Imatges de pÓgina

Genoa (if you can afford it), go to the Hôtel de la Ville, and ask for the suite of apartments which opens from the right-hand side of the Salle-à-manger. We could not afford it; but we have all come under a solemn vow never to reveal, under any circumstances, the rate at which the respectable Monsieur Schmidt gave us those magnificent rooms. With all the harbour before, and a good supply of bedrooms behind bedrooms splendid with satin quilts, with pillows frilled with embroidery, with lace curtains, with walls and alcoves rich with elaborate ornament in stucco; and last, but greatest, doors that closed as fast as if they were English; with fires that were perfection-coal-the first coal that we had seen on the Continent English coal mingled with wood. What could mortal desire further? But I dare not for my life-as I have told you betray the moderate amount of francs for which, the house being only moderately full at the moment, we had them by the day! The wonders of Genoa lie, however, in the principal line of street, which is quite behind and above our present quarters. Let us descend our glistening marble staircase, and close our eyes to the fact that it leads out under a ruinous-looking colonnade, in which dwell whiffs innumerable which are not of Arabian sweetness. One thinks involuntarily of those two-and-seventy different smells which immortalise Cologne, when one comes out under those heavy old arches. But now for the Via Balbi, the Strada Nuova, the streets of palaces. There they rise with that pale Italian blue above them, the momentary shining of a sky which is full of rain. Some halfdozen of those vast mansions on either side are quite enough to form a street; and as you pause at door after door of the six, you look in upon a splendid vista of arches and columns perhaps enclosing a green nest of orange trees, or widening into a magnificent court, from the ample marble sides of which rise the staircases which lead to the house.

Then, though they are alike, there is a variety in each; one springs upwards on graceful marble columns to a

domed roof, and beyond throws only some three or four broad low steps between you and the orange garden, against the fresh green of which the pillars shine. Another reveals to you its miniature quadrangle cloistered round, at the top of a short but princely staircase, down which on either side a pair of gigantic lions have been rushing, when some sudden spell arrested their course and fixed them there. Next door the prospect widens, and one court draws itself out within another, with perhaps a gallery and grand balustrade behind, from which the inmates, cool in the shadow of their own lofty roof, could hear their fountain trickle as it played. Whosoever would see the fountain, if it chances to be a work of note, or would examine the frescoes, if there happen to be any about hiding among the columns, or would simply look at a kind of architecture so liberal and princely, may enter as he will; and if there is a collection of pictures above, which is exceedingly probable, is free to penetrate into the salons without either fee to pay or warrant of respectability to offer. I think these open courts and columns are a somewhat handsomer way of withdrawing one - self from the street than the Burlington House fashion of building a dead brick wall between the thoroughfare and one's gentility; and it is these princely entrances which gain for Genoa her distinction of la superba. The buildings themselves are no doubt grand and imposing; but in this is the characteristic and remarkable feature.

There are various picture-galleries, too, in Genoa, though I am half disposed to think that is something of a vulgar enthusiasm which rushes upon every picture within its range, and must see all the questionable Titians and second-rate Dolces to be found in Murray. But we went into the Red house in the Strada Nuova-the red house, more euphoniously the Palazzo Rosso-and saw a little wilderness of fine pictures, and some portraits which immediately took possession of the stately house, and revealed (to me at least) the Genoa of the past. I do not find much interest in portraits, as a gene

ral rule; but there was something in those fine Vandykes, those princely gentlemen and noble ladies, with the small heads full of intelligence, the dainty hands, and sumptuous dress in which that courtly painter delights, which somehow gave a living expression to the sentiment of magnificence which pervaded all these palaces. No, they do not belong to our age, these echoing courts and columns-not to the lounging Italian out of doors, who is more than half a Frenchman, nor to the ladies in crinoline, but to those princely figures on the canvass, those refined and thoughtful faces looking down as if they had been observing all this course of ages from their pensive places on the ancestral walls.

Still anxious for news in our remaining flutter of excitement about the problematical war, we made several desperate but ill-rewarded efforts to get papers. There was not a single syllable of Italian among our party. Our sole hope was in the possibility that Genoa might have newspapers published in French; and so I suppose there are some one or two; but the sole French-Italian broadsheet which we had the luck to light upon was a very amazing little publication-a journal of Monaco, called, I think, the Eden. To us, who were eager for news of the possible outbreak of a war which would be European, it was wonderfully ludicrous to light upon this tiny champion of the tiniest principality in Christendom-I suppose in the world. To hear this odd little organ entering into the historical antecedents of its country"-to behold its rebukes to the rebellious towns of Mentone and Roccabruna, which, "in forsaking the rule of Prince Charles, forsook the march of progress and national advancement," was the oddest anticlimax in the world. Monaco, as perhaps everybody does not know, is a tiny pleasure-town in one of those bays of the Mediterranean, along which the other day we were travelling a nominal little monarchy, or rather princedom, to which Mentone, a vassal bigger than the master, and Roccabruna, a village among the hills, once belonged. These unprincipled places have withdrawn themselves

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from under the mighty sceptre of Charles XIII. or XIV. of Monaco,

and oh! to witness the rampant patriotism of the Eden! Poor little Eden! I daresay it had a great soul; but when, in answer to anxious questions about Austria and France, one read that article about those two deserters of towns, the result was an explosion of laughter which quieted everybody's political anxieties for the night, better than Galignani, perhaps even better than the Times.

And next evening we went to sea! the length of Leghorn-a whole ten hours' voyage along the coast of the Mediterranean-a night when the flags hung down limp and motionless from the mastheads, without a breath to stir them-the rain over, the clouds promising to break, the moon known to be yonder, if the clouds would but let her forth. Yet Alice had her misgivings. The evening gun darted with a flash and roar into all the echoes-the pale water glistened round us lying in the harbour-the lights ran twinkling line above line into the windows in the town-dark boat-loads of opaque objects, afterwards recognised to be men and women, came dropping out to us one by one; and by-and-by, when we had lost our patience and recovered it again, we sailed at last, sweeping out of that sea-gate of Genoa into the brimful and glistening sea-out of sight of the last arm of the crescent and its towered and clustered pile of houses, across another and another bay, with great dark hills stealing out around and beyond them, opening in black and dim perspective out of the night. The moon broke out at last-the night was lovely. I dare say, had we been in England, half the passengers would have stayed on deck all night. But here people love to be wretched when they are travelling. When we went down at midnight there was not a soul visible on the whole length of the vessel save the man at the helm, the look-out man, the officer on his watch, and a heap of dark figures on the boiler and about it, laid out at full length dead asleep.

We got into Leghorn before we were aware, so smooth and rapid was the voyage;-got into Leghorn-that

is to say, got into a great basin, with various ships, some fortifications, and a house in sight, all of which we had the great gratification of gazing at for an hour or two, as it was quite impossible we could land till the police had come to look at us. I do not know when the police did arrive. Words have different significations that which means a solemn procession of bluecoats and batons in London, and a rush of gendarmerie and cocked-hats in France, may perhaps mean a secret missive from the shore at Leghorn. At all events, our permission came at last, without any visible appearance of the muchto-be-respected police; and we "disembarked." To disembark means, at Leghorn, to go out for a half-day's excursion in a little boat which will call at the customhouse in passing, and after getting through the necessary ceremonials there, will carry you on to your destination, at which you are pretty sure to arrive some time, hour not specified. Through the strangest passages and alleys of water, which were not docks, I suppose at least there was not a vessel of any kind in them-we reached at last a dreary hotel, where there was no more appearance of a town than of the pyramids. I presume there is a town of Leghorn, but I can testify by experience that one may safely arrive at the port bearing that name, find some breakfast, and make one's way to the railway station, without being at all aware of the existence of a seafaring and laborious population anywhere in one's vicinity. That is to say, we all believe in Leghorn, but we could not see it.

One thing, however, we did see abundantly, and that was the customhouse. We were all examined, it is true, in the middle of our little waterexcursion on our way to the hotel. But that does not matter; we must all be examined again at the gate of the railway, little bags and all, when the wary officers of La Dogana examine whether there are any creases in poor Alice's best silk gown (creases! have I not seen mud upon it? classic mud thy venerated dust, oh ancient Trinity, moistened by thy perennial rains) and go over all our united wardrobe with a conscientious

inspection. But courage! we are safe at last; here they come, all the boxes nicely tied up with official string, with little pewter seals hanging at each-virtuous boxes, warranted and done for; and here we are once more in a railway carriage-our last conveyance-hurra! almost at the end of our long journey. When the children are lifted into the carriage (by a handsome fellow in a grey uniform, who lets us know par parenthèse that he has four of his own, for which piece of information our universal heart warms to him, though his soldiership is an odd railway porter), -when the children, I say, are lifted in, Alice kisses them clandestinely with a little sentiment in her face. Yes, here they are, those little creatures, beyond price or value-those two only ones surviving (and the fathers and mothers know what that word means and implies) safe upon the Tuscan soil, and no harm taken. I do not wonder, for my part, that their mother is very quiet for a little, and has something in her eyes.

And so here we go, moderately, yet quickly, through the long flat, when at last one finds out the Arno by the sails of a line of boats perfectly relieved against the grassy plain beyond-nay, not the sails alone, but almost the entire hull as well, so level is the landscape-and where our road is bordered by fields covered with water, which we find out with wonder to be fields of rice, and draw up gently to a town from which that Tower, which is to all the world the sign of Pisa, projects its leaning side towards us. Then on again into a true Italian landscape that landscape which in old pictures one supposes a composition, and looks on with doubt accordingly

where the little hills slope softly up and down, bearing each upon its crest its house or little cluster of houses, and its town, and where all the unequal heights and varieties of soil, coupled with those unfailing resemblances, make up a scene so rich, and soft, and novel, so rural, and nevertheless so refined and delicate, and with such a dainty gentle animation and cheerfulness in its aspect, that one is startled with a landscape altogether out of one's ex


perience-nature fresh and living, yet
not the nature one has been accus-
tomed to see. So that it is not the
towns or the people principally, but
perhaps, chiefest of all, this fresh and
unaccustomed scenery, which con-
no longer
vinces us that we are
among the Gauls and Teutons, but
are where the old world lived in the
old ages, and where the modern arts
And here is Florence
were born.
in the dark,-Florence, our journey's
end and temporary habitation-the
Florence of Dante and Michael An-
gelo-the Florence of the Medicis-
the City of Imaginations! Can any
one see anything in the darkness?
Hark! there is a rustle of water-

the Arno running full under its
bridges. Is there no campanile visi-
ble over the house-tops ?-no shadow
of the great Dome upon our road?
Dome!-campanile! I wonder what
anybody is thinking of!-as for the
house-tops, there is no such thing to
be seen anywhere-and, lo! we plunge
out of our fiacre, the whole bundle of
us, into the doorway of a hotel, it is
true, in the second place; but, firstly,
into the white abyss, profound and
impenetrable, of a fog!

From the depths of which, oh
kindest reader! a slowly receding
voice, with passive despair in its
accents, bids you farewell!

THE TURKS IN KALAFAT, 1854.-PART II. TOURISTS, both English and foreign, newspaper correspondents, and travellers of all kinds, were constantly visiting Widdin; and during their stay these usually associated themselves in greater or less intimacy with ourselves. But our original party, the heroes who shared the glories and perils of the feats of arms which I have detailed, and still have to detail-who braved the battle and the breeze, and the bugs and the fleas, from first to last-consisted of five; three "Own Correspondents," one Sardinian officer (the only foreigner I ever met who came up to the English idea of a gentleman), and myself. I cannot say that I have preserved agreeable memories of our stay in Widdin. We had, amongst five, one very small room, so low that we could touch the ceiling, and subject, by reason of its want of height, to a curious variety of temperature; the hot air all collecting in a layer under the ceiling, while it was starving cold on the floor; so that, by the mere process of standing up, you had your head and your legs in quite different climates. There was no fireplace, but by a most unsatisfactory arrangement, which left you to be starved at the mercy of your servants, a stovelike projection from the wall, openadjoining ing into and fed nte-room, held

warmed two apartments, and cooked
your dinner besides. There was no
furniture; reading or eating, we
squatted Turkish fashion; and at
bed-time each man rolled himself in
a big wadded quilt, and deposited
himself on the floor, which was just
big enough to hold the five of us
ranged in parallel lines. With fleas
we were happily not much troubled,
for a little cleanliness easily eradi-
cates them; but the bugs held their
ground more stoutly, and though
they received a severe check from a
well-combined operation, by which
one of our party probed all the chinks
in the wall with a penknife (bring-
ing out the enemy spitted on the
blade), and then pasted the crevices
up with paper, they still remained
in objectionable force to the end of
our stay. Provisions were constantly
running short; wood, which at the
best of times could only be got with
much trouble, and by special order
of the Pasha, ran shorter; and we
perpetually found ourselves high and
dry, shivering at the prospect of a
winter's day without food or fuel,
and in the blessed frame of mind
which such a state of affairs natu-
rally engenders. The long-suffering
fault of
Spero-who, under happier circum-
stances, had but the
measuring the freshne
the recentness of his


and stuck to this theory so pertinaciously that he nearly brought us to the belief that Turkish butter stank most when it was freshest-distracted by the recriminations of five masters. would sink into a state of sulk, and the whole establishment become disconsolate.

Bad as this was, we found Kalafat worse. All provisions had to be brought from Widdin; and what with wind and weather, and his own natural ingenuity, Spero used (to our disordered imaginations) to revel in getting detained in Widdin for unheard-of periods, leaving us desolate in the interval. These and other annoyances became intolerable in the long run; but for a time we thought them compensated by the convenience of being on the spot to take advantage of every occurrence of interest, and by the opportunities afforded of observing the Turkish troops more closely.

It seems to me (to give the result of my observations) that the material of the Turkish army is good. The Turkish soldiers are, physically, finer than the men of any army with which I am acquainted; possessing, in common with the Turkish peasantry, powerful and muscular frames, and swarthy faces of healthy and manly expression. Their dress, consisting of the fez, and a short blue tunic usually concealed by a long loose white greatcoat, is coarse in material, and, under the influence of Turkish mismanagement and peculation, is often ragged and dilapidated to the last degree; but when in decent condition it is serviceable, and neither ugly nor unsoldierlike; in that respect contrasting advantageously with the pitiful skimpy garments of the English foot-soldier. They are temperate both in food and drink; with respect to the latter, so much so that no punishment for drunkenness exists in the Turkish army, and a man who, by rare chance, has been "overtaken," is looked upon as one who has fallen into a strange snare rather than as a culprit. The decency of their language and manners amongst themselves contrasts strangely with the habits, in this respect, of French or English soldiers. I was once assured by an English

gentleman, who had passed many years in Turkey in an official capacity, that he had been placed in circumstances which compelled him to live, with the ladies and children of his family, surrounded by Turkish soldiers; and that he had experienced no inconvenience, the Turks in their most free and easy moments uttering nothing unfit for a woman or child to hear. Heaven knows that this is more than could be said of any Christian troops of my acquaintance.

The Turkish soldier is obedient and respectful to his officers; and, to give impressions which I have certainly heard contradicted, but which, being formed from personal observation, will not be easily eradicated from my head, has much of that Oriental instinct of personal attachment and obedience which enables a leader who has once got any ascendancy over his followers, to get so thorough an ascendancy. That the Turk is fierce and bigoted is undoubtedly true; and that a foreigner or a Christian would have a hard card to play to bring him into any subjection at all, I do not doubt. But I imagine that it is possible, and that a bold and resolute man who should acquire his confidence as a military leader, and as a protector against the peculations which his own countrymen will always practise upon him, and who, bringing himself as much as possible into personal contact with him, should treat him firmly, but justly and kindly, might inspire a feeling which would override all national and religious prejudice. But it would take a man to do it.

The Turkish infantry manoeuvres sufficiently well for practical purposes. As to its courage, I cannot speak from personal observation; but if I may believe those of our Kalafat friends, in whom I was the most disposed to place confidence, it is (with fair-play in the matter of leading) brave in action. The regular cavalry is avowedly bad. The men are the same as the infantry; but their horses are mere butchers' ponies, small, and, unlike the little Anatolians ridden by the Irregulars, coarse; their swords (unless they have changed for the better of late) are pitifully bad, being wretched specimens of the worst

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