began to quiz a respectable Albanian who came in; and when the latter, who was very civil and called him 'Aga,' attempted to retort, flew into a rage,[Pg 63] said he was a palikar again, and handled his sword and shook his pistols. I could stand it no longer at last, and said this was my house and no one was aga there but myself; that I should be glad to see him put his pistols down and let me have no more of his swaggering; otherwise I had pistols too, which I showed him, and would be ready to use them. I then treated our poor Albanian with great attention and him with contumely. This finished him and reduced the brute to absolute cringeing as far as his conduct to me went. The wretched papa he bullied as before, and when he got up to go he and all the rest were up in an instant; one prepared his papouches, another supported him, a third opened the door, and a fourth held a lamp to light him out. But he had not yet finished his evening. Soon I heard a noise of singing and roaring from another house hard by, and received a message from him to beg I would sup with him, for now he had a table of his own and could invite me. The table was provided by some wretched Greek he was tyrannising over. Of course I did not go, but I moralised over the state of the country. Next day he carried off Nicola.

Another instance of the tyranny of these scoundrels was told me as having occurred only a few days before. A zabetis man had arrived and pretended to have lost on the way a purse containing 80 piastres. All the inhabitants were sent to search for it, and if they did[Pg 64] not find it he said it must be repaid by the town—and it was.

Among the people we met at Eleusis was a Greek merchant, a great beau from Hydra, at this time the most prosperous place in Greece; but away from his own town he had to cringe to the Turks like everyone else. On our way back to Athens we overtook him carrying an umbrella to shade his face, and with an Albanian boy behind him. When he saw our janissary Mahomet the umbrella was immediately lowered.

The population of Greece is so small now[23] that large spaces are left uncultivated and rights to land are very undefined. In the neighbourhood of towns there is always a considerable amount of cultivated ground, but although the cultivator of each patch hopes to reap it, there is nothing but fear of him to prevent another's doing it, so far as I can see. A field is ploughed and sown by an undefined set of people, and an equally or even less defined set may reap it. And in point of fact people do go and cut corn where they please or dare. We met a lot of Athenians on our way back, going to cut corn at Thebes."

By the middle of July the Æginetan Marbles had been thoroughly overhauled and pieced together, and[Pg 65] it was pressing that something should be done about them. The schemes of selling them to Lord Sligo and Messrs. Knight and Fazakerly had fallen through, and it had come to be seen that the only fair way for all parties was to sell them by public auction. To do this they must first be got out of the country, and various schemes for effecting it were considered and abandoned.

As the proprietors meanwhile were in daily fear of their being pounced upon by the Turkish authorities, they agreed at length to put the whole matter into the hands of one Gropius, a common acquaintance. He was half a German, but born and bred amongst Orientals, and being conversant with their ways and languages, and a sharp fellow besides, they felt he was more likely than themselves, unassisted, to carry the business through successfully. They accordingly appointed him their agent, and settled that the collection should be got to Zante, as the nearest place of security.

Eight days were spent in packing, and on July 30 the first batch, on horses and mules, was sent off at night to a spot indicated on the Gulf of Corinth, near a town and castle [? Livadostro.—Ed.].

Cockerell followed two days afterwards with the rest, and sleeping two nights at Condoura, on the third day reached the rendezvous. There they found the first batch all laid out on the beach, and congratulated[Pg 66] themselves on having got so far unmolested. Gropius went into the town to hire a vessel while the rest sketched and rested. The weather was furiously hot, and Cockerell, who was very fond of the water, went out for a long swim in the bay, but some fishermen he came up with frightened him back by telling him that they had seen sharks about. Gropius returned in the evening with a boat, and all set to work to get the packages aboard. It took them nearly the whole night to do it. When finally he had seen them all stowed, Cockerell, tired out, lay down to sleep. When he woke they were already gliding out of the bay.

They sailed along prosperously, and had long passed Corinth and Sicyon when, as evening came on, they heard the sound of firing ahead.

"Our first idea was pirates, and when we presently came up with a large ship, which summoned us to come to, we were rather anxious. Our felucca was sent aboard. She turned out to be a Zantiote merchantman, and had been attacked by four boats which had put out from the shore to examine the cargo in the name of Ali Pasha. She had refused to submit to overhauling, and when asked what her cargo consisted of had replied 'Bullets.' When the captain understood we had four milordi on board, he begged pardon for detaining us, and let us go on. Next day we made Patras, where we went ashore to see Strani, the consul, and get from him passports and letters for[Pg 67] Zante. In the town we fell in with Bronstedt and the rest of that party, who were, of course, much interested and astonished to hear all our news and present business, and when we set sail in the evening gave us a grand salute of pistols as we went out of port. We had a spanking breeze.

A storm was brewing behind Calydon, and when at length it came upon us it burst the sail of a boat near us. We were a lot of boats sailing together, but when the rest saw this accident they took in their sails. Our skipper, however, insisted on carrying on, so we soon parted company with the others; and after a fair wind all night we arrived in the morning at Zante."


[22] In the end the city had to pay him 10,000 piastres, and they had spent 5,000 in putting themselves in a state of defence.

[23] According to De Pouqueville, 548,940, in 1814; it is now over 2,000,000.

[Pg 68]



"Hitherto we had had an anxious time, but once they were landed we felt at ease about the marbles. Henceforth the business is in Gropius' hands. The auction has been announced in English and continental papers to take place in Zante on November 1, 1812. It took us some time to install them, and altogether we passed an odious fortnight on the island. The Zantiotes, as they have been more under Western influence—for Zante belonged to Venice for about three centuries—are detestable. They are much less ignorant than the rest of the Greeks, but their half-knowledge only makes them the more hateful. Until the island was taken in hand by the English, murder was of constant occurrence, and so long as a small sum of money was paid to the proveditor no notice was taken of it. For accomplishing it without bloodshed they had a special method of their own. It was to fill a long narrow bag with sand, with which, with a blow on the back scientifically delivered, there could be given, without[Pg 69] fuss or noise, a shock certain sooner or later to prove fatal. Socially they have all the faults of the West as well as those of the East without the virtues of either. But their crowning defect in my eyes is that they have not the picturesque costumes or appearance of the mainland Greeks.

The most interesting thing in Zante for the moment is Major Church's[24] Greek contingent. He has enrolled and disciplined a number of refugee Greeks, part patriots, part criminals, and generally both, and has taken an immense deal of pains with them. He flatters them by calling them Hellenes, shows them the heads of their heroes and philosophers painted on every wall in his house, and endeavours generally to rouse their enthusiasm. He himself adopts the Albanian costume, to which he has added a helmet which he fancies is like that of the ancient Greeks, although it is certainly very unlike those of the heroes we brought into Zante. Altogether, with a great deal of good management and more fustian, he has contrived to attach to himself some thousand excellent troops which under his command would really be capable of doing great things.

[25]At last, on the evening of the 18th of August, we considered ourselves fortunate in being able to get[Pg 70] away, and we started to make the tour of the Morea. Gropius, Haller, Foster, Linckh, and I left Zante in a small boat and arrived next morning at Pyrgi, the port of Pyrgo, from which it is distant two hours and a half. We obtained horses at a monastery not far from where we landed, and rode through a low marshy country, well cultivated, chiefly in corn and melon grounds, and fairly well peopled up to the town.

Pyrgo itself lies just above the marshes which border the Alpheus, and, as it happened to our subsequent cost, there was a good deal of water out at this moment. We ordered horses, and while they were being brought in we entered the house of an old Greek, a primate of the place. I had been so disgusted with the thinly veneered civilisation of the Zantiotes and bored with the affectations of our garrison officers there, that I was congratulating myself on having got back to the frank barbarism of the Morea, when my admiration for it received a check. The old Greek in whose house we were waiting seemed anxious to be rid of us, and, the better to do so, assured me that Meraca, or Olympia, was only 2½ hours distant, equal at the ordinary rate of Turkish travelling, which is 3 miles an hour, to 7½ miles. The horses were so long in coming, on account of their being out among the marshes and the men having to go up to their knees to get them, that Haller and[Pg 71] I got impatient and resolved to go on foot as the distance was so little. It turned out, however, to be 7 hours instead of 2½, and at nightfall we arrived dead-beat at a marsh, through which in a pitch darkness, I may thank my stars, although invisible, for having struggled safely. We wandered about, lost our way, waded in pools to our knees, and finally took 8 hours instead of 2½ to get to our destination.

It was two o'clock in the morning when we got to Meraca, utterly tired out, and with our lodging still to seek. We were directed to a tower in which lived an Albanian aga. The entrance was at the top of a staircase running up the side of the house and ending in a drawbridge which led to the door on the first floor. Once inside we went up two other flights of stairs to a room in which we found two Albanians, by whom we were kindly received. When they heard how tired we were they offered us some rasky. Besides that there was some miserable bread, but no coffee or meat to refresh us. We had to lie down and go to sleep without.

There are few visible remains of the once famous Olympia,[26] and not a trace of stadium or theatre that I could make out. The general opinion is that the Alpheus has silted up and buried many of the buildings to a depth of 8 or 10 feet, and our small[Pg 72] researches point in the same direction. We dug in the temple, but what we could do amounted to next to nothing. To do it completely would be a work for a king. I had had some difficulty with the Greek labourers at Ægina, but the Turks here were much worse. In the first place, instead of one piastre apiece per day they asked 2½, and in the next they had no proper tools. The earth was as hard as brick, and when with extreme difficulty it had been broken up they had no proper shovels; and when the earth, which they piled along the trench as they dug it out, ran into the hole again, they scooped it out with their hands. The thing was too ludicrous. Worst of all, as soon as we turned our backs for a moment they either did nothing or went away. This happened when we left them to cross the river and try for a better view of the place. We got over in a caique, which the aga himself, from the village across the water, punted over to us; but the view over there was disappointing, and we came back to find, as I say, our workmen all idling. The long and short of our excavations was that we measured the columns of the temple to be 7 feet in diameter, and we found some attached columns and other fragments of marble from the interior, the whole of which I suppose was of marble, that of the pavement being of various colours. Such stone as is used is of a rough kind, made up entirely of small shells and covered with a very white and fine plaster.[Pg 73] And that is about all the information we got for a largish outlay.

From Meraca we rode through romantic scenery to Andritzena, a charming village in a very beautiful and romantic situation; and next morning we settled to go on to the Temple of Bassæ—the stylæ or columns, the natives call it. But before we started the primates of Andritzena came in, and after turning over our things and examining and asking the price of our arms, they began to try and frighten us with tremendous stories of a certain Barulli, captain of a company of klephts or robbers who haunted the neighbourhood of the stylæ. They begged us to come back the same evening, and to take a guard with us. As for the first, we flatly refused; and for the second, we reflected that our guards must be Greeks, while the klephts might be Turks, and if so the former would never stand against them, so it was as well for us to take the risk alone. We did, however, take one of their suggestions, and that was to take with us two men of the country who would know who was who, and act as guides and go-betweens; for they assured us that it is not only the professional klephts who rob, but that all the inhabitants of the villages thereabouts are dilettante brigands on occasion.

Our janissary Mahomet also did not at all fancy the notion of living up in the mountain, and added what he could to dissuade us. However, we turned a[Pg 74] deaf ear to all objections and set out. Our way lay over some high ground, and rising almost all the way, for 2½ hours.

It is impossible to give an idea of the romantic beauty of the situation of the temple. It stands on a high ridge looking over lofty barren mountains and an extensive country below them. The ground is rocky, thinly patched with vegetation, and spotted with splendid ilexes. The view gives one Ithome, the stronghold and last defence of the Messenians against Sparta, to the south-west; Arcadia, with its many hills, to the east; and to the south the range of Taygetus, with still beyond them the sea.

Haller had engagements, which I had got him, to make four drawings for English travellers. I made some on my own account, and there were measurements to be taken and a few stones moved for the purpose, all of which took time. We spent altogether ten days there, living on sheep and butter, the only good butter I have tasted since leaving England, sold to us by the few Albanian shepherds who lived near. Of an evening we used to sit and smoke by a fire, talking to the shepherds till we were ready for sleep, when we turned into our tent, which, though not exactly comfortable, protected us from weather and from wolves. For there are wolves—one of them one night tore a sheep to pieces close to us. We pitched our tent under the north front. On the[Pg 75] next day after our arrival, the 25th, one of the primates of Andritzena came begging us to desist from digging or moving stones, for that it might bring harm on the town. This was very much what happened at Ægina. He did not specify what harm, but asked who we were. We in reply said that we had firmans, that it was not civil, therefore, to ask who we were, and that we were not going to carry away the columns. When he heard of the firmans he said he would do anything he could to help us. All the same, he seemed to have given some orders to our guide against digging; for the shepherds we engaged kept talking of the fear they were in, and at last went away, one of them saying the work was distasteful to him. They were no great loss, for they were so stupid that I was obliged to be always with them and work too, in doing which I tore my hand and got exceedingly fatigued. I was repaid by getting some important measurements.

In looking about I found two very beautiful bas-reliefs under some stones, which I took care to conceal again immediately."

This incident is described in greater detail by Stackelberg in the preface to his book.[27] The interior of the temple—that is to say, the space inside the columns—was a mass of fallen blocks of some[Pg 76] depth. While Haller and Cockerell with the labourers were scrambling about among the ruins to get their measurements, a fox that had made its home deep down amongst the stones, disturbed by the unusual noise, got up and ran away. It is not quite a pleasant task to crawl down among such insecure and ponderous masses of stone with the possibility of finding another fox at the bottom; but Cockerell ventured in, and on scraping away the accumulations where the fox had its lair, he saw by the light which came down a crack among the stones, a bas-relief. I have heard this story also from his own lips. Stackelberg further says that the particular relief was that numbered 530 in the Phigaleian Marbles at the British Museum, and naïvely adds, "indeed one may still trace on the marble the injuries done by the fox's claws." He managed to make a rough sketch of the slab and carefully covered it over again. From the position in which it lay it was inferable that the whole frieze would probably be found under the dilapidations.

"Early one morning some armed shepherds came looking about for a lost sheep. They eventually found it dead not far from our tent, and torn to pieces by a wolf—as I mentioned before. The day being Sunday we saw some grand specimens of the Arcadian shepherds. They stalk about with a gun over their shoulders and a long pistol in the waist, looking very savage and wild—and so they are: but, wild as they[Pg 77] may be, they still retain the names which poetry has connected with all that is idyllic and peaceful. Alexis is one of the commonest.

As our labourers had left us, there was nothing for it but to work ourselves. We were doing so and had just lit upon some beautiful caissons, when a man on horseback, Greek or Turk (they dress so much alike there is no distinguishing them), rode up accompanied by four Albanians all armed. He told us he was the owner of the land, and, although he was very civil about it, he forbade our digging any more. We asked him to eat with us, but being a fast day in the Greek Church, he declined. Finally, after writing to Andritzena, he left us.

After so many objections being made to our excavations we felt it would be too dangerous to go on at present, and promised ourselves to come again next year in a stronger party and armed with more peremptory and explicit authority to dig, and in the meantime there was nothing to do but to get through our drawings and studies as quickly as we could.

The uneasiness of our janissary Mahomet, since our camping out began, gave us serious doubts of his courage, and a plan was invented for testing it. This was to raise an alarm at night that we were attacked by klephts. Our Arcadian shepherds entered into the joke with surprising alacrity and kept it up well. Just after supper a cry was heard from the mountain[Pg 78] above that robbers were near. In an instant we all sprang up, seized pistols and swords, and made a feint as though we would go up the hill. Our janissary, thunderstruck, was following, when we proposed that he should go on alone.

But he would not do that. In the first place he was ill; in the next place, Would it not be better to go to Andritzena? He begged we might go to Andritzena."


[24] Afterwards Sir Richard Church, and commander-in-chief of the Greek forces up to his death in 1872.

[25] An epitome of the following appears in Hughes's Travels in Sicily, Greece, and Albania, p. 190.

[26] Olympia was thoroughly excavated by the Germans in 1875-76, when the Hermes of Praxiteles and the Victory of Pæonios were discovered.

[27] Der Apollotempel zu Bassae.

[Pg 79]



"We left the stylæ and went down to Andritzena by a shorter road. In going up, the drivers, to be able to charge us more, had taken us round a longer way. Andritzena is not only beautiful in its situation, the people who live in it are charming. Everyone seemed to think it the proper thing to show some attention to the strangers. The girls—and some of them were very pretty—brought us each as a present a fruit of some kind, pears or figs, and did it in the prettiest and most engaging manner; so that we had more than we could carry home with us. Disinterested urbanity is so unusual a feature in Greek character that we were surprised, and I must confess that it was the only time such a thing ever occurred to us in Greece.

The Turks tax these poor wretches unmercifully. To begin with, they have to pay the Government one-fourth of their produce. Then there is the karatch or poll tax, which seems to be rather variable in amount, and the chrea or local tax levied for the local [Pg 80]government, which together make up about another fourth; so that the taxes amount to half the yearly produce. Of course the people complain. I can't tell you how often I have been asked 'When will the English come and deliver us from the Turks, who eat out our souls?' 'And why do they delay?' One Greek told me he prayed daily that the Franks might come; and while I am on the subject I may as well mention here, though it was said a few weeks later, when we were near Corinth, by a shepherd, 'I pray to God I may live to see the Morea filled with such Franks.' They like us better than they do the French, because they have heard from Zante and elsewhere that we treat our dependencies more honourably than they do.

We were five days at Andritzena. Haller made drawings of the village, and I finished up my memoranda of Phigaleia. Besides that, as I thought we ought not to leave the neighbourhood without making a final effort to complete our explorations at the stylæ, and that, the Pasha Veli being absent from the Morea, we might perhaps get leave from the Waiwode of Fanari, Foster and I rode over to see him. We found him exceedingly courteous, perfectly a man of the world; and although his house and the two old cushions in the corner of a dilapidated gallery on which he was propped when he received us did not bespeak great affluence, his manner was not that of a man to whom one could offer a bribe. He said he regretted[Pg 81] very much having had to write the letter we had received forbidding us to go on digging, but that it was absolutely necessary that we should cease, and there was an end of the matter. At the same time he hoped there had been no expression in it to offend us. 'Veli,' said he, 'is very peremptory about no bouyuruldu or permission being given by anyone but himself; for he insists on knowing all about travellers who move about in his pashalik, and upon periodically inspecting them and their firman and approving it. The mere fact of my having allowed your party to remain ten days at Phigaleia, no matter whether you dug or not, was enough to ruin me; for these Albanians [that is, Ali Pasha and his sons] ask but few questions [listen to no excuses].' So we had to go back to Andritzena without having effected anything beyond seeing an Albanian Turkish wedding on our way. When we came upon them they were gorgeously dressed, playing the djerid and brandishing their swords. I never saw anything so picturesque. The party were on their way to fetch the bride from Fanari. They had an Albanian red and white banner, with a silk handkerchief tied to the top of it, which was the token sent by the bride to her lover as an invitation to him to come and fetch her. After sunset she is taken to his house on horseback, closely veiled.

Hearing of some columns in an old castle not far off, as the account was a tolerably rational one, I[Pg 82] resolved, although I ought to have had experience enough of Greek lies to warn me, to go and see them. There was the hope of making some discovery of interest; for my informant insisted that no milords had ever been there before. So I girt myself with sword and pistol, and walked 2½ hours to a hill or mountain called Sultané. I only found a few miserable columns, a considerable fortress and cyclopean walls, and I made two sketches on the road. I was very tired when I got back. The Greek shoemaker, our landlord, came and supped with us, and got very maudlin over the wine.

We went next to Caritzena. The waiwode insisted on our putting up with him, and gave up a room to us, begging that we would order whatever best pleased us; that his servants would prepare anything, and we should purchase nothing. 'Our king at Stamboul is rich enough to receive our friends and allies, the English,' he said. We were preparing to go out and draw when a message came to say the waiwode would pay us a visit. Haller, however, would not stop for anybody. Foster had to ride back to a place where he had changed his coat and in so doing had dropped a ring he valued, and which, by the by, he managed to find. So Linckh and I, though I felt very unwell with a bilious attack, had to stop in and receive our visitor. He was very polite, and his manners really very fine. He told us he had been with the[Pg 83] ambassador at Vienna and at Berlin, and spoke a few words of German, which enchanted Linckh. He presently remarked that I seemed unwell, and I told him that I was bilious, and had a pain in my head; whereupon he took hold of my temples in his right hand, while an old Turk who sat near doubled down his little finger and repeated a charm, which he began in a whisper and finished aloud, leaning forward and pronouncing something like 'Osman Odoo—o—o.' Then he asked me if I was better; because if I was not he would double down his next finger and the next till he came to the thumb, which he said was infallible. This prospect seemed more than I could quite bear; so I thought best to sacrifice my principles, and said 'Yes, I was,' to get rid of the matter, but I was not.

Some Greeks came and joined in our conversation. Really, if one had not some pity for their condition, one could not suffer them, their manners are so odious. Nevertheless, as they seem to have all the power here and elect their own governor and give him an allowance, the waiwode would not join me in criticising them.

The waiwode continued to be as civil as ever, but I could not help thinking he looked anxiously for presents, and we had none to give him. All I could do was to offer him one of the common little brass English boxes with a head of King George on it, filled with bark. He took it with every expression of delight, but I could see it was put on. We could only[Pg 84] thank him heartily, fee the servants handsomely, and bow ourselves out with the best grace we could assume. He especially coveted a miniature Foster wore of a lady, and this Foster promised to have copied for him and sent him from England; but he could not part with the original. He gave us strong letters of recommendation for Kalamata.

We left early next day. There was an awkward little episode of a box of instruments belonging to Foster, which he missed off a certain sofa. The Boluk bashi had admired them very much. Presently, when the inquiry was made, an officer of the Boluk bashi came in and searched near the sofa, and then suddenly went out. We did the same, and lo! there was the case. And the Boluk bashi looked very disconcerted as we bade him adieu.

We followed the course of the Gyrtinas. These are mountains which on all hands are celebrated among the modern Greeks for the exploits of the Colocotroni[28] and other captains who lived among the hills and maintained a sort of independence of the Turks ever since they have held the Morea. The peasants delight to sing the ballads composed on these heroes, and, exulting in their bravery, forget the horrible barbarities they committed. When Smirke was here the country must really have been in a fearful state of anarchy;[Pg 85] and whatever we may say against him, it must be laid at any rate to the credit of Veli Pasha that he has cleared the Morea of banditti. The Colocotroni and the rest of them have had to fly the country and enlist in Church's contingent at Zante.

We spent some time at Megalopolis, and with Pausanias in our hands were able to identify remnants of almost everything he mentions, in especial the spring near the theatre, which only runs part of the year. At Lycosura the ruins are disappointingly modern, and there is not much of them; nothing left of the ancient temple at all. The situation is very fine. Two and a half hours' journey up a stream through woods brought us to Dervine, the boundary of Messenia. Then we crossed the Plain of Messenia, admiring, even in the rain, the mountains, Ithome especially, and at dusk got to a village two hours short of Kalamata. Our agroati did not know the road on, and it was too late to get a guide; but as they told us the road was quite straight we went on in the dark. At the end of an hour we had lost the track; it was pitch black, raining still, and we on the edge of a river in a marsh. There I thought we should have stayed. For four hours we groped about, looking first for the lost path, and then for any path to any shelter. First we tried giving Haller's horse, who had been to Kalamata before, a loose rein and letting him lead the way. At first it promised well, for the horse went ahead[Pg 86] willingly; but the agroati took upon him to change his course, and then we were as lost as ever. We could hardly see each other. Then we sent off the agroati to try and reach a light we could see. He came back with awful accounts of bogs and ditches he had met in his path. Finally, after standing still for a time in the pelting rain, we resolved to reach the light; and so we did, over hedge and ditch and through bogs, and Indian corn above our heads as we sat on horseback, and at length, wet through and wearied, reached a cottage in which were some Greeks. They, however, refused to lead us to any house; for, said they, 'we know not what men ye are.' At last one good man took us into his house and gave us a room, and figs and brandy for supper. We were thankful for anything. He was a poor peasant with a pretty wife and a perfectly lovely daughter.

We got to Kalamata next day, meeting on the way numbers of Mainiotes coming to buy figs &c. in the Messenian plain, all armed. Our baggage had arrived very late overnight. We went to the so-called consul, an agent of the consul at Patras, and sent the letter of recommendation of the Waiwode of Caritzena to the Waiwode of Kalamata; but he took no notice of it, and did nothing whatever for us, so we had to find a house for ourselves. We pitched upon a lofty Turkish tower commanding the city, with a very rotten floor which threatened at any moment to let us through[Pg 87] from the second storey to the base. The only way up to our room was by a crazy ladder. The shutters were riddled with bullets. Some time before there had been a grand engagement between this tower and the cupola of a neighbouring church, where some Mainiotes in the service of one of their great captains, a certain Benachi, had defended themselves. Kalamata seems to be a constant scene of fights between the party of the Bey appointed by the Porte, or rather the Capitan Pasha, and the party who want to appoint a Bey of their own, and this is the way they fight, each party from its own tower.

From our tower we made panoramic sketches of the city, but were much interrupted by visitors. Among them came a young Mainiote Albanian officer from Church's contingent, who was here recruiting. He was accompanied by two armed Mainiotes, and said he had twenty more concealed about the town in case of danger. He invited us to come with him into Maina as far as Dolus, where his family lived, a proposal we eagerly closed with, and appointed the next morning."


[28] One Colocotronis, a chief of klephts, attained great influence in the War of Independence.

[Pg 88]



"The Mainiote border comes to within half a mile of Kalamata, and the neighbourhood of its ferocious population, who are as savage and even braver than the Turks, makes the latter much meeker here than in other parts of the country—that is, in a general way, for they can be very fierce still on occasions. A ghastly thing happened during our stay. We heard one evening the report of a pistol in the house of the Albanian guard which stood just under our windows. It seemed one of the brutes had shot his brother in a quarrel. Here was a gruesome example under our eyes; and besides I was told all sorts of hideous stories of Mainiote and Albanian cruelties which made my blood run cold, and still spoils all my pleasure in thinking of this barbarous region.

Early in the morning we embarked on a Zantiote felucca, lent us for the occasion, and in an hour and a half reached the opposite coast of the bay, near the ruins of a village, of which we were told that it was[Pg 89] destroyed and its inhabitants carried off for slaves by the Barbary pirates. Ever since this event the villages have been built farther from the coast. The village of Dolus, to which we were going, is an hour's walk from the shore.

Our friend's brother and a number of other men, all armed to the teeth, met us on the beach and saluted us, as soon as we were recognised, with a discharge of guns and pistols. Then we landed, and set off for the village. A difference in the appearance of the country struck me at once. Instead of the deserted languid air of other parts of Greece, here was a vigorous prosperity. Not an inch of available ground but was tilled and planted with careful husbandry, poor and rocky as the soil was. The villages were neater and less poverty-stricken, and the population evidently much thicker than in the rest of Greece. The faces of the men were cheerful and open; the women handsomer, and their costume more becoming.

Liberty seemed to have changed the whole countenance and manner of the people to gaiety and happiness. Everyone saluted us as we passed along, and when we arrived at Dolus the mother of our entertainer came out with the greatest frankness to meet us. Others came, and with very engaging manners wished us many years, a rare civility in Greece. The boys crowded round, and said Englishmen were fine fellows, but why had we no arms? How could we[Pg 90] defend ourselves? Then they shook their fists at the Turkish shore, saying those ruffians dared not come amongst Mainiotes.

Our host's family had cooked us some chickens. While we were sitting eating them a multitude of visitors, women especially, who had never seen Franks before, came in, gazed, and asked questions. There was a great deal of laughing and talking, but every man was heavily armed. After dinner we went out for a walk and visited some remarkably pretty villages. The name of one was Malta, the others I could not make out; all more in the interior. The churches were very pretty. Each had a tall steeple in the Gothic style with bells, which a boy, proud of his freedom and anxious to show it, running on, would ring as we came up; for, as you know, neither bells nor steeples are allowed by the Turks. We saw a new tower, the tower of the beyzesday, or captain of the Mainiotes, armed with two thirty-pounders which had been given him, and though not very solidly built, standing in a fine position. We were told that all these towers are provisioned for a siege, and one of those near Kalamata has food for five years—not that I believe it. All slept together, ten of us covering the whole floor of a tiny room.

We went back in the morning to Kalamata, leaving behind us our host. He had been warned by letter from Kalamata not to go back there, for[Pg 91] reports had been circulated by the Turks that he was gone to Maina to raise recruits and he would probably be arrested if he landed.

We had been so interested with our glimpse of the free Greeks—the Greeks who had always been free from the days of Sparta, who had maintained their independence against Rome, Byzantium, the Franks, Venetians, and Turks—that we longed to see more of them; and the reports we heard of a temple near Cape Matapan gave us hopes of a return for the expense of an excursion. We therefore agreed with a certain Captain Basili of Dolus, owner of a boat, that he should take us to Cyparissa and protect us into the interior. Meanwhile we went home to get our baggage &c. As we rowed along the shore a storm hung on Mount Elias, rolling in huge coils among the high perched villages, and the awful grandeur and air of savage romance it gave to the whole country whetted our appetites to the utmost.

When we landed at Kalamata, however, a dispute about payment for the present trip led us to refer to the consul for a settlement, and incidentally to our telling him our plans. As soon as he heard them he objected vigorously. The man we had engaged was, he said, a notorious murderer; it was well known that he had assassinated a certain Greek doctor for his money when he was bringing him from Coron, and he might do the same for us on the way to Cyparissa.[Pg 92] It would be better if we insisted on going into Maina to write to a certain Captain Murgino at Scardamula and put ourselves under his protection. As he was one of the heads of the Mainiote clans, and a man of power, he would be able to guarantee our safety.

As this advice was supported by a French gentleman of Cervu, a Monsieur Shauvere, who seemed to be reliable, we took it, and wrote that same evening to Murgino; but the first engagement had to be got rid of, and that was not so easy. Whatever his intentions had been, the boatman from Dolus thought he had made a profitable engagement, for he demanded 50 piastres indemnity, first for expenses incurred and next for the slight. He threatened to attack us on the way if we ventured to engage another boat. Finally we agreed to refer the dispute for settlement to the Albanian Mainiote, our late host.

We received an answer from Murgino to say that we should be very welcome, and that he would send a guard to meet us four hours from his house.

We accordingly set off in the evening to go by land, and arrived at night at a village called Mandinié; and there we had to sleep, for the road was too breakneck for us to go on in the dark. Our host was exceedingly hospitable, and gave one a good impression of the free Greeks.

Early in the morning we went on to Malta, and[Pg 93] met four of Murgino's men come to meet us. We also fell in with the young captain or chieftain of Mainiotes on his way to Kalamata. He had a guard of eight or ten men, all armed and handsomely dressed, their hair trailing down their backs like true descendants of the Spartans, who combed their long hair before going into battle.

As regarding the origin of the name Malta, it may be called to mind that the Venetians during their occupation mortgaged part of the Morea to the Knights of St. John, and this may have been one of their fortresses.

Having hired mules to carry our luggage, as the road is too bad for horses, we proceeded to Scardamula, a distance of 1½ hour. There we were rejoined by my servant Dimitri, whom I had sent on to arrange the affair of Captain Basili, the Dolus boatman. He had found the man in a state of exasperation, refusing to accept any accommodation, saying it was an affair of honour, and vowing that we should pay in another way. The wife and mother of the Albanian officer, dreading his resentment, had hung terrified on his (Dimitri's) arm, assuring him that we should be assassinated on the road. He himself arrived hardly able to speak with terror and pale as paper.

We did all we could to inspire him with a little courage, both natural and Dutch. First we appealed to him as a man to show a good face, and for the[Pg 94] second we gave him a good and ample dinner, and, relying on our guard and on ourselves, set out.

But before starting we begged our Albanian friend to come, if he could, next day to Scardamula, bringing Captain Basili with him, and the dispute should be referred to Captain Murgino for arbitration.

The path to Scardamula—for there was nothing in the shape of a road—was now so difficult that we had to get off; and, even so, it was to me perfectly wonderful how the mules ever got along. There was nothing but rock, and that all fissured and jagged limestone, but they climbed over it like goats.

The situation of Scardamula is infinitely striking. At the gate of his castle Captain Murgino waited to receive us—a fat, handsome old man.

At the first our rather strange appearance seemed to put him a little out of countenance, and he received us awkwardly although kindly; but after a time he appeared to regain confidence and became very cordial. 'Eat a good supper, Ingles archi mas' ('my little Englishman'), he said to me, and gave me the example. He talked freely on the political state of Maina. He owned and regretted that the Greeks had no leader, and said he trusted that would not long be wanting, and that shortly the great object of his desires would be realised; but what that object was he would not explain. It might be an invasion of the Morea by the English, seconded by a native [Pg 95]insurrection which he would take a leading part in—or what not; but he was careful to give me no hint.[29] His son was absent at a council of the [Greek] chiefs at Marathonisi.

The next morning we walked about his lands, which were indescribably picturesque. His castle stands on a rock in the bed of a river, about a quarter of a mile from the bank. It consists of a courtyard and a church surrounded by various towers. There is a stone bench at his door, where he sits surrounded by his vassals and his relations, who all stand unless invited to sit. The village people bring him presents, tribute as it were, of fruits, fowls, &c. On a lofty rock close by is a watch-tower, where watch is kept night and day. The whole gave us a picture of feudal life new and hardly credible to a nineteenth-century Englishman.

Behind the tower the mountains rise precipitously, and culminate in the Pentedactylon—a prodigious mountain of the Taygetus range.

Murgino made us an estimate of his dependents. He has about 1,000 men, over whom he has absolute authority to call them out or to punish them as he thinks fit. A few days before we came he had had an obstreperous subject, who refused to obey orders,[Pg 96] executed. Moreover, he showed a well in which he said he put those from whom he desired to extort money. When times are hard and the olives fail he makes war upon his neighbours, and either robs or blackmails them. The old man assured me that one winter they brought back from 1,000 to 1,500 piastres, from 50l. to 80l., a day.

Such was our host and his surroundings.

As I told you, our object was to examine some remains we had heard rumours of, especially of a Doric temple said to exist in the southern part of Maina, and, by all we could hear, in a tolerable state of preservation; but when we saw the tremendous preparations made by our good captain we found the enterprise beyond all our calculations or means. He declared he could not ensure our safety without his own attendance with a guard of forty men at the least. At this we thought it best, however regrettable, to retire before the expenses we should incur should embarrass us in our return to Athens. So we only stayed two days with Murgino, and then returned to Kalamata.

As you may suppose, I was very sorry to lose an opportunity of perhaps making another discovery of importance, but even as it was I did not regret to have made the visit into Maina. In no part of Europe at any rate, if indeed of the world, could one find such singular scenes or come upon a state of society so[Pg 97] exactly like that of our ancient barons. The character of Murgino himself was a study. He was very hardy, bold, vigorous in mind and body, used from a boy to battle with all kinds of reverses.

His father was driven out of his home by the Turks, who brought several frigates and regularly laid siege to Scardamula. He escaped, but he was afterwards taken and hanged at Tripolizza. Murgino himself escaped to Coron, where, however, he was discovered and put in chains. A friendly priest brought him a file, wherewith he effected his escape to the house of the English consul, and was by him protected. He then took service on board a French privateer, and wandered into various parts of the Levant. After some time he reappeared at Scardamula, took possession of his father's castle, and became one of the captains or leaders of the Mainiotes. Then the Turks returned and surrounded him a second time. With a few followers he cut his way through and escaped to Zante. Some months later he came back once more, to find a neighbour had seized his possessions. He collected friends and laid siege to him. His rival was, fortunately for him, killed by a stroke of lightning during the siege, and Murgino came into his own again. But he did not hold it long in peace. He was again attacked by the Turks in force. This time he shut himself in the castle with 62 Greeks, who swore to die rather than yield.[Pg 98] For forty days they held the place with muskets against artillery, till all his powder was spent and his towers in ruins. Then he sent a message to the enemy to say that if they would give him two cannon and some powder he would hold the castle a year. Having soothed his mind with this taunt, he prepared to escape to the mountains. First he sent his wife off by night, and then followed with the few survivors of his men, and contrived again to get to Zante. It is characteristic of the man that when he learnt that his son was hanged he called, as he told me, for another glass of rum, saying 'Che serve la melancolia?' Among the ruffianly crew who loafed about the place he pointed me out one or two of the poor fellows who had remained hidden in the hills when he went to Zante. Some had lost a toe or a finger in the frost; others had been maimed in the siege. One youth in particular he indicated, saying 'This fellow's father was a fine fellow; he was crushed in the falling of one of the towers!' Every one had a history.

Somehow, before we parted, I had got to feel a sort of affection for this ruthless cateran. He had an uncommonly open frank manner, he was certainly clean, and he had an air of natural superiority which it was difficult to resist.

I should not have written so much about this if I had not thought it the most interesting part of the tour—but[Pg 99] it had not, I admit, much architectural instruction to offer.

From Kalamata we went to Sparta, over a rugged and picturesque road, along the brink of precipices and over the Taygetus. Some time ago it was infested by banditti,[30] and so it still is on the borders of Maina. We arrived late at a small village near Mistra. The road, which passed among overhanging rocks and a wild and fantastic scenery, the effect of which was heightened by the moonlight, was so stony and rugged that we were obliged to walk by far the greater part of the way. Sometimes the shepherds on precipices above us would call out, 'What men are ye?' And we answered, 'Good men.' There was no step of the road that had not its annals of murder or robbery. One of our party, to cheer us, sang us the great deeds of a certain Captain Zaccani, who had been something between a highwayman and a patriot not many years back, infesting this part of the country.

Sparta, I need not tell you, was strong only in its inhabitants. It stood, as no other Greek city did, in a plain. There are no remains. Its present inhabitants, far from being independent, are the most oppressed, the meanest and the stupidest of the Greeks. We stayed only three days for Haller, who had[Pg 100] various drawings to make, and then rode from Mistra to Tripolizza in one day. Haller had had a fall from his horse on the way which had strained him a good deal, so we had to stop three days there also. It is the capital of the Morea, and has a caimacam, whom we went to call upon one evening. It chanced to be during the Ramazan. He was very civil and gave us a bouyuruldu, an order which provided us horses gratis to Athens. The details of the visit were very much the same as those of other official visits. We drank coffee and smoked large pipes surrounded by a crowd of chiouks. The large and well-lighted room was filled with Albanian soldiers lying and sitting in all positions on the floor, and we had to be careful in picking our way through them.

We did not stop longer at Argos or Tiryns than was necessary to verify Gell's description.

At Napoli di Romagna, where we were detained for want of horses, we narrowly escaped the bastinado.

Napoli is one of the chief fortresses of the Morea, and the custom on entering such places is to get off one's horse. Our servant, who knew nothing of this, was cruelly beaten by the guard. When we came up we were told of it by the grooms who looked after our luggage, and conjured by the Panagia and the Cross to dismount as we went in. We, however, thought it unbecoming our dignity, and rode boldly in. The guard, seeing so many hats, was awed and said[Pg 101] nothing; but we could see by the frowns of the bystanders that our presumption was disapproved, and when we complained to the pasha, the head of the janissaries, of the way our servant was mishandled, he took very little notice of us. Generally speaking the Turks in their fortresses are insufferably intolerant and insolent. Our treatment was no inducement to stay, and we made on for Athens as soon as we could. We visited the sacred grove at Epidaurus,[31] the ruins of Mycenæ,[32] and stayed one day in Corinth. But we were glad to get to Athens; it was like home to us. For three weeks I had slept with my clothes on, without a bed, and with only one blanket to wrap myself in."


[29] It probably was the insurrection, for when it occurred he took an important part in it. He was the opponent of the Mavro Michali faction, headed by Petro Bey.

[30] Here it was that Chevalier Bronstedt was stopped next year and robbed: vide infra.

[31] The Hieron of Epidaurus excavated by the Archæological Society of Athens.

[32] Excavated by Schliemann in 1876.

[Pg 102]



"Waiting for me in Athens I found letters from my father detailing the measures he had taken in our favour concerning the marbles. He had moved the Prince Regent, who had given orders that 6,000l. and a free entry should be offered for the collection, and that a ship of war should be sent to fetch it. The offer might be considered equal to 8,000l. The ship might be expected at once.

Here was a bitter disappointment to be unable to accept so splendid an offer, and a painful embarrassment as well; for I had led the Government, quite unintentionally, to suppose that they had only to send for the marbles to secure them. In consequence of which they were sending two great vessels at great expense, whereas I should now have to tell the captain not only that the marbles were no longer in Athens—but that they could not be handed over at all."

[Pg 103]

At this moment the Honourable Mr. North,[33] an acquaintance already made in Constantinople, had turned up in Athens, and intended making an expedition to Egypt up the Nile as far as Thebes. He proposed to Cockerell and Foster to join him. Egypt had been part of the former's original scheme in planning his travels, and the opportunity of sharing expenses was not one to be lost. So it was agreed, and all preparations were made for the journey. They were to have started in the beginning of November, but were delayed by unfavourable winds.

"I was a month in Athens, for the most part unprofitably, as all time spent in expectation must be. Every day we packed up, to unpack again when the wind went contrary. Finally, on November 29th, the wished-for wind came, and at the same time an express from Captain Percival of the brig-of-war Pauline 25, come for the marbles, called us down to the Piræus to see the ship sent by the Prince Regent.

It was raining in torrents. Nevertheless we set out, with Haller and Linckh as well, to explain matters. I own my consternation was great when I saw the two big ships come on a bootless quest, for which I was in a way answerable. We had to tell Captain Percival not only that the marbles were now in Zante, but that even if they had been still here he could not have[Pg 104] taken them, as they were now to be sold by auction; and, finally, as there was danger of Zante being at any time attacked by the French, to request him to remove them to Malta for greater security. At first Captain Percival was very indignant, not unnaturally; but when he had done his duty in this respect he was very civil and asked us to dine. Ale and porter, which I had not seen for so long, seemed delicious, and I drank so much of it that when, with North, Haller, and Stackelberg, I went aboard our Greek ship to bed, I slept like a stone till the morning drum on the Pauline woke me. The wind was blowing fresh from the north. We drew up our anchor; Haller and Stackelberg shook us by the hand and went ashore.

And now for Candia and Egypt. Good port as the Piræus is once you are inside, to get in and out of it is very awkward. The brig, of course, well handled, had no difficulty; but we failed altogether at the first attempt, and at the next as near as possible got on to the rocks at the entrance. The Pauline laid to for us till we were out, and then sailed ahead much more quickly than we were able to follow. The day was bright, the wind was fair, and it was new and exhilarating to sail in such good company. At Ægina, where the temple stood up clear for us to see, the brig and the transport lay to, to land a pilot, and we went in front, but they soon caught us up again; and when[Pg 105] they passed us, comparing their trimness and order with our state, I saw why a Greek always speaks with such awe of an English ship. Between Hydra—a black and barren rock—and the mainland a storm, which we just escaped, swept along, and our captain seeing it, and thinking dirty weather might come on, steered towards Milo so as to be able to put in there in case of danger, and we parted with our convoy. Of our party I was the only one who was not ill, and appeared at dinner; and as the air was close below among my sick friends, I passed the night on deck in a seaman's coat. In the morning Candia was in sight, and by midday we were in Canea—only twenty-eight hours.

As we drew near, the town, with its many minarets, all white and stretching along a flat, with dark mountains, peak above peak, in very fine forms behind it, had a most striking effect. From a great distance one could distinguish the large arched arsenals built by the Venetians for their galleys. The port is difficult to enter, and we nearly ran ashore here again by mistaking a breach in the wall which encloses the port for the entrance to it. It is a gap which has once been mended by the Turks, but it was so ill done that it fell in again immediately; and now it has been a ruin for some time and seems likely to remain one. We dropped our anchor ill too, so that the stem of our ship ran foul of some rocks, but no harm was done.

[Pg 106]

We landed, dressed à la Turque, and I felt some 'mauvaise honte' in replying to the salutation of Turks who took us for their fellows, so I was not sorry to take shelter in the house of our consul, Sr. Capo Grosso, a native of Spalatro, with a pretty Tartar wife from the Crimea. It appears that besides himself there are very few Franks living here—only two families descended from the Venetians, and two other Catholic families, all kept in a perpetual tremor by the Turks, who are worse in Crete than anywhere. There are quarrels and murders every day between them and the Greeks. There never was such a state as the country is in. The military power consists of a local militia of janissaries and none other, so that their captains are able to terrorise the pasha into doing anything they please. But the militia, again, is composed of various regiments, and they are at variance with each other. So that you have both anarchy and civil war. Fancy, how nice!

The Venetians long possessed the island, and the fortifications and public buildings, which are really very noble, as well as every other decent thing in the place, are of their production. Indeed, in walking through the city, judging by the look of the buildings, one might imagine oneself in a Frank country, except that they are all left to go to rack and ruin. The sea walls are so neglected that the port is almost destroyed.

[Pg 107]

It is, as I said, a fortified town, and the Turks are absurdly jealous of any stranger and possible spy. One cannot stir out without being closely watched, and they shoot at anything which incurs the slightest suspicion—a Frankish hat, for instance. In consequence it was impossible to do any sketching, however much I might wish to.

The weather looked thoroughly bad. It poured all day, with a north wind which forbade all thoughts of sailing.

To make the best use of our time, it was proposed that we should make an expedition to see Ida and the famous Labyrinth; but as Mr. North is no mountain climber he settled to wait in the ship for a fair wind to carry him to Candia, where whichever of us should arrive first was to await the other.

There was some delay in starting, because the rascally Turk from whom we first tried to job our horses came to a dispute with his agroates about the pay they were to get. Though he was to get ten piastres per horse, he would only give them five. As they could not agree, the negotiation fell through and it was rather late before we got others.

We were Douglas,[34] Foster, and myself, the consul's dragoman and two janissaries. Outside the ramparts, which are certainly strong, one comes on a fine plain[Pg 108] dotted with white villas and thick with olives. One owner whose house we passed, Hagi Imin Effendi, makes as many as 60,000 barrels of oil per annum, which at 60 piastres a barrel represents a vast income. Having crossed the plain, one comes to Suda Bay, an excellent harbour, a mile and a half or two miles in length. The entrance is protected by an island with a famous fortress upon it which resisted the Turks for thirty-five years after the reduction of the rest of Crete. It has 260 pieces of cannon now. Soapmaking is one of the chief industries of Crete. Along Suda Bay were numbers of salt-pans for winning the salt wanted for the soapmaking. A Venetian road, once good, now in a ruinous condition, led us along a cliff flanked with watch-towers, and presently turned inland. Before us was a beautiful hilly country covered with olives, and in the distance Ida white with snow. On our right the Sphakiote Mountains, high and pointed, very like Maina to look at, and not unlike it in respect of its population, though it has not been quite so fortunate. The Sphakiotes maintained their independence till forty-three years ago, but then they were reduced by the Turks, and have been paying taxes ever since, and furnishing sailors for the Turkish shipping. These sailors act as hostages for the good behaviour of their relatives. All the same they are a bold people never without arms, and prompt in the use of them.

[Pg 109]

We slept that night at a wretched khan at Neokorio in company with our horses and their vagabond drivers, and fleas in infinite abundance. Thomas, Douglas's English servant, made an ill-timed joke here, which might have been awkward among such savage people. The Turks at suppertime pressed round him to see what was in our food-bag, and he, to be rid of them, told them it was full of pork. At this they expressed the greatest disgust, pressed upon us to know if it was true, and refused to eat anything that night. However, nothing more came of it. Fleas and the manifold varieties of stinks drove us to get through our night's rest as quickly as possible. We were up and away two hours before daybreak, scrambling along a rough road. When the sun rose the effect of it on the snow-covered Sphakiote Hills was magnificent. Our way was through a country rich in olives and full of beautiful scenes. Well situated at the entrance to a valley leading up from the sea, as a defence against piratical descents, was a fortress with a πὑργος [Greek: pyrgos] or watch-tower, built by the Venetians. It is of the fine workmanship they always used, with well-arranged quarters for troops, moat, &c., all very neat and well executed. There we went down on to the sands and continued along them for a length of time till we reached a small river and the ruins of a splendid Venetian bridge. Thence still along the seaside, but over rocks and[Pg 110] past watch-towers standing within gunshot of each other, till we rose again on to a height from which we gained a grand view of Retimo. We crossed a bridge, a double arch of great depth, prodigiously effective, and there I stopped to make a sketch before descending into the town, while the luggage went on. But when we followed I was met by the dragoman before I had dismounted. He looked very pale, and telling me that my stopping by the road had been remarked and commented upon, entreated me not to say what I had been doing, but to give in fact a much more natural reason. I had already, at Canea, been warned of the danger of drawing the fortress; so, my love of truth notwithstanding, I was obliged for the dragoman's sake, he being responsible, to do as he asked.

We were received into the house of Achmet Aga, the karahayah. He was not at home himself at the time, but his nephews and relatives made us welcome. As soon as he came in we were ushered into an upper room into his presence. He was a remarkably handsome old man with a long white beard. He received us with a proud, not to say cold, hospitality; so much so that when we thanked him for his polite offer of his house, as he said it was ours, he looked the other way.

As we drank coffee we made our apologies for our dirty appearance, but he only said he feared we were not comfortable and begged us to rest ourselves. His[Pg 111] manner was haughty not only to us but to the wretched flatterers who came to pay him homage; it was such that I was quite offended. His servants treated him with the most abject respect, and even his two nephews, men of thirty or thereabouts, sat at the side without the divan, not venturing to approach him. And yet, notwithstanding his manner, his treatment of us was hospitality and civility itself. He had a son of sixteen or seventeen years dressed in a Bosnian costume—one of the handsomest lads I ever saw, like the youths one imagines in reading the Arabian tales. He came by his father's order to sit by me and entertain me. I asked him if he had ever travelled, and whether he would come to Egypt with me and see the world. He replied very politely that to please me he would do so. The audience being over, we went out and strolled down to the port. It has lately been deepened by a Maltese engineer, but is very small, and might hold fifteen or twenty polaccas at the most. After seeing it we returned to get ready for the dinner to which our host had invited us. As usual in such houses one had to dress in the midst of a crowd of servants, negroes, dervishes, and hangers-on. We put on our best clothes and went up. In the corner of the sofa or raised divan was placed a large round tray on a small stool, and we sat round it cross-legged. Over our knees was stretched a long napkin from one to the other, and a small one[Pg 112] was thrown over each man's shoulder. We ate with our fingers, pinching off bits of meat from the same plate in the middle. Our janissary was invited to eat with us. The dinner was dressed in the harem. The servant tapped at the door communicating with it from the passage, and the dishes were handed in. There were many of them, and they were sent away by our host without any apparent notice of any disposition on our part to detain them. We had a stew of fowls, another of mutton, some strange made-dishes, a soup, a number of cakes, and I particularly remember some made of flour and cheese which were excellent. We greased our fingers handsomely and washed them as soon as we had done. For us there was wine, but Achmet would not drink any himself: not from virtue, he said, but because it did not agree with him. The handsome son waited without the divan and took orders from his father. Before dinner was over an old Turk came in with a fiddle and played or told long stories the whole evening. I was obliged to him, for it supplied the place of conversation, which did not seem to flourish. In the evening numbers of Turks came in to see the 'Inglesi,' and would have pressed forward, but until our dinner was done they were kept outside the sofa. Afterwards we formed into a sort of conversazione—very few words and much gravity. Finally the beautiful youth, the host's son, made beds for us of two quilts and a pillow on the[Pg 113] sofa, and there we slept. I wonder what a young squire in England would say if his father told him to make beds for his guests.

Next morning we were much pressed to stay both by our host and his son, but we had to resist, much as we had been pleased with our entertainment. So we distributed plentiful bakshish and rode away.

Our road lay along the shore, with fine views of Retimo and the Sphakiote Hills. Then over a high ridge to a khan at the foot of Ida. Here we had some refreshments and a dispute with the khangee, who tried to steal one of our spoons under cover of great professions of friendliness. After Avlopotamo the road became very dangerous. It ran by the side of awful precipices and over slippery rocks, and it was getting dark. Indeed, had it been lighter I don't suppose we should have ridden over it. In one place our janissary fell, and his horse's legs dangled over the precipice in a way to make one's blood run cold. No roads in Maina could be worse. The light of a fire beckoned us from afar to the monastery of Kalipo Christo, but we found the gate closed and the papades not to be seen. They were frightened and had hidden themselves. The fact is, the Turks in the country here are so brutal and lawless that if they once get into a monastery of this kind they eat and drink all they can get, never think of paying, and perhaps rob[Pg 114] or murder some of the monks. There were several little boys hanging about to peep at us, one of whom our janissary caught, and by drawing his sword and threatening to imbrue it in his blood he terrified him into fetching the monks out of their concealment. Once in, the papades were very communicative. They told us that their convent was not freehold, and that it belonged to a Turk of Canea, who exacted an exorbitant rent. The ruinous condition of the villages which we observed as we came along was due, they said, to the earthquake of February 14, 1810. It came, as they always do, with a west wind, and as many as two thousand lives were lost. A blackguardly Tartar came and sat with us, with whom we presently quarrelled, and finally, when his behaviour grew intolerable, we had to kick him out.

We left early, but our Tartar must have been ashamed of himself, for we saw nothing of him; he had gone on. The road wound up and up among barren rocks for about five hours, till we reached the ridge and a stupendous view of Candia, Ida, and the sea. In three hours more we reached Candia, and took up our quarters in the house of a Jew. There, in the course of the evening, we received a visit from the dragoman of the pasha, a very stupid Greek, who tried to be very, very grand, and later from the master of the pasha's household, Chiouk Emene, a most urbane Turk. He was very particularly proud of his[Pg 115] watch, and produced it, compared it with ours, and begged me to say his was the best.

We had to wait till the pasha should be ready to receive us at one o'clock. Then he sent to us, and we walked off through the streets to his palace, locally known as the porte. The entrance was surrounded with a crowd of janissaries. When we had passed them we were ushered into the room of the secretary, whom we found sitting in one corner of his sofa, surrounded with agas in so much state that I mistook him for the pasha himself. We were there but a few minutes, but long enough to see that he must be a man of talent. We afterwards learnt that he was and had many accomplishments. He could write, ride, and play the djerid better than anyone. The djerid he could cast as high as a minaret. Presently we were led through a crowd of servants into the presence of the pasha. He was in the corner, sitting in great magnificence. His pelisse was worth 20,000 piastres. By his side was a diamond-hilted dagger and two snuff-boxes set in diamonds and pearls. Three chairs, covered with red brocade, were placed before him for us to sit on. Our two dragomans stood on either side of us, and, at each word spoken and answered to the pasha, moved their heads and their hands from their mouth to their head. The conversation was as follows. We were asked whence we came, and when we had replied, the friendship between the Porte and England[Pg 116] was referred to, and the pasha desired the Jew—our host—to treat us, being Englishmen, with all possible attention. The mention of authority led the pasha to tell us that he commanded in Retimo and Canea, as well as in Candia. He next begged to know if we brought any news; whether there had been any fighting in the west of Europe; and whether Buonaparte had put into execution his threat of invading England. To this we replied that he knew better than to try.

Sweetmeats were then handed round, and rose-water and other essences sprinkled out of narrow-necked bottles on to our hands and wiped with a beautifully embroidered napkin. After about half an hour we rose, and the pasha having said 'You are welcome: I am glad of your arrival,' we withdrew. Our departure was marked by the usual battle among the chiouks for bakshish.

Our treatment by the pasha had had a great effect throughout the city, so that when we walked through it we were everywhere stared at as foreign grandees, just as the Persian ambassador was in London. As we passed people invited us into their houses, and a boy from a cafané threw down hot water before us, a thing we understood to be an altogether exceptional compliment, and which had of course to be exceptionally rewarded. It was now about two hours after midday, and at that hour it seems the band of the pasha always plays to the public. We saw it sitting on the[Pg 117] top of a house, and stopped in a shop over the way to hear it discoursing what appeared to me to be the most excruciating discords. When it was over two chiouks came forward, crying, 'Pray first for the grand signor, and then for our pasha.' We turned home, and found that the Emene aga had just been, bringing the compliments of the pasha and a present consisting of six loaves of sugar, three packets of wax candles, twenty in a packet, and three pots of honey. We expressed our lively gratitude in all the best Greek we could command.

In the evening the pasha sent us his band to entertain us. It consisted of six performers, mostly Persians. Their instruments were a dulcimer, a violin of three strings held in the right hand, the bow in the left, a Persian pipe which had some really beautiful tones, melancholy, soft, and sentimental, a guitar with a very long handle, a panpipe with twenty-one pipes, and a double drum, which was beaten by the man who did the singing. I could not observe that they had guidance in their playing, except such as the ear gave them; but by dint of practice they managed to keep their instruments together, and the result was, I thought, rather tender and pleasing. As for our poor dragoman, who had heard no music since he had left Constantinople, he was quite overcome and dissolved in tears.

We paid a visit to the archbishop. He seemed[Pg 118] to have as many religious attendants as the pasha had secular ones, but he received us in a very unaffected way at his door and showed us over his church. His answers to our questions showed him to have very little learning. Pausanias he had never even heard of. Thence we went on to pay a visit to the captain of 'fourteen,' the chief of the five regiments here, the military commandant in fact. He has under him from 25,000 to 30,000 troops, second only for insubordination and lack of discipline to those at Canea, where they are in chronic open rebellion. We found him in his room, a fat vulgar man with a good many handsome arms about him; among them a shield which he told me is still in use. Ali, our janissary, showed me afterwards how it is handled, and anything more barbarous or inexpert I never saw.

Being such rare birds, and received with so much form and cordiality by the pasha, all the notabilities were anxious to see us. Many Turkish agas and others signified their wish to visit us, and our poor house, alas! alas! was full of them from morning to night. Some were polite, but most of them merely curious to view us. Few questions were asked, and those few not in the least intelligent. In fact, we have been acting the part of embassy, and we could not do otherwise. Received and stared at and made much of as we were, we were obliged to try and do credit to our country. Besides there was nothing else to do;[Pg 119] we were practically under surveillance. No drawings could be made, nor studies of Mount Ida or the beautiful country. I was always fuming over the waste of time, but there was no help for it.

As soon as the novelty is worn off, Turks and Turkish manners become very uninteresting. Their outward bearing is very dignified, but their society is inexpressibly dull. Those few who had travelled ever so little, even so far as Malta, could be distinguished at once. A little glimpse of the world had sufficed to remove their ridiculous Turkish superbia and make them respect their neighbours."


[33] Chancellor of the University of Corfu, later Lord Guilford.

[34] The Hon. Frederick S. N. Douglas, author of an essay entitled On Points of Resemblance between Ancient and Modern Greeks.

[Pg 120]



"On the second day we started on our expedition to visit the Labyrinth. It was delightful to get away from a place where we were little better than State prisoners, unable to go out at all unless in form, and then obliged to stay within the walls for fear of being taken for spies if we went outside. When we had to pass through them to get out I saw that the works are really very strong, with a ditch which can be flooded, and walls thirty feet high.

At night we reached Schallous, a small village, and passed the night in the house of an old Greek. Both he and his wife were terrified at first, as we were in Turkish dress, and they had suffered terribly at the hands of the Turks. He told me afterwards that his son, after an absence of five years, had come home, and the very first night some Turks had broken into the house, eaten and drunk all they could lay hands on, and finally murdered the poor youth.

[Pg 121]

Next day, by Hagiospiliotissa to the convent of S. Georgio. Our janissaries here gave us a sample of the tyranny of Turks by preparing for us and themselves a magnificent repast, and getting drunk and insulting the papades. Three hours more of hilly country, commanded at intervals by fortified towers (kopia), brought us to the foot of Ida.

In ancient times, as well as now, towns of importance in these parts were generally found by the sea, which was their source of wealth; but the greatness of Gortyna, though so far inland, was no doubt due to the magnificent cornlands of the rich plain of Messara. As I guess, the town stood on a pointed hill overlooking it.

In a steep part of the hill looking towards the plain is an inconspicuous hole in the rock, unmarked by any architectural or structural feature. This is the entrance to the Labyrinth.[35] We had brought a quantity of string for a clue, which we rolled on two long sticks, then lit torches and went in. At first one enters a vestibule out of which lead several openings. Two of the three, perhaps four, dark entrances are blocked up, but one remains open. This we followed, and for three mortal hours and more we groped about among intricate passages and in spacious halls. The windings bewildered us at once, and my compass being[Pg 122] broken I was quite ignorant as to where I was. The clearly intentional intricacy and apparently endless number of galleries impressed me with a sense of horror and fascination I cannot describe. At every ten steps one was arrested, and had to turn to right or left, sometimes to choose one of three or four roads. What if one should lose the clue!

A poor madman had insisted on accompanying us all the way from Candia. He used to call me St. Michael; Douglas, St. George; and Foster, Minos. We knew him as Delli Yani. Much against our will he persisted in following us into the cavern, and when we stopped, going off with a boy who had a lantern. Conceive our horror when we found suddenly that he had disappeared. There in that awful obscurity he might wander about till death relieved him. We sent back two men along the clue with torches to shout for him, and listened anxiously, but the Turks were quite unconcerned. God, they said, takes care of madmen. We went on, and sure enough after about an hour Delli Yani turned up with the boy, who was horribly frightened. We entered many chambers; in some were Venetian names, such as Spinola; in another, 'Hawkins 1794,' 'Fiott' and other Englishmen, and many names of Jews. All the culs de sac were infested with bats, which were very annoying, and rose in thousands when one of our party fired a pistol. In one place is a spring.[Pg 123] Here and there we saw some lichen, and there were occasional signs of metallic substances, but not enough to support the idea of its having been a mine. The stone is sandy, stratified, and easily cut, the air dry, and it appears to me that the most probable purpose of this wonderful excavation was as a secure storehouse for corn and valuables from the attacks of robbers in the days of Minos. The work was plainly all done with the chisel.

The passage is always eight or ten feet wide, and four, five, six, eight, or ten feet or more high. In many places it had fallen in. The peasants tell all sorts of stories about it. They told me that in one place there are reeds and a pool, and that the hole goes right through the mountain for three miles; that a sow went in and came out seven years after with a litter of pigs; and so on.

We slept at Hagios Deka, left it at dawn and rode close to the foot of Ida through a very rich country, and in spite of waiting an hour on the road, reached Candia in seven hours and a half. It was evident that for purposes of his own our janissary had taken us something like fifteen hours out of our way in coming, and we had a serious dispute with him in consequence. Our hurrying back was of no use. There was no prospect of our getting away.

Candia.—We have plenty of time on our hands and can only employ it in the worst possible way by[Pg 124] the assistance of the agas, who in the name of dullness come and pass away their ennui in our company. To crown our bliss, imagine us sleeping, feeding, and sitting all in one room, without the possibility of finding a hole to hide our heads alone in.

What was to me perhaps the worst affliction of all, was that to entertain our guests we had to have music, wearing on unceasingly in melancholy monotony. Our situation, in fact, was getting to be very trying.

We had a visit from our friend Alilah Agas, who begged us to send for music, which was brought. Then he wished the girls of the house (Jewesses) to come up and dance, and had we not been there no doubt he would have compelled them to come. As it was, we discountenanced it, and he gave it up. But he is a Turk; which is as good as to say utterly unprincipled. He told me himself that in raising recruits in Anatolia for the Bey of Tunis, he gave them three hundred piastres apiece, and set it down as six hundred. That dishonesty and bestiality go hand in hand with ignorance is well seen among the Turks. Moreover they lack the civilising influence of women in their society. As soon as their affected gravity is laid aside, they betray the vilest indecency of feeling. One cannot give instances, but the fact was painfully brought home to us.

At last, on the 24th December, a note came from Mr. North to say that he was at Dia, the island[Pg 125] across the bay. We replied begging him to stay where he was, for that if he came to Candia he would certainly be delayed. At the same time we sent to the pasha, begging to have the gate of the port opened in case Mr. North came. The gate, however, was never opened. Happily he did not come, and the dragoman we had sent with our message had to sleep at a cafané outside the gate, and we lowered dinner down to him with a piece of string over the walls. For a wonder we were left alone for this evening, and Douglas and I walked about in our little περιβολἡ [Greek: peribolê] by moonlight, and thought of home and happy Christmas parties there and our dismal Christmas out here. Amongst other subjects we talked of the divine Mrs. Siddons. I trust you never omit my love and duty to her, and my request that she will not forget her devoted admirer during his wanderings. You have never told me whether she intends ever to go on the stage again.[36]

We went to pay a farewell visit to the pasha. We found him sitting in the same state as before—in full dress, with his diamond-hilted dagger in his girdle and several magnificently rich snuff-boxes on the couch beside him. Our conversation, made up of his questions and our answers, lasted half an hour. He said he had seen a drawing of the Labyrinth which I had done, and that it was very beautiful. What was the age of[Pg 126] the Labyrinth? the name of the king who made it? the age of the world? &c. &c. Our answers were taken down, and our names. Finally he said our visit was agreeable to him, and bade us cordially farewell.

Then walking down to the port we took two boats for ourselves and our baggage, and urging the boatmen to hurry, in our eagerness not to miss a chance of sailing that evening if the wind allowed it, we reached Dia in two hours; and there was Mr. North very pleased to see us. We now watched the wind for a chance of getting out of port, but it shifted unsteadily from point to point, and there we remained twelve days. My occupations were to wander about over the desert island, draw, and read a great deal. It was dull, no doubt, but nothing to the active boredom of society in Candia. Mr. North had several excellent cases of books, and I fell upon Gibbon, and became entirely absorbed in it.

At last the wind changed, the captain set all hands to work, and we got out of port, but lay outside rolling the whole day in a dead calm. Towards evening the wind came strong from the south, and our captain, always afraid to beat against it, let it drive us with it to the north, so that in the night we passed Nio, and in the morning found ourselves among the Cyclades between Paro and Siphanto, into the latter of which the captain begged leave to put, for he said the weather looked dirty. The harbour of Siphanto,[Pg 127] which is called Pharo, is rather exposed to the south, but is otherwise good. There is the usual chapel to the Panagia at the entrance.

I had caught such a violent cold and fever from sleeping on deck the night before that I was forced to go to bed and stop there for the next two days, so that I was prevented from going ashore and visiting the town with North and Foster. It lies about one hour off on the hill, the houses scattered and looking from a distance like the broken remains of a wall. Above is a castle, apparently of the time of the Dukes of the Archipelago. Foster found nothing there of interest except numbers of pretty girls, some of whom were so pressing that he found it difficult to get away alone. The fact is the men of the island, being mostly sailors, are away at sea, and the ladies, being left in a majority, make the love which in other countries is made to them. The costume, a Venetian bodice and high bonnet, with very short petticoats, is pretty and peculiar. There are no Turks in the island, but some Turkish sailors lying in the port took offence at the fine clothes of North and Douglas, saying we were Romaics, and had no right to ridicule their Faith by wearing their sacred dress. They even threatened to give stronger proofs of their displeasure than by mere words.

However, next morning we were towed out of port; but being becalmed all day outside, Mr. North,[Pg 128] who had been stirred by the remonstrances of the Turks just mentioned, sent in a boat, and got a wig, a pair of shoes and breeches for his own wear.

Next day we were still lying becalmed among the Cyclades, but the next a light breeze sprang up and carried us northwards through the passage towards Scio; for Mr. North, tired of our delays, having lost all confidence in our captain, and frightened at the violence of the winds, had finished by making up his mind to give up the voyage to Egypt; and this caprice, by which all our time and immense expenses were wasted, necessarily involved us all. I must say I was bitterly disappointed. But luck was against us; we could not afford to make the journey alone, and I had to make the best of it. It took us two days to get to Scio.

A steady wind carried us gently on from Mykoni, and we seemed to enter a large lake: on one side were the mountains of Anatolia; on the other, the left, the Isle of Scio, richly cultivated and populous. The whole coast is covered with the so-called mastic villages. The mastic plant, which is cultivated mainly on the east side—the side we were looking at—of the island, is a high evergreen. It is gathered much as resin is from firs, and the annual crop is about 6,000 okes, all of which goes to Constantinople. Besides mastic, the island produces a vast quantity of fruit, which also goes to the capital. The population is very[Pg 129] large, almost entirely Greek. Compared to the wretched Cretans, they are very independent, both men and women. The latter paint extravagantly and wear an ugly costume; but I must say that on a festa, such as the day after our arrival, being the 13th of January and New Year's Day in Greece, the crowds of them dressed in their best, sitting on either side of the street, looked as brilliant as banks of flowers.

Before leaving we went to see the chief curiosity of the island—viz. Homer's School. It lies northwards, along the shore, about an hour's ride. You arrive first at a fall of a small stream into the sea, and a little above is a singular hanging rock, the top cut smooth into a circular floor about 20 feet across. In the centre an altar is left, on which are carved in bas-relief, on three sides, greyhounds, and on the fourth—the front—something resembling the head and breast of a sphinx. It looks south-east. The situation is exceedingly pretty, but why it should be called Homer's School I cannot conceive. It was more probably an altar to some deity whose shrine was near—possibly the deity of the beautiful spring below.

There is in Scio an agreeable polyglot society of merchants of all nations living together in harmony. One may find an English family where English is the only language not spoken, the men perhaps speaking a little badly, and the women going to church on Sunday and not understanding a word. As Mr.[Pg 130] North intends to remain here and Douglas is starting homewards by way of St. Petersburg, Foster and I took leave of them and sailed for Smyrna in the evening.

We were carried gently along between Scio and the mainland till we reached the north end of the passage. There we fell in with a storm. The wind rose very strong; all around us grew fearfully black, and close to us fell a waterspout. Hereupon the man at the helm sunk terrified on his knees and made a large cross in the air with his hand. But our old pilot ordered him to look to the helm, for that he would save us from the danger. Drawing out a knife with a black handle (a very important point, I understand), he with it made also a cross in the air, and then stuck it into the deck and pronounced the words: Ἑν ἁρχἡ ἡν ὁ λὁγος [Greek: En archê ên ho logos], &c. ('In the beginning was the Word.') Whereupon, or very shortly after, the waterspout did disperse and our pious Greek took to himself all the credit for having saved us from a considerable danger. Our next fright was that we should hardly be able to clear Cape Boronu, the point of the Gulf of Smyrna, but we did just manage to do that also.

The wind changed about several times, till presently it came down in a heavy gale from the north and continued to increase, till all was confusion and terror on board. And indeed we were in a very awkward plight; for our ship was a very bad sailer[Pg 131] and we were on a lee shore with a wind she could make no head against. Besides, the rain and the hail prevented our seeing anything. The captain completely lost his head, trembled with fear, and began reproaching us for persuading him to leave Scio. The only man who kept his presence of mind was the pious old pilot. He knew of a port near by, where we might possibly gain shelter, and by his great skill we succeeded in arriving there; but it was neck or nothing. The smallest mismanagement and we should have been dashed on the rocks. As it was, we as near as possible ran on to them, owing to the anchor being let down too late; for the ship, in swinging round, drove towards them with appalling violence. The captain fell on his knees, and we all expected the ship to be dashed to pieces. She actually swung up to within three yards of the rocks, and there the anchor held us. We all drew a deep breath and thanked our stars. It had been a very near thing.

For days the wind was still against us, and piercingly cold. We stayed where we were. I was thankful to have Pope's 'Homer' with me as a consolation.

Our vessel is managed on the system in use at Hydra, Syra, Spezzia, &c., viz. that half the profits of a voyage go to the captain or proprietor, and the other half to the crew. Sometimes the members of the crew have also shares in the venture, and so are[Pg 132] doubly interested; sometimes the captain is sole proprietor and supercargo. The system ensures a brisk co-operation, as everyone is interested in the success of the venture.

On the 20th we were still in the same place, the wind still blowing from the N.N.E.—a Greco Levante, as it is called—and the cold as bitter as ever it is in England. Snow fell and froze on the deck. The sea, which was warmer than the air, gave off a mist which rose from it in a thick steam.

One of the sailors told me of some antiquities inland, and I tried to get to them; but first of all it was difficult to persuade the crew to turn out to put me ashore. They complained of the cold, and would not leave the cabin, where they were crouching over the fire. Once on shore I found everything frozen—ice rather thick—and when I got up to the town I found the antiquities were about three hours off, and nobody could give me any clear account of them; so I had to give it up and return to Pope's 'Homer' and the cabin.

We lay here in all eight days—till the 22nd—shivering in a filthy cabin among the sailors, utterly idle and half starved. At last on that day we were able to move to the island of Vourlac, where we added two more days of wretchedness to our account; and then, when we had consumed every particle of food except our salt fish, we found a boat to carry us to[Pg 133] Smyrna. The captain of the ship would not stir. The weather was still very rough, and the wretched coward waited another eight days before he ventured up.

No one who has not experienced it, can have an idea of the horrors of a storm in a Greek brig. The sailors, out of all discipline or order, run about all over the ship in the most frantic attitudes of dismay, with their bushy heads of hair flying in all directions, and scream contrary orders to each other. Then the boldest, even if he be but the cabin boy, takes the command, abuses the captain and encourages the rest by his orders and example. All is in confusion, and if one escapes shipwreck it is more by good luck than by good management."


[35] Recent excavations by Messrs. Evans and Hogarth throw quite a different light on the true nature of the Labyrinth.

[36] Mrs. Siddons (1755-1831) formally retired from the stage in 1812, but continued to appear occasionally until many years later.

[Pg 134]



"After our experiences of danger, discomfort, and cold at sea, Smyrna seemed to us a paradise of delightfulness. The consul received us very hospitably, and introduced us to various acquaintance and to the pleasures of the carnival which was going on. To you in England its diversions would have appeared vulgar and flat. To us it was the quintessence of gaiety to meet the masques, bad as they were, with their forced hilarity, passing noisily from one Frank house to another. On the last days of the carnival there were processions, than which nothing could be more ridiculous. There was a Bacchus on a barrel with various spouts about his body which, when turned, distributed wine to the populace; and about the car it rode on, piped and danced a number of wretches dressed in nankeen stained to a flesh-colour and hung with faded leaves and flowers. There followed on another car[Pg 135] the 'Illness and Death of Bacchus.' He was in bed surrounded by a procession of weeping bacchanals, priests, doctors, glisters, and other remedial engines of gigantic dimensions. In sober daylight such a sight calls for its enjoyment for an amount of lightheartedness Englishmen do not at all moments possess—but we, under the circumstances, were very much amused.

We would have started at once on a tour of the Seven Churches if the road had been clear. For the moment, however, it is blocked by the presence of a pasha, who with four thousand troops is raiding and making war on his own account. His army is stationed just across our path, and I have been strongly advised to wait until the storm is passed over.

I am really not sorry to have such a good reason for remaining a little longer where I am. The weather is still very severe and quite unfit for travelling.

Our chief friend in Smyrna is a Mr. Thomas Burgon, married to a Smyrniote lady. With him we started on February 15 to make a little trip of four days to Boudron, the ancient Trios.

We went in an open boat up the gulf to Vourlac, that is to say, to the scala or port of it, which is on an island opposite to the site of the ancient Clazomenæ, and walked from there to the town, spent the night there, and next day rode to Boudron. Here was only a tiny cafané, and nothing but a bench to sleep on.[Pg 136] The following days were passed entirely among the ruins of temples and magnificent buildings, among which now only a few scattered husbandmen guide their ploughs. If in Chandler's day—1775—the Temple of Bacchus was anything like what he describes, it must have been a good deal knocked about since, for it is very different now. The country we passed through generally is exceedingly fertile, and, in consequence of the great demand for produce in and about Smyrna, very prosperous.

When I got back to Smyrna I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Captain F. Beaufort, R.N.,[37] of H.M. frigate Frederiksteen. He is an accomplished antiquarian, a taste he has been able to cultivate in these countries, as he has been employed for some time in charting the coasts hereabouts.

I have suffered not a little from the changeableness of my companions: Mr. North first, in giving up the whole voyage to Egypt when we were halfway there, because of the weather; then Douglas, in suddenly at Scio taking it into his head to go home to England because he was disappointed of the voyage to Egypt; and now, finally, Foster has fallen in love and refuses to make with me the tour of the Seven Churches, as he promised, because he cannot tear himself away from his lady love.

[Pg 137]

The difficulty mentioned before about the raiding pasha has been settled. The moslem of this place have conciliated him with a gift of 20,000 piastres, and he is to retire to his own pashalik of Kauna. So I only await my horses and janissary to set off alone.

March 1st.—I started in a boat for the scala of Menimen, where the horses were waiting for me to take me to Menimen on the Hermus. As my janissary got drunk overnight, I had to wait next morning till seven before I could start, and in consequence did not get so far as I intended, and had to sleep in a small cafané, on the site, as I take it, of the ancient Cumé. We slept six in a small space, the divan, with a large fire, while the three or four horses were in the space beyond. Greeks steal when they get a chance, but Turks as a rule may be trusted; and though Dimitri and I were so tired that we left my arms, silver cup and spoons, &c., lying about all night, nobody touched them. In the morning I walked over the site of Cumé. There were large remains of the wall nine or ten feet thick, and I found the torso of a white marble statue five feet six inches long, of a very beautiful style. The head, arms, and legs had been broken off by the aga of the place because he thought he should find gold inside. It is not far from here to Pergamo, but it took us unusually long because the water was out in all the low ground, and one had to keep to the causeways.[Pg 138] These are made mostly of stones taken from ruined cities, in which one saw bits of architraves, friezes, and so on. Getting off the causeway in one place, I was very nearly bogged.

At Pergamo I lodged in the khan. The first thing I did was to walk up to the castle. It is in three stages, with remains of fortification of all ages, from the earliest to the Genoese, but the Roman are the most important. On the second stage are two towers and a great wall built of Roman-Greek fragments of white marble. Above are two larger towers with a gate and strong wall full of fragments. On the south-west side a gap or dell in the hill is filled up with arches fifty feet high by twenty wide, and above them a range of smaller ones, the whole forming a solid foundation for an immense temple[38] of white marble in the best Roman-Greek style. The whole work is prodigious and very noble. There are still considerable remains of the temple, but they are rapidly disappearing, for the Turks cut them up into tombstones. The ancient town seems to have been built on the hill. Everywhere on the sides of it are immense foundations. The amphitheatre is an extraordinary building. It stands in a narrow valley astride of a river. The two sides of the valley make the two ends of the oval, and the middle stands upon arches under which the river runs. I was detained at Pergamo two[Pg 139] days by the weather. It poured all the first day, and the second the water was out and the river too high for me to get across.

I went to the baths to see the vase for which Canning offered 10,000 piastres, and bought there a beautiful stone for 40 piastres, and some bronze coins.

I took a guide to show me the way across the river, for the water was out all over the valley, and even on the causeway it was over our horses' knees, and to get off it would have been dangerous. On the way we met the son of a neighbouring aga with a party of fifty armed followers. We took them at a distance for a company of derrys, or mountain robbers. But when they came near us we saw they were much too smart. The young man was merely going to the Aga of Pergamo with the compliments of his father on the recovery of his health. Seeing me and my suite dressed à la Turque, he sent in passing a man with his compliments to me to wish me a happy journey.

The pleasant taste left by this graceful courtesy was wiped out by the next incident, which was far from agreeable. We came upon a camel-driver whose camels had got bogged in the swamp and could not be made to move backwards or forwards. Impatience at his trouble had put the man so beside himself that as we passed on he insulted our party. I did not understand a word he said, or the cause of[Pg 140] offence, but our janissary was in a moment as furious as he. Both drew their pistols, and I had the greatest difficulty in containing my man. One or other would have been killed for no reason that I could comprehend. I managed to drag my man away, and we went on to Knifnich; after which our horses, wearied with their wetting and plodding through the heavy mire, could go no further, and we halted for the night. I had a letter to a resident Armenian merchant who received me with genuine hospitality; he introduced me to a relation of his, and the two vied in their honest gallantry. Each insisted on entertaining me. Finally my friend gave a party in my honour; and in the evening, the Turkish part of the company having departed, the women, contrary to the usual Armenian custom, appeared. The music which had been sent for began to play the Greek circle, the Romaika, and we all danced it together. At the end I did what I had understood before was the height of gallantry in these countries: on passing the musicians, dancing with my fair one, I clapped a dollar into the hand of the musician to express my enjoyment. Better still, is with a bit of wax to stick your sequin on his forehead, but I had no wax even if I had wished to try it. After eating and dancing to our heart's content, beds were spread, and in courtesy the landlord remained in the room till I was undressed. Nothing, in fact, could be more cordial than their treatment of me.

[Pg 141]

The trade of Knifnich is in raw cotton.

Next day I got as far as Sumeh. The roads were so heavy that our baggage horse fell and I thought we should never get him up again. This comes of having started too early in the year. Close to Sumeh, in a dell, is the picturesque village of Tarcala, with an ancient castle above it. A friend, Constantine Stephano, took me to call on a Greek family there. I cannot go into details; suffice it to say I found the people so really barbarous that I could not bear it and came out. Indeed, in simple savagery it would be impossible to surpass the natives of this country.

In the khan I found a number of Romaic Greeks. It was the last day of carnival and they were singing Moriote songs, making a noise and behaving themselves generally in a way they would not venture to do in Greece proper. The fact is, that Karasman Oglu, who governs all this part of the country from Pergamo north to Samos in the south and inland to Sart and Magnesia, is an extraordinarily good administrator for a Turk. He sees that the Greeks form the most industrious and the richest part of the population, and that it is to his interest to protect them. Trade is flourishing, and Greeks from other parts, such as those from the Morea who were so noisy in the khan, come and settle under him. I am bound to say that here, and everywhere else where[Pg 142] they come into power, they are insolent and insufferably vain.

On the other hand, the Turks hereabouts are a mild and hospitable but apparently a dull race. They are even more severely taxed than the Greeks. For instance, it was they who had to pay to buy off the raiding pasha I spoke of, and in places remote from the seat of government they suffer great oppression from the hands of their petty governors. Indeed at times they have openly expressed to me their desire that the French or the English would take possession of their empire, for that they would be better off in the hands of anybody than in those of their own countrymen. And nothing would be easier than to take possession of it. In all my tour I saw only one fortress, and that a small one, quite incapable of resisting a regular force. Moreover, it is not a cramped country like the Morea, but perfectly open; and after you leave the coast, which is really populous and well cultivated, it is a desert. In nine hours' journey from Akhissar to Sart, I came across only one village and a few Turcomans.

These Turcomans are a nomadic people. They live in tents, of which you find perhaps twenty together, with their herds of cattle, horses, and camels around them, and wander about following the pasture. They consider themselves just as much part of the inhabitants as the settled population, and are well[Pg 143] armed and dressed. As a rule, in these parts at any rate, they are inoffensive, but further up the country I am told they are organised into larger bands, call themselves dervishes or desperadoes, and if travellers do not keep together in large caravans, attack, rob, and even sell them for slaves. I was even given the sort of price I might be expected to fetch in that capacity, viz. from ten to twenty pounds.

From Sumeh to Kerikahatch, and thence over a low watershed into the valley of the Hermus and to Akhissar, where there is nothing worth seeing. I spent the evening with Greek and Armenian merchants, very rough company.

Went on towards Sardis. At a village on a small branch of the Hermus we came upon a large party of Turcoman women, who had come down from the mountains to wash. They made no attempt to avoid observation as the Turkish women do, and some of them were exceedingly beautiful. They had with them three men as guard, who showed no jealousy of us and very civilly told us our way. In the afternoon we arrived at the Hermus, and the view of the valley I shall never forget. It was a glorious country up the river, but the cultivation and the rich population were behind us, and in front was a continued desert. A ferry-boat running on a rope set us over the river, and an hour later we reached Achmet Li, a miserable village of mud cottages, and prepared to[Pg 144] pass the night in the wretched cafané. Happily, when it got about that we were not Turks, the widow of a Greek papa gladly received us and lodged me well. The raiding pasha aforesaid had passed through and burned the aga's house, but done no other harm beyond eating up all the fowls in the place; there was not one to be got for love or money for my supper.

Next day we got early to Sart. The neighbourhood affords the most lovely views imaginable of distant hills. The site itself is peculiar. The hills are wholly of fat earth, no rock seen at all, and the weather has worn them into the most fantastic forms. Amidst them the castle, standing at the foot of Bousdagh, is astonishingly picturesque. But the whole is a very picture of desolation. Where the ancient Sardis stood are now ten or twelve miserable huts. Far off across the glorious landscape I could distinguish one solitary wretched village, and here and there a Turcoman's tent. A veritable desert, where the soil is rich as anyone could imagine.

Besides the fine situation there is only one other thing to notice, viz. the Ionic temple. I spent my first day in examining it and making a drawing of it. Only three of the five columns still standing in Chandler's time remain erect; the other two were blown up three years ago by a Greek who thought he might find gold in them. The whole temple is buried many feet deep. As I wished very much to see the base[Pg 145] of the column, I got a Cretan—whom I found here professedly buying tobacco, but I suspect a fugitive from his home for some murder—to dig for me. I had to give it up after we had got down ten feet without reaching it. One ought to be here for a month, and then, as the earth is very soft, one could do the thing thoroughly. Nobody would interfere. I spent the evening with the Turcomans in a tent, sitting cross-legged on a mat, smoking. They had a bold free manner and a savage air, but they were not uncivil to me. My janissary got into a dispute with one because he had taken his place. He ordered him out, and the man would not go. As he and all his companions were well armed, a fight would not have been pleasant, and when the dispute quieted down I was not sorry.

The ruins of the comparatively modern town, especially those of a large church, seem to consist entirely of fragments of ancient temples, some of the bits being very fine. The castle has no remains of earlier date than that of the Lower Empire. The more ancient fortress may have been swept away by the torrents, which tear the soil into such strange forms, and the whole site be changed. At any rate I could not find a scrap of ancient wall anywhere, and the later ones are rapidly being undermined, and totter on the edge of the precipice.

Next day we rode eastwards along the side of[Pg 146] Bousdagh (Tmolus). In five hours we passed only two small villages and a number of Turcoman tents, but we met many caravans, the camels whimsically decked with feathers and shells, and the largest male with festoons of bells as well. I was told that the Turks were very fond of witnessing camel-fights, and that those which I saw most handsomely dressed out were the champions at that sport.

The houses hereabouts are all built of mud, and so full of mice that I could not sleep in the night and was in consequence late in starting. We continued along the great valley and came by midday to Allah Sheri (Philadelphia), the most forlorn city ever I saw. The squalid mud houses cover several small hills and contain a population of about a thousand families, mostly Turks. There are twenty-four churches, of which only five are in use, while the rest are kept sacred by occasional services. In the shape of antiquities there is nothing to be seen. The chief curiosity is the warm mineral spring, which smells like addled eggs and has a taste of ink. The people about use it a good deal for scorbutic complaints. Some travellers have spoken of having been shown a wall of bones here. I saw nothing of the sort.

Two hours' travelling next day brought us at last to the end of the immense plain of the Hermus, and we began to get among the mountains, going up the east side of a steep romantic dell, the west side of[Pg 147] which was wonderfully rugged and wild. Beyond were mountains covered with snow: beneath us an immeasurable giddy depth. Except a few sheep, we saw no living thing for hours together. Once I heard some wild duck by the torrent below. At the end of six hours we reached Derwent, a village of, say, two hundred houses. A wretched lodging and, as there was no fowl to be got—and that is what one depends entirely upon—no supper; and I had to be content with smoke, coffee, and Homer. In the evening came, as usual, a number of Turks to see the stranger. They enter, they salute with a 'Salaam aleikum,' and sit down perhaps for hours. Their conversation generally turns upon the stranger, with conjectures upon his object in coming. Later at night came in the son of our host. He had been searching for a strayed ox, and was afraid that the wolves had got it. He examined my firearms for a long while, and admired them very much. The Turks of this part of the country are large, handsome, very slow in their speech, and stupid and ignorant.

Starting next morning, we began by following the course of a river till we got on to a high level plain surrounded by formless hills—an ugly country. We met a few Turcomans, and once I saw some ploughing. At the end of seven hours' riding we reached the edge of the valley of the Meander and looked over a glorious view; then downwards through Bulladan,[Pg 148] a village of about five hundred houses and a number of mosques, to a village the name of which I never learnt, where we slept.

As one expects nothing of one's host but shelter, it was an unusual hospitality in ours to give us some of his bread. It was a strange compound, such as I had never seen before. To make it, the dough is mixed very thin and poured on a heated copper. The result looks like rags of coarse cloth and tastes like bad crumpets. We slept in a barn with the horses.

Next day we descended into the plain of the Meander and crossed the river by a bridge of four or five arches, the parapet of which is made of the steps of a theatre. Just there was a man administering a singular remedy to a mule which had fallen sick in the road. He had tied all four legs together and thrown him down. Then he had cut the throat of a sheep, and holding the mule's mouth open, let the sheep's blood flow into it. I was assured it was an excellent medicine. From the bridge onwards we crossed a flat till we reached the ridge, at the foot of which is Hierapolis. It had cost me certainly a whole day more than was necessary to get here, because Tabouk Kalise (the castle of the cemetery), its proper name, was spelt in Chandler, Pambouk (cotton); and when I inquired for Pambouk Kalise no one could make out what I meant, so that practically I lost my way[Pg 149] until I got into the valley of the Meander. Once there, Hierapolis is a conspicuous object from a great distance on account of the remarkable whiteness of the rock on which it stands.

This is due to a petrification deposited by the river, which rises, a full stream, in the city and flows over the front of the cliff. It makes a fine cascade, and the spray of it, carried by the wind, spreads a white coating like ice over everything it reaches. As it gradually forms, it takes rounded shapes overlapping each other, something like conventional clouds. The ruins of the ancient city stand on the top above the cliff and half buried in a sea of this singular deposit. The vast colonnades present the most extraordinary appearance. The most magnificent are perhaps the ruins of the gymnasium, and the best preserved the theatre, which is all perfect except the proscenium; but perhaps what astonished me most was to find, on going out of one of the gates, a number of tombs of various forms and sizes as complete as on the day they were built, two thousand years ago. The style of them is very large and magnificent. Many of the sarcophagi are eight or nine feet long by three or four wide, and the rest in proportion. All bear inscriptions, but the rough quality of the stone prevented my reading them. Under the sarcophagus, and forming part of the monument, is generally a stone bench for the friends of the deceased to sit upon and meditate.[Pg 150] There are some beautiful bas-reliefs in high preservation lying exposed in the theatre. Altogether, for preservation there can be nothing but Pompeii to compare to this place.

I did not forget to inquire for the remarkable cave in which no animal can live, which Chandler tried to find. My guide led me to one near the spring and told me that on certain days birds flying over it fall down, overcome by the fumes. There, sure enough, I did find four small birds with the bones of various other animals. If travellers had been frequent here I could have supposed that someone had put the birds there for sightseers to wonder at; but according to the old aga I am the first traveller here since Chandler's time in 1765, and it seemed impossible that it should have been done on such short notice merely to make a fool of me.

When evening came on, I walked down again to Yemkeni where the janissary and horses were. The aga had prepared a meal for me, and ate it with me, sometimes tearing bits of meat off and throwing them into my plate. As usual, all the Turks came in, in the evening, to stare.

All next day it blew and poured, but I went up to the ruins attended by the aga's man, and worked hard all day long. I had bought a live fowl to try Strabo's experiment of putting him into the cave; but whether it was not really the right cave, or whether the violent[Pg 151] wind and rain prevented the gas having effect, at any rate the fowl was none the worse after being exposed to it for half an hour, and we ate him with a good appetite in the evening. Over his bones the aga grew talkative, and told me of the real cave which was in the mountain, one hour distant. He said that inside the cave is a bridge, and beyond that a chamber in which is a treasure guarded by a black man. He added that he who should get the better of that black man had need have studied and learnt much. Many and many an adventurer, after the treasure, had died horribly in the cavern. And so on, with all the cock-and-bull stories universal among the Turks. But when I asked him to give me a guide to take me to the cave, he put every sort of difficulty into the way. I should need ladders, and there were none—horses, and there were none. In short it was quite clear he meant to prevent my going, so I gave it up. I did so the more willingly because I already felt exceedingly uncomfortable. The people around me were utter savages, and the country perfectly lawless. South of the river, in the direction of Denisli or Laodicea, it was worse; and besides brigands, which were said to abound between Denisli and Aidin and would oblige my taking an expensive escort, the agas themselves had a very bad reputation for extortion. Moreover, my janissary was anxious, because in coming to Hierapolis we were already[Pg 152] outside the limits to which my travelling firman referred, and he wished to get back within them. So, all things considered, I decided to give up seeing Laodicea (I could make out the situation of it at a very great distance) and passed on to avoid the desert country and dangerous neighbourhood."


[37] Later Sir Francis Beaufort, chief hydrographer to the Navy.

[38] Since excavated at the cost of the Prussian Government.

[Pg 153]



"Two days' riding down the river brought us to Nasli Bazar, which is within the government of Karasman Oglu, and the fact was at once perceptible. Greeks were numerous and impudent, trade flourishing, and the bazaar full of all kinds of merchants. It is the great mart for the interior. I had to pass the night in a wretched khan. In the chamber adjoining mine was a slave merchant with two young negresses, one of whom had a child for sale, and also a fine young negro.

I followed the valley of the Meander to Sultan Hissar. On the way I went up a steep ascent to see the ruins of Nysa. They stand on an elevated plain over the river, and command a grand view and good air above the malarious bed of the Meander and its bordering marshes. There is first of all a large[Pg 154] agora, with traces of temples in or around it. Further on, in the side of the mountain, is a very considerable theatre, with the remains of the proscenium and apartments for actors &c. on all sides. Seated in the theatre one had a glorious view of the senate house and prison, with the amphitheatre beyond, and the bridge which spans a gully in one magnificent arch. All these buildings are in a grandiose style, very impressive, and made all the more so by their absolute solitude. In Nysa was but one man, a shepherd, who had taken up his abode in one of the arches of the theatre.

After a stay there of two hours we went on down the valley. We had now quite left the desert behind us and come into civilisation, cultivation, and orderly government. Every two or three miles we passed a cafané and a guard, with an air of order and discipline. My janissary was full of admiration for Karasman Oglu, and related to me stories illustrating his character. I recollect two. A Greek merchant going to Akhissar was robbed by four Turks of 800 sequins. The poor man made his complaint to Karasman Oglu, who at once gave him the money, as recognising his responsibility for order, and that the merchant might not stand out of his money while it was being recovered. Then he despatched his police, who in a few days brought in the four Turks, and they were then and there hanged. The Turks resent his [Pg 155]protection of the Greeks and Christians, and call it partiality. Hearing of this, Karasman called together the chief Turks of Magnesia, and when he had given them coffee, he told them that he had summoned them as he wished to raise a sum of 30,000 piastres for government purposes, and they should be repaid in a few months with the interest due. The proposition being received with dead silence, he sent for four poor Greek primates of some small villages in the neighbourhood, and made them the same proposal in the presence of the Turks. They at once assented, and the money was brought in an hour. 'Now,' said he, 'you see why I prefer the Greeks. The first of you who complains again shall lose his head.'

When we got in the evening to Guzul Hissar I found the reports I had picked up on the road exaggerated in two main particulars. I had been told that the plague was raging in the town, and that there were English corn-merchants to whom I could apply for harbourage. There was a good deal of plague, no doubt, in the town, which is extensive, but hardly enough to deter one from entering it; while the nearest thing to an English merchant was a Genoese merchant living in the house of a Sardinian doctor who enjoyed English protection. They made room for me, and were very kind and hospitable; and it was a comfort to be in a Frank house, but outside it was rather nervous work. A house close to our lodging was[Pg 156] infected by the plague, and as I was going down the street a Greek warned me to make room for him. 'I have nothing the matter with me,' said he, 'but a few days ago my brother died of the plague.' Need I say that I complied at once. The panic that grows in a plague-stricken city, and which one cannot help imbibing, has a strange effect on characters. The woman of the neighbouring house, which, as I said, was impestata, was seen going about out of doors by my host the doctor, and he was beside himself at the sight.

The importance of Guzul Hissar as a place of commerce arises from its standing on the track of the corn trade between the interior and Scala Nuova. I came upon caravans of one hundred to one hundred and fifty camels, bringing corn from Cæsarea. Some bring it from even as far as the borders of Persia. Once here, its value is doubled or trebled; but the greed of the agas and the roguery of the Greek merchants prevent much of the profit going to the growers. Signor Mora told me that the great trouble he found was the system of constant douceurs and bribery. It makes it impossible for a merchant to make his calculations.

I walked up to see the few remains of the city of Magnesia. Like all Greek cities, it stood above the plain. There is a theatre just discernible, a stadium below it, and a few remnants of a gymnasium.[Pg 157] One night in Guzul Hissar was enough for me, and next day I started for Scala Nuova; and leaving the valley of the Meander on the left, kept by the mountain to the right, and came late to Aisaluck, the ancient Ephesus. Here I dismissed my janissary and horses, and, relieved of my expensive suite, spent a blissful, tranquil day alone. The castle is a vile Turkish fort. The great mosque, in which are some grand columns of granite, is fine, and, like the others—for there are many in the place—thoroughly well executed in the true Oriental taste. The degraded modern Turk is incapable of producing anything half so good.

The remains of Ephesus are very trifling, and what there are, are in a very poor style. I did not, any more than other travellers, find out the Temple of Diana,[39] though of course I have my own opinion as to the site. Aisaluck is now an almost deserted town. It has only about fifteen inhabited houses, and the mosques and forts are in ruinous condition, but their number and splendour show that it must once have been an important Turkish city. I called on the aga, and by way of a present gave him a little gunpowder, with which he was delighted. My lodging was in a miserable little cafané, anything but a palace of luxury.[Pg 158] The fleas within, added to the jackals howling without, prevented my getting any rest. But it was not much worse than my other lodgings on this tour. Luxuries have been few. All I can say is I have learnt not to miss them. In my Turkish dress I pass without observation or inconvenience. In the evening, after eating my meal, I smoke my pipe with the other Turks, go to sleep and get up early.

I rode from Aisaluck to Scala Nuova, which is only four hours off, and from thence I took a passage for Samos on a Maltese brig of twelve hands and six guns and set sail the following morning (March 25th); but when we had made half the passage, which is by rights only about two hours, we met a furious wind which obliged us to put back. I went ashore again, and as the wind rose to the force of a hurricane I watched out of my window no less than eighteen boats and vessels of various sizes blown ashore and wrecked under my very eyes. It was a scene of incredible destruction. The shore was strewn with wreckage and cargoes which had been thrown overboard—oranges, corn, barrels of all sorts of goods—while the sailors, ruined, although thankful to have escaped with their lives, sat round fires in some sheds by the port, the pictures of dejection.

The wind detained me till the 28th, when I crossed over in a boat to Bathi in Samos. Here I had to wait first for horses, and then on account of[Pg 159] the bad weather. I had to stay indoors, and indoors in a Greek house means anything but privacy. No matter where you sit, you hear everything that goes on in it. Application of any kind is out of the question. In this case, the consular court being at the other end of the house, I had to hear the cases proceeding in it. One in especial went on in detached chapters all the time I was there. A Zantiote had deserted his wife and children eighteen years ago in Mykoni. He had since lived and been married in Cyprus, while the deserted wife went to Smyrna and maintained herself and the children by hard work. She had done what she could to find her husband, in vain, till just as I arrived she discovered him in Samos. She haled him before the consul and demanded that he, being rich, should support her. Not till the whole assembly had joined the bench in calling him every name they could invent would he consent, but finally he signed an agreement to live with his wife in Samos and support the daughter. But this was but the beginning. Every day we had visits from both parties to complain that the conditions were not adhered to: he to say that the agreement to live with them did not involve supporting them; they to say they must be supported, and meanwhile, as they were half starved, to take an opportunity of satisfying their appetites at the consulate.

I made acquaintance of a pleasant Russian,[Pg 160] Monsieur Marschall, and with him crossed the island to see the antiquities—first of the ancient city and then of the Temple of Juno, lying three-quarters of an hour to the eastward of it. There is only one column of it remaining, but that one very finely cut and of beautiful marble. A few years ago, I understand, there were still many standing; but some were blown up for the sake of the metal rivets, and others knocked over by the Turkish men of war, who, as they were very white, used them as a target for gunnery practice. We returned to the village of Samos for the night, and lodged with the bishop, who was more hospitable than Greeks generally are. He was a man of some ingenuity and amusing, but very ignorant and superstitious.

We went by Bathi to Geronta and across the Bogas to Changlu on the mainland—rode to Kelibesh over the top of range of hills commanding the valley of the Meander—and the lake of Myus—and on to Sansun Kalesi (Priene), which I was very glad to see. It is an exceedingly fine site. Unfortunately it rained and blew so violently that I could not do much; but if one could stay and dig in the temple, I dare say one might find a treasure of statues, for it remains exactly as it fell.

Two days after, we set out, riding along the foot of Mount Titanus, in frequent danger of being bogged in the low new-made ground of the Meander, which near[Pg 161] the sea is covered with sedge and rushes inhabited by numberless waterfowl. The scenery was often very fine. We reached the corn warehouses at Canna after midday, and found there my Sardinian corn-merchant friend from Guzul Hissar. He was trying to make up a cargo, and at the moment was full of the wrongs suffered by merchants in this country. A caravan of fifteen camels he was expecting had been stopped by an aga, the corn they carried unloaded and left by the road, while the camels were sent away to carry cotton into the interior.

Here we hired a boat; but, hearing firing in the Bogas, which we could only attribute to a pirate, we were not without some qualms at starting. With this in our heads, when we saw a large caique making directly towards us, we were naturally enough alarmed and made for the mouth of the Meander, and there remained till the bark came up and proved itself to be only a fishing caique. Setting forward again with a very strong wind, we reached the port of Geronta after dark. The boatman mistook the entrance and very nearly ran us on to a rock some distance from the shore, upon which he got into a fright and lost all presence of mind. The wind, as I said, being very high, the position was so serious that Marschall and I took the management of the bark, and giving the man a cuff sent him forward to look out for the port. In this fashion we found it and got in. Even then we[Pg 162] were not well off, for the place was perfectly solitary, and we had no mind to remain all night in the boat. It grew extremely dark, and it was an hour and a half before we could find the village. On the way to it, we passed the massive remains of the Temple of Apollo Didymæus, and as they loomed through the darkness they looked very grand—grander than I thought them next morning by daylight. The village of Geronta is only about thirty years old and is inhabited entirely by Albanian and Greek immigrants who seem fairly prosperous. The pasha, Elis Oglu, like his neighbour Karasman Oglu, is a great patron of Greeks. We set sail at night, but had to put back, after a hard night, to a port close to Geronta and wait there three days till the weather improved.

When at last we got away, in five hours we were off Cape Ciron, which ends in a lofty hill by which is Knidos. At my request the captain went into the port, and very glad I was to see the place; the situation is so curious: but I found no inscription or antiquities of any kind. I slept in the boat, and we started at midnight. The wind was furious; and as the bark laboured and strained in the waves, Dimitri groaned with fear. It was indeed far from pleasant; but as the day came on the wind went down, till we were absolutely becalmed off the little island of Symi, and did not get into Rhodes till afternoon.

I was preparing to go to visit the consul, and had[Pg 163] walked a few yards in that direction when I saw another boat come into port, and in it, to my surprise, who but Mr. North. He was as astonished as myself, and as pleased. We went together to the consul's. There we had long conversation on the subject of the island, its inhabitants, products, &c.

The present governor of Rhodes is Hassan Bey, slave of a previous governor—a man of great simplicity of life. I found him sitting in the passage of his palace without attendants or pomp. Although he is about seventy years old and deaf, he received as a present, by the same boat as Mr. North came in, a female slave. He builds ships here for Government, and has one, a frigate, for his own behoof, which he uses himself for piratical purposes while with it he clears the neighbouring seas of all other pirates.

Two days after, I left Rhodes and sailed eastwards with a light breeze, till in the evening we were becalmed off the Seven Capes. In the morning I was awakened by strange voices on board. We had been boarded by Hydriotes inquiring for corn. Their ship had been lying off the coast for some days, boarding every boat that passed for corn. She was a large ship with a crew of sixty men, who seemed to spend all their time in merrily dancing and fiddling. We rowed into the port, which is a fine harbour, and when I had landed I found a boy to undertake to guide us[Pg 164] to Patara. It took two hours to walk there, keeping all the way by the side of an aqueduct. We met a few savage-looking Turks armed, and a boy or two playing on wild simple reeds. The whole country was very wild and desolate, and the road a mere track.

The ruins are considerable, and, although none of them belong to the finest time, very interesting. They have an inexpressibly forlorn appearance, standing as they do half buried in the sand. The once extensive port is entirely silted up.

The theatre is half filled up. I found in it an inscription, from which I gathered that the auditorium is of later date than the proscenium.

Near the head of the port are two large mausolea, at least I suppose that is what they are; and besides these there are the remains of fortifications of the Lower Empire and of several churches. I could not get over to examine the buildings on the opposite side of the port.

We started for Castel Rosso, but were becalmed. The boys played and danced, and we did not get in till the evening. The port, a poor one, is defended by a castle which is red, whence the name. The few savages we found on the beach received us with great suspicion, with arms in their hands, but sold us some provisions. In the morning I landed and looked about. Inside the walls there are many ruins of[Pg 165] houses, all of the Lower Empire, while the walls themselves are of much earlier date in cyclopean masonry. Outside the old walls and in the modern town there are several ancient tombs that have been respected and are in good preservation. The ground is incredibly rugged and stony, almost as bad as Maina.

We sailed off at midday, and got to the small port of Cacava in the evening. There, among the modern houses, are a number of tombs, all of them respected and well preserved. As the cross is on most of them, the town must have flourished during the Lower Empire. I found and copied various inscriptions, some of them in a character I have not seen before. In the evening we crossed to Myra, and there I enjoyed a good bathe. Then when night had come on, we worked the oars against wind till we reached a port at the east end of Karadah, and when it was morning crossed to visit the shrine of St. Nicolas. The sea was so high we had to leave the caique and walk thither. St. Nicolas is a favourite saint of the Greeks, and his shrine is greatly revered. Our captain and crew were all dressed in their very best to make their cross, and had brought with them a bottle of oil as an offering. The road was wretched, and what made it worse was that in wading across a river which was over my knees I so wetted my shalvar that they were heavy to walk in. At the[Pg 166] mouth of the river Zanthus we found many tombs, but none of which I could read the inscription.

The holy place consists of half of a ruined church of the Lower Empire, and by the side of it a small chapel in which is the tomb. The entrance to it is so low that we were obliged to go down on our hands and knees to get in. The Greeks knelt down, bowed their foreheads to the earth, made crosses and said prayers; then, putting some parahs on a tray, took some small candles from a bundle beside it, and stuck them round the tomb. The ceremony being over, we took some earth from near the tomb to keep as a relic, and fell into conversation with the papa of the shrine, Nicola by name, native of Salonica. He told us that early in life in a severe illness he had vowed service to St. Nicolas for the rest of his life if he recovered: that, being restored to health, he had come here in fulfilment of his vow, but that he led but a miserable life, in constant apprehension of the Turks, who are very violent and fanatical hereabouts.

I went on with Dimitri and the captain to see some remains of which he told me, at no great distance, but the other Greeks were afraid to accompany me or even to show me the way. However, I found the ruins—a theatre in astonishing preservation, and some highly interesting tombs, and was quietly taking measurements of them when several Turks appeared. They seemed highly to disapprove of our operations.[Pg 167] While examining some statues I heard one of them exclaim: 'If the infidels are attracted here by these blasphemous figures the temptation shall soon cease, for when that dog is gone I will destroy them.' Then some of them went away and presently came back with a larger party. While I was above in the upper part of the building, they suddenly seized the arms of Dimitri and the captain, and ordered us to follow them to the aga, who lived at a distance of no less than six hours off. At this I remonstrated, saying that I was an Englishman, a friend; but they answered that I lied, that we were giaour Russians, and were plotting to take possession of the place. They wanted to examine our things, but this I resisted. My firman unfortunately was left behind in the boat, and matters began to look ugly. The least encouragement from the elder members would have led the crowd of ruffians to take strong measures. I could perceive that, but I saw no exit from our dilemma. There was, fortunately, still one elder of the village to be consulted, and he was ill at home. The chief of our captors went off to consult him, and a quarter of an hour later returned a different man, his rage assuaged, and willing to accept the captain's assurance that I was an Englishman. He then returned me my arms and begged that I would go where I thought proper. Of course I was very much pleased at this dénouemeut, but I kept my countenance and pretended to be still very angry, at which the[Pg 168] leader, who was now afraid of me, positively quailed for fear of my vengeance. We slept the night under protection of St. Nicolas.

Accompanied by the papas, we took a boat on the river and rowed down to the port at the mouth, and across the bay to the port where our bark lay. While I was swimming, following the boat, I was not a little frightened to meet a large snake which was making for the land. I got out of its way hastily and called to the boys in the caique, who killed it as it approached the shore. It was black, with some red spots on the belly, and measured five feet two inches in length. We heaved anchor at night, and in the morning reached the port of Finica.

The town itself is three-quarters of an hour from the sea. There are the remains of a theatre, the seats all gone, and a castle of the Lower Empire, built of the said seats. I found various monuments, the inscriptions all in the same unknown character. At a mill hard by, I fell in with a number of merchants belonging to Sparta, in Asia Minor, six days from here. It is curious that they all talk Turkish, but write it in Greek characters. I found them very bigoted but civil. We slept in the open air, all in a row. As I had promised them some fish, they lent me a horse, and one of them accompanied me back to the port; but unfortunately no fish had been caught in the night, so I had to make up for it with five okes of olives and[Pg 169] a large botza of wine, on which my friends got excessively drunk.

We now got on board and tried to beat out of port, but it was not so easy. It is very narrow, and a south-east wind, such as we had at the moment, blows right into it. Once out, we crossed the bay and got into the small port of Carosi.

We had now to get round the cape. All along this coast an imbat or sea breeze springs up from the south regularly at midday. As we took care, by rowing hard southwards, to get round the point before twelve, we caught the breeze nicely, which carried us straight north to Porto Genovese by night.

This is a fine port, and the rocks above it are very grand. We caught and ate a fine supper of fish, and sat cross-legged on our little deck drinking wine with an enjoyment of this adventurous, unconventional life I can never forget. The night was cool, the moon shone bright upon us, and we crowned the evening with Moriote songs. It was past midnight before we got to bed.

It was a short distance to the foot of Olympus. When I met Captain F. Beaufort at Smyrna, he gave me an account of the volcanic fire which springs up out of a hole in the side of this mountain, and I wished to see it. It lies about an hour's walk up the hill. The flame was just like that of a furnace, and the mouth, about five feet wide, from which it issued,[Pg 170] was all calcined. Ten feet from it was another mouth, from which no fire but a strong sulphurous smell issued, and about fifty yards higher up the hill there was a spring. Close by there were also the remains of a temple, showing that the spot had been held sacred in ancient times. My guide told me that the fire would roast eggs well, but not if they were stolen—indeed it would not act upon stolen things at all. Greeks are very superstitious, and this is one of the favourite forms it takes with them. I tried to confute him by cutting a scrap off his turban while his back was turned and showing him how it burned, but although he saw it consumed it did not shake his belief in the least.

I went downhill again to the ruins. They consisted mostly of Venetian or Genoese work, but there was the door of a portico erected to Germanicus, a small theatre on the south side of the river, and some very rough tombs of Roman times, among which I drew until nightfall.

Next morning we had an enchanting sail to Phaselis. The breeze was slight and the dolphins played all round us, as though they enjoyed the fair weather. Phaselis was once a favourite stronghold of pirates, and is just made for it. It stands on a peninsula easily defended, and has or had—for all are now destroyed—three excellent harbours. The town was defended by a strong wall, and was provided with[Pg 171] numbers of cisterns, besides an aqueduct for bringing water from the mainland. Where the sea had undermined the cliffs, parts of the wall and sides of cisterns had fallen away into it. There were some tombs only just recently mutilated, which I thought worth making drawings of. In the evening we put out our net and caught some fish, but lost part of the net, owing to an octopus which clung to it and dragged it into its hole.

April 28th.—We weighed anchor early, but there was no wind as yet, and we had rowed for some hours when we became aware of a large sail coming up on a breeze. As I scanned her I had little doubt she would be the Salsette or the Frederiksteen; but my poor captain was very much frightened, and when he saw her send a boat to board a small vessel before us, he desired his sons to hide his money in the ballast. It was not long, however, before I made out with my glass the red cross, and then I was able to set his mind at rest. When our little caique came alongside, we must have been a shabby sight; but Captain Beaufort bade me heartily welcome and gave me so cordial a shake of the hand as I can never forget. He said he had hunted for me all along the coast, and pressed me to take a cruise with him, rather than go on travelling in this hazardous fashion in the caique. The offer was tantalising; but, as I was not sure if I should feel at my ease, I only promised to stay a few days to begin with."

[Pg 172]

Extract from Beaufort's "Karamania."—"At Avova we had the satisfaction of meeting Mr. Cockerell, who had been induced by our report to explore the antiquities of these desolate regions. He had hired a small Greek vessel, and had already coasted part of Lycia. Those who have experienced the filth and other miseries of such a mode of conveyance, and who know the dangers that await an unprotected European among these tribes of uncivilised Mahommedans, can alone appreciate the ardour which could lead to such an enterprise. I succeeded in persuading him to remove to His Majesty's ship, in which he might pursue his researches with less hazard and with some degree of comfort. The alarm felt by his crew on seeing the frigate had been excessive. Had she been a Turkish man-of-war, they were sure of being pillaged under the pretext of exacting a present; if a Barbary cruiser, the youngest men would have been forcibly seized for recruits, and the rest plundered; and even if she had been a Greek merchant-ship, their security would still have been precarious; for when one of these large Greek polaccas meets even her own countrymen in small vessels and in unfrequented places she often compels them to assist in loading her, or arbitrarily takes their cargoes at her own prices."


[39] The Temple of Diana was discovered by Mr. J. T. Wood, who carried on excavations from 1863 to 1874 on behalf of the British Museum.

[Pg 173]



"On the 1st of May we reached Adalia (or Satalia). It stands on a plain which breaks abruptly into the sea and looks very rich and Oriental from a distance. Considering the way Captain Beaufort had given protection to certain fugitive rebels last year, he was rather uncertain what sort of reception to expect. It turned out to be a very cordial one, for the old pasha having just died and his son not yet firmly set in place, he could not deal with the high hand as Turks like to do. He expressed himself as pleased at the captain's offer to salute the fortress, but begged the guns might not be more than eleven, probably because he had only eleven guns to answer with. It was clear, however, that the appearance of the vessel had excited no small apprehension in the town. No Turks came to look at her, as usually happens in a port, and we could see that the few miserable guns in[Pg 174] the fort had been trained to bear upon us. At the same time a handsome present was sent to the ship, consisting of bullocks, goats, fowls, vegetables, and a very magnificent dress for the captain. The dress was refused, but the eatables were accepted and a suitable return made. This included English ale and porter, and a big barrel of gunpowder, which, slung on a pole carried by two seamen, looked imposing. The captain and his boat's crew and guard of marines, all in their best, and my humble self then landed and went up to pay a visit of ceremony to the pasha. Captain Beaufort in the course of the interview very kindly asked, on my behalf, leave for the captain of my caique—which had come on to Adalia with us—to load his boat with flour, a profitable cargo which would indemnify him for being discharged by me. The export of flour is really contraband, but as there is an immense trade quite openly carried on in it by Greek ships, they need not have made such a great favour of it as they did. However, they gave permission, and I was indignant that my late captain never came and thanked me. During our stay we rode one day through the town and out into the country beyond, which is very rich and well cultivated. There are two interesting gates to the town—one on the land side, of Roman architecture, very rich and much injured, and the other towards the sea, of Frankish work, with mutilated arms and inscriptions on it.

[Pg 175]

We set sail on the 7th, without doubt to the great relief of the people of Adalia, and cast anchor again at Lara. Here there are considerable ruins, but none of them very interesting. Our next stoppage was at Eshi Satalia, the ancient Sidé, where we remained four days. The Roman theatre is of vast dimensions and in good preservation, and it is noticeable that, as is evident from marks of crosses on the stones, it had been repaired in Christian times, which shows that theatres were still used after the conversion of the inhabitants to Christianity. The proscenium was in ruins, as usual, and some of its sculptures lay in the arena. In comparatively modern times it had been utilised to form part of the city wall, but the theatre itself was in wonderful preservation. Sidé is now absolutely desolate, probably because the aqueduct which supplied the ancient city is broken, and there is no water whatever on the site. This accounts for the theatre being so well preserved.

I spent all my time among these lonely ruins to very good purpose, drawing and studying. The architecture is some of it even absurd: for instance, the triumphal façade at the entrance; but the sculpture is all far superior to the architecture. Although not in the very best style, it is exceedingly good, and cut with astonishing freedom and boldness. As I said, the site of Sidé, and even the neighbourhood, is absolutely deserted. Nevertheless, news of our[Pg 176] being on the coast had got about, and a Turkish dignitary came down from the interior, ostensibly to offer us civilities, but in reality to watch our proceedings. He was invited on board, but refused, saying, with a great assumption of dignity, that he had ridden an hour to the coast to visit the captain, and now the captain should come to him. The real fact was he was afraid. The captain accordingly came in the jolly-boat, the crew of which was in charge of a midshipman who charmed the Turk so much that he wanted to buy him, and made an offer of 2,000 piastres for him.

On the 16th we reached Alaia and anchored off the town. It stands on a steep rock projecting into the sea. The houses have a very Oriental look, with their flat roofs and balconies, rather like rabbit-hutches supported on long poles. Our reception was very cordial; a salute was fired, and a present of bullocks &c. sent us. We landed to take a little turn into the town and found it filthy; stinks of all kinds in all directions. Through narrow streets down which wound gutters, disgusting with horrors flung from upper windows, we threaded our way in apprehension of more. The ladies, however, were eager to see the Franks, and from the streets and from the ship we could descry them peeping at us in their balconies. I went with the captain to pay our visit to the council which governs in the absence of the pasha. We found it[Pg 177] sitting in a miserable tumbledown room with walls not even plastered. We sat a few minutes, asked a few questions mainly about antiquities, and then retired to the ship to receive their return visit.

Next morning we set off to the eastwards to look for ruins of Sydra. The expedition was not a success. In the first place the surf was high and we had difficulty in landing; then after a long walk we came upon several villages, but no considerable ruins, and what there were, only of late date and uninteresting, and we had to trudge back disappointed. In the course of our walk we came upon a small Turkish boy all alone. He screamed with fright to see our strange figures and ran away, bounding over stock and stone, and still screaming for help. He had never seen Franks before.

The following day we, the captain and officers in uniform and myself in my best, landed to walk in the town. We were first detained a long time at the gate on small excuses, and then when we started were told by the guide that if we proceeded there was danger of a disturbance. The captain told him to go on all the same, but as he refused we turned back to the port.

Then we learnt that the evening before there had been a general meeting of the Turks to protest against our being allowed to go about the town. We went aboard again; and from the ship an officer was sent to[Pg 178] the council with a severe remonstrance against our treatment, and the present of bullocks was re-landed on the beach. This attitude of ours brought them at once to their knees; the humblest apologies were sent with assurances that the offenders were being punished, and a request that Captain Beaufort would come ashore and see the castle as he desired. The captain replied that an officer of his rank could not expose himself to the possibility of a repetition of such affronts as he had submitted to that morning, but that the beyzesday (myself) with some of his officers would go, as they allowed it. We accordingly went; but as the authority of governors in these countries is at no time very great, we went in the fullest expectation of a disturbance and of being forced to turn back. The council seems, however, to have kept its promise, for nothing of the sort occurred. We were entirely unmolested. On the other hand, there was nothing whatever to see. It was a most fatiguing walk up the hill. The town is defended by three walls, one inside the other, never well built and now ruinous, although well whitewashed to conceal their condition, and in the whole place only four cannon, all of them old. On the top of all is the citadel, itself ruinous and full of the ruins of several Christian monasteries and churches converted into mosques, some water tanks and a fountain. Over a gate is an inscription to say that Aladin was conqueror of this[Pg 179] city. There are remains of a fine ancient Greek wall. This was all we saw for our trouble and risk.

The council again sent apologies and invitations to Captain Beaufort, but he replied as before; only, to show he had no resentment, he sent his surgeon, while the anchor was being weighed, to see what he could do for a member of the council who was ill. I meanwhile, with a party of officers, went off in the gig to look at some ruins we had observed to the westward on the top of a hill. We had three miles to go in the boat and about two on foot inland. The hill is high and desperately steep. On the top is a town, deserted, with ancient Greek walls, a tower, the ruins of a temple, a number of pedestals and monuments, some with inscriptions which we copied, but none of them gave us the name of the place. We have made up our minds since, judging by Strabo's description, that it must have been Laertes. The city walls, the temple, and the tower are all of cut stone and the best Greek construction, while the walls of dwellings are of small stones and mortar. This town, being all of one sort of date, is a good example by which to judge of Greek habits of building. I suppose private houses were always built in this inferior style.

Our next stoppage was at Selinty, originally Selinus, and afterwards changed, on the death of Trajan within its walls, to Trajanopolis. It stands on a remarkable rock, the Cragus, absolutely precipitous[Pg 180] on one side and very steep on the other, with a river, sixty feet or so wide, at the bottom of the slope. It struck one as curious that with such a river there should be an aqueduct to carry water across it into the town. One could only suppose that the water of the river, like that of the cataracts near Adalia, was unwholesome because it contained a chalky sediment. To the top of the Cragus is a great climb. There we found a fortress without any inscriptions of any kind, but, to judge by the style, of no great age and no interest. The best thing was the view. Beneath us fell a sheer precipice right down into the sea, perhaps five hundred feet. As we looked over the top the eagles sprang out from the rocks far below us, so far that shots fired at them were quite ineffective. We found here a small theatre, much ruined, and the remains of a grand senate house, or perhaps a mausoleum to Trajan, also very much injured. The ship remained a day and a half. After passing a promontory we came opposite to a rocky ridge sloping rapidly to the sea, on which was a fortress, answering to Strabo's Antiochetta on the Cragus. We put off in the gig, and had to land on a precipitous rock in a high surf, which I did not like at all; but as we had been brought, it had to be done. We found a place that must have had some importance. There were fragments of polished granite columns, a modern castle, several Greek chapels, and ruins on all sides[Pg 181] as well. The most promising were on the mountain above us and on a small peninsula jutting out from the site of the town. My companions made for the small peninsula, where they found some tombs like those at Selinty, and other matters of no great moment. I, hoping for something more considerable, went up the mountain—and a very rough climb it was. I was, however, well paid for my exertions. I found there numbers of granite columns, marble blocks and pedestals, and the ruins of a vast and magnificent edifice which might have been a senate house or a gymnasium. The situation of it was truly sublime, and it must have had a glorious effect from the sea. I hoped to return and examine it more perfectly next day, but unfortunately Captain Beaufort thought it necessary to get on to Cape Anemurium by the 24th, in order to make an observation of Jupiter's satellite which would determine at once his longitude, and the wind was favourable. We went on therefore, to my great regret, and the same evening (23rd) anchored opposite a small castle on a low rock by the sea.

Next day, as we were allowed, we went all over the castle. It appears to be of Saracen origin, and according to an inscription to have been conquered by the Turk Aladin. A remarkable thing about it is that it has a keep like those one sees in England. It is all in ruins; such guns as it has are lying about dismounted.

[Pg 182]

I suppose the people hereabouts are so frightened at us that they send the news about in all directions; for the bey of the district, who lives at some distance inland, had heard of our arrival, and sent down his compliments. Captain Beaufort hastened to send a suitable reply to his courtesy by an officer with an invitation to come on board, where he would be received with all the honours of war. He did promise to come when he could.

All day long Captain Beaufort was preparing, on a small island close to the castle, the necessary arrangements for making his observation. It was perfectly successful, and we got back on board at one o'clock A.M.

25th May.—Having done what was wanted with regard to the verification of the longitude, we went back in a boat to Cape Anemurium to see the ancient town. On the point is a fortress and citadel. Outside of that a second wall includes a theatre and an odeum, the seats of which are all gone. There are no traces of dwellings within the walls, so that one must suppose the inhabitants to have lived in mud or timber houses, for outside the walls there is the most perfect necropolis I ever saw. Each tomb has two apartments, and all, except for their having been broken open, are as fresh as if just built.

The ship being still at Anemurium, the bey above mentioned came down to the beach attended by his[Pg 183] retinue. As soon as we made him out, we pushed off to pay him the compliments of the captain. Nothing could be more picturesque than the scene when we reached the shore. At the foot of the precipice of Anemurium he was seated on a small carpet spread on the rock, surrounded by about a hundred dark, savage-looking men all heavily armed. They were clearly as pleased to look at us as we were to see the barbarians of the interior. The gloomy evening cast a grave air over the wild crags and the savage figures, while the sea broke in heavy waves at the foot of the rock on which Abdul Muim sat. The manner with which the bey received us was free and polite. He told us the history of the country about us, and of the castle in particular. He was very much pressed to come aboard, but he would not be tempted. Instead of that, he contented himself with inquiring the length of the ship and sat looking at her with a pocket telescope for several hours.

We crossed a bay, and lay off Cape Kisliman, a bluff and remarkable cape on which were ruins, but the people of the country seemed to object to our examining them.

Thence to Chelindreh, which, being the nearest point of communication with Cyprus for couriers from Constantinople and other travellers, boasts some twenty huts and their inhabitants. They are barbarous and savage to a degree, and were disposed to treat[Pg 184] the crew of the captain's boat, who were looking for inscriptions among the tombs of the ancient city, very roughly. One man even drew his yatagan, when the sudden appearance of the frigate frightened them into politeness.

June 1st.—To the captain, who is always earnestly employed, one day is like another. Even Sundays are only distinguished by the officers' invitation to him and to myself to dine in the gun-room, and by the clean clothes of the men at muster; but the other officers did not forget that to-day was an anniversary, and we all drank the health of Lord Howe.

Porto Cavaliero.—To the eastward of us lay Isola Provenzale, once without doubt a settlement of the Knights of Rhodes. While the captain examined Cape Cavaliero, I went, burning with expectation, to the island, not doubting but that I should come home with a load of inscriptions and arms for the Heralds; but we found no sort of remains of the occupation of the Knights that one could identify. We landed near a quarry of soft stone, in the middle of which an upright rock is left standing, in which it appears that a hermit had made his cell. There are crosses cut in the three sides, and several neat little receptacles for utensils. At the top of the hill are fortifications and two churches, themselves built of the materials of older Greek buildings. Clefts in the rock had been carefully stopped and used as reservoirs. The walls are[Pg 185] built with an inner and an outer face of squared stones set in mortar, the interval being filled in with chips and rubble without cement, and the whole making a thickness of eight or nine feet. The north-west side of the island is also covered with ruins, all of the same Romaic work. One was of a church to which several rooms were attached, and in one of them a considerable tomb—probably of a saint of the Early Church. This must at all times have been a valuable station, and would be now. It has one of the best and most defensible harbours on this coast, and is within easy reach of supplies.

The captain had fared no better than ourselves in his search for remains of the Knights at Porto Cavaliero. Here we fell in with a Myconiote ship full of hadjis on their return from a visit to the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. My Dimitri and Andrea were pigs enough to get drunk there and quarrel with the crew. They got the licking they deserved, but they came and complained to me that they had been ill-used and ourselves insulted, and gave me the trouble of inquiring into it. I found, as I had suspected, that what they had got they had brought upon themselves. Our next move was to Seleucia or Selefkeh. We landed as near as we could to the end of the line of hills on which it stands, and then walked to it, nine miles across the plain at the foot of them. The ancient town is beautifully placed at the side of a river, the[Pg 186] Calicadnus. It is partly on the plain and partly on steps of rock which rise gradually from it up to a large castle of late date, which has an Armenian inscription over the gate. The aga received us with obvious ill-humour, which perhaps was owing to his being unwell, for he begged to see our doctor, and promised to send horses for him and for us to the beach next day. We looked about among the ruins, which are very extensive. There is a theatre, a long line of porticoes, and a temple once converted to a Christian church, together with several late churches of the date of the ruins on Provenzale. We then went back to the ship.

Next day, no horses for the doctor or ourselves appearing upon the beach, we started walking, and on our arrival at Selefkeh complained. The aga affected to blame his servants. We expected at least to return well mounted when the doctor had seen the aga and we had seen the town, but only one sorry hack was prepared for the doctor; and, as he refused to ride alone, we made our exit, walking in a huff, and went so briskly that a miserable Turk whom the aga had sent on a pony, while we had to walk, to bring him back his medicine, could not keep up with us, and was quite out of sight by the time we got to the beach. So we went aboard, rather pleased at first to deprive the ungracious aga of his medicine; but upon reflection we wrote him a sharp laconic note and sent[Pg 187] his dose. This aga, it is true, was not a man of good character; he had deposed and murdered his predecessor, but as that is the usual mode of succession in this country, it need not necessarily involve discourtesy to strangers. But I must not, in justice to Turks, forget to mention what occurred on our way to the beach as a set-off to the incivility of the aga.

We had had nothing to eat all day, and we were not a little sharp-set when, finding some peasants (Turks) amongst the corn making their evening meal, with that confidence which hunger inspires we pounced upon their dishes and devoured all that appeared before us. The poor fellows were not in the least disconcerted, but begged us to eat, one of them saying as he pointed to the corn all round him, 'There is plenty of bread. It is ours.' They would take no money, and when we got up to go pressed us to stay. Our hearts were melted at their noble benevolence, and we had to agree that all Turks were not brutes.

On the whole, Seleucia is worth the trouble of a visit.

An immense reservoir, 150 by 75 feet by 30 feet deep, supplied by an aqueduct, impressed me as a very fine work. The theatre also, although totally ruined, is delightfully situated; and the temple, which had been converted into a church, is very interesting. The Calicadnus, although it is on an even bed, is a noble river, wide and rapid, and gives great beauty[Pg 188] to the scene. It is unhealthy to drink, which accounts for the existence of the great reservoir.

It is evident that the population of these countries has decreased, and still is decreasing. It has not one-tenth of what it could easily support, and not one-hundredth of what it has supported in past times.

While we were away at Selefkeh a bombard French privateer came into the bay of Seleucia in pursuit of a Turkish boat, and would have fallen into our hands if the captain and pilot had been on board; but the necessary delay before this could be done enabled the Frenchman to get to shallow water, and the Frederiksteen in pursuit ran into four fathoms, and in another five minutes would have been aground. So the bombard escaped.[40]

Anchored off Lingua di Bagascia.—We arrived at a castle named Curco, with another on a rock outside the port, which has an Armenian inscription on it. The one on the mainland, which I take to be the ancient Coricus, is a place of great strength. There is a moat thirty feet wide, cut in solid rock, to disconnect from the land, and double walls and towers. There are many ruins of modern churches and monasteries and numberless sarcophagi of ancient and early Christian times, but the whole place, town and castles, is absolutely deserted.

[Pg 189]

We were in the boat following the frigate as she proceeded along the coast, when, perceiving ruins on the coast, we disembarked, and found on a striking eminence a Corinthian temple of bad execution which had been converted into a church. Further on was a town, a theatre, and a vast colonnade with a number of important and very perfect tombs. We had, however, to retire to the boat, for the inhabitants were very threatening, and had we been fewer or shown any fear might have fared badly. As soon as we were off in the boat we had a good bathe.

At the Latmus.—Captain Beaufort sent two of his officers ashore to inspect the long aqueduct leading to Eleusa, which we could see from the ship, but the aga, who had at first consented to their going, withdrew his permission, and they had to give it up.

At Pompeiopolis, as we had understood that the Turks of this part of the country were particularly dangerous, I took with me two marines as a guard to visit the ruins. Seen from the sea they presented a truly startling grandeur. The plan of the city is noble in the extreme—one single colonnade passes right through it from the port to the gate leading out into the country, and forty of its columns are still standing. The remainder, making about two hundred, lie as they fell. The town was defended by a fine wall with towers to it, enclosing a theatre and the port. The style of the architecture, which looked so well from[Pg 190] a distance, when one comes to see it close is very bad.

Pompeiopolis is quite deserted, but the Turks from the neighbouring villages came in, and, although their appearance was barbarous in the extreme, they were very civil. I imagine the 36 guns and 350 men of the Frederiksteen had to do with this, for I observed that the further we got from the ship the less polite we always found the Turks to be.

We made sail in the evening and anchored off Mersine, at the beginning of the great plain of Tarsous, and put ashore to reconnoitre and pay a visit to the aga with a view to getting horses to go to Tarsous. The aga was very civil and promised we should have the horses we asked for.

In the morning the horses were ready; but now the aga, for whatever reason, discouraged our going to Tarsous, and told us that since seeing us yesterday evening he had received news of an outbreak there, that a neighbouring pasha had attacked the town and all was uproar and arms. On reflection his account struck us as so improbable that we decided at any rate to start, and go on according to the information we should pick up on the road. We set out, a large party.

The country was a flat, covered with corn and in it many reapers, male and female, the latter going uncovered and quite unembarrassed by strangers. Their[Pg 191] language and costume were Arab, quite unlike anything I had seen before, and there were quantities of camels about.

The ride took us four hours. From the inquiries we made from time to time it was clear that the aga's tale had been a downright lie.

Tarsous lies on the plain about two miles and a half from the mountains. At the entrance to it is a hillock about a quarter of a mile long, which commands the town; it was included in the ancient walls, which were then strengthened by a moat into which the river was turned. It is now dry, and the present town has nothing but a slight wall round it. We passed over the old moat and through an ancient gate of Roman work. It had three arches, but only one of them is standing, and the wall it formed the passage through and every other antiquity in the town has been destroyed and used up for building materials. Nothing could exceed the surprise of the inhabitants at our appearance. They had never seen Europeans, and they crowded about us in such numbers that we could with difficulty move. We went to visit the aga and were detained, sitting among the servants an hour and a half before we could obtain an audience. The aga, they said, was engaged. At last we remonstrated and got up to go; when, to our surprise and indignation, we saw the aga sitting in a room by himself smoking his pipe and quite unoccupied.[Pg 192] We would have passed the door had they not pressed us in, so angry were we. He was sitting on a sofa in a long white Arab cloak in a room that was neater and handsomer than it is usual to see in these countries. He made a slight motion on our coming in, but spoke not a word, nor did he deign to answer 'Yhary' when we conveyed to him the compliments of the captain. A Turk who sat by his side with our firman in his hands now addressed a Turk who was with us with an affectation of great indignation. He wanted to know what could be the meaning of four hundred men, when only eight men were mentioned in the firman—together with a number of other insolent questions, from which I gathered that he suspected us of being travelling merchants. Fortunately, as these remarks were not addressed to us, we were not bound to make any reply, for if we had we were by this time in such a state of impatience with their insolent barbarity that it would hardly have been a conciliatory one. As soon as we could get away, we mounted our horses again, and through a thick and insulting rabble went out of the town and homewards without delay. An old Turk of the aga's people, who had been one of the chief of our tormentors, saw us off for some distance. To him I had the satisfaction of giving a piece of my mind, and when we came within sight of the ship gave him an invitation on board that he might see how we treated strangers. The old rascal[Pg 193] went home very much abashed and awestruck. We arrived on board late, and well wetted by coming through the violent surf.

The ship was two more days off the great plain of Tarsous, moving slowly in a thick haze, and on the 16th arrived off Cape Karadash.

The captain proposed to me that I should go with Mr. Wingham to reconnoitre a great lake one could see from the ship. About one mile N.W. of the cape we turned up a deep channel like a river mouth, except that the current set inwards instead of outwards, and after about three-quarters of a mile entered an apparently boundless lake. It was very shallow, and before long we were aground, after which the men waded and towed the boat. In this fashion we went several miles till we had got a fair general notion of the size of the sheet of water. A deceptive atmospheric effect, due to the great evaporation, would hide the shore when very low, so that it presented the appearance of a sheet of water. Owing to this I had a bitter disappointment. Ahead of us we descried four beautiful deer, which, as we approached, fled to what appeared to me to be the isthmus of a peninsula. I cried to one of the boatmen, who had a musket, to run to the isthmus to cut them off, while I and two others made for the other side, hoping to get a shot at them. As we got nearer, the fancied water vanished, and the deer, a herd of ten beauties, ran up into the plain. They were[Pg 194] spotted like fallow deer, but with short horns turning back like those of a goat. Coming back, we saw immense flocks, of perhaps ten thousand at once, of white stately birds about as big as swans [Flamingoes.—Ed.], the tail beautiful with red feathers. They stood in ranks like soldiers, and now and again flapped their wings all at once and shrieked. There were numbers of large fish about, and the water was so shallow that their backs stood out of it. All the same, when we tried to catch them they were too quick for us. The only thing we did secure was a big turtle.

At Cape Mallo we went ashore and walked over the ruins.

Thence we moved down the coast, anchored eight miles west of Ayas Castle, and rowed on to it. There are the remains of the ancient town of Ægæ to be seen, and a modern Turkish castle. When we entered the mouth of the port we noticed that some Turks standing on a tower which commanded it shouted and gesticulated to us in a threatening manner. They were all armed. I, however, set it down to fear on their part, and recommended our going on. Unhappily, we did so; and I can never sufficiently regret the part I had in bringing on the catastrophe which will always make Ayas a painful recollection. Nothing further occurred that evening; we walked about, and when it grew dark went aboard again.

June 20th.—We went ashore, a strong party, and[Pg 195] scattered in various directions. The captain took his surveying instruments, a little to the westwards. Another party stripped to bathe and hunt turtles, of which there were many; while two others and myself walked towards the castle. The jolly-boat, under command of a midshipman, young Olphert, was to meet us to the east of the castle. All at once Dimitri came running up to us to say that a Turk had robbed one of the party. His account was that while they were bathing, this Turk, attracted by the gilt buttons on the coat of a petty officer, and taking them for gold, had run off with it. We walked at once to the beach, where several Turks of the village were collected. They tried to conciliate us, saying it was a Turcoman from the mountains who had been the thief, and that the coat had already been restored. Just then up came Mr. Lane to tell us to get immediately to the boats, that the captain had been dangerously wounded and young Olphert shot dead. We did as he told us, and got back to the ship; but my horror and surprise were succeeded by the most violent indignation, and there was nothing I hoped for so much as that orders would be given for a general attack on the village. As soon as I was on board I went to see Captain Beaufort. His wound, I was glad to find, was not so dangerous as was thought at first. The ball had entered the fleshy part of the thigh and had broken the bone at the hip. Still, it was a serious wound, and he was a good deal[Pg 196] shaken. When he heard of poor Olphert's death he burst into tears, and bitterly upbraided himself with having been the cause of it. It seems that when the band of ruffians came to attack his boat and began to point their guns, he, to frighten them, fired over their heads. Hereupon they all fell down in abject terror, and the boats, pushing off, got nearly clear of the rocks. One man, however, more resolute than the rest, rushed forwards, and taking deliberate aim from behind a rock, shot the captain: and had the rest of the ruffians been like him, the whole boat's crew must have been sacrificed. As it was, the boat was out of range before they recovered. But having whetted their appetite for blood, and furious at having been shot at, they rushed off to where young Olphert was with his boat and murdered him as he was pushing off. The condition Captain Beaufort was in was so serious, and his concern lest Olphert's death should have been in any sense his fault, so painful, that I took upon myself to tell him a deliberate falsehood, for which I trust God will forgive me. I assured him positively that Olphert had been already shot when the natives came to attack his (the captain's) boat. As he was a long way from where Olphert was, he had no means of knowing that it might not have been so, and he was eventually persuaded and his mind very much quieted.

At first we had hoped that we might be allowed to[Pg 197] seek our own redress, but the coolness and moderation of the captain were admirable. When one came to consider, it was not at all clear that the villagers had had any hand in it, and to destroy the village would not be to punish the offenders. It was sure to make all travelling dangerous, if not impossible, for the future, and finally it would be the act of war on the territories of a friendly Power, barbarous as that Power might be. It was therefore settled that we should apply for redress through the regular channel.

We crossed the bay to Scanderoon, which is a miserable town with a population half Turks and half Cypriote Greeks, and no resident official higher than an aga. We did what we could to frighten this person by representing the affair to him in its most serious light, at the same time calling his attention to the strict moderation of our conduct, and our respect for the authorities of the country.

Meanwhile a peremptory letter demanding reparation was despatched to the pasha himself, who lived some miles inland. He returned an immediate reply to the effect that Ayas was not within his pashalik, but in that of his neighbour the pasha of Adana, to whom he had at once written. Meanwhile he promised in his name that every reparation should be made. In our turn we informed him that a British squadron would be there in fifteen days to see that this was done.

[Pg 198]

In the cemetery attached to the old British factory and consulate we buried poor young Olphert. Ten marines (all the aga would allow ashore) fired a salute over him, and we set up over his grave a Greek tombstone brought from one of the cities on the coast.

Considering how many tokens of friendship Captain Beaufort had shown me, and that he was at the moment in a dangerous condition, with a risk of fever coming on; and that, as he could not enjoy easy familiarity with his junior officers, my company might be pleasant to him, I thought I ought not to leave him and settled to go back with him to Malta. Two days after Olphert's funeral, on the 22nd June, we set sail. On the 1st of July we fell in with the Salsette, Captain Hope, off Khelidonia, by appointment. She was to take Captain Beaufort's report to the admiral on the station, and to go on to Scanderoon afterwards to see that proper amends were made for the injury done us."


[40] Captain Beaufort seems to have thought that she was a Mainiote pirate. His account of this episode is worth reading.

[Pg 199]



"We had nothing but west winds, very unfavourable for us. Meltern, as this wind is called, follows the rim of the coast of Asia Minor, being north in the Archipelago, west along Karamania, and turning south again down the coast of Syria. We were seldom out of sight of land—first the mountains of Asia, then Rhodes, Crete, the Morea, &c. Finally we reached Malta on the 18th of July, being the twenty-seventh day since we left Scanderoon, and the end of a month of complete idleness. I spent most of the time in the captain's cabin, showing him all the attention I could, and profiting in return very much by his society and his library.

To get to Malta was a refreshment to our spirits. Numbers of visitors came at once under the stern to salute Captain Beaufort, although until we had pratique they could not come aboard. The plague is at present in Smyrna, and quarantine for ships from thence usually[Pg 200] lasts thirty or forty days; but as we could prove that we had had no communication with any infected town, we were let off in two days. Unfortunately, from the moment we arrived I began to feel unwell. All the time I was on the coast of Asia I had been taking violent exercise and perspiring profusely, while since we left I had been wholly confined; and the consequence of the change was a violent bilious attack with fever. After stopping in bed three days I thought I would take a trip to Sant' Antonio with Gammon, the senior officer; but I got back so thoroughly done up that I had to lie up again, and was ill for three weeks in Thorn's Hotel.[41] My chief remedies, prescribed by Doctors Stewart of the Frederiksteen and Allen of the Malta Hospital, were calomel in large quantities and bleeding.

Every day one or other of the officers of the Frederiksteen—Gammon, Seymour, Lane, or Dodd—came to sit with me.

When I was able to get about again, I found that Captain Beaufort had been moved to the house of Commissioner Larcom, where every possible care was taken of him. They were a most agreeable and hospitable family—the only one, indeed, in Malta. The officers—General Oakes, Colonel Phillips, &c.—were like all garrison officers. Mr. Chabot, the banker, honoured my drafts, and when I was going expressed[Pg 201] his sorrow that I was off so soon, as he had hoped to have seen me at his house.

As soon as ever I was well enough I felt eager to get away from a society so odious to me as that of Malta, and having been introduced from two separate sources to Mr. Harvey, commander of H.M. brig Haughty, I got from him an excellent passage to Palermo. It took us from the 20th August to the 28th. Mr. Harvey himself was ill, and I saw little of him, but what I did delighted me. Like all sailors, he was very lovable, and so long as he remained in Palermo I went to him every day.

My first day I strolled over the town and delivered my letters to Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Fagan. The latter is an antiquarian and a great digger. He told me, I think, that he had dug up over two hundred statues in his time. I called on him several times afterwards, pleased with his conversation and hoping to learn something of Sicily from him, and found him exceedingly polite. A return of the fever I had in Malta confined me again for a few days, after which I managed to keep it at bay with plenty of port wine and bark. My chief friends in Palermo were General and Mrs. Campbell, Sir Robert Laurie, captain of a 74 lying here, Lord William Bentinck, generalissimo of the British army of occupation in Sicily, and Fagan.

After a fortnight in Palermo I started on a trip to Segeste. I could not but be very much struck by the[Pg 202] difference between the richness of Sicily, and the desolation of Greece under Turkish rule. Mahomet II. desired that on his tomb should be written that had he lived he proposed in the ensuing summer to conquer 'the beautiful Italy and the island of Rhodes.' Sicily must have followed, and I pictured in my mind the landscape as it would then have looked. A few ruined mosques would have supplied the place of the splendid churches and monasteries, and a wretched khan and a few low huts the rich towns of Sala and Partinico.

The temple of Segeste is the largest I have seen, but it looks as if it had never been finished. The style of workmanship is good and exact, but as far inferior to Athenian execution as its rough stone is to Pentilican marble. The turn of the capital is very inferior in delicacy to Athenian examples, and there is no handsome finish to the ceiling of the peristyle, which was probably of plaster like Ægina. The circular sinking cut in the plinth to receive the column, leaving a space all round to give a play, it is said, in case of earthquake, is certainly curious if that was the purpose of it. Nothing whatever remains of the cella.

In the evening we returned to Alcamo and next day breakfasted with Colonel Burke, who is in command of a regiment of 1,400 fine men, all Piedmontese and Italians, not Sicilians. One finds Englishmen in command everywhere. Returned to Palermo.

[Pg 203]

My fame had spread in my absence, and on my return I found my table covered with cards and invitations—the most conspicuous being from General Macfarlane and Lord Montgomery.

The palaces of the Sicilian nobles are exasperatingly pretentious and tasteless; that of Palagonia is an unforgetable nightmare.

Though a paradise compared with Greece, I find Sicily seething with discontent; and were it not for Lord W. Bentinck, to whom the people look up as the only honest man amongst the authorities, there would be an insurrection.

Ten days later I set out on horseback for Girgenti. On the second day I turned aside from Villa Fraté to visit one of the Greek villages so much talked of and so misrepresented. In Palermo I was told that the villagers are some of the ancient Greek settlers, who remain so unchanged that they still wear sandals and are almost pagans. In reality they are Albanians, who emigrated in the sixteenth century when the oppression of the Turks was specially severe in their country, and came in bands to various points of Sicily. Mezzojuso is one of their settlements, and has about 2,000 inhabitants. The situation, about two miles off the road from Villa Fraté to Alcara, is on the side of a mountain and very beautiful. I met some goodhumoured peasants who were ready to tell me all they knew. They talk Albanian amongst themselves, and they[Pg 204] readily understood the few words of it which I and my servant could speak. The explanation of the report of their being almost pagans is that they retain the Greek ritual, although they have changed the altar to the Catholic form and acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope. Over the altar is a Greek inscription, which I read, to the surprise of those who attended me. The priests preserve the Greek costume, the bead cap, hair, &c. St. Nicolas, the Greek saint par excellence, is a conspicuous figure in the Church. What a pity I had not with me a little of the earth I took from the shrine of the saint at Myra in Asia Minor! It would have been an acceptable present to the priest. I saw none of the women, but I was told they wear a peculiar costume; and at their communion, instead of the host, as in Roman Catholic churches, a piece of cloth is held up.

Started for the temples of Selinunto, accompanied by Don Ignazio, the son of my host, Don Gaetano. We took the road towards the sea, and passing through Siciliana and turning inland came in the evening to Cattolica. Here we added to our party a most entertaining companion, Don Raffaelle Politi, a painter, not very excellent in his art, though one of the best in Sicily, but full of talents and of humour. He was staying at the time in the house of a certain marquis, for whom he had been painting two ceilings. We went to see him there, and found him with the[Pg 205] marchese, sitting over a greasy table surrounded by a company of nasty fellows, such as in England one might see in a shopkeeper's parlour. No sort of civility or hospitality was shown us. On the other hand, a friend and equal of Don Raffaelle's received us very kindly. He and a company of tradesmen who had come over to a fair which was being held in Cattolica, and had of course brought their guitars with them, entertained us before supper in the locanda.

Next day we passed by the ancient city of Heraclia, of which, however, there are very trifling remains, to Sciacca, where in the market-place we saw dead meat—meat of animals that had died of disease owing to the great drought this year, which has killed a great many cattle—being sold to the poor at a cheap rate. Travelling with Sicilians I fell into their customs, and instead of looking out for an hotel I went with them into a café where we ate and drank. The cafetiere, to show his liberality, in pouring out lets the cup overflow until the saucer also is full, after which he brings spirits and cigars—all customs new to me. Arrived in a storm at Montefeice, wet through. My friends slept on a mattress, and I, who was accustomed to it, slept on the floor.

Nothing can be more solemn than the magnificent remains of the three temples of Selinus, but I had not many hours to study them. It is clear that earthquake was the cause of their destruction, and I guess from[Pg 206] the difference in preservation between the parts which fell and were covered and protected, and the condition of those which remain standing, that it may have occurred about the eighth or ninth century. We went over twice from Montefeice, each time returning in the evening; and when we got home, how differently we spent our evenings from the ordinary way Englishmen do! Had they been my companions we should have cursed the fare and lodging, and should have laid ourselves down grumbling to pass a tedious and uncomfortable night. Instead of that, with these Sicilians, as soon as the demands of hunger were satisfied, at the sound of a guitar in the streets, we sallied out and joined the serenaders, stopped under the windows of some fair one we did not know, and Don Raffaelle, who is a perfect master of the guitar and ravished the bystanders, played and sang with much taste a number of exceedingly pretty melodies. If this was not enough for the evening, we sat and told stories.

At Cattolica we arrived so late that every inch of the locanda was occupied. We did not care to disturb our friend of the previous occasion, Don Giuseppe, and the marchese's hospitality had been so grudgingly offered that we were too proud to accept it, and so we sought consolation by going about the streets with a guitar till we were tired of it, and then taking horse again; but before going far we were so weary that we[Pg 207] got off under a tree, sat down, and waited for dawn to light us back to Girgenti.

After my return to Girgenti, I remained there till the 14th of November, applying myself with close attention and infinite pleasure to attempting to reconstruct the Temple of Jupiter Olympius. The examination of the stones and the continual exercise of ingenuity kept me very busy, and at the end the successful restoration of the temple gave me a pleasure which was only to be surpassed by that of originally conceiving the design.

My days went by in great peace and content. I lived with the family of Don Gaetano Sterlini, and when I got accustomed to them I learnt to like them. The bawling of the servants, the open doors, the dirt and disorder of a Sicilian household came after a time to be matters of course to me and passed unnoticed.

But there came an English fine gentleman, by the name of Cussins, to spend two days here, who was not so philosophical and made himself odious by protesting. When anyone came into or went out of the room, the doors, which never else turned on their hinges, must be shut; the windows, that perhaps lacked two or three panes, must be closed; the shutters bolted; he could not eat the food nor drink the wine. A creature so refined is as unpleasant an object to a barbarian as the latter is to him, and we prayed for his departure.

[Pg 208]

My fine friend was supercilious to me, but polite in a lofty fashion, and took a patronising interest in what I was doing. Would I give him some notes and a sketch? At first I said I would, but his manner disgusted me, so that I finally sent him only the notes. He wanted the sketch to flourish at Palermo.

In the last few days of my stay my fame got about. The Caffé dei Nobili, the bishop and all, heard with astonishment that I had unravelled the puzzle, and that all the morsels composing the giants were still existing and could be put together again. A dignitary of the Church, (Don?) Candion Panettieri, sent me a message to say that if I would mark the stones and give directions for the setting up of one of the giants, he would undertake the expense of doing it. I was tempted by this offer and the immediate notoriety it would give me, and agreed and completed my sketch as far as it could be carried and took it to him. It was copied immediately, and with my name appended as the author, sent to Palermo. Then I went over the fragments with Raffaelle Politi and marked the stones corresponding with the numbers in the design.

Don Gaetano could not contain his indignation at my suffering the results of so much labour to be launched into the world as it were semi-anonymously, instead of in a book duly written and published by myself, the author. From the moment I handed over[Pg 209] my drawing to Politi to copy there was no peace between us. I could not help being gratified at the interest he took in my success, and my feeling for him was sharpened by the sentiment with which his fair daughter had inspired me, which was so strong that it made me feel the necessity of going away, and yet made me weep like a noodle when I did. But I had found my reward in the pleasure of solving the puzzle, and though I liked the notoriety, it was not worth giving oneself much trouble about.

I left Girgenti with Don Ignazio Sala, son-in-law of Sterlini, for Alicata, and the consul himself saw me as far as the River Agrigas. On our left were many sulphur works, which are so injurious to vegetation that there is a law in force that they shall not work from the time the corn begins to get up till after the harvest. From Palma the road lies along the seashore, and there at every mile and a half are watch-towers, or, failing these, straw huts for the coastguard to give warning of Barbary corsairs. Until lately this coast was infested by them. Their descents were small, and they carried off only a few men or cattle; but there was once a desperate action near Alicata, in which the inhabitants turned out, headed by the priest, and captured the whole party of twenty-five who had landed. The prisoners were sent by Palermo to Algiers to be exchanged.

[Pg 210]

Alicata to Serra Nuova. Serra Nuova to Cartalagerone. We had to cross a river on the way, the banks of which were high and the river swollen by the rain, and one mule with baggage and man rolled right into it.

The night got very dark, and I really thought we should have to stop on the bank all night or break our necks, but by help of repeated invocations indifferently to Maria Sanctissima and Santo Diavolone we got across safely at last.

From Cartalagerone by Mineo to Lentini, and so to Syracuse. Although compared with the ancient town it is tiny and confined entirely to the island of Ortygia, the modern Syracuse has considerable fortifications. We had to pass through four gates and two dykes before we got inside. At one gate the guard wanted to take our arms, till I remonstrated on the insult to the British nation, and they let me pass. But, then, if they did not mean to enforce it, how ridiculous ever to make such a regulation!

As soon as I was settled I despatched a letter my friend Raffaelle Politi had given me to his father, who came at once, offered me every civility, and remained my fast friend throughout my stay."

Cockerell spent three months—December, January, and February—in Syracuse. For one thing his health had been severely shaken by the grave illness he had had in Malta, and he needed rest. It seems to have[Pg 211] made a turning-point in his travels. Hitherto his letters home had been full of joyous anticipations of getting back to England, and with restless energy he had endeavoured to cram the utmost into his time before doing that, and settling into harness as an architect. Seeing so many countries and going through so many vicissitudes had, however, weakened the tie and he could now make himself at home anywhere. For another thing, a main object of his travels—perhaps the main object—was a visit to Italy, as for practical purposes Italian architecture was the best worth studying. But the war with France continuing, Italy remained closed indefinitely to a British subject. So for several years there are no more references to coming home. A last reason for stopping where he was, was that the weather was detestable. It was the terrible winter of the retreat from Moscow. "For forty days," he says, "it never failed to rain, snow, or hail."

His time was chiefly spent in preparing the drawings for the plates of the great contemplated book on Ægina and Phigaleia. Besides this, he seems to have drawn in the museum, and to have read a good deal; he learnt the art of cutting cameos, and even executed some; and finally, fired by the performances of his friend Politi, he spent two hours a day in learning to play the guitar. He probably never carried this accomplishment very far and abandoned it on leaving Sicily, for I never[Pg 212] recollect even hearing it alluded to. The time passed very quietly. He had some friends among the Sicilians, besides the Politis—Don Pietro Satallia, the Conte Bucchieri, and one English acquaintance, Lieutenant Winter, adjutant of the town and fort, who had a nice English wife and large family, with whom he spent occasional evenings. For the most part, however, he spent his evenings studying in his lodgings, and "on the whole," he says, "I can say of Syracuse what I wish I could say of all the places I ever stopped in: I do not repent of the time I spent there."

During the latter part of his stay, when the weather grew less severe, he was a good deal occupied in examining the walls of ancient Syracuse, and the fortress of Labdalum.

A letter received at about this time from Linckh records the death of the little Skye terrier Fop which my father had brought with him from England.

When he left Athens to go with Messrs. North, Douglas, and Foster to Crete, en route for Egypt, he left the dog behind in charge of a certain Nicolo, who seems to have gone with Bronstedt and Linckh not long after on the expedition they undertook to Zea in December 1811.... "Dans la lettre égarée je vous ai écrit le sort malheureux de votre pauvre Fope, qui a fini ses jours misérablement et en grande famine à Zea. Bronstedt et moi nous lui avons encore[Pg 213] prolongé son triste destin pour quelques jours, car nous l'avons trouvé mourant dans un ravin entre la ville de Zea et le port. Vraiment ce Nicolo est un être infâme et malicieux. Vous savez que nous lui avons confisqué la bague du Platon qu'il a portée aussitôt que vous autres êtes partis d'Athènes pour Egypte. [He had stolen it, as he did later various articles from Hughes and Parker, q.v.] Comme nous avons quitté l'isle de Zea, il faisait une banque de pharaon pour piller les Zeotes."

He had kept in communication with his friends in Greece, and especially with Gropius, to whom he had written repeatedly on the subject of the sale of the Ægina Marbles, but it was not till March that he could have heard of the disastrous issue.

What had happened was this. It will be remembered that while the statues themselves had been conveyed for security to Malta, the sale of them had been advertised to take place in Zante on November 1, 1812.

When the day arrived only two bidders presented themselves in the sale room, one bearing an offer from the French Government, and Herr Wagner another from Prince Louis of Bavaria. The British Museum had sent out a Mr. Coombe with ample powers to buy for England, but he never turned up. He had reached Malta in good time, but having understood from Mr. McGill, who was pro tem. agent for Gropius, that the[Pg 214] sale would take place where the marbles were, took it for granted that he knew all about it and there stayed, waiting for the auctioneer to come.

Meanwhile the sale came off at Zante. The French offer of 160,000 francs proved to be altogether too conditional to be accepted, and the sculptures were knocked down to Prince Louis for 10,000 sequins.

It was suggested afterwards that Gropius had been bribed by Wagner to keep the English parties in the dark, but it was never proved. What is clear is that if Gropius had kept his agent, McGill, properly informed as to the place of sale, Coombe would have been able to bid and the Ægina statues would be in the British Museum now.

Cockerell at once set out from Syracuse for Zante. But he found that when he joined there was really nothing to be done. He at first tried to upset the contract, but on reflection he found himself obliged in honour and in law to abide by the action of their agent. A new agreement was drawn up and signed, confirming the former and engaging to petition the British Government for leave to export the sculptures from Malta.

At home in England the deepest disappointment was felt by those who had interested themselves in the acquisition, and a protest was forwarded by Mr. S. P. Cockerell through Mr. Hamilton to the Government, petitioning that no permission to remove the[Pg 215] marbles from Malta should be granted, and demanding a new sale on the ground of improper procedure in the first.

In the end, however, it was not found possible to contest the validity of the sale, and they were finally delivered to the Prince of Bavaria in 1814.


[41] Now the Hôtel de Provence.

[Pg 216]



The fate of the Ægina Marbles being now practically settled, Foster, who was engaged to make a marriage very displeasing to his family, with a Levantine, left for Smyrna, while Haller, Linckh, and Cockerell went to Athens. The latter had not been in Greece since November 1811. In the interval the expedition to dig up the sculptures he had discovered at Bassæ had been there and had successfully accomplished their purpose, the party consisting of Haller, Foster, Linckh, Stackelberg, Gropius, Bronstedt, and an English traveller, Mr. Leigh.[42] They had provided themselves with powers from Constantinople sufficient to overcome the resistance of the local authorities, and after many difficulties had succeeded in bringing away the sculptures with one exception, to which I will presently refer.

[Pg 217]

The excavations were carried out in June, July, and August, while my father was absent at Malta and in Sicily. Nevertheless, as he had discovered their existence it was understood that he was to be a participator in any sculptures that should be disinterred.

The party of excavators established themselves there for nearly three months, building huts of boughs all round the temple, making almost a city, which they christened Francopolis. They had frequently from fifty to eighty men at work at a time, a band of Arcadian music to entertain them, and in the evening after work, while the lamb was roasting on a wooden spit, they danced. However, if Cockerell lost the pleasure, he escaped the fever from which they all suffered desperately—and no wonder, after living such a life in such a climate.

It was during this expedition that a misfortune befell Bronstedt which, although it had an element of absurdity in it, was very serious to the victim. While the work at Bassæ was proceeding he left his companions to take a trip into Maina. Before starting he wrote for himself a letter of introduction to Captain Murzinos purporting to be from my father, and would have presented it; but, as ill-luck would have it, on the 20th of August, on the road between Sparta and Kalamata, he fell into the hands of a band of eight robbers. Understanding them to be Mainiotes, and supposing all Mainiotes to be friends, he tried to save his property[Pg 218] by saying that he had a letter with him to Captain Murzinos; but the robbers replied: "Oh, have you? If we had Murzinos here we would play him twice the pranks we are playing you," and spared nothing. They decamped with his money, his watch, his rings, a collection of antique coins, all that he had in their eyes worth taking, to the tune, as he considered, of 800l. (11,000 piastres fortes d'Espagne), leaving him disconsolate in the dark to collect his scattered manuscripts, which they had rejected with the contemptuous words: Καρτἁσια εἱναι. Δεν τἁ στοχἁσομεν [Greek: Kartasia einai. Den ta stochasomen] ("Papers! we don't look at them.") In the darkness and confusion after the departure of the robbers he managed to lose some of these as well. The poor traveller returned quite forlorn to Phigaleia. After this, Linckh writes in his delicious French: "Bronstedt parcourt la Morée en longue et à travers pour cherger ses hardes pertus par les voleurs. Le drôle de corps a beaucoup d'espérance, parce que le consul Paul lui a recommendé fortement au nouveau Pascha dans une letter qui a etté enveloppée en vilours rouge." Such a letter, bound in red velvet, was esteemed particularly urgent, but he obtained no redress whatever, nor ever saw again any of "ses hardes," except the ring which had been given him by his fiancée, Koes' sister. This was recovered for him by Stackelberg on a journey which he took through Maina, when he saw it exposed for sale in the house of one of the captains or chieftains of the[Pg 219] country, together with the watch, purse, and several other articles which had been Bronstedt's; but the prices asked were too exorbitant for him to ransom any but this, which he knew the late owner had highly prized.

The piece of sculpture I have just mentioned, which the explorers of Phigaleia failed to bring away, was the capital of the single Corinthian column of the interior of the temple. It will be remembered by those who have read my father's work on the subject, that all the columns of the interior were of the Ionic order with one exception, which was Corinthian, and which stood in the centre of one end of the cella. The capital of this Corinthian column was of the very finest workmanship; and although the volutes had been broken off, much of it was still well preserved, and the party of excavators took it with them to the coast for embarcation with the rest. There are figures of it by Stackelberg in his book, and by Foster in a drawing in the Phigaleian Room of the British Museum. Veli Pasha, the Governor of the Morea, had sanctioned the explorations on the understanding that he should have half profits; but when he had seen the sculptures he was so disappointed that they were not gold or silver, and so little understood them, that he took the warriors under shields for tortoises, allowing that as such they were rather well done. It chanced that at this moment news reached him that he had been[Pg 220] superseded in his command, and not thinking much of them, and eager to get what he could, he accepted 400l. as his share of the spoil and sanctioned the exportation of the marbles. The local archons, however, put every impediment they could in the way by fomenting a strike among the porters which caused delays, and by giving information to the incoming pasha, who sent down troops to stop the embarcation. Everything had been loaded except the capital in question, which was more ponderous than the rest, and was still standing half in and half out of the water when the troops came up. The boat had to put off without it, and the travellers had the mortification of seeing it hacked to pieces by the Turks in their fury at having been foiled. The volute of one of the Ionic columns presented by my father to the British Museum is the only fragment of any of the interior capitals of the temple remaining. He brought it away with him on his, the first, visit.

To return to where I left my father before this digression. As I said, after the sale of the Ægina Marbles, Haller and he came to Athens, where, finding the summer very hot in the town, they went to live at Padischa or Sadischa, not far outside the town, and set earnestly to work upon the drawings for the book on Ægina and Phigaleia. All went on quietly till on the 22nd of August Cockerell was attacked by a malignant bilious fever, which brought[Pg 221] him to death's door: at least, either the illness or the remedies did. The doctor, Abraham, the first in Athens, thought it must be yellow fever, gave him up, and fearing infection for himself, refused to attend him after the first few days. It was even whispered that it might be the plague, for the enormous swelling of the glands was not unlike it. But Haller would listen to no counsels of despair, and refused to leave his friend. The kind Madame Masson, too, the aunt of the Misses Makri, came out from Athens, and the two nursed him with ceaseless devotion. Haller never left his bedside, night or day, for the first month. The vice-consul, hearing that the sufferer was as good as dead, came to take away his keys and put seals upon his property, and was only prevented by Haller by main force. The same faithful friend compelled the doctor to do his duty. The first having deserted his patient, a second was called in and kept attentive by threats and persuasion. The methods of medicine were inconceivably barbarous. Bleeding was the great remedy in fever, and calomel the alternative. When the patient had been brought by this treatment so low that his heart was thought to have stopped, live pigeons were cut in half and the reeking portions applied to his breast to restore the vital heat. Medicine failing, spells were believed in. Madame Masson, though described as one of the first personages in Athens, could neither read nor write, and was grossly[Pg 222] ignorant. She had a great faith in spells; and Haller, fearing that in the feeble condition of the patient she might commit some folly, kept a strict watch upon her. One day, however, in his absence, when my father was suffering agonies from his glands, she took the opportunity to tie round his neck a charm of particular potency. It was a little bag containing some resin, some pitch, a lock of hair, and two papers, each inscribed with the figure of a pyramid and other symbols drawn with a pen. They even got so far as to speak of his burial, and it was settled that it should be in the Theseum, where one Tweddle, an Englishman, and other foreigners had been interred, and where Haller himself was laid not many years after.

The churches were kept lighted night and day for his benefit, and his nurse attributed his final recovery entirely to the intercession of Panagia Castriotissa, or "Our Lady of the Acropolis." At length, after long hovering between life and death, his robust constitution carried him through, and towards the end of September the doctor advised his being removed to Athens. He was carried thither in a litter and set down at Madame Masson's, where he was henceforth to live. Before this episode was fairly concluded or my father had progressed far in convalescence, a new cause of agitation arose. Notice was received that Baron Stackelberg was in the hands of pirates.

[Pg 223]

He had been for a tour in Asia Minor, and was on his way back between Constantinople and Athens, when in crossing the Gulf of Volo he was taken. His case was even more deplorable than Bronstedt's, for he not only lost whatever he had with him, and saw his drawings torn to pieces in sheer malice before his very eyes, but the miscreants claimed an enormous ransom, amounting to about 3,000l., and sent a notice to his friends in Athens to the effect that the money must be forwarded promptly or portions of the prisoner would be sent as reminders. Meanwhile he had to live with the pirates, and his experiences were no laughing matter. The ruffians used to show him hideous instruments of torture to frighten him into paying a higher ransom. They made him sleep in the open air, which half killed him with fever; and as they had nowhere to keep him when they went on their marauding expeditions, he had to go with them. On one occasion he saw a vessel run aground to avoid capture, and the sailors clamber up the rocks to escape. An old man who could not follow fast enough was brought in to be sold as a slave. The rest got away, and one of the pirates, in his fury at being eluded, in order to slake his thirst for blood seized on a wretched goat that was grazing by him and cut its throat. Several weeks of this sort of company and exposure left poor Stackelberg more dead than alive. His rescue, which was managed with great diplomacy and a splendid[Pg 224] disregard for his own safety by Baron Haller, was finally effected at a cost of about 500l.

A Mr. Hughes, in company with Mr. Parker, whom he was "bearleading," arrived in Athens when my father was recovering; and about the last week of November, at their invitation, tempted by the opportunity of travelling with a Tartar and a buyulurdi—that is to say, in security and with as little discomfort as possible—he consented to join in a tour to Albania. I shall not give a detailed account of this voyage. It was over ground everyone has read about. It resulted in no discoveries and few adventures, and anyone who is curious about it will find it fully described in Hughes's book. General Davies, quartermaster-general to the British forces in the Mediterranean, was to form one of the party.

"We set out from Athens on November 29th, a large cavalcade. Two of my friends, though they had not yet learnt that to travel in these countries one must sacrifice a little personal comfort, were otherwise agreeable companions, gentlemanlike and goodhumoured; but I early began to foresee trouble with the General. He was one of those people who think everyone who cannot speak English must be either an assassin or a rogue, and was more unreasonable, unjust, and unaccommodating than any Englishman I ever met, odious as many of them make themselves abroad. It rained heavily, but everyone tried to be[Pg 225] gay except the general, who damned gloomily, right and left.

We went over an interesting country, but as it was all in the clouds we enjoyed the scenery neither of Parnes nor of Phylæ. Our way was beguiled by the singing of some of the party. The Tartar especially gave proofs of a good voice, a very desirable quality in a Greek companion. The recollection of the scenery of any part of Greece or Asia Minor is bound up with that of the cheerful roundelays of the guides as one rides through the mountains, or the soft melodious song of the Anatolian plains. It is the characteristic thing of Eastern travel. After about three hours in the clouds we got down into Bœotia and saw below us a splendid country of mountain, plain, and sea.

Our Tartar had gone on before us to Thebes, so that when we arrived at our conachi (lodging) it was all ready for us. It was as well, for the weather had given Hughes a return of his fever, and he had to lie in bed.

Parker and I rode next morning without the others to Platæa. It has an admirable situation, and its walls are in better preservation and more interesting and venerable than any I have seen yet.

We could find nothing interesting at Thebes, so as soon as Hughes was better we all set out for Livadia. As we were passing through the hills that separate the respective plains of these two towns a pleasant[Pg 226] coincidence occurred. We fell in with an English traveller, a Mr. Yonge, who was a friend of Hughes, and was bearing a letter of introduction to me. After greetings and compliments he gave us the latest European news, viz. of the grand defeat of the French at Leipsic. Glorious news indeed!

Hughes being laid up again at Livadia and the General impracticable, Parker and I made excursions thence to the Cave of Trophonius, Orchomenus, and Topolias, the point from which one visits the five emissaries of the Lake Copais. These last struck me as perhaps the most astonishing work of antiquity known to me. Two are still running, but the first, third, and fifth are quite dry. At the entrances the mountain has been cut to a face of thirty or forty feet high at the mouth and not a tool-mark visible, so they look like the work of nature. I wanted to go to the other side of the ridge to see the exits, but our guide assured me that it was too dangerous, because of the pirates who lie in the mountain in the daytime and would probably catch us. Poor Stackelberg's misfortune was too recent a warning to be neglected, so I gave it up.

All this country, broadly speaking, is quite uncultivated, and inhabited by immense herds attended by whole families living in huts and wandering, according to the pasture and season, in parties of perhaps twenty with horses and mules. They are not Turcomans,[Pg 227] such as I saw in Asia, but are called Vlaki and speak Greek. One can imagine nothing more picturesque than they are and the mountains they live in.

Our quarters during our three nights out had been of the roughest, and when Parker and I got back to Livadia our whole evening was spent in the bath, ridding ourselves of the fleas and dirt we had been living in.

Hughes was found to be better, and the General (thank goodness!) tired out and gone off to Salona. He was an odious individual—got drunk every day of our absence—and we were well rid of him. We had brought with us from Athens letters of introduction to the principal Greek merchants, primates of Livadia, Messrs. Logotheti. On the first day of our arrival they had come very civilly to call upon us. Now that we were back from our excursion we returned the visit. The Greeks appear to possess great wealth and influence here, whereas the Turks are but few in the place, and those there are speak Greek and to some extent have Greek manners. When we came into the Logothetis' house we found some actually arguing a point—a thing not to be thought of among Turks elsewhere: the affectation of pride among Orientals, so stupefying to themselves and so exasperating to others, would forbid it. When we came in they rose to go, leaving Signor Nicola to attend to his foreign guests. Our host gave us a striking instance[Pg 228] of the devices used by well-to-do Greeks to conceal their wealth from the rapacious Government. He at once led us out of the room he had received us in at the head of the first landing, which was reserved for the reception of Turks and was very simple, into his own apartments, which were exceedingly splendid. There in one corner of the room was the beautiful Logothetina, wife of a Logotheti nephew, in bed. Her father went up to her when he came in and she kissed his hand. One might have thought her being in bed embarrassing, but not at all; we all sat down and stopped with them for an hour. No one either said or did much, for those who talked had little to say, and many said nothing. When Logotheti went home we accompanied him, and very grand he was, with a large stick in his hand and five or six persons escorting him—quite in the splendid style of the ancient Greeks.

It so happened that in the morning while on a visit to the bey, or waiwode, we heard the reading of a firman bringing the news of the taking of Belgrade by the Turks. During the reading the primates all stood up, and when it was concluded all exclaimed: 'Thanks to God for this success! May our Sultan live!' In the evening we went to dine with Logotheti. There were a Corfiote doctor and several other Greeks. Our talk was of their hopes of emancipation, as it always is when one is in company with Greeks, with the inevitable references to Leonidas and the Hellenes.

[Pg 229]

Our hosts and the other Greeks struck me as heavier and more Bœotian in appearance than the Greeks I was accustomed to, but also more polished. The Corfiote, of course, was talkative and ignorant: they always are. We ate an immense quantity of turkeys—roast, boiled, hashed and again roasted—fowls and all sorts of poultry dressed in all sorts of ways, and we drank a great deal of bad wine in toasts to King George, success to the Greeks, &c.

As soon as Hughes could move we went on from Livadia by Chæronea to Castri,[43] the ancient Delphi. Until within the last few years the region we were now in was impassable owing to robbers, but Ali Pasha's tyranny has at any rate the merit of an excellent zabete or police, so that it is now fairly safe. The scenery among the mountains is splendid. Our visit to Castri was not a long one. Except the Castalian spring and the stadium, one could make out nothing of the ancient topography. The whole site is covered with walls running in every sort of direction, possibly to keep the earth from slipping down the hill.

In the evening we got to Crisso.

A buyulurdi such as we carried confers the most arbitrary rights; but it was not until the protocaro had been cudgelled by our Tartar that we were able[Pg 230] to procure a lodging, a tolerably good one, in the house of the papa. I reflected how wretched is the position of the Greeks, and how ungenerous of us Englishmen to live at their expense and assist in the general oppression; but I was too pleased to get a lodging for the night to act upon it.

From Crisso we went to Salona, and here it became necessary to settle upon our further route. When we came to look into it, it appeared that the plague is raging in every town on our way by Nepacto and Missalonghi through Ætolia. Moreover, the roads are rough and infested by robbers, the horses bad, and in fact the best way to get to Albania seemed to be to go by sea. This was settled upon accordingly, and we started to do it. From Salona to the port is a two hours' ride. Thence we set sail in a felucca. The sea was running very high, the wind was in our teeth, and though we got to Galaxidi at last, it was not without considerable peril. I have had a good many adventures, but I do not think I was ever in greater danger than during those four hours of sailing in that weather in the dark, and I thanked God heartily when I found myself ashore. The only lodging we could get was in the guard-house, a filthy magazine so alive with bugs that after a first failure I gave up all idea of going to sleep, and sat up with Parker smoking till morning. It was out of the question going to look for other quarters. The country is so infested with[Pg 231] robbers, who think nothing even of penetrating into the town and carrying off a primate or so, that arriving late and knocking at doors we should have been taken for brigands and answered by pistol shots from the windows.

In the morning our buyulurdi stood us in good stead. With its help we were able to get some good fowls and a sheep, bread and rice. Then going to the shore we made a bargain to be taken to Previsa in a boat. The voyage was fairly prosperous. The second day we landed at Patras, and heard the news of the grand defeat of the French confirmed. We set out again at night and got becalmed, and with difficulty reached a small port, the Scrofé, beyond the flat at the mouth of the Achelous. Here was a scampa-via from Santa Maura, and other boats, and we entered with some trepidation lest we should be taken for pirates and fired upon.

Here we were detained several days by stormy weather. Getting away we passed the mouth of the Achelous, and tried to find either of two excellent ports, Petala and Dragonise; but as they were not marked in our bad charts we failed, and were finally obliged to put into a creek not far from Santa Maura, and lay there the greater part of the night, till the wind blew us off again to sea. At daylight we anchored in the shallow port of Santa Maura.

The weather again detained us some days, till we[Pg 232] with some difficulty got across to Previsa. Here the harbour is a fine one, but too shallow to admit large vessels, and with an awkward bar. The shore is all desolation and misery, with one exception, the palace of the vizier, which is splendid. The foundations on the side towards the sea are all of stones from Actium and the neighbouring San Pietro, the ancient Nicopolis.

In Venetian days Previsa had no fortifications. Now the pasha has made it quite a strong place, with several forts and a deep ditch across the isthmus, though the cannon, to be sure—which are old English ones of all sorts and sizes—are in the worst possible order, their carriages ill-designed, and now rotten as well. The population has fallen from 16,000, to 5,000 at the outside, mostly Turks.

We went of course to Nicopolis. The ruins are most interesting. There are the theatre, the baths, the odeum, and the walls of the city, all in fair preservation and most instructive: the latter especially, as an example of ancient fortification. An aqueduct, which is immensely high, brought water from nine hours off.

We went from Previsa, in a scampa-via belonging to the vizier, to Salona, the port for Arta. It consists of only two houses, the Customs house and the serai of the vizier. In the latter we got lodgings for the night, and bespoke some returning caravan horses to carry us to Arta. The road, 25 feet wide, is one which has been lately made for the vizier by a[Pg 233] wretched Cephaloniote engineer across otherwise impassable flats. It is not finished yet; 800 to 1,000 men are still at work upon it. There is no doubt that this road and the canal from Arta to Previsa, as well as the destruction of the Suliotes, who made this part of the world impassable to travellers without a large escort, are public benefits to be put to Ali Pasha's credit.

Arta is a flourishing place under the special eye of the vizier. The bazaar is considerable, and there is every sign of industry.

We left it about midday. The ice was thick on the pools and the road hard with frost. Passing the bridge, we got again on to the vizier's new road. The Cephaloniote superintendent, who was very desirous that we should express to the vizier great admiration for the work, was assiduous in doing the honours of it. After various stoppages, at last, at seven o'clock, nearly frozen, we reached the khan of Five Wells.

A rousing fire we made to warm ourselves by was no use, for it smoked so intolerably that it drove us out again to walk about in the cold till the room was clear. Our only distraction was a Tartar we fell in with who had lately been to Constantinople by land, and his account of the journey is enough to make one shudder.

He passed through no less than nineteen vilayets,[Pg 234] or towns, in which the plague was raging. At Adrianople the smell of the dead was so great that his companion fell ill. At the next place he asked at the post if there was any pest. 'A great deal, God be praised,' was the reply. At another town, in answer to inquiries he was told 'half the town is dead or fled, but God is great.'

What a miserable country!

Next day, riding along a paved way, we got to Janina or Joannina, the capital of Ali Pasha.

The first coup d'œil of the great town and the lake is certainly impressive, but not so much so as I had expected. Once inside the town the thing that struck me most was the splendid dress of all ranks and the shabby appearance we Franks presented.

We made for the house of our minister, George Foresti, with whom we dined, and there met Colonel Church, just arrived from Durazzo."


[42] Grandfather of the present Lord Leigh.

[43] By a convention with the Greek Government made in 1891, the French Government obtained power to buy out the inhabitants of Castri and remove the village in order to excavate the site. The ancient topography is now well ascertained.

[Pg 235]



"Next day, as the vizier wished to see us, and we of course to see him, Foresti took us to the palace he was living in for the moment. He has no less than eight in the town. This one is handsome, but the plan is as usual ill-contrived, and there was much less magnificence than I had expected.

We were first led into the upper apartments to await his leisure, and found there a number of fine youths, not very splendidly dressed. After half an hour of waiting we were led into a low room, in the corner of which sat this extraordinary man. He welcomed us politely and said he hoped we had had a good journey and would like Janina, and desired that if there was anything we lacked we would mention it, for that he regarded us as his children, and his house and family were at our disposal. He next asked if any of us spoke Greek; and hearing that I did,[Pg 236] asked me when I had learnt it, and how long I had remained in Athens. Then, observing that Hughes was near the fire, he ordered in a screen in the shape of a large vessel of water, saying that young men did not require fire, only old men; and in saying this he laughed with so much bonhomie, his manner was so mild and paternal and so charming in its air of kindness and perfect openness, that I, remembering the blood-curdling stories told of him, could hardly believe my eyes. Finally, he said he hoped to improve our acquaintance, and begged us to stay on. We, however, bowed ourselves out.

The number and richness of the shops is surprising, and the bustle of business is such as I have not seen since leaving Constantinople. We understood that when the vizier first settled at Janina in '87—that is, twenty-seven years ago—there were but five or six shops in the place: now there are more than 2,000. The city has immensely increased, and we passed through several quarters of the town which are entirely new.

The fortresses on the promontory into the lake are of the vizier's building. He has always an establishment of 3,000 soldiers, 100 Tartars (the Sultan himself has but 200), a park of artillery presented him by the English, and German and other French artillerymen. We seem to have supplied him also with arms and ammunition in his wars with Suli and[Pg 237] other parts of Epirus. Perhaps it is not much to our honour to have assisted a tyrant in dispossessing or exterminating the lawful owners of the soil, who only fought for their own liberty; but one must remember that, picturesque as they were and desperately as they fought, they were nothing but robbers and freebooters and the scourge of the country.

We passed the 6th of January with Psallida, who is master of a school in Janina. He is, for this country, a learned man. Besides Greek, he speaks Latin and very bad Italian, but as far as manners go he is a mere barbarian. From him I had an account of the Gardiki massacre.[44] I occupied a wet three days in drawing an interior view of a kiosk of the vizier's at the Beshkey Gardens at the north end of the town. Then I got a costume and drew the figures in. Psallida dined with us one day and entertained us with an account of the fair and frail Euphrosyne, who was a celebrity here. Her fate was made the subject of a ballad preserved in Leslie. The story is certainly an awful tragedy. She was of good family and married to a respectable man. Without possessing more education than is usual with Greek ladies she had, besides her great beauty, a natural wit which, with a good deal of love of admiration, soon[Pg 238] attracted round her a host of admirers, and she became a reigning beauty. Mukhtar, the son of Ali, who is a dissolute fellow, was attracted by her, and, cutting out his competitors, became her acknowledged lover. His wife, whom he entirely neglected for his new passion, was a daughter of the Vizier of Berat, whose friendship Ali was at that time particularly anxious to cultivate; and when she complained to her father-in-law of his son's conduct, he (Ali) determined to put a stop to it. At the head of his guard he burst at midnight into the room of Euphrosyne, and after calling her the seducer of his son and other names, he forced her to give up whatever presents he had made her, and had her led off to prison with her maid. Next day, in order to make a terrifying example to check the immorality of the town in general and his son in especial, he had nine other women of known bad character arrested, and they and Euphrosyne were led to the brink of the precipice over the lake on which the fortress stands. Her faithful maid refused to desert her, and she and Euphrosyne, linked in each other's arms, leapt together down the fatal rock, as did all the others.

Mukhtar has never forgotten his attachment or forgiven his father, or even seen his wife again, and from having been a gay and frank youth he has become gloomy and ferocious without being less dissolute than before. The court he keeps is a sad blackguard[Pg 239] affair, a great contrast to the austere sobriety of his father's.

We called in the evening (January 14) to take leave of Ali Pasha. He was on that day in the Palace of the Fortress at the extremity of the rock over the lake. We passed through the long gallery described by Byron, and into a low anteroom, from which we entered a very handsome apartment, very warm with a large fire in it, and with crimson sofas trimmed with gold lace. There was Ali, to-day a truly Oriental figure. He had a velvet cap, a prodigious fine cloak; he was smoking a long Persian pipe, and held a book in his hand. Foresti says he did this on purpose to show us he could read. Hanging beside him was a small gun magnificently set with diamonds, and a powder-horn; on his right hand also was a feather fan. To his left was a window looking into the courtyard, in which they were playing at the djerid, and in which nine horses stood tethered in their saddles and bridles, as though ready for instant use. I am told this is a piece of form or etiquette.

At first his reception seemed less cordial than before, whether by design or no, and he took very little notice of us. He showed us some leaden pieces of money, and a Spanish coin just found by some country people, and asked us what they were. Then he said he wished he had a coat of beaver such as he had seen on the Danube. He asked Parker[Pg 240] whether he had a mother and brothers, and when he heard he was the only son he said it was a sin that he should leave his mother. Why did not he stay at home?

On January 15 we went to call on Mukhtar Pasha. We found him rough, open, and goodhumoured, without any of the inimitable grace of his father, which makes everything Ali says agreeable, however trivial the subject may be. Mukhtar's talk was flat. He was very fond of sport—were we? It was very hot in summer at Trikhala. He had killed so and so many birds; there were loose women at Dramishush; it was a small place, but he would send a man to see that we were properly accommodated; and so on—very civil and rather dull. He smoked a Persian pipe brought him by a beautiful boy very richly dressed, with his hair carefully combed, and another brought him coffee; while coffee and pipes were brought to us by particularly ugly ones. On the sofa beside him were laid out a number of snuff-boxes, mechanical singing birds, and things of that sort. The serai itself was handsome in point of expense, but in the miserable taste now in vogue in Constantinople. The decoration represented painted battle-pieces, sieges, fights between Turks and Cossacks, wild men, and abominations of that sort; while in the centre of the pediment is a pasha surrounded by his guard, and in front of them a couple of Greeks just[Pg 241] hanged, as a suitable ornament for the palace of a despot.

On the 16th we set out early for an excursion to Cassiopeia and Suli, across the fine open field behind Janina, past the village of Kapshisda, over a low chain of hills south-west of Janina. Then, after a climb of over an hour, we entered a pass, and presently saw Dramishush in front, on the side of a high mountain.

Cassiopeia is on a gentle height in the middle of a valley. The situation is beautiful, and the theatre the largest and best preserved I have seen in Greece.

Next morning we dismissed Mukhtar Pasha's man who had escorted us so far, and went on south-westwards along the edge of the valley of Cassiopeia. As it grew narrower we climbed a ridge which overhung an awful depth, went over a high mountain, and reached Bareatis, a small village in a pass with a serai of Ali Pasha's, in which he lived for a length of time during the war of Suli. Three and a half hours further on we came to Terbisena, the first village of Suli. It had been pouring all day, and we were not only wet and cold when we arrived but the hovel we got as a lodging let in the water everywhere, and here, huddled in the driest corner we could find, we had to sleep and spend the next day.

On the 19th the weather was fine again, and we went on hoping to find the river fordable, but when we[Pg 242] got to the bank we found it rapid and deep. One of our Turks, after a good deal of boasting, plunged in, and in an instant sank, and the torrent was carrying him and his horse floundering away. Another of his brother Turks, seeing him carried down, called loudly on Allah, and stroked his beard in great tribulation, but without stirring a stump. In another minute the man would have been drowned, but our servant Antonetti, who was but a Christian, very pluckily ran in and clawed him out. The poor boaster was already senseless when we got him to land. We took him back to Dervishina, and gradually brought him round, when instead of thanking his stars for his narrow escape, or Antonetti for the plucky part he had played, he did nothing but lament the loss of his gun, 'Tofeki,' which he had himself won, he said, and of his shawl which had cost him 50 piastres. We promised to make the latter good, and left him to rest.

The whole incident was in all senses a damper to our ardour. When we considered that to pass this river we must wait one day at least, and probably four days to get across the one near Suli, the expenditure of time seemed to us all, at least so I thought, greater than we cared to devote to the expedition. So the long and short of it was that we turned back and slept at Bareatis. Next day we got back to Janina. I made up my mind now that I was wasting time over this trip, and wished to get back to Athens. But[Pg 243] before leaving I thought it my duty to call once more on Ali Pasha. A most agreeable old man he is. I was more than ever struck with the easy familiarity and perfect good humour of his manners. We found him in a low apartment with a fire in the middle, generally used for his Albanians and known as laapoda. Then we went to see Pouqueville,[45] the French resident. We found him with his brother, both of them the worst type of Frenchmen—vulgar, bragging, genuine children of the Revolution. Nothing worth remembering was said, but I did gather this from his tone—that the Empire in France is not likely to last.

On the 26th my friends, for a wonder, got up early, and we all set out in a boat for a small village where we were to find my horses. There we bid farewell and I mounted. It came on to rain, and I arrived, wet through, at the Three Khans to sleep.

Next day the rain became snow, but I set out nevertheless for Mezzovo. We had to ford the river several times, and for the last hour to Mezzovo were up to our middles in snow. The scenery was magnificent, and the country is well cultivated. Mezzovo is a Vlaki or Wallachian village; the people speak a sort of mixed Greek. They are exceedingly industrious and well-to-do.

Artistically I do not know that I have gained[Pg 244] much, but I do not regret the time I have spent in Albania. The climate is more bracing than that of the rest of Greece, and has set me up after my illness. The scenery, though it cannot be at its best in winter, is most beautiful, and the inhabitants are a fine race—not handsome, but hardy and energetic. An Albanian has very few wants. A little bread of calambochi or Indian corn, an onion, and cheese is abundant fare to him. If he changes his linen five times in the year, that is the outside. A knife and a pistol in his girdle and his gun by his side, he sleeps quite well in the open air with his head on a stone and the lappel of his jacket over his face. In summer and winter he wears a fez. His boots are only goatskin sandals, which he makes himself. His activity in them over rocks is surprising.

As for Ali Pasha's government, one has to remember what a chaotic state the country was in before he made himself master of it. The accounts one gets from the elders make it clear what misery there was. No stranger could travel in it, nor could the inhabitants themselves get about. Every valley was at war with its neighbour, and all were professional brigands. All this Ali has reduced to order. There is law—for everyone admits his impartiality as compared with that of rulers in other parts of Turkey—and there is commerce. He has made roads, fortified the borders, put down brigandage, and[Pg 245] raised Albania into a power of some importance in Europe.

That in arriving at this end he has often used means which civilised nations disapprove is no doubt true, but there has been in the first place gross exaggeration as to the crimes attributed to him: for instance, that he sees fifteen or twenty heads cut off every day before breakfast, whereas in point of fact there has not been such a thing as a public execution in the past year; and then, in the second, one must make allowance for the ferocious manners amongst which he was brought up.

On the 29th of January, as the weather seemed favourable, we set out eagerly to cross Pindus. The snow was deep in places, but for the first hour and a half we had no great difficulty. It was the last half-hour before getting to the top that was worst. The road is desperately steep up a precipice, and the snow was above the horses' girths. Our chamalides, however, waded through it, often up to their middles, and, carrying the loads on their own shoulders, lifted the horses by their tails and heads alternately, I hardly know how. Although I constantly slipped down on the steep incline, I was so eager to see the view that I was the first at the top. Towards the interior it was glorious: the feet of Pindus rooting themselves far into the country, which, although mountainous, was free from snow; conspicuous was Elymbo (Olympus), the top capped[Pg 246] with snow, but the form of it is not beautiful. To the north were other snow-capped mountains. Behind us westward the air was so thick one could see nothing. The west side of the hills is covered with fir, while the east seems to have nothing but oak and birch—quantities of it, but all small trees. As we went down we noticed on the trunks of them the marks of the snow of the year before last, which must have been ten or twelve feet deep. Three and a half hours from our start we got to a khan, where we made a good fire and congratulated ourselves on having got over the hills so well and escaped the fatana—the wind the mountaineers dread.

Our next stage was to Malakash, a Vlaki town. It was astonishing the way our chamalides bore the fatigue of forcing our way through the snow, which was still five or six feet deep in places. They cut a way for the horses, which were constantly falling down and half smothering themselves in the drifts.

From there we followed the course of the river for six hours, and crossed it fifty times at least. On the way we passed a dervish, an Albanian. He was seated on a sort of balcony, very high up, and had a gun in his hand, which he pointed at me and called on me to stop and pay. The sight of the Tartar, however, brought him to reason. Without one a traveller is exposed to great insult from such ruffians.[Pg 247] As it was, a poor wretch who tried to pass himself off as one of our party was forced to stop and pay his quota.

In the afternoon we arrived at Meteora, the strange rocks of which we had seen from some distance up the river. We were given quarters in the house of a Cypriote Greek, from whom I learnt a good deal of the terrible exactions of Veli Pasha, in whose dominions we now were. Our host and his two sons, poor wretches with hardly a fez to their heads and mere sandals bound with a thong to their feet, came to welcome us. After the first compliments they fell into the tale of their woes. Their taxes were so heavy that unless the new year were abundantly fruitful the village must be bankrupt and become 'chiflik' or forfeit. When a village is unable to pay its taxes, the vizier, as universal mortgagee, forecloses and the land becomes his private property and the villagers his slaves. This is becoming 'chiflik.'

While we were sitting and talking of these troubles a great noise was heard below. Two Albanians, being refused conachi, had broken in the door of a house and entered by force, and the soubashi was gone out to quell the riot. He very properly refused them any kind of reception and drove them out to the khan.

My hosts had roasted me a fowl, but my heart[Pg 248] was so full I could scarcely eat. How long will it please God to afflict these wretched people with such monstrous tyranny? Besides the exactions of the Government, scoundrels such as these Albanians infest the villages, force their way in houses and eat and drink immoderately and pay nothing. To ease my mind, when the daughter of my host brought me some raisins to eat with my wine I gave her a dollar. She seemed hardly to believe her eyes at first, then took it and kissed my hand.

Next morning, January 31st, I ascended to the principal monastery of Meteora. After a tiring walk of half an hour, winding among the crags of this strange place, we came to the foot of the rock on which it is perched, and found that the ladder commonly used, which is made in joints five or six feet long, had been drawn up. We called to the papades who were aloft to let down the rope and net. After some hallooing, down it came, a circular net with the meshes round the circumference gathered on a hook. Michael and myself, with my drawing materials, got in and were drawn up by a windlass. To swing in mid-air trusting to a rope not so thick as my wrist and 124 feet long (I measured it) is anything but pleasant. I shall not forget my sensations as I looked out through the meshes of the net as we were spinning round in the ascent. There was a horrible void below—sheer precipices on each side, and then the slipping of[Pg 249] the rope as it crossed on the windlass. Once up, we were pulled in at the entrance, the hook drawn out, and we were set at liberty. The company that received us were some wretched papades, as ignorant as possible. They could tell me next to nothing about their monastery, except that on the occasion of an invasion of the Turks, a bey of Trikhala, one Joseph Ducas, had retired hither and established it and seventeen others. The buildings of ten of them still exist, but only two or three are still inhabited. The church here is a very good one, and there is a chapel of Constantine. The view is magnificent. I gave a dollar to the young priest who took me round, desiring him to use it for any purpose of the church; but I found, from what my peasant guide told me when we had got down, that the scamp had pocketed it for his own use, for that the chief papa had asked him as we were about to leave, if the stranger would not leave some parahs for the church. It was a lovely day, and beneath me, from the village, passed a procession of a bridegroom going to a neighbouring village to fetch his bride. His mother was on one side of his horse, another relative on the other; before him a male relation carried a flag, and behind came all his friends and family in their best dresses with guns on their shoulders, making a gallant show. It was a pretty sight.

We left Kalabaki by Meteora, and reached Trikhala[Pg 250] about sunset. The solitude of the town and the vastness of the cemeteries gave one the creeps; and hearing that the plague was in the town at that moment, I mounted again, and rode four hours further to a khan and slept there.

Next day we rode to Phersala (twelve hours); but the plague being there also, we proceeded a further four hours to a khan under Thaumaco (sixteen hours' riding). From Meteora to Phersala is one uninterrupted plain which I thought would never end. I saw many villages, but much misery—especially in Trikhala and Phersala.

Next day we got to Zituni (six hours) about noon. I did not venture to stay on account of the plague, and passed on to Molo, at which we arrived in the evening, passing through the Straits of Thermopylæ.

Molo is a village of only 200 houses, and yet forty persons had died of the plague in it in the last three days. The terrified inhabitants had fled to the mountains, and we found only two hangees (men attached to the han) to receive us. We meant to have slept here, but the cats and dogs howled so terribly (always a symptom of the plague) that I could not sleep in comfort; so as the moon shone bright, we mounted and rode six hours further to a village opposite Parnassus, passing in safety the fountain famous for robbers who are almost always stationed[Pg 251] there. The scenery here is very fine and romantic. In six hours more, after crossing two little plains besides that of Chæronæa, we arrived at Livadia (February 3rd). What between the cold, the horror of the plague, and the fatigue, it had been an appalling journey."


[44] The Gardiki massacre took place about 1799. In Ali's youth, his tower had been stormed by the people of Gardiki and his mother and sister outraged—at least, so he said. He nursed his revenge for forty years, and then gratified it by massacring the whole population of the village.

[45] Author of a valuable account of Greece at this time.

[Pg 252]



My father seems to have got back to Athens to his old quarters at Madame Masson's with Haller and Stackelberg, and there remained. He kept a diary only under the excitement of travel or novelty, and as the sights and society of Athens were too familiar to stir him, there is no precise record of how he passed his time; but he says in a letter that he intends to spend his winter in completing the Ægina and Phigaleian drawings. After all, it was only two or three months he had to be there. The Phigaleian Marbles were to be sold in Zante in May, and this time he meant to be present. The fiasco of the Ægina Marbles in his absence was a warning of what might happen again if the sale were not properly looked after; and as Gropius after his failure had been dismissed from his functions as agent (although still part proprietor) the necessary work had to be done by[Pg 253] the others—each one probably communicating with his own Government. He had taken care that his (the British) should be kept properly posted up. In consequence, everything went off without a hitch. In May he went to Zante. The marbles were sold to General Campbell,[46] commandant of the Ionian Islands, acting on behalf of H.R.H. the Prince Regent, and were already packed up for transport on the 12th of July.

During his stay in Zante my father made many elaborate drawings of the Phigaleian bas-reliefs, with a view to determining their relative positions for the book, and he now returned to Athens to go on with it. He arrived on the 11th of July. But his health was no longer able to bear an Athenian summer. In August he writes:

"A most tiresome fever has been worrying me for the past month, sometimes leaving me for a few days, at others rendering me incapable of doing anything. Few people, even natives, escape it, either in this or any other summer. Such is the fine climate of Greece, which poets would persuade you is a paradise, whereas really hyperborean England, with all her fogs, has still the best in the world....

I am summing up a few observations, wonderfully[Pg 254] savant and deep, on the temples we are preparing for publication, and the Grecian architecture in general. Between you and me, I verily flatter myself, we understand it practically better than anybody—as indeed we ought to. I arrived from Zante on the 11th July. While I was there I received a very fresh (!) letter from home of twenty-nine days.

I was rejoiced to find here my friends and old schoolfellows, Spencer Stanhope and his brother. Conceive our pleasure talking at Athens over Westminster stories and all our adventures since we left. He, poor fellow, has been a prisoner in France for two and a half years, having been taken in Spain owing to the treachery of a Gibraltar vessel, which took him into the port of Barcelona. He is now exploring and excavating (at his own expense) for the French Government as the condition for his freedom! A few days later he and I made a trip to Marathon. We proceeded to Rhamnos, and sleeping a night at a fountain near by, visited in the morning the Temple of Nemesis and stayed there the whole day. It had been well examined, and by this time will have been published by Gell[47] and Gandy. We then went on to a village near which we had the good fortune to find Tanagra, the situation of which had never yet been known. We could trace the whole circuit of the walls and a theatre.[Pg 255] Thence to Aulis, the walls of which are easily traceable; then we crossed the bridge over the Euripos into Eubœa. The town of Negropont is a wretched place, inhabited by nothing but Turks. The fortress is ruined and contemptible, and the cannon out of order, as usual, although it is by way of being one of the principal fortresses in these parts. The more one sees of the Turks the more one is astonished at their prolonged rule in these countries. We visited a bey in this place who had a set of maps, and was considered one of the most enlightened men in the town. He produced them immediately he saw us, and boasted of his extensive knowledge on the subject, and the respect the bystanders paid this philosopher was perfectly delightful. The usual custom, before making a visit to these great personages, is to send them an offering of two or three pounds of sugar or coffee, and I thought he seemed rather offended at our exempting ourselves, as Englishmen, from this tribute. Next day we went along the seashore, riding through delightful gardens and olive groves, to Eretria, which has not been seen by modern travellers. It must have been a great city, little less than three miles in circumference. The whole extent of the walls and theatres is still visible.

The greater part of Greece is naturally a rich and productive country. This needs no better proof than the immense population to which the ruins still remaining bear testimony. The ruins of towns of immense[Pg 256] extent and close to each other are found everywhere, and now it is a desert. Neither plague, pestilence, nor famine is so destructive as tyranny. We returned to Athens on the tenth day.

We hear that the plague is raging at Constantinople, Salonica, and Smyrna; whereas Athens, with the Morea and Greece in general, though surrounded on all sides by it, has escaped.

The festival of Ramazan is being celebrated. The bazaar has been well sprinkled with water, and lights are hung before every shop. The caffanee (coffee shops) are all open and lighted, as well as the balconies of the mosques. All day, if any Turks are seen, they are walking about in their best, with long wands, but looking very cross, and not lightly to be accosted by a Greek. At kinde (sunset) the imams call, and the faithful, having fasted from sunrise, not having smoked or even drunk a drop of water, sit down with holy zeal to the very best meal their funds can afford, for it is accounted a crime at this feast to deny themselves what the heart desires. After this the mosque, gaily lighted, is filled with songs and prayer and thanksgiving. Later on the streets are filled. Each in his best enjoys whatever pleasures and amusements the town has to offer—ombres chinoises, long stories from the 'Arabian Nights,' music, chess-playing, &c. Above all, the women now have liberty. They go about in parties, unmasked, visiting, feasting, and amusing[Pg 257] themselves, and the whole place is a continual Vauxhall from sunset to sunrise. At midnight the imam again ascends to the minaret with a chorus, who sing a solemn and beautiful hymn, far more impressive than the finest bells in Christendom. The words begin—

Arise, arise, and pray, for ye know not the hour of death.

Towards the morning passes the dumbanum, a huge drum which a man beats as he goes; while another accompanies him in a sort of sing-song, calling up each householder and bidding him eat his pillau, for the morning is near. He winds up with good wishes and kind terms, for which, at the end of the Ramazan, he expects a present. My name was brought in. What do you think of Cockarella to rhyme with Canella?

From the minaret a beggar is crying for charity and threatening to throw himself down unless he gets it. He goes there at the same hour every day till he has got what he wants.

The wife of the old disdar (commandant of the castle) died a few days ago. She was one of the first ladies of the place, and a respectable good woman. Everyone was touched with the disdar's lamentation. 'She was the ship in which all my hopes were embarked. She was the port in which I took shelter from all the storms and troubles of the world; in her my comforts and joys were confided; she was the[Pg 258] anchor in which I trusted.' Each morning he has visited her tomb, and, causing water to be brought, has poured it around that her remains may be refreshed. Three days after, as is the custom, the elders of his relations went to him, desiring that he should marry again. But he refused, looking, as he said, soon to follow his wife.

October 30.—I have been having continual relapses of this abominable fever ever since August. The worst was in the beginning of this month, and it has taken me till now to get over it. After having leeches on, I had removed one of the bandages too soon, and lost a greater quantity of blood than was intended.

It is impossible to describe the feebleness this fever leaves. I sometimes felt as if I was breathing out my soul, and had ceased to belong to this world at all. I lost all interest in my pursuits.

I should have been badly off indeed if it had not been for Madame Masson. She had been a second mother to me, and more attentive in this and in all my other illnesses than any attendants I could have hired. As soon as I was a little better she was so good as to accompany me to a monastery in the Sacred Way, some little distance from Athens, to which I had been advised to go for change of air. There was only one old woman there to take care of the keys, and in the big deserted place we were like two owls in a barn. I cannot say it was gay. I passed most of my time in[Pg 259] sleeping, for that has been the chief effect of my weakness, and what little was left in reading. Occasionally we were favoured with a visit by some of our Athenian friends, who brought their provisions with them, as their custom is. The monastery stands in a beautiful dell or pass through the mountains. On one side is a beautiful view of the bay and mountains of Eleusis, and on the other, of the Plain of Athens, with the long forest of olive trees between us and the Acropolis, which dominates the plain and is backed by Hymettus. On the right is the Piræus, at no great distance. I could not enjoy this lovely scene. Alas! one can enjoy nothing with a low fever. And now, after a stay of a fortnight, we are just returned, and I am not much the better for it.

But one of the last days I was there I was tempted by my friend Linckh to ride to Piræus, to join in celebrating the anniversary of the victory of Salamis—the 25th October—by a fête on the island of Psytalia, where the thickest of the fight was waged. He had assembled a large party of Athenians, who, to tell the truth, were more intent on the feast than on the occasion of it. We embarked from Piræus in a large boat, accompanied by music—to wit, fiddles and tambourines—as is the Athenian fashion, and a great cargo of provisions which were to be prepared while the modern Athenians contemplated the interesting scene before us, and were to weep over the fall of[Pg 260] their country since those glorious days, &c. &c. All set out in the greatest glee. Beyond the port, in the open sea, some countenances began to change; though we had almost a calm, some began to feel the effects of the 'gentle motion' and hung their heads over the side, while several pinched each other with fear and anxiety at our distance from terra firma. Gradually all became silence. Then some murmurs began to arise, together with advice and recommendation to the sailors to row gently and hold fast. A council of war sat, and agreed nem. con. that it would be best to return to the nearest land. A small bay was found and all leapt ashore, crossing themselves and thanking their stars for their deliverance. A fire was lighted, the lamb roasted in no time, a cloth laid on the ground, and all set to. The Greeks of old could not have attacked the Persians with more ardour than these moderns did the turkeys and lamb before us. The bottle went round apace, and all soon began to glorify themselves, the demoiselles also playing their part; and when at length, and not until at length, the desire of eating and drinking was accomplished, each one filched the remaining sweets off the table as she found her opportunity. Music's soft enchantment then arose, and the most active began a dance, truly bacchanalian, while the rest lingered over the joys of the table. Punch crowned the feast. All was rapture; moderation was no longer observed, and the day closed with[Pg 261] a pelting of each other with the bones of the slain, amidst dancing, singing, and roars of laughter or applause. I venture to assert most positively that not one thought was given to the scene before us, or the occasion, by any one member of the party except my friend Linckh and the διδἁσκαλος [Greek: didaskalos], the schoolmaster of Athens, who, having brought tools for the purpose, carved on the rock an inscription which will one day be interesting to those who may chance to light upon it a thousand years hence—'Invitation [or repast] in memory of the immortal Salaminian combat.' Our party embarked not till after sunset; and though the sea was twice as high and the wind as contrary as it was coming, such are the powers of nectar and ambrosia that all conducted themselves with uncommon courage and resolution. Choruses, Dutch and Athenian, beguiled the way, and all was harmony except the music. So one might have hoped the day might have concluded; but no! the Greek fire, once lighted, is not so easily quenched. I, as an invalid, and exceedingly tired with so much pleasure, retired to my cell in a monastery where we were all to pass the night, and some of my friends kindly gave me a coverlet and a sort of bed, on which I threw myself; but not until long after midnight did the music or the dancing cease, or I or any sober person get a chance of sleep. We got away next day, but not without difficulty; for the Athenians are like[Pg 262] our journeymen: when once they are out on the spree they must carry it on for a week.

We are now in Athens again, and I have just returned to my work-table covered with the dust of so many lost days. This waste of time is terrible. Altogether, out of twenty-four months spent in Athens, seven have been passed in illness. If ever I get away from this country in health and safety, how I shall thank my stars!"

It was in these last days of his stay in Athens that he became possessed of a portion of the Panathenaic frieze of the Parthenon in the following strange manner. The disdar or commandant of the castle on the Acropolis was by now an old friend of Cockerell's, and had ended by becoming exceedingly attached to him. When he understood from the latter, who came to pay him a farewell visit, that he was leaving for good, he told him that he would make him a present. He said he knew that Cockerell was very fond of old sculptured stones, so if he liked to bring a cart to the base of the Acropolis at a certain hour at night (it could not be done in the daytime for fear of giving offence to the Greeks) he would give him something. Cockerell kept the appointment with the cart. As they drew near there was a shout from above to look out, and without further warning the block which forms the right-hand portion of Slab I. of the South Frieze now in the British Museum was[Pg 263] bowled down the cliff. Such a treatment of it had not been anticipated, but it was too late for regrets. The block was put on to the cart, taken down to the Piræus, and shipped at once. Cockerell presented it to the British Museum, and its mutilated appearance bears eloquent testimony to its rough passage down the precipices of the Acropolis.

"My fever continued to harass me until I took a trip to Ægina, which I made for the purpose of change of air, as well as of correcting and revising our drawings of the Temple of Jupiter Panhellenius. In both respects I have succeeded beyond my hopes. I am now in perfect health, and have made some improvements and additions to our observations which will be of importance to our work. Taking ladders from here, I have also succeeded in measuring the columns of a temple supposed to have been that of Venus—I think Hecate—which are of universally admired proportion, and so high that hitherto no travellers have been able to manage them. Only two columns still exist. They belong, I found, to the posticum between the antæ. In digging at their base to prove this, I came upon a very beautiful foot in a sandal, life-size, of Parian marble, of precisely the same school and style as those of our Panhellenian discovery.[48] You may imagine[Pg 264] I counted on nothing less than finding a collection as interesting and extensive as the other. I procured, with some difficulty, authority from the archons of the island, and struck a bargain by which they were to have one half of the produce of the excavation, which was to be made at my expense, and I the other, with a first refusal of purchasing their portion. I dug for three days without finding the smallest fragment, and, what was worse, satisfied myself that it had been dug over and re-dug a hundred times, the foundations of the temple having served time out of mind as a quarry for the Æginetans. The money spent was not very great, the time wasted was all to the good of my health, and I was able to make a curious observation on the foundations of the building. Greek temples are commonly on rock. This was not; and the foundations were no less than 14 to 15 feet deep, the first three courses of well-cut stone, the last set in mortar on a wall of small stones in mortar, at the sides of which is a rubble-work of largish stones beaten down with sea sand and charcoal and bones of sacrifices. Underneath, again, are other courses of well-cut stones which form a solid mass under the whole temple.

I have also with great difficulty, since there are no carpenters in this country, ascertained what I spoke of before as a matter of conjecture—viz. the entasis or swelling of the Greek columns. A straight line stretched from the capital to the base showed the[Pg 265] swelling at about a third of the height to be in the Temple of Minerva an inch, in that of Ægina half an inch, which is the same proportion in both. The ruined state of the columns of the Theseum makes it less easy to ascertain the exact swelling. Those of Minerva Polias and the Erechtheum are also swelled. I have no doubt that it was a general rule with the Greek architects, though it has hitherto escaped the eyes of Stuart and our most accurate observers."

Cockerell had long been anxious to get into Italy. There alone could he see and study an architecture in some measure applicable to modern needs, if he was ever to become a practical architect. For four years he had been studying abstract beauty, practising his hand in landscape painting, interesting himself in archæology, and generally, except for his vigour and perseverance, behaving as many a gentleman at large might have done whose place in the English world was already made for him. But he had a position to win, and in one of the most arduous of professions, for which all this unsettling life was not merely not preparing him but actually making him unfit.

Since his first startling success at Ægina, he had been led on from one expedition to another, losing sight for months together, in the easy life and simple conditions which surrounded him, of the keen competition in the crush of London for which he ought to be girding himself. He had been forming a taste, but a[Pg 266] taste in the externals and details of building only. Of composition and of planning he had seen as yet no fine example and had learnt nothing. There was nothing left for him to do in Greece. He had traversed it in all directions, seen every place of interest, and whenever there appeared a prospect of finding anything with the moderate means at his disposal, he had tried digging.

Under Napoleon's continental system Italy of course was closed to Englishmen, but to Bavarians it was accessible, and Cockerell had often talked with Haller of the possibility of smuggling himself as his servant into the country under cover of his (Haller's) passport. Fortunately this was never attempted. Even if they had succeeded in passing the frontiers under Governments where every foreigner was subjected to continual espionage, the delusion would soon have been discovered. It was a boy's scheme. He had also tried to engage the good offices of Louis of Bavaria to obtain him admission as an artist, but nothing had come of it; and finally, when he heard that Lady Hester Stanhope had got leave to travel in Italy, he had applied to Lord Melville for a similar indulgence. But with the abdication of Napoleon, which took place in April 1814, the whole prospect changed. France was at once thrown open to Englishmen, and the rest of the Continent by degrees. It is not easy to discover at what precise[Pg 267] date the kingdom of Naples and Rome became accessible, but it must have been during the summer. Western news took time to percolate into Greece, but as soon as he learnt that there was a possibility of penetrating into Italy, he had begun making preparations for doing so. And now that there was nothing left to detain him, he arranged to start with Linckh for Rome on the 15th of January, 1815. When the appointed day came, Madame Masson saw him off at the Piræus, and shed floods of tears. She was very fond of him. Two years after she writes: "Non si sa cosa è Carnovale dopo la vostra partenza."

A curious fact about the journey is that they brought away with them a German of Darmstadt of the name of Carl Rester, who appears to have been a fugitive slave, of whom more hereafter.

The party was joined by a Mr. Tupper. This young gentleman had been lodging at Madame Makri's, and had fallen in love, as it was the indispensable fashion for young Englishmen to do, with one or all of the charming daughters. He left them in tears, vowing to return, but it does not appear that he ever did.

The diary of this journey is kept in a sketch-book in pencil, and is not everywhere legible. The country was one well traversed by tourists and minutely described by Gell. There were no discoveries to be made or new impressions to be felt. They had no adventures. The weather was odious. The entries[Pg 268] consist largely of the kind of information—estimates of population, accounts of products, and possibilities—which for the modern traveller is "found" by Murray or Baedeker, and would never figure in his diary. At the mouth of the Alpheus he remarks how well suited the situation would be for a naval dockyard, close to vast forests of oak and fir—forests, all of which must have disappeared in the devastations of Mehemet Ali, for there are none there now.

The route taken was by Corinth, Argos, Tripolizza, Caritzena, Phigaleia, which they found buried in snow, Olympia, Patras, Ithaca, Corfu, Otranto, Lecce, Bari, and Foggia. The Pass of Bovino, between Foggia and Naples, was considered exceedingly dangerous, on account of banditti, and perhaps the most interesting thing in the whole diary is the extravagant size of the escort considered necessary to see the travellers through it. It consisted of no less than sixty men—thirty cavalry and thirty infantry.

But on the whole the diary of the journey, which was through interesting places and at an interesting moment, could hardly be duller. It may be due to Cockerell's having been in poor health, or to Tupper's having been a stupid, unstimulating companion.

They arrived at Naples on the 14th of April, 1815.


[46] General Sir James Campbell, Bart. (1763-1819), Governor of the Ionian Islands till 1816.

[47] Sir William Gell (1777-1836), traveller, author of the Itinerary of Greece, Pompeiana, and other works. The Augustus Hare of his day.

[48] This foot was presented to the Glyptothek at Munich.

[Pg 269]



With one exception there were no Englishmen, artists or others, in Naples at that time, but a number of Frenchmen, with some of whom Cockerell struck up a great intimacy. In spite of national feeling, which was running very high at the time, he got on very well with them, but he says in a letter from Rome they were dreadful time-servers in their political views. Of course it was a difficult moment for Frenchmen. After Napoleon's abdication at Fontainebleau in April 1814, they had had to accommodate themselves to a revival of the ancient monarchy, which could not be very satisfactory to anyone, and now Napoleon was back again in France. Between two such alternatives no wonder that their judgment oscillated; but to Cockerell—patriotic, enthusiastic, and troubled by no awkward dilemmas—their vacillation was unintelligible.

The one Englishman was Gell (afterwards Sir[Pg 270] William), who speaks of a stay they made together at Pompeii as the pleasantest time he had spent in his three years' tour.

During this time Cockerell worked hard, and besides what he did which could only be of use to himself, he made himself so familiar with Pompeii that Gell proposed to him to join him in writing an itinerary of that place.

Altogether, leaving Athens on the 15th of January, it was six months before Cockerell got to Rome. Between Naples and Rome the country seems to have been in a very unquiet state, and Carl Rester, who was still with him, writes afterwards: "You remember how anxious about brigands we all were on the journey."

Soon after they arrived, Rester, who must by now have become an irksome burden, started from Rome to walk to his own home at Frankfort. He took a long time about it, but he got there at last in December, only to find his family so reduced by the wars that he determined, as he says, not to be a burden to them, but to show his gratitude to his benefactor by asking for more favours and throwing himself as a burden upon him. So he determined to extend his walk to England. Before leaving his native town, however, he says he published in the local newspaper the following strange tribute to Cockerell's generosity:

[Pg 271]

"Magna Britannia victoriosa, gloriosa, bene merens, felix. Carolus Robertus Cockerell nobilis Anglus et moribus et scientiis praeclarus me infelicem perditum Germaniae prolem, primis diebus 1815 e Morea barbaris deportavit. Ad Corfum deinde amicis meis Anglis restituit et patriae advicinavit per Napolem universum, Romae me secum ducentem [for ducens] humaniter semper et nobili amicitia me tractavit a London, Old Burlington Street, No. 8, nobilissimi parentes ipsum progenuerunt dignissimum membrum magnae nationis et hominem ubicunque aestimatissimum

Pro gratia universis Anglis et ipsi
Carolus Rester germanus.

Gallis merentibus, Britannia juncta Germanis felix Auspicium semper semperque erit." (Are these two last lines elegiacs?—Ed.)

He arrived at Bois le Duc early in March 1816, and after an illness there of seven weeks, writes to Cockerell to beg his assistance to get him over to England, that he might be the better able to sponge upon him there. I never heard what became of him afterwards.

Cockerell then was in Rome, and here he first began to enjoy the harvest of his labours. He says there were no English there at the time except Lady Westmoreland, mother of the British minister at Florence, but there was a large society of foreign artists, into which he threw himself. There were the[Pg 272] brothers Riepenhausen, painters; Schadow, a sculptor from Berlin; Ingres, who drew his portrait;[49] Cornelius of Munich, and others of his school; Knoering, a Russian; Mazois, author of "Le Palais de Scaurus" and an itinerary of Pompeii; Catel, a French architect; Thorwaldsen, Overbeck, Vogel, portrait painter; Bartholdy, Prussian consul-general; Hess, a painter from Vienna; Canova, and Checcarini, who did the Neptune and Tritons in the Piazza del Popolo at the bottom of the drive up to the Pincio. The air of Rome was steeped in classicism. In this company every event was described in classical figures: their café was the Café Greco, which still exists; the front half was called the Pronaos. There all the artistic world collected and made acquaintance.

"If I were a little more vain I should be out of my wits at the attention paid me here. I have a daily levee of savants, artists and amateurs come to see my drawings; envoys and ambassadors beg to know when it will be convenient for me to show them some sketches; Prince Poniatowski and the Prince of Saxe-Gotha beg to be permitted to see them. I say they are slight, and in truth poor things, but at any rate they were done on the spot, and they, 'C'est la Grèce enfin, c'est là le véritable pays. Ah, Monsieur, que vous êtes heureux d'avoir parcouru ce beau pays!' Then I explain to them some constructions or beauties which they[Pg 273] don't understand. 'Ah, que c'est merveilleux, mais vous les publierez, vous nous donnerez le bonheur de les posséder, mais ce sont des choses fort intéressantes, enfin c'est de la Grèce.' And in truth publishers and readers have been so long restricted to the Roman antiquities, which have been published and read over and over again a thousand times, that the avidity for novelty is beyond measure, and Greece is the fashion here as everywhere else.

There is not a single English artist here and only a few passengers. Lady Westmoreland is one. She is a very clever, well-bred, agreeable chatterer, who has been very civil to me, and made me lose several hours which might have been better employed. Fortunately she is going away. I have several letters for the Roman nobles, but I have not presented them that I may have my time to myself.

So Canova is gone to England. I hope it is not to execute the paltry monument of Lord Nelson which he has published here. It would be a disgrace to us all. Fancy the great Nelson as a Roman in petticoats! I do trust whenever a monument is erected to him it may be as original, national, and characteristic as was the man and the great nation he sprang from. Every age hitherto has had ingenuity enough to make its costume interesting in sculpture; we are the first who have shown such poverty of ideas as to despise our age and our dress.

[Pg 274]

I hope he will not be made too much of in England. It is true that nobody ever worked the marble as he does, and it is this finish of his which has deceived and captivated the world, but it is nothing but artificiality, and there is no nature about it. When he attempts the sublime he is ludicrous. In seeking grace he is more successful; but, after all, his Terpsichore was conceived in the Palais Royal, and her headdress is exactly the latest hairdressers' fashion. It is exasperating to think of his success when Flaxman, as far his superior as Hyperion to a satyr, an artist looked up to by the schools of the Continent as a great and extraordinary genius, is neglected by us because he is not a foreigner.

It is exceedingly gratifying to me to find everything in my portfolio turning to account. I had the pleasure of showing to Colonel Catinelli, who lately fortified Genoa, my fortifications of Syracuse, and the sketches I made of that subject in Greece. He assures me that they are invaluable notices new to modern warfare, and that they prove that, compared to the ancients, we who imagine ourselves so well informed on the matter, know nothing at all.

Then I have above 150 inscriptions among my papers, and I find most of them are unpublished. I have had them copied fairly, and they are now in the hands of a great savant, M. Akerblad, for his perusal. He promises to give me his notes on them.

[Pg 275]

I do think I have not made a bad use of my opportunities, if I may judge by the interest taken in the various new notices on different subjects I have brought with me, and the flattering consideration everywhere shown me, I get so many invitations, and am so harassed to show distinguished persons of all nations my drawings, that I can get no time to myself. And in order to have something to show I have been obliged to finish up some of my sketches, which has occupied the whole of the last two months. I have now a portfolio of about fifteen of some of the most interesting scenes in Greece fit to show, and I generally find them as much as my visitors want to see.

Finding at last that my time and occupations were too much infringed upon by gaieties, I left Rome to seek more quiet in Florence. I found it at first, and for more than six weeks was as busy as it was possible to be. My life was a curious one. I rose early, and after working all day, dined alone at a trattoria, refusing frequently three or four invitations in a day. Then I slept three or four hours on a sofa, and rose in the night to work calmly until four or five in the morning, when I took another nap, and rose at seven. This odd life got wind; and as I was a great deal known here, either by reputation or by name and family, I occasioned a good deal of wonder, particularly among those who are astonished at anyone's occupying[Pg 276] himself earnestly except for a necessity. The interest in me was also increased rather than diminished by my shyness when I did show in company. I had so much lost the habit of society by the long sojourn in Turkey, and, looking on it with a new eye, was often so disgusted with the follies of it, and showed my disgust, that I got a character for being a cynic. But instead of taking offence people only made the more of me, and I was constantly invited out, more to gratify my hosts' curiosity than to give pleasure to me. To have travelled in Greece, still more to have been a discoverer there, is enough to make a lion; while the fame of my drawings, which few of the many who saw them understood and all were therefore willing to think wonderful, completed the business. It was at this time that I brought out my drawing of the Niobe and the etchings from it."

B. Bartholdy, Prussian consul-general in Rome, an intelligent man and much interested in art, had travelled up from Rome to Florence with Cockerell and made himself one of his most intimate acquaintances. Walking together one day in the Uffizi, they examined the group of the Niobe. It is now neglected and forgotten, but in those days it occupied, in the estimation of artists, the place to-day held by the Elgin Marbles. With the Venus de' Medici, the Apollo Belvedere, and the Torso in the Vatican, these statues were regarded as the greatest remains antiquity had[Pg 277] bequeathed to the modern world. But, prized and studied as they were, the purpose of so many figures, evidently meant to stand together, had never yet dawned on the minds of their admirers. The figure of Niobe, which is the largest, had been placed in the middle, and the rest in a circle round her. It was felt indeed that this could not be right, but no one had anything better to suggest, and it remained one of the favourite puzzles for art lovers to wrangle over. Into the middle of this clouded state of intelligences Cockerell dropped as from another planet. The experience of the Æginetan statues, which he had arranged so laboriously, besides the constant sight of what remained of the Parthenon and other Greek monuments, made the notion of a pediment or ἁετὁς [Greek: haetos] so familiar as to present itself to his mind at once as the only possible destination for so many statues. He says the first suggestion came on that occasion from Bartholdy. "I have told Schlegel and all parties that it was first proposed by you;" to which Bartholdy replies: "J'aurai le plaisir de pouvoir dire que vous avez fait fructifier un petit grain tombé de la main d'un amateur des beaux arts qui sans cela serait resté stérile." But it was probably the company of Cockerell and the associations with Ægina &c. which suggested the notion to Bartholdy. At all events, beyond that first suggestion, Bartholdy did nothing. It was Cockerell who measured the statues, arranged them, proved the case, and made the etching[Pg 278] which hangs to this day in the Niobe Room in the Uffizi Gallery, showing the arrangement which he proposed. In recognition, however, of the part Bartholdy had had in it, the plate was dedicated to him.

For the introduction of Cockerell as a lion into society—if that be a thing to be desired—this discovery was most opportune. He had arrived with a great reputation as a traveller, a discoverer, and unraveller of age-long puzzles, as in the case of the Temple of the Giants, and now here was a proof of his powers exhibited in the centre of artistic Europe.

"I had shown my drawing to several people and amongst the ambassadors and distinguished persons here—all of whom, de rigueur, more or less pretend to understand the arts—and it gained universal approbation. It was talked about by all, and written about by Demetrius Schinas and other obscure poets and prose writers. I was flattered, invited, and made much of. Our ambassador boasts that the solution has been proved by an Englishman; others bow and beg to be allowed to send copies of my etching to their Governments, to Metternich, &c. It was formally presented to the Grand Duke, and I have received from the Academy here a handsome letter and diploma of Academician of Florence. It is to be published in the official work on the Gallery. I have presented it myself to Madame de Staël, and my friends have sent it to all parts of the Continent."[Pg 279]

He was now regularly launched in the fashionable society of Florence.

The reigning beauty at this time, the centre of all jollity and brightness, was Lady Dillon. All the young men were at her feet, and Cockerell was as deeply smitten as anybody. As already mentioned, during the time that he was in Syracuse he had learnt the art of cameo-cutting. He now made use of it—or at least of the preliminary stage, which is to make a model in wax—to execute a highly finished portrait of her, which still exists in the possession of her descendants. It shows a head of great beauty, and is executed with admirable skill and minuteness.

The whole English nation was now jubilant over the success of its army at Waterloo, and was considering the rewards to be offered to its idol, the Duke of Wellington. He was to have a magnificent palace, surpassing the glories of Blenheim, and architects were called upon to give reins to their imagination in preparing designs in competition. The celebrity which my father had by now made for himself obtained him, through the medium of Lord and Lady Burghersh, his fast friends, a formal invitation to send in designs for the Wellington Palace.

The opportunity was of course magnificent, but nothing he had been doing for years had in the least adapted him to take advantage of it.

"Although my occupation in the Wellington Palace[Pg 280] is a very honourable one, and the study and exercise of invention in the course of it may be profitable, yet I cannot help wishing I had never been invited to give an idea for it, for I have spent a vast deal of time over it, and it will add nothing to my reputation, even if it does not detract from it. If such a design was difficult to everyone, you may imagine what it was to me who have never attempted anything original before. I consulted every architectural work of Europe (they are all in the library here), and I would have consulted every professional man I could get at if there had been any here whose opinion was worth having. Then I composed general ideas, and finally fixed on one which pleased Mr. North and several other persons to whom I showed it; but when I went into detail I found the difficulties increase immeasurably, and the notions which were plausible while they were vague could not be put into execution. Plan would not agree with elevation. Doors and windows would not come into their right places. I invented roundabout ways for simple ends. In fact I worked furiously, and for the first time realised the practical difficulties of the profession. At last, when I had filled a portfolio with sketches and schemes, I completed a set and showed them to Lord and Lady Burghersh, who said they were pleased with them.

I began to feel that I had too large an acquaintance in Florence—too many visits and invitations.[Pg 281] My wound [?], of which I did not get the better, confined me, and that made me generally unwell and obliged me to go through a course of physic. Altogether I got out of heart with my work and determined to get away. I went to Pisa for the month of July, and except for visits from Pigou I was quite alone. There I undid all I had done before, and finding that to do the thing well I should need more time than I could possibly give, I determined to make some small sketches which, prettily finished, might attract attention and show that I was in some sort capable. Finally, I made some sketches and sent them with an explanation to Lady Burghersh and a request to forward them to the proper quarter."

The difficulties he had encountered over these drawings so disgusted him with architecture that he seems to have even proposed to his father to throw it up and become a painter, as that, he thought, was the profession for which he was best suited. But Mr. Cockerell, who was a steady business man, had no notion of his son becoming what he would have considered a bohemian, and refused to sanction any such change.

The only thing to do, then, was to continue his studies. The Wellington Palace drawings had at any rate weaned him of any idea that pure Greek architecture was applicable to modern architectural designing, and he had little knowledge of any other. He started[Pg 282] for a tour of the north of Italy. His letters contain few criticisms. Palladio, probably as being most akin to what he had hitherto studied, pleased him more than any other architect. In Venice he fell in with Stackelberg, who had been home to Russia while his travels in Greece were still fresh enough to claim attention, and had been received with every sort of distinction. He was now on his way back to Rome to settle there and bring out the various books he subsequently published.

The two joined forces, and having run through all the principal towns, returned southwards to Florence.

Shortly after, in company with Lord and Lady Dillon, he went to Rome. He was now a recognised lion, everywhere fêted and made much of. Bartholdy writes of him: "Cockerell est gâté par les femmes." Nevertheless he worked hard. Amongst other things he finished the drawing of the Forum Romanum, the engraving of which is well known. The Duchess of Devonshire wished to insert a reduction of it in her "Virgil," and writes to thank him for "the beautiful drawing you was so good as to do for me."

He had left also in Rome the bulk of his, and Haller's, drawings for the intended book on Greek architecture. These he picked up, and having seen all the architecture Italy had to show him, he started in March for England. In Paris he remained some[Pg 283] little time. A letter from his father during his stay there is worth transcribing in part.

"I send a few hints as to what you should observe in Paris; not things of that high order to which you have so long been used, but yet important to study in order to supply the luxurious indulgence so much coveted by the great here, by whom a complete knowledge of them in their professors of architecture is expected.

You have raised a name here so high that everything in perfection will be expected of you; at least in all that relates to taste in the arts, and in all the subordinate degrees of contrivances, as well as in decoration. The last is that which affords the most extensive employment, and you will be surprised to find more importance attached to the decorations of a salon than to the building of a temple. If, therefore, you can bend to the consideration of what is called the 'fittings up' of the interior of the best hotels and palaces of Paris, the graces of their meubles, and the harmony of their colours in hangings, painting, and gilding, you may be the general arbiter of taste here; and as there are very few persons who are real judges of compositions even classical, much less sublime, and there must be few opportunities of exercising those parts of your studies here, it will be really useful if you allow yourself to look at those minor objects at Paris which in truth they judge well of.

[Pg 284]

Percier[50] is the first architect in Paris; he will tell you what is worth seeing. Dismalter & Jacob are the first decorators in furniture &c., 57 Rue Meslée.

Your friends Lord Burghersh and Lord Dillon proclaim your name without ceasing, and much is expected of you. The Duke of Gloucester has commanded me to introduce you to his acquaintance. You have been spoken of at Carlton House, where I have reason to think there is great likelihood of your being noticed advantageously; but you must not be disappointed to find very common things occupying the minds of a large majority of a nation of boutiquiers, and we must take the world as we find it, believing always that good sense, refined judgment, and true taste will ultimately prevail.

Do not imagine that I am thinking of money as the only thing worth your attention. I consider that as the last object. The first, a higher order of taste and information, you possess amply. The second is to learn to suit in some measure the times we live in and the objects which occupy the multitude, and it is worth attending to. The third and last is the profit which follows; but that must come of itself, and is not worth pursuing.

You will think me lecturing to the last, but I really[Pg 285] mean no more than to express my hope that you will not despise trifles, if elegant, finding yourself for the moment amongst a nation of triflers, because they have long been considered and imitated by ourselves and the rest of Europe as accomplished in matters of ornament, though not in subjects of use.

Your family are now on tiptoe for your arrival, and daily drink their affectionate good wishes to the homeward bound. None is behind another in their impatience; for myself, it is always present to me. Nevertheless, I am not selfish enough to wish you to leave unseen, for the sake of a few days more, anything which you ought to be acquainted with."

My father arrived in London on the 17th of June, 1817, having left it on the 10th of April, 1810. Besides his own, he had brought with him all Haller's drawings for the intended book which was to be the complete and final authority on Greek architecture and the grand result of his seven years of travel. Haller was to come to England to see it through the press. Had it appeared at once it would have been most à propos. Greek architecture was all the fashion. Unhappily, the intention was thwarted by the sudden death of Haller, which took place at Ambelakia, in the Vale of Tempe, of a congestion of the lungs, caught while making excavations in the month of September 1818. The loss of this valuable help disheartened my father, who had no taste for the work. He was already busy in other[Pg 286] ways, and the task which should have had his first attention gradually sank into the background. One by one those who had taken part in the discoveries died: Stackelberg in 1836, Linckh and Foster not many years after. But the book remained a load on my father's conscience all his life, and it was not till 1859, more than forty years later, that it saw the light. The interest in the events and actors had died down, and the novelties had become common property. His unfortunate dislike for writing lost him much of the credit he might have reaped, while others profited by his experience. His collection of inscriptions was picked over by Walpole; Hughes fills out his pages with his letters; Bronstedt uses his drawings. It is Stackelberg who relates how he discovered the bas-reliefs at Phigaleia; Beaufort anticipates anything he might have had to tell of Karamania; Wordsworth plundered his portfolio; and in the absence of any consecutive account of his own, it has been often only by the help of the writings of others that it has been possible for me to piece together his disjointed and often undated diaries.


[49] See frontispiece.

[50] Charles Percier (1764-1838), originator of the so-called "Empire" style in furniture, architect of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and of parts of the Louvre and of the Tuileries.