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Montagu letters - LETTERS ERGM THE LEVANT DURING THE...

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Unformatted text preview: LETTERS ERGM THE LEVANT DURING THE EMBASSY 1 T0 CONSTANTTNOPLE 117116418 ' 4 ‘1 I N,‘ ,I ‘ u, / _ , y, I + /L 2, w 4; ( . ADVISORY EDITOR: HARRY SCHWARTZ v '* i i w” Soviet Afl‘airs Specialist The New York Time; Editorial Board ( University Professor State U Izivenity College, New Paltz, New York ’1‘ Lady Mary Wortley Montagu X3, - O 1H 3 56(4) 20? 8 fia‘wa i C" 0 ‘E . Kw at???“ ' P¢‘(:>;‘>€w. ‘ «fivéfigfiy l xei‘elfi‘fii‘l‘)’ any“ ARNO PRESS & THE NEW YORK TIMES New York - 1971 80 LADY MONTAGU’s LETTERS. I can hear of, and must even be reduced, like a poorer and a better poet, Spenser, to make his own. Mr. Congreve is entirely yours, and has writ twice to you; he is not in town, but well. I am in great health, and sit up all night; a just reward for a fever I just come out of, that kept me in bed seven days. How may I send a large bundle to you P I beg you will put dates to your letters: they are not long enough. A. POPE. XXIV. TO MR. POPE: Vienna, Jan. 16, 1717. I HAVE not. time to answer your letter, being in the hurry of preparing for my journey; but I think I ought to bid adieu to my friends with the same so— lemnity as if I was going to mount a breach, at least, ist am to believe the information of the peo- « ple here, who denounce all sorts of terrors to me; and, indeed, the weather is at present such, as very few ever set out in. I am threatened, at the same time, with being frozen to death, buried in the snow, and taken by the Tartars, who ravage that part of Hungary I am to passt") It is true, we (4’) It is quite clear that she had good sense enough to de- spise all the imaginary perils with which a host of silly and ef« LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. ‘ 81 shall have a considerable escorte, so that possibly I may be diverted with a new scene, by finding my- self in the midst of a battle. ’ How my adventures will conclude, I leave en- tirely to Providence ; if comically, you shall hear of them. Pray be so good as to tell Mr. Congreve I have received his letter. Make him my adieus ; if I live I will answer it. The same compliment to my Lady Rich. XXV. TO THE COUNTESS OF MAR. Peterwaradin, Jan. 30, 1717. AT length, dear sister, I am safely arrived, with all my family, in good health, at Peterwaradin; hav- ing suffered so little from the rigour of the season, (against which we were well provided by furs,) and found such tolerable accommodation every- where, by the care of sending before, that I can hardly forbear laughing when I recollect all the frightful ideas thatwere given me of this journey.(“) W feminate courtiers menaced her ; though it was very well to make the most of them in letters to England. We shall presently, however, have room to fear that her own invention aided, some- what, in peopling the road with terrors at which she alternately laughs and pretends to quake, according as it is her cue to appear courageous or otherwise—ED. (‘3) Travelling as she travelled, there was nothing frightful in the journey, either to man or woman.——ED. G 82 LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. These, I see, were wholly owing to the tenderness of my Vienna friends, and their desire of keeping me with them for this winter. Perhaps it will not be disagreeable to you to give a short journal of my journey, being through a country entirely unknown to you, and very little passed even by the Hungarians themselves, who generally choose to take the conveniency of going down the Danube. We have had the blessing of being favoured with finer weather than is common at this time of the year; though the snow was so deep, we were obliged to have our own coaches fixed upon traineaus, which move so swift and so easily, it is by far the most agreeable manner of travelling post. We came to Raab (the second day from Vienna) on the seventeenth instant, where Mr. Wortley sending word of our arrival to the go- vernor, the best house in the town was provided for us, the garrison put under arms, a guard Ordered at our door, and all other honours paid to us. The governor and all other officers immediately waited on Mr. Wortley, to know if there was anything to be done for his service. The Bishop of Temeswar came to visit us with great civility, earnestly press- ing us to dine with him next day; which we re- fusing, as being resolved to pursue our journey, he sent us several baskets of winter fruit, and a great variety of Hungarian wines, with a young hind just killed. This is a prelate of great power in this country, of the ancient family of N adasti, so considerable for many ages in this kingdom. He is a very polite, agreeable, cheerful old man, wear- LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. ' 83 ing the Hungarian habit, with a venerable white beard down to his girdle. Raab is a strong town, well garrisoned and for- tified, and was a long time the frontier town be- tween the Turkish and German empires. It has its name from the river Rab, on which it is situated, just on its meeting with the Danube, in an open campaign country. It was first taken by the Turks. under the command of Pasha Sinan, in the reign of Sultan Amurath III. in the year fifteen hundred and ninety—four. The governor, being supposed to have betrayed it, was afterwards beheaded by the emperor's command. The counts of Schwart— zenburg and Palfi retook it by surprise, 1598; since which time it has remained in the hands of the Germans, though the Turks once more attempted to gain it by stratagem in 1642. The cathedral is large and well built, which is all I saw remarkable in the town. Leaving Comora on the other side the river, we went, the eighteenth, to N05muhl, a small village, where, however, we made shift to 'find tolerable ac- commodation. We continued two days travelling between this place and Buda, through the finest plains in the world, as even as if they were paved, and extremely fruitful ; but for the most part de— sert and uncultivated, laid waste by the long wars between the Turk and the emperor, and the more cruel civil war occasioned by the barbarous perse— cution of the Protestant religion by the Emperor Leopold. That prince has left behind him the character of an extraordinary piety, and was natu- G 2 84 LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. rally of a mild, merciful temper; but, putting his conscience into the hands of a Jesuit, he was more cruel and treacherous to his poor Hungarian sub- jects than ever the Turk has been to the Chris- tians; breaking, without scruple, his coronation oath, and his faith, solemnly given in many public treaties. Indeed, nothing can be more melancholy than, in travelling through Hungary, to reflect on the former flourishing state of that kingdom, and to. see such a noble spot of earth almost uninha- bited. Such are also the present circumstances of Buda, (where we arrived very early the twenty-se- cond,) once the royal seat of the Hungarian kings whose palace was reckoned one of the most beau- tiful buildings of the age, now wholly destroyed, no part of the town having been repaired since the last siege, but the fortifications and the castle, which is the present residence of the Governor Ge- neral Ragule, an officer of great merit. He came immediately to see us, and carried us in his coach to his house, where I was received by his lady with all possible civility, and magnificently enter- tained. This city is situated upon a little hill on the south side of the Danube. The castle is much higher than the town, and from it the prospect is very noble. Without the walls lie a vast number of little houses, or rather huts, that they call the Rascian town, being altogether inhabited by that people. The governor assured me, it would fur- nish twelve thousand fighting men. These towns look very odd; their houses stand in rows, many LADY MONTAGU's LETTERS. 85 thousands of them so close together, that they ap- pear, at a little distance, like old-fashioned thatched tents. They consist, every one of them, of one ho- vel above, and another under ground; these are their summer and winter apartments.(“) Buda was first taken by Solyman the Magnificent, in 1526, and lost the following year to Ferdinand I. King of Bohemia. Solyman regained it by the treachery of the garrison, and voluntarily gave it into the hands of King John of Hungary ; after whose death, his son being an infant, Ferdinand laid siege to it, and the queen—mother was forced to call Solyman to her aid. He indeed raised the siege, but left a Turkish garrison in the town, and commanded her to remove her court from thence, which she was forced to submit to in 1541. It resisted afterwards the sieges laid to it by the Marquis of Brandenburg, in the year 1542 ; Count Schwart— zenburg, in 1598; General Rosworm,in 1602; and the Duke of Lorrain, commander of the emperor’s forces, in 1684 ; to whom‘it yielded in 1686, after an obstinate defence, Apti Bassa, the governor, being killed, fighting in the breach with a Roman bravery. W (‘4) The description of these curious habitations recalls to the mind of the classical reader Xenophon’s account of the Armenian villages, where the Ten Thousand found the people, in winter liv- ing under ground, in houses spacious below, but with an en- trance resembling the mouth of a well. There was a sloping passage-way for the cattle, but the inhabitants descended by lad- ders; and there they passed the cold months, together with their sheep, goats, Cattle, and poultry, possessing abundance of wheat, barley, and vegetables, with beer in jars, which they sucked through a reed when thirsty.—Auab. IV.—ED. 86 LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. The.l0ss of this town was so important, and so much resented by the Turks, that it occasioned the deposing of their Emperor Mahomet IV. the year following. We did not proceed on our journey till the twenty-third, when we passed through Adam and T odowar, both considerable towns when in the hands of the Turks, but now quite ruined. The remains, however, of some Turkish towns show something of what they have been. This part of 'the country is very much overgrown with wood, and little frequented. It is incredible what vast numbers of wild-fowl we saw, which often live here to a good old age,———and, undisturbed by guns, in quiet sleep. We came the five—and-twentieth to Mohatch, and were showed the field near it where Lewis, the young king of Hungary, lost his army and his life, being drowned in a ditch, trying to fly from Balybeus, general of Solyman the Magni- ficent. This battle opened the first passage for the Turks into the heart of Hungary. I do not name to you the little villages, of which I can say no- thing remarkable; but, I will assure you, I have always found a warm stove, and great plenty, par- ticularly of wild-boar, venison, and all kinds of gibier. The few people that inhabit Hungary live easily enough; they have no money, but the woods and plains afford them provision in great abundance : they were ordered to give us all things necessary, even what horses we pleased to demand, gratis; but Mr. Wortley would not oppress the poor country people by making use of this order, and always paid them to the full worth of what he LADY noxTAGU's LEngERs. 87 bad. They were so surprised at this unexpected generosity, which they are very little used to, that they always pressed upon us, at parting, a dozen of fat pheasants, or something of that sort, for a present. Their dress is very primitive, being only aplain sheep's skin, and a cap and boots of the same stufl". You may easily imagine this lasts them many winters; and thus they have very little occasion for money. The twenty-sixth, we passed over the frozen Danube, with all our equipage and carriages. We met on the other side General Veterani, who in- vited us, with great Civility, to pass the night at a little castle of his a few miles off, assuring us we should have a very hard day’s journey to reach Essek. This we found but too true, the woods being very dangerous, and scarcely passable, from the vast quantity of wolves that herd in them. We came, however, safe, though late, to Essek, where we staid a day, to despatch a courier with letters to the pasha of Belgrade; and I took that opportunity of seeing the town, which is not very large, but fair built, and well fortified. This was a town of great trade, very rich and populous, when in the hands of the Turks. It is situated on the Drave, which runs into the Danube. The bridge was esteemed one of the most extraordinary in the world, being eight thousand paces long, and all built of oak. It was burnt, and the city laid in ashes, by Count Lesly, 1685, but was again repaired and fortified. by the Turks, who, however, abandoned it in 1687. General Dunnewalt then 88 LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. took possession of it for the emperor, in whose hands it has remained ever since, and is esteemed one of the bulwarks of Hungary. The twenty-eighth, we went to Bocorwar, a very large Rascian town, all built after the manner I have described to you. We were met there by Colonel --—, who would not suffer us to go any- where but to his quarters, where I found his wife, a very agreeable Hungarian lady, and his niece and daughter, two pretty young women, crowded into three or four Rascian houses cast into one, and made as neat and convenient as those places are capable of being made. The Hungarian ladies are much handsomer than those of Austria. All the Vienna beauties are of that country; they are generally very fair and well shaped, and their dress, I think, is extremely becoming. This lady was in a gown of scarlet velvet, lined and faced vn'th sables, made exact to her shape, and the skirt falling to her feet. The sleeves are strait to their arms, and the stays buttoned before, with two rows of little buttons of gold, pearl, or diamonds. On their heads they wear a tassel of gold that hangs low on one side, lined with sable, or some other fine fur.(“‘) They gave us a handsome dinner, and I thought the conversation very polite and Hm (‘5) No one can fail to remark her ladyship’s extraordinary felicity in describing dress. By the magical graces of her style she brings the wearer so vividly before the eye, and infuses so much interest into what in itself may be trifling, that there is, perhaps, no part of her works more truly interesting or elegant than these descriptions.--ED. LADY MONTAGU'S LETTERS. 89 agreeable. They would accompany us part of our way. The twenty-ninth, we arrived here, where we were met by the commanding-officer, at the head of all the officers of the garrison. We are lodged in the best apartment of the governor’s house, and enter- tained in a very splendid manner by the emperor’s order. We wait here till all points are adjusted, concerning our reception on the Turkish frontiers. Mr. Wortley’s courier, which he sent from Essek, returned this morning, with the pasha’s answer in a purse of scarlet satin, which the interpreter here has translated. It is to promise him to be honour- ably received. I desired him to appoint where he would be met by the Turkish convoy. He has despatched the courier back, naming Betsko, a village in the midway between Peterwaradin and Belgrade. We shall stay here till we receive his answer. Thus, dear sister, I have given you a very parti- cular, and (I am afraid 'you will think) a tedious account of this part of my travels. It was not an afl'ectation of showing my reading that has made me tell you some little scraps of the history of the towns I have passed through; I have always avoided any thing of that kind, when I spoke of places that I believe you knew the story of as well as myself. But Hungary being a part of the world which, I believe, is quite new to you, I thought you might read with some pleasure an account of it, which I have been very solicitous to get from the best bands. However, if you do not 90 LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. like it, it is in your power to forbear reading it. I am, dear sister, 850. RS. I am promised to have this letter carefully sent to Vienna. XXVI. MR. POPE T0 LADY MONTAGU. MADAM, I NO more think I can have too many of your letters than that I could have too many writings to entitle me to the greatest estate in the world; which I think so valuable a friendship as yours is equal to. I am angry at every scrap of paper lost, as at something that interrupts the history of my title; and, though it is an odd compliment to compare a fine lady to a Sybil, your leaves, methinks, like hers, are too good to be committed to the winds; though I have no other way of re- ceiving them but by those unfaithful messengers. I have had but three, and I reckon in that a short one from Dort, which was rather a dying ejacula— tion than a letter. But I have so great an opinion of your goodness that, had I received none, I should not have accused you of neglect or insensi- bility. I am not so wrong-headed as to quarrel with my friends the minute they do not write; I would as soon quarrel at the sun the minute he did not shine, which he is hindered from by acci- LADY MONTAGU'S LETTERS. 91 dental causes, and is in reality all that time per- forming the same course, and doing the same good offices as ever. You have contrived to say in your last the two most pleasing things to me in nature ; the first is, that, whatever be the fate of your letters, you will continue to write in the discharge of your con— science. This is generous to the last degree, and a virtue you ought to enjoy. Be assured, in return, my heart shall be as ready to think you have done every good thing, as yours can be to do it ; so that you shall never be able to favour your absent friend, before he has thought himself obliged to you for the very favour you are then conferring. The other is, the justice you do me in taking what I write to you in the serious manner it was meant: it is the point upon which _I can bear no suspicion, and in which, above all, I desire to be thought serious : it would be the most vexatious of all tyranny, if you should pretend to take for raillery, what is the mere disguise of a discontented heart, that is unwilling to make you as melancholy as itself; and for wit, what is really only the natural overflowing and warmth of the same heart, as it is improved and awakened by an esteem for you: but, since you tell me you believe me, I fancy my expressions have not at least been en- tirely unfaithful to those thoughts, to which I am sure they can never be equal. May God increase your faith in all truths that are as great as this! and, depend upon it, to whatever degree your belief may extend, you can never be a bigot. 92 LADY MONTAGU'S LETTERS. If you could see the heart I talk of, you would really think it a foolish good kind of thing, with some qualities as well deserving to be half laughed at, and half esteemed, as any in the world: its grand foible, in regard to you, is the most like reason of any foible in nature. Upon my faith, this heart is not, like a great warehouse, stored only with my own goods, with vast empty spaces tobe supplied as fast as interest or ambition can fill them up ; but it is every inch of it let out into lodgings for its friends, and shall never want a corner at your service; where, I dare affirm, madam, your idea lies as warm and as close as any idea in Christendom. If I do not take care, I shall write myself all out to you; and, if this correspondence continues on both sides at the free rate I would have it, we shall have very little curiosity to encourage our meeting at the day of judgment. I foresee that the further you go from me the more freely I shall write: and if (as I earnestly wish) you would do the same, I cannot guess where it will end : let us be like modest people, who, when they are close together, keep all decorums ; but if they step a little aside, or get to the other end of a room, can untie garters or take ofl" shifts without scruple. If this distance (as you are so kind as to say) enlarges your belief of my friendship, I assure you it has extended my notion of your value, that I begin to be impious on your account, and to wish that even slaughter, ruin, and desolation might interpose between you and Turkey; I wish you LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. 93 restored to us at the expense of awhole people :(“5) I barely hope you will forgive me for saying this, but I fear God will scarce forgive me for desiring it. Make me less wicked, then. Is there no other expedient to return you and your infant in peace to the bosom of your country? I hear you are going to Hanover; can there be no favourable planet at this conjuncture, or do you only come back so far to die twice P Is Eruydice once more snatched to the shades ? If ever mortal had reason to hate the king, it is I; for it is my particular misfortune to be almost the only innocent man whom he has made to suffer, both by his govern- ment at home, and his negociations abroad. A. POPE. XXVII. TO MR. POPE. Belgrade, Feb. 12, 1717. I DID verily intend to write you a long letter from Peterawardin, where I expected to stay three or (‘5). But that we know all this to be merely an absurd attempt atsaymg something out of the common, it would be exceedingly WICked. I blush for genius when I read these letters of Pope. To any woman they would have been in bad taste—to a married woman they are detestable: but setting aside the morality of the matter, and supposing a certain point to have been aimed Et, nothing could have been worse calculated to succeed.— I). 96 LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. as I suppose it does. I have a great many ad- mirable arguments to support this reflection : I will not, however, trouble you with them, but re- turn, in a plain style, to the history of my travels. We were met at Betsko (a village in the midway between Belgrade and Peterwaradin) by an aga of the janisaries, with a body of the Turks, exceeding the Germans by one hundred men, though the pasha had engaged to send exactly the same num- ber. You may judge by this of their fears. I am really persuaded, that they hardly thought the odds of one hundred men set them even with the Ger— mans; however, I was very uneasy till they were parted, fearing that some quarrel might arise, not- withstanding the parole given. We came late to Belgrade, the deep snows making the ascent to it very diflicult. It seems a strong city, fortified on the east side by the Danube, and on the south by the river Save, and was for— merly the barrier of Hungary. It was first taken by Solyman the Magnificent, and since by the em— peror’s forces, led by the elector of Bavaria. The emperor held it only two years, it being retaken by the grand vizier. It is now fortified with the utmost care and skill the Turks are capable of, and strengthened by a very numerous garrison of their bravest janisaries, commanded by a pasha seraskiér, (i. e. general,) though this last expresswn is not seek to fight, but when the rights of their tribe are supposed to be invaded. But this is, perhaps, laying on her ladyship’s remark with more stress than it deserves—ED. LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. 97 very just; for, to say truth, the seraskiér is com- manded by the janisaries. These troops have an absolute authority here, and their conduct carries much more the aspect, of rebellion than the ap- pearance of subordination. You may judge of this by the following story, which, at the same time, will give you an idea of the admirable intelligence of the governor of Peterwaradin, though so few hours distant. We were told by him at Peter- waradin, that the garrison and inhabitants of Bel- grade were so weary of the war, they had killed their pasha about two months ago, in a mutiny, be- cause he had suffered himself to be prevailed upon, by a bribe offive purses (five hundred pounds ster- ling) to give permission to the Tartars to ravage the German frontiers. We were very well pleased to hear of such favourable dispositions in the peo- ple ; but when we came hither, we found that the governor had been ill informed, and the real truth of the story to be this :,The late pasha fell under the displeasure of his soldiers, for no other reason but restraining their incursions on the Germans. They took it into their heads, from that mildness, that he had intelligence with the enemy, and sent such information to the grand signior at Adrian— ople; but, redress not coming quick enough from thence, they assembled themselves in a tumultuous manner, and, by force, dragged their pasha before the cadi and mufti, and there demanded justice in a mutinous way; one crying out, Why he pro— tected the infidels P another, Why he squeezed them of their money ? The pasha, easily guessing H 98 LADY MONTAGU'S LETTERS. their purpose, calmly replied to them, that they asked him too many questions, and that he had but one life, which must answer for all. They then immediately fell upon him with their scimitars (without waitingmce—of their heads of the law,) and in a few moments cut him in pieces. (‘9) The present pasha has not dared to punish the murder ; on the contrary, he affected to applaud the actors of it, as brave fellows, that knew how to do themselves justice. He takes all pretences of throwing money among the garrison, and suffers them to make little excursions into Hungary, where they burn some poor Rascian houses. You may imagine, I cannot be very easy in a town which is rea y under the vernment of an insolent soldiery. We expected to be immediately dismissed, after a night's lodging here: but the pasha detains us till he receives orders from Adrian- ople, which may possibly be a month a-coming. In the mean time, we are lodged in one of the best houses, belonging to a very considerable man amongst them, and have a whole chamber of jani- saries to guard us. My only diversion is the con- versation of our host, Achmet Bey, a title something like that of count in Germany. His father was a (‘9) These glances at an order of things formerly prevalent in Turkey will become more and more curious every day, in pro- portion as we recede from the period when they ceased to exist. The present sultan found the janisaries precisely what Lady Mary describes, except in strength and good fortune; and, as a preliminary to his reforms, was compelled to cut them off at a blow.——ED. LADY MONTAGU's LETTERS. 99 great pasha, and he has been educated in the most polite eastern learning, being perfectly skilled in the Arabic and Persian languages, and an extra- ordinary scribe, which they call qfl'endi. This ac- complishment makes way to the greatest prefer- ments: but he has had the good sense to prefer an easy, quiet, secure life, to all the dangerous honours of the Porte. He sups with us every night, and drinks wine very freely. (5°) You cannot imagine how much he is delighted with the liberty of con- versing with me. He has explained to me many pieces of Arabian poetry, which, I observe, are in numbers not unlike ours, generally of an alternate verse, and of a very musical sound. Their ex— pressions of love are very passionate and lively. I am so much pleased with them, I really believe I should learnto read Arabic if I was to stay here a few months. He has a very good library of their books of all kinds ; and, as he tells me, spends the greatest part of his life there. I pass for a great ' scholar with him, by relating to him some of the Persian tales, which I find are genuine.(“') (5°) A wine-bibbing Turk is now no rarity. The difliculty, perhaps, is, to find one who does not drink; for, in this respect at least, they have shown themselves apt pupils of the Europeans whom they propose for their models. Fashion still requires, how- ever, that the indulgence of intemperate habits should be con- cealed from the public eye; and accordingly, though they do not, in many cases, even pretend to abstinence, it is still uncom- mon to meet with a Musulman out of doors in a state of drunk- enness.~—ED. (5') The Persian Tales appeared first in Europe as a transla- tion by Monsieur Petit de la Croix ; and what are called “ The Arabian Nights,” in a similar manner, by Monsieur Galland. H2 100 LADY MONTAeU’s LETTERS. At first he believed I understood Persian. I have frequent disputes with him concerning the dif- ference of our customs, particularly the confine- ment of women. He assures me there is nothing at all in it; only, say e have the advantage, that when our wivéfimnows it. He has wit, and is more polite than many Christian men of quality. I am very much entertained with him. He has had the curiosity to make one of our servants set him an alphabet of our letters, and can already write a good Roman hand. But these amusements do not hinder my wishing heartin to be out of this place; though the weather is colder than I believe it ever was any— where but in Greenland. We have a very large stove constantly kept hot, yet the windows of the room are frozen on the inside. God knows when I may have an opportunity of sending this letter: but I have written it for the discharge of my own con— science: and you cannot now reproach me, that one of yours makes ten of mine. Adieu. XXVIII. TO THE PRINCESS OF WALES.(”) Adrianople, April 1, 1717. I HAVE now, madam, finished a journey that has not been undertaken by any Christian since the W (59) The late Queen Caroline. LADY MONTAGU’S LETTERS. 10] time of the Greek emperors; and I shall not «re- gret all the fatigues I have suffered in it, if it gives me an opportunity of amusing your royal highness by an account of places utterly unknown amongst us; the emperor’s ambassadors, and those few English that have come hither always going on the Danube to Nicopolis.( 5’) Butthe river was now fro- zen, and Mr. Wortley was so zealous for the service of his majesty, that he would not defer his journey to wait for the conveniency of that passage. We crossed the deserts of Servia, almost quite overgrown with wood, through a country naturally fertile. The inhabitants are industrious; but the oppression of the peasants is so great, they are forced to abandon their houses, and neglect their tillage, all they h , ‘ ' to the janisaries, whenever they please to seize upon 1t. We had a guard of five hundred of them, and I was almost in tears every day, to see their insolencies in the poor villages through which we passed. After seven days’ travelling through thick woods, we came to N issa, once the capital of Servia, situ- (53) She would appear for the moment to have forgotten the embassy of the emperor Ferdinand, which produced a collec— tion of letters scarcely less interesting, and once much more celebrated than her own; I mean those of Busbequius, which every reader of Lady Montagu should compare with her lively sketches. The ambassador, quitting Vienna in De- cember, performed but a small portion of the journey—from Buda to Belgrade~by water, and moved almost with the rapidity of a Tartar courier. Busbequius looked upon society from a higher intellectual level, and had by no means the same temp- tation to extravagance, since he had not taught his correspondents to expect wit in his 1etters.-—ED. ...
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