Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

On each side of him is one of his womankind, the most delicate pink and sky-blue satin, emrefilling his pipe, and presenting coffee to him. broidered with gold and silver, and colored In a corner of the room is a young Greek sing-silks, were strewed around them. Beside ing to the accompaniment of her mandolin, every cushion lay two napkins of the finest while two dancing-girls keep time with their white muslin, exquisitely wrought with silks, graceful movements and their castanets. "The and golden birds and flowers. A row of slaves, Selictar-Aga had gone in before us to an- reaching from the furthest tray to the door, nounce our arrival, and also that we were on passed the dishes from hand to hand, up to the way to the apartment in which our host the last one, who presented it to Yasumi, sat. As we pushed aside the drapery from meekly kneeling on the carpet. the door, he rose to a sitting posture, and fixed his eyes straight upon the carpet before him. Yasumi walked on, still leading my sister by the hand. When we had advanced about one-third of the length of the room towards him, he looked up with a sweet smile, which smile did not relax until Yasumi reached the cushion; then falling on one knee, she said:

:

"I bring you our friends again, my lord. Bid them welcome from their beautiful Frangistan!"

We all were led to a cushion, each by one of the attending slaves. The napkins were carefully spread upon our knees; warm rosewater was poured from a golden ewer over the hands of all. Then the repast commenced, every one helping himself from the dish in the centre, by taking from any part of it that which was most pleasing to his eye

The Osmanlis are very fond of variety in their food. The number of courses at a private dinner is generally fifteen, yet it does not last so long as the like meal in England. Seldom does any one take from the same dish The slaves remove them as fast as they are done with, and put the next course upon the table. During the evening, the time is filled up at intervals, as elsewhere, with The host is very hospitable in offering a conversation. "The sipping of coffee propipe to his lady-visitor, but confesses his igno- ceeded, the dances were kept up in full spirit, rance of the manners of Frangistan. The the music continued, and the massaljis still strangers are frankly permitted to introduce kept us laughing by their tales. Then the two of their friends, Mrs. E and her hus- hour for repose came on, and all the houseband; and soon dinner is announced by a hold was hushed in sleep. Our beds were young Circassian, who comes tripping in, and formed in the Osmanli fashion of cushions of falls on her knees before Mustapha. orange-colored silk, embroidered with gold, "Mashal'lâh! I am told that your ways in and filled with the softest down. Over us Frangistan are peculiar," said Mustapha rising. was lightly drawn a sheet of blue silk gauze, "How you act on such an occasion in Eng- brilliantly marked by crimson stripes, and a land, I know not; but in Roum-Turkey-coverlet of pale violet silk, worked with azure all we do is to walk into the room one after and golden flowers. Everything was made another, the men taking precedence, as it is of the richest materials; and the beautiful silk good and seemly to do." gauze, airy as the rainbow, spiritual as an Ita

"Sel'lâh Allah!-praise be to God!" said Mustapha. "Bourum-you are welcome-twice. quite welcome. Tihat l'accin itt'ar gouzumlook graciously, and sit, my eyes!" said he to my sister."

"Will madam allow me?" said Mrs. E- -'s lian summer-cloud, claimed our especial adhusband to my sister, at the same time pre-miration of its truly Oriental luxury and magsenting her his arm with a bend as stiff and nificence." formal as his own cravat.

“Allâh ûkbur!—God is great!" cried Mustapha; "what am I to do?"

"Be my escort, Effendi," said Mrs. Eresting her arm on his rich pelisse.

"Then I will take Yasumi," I said; "with a proviso, that her husband shall not be jealous," I whispered aside.

Such is a glimpse of the Osmanli gentlemen at home. We come now more especially to the ladies. "The Osmanli ladies do not sit cross-legged, as is often supposed. The legs are folded beneath them, after the fashion of a person kneeling, and then sitting down upon the heels. The toes of the feet are turned inwards and touch each other. Never do you see an Osmanli with her legs dangling over the edge of the cushion. To expose these parts of the person whilst sitting is considered indelicate." The lady who calls forth this passing explanation now begins to ask the usual questions of an Osmanli woman on your first introduction to her at home. "And the Changing, indeed! "Upon three silver two-legged donkey," adds our author, "who trays, each placed on a stand eighteen inches presumes on her simplicity, by making any high, the meal was to be served. Cushions of other than those courteous answers due from

"That, I am sure, he will not be!" said Yasumi, with sparkling eyes. "He has a soul purer than the light, and more loving than the daffodil for its own shadow. I love him, for he is good."

"And times are changing, even in Turkey, Hanoum."

"Can you love me?" and she shows a daffodil.

a gentleman to a lady, claiming his kindness] "As the tiger-lily loves to gaze upon its and attention, will assuredly have his delin- own shadow." quency punished as it deserves. The Osmanli woman lives for nothing but love, and always finishes her salutations to a new friend, though she be but a slave freshly brought home to the house, by imploring her to love her. "Look on me. Do you love me?" asked she.

"Not to love you would be to possess a very indifferent taste, or no taste at all."

"It is enough, and you are very kind to say it, light of my soul!" returned she. "Am I not pretty? What do you think of me?"

"As the daisy loves the sun!" and he turns towards her the flower in question. "Would you die for my sake?" and she pulls a rosebud in two parts.

"I would submit my neck to the bowstring without a murmur;" and he pulls off the head of a yellow geranium, or a violet.

"You are good, and I love you!" and she shows him a jasmine.

He makes the temina with the rapidity of lightning.

"Will you be my husband?" She pulls a hair from her head, and winds it round the jasmine.

He picks out a rose, and holds it with the flower pointing downwards to the earth.

[ocr errors]

I cannot live without you; but if you refuse to have me, I shall die."

"You are lovelier than the daughters of Peristan; your beauty is more glorious than the noonday sky; your cheek is softer than the first flower of spring; your face is fairer than the snow-flake upon a mountain; your hands are like pearls; your eyes are like moons; your lips are like rubies, newly washed in the Boulak; your teeth are like diamonds from the valleys of Nishapore; your smile is softer than the light of the evening- "Meet me to-night, at twilight:" now a star; and your presence is sweeter to the soul lily is quickly added; "by the fountain : " than a sunbeam breaking through a dark grape-tendril, or a moss-rose; "in the kiosk :" cloud! I have spoken, Kadeun." And I a peach, or any delicate fruit that is in seasmiled a quiet smile in her innocent eyes, son: "near the wall:" or if she holds up a quite convinced that I had flattered strong single green leaf plucked from one of the enough to please even an Eastern lady.

[ocr errors]

Inshal'lâh-I trust in God!-You are no Giaour!" exclaimed she; "else, where did you learn to speak so like a good Muslem?" "Have you never heard how wise the Giaours are? That they leave no lore untouched?"

"Mashal'lâh! And I like to hear them talk, too! Adjaib ust! It is wonderful! I am told that the books they write are more beautiful than music, and fill the soul with love, till it enters the seventh Paradise. Is that true, sir?"

"In spirit, it is very nearly so."

"You are good, and I like you!" and, with a sweet simplicity, she went through the usual and graceful salaam, as I made the temina in acknowledgment of the compliment."

One curious effect of the seclusion in which a Turkish woman, whether married or unmarried, usually lives is, that love-advances must always come from her. The man would not presume to notice her-and, besides, it would be vulgar to do so. Hence the language of flowers, of which the following specimen is given by our author:

"Am I not pretty?" and she holds up a white lotus.

He holds up a flower of Paradise. "You are lovelier than the houries in KorkhamParadise."

"Do you love to look upon me?" asked by presenting a blush-rose.

She takes a sunflower, and holds it by the side of the jasmine.

a

flowers, she says, "the kiosk is on the banks of the Bosphorus;" or, if she gathers her flowers into a bunch, and points the tip of her finger to the centre, it means, "the kiosk is in the midst of the garden." If she removes her finger, and then points a second time, "surrounded by trees." Then a lavenderbud, "there is nothing to fear." But a white rose is, "be as careful as you can." And then she readjusts her yashmak, which is, "There will be a mark where you should climb."

The mystery of the harem, however, is now fast disappearing, and with it, we trust, will disappear the unspirituality, of the men and the ignorance of the women. "One Osmanli allows his wives to come to meals with him in the salem-liek [men's apartments]; or he, and his children also, go to the harem, and take them there. Another Osmanli permits them to live in the salem-lick, or harem, indiscriminately: only, they must remember to make their hastiest flight on she announcement of that spectre-a man. But other Osmanlis are learning to sneer at all this nonsense, and suffer their wives or their daughters-after the fashion of those worthy Turks of whom I have written to appear in the salem-liek, and talk to any of mankind who may come there, whenever they will; only requiring that they shall never enter our presence without having their yashmaks strictly arranged, and being careful to see that some other person— a slave at least-is in the room."

From The New York Observer.

A CITY IN THE WILDERNESS.

THERE was evidently a slight discrepancy between the City of Superior as it appeared on paper, and the City of Superior as it opened to our view, after entering the harbor at Fond du Lac. Spread out on the table, was a vast map, on which appeared spacious avenues and squares, a long line of piers stretching from the St. Louis to the Nemadji river, and a Railroad depot of almost fabulous dimensions. Spread out before us, as we stood on the deck of the steamboat was a single dock, connected | with the shore by a rickety bridge of logs, partly resting on the water, and leading to a single street cut through the dense forest, and ornamented with burnt stumps and fallen trees, on which a straggling row of wigwams, shanties and log huts, with here and there a frame house, made up the City of Superior.

friends, looked out upon the gathering crowd. Hovering around the doors were a group of Indians and squaws, one of whom we learned the next day, had come to look after one whom she claimed as her husband, who had been passing the evening most agreeably as a man of great promise, and who seemed inclined to appropriate to himself entirely one of the party as his partner in the dance, if not for life.

But what a gathering of fashion and beauty did that cabin witness. Even the great astrals that hung over the scene, seemed to wink at each other in high glee, at the sight. The ladies of the boat had thrown open their staterooms as dressing apartments, in one of which a tall and exceedingly thin young woman deposited her infant, not many weeks old, and which her husband watched while she joined in the dance. Her dress was a unique compound of cotton velvet and calico, while a string of glass beads danced and rattled on Scarcely had the boat been made fast before her neck, as if keeping time with the music. it was filled with a crowd of Indians, half-breed Near by her was a lady of extraordinary diand white men, in red, blue, and yellow flannel mensions, who laughed, and chatted, and shirts, with faces guiltless of a razor, and who danced, her tongue and feet never standing might have passed for respectable savages in still for a moment. All around was a crowd any civilized community. Many of our guests, of lawyers, colonels, judges, merchants, land by a sort of spiritual gravitation, soon found agents, and even editors, many of whom were, their way to the bar-room, where, under the as Martin Chuzzlewit would have been told, influence of cards and whiskey, they easily the most remarkable men in the country.'succeeded in getting into a general quarrel, At length all was ready. The sable waiters, closing the eyes of one gentleman, and leaving now installed as masters of ceremonies, had another in a very pleasant state of unconscious- given their fiddles the preparatory screwing ness, that rendered it for a few moments doubt-up and letting down, and after a premonitory ful whether he had not taken leave of his senses altogether.

Early in the evening unusual preparations in the saloon were apparent, and I learned on inquiry that the town had been invited to a grand ball on board the boat, in honor of her arrival at the City of Superior. I frankly confess to no great relish for such amusements, never having been able to appreciate the sense or the pleasure of spending an evening in saltations to the sound of a fiddle. It is probably owing to a deficiency of early training, having been instructed by parents, who had imbibed the opinion that dancing schools and balls were not absolutely essential to a Christian education. Nor have I been able to see how certain importations of dances, from the dissolute cities and camps of Europe, (which a good Catholic Prelate has called the last sigh of expiring virtue') could be practised by any modest woman, or looked upon by any honorable man without a blush of shame and indigna

tion.

As it was, however, I had the alternative of spending the evening in the cabin, or of stumbling over that long and rough bridge into the woods, already rocking and roaring in the first blasts of a rising tempest. I chose the former, and getting into a corner with a few pleasant

[ocr errors]

scrape, called the partners to their places. I am a poor judge of such performances, but I should say that while as a specimen of ground and lofty tumbling this ball was successful; as an exhibition of exceeding grace and skill it was on the whole a failure.

One tall gentleman as he bowed to, and turned an exceedingly short partner, bore no very distant resemblance to what might be the appearance of a rheumatic giraffe. Another was evidently in bodily fear that his feet might trip him up, and so kept them apart like a pair of stout compasses drawing imaginary figures upon the carpet; while a third was making frantic demonstrations of a desire to jump through the ceiling.

Sometimes the whole company became involved in inextricable confusion, and were obliged to take their places and begin again, and then away they went, forward and back, sideways, and across, up and down, the tall and short, the fat and lean, young and old, red dresses and white, fur tippets and calicoes like a gigantic kaleidoscope, bringing out at each turn some new and extraordinary figure, which had never before been seen, heard of, or imagined.

To say that all this afforded no amusement to a small party who were gathered in one

corner of the cabin, would be hardly keeping bers! It gravely indicates its place of publito the truth. If the dancers enjoyed their cation as No 15 Robertson avenue, and conperformance, the spectators certainly did. It tains among the items a marine list of arrivals was worth the entrance fee to a show. Such and departures from the Port of Superior, and was our introduction to the people of Superior. a business directory of the city, in which law A demonstration of a somewhat different and land offices, groceries and dry goods are character would, I confess, have been more to advertised, and their location, street and nummy taste, but under the circumstances none ber put down with as much accuracy as though other could be had. the city was already a perfect labyrinth of avenues and houses.

The following morning dawned amid the furious blasts of a northeaster, which detained our boat a day, and gave us an opportunity of overlooking the city. Nature has done much for this place already, but art and architecture are evidently only in their incipient stages.

I like that newspaper office. It is in none of your six story flights, looking down on hot and dusty streets, on piles of brick and mortar, and prying into the chimneys of some less aspiring neighbor, but a beautiful quiet nook, A point of land stretching down from Min- where a man may think without the fear of nesota forms a perfect breakwater seven miles interruption, and gather inspiration from the long. Within this, two rivers, the St. Louis waving trees, the song of birds, and the whisand the Nemadji, meet and form a magnificent pering wind. I stood there as if spell bound. harbor, where sail boats were safely playing The storm was howling through those grand about, while the white surges of the lake were old woods, and turning them into a vast organ, piling themselves like mountains upon the while the thunder of the huge breakers that outer shore. Here will doubtless be in time were wildly dashing along the shore formed a an important outlet for commerce towards the deep bass to the mighty anthem that was rollwest. The least study of its geography will ing up toward heaven. Around me the trees show that when it shall become connected with were swaying and rocking in the wind, and the Mississippi valley the tide of population tossing up their strong arms in stern defiance that is setting westward, and especially towards of the tempest, while the lake, roused to madMinnesota and Wisconsin, will flow through ness, was chafing and vexing the shore, and its this channel. The cities of Toronto and wild waves rising and falling with a stately Oswego are anticipating this and preparing for it, while the country is rapidly filling with men who foreseeing its prospective greatness, are availing themselves of the tide, which, "taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."

grandeur as if instinct with life and conscious of their power. Yet nearer by, the beautiful Nemadji was peacefully reposing within its sheltering banks, where it nestles like an infant upon its mother's breast, unconscious of the storm that was raging without.

The immense mineral products of this vast region must necessarily ensure for it a rapid Returning homeward, I paused to visit a increase of wealth and population. But the fellow voyager, a young Englishman, who had present appearance of the new City of Supe- already erected his tent in the woods, through rior is by no means as imposing as its map and which might be obtained on the one hand a its advertisements would indicate. One broad distant view of a cluster of wigwams, and on street, filled with stumps of trees and fallen the other, a newly erected house of logs. He logs and decaying leaves and mud, has been had swung his hammock, and strewed his floor cut through the forest, on which may be seen with fresh leaves, and was smoking his meerhere and there a log hut or a shanty, to the schaum with as much apparent ease and number of about one hundred. On every comfort as though his family were all around hand are heard the vigorous blows of the him, and his fortune made. While seated with woodman's axe, or the saw and hammer of the him upon his great chest, that constituted his mechanic. Almost all professions are here table and sofa, an Indian came in to take a represented, and even the press has made its general survey of the premises. Uttering his way thither, and found its home in a primi- usual grunt of satisfaction, he pulled out his tive hut of logs upon the banks of the Nemadji. pipe, and filling it with Kinnickkinnick, to I had heard of it during the day, and deter- which my friend added some tobacco, he mined to see it. Picking my way over burnt smoked to his satisfaction if not to mine. Our stumps and fallen trees, or sinking into a conversation was somewhat restricted, he not morass of decaying leaves and wood, I passed understanding a word of English, and we beabout a mile southward through the opening ing equally proficient in Ojibway. Accordin the forest which they call Second street, and came at length to a cluster of rude log houses, one of which was the office of the Superior Chronicle, an enterprising weekly journal scarcely three months old, and yet numbering some six or eight hundred subscri

ingly, he smoked in silence, while my friend and I talked, and after being satisfied, knocked out the ashes of his pipe, drew his blanket around him, and disappeared as he came in, with a grunt.

I was strongly reminded as I looked upon

"O for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade."

my English friend, with his good natured face, his broad chest, and his flowing red neckerchief, of Dickens's Mark Tapley, whose great hobby was a desire to be jolly under all cir- And yet as I stood upon the deck of the cumstances, and who found his cheerfulness steamer, on the following morning, looking fully tested in a wild sport at the West, to back on that scene now lighted up by the which speculation had given the name of Eden. rising sun, I felt that out of these rude materiAnd I thought as I left him, in his solitary tent, als, order, and beauty, and strength would at the very outpost of civilization, and in a rise, and that above all, that Christian influland of strangers, that like Mr. Tapley, now ences would speedily diffuse themselves was his time to come out strong, or never.'- through that population, and by means of the Taking one more look at the straggling rows colporter, the teacher, and the church, open of houses as I passed to the shore, I returned fountains of spiritual life and health in the to the boat, having less sympathy than ever midst of that City in the wilderness. with the longing of Cowper :

J. E. R.

NELSON AND THE PIEDMONTESE.-The revo

HERR KUNZEL'S ALBUM.-An interesting col-granted. These autographs of Goethe became lection of modern (mostly German) autographs the nucleus of Herr Kunzel's present collection, is that of Herr Carl Kunzel, of Heilbronn, Wür- and have proved so attractive that at present we temberg. Herr Kunzel is a merchant, and be- believe no name, which has become of consegan his career about twenty-five years ago as a quence during the last quarter of a century in commercial traveller to the large paper manu- Germany, will be looked for in vain in his "Alfactory of Messrs. Rauch, Brothers, Heilbronn. bum of many Leaves." One of the chevaux de Being of a literary turn of mind he profited by bataille of this general collection is an autograph the many opportunities which the nature of his drawing of Schiller's (who, by the bye, was a trade, and his never ceasing travels on the high-very bad draftsman), representing his friend ways and byways of Germany (sometimes also | Körner, the father of Theodore, in the ludicrous to foreign parts), gave him to make the acquain- perplexities of a German paterfamilias. — Athetances of almost all the eminent persons of the næum. period, and to lay upon them, without almost any exception, the willingly paid tax of an autograph leaf for his album. This, to use an expression of his friend Clemens Brentano, was his pa-lution of eighteen hundred and forty-eight, which per business, which he carried on along with the gave to Piedmont a constitution, extended equal paper concern of his masters. One of his earli- rights and privileges to the island of Sardinia. est and most important contributors was no less The recent liberal tariff has abolished all the a person than Goethe himself, whose acquaint- customs' duties with which Sarde produce was ance he made in rather a comical manner. It at one time specially burdened. Lord Nelson was in 1829 when Herr Kunzel, then a very wrote in eighteen hundred and three: "Sardinia young man, came to Weimar, entered Goethe's is very little known; it was the policy of Piedhouse, and, with all his personal and national mont to keep it in the back ground, and it has naivete, asked the great man's valet to hide him been the maxim to rule its inhabitants with sesomewhere in the hall, that he (a" Suabian" as verity, loading its produce with such duties as he called himself when the domestic questioned prevented their growth. I will only mention him about his name, etc.) might only have a peep one instance as a proof. Half a cheese was seized at the celebrated poet, who, he was told, would because a poor man was selling it to our boats, soon pass for his usual promenade. The attend- and it had not paid the duty. Fowls, eggs, beef, ant complied with Herr Kunzel's wish, and then and every article of food are most heavily taxed answered his master's bell; but returned almost on export. The country is fruitful beyond idea, instantly with the message that "his Excellency" and abounds in cattle, sheep, and would in corn, wanted to see the traveller. Herr Kunzel, not wine, and oil. In the hands of a liberal governdreaming of such an honor, felt rather bewildered; ment there is no telling what its produce would but, following the servant, who gently pushed amount to." Lord Nelson's wishes have been him into "his Excellency's " presence, he a min- realized; Sardinia is in the hands of a liberal ute later, saw the Author of Faust standing be- government. Nothing is now needed to make it fore him, tall and majestic, but stretching out a the most flourishing island of its extent in Eafriendly hand and benignly addressing him with rope but roads and harbors, the suppression of the words "The Suabian is not only to see me, convents of ecclesiastical drones, the extension I, too, will see the Suabian." A conversation of education, and the example and instruction about Suabia and Schiller's sister (a patronizing of a few of those intelligent Lombardy landlords friend of Herr Kunzel's) followed, at the end of and farmers whom Austria seems intent on ruinwhich the tribute of one or more autographs was ing.-Dickens's "Household Words."

« VorigeDoorgaan »