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A SHOOTING EXCURSION.
they drive wherever pasture suits, or convenience prompts them to settle for a time, living in temporary sheds, or in tents formed of dark brown stuff of the rudest construction. A small community of these people were encamped in one of the adjoining dells. Dromedaries of a fawn colour were not uncommon here, and buffaloes were in great numbers. The young buffalo is, without exception, one of the most uncouth I have ever met.
Having been informed by the natives that the woods in our vicinity contained bears, leopards, jackals, and wild boars, a hunting excursion was planned for the 26th ; on the morning of which great was the preparation on board-guns, pistols, cutlasses, boarding-pikes, and tomahawks, were put in requisition, and battle, murder, and sudden death vowed against the Feræ of the neighbouring mountains. Sailors love a frolic, and care not whether it be the riding of a jackass or the baiting of a lion, so that fun, excitement, and personal hazard are connected with it. Formidable was the array we made, and no doubt a admiration to the simple natives who met us on the shore; the armed men were posted at the passes, and the beaters set to work in the wood; great was the noise and tumult; every thing that had life, large or small, was doomed to destruction ; whole volleys were discharged, and running fires kept up with much spirit against hares, woodcocks, and waterhens. Bullets and small shot whizzed and peppered on all sides, front and rear. Jack called to his comrade, and was answered in an unknown tongue by a Turk; sheep and goats were mistaken for, and in one instance suffered the fate of, wild beasts. The scene was one of considerable interest, and not without personal danger-not from ravenous animals, but from the fire of some worthy tar who wanted to have a shot, no matter when, where, or at what. Of the animals we came to destroy, none such were seen ; so, late in the day we sounded a retreat and called in all stragglers, who, wet, bruised, and torn, but not disheartened, plied the supple oar, and soon sent us dashing over the blue waters to our wooden home. Such scenes are necessary, in one form or other, to the life led on board ship, and, accidents excepted, contribute in no small degree to the comfort, health, and happiness of a sailor, who is debarred from sources of amusement that landsmen can avail themselves of daily.
We left Karagatch on the 28th of February, intending to proceed to the Gulf of Glaucus.
The Gulf of Glaucus–Macri—Its Scenery- The Modern Town-Its Inhabitants-Unhealthy
situation of the place—Telmessus--Its Tombs—Barrows-Stele-Pillars mentioned by Josephur-Inquiry into the origin of Pillars-Found in the British Isles-Their different uses-The Soros-- The Tomb of Helen-Sarcophagi peculiar to Asia Minor-A Warrior's Tomb Rock-carved Sepulchres--Regal Mausolea—Their Facades-An ancient Temple-- Remarkable form of its Roof-Reflections upon Tombs—The Theatre - Description of its Ruins-Acoustics of the Ancients--Cyclopean Proscenium-Magnificent prospect of the Spectators-Surrounding Scenery- The Grecian Drama-The charms of Travel—The Sootheayer's Cave-BathsDromedaries—Climate-Classic Authorities upon Telmessus—The Isle of Cavaliére-Bay of Kalamaki-Kastelorizo-Its Town, Harbour, and Navy-The Island of Cyprus–LimasolThe Cyprian Wine-Malaria-We sail for Syria.
MARCH 1st-We sailed for Macri, in the ancient Gulf of Glaucus. As we proceeded eastward, the coast became bolder; and, owing to its greater exposure, it is less wooded. Within this deep gulf the scenery becomes quite changed; here there are none of the valleys, the rivers, cottages, and cultivated spots that surround the smaller and more western bays. The mountains rise to a greater elevation-many of their more distant summits being covered with snow; and the whole aspect of the country has been well described as that of "gloomy grandeur.”
We found this great arm of the sea much more extensive than we had anticipated, or than the charts and maps we had seen could have led us to suppose, being from twelve to fifteen miles in depth, with its entrance wide, and very much exposed. As the wind fell, and the night began to close in upon us, we were compelled to anchor in fourteen fathoms water, to the westward of the point that forms the north-western barrier of the bay, in which are situated the ruins of Telmessus—to examine which was the object of our present visit. A heavy swell sets in here from the
open sea ; and yet that there is a current setting outward, I can have little doubt, both from the information I obtained from the people, and the fact that several Greek boats which passed during the night were carried southward, without a breath of wind to fill their canvas. The temperature of the different bays along this coast varies considerably, owing to the position of the mountains in their vicinity; and here, the height of those around caused us to feel the cold very much. Next morning we towed the vessel round, and lay a short way off the town of Macri.
Dr. E. D. Clarke has said, with great truth, that “there is no part of the Grecian territory more interesting in its antiquities, than the Gulf of Glaucus. The ruins of Telmessus are as little known, as they are remarkable in the illustration they afford with regard to the tombs and theatres of the ancients.” His labours, and those of Mr. Fellowes have done so much to elucidate these ruins and antiquities, that future inquiries must of necessity partake more or less of the character of commentaries upon their works.
The approach to Macri is strikingly grand, and strongly impresses the beholder with an idea of the refined taste of the people who chose it for the position of their city; for the scene combines all that nature can bestow to charm the senses and adorn the landscape. A broad sheet of water, broken with many islands, and forming bold curves and sheltered basins, is bounded on the south by a range of hills, whose sides are channelled by columnar rocks, which, rising in broken and irregular masses, present at the top a sharply defined outline ; in some parts partaking so much of the castellated form, that one is almost disposed to believe they are the effect of the line, the plummet, and the chisel. In other places they are fringed with pines, which, owing to the excessive clearness of the atmosphere, are distinguishable from their stems to their topmost branches.
Upon a gentle slope, between those mountains and the sea, stood Telmessus, and to the north-east of the bay extends a vast marshy plain, through which a considerable stream winds its tortuous course. Beyond this plain, bounding three of its sides, and stretching far away into the distance, rise the lofty mountains of Caria, the lower and adjacent wooded to their tops—the higher and more distant, crowned with snow the greater portion of the year.
At the distance of more than a mile from the shore, the southern hills present a remarkable appearance, as if studded with rows of yellowish white spots, which, upon a nearer inspection, develope the contour of porticoes and the façades of temples, but which, on examination, prove to be the celebrated rock-carved sepulchres of this ancient Doric colony. The modern town of Macri is a collection of miserable houses, huddled together without even an attempt at regularity; it stands upon a low point of rock, and is, in fact, partly surrounded by the ancient walls. It is well supplied with pure water, which springs out of the rocks in several places, and is distributed through the town; it is included in the bashalic of Rhodes, is governed by an Aga, and its inhabitants are now mostly Greeks. Some of the females whom we met were noble-looking, but had the sallow aspect produced by the unhealthy situation of the place. The only peculiarity in their dress consisted in three large silver clasps, which confined the boddice over the bosom. This ornament is common all over the country, and is a remnant of the ancient Greek costume. Salt is procured here by enclosing sheets of shallow sea-water, which in dry weather evaporates, leaving a saline crust on the sand similar to that at lake Mareotis. In one of these ponds, at the period of our visit, were innumerable grey mullet, which the natives spear with great dexterity; and thousands of water-fowl abound in these lagoons.
For many years past, this place has been the southern point of communication between the Porte and her colonies in Egypt and Syria; couriers are always in readiness to transmit dispatches, and camels and horses can be always procured for travelling. Owing to this constant intercourse with Constantinople, the village is seldom free from disease for six months at a time. Plague generally lurks within it or in its neighbourhood; and it suffers periodically from intermittent fever, which generally breaks out in the month of May.
Since Egypt and Syria have changed masters, Macri has continued to decrease in every respect except in disease. A few months ago, plague was introduced by some Turkish soldiers; and although no case had occurred lately within the town itself, a small village, about four hours journey from it, had been nearly depopulated. The place had a most forsaken look at the time of our visit; and the extreme quiet that prevailed, with the sur
THE TOMBS OF TELMESSUS.
rounding tombs and ruins, and the paucity of its inhabitants, gave it a most dreary and desolate appearance. Its exports are inconsiderable, and at present consist of timber, tar, salt, and honey ; but even these have decreased very much of late.
Around Macri, on all sides, are the remains of the ancient Tel. messus; we commence with the most remarkable- its tombs.
These here present a mixture of the Asiatic and the Egyptian, the Persepolitan and modern Grecian. The greater number of them extend over a rugged valley to the east of the town, but numerous detached soroi are scattered on all sides. History records no spot that contains so many different forms of tombs, or that affords such opportunities of studying the modes of burial practised by the ancients; for, with the exception of the pyramidal, we have here nearly every species of sepulchre, from the simple mound of earth, or barrow, to the elaborately wrought mausoleum carved in the living rock. They may all be classed under four heads. First, we have the simple grave, or Barrow,