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sight: their painted shields and spears; their scymitars, studded with precious stones; their various-coloured feathers; their turbans, rising in folds of the most exquisite whiteness; their garments, for the most part, of a brown or purple colour; but, above all, their fine horses, covered with most beautiful trappings, arrested his attention. Near Gran, he was struck with the croaking of numerous frogs, though it was the month of December, and the weather was extremely cold. This circumstance, which, in many travellers, would have created surprise, but not lead to inquiry into the cause, was not so passed over by Busbequius : he learnt that it was owing to the warmth of the sulphureous springs, which abound, and are still celebrated, near that town.
On his arrival at Buda, he was lodged with an Hungarian. “Here,” he remarks, “my baggage, carriage, and horses were better taken care of than myself; for the first and most urgent business of a Turk, is to place them in a safe and commodious situation : for themselves, if they are protected from the wea ther, that is all they care for, or look to." He afterwards informs us, that Buda, after it was taken by the Turks, was greatly neglected by them; partly from indifference to their own accommodation, and partly, because the pay of the military was so trifling, that it could afford nothing to keep the houses in repair. The most splendid and costly houses of the Hungarians, therefore, were either in ruins, or propped up to prevent them from falling. The Turks do not trouble themselves about the roof letting in the rain, or the walls being rent, provided there is a dry spot for their horses, and for their own beds; they regard houses as travellers do inns; if they serve their present purpose, they care but little about their future fate. Hence it is not easy to find, in all Turkey, a house of any elegance, belonging even to a rich and powerful man. The grandees delight in gardens and baths; but care little about the quality of the buildings to which they are attached.
“ The Bey sent a person to congratulate me on my arrival at Buda: he was called Tuigon, which, in the Turkish language, signifies a stork. The Bey hoped I would excuse his coming himself, as he was ill : as soon as he recovered, he would wait upon me. In consequence of his illness, I was detained some time at Buda: it was said to have arisen from anxiety of mind : he had received, as a bribe, a large sum of money : this be had hidden, and some person had stolen it. Happening 'to learn that I was accompanied by William Quackquebenus, a man of great knowledge, and particularly skilled in medicine, he earnestly begged I would send him to him. But I should, most probably, have had reason to repent of my compliance with this request; for, as his disease threatened to be fatal, I was apprehensive, if he actually went to Mahomet, his prophet, that the Turks would allege he had been killed by my
physician, and that I, as well as my friend, would thus get into trouble. The convalescence of the Bey, however, freed me from this perplexity.
“ At Buda, I first saw the Janissaries : these may be considered as the pretorian guards of the Bey. When their number is complete, there are about 12,000 of them : they garrison the frontier towns, and are likewise appointed to protect Christians and Jews from the insults and oppressions of the Mahometans. There is no village, scarcely, without them : at Buda, there is a regular and stationary garrison, entirely composed of them. Their garments reach down to their heels: the covering of their head falls partly back on their neck: in front of it is an oblong silver crest, gilt, and covered with the more common precious stones. Two of these Janissaries used to attend upon me : when they entered my room, they, first, bowed their heads; then, approaching, touched my garment, or my hand, and presented me a nosegay of hyacipths or narcissuses; and, having gone through these ceremonies, retreated to the door, taking care not to turn their backs on me, for that is deemed highly indecorous ; as soon as they reached the door, holding their hands before their breasts, and fixing their eyes on the ground, they remained silent; so that I should have taken them rather for 'monks than soldiers. As soon, however, as I gave them money, (for it was for that they remained,) bending their heads a second time, and returning thanks, and pouring forth all kinds of good wishes, they left the room. If I had not been forewarned that these were Janissaries, I should have taken them for some kind of Turkish monks : these, however, are those very Janissaries who strike so much terror wherever they go."
Our author gives us a curious account of the fondness of the Turks for wine, whenever they could safely indulge it. The young men were much less scrupulous than the old. As they think equal punishment awaits those who drink much and often, and those who drink little and seldom, they very naturally re solve not to be damned for a trifle; and, having once rendered themselves liable to it, go on in their career, without scruple or apprehension. Busbequius saw an old man, at Constantinople, who always uttered a loud cry before he began to drink wine : this he did, to give a warning notice to his soul, to retreat into some snug and remote corner of the body, or even to quit it entirely for a time, that it might not be implicated in the guilt of the action he was about to commit.
Busbequius's curiosity was roused, to learn from the Turks the reason that induced Mahomet to prohibit the use of wine ; and this account was given him :-As Mahomet was journeying, he was invited to a marriage feast. At first, he was highly gratified with the convivial hilarity of the guests, and their hearty expressions of good will to one another. Inquiring the cause from his host, he was told, that wine gave birth to all this. On his departure, he, therefore, bestowed his benediction on a liquor, which united men in such bonds of good will and
affection. The next day, he returned ; and a different scene presented itself: the floor of the room was stained with blood, and covered with the wounded, the dying, and the dead. On his asking how and whence all this mischief had arisen, he was informed, that soon after his departure, the day before, the guests, infuriated by the wine they had drank, had quarrelled and fought in that destructive and fatal manner.
On this, Mahomet changed his opinion respecting wine, cursed it, and forbade his followers to drink it.
During Busbequius's stay at Buda, he frequently visited the warm springs that lie without the gate leading to Constantinople; and he expresses his surprise, that the fish which abound in them were not, from the extreme heat, actually boiled. We learn from modern travellers, that the heat is 49 Reaumur, equal to about 143° of Fahrenheit; and, certainly, this temperature, and the contents of the water,--sulphur, glauber salts, and iron,-render it surprising, that fish can live in it. That they actually do still abound and thrive in it, we have the testimony of modern travellers.
At Jagodra, a town in Servia, which he passed through on his road from Buda to Constantinople, he observed and describes the very singular funeral rites of the inhabitants. The dead body was placed in a temple, with the face uncovered: near it were bread, meat, and a jug of wine. The wife, and the daughter, of the deceased stood by the corpse: the latter was dressed in her most gaudy apparel, her hair adorned with peacock's feathers. The wife put on the head of her dead husband, as the last gift she could bestow on him, a purple cap, such as the virgins of noble birth, in that country, are accustomed to wear. After this was done, lamentations, and the funeral dirge, commenced ; and the dead man was asked, Whether any thing was yet wanting to comfort him ? why he had left them alone and miserable? In the church-yard were a great number of wooden images, of stags, kids, and other animals, which were said to be symbols raised by husbands and fathers, of the activity and diligence of their wives and daughters, in the discharge of their domestic duties. To many sepulchres, locks of hair were appended, which the women had torn from their head, and placed there as tokens of their grief. In this country, it is customary, after the parents have agreed on the marriage of a young man and woman, for the young man to carry off the woman by force, it not being deemed decorous for the latter to go voluntarily.
On his route from Adrianople to Constantinople, Busbequius passed over a tract of land, beautifully and richly studded with a great variety of flowers: he particularly specifies the Narcissus and Hyacinth ; and “those which the Turks call
Tulipan." This is one of the earliest notices of the tulip we have met with, (A. D. 1554.) According to Gesner, it was introduced from Constantinople, or Cappadocia, to Augsburgh, in 1559, by seed. Within five or six years afterwards, it had spread nearly over all Germany. It is said to have been broughtinto England from Vienna, in 1577. If this account is correct, it was known and cultivated here, before it was introduced into France; as it appeared in Provence, in the ground of Peyrese, the antiquarian, and author of " Historia Provinciæ Galliæ Narbonensis," in 1611. About the middle of the 17th century, the Tulipimania raged in Holland ; this was a mere gambling business, like the Mississippi and South Sea schemes, a century ago, and the endless variety of bubbles which have just burst. The Turkish name for the flower Tulipan, whence the English, Italian, German, &c. names are derived, is taken from its likeness to a Tulipan, a sort of cap or turban worn by the Turks.
In the chinks of the walls of the house in which he lodged at Constantinople, he observed a great many pieces of paper. On inquiring the reason of this, he was informed, that the Turks are superstitiously careful of all pieces of paper, because on them the name of the Deity may be written. They never suffer any piece to lie on the ground, lest, with this name on it, it should be sacrilegiously trodden upon, but lift it up, and put it carefully by." In this," adds our author, " there is nothing, perhaps, to find fault with ; but hear the rest. At the time of the last judgment, when Mahomet shall call into heaven such of his followers as have been suffering temporary punishment for acknowledged offences, there will be no other path by which they can reach him, than a red hot iron rod, along which they must walk with naked feet. With this dreadful enterprize before them, fortunate will they be, if they have carefully, while alive, preserved all the pieces of paper they met with; for those, of their own accord, will come and place themselves on the iron and, unburnt, defend their feet from the fire. The Turks pay equal attention and veneration to roseleaves, none of which they suffer to lie on the ground, because, as the ancients believed the rose sprung from the blood of Venus, so the Turks regard it as formed from the perspiration of Mahomet.”
On his arrival at Constantinople, he found that Soliman was absent with his army in Asia, no persons of note being left in the capital except the Bey Ibrahim, who was its governor, and Rustan : the latter was the secretary of Soliman, and had been in high favour and power, but, at this time, he was in disgrace. The causes of this disgrace, and of his subsequent reinstatement, Busbequius details at considerable length; but we
must pass by these temporary and political topics, to attend to others of a more permanent and popular interest.
As the business of his mission could not be commenced till instructions had been received from Soliman, he had sufficient leisure to take a full and minute survey of Constantinople, which he describes with great clearness and graphic effect, especially St. Sophia, to which by special favor he was admitted. He particularly notices the vast and easy supply of various kinds of fish which the inhabitants possessed, and the strange opinions entertained, both by the Turks and Greeks, respecting the clean and unclean kinds. He had in his house a Greek servant, whom no motive could persuade to eat cockles : his fellow.servants, at last, succeeded in setting some before him so disguised, that he, supposing them to be some other kind of fish, eat heartily of them. As soon, however, as the laughter in which they indulged, and the exhibition of the shells, discovered to him the deceit, he was in dreadful distress, and retired to his chamber, vomiting, weeping, and afflicting himself without measure. Even for this involuntary affair, the Greek priests inflicted a penalty equal to two months' wages, before they granted him absolution.
Our author's curiosity and interest were particularly excited by the wild beasts then in Constantinople ;-lynxes, wild cats, panthers, leopards, and lions, so tame, that the keeper could, with impunity, snatch from their mouths the food which they were in the act of devouring. A young elephant seems most strongly to have riveted his attention : it danced and played at the ball. “Here, I think, you will scarcely refrain from an incredulous smile. An elephant, you will say, playing at the ball, and dancing! So it was, however: when he was ordered to dance, he raised his legs alternately, and shook his huge body in such a manner, as plainly indicated he understood the orders, and was disposed to obey them as well as he could. He played at the hand ball in the following manner : when the ball was thrown, he caught it on his proboscis, and, by means of it, struck it back again, exactly as we do with the palm of the hand.”
Instructions were received from Soliman to send Busbequius to Amasia, where he then was with his army. Our author, accordingly, left the capital on the 9th of March, and passed over into Natolia. During the second day's journey, he passed over some fields, richly clothed with beautiful and odoriferous plants, especially French lavender : he was surprised to see a great number of tortoises, which seemed not to dread the approach of man. These he would willingly have caught for his table, had he not discovered that they were reckoned so very unclean by the Turks, that no quantity of water could wash away the pollution of touching them. One, however, he caught,