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The Lands of the Saracen - Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain
by Bayard Taylor
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The road from Scanderoon to this place lies mostly along the shore of the gulf, at the foot of Akma Dagh, and is reckoned dangerous on account of the marauding bands of Koords who infest the mountains. These people, like the Druses, have rebelled against the conscription, and will probably hold their ground with equal success, though the Turks talk loudly of invading their strongholds. Two weeks ago, the post was robbed, about ten miles from Scanderoon, and a government vessel, now lying at anchor in the bay, opened a cannonade on the plunderers, before they could be secured. In consequence of the warnings of danger in everybody's mouth, we decided to take an escort, and therefore waited upon the commander of the forces, with the firman of the Pasha of Aleppo. A convoy of two soldiers was at once promised us; and at sunrise, next morning, they took the lead of our caravan.

In order to appear more formidable, in case we should meet with robbers, we put on our Frank pantaloons, which had no other effect than to make the heat more intolerable. But we formed rather a fierce cavalcade, six armed men in all. Our road followed the shore of the bay, having a narrow, uninhabited flat, covered with thickets of myrtle and mastic, between us and the mountains. The two soldiers, more valiant than the guard of Banias, rode in advance, and showed no signs of fear as we approached the suspicious places. The morning was delightfully clear, and the snow-crowned range of Taurus shone through the soft vapors hanging over the gulf. In one place, we skirted the shore for some distance, under a bank twenty feet in height, and so completely mantled with shrubbery, that a small army might have hidden in it. There were gulleys at intervals, opening suddenly on our path, and we looked up them, expecting every moment to see the gleam of a Koordish gun-barrel, or a Turcoman spear, above the tops of the myrtles.

Crossing a promontory which makes out from the mountains, we came upon the renowned plain of Issus, where Darius lost his kingdom to Alexander. On a low cliff overhanging the sea, there are the remains of a single tower of gray stone. The people in Scanderoon call it "Jonah's Pillar," and say that it marks the spot where the Ninevite was cast ashore by the whale. [This makes three places on the Syrian coast where Jonah was vomited forth.] The plain of Issus is from two to three miles long, but not more than half a mile wide, It is traversed by a little river, supposed to be the Pinarus, which comes down through a tremendous cleft in the Akma Dagh. The ground seems too small for the battle-field of such armies as were engaged on the occasion. It is bounded on the north by a low hill, separating it from the plain of Baias, and it is possible that Alexander may have made choice of this position, leaving the unwieldy forces of Darius to attack him from the plain. His advantage would be greater, on account of the long, narrow form of the ground, which would prevent him from being engaged with more than a small portion of the Persian army, at one time. The plain is now roseate with blooming oleanders, but almost entirely uncultivated. About midway there are the remains of an ancient quay jutting into the sea.

Soon after leaving the field of Issus, we reached the town of Baias, which is pleasantly situated on the shore, at the mouth of a river whose course through the plain is marked with rows of tall poplar trees. The walls of the town, and the white dome and minaret of its mosque, rose dazzlingly against the dark blue of the sea, and the purple stretch of the mountains of Karamania. A single palm lifted its crest in the foreground. We dismounted for breakfast under the shade of an old bridge which crosses the river. It was a charming spot, the banks above and below being overhung with oleander, white rose, honeysuckle and clematis. The two guardsmen finished the remaining half of our Turcoman cheese, and almost exhausted our supply of bread. I gave one of them a cigar, which he was at a loss how to smoke, until our muleteer showed him.

Baias was celebrated fifty years ago, as the residence of the robber chief, Kutchuk Ali, who, for a long time, braved the authority of the Porte itself. He was in the habit of levying a yearly tribute on the caravan to Mecca, and the better to enforce his claims, often suspended two or three of his captives at the gates of the town, a day or two before the caravan arrived. Several expeditions were sent against him, but he always succeeded in bribing the commanders, who, on their return to Constantinople, made such representations that Kutchuk Ali, instead of being punished, received one dignity after another, until finally he attained the rank of a Pasha of two tails. This emboldened him to commit enormities too great to be overlooked, and in 1812 Baias was taken, and the atrocious nest of land-pirates broken up.

I knew that the town had been sacked on this occasion, but was not prepared to find such a complete picture of desolation. The place is surrounded with a substantial wall, with two gateways, on the north and south. A bazaar, covered with a lofty vaulted roof of stone, runs directly through from gate to gate; and there was still a smell of spices in the air, on entering. The massive shops on either hand, with their open doors, invited possession, and might readily be made habitable again. The great iron gates leading from the bazaar into the khans and courts, still swing on their rusty hinges. We rode into the court of the mosque, which is surrounded with a light and elegant corridor, supported by pillars. The grass has as yet but partially invaded the marble pavement, and a stone drinking-trough still stands in the centre. I urged my horse up the steps and into the door of the mosque. It is in the form of a Greek cross, with a dome in the centre, resting on four very elegant pointed arches. There is an elaborately gilded and painted gallery of wood over the entrance, and the pulpit opposite is as well preserved as if the mollah had just left it. Out of the mosque we passed into a second court, and then over a narrow bridge into the fortress. The moat is perfect, and the walls as complete as if just erected. Only the bottom is dry, and now covered with a thicket of wild pomegranate trees. The heavy iron doors of the fortress swung half open, as we entered unchallenged. The interior is almost entire, and some of the cannon still lie buried in the springing grass. The plan of the little town, which appears to have been all built at one time, is most admirable. The walls of circuit, including the fortress, cannot be more than 300 yards square, and yet none of the characteristics of a large Oriental city are omitted.

Leaving Baias, we travelled northward, over a waste, though fertile plain. The mountains on our right made a grand appearance, with their feet mantled in myrtle, and their tops plumed with pine. They rise from the sea with a long, bold sweep, but each peak falls off in a precipice on the opposite side, as if the chain were the barrier of the world and there was nothing but space beyond. In the afternoon we left the plain for a belt of glorious garden land, made by streams that came down from the mountains. We entered a lane embowered in pomegranate, white rose, clematis, and other flowering vines and shrubs, and overarched by superb plane, lime, and beech trees, chained together with giant grape vines. On either side were fields of ripe wheat and barley, mulberry orchards and groves of fruit trees, under the shade of which the Turkish families sat or slept during the hot hours of the day. Birds sang in the boughs, and the gurgling of water made a cool undertone to their music. Out of fairyland where shall I see again such lovely bowers? We were glad when the soldiers announced that it was necessary to encamp there; as we should find no other habitations for more than twenty miles.

Our tent was pitched under a grand sycamore, beside a swift mountain stream which almost made the circuit of our camp. Beyond the tops of the elm, beech, and fig groves, we saw the picturesque green summits of the lower ranges of Giaour Dagh, in the north-east, while over the southern meadows a golden gleam of sunshine lay upon the Gulf of Scanderoon. The village near us was Chaya, where there is a military station. The guards we had brought from Scanderoon here left us; but the commanding officer advised us to take others on the morrow, as the road was still considered unsafe.



Chapter XVII.

Adana and Tarsus.

The Black Gate—The Plain of Cilicia—A Koord Village—Missis—Cilician Scenery—Arrival at Adana—Three days in Quarantine—We receive Pratique—A Landscape—The Plain of Tarsus—The River Cydnus—A Vision of Cleopatra—Tarsus and its Environs—The Duniktash—The Moon of Ramazan.

"Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city."—Acts, xxi. 89.

Khan on Mt. Taurus, Saturday, June 19, 1852.

We left our camp at Chaya at dawn, with an escort of three soldiers, which we borrowed from the guard stationed at that place. The path led along the shore, through clumps of myrtle beaten inland by the wind, and rounded as smoothly as if they had been clipped by a gardener's shears. As we approached the head of the gulf, the peaked summits of Giaour Dagh, 10,000 feet in height, appeared in the north-east. The streams we forded swarmed with immense trout. A brown hedgehog ran across our road, but when I touched him with the end of my pipe, rolled himself into an impervious ball of prickles. Soon after turning the head of the gulf, the road swerved off to the west, and entered a narrow pass, between hills covered with thick copse-wood. Here we came upon an ancient gateway of black lava stone, which bears marks of great antiquity It is now called Kara Kapu, the "Black Gate," and some suppose it to have been one of the ancient gates of Cilicia.

Beyond this, our road led over high, grassy hills, without a sign of human habitation, to the ruined khan of Koord Koolak, We dismounted and unloaded our baggage in the spacious stone archway, and drove our beasts into the dark, vaulted halls behind. The building was originally intended for a magazine of supplies, and from the ruined mosque near it, I suspect it was formerly one of the caravan stations for the pilgrims from Constantinople to Mecca. The weather was intensely hot and sultry, and our animals were almost crazy from the attacks of a large yellow gad-fly. After the noonday heat was over we descended to the first Cilician plain, which is bounded on the west by the range of Durdun Dagh. As we had now passed the most dangerous part of the road, we dismissed the three soldiers and took but a single man with us. The entire plain is covered with wild fennel, six to eight feet in height, and literally blazing with its bloomy yellow tops. Riding through it, I could barely look over them, and far and wide, on all sides, spread a golden sea, out of which the long violet hills rose with the liveliest effect. Brown, shining serpents, from four to six feet in length, frequently slid across our path. The plain, which must be sixty miles in circumference, is wholly uncultivated, though no land could possibly be richer.

Out of the region of fennel we passed into one of red and white clover, timothy grass and wild oats. The thistles were so large as to resemble young palm-trees, and the salsify of our gardens grew rank and wild. At length we dipped into the evening shadow of Durdun Dagh, and reached the village of Koord Keui, on his lower slope. As there was no place for our tent on the rank grass of the plain or the steep side of the hill, we took forcible possession of the winnowing-floor, a flat terrace built up under two sycamores, and still covered with the chaff of the last threshing. The Koords took the whole thing as a matter of course, and even brought us a felt carpet to rest upon. They came and seated themselves around us, chatting sociably, while we lay in the tent-door, smoking the pipe of refreshment. The view over the wide golden plain, and the hills beyond, to the distant, snow-tipped peaks of Akma Dagh, was superb, as the shadow of the mountain behind us slowly lengthened over it, blotting out the mellow lights of sunset. There were many fragments of pillars and capitals of white marble built up in the houses, showing that they occupied the site of some ancient village or temple.

The next morning, we crossed Durdun Dagh, and entered the great plain of Cilicia. The range, after we had passed it, presented a grand, bold, broken outline, blue in the morning vapor, and wreathed with shifting belts of cloud. A stately castle, called the Palace of Serpents, on the summit of an isolated peak to the north, stood out clear and high, in the midst of a circle of fog, like a phantom picture of the air. The River Jyhoon, the ancient Pyramus, which rises on the borders of Armenia, sweeps the western base of the mountains. It is a larger stream than the Orontes, with a deep, rapid current, flowing at the bottom of a bed lower than the level of the plain. In three hours, we reached Missis, the ancient Mopsuestia, on the right bank of the river. There are extensive ruins on the left bank, which were probably those of the former city. The soil for some distance around is scattered with broken pillars, capitals, and hewn stones. The ancient bridge still crosses the river, but the central arch having been broken away, is replaced with a wooden platform. The modern town is a forlorn place, and all the glorious plain around it is uncultivated. The view over this plain was magnificent: unbounded towards the sea, but on the north girdled by the sublime range of Taurus, whose great snow-fields gleamed in the sun. In the afternoon, we reached the old bridge over the Jyhoon, at Adana. The eastern bank is occupied with the graves of the former inhabitants, and there are at least fifteen acres of tombstones, as thickly planted as the graves can be dug. The fields of wheat and barley along the river are very rich, and at present the natives are busily occupied in drawing the sheaves on large sleds to the open threshing-floors.

The city is built over a low eminence, and its four tall minarets, with a number of palm-trees rising from the mass of brown brick walls, reminded me of Egypt. At the end of the bridge, we were met by one of the Quarantine officers, who preceded us, taking care that we touched nobody in the streets, to the Quarantine building. This land quarantine, between Syria and Asia Minor, when the former country is free from any epidemic, seems a most absurd thing. We were detained at Adana three days and a half, to be purified, before proceeding further. Lately, the whole town was placed in quarantine for five days, because a Turkish Bey, who lives near Baias, entered the gates without being noticed, and was found in the bazaars. The Quarantine building was once a palace of the Pashas of Adana, but is now in a half-ruined condition. The rooms are large and airy, and there is a spacious open divan which affords ample shade and a cool breeze throughout the whole day. Fortunately for us, there were only three persons in Quarantine, who occupied a room distant from ours. The Inspector was a very obliging person, and procured us a table and two chairs. The only table to be had in the whole place—a town of 15,000 inhabitants—belonged to an Italian merchant, who kindly gave it for our use. We employed a messenger to purchase provisions in the bazaars; and our days passed quietly in writing, smoking, and gazing indolently from our windows upon the flowery plains beyond the town. Our nights, however, were tormented by small white gnats, which stung us unmercifully. The physician of Quarantine, Dr. Spagnolo, is a Venetian refugee, and formerly editor of La Lega Italiana, a paper published in Venice during the revolution. He informed us that, except the Princess Belgioioso, who passed through Adana on her way to Jerusalem, we were the only travellers he had seen for eleven months.

After three days and four nights of grateful, because involuntary, indolence, Dr. Spagnolo gave us pratique, and we lost no time in getting under weigh again. We were the only occupants of Quarantine; and as we moved out of the portal of the old serai, at sunrise, no one was guarding it. The Inspector and Mustapha, the messenger, took their back-sheeshes with silent gratitude. The plain on the west side of the town is well cultivated; and as we rode along towards Tarsus, I was charmed with the rich pastoral air of the scenery. It was like one of the midland landscapes of England, bathed in Southern sunshine. The beautiful level, stretching away to the mountains, stood golden with the fields of wheat which the reapers were cutting. It was no longer bare, but dotted with orange groves, clumps of holly, and a number of magnificent terebinth-trees, whose dark, rounded masses of foliage remind one of the Northern oak. Cattle were grazing in the stubble, and horses, almost buried under loads of fresh grass, met us as they passed to the city. The sheaves were drawn to the threshing-floor on sleds, and we could see the husbandmen in the distance treading out and winnowing the grain. Over these bright, busy scenes, rose the lesser heights of the Taurus, and beyond them, mingled in white clouds, the snows of the crowning range.

The road to Tarsus, which is eight hours distant, lies over an unbroken plain. Towards the sea, there are two tumuli, resembling those on the plains east of Antioch. Stone wells, with troughs for watering horses, occur at intervals of three or four miles; but there is little cultivation after leaving the vicinity of Adana. The sun poured down an intense summer heat, and hundreds of large gad-flies, swarming around us, drove the horses wild with their stings. Towards noon, we stopped at a little village for breakfast. We took possession of a shop, which the good-natured merchant offered us, and were about to spread our provisions upon the counter, when the gnats and mosquitoes fairly drove us away. We at once went forward in search of a better place, which gave occasion to our chief mukkairee, Hadji Youssuf, for a violent remonstrance. The terms of the agreement at Aleppo gave the entire control of the journey into our own hands, and the Hadji now sought to violate it. He protested against our travelling more than six hours a day, and conducted himself so insolently, that we threatened to take him before the Pasha of Tarsus. This silenced him for the time; but we hate him so cordially since then, that I foresee we shall have more trouble. In the afternoon, a gust, sweeping along the sides of Taurus, cooled the air and afforded us a little relief.

By three o'clock we reached the River Cydnus, which is bare of trees on its eastern side, but flows between banks covered with grass and shrubs. It is still spanned by the ancient bridge, and the mules now step in the hollow ruts worn long ago by Roman and Byzantine chariot wheels. The stream is not more than thirty yards broad, but has a very full and rapid current of a bluish-white color, from the snows which feed it. I rode down to the brink and drank a cup of the water. It was exceedingly cold, and I do not wonder that a bath in it should have killed the Emperor Barbarossa. From the top of the bridge, there is a lovely view, down the stream, where it washes a fringe of willows and heavy fruit-trees on its western bank, and then winds away through the grassy plain, to the sea. For once, my fancy ran parallel with the inspiration of the scene. I could think of nothing but the galley of Cleopatra slowly stemming the current of the stream, its silken sails filled with the sea-breeze, its gilded oars keeping time to the flutes, whose voluptuous melodies floated far out over the vernal meadows. Tarsus was probably almost hidden then, as now, by its gardens, except just where it touched the river; and the dazzling vision of the Egyptian Queen, as she came up conquering and to conquer, must have been all the more bewildering, from the lovely bowers through which she sailed.

From the bridge an ancient road still leads to the old Byzantine gate of Tarsus. Part of the town is encompassed by a wall, built by the Caliph Haroun Al-Raschid, and there is a ruined fortress, which is attributed to Sultan Bajazet Small streams, brought from the Cydnus, traverse the environs, and, with such a fertile soil, the luxuriance of the gardens in which the city lies buried is almost incredible. In our rambles in search of a place to pitch the tent, we entered a superb orange-orchard, the foliage of which made a perpetual twilight. Many of the trunks were two feet in diameter. The houses are mostly of one story, and the materials are almost wholly borrowed from the ancient city. Pillars, capitals, fragments of cornices and entablatures abound. I noticed here, as in Adana, a high wooden frame on the top of every house, raised a few steps above the roof, and covered with light muslin, like a portable bathing-house. Here the people put up their beds in the evening, sleep, and come down to the roofs in the morning—an excellent plan for getting better air in these malarious plains and escaping from fleas and mosquitoes. In our search for the Armenian Church, which is said to have been founded by St. Paul ("Saul of Tarsus"), we came upon a mosque, which had been originally a Christian Church, of Greek times.

From the top of a mound, whereupon stand the remains of an ancient circular edifice, we obtained a fine view of the city and plain of Tarsus. A few houses or clusters of houses stood here and there like reefs amid the billowy green, and the minarets—one of them with a nest of young storks on its very summit—rose like the masts of sunken ships. Some palms lifted their tufted heads from the gardens, beyond which the great plain extended from the mountains to the sea. The tumulus near Mersyn, the port of Tarsus, was plainly visible. Two hours from Mersyn are the ruins of Pompeiopolis, the name given by Pompey to the town of Soli, after his conquest of the Cilician pirates. From Soli, on account of the bad Greek spoken by its inhabitants, came the term "solecism." The ruins of Pompeiopolis consist of a theatre, temples, and a number of houses, still in good preservation. The whole coast, as far as Aleya, three hundred miles west of this, is said to abound with ruined cities, and I regret exceedingly that time will not permit me to explore it.

While searching for the antiquities about Tarsus, I accosted a man in a Frank dress, who proved to be the Neapolitan Consul. He told us that the most remarkable relic was the Duniktash (the Round Stone), and procured us a guide. It lies in a garden near the city, and is certainly one of the most remarkable monuments in the East. It consists of a square inclosure of solid masonry, 350 feet long by 150 feet wide, the walls of which are eighteen feet in thickness and twenty feet high. It appears to have been originally a solid mass, without entrance, but a passage has been broken in one place, and in another there is a split or fissure, evidently produced by an earthquake. The material is rough stone, brick and mortar. Inside of the inclosure are two detached square masses of masonry, of equal height, and probably eighty feet on a side, without opening of any kind. One of them has been pierced at the bottom, a steep passage leading to a pit or well, but the sides of the passage thus broken indicate that the whole structure is one solid mass. It is generally supposed that they were intended as tombs: but of whom? There is no sign by which they may be recognized, and, what is more singular, no tradition concerning them.

The day we reached Tarsus was the first of the Turkish fast-month of Ramazan, the inhabitants having seen the new moon the night before. At Adana, where they did not keep such a close look-out, the fast had not commenced. During its continuance, which is from twenty-eight to twenty-nine days, no Mussulman dares eat, drink, or smoke, from an hour before sunrise till half an hour after sunset. The Mohammedan months are lunar, and each month makes the whole round of the seasons, once in thirty-three years. When, therefore, the Ramazan comes in midsummer, as at present, the fulfilment of this fast is a great trial, even to the strongest and most devout. Eighteen hours without meat or drink, and what is still worse to a genuine Turk, without a pipe, is a rigid test of faith. The rich do the best they can to avoid it, by feasting all night and sleeping all day, but the poor, who must perform their daily avocations, as usual, suffer exceedingly. In walking through Tarsus I saw many wretched faces in the bazaars, and the guide who accompanied us had a painfully famished air. Fortunately the Koran expressly permits invalids, children, and travellers to disregard the fast, so that although we eat and drink when we like, we are none the less looked upon as good Mussulmans. About dark a gun is fired and a rocket sent up from the mosque, announcing the termination of the day's fast. The meals are already prepared, the pipes filled, the coffee smokes in the finjans, and the echoes have not died away nor the last sparks of the rocket become extinct, before half the inhabitants are satisfying their hunger, thirst and smoke-lust.

We left Tarsus this morning, and are now encamped among the pines of Mount Taurus. The last flush of sunset is fading from his eternal snows, and I drop my pen to enjoy the silence of twilight in this mountain solitude.



Chapter XVIII.

The Pass of Mount Taurus.

We enter the Taurus—Turcomans—Forest Scenery—the Palace of Pan—Khan Mezarluk—Morning among the Mountains—The Gorge of the Cydnus—The Crag of the Fortress—The Cilician Gate—Deserted Forts—A Sublime Landscape—The Gorge of the Sihoon—The Second Gate—Camp in the Defile—Sunrise—Journey up the Sihoon—A Change of Scenery—A Pastoral Valley—Kolue Kushla—A Deserted Khan—A Guest in Ramazan—Flowers—The Plain of Karamania—Barren Hills—The Town of Eregli—The Hadji again.

"Lo! where the pass expands Its stony jaws, the abrupt mountain breaks, And seems, with its accumulated crags, To overhang the world." Shelley.

Eregli, in Karamania, June 22, 1852.

Striking our tent in the gardens of Tarsus, we again crossed the Cydnus, and took a northern course across the plain. The long line of Taurus rose before us, seemingly divided into four successive ranges, the highest of which was folded in clouds; only the long streaks of snow, filling the ravines, being visible. The outlines of these ranges were very fine, the waving line of the summits cut here and there by precipitous gorges—the gateways of rivers that came down to the plain. In about two hours, we entered the lower hills. They are barren and stony, with a white, chalky soil; but the valleys were filled with myrtle, oleander, and lauristinus in bloom, and lavender grew in great profusion on the hill-sides. The flowers of the oleander gave out a delicate, almond-like fragrance, and grew in such dense clusters as frequently to hide the foliage. I amused myself with finding a derivation of the name of this beautiful plant, which may answer until somebody discovers a better one. Hero, when the corpse of her lover was cast ashore by the waves, buried him under an oleander bush, where she was accustomed to sit daily, and lament over his untimely fate. Now, a foreign horticulturist, happening to pass by when the shrub was in blossom, was much struck with its beauty, and asked Hero what it was called. But she, absorbed in grief, and thinking only of her lover, clasped her hands, and sighed out: "O Leander! O Leander!" which the horticulturist immediately entered in his note-book as the name of the shrub; and by that name it is known, to the present time.

For two or three hours, the scenery was rather tame, the higher summits being obscured with a thunder-cloud. Towards noon, however, we passed the first chain, and saw, across a strip of rolling land intervening, the grand ramparts of the second, looming dark and large under the clouds. A circular watch-tower of white stone, standing on the summit of a promontory at the mouth of a gorge on our right, flashed out boldly against the storm. We stopped under an oak-tree to take breakfast; but there was no water; and two Turks, who were resting while their horses grazed in the meadow, told us we should find a good spring half a mile further. We ascended a long slope, covered with wheat-fields, where numbers of Turcoman reapers were busy at work, passed their black tents, surrounded with droves of sheep and goats, and reached a rude stone fountain of good water, where two companies of these people had stopped to rest, on their way to the mountains. It was the time of noon prayer, and they went through their devotions with great solemnity. We nestled deep in a bed of myrtles, while we breakfasted; for the sky was clouded, and the wind blew cool and fresh from the region of rain above us. Some of the Turcomans asked us for bread, and were very grateful when we gave it to them.

In the afternoon, we came into a higher and wilder region, where the road led through thickets of wild olive, holly, oak, and lauristinus, with occasional groves of pine. What a joy I felt in hearing, once more, the grand song of my favorite tree! Our way was a woodland road; a storm had passed over the region in the morning; the earth was still fresh and moist, and there was an aromatic smell of leaves in the air. We turned westward into the entrance of a deep valley, over which hung a perpendicular cliff of gray and red rock, fashioned by nature so as to resemble a vast fortress, with windows, portals and projecting bastions. Francois displayed his knowledge of mythology, by declaring it to be the Palace of Pan. While we were carrying out the idea, by making chambers for the Fauns and Nymphs in the basement story of the precipice, the path wound around the shoulder of the mountain, and the glen spread away before us, branching up into loftier ranges, disclosing through its gateway of cliffs, rising out of the steeps of pine forest, a sublime vista of blue mountain peaks, climbing to the topmost snows. It was a magnificent Alpine landscape, more glowing and rich than Switzerland, yet equalling it in all the loftier characteristics of mountain scenery. Another and greater precipice towered over us on the right, and the black eagles which had made their eyries in its niched and caverned vaults, were wheeling around its crest. A branch of the Cydnus foamed along the bottom of the gorge, and soma Turcoman boys were tending their herds on its banks.

Further up the glen, we found a fountain of delicious water, beside the deserted Khan of Mezarluk, and there encamped for the night. Our tent was pitched on the mountain side, near a fountain of the coolest, clearest and sweetest water I have seen in all the East. There was perfect silence among the mountains, and the place was as lonely as it was sublime. The night was cool and fresh; but I could not sleep until towards morning. When I opened my belated eyes, the tall peaks on the opposite side of the glen were girdled below their waists with the flood of a sparkling sunrise. The sky was pure as crystal, except a soft white fleece that veiled the snowy pinnacles of Taurus, folding and unfolding, rising and sinking, as if to make their beauty still more attractive by the partial concealment. The morning air was almost cold, but so pure and bracing—so aromatic with the healthy breath of the pines—that I took it down in the fullest possible draughts.

We rode up the glen, following the course of the Cydnus, through scenery of the wildest and most romantic character. The bases of the mountains were completely enveloped in forests of pine, but their summits rose in precipitous crags, many hundreds of feet in height, hanging above our very heads. Even after the sun was five hours high, their shadows fell upon us from the opposite side of the glen. Mixed with the pine were occasional oaks, an undergrowth of hawthorn in bloom, and shrubs covered with yellow and white flowers. Over these the wild grape threw its rich festoons, filling the air with exquisite fragrance.

Out of this glen, we passed into another, still narrower and wilder. The road was the old Roman way, and in tolerable condition, though it had evidently not been mended for many centuries. In half an hour, the pass opened, disclosing an enormous peak in front of us, crowned with the ruins of an ancient fortress of considerable extent. The position was almost impregnable, the mountain dropping on one side into a precipice five hundred feet in perpendicular height. Under the cliffs of the loftiest ridge, there was a terrace planted with walnut-trees: a charming little hamlet in the wilderness. Wild sycamore-trees, with white trunks and bright green foliage, shaded the foamy twists of the Cydnus, as it plunged down its difficult bed. The pine thrust its roots into the naked precipices, and from their summits hung out over the great abysses below. I thought of OEnone's

—"tall, dark pines, that fringed the craggy ledge High over the blue gorge, and all between The snowy peak and snow-white cataract Fostered the callow eaglet;"

and certainly she had on Mount Ida no more beautiful trees than these.

We had doubled the Crag of the Fortress, when the pass closed before us, shut in by two immense precipices of sheer, barren rock, more than a thousand feet in height. Vast fragments, fallen from above, choked up the entrance, whence the Cydnus, spouting forth in foam, leaped into the defile. The ancient road was completely destroyed, but traces of it were to be seen on the rocks, ten feet above the present bed of the stream, and on the broken masses which had been hurled below. The path wound with difficulty among these wrecks, and then merged into the stream itself, as we entered the gateway. A violent wind blew in our faces as we rode through the strait, which is not ten yards in breadth, while its walls rise to the region of the clouds. In a few minutes we had traversed it, and stood looking back on the enormous gap. There were several Greek tablets cut in the rock above the old road, but so defaced as to be illegible. This is undoubtedly the principal gate of the Taurus, and the pass through which the armies of Cyrus and Alexander entered Cilicia.

Beyond the gate the mountains retreated, and we climbed up a little dell, past two or three Turcoman houses, to the top of a hill, whence opened a view of the principal range, now close at hand. The mountains in front were clothed with dark cedars to their very tops, and the snow-fields behind them seemed dazzlingly bright and near. Our course for several miles now lay through a more open valley, drained by the upper waters of the Cydnus. On two opposing terraces of the mountain chains are two fortresses, built by Ibraham Pasha, but now wholly deserted. They are large and well-constructed works of stone, and surrounded by ruins of stables, ovens, and the rude houses of the soldiery. Passing between these, we ascended to the shelf dividing the waters of the Cydnus and the Sihoon. From the point where the slope descends to the latter river, there opened before me one of the most glorious landscapes I ever beheld. I stood at the extremity of a long hollow or depression between the two ranges of the Taurus—not a valley, for it was divided by deep cloven chasms, hemmed in by steeps overgrown with cedars. On my right rose a sublime chain, soaring far out of the region of trees, and lifting its peaked summits of gray rock into toe sky. Another chain, nearly as lofty, but not so broken, nor with such large, imposing features, overhung me on the left; and far in front, filling up the magnificent vista—filling up all between the lower steeps, crowned with pine, and the round white clouds hanging on the verge of heaven—were the shining snows of the Taurus. Great God, how shall I describe the grandeur of that view! How draw the wonderful outlines of those mountains! How paint the airy hue of violet-gray, the soft white lights, the thousandfold pencillings of mellow shadow, the height, the depth, the far-reaching vastness of the landscape!

In the middle distance, a great blue gorge passed transversely across the two ranges and the region between. This, as I rightly conjectured, was the bed of the Sihoon. Our road led downward through groves of fragrant cedars, and we travelled thus for two hours before reaching the river. Taking a northward course up his banks, we reached the second of the Pylae Ciliciae before sunset. It is on a grander scale than the first gate, though not so startling and violent in its features. The bare walls on either side fall sheer to the water, and the road, crossing the Sihoon by a lofty bridge of a single arch, is cut along the face of the rock. Near the bridge a subterranean stream, almost as large as the river, bursts forth from the solid heart of the mountain. On either side gigantic masses of rock, with here and there a pine to adorn their sterility, tower to the height of 6,000 feet, in some places almost perpendicular from summit to base. They are worn and broken into all fantastic forms. There are pyramids, towers, bastions, minarets, and long, sharp spires, splintered and jagged as the turrets of an iceberg. I have seen higher mountains, but I have never seen any which looked so high as these. We camped on a narrow plot of ground, in the very heart of the tremendous gorge. A soldier, passing along at dusk, told us that a merchant and his servant were murdered in the same place last winter, and advised us to keep watch. But we slept safely all night, while the stars sparkled over the chasm, and slips of misty cloud hung low on the thousand pinnacles of rock.

When I awoke, the gorge lay in deep shadow; but high up on the western mountain, above the enormous black pyramids that arose from the river, the topmost pinnacles of rock sparkled like molten silver, in the full gush of sunrise. The great mountain, blocking up the gorge behind us, was bathed almost to its foot in the rays, and, seen through such a dark vista, was glorified beyond all other mountains of Earth. The air was piercingly cold and keen, and I could scarcely bear the water of the Sihoon on my sun-inflamed face. There was a little spring not far off, from which we obtained sufficient water to drink, the river being too muddy. The spring was but a thread oozing from the soil; but the Hadji collected it in handfuls, which he emptied into his water-skin, and then brought to us.

The morning light gave a still finer effect to the manifold forms of the mountains than that of the afternoon sun. The soft gray hue of the rocks shone clearly against the cloudless sky, fretted all over with the shadows thrown by their innumerable spires and jutting points, and by the natural arches scooped out under the cliffs. After travelling less than an hour, we passed the riven walls of the mighty gateway, and rode again under the shade of pine forests. The height of the mountains now gradually diminished, and their sides, covered with pine and cedar, became less broken and abrupt. The summits, nevertheless, still retained the same rocky spine, shooting up into tall, single towers, or long lines of even parapets Occasionally, through gaps between, we caught glimpses of the snow-fields, dazzlingly high and white.

After travelling eight or nine miles, we emerged from the pass, and left the Sihoon at a place called Chiftlik Khan—a stone building, with a small fort adjoining, wherein fifteen splendid bronze cannon lay neglected on their broken and rotting carriages. As we crossed the stone bridge over the river, a valley opened suddenly on the left, disclosing the whole range of the Taurus, which we now saw on its northern side, a vast stretch of rocky spires, with sparkling snow-fields between, and long ravines filled with snow, extending far down between the dark blue cliffs and the dark green plumage of the cedars.

Immediately after passing the central chain of the Taurus, the character of the scenery changed. The heights were rounded, the rocky strata only appearing on the higher peaks, and the slopes of loose soil were deeply cut and scarred by the rains of ages. Both in appearance, especially in the scattered growth of trees dotted over the dark red soil, and in their formation, these mountains strongly resemble the middle ranges of the Californian Sierra Nevada. We climbed a long, winding glen, until we had attained a considerable height, when the road reached a dividing ridge, giving us a view of a deep valley, beyond which a chain of barren mountains rose to the height of some five thousand feet. As we descended the rocky path, a little caravan of asses and mules clambered up to meet us, along the brinks of steep gulfs. The narrow strip of bottom land along the stream was planted with rye, now in head, and rolling in silvery waves before the wind.

After our noonday halt, we went over the hills to another stream, which came from the north-west. Its valley was broader and greener than that we had left, and the hills inclosing it had soft and undulating outlines. They were bare of trees, but colored a pale green by their thin clothing of grass and herbs. In this valley the season was so late, owing to its height above the sea, that the early spring-flowers were yet in bloom. Poppies flamed among the wheat, and the banks of the stream were brilliant with patches of a creeping plant, with a bright purple blossom. The asphodel grew in great profusion, and an ivy-leaved shrub, covered with flakes of white bloom, made the air faint with its fragrance. Still further up, we came to orchards of walnut and plum trees, and vineyards There were no houses, but the innabitants, who were mostly Turcomans, live in villages during the winter, and in summer pitch their tents on the mountains where they pasture their flocks. Directly over this quiet pastoral, vale towered the Taurus, and I looked at once on its secluded loveliness and on the wintry heights, whose bleak and sublime heads were mantled in clouds. From no point is there a more imposing view of the whole snowy range. Near the head of the valley we passed a large Turcoman encampment, surrounded with herds of sheep and cattle.

We halted for the evening at a place called Kolue-Kushla—-an immense fortress-village, resembling Baias, and like it, wholly deserted. Near it there is a small town of very neat houses, which is also deserted, the inhabitants having gone into the mountains with their flocks. I walked through the fortress, which is a massive building of stone, about 500 feet square, erected by Sultan Murad as a resting-place for the caravans to Mecca. It has two spacious portals, in which the iron doors are still hanging, connected by a vaulted passage, twenty feet high and forty wide, with bazaars on each side. Side gateways open into large courts, surrounded with arched chambers. There is a mosque entire, with its pulpit and galleries, and the gilded crescent still glittering over its dome. Behind it is a bath, containing an entrance hall and half a dozen chambers, in which the water-pipes and stone tanks still remain. With a little alteration, the building would make a capital Phalanstery, where the Fourierites might try their experiment without contact with Society. There is no field for them equal to Asia Minor—a glorious region, abounding in natural wealth, almost depopulated, and containing a great number of Phalansteries ready built.

We succeeded in getting some eggs, fowls, and milk from an old Turcoman who had charge of the village. A man who rode by on a donkey sold us a bag of yaourt (sour milk-curds), which was delicious, notwithstanding the suspicious appearance of the bag. It was made before the cream had been removed, and was very rich and nourishing. The old Turcoman sat down and watched us while we ate, but would not join us, as these wandering tribes are very strict in keeping Ramazan. When we had reached our dessert—a plate of fine cherries—another white-bearded and dignified gentleman visited us. We handed him the cherries, expecting that he would take a few and politely return the dish: but no such thing. He coolly produced his handkerchief, emptied everything into it, and marched off. He also did not venture to eat, although we pointed to the Taurus, on whose upper snows the last gleam of daylight was just melting away.

We arose this morning in a dark, cloudy dawn. There was a heavy black storm hanging low in the west, and another was gathering its forces along the mountains behind us. A cold wind blew down the valley, and long peals of thunder rolled grandly among the gorges of Taurus. An isolated hill, crowned with a shattered crag which bore a striking resemblance to a ruined fortress, stood out black and sharp against the far, misty, sunlit peaks. As far as the springs were yet undried, the land was covered with flowers. In one place I saw a large square plot of the most brilliant crimson hue, burning amid the green wheat-fields, as if some Tyrian mantle had been flung there. The long, harmonious slopes and rounded summits of the hills were covered with drifts of a beautiful purple clover, and a diminutive variety of the achillea, or yarrow, with glowing yellow blossoms. The leaves had a pleasant aromatic odor, and filled the air with their refreshing breath, as they were crushed under the hoofs of our horses.

We had now reached the highest ridge of the hilly country along the northern base of Taurus, and saw, far and wide before us, the great central plain of Karamania. Two isolated mountains, at forty or fifty miles distance, broke the monotony of the desert-like level: Kara Dagh in the west, and the snow-capped summits of Hassan Dagh in the north-east. Beyond the latter, we tried to catch a glimpse of the famous Mons Argseus, at the base of which is Kaisariyeh, the ancient Caesarea of Cappadocia. This mountain, which is 13,000 feet high, is the loftiest peak of Asia Minor. The clouds hung low on the horizon, and the rains were falling, veiling it from our sight.

Our road, for the remainder of the day, was over barren hills, covered with scanty herbage. The sun shone out intensely hot, and the glare of the white soil was exceedingly painful to my eyes. The locality of Eregli was betrayed, some time before we reached it, by its dark-green belt of fruit trees. It stands in the mouth of a narrow valley which winds down from the Taurus, and is watered by a large rapid stream that finally loses itself in the lakes and morasses of the plain. There had been a heavy black thunder-cloud gathering, and as we reached our camping-ground, under some fine walnut-trees near the stream, a sudden blast of cold wind swept over the town, filling the air with dust. We pitched the tent in all haste, expecting a storm, but the rain finally passed to the northward. We then took a walk through the town, which is a forlorn place. A spacious khan, built apparently for the Mecca pilgrims, is in ruins, but the mosque has an exquisite minaret, eighty feet high, and still bearing traces of the devices, in blue tiles, which once covered it. The shops were mostly closed, and in those which were still open the owners lay at full length on their bellies, their faces gaunt with fasting. They seemed annoyed at our troubling them, even with purchases. One would have thought that some fearful pestilence had fallen upon the town. The cobblers only, who somewhat languidly plied their implements, seemed to retain a little life. The few Jews and Armenians smoked their pipes in a tantalizing manner, in the very faces of the poor Mussulmans. We bought an oka of excellent cherries, which we were cruel enough to taste in the streets, before the hungry eyes of the suffering merchants.

This evening the asses belonging to the place were driven in from pasture—four or five hundred in all; and such a show of curious asinine specimens as I never before beheld. A Dervish, who was with us in Quarantine, at Adana, has just arrived. He had lost his teskere (passport), and on issuing forth purified, was cast into prison. Finally he found some one who knew him, and procured his release. He had come on foot to this place in five days, suffering many privations, having been forty-eight hours without food. He is bound to Konia, on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Hazret Mevlana, the founder of the sect of dancing Dervishes. We gave him food, in return for which he taught me the formula of his prayers. He tells me I should always pronounce the name of Allah when my horse stumbles, or I see a man in danger of his life, as the word has a saving power. Hadji Youssuf, who has just been begging for an advance of twenty piastres to buy grain for his horses, swore "by the pardon of God" that he would sell the lame horse at Konia and get a better one. We have lost all confidence in the old villain's promises, but the poor beasts shall not suffer for his delinquencies.

Our tent is in a charming spot, and, from without, makes a picture to be remembered. The yellow illumination from within strikes on the under sides of the walnut boughs, while the moonlight silvers them from above. Beyond gardens where the nightingales are singing, the tall minaret of Eregli stands revealed in the vapory glow. The night is too sweet and balmy for sleep, and yet I must close my eyes upon it, for the hot plains of Karamania await us to-morrow.



Chapter XIX.

The Plains of Karamania.

The Plains of Karamania—Afternoon Heat—A Well—Volcanic Phenomena—Kara-bounar—A Grand Ruined Khan—Moonlight Picture—A Landscape of the Plains-Mirages—A Short Interview—The Village of Ismil—-Third Day on the Plains—Approach to Konia.

"A weary waste, expanding to the skies."—Goldsmith.

Konia, Capital of Karamania, Friday, June 25, 1854.

Francois awoke us at the break of day, at Eregli, as we had a journey of twelve hours before us. Passing through the town, we traversed a narrow belt of garden and orchard land, and entered the great plain of Karamania. Our road led at first northward towards a range called Karadja Dagh, and then skirted its base westward. After three hours' travel we passed a village of neat, whitewashed houses, which were entirely deserted, all the inhabitants having gone off to the mountains. There were some herds scattered over the plain, near the village. As the day wore on, the wind, which had been chill in the morning, ceased, and the air became hot and sultry. The glare from the white soil was so painful that I was obliged to close my eyes, and so ran a continual risk of falling asleep and tumbling from my horse. Thus, drowsy and half unconscious of my whereabouts, I rode on in the heat and arid silence of the plain until noon, when we reached a well. It was a shaft, sunk about thirty feet deep, with a long, sloping gallery slanting off to the surface. The well was nearly dry, but by descending the gallery we obtained a sufficient supply of cold, pure water. We breakfasted in the shaded doorway, sharing our provisions with a Turcoman boy, who was accompanying his father to Eregli with a load of salt.

Our road now crossed a long, barren pass, between two parts of Karadja Dagh. Near the northern side there was a salt lake of one hundred yards in diameter, sunk in a deep natural basin. The water was intensely saline. On the other side of the road, and a quarter of a mile distant, is an extinct volcano, the crater of which, near two hundred feet deep, is a salt lake, with a trachytic cone three hundred feet high rising from the centre. From the slope of the mountain we overlooked another and somewhat deeper plain, extending to the north and west. It was bounded by broken peaks, all of which betrayed a volcanic origin. Far before us we saw the tower on the hill of Kara-bounar, our resting-place for the night. The road thither was over a barren plain, cheered here and there by patches of a cushion-like plant, which was covered with pink blossoms. Mr. Harrison scared up some coveys of the frankolin, a large bird resembling the pheasant, and enriched our larder with a dozen starlings.

Kara-bounar is built on the slope of a mound, at the foot of which stands a spacious mosque, visible far over the plain. It has a dome, and two tall, pencil-like towers, similar to those of the Citadel-mosque of Cairo. Near it are the remains of a magnificent khan-fortress, said to have been built by the eunuch of one of the former Sultans. As there was no water in the wells outside of the town, we entered the khan and pitched the tent in its grass-grown court. Six square pillars of hewn stone made an aisle to our door, and the lofty, roofless walls of the court, 100 by 150 feet, inclosed us. Another court, of similar size, communicated with it by a broad portal, and the remains of baths and bazaars lay beyond. A handsome stone fountain, with two streams of running water, stood in front of the khan. We were royally lodged, but almost starved in our splendor, as only two or three Turcomans remained out of two thousand (who had gone off with their herds to the mountains), and they were unable to furnish us with provisions. But for our frankolins and starlings we should have gone fasting.

The mosque was a beautiful structure of white limestone, and the galleries of its minarets were adorned with rich arabesque ornaments. While the muezzin was crying his sunset-call to prayer, I entered the portico and looked into the interior, which was so bare as to appear incomplete. As we sat in our palace-court, after dinner, the moon arose, lighting up the niches in the walls, the clusters of windows in the immense eastern gable, and the rows of massive columns. The large dimensions of the building gave it a truly grand effect, and but for the whine of a distant jackal I could have believed that we were sitting in the aisles of a roofless Gothic cathedral, in the heart of Europe. Francois was somewhat fearful of thieves, but the peace and repose of the place we've so perfect that I would not allow any such apprehensions to disturb me. In two minutes after I touched my bed I was insensible, and I did not move a limb until sunrise.

Beyond Kara-bounar, there is a low, barren ridge, climbing which, we overlooked an immense plain, uncultivated, apparently unfertile, and without a sign of life as far as the eye could reach. Kara Dagh, in the south, lifted nearer us its cluster of dark summits; to the north, the long ridge of Uesedjik Dagh (the Pigmy Mountain) stretched like a cape into the plain; Hassan Dagh; wrapped in a soft white cloud, receded behind us, and the snows of Taurus seemed almost as distant as when we first beheld them from the Syrian Gates. We rode for four hours over the dead level, the only objects that met our eyes being an occasional herd of camels in the distance. About noon, we reached a well, similar to that of the previous day, but of recent construction. A long, steep gallery led down to the water, which was very cold, but had a villainous taste of lime, salt, and sulphur.

After an hour's halt, we started again. The sun was intensely hot, and for hours we jogged on over the dead level, the bare white soil blinding our eyes with its glare. The distant hills were lifted above the horizon by a mirage. Long sheets of blue water were spread along their bases, islanding the isolated peaks, and turning into ships and boats the black specks of camels far away. But the phenomena were by no means on so grand a scale as I had seen in the Nubian Desert. On the south-western horizon, we discerned the summits of the Karaman range of Taurus, covered with snow. In the middle of the afternoon, we saw a solitary tent upon the plain, from which an individual advanced to meet us. As he drew nearer, we noticed that he wore white Frank pantaloons, similar to the Turkish soldiery, with a jacket of brown cloth, and a heavy sabre. When he was within convenient speaking distance, he cried out: "Stop! why are you running away from me?" "What do you call running away?" rejoined Francois; "we are going on our journey." "Where do you come from?" he then asked. "From there," said Francois, pointing behind us "Where are you going?" "There!" and the provoking Greek simply pointed forwards. "You have neither faith nor religion!" said the man, indignantly; then, turning upon his heel, he strode back across the plain.

About four o'clock, we saw a long line of objects rising before us, but so distorted by the mirage that it was impossible to know what they were. After a while, however, we decided that they were houses interspersed with trees; but the trees proved to be stacks of hay and lentils, heaped on the flat roofs. This was Ismil, our halting-place. The houses were miserable mud huts; but the village was large, and, unlike most of those we have seen this side of Taurus, inhabited. The people are Turcomans, and their possessions appear to be almost entirely in their herds. Immense numbers of sheep and goats were pasturing on the plain. There were several wells in the place, provided with buckets attached to long swing-poles; the water was very cold, but brackish. Our tent was pitched on the plain, on a hard, gravelly strip of soil. A crowd of wild-haired Turcoman boys gathered in front, to stare at us, and the shepherds quarrelled at the wells, as to which should take his turn at watering his flocks. In the evening a handsome old Turk visited us, and, finding that we were bound to Constantinople, requested Francois to take a letter to his son, who was settled there.

Francois aroused us this morning before the dawn, as we had a journey of thirty-five miles before us. He was in a bad humor; for a man, whom he had requested to keep watch over his tent, while he went into the village, had stolen a fork and spoon. The old Turk, who had returned as soon as we were stirring, went out to hunt the thief, but did not succeed in finding him. The inhabitants of the village were up long before sunrise, and driving away in their wooden-wheeled carts to the meadows where they cut grass. The old Turk accompanied us some distance, in order to show us a nearer way, avoiding a marshy spot. Our road lay over a vast plain, seemingly boundless, for the lofty mountain-ranges that surrounded it on all sides were so distant and cloud-like, and so lifted from the horizon by the deceptive mirage, that the eye did not recognize their connection with it. The wind blew strongly from the north-west, and was so cold that I dismounted and walked ahead for two or three hours.

Before noon, we passed two villages of mud huts, partly inhabited, and with some wheat-fields around them. We breakfasted at another well, which furnished us with a drink that tasted like iced sea-water. Thence we rode forth again into the heat, for the wind had fallen by this time, and the sun shone out with great force. There was ever the same dead level, and we rode directly towards the mountains, which, to my eyes, seemed nearly as distant as ever. At last, there was a dark glimmer through the mirage, at their base, and a half-hour's ride showed it to be a line of trees. In another hour, we could distinguish a minaret or two, and finally, walls and the stately domes of mosques. This was Konia, the ancient Iconium, one of the most renowned cities of Asia Minor.



Chapter XX

Scenes in Konia.

Kpproach to Konia—-Tomb of Hazret Mevlana—Lodgings in a Khan—An American Luxury—A Night-Scene in Ramazan—Prayers in the Mosque—Remains of the Ancient City—View from the Mosque—The Interior—A Leaning Minaret—The Diverting History of the Muleteers.

"But they shook off the dust on their feet, and came unto Iconium."—Acts, xiii. 51.

Konia (Ancient Iconium), June 27, 1852.

The view of Konia from the plain is not striking until one has approached within a mile of the suburbs, when the group of mosques, with their heavy central domes lifted on clusters of smaller ones, and their tall, light, glittering minarets, rising above the foliage of the gardens, against the background of airy hills, has a very pleasing effect. We approached through a long line of dirty suburbs, which looked still more forlorn on account of the Ramazan. Some Turkish officials, in shabby Frank dresses, followed us to satisfy their curiosity by talking with our Katurjees, or muleteers. Outside the city walls, we passed some very large barracks for cavalry, built by Ibrahim Pasha. On the plain north-east of the city, the battle between him and the forces of the Sultan, resulting in the defeat of the latter, was fought.

We next came upon two magnificent mosques, built of white limestone, with a multitude of leaden domes and lofty minarets, adorned with galleries rich in arabesque ornaments. Attached to one of them is the tomb, of Hazret Mevlana, the founder of the sect of Mevlevi Dervishes, which is reputed one of the most sacred places in the East. The tomb is surmounted by a dome, upon which stands a tall cylindrical tower, reeded, with channels between each projection, and terminating in a long, tapering cone. This tower is made of glazed tiles, of the most brilliant sea-blue color, and sparkles in the sun like a vast pillar of icy spar in some Polar grotto. It is a most striking and fantastic object, surrounded by a cluster of minarets and several cypress-trees, amid which it seems placed as the central ornament and crown of the group.

The aspect of the city was so filthy and uninviting that we preferred pitching our tent; but it was impossible to find a place without going back upon the plain; so we turned into the bazaar, and asked the way to a khan. There was a tolerable crowd in the street, although many of the shops were shut. The first khan we visited was too filthy to enter; but the second, though most unpromising in appearance, turned out to be better than it looked. The oda-bashi (master of the rooms) thoroughly swept and sprinkled the narrow little chamber he gave us, laid clean mats upon the floor, and, when our carpets and beds were placed within, its walls of mud looked somewhat comfortable. Its single window, with an iron grating in lieu of glass, looked upon an oblong court, on the second story, surrounded by the rooms of Armenian merchants. The main court (the gate of which is always closed at sunset) is two stories in height, with a rough wooden balcony running around it, and a well of muddy water in the centre.

The oda-bashi lent us a Turkish table and supplied us with dinner from his own kitchen; kibabs, stewed beans, and cucumber salad. Mr. H. and I, forgetting the Ramazan, went out to hunt for an iced sherbet; but all the coffee-shops were closed until sunset. The people stared at our Egyptian costumes, and a fellow in official dress demanded my teskere. Soon after we returned, Francois appeared with a splendid lump of ice in a basin and some lemons. The ice, so the khangee said, is taken from a lake among the mountains, which in winter freezes to the thickness of a foot. Behind the lake is a natural cavern, which the people fill with ice, and then close up. At this season they take it out, day by day, and bring it down to the city. It is very pure and thick, and justifies the Turkish proverb in regard to Konia, which is celebrated for three excellent things: "dooz, booz, kuez"—salt, ice, and girls.

Soon after sunset, a cannon announced the close of the fast. We waited an hour or two longer, to allow the people time to eat, and then sallied out into the streets. Every minaret in the city blazed with a crown of lighted lamps around its upper gallery, while the long shafts below, and the tapering cones above, topped with brazen crescents, shone fair in the moonlight. It was a strange, brilliant spectacle. In the square before the principal mosque we found a crowd of persons frolicking around the fountain, in the light of a number of torches on poles planted in the ground. Mats were spread on the stones, and rows of Turks of all classes sat thereon, smoking their pipes. Large earthen water-jars stood here and there, and the people drank so often and so long that they seemed determined to provide against the morrow. The boys were having their amusement in wrestling, shouting and firing off squibs, which they threw into the crowd. We kicked off our slippers, sat down among the Turks, smoked a narghileh, drank a cup of coffee and an iced sherbet of raisin juice, and so enjoyed the Ramazan as well as the best of them.

Numbers of True Believers were drinking and washing themselves at the picturesque fountain, and just as we rose to depart, the voice of a boy-muezzin, on one of the tallest minarets, sent down a musical call to prayer. Immediately the boys left off their sports and started on a run for the great mosque, and the grave, gray-bearded Turks got up from the mats, shoved on their slippers, and marched after them. We followed, getting a glimpse of the illuminated interior of the building, as we passed; but the oda-bashi conducted us still further, to a smaller though more beautiful mosque, surrounded with a garden-court. It was a truly magical picture. We entered the gate, and passed on by a marble pavement, under trees and arbors of vines that almost shut out the moonlight, to a paved space, in the centre whereof was a beautiful fountain, in the purest Saracenic style. Its heavy, projecting cornices and tall pyramidal roof rested on a circle of elegant arches, surrounding a marble structure, whence the water gushed forth in a dozen sparkling streams. On three sides it was inclosed by the moonlit trees and arbors; on the fourth by the outer corridor of the mosque, the door of entrance being exactly opposite.

Large numbers of persons were washing their hands and feet at the fountain, after which they entered and knelt on the floor. We stood unobserved in the corridor, and looked in on the splendidly illuminated interior and the crowd at prayer, all bending their bodies to the earth at regular intervals and murmuring the name of Allah. They resembled a plain, of reeds bending before the gusts of wind which precede a storm. When all had entered and were united in solemn prayer, we returned, passing the grand mosque. I stole up to the door, lifted the heavy carpet that hung before it, and looked in. There was a Mevlevi Dervish standing in the entrance, but his eyes were lifted in heavenly abstraction, and he did not see me. The interior was brilliantly lit by white and colored lamps, suspended from the walls and the great central dome. It was an imposing structure, simple in form, yet grand from its dimensions. The floor was covered with kneeling figures, and a deep voice, coming from the other end of the mosque, was uttering pious phrases in a kind of chant. I satisfied my curiosity quickly, and we then returned to the khan.

Yesterday afternoon I made a more thorough examination of the city. Passing through the bazaars, I reached the Serai, or Pasha's Palace, which stands on the site of that of the Sultans of Iconium. It is a long, wooden building, with no pretensions to architectural beauty. Near it there is a large and ancient mosque, with a minaret of singular elegance. It is about 120 feet high, with two hanging galleries; the whole built of blue and red bricks, the latter projecting so as to form quaint patterns or designs. Several ancient buildings near this mosque are surmounted with pyramidal towers, resembling Pagodas of India. Following the long, crooked lanes between mud buildings, we passed these curious structures and reached the ancient wall of the city. In one of the streets lay a marble lion, badly executed, and apparently of the time of the Lower Empire. In the wall were inserted many similar figures, with fragments of friezes and cornices. This is the work of the Seljook Kings, who, in building the wall, took great pains to exhibit the fragments of the ancient city. The number of altars they have preserved is quite remarkable. On the square towers are sunken tablets, containing long Arabic inscriptions.

The high walls of a ruined building in the southern part of the city attracted us, and on going thither we found it to be an ancient mosque, standing on an eminence formed apparently of the debris of other buildings. Part of the wall was also ancient, and in some places showed the marks of an earthquake. A long flight of steps led up to the door of the mosque, and as we ascended we were rewarded by the most charming view of the city and the grand plain. Konia lay at our feet—a wide, straggling array of low mud dwellings, dotted all over with patches of garden verdure, while its three superb mosques, with the many smaller tombs and places of worship, appeared like buildings left from some former and more magnificent capital. Outside of this circle ran a belt of garden land, adorned with groves and long lines of fruit trees; still further, the plain, a sea of faded green, flecked with the softest cloud-shadows, and beyond all, the beautiful outlines and dreamy tints of the different mountain chains. It was in every respect a lovely landscape, and the city is unworthy such surroundings. The sky, which in this region is of a pale, soft, delicious blue, was dotted with scattered fleeces of white clouds, and there was an exquisite play of light and shade over the hills.

There were half a dozen men and boys about the door, amusing themselves with bursting percussion caps on the stone. They addressed us as "hadji!" (pilgrims), begging for more caps. I told them I was not a Turk, but an Arab, which they believed at once, and requested me to enter the mosque. The interior had a remarkably fine effect. It was a maze of arches, supported by columns of polished black marble, forty in number. In form it was nearly square, and covered with a flat, wooden roof. The floor was covered with a carpet, whereon several persons were lying at full length, while an old man, seated in one of the most remote corners, was reading in a loud, solemn voice. It is a peculiar structure, which I should be glad to examine more in detail.

Not far from this eminence is a remarkable leaning minaret, more than a hundred feet in height, while in diameter it cannot be more than fifteen feet. In design it is light and elegant, and the effect is not injured by its deviation from the perpendicular, which I should judge to be about six feet. From the mosque we walked over the mounds of old Iconium to the eastern wall, passing another mosque, wholly in ruin, but which must have once been more splendid than any now standing. The portal is the richest specimen of Saracenic sculpture I have ever seen: a very labyrinth of intricate ornaments. The artist must have seen the great portal of the Temple of the Sun at Baalbec. The minarets have tumbled down, the roof has fallen in, but the walls are still covered with white and blue tiles, of the finest workmanship, resembling a mosaic of ivory and lapis lazuli. Some of the chambers seem to be inhabited, for two old men with white beards lay in the shade, and were not a little startled by our sudden appearance.

We returned to the great mosque, which we had visited on the evening of our arrival, and listened for some time to the voice of a mollah who was preaching an afternoon sermon to a small and hungry congregation. We then entered the court before the tomb of Hazret Mevlana. It was apparently forbidden ground to Christians, but as the Dervishes did not seem to suspect us we walked about boldly, and were about to enter, when an indiscretion of my companion frustrated our plans. Forgetting his assumed character, he went to the fountain and drank, although it was no later than the asser, or afternoon prayer. The Dervishes were shocked and scandalized by this violation of the fast, in the very court-yard of their holiest mosque, and we judged it best to retire by degrees. We sent this morning to request an interview with the Pasha, but he had gone to pass the day in a country palace, about three hours distant. It is a still, hot, bright afternoon, and the silence of the famished populace disposes us to repose. Our view is bounded by the mud walls of the khan, and I already long for the freedom of the great Karamanian Plain. Here, in the heart of Asia Minor, all life seems to stagnate. There is sleep everywhere, and I feel that a wide barrier separates me from the living world.

We have been detained here a whole day, through a chain of accidents, all resulting from the rascality of our muleteers on leaving Aleppo. The lame horse they palmed upon us was unable to go further, so we obliged them to buy another animal, which they succeeded in getting for 350 piastres. We advanced the money, although they were still in our debt, hoping to work our way through with the new horse, and thus avoid the risk of loss or delay. But this morning at sunrise Hadji Youssuf comes with a woeful face to say that the new horse has been stolen in the night, and we, who are ready to start, must sit down and wait till he is recovered. I suspected another trick, but when, after the lapse of three hours, Francois found the hadji sitting on the ground, weeping, and Achmet beating his breast, it seemed probable that the story was true. All search for the horse being vain, Francois went with them to the shekh of the horses, who promised, in case it should hereafter be found, to place it in the general pen, where they would be sure to get it on their return. The man who sold them the horse offered them another for the lame one and 150 piastres, and there was no other alternative but to accept it. But we must advance the 150 piastres, and so, in mid-journey, we have already paid them to the end, with the risk of their horses breaking down, or they, horses and all, absconding from us. But the knavish varlets are hardly bold enough for such a climax of villany.



Chapter XXI.

The Heart of Asia Minor.

Scenery of the Hills—Ladik, the Ancient Laodicea—The Plague of Gad-Flies—Camp at Ilguen—A Natural Warm Bath—The Gad-Flies Again—A Summer Landscape—Ak-Sheher—The Base of Sultan Dagh—The Fountain of Midas—A Drowsy Journey—The Town of Bolawaduen.

"By the forests, lakes, and fountains, Though the many-folded mountains." Shelley.

Bolawaduen, July 1, 1852.

Our men brought all the beasts into the court-yard of the khan at Konia, the evening before our departure, so that no more were stolen during the night. The oda-bashi, indefatigable to the last in his attention to us, not only helped load the mules, but accompanied us some distance on our way. All the merchants in the khan collected in the gallery to see us start, and we made our exit in some state. The morning was clear, fresh, and delightful. Turning away from the city walls, we soon emerged from the lines of fruit-trees and interminable fields of tomb-stones, and came out upon the great bare plain of Karamania. A ride of three hours brought us to a long, sloping hill, which gave us a view of the whole plain, and its circuit of mountains. A dark line in the distance marked the gardens of Konia. On the right, near the centre of the plain, the lake, now contracted to very narrow limits, glimmered in the sun. Notwithstanding the waste and unfertile appearance of the country, the soft, sweet sky that hangs over it, the pure, transparent air, the grand sweep of the plain, and the varied forms of the different mountain chains that encompass it, make our journey an inspiring one. A descent of the hills soon shut out the view; and the rest of the day's journey lay among them, skirting the eastern base of Allah Dagh.

The country improved in character, as we advanced. The bottoms of the dry glens were covered with wheat, and shrubbery began to make its appearance on the mountain-sides In the afternoon, we crossed a watershed, dividing Karamania from the great central plain of Asia Minor, and descended to a village called Ladik, occupying the site of the ancient Laodicea, at the foot of Allah Dagh. The plain upon which we came was greener and more flourishing than that we had left. Trees were scattered here and there in clumps, and the grassy wastes, stretching beyond the grain-fields, were dotted with herds of cattle. Emir Dagh stood in the north-west, blue and distant, while, towards the north and north-east, the plain extended to the horizon—a horizon fifty miles distant—without a break. In that direction lay the great salt lake of Yuezler, and the strings of camels we met on the road, laden with salt, were returning from it. Ladik is surrounded with poppy-fields, brilliant with white and purple blossoms. When the petals have fallen, the natives go carefully over the whole field and make incisions in every stalk, whence the opium exudes.

We pitched our tent under a large walnut tree, which we found standing in a deserted inclosure. The graveyard of the village is studded with relics of the ancient town. There are pillars, cornices, entablatures, jambs, altars, mullions and sculptured tablets, all of white marble, and many of them in an excellent state of preservation. They appear to date from the early time of the Lower Empire, and the cross has not yet been effaced from some which serve as head-stones for the True Believers. I was particularly struck with the abundance of altars, some of which contained entire and legible inscriptions. In the town there is the same abundance of ruins. The lid of a sarcophagus, formed of a single block of marble, now serves as a water-trough, and the fountain is constructed of ancient tablets. The town stands on a mound which appears to be composed entirely of the debris of the former place, and near the summit there are many holes which the inhabitants have dug in their search for rings, seals and other relics.

The next day we made a journey of nine hours over a hilly country lying between the ranges of Allah Dagh and Emir Dagh. There were wells of excellent water along the road, at intervals of an hour or two. The day was excessively hot and sultry during the noon hours, and the flies were so bad as to give great inconvenience to our horses. The animal I bestrode kicked so incessantly that I could scarcely keep my seat. His belly was swollen and covered with clotted blood, from their bites. The hadji's mule began to show symptoms of illness, and we had great difficulty in keeping it on its legs. Mr. Harrison bled it in the mouth, as a last resource, and during the afternoon it partly recovered.

An hour before sunset we reached Ilguen, a town on the plain, at the foot of one of the spurs of Emir Dagh. To the west of it there is a lake of considerable size, which receives the streams that flow through the town and water its fertile gardens. We passed through the town and pitched our tent upon a beautiful grassy meadow. Our customary pipe of refreshment was never more heartily enjoyed than at this place. Behind us was a barren hill, at the foot of which was a natural hot bath, wherein a number of women and children were amusing themselves. The afternoon heat had passed away, the air was calm, sweet, and tempered with the freshness of coming evening, and the long shadows of the hills, creeping over the meadows, had almost reached the town. Beyond the line of sycamore, poplar and fig-trees that shaded the gardens of Ilguen, rose the distant chain of Allah Dagh, and in the pale-blue sky, not far above it, the dim face of the gibbous moon showed like the ghost of a planet. Our horses were feeding on the green meadow; an old Turk sat beside us, silent with fasting, and there was no sound but the shouts of the children in the bath. Such hours as these, after a day's journey made in the drowsy heat of an Eastern summer, are indescribably grateful.

After the women had retired from the bath, we were allowed to enter. The interior consisted of a single chamber, thirty feet high, vaulted and almost dark. In the centre was a large basin of hot water, filled by four streams which poured into it. A ledge ran around the sides, and niches in the wall supplied places for our clothes. The bath-keeper furnished us with towels, and we undressed and plunged in. The water was agreeably warm (about 90 deg.), had a sweet taste, and a very slight sulphury smell. The vaulted hall redoubled the slightest noise, and a shaven Turk, who kept us company, sang in his delight, that he might hear the echo of his own voice. When we went back to the tent we found our visitor lying on the ground, trying to stay his hunger. It was rather too bad in us to light our pipes, make a sherbet and drink and smoke in his face, while we joked him about the Ramazan; and he at last got up and walked off, the picture of distress.

We made an early start the next morning, and rode on briskly over the rolling, grassy hills. A beautiful lake, with an island in it, lay at the foot of Emir Dagh. After two hours we reached a guard-house, where our teskeres were demanded, and the lazy guardsman invited us in to take coffee, that he might establish a right to the backsheesh which he could not demand. He had seen us afar off, and the coffee was smoking in the finjans when we arrived. The sun was already terribly hot, and the large, green gad-flies came in such quantities that I seemed to be riding in the midst of a swarm of bees. My horse suffered very much, and struck out his hind feet so violently, in his endeavors to get rid of them, that he racked every joint in my body. They were not content with sucking his blood, but settling on the small segment of my calf, exposed between the big Tartar boot and the flowing trowsers, bit through my stockings with fierce bills. I killed hundreds of them, to no purpose, and at last, to relieve my horse, tied a bunch of hawthorn to a string, by which I swung it under his belly and against the inner side of his flanks. In this way I gave him some relief—a service which he acknowledged by a grateful motion of his head.

As we descended towards Ak-Sheher the country became exceedingly rich and luxuriant. The range of Sultan Dagh (the Mountain of the Sultan) rose on our left, its sides covered with a thick screen of shrubbery, and its highest peak dotted with patches of snow; opposite, the lower range of Emir Dagh (the Mountain of the Prince) lay blue and bare in the sun shine. The base of Sultan Dagh was girdled with groves of fruit-trees, stretching out in long lines on the plain, with fields of ripening wheat between. In the distance the large lake of Ak-Sheher glittered in the sun. Towards the north-west, the plain stretched away for fifty miles before reaching the hills. It is evidently on a much lower level than the plain of Konia; the heat was not only greater, but the season was further advanced. Wheat was nearly ready for cutting, and the poppy-fields where, the day previous, the men were making their first incisions for opium, here had yielded their harvest and were fast ripening their seed. Ak-Sheher is beautifully situated at the entrance of a deep gorge in the mountains. It is so buried in its embowered gardens that little, except the mosque, is seen as you approach it. It is a large place, and boasts a fine mosque, but contains nothing worth seeing. The bazaar, after that of Konia, was the largest we had seen since leaving Tarsus. The greater part of the shopkeepers lay at full length, dozing, sleeping, or staying their appetites till the sunset gun. We found some superb cherries, and plenty of snow, which is brought down from the mountain. The natives were very friendly and good-humored, but seemed surprised at Mr. Harrison tasting the cherries, although I told them we were upon a journey. Our tent was pitched under a splendid walnut tree, outside of the town. The green mountain rose between us and the fading sunset, and the yellow moon was hanging in the east, as we took our dinner at the tent-door. Turks were riding homewards on donkeys, with loads of grass which they had been cutting in the meadows. The gun was fired, and the shouts of the children announced the close of the day's fast, while the sweet, melancholy voice of a boy muezzin called us to sunset prayer, from the minaret.

Leaving Ak-Sheher this morning, we rode along the base of Sultan Dagh. The plain which we overlooked was magnificent. The wilderness of shrubbery which fringed the slopes of the mountain gave place to great orchards and gardens, interspersed with fields of grain, which extended far out on the plain, to the wild thickets and wastes of reeds surrounding the lake. The sides of Sultan Dagh were terraced and cultivated wherever it was practicable, and I saw some fields of wheat high up on the mountain. There were many, people in the road or laboring in the fields; and during the forenoon we passed several large villages. The country is more thickly inhabited, and has a more thrifty and prosperous air than any part of Asia Minor which I have seen. The people are better clad, have more open, honest, cheerful and intelligent faces, and exhibit a genuine courtesy and good-will in their demeanor towards us. I never felt more perfectly secure, or more certain of being among people whom I could trust.

We passed under the summit of Sultan Dagh, which shone out so clear and distinct in the morning sun, that I could scarcely realize its actual height above the plain. From a tremendous gorge, cleft between the two higher peaks, issued a large stream, which, divided into a hundred channels, fertilizes a wide extent of plain. About two hours from Ak-Sheher we passed a splendid fountain of crystal water, gushing up beside the road. I believe it is the same called by some travellers the Fountain of Midas, but am ignorant wherefore the name is given it. We rode for several hours through a succession of grand, rich landscapes. A smaller lake succeeded to that of Ak-Sheher, Emir Dagh rose higher in the pale-blue sky, and Sultan Dagh showed other peaks, broken and striped with snow; but around us were the same glorious orchards and gardens, the same golden-green wheat and rustling phalanxes of poppies—armies of vegetable Round-heads, beside the bristling and bearded Cavaliers. The sun was intensely hot during the afternoon, as we crossed the plain, and I became so drowsed that it required an agony of exertion to keep from tumbling off my horse. We here left the great post-road to Constantinople, and took a less frequented track. The plain gradually became a meadow, covered with shrub cypress, flags, reeds, and wild water-plants. There were vast wastes of luxuriant grass, whereon thousands of black buffaloes were feeding. A stone causeway, containing many elegant fragments of ancient sculpture, extended across this part of the plain, but we took a summer path beside it, through beds of iris in bloom—a fragile snowy blossom, with a lip of the clearest golden hue. The causeway led to a bare salt plain, beyond which we came to the town of Bolawaduen, and terminated our day's journey of forty miles.

Bolawaduen is a collection of mud houses, about a mile long, situated on an eminence at the western base of Emir Dagh. I went into the bazaar, which was a small place, and not very well supplied, though, as it was near sunset, there was quite a crowd of people, and the bakers were shovelling out their fresh bread at a brisk rate. Every one took me for a good Egyptian Mohammedan, and I was jostled right and left among the turbans, in a manner that certainly would not have happened me had I not also worn one. Mr. H., who had fallen behind the caravan, came up after we had encamped, and might have wandered a long time without finding us, but for the good-natured efforts of the inhabitants to set him aright. This evening he knocked over a hedgehog, mistaking it for a cat. The poor creature was severely hurt, and its sobs of distress, precisely like those of a little child, were to painful to hear, that we were obliged to have it removed from the vicinity of the tent.



Chapter XXII

The Forests of Phrygia.

The Frontier of Phrygia—Ancient Quarries and Tombs—We Enter the Pine Forests—A Guard-House—Encampments of the Turcomans—Pastoral Scenery—A Summer Village—The Valley of the Tombs—Rock Sepulchres of the Phrygian Kings—The Titan's Camp—The Valley of Kuembeh—A Land of Flowers—Turcoman Hospitality—The Exiled Effendis—The Old Turcoman—A Glimpse of Arcadia—A Landscape—Interested Friendship—The Valley of the Pursek—Arrival at Kiutahya.

"And round us all the thicket rang To many a flute of Arcady." Tennyson.

Kiutahya, July 5, 1852.

We had now passed through the ancient provinces of Cilicia, Cappadocia, and Lycaonia, and reached the confines of Phrygia—a rude mountain region, which was never wholly penetrated by the light of Grecian civilization. It is still comparatively a wilderness, pierced but by a single high-road, and almost unvisited by travellers, yet inclosing in its depths many curious relics of antiquity. Leaving Bolawaduen in the morning, we ascended a long, treeless mountain-slope, and in three or four hours reached the dividing ridge—-the watershed of Asia Minor, dividing the affluents of the Mediterranean and the central lakes from the streams that flow to the Black Sea. Looking back, Sultan Dagh, along whose base we had travelled the previous day, lay high and blue in the background, streaked with shining snow, and far away behind it arose a still higher peak, hoary with the lingering winter. We descended into a grassy plain, shut in by a range of broken mountains, covered to their summits with dark-green shrubbery, through which the strata of marble rock gleamed like patches of snow. The hills in front were scarred with old quarries, once worked for the celebrated Phrygian marble. There was neither a habitation nor a human being to be seen, and the landscape had a singularly wild, lonely, and picturesque air.

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