תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

romantic, lovely spot, is not of a character with those usual among Mohammadans, for the graves are simple barrows, without any stone-work at top. I may here remark, that burial-grounds are among the first places the antiquary and ruin-hunter should visit ; for whether it be that the odour of sanctity still remains about them, or that they are usually situated on the site, or in the vicinity of ancient places of worship, like the round towers of Ireland, I do not know; but there will generally be found the indications of ancient ruins, if any such exist in the vicinity.

Not hearing of any cases of plague in this district, we became emboldened to hold some communion with the natives; and as a relief from salt provisions, procured a fat-tailed sheep, * which, however, was passed through water on our receiving it. There is a very general opinion throughout the Levant, that passing any substance through water clears it from all infection.

July 24th. We sailed out of Marmorice, and coasted to Karagatch, distant about ten miles by water, but separated from it by a sandy isthmus of not more than a mile in breadth. The hammershaped peninsula that spreads over the southern margin of these two noble bays, was, in all probability, an island at no very remote age, and resembles in its character the rest of the coast, in its bold cliffs, overhanging rocks fringed with fir-trees, and vast natural caverns, into which the sea rolls with terrific fury; and the reacting swell from which is perceptible at a considerable distance from the spot where it is generated.

Karagatch is still a finer bay than that we had left; for though fully as much land-locked and as well protected, it is better suited to vessels of a larger class, being more easy of access, and having within it several small sheltered nooks, that afford secure riding for the smaller craft. Here also the mountains rise abruptly from the water ; in some places wooded from their base to their summits, and opening out into verdant vales, with rivulets running toward the sea. At its distant extremity a point of land separates two broad basins of calm water. The western one of

• The tail of one of those sheep will weigh as much as six or eight pounds, and is often much heavier than a quarter of the same animal. Although when fresh this is not very palatable food, yet when salted, it is delicious, being of a substance much resembling the hump of the bison. I remarked, that in all the fat-tailed sheep there was scarcely a vestige of the suet or adipose substance that surrounds the kidneys in the common kind.

[blocks in formation]

these is surrounded by a very extensive plain, the greater part of which is marshy, and covered over with sedge, tall reeds, and brushwood. A considerable stream of clear water, having a sandy bottom, empties itself into the sea by a number of mouths at this point; and as it forms many windings, and rushes over several falls, it forms a pleasing object in the landscape. It was filled with tortoises and numbers of small fish; and several kinds of kingfishers were very common along its banks. I shot the white egret; the nuthatch was in every tree, and woodcocks were plenty ; but there were very few snipes. We procured some coarse sponges from the people, who report them to be plenty in this bay. None of the timber grown here is of a size sufficient to make a stun-sail boom. The common arbutus grows on the hills, also the lime and the plane-tree (plantanus orientalis), which latter is, I find, used in a manner that I was not before acquainted with. In the spring or autumn it is stripped of its bark, which is pressed in a rudely-constructed machine, placed between two trees, and by a board at top and bottom, acted on by a long lever, so compressed that it exudes a kind of yellow resin, somewhat like Burgundy pitch. This is used as incense, principally by the Greeks. Heaths were numerous, laburnums were coming into blossom, and the scarlet anemone and blue crocus gave presage of the returning season. With the climate of this place we were much pleased ; at ten o'clock at night the thermometer on deck was 63°, the highest point marked at this hour since we entered the Mediterranean. On one of the neighbouring headlands a remarkable geological formation appears :-next the sea is a stratum of green stone, on which rests a band of precious serpentine, and over both occurs a grey marble, which at one point is let down like a dyke between them, thrusting aside the strata, and contorting it in a very singular manner. In the retired and sheltered parts of these bays, the green, shining serpentine is distinguishable at a considerable distance ; but opposite the entrance, or where the wind plays with great force against it, it has become partially decomposed, and has assumed a brown, crumbling appearance.

There is no modern town within this bay; the few stationary inhabitants residing in scattered cottages, and living as woodcutters and hunters. The wandering tribes of Turcomans that are still to be found in Asia Minor frequently resort hither with their flocks, which consist of sheep, kine, and goats. These

A SHOOTING EXCURSION.

323

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 cause of 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.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Gulf of Glaucus--Macri-Its Scenery-The Modern Town-Its Inhabitants-Unhealthy situation of the place-Telmessus--Its Tombs-Barrows-Stela-Pillars mentioned by Josephus-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 Cavaliere-Bay of Kalamaki-Kastelorizo-Its Town, Harbour, and Navy-The Island of Cyprus--Limasol The 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

[blocks in formation]

Ahis coast varies condity; and here, the Next morni

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.

« הקודםהמשך »