« VorigeDoorgaan »
where they now are. But should circum-/ we soon became friends; and after com: stances demanding concert or action paring minds, I admitted you at your rearise, you may be sure that I will either quest, into this Secret Council. Now, in summon a meeting or transmit instruc- proposing to you the conduct of the jour. tions to such of our members as may be nal" I would'establish, for which I am most usefully employed. For the pres- prepared to find all necessary funds, I ent, confrères, you are relieved. Remain am compelled to make imperative cononly you, dear young author.”
ditions. Nominally you will be editor-in
chief: that station, if the journal sucCHAPTER VII.
ceeds, will secure you position and forLEFT alone with Gustave Rameau, the tune ; if it fail, you fail with it. But President of the Secret Council remained we will not speak of failure; I must have silently musing for some moments ; but it succeed. Our interest, then, is the his countenance was no longer moody same. Before that interest all puerile and overcast — his nostrils were dilated, vanities fade away. Nominally, I say, as in triumph — there was a half-smile of you are editor-in-chief; but all the real pride on his lips. Rameau watched him work of editing will, at first, be done by curiously and admiringly. The young others.” man had the impressionable, excitable “ Ah !” exclaimed Rameau, aghast and temperament common to Parisian genius stunned. Lebeau resumed
especially when it nourishes itself on “ To establish the journal I propose absinthe. He enjoyed the romance of needs more than the genius of youth; it belonging to a secret society; he was needs the tact and experience of mature acute enough to recognize the sagacity years." by which this small conclave was kept | Rameau sank back on his chair with a out of those crazed combinations for im- sullen sneer on his pale lips. Decidedly practicable theories more likely to lead Lebeau was not so great a man as he had adventurers to the Tarpeian Rock than thought. to the Capitol ; while yet those crazed “A certain portion of the journal," combinations might, in some critical mo- continued Lebeau, “ will be exclusively ment, become strong instruments in the appropriated to your pen." hands of practical ambition. Lebeau fas- Rameau's lip lost the sneer. cinated him, and took colossal propor- “But your pen must be therein rea tions in his intoxicated vision - vision stricted to compositions of pure fancy, indeed intoxicated at this moment, for disporting in a world that does not exist; before it floated the realized image of his or, if on graver themes connected with aspirations, a journal of which he was the beings of the world that does exist, to be the editor-in-chief-in which his the subjects will be dictated to you and poetry, his prose, should occupy space as revised. Yet even in the higher departlarge as he pleased — through which his ments of a journal intended to make way name, hitherto scarce known beyond a at its first start, we need the aid, not inliterary clique, would resound in salon deed of men who write better than you, and club and café, and become a familiar but of men whose fame is established music on the lips of fashion. And he whose writings, good or bad, the public owed this to the man seated there,- a run to read, and will find good even if they prodigious man !
| are bad. You must consign one column “Cher poète," said Lebeau, breaking to the playful comments and witticisms silence, “it gives me no mean pleasure of Savarin.” to think I am opening a career to one “Savarin ? But he has a journal of his whose talents fit him for those goals on own. He will not, as an author, conde. which they who reach write names that scend to write in one just set up by me. posterity shall read. Struck with certain And as a politician, he as certainly will articles of yours in the journal made cel- not aid in an ultra-democratic revolution. ebrated by the wit and gaiety of Savarin, If he care for politics at all, he is a conI took pains privately to inquire into your stitutionalist, an Orleanist.” birth, your history, connections, antece-l “Enfant ! as an author Savarin will dents. All confirmed my first impression, condescend to contribute to your journal, that you were exactly the writer I wish Istly, because it in no way attempts to to secure to our cause. I therefore interfere with his own ; 2ndly -- I can sought you in your rooms, unintroduced tell you a secret — Savarin's journal no and a stranger, in order to express my longer suffices for his existence ; he has admiration of your compositions. Bref, sold more than two-thirds of its property; he is in debt, and his creditor is urgent; in this kind of writing, more than one of and to-morrow you will offer Savarin 30,- them of high social rank, whom it is diffidoo francs for one column from his pen, cult for me even to approach — if, I say, and signed by his name, for two months I fail ? " from the day the journal starts. He will “What ! with a carte blanche of terms ? accept, partly because the sum will clear fie! Are you a Parisian ? Well, to anoff the debt that hampers him, partly be- swer you frankly, if you fail in so easy a cause he will take care that the amount | task, you are not the man to edit our becomes known; and that will help him journal, and I shall find another. Allez, to command higher terms for the sale of courage ! Take my advice ; see Savarin the remaining shares in the journal he the first thing to-morrow morning. Of now edits, for the new book which you course my name and calling you will keep told me he intended to write, and for the a profound secret from him as from all. new journal which he will be sure to set Say as mysteriously as you can that parup as soon as he has disposed of the old ties you are forbidden to name instruct one. You say that, as a politician, Sava- you to treat with M. Savarin, and offer rin, an Orleanist, will not aid in an ultra- him the terms I have specified, the 30,000 democratic revolution. Who asks him to francs paid to him in advance the moment do so? Did I not imply at the meeting he signs the simple memorandum of that we commence our journal with poli- agreement. The more mysterious you tics the mildest ? Though revolutions are, the more you will impose - that is, are not made with rose-water, it is rose- wherever you offer money and don't ask water that nourishes their roots. The for it.” polite cynicism of authors, read by those Here Lebeau took up his hat, and, with who float on the surface of society, pre- a courteous nod of adieu, lightly descendpares the way for the social ferment in ed the gloomy stairs. its deeps. Had there been no Voltaire there would have been no Camille Desmoulins., Had there been no Diderot, there would have been no Marat. We start as polite cynics. Of all cynics Sava
From The Cornhill Magazine.
BYZANTINE ANATOLIA. rin is the politest. But when I bid high for him, it is his clique that I bid for. SOMEBODY once said, and probably Without his clique he is but a wit ; with thought himself uncommonly clever for his clique, a power. Partly out of that saying it, that broken bottles - empty clique, partly out of a circle beyond it, soda-water bottles is a popular, but I do which Savarin can more or less influence, not know if a correct, version - will one I select ten. Here is the list of them ; day be the only abiding memorial of Britstudy it. Entre nous, I esteem their writish rule in India. Like most of these exings as little as I do artificial flies; but tremely smart epigrams, the remark comthey are the artificial flies at which, in this bined a small amount of superficial truth particular season of the year, the public with a much larger quantity of real misrise. You must procure at least five of statement. But when the long predicted the ten ; and I leave you carte blanche as to day arrives for the Osmanlee to strike the the terms. Savarin gained, the best of tent he has for so many centuries pitched them will be proud of being his associ-over some of the very fairest portions of ates. Observe, none of these messieurs of God's earth, I wonder what except broken brilliant imagination are to write political bottles will remain behind to denote the articles ; those will be furnished to you spot of his protracted encampment. Not anonymously, and inserted without eras- literal but metaphorical bottles, of course, ure or omission. When you have secured for neither beer nor wine nor even sodaSavarin, and five at least of the collabora- | water are — the more's the pity- common teurs in the list, write me at my office. I enough articles of consumption in the give you four days to do this ; and the lands of the Crescent to furnish any large day the journal starts you enter into the amount of vitreous relics ; when Osmanincome of 15,000 francs a-year, with a lees do violate the anti-alcoholic precepts rise in salary proportioned to profits. of their law, it is ordinarily with the vilest Are you contented with the terms ?” rakee; and that unwholesome fluid is wont
“Of course am ; but supposing I do to be dispensed, not in bottles, but in not gain the aid of Savarin, or five at least misshapen jars of congenial ugliness and · of the list you give, which I see at a coarseness. No; breakages in plenty he
glance contains names the most à la mode' will have, only they will not be of glass, but of far more precious things; and not dering — zig-zagging I might call it, were of what he imported with him, like the not the word inadmissible from its affectEnglish ware in the hypothesis, but of ed uncouthness — among the mountains, what he found more or less entire when dolomitic or otherwise, of that wild region, he came, and afterwards broke on his own we have seen, broadly speaking, only one account.
| clear and strongly marked sign of OsmanThis, where I am now writing, is the lee rule — that is, ruin. Osmanlee's own proper land, this his Needless to say, our journeyings have camping-ground of predilection – Anato- been all on horseback, except indeed lia, the birthplace of his wide-extended where the unmanageable steepness or empire, its cradle, its stronghold, its re- dangerous narrowness of the path comserve hope. And here all around me I see pelled us to dismount even from those Pontine breakages, Greek breakages, Ro- surest-footed of all known quadrupeds, man breakages, Byzantine breakages, Ar- | Anatolian nags ; for in these favoured remenian breakages, Seljook breakages, not gions of countless railroad concessions to mention some minor breakages of less and projected lines, the most primitive world-spread fame, such as Turkoman, waggon-road that ever led from an EngMingrelian and Georgian ; all these there lish “-ham” to a “-bro" is an unknown are and will mostly be still remaining too, luxury. That highways will be constructno doubt, when reckoning-day comes. Nored throughout the Ottoman dominions, do I say that they may not, each in its are constructed, are daily traversed by kind, be regarded as Osmanlee breakages whole processions of wheeled conveyafter a sort ; since they are of things ances, are delusions which Mr. Farley of which either he found whole and broke Bristol and his disciples may possibly' enthem, or found them broken, and broke tertain, but in which a traveller through them still more. Only of what he has his Sultanic Majesty's dominions will himself brought, himself made, there will hardly share. Horses, mules, camels, be left after the first ten years next to asses, even the classical caravan is still, nothing, and after fifty absolutely nothing as in the days of Mahomet II. or Marco at all. Relics of Osmanlee labour, of Os- Polo, the picturesque but clumsy and manlee magnificence, of Osmanlee sci-costly means of transport for the merence, art, skill, learning, industry, there chandise of the gorgeous East. Here will be hardly any, or none — for the sim- they come — now hidden, now re-appearple reason that he will leave none which ing between the deep-wooded windings can, even at the most liberal computation of the mountain side ; one can hear their outlast half a century. True; the lively jangling bells at a mile's distance. An author of Morning Land claims an excep- endless file of raw-boned sinewy beasts, tion in favour of "heaps of broken grave-each with its crimson tassel, or glittering stones.” But even this, if we embrace brass star, or some other gewgaw charm half a century in our prospective view, against the evil eye, at its collar, and a cannot be admitted ; for the tombstones couple of more or less evenly balanced are scratched rather than carved ; the packages, secured by a more complicated feeble and exceptional attempts at a mau- tackle of rope than ever Ulysses tied soleum are as flimsy as the other construc- round his sea-chest, dangling at its sides; tions ; and the vestiges of the dead Os- all crowding, pushing, jostling, stumbling manlee are evidently fated to not less over the rock steps of the narrow pathspeedy obliteration than those of the liv- way; not unfrequently, too, hustling each ing.
other right off the edge to a fall of many Even at the capital, where the Osman- hundred feet into the ravine below, where, lee has concentrated his whole energy in with a crash or two on the stones, the an effort not over-successful there, and wicked cease from troubling and the most ruinous to his dominions elsewhere, weary are at rest — that is, so far as the at the expense of which that capital has mule's future is concerned ; unless some been patched up, these remarks are cor- lucky shrub intervenes to stay the overrect in the main ; in the provinces they rapid descent. Alongside, behind them, are absolutely so. And certainly in the trudge on foot the grey-coated, sheepfrontier corner of the empire, east of Treb- skin-capped, heavy-limbed, heavy-feaizond, where the Classic Atlas marks the tured, pale-eyed Turkoman drivers, who uncertain limits of Pontus and Colchis, with thong and cry have brought them and where myself and my companions - from the great plains across the Persian the usual eastern medley of colour and frontier. Or it is a string of huge woolly race — have now been for ten weeks wan-| camels, most powerful and ungainliest of their kind, swaying along beneath their pending loss -- for Trebizond, in spite of loads as they thrust out their shaggy its almost pre-historical memories and snaky necks in an aimless fashion from high-sounding name, would, if deprived side to side, and frightening our nags of its intercourse with Persia, soon sink into a desperate scramble to get out of into a mere coast village, remarkable for the way up the mountain slope ; for the nothing but its ruined Comnenian castle secular terror of the horse at sight or - roused at last even Ottoman apathy even at smell of the camel is not in the into something of an effort. A real road, least diminished since the days of Herod-a carriage road, from Trebizond to Perotus ; though how it originated, or why sia, was resolved on, was begun, and it is kept up, seeing that the camel for even, after a fashion, was completed. his part manifests no disposition except Now, so it is that Turks — modern that of the most absolute indifference | Turks, I mean – very slow hands at towards the horse, is a problem which commencing any work, public or private, might tax the ingenuity of a Darwin of real utility, are slower still at finishing himself to solve. Grazing and loitering it; while as to keeping it up, or repairas it goes, accomplishing barely twelve ing it, that is what they never think of or fourteen miles a day, and taking a at all. From a mosque to a sentry-box, month to get over ground which, with from a palace to a policeman's jacket, decent roads and proper conveyances, so soon as the object — no matter how might easily be traversed, and at one-costly at first or how necessary — has fourth of the cost, too, in a week, the once begun to go to wrack, it may folcaravan, like the Ten Thousand of old, low on in the same direction as long as salutes the sea at Trebizond. There on it pleases, even to the “bitter end." A the appropriate resting-place of “ Giaour new article of the same sort may perhaps, Meidan," or “ Unbelievers' Square," a regardless of expense, be provided ; but large open space at the entry of the town, as to the old one, not a brick will be rein the Perso-European or “unbelieving" placed, not a tile re-arranged, not a board quarter – for in Turkish opinion a Per-nailed up, not a stitch bestowed in time sian's creed is hardly more orthodox than or out of it. Were I general family tutor, a Christians, if at all – it deposits the or governess, or something of the kind products of Central Asia ; and then, laden to the “young idea” of the Turkish genin exchange with European merchandise, eration, “For want of a nail," with the winds slowly back, as it came, to Persia. rest of that rhythmical nursery wisdom,
But whoever would witness at Trebi- should be the Alpha and the Omega of zond this not uninteresting spectacle, as my daily lessons. Unfortunately, that characteristic of the Ottoman East as the lesson, so far as the Osmanlee is constage coach and the lumbering van once cerned, is still to learn ; and experience, were of England, must hasten his visit to say what the wise ones may, is for huthese shores, whence caravans and cara- man beings in general, not for Stuarts van drivers are fast passing away. Not, and Bourbons alone, the least effective however, owing to any more expeditious of teachers. substitute introduced by the Osmanlee, Let us judge for ourselves. So we who, content with levying absurd transit- leave behind the brown Byzantine walls dues, and harassing merchants and mule- of volcanic stone, tower and battlement, teers alike by custom-house vexations and the card-paper lath-and-plaster housand frontier annoyances, leaves the rest es clustered beneath their shadow, among to circumstance and chance; but by the black cypress-spears, and glistening orcompetitive energy of the Russians, mas-chard foliage - in a word, Trebizond genters of the long-disused but rival Cauca- erally, ancient and modern, lazily basking sian route. Caravans are soon distanced in the hot mid-day July sun; and windby steam-engines ; and the railroad that ing our way past the harbour cliffs, enhas this very year connected Tiflis with ter on the broad Pyxites valley, the Perthe Black Sea coast, and promises soon sian winter route, which it is our proto reach the frontiers of Persia itself, has gramme to follow for some distance. already appropriated to itself more than And behold, our horses canter side by half the traffic that formerly cumbered side with tolerable ease and freedom the “ Unbelievers' Square,” or crammed along a macadamized road. But, alas ! the massive warehouses - the largest is not for long. This fair portion of the Byzantine in construction and date of highway, which is only five or six miles Trebizond.
| in length, is that completed some years · However, the seriousness of the im-'since by some French engineers, who, after laying down the general line of | miles across the entire mountain tract route, and getting through with the more intervening between the Black Sea and serious difficulties of the work, were the central highlands of Anatolia, we bid rather unceremoniously dismissed to farewell, not to Osmanlee public works make room for a fat Osmanlee head-en-only, but also to almost every trace of gineer with a Turkish staff. Forced la-Osmanlee rule and nationality whatever. bour – that curse of the East — was now “ Government extends as far as the brought into play; and after the road had town gates," says an Arab proverb, relabeen patched up in an incomplete fash- tive to Turkish rule in Syria; and no one ion, it was pronounced finished, and has who has passed some time in that counsince then been left to take care of itself, try can have failed to remark that, once amid the rains, storms, snows, and other beyond city limits, impoverishment and vagaries of the Pontic climate.
ruin are in fact almost the only indicaIt is now, of course, in full progress tions that the Osmanlee is lord of the through the three phases common to land. It is the same here, with this difeverything at the mercy of Osmanlee ad- ference only, that instead of being Arab, ministration - slovenliness, dilapidation, the population, customs, buildings, all and, lastly, disappearance. The macadam things, whether of the present or the past, broken up into pits and hollows that are in the main Greek. would upset a Devonshire cart; the side- Not “ Greek” in the “Hellene" sense cuttings slipping down in huge shell-like of the word, for, search as I might, I masses which already encroach on half could discover no facts to warrant the the breadth of the way, and threaten pleasing belief entertained by some, that soon to bury it altogether; embankments genuine unchanged relics of the classic which, in obedience to the laws of grav- colonies once planted along these shores ity, are fast enticing the entire road to are still to be found here, guarded from join them company at the bottom of the foreign admixture by the triple defence ravines below; watercourses that, dis- of precipitous mountain, dense forest, daining restraint, wander fancy-free over and stormy sea. Such vestiges may inthe path, and furnish the unexpected va- deed have lingered long, but they have riety of quagmires in the dryest weather ; now entirely disappeared under two thouin short, I fear that for the few miles that sand years of climatic intluence, interwe availed ourselves of this master-speci-marriage, and the many wars and changes men of Ottoman industry, it hardly con- that have passed over the region. The veyed either to the hoofs of the horses, “ Greek” here does not bear the title of or the minds of their riders, those im- “ Hellenos,” but “ Room,"i.e. Byzantine ; pressions of unqualified admiration with and it is to Byzantine colonization, set. which the constructors themselves regard tled here during the first ages of the emthe result of their engineering skill. pire, and afterwards largely re-inforced
“ Have you any such roads in Europe ?” by the immigrants who fled from the barenquires of me, in the tone of conscious barity of the Latin captors of Constantitriumph, a red-capped, black-coated, shirt- nople to the refuge offered by the Comcollarless official, who has ridden thus far, nenian sceptre, that the inhabitants of honoris causå, at my side. With becom- these mountains, whether Christian or ing gravity I reply, that for Europe in Mahometan, alike owe their language general I could not adequately answer, and their descent. but that in England, to the best of my rec- ! From the sea-shore up to a height of ollections, we certainly had not.
about five thousand feet, these Greek, or Such, however, as the road is, our, or Byzantine, villages are tolerably numerrather our horses', enjoyment of it is ous, and have all much the same character. brief; for our route soon ceases to coin-We clamber up by what would elsewhere cide with its direction, and strikes off by be called a mere goat track, but here is a narrow transverse horse-track, that is dignified by the title of a road, amid the generally adopted by summer travellers ; incomparably lovely scenery of these for in winter the Khazeklee Pass, as it is mountain sides, beneath the green lights called, 8,600 feet above the sea, and up and green shades of beech, alder, walnut, which we have to scramble, is a hopeless maple, chestnut, and ash overhead, by waste of deep snow. So turning up a fantastic jutting masses of volcanic rock'; wild wooded gorge we begin the as- while deep below the foaming torrent of cent; and from henceforth till we reach the Aschyros, or the Kalopotamos, or the the town of Bewboort, in what once was Saleros, rushes and raves with ceaseless Armenia, after a ride of about eighty 'roar through the black gorge ; then sud.