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IRON BRIDGE OVER THE DANUBE.

tinople, where there is a peculiar bazaar, or khan, for the sale of them; they are then bought up by the merchants, and sent by caravans to Pest in Hungary. Still the form of the pipes is large and coarse.

At Pest the manufacture begins which fits them for the German markets. They are there soaked for twenty-four hours in water, and then turned on a lathe. In this process many of them prove porous, and are good for nothing. Sometimes only two or three out of ten succeed. From Pest they are conveyed to Vienna, and ultimately to the fairs of Leipzig, Frankfort, Manheim, and other German towns, where the best sell from three to five, and even seven pounds sterling each. When the oil of tobacco, after long smoking, has given them a fine porcelain yellow, or, which is more prized, a dark tortoise-shell hue, they have been known to sell for forty or fifty pounds of our money."

It has long been in agitation to construct a new bridge over the Danube, in lieu of the one which now unites Pest with Buda. This is a pont-volant, consisting of nearly fifty boats chained together, two or three of which are displaced to make an opening as often as vessels have occasion to pass; and in winter, the enormous masses of ice brought down the stream

LEVELLING SYSTEM.

67

collect in such quantities as to compel the entire removal of the pont-volant. The communication between the two towns, or, as they may be considered, the two parts of this metropolis, is thus broken off; nor can it be renewed (since the floating blocks of ice endanger small boats) till the whole river is frozen. The inconvenience to which the inhabitants are thus subjected periodically by the frost, and habitually by the transit of vessels, is so seriously felt that the erection of an iron bridge is now contemplated. The peasants have hitherto defrayed all similar charges, and they were expected to bear this also, but their poverty has opposed an insuperable barrier to the work. The nobles have, at length, after great exertions on the part of a few, been persuaded to undertake the charge, and to consent to a toll, to be levied alike on serfs and seigneurs. This is hailed by the democratic party as the commencement of a levelling system, and a prelude to further measures in favor of the people.

A society for the cultivation of the Hungarian language holds its meetings at Pest; and so vigorously is it supported that one nobleman has subscribed four thousand pounds, and another six; the latter of these liberal contributors is count Szechenyi, already referred to

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FIRST PROMOTERS OF

as adopting the vernacular tongue in the house of peers. It is to the enlarged views and influence of this enlightened individual that the public are indebted for the steam navigation of the Danube; not that he originated the plan; but as a leading rich man, whose exertions promote a great enterprise, generally obtains the credit of it, so in this instance the honor is usually rendered to the count; though, in fact, the first person who seriously engaged in it was an individual, named Andrews, residing at Vienna. For three years he received hardly any returns for his money, and frequently made the voyage with only a single passenger, as a prejudice existed against the undertaking, in which at that time the count held but one share of fifty pounds. Two years ago, however, there was a fair at Semlin, which led the curious to overcome their objections, and three hundred persons einbarked at Pest. From that day the count espoused the enterprise; he bought several shares ; and it is now his hobby. His whole time and thoughts are devoted to the subject; and by stimulating the jealousy of the Austrian government with a threat that, if they would not take it up, the Hungarian diet would do so, he has secured the patronage of Metternich and the emperor. He has, more

STEAM NAVIGATION OF THE DANUBE.

69

over, been to England for the purpose of making arrangements regarding the machinery, and now employs British engineers on all the steamers, and several of our countrymen in different departments connected with the undertaking. He is partial to the English; and a traveller going to Pest is sure to be politely received by him, and invited to the Casino, which is supplied with the principal English and French papers.

CHAPTER III.

VOYAGE ON THE DANUBE.

FROM PEST

TO SEMLIN.

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Embarkation on steamer. Description of passenger3.— Their behaviour and manners.

Want of delicacy. - Arrangements for night.-Csepel.–Tolna.-Anchor.- Course of Danube from Pest.-— Word county.Counties of Hungary. -Province of Sclavonia.-Scenery.—Peasants at Tolna.— Dress. - Tobacco.— Its present consumption. - Reminiscences of India.--Mohacs.— Erdut.-Anchor.-Scenery.-Stoppage for coals. - Courtesy of Hungarian baron. Gipsies. - Costume. - Resemblance of their language to Hindoostanee.--Anecdote.-Sclavonia.—Origin of people. -Words slave and servant.—Ratze.-Rutheni.-Groups on bank. — Water-carriers. — Illok. - Neusatz. - Peterwardein.-Roman colony and mine.—Market.-Fruit.Fish.-Carlovich.- Victory of Prince Eugene.-General Brenna.—Hanoverian passenger.-Servian gazette.—The Theis.- Unchangeableness of features of nature.--Sands of Theis. - Mode of collecting gold. - Golden fleece. Banat. - Derivation of name.-— Military colonies.—Illyrians.-Inhabitants.-Country.-Climate.-Soil.—Temesvar.-Semlin.—Trade in wool.—The Save.—Boundary of Austria and Turkey.–Visit to Belgrade.—Quarantine.

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