« AnteriorContinua »
people wear a short jacket of various colours. A cincture is indispensably necessary, in which are fixed an enormous yatagan,* and a pistol, Many of them wear half-boots, red or yellow, laced to the leg. The female dress is a coloured vest, and a piece of white cotton over the head, covering part of the face. They are masculine and active, performing all the harder kinds of labour required by the family. Their features are good, but not pleasing. The men are muscular, tall, straight, and active. Their teeth are white and regular; their eyes piercing ; their complexions clear, but sun-burnt. In a word, they have every thing denoting exhaustless health and vigour of body. A general resemblance is visible betwixt them and the populace of Constantinople: but the latter appear effeminate by the comparison. Every action and every motion of the Turkmans is marked with dignity and grace. Their language is clear and sonorous, but less soft than that of the capital ; ex, pressing, as may be conceived, abstract ideas, (for which the Turkish is indebted to the Arabic alone,) but fitted to paint the stronger passions, and to express in the most concise and forcible manner, the mandates of authority. Their riches consist of cattle, horses, arms, and various habiliments. How lamentable to think, that with persons so interesting, and a character so energetic, they unite such confirmed habits of idleness, violence, fraud, and treachery! From the rising of the sun till his disappearance, the males are employed only in smoking, conversing, inspecting their cattle, or visiting their acquaintance. They watch at night for the purpose of plunder, which among them is honourable in proportion to the ingenuity of the contrivance, or the audacity of the execution. Their families are generally small, and there is reason to believe that their numbers are not increasing. But my experience among them was too short to enable me to point out the checks which operate to counteract the natural tendency to multiply. pp. 125-128.
The following anecdote is characteristic of Mr. Browne's promptitude and expertness in oriental customs.
• I embarked in a small boat with several passengers for Larneka in Cyprus. None of the company departed from the rules of civility and mutual forbearance, but a Derwish. The order to which he belonged was one of the strictest; yet many individuals who are members of it unite great profligacy, vulgarity, and insolence, with pretensions to superior sanctity, and gross worldliness and servility with extraordinary professions of devotion and self-denial. This man talked incessantly in a very forward and irrational manner, and occasionally threw out hints that he suspected me to be a Christian, declaring at the same time, how much he despised and hated infidels. His pointless satire I bore patiently, reserving my reply for a proper occasion. Being one day together at the table of the Custom-house officer, the Derwish suddenly left off eating, and looking directly at me, said, “ La illa ila ullah”—There is no other god, but God: to which I instantly replied in a cheerful tone,
A sword with a broad blade, concave, and cutting with one edge nearly straight and inclining in a contrary direction to the sabre.
“ We Mohammed abduhu we rasoulouhu"-And Mohammed is his sero vant and his ambassador ;-and I immediately added, “I congratulate myself, father Derwîsh, on hearing the sacred profession of Islam drop from your tongue ; but I should be still better pleased at learning that the faith had place in your heart. God built the Islam on five things; but of the five you possess not one.
You receive alms, and never give; your knees are bent at table, but never on the carpet of prayer ; but you abstain from food only when no one will give it to you. Your ablutions are performed with dust instead of water; and your pilgrimage has only been from the Tekiè to the brothel. You drink no wine, but you are drunk with opium; and your embroidered cap, instead of being a crown of sanctity, is a badge of folly. With such morals, any marriage that you could contract, would not be a marriage, but a repetition of the sensuality to which you are accustomed; and if any one of the true believers here should consent to give you his daughter in marriage, I am content to bear all the obloquy that you can uuter for a week to come.” It may be supposed, that I did not venture to talk on in this strain, without having previously ascertained in what degree of estimation the Derwîsh was held by the rest of the company; and far from taking his part, they acknowledged by their loud laughter the justice of my reproof. pp. 138, 9.
Mr. Browne resided much at Constantinople, and his inquisitive mind of course collected considerable information upon subjects which less diligent observers have passed over unnoticed. But, though we are by no means disposed to derogate from Mr. Browne's qualifications as an observant traveller and acute geographer, and are willing to allow that Major Rendel's testimony as to the merits of bis Travels in Africa, in respectof geographical discovery, ought, in strict justice, to outweigh the minor exceptions that may be taken to the stiffness, and we may say heaviness, of that produce tion, we must acknowledge our disappointment in the potes of his journey through Asia Minor, inserted in the volume we are now examining. But Colonel Leake's communication of his tour through some of those provinces, amply compensates for the deficiency of Mr. Browne's. We consider that the scientific world are already under no trivial obligations to the enlightened researches and persevering industry of this enterprising
officer ; and the papers inserted by Mr. Walpole, have not a little augmented ihe debt. Asia Minor, with the exception of one or two routes, is still a terra incognitu to the modern race of travellers. The ignorance and suspicious nature of the Turks, who, having no idea of scientific travelling, can scarcely imagine that any other motives would attract a traveller to so remote a country and so toilsome au expedition, than a preparation for hostile invasion, or a search after hidden treasure ; – the deserted state of the country, which not unfrequently occasions a total want of the common necessaries and conveniences of life;the enfeebled authority of the government of Constantinople, which often renders its protection ineffectual in its distant dependencies ;-thiese innpediments, to which others might be added, are peculiarly felt in Asia Minor. A disguised dress, the assumption of a medical character, great patience and perseverance, and the sacrifice of all comforts, afford the only chances of investigating the country; and even these will be insuficient without an intimate knowledge of the language and manners of the people. Had Burckbardt been spared to science, these interestiug provinces, the most highly favoured by wature, though wasted and desolated by the Turk, would have presented a still wider field for those eminent talents and that unsubdued courage, which enabled bin to elucidate the obscure tracts of Egypt and Nubia.
Of wodern travellers, two only have traversed this beautiful region for scientific purposes ; Paul Lucas in 1705 and 1706, and Captain, Kinneir in 1813 and 1814., But even the travels of these persons consisted merely of three or four routes instead of one; the state of the provinces and various incidental difficulties having rendered every deviation from the main road wholly impracticable. The fact is, that the most successful traveller can scarcely hope to effect more than a rapid passage along the principal roads, obtain a transient glance of some of the reinains of antiquity, note the distances of places, their reTative bearings, and the situations of remarkable towns or mountains.
It is, therefore, obvious, that the geography of Asia Minor, cao be elucidated ouly by combining the journals of different travellers, and, froin the information thus collected, making a gradual approximation to a detailed map of the country. To this object, Mr. Walpole bas greatly contributed by the publication of Colonel Leake's valuable journal of his route through the centre of Asia Minor, from Constantinople to the coast of Cilicia. We should have been better pleased, however, if the diogy map of Asia Minor, in which the respective routes of Koebler, Browne, and Leake are professedly traced, had been ounitted altogether. The reader is only encumbered with its assistance.
Scientific geography is apparently a rugged and uninviting pursuit. li ministers, however, to nobler and inore expanded science, and it is a requisite step to him who would acquire by actual survey or by reading, a minute and accurate view of the world which he inhabits, of man, modified by climate, religiou, and polity, and of goveroments influenced reciprocally by the characters and dispositions of the different races subject io their control; the painful but necessary ascent to a vast eminence from which the mind may expatiate over a large and comprehensive space of contemplation. For this reaVOL. XVII. N. S.
son, we have no hesitation in extracting Colonel Leake's concise but masterly review of the present state of the geography of Asia Minor.
The line' (he speaks of his own route from Constantinople to Cilicia) is one of the most important in the province; and the latitude and Jongitude of its Southern extremity having been lately ascertained by Captain Beaufort, it may be now laid down on the map with certainty. This and two or three other lines, of which the extremities are equally certain, furnish, together with a few observations of latitude in the interior of the peninsula, a good foundation for the skeleton of a map, where, however deficient we may be in filling up the outline, many points, and the direction of the principal ridges of the mountains, may be satisfactorily traced. In our further progress, we shall be greatly assisted by the knowledge of the coast already obtained ; for this part of the geography of Asia Minor is in a much more advanced state than that of the interior, of which five-sixths are still a blank. By several partial surveys, by the observations of Beauchamp in the Black Sea, but, above all, by the surveys made by Captain Beaufort, of the southern and part of the western coast, in 1811 and 1812, it may now be said, that one half of the coast is accurately known in detail, and that of the other parts, no point of importance is much in error, so that future routes across the Peninsula, between two points of the coast, may be laid down with greater accuracy;
It should be observed, that routes in a North and South, or N.E. and S.E. direction, are now by much the most valuable: the frequent passage of travellers from Europe to India, or from Constantinople and Smyrna to Persia and Syria, or in the opposite direction, having multiplied the longitudinal routes, whilst we possess very few in the transverse direction.
. It may possibly assist the geographer, if I briefly subjoin the authorities on which all our knowledge of the geography of Asia Minor rests. The elder travellers may be contined to Tavernier, Tournefort, Paul Lucas, Otter, and Pococke. Tavernier informs us, that he began his travels by a visit to England in the reign of James the First. But he affords no geographical matter relating to the central parts of the Asiatic peninsula, except of the caravan road from Smyrna to Tokát, which passed by Cassabà, and across the salt country to the Kizil Ermak. Tournefort traversed Asia Minor only in one direction, from Erzerum to Angura, by Tokat, and thence to Brusa. Paul Lucas was sent out in 1704 by Louis the XIVth. But, unfortunately, Lucas was not'well adapted by previous study even for those branches of investigation to which his attention was particularly directed by his employers, namely, the collection of coins and inscriptions." By assuming the medical character, he secured a good reception at the towns, and protection from the governors; but the banditti, which at this period 'infested every part of the country, obliged him always to travel in haste ; and he was not qualified to derive as much advan
The position of its Northern extremity, Constantinople, is known by a variety of observations.
tage from his journeys as a more enlightened traveller might have done. The names of places are often disfigured by his careless mode of writing. His ignorance and credulity made him delight in the absurd tales which the traveller so often hears in these half.civilized countries, at the same time that he passes by many useful topics. But his itinerary is as correct as he was capable of making it; and, with all his faults, he has furnished us with a greater number of routes than any other traveller in Asia Minor. Next to Lucas, Otter is the most useful of the early travellers. He was a Swede, sent to Persia by the Court of France in 1734; and he passed from Constantinople through Asia Minor by Isnik, Eskisherh, and Adana. Among our own countrymen, Pococke is the only traveller of the last century who has published his route with sufficient precision to be useful to the geographer. His narrative is obscure and confused, and his journey in Asia Minor is, therefore, of much less importance than it might have been made by so enlightened and persevering a traveller. In 1739, having visited a great part of lonia and Caria, he ascended the valley of the Meander to Ishekli and Sandakli, whence he crossed to Beiad, Sevrihissar, and Angura.
• Nieburh's route in 1766, an account of which would have been published had not a fire destroyed all the copper plates of his engravings, was through Erkle, Konia, Kutaya, and Brusa. He made the observations of latitude which have already been mentioned ; - and Major Rennel is in possession of a copy of the map of his route, which had been struck off before the fire.
• In 1797, Mr. Brown traversed the range of Taurus to Bostan, Kesaria, Angura, and Nicomedia. But among recent travellers, Captain Kinneir has made the most important additions to our geograpbical knowledge of Asia Minor. He was one of the many persons who crossed the northern part from Tokat by Amasia and Boli. This route has been laid down with great accuracy, but is of little use in connecting the geography of the northern parts, until the longitude of some of its points is known, and we have some other routes intersecting it in a direction North and South. Of several distinct routes in the ancient provinces of Mysia, Lydia, and Caria, we have many descriptions in Smith, Wheler, Spon, Chishull, Pococke, and Chandler.'
pp. 187-192. The catalogue which we have just extracted, we strongly recommepd to the geographical student. We refer him also to the learned citation of authorities, upon which is founded our knowledge of the ancient geography of the interior of Asia Minor; and particularly to the fifth chapter, which contains many useful and recondite observations both on the ancient and the modern geography of part of the Southern coast of Asia Minor, and those districts of the peninsula which were traversed by General Koehler. The notes to this chapter evince the soundest judgement and the deepest erudition.
We reluctantly pass by several important papers in this valuable miscellany. The late Lieutenant Colonel Squire's travels through the ancient Cæle Syria, is replete with interesting in