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PATELINA AND VAVARRA.
in the greatest harmony with their Turkish neighbours of the mainland ; and without the knowledge of wants, they sigh not for luxuries which they could not command. Their wealth consists of 1000 sheep and goats, which they feed in this and the neighbouring islands, and which form their yearly support. Their habitations are miserable huts, and their place of worship a small, square, stone building, on the top of one of the surrounding knolls. We procured some mutton and fresh milk from them, and determined to remain in our present position, till some favourable change in the weather invited us out.
To the north is another small island, called Patelina, on which are the remains of a considerable town, said to have belonged to the Genoese, and to have been destroyed by them on their leaving this place in the sixteenth century. There were here several small, Greek chapels, the walls of which were covered with Scripture pieces, and painted in fresco, which have been sadly defaced by the Turks. The whole island is now, however, covered with a close underwood of mastic, broom, white gum-cistus (cistus creticus), and fætid sage, so that it is difficult to do more than relate the fact of this place being the site of a city. In the water along its shores I found quantities of the mollusc, called Pyrosmea.
An arm of this bay of Vavarra turns to the N. W., and within it stands a most remarkable conical island, that has all the appearance of a fortification, but which is a steep craggy rock, crowned by an ancient wall, not, however, of any great antiquity, for over one of the entrances we found a Maltese cross; probably it belonged to the knights of St. John, either a colony of those that held the island of Rhodes, or a settlement made here after thèir expulsion from thence by the Turks. On the mainland, to the west of our position, we found considerable ruins of a like age and structure with those I have already described.
It must have been a delightful retreat ; and the remains of several villas running along the water's edge are still traceable, but the whole place is choked up with weeds, which have become the abode of numbers of porcupines, whose burrowings are to be seen on all sides. The salvia foetida, salvia Æthiopis, polerium spinosum, and different varieties of brooms clothe the hills; but there are no traces of the heath to be seen, and no forest trees whatsoever. The different curves and sinuosities of these bays give them more the appearance of Highland lakes than parts of the sea.
THE VILLAGE OF DARACHIA.
12th. We visited the Turkish village of Darachia, situated to the N. W., in one of the deep' narrow arms of the bay. We found it to contain about a dozen families. The men were a robust, well-made, noble-looking race, and were to us civil and obliging. They had never heard of detonating guns before, and expressed the greatest surprise at ours. A small stream empties itself into the sea near this village, its banks fringed with magnificent oleanders, on the exposed roots of which were hundreds of small black tortoises, * that dropt into the water at our approach. Some fine olives flourish here, and also fig trees and almonds; the latter covered with their lovely pinkish blossoms. We saw numbers of jays and hoopoes, and bought several red-legged partridges, which abound in the hills, from a venerable old Turk, who had with him a decoy bird, one of the best trained I ever
We found the weather much milder here than at Alexandria ; for although the mercury did not rise above 63° in the day, the evenings were fine ; and the air, though not so warm as we could have wished, felt healthful, and totally different from that of Egypt. During the 14th and 15th we experienced much cold; the wind east, and veering to the N. E.
On the morning of the 16th we left the bay of Symi, and reached Rhodes during the day. The island is rugged, and the coast in many places precipitous, but the point on which the town stands is a low sandy beach, running down towards the sea. On it are rows of windmills, which, with a few arrow-like minarets and the summits of some of the towers and fortifications, are all that catch the traveller's eye, till he enters within the small square modern harbour, or, to speak more correctly, dock, for the high walls and forts around, together with its sheltered position, really
* Emys decussata—the water tortoise.—These curious animals abound in this part of Asia Minor; they swim with wonderful swiftness, and are to be distinguished from the land tortoises by their greater flatness or compression; by their being plantigrade, i. e. walking on the planes of the anterior and posterior extremities, while the land ones are digitograde, i. e. walking on the toes; also, by a membraneous expansion between the toes, which are furnished with long hooked nails; and, also, by a greater length and mobility of tail, which acts as a rudder.
THE KNIGHTS' TOWER AT RHODES.
deserve for it this appellation. Our position was delightful ; high walls shut us out from the sea; on our right was the tall stately form of the knights' tower, washed on the one side by the calm water of the harbour, whose only motion arose from the impetus of the passing bark, and on the other beaten by the rolling swell that dashes up its base.
This square tower is memorable, not only on account of its being one of the most beautiful of its age, but because within it was made the last stand of chivalry in the east ; and around it took place the last struggle between Christianity and Mohammadanism at the close of the crusades. Several other towers and castles, both round and square, raise their heads above the surrounding battlements, and in front is a handsome quay, which generally presents a scene of great and varied interest ; being crowded with the natives of many lands, differing in costume, language, and appearance, yet all engaged in that common pursuit of mankind-gain. Some sheds and coffee-houses, shaded by an aged plane tree, relieve the monotony of the line of dead wall that forms the back ground of this landing-place.
The British consular agent, Mr. Wilkinson, sent his dragoman on board, a venerable old Jew, who had served Sir Sidney Smith in a similar capacity. With him we proceeded into the town, passing through the gate of St. John, a noble specimen of its
THE STRADA CAVALIÈRE.
kind, and perhaps the most perfect of its day now existing ; combining with great beauty of architectural adornment, every mode of defence that the ingenuity of the designer could devise, or the warfare of the period require. The town of Rhodes is beautiful in itself, and finely situated ; and we may still take up the theme of the ancients, and praise it for the regularity of its streets, which are laid out with more accuracy, are kept cleaner, and have a more christianized air about them than any Turkish town I ever
But, of the many objects of interest and antiquity in this most interesting place, all fall into comparative insignificance before the Strada Cavaliére, (the Street of the Knights) which is situated nearly in the centre of the town, rising up a gentle ascent, and consists of a row of palaces on both sides, leading to the gothic ruins of what was once the council-hall of Asiatic chivalry. An arch is thrown across the upper end of the street, as if to heighten the effect, and by carrying the eye through a vista, to concentrate it upon this building. The pavement of this street is very peculiar ; it is similar to that at Pompeii, and is the most perfect I have ever seen; indeed, I do not think that single stone has been stirred for the last 300 years. It is constructed of large blocks of stone, forming a smooth raised pathway, or trottoir, in the centre, and one on either side; between which is a rough pavement of smaller stones. The palaces on either hand bear the escutcheons of their original owners, emblazoned in white marble tablets, set in the walls over the entrances. With few exceptions, these are in most perfect preservation; and as they consist of the armorial bearings of many of the proudest and most ancient families of France, Spain, and Italy, they offer a study to the heraldic antiquary, which, for interest and variety, is unequalled. But many a noble name, and many a daring cavalier, whose feats, performed upon the plains of Palestine, or in the lists of Europe, were set forth, and still remain upon the walls of the Strada Cavaliére, have been effaced from the world's peerage by the axe or confiscation. The dates attached are mostly about 1500, or from 1490 to 1520 A. D.
Around the doors and the remains of the windows are some splendid specimens of arabesque and fret-work. The tops and upper stories of many of these buildings are now no more, and the window-spaces are filled by close lattices, which are fre
A DREAM OF THE PAST.
quently replaced by bundles of rags; while the squalidness and misery that appear within, contrast but ill with the empty grandeur of those memorials of proud deeds of arms, gathered in the breach or on the battle-field, still emblazoned on the walls without. From the dryness of the atmosphere, no moss or lichen had gathered upon the tablets; yet numerous creepers hang in graceful festoons around them, or have entwined themselves among the mouldings and fret-work.
The council-hall is now a roofless crumbling pile ; yet, though deserted and unnoticed, its noble pointed arches, clustered pillars, and groined-roofed passages, remain to teach the artist, and to charm the antiquary of the present day, as doth the remembrance of the men that built it call up the valour, arouse the spirit, and nerve the arm of the modern soldier. What scenes must not those walls have witnessed, when within them sat the conclave of the knights and Christian princes, clad in all the panoply of war! What tales could they not whisper, what volumes could they not indite! But all, all now is ruin and decay ; and where of old the silken banner of the Red-cross Knight fluttered proudly in the breeze, the henbane rears its head, and waves the lonely banneret of the present. Adjoining this place is an extensive mosque, formerly the Christian chapel, and still containing the tomb of one of the grand masters.
So deserted a street within so populous a town I could not have believed to exist, for frequent as were my visits to it, I do not remember to have ever seen three of the inhabitants in it together. It has an air of stillness, an impressive startling silence, that overawes the feelings of the visitor. The wind sighs mournfully as it sweeps through the rank hemlock that springs from the ruined wall or crowns the house-top, and the footstep of the passer, who hastens through it, echoes among the cloisters of the neighbouring buildings.
During our stay at Rhodes, it was my evening walk; and as I rested on some mouldering buttress or prostrate pillar, while the shroud of twilight closed around me, my waking dreams would conjure up the days, the arms, and the men that once occupied this place : and the martial tread of the mail-clad baron, once more rung upon the pavement, and the long mantle of the templar seemed to rustle past me on the breeze; and, again, methought I heard the tones of the minstrel's harp, and the song