Skip to main content

Full text of "Autobiography and letters from his childhood until his appointment as H.M. Ambassador at Madrid"

See other formats

G.C.B., D.C.L. 

1 1 A 


G.C.B., D.C.L. 














A Mesopotamian Caravan With the Persian Army Ruins 
of Manjanik An Adventure with Robbers Mehemet 
Taki Khan Visit to Luristan Return to Constantinople 1-15 



(l8 4 2) 

Diplomacy and Manners Sir Stratford Canning Bosnia 
and Servia Salonica Ambelakia Governor of 
Thessaly Servian Leaders Ride to Constantinople 
Policy of Canning .... . 16-41 



Dishonoured Bills Canning Offers Work Ahmed Vefyk 
Ruh-ed-din Effendi A Turkish Dinner Domestic 
Habits Sympathy with Reformers Canning's Irrita- 
bilityThe Spanish Minister Life at Pera Armenians 
in Constantinople Turkey and Persia Boundary Dis- 
pute Importance of Muhammerah Boundary Com- 
missioners Armenian Wedding Mr Charles Alison . 42-80 






Reshid Pasha Sir S. Canning's Methods Reshid Pasha 
Riza Pasha The Christian Question Fuad and Ali 
Position of Women Kiamil Bey Canning and the 
Reformers Ambassadors and the Press Residence at 
Candili Life at Candili Sultan Abdul-Mejid Pre- 
sentation to the Sultan 81-111 



Vin D'Olympe Voyage with Lord Somers A Storm in the 
vEgaean Mount Athos American Missionaries Desire 
for a Consulate Greek Ecclesiastics Dervish Czar 
Among Albanian Insurgents Conference with Dervish 
Czar The Albanian Camp Repulse of Insurgents 
Treachery of the Turks Intercourse with Canning 
Lord Cowley Baron de Behr Romantic Adventure 
A Mysterious Beauty The Mystery Revealed . . 112-150 



Preparations for Nineveh Arrival at Mosul A Chaldean 
Wedding The Pasha of Mosul Discoveries at Nimroud 
Recreations A Desert Storm Language of the In- 
scriptions A Fight on the Tigris Fanatical Plots 
Hunting Adventure Assyrian Art Removal of Sculp- 
tures Mosul to Constantinople Dangerous Illness 
Ferment in Italy Address to the Institute France in 
1847 Revolution of 1848 "Nineveh and its Remains" 
Influence over Arabs . . . . -'. . . . 151-194 





Letters from England Letter to Mr Ross The Eastern 
Question The Arundel Society Ruin of Frescoes 
German Art Tour in Lombardy Arundel Society 
Tour in India Mode of Travel British Rule Rock 
Temples Liberation of Italy State of Italy Priestly 
Tyranny State of Venice Progress of Italy Millais 
at Florence Liberation of Venice Paris Exhibition 
Revival of Mosaic 195-237 



First Term of Office Letter from Lord Granville Return to 
Constantinople Speech on Eastern Question Letter 
to Lady Huntly The Dundas Incident Administrative 
Reform Speeches on Foreign Affairs Abyssinia Site 
of the Law Courts Attack by Mr Raikes Don Layardos 
in Madrid " A Superior Person " His Place in Politics 238-267 

APPENDICES . . . . . . . 269-297 

INDEX . ........ 299-305 


AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD. From a drawing by G. F. 
WATTS, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery 
(Photogravure} . . . . . Frontispiece 

by G. F. WATTS, R.A., in the National Portrait 
Gallery (Photogravure} . . . To face page 56 


drawing by COOPER . . . . 158 

SKETCH OF NINEVEH from the S.E., showing part of 
the Inner Walls and the situation of Mosul Nebbe- 
unus and Kouyunjik forming the middle dis- 
tance. From a drawing by COOPER, 17 tA Dec. 
1848 . . . . . 164 


YEZIDI DANCE . . . . . 178 

SIR AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD. From a photograph 

by FRADELLE (Photogravure) . . . 238 

DON LAYARDOS IN MADRID . . . ' . . 263 





HE story of the next two years, from his leaving 
Baghdad in June 1840 to his return to Constan- 
tinople in July 1842, embraces the most adventurous and 
romantic episodes of Layard's career. It has been told by 
him in his " Early Adventures," and occupies the greater 
part of that delightful book. It cannot be repeated here ; 
but the following selections from his letters to his mother 
and to his uncle, Mr Austen, will serve to carry on the 
present narrative, at any rate in outline, and to give some 
examples of his manner of telling his story to his own 

He was travelling, it will be remembered, with Mr 
Mitford, and their object still was to reach India by land, 
and to journey through that country to Ceylon.] 

To his Mother. 

22nd June 1840. 

We are at last on our way to Isfahan. . . We were 
detained at Baghdad much longer than we expected. 
The recent descent of the Persians upon Suleimanje 
rendered the roads rather unsafe, and the regular inter- 
course by caravan with Kermanshah was consequently 
stopped for a period. These casualties are constantly 
occurring in the East, and thus travelling is rendered 


slow and uncertain. As we enjoyed the kind hospitality 
of Colonel Taylor during our stay, we were put to little 
expense ; and I have only to regret a loss of time, 
particularly as we are driven into the hot days, and, 
until we reach the mountains, we shall have to resign 
ourselves to no moderate degree of heat the thermometer 
in the shade standing at 107 to 108 ! . . . Since our visit 
to Babylon we have remained stationary at Baghdad in 
daily expectation of the departure of this abominable 
caravan, which made several false starts before it finally 
got off. The heat prevents our travelling by day. As 
the sun sets we form our order of march ; and as the sun 
rises we reach a village, where, in a garden, under the shade 
of palm and orange trees, or in the less agreeable shadow 
of an old wall and such a tent as a turban and a cloak will 
make, we sleep and pass the day. To-day (24th) I am 
continuing my letter in a beautiful garden of the small 
and picturesque village of Kanaki, which, being on the 
northern side of the river Diyala, is actually in Persia, 
although I believe it pays tribute to the Porte. The 
mountains of Kurdistan rise abruptly in the distance, 
forming a fine background to the prettiest place I have 
seen since crossing the Euphrates. 

Our caravan is composed of a motley set, chiefly 
pilgrims on their return from Meshed Hussein and 
Mecca ; men, women, and children, mounting horses, 
mules, and donkeys in all about seventy persons and 
fifty-five animals. The procession is generally headed by 
two old Turks abreast, perched on very small donkeys, 
whose apparent duty it is to find the way during the 
early part of the night when there is no moon. These 
pioneers are followed by five or six men on foot, who keep 
up a chaunt far from melodious during our progress. 
Next appears a koujiava a pair of boxes, somewhat 
resembling the body of a sedan-chair, slung across a 
strong mule, each containing a young lady. They are the 
wives of an old Turk, who keeps so good a look-out after 
them that I haven't yet been able to find out whether any 
beauties may be concealed by the obstinate veil which is 
down night and day. After the koujiava follows the 
body of the caravan, each member on his own peculiar 
animal, striving for precedence; and as the horses and 
mules are for the most part well-laden, and have only a 
halter which does not guide them, the confusion and con- 
tinual concussions are highly amusing. 


Our caravan is chiefly composed of poor pilgrims 
and their wives. One or two, however, boast the title 
of Mirza, a writer (equivalent to our ancient term " clerk "), 
and consider themselves considerably above the common 
herd. They are attended by their hookah-bearer, a man 
whose sole employment, day and night, is to light the 
hookah and present it to his master. This he does on 
horseback with great dexterity, carrying the pipe with all 
its fragile appendages at arm's length, when at full gallop. 
As these good priests and pilgrims are returning with a 
bellyful of religion, and the Persians are notoriously 
more fanatic than the Turks and Arabs, we are looked at 
with no little contempt: a sort of Turkish friend and 
compagnon de voyage has been frightened out of eating with 
us by sure promises of the pleasure of eternal damnation 
if he dips his hand into the same dish with a Giaour, or 
touches any vessel that may have been put to his lips. 
Were it not for a thick stick that I have been compelled 
to use once or twice, with the chance of having my head 
broken by a brickbat, we should be continually insulted. 
Amongst the higher classes in Persia these ridiculous 
scruples do not prevail, but the ignorance and fanaticism 
of the lower is perfectly inconceivable 

2$th. Last night our caravan was almost doubled by 
the junction of a second caravan and numerous persons 
who had been waiting, until they considered a sufficient 
force was mustered, to attempt the passage of the moun- 
tains to Kasri-Shizin, from whence I now write. Although 
we had promise of robbers and Arabs, the night was only 
disturbed by continued discharges of fire-arms from our 
own party, to acquaint any persons that might be lying in 
wait for us that we possessed at least the means of defence ; 
the moral certainty, however, being that those who held 
them would throw them away on the first appearance of 
an enemy, and take to their heels. A caravan of pilgrims 
to Ureshed was plundered last week, and the unfortunate 
travellers came off in a very pilgrim-like fashion, their 
shirts being their only worldly possessions. To-morrow 
we reach Pul-i-Zohab, a very remarkable place, as it 
occupies the site of the Persian Holwan, the Calah of 
Asshur, one of the primeval cities, and the Haleh of the 
Captivity. Major Rawlinson, 1 one of our best living 
Eastern scholars and geographers, is inclined to believe 

1 The late Major-General Sir Henry Rawlinson, G.C.B., the 
famous Assyriologist. 


that the inhabitants of the modern place, and of the moun- 
tains in the neighbourhood, are the descendants of the 

To his Mother. 

HAMADAN, \yhjuly 1840. 

I can scarcely depend upon this letter reaching you, as 
I am compelled to send it rather a roundabout way, and to 
trust it to a man who is going to Tebreez, where there is, 
I believe, an English merchant, into whose hands he 
promises to place it. 

We reached Kermanshah on the ist of July. We had 
made arrangements for proceeding to Hamadan and 
Isfahan, when we were suddenly sent for by the Governor, 
and informed that, as our Government was no longer 
friendly to that of Persia, we could not be permitted 
to proceed without the Shah's express permission. We 
were much surprised at this step, as we had never contem- 
plated that the difference existing between the two 
Governments would be the cause of difficulties to travellers 
We were detained for two or three days under surveillance, 
and were then sent to join the Shah with a guard. We 
met His Majesty three days from Kermanshah at Kan- 
go war, at the head of an army of 15,000 men. We 
followed the army to this place, which we reached the day 
before yesterday. After several interviews with the Shah's 
ministers, we have at length been permitted to proceed, and 
are promised a Firman. I believe I mentioned in my last 
letter that a moonshee had accompanied us from Baghdad ; 
this man was the cause of our being stopped at 
Kermanshah. By his indiscreet loquacity he induced the 
Governor to believe that we were spies from the English 
Government. The Shah was then marching secretly on 
Baghdad, and the Governor, supposing that we had been 
sent to watch his movements, arrested us. Fortunately we 
had taken the precaution of having our English passports 
translated into Persian, and they relieved us from our 
difficulties. We have, of course, parted with our friend, 
the moonshee, whose length of tongue might get us into 
other scrapes. I am not, however, sorry that things have 
turned out as they have, for we are now furnished with 
letters from the Shah for Yezd and the Seistan, which may 


be highly useful to us. I have also obtained permission to 
proceed to Isfahan through Luristan, instead of taking the 
high road, the Shah sending a man with us. We shall now 
visit a most interesting country, and, I hope, reach Susan, 
the "Shushan the Palace" of the Scriptures, which no 
European has yet visited. Without a strong recommenda- 
tion from the Shah it would be impossible to traverse this 
country, which is inhabited by the Baktiyari and Lurs, the 
most wild and savage races in Persia. Major Rawlinson 
is, I believe, the only European who has seen much of 
Luristan. We have also seen a Persian army and the 
Persian great men to more advantage than we could have 
expected. . . . The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mirza 
Ali, speaks French, and has a secretary who speaks 
English and has been in England. We found several 
other persons in the camp who speak our language, and 
had therefore no difficulty in making ourselves understood, 
and in coming to an explanation as to our character. 

From what I have yet seen of the Persians, I am in- 
clined to form a very unfavourable opinion of their 
character. Indeed, I never met with a more consummate 
set of rascals. There are few vices to which they do not 
seem prone, but the most remarkable is an utter disregard 
for truth truly wonderful. A Persian will invariably tell 
a lie, even in a matter which is of no importance whatever 
to him. He is, moreover, insolent and vain to a degree. 
Notwithstanding that many Persians of rank have been to 
England and other parts of Europe, and the Government 
has adopted many institutions of civilised nations, still its 
mode of procedure is as barbarous as it was one hundred 
years ago. In their modes of punishment they exhibit 
extreme ingenuity. Some prisoners were lately made at 
Isfahan ; one of these had all his teeth drawn and then 
knocked into his skull ; another was shot with his own 
teeth, and then, having his head forced into a bag of hay, 
was thus left to die. The Persians look upon us as impure, 
and will neither eat nor drink out of the same vessels. 

To his Mother. 

ISFAHAN, 26th August 1840. 

I reached Isfahan last Thursday, but suffering under 
so severe an attack of ague and fever, that until to-day I 


have been unable to commence a letter. Mr Mitford and 
myself were detained at Hamadan for nearly a month with- 
out being able to obtain the papers necessary for the pro- 
secution of our journey. Had it not been for the season- 
able arrival of the Baron de Bode, the principal Secretary to 
the Russian Embassy, God knows when we should have 
escaped from the hands of the Ministers. This gentleman 
behaved with the greatest kindness, assisted us in every 
way, and finally succeeded in procuring our Firman. Mr 
Mitford, disgusted with the want of faith of the Persians, 
and worried by the delay, determined upon making for 
Herat and renouncing his journey into Persia. As my 
funds were still in pretty good condition, I persevered in 
my original plans, and we separated. ... I hope to visit 
the Southern provinces of Persia, which are the least known, 
and to reach Kabul or Kandahar by the winter. 

I trust my health will improve as I get more accustomed 
to an Eastern climate, but I find my strength much de- 
creased since I left England. The fever I had at 
Constantinople has never left me, and when suffering from 
it and ague I find myself incapable of any exertion. Still, 
however, my spirits are as good as ever they were, 
and I feel a resolution which would carry me through 
anything. . . . 

I have been very lucky in the period of my arrival. 
The brother of Mehemet Taki Khan, the great Baktiyari 
chief, is now here, and has promised to send me to his 
brother, who will give me such a guard as will enable me 
to visit any part of the Baktiyari mountains I may think 
proper. . . . 

You would scarcely know me in the Persian dress, with 
black hair, mustachios and beard, for my disguise would not 
be perfect without dyeing, and I go into the mosque now 
like a good Mussulman. 

To his Mother. 

, \Wi December 1840. 

I will now give you an account of my movements since 
my letter from Isfahan. I quitted that city on the 23rd 
Sept., having been detained there nearly a month for want 
of an opportunity to penetrate the Baktiyari mountains : 
to have ventured alone would have been most imprudent. 


At length Shefi'a Khan, a Baktiyari chief, accompanied by 
a strong party of armed men started for the mountains. 
At our third day's station we were attacked by a tribe 
at enmity with the tribe of Shefi'a Khan, and during our 
fourth day's march were compelled to keep a good look-out, 
as the enemy sought for an opportunity of doing us 
mischief. We reached Semirun, however, without loss, 
and, being in a friendly country, had no longer any cause 
for alarm. On the 5th October we reached Kala Tul, the 
residence of the great Baktiyari chief, Mehemet Taki Khan, 
having crossed the most precipitous and lofty mountains 
by roads which appeared scarcely practicable to the 
mountain goat. I could trace the line of route by the 
blood from our horses' feet. Such roads if roads the per- 
pendicular face of a mountain can be called nowhere else 
exist. During our journey we have been living and sleeping 
in the open air, the chiefs everywhere receiving us in the 
most hospitable manner. The weather was delightful. 
Mehemet Taki Khan was absent from Kala Tul on our 

I proceeded immediately to the ruins of Manjanik, 
which are situated about six miles from the Castle of Tul. 
Major Rawlinson had heard of, but not visited them. 
There are here the remains of a very considerable town, 
but I do not count them to be of a very remote date, and 
can scarcely even refer them so far back as the Sassanian 
dynasty. Major Rawlinson had been informed that Baby- 
lonian mounds existed here, but such is not the case. The 
remarkable tradition which attaches to this place, however, 
renders it interesting. You are aware that the Jews and the 
people of the East believe that Abraham was cast into a 
fiery furnace by Nimrod, and they translate " Ur of the 
Chaldees " by " fire of the Chaldees." It was at Manjanik 
that the Lurs assert that this event took place, and the 
place is so called from the celebrated Manjanik, or 
Mangonel, the instrument by which the Patriarch was cast 
into a fire too intense to be approached by man. The 
ruins are now occupied by a tribe of Baktiyaris during the 
colder months, and their black tents and reed huts were 
scattered amongst them at the time of my visit. 

On my return to the castle, satisfied with a man given 
me by the Mehemet Taki Khan's brother as a sure guard, 
I set out for the ruins of Susan, which had excited con- 
siderable interest in consequence of a notice of them in 
Major Rawlinson's pamphlet. No European had as yet 


been able to reach them. On the first day I reached an 
encampment in the plain of Mai Emir. In a rocky ridge 
forming the western boundary to the plain I found four 
tablets sculptured in the rock with several colossal human 
figures, accompanied by several long inscriptions in the 
most complicated of the cuneiform character, a great part 
of which was unfortunately effaced. I believe these 
sculptures, from their appearance and accompanied as they 
are by this character, to be of the most remote antiquity. 
In the plain are mounds which mark the site of a city. 

The following day I quitted the encampment for 
Susan. A high range of mountains separate Susan from 
Mai Emir. On crossing them I was attacked in a narrow 
gorge. Unfortunately I had been prevailed upon to leave 
my arms at the castle, and had only a small dagger. I 
defended myself, however, as well as I could, but was soon 
forced to submit, and to deliver up my watch and the little 
money I had in my possession. Many circumstances made 
me suspect that my host of the preceding night had some 
knowledge of the matter ; but I was determined to conceal 
my suspicions until I reached the castle. I proceeded on 
my journey, and reached the banks of a large river, the 
Kuran, towards nightfall. There were no means of cross- 
ing, and my guide declared it unfordable. I rode to some 
tents and there put up for the night. In the morning I 
found that my guide had deserted me, and I was alone. 
Susan lay on the opposite side of the river. Men were 
swimming across on skins, but they seemed in no way 
inclined to assist me. Only one course remained, and I 
plunged my horse into the water, determined to swim the 
river at all risks. To my surprise I found the river 
fordable, the water scarcely reaching to my saddle ; but the 
current was rapid, and my horse had much difficulty in 
keeping his legs. Having reached the opposite bank, I 
rode to the tents of Mullah Feraj, the chief of Susan, for 
whom I had a letter. In the course of a couple of days I 
visited the ruins and the tomb of Daniel, but these two 
days were spent in considerable anxiety, as the suspicions 
which the visit of a Frank excited in the minds of the 
Baktiyari were far from being of a satisfactory nature. 
The most ridiculous causes were assigned for my arrival. 
Some asserted that I had come to spy the country previous 
to an attack projected by the King of England ; whilst 
others asserted that my object was the acquisition of a 
treasure which my forefathers, who had once occupied the 


land, had deposited there, and the site of which had been 
written in our books. However absurd these suspicions 
may appear, they proved sufficient to prevent my examin- 
ing the place with as much minuteness as I could have 
wished. I heard the people of the place consulting as to the 
course to be adopted towards me, and, had not the chief 
proved decidedly inclined to protect me, I might have 
received rough treatment. I was not sorry to turn my 
back on the inhospitable land. 

On my return to Kala Tul I acquainted Mehemet 
Taki Khan with my loss. He immediately sent off a 
horseman to the chief with orders to bring back all my 
property, or he himself would proceed thither and cut off 
his nose and ears. On the following day the horseman 
returned with my watch and all that had been taken from 

To his Mother. 

BAGHDAD, 9^ September 1841. 

You will be surprised to find me again writing to you 
from Baghdad. In explanation I will only say that, after 
leaving Karak in the winter and returning to the Baktiyari 
country, I still remained in Persia with the hope of being 
able to carry out my original plan of reaching Afghanistan 
through the Seistan. Kirman, however, and the neighbour- 
ing country still continued in a most disturbed state ; the 
road through Herat from recent events also got blocked up ; 
and I found it was scarcely possible to leave Persia by a 
land route. I consequently came down to Busrah, and a 
few days ago reached Baghdad. My principal object in 
returning to this place is to write to yourself and my uncle 
upon my future plans, and to remain here until I receive an 
answer. There have been so many changes, since I left 
England, in our family, that I have seriously and after 
much reflection determined to return to England if my 
uncle and yourself should approve of my so doing. . . . 

I have now been absent from England about two years, 
and have visited many of the most interesting countries in 
the world, and during that period I have scarcely spent two 
hundred pounds. ... I can live here at a very trifling 
expense, and I have very pleasant society in the house of 
Colonel Taylor, the Resident. I shall not, howeve^ remain 


in Baghdad, and in fact to-morrow I start for an exploring 
trip down the Tigris with Captain Selby, commanding one 
of the Euphrates Expedition Steamboats. 

To his Uncle, Mr Austen. 

BAGHDAD, qth September 1841. 

Nearly eight months have elapsed since I last wrote 
to you, and I fear that my long silence will have 
caused you some anxiety ; but the fact is, I have been 
unable not only to communicate with you, but to leave the 
Persian territories. On my return to the Baktiyari country, 
the chief engaged in a war with the Persian authorities, 
which ended in his being taken prisoner. I was compelled 
to become a sort of actor in the affair, and when Mehemet 
Taki Khan was treacherously delivered into the hands of 
his enemies, I accompanied him, and was afterwards 
detained until nearly the middle of August, when I 
fortunately succeeded in leaving the Persian camp and 
reaching Busrah ; but in a curious condition without a 
farthing in the world and with scarcely a shirt to my back, 
having been plundered some half a dozen times and 
exposed to the vicissitudes of war, etc. 

I found an English ship at Busrah, the captain of which 
received me very civilly, and, having remained with him 
two or three days, I started off for Baghdad. I was now in 
hopes that all my troubles were at an end, but it turned out 
otherwise. Between Busrah and Baghdad I was plundered 
by the Arabs three times ! And at length, after various 
escapes, I astonished our worthy Resident here by in- 
troducing myself to him in my shirt. But I am now 
accustomed to these things, and, as I have excellent health 
and spirits, they pass off as common occurrences. . . . 
Thank God I am again among Europeans and country- 
men : long absence had rendered me a complete Persian. 
But I must now explain my reasons for returning to 
Baghdad. You must have seen from my last letter that I 
was proceeding but slowly towards India. The receipt of 
your letter at Karak, informing me of the events which had 
taken place since my leaving England, induced me to 
remain here a few months longer, and to await other 
letters from England. I felt that my mother's position was 
so different to what it was when I left England, and that 


indeed all the circumstances of my family were so much 
changed, that the reasons which induced me to leave England 
no longer existed. I was on the point of writing to you 
from Karak, and asking your sanction to my returning. . . . 
But I felt a strong desire to remain a short period in the 
interesting country I had been visiting, and where I had 
strong hopes of being able to confer some benefit upon 
mankind by contributing towards the amelioration of a 
semi-barbarous people. The character of their chief gave 
me the most sanguine hopes of success ; his generosity 
enabled me to live there without any expense whatsoever, 
and his friendship secured me a residence in that difficult 
country unattended with danger. I had introduced 
vaccination amongst the tribes with success ; I had written 
to India, and probably should have been able to bring 
Mehemet Taki Khan into correspondence with the Govern- 
ment and merchants of Bombay, and to engage them to 
enter into economical relations with a country so admirably 
calculated for commerce as Khuzistan and Susiana. 

I had scarcely, however, returned to the country from 
Karak, when events put an end to all these anticipations. 
The Persian Government, as usual, fearing that Mehemet 
Taki Khan was gaining too great an ascendency over the 
inhabitants of this part of Persia, and knowing that he had 
no inconsiderable wealth in flocks and cattle, determined 
upon his destruction. Under the mask of friendship they 
at length succeeded in bringing him into their power, and, 
violating the most sacred oaths, deprived him of his country 
and threw him into chains. Thus, all the interest I had 
felt in the country was at an end, and I determined upon 
proceeding immediately to Baghdad, and writing to you 
with the proposal I had wished to make at Karak. I can 
live at Baghdad without expense, and I have here the most 
intellectual society in the family of our Resident, Colonel 
Taylor ; and I intend remaining here until I hear from 


To his Mother. 

BAGHDAD, 24/7* January 1842. 

[After touching upon family circumstances which had 
again made his future plans uncertain^ he continues] : 

I regret that I have been unable to make drawings ; 
the state of the country would not allow me to do so, and 
indeed it was very seldom that I was able to make a note, 
or to take a bearing by the compass. During my last 
trip I discovered other sculptures and the sites of several 
ancient cities. I luckily escaped very well, having only 
been plundered once, although the journey was a very 
dangerous one, and, succeeded in visiting every spot of 
any interest that, during my former excursion in Khuzistan, 
I had left unexamined. I found my poor friend Mehemet 
Taki Khan still in chains, with his family in a most dis- 
tressing state. One of his brothers, with whom I had spent 
many happy hours, had been cruelly murdered, and on 
entering Shushter one of the first things I saw was the 
head of an old friend rotting in the Bazaar ! The number 
of persons that have perished in this province is scarcely 
credible. I visited the great robber Baktiyari chief, who 
received me very civilly in his celebrated mountain strong- 
hold, and, contrary to my expectations, gave me every 
opportunity of visiting the country. I had the honour of 
being introduced to all his wives (he has twelve), and of 
getting well drunk with him on some Shiraz wine. In 
fact, we were sworn friends, and I only regretted that 
time would not allow me to join him in a few plundering 
expeditions, and other parties of pleasure, which he very 
kindly offered to bring about for my amusement. I also 
spent a few days with the Wali of Luristan, the celebrated 
mountain prince of the Faiti, who received me with much 
kindness and treated me with great hospitality. The only 
two Englishmen who had ever ventured into this country, 
Captain Grant and Mr Fotheringham, had been murdered 
by the predecessor of the present Wali, and, as Major 
Rawlinson had strongly warned any European against 
attempting to enter the country, I was somewhat anxious 
as to the result of my journey. I am now, however, so 
well acquainted with this curious people that I had little 


difficulty in forming a friendship with him. The only 
scoundrel that ill-treated me was the Sheikh of the Beni 
Lam Arabs, in whose tent I had been a guest, and whose 
bread I had eaten. Whilst among the tribe I was daily 
in the greatest danger, and had I not luckily been in 
company with a Seyyid, a descendant of the Prophet, I 
scarcely know how I should have succeeded in passing 
through the country. As it was, I was attacked, and 
robbed of the little money that I possessed. The Matameh, 
the commander of the Persian troops, had also left orders 
at Shushter to have me arrested ; but I dared the Governor 
to do so, and remained in the town and travelled about the 
country without noticing his threats or remonstrances. 

I have avoided living with the Colonel or any of the 
residents here, although I dine with them every day, and 
have taken a small house to myself, where I sit alone and 
am busily occupied during the day, writing and putting my 
notes in something like order. I have every reason to be 
most grateful to Colonel Taylor, who is a most amiable 
and worthy man. It would be well for England if every 
city in the world had such a Resident. During the thirty 
years he has resided here it is impossible to describe the 
mode in which he has established the English name and 
character. A few days back we celebrated the birth of the 
Prince of Wales with great eclat. The steamer on the river 
was dressed with flags and fired a Royal Salute. In the 
evening the Resident's house was illuminated, and the 
street hung with lamps. Who a few years back would 
have anticipated this? 

To his Mother. 

BAGHDAD, 26^ May 1842. 

I am glad to say I was completely successful, and re- 
ceived the highest gratification in being able to carry out 
a scheme to which I had directed much time and labour. 
When I told you of our intended trip up the Karun, I 
mentioned a month as the probable period of our absence. 
Unfortunately, although we succeeded admirably in our 
enterprise, the vessel was, through carelessness, run aground 
in the immediate neighbourhood of Shushter, and, the 
river being at the time much swollen from recent rains 
and daily decreasing, we were soon left high and dry. The 


steamer was dug off after great labour, and after a deten- 
tion of thirty days. This incident, however, in no way 
interfered with the success of the undertaking, and I have 
completely established the practicability of the navigation 
of the Karun. 

We ascended that river, the Aub Gargar, or celebrated 
canal, and the Run of Dizful. I had examined all these 
rivers on several occasions and at a very great personal 
risk, and it was in consequence of my urgent representations 
to Colonel Taylor that the vessel was sent up the river. 
I had assured the Colonel that I had conciliated all the 
chiefs, and that our reception would be flattering and 
hospitable. I was not deceived, and I can assert that never 
were persons received with greater kindness than we were 
at Shushter in the steamer Assyria. The chiefs vied with 
one another in showing us attention ; we had continual 
presents of sheep, and of the produce of the country, and 
the house of every one was open to us. ... I am still in 
a Persian dress, and have not an article of European 
apparel ; I must get a fit-out at Constantinople. 

To his Mother. 

CONSTANTINOPLE, lothjuly 1842. 

I arrived here yesterday, after a very pleasant though 
somewhat fatiguing journey through Asia Minor. ... I 
was not sorry to leave the sultry heats of Mesopotamia and 
get into a cooler climate of Diarbekir. From Iskah to the 
sea coast the mountains of Asia Minor are thickly wooded 
with gigantic oaks, elms, and birch trees. I fancied myself 
again in Switzerland. As I travelled tatar, I had not, of 
course, much time to examine the country which I traversed. 
Mosul and Mardin I must have described to you in former 
letters. At Mardin you leave the great plains of Assyria, 
and enter the lower undulating uplands of Taurus. From 
Mardin to Diarbekir is a delightful valley, and the road 
leads along a small stream, thickly wooded with poplars 
and willows. It would be difficult to describe the pleasure 
such a scene as this affords to a traveller who has been 
traversing the treeless waste between Baghdad and Mardin. 
I accompanied Dr Floyd as far as Diarbekir ; we separated 
there, the Doctor going to Aleppo. In this city, however, 
I found three English engineers who had left Baghdad 


about twenty days before me. With them I continued my 
journey, and reached Samsoun in nine days without any 
very hard riding. . . . We had to remain a day at Samsoun 
for the arrival of the Trebizond steamer, which calls here on 
its way to Constantinople. I was not sorry to find myself 
once more in the atmosphere of a European steamer, after 
having been devoured for days past by all manner of 
vermin. There is a great enjoyment in sleeping out in 
the open air, and I regretted the necessity of sleeping in a 
dirty room. In the north of Asia Minor the dews are 
heavy, and one risks a fever sleeping out of doors. I 
reached Samsoun in a Baktiyari dress, and was compelled 
to borrow a European suit to make a decent entry into 

I have to start afresh in the world. Of all my European 
property the old cloak alone remains, and a small carpet 
which I purchased three years ago here. These have re- 
mained staunch to me in all my adventures, and have been 
in the hands of robbers and thieves, but have in some way 
stuck to me. They have encountered all the dangers of 
St Paul, and must be preserved as relics. 




I HAD promised Colonel Taylor to lose no time in deliver- 
ing the despatches which he had entrusted to my care, 
and which were of urgent importance. Accordingly, on 
the morning of my arrival at Constantinople, I engaged a 
caique with two rowers to take me to Buyukdere, where 
Sir Stratford Canning, the British Ambassador, was then 
residing, and proceeded to the Embassy as I had landed, 
with only such European garments as I had been able 
to procure at Samsoun, and bronzed and unkempt after 
my long and arduous journey in constant exposure to 
heat and cold, rain and sun. 

In those days there were no passenger steamers on the 
Bosphorus, and it took about three hours for two stalwart 
caikjees to row to Buyukdere. On arriving there I 
presented myself at the Embassy with my despatches. 
I was told to wait, which I did for a considerable time. 
At length a fashionably-dressed young gentleman appeared, 
asked me cavalierly for the despatches of which I was 
the bearer, informed me that the Ambassador was too 
much occupied to see any one, and turning on his heel 
left the room without deigning to listen to what I had 
to say. 



I felt very indignant at this rude and uncourteous 
treatment, which I thought scarcely justified by my 
personal appearance, although the attache might have 
been warranted in looking with some contempt upon an 
unknown traveller who had only just emerged from 
barbarous regions, and who bore but few marks of European 
civilisation either in his dress or his complexion. Having 
endeavoured in vain to obtain an audience of some other 
member of the Embassy, to whom I could explain my 
position, and the necessity I was under of asking for a 
passport to enable me to travel over the Continent to 
England, I left the house and returned at once to Pera. 

I determined to apply to the British Consul-General for 
a passport, without which it would have been impossible 
for me to pass through any part of Europe, and to leave 
Constantinople as soon as I had obtained it. Mr Cart- 
wright, who then filled that office, received me with the 
blunt kindness and good-nature for which he was well 
known to all English travellers in Turkey. He at once 
promised to send me the document I required for my 
journey. I returned to my hotel to prepare for my de- 
parture, bul, before leaving Constantinople, I was determined 
to inform the Ambassador of the manner in which I had 
been received at the Embassy. I accordingly wrote to 
Sir Stratford Canning, expressing in somewhat intem- 
perate terms the indignation that my treatment had 
caused me. I had no right to expect any reply to my 
letter, which was written under a sense of offended dignity 
and resentment for what, in my anger, I considered a 
personal affront. I was the more hurt and offended by 
my reception at the Embassy, as, in order to deliver the 
despatches with which I was charged to Sir Stratford, and 
to afford him information which the British Resident at 
Baghdad considered of importance to the public service, 
I had put myself to no little inconvenience, and had 



suffered considerable fatigue in travelling night and day 
on horseback from Baghdad. I have no doubt that I 
exaggerated the matter ; but I was young and impetuous, 
and the manner in which the members of an Embassy 
were in those days accustomed to treat British subjects 
who were not supposed to enjoy an equal position in 
society with themselves may have justified, to a certain 
extent, the warmth of my remonstrances. What happened 
to me on this occasion served as a lesson in after years. 
In this respect, great changes have since taken place. 
Diplomacy has become more of a profession, and public 
opinion has been brought to bear upon it in a manner which 
renders it necessary for its members to discharge in a 
becoming way their duties to the public. I afterwards 
became intimately acquainted with the young men who 
had treated me, as I considered, so rudely. They were 
amiable, kind-hearted and gentlemanly, and were un- 
conscious of the offence given by the supercilious and 
arrogant bearing which they considered it necessary, as 
belonging to an aristocratic vocation, to assume towards 
strangers, and especially towards their own countrymen. 
We often laughed together over the indignant protest 
which my offended susceptibility had called forth. 
Amongst them were more than one with whom I 
afterwards formed a warm and affectionate friendship, 
which lasted until we were separated by death for they 
are now no more. I may have occasion to refer to them 

I was not a little surprised when I received a kind and 
courteous answer to my letter from Sir Stratford Canning, 
expressing his regret that he had not seen me, and that I 
had cause to complain of my reception at the Embassy, 
thanking me for having brought the despatches for him 
from the British Resident at Baghdad, and begging me to 
call at once, as he was desirous of communicating with me. 


I could not do less than comply with his request, and on 
the following morning I returned to Buyukdere. 

Sir Stratford received me immediately. I was greatly 
struck by his appearance, and thought him one of the 
handsomest men I had ever seen. His hair was already 
grey, or rather white. His tall and spare form was not 
altogether erect, as he had the habit of stooping forward, 
and he was a little awkward in his gait. There was a 
somewhat too evident assumption of dignity and reserve in 
his manner, which was intended to impress people with the 
utmost respect for the Queen's Ambassador, and, if the 
occasion required it, with awe. His earnest grey eyes 
seemed to penetrate into one's inner thoughts. His 
complexion was so fair and transparent that the least 
emotion whether of pleasure or anger was at once shown 
by its varying tints. A broad, massive and overhanging 
brow gave him an air of profound wisdom and sagacity. 
He was altogether a very formidable-looking personage, 
and he made upon me the impression which he no doubt 
intended to produce. 

His manner towards me was, however, kindly and con- 
siderate. He admitted and lamented that strangers had 
frequently good cause to complain of their reception at the 
Embassy, adding that he had reprimanded " the gentlemen 
of the Chancery " for the manner in which they had treated 
me. He then began to question me upon the state of the 
country from which I had recently arrived, and especially 
as to the events on the Turco-Persian frontier of which I 
had been a witness. He appeared to be satisfied with the 
answers that I was able to give him. After a long conver- 
sation, and when I was about to retire, he remarked that 
my knowledge of the territory in dispute between Turkey 
and Persia might be of considerable use to him, as he had 
reason to believe that the advance of the Persian troops to 
Muhammareh and into territory watered by the Euphrates, 


which was claimed by Turkey, might lead to war between 
those two States. It had occurred to him, he said, that 
the mediation of England might be employed to prevent 
a rupture between them, and asked my opinion. I did not 
hesitate to approve of his idea, offering, at the same time, 
to furnish him with such information as I had acquired by 
my journeys to Khuzistan. 

On parting with me he expressed his hope that I 
would remain for a short time in Constantinople, as he was 
desirous of seeing me again, and of obtaining further 
information from me, as soon as there was a prospect of 
the mediation of England being accepted by Persia and 
the Porte. 

I returned to Pera, and some days passed without my 
hearing from Sir Stratford Canning. My means were now 
nearly exhausted, and I had scarcely more money than 
was required for my journey to England. I therefore 
wrote to the Ambassador to inform him that unless he 
desired to see me again, and to avail himself of my 
services, I should leave Constantinople in a few days. 
Not receiving a reply to my letter, I completed the 
preparations for my departure and took my passage on 
board a steamer bound for Galatz whence I intended to 
make my way by the Danube to Vienna. 

I was descending the steep street leading from Pera 
to the wharf at Tophand where I was to embark, when 
I was overtaken by a cawass from the Embassy. He 
had followed me from the hotel with a note from Sir 
Stratford Canning, telling me that he thought he saw his 
way to make use of my proposed services, adding, " instead 
of going away, come and dine here to-morrow, and I will 
try to arrange a plan with you." After a moment's re- 
flection I determined to return to the hotel and to accept 
Sir Stratford's invitation. 

On the following day I went to Buyukdere". Sir 


Stratford Canning informed me that negotiations for the 
joint mediation of England and Russia between Turkey 
and Persia were in progress, but that some time would 
probably elapse before the two Powers would finally 
accept it, and before he might be in a position to make 
use of the information which I possessed. He proposed 
to me that in the interval I should visit the Western 
part of Turkey in Europe, and especially Bosnia and Servia. 
Much agitation then prevailed in both these provinces, 
and there were grounds for believing that political events 
of importance were about to occur in them. He suggested 
that I should travel through them, and report to him on 
their condition and the state of affairs. It was, however, 
to be clearly understood that I was to have no official 
character or mission. 

I readily accepted Sir Stratford's proposal. The few 
preparations that I had to make for my journey were soon 
completed, and on the 2Oth August I left Constantinople 
by a small steamer, called the Maria Dorotea, for Salonica. 
I was furnished with letters of introduction to the Turkish 
authorities and to our Consuls and Consular Agents 
in the districts which I proposed to visit, and arrangements 
were made for me to correspond directly with the 

The rest that I had been able to take at Constantinople 
had recruited my health, which had suffered from the 
hardships and privations to which I had been exposed 
during my wanderings in the Baktiyari Mountains and 
the desert, and from the fatigue of my tatar journey 
from Baghdad. I was still, however, liable to constant 
returns of the intermittent fever, which I had contracted 
three years before in the plains of Philippopoli at the 
commencement of my travels in the East. I had not 
been able to shake it off; but I had become almost 
accustomed to its attacks, from which I soon recovered, 


although they produced their effect upon my constitution, 
and frequently left me in a state of great debility, mental 
and physical. But I was young, energetic and adventurous, 
and never allowed these attacks to interfere with my plans. 
Many and many a day had I ridden for hours, shivering 
and shaking when the ague fit first came on, dismounting 
and lying on the bare ground in a semi-delirious state 
when the hot stage supervened, and returning to the saddle 
when abundant perspiration brought the attack to an 
end, leaving me so weak and exhausted that I could 
scarcely keep my seat. 

I left Constantinople in high spirits. My taste for 
travel and adventure had not been satiated, and I 
was further excited by the idea that I was engaged in 
an important though secret mission, which, in the event 
of my discharging it to the satisfaction of the Ambassador, 
would in all probability lead to my permanent official 
employment in the East, the great object of my ambition. 
On the second day, after a beautiful passage on a waveless 
sea, coasting along islands and headlands rich in immortal 
traditions, I landed at Salonica. Forcing my way through 
a clamorous crowd of porters, Jews and beggars, I proceeded 
to the British Consulate. Mr Blunt, the British Consul 
for whom I had letters, received me cordially, and procured 
a room for me in the house of a native Christian family. 

Mr Blunt had been for many years in the British 
Consular service, and was a man of great knowledge 
and experience of Eastern affairs, and intimately ac- 
quainted with Turkey, its various populations and their 
languages. As he had married a Greek lady like many 
other Englishmen employed officially or engaged in 
commerce in the Levant he was classed by his country- 
men amongst " Levantines," a term which is intended 
to convey mingled contempt and reproach. But he was 
an English gentleman of good family and education. 

1842] SALONICA 23 

During my short stay at Salonica I passed most of my 
time with him and with the French Consul, M. Gillet, in 
whose house I had been hospitably received nearly three 
years before at Tarsus where he held the same office. I 
had letters for some Levantine merchants of the name 
of Abbots, who were largely concerned in the export 
trade, and had extensive financial dealings with the local 
authorities and the populations of the province, as farmers 
of the tithes and in other capacities. From them and 
other gentlemen residing in Salonica I obtained informa- 
tion on commercial and political subjects which I con- 
sidered of sufficient interest to communicate to Sir 
Stratford Canning. 

Omar Pasha, Governor of the province, was a Turk of 
the old school, who could neither read nor write. The 
populations complained of his government as arbitrary and 
oppressive. He had established monopolies of various 
articles of primary necessity, such as salt, notwithstanding 
the treaties between Turkey and England and other 
European Powers, by which the Porte had engaged to 
abolish them. These monopolies weighed heavily upon the 
poor and upon those engaged in trade. Whilst through 
them he accumulated wealth, they brought ruin upon the 
country, which was already suffering from secular mis- 
government. He was courteous and dignified in his 
manners, like most Turkish officials of rank, and was con- 
sequently favourably spoken of by the Consuls, whose 
representations and remonstrances were patiently listened 
to although they may have produced but little effect. 

Salonica was already a rising port, and gave promise 
of becoming the principal one for the trade of the 
European provinces of the Turkish Empire. But at that 
time there were no roads, and the produce of the soil was 
brought down, and European merchandise conveyed into 
the interior, on the backs of mules and horses, by rugged 


and difficult paths which were frequently interrupted 
altogether. Brigandage prevailed, and the country in 
general was insecure in consequence of the political 
agitation which had already commenced amongst the 
Christian populations of Roumelia, mainly caused by the 
intrigues of Russian Agents. 1 One of the objects of my 
mission was to enquire into the movement, which was 
alleged to be in progress amongst the Bulgarians, and the 
means by which it was brought about. Secret Societies 
were known to exist, which had for their object to excite 
an insurrection against the Turkish Government, and 
which were directed and supported by secret Committees 
in Russia and by Russian Agents. There had already 
been more than one attempt at rebellion, which had been 
suppressed by the Turkish troops. However, at that time, 
the Bulgarians formed but a small minority of the 
Christian population of Macedonia and of Salonica, its 
capital, and being of the Greek faith were included by the 
Turkish authorities amongst the Greeks. It was not 
until many years afterwards that the Christians to the 
south of the Balkans speaking the Bulgarian language 
were recognised as a distinct nation, and were no longer 
classed with the Greeks. At the time of my visit to 
Salonica, no part of the Christian population was known 
as Bulgarian. It was said by the Turkish authorities to 
consist of 15,000 Greeks. The town then contained no 
less than 25,000 Jews, who exceeded in number even the 
Mussulmans. They were the descendants of those who 
had been driven by persecution from Spain, and had taken 
refuge in the dominions of the Sultan, where they were 
hospitably received, and allowed the free profession of 

1 The " Bulgarian Question," which was destined in after years to 
assume such grave proportions, and to lead to a great war, which may 
prove to be one of the principal causes of the fall of the Ottoman rule 
in Europe, was already appearing on the horizon. 

1 842] SALONICA 25 

their faith. They still spoke the Spanish language, and 
were to be distinguished from the Turks and Christians 
not only by their peculiar dress and the long locks which 
the men wore on either side of their foreheads, but by 
their fair complexions, blue eyes, and light hair and 

During the short time that I remained at Salonica I 
was much impressed by the abuses which were to be 
attributed to the capitulations, or ancient treaties or 
conventions between Turkey and the European Powers, 
which were rapidly undermining the authority of the 
Turkish Government, and rendering its continued existence 
under the state of things which they were calculated to 
produce almost impossible. The principal were the 
privileges claimed by foreigners exempting them from 
dues and taxes paid by Ottoman subjects, the monopolies 
in trade which they were thus able to secure, the inter- 
ference of the foreign Consuls in all local affairs and in the 
administration, and the facilities afforded to Turkish 
subjects of throwing off their Ottoman nationality and 
obtaining that of some other country. Even the smallest 
European State had its Consul or Consular Agent at 
Salonica. These officials were in the habit of selling 
passports to native Christians. Most of them trafficked 
in these documents, and lived upon the profits they made 
out of the sale of their protection. One of the principal 
offenders in this respect was the Greek Consul, who 
claimed a large portion of the indigenous Christian 
population of the town as subjects of the Hellenic 

A privilege at that time enjoyed by the foreign Consuls 
was the cause of no little loss to the Turkish revenue, 
and of legitimate complaint on the part of the Turkish 
authorities and population. Each Consul claimed the 
right to keep one bakehouse, one butcher's shop and one 


tavern. This claim was founded upon an ancient custom 
which allowed the representatives of foreign nations to 
provide for the supply of the shipping of their respective 

Upon these various subjects, and upon the opening for 
British commerce which Salonica appeared to me to 
present, I dwelt in my letters to Sir Stratford Canning, 
sending him such statistics as I was able to procure from 
the official sources accessible to me. 

On the 25th August I left Salonica in a small sailing- 
boat bound for the village of S. Teodoro on the coast of 
Thessaly. We set sail in the evening, and crossing the 
gulf with a light wind arrived at our destination soon after 
sunrise. After some difficulty I was able to obtain a horse 
to take me to Platamona. I had fallen in with a Prussian 
doctor named Auerbach, in the Turkish service, who was 
going to Larissa to take charge of the quarantine 
establishment in that place. We rode together along the 
sea-coast at the foot of Mount Olympus, and through the 
Vale of Tempe, with the beautiful scenery of which, and 
the wonderful luxuriance of its vegetation, I was greatly 
charmed. It reminded me strongly of the pictures of 
Claude, who in his classic subjects has well divined the 
peculiar characteristics of the Thessalian landscape. But 
we found the country almost deserted. The mountain- 
range of Olympus and Ossa was the refuge of bands of 
brigands who, descending into the valleys and plains, 
infested the mule-tracks, robbed travellers and caravans, 
almost put a stop to trade, and compelled the inhabitants 
of the villages to abandon their homes and to seek for 
security in the towns. The soil consequently remained 
uncultivated, and one of the richest districts in European 
Turkey was reduced to the condition of a desert. Reports 
of the presence of the brigands on the road we were taking 
were rife and we were warned against the danger to which 

1842] AMBELAKIA 27 

we were exposing ourselves. But we performed our 
journey without meeting with any adventure. 

We crossed the Peneus by a ferry-boat, and followed 
its winding course through a thickly-wooded valley, in 
which the pomegranate, the vine and the fig tree, the 
remains of former cultivation, mingled with forest trees. 
We entered a narrow and difficult gorge through which the 
river forces its way, and arrived at nightfall at Baba, a 
small village almost deserted, in which we found a dirty, 
half-ruined coffee-house, where we took up our quarters for 
the night. 

On the following day we passed through the ruined 
town of Ambelakia, situated on the slope of Mount Ossa 
about an hour's ride above Baba. This was once a place 
of considerable importance, and the remains of large, well- 
built houses, and of spacious buildings used in the manu- 
facture of cotton goods, bore evidence to its former 
industry and prosperity. I was greatly interested in 
Ambelakia from the story which I had read of it in 
Urquhart's " Spirit of the East," a book which had made 
a great impression upon my imagination, and which con- 
tains some of the most delightful and truthful pictures 
of Oriental Turkish life. Ambelakia was inhabited by 
a Greek community which, high up on the almost in- 
accessible sides of Ossa, had enjoyed an almost complete 
independence from Turkish rule. Some enterprising and 
ingenious inhabitants of the place formed the idea of 
constituting the population into a kind of joint stock 
company for the manufacture of cotton prints, such as were 
used in Turkey. The enterprise was for a long time 
successful, and Ambelakia became one of the most 
prosperous communities in the Sultan's dominions. It 
was unable, however, to compete with foreign manu- 
factures when the markets of Turkey were opened to 
Europe, and especially to England, by the Treaties of 


Commerce. The administration of the affairs of the 
community fell into incompetent hands. Frauds were 
alleged to have been committed by its officers. Failure 
was the result; the manufactories were closed, and, the 
principal inhabitants having quitted the place, Ambelakia 
soon fell into ruins. 

From Ambelakia I descended the southern slope of 
Mount Ossa to Larissa, a town of some importance, 
situated in a rich and extensive plain, and at that time the 
residence of the Governor of the Province of Thessaly. 
Namik Pasha, who held that post, had, however, gone 
to Tchataldja the ancient Pharsalia to be present at 
the annual fair held there. Having letters for him, I 
determined to follow him. As Tchataldja was situated 
near the Greek frontier, and the fair would be frequented 
by people from both sides of the borders, I hoped to be 
able to obtain information as to the state of the country, 
which might prove of some importance. 

A ride of six hours on post-horses took me to 
Tchataldja or Pharsalia. Namik Pasha received me cordi- 
ally, and having quartered me upon the Greek bishop, who 
here, as elsewhere, was expected to entertain travellers 
recommended to the Turkish authorities, invited me to 
dine and spend my time with him as long as I might 
remain in the town. He was then a young man of pre- 
possessing appearance, and of considerable intelligence. 
He was one of the foremost among the young Turks who 
had been brought up in the school of Reshid Pasha, and 
who had been selected to carry out the great reforms 
introduced into the administration of the Ottoman Empire 
by Sultan Mahmoud. He spoke French with fluency. 
After serving for some time in the army, in which he had 
rapidly risen to the rank of a Ferik or major-general, he 
had been sent as Turkish Ambassador to London. On 
his return he had been named Governor of the frontier 


province of Thessaly, a post of considerable importance 
on account of the critical state of the relations between 
Turkey and Greece, the frequent violations of the 
territory of both States by brigands, and the endeavours 
of Greek and other agents to excite the Christian popula- 
tions to rise against their Mohammedan rulers. 

Namik Pasha had rendered himself popular amongst 
both Mussulmans and Christians by his just and liberal 
administration. He professed very enlightened views and 
an earnest desire to improve the condition of the province. 
As was usual in Turkey, he was not left long enough in his 
government to carry them out. He made a very favour- 
able impression upon me. I was disposed to look upon 
him as one of the men who, by their honesty, abilities and 
enlightenment, might carry out the reforms initiated by 
Reshid Pasha, and save his country from the fate which 
even then appeared to menace it. But I was disappointed 
in him. He was afterwards employed in many high and 
important missions, but abandoned his early principles, 
and joined the fanatical and revolutionary party in 
Turkey. The friendship which I formed with him during 
my short residence at Tchataldja continued, and I have 
always experienced great kindness and attention from 

At the time of my ^visit to Thessaly, the province was 
apparently in a state of repose. Outwardly the Christians 
constituting by far the largest portion of the populations 
seemed satisfied with the Turkish rule, and, with the 
exception of the usual acts of brigandage on either side of 
the frontiers, outrages occasionally committed by Greek 
patriots who crossed into Turkish territory to perpetrate 
them on Christians as well as on Mohammedans, when they 
could do so with impunity, public tranquillity and order were 
not disturbed. But the Pasha was seriously alarmed at 
the intrigues and conspiracies of foreign Agents, who, he 


was convinced, were seeking to incite the Greek subjects of 
the Sultan to rise against his rule. He was especially 
suspicious of the designs of France, and anxious about the 
proceedings of several Frenchmen, who, upon various 
pretexts, were travelling about the country. He had in- 
tercepted a correspondence which, he alleged, proved that 
the French Government were endeavouring to bring about 
not only a rising in Thessaly, but a revolution in Greece, 
with the object of dethroning the king and of placing a 
son of Louis Philippe on the throne. He communicated 
his suspicions and fears to me, begging that I would 
acquaint Sir Stratford Canning with them. As Sir Strat- 
ford had given me a letter of introduction to the Pasha, I 
considered that, without giving him any cause to suspect 
that my object in visiting this part of Turkey was to 
furnish information to the Ambassador, I could accede to 
his request. 

On the following day I accompanied an old Albanian 
Bey, named Abdullah, to whom I had been recommended 
by the Pasha, to Karditza, a village which, with the sur- 
rounding lands, he farmed for the Government, I was 
struck by the fertility of the plain of Pharsalia and its 
numerous villages, inhabited almost exclusively by 
Christians. At Fricala, a town of some importance, which 
I reached next afternoon, I was, as usual, lodged at the 
house of the Greek bishop. 

Between Fricala and Janina are the remarkable con- 
vents of Meteoro, built upon isolated masses of rock. 
They have been described by several travellers, amongst 
others by my friend Robert Curzon, who visited them some 
years after me, and described them in his " Monasteries of 
the Levant." 

Shortly before my arrival at Belgrade a revolution 
had taken place in the Principality which had led to the 
expulsion of Prince Milosh and the election by the 


Servians of the son of Karageorge, the chief to whom 
they owed their independence, as his successor. The 
Principality was still in a very disturbed state. It was 
expected that Russia or the Porte would interfere to 
restore the fallen ruler, and the population, determined 
to resist an attempt to impose him upon them, were under 
arms. A considerable force was assembled at Belgrade, 
which was in a state of siege. 

The principal leaders in the movement which had 
ended in the expulsion of Milosh were Petronievitch, 
Wutchich and Zuban. I had letters for them which 
I presented on arriving at Belgrade. They had all three 
been prominent chiefs and patriots in the revolution which, 
principally under the direction of the popular hero Kara- 
george, had freed Servia from Ottoman rule. Petronie- 
vitch was a man of some culture and knowledge, and had 
received a European education, and spoke more than one 
European language. Wutchich was a brave and rude 
soldier of the pure Servian type, unacquainted with any 
tongue but his own. Zuban was a lawyer by profession, 
and had some pretensions to a knowledge of literature. 
He had indeed, although unacquainted with the English 
language, attempted a translation of Gibbon's "Decline 
and Fall of the Roman Empire" into Servian. My 
communications with him were carried on in a kind 
of dog Latin. The three had a high reputation for 
honesty, capacity, and patriotism amongst their country- 
men, and were considered the chiefs of the party which 
resisted the interference in their affairs of Russia, under 
whose influence Prince Milosh was accused of being, and 
which desired for their country a more complete in- 
dependence than that which it enjoyed under foreign 
control and dictation. Wutchich wore the Servian dress, 
which consisted of a jacket, vest, and baggy trousers, with 
leggings of brown coarse cloth, embroidered with black 


braid, and the Turkish fez. In the huge belt of leather 
encircling his waist he carried a pair of enormous pistols, 
and a sword dangled by his side. Petronievitch and 
Zuban were dressed in European costume ; but, like all 
their countrymen who still considered themselves subjects 
of the Sultan, wore the national head-dress, the fez. 

The English Consul-General at Belgrade was, at that 
time, Mr Fonblanque, the brother of the well-known 
editor of the Examiner newspaper. He had taken a 
prominent part in opposing the popular movement against 
Prince Milosh, and when it proved successful he had 
lowered his consular flag, suspended his relations with 
the authorities, and had left Servia for Constantinople 
to protest against it to the British Ambassador. This 
conduct, which was considered by the Servians as an 
unwarrantable interference in their affairs, was deeply 

The private letters which had been given me for the 
three Servian leaders and for the Pasha, who commanded 
the Turkish garrison which then occupied the fortress of 
Belgrade, and represented and maintained the suzerainty 
of the Sultan over the Principality, enabled me to obtain 
full information as to the object of the recent revolution, 
the intentions of its promoters, and the condition of public 
opinion in Servia. I soon convinced myself that the 
British Consul-General had acted hastily and injudiciously 
in taking so decided and hostile a step as to refrain from 
entering into relations with the popular Government and 
to lower his flag. It appeared to me that, if England 
was called upon to take any part in the affairs of Servia, 
her true policy was to give her support to those who 
were struggling to obtain liberal institutions, to uphold 
the independence of their country, and to resist the 
undue interference of Russia in its government and 


Having formed these views, I felt that even in the 
capacity of a private traveller a character which I care- 
fully maintained during the time of my residence in 
Belgrade I was committing no act of indiscretion in 
acceding to the request of the Servian members of the 
Provisional Government that I would inform Sir Stratford 
Canning on my return to Constantinople of the true state 
of affairs, and communicate to him copies of various docu- 
ments which they believed would justify the expulsion of 
Milosh, and the election of the son of Karageorge as his 

As upon the decision which Sir Stratford Canning 
might take upon the representations of Mr Fonblanque 
might depend a war undertaken by Russia, or, upon her 
demand, by the Porte, to crush the popular party in Servia 
and to restore Milosh, a war which could not fail to cause 
infinite bloodshed and misery, I determined to proceed at 
once to Constantinople. The quickest mode of doing so 
was by riding post. The Queen's Messengers, who in 
those days carried despatches between Downing Street 
and the Turkish capital, and the Cabinet couriers of other 
Powers, as well as the tatars employed by the Porte, 
performed their journeys in this fashion. Consequently 
there was then a good supply of post-horses on the road 
which formed the main line of communication through 
the European provinces of Turkey. 

The Pasha of Belgrade offered to send a Government 
tatar with me as far as Nissa, and to give me a letter to 
the Governor of that place, who would provide me with 
another tatar to Constantinople. The Servian authorities 
were instructed to afford me any assistance of which I 
might be in need, and peremptory orders to all the post- 
masters on my route insured me an immediate supply of 
horses at all the post-stations. It was the middle of 
October, and the weather, especially at night, was already 


cold in the mountains and bleak plains of Servia and 
Bulgaria. I prepared myself for it by having my old cloak, 
which had served me through my wanderings in the East, 
lined with sheepskins. I bought a pair of huge boots 
also lined with fur, a pair of ample, baggy shalwars, such as 
were worn by the tatars^ and which for long rides I 
thought more comfortable than light European trousers, 
and an ample shawl wound in many folds round my waist, 
and, equipped with a tatar saddle and heavy shovel 
stirrups which served for spurs, I started from Belgrade on 
my tatar journey to Constantinople. 

The gates were being closed in consequence of the state 
of siege when I left the city at sunset. A surejee, lead- 
ing a horse on which were placed my saddle-bags and those 
of the tatar, led the way. The tatar himself followed 
with his long whip, which he used incessantly to keep the 
animals in front of him to their full speed. I brought up 
the rear. Notwithstanding the darkness of the night and 
the state of the tracks, which were deep in mud, and were 
frequently lost altogether, we galloped as fast as the horses 
could carry us over rocky hills and through dense forests. 
I was more than once nearly swept off my saddle by the 
overhanging boughs and branches. Frequently my horse 
stumbled on the stony ground, and my neck was in 
imminent peril. But the horses were strong and active, 
and the post-stages short. We lost no time in changing 
our animals, and we neither stopped to eat nor sleep 
until we had crossed the Servian frontier. We had been 
frequently challenged during the night by the guards 
which were posted along the road in consequence of the 
anticipated invasion of the Principality and the dis- 
organised state of the country owing to the recent revolu- 
tion. But the tatar was furnished with the necessary 
password, and we passed on without interruption. 

I have still a very lively recollection of that ride 


through the forests of Servia in the night one of the most 
breakneck and fatiguing enterprises in which I was ever 
engaged. In the afternoon of the following day we 
reached the considerable town of Nissa, passing, as we 
entered, a pyramid of human skulls, a trophy of a Turkish 
victory over the Servians which was then still preserved. 
We rode through the narrow streets and bazaar still at full 
gallop, and scattering the thick black mud over the 
passengers and the shopkeepers and their stalls, the 
surejee, as was the custom when preceding a tatar, warn- 
ing the crowd of his approach by loud discordant cries 
and by cracking his whip. 

My letters to the Pasha secured me a welcome and, 
what I even more required, a dinner. He sent at once for 
a fresh tatar to accompany me to Constantinople, and 
ordered horses to be prepared without delay to enable me 
to continue my journey. As an attempt had been made 
to construct a road from Nissa to Sophia, he offered me the 
use of his carriage for the first two or three stages. As I 
thought that I could thus obtain a few hours' sleep after 
my fatiguing journey through the night, I accepted his 

After a substantial meal, I took leave of the friendly 
Pasha, and left Nissa in his carriage, followed by the 
tatar and the surejee leading a horse for me to mount if 
necessary. I soon found that this had been a wise pre- 
caution. The Pasha's carriage was drawn by four small 
active horses driven by a Bulgarian coachman who urged 
them with his long whip and his cries to their full speed, 
utterly regardless of the state of the so-called road and 
the stones and the rocks which encumbered it. The 
carriage itself was a rickety, nondescript vehicle, with 
rude primitive springs, constructed in Hungary. To 
sleep was utterly impossible. I was soon so much 
shaken and jolted that I could bear my sufferings no 


longer. So, dismissing the coachman with a present and 
complimentary message to his master, I mounted the 
.spare horse which had fortunately been provided for 
me, and resumed my journey on my spacious and com- 
fortable tatar saddle. 

I remember little of my journey. The only incident 
that I recollect was that, when following the yelling 
surejee and tatar at full gallop through a narrow and 
crowded bazaar in one of the towns through which we 
passed, my horse stumbled on the slippery stone pave- 
ment, and that I flew over his head and found myself in 
the midst of a circle of tailors, seated cross-legged at their 
work in an open shop. They were not a little alarmed 
at this sudden intrusion, and I was no less surprised at 
finding myself in such company fortunately without hurt 
or injury. 

We reached Adrianople in the morning, having 
galloped without stopping day and night, except to 
change horses at the post-stations, which were then 
about eighteen miles, or six Turkish hours apart. My 
tatar, who had been accustomed to travel, as was the 
habit of his profession, at a jog-trot pace, exceedingly 
fatiguing to one not accustomed to it, and which was 
only increased into a gallop when a town or a post- 
house was approached, declared that he could go no 
further. He accordingly took me to the Konak, or 
residence of the Governor, to whom I had a letter. 
Whilst a fresh tatar was being found and horses made 
ready, I adjourned to a neighbouring Turkish bath. After 
a short but sound sleep on the soft cushions and white 
linen of the outer hall, surrounded by couches on which 
the bathers repose after their ablutions, I felt thoroughly 
refreshed, and ready to continue my journey, and in a few 
minutes was in the saddle again. 

The vast undulating plains of Rumelia, smooth as a 


race-course, were soon crossed. The balmy, bracing 
October air, with a cloudless sky overhead, and the 
rapid motion, produced an exhilarating effect which soon 
made me forget my fatigues and privations. In these 
long tatar journeys I usually found that I suffered most 
on the second night. The difficulty of keeping awake 
was intense, and the efforts to do so most distressing 
and painful. It was impossible to sleep when going at 
a gallop. When the pace was slackened, as in descending 
a hill, I could doze ; but I generally found it better to 
dismount, and to snatch a few minutes' slumber lying on 
the bare ground. It is almost hopeless to struggle against 
a drowsiness which overpowers one in spite of every 
effort to throw it off. After the second night, I generally 
suffered less from the effects of want of sleep and the 
excitement of passing through a new country, and the 
various incidents which occurred during the ride, and 
when changing horses at the stations, sufficed to occupy 
the attention almost without interruption, and to drive 
away the desire of sleep. 

I reached Constantinople before dawn on the sixth day 
after leaving Belgrade. I had performed this journey of 
some six hundred miles in less time by some hours than 
Colonel Townley, a Queen's Messenger, whose tatar ride 
over the same ground had been mentioned by Lord 
Palmerston in the House of Commons as the fastest on 
record. I was consequently very proud of my feat. As 
some time had yet to elapse before the Adrianople Gate, 
at which I had arrived, would be opened the gates of 
Stamboul were then closed until sunrise I dismounted, 
and, lying on the ground, slept soundly until I could enter 
the city. It was a ride of full an hour through the narrow 
and ill-paved streets of the Turkish quarters, and after- 
wards of Galata and Pera, before I could reach Roboli's 


Having breakfasted and made myself as presentable as 
my limited wardrobe permitted, I hired a horse and gal- 
loped to Buyukdere where Sir Stratford Canning was still 
residing. He would scarcely believe that I had only left 
Belgrade six days before. The dates of letters which I 
had brought to him convinced him, however, of the fact. 
I found that he had already, from the reports he had 
received from trustworthy sources, and from the statements 
of the Consul-General himself, come to the same conclusion 
as I had as to the revolution in Servia, and as to the policy 
which it behoved the English Government to pursue with 
regard to it. He had condemned the hasty step taken 
by the British Consul-General in lowering his flag, and in 
thus making almost a declaration of war against the popular 
party in Servia, and had directed him to return to his post 
without delay. Mr Fonblanque had already left Constanti- 
nople for Belgrade before my arrival. 

Sir Stratford Canning was highly satisfied with the 
accounts which I was able to give him of the state of 
affairs in Servia, as they confirmed him in the opinion 
which he had formed, and which he had expressed in his 
despatches to Lord Aberdeen, H.M. Minister for Foreign 
Affairs. He was desirous of entering into direct communi- 
cations with the leaders of the recent movement in the 
Principality, in order to obtain full and trustworthy infor- 
mation as to their views and as to the events which were 
occurring there. The personal acquaintance which I had 
formed at Belgrade with the principal persons concerned 
in the revolution enabled him to make use of me to this 
end. Shortly after my return to Constantinople, Zuban, 
whom I have mentioned as being Minister of Justice in the 
Servian provisional Government, was sent to represent the 
newly-elected Prince, the son of Karageorge, at the Porte. 
I established intimate relations with him, and through him 
I was able to obtain all the information that Sir Stratford 


Canning required, and to be the means of communicating 
his views to those who had been entrusted with the direc- 
tion of affairs in Servia, and to influence to a certain 
extent their conduct. 

One of the charges made against the revolutionary 
leaders in Servia was their cruel treatment of persons 
belonging to the opposite political party. Mr Fonblanque 
had accused them of placing their prisoners in deep open 
pits dug in the soil. There was unfortunately a sufficient 
foundation for these charges. I had seen, when at 
Belgrade, and in company with Wutchich, who had the 
command of the revolutionary army, a large square 
excavation in which several prisoners were kept, without 
protection from the inclemencies of the weather. I had 
ventured to remonstrate against their treatment, and in 
consequence they were removed to other quarters the 
provisional Government stating that they had only been 
thus temporarily placed, as there was no other means 
of keeping them in safe custody in Belgrade, and they 
were dangerous men whom it was necessary to retain 
in confinement. But the Servians were at that time 
but little less barbarous and uncivilised than their 
recent rulers the Turks. One of the objects which 
Sir Stratford Canning had in view was to induce 
the new Servian Government to act with justice and 
humanity towards the followers and partizans of the fallen 
family, and so to conduct the movement which had 
hitherto proved successful, that it might be justified in 
European public opinion by affording proofs of its 
having the support of the great majority of the Servian 

In these views we were warmly and ably seconded 
by Zuban. Although of a somewhat rough exterior, 
and having received the very limited education at that 
time accessible to a Servian, he was a humane and in- 


telligent man, and a good and honest patriot. I was 
accustomed to see a good deal of him, and spent many 
an evening in his company. In the dog Latin which we 
were compelled to use in our oral and written communica- 
tions, he would relate to me stories of Servian history, and 
especially of the wars with the Turks, and of the struggles 
for his country's independence, in which he had been per- 
sonally engaged. He would usually end by singing, in a 
monotonous and plaintive tone, the popular ballads in 
which Servia and the other Slav provinces watered by 
the Danube are rich, accompanying himself on a rude 
fiddle with one string, and afterwards translating them to 
me from the Servian dialect. In these songs, now that he 
was far from his native land, he took great delight. They 
stirred his inner soul, and as he sang them, with their 
dreary accompaniment, the tears would roll down his 
cheeks, and he would interrupt his performance to give 
way to sobs. Upon me, too, his primitive music produced 
an indescribable feeling of melancholy. 

Russia had determined to crush the popular movement 
which had taken place in Servia. It was, in fact, mainly 
directed against her interference in the affairs of the Princi- 
pality, and against Prince Milosh, who was accused of being 
her tool and of endeavouring to destroy its popular and 
free institutions, and to replace them by an arbitrary and 
despotic rule. She resented the encouragement which, 
she alleged, Sir Stratford Canning was giving to the 
revolutionary party. The remonstrances and representa- 
tions of the Russian Government induced Lord Aberdeen, 
who was known to be very favourable to Russia, to adopt 
the opposite view to that of the British Ambassador. 
Sir Stratford Canning was deeply mortified and angered 
by being thus " thrown over " by his own Government ; 
but with his usual independence and energy, and, no 
doubt, to some extent influenced by his animosity to 


Russia and his deep suspicions of her designs, he held 
to the policy which he had adopted upon what he 
considered just grounds, and continued to give all the 
support in his power to the popular party in Servia, which 
was seeking to uphold and develop free institutions in the 



IT was, of course, soon known to the English Foreign 
Office that it was partly in consequence of my reports 
that Sir Stratford Canning had been induced to give 
his support to the popular party in Servia, and that he 
was employing me unofficially and privately as the medium 
of communication with its leaders. I was accused, too, 
of having announced myself to the Servian Ministers as 
an official agent of the British Ambassador at Con- 
stantinople, and of having allowed myself to be paraded 
by them about the Servian capital in that capacity in a 
state-carriage. These charges, and others to the same 
effect, were sent both to Lord Aberdeen and to Sir 
Stratford Canning. I had no difficulty in proving to 
the latter that they were unfounded, and in exposing 
the motives which led to their being put forward. He 
expressed himself fully satisfied by the explanations that 
I was able to give him. But upon Lord Aberdeen they 
produced an unfavourable impression. The prejudice 
which, in consequence, he formed against me was not 
for a very long time removed, and stood very much in the 
way of my official employment by Sir Stratford Canning, 
who was anxious to make use of my services as a member 


of his Embassy, and had suggested that I should be 
appointed to an unpaid attacheship. 

Circumstances which occurred soon after my return 
to Constantinople added to my anxieties and to the 
difficulties of my position. When I left England in the 
summer of 1839, on my projected journey to India through 
Central Asia, I had deposited in the Bank of Messrs 
Coutts & Co. half of the small sum of money which my 
mother had advanced to me out of my share in certain 
funds under her marriage settlement, amounting to .300. 
For this sum I received from these bankers a letter of 
credit, which was directed by them to Colonel Taylor, the 
British Resident at Baghdad. Colonel Taylor had en- 
dorsed it to a correspondent or agent at Isfahan, but 
had omitted to give notice to Messrs Coutts that he had 
done so. When I was in want of money in Persia, the 
Baron de Bode, the Secretary of the Russian Mission at 
Teheran, was good enough to advance me a small sum, 
when I met him in the Shah's camp near Hamadan, upon 
a bill of exchange which I drew upon Messrs Coutts. A 
further sum, of equally small amount, had been given to 
me upon a similar bill by Colonel Hennell when I was at 
Karak, of which island he was then the Governor. I 
received a few pounds upon the same letter of credit, 
which had not been exhausted, from the Queen's Messenger 
whom I had seen at Semlin. The three bills which I had 
thus drawn were dishonoured by Messrs Coutts, on the 
plea that they had not been advised that their letter of 
credit had been endorsed to the persons to whom I had 
given my bills. I was in entire ignorance of what had 
occurred until I learnt it by letters from home, and by 
a communication from Sir Stratford Canning, to whom I 
had been denounced as a swindler. Unfortunately, when I 
lodged my money at Coutts, I had done so without ap- 
prising my uncle, Mr Benjamin Austen, He was conse- 


quently not a little surprised and concerned when he 
learnt, by mere accident, that I had drawn bills upon 
bankers in whose hands he was not aware that I possessed 
any funds. He could naturally only draw one conclusion ; 
but he at once took measures to have their holders paid 
the amount that had been advanced, together with the 
expenses of protest, etc. 

When I first learnt through Sir Stratford Canning that 
I was thus exposed to the suspicion of having fraudulently 
obtained money, I was overwhelmed with grief, and made 
up my mind that this unfortunate affair would have the 
effect of destroying his good opinion of me, and of putting 
an end to the career in the East to which I had looked 
forward with so much hope. I begged him to wait before 
forming a judgment, until I could receive explanations 
from England in answer to letters to my friends. Those 
explanations were unfortunately some time in reaching me, 
as the post then took many days between Constantinople 
and England. Consequently, I had to remain for some 
time under a cloud. When they came, they were such as to 
completely satisfy Sir Stratford Canning. Messrs Coutts, 
although alleging that they had acted strictly according 
to custom and rule, admitted that, considering the places 
from which my bills were drawn, and the impossibility of 
communicating with me, and that I had ample funds in 
their hands to meet them, the bills ought to have been 
honoured. They expressed much regret at what had 
happened, and tendered me an ample apology. 

My letter of credit was now almost exhausted, not- 
withstanding the extreme economy which I practised. 
Considering the extent of my travels and all that I had 
done and gone through, it was indeed somewhat surpris- 
ing that in two years and a half I had not expended 
300. Sir S. Canning had paid the expenses of my 
recent journey in the Turkish European provinces to 


which he had sent me. I found myself now in severe 
straits. Sir Stratford, who had been instructed by 
Lord Aberdeen to propose, in conjunction with the 
Russian Ambassador at the Porte, the mediation of 
England and Russia to prevent a war between Turkey 
and Persia, and to suggest a scheme for the settlement 
of the differences which had arisen between those two 
Powers, relating to their southern frontiers, was desirous 
of availing himself of the information which I possessed 
in preparing it. He requested me, therefore, to remain 
at Constantinople, promising that the services which I 
might render to the Government would enable him to 
press upon Lord Aberdeen, with every prospect of success, 
my official appointment as an attache to his Embassy. 
He was not, however, in the position to offer me any 
salary or remuneration for my work. Nor should I have 
received any, had I been named one of his attache's, as 
the place would have been an unpaid one. 

I was at a loss to know how to maintain myself in the 
position which it would be necessary for me to occupy. 
But I determined to trust to fortune, and to face the 
difficulties which were before me in the best way I could. 
I accordingly agreed to Sir Stratford Canning's pro- 
posal to remain at Constantinople. He had now moved 
with his family from his summer residence at Buyukdere 
to Pera for the winter. The palace belonging to the British 
Government had been burnt down, and had not yet 
been rebuilt. Two houses in the principal street of Pera 
had been united for the accommodation of the Embassy. 
In one of them I was assigned a room to which I came 
daily to carry on the work I had undertaken for Sir 

On my first visit to Constantinople, in 1839, I had 
formed the acquaintance of Mr Longworth, who had then 
recently returned from Circassia, to which country he had 


been induced to go by Mr Urquhart, to encourage the 
mountain tribes in their resistance to Russia, and to advise 
and assist their chiefs in the heroic defence of their country 
in which they were engaged. He had published in England 
an account of his adventures, with a description of the then 
almost unknown country which he had visited. He had 
remained at Constantinople as the correspondent of The 
Morning Post. He was a man of considerable literary 
acquirements, a good Turkish scholar, of a childlike 
simplicity, and one of the most upright, honest, single- 
minded creatures I have ever known. He lodged in a 
house kept by an Armenian widow, who had three 
daughters, Katinka, Louise and Marinaka all three re- 
markably handsome, but -the youngest, Marinaka, a girl of 
about sixteen, of exceptional beauty. They were of the 
pure type of their race, with large lustrous eyes, regular, 
well-formed, but rather strongly marked features, thick eye- 
brows almost meeting over the nose, and an abundance of 
raven black hair. The pleasure of Longworth's society and 
the attraction of three pretty faces induced me to engage 
a small vacant room in the widow's house. I was to 
board with my friend, the cooking being done by the 
family. It was of a very primitive but wholesome kind, 
consisting almost entirely of Turco-Armenian dishes, such 
as pilaf, kababs y various stews of meat and vegetables, and 

Our mess was joined by Colonel White, also a news- 
paper correspondent, a most amusing and genial companion, 
possessing much wit and humour, and an excellent mimic. 
He was a man of good family, was at Eton with Sir Strat- 
ford Canning, had been an officer in the Guards, and aide- 
de-camp to a Royal Duke, from whose service he was said 
to have been summarily dismissed on being detected by 
his patron in mimicking his movements behind his back 
for the amusement of his colleagues in the Ducal household. 

i8 4 5J AHMED VEFYK 47 

He had unfortunately failed to observe that H.R.H.was walk- 
ing up and down the room in front of a large mirror in which 
all his antics were faithfully reflected. He had written one or 
two fashionable novels, which had obtained some success 
one of them was, I believe, called "Almack's Revisited." 
In addition to writing letters for his newspaper, he was 
occupied in preparing a book upon Constantinople, which 
he afterwards published. It contains the best and most 
complete account of the manners and customs of the 
various inhabitants of the Turkish capital, and of their 
occupations, trades, etc., which has ever appeared. It is 
now the more interesting as it describes much which has 
passed away. 

In compiling his work Colonel White had received the 
help of Ahmed Vefyk EfTendi, who was able to supply him 
with trustworthy and accurate information upon domestic 
subjects connected with Turkish and Mussulman life, which 
was otherwise inaccessible to a European. This remark- 
able man, who rose to be Grand Vizir, and of whom I shall 
have hereafter frequently to speak, was then a youth of 
sixteen or seventeen years of age. His father, Ruh-ed-din 
Effendi, had been for some time Ottoman Chargd cT Affaires 
at Paris. His son had been with him, and had learned the 
French language, which he spoke and wrote like a French- 
man. On returning to Constantinople he had continued 
the studies which he had commenced at Paris, and had in- 
duced his father to form a library, including the English 
and French classics, which subsequently became the most 
valuable and extensive in the Turkish capital. His 
acquaintance with English and French authors would even 
have been remarkable in one who had received the best 
European education. He was, moreover, a good Turkish, 
Persian and Greek scholar, and was well versed in Oriental 

Ahmed Vefyk Effendi was at that time employed in 


the Foreign Department at the Porte, where his father held 
a high official position. They resided together in a large, 
old-fashioned, wooden house near the great Byzantine 
Aqueduct which traverses Constantinople, and still 
supplies the city with water. The Effendi and Mr Long- 
worth were in the habit of dining and spending two nights 
a week in each other's houses. No one was allowed to 
cross the Golden Horn from Galata after sunset, the gates 
of Stamboul and the bridge of boats being closed. In 
those days Europeans were not allowed to be in the 
Mussulman quarters after dark, and the very fact that an 
Englishman was allowed to pass the night in Ruh-ed-din's 
konak, afforded a convincing proof of the enlightened 
and liberal character of its owner, as he ran the risk of 
seriously offending the religious prejudices of his neigh- 
bours, and, had he not been a man of rank and authority, 
would have been exposed to the interference of the 
Mukhtars, or chiefs of the quarter, who were charged with 
its superintendence and its police. 1 

The evenings which the two friends thus spent together 
were devoted to reading and study. I soon formed an 
intimate friendship with Ahmed Vefyk, and was invited to 
join the party at his house. During the time that I spent 
at Constantinople, I went there as regularly as I was able, 
twice a week, to his konak in Stamboul when he was in 
the city, and to his yali or country house, on the Bosphorus 
during the summer months. 

We read together the best English classics amongst 
them the works of Gibbon, Robertson, and Hume and 
studied political economy in those of Adam Smith and 
Ricardo. My friend Lo x ngworth had strong Protectionist 

1 The Mussulman quarters of Stamboul offered a striking contrast 
to those occupied by the Christians and Europeans in their immunity 
from crime and vice. The Turks had no wish that the civilisation of 
Galata and Pera should be extended to that part of the capital which 
was inhabited by themselves and their families. 

i8 4 53 AHMED VEFYK 49 

views : I was an ardent Freetrader. We spent many an 
hour in fierce argument, in which the Effendi joined with 
great vigour and spirit, lighting up the dry matter in 
discussion with an infinity of jokes and quaint illustrations. 
We also made him read, and read to him, the plays of 
Shakespeare, which he understood and appreciated, and 
the novels of Dickens, into the spirit of which he 
thoroughly entered roaring with laughter over the comic 
scenes. There was something catching in his merry 
and boisterous laugh, and even the solemn Turks who 
were present when he indulged in it, and did not 
comprehend the reason of it, could not resist joining in it. 
He took so much delight in "Pickwick" and the other 
works of Dickens which had then appeared, and was so 
well acquainted with them, that he was constantly in the 
habit of quoting from them in after days. He had a 
singularly retentive memory, and rarely forgot what he 
had read. He was a perfect store of information on all 
manner of subjects, Western and Oriental, and had even 
then acquired a smattering of scientific knowledge, which 
he afterwards considerably extended. His remarkable 
capacity, his great acquirements, and his upright and 
honourable character, led his friends to believe that he 
would rise to the highest offices in the State, and he 
himself would talk as if he were persuaded that he would 
one day become Grand Vizir. 1 He was the most cheerful, 
the most merry, and the most entertaining of companions. 
As he was always ready to impart information, and had 
none of those scruples and prejudices which prevented Turks 
from speaking to strangers, and especially to Europeans, 
of their domestic affairs, I learnt from him many 

1 The prediction was fulfilled many years after, and when I, who 
had been the companion of his youth, was the Queen's Ambassador at 



interesting details of Turkish life and habits which sub- 
sequently proved of much use to me. His father was 
equally communicative and free from prejudice. He 
spoke French indifferently, but sufficiently well to 
make himself understood. He was a perfect Turkish 
gentleman, of the most refined manners, and of very 
dignified appearance, with his snow-white beard and 
his turban and robes, which the chief civil functionaries 
at the Porte still wore, the nizam, or European uniform 
and dress, not having then been generally adopted by 

The life led by a Turkish gentleman in Stamboul was, 
at that time, a very simple one. Ruh-ed-din Effendi's 
konak, or mansion, was provided with no European 
luxuries. It was divided, like all houses in the East 
inhabited by Mussulman families, into the apartments in 
which the owner sat during the day, and in which he 
received his visitors, and those occupied by the ladies and 
their female attendants, or the harem. Chairs and 
tables, and other European articles of furniture were not 
then in general use, as they subsequently became in 
Turkish houses. The floors of the rooms were covered 
with a simple but finely made matting, upon which were 
laid Kurdish or Persian carpets of beautiful texture, and 
exquisite in colour and design. Around, against the walls, 
were placed very low divans, covered with Brousa or 
Damascus silk, and provided with large and comfortable 
cushions and bolsters to lean against. To sit upon them 
it was necessary to sit Oriental fashion, cross-legged, or to 
stretch one's legs on the floor very awkwardly and ungrace- 
fully. Every one on entering a room, and before treading 
on the carpets, took off his boots or shoes. I always ad- 
hered to this custom when visiting Turkish gentlemen, 
wearing, as they did, inside my boots and over my stock- 


ings, the thin, black, leather mests, a kind of slipper or 
covering for the foot Everything was kept scrupulously 
clean, and the interior of the house was a model of 

The EfTendi and his son had, as was then the custom, 
numerous servants or hangers-on. Neither of them could 
go to the Porte, or elsewhere, without being followed by at 
least two attendants, one carrying the long chibouk, or pipe 
of cherry or jasmine wood, in a bag, the other, papers, 
books, and other things which his master might require 
during the day. The other servants remained to look 
after the house, in a room provided for them on the ground 
floor, where they spent the day in smoking pipes and 
drinking coffee. They wore no livery, but were dressed like 
their masters, and went about slipshod, as they had to 
leave their shoes at the door whenever they entered a 
room. When the Effendi was at home, they were princi- 
pally occupied in serving visitors with coffee and pipes. 
There was no bell in the house, and when they were 
required their master summoned them by clapping his 

In the harem, to which the male servants had not access, 
the work was done by female attendants. They cooked 
the dinner and other meals, being superintended in these 
occupations by the ladies of the family, who themselves 
were in the habit of making any special dish, and espe- 
cially sweetmeats. Neither Ahmed Vefyk nor his father 
would tolerate the presence of a eunuch in their house- 
holds, and their harems, unlike those of most Turkish 
gentlemen of their station and rank, were not guarded 
by these wretched beings. Nor had they any slaves, 
male or female, such as were then almost invariably found 
in Turkish families. 

Ruh-ed-din Effendi had but one wife. His son, when 


he married, followed his example. Most of the leading 
Turkish statesmen of the liberal and reforming party, to 
which both of them belonged, such as Reshid, AH and 
Fuad Pashas, Cabouli Effendi, and other enlightened men, 
did as Ruh-ed-din, although they still maintained very 
strictly the harem system their wives, with their female 
attendants, living in a part of the house, generally the 
largest and best, especially set apart for them, to which 
no male, except a very near relation, such as a father or 
brother, was admitted. 

Longworth and I usually went over to Stamboul, when 
we spent the night at Ruh-ed-din EfTendi's, early in the 
afternoon. We read with Ahmed Vefyk until sunset, when 
he retired into the harem to say the prayers obligatory 
upon all Mussulmans at that time. An hour after, he and 
his father and generally several guests for, like all Turkish 
gentlemen, they kept open house and were very hospitable 
assembled for dinner, which was served in the old Turkish 
fashion. A low stool was first brought in and placed in 
the centre of the room. A servant then appeared bearing 
an immense metal tray, which he placed upon this stool. 
He was followed by a number of other attendants, each 
carrying a metal bowl or dish, of various sizes, each with its 

A servant then went round with a kind of ewer, called 
an ibryk, from which he poured water over the hands of 
those present into a basin held beneath, in which was 
a piece of soap. After they had thus washed, the master 
of the house and his guests squatted on the carpeted floor 
round the capacious tray. A richly embroidered napkin was 
then thrown over their right shoulder, for them to wipe 
their hands and mouth during the repast. One of the 
attendants then placed in the centre of the tray a metal 
bowl containing soup. Each person took a few spoonfuls, 


and the bowl was speedily removed. A number of dishes 
then succeeded each other, each being rapidly removed 
after the guests had helped themselves to a few morsels 
with their fingers, for knives and forks had not yet come 
into common use in Turkey, and even Turkish gentlemen 
of the rank of Ruh-ed-din Effendi still ate in this primitive 
and barbarous fashion, only metal spoons for the soup 
being provided. Sometimes a knife and a fork were given 
to a European guest, who was supposed not to be able to 
use his fingers, or to be reluctant to do so. It was 
certainly difficult for one not accustomed to eat in this 
manner to gather up rice from a pilaf without scattering 
the greater part of it over the tray, or to convey to his 
mouth with decency and cleanliness made dishes, in which 
rich sauces and melted butter were the principal in- 

At a formal Turkish dinner to which guests were 
invited, the regulation number of dishes served was, I 
believe, no less than forty-two. But at Ruh-ed-din 
Effendi's house on ordinary occasions they rarely ex- 
ceeded thirty. They came in succession, but each dish 
was so rapidly removed the guest only having time 
given to him to dip his fingers once or twice in it, 
and, if he were not very alert, not being able to do so at 
all that the repast did not last as long as might have 
been expected. 

After the soup, came stewed meats, fish dressed in 
various ways, pastry, sweet and savoury, made dishes 
of eggs, and vegetables of different kinds, kaimak, a 
thick cream from buffalo's milk, prepared with sugar 
and honey, and a variety of other Turkish messes, 
served apparently without order fish, meat, vegetables 
and sweets alternating. Some of these dishes were ex- 
ceedingly good and well cooked, especially those con- 


sisting 01 fi sh, and the pastry. They were all prepared in 
the harem, and, when ready, were placed in a revolving 
cupboard or box which enabled the women to pass them 
to the men-servants without being themselves seen. The 
appearance of a huge pilaf was the sign that the dinner 
had come to an end, with the exception of a great china 
bowl filled with sherbet, or sugar and water flavoured 
with prunes, irom which the guests helped themselves 
with wooden spoons of pear-wood tastefully carved by 
Persian craftsmen. 

When the last dish had been removed an attendant 
again appeared with the ewer and basin. When we had 
washed our hands we returned to the divans round the 
room, and pipes, narguiles, and coffee were served. Only 
water had been drunk during dinner, and no wine was 
served. In many Turkish houses it was the custom to 
hand small glasses of raki, a strong, warm, native brandy, 
and dried fruits and nuts to the guests to whet the appetite 
and frequently something more before dinner. But 
in Ruh-ed-din Effendi's house spirits were not drunk. 

Amongst the guests at Ruh-ed-din Effendi's tray were 
generally some functionaries at the Porte mostly from the 
Department of Foreign Affairs and very frequently some 
influential personage from the provinces, who had come, 
or had been summoned, to Constantinople on business with 
the Government, sometimes too, a Circassian Chief, or a 
Turcoman Beg from central Asia on his way, as a pilgrim, 
to Mecca. Ahmed Vefyk sought to see and entertain 
such strangers, as he obtained from them useful and 
frequently important information on the state of far 
distant Mussulman countries and upon political matters 
of consequence. 

I was also often able to obtain political and other in- 
formation, which proved of much use to Sir Stratford 


Canning, from the persons I thus met in the Effendi's 
house, as well as materials and news for the letters which 
I was then writing to the Morning Chronicle and other 

The guests who had been invited to dinner, or who 
had availed themselves of Ruh-ed-din Effendi's hospitality 
without invitation, usually sat for an hour after the tray 
had been removed, talking, smoking, and drinking coffee. 
They then left the house. Longworth and I then resumed 
our readings, our studies, or our discussions with Ahmed 
Vefyk. They usually lasted until a late hour, as he 
rarely went to bed before one or two o'clock in the 
morning, although he was a very early riser, like most 
Turks. When he retired to the harem for the night, 
the servants took mattresses, pillows, sheets, and coverlets 
from a spacious cupboard in the room in which we had 
been sitting. Two beds were made on the floor for 
my companion and myself. Everything was scrupulously 
clean and exceedingly comfortable, and we slept soundly. 
The household were usually astir by the Mohammedan 
hour of prayer, at sunrise. We rose also. The ewer and 
basin were brought to us to perform our ablutions. The 
mattresses and the remainder of the bedding were rolled 
up and replaced in the cupboard. We drank our coffee 
and smoked our morning pipes, and then returned on 
foot, generally leaving the house before our hosts had 
emerged from the harem. 

I frequently passed a night in the same fashion, except 
as to the reading and study, in other Turkish houses, for 
I had a good many friends amongst the leading Turks. 
Armenian families, many of them of great wealth and 
of considerable influence at Constantinople, and even some 
of the leading Greeks who had not lived or travelled 
in Europe, or had not adopted European customs and 


manners, then lived in the same way as the Turks ; their 
beds were kept in a cupboard, rolled up during the day 
and spread on the floor at night. They ate with their 
fingers, and sat upon low divans with their legs curled 
up under them. 

A struggle for power was at this time taking place 
at Constantinople between the reform party, of which 
Reshid Pasha the author of the celebrated Hat-i-Sheraf 
of Gulhane, or new constitution for the Turkish Empire, 
was the head, and those Turkish statesmen who were 
opposed to the European institutions, which Sultan 
Mahmoud had attempted to introduce into the govern- 
ment and administration of his Empire. The most active 
and powerful amongst the latter was Riza Pasha, an 
able, unscrupulous and corrupt man, who, at times, 
exercised great influence over the Sultan, Abdul-Mejid, 
which he used to thwart the policy of his rival Reshid 

Sir Stratford Canning supported the reform party 
with characteristic energy and vigour. He was in constant 
and intimate communication with Reshid Pasha and his 
principal followers such as AH and Fuad EfTendis, men 
of remarkable abilities, who afterwards rose to the highest 
offices in the Ottoman Empire. These communications 
were frequently of a very secret and confidential nature. 
Sir Stratford, availing himself of my knowledge of the 
Turkish character, and of my slight acquaintance with the 
Turkish language, was in the habit of employing me in 
them. The task he imposed upon me was a very delicate 
and difficult one, and, even in those days, not un- 
accompanied with danger. But it suited my adventurous 
and somewhat romantic disposition. The visits I had to 
pay to these statesmen on Sir Stratford's behalf, whether 
they were in office, or living in retirement and apparent 




disgrace when out of it, were usually made at night and 
always in the greatest secrecy, as it was of great importance 
that it should not be known that they were in communica- 
tion with the English Ambassador, and that they were 
acting upon his advice and encouragement. Sir Stratford 
himself was fond of mystery, and nothing pleased him 
better than this kind of underground correspondence not 
to call it intrigue which he would carry on with the 
Ministers, or with their opponents, through a person not 
officially connected with the Embassy, but in whom he 
had complete confidence. Many a night I have spent at 
Constantinople, or on the Bosphorus, engaged on these 
secret missions, sometimes meeting the person to whom I 
had been sent in out-of-the-way places sometimes 
introduced surreptitiously into their harems, where I 
could see them without risk of interruption or discovery. 

I thus became well acquainted with the leading men 
of the reform party and the enlightened and able states- 
men who were then at its head, and who were earnestly 
endeavouring to regenerate their country, and to bring its 
institutions into conformity with those of the most 
civilised and liberal of the European States. I obtained, 
moreover, a knowledge of Turkish politics which sub- 
sequently proved of great use to me. My opinions with 
respect to the Ottoman Empire entirely agreed with those 
of Sir Stratford Canning. I was convinced, as he was, 
that, unless its government was thoroughly reformed by 
the introduction of European institutions, by a funda- 
mental improvement in the administration, which was 
deplorably corrupt in all its branches, and by the better 
treatment of the Christians, and by placing them on an 
equal footing with the Mussulmans, its fall would not be 
far distant. To induce the Sultan and his Ministers to 
adopt those reforms was the object of Sir Stratford 


Canning. As far as my humble ability and position 
permitted me, I seconded him with all my heart and soul. 

Every effort was made by Russia through her 
Embassy at Constantinople, and through her agents, 
secret and avowed, to frustrate these attempts. At every 
turn he had to encounter and baffle her intrigues. Count 
Boutanieff, a crafty, vigilant, far-seeing and unscrupulous 
diplomatist, ever active in intrigue, but carefully abstaining 
from bringing himself into too much notice, or from in- 
terfering too openly in the affairs of the Porte, was then 
the Russian Minister at Constantinople. Between him 
and Sir Stratford Canning there was an incessant struggle 
carried on, however, by each of them in a different way : 
the one, impetuous, and dictatorial ; the other, cautious 
and restrained. The English Ambassador imposing him- 
self upon the Turks, seeking to inspire them with awe, 
and to drive them into doing his bidding ; the Russian 
endeavouring to obtain his ends by cajolery, and by 
leading his victims by gentle and persuasive means to 
their destruction. 

Whilst the Turks respected Sir Stratford Canning 
for his honesty, sincerity and truthfulness, and were 
persuaded that he was their friend, they resented his 
haughty interference in their affairs, and the incessant 
trouble and humiliation to which they were exposed 
by his line of action. On the other hand, they knew 
well enough that the Russian representative was working 
for their ruin, and that his soft and persuasive words 
were but the means by which he sought to effect it. 
But they preferred being led to being driven. In the 
end the more cautious and subtle policy of the Russian 
triumphed. It is reasonable to suppose that the treatment 
to which the Turkish Ministers were exposed from Sir 
Stratford was the cause of subsequent mischief by de- 


stroying their self-respect and self-confidence, and im- 
pelling them to oppose or frustrate if not openly, at 
least indirectly and not the less effectively the reforms 
which, in the true interests of their country, he desired 
them to adopt. By using more conciliatory means he 
might have succeeded in his object. 

The French Ambassador was, at that time, the Baron 
de Bourqueney a conciliatory diplomatist of polished and 
very courteous manners. He did not enjoy the reputation 
of being a man of very commanding abilities. There was 
then, as there has been ever since, on the part of France, 
a great jealousy of England in the East, and a deep 
suspicion of her presumed designs. This led to constant 
misunderstandings between them, and was the cause of 
much mischief; for the Turkish authorities were not slow 
to take advantage of these jealousies, rivalries and dis- 
agreements of the representatives of the two Powers who 
ought to have acted cordially together. They played 
them off, with their usual cleverness and cunning, one 
against the other, and were thus able to persevere in 
their evil courses. Baron de Bourqueney was of so mild 
and amiable a disposition that it was difficult even for 
Sir Stratford Canning to come to an open quarrel with 
him. But the choleric English Ambassador did manage 
to do so especially on one occasion, when he so lost 
his temper and used such violent language to his colleague 
that he exposed himself to a personal challenge. 

The circumstances to which I now allude happened 
some time after I became first acquainted with Sir Stratford 
Canning. In consequence of a demand from M. de 
Bourqueney for an apology for certain expressions which 
Canning had used in the heat of discussion, the latter 
asked my advice as to the course he should take. I 
felt bound to tell him that in my opinion he was in 


the wrong, and that it became him to withdraw the 
words to which exception had been taken, and to offer a 
full and ample apology. After a long discussion, he 
ended by accepting my advice, and agreed to write a 
letter of explanation to his French colleague as I had 
suggested. But the terms of this letter gave rise to 
serious questions. He wrote several drafts, none of which 
was satisfactory. Each succeeding objection that arose 
increased his anger, and the tone of his voice became 
so loud and menacing that Lady Canning rushed into the 
room fearing that some catastrophe had occurred. The 
letter, as finally amended, was sent, and the explanations 
given in it were accepted. A question which might have 
led to very disagreeable and serious results was thus 
satisfactorily settled, and friendly relations were resumed 
between the two Ambassadors. 

The Austrian Empire was then represented at the 
Porte by the Baron de Sturmer, who had the title of 
" Inter - nuncio," with the rank of Ambassador. The 
Baron was a veteran diplomatist of much experience. 
He had been Austrian Commissioner at St Helena to 
watch, with others sent by the allied European Powers, 
over the security of Napoleon. He had there married 
a French woman, who held, I believe, a subordinate 
position in the household of one of the French Generals 
who had accompanied the Emperor in his captivity. 
She was a good-natured, kindly lady, much liked and 
esteemed in the small society of Pera for her generosity 
and hospitality. The Baron was a man of a quiet, un- 
assuming disposition, who took no very prominent or 
active part in politics, and who had acquired a good 
deal of influence at the Porte by the dispassionate and 
friendly advice he was always ready to give when required 
of him, and by his habit of carefully refraining from 


any interference in the affairs of Turkey except when 
the interests of his country were immediately concerned. 
The position that he thus held at Constantinople enabled 
him to obtain much exact and valuable information as 
to the policy and proceedings of the Turkish Government, 
which was of no little value to a foreign representative at 
the Porte, and especially to Sir Stratford Canning. He 
consequently maintained very friendly relations with the 
Inter-nuncio, which were, however, occasionally interrupted 
by some outburst on his part. It was, indeed, sometimes 
very difficult for even the most enduring and forbearing of 
men entirely to avoid misunderstandings with the quick- 
tempered English Ambassador. 

The colleague of whom Sir Stratford made the most 
use was the Spanish Minister, Senor de Cordova. Spain 
had but few interests in Turkey those which she had 
being almost exclusively connected with Roman Catholic 
convents and churches in the Levant which she claimed to 
be under her protection ; and, as she abstained from any in- 
terference in Turkish affairs, her representative was trusted 
and treated with confidence by the Porte, was often con- 
sulted by it on international questions, and had ready 
access to the Ministers and leading members of the 
Ottoman Government. Senor de Cordova was sincerely 
attached to the English Ambassador, whose remarkable 
qualities and loyal and sincere character he fully appreci- 
ated. He was ready to place his influence and services 
at Sir Stratford's disposal, and became on many important 
occasions the secret and indirect channel of communication 
between Sir Stratford and the Turkish statesmen, and 
even the Sultan himself. Many weighty and urgent 
matters were treated through him, and brought to a 
satisfactory conclusion, which could not have been dealt 
with by the usual diplomatic means. 


Sefior de Cordova was a man of good sense and excellent 
judgment, qualities which commended him to Sir Stratford 
Canning. He had been for many years representing his 
country at the Porte, and was intimately acquainted 
with its traditions and mode of conducting business, and 
with the intrigues in which its leading functionaries, from 
the highest to the lowest, Mussulmans and Christians, were 
incessantly engaged, and upon which, far more than upon 
the merits, the direction and settlement of almost every 
political question in Turkey depends. He was a man 
of an ancient and noble family, small in stature, and 
somewhat insignificant in appearance, and, like all 
Spaniards, very proud and susceptible and easily tak- 
ing offence. It showed the value that Sir Stratford 
Canning placed upon his services, and the esteem that 
they felt for each other, that a quarrel should not have 
taken place between them. 

On one occasion, when at a dinner-party at the British 
Embassy the place inadvertently assigned at the table to 
M. de Cordova was not that to which he considered 
himself entitled from his rank and diplomatic precedence, 
he left the dining-room, took his hat, and quitted the 
house. It was some time before his absence was observed, 
and the cause of it ascertained. I was sent to make 
proper excuses and to beg him to return. He was 
already half-way down the street before I overtook him, 
and I had to use all my powers of persuasion to induce 
him to turn back. 

On another occasion, Dr Wolff, the well-known Mission- 
ary, was maintaining at Sir Stratford Canning's table 
that the best families in Spain had Jewish blood in their 
veins, and, addressing himself to the Spanish Minister 
who was present, declared that even the Cordovas were 
not exempt from it. The little man bounded from his 

1845] LIFE AT PERA 63 

seat as if he had been shot, and drawing himself up, denied 
with the greatest indignation, and in the most pompous 
terms, a statement so offensive to his dignity and to his 
faith. The Doctor, turning to me, who was sitting next to 
him, observed in a stage whisper loud enough to be heard 
by the company : " That's all very fine, but what I have 
said is nevertheless perfectly true." The Don did not for- 
tunately understand English, or the consequences might 
have been serious. 

Pera was at this time, as it has always been, and as it 
will always be, the centre of every manner of intrigue. 
Europeans, Turks, Armenians, Greeks, and all the outcasts 
of various nationalities who form the population of that 
polyglot and cosmopolitan suburb of Constantinople, were 
engaged in little else, whether political or personal. The 
representatives of the Great Powers, contending for 
influence, or seeking by every means at their command to 
promote the interests or policy of their respective govern- 
ments, had their secret agents in every quarter. What 
little society existed was not exempt from them. The 
most numerous and most active of these agents and spies 
were those in the pay of the Russian Embassy. They 
literally swarmed in the Turkish capital, and amongst 
them were known to be men in high position in the 
Sultan's palace and at the Porte. They were equally to 
be found amongst the best native Christian families, and 
even, it was suspected, amongst the Europeans who formed 
what might be termed the upper class in the social strata 
of the Frank quarters of the Turkish capital. The Greeks, 
principally those who were employed by the Turkish 
Government or those who had held high office under it, 
were the agents chiefly engaged in these intrigues. The 
Armenians did not then take the same active part in 
political affairs, nor occupy the same important offices as 


they have since done. They were far less active than 
the Greeks, and had not the same relations with the Foreign 
representatives as their ambitious and more restless fellow- 
Christians. The Turks, consequently, trusted them more. 
The great functionaries of the Porte employed them chiefly 
as their bankers and agents, and but few of them held high 
offices. They were, however, cunning and skilful in money 
matters, and managed to make large fortunes out of those 
whom they served by advancing them money at usurious 
rates of interest. Every Pasha and high Turkish functionary 
had in those days his Armenian banker, who supplied him 
with funds when he received an appointment, and sometimes 
accompanied him when he was named to the Governorship 
of a town or province. As it may easily be imagined, these 
crafty financiers knew how to take advantage of the ignor- 
ance and reckless carelessness of their Turkish patrons, and 
soon availed themselves of these opportunities to enrich 
themselves at their expense. But they were not infre- 
quently made to disgorge their wealth by the summary, 
and frequently cruel, measures to which, before they could 
appeal, as now, 1 to European protection and interference, 
they were exposed. 

When I was first at Constantinople the manner of living 
of the Armenians was nearly similar to that of the Turks, 
except in the case of those families which had been con- 
verted to Roman Catholicism, and in which European 
habits and customs to a certain extent prevailed. Their 
women went abroad veiled, and were almost as carefully 
watched and guarded as the inmates of a Mohammedan 
harem. Their houses were built and furnished after the 
Turkish fashion. This similarity of manners was an 
additional recommendation to their Mussulman fellow- 
subjects, with whose language, moreover, they were far 
1 This was written between the years 1883 and 1885. Ed. 


better acquainted than the Greeks, speaking it with 
greater correctness and fluency. 

The principal private political agent of Sir Stratford 
Canning he could scarcely be called his " secret " agent, as 
his connection with the British Embassy was generally 
known was Vogorides Bey, a Greek gentleman of a 
distinguished Fanariote family, who had held high offices 
under the Turkish Government, and who had been the first 
Prince of Samos, after that island had obtained its 
autonomous constitution. This rank and title were 
consequently always given to him. He was a man of 
considerable shrewdness and intelligence, unscrupulous, 
and an accomplished intriguer, intimately acquainted 
with the Turkish character, and thoroughly familiar with 
the way of transacting business with them. He was on 
very intimate relations with most of the leading Ottoman 
statesmen, and had means of access to the members of the 
Sultan's household who enjoyed His Majesty's confidence 
and exercised the most influence over him. Sir Stratford 
had no great respect for the Prince of Samos' character, 
and was well aware of the danger of placing too much 
trust in him ; but he found him a most useful agent, and 
employed him in delicate and difficult negotiations. He 
had never, I believe, reason to suspect that the Prince 
did not serve him honestly, or to regret that he had trusted 

Whilst the Prince of Samos was thus employed by the 
British Ambassador, the Grand Logothete, or official head, 
of the Greek community, was the principal secret agent of 
the Russian Embassy. He was a man of considerable 
capacity, very active and utterly unscrupulous. There was 
a constant rivalry between him and the Prince of Samos, 
and a struggle for influence in the palace and at the Porte. 
Their success varied, and it was not easy to say to which 
of the two public opinion gave the superiority. It was, 


however, generally believed that the Prince of Samos 
exercised the more solid influence over the Turks, and 
was the more esteemed of the two, and especially by the 

The state of things that I have described was not 
calculated to render Pera a pleasant residence for those 
who were not required by their occupation or business to 
remain there. I loathed the place and its intrigues, and 
went very little into society, except at the British Embassy, 
where I passed much of my time, and where I was received 
with the utmost kindness by Sir Stratford and Lady 
Canning a kindness for which I have ever been the more 
sensible, the more grateful, as it was shown to one who was 
a stranger to them, and who had at that time no claims 
whatever to it. 

Soon after my return to Constantinople from my 
mission to the Western provinces of European Turkey, 
the joint mediation offered by the English and Russian 
Governments to Turkey and Persia to prevent a war, 
which was then on the point of breaking out between 
them, was accepted by the two Powers. Sir Stratford 
Canning was thus able to carry out his intention of avail- 
ing himself of the knowledge I had acquired during my 
travels in Mesopotamia and Khuzistan, and to employ me 
in the correspondence and negotiations which were to take 
place. The principal matters in dispute were certain parts 
of the frontiers between the two States Persia claiming 
the left bank of the Shat-el-Arab, or united waters of the 
Tigris and Euphrates, from about sixty miles of their 
junction with the Persian Gulf, and certain districts in the 
mountains of Kurdistan which had been occupied by the 
Turks. Since the Matamet ed Dowleh's expedition 
against the sheikh of the Chaab Arabs, who had given an 
asylum to Mehemet Taki Khan, the Persians had occu- 
pied Muhammerah and some territory to the north of that 


town. This territory was claimed by the Porte, and, 
as Persia refused to withdraw from it, the Turks were 
about to have recourse to war to enforce their claims. 
They were already fitting out an expedition against 

It was necessary for the Representatives of the media- 
ting Powers at Constantinople to make a careful investiga- 
tion into the claims of the contending parties, and to pro- 
pose to them for their acceptance a fair and equitable 
arrangement, founded upon their respective rights and 
interests. Sir Stratford Canning entrusted me with this 
duty on his part. I had to examine the evidence furnished 
by the Porte and the Persian Government in proof of their 
pretensions, consisting of a large number of documents, 
maps and surveys, many of them of ancient date, and to 
prepare a scheme for the settlement of the matters in 
dispute to be submitted to the British and Russian 
Governments for their approval before being presented to 
the two Powers. 

I took great interest in the work, which was very 
congenial to my tastes. The knowledge which I had 
acquired of the territory in dispute, and of the history 
and traditions of the tribes which inhabited it, proved 
of much use to me. I was able to prepare a project of 
settlement which appeared to me just to both parties, 
and warranted by the proofs which they had produced 
in support of their respective claims. It was entirely 
approved by Sir Stratford Canning, and sent by him to 
Lord Aberdeen to be communicated to the Russian 
Government. He fully expected that he would speedily 
receive authority to submit it to the Porte for its 

The result of my examination of the evidence and 
maps furnished to me was that the claims of Turkey to 
the left bank of the Shat-el-Arab and to Muhammerah 


were well founded. Persia had never exercised more 
than a nominal jurisdiction over the territory in dispute, 
the right to which had always been asserted by the Porte. 
The Arab tribes which inhabited it were semi-independent, 
acknowledging at one time the supremacy of the Sultan, 
at other times that of the Shah. The question was 
much complicated by a change which had taken place 
in the lower part of the course of the Karun. In the 
early part of this century, as may be seen by maps of 
the time, this river discharged itself into the Persian 
Gulf by more than one outlet, the principal of which was 
known as the Bahmehshire. As it rose in the mountains 
of Luristan, and the whole of its course was through 
Persian territory, it was unquestionably a Persian river, 
and Persia had undoubted claims to the lands on both 
its banks. 

But a canal had been cut to unite this river and 
the Shat-el-Arab, known as the "Hafar" (a name which 
denotes its artificial origin), and upon its banks 
Muhammerah had been built by the Sheikh of the 
Chaab Arabs. In the course of time the waters of 
the Karun, which frequently descend from the mountains 
in a rapid stream, had enlarged this canal, and the main 
body of the river came to discharge itself into the Shat- 
el-Arab through it. Consequently, Persia now claimed 
the left bank of the Shat-el-Arab below the Hafar, with 
the town and district of Muhammerah as Persian territory. 
The original mouth of the Karun, the Bahmehshire, was 
still open and navigable at least to vessels of moderate 
draught as I had proved by descending it to the Persian 
Gulf in the East India Company's steamer Nitocris 
with her commander, Lieutenant Selby. The earlier 
mouths of this river, to the east of the Bahmehshire, had 
been gradually deserted by it, and were silted up and dry. 
In fact, the Karun had for centuries been forcing its 


way westwards, until it found a convenient outlet for the 
principal portion of its waters through the Hafar Canal, 
or the Shat-el-Arab, or Euphrates. 

The Porte contended, not without reason, that as the 
Euphrates was a Turkish river, running through the 
dominions of the Sultan from its source, it was unjust, 
and against universally recognised principles, to give to 
Persia one of its banks, and consequently the control of 
its outlet into the sea, merely because a Persian river had 
changed its course, and had invaded a territory which did 
not appertain to the Shah. A command of the trade and 
navigation of a great river which had flowed for more 
than 1000 miles through the Turkish dominions would 
thus be given to a Power which might, if hostile to Turkey, 
close it at its mouth. The Bahmehshire, the Porte main- 
tained, was the true outlet of the Karun, and might, 
without much trouble or expense, be rendered navigable 
to any vessel engaged in the trade of that river, and that 
consequently the possession of the entrance to the Shat- 
el-Arab was in no way necessary to Persia for her water 
communication between the sea and the province of 
Khuzistan. It was further able to show by ancient maps 
and documents that the frontiers of Persia had never 
reached the Shat-el-Arab, and that the whole of the delta 
between the mouth of that river and the Bahmehshire 
had originally belonged to Turkey. 

I considered the contention of the Porte just and well- 
founded. I consequently proposed in my scheme, as a 
fair compromise, that the new frontier line should be 
drawn through the desert country to the west of Hawizah, 
at some distance from the Shat-el-Arab, and, crossing the 
Hafar in the centre of its course, should be carried midway 
down the delta to the sea. Turkey would thus have 
remained in possession of the two banks of the Euphrates 
throughout the whole of its course. 


My suggestion, approved and adopted by Sir Stratford 
Canning, was submitted by Lord Aberdeen to the Russian 
Government, which declined to accede to it. It not only 
upheld the claims of Persia to Muhammerah and the left 
bank of the Shat-el-Arab from the Hafar to the sea, but 
actually insisted upon the cession to her of territory on 
the east bank of the river, which she had not even claimed, 
to almost the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris at 
Kurna thus giving her the control of the navigation of 
both those rivers, which were destined to form the means 
of communication with the very heart of the south-eastern 
provinces of Asiatic Turkey. 

Lord Aberdeen, who was desirous of deferring to 
Russia, adopted her views, and instead of authorising Sir 
Stratford Canning, as he had expected, to submit the 
project which I had drawn up, and which he had approved, 
to the Porte, and to the Persian Government through its 
representative at Constantinople, instructed him to recom- 
mend to them the adoption of the scheme advocated by 
Russia. Canning sent for me after the arrival of Lord 
Aberdeen's despatch to this effect. I found him walking 
up and down his study like a lion in his cage his brows 
knit, his lips compressed, and his delicate complexion 
flushed and indicative of great anger. Without saying a 
word he handed me the despatch. I read it, and remarked 
that I was deeply grieved to find that Lord Aberdeen 
had come to a decision which was not consistent, in my 
opinion, with justice and right was not in the interests 
of England, and might at some future period have serious 

This aroused his righteous indignation. He broke into 
a violent tirade against Lord Aberdeen, whom he accused 
of being subservient to Russia, and of considering her 
interests more than those of his own country, and of being 
hostile to him personally, because he had considered it his 


duty to oppose her ambitious designs in the East. He 
denounced in vehement language the Emperor Nicholas, 
who, he declared, had a personal enmity to him, and was 
determined to thwart his policy on every occasion, to which 
determination he attributed the rejection of his suggestion 
for the settlement of the Turco-Persian difficulty. It was 
long before he recovered his temper and became somewhat 
calmer. He directed me to draw up an answer to Lord 
Aberdeen's despatch, pointing out the objections to the 
arrangement proposed by Russia, and the injustice that 
would be done to the Porte, and the discredit that would 
fall upon England as an arbitrator and mediator, if she 
showed so flagrant a spirit of partiality to Persia. 

I wrote the draft of a despatch in this sense, which was 
adopted by Sir Stratford Canning. But it failed to produce 
the desired effect, and nothing remained to him but to 
carry out the instructions he had received from his chief. 
The Porte protested against the decision of the mediating 
Powers, and against the sacrifice of territory It was called 
upon to make. But It was in the end compelled to 
yield in the face of the threatening insistence of two such 
Powers as England and Russia. 

I was deeply impressed with the importance of the 
position of Muhammerah, of which, I was firmly convinced, 
any Power having great commercial and political interests 
in the East would at some future time endeavour to take 
advantage. It commanded the entrance to the Euphrates 
and Tigris, which are navigable to the very heart of the 
Turkish dominions in Asia, and that of the Karun, which 
flowed through one of the richest, though one of the most 
neglected, provinces of Persia, and which I had proved 
to be also navigable as far as Shuster and Dizful. These 
rivers were consequently destined, in my belief, to become 
great military and trading highways. It was to the interest 
of England that their mouths should not be in the posses- 


sion of a Power which might be hostile to her. In those 
days Turkey was her old and faithful ally, and the 
influence she possessed at the Porte was predominant, and 
far greater than that of any other European nation for the 
Turks believed that she was their friend, and was really 
desirous of maintaining the independence and promoting 
the prosperity of the Ottoman Empire. All classes of the 
Turkish populations, whatever their race or creed, had then 
this conviction, and England was in a privileged position 
which might have enabled her to establish communications 
and trade by those great rivers, which would have been as 
advantageous to her interests as to those of Turkey herself, 
and would have contributed to the order and civilisation of 
a great tract of country, which was reduced to a desert in 
consequence of the depredations and lawlessness of wild 
Arab tribes. The only way to induce them to form 
permanent settlements, to cultivate the soil, and to become 
peaceful and revenue-paying subjects of the Sultan, was by 
creating a market for their produce. This could only 
be done by the introduction of foreign enterprise and 
capital in the navigation of these rivers. It was of no 
less importance to the political interests of England that, 
in the event of need, she should be able to send troops by 
water almost to the foot of the great chain of mountains 
which separates the high lands of Asia Minor and of Persia 
from Syria and the vast Mesopotamian plains. 

The Porte having been compelled to accept the 
Russian project for the settlement of the differences with 
Persia, the next step was to appoint a Commission to 
delineate the new frontier between that country and 
Turkey. It was to consist of Commissioners appointed 
by those two Powers, and by the mediating Governments 
of England and Russia. It had been Sir Stratford 
Canning's intention to employ me as one of them, in 
recognition of the services which I had been able to 


render him, and he accordingly proposed my appointment 
to Lord Aberdeen. But my views on the Turco-Persian 
and Servian questions had not been such as to induce the 
Foreign Office to look upon me with favour. Colonel 
Williams, afterwards known as Sir Fenwick Williams of 
Kars, 1 was selected for that office : Mr Robert Curzon, the 
author of a popular and pleasantly written book on the 
convents of the Levant, who had accompanied Sir Strat- 
ford to Constantinople in the capacity of private secretary, 
was appointed to be his colleague. 2 

Colonel Williams, with Lieutenant Collingwood Dick- 
son, 8 had been sent to Constantinople by the British Govern- 
ment at the request of the Porte, to instruct the Turks in 
the manufacture of explosives. They were both officers in 
the Royal Artillery, and in after years distinguished them- 
selves greatly by their military achievements. They were 
gentlemanly and amiable men, with whom I contracted 
a close and lasting friendship. Williams had already 
reached middle age. He did not possess remarkable 
abilities, but was honest, straightforward, trustworthy, and 
thoroughly loyal to his friends. Dickson, who was of 
my own age, was a brave, cool, and daring soldier, much 
cleverer than his colleague, full of life, spirits, and fun, 
and with the simplicity of a child. He was well 
acquainted with the details of his profession, possessed 
an excellent memory, and had all the qualities required 
to render him successful in his career, in which he 
acquired distinction and eminence. 

The two brother officers resided together in a house 
belonging to an Armenian family, in the village of Ortakiui, 
on the Bosphorus. I spent many happy hours with them 

1 General Sir William Fenwick Williams, Bart, G.C.B. (1800-83). 

2 I was afterwards named by Lord Palmerston joint Commissioner 
for the delimitation of the Turco-Persian frontier with Sir Fenwick 
Williams, but I resigned the appointment to undertake my second 
expedition to Nineveh for the Trustees of the British Museum. 

3 General Sir Collingwood Dickson, V.C., K.C.B. 


there. They were both excellent companions, and their 
society enabled me to wile away many weary hours that I 
was destined to pass in the Turkish capital. A merry 
and, it must be confessed, a somewhat reckless and riotous 
party used to meet in their apartments, and very frequently 
turned " night into day." Amongst those who used to join 
it were several young Turks, and foremost amongst them 
-for fun and frolic was my gifted friend, Ahmed Vefyk 
Effendi, who was always ready for any wild prank, and 
who, in European society, laid aside the grave and dignified 
demeanour which he knew so well how to assume when in 
company of his grave and sedate Mussulman fellow-country- 
men. His contagious laugh was the loudest in the com- 
pany, and his enjoyment of some silly practical joke was 
unbounded. I remember an occasion when he was himself 
the victim of one. He had joined our merry party on the 
eve of the Bairam, the great annual feast-day, when the 
Ministers and the great functionaries have to appear before 
the Sultan to offer him their respects. The ceremony 
takes place early in the morning. As Ahmed Vefyk 
already held a high office at the Porte it was necessary for 
him to join in it. Intending to pass the night at Orta- 
kiui, he had dressed himself in readiness to present himself 
with his colleagues, and wore the large diamond plaque 
or star, which denoted his rank. 

It was our habit, when we remained for the night with 
our military friends, to do as the Armenians usually did 
to divest ourselves of our coats and to sleep on the divans 
which surrounded the spacious rooms. When we had all 
retired to rest after a merry and riotous evening, one of 
the party bethought himself to remove and conceal the 
Effendi's diamond star. When it was morning, and he 
had made his simple ablutions preparatory to leaving the 
house for the Imperial Palace, where the ceremony was 
held, and which was not far distant from Ortakiui, he 


missed his plaque. Search was everywhere made for it, 
but in vain. The person who had taken it had completely 
forgotten where he had concealed it. As the hour for the 
ceremony approached, the Effendi was compelled to leave 
in haste to borrow a similar " decoration " from an ex- 
Minister who lived hard by for without it he could not 
present himself before the Sultan, and his absence would 
have been noted against him. 

It was not until many days after that the missing 
plaque was found by a servant when cleaning the room, 
beneath the mattress of a divan, and restored to its anxious 

I remember, too, when the marriage of a daughter of 
the owner of the house was celebrated. The festivities 
lasted for three days and three nights, and Williams and 
Dickson had very good-naturedly allowed the revels to 
take place in the apartments which they occupied. The 
dancing and singing and drinking of raki were carried on 
incessantly. There were relays of musicians who kept 
up their discordant noise of riddles and hautboys. When 
the dancers could dance no longer, they stretched them- 
selves on the divans and went to sleep, and were suc- 
ceeded by others. Raki and sweetmeats were constantly 
handed about, and occasionally the guests adjourned to 
the great hall, where abundant pilaj, kibaubs (bits of 
meat roasted on a skewer) and dolmas or vegetables 
stuffed with minced meat, were served to them. Such 
orgies were then the fashion amongst the Armenians on 
the occasion of the celebration of a marriage. 

Soon after my arrival at Constantinople I became very 
intimate with Mr Charles Alison, who was then attached 
as Chief Interpreter, and afterwards became Oriental 
Secretary, to the British Embassy. The friendship which 
we then contracted lasted until his death, and was never 
clouded. He had real genius, and was singularly gifted. 


He was perhaps the man most highly endowed by nature 
that I have ever known. His qualities of head and heart 
were equally remarkable. He was generous, affectionate, 
unselfish, of the most amiable disposition and the most 
equal temper, and modest and retiring. He was an 
accomplished linguist, speaking and writing Turkish, 
Persian, Greek, and several European languages, with 
perfect facility, and having a sufficient knowledge of Arabic. 
He was a skilful musician, playing on several instruments, 
and would have been an accomplished artist had he given 
himself seriously to art. His memory was singularly 
tenacious, and, although he had not read much, he had 
retained all that he had read. 

All these great gifts were unfortunately marred to a 
certain extent by an eccentricity of conduct and an uncon- 
ventionality in what he said and did an attempt to conceal 
them and an apparent desire to appear the very opposite 
to what he really was which rendered him unpopular and 
almost offensive to those who only judged him by his 
somewhat rough and forbidding manners and appearance. 
His features were singularly refined and expressive, but 
his fine brow and highly intellectual countenance were dis- 
figured by a bushy, dishevelled head of hair and a capacious 
beard, which he had the habit of pushing upwards so as to 
conceal his face. 

His various talents and his really splendid intelligence 
had never been cultivated. He had received no education 
whatever, and was entirely self-taught. He had acquired 
by himself, and almost by intuition, his numerous and 
varied accomplishments. He seemed able to do, without 
effort and instinctively, anything that he desired to do. I 
have seen him take up a musical instrument which was 
new to him and obtain a mastery over it in a few hours. 
He was very reticent concerning himself and his family. 
Although we were intimate friends and companions for 


many years, and I enjoyed, I believe, his entire confi- 
dence, he never spoke to me on the subject. Nor did 
he, as far as I know, to any one else. I have heard that 
he was the son of a paymaster in an English regiment 
stationed at Malta, where, it was said, he had been born. 
As a mere boy he showed that independence and 
originality of character which distinguished him in after 
life by running away from his home. He embarked with 
a lad of his own age in a small open boat, and, hoisting 
sail, put off to sea. They were driven by the wind to 
the coast of Sicily, which they reached without 
accident. The authorities of the district where they 
landed arrested the two youthful adventurers, who were 
unprovided with passports and other necessary docu- 
ments, and they were confined in prison until their 
story was confirmed by explanations from their parents, 
who had given them up for lost. They were then sent 
back to their friends. 

Shortly after this adventure young Alison was sent 
to a Mr Mayor, a distant relation, who held the post of 
British Consul-General in Albania, and resided at Janina. 
He remained in the office of this gentleman for some 
years, and there acquired that intimate knowledge of the 
language, manners, and character of Turks and Greeks 
which afterwards distinguished him, and led to his appoint- 
ment as Oriental Secretary to the British Embassy at 

His remarkable talents were at once recognised by 
Sir Stratford Canning, who soon took him into his entire 
confidence, and made use of him in his most secret and 
delicate negotiations with the Turkish Ministers and the 
Porte. But he never put himself forward, and it was 
only those in the secret who knew how important his 
services were, and to how large a share he was entitled in 
the triumphs of Sir Stratford. 


Whilst thus keeping himself in the background from a 
strong sense of duty, and leaving all the credit of what he 
might accomplish to his chief, his independent character 
led him to "stand up" to the impetuous Ambassador. 
He always met his outbreaks of temper with imper- 
turbable calm, boldly told him truths which it was 
frequently very disagreeable to him to hear, and allowed 
his wrath to work itself out. Although Sir Stratford was 
little accustomed to tolerate opposition, which usually only 
further excited his quick temper, he could not but respect 
and admire Alison's perfect truthfulness, loyalty, and 
independence. He consulted him upon every question, 
usually acted upon his advice, and in his presence became 
as gentle as a lamb, although a few minutes before he was 
as a roaring lion. 

Alison exercised the same influence over the members 
of Sir Stratford's family. His inexhaustible good-nature 
made him ever ready to promote their amusements, to 
execute their various commissions, and to accompany 
them in their picnics and expeditions. He would play 
the harmonium in the chapel for Lady Canning, or the 
piano upon which he was a most skilful and delight- 
ful performer to amuse herself or her guests. He 
would play with the children, and devise new entertain- 
ments for them. They were all consequently devoted 
to him. 

In his intercourse with Turkish officials he maintained 
the same calm and equal demeanour as he showed in his 
intercourse with the Ambassador, was perfectly straight- 
forward and truthful, and scorned the petty intrigues upon 
which the agents employed by the foreign representatives 
at the Porte have generally relied to carry out the policy 
and instructions of their chiefs. This mode of dealing 
with the Turkish statesmen and officials pleased and 
gratified them, and enabled him to obtain far greater 


influence over them than any of his rivals. At the 
same time, he always showed a spirit of independence 
in his dealing with them, and made them feel that 
he was capable of resenting any attempt to deceive 

Many amusing anecdotes were current in Constanti- 
nople of his way of treating those, Mussulmans or 
Christians, who gave him cause of offence, and did not 
treat him with the respect which he considered his due. 
Amongst them I remember the following. Sir Stratford 
Canning had sent him to transact some business of moment 
with the Grand Vizir, who was a Turk of the old school, 
notorious for his bigotry and intolerance. In the middle 
of a discussion the Prime Minister rose from his seat and 
proceeded to say his customary prayers on a carpet 
which an attendant had spread for him on the floor. He 
concluded them with the usual curse, very audibly and 
significantly uttered, upon all giaour, or infidels the 
name then given to all Christians indiscriminately and 
went through the motion of spitting over his right and 
left shoulders to show his horror of them ; he then resumed 
his seat, and renewed the conversation as if nothing had 
occurred to interrupt it. 

After a short interval Alison left the divan, and going 
into a corner of the room, began to repeat in Turkish an 
extemporary prayer in which he invoked similar curses 
upon the followers of Islam. The Pasha jumped up in a 
violent passion, and reminded him of the fate which, 
according to the Mussulman law, was reserved for those 
who dared to blaspheme the religion of Islam and its 
Prophet. Alison very quietly replied that, like the Pasha 
himself, he had only performed a duty by saying his 
prayers at that particular hour, and that he had no doubt 
that the denunciations they contained against Mohamme- 
dans were as much a matter of form, and of as little 


significance, as the curses which His Highness had a short 
time before launched against those who professed the 
Christian faith. 1 

1 A man of Alison's character and original and somewhat eccentric 
habits was not likely to be a favourite at the Foreign Office. Although 
for many years, and under successive Ambassadors, he had had the 
almost exclusive conduct of the affairs of the Embassy at Constanti- 
nople, and had carried to a successful issue, by his extraordinary 
diplomatic skill, many questions of the utmost delicacy and moment, 
and had acquired the esteem and confidence of his chiefs, who had 
strongly recommended him for promotion and for employment in an 
independent position worthy of his abilities, and at the head of an 
important mission, it was not until 1860 that he was named H.M. 
Minister at Teheran, where he died in 1872. 




As Sir Stratford Canning had failed to obtain for me the 
appointment on the Turco-Persian Commission, I thought 
of returning to England ; but he advised me to remain 
at Constantinople, holding out hopes that he would be 
able to overcome the prejudice which Lord Aberdeen 
evidently entertained against me, and that he would in the 
end get me permanently employed at the Embassy as one 
of his attaches. The prospect of entering the diplomatic 
service, which was then the great object of my ambition, 
induced me to act upon his advice. Sir Stratford was 
the more anxious to avail himself of my services, as 
Reshid Pasha, the author of the celebrated Hat-i-Sheraf of 
Gulhane, which was intended to endow the Turkish 
Empire with liberal institutions similar to those of the 
Constitutional States of Europe, had become Grand Vizir. 
This eminent statesman was eager to carry out the reforms 
of which this imperial " Hat," or Decree, was to form 
the basis. He relied upon the support of the English 
Ambassador, who had contributed in no small degree, 
through his influence with the Sultan and at the Porte, 
to obtain Reshid's appointment as Prime Minister, and 
who warmly approved of his policy, as the only one 
VOL. II. F 81 


which, if acted upon with vigour and sincerity, could save 
the Ottoman Empire from the fate which he could not 
but perceive was impending over it. 

He was ready to give Reshid Pasha his aid and advice 
in all that related to the introduction of reforms in the 
administration and government of the Empire. It was 
necessary with this object to be in constant communication 
with the Grand Vizir. But it was of equal importance 
to both, in consequence of the jealousy and susceptibilities 
of the Representatives of the other great Powers, and of 
rival Turkish statesmen, that these communications should 
be carried on as secretly as possible. Sir Stratford would 
not, therefore, employ in them any member of the 
Embassy, whose comings and goings would be speedily 
known in a place so full of intrigue and spies as Constanti- 
nople, and especially its European suburb of Pera. He 
determined to avail himself of my services in his inter- 
course with Reshid, with whom I had become acquainted 
through Ahmed Vefyk Effendi, and for whose political 
views I had an ardent admiration, being convinced that 
the only way of " regenerating " (the term then employed) 
the Ottoman Empire was to put into execution the 
contemplated reforms. 

I was constantly passing backwards and forwards 
between the Embassy and Reshid's house in Stamboul, or 
his konak on the Bosphorus. I frequently passed the 
night under his roof, and sometimes in the middle of it 
had to go in a caique to Buyukdere", when Sir Stratford 
with his family was in the country, at the great risk of 
being arrested and carried off to a Turkish guard-house by 
the water-police. This kind of semi-diplomatic, semi- 
political work was of great interest and of great use to me. 
It gave me the opportunity of seeing much of two re- 
markable and eminent men ; and it enabled me to obtain 

1845] RESHID PASHA 83 

much valuable information with respect to Turkish 
politics and the condition and prospects of the Turkish 
Empire, which subsequently proved of much service to me. 
It was eminently congenial to my opinions and feelings, as 
I entered, heart and soul, into Sir Stratford Canning's views 
and policy for the reform of the administration of the 
Turkish Empire, and especially for the better government 
and improvement of the condition of the Christian subjects 
of the Sultan, to whom the Hat-i-Sheraf of Gulhane had 
promised equal liberties and rights with the Mussulmans 
a promise which had unfortunately been evaded, and of 
which it was one of the main objects of Sir Stratford's 
policy to obtain the accomplishment. 

I have a lively recollection of the many hours spent in 
discussions on these matters with Reshid Pasha dis- 
cussions which frequently lasted far into the night. It was 
not easy to satisfy Sir Stratford Canning, to carry out 
his instructions, and to obtain all that he required from the 
Grand Vizir. Reshid had, I believe, a sincere respect, 
even admiration, for the English Ambassador, and a 
perfect trust in his loyalty and good faith, and was 
desirous of acting as much as possible upon his advice. 
But he had great and serious difficulties to contend with, 
both in the Palace and the Porte, and he was wont to 
complain that Sir Stratford did not make sufficient 
allowance for these difficulties, and treated him in too 
overbearing and imperious a fashion. This complaint was 
not, I thought, without foundation. I was always of 
opinion that the manner in which Sir Stratford was in the 
habit of treating Turkish statesmen even men so anxious 
to satisfy and please him as Reshid did more harm than 
good. I did not hesitate on more than one occasion to 
brave his anger by telling him so. His demeanour towards 
them was of such a kind that the Turkish Ministers were in 


the utmost dread of him, and availed themselves of every 
possible excuse to avoid a personal interview with him if 
matters of an irritating nature were to be discussed. I was 
more than once present at painful scenes between him and 
Reshid and other members of the Government. If some 
demand which he had made was not acceded to, he would 
rise to his feet, knit his brows, and pour upon the un- 
fortunate Pasha, who, frightened out of his wits, would 
cower in the corner of the divan, a torrent of invective, 
accompanied by menacing gestures. 

Alison, who knew his chief better than any one, used to 
say that these ebullitions of temper were assumed in order 
to produce an effect, and that they were completely under 
his control, and could be put aside at once when his object 
had been gained. But I have always doubted if this was 
so, and am convinced that when he was excited by what 
he believed to be an act of wrong, injustice, or bad faith, 
or when his moral sense or dignity was in any way 
offended, he lost command over himself, and allowed his 
excitable nature to get the better of him. His secretaries 
and attaches were so much in fear of these scenes that 
when they were called into his room, especially on 
"messenger days," when they were more than usually 
liable to occur, they would keep hold of the handle of the 
door so as to be ready to beat a retreat at the first 
signs of a storm. 

The habit of Sir Stratford Canning of browbeating and 
domineering over the Turkish Ministers and the Porte was, 
in my opinion, productive of very evil consequences. It 
compelled even the most honest and straightforward of 
them to have recourse to every manner of subterfuge in 
order to deceive him, and to avoid scenes to which their 
sense of dignity forbade them to submit ; whereas they 
were really ready to meet his views and to act upon 


his advice, if he would only make some allowance for 
the difficulties of their position, and permit them to do 
as he required in their own fashion. 

Moreover, the success which was supposed to have 
attended Sir Stratford's method of treating the Turkish 
Ministers, and the credit for energy and spirit that he 
was believed to have acquired by it, induced other foreign 
Representatives to have recourse to the same means to 
obtain their ends. But these ends were not always as 
honest, and as advantageous to the interests of the Ottoman 
Empire and of its various populations, as those of the 
English Ambassador, who had the good of Turkey and the 
improvement of her administration sincerely at heart. 
Thus he set that fashion of using threatening language in 
order to obtain concessions from the Turkish Government, 
which was too readily followed by his colleagues, although 
with less justification. The natural consequence was that 
the Turkish Ministers, who found themselves under the 
necessity of submitting to this kind of treatment, in course 
of time lost all sense of dignity and self-respect, and, if 
they had retained any spirit of independence, it soon 
disappeared. I am convinced that, had Sir Stratford 
Canning shown a more conciliatory and appreciative 
disposition in his dealings with Turkish statesmen, he 
would have accomplished more, and might have saved 
the Empire from some of the disasters which subse- 
quently befell it. The system he adopted was calculated 
to destroy the little prestige and authority which remained 
to the Porte, and it gradually undermined its independ- 
ence, till each foreign Representative was endeavouring 
to outdo his colleagues in worrying the unfortunate 
Turks who were charged with the administration of 
public affairs. 

The terror which Sir Stratford Canning inspired in the 


Turkish Ministers and Pashas was amusing to witness. 
The only one amongst them who ventured to stand 
up against him, and to brave his frown, was Ahmed 
Vefyk Effendi. He consequently soon fell under the 
Ambassadorial displeasure. I remember on one occasion, 
when he dined at the Embassy, a discussion arising 
between him and the Ambassador as to the imprisonment 
by the Turkish police at Galata of some British subject, 
a rascally Ionian or Maltese, who had, no doubt, been 
seized flagrante delicto^ when committing some crime 
richly deserving punishment. The Effendi attempted to 
justify the conduct of the Turkish authorities. Sir 
Stratford maintained that they had violated the capitula- 
tions by apprehending a British subject without going 
through the required formalities, which, it may be observed, 
usually enabled the criminal to effect his escape. The 
dispute waxed warm, and the expression on the counten- 
ance of the Ambassador announced an approaching storm. 
Suddenly striking the table with his fist, he exclaimed : 
" And supposing I went down myself to Galata with a 
cawass to effect the release of the prisoner, what would your 
authorities venture to do?" "Why," replied the Effendi 
with his imperturbable calm, " they would probably put you 
and your cawass in the prison to join him and they 
would only be doing their duty!" It would be difficult 
to describe the burst of anger to which this somewhat 
audacious answer gave rise. Although Sir Stratford could 
not but admire the singular abilities of this remarkable 
man, he looked upon him as much too independent in 
his opinions, and as unmanageable, and consequently as 
a dangerous Minister should he attain to high rank and 
to power. 

If I have ventured to express doubts as to the wisdom 
and prudence of the mode in which Sir Stratford Canning 


dealt with the Turkish Government, I am bound to say 
that he was always actuated by the highest and purest 
motives, and that in all he did, and attempted to do, 
he had but the interests of his own country and the 
welfare of the Turkish Empire in view. The Turks 
themselves were convinced of this, and whilst they 
personally feared and even perhaps disliked him, they 
respected his honesty, and believed him to be their 
true friend. And such is the reputation which he left 
amongst men of all classes. 

My constant intercourse with Reshid Pasha, in conse- 
quence of my employment by Sir Stratford Canning as 
a means of communicating confidentially and secretly 
with him, enabled me to form a judgment upon the 
character and qualities of this remarkable man. He was 
morally courageous and resolute, but physically timid and 
weak. He had convinced himself by the study of European 
history, and by a practical acquaintance with the principal 
countries of Europe which he had visited, that it was abso- 
lutely necessary for the preservation of the Turkish Empire 
that it should be endowed with the political institutions 
which had given power and strength and wealth to civilised 
nations. He had acquired the French language, and through 
it had studied much of the political literature of Europe. 
He had thrown off most of the prejudices and traditionary 
superstitions of his creed and race. He sought the society 
and conversation of well-informed and instructed Euro- 
peans, and was amongst the first Turkish statesmen who 
adopted, to a certain extent, European manners and habits. 
When I first made his acquaintance, he was building his 
fine Yali at Balta Liman on the Bosphorus, which he 
fitted up in the European fashion with every comfort and 
luxury, and adorned with beautiful gardens laid out in the 
European style. 


He had warmly entered into the schemes of Sultan 
Mahmoud for the introduction of various reforms, upon 
the European model, into the Turkish army and civil 
administration of the Empire. He was soon recognised 
as the head of the liberal party, of which he was the most 
enlightened and able, and at the same time the most 
earnest and conscientious, member. He had the welfare 
and regeneration of his country sincerely at heart, and he 
was as patriotic and honest as a Turkish statesman could 
be who lived in the midst of so much intrigue, treachery 
and vice. Few men in Turkey who have attained any 
power or authority have been insensible to a bribe, or 
have obtained the property they might possess by strictly 
legitimate means. Although Reshid Pasha may have 
acquired his considerable fortune in a manner not alto- 
gether consonant with our ideas of integrity and public 
duty, he was never, I believe, accused of having betrayed 
the interests of his country, or of promoting those of her 
enemy from unworthy and corrupt motives. 

The position of Reshid Pasha was one of very great 
difficulty, like that of all really honest Turkish statesmen 
who have sought to reform the corrupt and demoralising 
administration which has gradually brought the Empire 
to decay and ruin. He had against him all those who 
from bigotry, ignorance and self-interest were opposed to 
the introduction of all reforms, and especially of those 
derived from a European and Christian source. They 
formed a very great and powerful party. Supported by so 
energetic and determined a sovereign as Sultan Mahmoud, 
Reshid Pasha might have held his ground successfully 
against his enemies. But Mahmoud's successor, Abdul 
Mejid ,who was on the throne at the time of which I 
am writing, although a well-meaning and honest man and 
really desirous of protecting the rights and promoting the 
happiness and welfare of all classes of his subjects, was 

i8 4 5] RIZA PASHA 89 

of a more weak and yielding nature than his father and 
predecessor, and more ready to yield to the remonstrances 
and intrigues of those who were opposed to the policy 
of Reshid Pasha and to the reforms which he was 
endeavouring to introduce. 

At the head of this retrograde party was Riza Pasha, 
a man of considerable ability, but without education, 
having risen from a very low origin, ignorant of European 
languages, and opposed to all progress except that which 
might improve the condition and increase the strength of 
the army, of which it was his object, for his own purposes, 
to place himself at the head. He was well-versed in every 
kind of Oriental intrigue, thoroughly unscrupulous, and of 
great activity and energy. As the leader of the opponents 
of Reshid Pasha's liberal policy, he had the support of the 
Ulema, the professors of Mussulman religion and law, and 
of all those and they were many and powerful who 
looked upon the reforms which that statesman was seeking 
to introduce as at variance with the creed of Islam, and 
as an insult to their faith. In addition to those who acted 
from conscientious motives, and who really believed that 
their religion was in danger, was that always vast crowd 
of public functionaries and others, who found in the existing 
abuses and maladministration the means of acquiring power 
and wealth, and who were determined to resist to the 
utmost any attempt to abolish or reform them. 

To the opponents of Reshid Pasha may be added a 
small body of able, enlightened, thoughtful and honest men, 
of which Ahmed Vefyk Effendi became the type, who, 
whilst anxious that the corrupt and incapable administra- 
tion of public affairs should be reformed and purified, were 
of opinion that the necessary reforms could only be safely 
and effectually accomplished upon Turkish and Mussulman 
lines, and that great prudence and caution were required 
in putting them into execution. They were of opinion 


that an attempt to introduce, wholesale, European in- 
stitutions into Turkey, and to engraft European civilisation 
upon the ancient traditionary Turkish political system, 
before it was prepared for so great an innovation, could not 
possibly prove successful, and must inevitably so weaken 
the Ottoman Empire that it would lose the little strength 
and independence that it still possessed. They main- 
tained, at the same time, that the ancient Turkish political 
system and institutions, and the Mussulman religion, 
contained the elements of progress, civilisation, and good 
and just government, if they were only honestly and justly 
developed. These men have been proved by the result 
of the attempt to reform the Ottoman Empire on European 
lines to have been to a great degree in the right. Although 
they thought that Reshid Pasha was going too fast, and 
that his endeavours to Europeanise the Turks were unwise 
and dangerous, they did not join the corrupt, ignorant and 
fanatical men who were banded together against him, 
under Riza Pasha and other Turkish statesmen of the 
old retrograde school. They held as much as possible 
aloof from public affairs, although for the most part 
functionaries of the Porte, or employed in other public 
departments of the State. I was acquainted with, and 
saw a good deal of several of them, and learnt much 
from their conversation and the arguments and statements 
with which they supported their views. I must confess 
that I was disposed to agree to a great extent in them. I 
shared their doubts as to the possibility of engrafting a 
European and Christian upon an Oriental and Mohammedan 
civilisation, and as to the consequences to the Ottoman 
Empire of forcing upon its varied populations, of different 
races and creeds, the institutions of European constitutional 

But, although I might have agreed in many of their 
views, I could not but express my earnest conviction 


that unless greater liberty was accorded to the Christian 
populations in the Ottoman Empire ; unless they were 
accorded equal political rights to those enjoyed by their 
Mussulman fellow-subjects ; and unless they received that 
protection for their honour, lives, and property, to which 
they were entitled, but of which, unhappily, they were too 
often deprived, the sympathies of European nations and 
peoples in their behalf, and the feeling of indignation to 
which their wrongs and sufferings must of necessity give 
rise, would inevitably unite the European Powers against 
Turkey, would deprive her of the friendship and support of 
England, and of her other allies, and bring upon her in 
the end the most fatal calamities. 

The only argument used by those who disputed my 
views was that it would be impossible to grant to the 
Christian populations and especially to those inhabiting 
the European provinces of the Turkish Empire complete 
liberty, and all the political rights enjoyed by their Mussul- 
man fellow - subjects, without placing in their hands the 
means of rising against the Turkish rule, and of over- 
throwing it. They admitted that the condition of the 
Christians was very far from satisfactory, that they had 
good cause to complain in too many instances of ill- 
treatment. But they maintained that this was not the 
fault of either the Turkish laws or institutions, which, if 
justly and properly administered, were amply sufficient 
to secure to all the Sultan's subjects alike all the justice, 
protection, and good government which were necessary 
to secure their happiness and prosperity, to remove all 
valid grounds of complaint on their part which could 
justify foreign interference, and to render them content 
with their lot. The real cause of the suffering and dis- 
content of the Christians they attributed to the corruption 
and incapacity of public functionaries, in the capital and 
the provinces ; and they maintained that the remedy for 


this state of things did not consist in the introduction of 
political and social institutions opposed to the feelings and 
habits of the people, but in the thorough reform and puri- 
fying of the administration, and in the employment of 
honest and capable men in the conduct of public affairs at 
Constantinople and in the provinces. 

Reshid Pasha had also his ardent followers and 
disciples, who were imbued with his political ideas, and 
who were sincere and earnest advocates for the introduc- 
tion of European constitutional institutions in the adminis- 
tration of the Ottoman Empire. He founded a school of 
Turkish statesmen, who were destined after his death to 
take the leading part in the government of the country. 
They were for the most part enlightened and able men, 
who were acquainted with at least one European language, 
generally French, who had been employed in a diplomatic 
or some other official capacity by more than one Euro- 
pean nation, and who had made the political history and 
institutions of other countries their study. Amongst the 
most remarkable of these rising men were Ali, Fuad, and 
Cabouli Effendis, who each in turn rose to the rank of 
Pasha, two becoming Grand Vizir (Ali and Fuad), and the 
third filling important diplomatic posts abroad, in which he 
rendered important services to the Porte. 

I was well acquainted with these three statesmen, and 
especially with Fuad, of whom I saw at one time a great 
deal, frequently dining with him, and spending the night 
at his Yali at Candili. We used to have long discussions 
upon political questions, chiefly concerning the reforms to 
be introduced into the administration, and the better treat- 
ment of the Christian populations. Our relations were of 
the most friendly and intimate kind. He professed great 
friendship for me, and gave me many proofs of it. He was, 
with the exception of Ahmed Vefyk Effendi, the most 
informed and most enlightened Turk that I ever knew. 

i845] FUAD AND ALI 93 

But he had qualities fitting him for practical statesman- 
craft, in which Ahmed Vefyk was deficient. He was less 
brusque, self-opinioned, overbearing, and dictatorial. He 
was ready to listen to arguments and reason, and to 
abandon his views when persuaded that they were 
erroneous. He had a fine presence, his countenance 
was handsome and intelligent, and his disposition and 
bearing were singularly conciliatory and dignified, uniting 
the refined courtesy of a European gentleman with the 
simple but high-bred manners of a Turkish statesman of 
the old school. He possessed much wit and humour, and 
his conversation was as entertaining and delightful as in- 
structive. His library was extensive and well -selected, 
comprising a large collection of MSS. in the Turkish, 
Persian, and Arabic languages, and the best editions of the 
French classics. He was well-read, and intimately ac- 
quainted with the history of his own country, as well as 
with that of Europe. His father, whom I frequently met 
at his house, but whose name I now forget, had been, I 
believe, the official historiographer of the Divan. He was 
an amiable and well-learned old man of simple manners, 
living the quiet, retired life befitting an honest Mulla, and 
wearing the dress then peculiar to his order. Fuad Pasha 
unlike Ahmed Vefyk, who had Greek blood in his veins 
was a pure Turk by descent. 

Ali EfTendi, subsequently holding with Fuad high 
offices in the Turkish Ministry, and alternately with him 
Grand Vizir, offered a striking contrast in many respects 
to his colleague. Like him, his opinions were liberal and 
enlightened, he was well acquainted with the French 
language, well-read and well-informed, and his abilities 
were of a high order. But he was of so meek, retiring, 
and sensitive a disposition, that it is not a little wonderful 
that he should have risen to the high rank and distinction 
to which he ultimately attained. He was very small in 


stature, and his countenance was commonplace and with- 
out expression. He always spoke in a low voice almost 
in a whisper and even when Grand Vizir, would sit, 
when he gave audience, crouched in the corner of his 
Divan in the humblest of attitudes. But there was a 
charm in his conversation, and an apparent honesty and 
straightforwardness in his manner, which made the most 
favourable impression upon those who were brought into 
contact with him. 

Cabouli Effendi, the third rising Turkish statesman 
with whom I was intimate, was perhaps the most truly 
liberal in his convictions, and the most thoroughly honest 
of the three. Both Ali and Fuad, and especially the 
latter, were suspected of having received, on more than 
one occasion, when in public employment, considerable 
sums of money after the Turkish fashion. But I never 
heard the integrity of Cabouli impugned. He was, like 
Ali and Fuad, well acquainted with the French language, 
and with the literature of Europe. He gave a proof of 
his liberal opinions, and of his desire to introduce social 
as well as political reforms amongst his Mussulman fellow- 
countrymen, by having his wife taught French and the 
piano. She was a very beautiful and very intelligent 
woman a Circassian by birth. I was allowed the privilege 
of seeing her more than once ; but her husband could not 
venture to violate the precepts of his religion, and to 
offend the deep-rooted prejudices and the customs of 
Mussulmans, by permitting her to mix freely in the society 
of men. 

The three Turkish statesmen whom I have mentioned 
had each but one wife, and such was the case with most 
of the young men of character and respectability who, 
like them, had joined the liberal and reforming party of 
which Reshid Pasha was the head. It was a great mistake 
to believe as it was the fashion in European countries 


to believe that every Turk had a harem containing a 
multitude of wives, concubines, and female slaves who 
served as such. It was indeed an exception to find a 
Turkish gentleman, except one belonging to the old 
school, who possessed more than one wife. One of 
the many reasons against it was the great cost of 
the several establishments which a plurality of wives 
required. But the harem system was still strictly 
enforced, and the women were still kept in careful 
seclusion. There were then very few even amongst 
the most liberal-minded and independent Turks who, like 
Cabouli Effendi, would permit a European much less 
a brother Mussulman not a very near relative to see his 
wife. When Fuad Pasha was employed on a diplomatic 
mission at Paris, his wife would frequently send for me 
when I was living in the same village on the Bosphorus, 
to interpret and explain letters and newspaper articles in 
French which she used to receive from him. On these 
occasions the interview usually commenced with a screen 
being placed between the lady and myself in a room in 
the harem. But, as the conversation became more ani- 
mated, the protection of the screen was gradually aban- 
doned, and I found myself face to face with her. She 
was a handsome, kindly woman of middle age the 
mother of several children very dignified in her manners, 
and very intelligent, but without any European ac- 

An incident occurred, about the time of which I am 
writing, that the more indisposed the Turks to allow 
European ladies to have access to their harems. A certain 
Mumtaz Effendi, who was then Mushteshar, a kind of 
Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had a very beautiful 
wife. I had accompanied Lady Canning to the " Sweet 
Waters of Asia " one Friday the day on which Turkish 
ladies assembled there to pass the afternoon, seated on 


their carpets spread on the grass, and indulging in sweet- 
meats and gossip. As they then lower their veils, the 
groups which they form are not intruded upon by the men, 
who are kept at a distance by guards stationed on the 
spot. The English Ambassadress was, however, a 
privileged person attended as she was by the cawasses 
of the Embassy and the gentlemen who accompanied her 
sometimes ventured to walk with her through the 
assembled Turkish women. On the occasion to which I 
am referring, we were both struck by the extraordinary 
beauty of one of the ladies, who had lowered her veil and 
was enjoying with her companions the usual Kef, her 
attendants bringing them coffee, narguiles and sweet- 

Lady Canning went up to her and addressed her, 
whilst I remained at a respectful distance lost in admira- 
tion at her great loveliness. She proved to be the wife of 
Mumtaz Effendi, with whom Sir Stratford Canning was 
in official relations. I was invited to approach to serve as 
interpreter, which my little knowledge of Turkish enabled 
me to do. The conversation ended by an invitation to 
Lady Canning to visit her an invitation which was at 
once accepted and the English Ambassadress became a 
frequent guest in the harem. 

One morning Turkish Society was greatly surprised 
and scandalised by the report that Mumtaz Effendi's 
beautiful wife had thrown herself from the window of her 
husband's Yali into the Bosphorus, which it overhung at 
a point where the stream sweeps rapidly round a project- 
ing part of the Asiatic shore. She had been with difficulty 
rescued alive by a fisherman. It then became known that 
she had been detected in an intrigue with a Greek Doctor 
bearing the historic name of Paleologus. The old Turks 
shook their heads, saying, "This is what comes of allowing 
Frank ladies to visit our harems " a reflection which caused 

1845] KIAMIL BEY 97 

infinite amusement to those who knew Lady Canning the 
best and most estimable of women. 

The hero of this adventure was not put to death, as he 
would have been in olden times, but was banished to an 
island in the Archipelago. The lady, too, escaped the fate, 
which in less enlightened times would have awaited her. 
She was, I believe, placed somewhere in confinement ; 
what ultimately became of her I never knew. 

Another Turkish gentleman of the liberal and reform- 
ing school of Reshid Pasha with whom I became intimately 
acquainted, and with whom I passed many pleasant hours, 
was a certain Kiamil Bey, the brother-in-law of Fuad. 
He carried his liberal opinions to a somewhat extreme 
extent professing to be above all religious scruples and 
prejudices, indulging more than freely in wine and raki 
and in delicacies such as were forbidden to true believers, 
and leading a somewhat riotous life. 

Kiamil Bey at that time held some subordinate 
position in the Palace. Although possessed of a good deal 
of humour, and not wanting in intelligence, he was not un 
homme serieux, but was looked upon as a farceur. 
He spoke an atrociously bad French, and was constantly 
making the most ludicrous mistakes in it which caused no 
little amusement. He was a general favourite on account 
of his good-natured and jovial character. Many years 
after I had first known him, and when I was the British 
Minister at Madrid, the Sultan sent a special Ambassador 
to congratulate King Alfonso on his accession to the 
Spanish throne. The person selected to represent His 
Imperial Majesty was Kiamil Bey. On his arrival in the 
Spanish capital, and before taking any official steps to 
carry out his mission, he was anxious to take the advice of 
some one acquainted with the etiquette and customs of the 
Court, and who might be able to direct and counsel him. 
He bethought himself of turning for advice and help to the 



British Minister for were not the English then the true 
friends and ancient allies of the Turks ? He accordingly 
called upon me before making any other visit, official or 
private. He was not aware that his old Constantinople 
friend and companion was then the Representative of 
England at the Spanish Court. Shown into my room, his 
delight and emotion when he recognised me were amusing 
to witness. He embraced me over and over again in the 
Turkish fashion, pressing me in his arms. He knew that 
he had found a friend, and that the difficulties he had 
anticipated were surmounted. I am afraid that now few 
Turks would have this feeling. We saw much of him 
whilst he remained at Madrid. He dined with us every 
day, except when obliged to be present at official entertain- 
ments. He was the same amusing companion that he had 
been in years gone by, spoke the same broken French, and 
retained his same love for a glass of champagne. 

When I went to Constantinople as the Queen's 
Ambassador, I found Kiamil Bey installed in the palace 
as Grand Master of the Ceremonies and in high favour 
with Sultan Abdul Hamid, who, whilst he laughed at his 
eccentricities and looked upon him somewhat in the light 
of a buffoon, admired his honesty and boldness in telling 
the truth, although it might prove distasteful, and in .giving 
information which others feared to give, or from interested 
and personal motives sought to conceal from their Imperial 
master. He was almost the only Turk that I met at the 
Imperial dinner- table who ventured to converse freely with 
the Sultan the Ministers and other high functionaries 
who were present on these occasions maintaining a solemn 
silence and keeping their eyes fixed on their plates, only 
answering the Sultan's questions when spoken to, and then 
with outward signs of the greatest humility. 

The Sultan, who greatly enjoyed a good story and a 
joke, would draw out Kiamil Bey, laughing heartily at his 

i8 4 53 KIAMIL BEY 99 

anecdotes and ridiculous remarks. His Majesty was more 
tolerant with him than with his other guests, and allowed 
him to indulge in his favourite beverage of champagne, 
whilst wine was only served to the Europeans who sat at 
the Imperial table, and was forbidden to the rest. The 
Sultan also tolerated the violation on the part of the Bey 
of the precepts and observances of the Mussulman faith, 
although in such matters he was himself, outwardly at least, 
very strict, and expected others to be so. I remember on 
one occasion the Sultan looking at the menu of the dinner 
which was prepared under the direction of the Grand 
Master of the Ceremonies, and being greatly amused by 
finding that a mistake had been made in the date of the 
day according to the Mohammedan month. " Kiamil Bey," 
he said laughing, " has brought us into Ramazan (the great 
Mussulman fast) ; but what does he know of Ramazan or 
any other Mussulman fast ; he is a shabkuu (a scamp) and a 
framasan (freemason), and has no religion." He was prob- 
ably the only man about the Court of whom the Sultan 
would have said this, and have retained him in his service. 
In consequence of the favour which he enjoyed with 
the Sultan, the access he had at all times to His Majesty, 
and his courage in speaking openly to him, he proved of 
great use to me during the time that I held the Embassy 
at Constantinople. I frequently employed him in convey- 
ing messages and information to the Sultan which I could 
not confide to others, or which I knew that others would 
not venture to repeat to him. I found him honest and 
trustworthy, and he was a warm and sincere advocate 
of the " English policy," and anxious that the advice of 
England should be followed on all occasions ; for he was 
one of those Turks who looked upon England as a true 
friend of Turkey, and who were convinced that, if her 
counsels were sometimes unpalatable, they were intended 
for the good of his country. 


Kiamil Bey died suddenly from apoplexy, to my great 
regret, during my short absence from Constantinople on 
leave in the spring of 1879. He had brought up his 
children in the same political and religious principles 
that he had himself professed. One of his daughters, 
who had married Hilmi Pasha, a general in the Turkish 
Army, was the first Turkish lady of rank who ventured to 
brave Mussulman prejudices and openly to violate one of 
the fundamental precepts of the faith of Islam by assuming 
a Frank dress and accompanying her husband to Europe, 
passing some months with him at Paris, and mixing freely 
in French society. Availing herself of the pretext that 
her European physician had recommended a course of 
waters at one of the European baths, she went with her 
husband to Smyrna, where she threw off the veil and 
yashmak, adopted the Frank costume, and embarked with 
him on a French steamer for Marseilles. 

Thus to violate Mohammedan laws and prejudices was 
an act, at that time, showing no little courage. She 
returned to Constantinople after some months' absence, and 
resumed Turkish attire. The Sultan, when informed of 
her " escapade," showed his high disapproval of it by dis- 
missing her husband from the high military office which 
he held, and it was long before he was restored to favour. 
Her sister, who had married an Egyptian functionary of 
rank, professed the same indifference to Mohammedan 
scruples and Turkish opinion. They were both young 
and handsome women, of engaging and ladylike manners, 
and were often visitors at the Embassy, where they did not 
hesitate to discard their veils and dine or breakfast with us. 
I was also admitted with my wife to her apartments in her 
father's house, where she was educating her daughters in 
the European fashion and with European ideas under a 
French governess. These ladies were amongst the first to 
endeavour to break through those rules which, by separa- 


ting the two sexes, and by maintaining the rigid seclusion 
of women from the society of all men except their husbands 
and their nearest relatives, have been the great obstacle 
to the progress of Mussulman peoples. Until a radical 
reform is effected in the social relations between men and 
women, true civilisation cannot be said to exist in any 
Mohammedan nation. Unfortunately, of all the necessary 
reforms, it is the one most difficult to carry out amongst 
Eastern peoples. 

But to return from this long digression. At the time 
in which I was brought into relation with Sir Stratford 
Canning a desperate struggle for power was taking place 
between the liberal and reforming Turkish party, of which 
Reshid Pasha was the head, and the Turks of the old 
school, who, violently opposed to the introduction of 
European institutions, and desirous to maintain the ancient 
Turkish system of Government and ancient traditionary 
Turkish institutions, had Riza Pasha for their most 
capable and active leader. Sir Stratford Canning used 
all his great influence in favour of the former, and sup- 
ported Reshid with all his well-known energy and 
ability. He was convinced that the policy which he 
advocated was the one best calculated to promote at the 
same time the interests of Turkey and of England : the 
interests of Turkey, by ensuring the prosperity and con- 
tentment of its varied populations ; the interests of England 
by maintaining and strengthening a Power which had 
proved to her, and might still prove, a most valuable and 
important ally. Upon these two convictions his policy 
was founded. I heartily concurred in them. It was, 
therefore, a labour of love in me to second, as far as 
my humble position would allow, his efforts to carry out 
this policy, and I became a willing and zealous inter- 
mediary between himself and Reshid Pasha, and the 
followers of that distinguished statesman. 


Although this occupation was very congenial to me 
and I took the liveliest interest in it, my position was a 
very difficult and delicate one. I was not a recognised 
member of the Embassy, my services were given entirely 
gratuitously, and I only acted as a friend of the 
Ambassador. My means were very restricted indeed I 
may say that I had little or nothing of my own and I 
could not expect my mother, who had numerous calls upon 
her, or my friends in England, to assist me. Sir Stratford 
Canning had in vain endeavoured to obtain for me a paid 
attache"ship, or some other remunerated post connected 
with the Embassy. 

Lord Aberdeen, who was then Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs, evidently entertained a strong pre- 
judice against me, and resolutely declined to listen to 
any recommendation of Sir Stratford Canning in my 

My position in consequence became so embarrassing, 
and caused me so much anxiety, that I had decided 
in despair upon abandoning the career that I had 
chosen for myself in the East, and on returning to 
England and the profession of the law. I was in com- 
munication with my uncle on the subject, with* a view 
to learning whether he would receive me again into 
his office in Gray's Inn, when my friend Colonel White 
informed me that he was about to return to England 
and to give up the correspondence of the Morning 
Chronicle, which he proposed to hand over to me, the 
proprietors of that journal having authorised him to do 
so if I would undertake it. But at the same time they 
intended to reduce the salary of their Constantinople 
correspondent from .300, which had been that of Colonel 
White, to the half of that sum. After consulting Sir 
Stratford Canning I accepted the offer. It was of much 
importance to Sir Stratford that he should have the 


support of the English and European press. My friend- 
ship with Mr Longworth, who was then the correspondent 
of the Morning Post, and my acquaintance with many 
other newspaper correspondents enabled me to hold out 
good hopes to him that I should be able to obtain from 
them that support, and induce them to write favourably 
of his policy, and to put forward any views with regard 
to it which he might desire should be generally known. 
I was as good as my word, and for some time I had 
under my control the Constantinople correspondence of 
the most influential journals in England and on the 
Continent. I succeeded at the same time in obtaining 
a small subsidy for the Malta Times a newspaper 
published in that island and conducted with some ability, 
and which was then widely circulated in the Levant. 

The unanimity of so large a portion of the public 
press in approving the policy of Sir Stratford Canning 
greatly strengthened his position and influence in Constanti- 
nople, and secured for him the support of public opinion 
in England. He was thus enabled to carry out many 
of his own views which were not always in accordance 
with those of Lord Aberdeen and the English Government 
and to compel the Porte to adopt measures and to in- 
troduce reforms which he conscientiously believed would 
tend to promote the well-being of the Ottoman Empire, 
and especially of its Christian populations, and, at the 
same time, the interests of England. 

There was thus a chorus of praise of the English 
Ambassador in the European Press, and I learnt by 
experience how much the success and reputation of a 
diplomatist may depend upon his skill in obtaining the 
support of newspaper correspondents and their incessant 
and exaggerated approval of all that he says and does. 
The public can only be guided by reports coming from 
such quarters, and is only too ready to believe everything 


that is written concerning a man who is so universally 

Although I had early obtained this experience, I did 
not in after life profit by it. I have always had a dislike 
to newspaper publicity, and have never taken the slightest 
pains to conciliate newspaper writers and correspondents 
with a view to obtaining their praise and to influence 
public opinion in my favour. I had no great reason 
to think highly of the correspondents of the English Press 
from what I had seen of them abroad. The race may 
improve in the course of time, and I have known some 
highly cultivated, upright and independent men amongst 
them ; but I could never bring myself to take them into 
my confidence, and to make them believe that they have 
influenced my views and directed my policy in public 

Although the remuneration offered to me by the 
proprietor of the Morning Chronicle was small, I believed 
that it would be sufficient, with strict economy, for my 
wants, which were very few and simple. I agreed with 
my friend Mr Longworth to take lodgings in the village 
of Candili, situated in perhaps the most beautiful spot 
on the Asiatic shores of the Bosphorus. We could live 
there more cheaply than in Pera. There was an addi- 
tional advantage in our residing there. Fuad Pasha (then 
Fuad Effendi) occupied a Yali in Candili, and Ahmed 
Vefyk Effendi a house on the same side of the Bosphorus 
easily accessible. It was important that we should be in 
constant communication with them, in order to obtain 
political and other information for our respective news- 
papers. Most of our other Turkish friends passed the 
summer months in their Yalis immediately opposite to 
Candili. Our chief expense would consist in boat hire 
in calling upon them ; but it would be much less than 
if we had remained in Pera, or moved to Therapia or 


Buyukdere, the places of resort for the members of the 
diplomatic body, and for the principal European families 
during the hot season. The hire of a one-oared caique, 
which we usually employed in our excursions on the 
water, was, in those days, a mere trifle very different 
to what it subsequently became with the great increase of 
prices in the Turkish capital. 

An additional reason for my selecting Candili was that 
Count Pourtales, then Prussian Minister at the Porte, had 
taken a house there for the summer. He was a delightful 
companion, abounding in fun and wit, and at the same 
time in the learning and accomplishments which are 
usually found in a highly educated German gentleman, 
and especially one destined for a diplomatic career. I had 
seen a good deal of him, and our relations were of the most 
friendly character. 1 

I found an Armenian and his wife who were willing to 
receive Mr Longworth and myself as lodgers. They 
possessed a small house, built, like all the rest in the 
village at that time, of wood. It was situated high up 
in a kind of ravine, and overlooked the Bosphorus, with 
a beautiful view of the opposite coast the Bay of Bebek, 
the castles of Europe, and the richly-wooded hills above 
them. The house itself, within and without, had a cleanly 
appearance, and the owners seemed decent and respectable 
people. They only spoke Armenian and Turkish, which, 
like the Armenians in general, they usually employed. 
This was an advantage, as it enabled us to improve our 
knowledge of this language. 

They offered us two rooms one for Longworth and 

1 Count Pourtales died suddenly from apoplexy many years after- 
wards when Prussian Ambassador at Paris a very great loss to his 
country and to his profession, of which he was a most distinguished 
ornament. I was at Paris at the time, and had been with him only a 
few hours before his death, 


one for myself. The house was furnished in the usual 
Turkish style, which was then that also of the non- 
Catholic Armenians. In each room was a low divan 
and a table, with one or two rush-bottomed chairs, and 
the floor was covered with a clean matting. There were 
no beds. We slept upon the divans, upon which a 
mattress and sheets, kept in a cupboard during the 
day, were spread when the time for rest came. 

We were to board in the house, and for our food and 
lodging, everything included, we agreed to pay 12 each 
for three months. Our fare, as might be supposed, was 
not luxurious or over-abundant. We had coffee and milk 
in the morning, a breakfast at eleven o'clock, consisting 
usually of boiled rice with sour curds (or yaouf) and kibabs, 
or bits of boiled and roasted meat. We dined at sunset 
upon soup, fish, meat and vegetables cooked after the 
Turkish fashion. 

The few months that I spent at Candili were amongst 
the pleasantest that I spent in Constantinople. Mr 
Longworth was a delightful companion, of imperturbable 
good humour, cheerful, well-informed, taking a lively 
interest in Turkish politics and devoting himself to the 
study of the language and literature of the people amongst 
whom he lived. Candili occupies one of the most 
beautiful, if not the most beautiful, position on the 
Bosphorus. The heights above the village command 
the most enchanting views, extending from the Sea of 
Marmora almost to the Euxine with the blue waters 
covered with shipping sweeping beneath between the 
two seas, and the European and Asiatic coasts lined with 
palaces, kiosks, villages and gardens. There were in- 
numerable delightful walks in the neighbourhood, and 
after the day's work was over, my companion and I 
were in the habit of strolling over the hills, engaged in 
talk, and enjoying the varied and lovely prospect. On 

i8 4 s] LIFE AT CANDILI 107 

a Friday afternoon, we usually went to the " Sweet Waters 
of Asia," which were within a short walk from Candili, 
and where Turkish ladies, still wearing their gay national 
costume, were in the habit of congregating, seated in 
picturesque groups on the grass, eating sweetmeats, 
drinking sherbet, and smoking their narguiles, surrounded 
by their children and slaves. The brilliancy and variety 
of the colours of their garments gave the place the 
appearance, from a distance, of a vast parterre of flowers. 

The beauty of our village and of the surrounding 
scenery attracted many visitors. Friends came frequently 
to see us Alison and others from the Embassy, Colling- 
wood Dickson, and an occasional traveller. They were 
willing to put up with our humble fare, and to pass the 
night on a divan like ourselves. We spent many happy 
hours, seated after sunset on cushions on a wooden terrace 
or platform which overlooked the winding Bosphorus, 
smoking our narguitts and pipes, and sipping coffee, not 
infrequently until morning dawned. 

My life was not, however, an idle one. My friend M. 
Botta had continued his excavations amongst the Assyrian 
ruins, and had commenced those great discoveries at 
Khorsabad with which his name will be ever connected, 
and which have given him lasting fame. With a 
generosity and liberality rare amongst discoverers, he 
had allowed me to see his letters to his official superiors 
in France, describing the remains that he had uncovered, 
and accompanied by copies of cuneiform inscriptions 
and by drawings of the bas-reliefs found in the buried 
Palace of Sargon. These letters were sent to the care 
of M. de Cadalvene, a highly accomplished French gentle- 
man who was then at the head of the French Post-Office 
at Constantinople, and who, after allowing me to see 
them, forwarded them to their destination in France. 
I was, at the same time, in constant correspondence with 


M. Botta, who kept me fully . informed of his discoveries. 
I was thus enabled to be amongst the first to announce 
them to the public and to give a full account of them. 
This I did in a series of letters to the Malta Times ; 
which were republished in Galignants Journal and in 
many European newspapers. I endeavoured in these 
letters to fix the period of the wonderful monuments 
which my friend had unearthed, and to connect it with 
the great Empire which, before the fall of Nineveh, had 
flourished in the vast plains of Mesopotamia. 

The success of M. Botta encouraged me to persevere in 
the design that I had formed of returning some day to 
Mosul, and of exploring the great mounds on the left bank 
of the Tigris, supposed to occupy the site of Nineveh, 
which I had only hastily visited on the two occasions when 
travelling in that part of the Turkish dominions. I deter- 
mined, therefore, to prepare myself, as well as I was able, 
to undertake the work, and to turn such discoveries as I 
might make, if the plans I had formed were eventually 
carried out, to the best account in my power. I accord- 
ingly set myself to the study of the Semitic languages 
one of which, I was convinced, was represented in the 
cuneiform inscriptions existing in the Assyrian ruins. I 
obtained from England such dictionaries and elementary 
works as my limited means allowed me to purchase, to 
enable me to acquire some knowledge of Hebrew, Chaldee, 
and Syriac. I worked industriously many hours a day at 
the study of these languages which, I hoped, might assist 
me in the decipherment of the inscriptions that I might 
hereafter discover in Assyria. I wrote at the same time 
an essay on the Nestorian Christians, their history, their 
religion and their language, which I sent to England with 
the intention of publishing it an intention which I did not 
carry out. 

I also endeavoured to make myself acquainted with the 


history and language of the Sassanian dynasty, which ruled 
over the greater part of western Asia until it fell before 
the conquering Arabs and the flood of Islam. I was 
assisted by my friend M. de Cadalvene, 1 who had collected 
a large number of Sassanian coins, which he allowed me to 
arrange and catalogue for him, lending me several valuable 
works, published in France, relating to the Pehlevi language 
and to the history of the Sassanian kings. 

These studies and my correspondence with the English 
newspapers, with frequent visits to Sir Stratford Canning 
and his family at Buyukdere, fully occupied my time, 
which passed swiftly and pleasantly the only drawback 
upon my enjoyment being the uncertainty of my position, 
and the delay which, notwithstanding all Sir Stratford's 
efforts in my favour, was taking place at the Foreign 
Office in finding the promised official employment for me. 

Sir Stratford did the best he could to reconcile me to 
this continued disappointment, preaching patience and 
confidence, both which virtues it was, under the circum- 
stances, very needful to possess. To give me a proof of 
his desire to serve me, he offered to present me to the 
Sultan, and having succeeded in borrowing an attache's 
uniform from a member of the Embassy, I accompanied 
the Ambassador to an audience of His Majesty in one of the 
Imperial palaces on the Bosphorus. Sultan Abdul Mejid 
was then on the throne. He differed in every respect from 
his bold and resolute father, Mahmoud. He was a kind- 
hearted, well-intentioned man, desirous of promoting the 
prosperity and welfare of his subjects, but weak and 
constitutionally feeble. His appearance agreed with his 
character. He was small in stature, thin and pale, and sat 
with downcast eyes ; but the expression of his counten- 

1 M. de Cadalvene who was a man of general accomplishments, and 
a distinguished numismat soon after my acquaintance with him lost 
his reason, and died insane after lingering for some years. 


ance, although melancholy, was kindly and benevolent, and 
when lighted up with a smile, which it frequently was 
when the conversation took a turn which pleased him, was 
very attractive and sympathetic. Like several of his 
predecessors, and like his successors, he had the taint of 
madness which has existed in the family since Sultan 
Ibrahim, who was known as "the madman." It showed 
itself particularly in him in a kind of exaggerated horror of 
anything which he imagined to be unclean. If a plate or 
glass were brought him which appeared to his excited 
imagination not to have been scrupulously cleansed, he 
would order it to be thrown out of the window at once ; 
and an attendant upon whose garments he could detect a 
speck of dirt was at once banished from his presence. He 
was constantly haunted by the dread of impurity. 

Sir Stratford Canning thought very highly of Abdul 
Mejid, of whose character, he told me many years after, he 
had written a sketch, describing it in very favourable terms. 

It was, at the time of which I am writing, the etiquette 
for the Sultan, when receiving an Ambassador or any other 
distinguished personage in public audience, to speak in a 
very low voice, almost indeed in a whisper, and to address 
himself solely to the Chief Interpreter of the Palace, who 
in a very humble and deferential manner stood near him 
and translated what he had said into French. That office, 
which was one of much importance and dignity, was then 
held by Safvet Pasha, a rising statesman of great promise, 
known for the honesty and simplicity of his character, and 
generally respected and esteemed. He was one of those 
functionaries at the Porte who belonged to the school of 
Reshid Pasha, and had made himself acquainted with the 
literature, institutions and languages of European nations. 
He subsequently rose to the rank of Grand Vizir, an office 
which he worthily filled at a very critical period when I 
was Ambassador at Constantinople, 


The head Dragoman of the Embassy was also present 
on those occasions. It was his duty to translate what fell 
from the Ambassador, always speaking in a low and 
almost inaudible whisper. The post was then held by 
the aged Frederick Pisani, an old, honest and faithful 
servant of the British Government, and a member of a 
family which has long been connected in this and other 
capacities with the British Embassy at Constantinople. 
Sir Stratford, whom he had served on many occasions and 
during the troublous and dangerous times of the massacre 
of the Janissaries and of the Greek War, had the highest 
esteem for him, and the most complete reliance upon his 
fidelity and his tact and ability in managing the Turks, of 
whose character, language and modes of thought he had 
the most thorough knowledge. He was gifted with the 
most imperturbable patience and long-suffering, and was 
never moved by the violent outbursts of anger to which he 
was constantly exposed, and which broke harmlessly upon 
him an additional recommendation to his fiery and im- 
petuous chief. 

Nothing of special importance occurred at this my first 
appearance at an Imperial audience. I was presented to 
the Sultan as an English traveller who had visited a large 
part of his Empire, and who desired to express person- 
ally to His Majesty the gratitude he felt for the protection 
and hospitality he had enjoyed whilst residing in his 
dominions. 1 

1 On my return to Constantinople, after my first expedition to 
Nineveh, I was again presented to Sultan Abdul Mejid by Sir Strat- 
ford Canning, who made some eloquent remarks upon the illustrations 
of history furnished by my discoveries, and upon the advantages of 
civilisation. They were pithily summed up by old Frederick Pisani 
when he simply informed His Majesty that I was "the man who had 
found the old stones." 



IN the summer of 1843 I made a trip to Brusa, with 
Count Albert Pourtales, then Prussian Minister at the 
Porte, his brother the Count William, and his mother, 
an old lady who held a very high position in the Prussian 
Court, and who still retained more than traces of the 
great beauty for - which in her youth she was famous. 
We spent some pleasant days in the ancient capital of 
the Ottomans, visited its principal monuments in which 
my companions took an intelligent interest ascended 
Mount Olympus, and made excursions in the beautiful 
districts at the foot of the mountain. But our visit to 
Brusa is principally remembered by a somewhat ludicrous 
incident. In those days there was no carriage road 
between the city and Mundania, a village on the gulf 
of that name, where travellers usually disembarked. 
The journey was performed on horseback, and took 
between six and eight hours. 

The road was dusty, the heat intense. Our horses, 
hired at Mundania, were sorry beasts, which we had great 
difficulty in urging onwards. We arrived at Brusa weary 
and parched with thirst, and were taken to the house 
of a native Armenian, which had been prepared for us. 
The owner immediately brought in some wine, which 

he called " Vin d' Olympe," by way of refreshment. Being 

1843-45] VIN D'OLYMPE 113 

overcome with thirst, and the wine being of a very light 
colour, and consequently, as we supposed, of no great 
strength, we drank freely of it. 

The " Vin d' Olympe," however, proved to be some 
horrible compound which, combined with the intense heat 
from which we had suffered during our ride, had the 
effect of stupefying those who had drunk of it. The 
English Consul, a staid solemn Scotchman, impervious 
to fun or a joke, had in the meanwhile been informed 
of the arrival of the distinguished visitors, and thought 
it necessary to wait upon them in full uniform. He found 
them, to his surprise and horror, stretched upon the divan 
apparently in a hopeless state of drunkenness. I re- 
membered afterwards a dim vision of something re- 
splendent with silver and gold passing before my eyes. 
It was the only knowledge I had of the honour paid 
us by the Consul. 

The result of this involuntary intoxication was two 
days' intense headache, accompanied by fever, from which 
all the party suffered. We afterwards carefully eschewed 
" Vin d' Olympe." 

Early in the autumn of 1843 I made a most delightful 
excursion with Lord Somers, 1 then Lord Eastnor, to Mount 
Athos and the Archipelago. A more agreeable and 
better-informed travelling companion it would have been 
difficult to find. He was highly accomplished, a good 
scholar, well-read in all departments of literature, gifted 
with an excellent memory, so excellent a draughtsman 
and painter in water-colours, that, had he adopted art 
as a profession, he might have attained to the highest rank 
in it, witty and humorous, of a joyous, genial, and lovable 
disposition, and of a truly honest, loyal, and noble nature 
he had all the qualities which might have enabled him 
to obtain distinction as a public man, and to have filled 

1 Third Earl Somers (1819-1883). 


the highest posts in the public service. Unfortunately, 
a fall from his horse in Hyde Park had seriously injured 
his health, and had incapacitated him from steady applica- 
tion to work. This, added to a natural listlessness and 
indifference to worldly success, and an extreme modesty 
and want of confidence in himself, unfitted him for public 
life, and he never took the place to which, from his great 
abilities, his rank, and the high esteem in which he 
was held by all those who knew him personally, he was 
entitled. He was frequently offered office but declined to 
accept it, and only filled for a short time a place about 
the Court. 

He was somewhat younger than myself. When I first 
made his acquaintance he was a Member of Parliament, 
but had been travelling for some time in Egypt and in 
different parts of the East for the benefit of his health. 
He had come to Constantinople in the summer of 1843, and 
was on a visit to the Cannings at Buyukdere when we 
met. A friendship was formed between us which lasted 
until his lamented death in 1883. I was never more 
intimate with any man, or loved any more. He was my 
dearest and truest friend. 

He had hired a small Greek brig which, like most 
Greek vessels, was called the Panaiyah " The Virgin," 
with the object of visiting the coasts of the Sea of Marmora, 
Mount Athos, and some of the islands of the ^gaean 
Sea. He invited me to accompany him. He had with 
him a medical attendant, a Dr Mitchell, and Demetri, a 
Greek, who acted as servant and dragoman. The doctor 
practised " Mesmerism," which was then much in vogue. As 
he wanted a subject upon which he could perform experi- 
ments, he prevailed upon Lord Eastnor to seek a cook 
who had epileptic fits, which he thought he could cure. A 
Greek offered himself for the place, who alleged that he 
was so afflicted, and was engaged. I believe the fellow to 


have been an arrant impostor : but he afforded the doctor 
an opportunity of exercising his skill, and Eastnor and 
myself much amusement. Frequently, in the midst of 
breakfast or dinner,*we were suddenly called away to see 
Giorgio, for such was his name, who was writhing on the 
deck in violent contortions and foaming at the mouth. 
After a few passes from the doctor the fit passed away, 
and Giorgio was as well as ever. By the end of our voyage 
he declared himself to be perfectly cured, and asked for 
a handsome bakshish for having submitted to the experi- 
ments which had ended so satisfactorily a pretension to 
which the doctor, although satisfied with his success with 
his patient, indignantly refused to listen. 

The vessel had only one small cabin, which was occupied 
by the master, and a picture of the Virgin, before which 
a lamp was constantly burning. Eastnor had fitted up 
the hold with a flooring of planks. Divans on three sides 
of it and a table in the middle served us for sleeping and 
for our meals. He had provided himself with a small 
but well-selected collection of such books, including the 
Classics and standard works on Eastern geography and 
history, as might prove of use to us in our explorations. 

We left the Golden Horn on the 1 5th September, and 
sailed in the first instance to the opposite coast in the Gulf 
of Ismid, where our captain thought it necessary to take 
in ballast, as his vessel, being without cargo, was high out 
of the water. The ballast consisted of the shingle, which 
the sailors there were, I think, six of them shovelled into 
the hold after the planking had been removed. This shingle 
swarmed with small insects, which were declared to be 
" sea-fleas." They invaded our beds, and every part of the 
cabin, hopping into the dishes and our plates when we 
were at meals. They proved a serious nuisance, and it was 
several days before they died out, and we were rid of 


After taking in our ballast we set sail along the 
Eastern shores of the Sea of Marmora, landing where we 
saw mounds or other indications of ruins, and endeavour- 
ing to identify the site with that of some ancient 
city. We spent two or three days in the small Porte of 
Ardak or Artake, where we explored the remains of the 
ancient city of Cyzicus, the theatre, naumachia, the tombs 
and numerous monuments of marble almost hidden in the 
luxuriant vegetation. I was immensely struck with the 
fertility and great beauty of the country, the peninsular 
parts of which were highly cultivated with vineyards and 
olive-groves by the Greek inhabitants of the large village 
of Artake. We also ascended Mount Dindymum, which 
forms a kind of lofty promontory rising boldly from the 
sea, and clothed almost to the summit with forests of oak 
and chestnut trees. We fancied that we could trace in 
some huge stones on the top of the mountains the remains 
of a celebrated temple of Cybele, which once occupied 
this site. Whether this was so or not, we were well 
rewarded for the fatigue and difficulties of the ascent by 
a glorious view over the Sea of Marmora and its islands, 
the coast of Thrace, and of the Asiatic shores, bound by 
the great range of the snow-capped Olympus. 

We passed through the Dardanelles, and spent a couple 
of days in exploring the plains of Troy. Thence we 
sailed to Imbros and Tenedos, landing on each of these 
islands. On approaching Samothrace we were taken for 
pirates, and we saw the men and women who were 
working in the fields running off as fast as their legs could 
carry them to their solitary village high up on the 
mountain-side. We succeeded in capturing a native, an 
old man too infirm to escape, and through him we were 
able to assure the inhabitants of our pacific intentions, and 
to obtain provisions and a guide. We ascended the 
mountain through the forest with which it is clothed, 


discovered some important Pelasgic remains, including a 
Cyclopean wall and gateway, and many fragments of 
Greek sculpture, marble, bas-reliefs, and statues. We 
were greatly interested in this island, with which 
some of the most ancient traditions of Greek mytho- 
logy are connected, and delighted with its wild and 
beautiful scenery. 

In Thasos, one of the most flourishing and well- 
cultivated islands in the Archipelago, at that time under 
the government of Mehemet AH Pasha of Egypt, we 
passed some very pleasant days, riding through its 
beautiful woods, and discovering ancient Greek and 
Roman remains. After returning late one evening from 
an excursion, we directed the captain of our craft to set 
sail for Mount Athos. He declared that it was contrary 
to universal usage to put to sea in the ^Egsean before 
midnight, as, however fine the weather might be, no one 
knew how it would be at that time. As there was a 
light breeze and a cloudless sky, we insisted that we should 
leave the little harbour in which we had anchored. At 
last he yielded to our remonstrances. But he proved to 
be a true prophet. We were but a short distance from 
the shore when the wind fell, and there was a dead calm. 
Suddenly a tempest of extraordinary violence arose. 
Fortunately, we were able to obtain shelter behind a head- 
land, and to ride out the gale in safety. It lasted but a 
few hours, and was succeeded by a beautiful morning ; but 
it had done enormous mischief, and we subsequently heard 
of numerous wrecks which had taken place in the Archi- 
pelago. It had extended as far as Constantinople, and 
several vessels had gone down at their anchors in the 
Bosphorus and Golden Horn. These sudden hurricanes 
are not uncommon in this part of the Mediterranean, and are 
exceedingly dangerous to shipping, especially to the small 
Greek coasting vessels, such as the one which we had 


engaged. Had we not been able to obtain shelter we 
should in all probability have foundered. 

We reached Mount Athos without accident, and anchored 
in very deep water off its rocky and dangerous coast. 
There is no harbour in any part of the promontory 
formed by "The Sacred Mountain," and vessels must 
be ready to slip their cables in case of threatening weather. 
We landed, and having obtained mules from the neighbour- 
ing monastery, we spent several days in visiting the 
convents and all parts of this enchanting region. 

At that time Mount Athos was little known to 
travellers. It is indeed rarely visited even now. Yet it 
contains some of the most beautiful and varied scenery 
in the world a combination of architecture, forest, moun- 
tain and sea, unequalled. Its numerous convents, con- 
structed during the period of the Byzantine Empire, are, 
for the most part, grand and picturesque structures, 
perched upon rocks overlooking the sea, or rising in 
the midst of magnificent forests. They furnish inex- 
haustible subjects for the pencil and brush of the artist. 
Lord Eastnor made many admirable sketches of them, 
and whilst he was engaged in drawing, I spent my time 
in conversing with, and obtaining information from, the 
monks, and in visiting the libraries and examining the 
interesting monuments and mural paintings which abound 
in the monasteries. The weather was perfect, and our 
enjoyment very great. 

I remember one or two incidents connected with our 
visit. One morning, soon after our arrival, the naked 
bodies of several men, who had been shipwrecked in the 
storm which we had encountered on leaving Thasos, were 
washed ashore at a short distance from one of the 
convents. The monks proceeded to prepare to bury 
the corpses, having first informed the Turkish authorities, 
who reside on the promontory for purposes of police. 

i8 4 5l MOUNT ATHOS 119 

An officer was sent down to enquire into the circumstances, 
who, rinding that the drowned sailors were Greeks, de- 
manded the teskerehS) or receipts, showing that they had 
duly paid the kharag, or poll-tax, levied on the Christian 
subjects of the Sultan. As they were stripped of their 
clothes, and had been some days in the water, the 
required documents were, of course, not to be found. The 
Turkish official consequently declared that the adjacent 
convent was liable for the tax, and proceeded at once 
to extort it from the monks who loudly and vehemently 
protested against the injustice of the proceeding. 

One day when riding through a forest with my com- 
panions, I learnt by accident from one of the muleteers, 
that the Greek dragoman was defrauding us by charging 
us more for the mules than we had agreed to pay for 
them. I threatened to expose him unless the proper 
charge were made. He got into a violent passion, and, 
dismounting, came close to me and levelled a large 
pistol, which he habitually carried in his belt, at my 
head. It fortunately hung fire, and I had time to 
ward off a second attempt, which might have ended 
fatally. Demetri was made to apologise, and I accepted 
the apology ; but it would have been better had he been 
immediately dismissed from the service of Lord Eastnor, 
who, some years after, was exposed to serious danger from 
a similar outburst of passion on his part. 

I remember being struck with the fact that the huge, 
fat, overfed cats, which I saw in the convents, were shorn 
of their tails. On asking for an explanation of it, I was 
informed by the monks that as their meals were served 
to them on trays placed, Turkish fashion, on low stools, 
round which squatted those who ate, the cats, who 
were constant guests at dinner and breakfast, were 
in the habit of sweeping off the viands and the wine- 
glasses with their tails, which were consequently docked. 


From Mount Athos we sailed for the Gulf of Adramyti, 
landed on the Island of Mytilene, and visited its two 
great natural harbours, explored the fine and extensive 
Greek ruins of Assos, and ultimately reached Smyrna, 
where I left Lord Eastnor and returned by steamer to 
Constantinople, after a most [delightful cruise and a tour 
full of interest and enjoyment. 

During the winter of 1843-44 I passed most of my time 
at the Embassy working for Sir Stratford Canning and 
obtaining political information for him, corresponding with 
the Morning Chronicle, and continuing my studies in the 
Turkish, Hebrew, and Chaldean languages. 

I was anxious to promote the establishment of schools 
amongst the indigent Christian and Jewish populations 
of the Turkish capital a matter in which Lady Canning 
took a very lively interest. We were able to open some 
schools in the poorest quarters of the city, and eventually 
one was founded for the education of children of the better 
classes without distinction of faith, it being meant for 
Christians and Mohammedans alike. To conduct it Lady 
Canning obtained the services of two ladies from England, 
the Misses Walsh, who managed the establishment very 
creditably and successfully, and devoted themselves to 
the work. Later on, the Sultan generously presented Sir 
Stratford Canning with a large house in the main street 
of Pera, which belonged to the Turkish Government or 
to the Imperial domain, and to which this school, previously 
existing in a bad and inconvenient locality, was transferred. 
In it the children of many of the English engineers, who 
were then employed in the Turkish Arsenal and elsewhere, 
as well as those of Ionian and Maltese families and of 
Greeks and Armenians, received a fairly good education. 
This school still exists, and is now managed by English 
residents in Constantinople. 

At that time the only schools in Constantinople where 


children could obtain anything like a European education 
were under the direction of the Jesuits, and of the 
American Missionaries. The former, who succeeded in 
making many converts, principally among the Armenians, 
were under the protection of the French Government, and 
were used by it for political purposes and to spread the 
influence and promote the interests of France. The latter, 
who had no political objects in view, and who did not 
profess to make converts to the Protestant faith, although 
the instruction they gave often led indirectly to that 
result, were a most zealous, devoted, and learned body 
of men. They had spread themselves over the greater 
part of the Ottoman Empire in Europe and Asia, and 
in parts of Persia especially in the provinces occupied 
by the Nestorians and everywhere opened schools for the 
instruction of the native Christians. I was intimately 
acquainted with many of them, in Constantinople and 
elsewhere in Turkey, and received much kindness from 
them. After long struggling against the opposition and 
persecution they incurred, chiefly from the Christians, and 
notably from the Greek and Armenian clergy, who were 
jealous of their influence and hostile to the spread of 
knowledge amongst those whom it was their interest 
to maintain in complete ignorance, the labours of the 
American Missionaries were rewarded by no inconsiderable 
success. To them may be attributed in a great measure 
the movements which have since taken place in European 
Turkey, and in Armenia, in favour of national independence 
and against the rule of the Turks. Most of the leaders 
of the Bulgarians in their struggle against the Porte were 
educated in the American College, known from its founder 
as " The Robert College," a vast and commodious edifice, 
situated near the village of Bebek, and commanding one 
of the most beautiful and extensive views over the 
Bosphorus and its shores. There they acquired their 


knowledge of the institutions, laws, and customs of civilised 
countries, and those principles of political freedom which 
they sought to carry out in the rising against the Turkish 
rule, which led, many years after the time of which I 
am writing, to the independence of the Bulgarian race. 

Another important result of the endeavours of the 
American Missionaries to establish schools amongst the 
native Christians was that, whilst it excited the jealousy 
and hostility of the Greek and Armenian clergy, it 
compelled them to make efforts to spread education 
amongst their own flocks, and so to prevent their having 
recourse to the teaching of foreigners, who were looked 
upon as heretics, and who were accused of the design 
of making converts to the Protestant faith. Nothing has 
contributed more to the improvement of the Christian 
races throughout the Ottoman Empire in an educational, 
and perhaps a political, point of view, than these early 
efforts of the American Missionaries to open schools and 
to disseminate knowledge amongst those populations by 
means of translations of standard works of all kinds, and by 
teaching the elements of science in their various establish- 
ments. They were amply supplied with money from 
the United States chiefly, I believe, through the Board 
of Foreign Missions. Braving the climate, and the persecu- 
tion and ill-treatment to which they were not infrequently 
subjected, they established themselves in the most re- 
mote and least frequented parts of the Turkish Empire, 
where they lived with their families not forgetting the 
comforts of their native land, especially rocking-chairs 
and pumpkin- pie. I frequently, in the course of my 
wanderings, partook of their hospitality, and always received 
a warm welcome from them. Several whom I knew 
fell victims to their devotion, and to the hardships, exposure, 
and vexations to which they were subjected. 

Although Sir Stratford Canning was doing his best to 


obtain for me permanent diplomatic employment, Lord 
Aberdeen, although holding out some hopes, was still 
obdurate, and would not even give me the appointment 
of unpaid attache to the Embassy. I had, therefore, to 
pass the winter in a state of uncertainty and expectancy 
which weighed considerably upon my spirits, and was only 
alleviated by the extreme kindness of the Ambassador and 
Lady Canning. I was more than once on the point of 
abandoning all hope of entering the diplomatic profession, 
and of leaving Constantinople, but they encouraged me to 
persevere. I would even willingly at that time have 
accepted a Consulate, or even Vice-Consulate, in the East, 
so much attached had I become to the independence and 
freedom of Oriental life. I was, indeed, not without hopes 
that the Foreign Office might have been persuaded to 
name a Vice-Consul to Shushter with a view to develop 
British trade in that rich and fertile Province of Persia, and 
to open the navigation of the river Karun, questions in 
which I took a very lively interest. I considered that I 
had special qualifications for such an appointment from 
my acquaintance with the country and with the most 
influential inhabitants of Shushter, and with the chiefs of 
the neighbouring Arab, Lur, and Baktiyari tribes. Had 
such an appointment been offered to me, I should probably 
have accepted it, and my subsequent career would have 
been very different from what it eventually proved to be ; 
but I might have been of some use in making known the 
resources of a country then unexplored, and in promoting 
the influence and interests of England. Moreover, the 
adventurous life amongst the wild inhabitants of Khuzistan 
would have been to my taste, and I should have had 
opportunities of pursuing my archaeological researches in a 
region abounding in ancient remains and rich in historical 

The spring of 1844 came, and I was still without definite 


employment, and very sick at heart from continued dis- 
appointment and hopes deferred. My means, too, were very 
restricted, and scarcely sufficient for me to live even with 
the greatest economy. I had given up the correspondence 
with the Morning Chronicle, as my friends were of opinion 
that my connection with the Press, if known at the Foreign 
Office, would stand in the way of my prospects of obtaining 
a diplomatic appointment. The work I did in the Chancery, 
and for Sir Stratford Canning, who continued to employ 
me in confidential and delicate negotiations with the 
Turkish Ministers, and in various other ways, was without 

In the early spring of 1844 a serious rising against 
the Turkish rule had taken place in Northern Albania. 
Rumours reached Constantinople of shocking cruelties to 
which the Christians in that part of European Turkey had 
been subjected by the Albanian rebels, who, it was 
reported, had defeated the Ottoman troops in repeated 
engagements, and had succeeded in driving the Ottoman 
authorities out of the Province. Sir Stratford Canning 
was desirous of ascertaining the real state of affairs in the 
revolted districts, and proposed to me to visit them and to 
report to him fully on the subject. He undertook to pay 
my expenses, and he further believed that, if I performed 
my mission to his satisfaction, and furnished him with in- 
formation which might prove of value to the British 
Government, I should have an additional claim upon the 
Foreign Office for permanent employment. 

I joyfully agreed to his proposal, glad to return again 
to active life, and to find occupation which would distract 
my thoughts from dwelling continually upon the apparent 
hopelessness of my position. I left Constantinople on the 
ist May for Salonica by one of the small steamers belong- 
ing to the Austrian Lloyds' Company, which traded with 
that port. 


My ride from Salonica to Monastir was a perilous one, 
owing to the unsettled state of the country, the roads being 
infested with brigands, who plundered caravans and carried 
off travellers for ransom, or murdered them for their 
property. The Turkish authorities furnished me with 
guards ; but they were little to be depended upon, being, 
for the most part, themselves robbers, and the Dirband 
Aggassis, as the guards who were stationed to guard the 
mountain defiles were called, being in league with the 
brigand chiefs. However, I accomplished my journey in 
safety. At Monastir I lodged in the house of the Greek 
Bishop, where I spent two or three weeks, and had an 
opportunity of learning something about Greek ecclesiastical 
life. I was not very favourably impressed with the morals 
or manners of the priests and dignitaries of the Greek 
Church. For the most part they led, very openly, dissolute 
lives, were wretchedly ignorant, thoroughly corrupt, and 
given to the grossest superstition. 

At that time the question between the Bulgarians and 
the Greek (Ecumenical Patriarch, which subsequently gave 
rise to a grave schism in the Greek Church, and which has 
led to serious consequences, had recently taken an acute 
form. It arose in this wise. The Christian population of 
the Province of Rumelia, of which Monastir was then the 
capital, and of the country between the Balkans and the 
Danube (with the exception of Servia), was composed of 
Bulgarians, but as they professed the Greek faith, and 
recognised the Greek Patriarch as their religious head, 
they were generally known as Greeks. They, indeed, 
affected to be Greeks, as the name of " Bulgarian " was 
held to be one of reproach and contempt. Their Bishops 
and Clergy were appointed by the (Ecumenical Patriarch, 
who selected for all the ecclesiastical dignities and offices 
Greek priests who were entirely ignorant of the Bulgarian 
language, which was the one exclusively spoken by their 


flocks. This state of things caused great dissatisfaction to 
the Bulgarians, who demanded that these appointments 
should be given to men of their own race, with whom they 
could communicate, and who were acquainted with their 
habits and customs. The Greek Patriarchate, however, 
refused to consent to this very just and reasonable demand, 
and persisted in imposing Greek ecclesiastics upon the 

The Greek Bishops were, moreover, for the most part, 
more tyrannical, grasping, and corrupt, than even the 
Turkish officials, and it was more difficult for the un- 
fortunate Christians to escape from them than from their 
Mohammedan oppressors. The Porte left to them the 
entire administration of 'the affairs of the Christian com- 
munities over which they presided, and did not interfere so 
long as the Kharag or poll-tax, and other Imperial 
taxes, were paid ; and even these, after being apportioned 
by the Turkish authorities, were frequently collected by 
the Bishop and his Council. The tithes and taxes required 
for the maintenance of the Church, the Clergy, such schools 
as existed, and for charitable and other objects connected 
with the Christian community, were also raised by the 
Bishop, who had, moreover, jurisdiction in all ecclesiastical 
questions, over marriage, disposition of property, and all 
other matters relating to those affairs of the Christian 
populations which did not come within the Turkish or 
Mussulman law. He had every means of extorting money 
from those who were thus placed under his jurisdiction, 
and he generally availed himself of them pretty freely. I 
have often heard Christians say that, whilst they were able 
to deceive the Turkish authorities and to evade the 
payment of the Imperial taxes, it was impossible to escape 
from the Bishop, who, through the priests and his other 
agents, was intimately acquainted with their affairs, and 
knew how to wring the last para out of them. 

1 845] DERVISH CZAR 127 

Omar Pasha, a renegade Croatian Christian, who 
became famous during the Crimean War, was in command 
of a small army corps, which had been sent against the 
Albanian insurgents. He was marching upon Uscup, which 
they had then invested. I joined him, and accompanied 
him in his expedition, living with him, and consequently 
seeing much of him. I was struck by his ability and by 
his great superiority over the Turkish officers of rank whom 
I had previously met, and, foreseeing that he would dis- 
tinguish himself if an opportunity was offered to him, I 
strongly recommended him to Sir Stratford Canning, 
who contributed much towards his promotion and to his 
subsequent employment in important commands. 

The insurgents, who were of the Great Northern 
Albanian tribe of the Gheghas, were led by one Dervish 
Czar, a petty chief, who had placed himself at the head of 
the insurrection. They had taken up arms to resist the 
conscription, which was now being enforced in most parts 
of the Ottoman Empire, and the introduction into their 
country of the Tanzimat, or constitutional reforms, 
which had been promulgated at Constantinople, and which 
were opposed in many respects to their ancient rights and 
privileges. The Gheghas were a wild and warlike clan, 
who had hitherto maintained in their mountains a kind 
of semi - independence, the Porte being rarely able to 
establish its authority over them. They were well-armed 
and brave, but without discipline, and when they ventured 
into the plains were unable to withstand even a small 
body of the Turkish regular troops furnished with artillery, 
in which the Albanians were entirely deficient. 

Dervish Czar, with his followers, who were said to 
number between ten and fifteen thousand men, had 
descended from the mountains, in the district of Dibra, 
into the fertile plains watered by the Vardar; had occupied 
a large number of villages mostly inhabited by Christians; and 


had extorted large sums of money from them, besides driving 
off the cattle and flocks of the inhabitants. It was reported 
that the insurgents had committed great atrocities upon the 
Christians, and stories had reached Constantinople of men, 
women, and children roasted alive, and subjected to other 
horrible tortures. As usual, these reports were greatly 
exaggerated, if not altogether unfounded. From what I 
could learn, the Christian villages had been robbed and 
plundered, and in some instances, when refusing to give up 
their money or to disclose where it was concealed, 
subjected to ill-treatment. But I was unable to verify 
any of the shocking stories of outrages to women and 
children which had reached Pera, and had been con- 
sequently circulated by the European Press, although I had 
opportunities of seeing and questioning a large number of 
persons who would have had personal knowledge of them 
had they been actually committed. 

When Omar Pasha advanced towards Uscup, all the 
low country, with the exception of the towns in which 
there were Turkish garrisons, was in the hands of the 
Gheghas. But Dervish Czar and his followers retreated 
before the Turkish troops to the mountains above Dibra. 
Thence they sent emissaries to open communication with 
Omar Pasha, with a view to coming to terms and stopping 
his further advance into their country. He accordingly 
encamped between Koprili and Uscup, and entered into 
negotiations with the insurgents, which, however, ended in 
nothing, as he refused to listen to their demands to be 
exempted from the conscription, and they required 
guarantees for the fulfilment of his promises, which he was 
unable to give. 

In order to make a last attempt to come to an arrange- 
ment and to avoid bloodshed, Omar Pasha proposed to me 
to see Dervish Czar, and to endeavour to induce him to 
accept the conditions which had been offered to him. In 


those days the influence of England was great in the East, 
and the word of an Englishman was accepted by even the 
wildest tribes, as a pledge which would never be violated. 
The Turkish Commander believed that the insurgents 
would be willing to lay down their arms and submit, if I 
gave my personal assurance to them that the conditions 
he offered would be fulfilled, and that their lives and 
property would be respected. 

I was willing to accept the mission proposed to me, 
as I was not without sympathy for these brave and in- 
dependent mountaineers who had good reason to fear and 
mistrust the Turks, and I was desirous of doing all that 
might be in my power to avoid bloodshed. Omar Pasha 
was to give me an escort as far as the outposts of the 
Albanians at the foot of the mountains. Thence I was 
to make my way as I best could to the headquarters of 
the insurgent chief. I was accompanied by a tried and 
trustworthy cawass, himself of Albanian origin, in the 
service of the British Embassy, who declared that he was 
ready to follow me wherever I might go. 

I accordingly left Omar Pasha's camp early in the 
morning, and after a ride of about two hours across the 
plain, we perceived a group of Albanians on a rising 
ground. My escort refused to accompany me any further, 
stating that they had received orders to return as soon 
as the first outpost of the insurgents was in sight, so as 
to avoid a conflict. The officer with his Bashi-bazouks 
then turned back. I rode on, followed by my faithful 
attendant, who, in view of the fact that a Turk falling 
into the hands of the Gheghas would have but little chance 
of escaping with his life, showed considerable courage. 

As we approached the Albanians, I could see them 
levelling their long guns at us, as if with the intention of 
firing upon us. I made signs that I wished to com- 
municate with them, and as I wore the European dress, 


with a cap with gold lace, which then distinguished the 
Consul in the East, they allowed me to approach. I found 
assembled a wild and savage set of fellows wearing the 
long, dirty fustanella> or linen skirt, descending to the 
knees, and the shaggy white coat which, together with a 
long gun and the belt carrying inlaid pistols and dagger, 
formed the costume of the Ghegha tribes. 

They seemed at first disinclined to allow me to com- 
municate with them evidently mistrustful of the cazuass, 
whom they took for a Turkish soldier. I managed, 
however, to explain to them that I wished to see Dervish 
Czar, with whom I had business of importance to transact. 
After some discussion, in which I was fortunately helped 
by my attendant, who spoke Albanian, they allowed me to 
proceed, informing me that their chief was in the 
mountains at some distance, and warning me that there 
were guards posted in all directions, who, ignorant of my 
object and character, and seeing me accompanied by 
a person in Turkish uniform, might fire upon me before 
I could have time to explain. They at last consented 
to send one of their number with me as a guide, and to 
protect me in case of accidents. 

We rode over very rough and broken ground for several 
hours, armed men constantly springing up from behind 
the rocks, or from gullies by the side of our path, and 
fixing me with their guns. Fortunately the presence of 
the Albanian guide prevented them from firing, and, after 
having learnt who I was and where I was going, they 
allowed me to proceed. 

In the afternoon I reached Dervish Czar's headquarters. 
I found him with a large number of followers in a forest, 
without any other shelter than the wide-spreading oak 
trees beneath which they were assembled. A more savage 
and truculent, and, at the same time, a more picturesque 
set of fellows could not be well imagined. They crowded 


round me, eager to learn the object of my mission, and 
eyeing with angry looks my cawass, whose Turkish dress 
excited their suspicions and anger. Their chief was only 
distinguished from his men by a richly embroidered jacket 
and waistcoat such as the Gheghas wear, and by his arms, 
which were elaborately inlaid with silver. He was accom- 
panied by several chiefs, who, like himself, were covered 
with gold embroidery. 

He received me civilly and courteously ; for, although 
an ignorant man, of no rank amongst his people, who by 
his courage and influence had taken the lead in the rising 
against the Turkish Government, he had, like his country- 
men in general, dignified manners and striking self- 
possession. Finding that I had not breakfasted, he ordered 
a meal, which consisted of black bread and some boiled 
rice all that his camp afforded to be provided for me. 
After I had eaten, I retired with him and one or two of the 
chiefs to a distance from the crowd of warriors who had 
gathered round us, and, seated on the grass beneath an oak, 
proceeded to discuss the business upon which I had been 

After having stated the numerous complaints that the 
Gheghas had against the Porte, Dervish Czar declared that 
they were resolved not to receive any Turkish officials in 
their mountains, nor to submit to the new laws of the 
Tanzimat, nor to furnish conscripts to the Nizam, or 
regular army. In all other respects they were ready 
to obey the Padishah^ of whom they were the faithful and 
devoted subjects, and to furnish him with any number of 
irregular troops under their own chiefs that he might 
require. If their terms were not accepted, they were de- 
termined, he said, to fight to the last, and to defend their 
almost inaccessible mountains against the troops of the 

I represented to them that it was impossible for the 

i 3 2 MISSION TO ALBANIA [1843- 

Turkish Commander to listen to these terms, and that, 
if they persisted in demanding them, their country would 
be invaded and subdued by the Sultan's armies, and that 
they would be compelled to submit to such terms as the 
Porte might then think fit to impose upon them. I then 
stated to them the conditions which I had been authorised 
by Omar Pasha to propose to them, which were fair and 
reasonable enough, and urged them to accept them to 
prevent bloodshed, and, what they most dreaded, the 
complete subjugation of their country, and the destruction 
of what remained to them of their ancient independence. 

After many arguments and much discussion, they agreed 
to accept all the terms offered by Omar Pasha except that 
relating to the conscription. Upon this point they were 
not to be moved. They declared that to give conscripts 
to the regular army, to be drilled and clothed according to 
the European fashion, was opposed to their religion, their 
traditions, and their tribal habits. They were ready to 
serve as irregulars, as they had always been, but they 
would never consent to be enrolled in the regular army. 
They declared that they would resist to the last rather 
than give way. 

Night was now approaching, and large platters filled 
with boiled rice mixed with scarce bits of meat were 
brought to the chiefs, which, with a little black bread, 
formed their simple meal. When it became dark, pre- 
parations were made for a dance. We moved to an open 
space in the forest where the warriors had assembled. 
Several hundreds of them then joined hands and began to 
move round in measured steps to the sound of drums and 
a kind of rude and shrill oboe, stamping their feet and 
swinging their joined hands to and fro. It was a kind of 
" Romaica," or Pyrrhic dance. 

A vast crowd of men surrounded the dancers, many 
of them holding torches made of pine- wood, which threw a 

i8 4 5l THE ALBANIAN CAMP 133 

lurid glare over the performers, others brandishing their 
arms and raising warlike cries. The white fustanellas of 
the Albanians, their glittering arms, their savage counte- 
nances lit up by the red uncertain light, the gloom of the 
forest beyond and the starlit sky above, formed a wild and 
picturesque scene never to be forgotten. 

After the dance had continued for nearly two hours, 
the circle being constantly recruited by fresh dancers to 
replace those who were tired or wished to withdraw, the 
assembly broke up, and the warriors, scattering themselves 
in the surrounding forest, laid themselves down for the 
night. I followed the example of the chiefs, and stretched 
myself under an oak, wrapped in my cloak. I soon fell 
asleep, and slept well, although the night was bitterly cold. 

I was roused at dawn by a general movement in the 
rude camp. The Gheghas were preparing for the day and 
buckling on their arms, which they had taken off during the 
night. I observed that very few performed their devotions, 
as good Mussulmans are required to do on rising in the 
morning, although a mulla had intoned the usual call to 
prayers at daybreak. But the Albanians, although pro- 
fessing to be good Mohammedans, are very lax in the 
performance of their religious duties, and are neither 
fanatical nor intolerant to those who differ from them in 

Immediately after we had risen, my conversation of the 
previous night with Dervish Czar and the other chiefs was 
renewed, and the same arguments repeated, but with the 
same result. They were willing to give way upon every 
point except the conscription. On this subject they were 
not to be moved. Finding that it was useless to press the 
matter any further, I remonstrated with them upon their 
treatment of the Christians, referring to the reports which 
had reached Constantinople of the cruelties to which they 
had been subjected. The chiefs indignantly protested 

i 3 4 MISSION TO ALBANIA [1843- 

that there was no truth in these reports, which, they main- 
tained, had been invented by their enemies, the Turks, to 
damage their cause, and to set European nations against 
them. They declared that, with the exception of raising 
the taxes, to which, as occupying the country, they con- 
sidered themselves entitled, and which they had collected 
from all classes and creeds alike, they had in no way inter- 
fered with the Christians, who were their brothers, and had 
not been in any way molested in consequence of their 
faith. I was inclined to believe that what they stated was 
true, as in those days Mussulmans and Christians lived in 
such friendly relations in Albania that in the mixed villages 
they could scarcely be distinguished from each other, and 
intermarriages, husband and wife retaining their respective 
religions, were by no means rare. However, I exacted a 
solemn promise from the chiefs that they would protect 
the Christians and not suffer them to be molested or 

My mission to Dervish Czar having thus proved un- 
successful, I returned to Omar Pasha, to whom I gave an 
account of what had occurred. I dined with him, and 
retired early to rest in a small tent which he had assigned 
to me near his own. In the middle of the night I was 
awoke by the report of firearms, and by the bugle-call to 
arms resounding in the camp. Fortunately, Omar Pasha 
had not neglected, as Turkish Commanders usually did, 
to take the necessary precautions to meet a night attack, 
and the pickets had given timely notice of the approach of 
the enemy. His dispositions were soon made. His troops 
formed a square enclosing our small encampment, at the 
angles of which he had placed his artillery. The attack 
soon became general on all sides. The Albanians vastly 
outnumbered the Turks ; but, ill-armed and without 
discipline, they failed to make any impression upon 
regular troops, and were beaten back whenever they 


attempted to charge the square, which they did with 
great courage and determination, throwing themselves 
upon the bayonets, and discharging their long guns and 
pistols almost in the faces of the Turkish soldiers. 

Dawn beginning to appear, the Albanians, repulsed in 
every attempt to break the square, retired to their 
mountain stronghold. I had been by the side of Omar 
Pasha during the struggle. He had no misgivings as to 
the result, having perfect reliance upon his troops, which 
was justified by the discipline and calm courage they 
displayed during the attack. Like others who have had 
the command of Turkish soldiers, he maintained that they 
were the finest troops in the world, and only required to 
be properly led to achieve anything. His losses were 
small, those of the enemy very considerable, and the 
ground round our encampment was strewed with the dead 
and wounded. 

As soon as the necessary preparations were completed, 
Omar Pasha resumed his march, and late in the afternoon 
reached Uscup, which was held by a Turkish garrison, and 
had been fortified so as to resist any attack that the 
Albanians might make upon it. 

I remained a few days at Uscup, and then accompanied 
the Pasha to Prisrend and Pristina, which were also 
garrisoned by Turkish troops. After the failure of their 
attempt to surprise the Turkish camp and their disastrous 
repulse, the insurgents had again opened negotiations 
with Omar Pasha. These negotiations were mainly carried 
on through influential Albanian chiefs and mullas who 
resided in those towns. As they dragged on, and I had 
nothing to do with them, I returned to Uscup, where I 
could obtain better information as to the state of affairs 
in Albania, as it was the capital of the province in which 
the Ghegha insurrection had taken place. I lodged in a 
respectable Christian house, and had thus an opportunity 


of hearing any complaints that the Christians might have 
to make, and of interceding in their behalf with the 
Turkish Governor of the place, when their complaints 
were well founded. I rarely failed in obtaining redress 
and proper protection for them, as the Pasha knew that 
I was in correspondence with Sir Stratford Canning, and 
a representation to the Porte from the English Ambassador 
would inevitably lead to the dismissal and punishment of 
an official who had neglected his duty or misconducted 

The Governor of Uscup was a dignified Turk of the old 
school. Not a bad man, and of an honest, kindly dis- 
position, but an adept in all the arts and wiles which 
characterised Turkish policy and diplomacy. I was in the 
habit of going to him at his breakfast time to learn the news 
of the day, and especially to ascertain what progress the 
negotiations with the Albanian insurgents were making. 
One morning I found him in unusually good spirits. When 
I was about to take my leave of him, he begged me to stop, 
"for," said he, "the principal Ghegha chiefs have agreed 
to submit to the Government, and I have given them a 
safe conduct to come to Uscup to arrange as to the terms 
of surrender. I expect them every minute, and as they 
are all men of influence with their tribe, and the principal 
promoters of the insurrection, their submission will put an 
end to it." 

I accordingly resumed my seat and my pipe (in those 
days the grateful jessamine, or cherrystick, was still in use, 
and the choicest tobacco was procurable for a few paras 
throughout European Turkey). After a short time a 
discharge of firearms was heard, which marked the 
approach of the Ghegha chiefs and their attendants. In 
the meanwhile the Pasha had given orders that the gates 
of the fort, in which was his Serai, or Palace, should be 
closed, and that only the chiefs, after depositing their 


arms, should be admitted, their followers having to remain 

To these conditions the chiefs for some time refused to 
comply, suspecting treachery ; but after some negotiation, 
and reassured by the promise of safe-conduct from the 
Pasha, which was solemnly repeated to them by a mulla 
sent by him for the purpose, they consented to give up 
their arms, and to leave their followers outside the gate. 
They were ushered into the Governor's presence, and 
invited by him to be seated. They were twelve or fourteen 
stalwart, truculent-looking fellows, with a bold independent 
gait, very different from the cringing demeanour which 
was usually assumed in Turkey by those who were per- 
mitted to approach so great a man. They were served 
with the usual coffee and pipes, and the Pasha then 
addressed them in a set speech, extolling the infinite 
clemency and goodness of the Sultan and the heinousness 
of the crime of rebellion against him. 

He had scarcely got to the end of his discourse when, 
upon a preconcerted signal which he gave, a number of 
armed men caw asses and soldiers rushed into the room 
and seized the Ghegha chiefs, who were without means 
of defence. They were hurried out of the room, and, 
after having been bound hand and foot, were consigned 
to prison until nightfall, when, placed on mules, they were 
sent off under a strong guard to Constantinople. 

During this scene the Pasha sat with an unperturbed 
countenance, smoking the pipe which rarely left his lips 
as if nothing extraordinary had happened. I was sitting 
near him, and was lost in astonishment, and beyond 
measure indignant at this gross act of treachery. After 
wishing him good-morning, and showing him by my 
manner and countenance what my feelings were, I left 
the Serai not to return to it. The next day I left 
Uscup for Monastir. 


Similar violations of the most solemn pledges, and of 
safe-conducts given by Turkish officials have been so 
frequent and so notorious, that it was surprising that the 
Albanian chiefs should have been deceived and have 
been entrapped as they were. The successful treachery 
of the Pasha of Uscup had, however, the effect of putting 
an end to the rebellion. Dervish Czar, without the 
support of the most influential insurgent leaders who 
had thus been made prisoners, and deserted by his 
followers, soon after surrendered. In the following year, 
as I was one day riding from Pera to Buyukdere, I 
passed a gang of convicts in chains engaged in mending 
the road. One of them approached me, and holding out 
his hand, asked me to give him someflaras to buy tobacco. 
I thought I recognised his countenance. The convict was 
Dervish Czar, the leader of the Gheghas in their unsuccessful 
rebellion. I exchanged a few words with him, gave him 
the tutoon paras (tobacco money) for which he had asked, 
and then passed on. I never saw him afterwards, and am 
ignorant of his fate. 

After passing some very agreeable days at Ochrida, I 
returned to Monastir, and, taking post-horses, rode to 
Salonica, whence I embarked for Constantinople, where 
I arrived soon after the middle of July. 

On my return to Constantinople I was invited by Sir 
Stratford Canning to take up my residence with him 
at Buyukdere". I was very pleasantly and comfortably 
lodged in a small kiosk, overlooking the Bosphorus, in a 
garden adjoining the Embassy house. As I now worked 
regularly in the Chancery, and performed all the duties of 
an attache*, besides being constantly employed in confi- 
dential and delicate political business by the Ambassador, 
he considered it right that I should receive some remunera- 
tion for my services, and accordingly allotted to me a 
small periodical payment out of a fund at his disposal. 


Had it not been for the uncertainty of my position, 
my life was at this time a very delightful and enjoyable 

Frequently of an afternoon I took long rides with 
Sir Stratford through the forest of Belgrade, with its 
fine trees, grassy glades, and enchanting views over the 
Bosphorus and Black Sea. During these rides the 
Ambassador would dwell upon his long and varied ex- 
perience of the diplomatic service, and would describe his 
missions to different countries Switzerland, the United 
States, Spain and Russia and the remarkable historical 
events of which he had been a witness, and in most of 
which he had taken a prominent part, during his embassies 
to successive Sultans. We discoursed on politics in 
general, and especially on the foreign policy of England in 
relation to the European Powers. He would refer to his 
own experience of English political life, and his connection 
with his eminent cousin, George Canning, of whom he was 
fond of relating anecdotes, and of whom he was justly 
proud. We talked of art and literature, and especially of 
poetry, of which he was very fond, employing his leisure 
hours in writing verses. These rides were as instructive 
and useful to me as they were pleasant and healthful. 

Sir Stratford had the bad habit of working very 
late at night. He retired to his study soon after 
dinner, which was usually served very late, as he in- 
variably kept his guests waiting for an hour at least, and 
we rarely sat down to table before nine o'clock or half-past. 
He then read and wrote despatches and letters, and 
transacted the business of the Embassy until long after 
daylight, sometimes until even six or seven o'clock in the 
morning. Before retiring to bed, he would by way of 
relaxation, and in order to compose himself for sleep, take 
out a MS. poem from a drawer, and read me a canto 
of an epic poem he had composed upon King Alfred. 


This was a great trial to me, his usual victim, and it 
was with no little difficulty that, after the labours of the 
night, I could keep my eyes open and pay any attention 
to his verses. He did not rise till late in the day. His 
unfortunate attaches frequently never went to bed at all, 
but, after taking a bath in the Bosphorus and a nap 
on a divan, would go about their day's work or amuse- 
ment. But it was principally Count Pisani and I who 
remained in attendance on His Excellency during these 
long and weary nights. The poor Count seemed actually 
to live in the Chancery in the midst of despatches and 
papers, of which he was the most trustworthy and jealous 
guardian, and in which his whole existence, all his pleasure 
and hopes, seemed to be concentrated. 1 

Sir Stratford Canning was very proud of his poetry, 
and fond of reading it or reciting it to his attaches, who 
were bound to listen and to admire. He probably 
doubted the sincerity of their approval and praise, and on 
one occasion exposed me to a rather unfair test on the 
subject. He put into my hands a copy of verses, which 
he said had been written by a somewhat enthusiastic 
and romantic lady, who was his daughter's governess, 
and asked me to read them, and tell him what I thought 
of them. They described, in very bombastic and inflated 
language, the passage of a locomotive, belching forth 
fire and smoke, through a tunnel. I returned them to 
the Ambassador, observing that they appeared to me 
exceedingly ridiculous, and that, in my opinion, the 
authoress would do well to occupy her time otherwise 
than in writing poetry. 

1 He served the British Government well and zealously for above 
sixty years, without other reward than his very meagre salary, and 
was retired by the Foreign Office with a well-earned pension when I 
was Ambassador at Constantinople. A more simple-minded, trust- 
worthy, and honest creature never lived. 

i8 4 5J LORD COWLEY 141 

Sir Stratford burst out into a fit of laughter, admitted 
that the verses were his own, and good-naturedly re- 
marked that for the first time he had listened to an inde- 
pendent and conscientious criticism. I considered that 
he had played rather an unfair trick upon me ; but it had 
no evil result he was too fair and just a man to be 
offended by the truthful expression of an opinion. 

In the summer of 1844 the Honourable Mr Wellesley l 
(afterwards Lord Cowley) arrived at Constantinople as 
Secretary of the Embassy. He was accompanied by 
his wife and family. It was generally reported that 
the Government at home, being anxious with regard 
to the policy pursued by Sir Stratford Canning, and 
suspicious that his high-handed proceedings might get 
them into difficulties especially with Russia had sent 
out Mr Wellesley as a check upon him. This report, of 
course, reached the Ambassador, who was consequently 
exceedingly jealous and suspicious of the new Secretary, 
declined to communicate with him on public affairs, and 
almost went so far as to forbid him access to the Chancery, 
where he might see the despatches that passed between the 
Foreign Office and the Ambassador, and other documents 
relating to political affairs. This unfortunate state of affairs 
interfered with that cordial understanding and confidence 
which had hitherto existed between the members of the 
Embassy and their chief, and led, occasionally, to some 
misunderstanding between them. It did not prevent me, 
however, from forming a friendship with Mr and Mrs 
Wellesley, which has lasted throughout my life. They 
have been amongst my kindest, truest and dearest friends. 
He became subsequently Charge a" Affaires and Minister 
at the Porte, when Sir Stratford Canning went to England 
on leave, and, as Lord Cowley, represented his country and 

Second Baron, first Earl Cowley (1804-1884). Ambassador Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to France, 1852-1867. 


worthily upheld her dignity, her honour and her interests, 
as the Queen's Ambassador at Paris during many critical 
years. He was truly an upright, honourable, straight- 
forward Englishman, and a perfect gentleman. Although 
he was eminently successful as a diplomatist, he was never 
accused of having recourse to any of the tricks, subtleties 
and deceits, which are popularly believed to be necessary 
in the craft. 

In the month of September I was invited by the Baron 
de Behr, the Belgian Minister at the Porte, to accompany 
him on an exploring trip he had planned along the shores 
of the Sea of Marmora and in the Archipelago. The 
Baron was a very eccentric and choleric individual, but 
a man of considerable learning an archaeologist and 
numismatist. He had quarrelled with nearly all his diplo- 
matic colleagues in consequence of the violence of his 
temper, which led him to commit many undignified and 
reprehensible acts, causing them just offence. But I had 
kept on good terms with him, and as we had congenial 
pursuits, especially in matters connected with archaeology 
and ancient history and geography, I was in the habit of 
spending a good deal of my time with him. One of his 
eccentricities consisted in an exaggerated hatred of all 
noises, especially the barking of dogs or the crowing of 
cocks, during the night or whilst he was engaged in his 
studies. He was so exasperated when thus disturbed 
that he would seize a gun which he always kept ready 
near him, and deliberately shoot the beast or the bird 
that had been guilty of the annoyance. He thus shot a 
favourite poodle belonging to Mr Wellesley, who lived 
next door to him, which led to a quarrel between them, 
and further embittered his relations with his colleagues. 

His scheme was to coast along the Asiatic shores of 
the Sea of Marmora, to land wherever we could see traces 
of ruins, and to endeavour to identify the sites of several 

1845] BARON DE BEHR 143 

ancient cities mentioned by the Greek and Roman 
geographers. These shores had not then been explored 
with this object, and I took a great interest in questions 
connected with ancient history and geography. The 
Baron proved an agreeable and instructive companion, 
and nothing occurred to mar the pleasure of our trip 
except an occasional explosion of rage against some 
petty Turkish official who did not receive him with the 
respect and consideration he considered due to his rank 
and diplomatic position, or against the captain of the 
small Greek brig in which we had embarked, whom we 
once detected retracing by night what he had done during 
the day ; as he was paid by the day, and we had a certain 
distance to go, this was not unnatural on the part of a Greek. 
Baron de Behr subsequently published an account of 
some of our discoveries, with speculations and theories of 
his own on Hellenic myths and traditions, which, although 
ingenious enough, would not stand the test of modern 
scientific criticism. Our days and evenings were pleasantly 
passed in discussing these matters, and we had many 
delightful walks amongst the ancient sites. We explored in 
the midst of the beautiful scenery of the Asiatic coasts of 
the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles. I visited Cyzicus 
with him, and spent some days in examining the ruins 
and the surrounding country, ascending again Mount 
Dindymum to determine, if possible, the site of the temple 
of Cybele, renowned in ancient Greek times. The pre- 
Hellenic settlements of the Phoenicians on these shores was 
a subject which much interested us both, and we thought 
we could trace in the ancient name of the Peninsula near 
which Cyzicus is situated, Artake, retained in that of the 
modern village of Ardak, two Semitic or Phcenician words, 
Ar Dag, " the city of the fish," a conjecture which appeared 
to be confirmed by the fact that a fish is represented on 
its early coins. 


In the month of December I was sent by Sir Stratford 
Canning, in company with Lieutenant Collingwood Dickson, 
to settle a question which had arisen between the Mudir, or 
Turkish Governor, of Rodosto, and a British subject, a 
native of the Ionian Islands. We availed ourselves of the 
opportunity to visit a farm in the neighbourhood, which had 
been purchased by Captain Fenwick Williams, Sir Baldwin 
Walker (then an admiral in the Turkish service), and Mr 
Charles Hanson, a leading British merchant in Constanti- 
nople: a speculation which ended ill, like most such specula- 
tions then did in Turkey. We spent two or three days in 
a kind of tower, the only building on the property which 
afforded any kind of protection. The col was intense, and 
our food of the most meagre and poorest kind. Although 
the ground was covered with snow, and the weather more 
than usually severe, even for the exposed and barren 
plains of Thrace, we determined to visit Adrianople. We 
rode there on post-horses in about fourteen hours, arriving 
late at night. We went at once to the British Consulate, 
relying upon the hospitality of the Consul, Mr Kerr, who 
was my personal friend. We found that he was dying, 
and not expected to survive until the following day. 
Under these circumstances we had to put up at the khan 
which served as a post-house, and I shall never forget our 
sufferings from cold during that night, which, starved and 
without having eaten during the day, we had to pass 
without sleep or food. On the following day we visited 
the principal monuments and sights of the city, and then 
rode back to the farm whence we had started. 

By the end of the year I was again at Buyukdere" 
with the Cannings. Early in January they moved to 
Pera, and I accompanied them. Sir Stratford con- 
tinued to employ me on special duties, such as the 
investigation and settlement of certain claims of the 
British Government on the Porte, known as "the Tripoli 


claims," and other public matters. I lived almost en- 
tirely with Mr Alison. He was in every respect a 
most delightful and entertaining companion, and, as we 
had the same tastes and pursuits, we agreed very well 
together. His perfect knowledge of the Turkish language 
and character were of great use in our frequent walks in 
Stamboul and our excursions in the neighbourhood of the 
city. Many were the adventures we had together, some 
amusing, some not without risk and danger. One of these 
adventures may be worth relating. 

We were in the habit of going on Friday afternoons to 
the " Sweet Waters of Asia " to look at the gay and 
picturesque groups of Turkish women, who assembled 
there on that day in spring, and, seated on the grass with 
their children, enjoyed a kind of picnic, smoking their 
narguilh, drinking sherbet, and eating sweetmeats. We 
were returning from one of these excursions in Mr 
Alison's caique, which was rowed by three of the 
most stalwart and skilful Turkish caiquijis on the 
Bosphorus, when we perceived some ladies in very bright- 
coloured ferigis? evidently of high rank, standing on the 
marble steps of an imperial kiosk, built on the water's 
edge, and about to enter an eight-oared boat. We stopped 
for a time to observe them. One, who was the most 
richly dressed of the party, stepped into the caique followed 
by the others, who were evidently her attendants, and, 
seeing that we were looking at her, cautiously lowered her 
veil, and showed her face, which appeared to us, from the 
glimpse we obtained of it, surpassingly lovely, and made a 
sign which we interpreted as an invitation to follow her. 

Accordingly, when her caique left the stairs of the 
kiosk, we directed our boatmen to keep as near to it 
as they prudently could. As it had a larger number 

1 A kind of cloak worn by Turkish women when they leave their 



of rowers than ours, we had some difficulty in keeping 
up with it, especially as our caiquijis were evidently un- 
willing to continue the pursuit, and did not row their best. 
When we came to the spot where the Golden Horn 
meets the two streams one coming from the " Sweet 
Waters," the other from the direction of the sacred suburb 
of Ayoub the lady's caique turned into the latter. We 
were about to follow, when our caique struck against 
something, and a dead body rose to the surface of the 
water close to us. 

Our boatmen now threw down their oars, and refused 
to go any further. The appearance of the corpse was 
an evil omen, warning them, they said, against taking 
any part in an adventure, which might have grave con- 
sequences both to us and to them. The ladies, they 
declared, belonged evidently to the harem of a person 
of high rank, and if we were caught by the police, or 
were seen following them, we might incur the greatest 
possible danger. As they could not be persuaded to con- 
tinue the chase, we had to return home much disappointed. 
The following morning a Turkish woman, closely veiled, 
called at Mr Alison's house, when I chanced to be there, 
and requested to speak with him. Having assured herself 
that no one except ourselves was present or could hear 
what she had to say, she told us that she had been sent 
by the lady, whom we had seen and followed on the 
previous day, to invite us to visit her. She refused to 
disclose the name of her mistress or to say who she was. 
If, she said, we would go to a garden wicket in a street 
in the Ayoub quarter which she described, at a certain 
hour on the following day, we would be admitted and 
the lady would receive us. She then left us. 

Although the adventure was not without peril, and 
it was even possible that a trap might be laid for us, 
we determined to run the risk. The following day we 


accordingly went to Ayoub at the appointed hour. We 
had no difficulty in finding the wicket the messenger had 
described, in a narrow, solitary street in an out-of-the 
way part of the quarter. The gate was at once opened 
by a woman, and we entered it, apparently unobserved. 
She led us across a garden to a large kiosk of old Turkish 
architecture, with broad, overhanging eaves. We were 
ushered into a large hall, the walls and ceiling of which 
were sumptuously and most exquisitely decorated with 
gilding and painted ornaments in the Oriental style, whilst 
the ceiling was inlaid with pieces of looking-glass, which 
produced a rich and lovely effect. Such in those days, 
before Turkish taste was corrupted by European influence, 
were the decorations seen in the palaces of the Ottoman 
nobles. On a very low divan at the further end of this 
hall was seated a lady, whom we recognised at once as 
the one we had seen at the " Sweet Waters." We had not 
been deceived by the glimpse she had allowed us to 
obtain of her face, when she furtively lowered her veil 
as she stepped into her boat. She was young and 
singularly beautiful, with the large almond-shaped eyes, 
the delicate and regular features, and the clear, brilliant 
complexion, somewhat too pale perhaps for perfect 
beauty, peculiar to Turkish women of mixed Circassian 
descent. She was splendidly clad in the dress then worn 
by wealthy Turkish ladies, before it was rendered vulgar 
and unbecoming by the introduction of French fashions. 
Round about her stood a number of girls, all richly clad, 
and for the most part exceedingly pretty, who were 
evidently her attendants. 

She invited us to be seated on the divan beside her, 
and entered at once into conversation. She asked 
numerous questions upon all manner of subjects, politics 
included, said that she knew who we were, and that, seeing 
that we had observed her at the " Sweet Waters," she had 


resolved to make our acquaintance, but that she had 
been imprudent in inviting us to follow her, and was 
glad that we turned back when we did. She then ordered 
nargUiUS) coffee and sweetmeats to be brought, which 
were handed to us by some of her damsels, she herself 
partaking of them with us. 

We were soon engaged in a very lively discourse. 
The ladies were delighted with Alison, who spoke their 
language perfectly, and laughed uproariously at his jokes 
and anecdotes. No one knew better how to entertain 
and amuse Orientals than he did. 

After we had talked for some time, the lady directed 
some of her attendants to play on the usual Turkish 
instruments, and others to dance, which they did very grace- 
fully. But the dance soon degenerated into a kind of 
romp in which all the girls took part pelting each other 
with comfits, and tumbling over each other on the floor 
and divans amidst shouts of laughter, to the great amuse- 
ment of their mistress, who encouraged them in their 
somewhat boisterous play. 

After we had passed nearly two hours very agreeably 
with our fascinating hostess and her ladies, we thought 
it time to withdraw. When we took leave of her, she 
made us promise that we would repeat our visit, telling 
us that she would send the same messenger as she had 
already employed to communicate with us, to let us 
know when she would receive us. We were taken through 
the garden to the same wicket by which we had been 
admitted, and issued, by the small street into which it 
opened, into the main thoroughfare of Ayoub. In those 
days this sacred quarter of the Turkish capital, which 
contains the tombs of the first Mussulman martyrs who 
fell before Constantinople, was rarely visited by Europeans, 
who were exposed in it to insult and molestation from 
its fanatical inhabitants, chiefly Mullas and Softas, or 


students of the religious law. We were glad, therefore, 
to escape from it unobserved, and to regain our caique, 
which we had left at some distance in the Golden Horn. 

The lady, whose acquaintance we had thus made, had 
given us no clue as to who she might be ; nor would the 
attendant who admitted us to the garden answer any 
questions on the subject. She was evidently of high rank, 
from her distinguished manners, the richness of her dress, 
and the luxury in which she lived. Our curiosity was 
greatly excited, and we determined to satisfy it. With 
this object we sent for an old Italian woman, generally 
known as " La Guiseppina," with whom we were well 
acquainted, and who kept a small hotel in Pera. She 
had access to most Turkish harems, and was much em- 
ployed by Turkish ladies in executing commissions for 

We informed her of our adventure, and described the 
lady and the house in which she had received us. " La 
Guiseppina " undertook to discover our mysterious beauty 
and to communicate with her, and to return with the 
information we required before the end of the day. Ac- 
cording to her promise she reappeared after a few hours, 
but with a face pale with terror. The lady, she declared, 
belonged to the Palace, and was, she had reason to believe, 
a sister of the Sultan. She implored us not to persist 
in the adventure, or to meet the lady again under any 
circumstances. If we were found with her, our lives would 
unquestionably, she said, be forfeited, and even if a suspi- 
cion arose that we had visited her, the consequences to us 
might be most serious. 

We were quite ready to follow the advice of "La 
Guiseppina," as the scandal of an exposure to say nothing 
of the danger we might run would have been very great, 
especially in the case of Alison who held a high diplomatic 
post. We, therefore, determined not to repeat our visit 

i 5 o MISSION TO ALBANIA [1843-4$ 

to our lovely friend. She continued for some time to 
send her messenger to reproach us for not having fulfilled 
our promise to see her again, and to appoint a time for 
meeting her. But we persisted in our resolution not to 
expose her or ourselves to further risk. 

This Princess for the lady was, no doubt, the Sultan's 
sister subsequently made herself notorious by not wearing 
a yashmak, or veil, and by throwing off many of the re- 
straints placed upon Turkish women, and especially upon 
members of the Imperial family and harem, who were not 
then permitted to appear in public without precautions 
being taken to prevent any man from approaching them, 
and to maintain for them the strictest privacy. She was 
accustomed to appear at the "Sweet Waters" and other 
places of public resort without concealing her features, 
and even to mix with the crowd. Europeans were led 
to believe that the Princess was " a strong-minded " person 
who was seeking to reform the condition of women in 
Turkey, and who was herself setting an example of 
freedom and independence of the restraints placed upon 
her sex which would soon be followed by others. But 
the Mussulmans were much scandalised by proceedings 
contrary to their religion and their customs, and the 
Sultan was soon compelled to interfere to put an end 
to them. The Princess was ordered not to appear any 
more in public, and, when it was necessary for her to do 
so, to wear the thickest of yashmaks. She disappeared 
from the scene, her vagaries were soon forgotten, and I do 
not know what became of her. 



LADY CANNING and her three daughters had left Con- 
stantinople for England at the beginning of the summer 
of 1845, and Sir Stratford had received permission from 
the Secretary of State to return home on leave of absence, 
and had determined to avail himself of it, as soon as he 
considered that the state of political affairs would permit 
him to be away from his post. There were some important 
questions still pending, such as the obtaining of the Sultan's 
firman authorising the erection of a Protestant Church at 
Jerusalem, which he was anxious to settle before going 
home, and in the negotiations for which I was much con- 
cerned. The firman was obtained in September, and the 
successful issue of the negotiation added much to the 
credit and reputation of the Ambassador, especially in 
religious circles in England. The concession had been 
resolutely opposed by the French and Russian Embassies, 
which used all their influence, and had recourse to every 
intrigue, to prevent its being given. Sir Stratford was 
consequently highly pleased with the triumph he had 

In the meanwhile I was still kept waiting for my 
promised attache"ship. Sir Stratford felt convinced that, 
when he had an opportunity of communicating personally 
on the subject with Lord Aberdeen, the difficulties which 



still stood in the way of my appointment would be re- 
moved. But the time of his departure for England was 
uncertain, and he might still be delayed until the winter at 
Constantinople. 1 I had never given up the hope of re- 
turning on some future day to Mesopotamia and exploring 
the ruins of Nineveh, which I had visited on two occasions 
with so much interest, and which had so greatly excited 
my imagination. The success of M. Botta's labours at 
Khorsabad had added to my desire to make researches and 
excavations in the mounds of Nimroud and in others 
which, I felt convinced, covered monuments of great 
antiquity and importance. He had written to me regularly, 
giving me an account of his discoveries, and, as I have 
already said, had generously allowed me to see the letters 
and reports which he had sent to France through M. de 
Cadalvene, his friend and agent. M. Flandin, the 
draughtsman who had been sent by the French Govern- 
ment to make drawings of the monuments of Khorsabad, 
had returned to France, and on his way through Con- 
stantinople had permitted me to examine his admirable 
representations of the Assyrian sculptures. M. Botta 
himself, having brought the excavations at Khorsabad to a 
close, had left Mosul, and was on his way home through 

As Sir Stratford Canning might leave Constantinople 
any day, I was not desirous of remaining there after his 
departure, and I was anxious to find some means of 
spending my time profitably, until he had been able, after 
his return to England, to obtain for me from Lord 
Aberdeen the permanent appointment in the Constanti- 
nople Embassy, of which he had the promise. I, therefore, 
suggested to him that I might proceed to Mosul and 
continue the excavations in the Assyrian ruins, which M. 
Botta had now abandoned. I was confident that there 
1 He did not, after all, go to England until the following summer. 


were other mounds on the supposed site of Nineveh, such as 
Nimroud and Kouyunjik, which M. Botta had not explored, 
but which, if adequately examined, would yield no less 
important archaeological treasures than those discovered 
by him at Khorsabad. 

Sir Stratford not only agreed to my proposal, but 
offered to share in the expenses which would be incurred 
in making tentative excavations in the mounds I had 
indicated. I was able to contribute a small sum from my 
own resources, which, added to the sixty pounds he was 
ready to advance, would, if employed with the strictest 
economy, meet the expenses of my journey to Mosul, and 
of experimental researches amongst the ruins. I was 
persuaded that, if the results proved such as I expected 
them to be, funds for carrying on the explorations on an 
adequate scale would be forthcoming in England, where 
M. Botta's discoveries had already created considerable 

As I did not consider it prudent to start upon my 
journey through Asia Minor to Mosul until the hot weather 
was over, I did not leave Constantinople until early in 
October. I employed the interval in taking lessons in sur- 
veying and mapping, and in learning to make a few simple 
astronomical observations to enable me to determine lati- 
tudes, etc., from an Englishman in the Turkish service. I 
spent a good deal of time on the heights around Con- 
stantinople with my instructor, learning the use of the 
theodolite and other instruments, to enable me to make 
plans and surveys of any ruins that I might discover, 
and of the many remains on the banks of the Tigris, 
which were believed to represent the site of Nineveh. 
I required very little preparation for my journey. My 
personal effects were as limited as possible, consisting 
of a little linen, a change of clothes, and a few books and 
maps and instruments, which would be necessary to me 


in my researches. To avoid expense, I did not take a 
servant with me, but determined to travel alone by post. 
This was a very economical mode of travelling, when 
the number of horses was limited, and when the traveller 
was furnished with a proper bouyourouldi or government 
order for post-horses. As I was not accompanied by a 
tatar, three horses were all that I required, one for myself, 
one for my baggage and coverlet for sleeping, and one for 
the surejee or post-boy. 

I left Constantinople by an Austrian Lloyds' steamer 
for Samsoun. I dined with the British Vice-Consul, Mr 
Stevens, with whom I had been previously acquainted, 
having ordered the post-horses to be ready in the evening, 
as I was determined to lose no time in commencing my 
overland journey. Mr Stevens and Mr Holmes (after- 
wards Sir William Holmes, who many years after rendered 
good service as the British Consul-General in Bosnia), who 
happened to be staying with him, offered to accompany me 
as far as Amasia, merely for the sake of the ride. We 
accordingly left Samsoun after dark on the I4th October, 
and, urging our horses to the utmost of their speed, 
galloped over every bit of level ground, and scrambled as 
we best could through the dense forests which clothe the 
mountains that border the Black Sea. The post-stations 
at which we changed our horses were about eighteen miles 
six hours according to Turkish post-time from each 
other, and as my baggage was of the lightest possible 
description, we were able to make good progress. We 
reached our destination about ten o'clock in the morning, 
having travelled about sixty miles. 

We stopped at the house of a Swiss merchant, who, 
with his wife, received us very hospitably. We were able 
to obtain a little rest and some food, of which we were in 
much need. My companions, who were not accustomed to 
so much rough travelling as I, had suffered considerably 


from their long ride, and were scarcely able to sit in their 
saddles by the time that we arrived at Amasia. They 
decided, therefore, to remain there for a couple of days, and 
to return leisurely to Samsoun. I determined to lose no 
time, and, having ordered the post-horses to be ready in 
the afternoon, I slept for a few hours, visited the tombs of 
the ancient Kings of Pontus, and then resumed my journey. 
Although I was quite alone, and a part of the country which 
I traversed was in a very disordered and dangerous state, 
and overrun by brigands and plundering Kurds and Arabs, 
I met with no adventures, but reached Mosul in safety on 
the morning of the 2/th October, having performed the 
journey of about 900 miles by the post-track in a little 
more than twelve days, and none the worse for my arduous 
journey, although the rain had fallen during the greater 
part of it, and I was usually wet to the skin. I was very 
kindly received by our Vice-Consul, Mr Christian Rassam, 
in whose house I remained until I had hired a residence 
for myself in its immediate vicinity. 

I have, in my " Nineveh and its Remains," published 
so full an account of the excavations carried on amongst 
the Assyrian ruins, and of my residence at Mosul, and 
journeys in the desert and Kurdistan during the years 
1845, '46, and '47, that I have nothing to add to it here. 
Some few additional details and particulars which I may 
have omitted will be found in letters written at the time to 
my mother, which are amongst my papers, and to Mr and 
Mrs Austen and other persons, if they have been preserved. 

It was generally believed in England that the expenses of 
my first journey to Mosul, and of the excavations previous 
to the grant made by the British Museum for continuing 
my researches of which I did not avail myself until the 
month of October 1846 were entirely borne by Sir 
Stratford Canning. Such was not the case. He con- 
tributed, as I have already mentioned, 60 towards them, 


when I left Constantinople on my expedition, 1 and he may 
subsequently have advanced some small sums (all of which 
were repaid to him out of the grant). I received, moreover, 
;ioo a year out of public funds at his disposal as a re- 
muneration for my services in the Embassy. But the 
greater part of those expenses were met from my slender 
means, and by borrowing from my mother, who most 
generously advanced to me out of her very small income 
the little she could spare, in order to enable me to con- 
tinue my work. I subsequently discharged my debt 
to her. I received no remuneration for my labours. 
The sum that was allowed me for personal expenses was 
entirely spent in carrying on the excavations, and it was 
not until my return to England after my second expedition 
to Nineveh, in 1852, that I was repaid by the Trustees of 
the British Museum the money that I had advanced out 
of my own pocket. 

The firman which Sir Stratford had obtained for me 
from the Sultan, to enable me to make excavations, and to 
remove, and send to England, the sculptures I might 
discover, was in my name. Consequently I might have 
claimed all that I found in the ruins as my own property. 
I made over my claims to the British Museum and the 
nation. In justice to myself these facts should be placed 
on record. 

\The following are extracts from the correspondence above 
alluded to. EDITOR.] 

To his Mother. 

MOSUL, ^rd November 1845. 
You will perceive that I have not been long on the 

1 See "Nineveh and its Remains," ch. ix. p. 225, abridged edition of 


road between Constantinople and this place. I left 
Samsoun on the night of the 1 3th, and arrived here on the 
morning of the 27th. ... I have not yet commenced 
work, but intend doing so in three or four days. I have 
every reason to hope that I shall be to a certain degree 
successful. But M. Botta's great discovery 1 makes one 
despair a little. . . . The weather is now delightful, and 
will probably continue so through the winter, as there is 
little real cold here. The houses, however, are not at all 
calculated to keep out the little there is, and the intense 
heat of summer causes the cold weather to be felt more 
severely. The mountains of Kurdistan and Jebel Judi, 
the Ararat of the Armenians and of all the Easterns 
which are visible from the terrace, are already covered with 
snow, and the autumn showers have already induced the 
parched mounds of Nineveh to show a little green. I have 
a delightful terrace overlooking the whole town and 
country, from which I can look down and spy into the 
most secret doings of my neighbours. I have already had 
several requests to keep from this commanding position, 
but have replied to the petitions that the husbands must 
trust to my discretion. 

Last night I was invited to a grand Chaldean wedding, 
and held a wax taper as thick as my arm until I was fairly 
tired out, and my ears completely deafened with the din of 
cymbals, and the screeching of the women. During the 
ceremony they sound what the Arabs call the Hellel, and 
the Baktiyari the Kel a most detestably shrill quaver, 
which no one could attribute to a human soul, but which 
excites the men in war, and is particularly patronised on 
festive occasions. Add to this the clatter of tom-toms and 
the nasal twang of two dozen priests, and you have some 
idea of a Chaldean wedding. The ceremony is, moreover, 
extremely tedious ; the bride's clothes are blessed, her ring, 
the seat she is to occupy in the house, the furniture, etc., 
etc. The blessing on the couple takes a good half-hour. 
The Almighty is requested to give her fine eyes, eyebrows 
meeting over the nose, good teeth, etc., no particular being 
omitted. These are the Catholic Chaldean forms. The 
ladies marry very young ; in this case the bride was 
scarcely ten years old. 

The Pasha had been very civil to me. He is about the 

1 Sculpture in the Mound of Khorsabad, about fourteen miles 
N.N.E. of Mosul. 


ugliest old gentleman I have had the pleasure of knowing 
in my wanderings, with one eye and one ear, and most 
intensely marked with the smallpox. In character he is 
an improved edition of Nero, and has committed atrocities 
very pleasant to relate. A month or two ago he caused a 
report to be spread that he had died during the night, and 
his own servants answered enquiries at the palace to that 
effect. He re-appeared in perfect health about mid-day, 
had half the town thrown into prison, and compelled the 
remainder to collect all their ready cash for his use, as a 
punishment for spreading reports tending to shake his 
authority. Having occasion to speak of another report a 
day or two since, he mentioned the circumstance to me in 
his own way. I could scarcely retain my countenance, and 
he was particularly desirous of learning the cause of my 
mirth. He has given the coup-de-grdce to a place already 
half ruined by his predecessors. . . . 

To his Aunt, Mrs Austen. 

NIMROUD, loth November 1845. 

You will probably not before have heard of the 
miserable village from which I am writing to you, which 
still bears the name of the " mighty hunter," and which 
stands near the ruins of what tradition declares to be his 
peculiar city. Whatever the old may have been, the new 
Nimroud is a very wretched place, and I can scarcely find 
the courage to write you even these few lines ; for my 
hovel is almost roofless, has more windows than wall, and 
is the place of resort of all the idle people Mussulmans 
and unbelievers in the neighbourhood. However, I must 
tell you that I came down here five days ago, and im- 
mediately began excavating in the great mound which 
forms the nucleus of the ruins. 

I have been hitherto sufficiently fortunate to find several 
chambers of white marble covered with cuneiform inscrip- 
tions ; as yet no figures ; but, from fragments discovered in 
the rubbish, I ha^ve no doubt they will come ; at any rate, I 
shall have a very rich collection of inscriptions. 

The ruins called Nimroud are situated near the Tigris, 
about 1 8 miles from Mosul. They consist entirely of 
artificial mounds, and are very extensive. The great 
mound into which I am digging is about 1800 feet in 


length, 900 in breadth, and 60 or 70 in height. It appears 
to be one great palace, principally built of marble, which 
has been plundered, destroyed as far as possible by fire, 
and has remained ever since under the accumulated dust of 
ages. I believe the city to be Resen, mentioned in Genesis x. 
12, as between Nineveh and Calah, a great city, built by 
Ashur. And it is curious that tradition still assigns to it 
this origin ; the Arabs around calling the great mound 
the palace of Asur or Athur. This city was probably after- 
wards known as Larissa, and under that name mentioned 
by Xenophon. . . . Near the mounds is a village called 
Darouseh, or Darius, and the Arabs pretend that in it 
Darius slept the night before the great battle which 
decided the fate of his empire, and his own. This country 
is full of interesting traditions, and I hope to make out 
many curious particulars. 

Before coming here, I resided ten days at Mosul, which 
place is still my headquarters. The town is less Frankified 
than other towns of the East, and has the Oriental character 
in its purity. It is, moreover, the resort of a great variety 
of people, differing in race and creed, and as much in 
costume. There is constant intrigue, and the Pasha still 
enjoys the good old power of cutting off the heads and 
ears and noses of those who are at all in his way. Ladies, 
too fond of roaming, are occasionally sent floating to 
Baghdad. No Arabian Night hero could have been a more 
appropriate Governor than our Pasha. On his arrival here 
a year ago, he installed himself by strangling the three 
principal men of the town upon principle, and appropriated 
their cash and tangible property. Since then he has not 
forgotten his subjects. A few days ago, having plundered 
an Arab tribe of their sheep, he sold all that could be sold, 
and the remainder, a mangy set which no one would even 
accept, he endeavoured to force upon the corporation of 
butchers at the highest market prices. This respectable 
body immediately took to flight, and the town has since 
been without meat. The assurance of the Pasha, that he 
will hang them all up at their own doors when he catches 
them, does not lead to a very lively hope of their return. 
The Cadi is even a greater scamp than the Pasha, with, 
unfortunately, a more promising outward appearance. He 
is the declared enemy of all Europeans, and indeed of the 
whole race of Giaours. 

The Mussulman population is chiefly composed of 
Arabs, Kurds, and renegade Christians. The real Mosuli 


is the offspring of a renegade Christian and a Yezidi, or 
Devil- worshipper. A happy mixture ! The Christians are 
Syrian Jacobites, Catholic Jacobites, Chaldeans, Catholic 
Chaldeans, and Nestorians. In this Babel I have a 
respectable establishment, indeed a house bordering upon 
the splendid, with double courtyards, rooms of sculptured 
marble, stable and back-door ; rent, one pound per month, 
six months paid in advance. I dine with our Consul, 1 a 
native of the place, married to an English wife, and receive 
visits chez mot. We have an Italian doctor in the place, 
and, with his assistance, get up a rubber of farthing-point- 
whist, which has already called down the vengeance of the 
Cadi, who declares that such gambling has never before 
been known at Mosul, is directly against Chapter V. of the 
Koran, and should be punished, in the case of an infidel, 
with the loss of the nose and both ears. 

The Mussulmans were formerly divided into many 
parties, always at open war. There is not a respectable 
man here whose father was not murdered. Fortunately, 
the present generation are too much afraid of the Pasha 
to think of their private quarrels. Such is the town in 
which I propose to pass the winter. There can be no 
doubt as to its Oriental character, and I hope to have some 
good stories to send you. 

To his Mother. 

SELAMIY, 29^ November 1845. 

Since I last wrote to you I have been employed like 
the veriest mole in grubbing up the earth, and with such 
success that, after having discovered several chambers built 
of slabs of white marble, I yesterday alighted upon 
sculptures resembling in character those of M. Botta's 
monument at Khorsabad. I have now no doubt that the 
whole mound of Nimroud, vast as it is, contains the ruins 
of one great palace, and that, if I am able to continue my 
excavations, I shall be richly rewarded. Unfortunately, 
that old rascal the fasha has taken it into his head to 
stop my operations to-day, and I must ride up to Mosul 
to-morrow morning to fight a battle, and, if he will not 
listen to reason, I presume I must remain inactive pending 

1 Mr Rassam, Vice-Consul. ED. 


a reference to Constantinople. I suppose he has got 
some ridiculous notions about treasure. Botta was twice 
exposed to this inconvenience, of the suspicions of the 
then Pasha. Nous verrons. 

The slabs I have uncovered, forming the side of a 
chamber, are pretty well preserved. One represents 
warriors fighting in chariots ; another, the siege of a city ; 
others, men on horseback ; all executed with much spirit. 
The inscriptions already discovered are exceedingly 
numerous, amounting fully to one hundred, and I have been, 
as you may suppose, fully occupied in copying these 
extraordinary specimens of penmanship. I need scarcely 
say that they are all in the cuneiform character, very long 
and very complicated. 

I am now living at a village two miles from the mounds 
for the convenience of a hut with a door, eggs and milk and 
bread, things unheard of in the wretched hamlet I first 
occupied. I ride every morning to the excavations, 
starting before sunrise, and not returning until after sun- 
set. My workmen are chiefly Nestorians, the remnant from 
the massacre, starving from want, and glad enough to find 
employment. Although we have occasional rain, the 
weather is delightful. In a month's time we shall have the 
grass and flowers out our spring. . . . 

MOSUL, ist December 1846. 

I finish my letter in haste from this. I am again 
resuming my excavation, and my horse is at the door 
waiting for me to start for Nimroud. I have just heard 
that my old friend Mr Hector, of Baghdad, has run up to 
pay me a visit, and that he is waiting for me at the mounds. 
His stay with me will be very agreeable, as it is some- 
what dull to be all alone. I hope soon to set to work in 
good earnest in digging and removing sculpture, and that 
some day you will have the pleasure of seeing some of the 
fruits of my labour in the British Museum or some other 
public place in England. You can scarcely form an idea 
of the perfection of the art, even in those remote days ; 
the warriors and horses are really beautifully executed. In 
digging into a small chamber, I found one or two small 
figures in ivory, amongst which was a sphinx which has 
puzzled me exceedingly. The whole building seems to 
have been pillaged and burnt, and nothing besides the 
slabs remains, except a few copper nails. 



To his Mother. 

NiMROUD, list February 1846. 

I am sure you will be glad to hear that my excavations 
are proving as successful as I could possibly have antici- 
pated. Every day brings fresh discoveries, and I am now 
anxiously waiting for instructions to begin on a large scale. 
The corner of the mound which I first opened appears to 
have been destroyed by fire ; the marble used in the 
building is much cracked, and, being almost on a level with 
the surface, is otherwise much damaged. But further in 
the mound the blocks begin to be perfect, and I have now 
many fine sculptures beautifully preserved. The first and 
damaged corner is, however, very interesting, as the build- 
ing appears to have been constructed with the remains of 
a more ancient edifice, and many of the marble slabs even 
those with sculptures are reversed in the walls. The 
figures represented have mostly pointed caps, and have 
other peculiarities in their costume. 

I have now found the king who constructed the build- 
ing of which the actual ruins are the remains. He is 
evidently of the same race as the kings who constructed 
the Palace of Khorsabad. At his feet, as a prisoner, is a 
figure with a pointed cap. The inference, therefore, is that 
the sculptures in the damaged corner belong to a more 
ancient period than Khorsabad, and they become con- 
sequently very interesting, and ought to be preserved. 
This, perhaps, may have been really the Palace of Sardana- 
palus, rebuilt under the second Assyrian Dynasty. How- 
ever, it is no use speculating at present ; as I work on, I 
hope for many interesting results, and we may ultimately 
be able to form some opinion. 

I am exceedingly busy with drawing and copying in- 
scriptions. There will be an immense number ; but a very 
small part of the mound is yet explored. I have just 
discovered two beautiful lions, but unfortunately they have 
lost their heads, which appear to have been human, like 
those of the two great bulls already uncovered ; also like 
them they have wings. The two lions form a gateway or 
entrance on the west. The bulls are in the centre of the 
mound, and without further excavation it is impossible to 
make out what their position and use in the building 
originally was. These extraordinary animals are sculptured 

i8si] RECREATIONS 163 

in very high relief upon a solid block of marble, 14 feet long 
and 1 6 or 17 feet high ! Unfortunately, the two I have now 
discovered are much damaged. Should I discover one 
sufficiently preserved to deserve removal, I shall have 
pretty work to move it. Those of Khorsabad, which were 
much smaller, could scarcely be dragged along by 500 men. 
Mechanical power in these countries is unknown. How the 
Assyrians moved these immense blocks, I cannot conceive. 
There are no marble quarries, that I know of, within seven 
or eight miles, and they must have had good ropes to stand 
the actual brute- force necessary to move such weights. 

The Palace of Nimroud must have been of considerable 
beauty. The chambers were of different levels, but, as far 
as I can make out, there could only have been one base- 
ment and no upper storey. The chambers, which are small 
and narrow, are constructed of slabs of marble about 9 or 
10 feet in height. Above the slabs are placed layers of 
painted bricks, of which I have found many specimens. 
Each slab has either a large figure, occupying the whole 
surface, or is divided horizontally by an inscription into two 
compartments, each of which contains a relief, the figures 
being from 2 to 3 feet in height. The walls appear to have 
been built of mud bricks which supported the slabs. 

I have left the village of Selamiyd in which I had 
hitherto resided, and am now living in a little mud hamlet 
near my mound. The weather is delightful, and I can go 
on in this until the heat of summer sets in, and I must then, 
if I remain here, build me a house on the mound itself. . . . 
I have two beautiful greyhounds of first-rate breed. I wish 
I could send them to you, for, with their feathery ears and 
tails, they are quite drawing-room dogs. They catch hares 
capitally, but are too young yet for gazelles. At Nimroud 
there are a great many boars. I spear them sometimes, but 
have no horse on which I can trust myself for this kind of 

Our new Pasha having adopted a conciliatory feeling 
towards the Arabs, the lands around Nimroud are now 
covered with their tents and flocks. They are very pic- 
turesque, but at the same time very troublesome neighbours, 
as they steal everything within their reach, for the mere 
love of pilfering, and are as mischievous as monkeys. I 
have just been to call upon the Sheikh of the principal 
tribe, and have given him a silk dress in the hope that it 
will induce him to keep his people a little in order, and will 
bring back such stray things as may reach his tents. 


To Mrs A usten. 

NIMROUD, 22nd March 1846. 

You are kind enough to ask me to write about myself; 
I fear, however, that my personal history would make but 
a very poor chapter. I am, at the same time, so com- 
pletely identified at the present with the object of my visit 
to Mosul, that I and your much-dreaded antiquarianisms 
are but one and the same thing. I live among my ruins, 
and dream of little else. For the time being, my hopes, 
fears and joys centre in them. You may therefore conceive 
that it is not easy for me to separate myself from them, 
even for an hour, when writing to you. 

Botta has just informed me that he gets 60,000 francs 
from his Government for his Khorsabad discovery. I have 
vague apparitions of 3000 gold pieces fleeting before my 
eyes, and for the first time in my life have become intent 
on the prospect of accumulating riches. But these happy 
visions are always backed by the hideous skeleton of 
Government generosity, and not much improved by the 
retrospection of time, health and labour thrown away upon 
empty pockets. ... I am still in ignorance of the inten- 
tions of the Government with regard to Nimroud, whether 
the excavations are to be carried on, or whether the field 
will be abandoned to the French. The discovery is so full 
of interest that it would be really a disgrace not to make 
the most of it. . . ..-. 

The life I am now leading is so monotonous that I 
really know not what to write to you. Fancy me in a mud 
hut in the centre of a deserted village, for my neighbours 
have wisely taken to their tents. I have no companions in 
misfortune, and am rapidly losing the little I once knew of 
the English language. From my door stretches a vast 
plain only interrupted by this great mound of Nimroud, 
now all clothed in green and thickly covered with black 
tents, and flocks and herds. Arabs and Kurds have en- 
camped on the pastures, and I am surrounded with a 
thoroughly primitive population, who profess the most 
liberal opinions upon community of goods. It is with 
great difficulty that I have just got rid of a highly respect- 
able Kurdish chieftain, who, after taking possession of my 
apartments for some days, on the plea of the most perfect 
friendship, finished by making a request for my razors and 


all disposable articles of dress. I had to prove to him that 
I had nothing worthy of his acceptance, and got him away 
on the promise of providing liberally for him when I next 
visited Mosul. 

I am off in a few days into the desert on a visit to 
Sofuk, the great Bedouin Sheikh, who is now encamped 
near the remarkable ruins of Al Hadhar (Hatra) to which 
I paid a hasty visit with Dr Ainsworth some years ago. 
As I wish to visit them, and at the same time to see Sofuk, 
the present is a good opportunity. I am anxious to get 
a good colt out of Sofuk, who has the finest horses in the 
desert. I have been getting up a silk coat for him, which 
would match Joseph's for diversity of colour and elegance 
of pattern. It cannot fail to take his fancy if he possesses 
any taste, and I am in hope of the result. I hope he will 
not take it into his head to make free with the whole of my 
property without adequate return. A certain amount of 
doubt exists on the subject. 1 

To his Mother. 

NiMROUD, 2ist April 1846. 

I began a letter to you from my tent amongst the ruins, 
in the midst of one of the most tremendous storms of 
wind and rain, thunder and lightning, that I have had the 
pleasure of witnessing, and in the full expectation that, 
before I get to the end of it, I, letter and all, will be buried 
beneath my canvas walls. If I get to the end of my 
epistle, you will know that I have escaped in safety. But 
I am fully reconciled to my fate, for we have all been pray- 
ing for the rahmet, or blessing, as the Turks usually term 
rain, night and day for the last two months, and were well- 
nigh in despair for the crops, a failure of which would have 
entailed a second year's famine. However, we may all eat, 
drink, and make merry now, unless perchance we have a 
second Deluge in this same land of Shinar. I particularly 
rejoice at the prospect of a roast gazelle to-morrow; for 
after such rain the gazelles fall easy prey to my grey- 
hounds. . . . 

I spent three or four days at Mosul after our return from 
the Al Hadhar expedition, and then hastened to Nimroud, 

1 This visit is described with much detail in "Nineveh and its 
Remains," pp. 65-74, of the Abridged Edition (1891). ED. 


where I was welcomed by two of the most magnificent 
specimens of Assyrian sculpture that could be well found 
above or under ground a pair of winged lions with 
human heads, about 12 or 13 feet high, and 10 long. I 
have been unable as yet to make a drawing of either of 
them, in consequence of the narrowness of my trenches, 
which I am now widening to get a satisfactory survey of 
my distinguished visitors, and I hope to be able by next 
post to send you a tracing of a drawing I shall attempt 
It would be difficult, however, to convey an idea of the 
imposing effect they make. They form an entrance into a 
temple, into which I am now going to dig, and which, I 
have already ascertained, is covered with sculptures. 

Nothing so beautiful as these lions was discovered by 
the French. Indeed, the sculptures at Nimroud far exceed 
those of Khorsabad in the richness and variety of the 
details. Ezekiel, who wrote from the Hebrew settlement 
on the banks of the Chebar either the Khabour of Meso- 
potamia, or the river of the same name that runs into the 
Tigris a little distance from Mosul appears continuously 
to have had the sculptures of the Assyrians or Chaldeans 
in his eye when he wrote his prophecies. I am much 
inclined to suspect that the figures of his vision 1 were 
suggested in some measure by them ; and those curious 
passages in the xxiiird chapter (verses 14 and 15) are exact 
descriptions of the bas-reliefs of Nimroud. 2 There are many 
other passages of the same kind in the Book. Ezekiel 
probably saw the Assyrio-Chaldean palaces in their glory 
before their destruction by the combined armies of Media 
and Babylon ; and from the remains which exist, one need 
not be surprised at the impression which their vastness and 
magnificence made upon him. The inhabitants of Assyria 
must at that time have exceeded all the nations of the 
earth in power, riches and luxury. Their knowledge of 
the Arts is surprising, and greatly superior to that of any 
contemporary nation. Their style I believe to be purely 
their own, and not Egyptian, as some would have it. There 
is as much difference between their sculptures and those of 
Egypt as exists between those of Assyria and Greece. The 

i Ezekiel, chapter i. 

a " For when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of 
the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion, girded with girdles upon 
their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them 
princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the 
land of their nativity," 


lions lastly discovered, for instance, are admirably drawn, 
and the muscles, bones, and veins quite true to nature, and 
portrayed with great spirit. There is also a great mouve- 
ment as the French well term it in the attitude of the 
animal, and "sa pose est parfaite" ; excuse the phrase ; we 
have no equivalent. The human head, too, is really grand. 
It is curious that the artist has given the animal five legs. 
He has done this in order that, whether you look at him in 
front or at the side, he may appear to have the proper 
number ; for although the figure is in relief, yet at the end 
of the slab it is in full. Between the legs are long inscrip- 
tions in the cuneiform character. 

I have been very busy lately with this strange character, 
and I am happy to say, not without results. For instance, 
I have got at the proper names, the names of cities (without 
being yet able to decipher them), the ends of words, etc. ; 
and with the assistance of the materials furnished by the 
joint stock of Major Rawlinson and myself, I hope very 
shortly to have the alphabet ; we have already many letters. 
Then for the language ; is it Chaldean, in the common 
acceptation of the term, and plain sailing ? Or is it some 
dialect, long forgotten, of one of the existing family of 
languages, and to be made out by persevering comparisons 
and research ? Or is it some unknown language, which will 
have to be reconstructed ? 

In my correspondence allusions will be found to an 
incident in which I was concerned during the time that I 
was at Mosul, and which threatened, at one time, serious 
consequences. 1 I did not refer to it in the published 
narrative of my first expedition to Nineveh for obvious 
reasons. The following are the circumstances of the case. 

Whilst I was excavating in the mound of Kouyunjik, I 
had to cross the Tigris twice a day on my way to and 
from the ruins. When the river was at its ordinary 
level, a bridge of boats enabled persons to pass over it, 
but when it was swollen by the floods caused by the spring 
rains in the Kurdish mountains, this bridge had to be 
removed, and a ferry was established between the town 
and the opposite bank. On one occasion, when the Tigris 
1 It was, I think, in the spring of 1846. 


was unusually high, and had overflowed its banks, I had 
remained so late at the mound that the ferrymen had left 
off their work, which could not be carried on after dark, 
and only one boat remained on the eastern side of the 
river. I reached it just as the boatmen were about to put 
off. Having engaged it, as I was in the habit of doing, 
for myself and my overseers and some of the workmen 
who accompanied me, I invited two Albanian irregulars 
who would otherwise have been unable to cross, and were 
anxious to do so, to join us, which they did, expressing 
their thanks for the assistance I thus gave them. 

We had already left the bank, but had not yet reached 
the stream, which flowed very rapidly, when I perceived in 
the distance a party of men on foot hurrying down to the 
river, evidently for the purpose of crossing to Mosul. 
Thinking that they were travellers, and that they would 
have to remain out for the night, unless I gave them a 
passage, I ordered the boatmen to return to the shore, and 
to wait for them. When they arrived, I found that the 
party consisted of the Cadi of Mosul and his attendants, 
who were coming from Nebbi Yunus, the so-called tomb 
of Jonas. I told him that I had engaged the boat, but 
offered to take him over. He eagerly accepted my offer 
and embarked with his people. 

The boats in use upon the Tigris are of the rudest 
construction. They have a pointed prow rising high 
out of the water, and a lofty poop upon which stands 
the man who steers, with a rudder in the shape of a 
long and heavy oar. By his side there is only sufficient 
space for one more person. In the body of the boat, 
which was deep, spacious, and usually very dirty, stood 
the passengers frequently crowded together with horses, 
donkeys and other beasts. The oarsmen sat on high 

I had taken my place, as was my custom, with the 


steersman on the narrow prow. The Cadi stood just 
beneath me. We were making the best of our way over 
the river, which was then fully half a mile broad, and in 
parts running with dangerous velocity, when he said in 
a loud voice, alluding to me, "Shall the dogs occupy 
the high places, whilst the true believers have to stand 
below ? " and then mumbled some curses on Christians in 

This gratuitous insult, and the ill return that the Cadi 
thus made for my civility to him, provoked me so much 
that I lost my temper, and dealt him a blow on his head 
with a short hooked stick, such as the Bedouin Arabs 
use when riding their camels, and which I always carried 
with me. As he wore a thick turban, I did not believe 
that the blow would have had much effect, and I was 
surprised to see the blood streaming down his face. His 
followers drew their arms, and an affray which might 
have ended seriously was about to occur, when the two 
Albanians to whom I had given a passage, and who were 
better armed, rushed to my protection. In the meanwhile, 
seeing that the Cadi's attendants were preparing to use 
their swords and pistols, I had jumped from the poop 
into the centre of the boat, and had seized him by the 
throat, threatening to throw him into the river, if they 
ventured to attack me. This menace and the interference 
of the Albanians and of my workmen, who were, however, 
unarmed, checked them, and I kept my hold upon the 
Cadi until we had reached the opposite bank. Then we 
all landed. 

The Cadi, with the blood still on his face, proceeded 
at once to the town, which was at a short distance from 
the landing-place, and rushed through the bazaars and 
streets, exclaiming that he had been assaulted and beaten 
by a Giaour an Infidel and that the Prophet and his 
faith had been insulted, in the person of the head of the. 


Mussulman religion and law. His bloody face and his 
appeals to the Mohammedans caused great commotion ; 
and an outbreak on their part, in which the Christians 
might have been ill-treated, and even massacred, was 

As I anticipated that the Cadi would endeavour to 
stir up the Mussulman population of the town against 
me, I proceeded, immediately after landing, to the serai 
or residence of the Pasha of the town, and related to him 
what had occurred. I then called upon him to take 
sufficient precautions for my safety, and warned him 
that he would be held responsible by the British Govern- 
ment, and by the Ambassador at Constantinople, for 
anything that might happen to me. 

Fortunately the Pasha had a feud with the Cadi, who 
was a notorious fanatic, and was constantly engaged in 
inciting the inhabitants of Mosul against the Turkish 
authorities making himself the leader of the opposition 
against the reforms which the Porte was seeking to intro- 
duce into the administration of the Province. He was 
not, therefore, disposed to take that worthy's part, but 
denounced him as an ill-conditioned fellow in no very 
complimentary terms, and declared that he had been 
rightly punished for the insult of which he had been 
guilty, not only to myself the Sultan's guest but to all 
His Majesty's Christian subjects who, by the Tanzimat, 
or Turkish Constitution, were now placed on a perfect 
equality with their Mohammedan fellow-citizens. He 
then summoned the chief of the police, and gave directions 
that measures should be at once taken to prevent any 
demonstration against me on the part of the Mussulman 
inhabitants of the town, and for my protection in the 
event of an outbreak. He begged me, however, not to 
return for the present to my house, but to remain in 
the serai, where he offered me a room until the excite- 

i8 5 i] FANATICAL PLOTS 171 

ment, which my castigation of the Cadi had caused, had 

I refused to comply with his request, and, mounting my 
horse, passed through the gate, and rode through the streets 
to my house followed by the two Albanian irregulars, who 
seemed determined to stick to me, and to see me safely 
through the affair. Although I observed angry and 
menacing looks on the part of some of the Mussulmans 
I met on my way, no attempt was made to molest me. 
As soon as I had reached my residence, I informed Mr 
Rassam, the Vice-Consul, of what had taken place. He 
lost no time in seeing the Pasha himself, and in urging 
upon him the importance of taking effective and im- 
mediate steps for my protection and for that of the 
Christians in general. 

I continued, notwithstanding the excitement which the 
affair had caused amongst the Mussulman population, to 
pursue my usual habits riding every day through the 
streets, and crossing the Tigris to the mound of Kouyunjik 
to superintend the excavations. The military and police 
measures, which the Pasha had taken to prevent any 
attack upon me, had proved effective ; but a fanatical 
party, under the influence and direction of the Cadi, were 
secretly devising plots against me, which might have 
ended in my assassination. Of these plots I got informa- 
tion in a curious way, and was thus able to denounce 
their authors to the Pasha, who arrested and imprisoned 
some of those principally concerned in them. I had, by 
a singular chance, made the acquaintance of the daughter 
of the Cadi himself, who came frequently to see me, not- 
withstanding the great risk she ran. As she knew all 
that was passing in her father's house, she kept me fully 
informed of what was going on against me. 

My life was, I believe, for some time in danger, so 
much so that Rawlinson, at the suggestion of the Pasha 


of Baghdad, ordered me to leave Mosul and to live with 
him until the matter had blown over. But I declined 
to do so, thinking it in every respect advisable for my 
future security to face the consequences of my act, and 
not to show any misgivings as to the power of the 
Turkish authorities to protect me. I, therefore, made no 
change in my usual habits, and as the Cadi was, on 
account of his arbitrary conduct and his notoriously 
corrupt character, very unpopular in the town, his de- 
nunciation of me had but little effect, and was soon 

A complaint was, I believe, addressed by the Porte 
to Sir Stratford Canning against me, but he took no notice 
of it. As he was, of course, unable to approve officially 
of what I had done, he directed Alison to tell me privately, 
that, although he considered that the Cadi had deserved 
the punishment I had inflicted upon him for insulting 
me and my faith, he hoped that I would be more cautious 
in future in not exposing myself to the fanaticism of the 
Mohammedans amongst whom I was living. 

To Mrs Austen. 

MOSUL, 2-jtkJuly 1846. 

.... I am happy to say that I have just packed up and 
embarked for Busrah, on their way to England, twelve 
cases of antiquities from Nimroud. I have been about 
twenty days occupied in effecting this, continually exposed 
to the most powerful sun, and to all the annoyance which 
the most intense stupidity and obstinacy could inflict. 
Remember that I have had to move immense blocks, 
some nearly 9 feet square and I foot thick, of the most 
fragile material covered with delicate sculpture; without 
even a rope capable of sustaining an ordinary weight, and 
without any machinery, and you may form some idea of the 
trouble I have had. These blocks have been sawn in 
various directions to reduce them to a transportable size, 


and have been removed to the river in carts which in 
England would scarcely be used for carrying a load of hay. 
I am happy to say that I have succeeded in sending them 
all off without the smallest accident ; but I felt so com- 
pletely exhausted after the termination of my labour that 
I am now spending a few days in Mosul to pick up a 
little. . . . 

As I advance further into the mound, the sculptures 
become more perfect in preservation, and superior in 
execution to those in the chambers on the edge of the 
building. I have another chamber opened, and God 
knows when the ramification of rooms and passages will 
stop. The discovery is already beginning to make a noise 
in Europe, and every post brings me letters from people 
wanting information and offering (scientific) assistance. I 
only hope that as much interest will be excited in England 
as on the Continent, and that the Government will not be 
able to back out of the matter. Mr Powers, the sculptor, 
has been kind enough to send me the fullest instructions 
for taking moulds and then casting. He did this very 
kindly without any application from me. I find ray papier 
mdche moulds so good that I shall adopt them as soon as 
I get to work. I have not yet seen any of the plaster casts 
taken from them, but Rawlinson, to whom I sent one or 
two of the moulds to make the experiment, writes me that 
they succeed admirably. 

The weather is so hot that for the next month I must 
give up hard work. The Arabs can hardly stand the 
digging, though accustomed to the climate, and I am com- 
pelled to release them for three hours during the middle of 
the day. It is no joke, I can assure you, to draw with the 
thermometer at 115, and even 117, in the shade. At Mosul 
I take refuge in the cellar, and have enough to occupy me 
during the day. I generally hunt every morning, leaving 
the town two hours before daybreak, and never return 
without a wild boar or two. I had a most desperate 
encounter two days ago, in which Mr Ross, my only fellow- 
countryman here, got very nearly "settled." His horse 
threw him upon being gored, and the boar, a most ferocious 
animal, was rushing upon him when stunned on the ground. 
I had but time to place myself between them, and received 
the animal upon my spear, which unfortunately struck him 
between the eyes and glanced off. He caught me on the 
sole of my boot, and then ripped my horse in the belly. 
He recovered himself and made a second charge, and 


although my spear entered above a foot into his shoulder, 
he succeeded in shaking it out and goring my horse a 
second time. He then " took up a position," charging 
furiously whenever I approached. We faced each other 
in this way for about half-an-hour, when at length he made 
a desperate plunge at me, leaping several feet from the 
ground. My horse, notwithstanding his wounds, stood 
admirably, and I received him upon my spear, which passed 
completely through his neck and laid him dead at my feet. 
This was the most desperate affray I have ever had in this 
country with the pigs. ... I find that the exercise and 
excitement keep me in good health. 

At Nimroud I have enough to do with my excavations. 
In the evening I receive the Arabs and others of the 
neighbourhood, hear complaints, and dispense justice ; for, 
you must know, I have a kind of Cadi's power down there. 
My judgments are never appealed against, and are generally 
executed with great promptitude and alacrity. I am sorry 
to say that the chief litigation arises from quarrels connected 
with the fair sex, who appear in the semi-civilised state to 
be the great fomenters of dissensions, and the principal 
source of violence and wrong. Cases of abduction occur 
very frequently, and it is a melancholy fact that scarcely a 
day passes without a Helen and Paris case. I visit such 
cases of misconduct with appropriate severity, and have 
raised the value of a respectable female to twenty sheep, 
which has produced a good effect, and placed a decided 
check on these enlevements. It is curious to see a Christian 
thus appealed to ; however, they find it cheaper, as they 
have neither to give a bribe or pay fees, which they would 
have to do, did they go to their own authorities. 

Things are going on far better than they were. In the 
place of the old Pasha with the one eye and one ear, described 
to you in a former letter, we have now a very venerable old 
gentleman, actuated by the best intentions, benevolent, and 
anxious to do all in his power to increase the happiness 
and prosperity of the people. Unfortunately, he has no 
money, and the Treasury of the Pashalik is an empty box. 
He paid me a visit some days ago at Nimroud, and although 

I have a great respect for him, I wished him at the , 

for, with his attendants and hangers-on about two hundred 
in all he completely devoured the provisions intended for 
six months' consumption, and which an excess of frugality 
and economy had led me to lay up. 

i8 5 i] ASSYRIAN ART 175 

To Mrs Austen. 

MOSUL, $th October 1846. 

I received your long and kind letter of the 23rd July 
on my return from a short trip to the Nestorian Mountains. 
When I last wrote to you, I mentioned, I think, being on 
the point of starting for the Sinjar Hills. I was compelled 
to change my plans at the moment of starting, on account 
of a sudden incursion of the Aneyza Arabs, who had taken 
possession of the roads. . . . 

I am glad you liked the sketch of the lion ; I wish I had 
time to send you tracings from other drawings I have made, 
the subjects of which would probably interest you more, 
and give you a better idea of the state of the Arts among 
the Assyrians. But my hands, at this moment, are so full 
that I despair of being able to do so. I wished particularly 
to trace a lion hunt for you (the bas-relief is among those 
already sent to England), which is a most remarkable pro- 
duction. It proves that the Assyrians, even at this remote 
period, had acquired sufficient knowledge of and taste for 
the fine arts to make them no longer subservient to the 
mere representation of events, but to aim at composition. 
Of this essential feature in what may properly be termed 
the fine arts, the Egyptians appear to have been entirely 
ignorant. The Greeks were acquainted with it only at a 
comparatively recent period. Even Polygnotus of Thasos, 
the contemporary of Phidias, appears to have treated his 
subjects in painting, by beginning at one end of the canvas 
and finishing at the other. I compare the Assyrian sculp- 
ture with painting, as they comprised both branches, and 
it appears highly probable that the sculptured reliefs were 
merely subservient to the colour laid upon them. I think 
the Nimroud bas-reliefs will furnish new ideas on the history 
of the Arts, and throw great light upon that interesting 
subject. . . . 

I enjoyed my trip into the Nestorian Mountains greatly. 
I am the first traveller who has visited the mountains since 
the massacre. 1 I was also able to reach the independent 
tribes who escaped the attack of the Kurds. ... I found 

1 In 1843, Beder Khan Bey invaded the Tiyari district and 
massacred, it is said, some 10,000 of the inhabitants professing the 
Nestorian faith. He also carried off many captives, a large number 
of whom were afterwards released by the intervention of Sir Stratford 
Canning. ED. 


the unfortunate Nestorians preparing for a second massacre, 
as the Kurds had again entered into a powerful combination 
against them. I trust, however, that I have been able to 
save them from the impending danger. 1 The slaughter on 
the last occasion must have been immense. In one spot I 
saw the bones of about 800 persons, men, women and 
children (the Nestorians say 2000) still exposed, heaped up 
with the tresses of women, ragged garments and old shoes. 
The villages are deserted, the houses in ruins, and fine old 
trees level with the ground. In the districts which escaped 
the massacre the scene is very different ; the valleys are 
crowded with smiling villages ; every spot of ground 
capable of cultivation is covered with verdure. The scenery 
is in many parts magnificent reminding me strongly of 
Switzerland. I was most hospitably received, and returned 
to Mosul with regret. 

There is a simplicity in the religious observances of the 
Nestorians which offers a remarkable contrast to the super- 
stitions and ridiculous ceremonies of the Roman Catholic 
and other sects of the East. They truly deserve in this 
respect the name of Protestants of the East, and I regret 
that they have not created more interest in England, and 
that more has not been done for them. Unfortunately, 
their most ancient books, with the entire library of the 
Patriarch, were destroyed by the Kurds in the late attack ; 
and I could find no MS. of interest amongst them. 

I am going to start in an hour for Sheikh Adi, the great 
temple of the Yezidis, or devil-worshippers. This is the 
time of their annual festival, and I am very desirous of 
witnessing their religious rites, which are completely un- 
known to Europeans. . . . 

I have this moment returned from Sheikh Adi ; but as 
I have brought the ague with me, and am shivering away 
to my heart's content, you must excuse my bringing my 
letter to an abrupt close. Had I caught twenty agues, 
with a typhus to boot, I would not have considered my 
visit to the devil-worshippers' festival dearly bought. I 
never witnessed a more curious or interesting sight. About 
6000 persons were assembled in the wild-wooded valleys 
of Sheikh Adi ; under every tree was a family. The 
ceremonies, particularly at night, were exceedingly im- 
pressive and dramatic, and have no doubt given rise to all 
those absurd stories which have been invented by the 

1 This proved a vain hope. ED. 







Mussulmans and Christians of the East, and have destroyed 
the good name of the poor Yezidis. I saw everything 
except the adoration of the King-Peacock, which is Satan 
himself; to this ceremony only the initiated are admitted. 
I never received more kindness than from these poor people, 
and there was so much good-humour and quiet enjoyment 
everywhere displayed, that I feel very much inclined to turn 
devil-worshipper myself. 1 

To his Mother. 

NIMROUD, 22nd March 1847. 

.... You need not be vexed about my affairs with 
people at home. 2 I think I shall be able to do as much as 
I wish, and fully as much as, if not more than, the Trustees 
of the British Museum can reasonably expect. The last 
post has brought, in some respects, more satisfactory com- 
munications from England, and, on the whole, I think I 
ought to be content with what I have got, and endeavour 
to finish my work as soon as possible. 

Everything is going on prosperously here, and I have 
fully enough to occupy the time, and to employ the money 
which I have at my disposal. I have just moved one of 
my great winged bulls to the river, and he is now ready to 
be embarked. The worst part of this business is conse- 
quently over, and I Tejoice that I have succeeded in my 
attempt with the small means at my disposal, while the 
French bull is still sticking half-way between the river and 
Khorsabad, although such large outlays were made in the 
endeavour to get it to the Tigris. 

The block of Mosul marble on which the animal is 
sculptured is about 10 feet square. My chief difficulty 
was to remove the large mass from its position, and lower 
it on the rollers of wood which I had prepared to receive 
it. I had procured cables from Baghdad, and ropes from 
Aleppo. These were passed round the bull, and round 
masses of earth about 20 feet square. I then dug 
under the bull, and placed props to support it. When I 

1 A full account of the tour among the Nestorians and of the 
Yezidi Festival will be found in " Nineveh and its Remains," chapters 
vi. vii. viii. (Ed., 89). Ep. 

' 2 This refers to his dissatisfaction with the terms upon which the 
Trustees of the British Museum had offered assistance. ED. 



had everything ready, the props were withdrawn, and the 
bull went over. He descended pretty well to within about 
5 feet of the rollers, when all my cables and ropes went 
with a smash. However", I had taken precautions in case 
of such an accident, and although- 1 was somewhat nervous 
as to the result, he descended safely upon the place made 
to receive him. I had previously dug a road from the place 
where the bull stood to the edge of the mound, and con- 
structed a kind of railroad of wood upon which ran rollers. 
In a day we managed to get him to the foot of the mound. 
I then placed him on a cart, which I had constructed for 
the purpose, and my Arabs and Nestorians dragged him 
to the river with ropes. We had one or two sticks by the 
way, the wheels sinking above the axles in the soft earth 
and sand, but in a few hours we reached the river ; the 
Arabs singing their war-songs, and the women accompany- 
ing the procession, making what they called the Haleyil, 
the Haluliyel of the Bible, to encourage the men. About 
130 men thus dragged the cart without much difficulty. 
We had a grand feast afterwards, three cows being slain on 
the occasion, and the men and women made merry until 

I have removed the bull so well, that I shall now set 
to work at a lion, and endeavour to send a pair to England. 
The only difficulty is the embarkation on a vessel, but I 
think that that can be accomplished with proper care. 
Altogether, I shall be able to send between 70 and 80 bas- 
reliefs to England. I shall have above 200, perhaps 250, 
finished drawings, and a large collection of inscriptions. 

I left Mosul on the 24th June, and travelled by 
easy stages to Samsoun, where I embarked for Con- 
stantinople. I followed the same track that I had 
taken on my journey to Mosul in 1845 which was then 
the post-road between Baghdad and the capital. I was 
accompanied on part of my journey by my excellent 
friend, the Nawab Ekbal-ed-Dowleh an ex-King of 
Oudh the most cheerful and entertaining of companions. 
Mr Hormuzd Rassam, my faithful and invaluable friend 
and assistant during the excavations at Nimroud, was also 
with me. I had proposed to his brother, the Vice-Consul, 


to take him with me to England, where he could improve 
his knowledge of the English language and obtain an 
English education. Although the country through which 
we passed was in a very insecure state in consequence of 
the rebellion of the great Kurdish chief Beder Khan Bey, 
against whom the Porte had sent a large force, we met 
with no adventures on the way. But we had to take a 
strong escort of Bashi-bazouks, or irregular troops, during 
every stage until we reached Tokat, and found ourselves 
in a part of Asia Minor where the authority of the Turkish 
Government was fully established. I had also with me 
the Bairakdar, who had been converted into a cawass, 
and upon whose courage and devotion I had the fullest 

As the heat was intense, it being now the middle of 
summer, we had to travel by night until we reached the 
mountains and high lands of Asia Minor. I remember 
that, whilst still in the plains of Assyria, I had left my 
caravan, and, with the Bairakdar and one or two horsemen, 
made a short cut to a village in which we were to pass 
the following day, and which it would take many hours 
for the rest of my party, with their heavily laden mules, 
to reach. There was some danger in following the track 
I had taken, which greatly shortened the journey, in 
consequence of the Arab marauders who were infesting 
the low country, but who did not venture into the hills, 
over the spurs of which the ordinary road was led. But 
as the night was very dark we hoped to escape them. 
We had ridden for some hours when suddenly I heard 
a great noise of horses, and a clatter of what appeared 
to be pots and pans, at some distance in front of me. I 
put spurs to my horse, and soon reached a flying crowd 
of horsemen, baggage, mules, and men on foot. They 
proved to be a Turk on his way to a government to 
which he had been appointed, and his attendants. Hear- 


ing us approach, and taking us for a party of Bedouins 
out on a plundering expedition, they had turned and 
were endeavouring to make their escape as fast as their 
animals could carry them to the hills. The clatter I had 
heard was from the cooking utensils and the various metal 
vessels which a Turk usually takes with him when on 
his travels. The mules which carried them had taken 
fright, and were galloping over the plain. It was some 
time before the confusion which we had caused came 
to an end, and the flying beasts were recaptured. After 
smoking a pipe together and laughing over the adventure, 
the Governor and I continued our respective journeys. 

I arrived at Constantinople on the 3ist July. Sir 
Stratford Canning had been for some time in England, 
and Mr Wellesley, who had now succeeded, on the death 
of his father, to the title of Lord Cowley, was in charge of 
the affairs of the Embassy with the rank and title of 
Minister. He received me with the greatest kindness, and 
invited me to take up my residence with him at Therapia. 
I learnt on my arrival that Lord Palmerston who had 
replaced Lord Aberdeen as Minister for Foreign Affairs 
had at once acceded to Sir Stratford's request that I 
should be officially attached to the Embassy, and that it 
was in contemplation to appoint me a member of the 
joint English and Russian Commission, with Captain 
(afterwards Sir Fenwick) Williams, for settling the 
boundaries between Turkey and Persia, according to the 
terms of a treaty recently concluded between those two 

I was very anxious to go to England without delay. 
I had brought with me a large collection of drawings 
which I had made of the sculptures and other objects I 
had discovered in Assyria, and of cuneiform inscriptions 
which I had copied. I was desirous of publishing, or of 
otherwise making known to the public, these results of 


my explorations and indeed I considered that, after the 
grant of public money upon which they were carried on, 
it was my duty to do so. But, as I considered myself 
officially connected with the Embassy, I would not absent 
myself from my post without obtaining formal leave to 
do so from the Foreign Office. I accordingly applied for 
that leave, and wrote on the subject to Sir Stratford 
Canning. But he was evidently unwilling that I should 
return to England, and I received no answer to my 
application. He probably desired that, as he was about 
to return to Constantinople in order to complete the 
negotiations which were in process for the settlement of 
the Turco-Persian question, I should be on the spot to 
assist him. 

However that may have been, I was kept lingering on 
at Constantinople, uncertain as to my position, and with 
a mind as ill at ease as when I was there in a similar state 
of uncertainty before my expedition to Assyria. In the 
month of September I accompanied the Cowleys and 
some members of the Embassy on an excursion in Asia 
Minor. We landed from an English gunboat at Nico- 
media, and rode through a very picturesque and well- 
wooded country to Niciea, or Isnik. There we encamped 
on the borders of the lake, attracted by the extreme 
beauty of the scenery, and unmindful of the malaria which 
notoriously prevailed in the locality. The result was that 
most of the party on their return to Constantinople 
suffered from intermittent fever. I was amongst the 
victims, and my attack was so severe that the physician 
of the Embassy who attended me insisted that I should 
leave the country without delay and return to Eng- 
land, or he would not answer for my life. As he 
gave me a certificate to that effect, I did not hesitate, 
with Lord Cowley's approval, to follow his advice ; and 
at the end of October I embarked on board a French 


steamer for Malta, where I had to perform seven days' 

Wishing to revisit the scenes of my childhood, I took 
a steamer to Naples, and thence to Civita Vecchia, spent 
a day or two at Rome, where I had an opportunity of 
showing my drawings of the monuments of Nineveh, and 
describing my discoveries to Visconti and other of the 
leading archaeologists, and then went by the post-carriage 
to Florence. There I found many old friends of my father 
and mother, Italian and English, still living, who 
warmly welcomed me. I passed three days with them, 
and then drove to the mines of Montecatini, near Volterra, 
of which Mr Sloane, who had been intimate with my 
family and had known me when I was a boy, was principal 

To Mrs Austen. 

LEGHORN, loth December 1847. 

I had promised to write to you before leaving Malta, 
and here I am at Leghorn without having sent you a line ! 
My misfortunes must be my excuse. Since leaving 
Constantinople, I have scarcely been a day, except during 
my short stay at Florence, without fever. . . . You may 
easily imagine that my journey has proved anything but a 
pleasant one. At Naples I found Lord Napier l in charge, 
and he kindly made up all manner of pleasant and interest- 
ing parties for me, none of which I was able to enjoy. 
Here also I found Lord Eastnor, and under his guidance 
managed to crawl to Pompeii and Cumae during short 
intervals in my fever ; but the few days I spent in Naples 
were chiefly passed in bed. I had hoped for better things 
in Rome, and well-provided with letters for Lord Minto, 2 

1 Francis, tenth Lord Napier, K.T. (1819-98) cr. Lord Ettrick. A 
distinguished diplomatist, Governor of Madras, and Acting Viceroy of 
India after Lord Mayo's assassination. 

a Gilbert, second Earl Minto, G.C.B. (1782-1859), Lord Privy Seal 
in Lord John Russell's Cabinet of 1846, and at this time executing a 
special political Mission in Italy. 


had made up my mind to see the Pope, 1 one of the great 
objects of my curiosity. But here, too, I had a very severe 
attack, and was too weak and unwell even to call upon his 
Lordship. The Paynes were most kind, and by their 
assistance I was able, when not under actual fever, to visit 
things most worthy to be seen, and which I had particularly 
set my mind upon seeing. They were also good enough 
to collect together the persons most interesting to me ; 
Campana, Visconti, Gibson, 2 Piccoluomini, and I was 
able to gather some information from them. Since leav- 
ing Rome I have been better, and am picking up 
strength. . . . 

But enough of my ills ! You will like to hear some- 
thing about Italy. I find that I have still sufficient re- 
collection even of Florence to compare its present state 
with its former. Great changes have taken, and are taking, 
place. At this moment the Italians are but little removed 
from downright craziness. Where all this is to stop, it is 
difficult to foresee. In Tuscany and the dominions of the 
Pope nearly every change asked for or desired by the 
people has been made. This success has led to the most 
extravagant hopes particularly amongst a certain class, 
the lawyers and " hommes de lettres." Nothing short of a 
general confederation of the Italian States appears to be 
their aim. These views are extending to the lower classes 
in the great cities ; in Florence there is not a coffee-house 
keeper who has not taken down his good old sign, and 
substituted the " Fratellanza Italiana," or the " Italiani 
Uniti," or something of the kind. Every one is mad for 
the Civic Guard, and endless uniforms strut up and down 
the street. I am much inclined to think that all this, 
except amongst a certain class, is a mere amusement, good 
for the moment as the Carnival in its season, and that few 
really know what they want, or could appreciate much that 
they require. However, one thing is certain, that both the 
Tuscan and Papal Governments have placed themselves 
in very critical positions by consenting to the organisation 
of a National Guard. The whole country is now armed, 
and will shortly be disciplined, and there is nothing to 
oppose these national forces. In fact, the people will 
shortly be able to dictate what terms they like, if they are 

1 Pio Nono. 

2 John Gibson (1790-1866), the Sculptor, went to Rome in 1817, 
studied under both Canova and Thorwaldsen, and made it his home 
for many years. 


really seriously disposed to enter into the views of the few 
who are now endeavouring to form and lead public opinion. 
All this may lead to a great deal of good or a great 
deal of mischief. As a sincere lover of Italy, I hope for 
the good ; but I confess that the issue appears to me very 
doubtful. There is something wanting in the Italian 
character, as formed by the present system of education, 
and, of course, by a long period of misgovernment ; and as 
yet one hears of no serious, sober man competent to form 
and control public opinion. In Naples things are going on 
very ill, and there is every probability of disorder and 
bloodshed, unless the king follows the example of his 
neighbours and gives in. 

I embarked at Leghorn for Marseilles, and continued 
my journey without stopping to Paris. There was then 
no railway between those cities, and I was confined for 
four days and three nights in the coupt of a diligence. 

At Paris I met my good friend M. Botta, who welcomed 
me most heartily, and without any feeling of jealousy or 
rivalry introduced me to his friends, and brought my 
discoveries, as much as possible, to the notice of the 
French public. I was introduced through him to the 
leading members of the French Institute, who gave me a 
special sitting in order that I might describe and explain 
to them the result of my explorations in the Assyrian 
ruins. I then made the acquaintance of Baron Humboldt, 
who was present at the seance, and who showed the 
liveliest interest in my discoveries. My acquaintance with 
the French language enabled me to make an hour's 
discourse before this critical assembly, and to acquit 
myself of the somewhat difficult task sufficiently well. 

To Mrs Austen. 

PARIS, igth December 1847. 

.... My short residence here has been very agreeable. 
I discovered Botta immediately ; he received me with more 
kindness than I could have expected, even from him, and 


rushed off to the Institute to announce my arrival. The 
consequence was an invitation to attend the sitting of the 
" Academic descriptions et Belles Lettres," on the follow- 
ing Friday an invitation that I willingly accepted, as 
I am as anxious to obtain information as I am 
willing to communicate the little I know. I called during 
the day on Burnouf, Mohl, and others well known in 
Asiatic literature, and was received by all most cordially. 
I also found my old Turin friend, Bonafons ; very old, but 
as ardent and enthusiastic as ever, and engaged on a 
costly work concerning various branches of agriculture. 
On the following day I was confined to my bed by fever ; 
on Friday I left my bed to attend the sitting of the 

The meeting was opened by an old lawyer, too well 
known, it appears, to the Institute; hair white, ears well 
stuffed with cotton, too toothless to be intelligible. He had 
written, and was to read, a paper on the origin of 
Parliaments and "Etats Ge'ne'raux" (perhaps something 
on their use would have been more helpful to his country- 
men), but when, after an hour's preliminary discussion, he 
proceeded to divide his subject into five parts, with each 
of which the Academic was to be entertained in detail, 
the patience of that learned body became exhausted, and 
there was so strong a demonstration in favour of the 
opposition the Nimroud antiquities that the President 
was obliged to bring up the indignant lawyer ;n the middle 
of his course. I was still suffering from my attack of 
fever, and those who have had the advantage of experience 
in these matters know that one of the results of fever is a 
considerable excitement of the brain, consequent audacity, 
and no small additional loquacity, only controlled by 
physical debility. Consequently, when placed in the 
middle of this rather formidable assembly, I contrived to 
make them, without nervousness, a moderately lengthy 
speech, probably in very bad French, but to all appearances 
perfectly intelligible. The drawings, of which I took only 
a small selection, created general surprise ; particularly 
those which have reference to the mythology of the 
Assyrians a subject untouched by the Khorsabad monu- 
ment. On one side, M. Lagard, in ecstasies, convinced me 
by frequent, as I thought at the time very unnecessary, 
digs in the ribs, that I had established fully to his satisfac- 
tion theories which, in spite of the sneers of the learned, he 
had been building up for nearly half a century. On the 


other, M. Raoul Rochette looked serious and perplexed, and 
was apparently not much gratified by the look of triumph 
with which M. Lagard asked him what had now become of 
his speculations on the origin of Greek Art. From all sides 
poured questions and compliments, from MPvi. Letronne, 
Mohl, Lenormand, etc. From opposite, old Humboldt, 
with all the quiet blandness of a German philosopher, en- 
deavoured, but in vain, to put a question. What German 
could be heard amongst fifty Frenchmen ? It was equally 
in vain that I endeavoured to isolate myself in imagination 
from the mass to catch the words, real golden words, of 
M. Burnouf, who never says anything not worth hearing. 
Equally in vain the President agitated himself and his 
small bell to restore order, but his indignation fell harm- 
lessly on the backs, for he could see nothing else, of the 
learned. All this was very gratifying, and, had I not 
remembered that I was on the banks of the Seine, I might 
have left the Acad6mie very well satisfied with myself, and 
fully convinced that I had bestowed upon some fifty most 
intelligent Frenchmen the happiest day of their lives ! 
However, the substantial and, to be serious, the most 
influential members of the Academic were kind enough to 
propose that an Extraordinary meeting should be held on 
the following day for the further discussion and examina- 
tion of the drawings, and informed me that it was their 
intention to propose me as a Corresponding Member of 
the Institute (an honour, I believe, much coveted in 
Europe) on the next vacancy. In fact, if the results of 
the Nimroud excavations create half as favourable an 
impression in London as they have done in Paris, I may 
hope that something may be done towards publishing them. 

I had fully expected that the mythological part of the 
drawings would be a subject of astonishment here, as this 
subject is so new, gives rise to so many new ideas, destroys 
so many old ones, and resolves so many long-disputed 
questions. M. Lenormand remarked to the Academic 
that hereafter no one could venture to enter upon the 
subject of Greek Art or Mythology without being 
thoroughly acquainted with the details of Nimroud. 

M. Burnouf and others were very desirous that I should 
see the King, and proposed to arrange the matter, but, as 
His Majesty does not return to Paris until to-morrow, I 
was glad to avail myself of the excuse of immediate de- 
parture, and to sacrifice His Majesty to a Christmas 
dinner in England. 

i8sO FRANCE IN 1847 187 

On Saturday there was another meeting of the 
Acade'mie which I was obliged, of course, to attend, and 
which occupied the greater part of the day. I have conse- 
quently been unable to see any of the political folk de 
Tocqueville, Michelet, etc., for whom I had letters, and 
with whom I had wished to have a little talk. I have just 
called on M. de Tocqueville, and find him a very agreeable 
and communicative person. From all I see and hear, the 
country does not appear to be in a very happy condition. 
Discontent is general, and every one speaks with contempt 
of the King ; and this strong feeling against the Royal 
Family prevails even in the Army and Navy. I have heard 
officers of the latter at a public table speak in the most 
offensive terms of His Majesty. All this, it is to be feared, 
can lead to no good. A change in every department does 
certainly appear to be wanted. In the Government there 
appears to be actual retrogradation ; in that which strikes 
the eye, but little improvement. There is some change for 
the better in roads, public conveyances, etc., but that is 
little, and not up to the day. In taste, in most departments 
of literature, in art, no improvement ; everything daily 
getting worse. But what can one expect when such 
men as Dumas are recognised by the Government as 
the heads of French literature, and receive money and 

I have seen the " Salle de Ninevd," and, with the 
exception of four very fine specimens, it contains scarcely 
anything worth notice. The bulls, which were divided 
into eight pieces each to be transported, have been 
admirably united. They are considerably larger than 
those I have sent. People here were very much inclined 
to dispute the superior antiquity of Nimroud, and advanced 
many arguments in proof of that of Khorsabad ; but I 
showed the Academic, or rather made them prove them- 
selves, that they were greatly in error on the subject. . . . 
The strongest desire is expressed here that both the draw- 
ings and the inscriptions should be published as soon as 
possible. I confess that I cannot see how they are to be, 
and so told Burnouf and his colleagues. Burnouf was 
kind enough to propose at once that I should avail myself of 
the types, and most beautiful types they are, which have 
been made for Botta's work. However, without having 
first seen the Museum people, I can say nothing on these 


I remember walking one evening in the Palais Royal 
with Botta and some of his friends who were in public 
offices and engaged in the politics of the day after dining 
with them at one of the principal restaurants. They 
described to me in vivid terms the unsatisfactory con- 
dition of France, and the general discontent and mistrust 
which prevailed, and expressed their conviction that a 
crisis was impending which would end in the fall of the 
reigning dynasty, and lead through anarchy and blood- 
shed to a Republic. Their forebodings were justified by 
the events which occurred a few months afterwards. 

I arrived in London on the 22nd December, after being 
absent from England for nearly eight and a half years. 

[Layard spent the greater part of the year 1848 in 
England, preparing his well-known book, " Nineveh and its 
Remains," and recruiting his health, which had suffered 
considerably from the strain he had put upon it during his 
eight years' absence. He met with a most flattering reception 
in Society and from the learned, and, amongst other 
marks of honour, received the honorary D.C.L. Degree from 
the University of Oxford. 

The following letter, which gives a glimpse of him 
during this period, is one of many addressed to Mr Henry 
Ross, with whom he had begun in the East a lifelong friend- 
ship. Mr Ross was then staying at Mosul, and had taken 
charge of the excavations at Nimroud.] 

To Henry Ross, Esq. 

CANFORD, 1 7th March 1848. 

.... Pray order the sculptures at Nimroud to be 
covered in. The Museum people are very desirous that 
what remains should be preserved. I think I mentioned 
in my last letter that they wished to continue the excava- 

1 The seat of Sir John and Lady Charlotte Guest. 

i8si] REVOLUTION OF 1848 189 

tions, though not to spend more than 10 a month at 
present. . . . The state of the finances, and the events 
occurring on the Continent, 1 have driven Nineveh and all 
other antiquities out of people's heads. The recommenda- 
tion of the Trustees that 4000 should be given by Govern- 
ment for the publication of my drawings, which would have 
been attended to at any other period, has been rejected, 
and I am inclined to think that nothing will be done. I 
am now trying to see what may be done in the way of 
subscriptions and personal sacrifices, but my stay in 
England is so limited that I do not expect I shall be able 
to settle anything. 

You have, of course, heard of all the wonderful occur- 
rences in France. Every one is anxious as to the result ; 
and the general opinion seems to be that the Republic will, 
in the end, involve all Europe in a war. The main point 
seems to be, whether the Provisional Government will 
succeed in settling any Executive sufficiently powerful and 
firm to keep the lower classes in subjection ; and whether, 
to maintain themselves by diverting public attention, they 
will not be compelled to gratify the warlike propensities of 
the French. Hitherto a good feeling has been shown 
towards England, and there appears to be a general wish 
to keep on a friendly footing with all Europe ; but God 
knows how long this will last ! I was quite prepared for 
the Revolution which has taken place, by what I heard 
when at Paris, and announced it in England, but no one 
would believe me. It is to be hoped that public morality 
will improve, or else little can be hoped for in France. 

I have been spending a few days with my relations in 
different parts of England, and am now with Lady 
Charlotte Guest, 2 at Canford, a fine old mansion in Dorset- 
shire. These comfortable places, and the pleasure of 
English country life, spoil one for the adventures and 
privations of the East. I find a great improvement in the 
upper classes ; much more information, liberality of 
opinion, and kindness towards those beneath them. I 
think that, on the whole, things in England are much 
better than could be expected. 

1 The Year of Revolutions. 

2 Lady Charlotte Bertie, daughter of the ninth Earl of Lindsey, 
married, first, Sir John Guest, M.P., and secondly, Mr Charles 
Schreiber, M.P. She was related to Sir H. Layard (see vol. i. p. 8) who, 
in 1869, married one of her daughters. 


[In December 1848, Layard returned to the Embassy at 
Constantinople as an unpaid attache, but in the following 
April Lord Palmerston promoted him to a paid post, ex- 
pressing at the same time a desire that he should return to 
Nimroud, and placing his services at the disposal of the 
Trustees of the British Museum. The Trustees at once 
requested him to resume his excavations as soon as possible ; 
but, mainly on account of his loyal wish to be useful to Sir 
Stratford Canning, his departure from Constantinople was 
delayed till the end of August, when he once more made 
the toilsome journey to Mosul, travelling this time by 
Trebizond, Erzeroum and Bitlis. He was accompanied 
on this occasion by the late Dr Humphrey Sandwith, Mr 
Cooper, an Artist, who was to assist him by making 
drawings of the excavated sculpture, and Mr Hormuzd 
Rassam, brother of the British Vice-Consul at Mosul, who 
had visited England with Layard, and, after taking a most 
active part in the subsequent work of excavation, returned 
to this country where he still lives. The story of this 
second expedition has been fully related by Layard in 
" Nineveh and Babylon " (1853). 

The following letter is addressed to Mr Mitford, in 
whose company he had made his first journey to the East. 
Mr Mitford was at this time residing in Ceylon.] 

MOSUL, 22nd March 1850. 

MY DEAR MITFORD, I do not wonder that you have 
made up your mind that I have forgotten you, especially 
when your letters make the grand circumnavigation before 
they enable me to answer them. I have only just received 
yours of the /th July of last year which has been I know 
not where. However, although late in arriving, it has afforded 
me great pleasure, in the first place, as the sermons say, 
because it assures me that you have not forgottten me, in 
the second, because it gives so gratifying a picture of your 
own health and domestic felicity, and in the third, such 
excellent accounts of your advancement and rank, all most 


pleasing intelligence to an old friend. I must certainly 
apologise for not having sent you a copy of the book in 
red, 1 but I have behaved equally shabbily to most of my 
friends. The reason whereof is that I left England before 
the work was published, and have since then been wandering 
about without any power over my adventurous volumes. 
If you have by chance seen a copy, you will perceive that I 
have alluded to you, though not by name, in the opening. I 
did so through delicacy, not knowing whether you would 
much like to be introduced to the public more formally, 
and not having time to write to you for permission ; but, 
if you will let me know your wish, I will take care (and it 
will give me great pleasure) to record in print who my 
enthusiastic fellow-traveller really was whether a Mr 
Harris or no a question which, since my unexpected 
notoriety, I have frequently been asked. I had very little 
idea of publishing when I returned to Europe after my 
Nineveh explorations, but my friends pressed the thing so 
much, the Trustees adding their request, and Murray was 
so kind, that I nolens volens felt bound to rush into print. 
I can assure you that I did so tremblingly, and had very 
great doubts indeed as to my probable success. But the 
time was favourable, the subject interested all parties, and 
there were no books in the market owing to the state of 
political matters at the time three very material elements 
in success. In every way the most sanguine expectations 
of my friends (I will not say my own, for I had none) have 
been surpassed. Of notoriety I have plenty, and the very 
liberal arrangement of my publishers' has enabled me to 
realise a very handsome sum. Nearly 8000 copies were sold 
in the year a new edition is in the press, and Murray an- 
ticipates a continual steady demand for the book, which will 
place it side by side with Mrs Rundell's Cookery, and make 
it property. In the meantime Rawlinson is in England, 
propounding theories, and delighting and astonishing numer- 
ous audiences with his versions of the inscriptions, and his 
novel views on the ancient world in general. The correctness 
of which time and further discoveries must test The British 
Museum, elated at the success of the first expedition and de- 
lighted at the crammed houses which the new entertainment 
brought them, determined upon producing something new ; 
and, well imbued with the economical spirit of the times, 
determined to do the thing as cheaply as possible. So 

1 " Nineveh and its Remains." 


they have sent me back with a ridiculously miserable grant 
to satisfy the exalted hopes and demands of the British 
public. The consequence is, that I am terribly crippled, 
and without my own resources could really do nothing at 
all. I left England in November of '48, remained a few 
months at my post in Constantinople, and started for this 
in August last. I have since been very busy excavating, 
have made some important discoveries, and have added 
as much as I could reasonably expect to our knowledge 
of the Ancient Assyrians. I am now starting on an ex- 
ploratory expedition to the Desert and the Khabour, where 
I hear of many ruins, and I hope to succeed in examining 
them. I have now an Artist and an M.D. with me, so that 
the party is more complete than it formerly was. The 
season of the year is delightful, and we shall, on the whole, 
have a very pleasant journey. I shall probably visit our 
old friends at Al Hadhar, though there is nothing sufficiently 
ancient there for me. I look at nothing which did not 
come under the immediate cognisance of Noah or his 
sons. Your old friend Rassam is still flourishing, a very 
portly influential Vice-Consul. He has really done great 
good here, and is a hospitable good-natured creature. His 
wife is with him. I hope you will meet my brother ; I 
hear very good reports of him from all sides, and you know 
there is nothing in a name. I hope you will allow me to 
send my kindest regards to your wife and such of your 
descendants as are capable of receiving them. 

[Layard remained in Mesopotamia till April 1851. 
His expedition was fruitful in archaeological discoveries 
and personal adventures, which are fully told in his book. It 
bears abundant witness to the old indomitable energy and en- 
durance, and to the sympathetic understanding of the native 
mind, which brought him safely and successfully through 
so many trials. In the words of Mr Hormuzd Rassam : 
" He was an extraordinary friend, sincere and true. He 
hated humbug and underhand intrigues ; he had a knack 
of being kind, yet firm, and the wildest of the people with 
whom we came in contact looked on him with great respect 
and affection." The same impression is given by the 
following extract from a letter written by an English 


traveller, who also had been an eye-witness of his 

Christmas Day, 1849. 

We arrived in Mosul the next day, and were most 
kindly received by H.B.M. Vice-Consul-General Mr 
Rassam, in whose house we stopped during our stay in 
Mosul. We met here Mr Layard, whose name is so well 
known to you, and whose wonderful discoveries have 
caused such a sensation in the literary world. He has been 
exceedingly kind to us, and we are now staying with him 
at Nimroud, where he is still carrying on excavations, the 
results of which are more astonishing than those that are 
known about. People in England little know the difficulties 
he has to overcome, the presence of mind he has to have, 
and the immense tact and knowledge of the people it 
requires to manage tribes so jealous of one another as 
those he has to deal with. He requires no small nerve to 
be able to settle their differences in such manner as to be 
satisfactory on both sides, for in a hour of heat and rage, 
it might cost him his life, if he did not please. The power 
he has over these wild sons of the Desert is perfectly 
astonishing, as you will perceive by a circumstance which 
happened yesterday. Part of the tribe of the Jebour 
Arabs are here working for him. Those that are not here 
have been for some time past stealing camels from the tribe 
of the Ti Arabs. Yesterday it was rather a damp, heavy 
day : we were quietly sitting within doors when we heard 
the war-cry of the Arabs, the screaming of women, horses 
neighing, clattering of arms commence, as it were simul- 
taneously. Mr Layard, Stewart, Dr Sandwith and Mr 
Hormuzd Rassam ran out and found about eighty of the 
Ti Arabs, well mounted, had come down, and were plunder- 
ing the village ; they had in a semicircle surrounded all 
the cattle, sheep, horses and donkeys, and were driving 
them before them. The Jebour who were working at 
the mound heard the cries of the women, and came rushing 
in all directions to get their lances and guns ; the young 
women, arming themselves with sticks and stones, joined 
their husbands and brothers who were throwing off their 
clothes and rushing with the most frantic gestures after 
the Ti, leaping in the air and brandishing their weapons like 
mad creatures. The ground being heavy, the Ti could not 
drive their spoil fast, so Mr Layard, seeing there was every 
chance of a fearful fight ensuing, rode, accompanied by all 


the gentlemen, unarmed, to try and get back some of the 
spoil. By the greatest difficulty he prevented them falling 
on each other, and after a long harangue on both sides his 
influence was such that the Ti, at the very moment of 
victory, actually gave back all a thing never before heard 
of ! Such is the extraordinary influence he has over this 
strange people ! but who can say how long it will last ? . . . . 
. . . The village has been in a complete uproar the whole 
morning. Some person brought word that the Ti Arabs 
were again coming down, not to rob as the other day, but 
this time to murder, for a month ago two of their men 
were killed in an affray, and they were coming for revenge. 
All the cattle were driven into the centre of the village. 
The men armed themselves, the women shrieking, tearing 
their hair, beating their breasts, got stones and sticks, and 
when everything was ready for defence, they began shout- 
ing their war-cry, dancing their war-dance, firing their guns 
in the air. After each explosion the shrill tahlehl of the 
women was almost deafening. As no enemy made his 
appearance, Mr Layard again used his influence to appease 
them, and promised they should have the Tubel in the 
evening. Accordingly he has sent off for the drums and 
musicians, so I suppose they will dance out their excite- 

[But in spite of much successful work, it appears from 
his correspondence that private troubles and anxieties, 
combined with frequent attacks of fever, rendered this 
period far less enjoyable than the former one had been, 
and, when he took his departure in April 1851, he 
had made up his mind not to go back. He went from 
Mosul to Constantinople, and returning to England in the 
summer decided to take an active part in political life. In 
1852 he was elected Member for Aylesbury in the Liberal 



IT will appear from the final chapter of this volume that 
Layard pursued his Parliamentary career with characteristic 
energy, and with no small measure of success. But he was 
far from allowing politics to engross his attention to the ex- 
clusion of other interests. In one respect his new life fitted 
in very well with the old. Sturdy Liberal and Reformer 
as he was at home, his main interest in politics, and his 
chief claim to the attention of the House of Commons, 
lay in the direction of our foreign relations. He had 
acquired his first knowledge of that subject by personal 
experience, and he did his best to keep abreast of the 
times by pursuing the old method of travel, and of 
personal intercourse with the people with whose destinies 
our own happened to be mixed at the time. A keen interest 
in the Imperial Ottoman Bank, as a means of developing 
the material resources of the Turkish Empire, took him 
back more than once to Constantinople. He was one 
of the first non-combatants to visit the Crimea. He was 
in India before the work of suppressing the Mutiny was 
half over. He was in Italy in 1859, directly after the 
campaign of Magenta and Solferino, and while the 
effects of the Treaty of Villafranca were still a matter 


196 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

of doubt and conjecture. He was in Venice in 1866 
when the last Austrian soldier left Italian soil. 

But, amid these exciting scenes and events, it seems 
doubtful, after an examination of his correspondence, 
whether his mind was not more occupied with Art than 
with politics. Not a year passed without a visit to Italy 
or to the great picture-galleries of Germany ; and his 
return to the favourite study of his childhood meant 
something more than the enthusiasm of the amateur and 
collector, and a considerable output of literature on the 
subject. It was characterised by a great and con- 
tinuous effort to bring the enjoyment of Art within 
the reach of the mass of his countrymen who had not 
the leisure or the opportunity for travel, and to restore 
it, in Italy itself, to its proper influence over the 
productive energy of the people. For some time he 
was busy with the Arundel Society, organising the 
diffusion of a knowledge of little-known works by the 
great Italian masters. He was a zealous fellow- worker 
with Sir Charles Eastlake in making the additions to 
the National Gallery which illustrated the reign of its 
first Director. Later on he turned his attention more 
and more to the attempt to revive in Venice and the 
islands of the Lagoon, the ancient arts of glass-blowing, 
mosaic, and lace-making, the fostering of which was the 
favourite occupation of his later years. 

Had he filled this gap in his Autobiography, he would 
have had much of interest to relate about persons and 
things. It has not seemed advisable to attempt any 
description of his life on the scale of the earlier part of 
this book, but the following extracts from an extensive 
correspondence will serve to throw some light on his 
experiences and occupations down to the period beyond 
which it is considered that the time has not yet come for 
publishing the story of his career. 


To Mr H. Ross. 


ysth November 1851. 

. . . Whenever you may have a spare moment write 
me a few lines and let me know what you are doing, and 
give me at the same time some little idea of what is going 
on in Egypt, and your opinion upon the state of the 
country. My plans are still so uncertain that I cannot 
give you the slightest idea of them. I shall certainly 
not leave England again if I can help it, but I may 
be forced to do so, as, at present at any rate, I have 
no means of making ends meet without some employment. 
I shall make a desperate effort not to return to the East, 
not even to Stamboul, which does not agree with me in 
any way the climate always disagrees with me, and I can 
find neither books nor society. I should like to get into 
Parliament in England, and think that, if once there, I 
could push my way. My book 1 is still far behind, and 
there is no chance of its being ready before the spring. It 
will contain some account of my different wanderings in 
Armenia, Kurdistan, and the desert besides particulars 
of the most recent discoveries at Nineveh. I have just 
published an abridgment of the first work in one volume, 
which has sold exceedingly well and will bring me in 

something. I have been spending some days with M , 

whom I think you met on his return from Mosul. He is 
a most versatile genius knowing everything. I have 
seen and have promised to go to his paternal seat. His 
book is out, and an extraordinary affair it is, as you will 
say when you see it. He appears to be labouring under 
strange delusions amongst others that his life has been 
constantly in danger, and that he speaks Arabic and other 
Oriental languages ! 

To Mr H. Ross. 

loth April 1852. 

I have two very interesting letters of yours to acknow- 
ledge, the last of the 1 5th March. I am truly obliged to you 
for the details you send me. I shall not fail to turn them 
to advantage. Whenever you have a few idle moments, 
which I am afraid is not often the case, pray continue to 

1 " Nineveh and Babylon," 

198 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

give me information with regard to the state of things in 
Egypt. I was able to be of some use through your last 
letter, and I should gladly have your opinion on the 
probable result of the negotiations with the Porte, and on 
anything that may occur with regard to the question of the 
introduction of the Tanzimatf I should also be glad of 
your opinion, and that of the most intelligent merchants 
amongst your acquaintance, as to the effect, if any, on 
British trade caused by our free commercial policy and by 
the repeal of the navigation laws. Any information on 
these subjects will be very acceptable. I am also much 
obliged for the information about the Consular body. I 
hope the time may come when I may turn all this to good 
account. . . . Things are so uncertain now in England 
that it is difficult to say how soon a change may take 
place. There is, however, every prospect of a Liberal 
Government soon returning to office, and in every prob- 
ability I shall then again be included in the list. I am 
now making arrangements for entering Parliament. Several 
very advantageous offers of seats have been made to me, 
but it was only to-day that I found myself in a position to 
accept one completely to my taste. It is very difficult to 
avoid entering public life in England, at a time of political 
excitement like the present, without giving pledges which 
may hereafter fetter a man, or give him a character for 
want of sincerity, or want of political consistency. Had I 
chosen to take such pledges, I might have represented 
some of the largest and most important constituencies in 
England. I have decided upon accepting Aylesbury, a 
town in which I am not quite unknown, and with a 
large and sufficiently important constituency to render it 
far from a close borough. My election is almost a 
certainty, and I come forward under very advantageous 
circumstances. 2 Once in the House I have a career open 
to me, and an opening which may be considered exceed- 
ingly favourable. Of course it will depend upon myself 
how far I shall be able to take advantage of it. 

To Mr H. Ross. 

CONSTANTINOPLE, 2nd April 1853. 

You will have been surprised to hear of my sudden re- 
turn to this place. It is merely a temporary absence from 

1 Decree establishing Constitutional system of Government. 

2 He was returned for Aylesbury in 1852. 

1 869] LETTER TO MR ROSS 199 

England, and I am holding no official appointment. The 
state of things in the East, and a desire to be of any use 
in my power to Lord Stratford, led me to give up much 
that was pleasant and useful at home, and to encounter all 
the disagreeables of Pera life. Matters now seem to be 
quietly settling down, and I shall probably return again to 
England very shortly. I shall not be sorry, I can assure 
you. You are perhaps aware that I was offered the 
Egyptian Consul-Generalship. I declined it for several 
reasons. . . . 

Your father was good enough to send me your account 
of the race in which you beat the Arabs. I rejoiced at 
your success. I have never had the slightest doubt as to 
the superiority in speed of the English horse over the 
Arab even of a very second-rate English horse. Their 
stride is so much greater, and their bone so much more 
powerful. I am sorry the Pasha's challenge was not taken 
up, in order that the question might have been completely 
set at rest. Merjian was one of the swiftest horses I ever 
rode in the East. I never saw a horse that could beat 
him. Had he been properly trained for the purpose, he 
would have made a capital hunter. His leap, too, was 

I hope on my return to England to spend a day or two 
en route with your family at Malta. 1 It is an old promise 
that I made to pay them a visit, and I am very anxious to 
perform it. As you may suppose, I am not a little 
desirous of being back again in my place in the House of 
Commons. The difficulties here will, I think, be soon 
settled. Those relating to the Holy Places are almost so 
already. The real danger lies in the pretensions of Russia 
and her determination to acquire the most complete power 
over the Greeks. As you must be well aware, the Greeks 
are beginning to show a thirst for knowledge, and a 
commercial activity, which must eventually raise feelings 
of independence and a love of liberal institutions, little con- 
sistent with the views of Russia with regard to the Christian 
populations of this country. Even the Armenians are 
improving and beginning to show considerable independ- 
ence in religious matters. 

Whenever you have a few minutes to spare, send me a 
few lines upon the state of things in Egypt. I am very 
much interested in all that is passing in that country, and 
your letters have always been most acceptable. It appears 

1 Mr Ross's father was Consul for the Netherlands at Malta. 

200 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

to me that there is every hope of Egypt becoming a 
flourishing and prosperous country, and I confess that it 
was with a feeling of regret that I found myself under the 
necessity of refusing the Consul-Generalship. But there 
were many reasons, my seat in Parliament amongst others, 
which led me to do so. I fancy the English Consul- 
General might have great influence, and be the author 
of much good. There are proposals for railways to 
Adrianople, etc., before the Turkish Government, but I 
fear that, as usual, the intrigues of Armenians and others 
will prevent the schemes being carried out. It would be 
of immense advantage to the Porte in every way to have 
a direct line of communication with Europe, and it would 
at the same time be a great blessing for those who have 
to reside here. 

To Mrs Austen. 

CONSTANTINOPLE, iyh April 1853. 

I promised to write to you at the first opportunity ; but 
although we have continual communication with England, 
we have only two Embassy bags a month, and it is of no 
use putting you to the expense of postage when I have 
nothing to say of any interest. You will have heard of 
our safe arrival here, and of the perils and sufferings of our 
journey through Europe, by my letter to my uncle, sent by 
the last messenger. 

When I wrote, nothing had happened to change our 
usual life here. The French and Russians have settled 
their quarrels, and I hope to hear nothing more of the 
Holy Places and the ridiculous squabbles about Greek and 
Latin Saints and apocryphal tombs. One of the great 
subjects of discussion was, whether the Saints were to be 
painted with glories like plates round their heads, after the 
Byzantine fashion, or with simple circles of gold, which, 
according to the Fathers of the Catholic Church, are the 
more authentic symbols of beatification. Two great Powers 
actually threatened to go to war about such absurd matters. 
The Turks are now going to build the cupola themselves. 
The best thing they could do would be to turn all the 
Christians out of Jerusalem. 

The Russians, however, still threaten mischief. They 
have other questions to settle with the Porte, and they 
seem determined to resort to every manner of intimidation 


to carry their point. We hear of great armies on the 
Turkish frontiers, and there is no doubt that very hostile 
demonstrations are being made in that quarter. But I 
have every reason to believe that even these difficulties 
will be overcome, and that before long the rumours of wars 
will have passed over. I see so little chance at present of 
any disturbance of the peace, that I have made up my 
mind to return home very shortly, and you will not be 
surprised if you should see me walk into Montagu Place 
before the end of May. 

To Mr H. Ross. 

iZthJuly 1853. 

I was very greatly disappointed, I can assure you, on 
being compelled to put off my visit to Malta. Still more 
so when I heard that you had been there, and that we 
should have met. I was unfortunately compelled to take 
the shortest road home, having dispatches of great im- 
portance with me, and I did not even remain a few hours 
at Vienna. When I left Constantinople I had no idea that 
matters were likely to prove so serious, and soon not that 
I was not fully persuaded that Russia would gain her point 
if she could, and even go to extremities if necessary, but I 
scarcely thought Menschikoff would take a step so calculated 
to open the eyes of the world to the duplicity of his 
Government, and to the utter injustice of her demands. 
As you will have seen by the papers, as soon as I reached 
England I endeavoured to bring the question before 
Parliament, but the Government have hitherto been so 
averse to publicity that I have been compelled to defer 
my motion. It will, however, come on sooner or later, 
and will, I hope, expose completely the danger of allowing 
Russia to persevere in this course, and the impolicy of 
meeting it by half measures. We have been sadly wanting 
in firmness had we taken up the question properly in the 
first instance, I do not think Russia would have ventured 
as far as it has ventured. As it is, I scarcely see how we 
are to bring matters to a peaceable termination without 
conniving at the designs of Russia in the East, and sacri- 
ficing our dignity and interests. It was a fatal mistake to 
allow Russia to cross the Pruth, without considering it a 
casus belli. Where is this to end ? She may next enter 
Bulgaria or Servia upon the same terms, and we shall have 

202 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

no right to complain. I am afraid that we shall ere long, 
whatever may be the end of the present question, have to 
meet these difficulties under a very different aspect, and 
when we shall be less able to contend with them than we 
are now. Although this country has the greatest stake in 
the maintenance of peace, and there is an earnest desire 
that it should be maintained ; yet there has been but one 
expression of opinion upon recent events, and, had we men 
at the head of the Government who could have met them in 
a proper spirit, I am convinced they would have received 
such unanimous and effective support, that the Emperor 
would have hesitated before taking the steps he has taken. 
My own position, as far as that of a public man and an 
independent member of the House of Commons is con- 
cerned, is a very good one. The greatest interest is felt in 
the present state of the East, and my long connection with 
it makes me, in public opinion, an authority upon the 
subject. My position is, however, a delicate one. Taking 
an independent line, I cannot, of course, expect much from 
the Government that is now in power, and, on the other 
hand, I have completely broken off with the other party. 
However, all this does not much signify, if by prudence 
and moderation I obtain the support of the public, who 
are as yet quite with me. Public life in England is a 
tempestuous sea, in which it is difficult to steer clear of the 
rocks and sand-banks. It has been, on the whole, fortunate 
for me that on my first public appearance I have been 
connected with a subject which commands for the first 
time immense attention. 

You will, I am sure, be glad to hear that my last work 
has had a great success. Nearly twelve thousand copies 
have already been sold, and three thousand more will be 
shortly printed. As it was published at a very cheap rate, 
it does not pay so well as the first. A second work is a 
formidable undertaking, as it is not easy to sustain a 
reputation which, from one cause or another, has been 
much exaggerated. It has been fortunate for me that I 
have not broken down. 

The following letter shows that Layard was now be- 
ginning that careful study of Italian Painting which has 
already been referred to, and results of which he embodied 
in his editions of Kugler's " Italian Schools of Painting," 
which is almost re-written by him, besides numerous 


contributions to Periodicals. It also brought him into 
connection with the Arundel Society, which had been 
founded in 1 848 for " the preservation of the record, and 
the diffusion of the knowledge of the most important 
monuments of painting and sculpture, by engravings and 
other mechanical means of reproduction." 

In an article on the Society in the Nineteenth Century 
(April 1884) the late Sir William Gregory, after describing 
its origin, says : 

"It must, however, be confessed that the success of the 
Society seemed for some time after very doubtful. But 
succour, effective succour, was at hand. About the year 
1852, Mr (now Sir Henry) Layard, having returned from 
the exploration of Nineveh, turned his energies to Italian 
Art. Traversing Central and North Italy, he made 
tracings in outline with his own hand from the most 
interesting groups and figures in the frescoes of the 
masters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On 
coming to England he was elected to the Council, and at 
once proposed that all the Society's efforts should be 
thrown into ' chromo-lithography.' Nor was this all ; he 
determined to make a strong impression by the splendour 
of the publications, believing that new members would 
thereby be attracted, additional funds raised, and the 
Society placed in an influential and secure position for the 
future. Accordingly he volunteered, at his own expense, 
to add to the one chromo - lithograph, which the 
Committee had agreed on as the annual publication for 
1856, a second and no less interesting subject, by obtaining 
from Signer Marianecci of Rome a water-colour copy of 
Perugino's Martyrdom of St Sebastian at Panicale, hav- 
ing this printed in colour by chromo-lithography, with five 
heads in the fresco engraved in outline from his own 
tracings, and accompanying it with the Memoir of 
Perugino and of the fresco which will be more fully referred 
to hereafter when the literary work of the Society is 
described. Mr Layard carried his colleagues with him ; 
his public-spirited offer was accepted, and was attended 
with such success that the Council were enabled to act with 
almost a profuseness of liberality henceforward to their 

204 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

Other processes of re-production are now more in favour 
than chromo-lithography, and the Arundel Society, for other 
reasons, has lately ceased to exist ; but the value and 
justification of its work, particularly in the direction it took 
under Layard's impulse, have been well established by the 
sad history of the decay and ruin of so many of the works of 
Italian Painters, which has never been more forcibly de- 
scribed than by Layard himself in the following passages 
from an article on " Fresco-Painting " in the Quarterly 
Review of October 1858. 

" Although the frescoes of the golden age of modern 
art, the I4th and I5th centuries, and the early part of the 
1 6th, include the masterpieces of the most illustrious 
Italian painters, they have been but recently understood or 
appreciated, and are even yet but little known. . . . To 
keep them in repair and to preserve them from injury by 
weather or men's hands, money was required ; and 
money is unfortunately not easily obtained for such 
purposes from the Italian citizen. Covering in rich 
profusion the sides, within and without, of town-halls, 
cathedrals, chapels, and convents, they were exposed to 
every process of destruction and decay. The suppression 
of religious orders, and of ancient municipal corporations, 
during periods of revolution or conquest, had led to the 
desecration, the abandonment, and frequently to the 
pulling down of these buildings. Such had been the fate 
of many of those ' public palaces/ the palaces of the people, 
glorious monuments of Italian liberty, throwing heaven- 
wards their machicolated towers amid the vine-tangled 
valleys or from the olive-clad hills, their massive architecture 
casting its cool, dark shade over the narrow streets beneath 
stately and stern without, yet within all glowing with the 
fairest treasures of art, fit emblems of those who had raised 
them when Italy was still their own and the Italian mind 
was as yet free. When the deep religious feeling of the 
middle ages, that union of child-like faith with an earnest 
impatience of the vices and power of priestcraft the 
Dantesque of Catholicism gave way to an uninquiring 
pietism and a cowardly resignation to priestly authority, 
the nimble brush of the academies swept over the solemn, 
heartfelt outpourings of the early masters, leaving in their 


stead theatrical groups of muscular apostles and anatomic 
saints, happily, for the most part, invisible in varnish and 
chiaroscuro. Next succeeded the age of whitewash, when 
a large portion of mankind seem suddenly to have been 
seized with the one idea that all that is not white is dirt. 
Then the ' operajo ' of the south, like his fellow the church- 
warden of the north, with the lime-pail in one hand, and 
a broom in the other, restored the walls disfigured by old 
pictures and ' roba di Giotto/ in which popes, monks, and 
kings were not always treated with the highest respect and 
consideration, to a virgin purity more befitting the morals 
and taste of the times. Lastly, the foreign invader and 
occupier of Italy still quarters his soldiery and stables his 
horses in the desecrated church and convent, wantoning in 
the destruction of what little may remain of their priceless 

" A few noble old frescoes, that, by their almost divine 
beauty, may have stayed the hand of even the Italian 
destroyer, gradually yielded to the ladder and nails of the 
sacristan and the carpenter. Who that has wandered in 
the highways and byeways of Italy has not watched the 
preparation for a c festa ' ? Garlands of flowers and green 
boughs stretching across the street, and the perfume of bay 
leaves, trampled under the feet of a listless crowd, invite 
you through the curtained doorway of a neighbouring 
church. The solemn chaunt of evening vespers, rising 
from the dark choir behind the high altar, is well-nigh lost 
in the clatter of the hammer. The rays of the falling sun 
stream through the jewelled windows upon gorgeous 
hangings of crimson silk embroidered with gold, trailing 
upon the filthy pavement. Workmen hurry about with 
tinkling chandeliers, and acolytes with jugs of fragrant 
lilies and roses. The ponderous ladders are raised against 
the painted aisles, and huge nails are driven in with re- 
morseless hands. Flakes of yielding plaster fall in showers 
to the ground, and things that have cost years of earnest 
thought and loving labour are gone for ever! On the 
following day the fumes of incense and the smoke of a 
thousand tapers roll up from the altars, and, uniting with the 
fetid exhalations of an Italian crowd, curdle over the walls. 

" Talk of London smoke ! why, Italian neglect, in- 
difference, and ignorance have done more to deprive the 
world of some of its noblest and most precious monuments 
of art than could be accomplished by the atmospheres of 
ten Londons ! The able and careful editors of the last 

206 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

edition of Vasari's Lives have indicated in foot-notes the 
fate of the works mentioned by the biographer as existing 
in his day. The extent to which the work of devasta- 
tion has been carried is amazing. Half, if not more than 
half, of the great frescoes of the I4th and i5th centuries 
are hopelessly and curtly described as ' sono periti,' * appena 
rimane qualche vestigio/ ' dato di bianco/ ' la chiesa fu 

" Some years ago a few zealous men who felt a due 
reverence for these records of their country's glory protested 
against their barbarous treatment. Intelligent travellers 
indignantly exposed it. At last the Italian Governments 
and the heads of churches and convents, finding that a 
few pence might be gained by the preservation of objects 
which attracted the curiosity of strangers, suddenly 
appreciated their importance. But they let loose upon the 
devoted monuments a plague more terrible than any that 
had as yet swept over them. An army of restorers was 
raised in every city of Italy, and recruited by every dauber 
who had interest or means to obtain the privilege of earning 
a miserable pittance by repainting and repairing. Their 
work has proved more mischievous than even that of time 
and neglect. In the one case the life of the old painter 
was taken away, but a pleasant tradition of his worthiness 
still remained : in the other, his fame, the thing which had 
been dearest to him, and for which he had worked so 
earnestly and so well, was destroyed for ever. Ignorant 
men and so-called connoisseurs held him responsible for 
bad drawing, bad colouring, and bad sentiment, and the 
name of many a great master has thus become a bye-word." 

Besides the Memoir of Perugino referred to by Sir 
William Gregory in the passage quoted above, Layard 
contributed to the publications of the Arundel Society 
monographs on Ottaviano Nelli, Domenico Ghirlandajo, 
Giovanni Sanzio, and Pinturicchio. 

To Mrs Austen. 

FLORENCE, 24^ September 1853. 

. . . We 1 have been a week at Florence, and during 
that time have been so completely taken up with sight- 
seeing, that I have not had a moment's leisure for more 

1 He was travelling with his friends, Lord and Lady Somers. 

i86 9 ] GERMAN ART 207 

than a few hurried lines to my mother. . . . We had three 
delightful days at Genoa, and a good picture and fresco- 
seeing. At Leghorn we fortunately found Mr Sloane in 
the same hotel with ourselves. We only remained there 
one night, and then spent a day of great enjoyment in the 
Cathedral and Campo Santo of Pisa. Nothing can exceed 
the kindness of the Sloanes. They are living here in great 
comfort. He has lately bought the Villa Careggi, and is 
now fitting it up. You may remember that it was built by 
Cosimo de' Medici, and became the favourite retreat of 
Lorenzo ; he died there. Sloane is collecting furniture of 
the Medicean period, and portraits of the principal friends 
of Lorenzo, and is having pictures painted of some of the 
principal events which occurred in the villa. Watts, 1 who 
lived in the villa for some time with Lord Holland, has 
painted a masterly fresco on one of the walls, representing a 
scene which occurred on the death of Lorenzo, when his 
attendants resolved to throw the doctor into the well, and 
were only prevented by a friar who happened to be present. 
The well still exists, and the scene is admirably portrayed. 
The position of the villa is delightful. 

I have never enjoyed paintings more than I have done 
during this journey. Whether it has been from having 
Somers to talk them over with, or whether one's taste 
improves, I don't know. 

[Extracts from LayarcTs Journal in the Crimea in 1854 
will be found in Appendix A.] 

To Mrs Austen. 

SALZBURG, ijth August 1855. 

... I was delighted with Nuremberg, which is full of 
Gothic monuments of the Middle Ages, and works of the 
early German masters. I amused myself with drawing 
architectural details and studying the early German masters, 
of whose works I was very ignorant. From the old 
Germanic we suddenly passed to the new at Munich. The 
change was certainly not for the better ; I am no convert 
to the modern school, either of painting or of decoration. 
Indeed, I was much disappointed, although not expecting 
much. It is extraordinary that, with such an opportunity 
as the great works undertaken by the late king afforded, a 

1 Mr G. F. Watts, R.A. 

208 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

school of German art worthy of the occasion should not 
have arisen. After all, Cornelius, Hess, and Kaulbach are 
but very second-rate indeed, even as compared with the best 
English masters. Their miles of frescoes do not, to my 
mind, include one remarkable work. The new Pinacothek 
contains a collection of the cabinet pictures of these 
masters and their scholars, and a collection less respectable 
cannot well be imagined. 

Nor do I like the Munich decoration. The horror 
which the Bavarian artists seem to have of pure colour, 
gives all their internal ornamentation a washed-out appear- 
ance, which takes away all strength and beauty from their 
works. Unfortunately, the taste established at Munich has 
spread to England, and Fergusson is one of its most ardent 
disciples. I longed to get a brushful of pure red or blue 
paint to dab a little over the frescoes in the Pinacothek 
and Glyptothek. 

The collection of old masters makes up somewhat for 
the abominations of the new. Of the early German 
masters there are some very fine specimens but you know 
the collection. 

To Mrs Austen. 

i6th December 1855. 

I left Florence on Wednesday last, and crossed to 
Marseilles from Leghorn by a boat which touches at 
Bastia. . . . Florence was cold, but the weather fine and 
bracing. I found so many friends, and so much in the 
way of art to interest me, that I left with much regret, and 
would willingly have spent a month there. 

I finished to some extent my collection of tracings by 
adding to it from the chapels in the Santa Maria Novella, 
and getting all the heads of the celebrated " cenacolo," of 
which so much has been said, and which some still believe 
to be Raphael's ; so that I have now a pretty complete 
illustration of the history of fresco painting from Giotto to 
Fra Bartolomeo, and consider my three months in search of 
health otherwise profitably employed. I found so many 
useful friends in Florence, that I could obtain almost any- 
thing, and have serious thoughts of publishing a selection 
of tracings, as nobody knows anything about frescoes, which 
are, after all, by far the most interesting and most beautiful 
of the works of the great Italian painters. 

i86 9 ] TOUR IN LOMBARDY 209 

To Mrs Austen. 

MILAN, iith August 1856. 

I am now spending a day or two in Milan, and I have 
found here a friend, the Professor of Architecture at 
the Brera, with whose assistance I can carry out my art 
researches. ... I have not very much to tell you of our pro- 
ceedings. After spending a couple of days at Chamounix, 
scrambling over the Mer de Glace and visiting some of the 
principal passes in the neighbourhood, we l crossed the St 
Bernard into the Val d'Aosta and Italy. We then went to 
Orta, and passed a day or two on the beautiful lake. From 
Orta we crossed the hills by a very delightful mule-road to 
Varallo a place I was anxious to visit on account of its 
frescoes by Gaudenzio Ferrari and his school. From 
Varallo we came on here. We are now going to Saronno 
and Castiglione, where there are some very interesting 
frescoes of Luini and Masolino ; we then return here and 
commence our Lombard tour through Bergamo, Brescia, 
Verona, etc. . . . 

I have seen a Galignani or two, but am quite in the 
dark as to public affairs. It is a great comfort to leave 
politics for a season. I have met no one I know, and very 
few English indeed except at Chamounix ; where they 
always swarm. There I fell in with Ruskin, and enjoyed 
a walk with him on the glaciers; he is always eloquent 
and agreeable. 

To Mrs Austen. 

VERONA, 'jth September 1856. 

We arrived here last night from Mantua. I forget 
whether we had been to Saronno when I last wrote to you. 
We spent several days there, at a decent little Italian inn. 
I made tracings of some of the most interesting frescoes, 
and Mrs Burr, a very good drawing of the exquisite cupola, 
painted by Gaudenzio Ferrari no easy work. 

I was more delighted even than I had been last year 
with the Luinis, which I place among the best works in 
fresco with which I am acquainted, and which ought to be 

1 He was travelling with his friends, Mr and Mrs Higford Burr. 
Mrs Burr at this time made several copies of Old Masters for the 
Arundel Society. 


210 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

sufficient to convert any one of taste to the superiority of 
that medium over oil. Luini' worked much, and his 
paintings, frescoes as well as oil, are unequal. His scholars, 
too, did a good deal for him. Of all his works which I 
have seen, I like best the Saronno frescoes, which are of 
the highest class. 

From Saronno we visited a picturesque little village 
called Castiglione d'Olona, where some very interesting 
frescoes of Masolino have recently been discovered. I 
obtained permission at Milan to make tracings in the 
Brera, but had only time to make one, that of St Catharine 
placed in the tomb by Angels, in an exquisite work by 
Luini. I was delighted with the Certosa of Pavia, rich 
in paintings, sculptures, and carving. Here Borgognone 
scarcely known elsewhere, has left works worthy of the 
greatest masters. So little is this wonderful painter known, 
even in Italy, that in a very fair gallery at Brescia I see 
him confounded with the painter of battles of the same 
name. I think I have succeeded in picking up a couple of 
specimens of his. They are not in his best manner, but 
the extreme rarity of his works makes them valuable. He 
had all the sentiment and devotional feeling of Fra 
Angelico, with far greater power and breadth. . . . 

I was much disappointed with Mantua, and thoroughly 
disgusted with Giulio Romano and his celebrated palaces. 
After studying the really great masters of Italy, it is 
difficult to understand how the taste of civilised Europe 
could have been so perverted and corrupted by Giulio 
Romano, and the other scholars of Raphael. We are still 
suffering from them, and Ruskin will have to do much 
more battle before he can thoroughly expose their vulgarity 
and unmeaning exaggerations. Verona, on the other hand, 
is full of remains of fine works of the purer period of 
Italian art, and there is work here for weeks. 

To Mrs Austen. 

CONSTANTINOPLE, ind January 1857. 

... I shall leave this next week, and probably take the 
Marseilles boat, as I wish to pay a short visit to our 
Smyrna branch Bank. 1 I have little more to do here. I 

1 He took an active part in the establishment and management of 
the Imperial Ottoman Bank, of which he was the first Chairman. 


leave an excellent man in charge of our affairs, and I have 
been able to re-establish the position of the Bank, and to 
make a good thing, I hope, for the shareholders. You will 
probably see by the papers that I have obtained the 
conditional concession of a very important railroad, which 
will be equally advantageous to this country and to 
Europe, and which has already excited the greatest satis- 
faction here. I had long projected the union of the 
Danube with the Mediterranean, and, finding my friends in 
office and the moment opportune, I put the thing forward. 

I have just returned from a visit to Mr Calvert at the 
Dardanelles. I spent Christmas Day with him. We sat 
down, eight-and-twenty to dinner : a large number of 
English for so out-of-the-way a place. The two following 
days I spent on the plains of Troy, going over the farm 
which I have so often described to you. The owner now 
asks more than three times the sum that he was willing to 
give it for, four years ago, so much has land risen in value 
since the war. Of course, purchasing it at the price he 
now asks would be out of the question. Calvert's farm is 
answering capitally. It is now yielding a very handsome 
revenue, the cost having been paid off two or three times 
over during the war. It has often struck me that, if I 
could find a well-situated farm, I might establish Edgar l 
upon it, if he were not satisfied with the Cape. I feel 
certain that it would answer exceedingly well. Any one 
who could invest ; 10,000 in land, in some parts of Turkey, 
would realise in four or five years a certain revenue of 
5000 a year. . . . 

I am much flattered by Lord Palmerston's good opinion 
as conveyed through Lady Eastlake ; but I am afraid we 
are destined to have another fight or two, as I certainly 
differ from him on much of his foreign policy, and shall 
probably have to protest very energetically against it. 

... I have very good accounts of the progress of the 
Arundel Society's undertaking. You know they have 
accepted my offer of the Pietro Perugino. Mrs Burr tells 
me that the man who has undertaken to litho-tint it, is 
doing his work exceedingly well. Mrs Burr has also been 
able to improve her Giotto's Chapel from the notes and 
drawings of details she made during our last journey. I 
have great plans for the Arundel, which I hope to carry 
out : I have already laid my train. We ought to be able 
to give to the public, at very moderate prices, a perfect 
1 His brother. 

212 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

series of the finest Italian frescoes, which are incomparably 
the greatest monuments of Italian art, and are the least 
known to the British public. I am curious to see Mrs 
Burr's copy of the great fresco of Orcagna in the Santa 
Maria Novella at Florence, which she seems to have worked 
very hard at. 

To Mrs Austen. 

POONAH, i$th December 1857. 

... I am on my way to Hyderabad in the Deccan, 
and I leave to-day if I can make some necessary arrange- 

Travelling is so difficult in this country that one's 
progress is slow. It is extraordinary that under our rule 
the means of intercommunication should be so utterly 
wanting. I remained at Bombay a fortnight, and could 
have spent six months there pleasantly and profitably. 
I was very much interested in the place, far more than 
I anticipated. I had rather expected a kind of Brighton, 
instead of which I found a strange mixture of Constanti- 
nople and Pekin, certainly with a touch of Hampstead, 
altogether new to me, notwithstanding my Eastern 

It is indeed difficult to conceive a city containing more 
objects of interest ; the curious mixture of races from all 
parts of Asia ; the various forms of idolatry at every turn ; 
the singular architecture, and the variety of tropical 
vegetation, form a picture which no description I have 
ever read has given me the least notion of. 

Indian scenery, too, is different from anything that I 
had anticipated ; the conventional young lady in scanty 
attire, with the waterpot on her head ; the bull with the 
hump, and the cocoa-nut tree the usual Indian picture is 
very different from what one sees. Each is no doubt to 
be met with in its proper place, but there are so many 
other ingredients in an Indian landscape. The scenery 
of the Ghaut between this and Bombay is magnificent. 
It is to be regretted that no really good artist comes out 
to this country. 

I was very kindly and hospitably received at Bombay, 
both by English and native gentlemen. I lodged 
in a delightful bungalow with Mr Wallace, Mr Frith's 

i869] TOUR IN INDIA 213 

correspondent. Living is luxurious ; this is the country 
for an idle man to spend his time in. At this time of the 
year the climate is delicious, and by selecting your resi- 
dence you may enjoy throughout the year a perpetual 
spring. After seeing as much of Bombay in a fortnight, 
owing to my excellent guides, as most people would see 
in a year, I started for this place, visiting the great works 
in the Ghaut for the railway, and spending a few hours at 
the rock-cut Temple of Karli which Mr Fergusson has 
described. I am here very hospitably entertained by a 
Captain and Mrs Davidson, who, Indian fashion, lodge and 
board me on the strength of a letter of introduction alone. 
There is a good deal to be seen in this old capital of the 
Maharatta Kingdom, now in ruins though still possessing 
a considerable population. I have made many native 
friends here also, and a Brahmin gentleman of great 
intelligence and acquirements was good enough to ac- 
company me from Bombay. I have, therefore, seen every- 
thing worth seeing, and have much intercourse with the 
natives. I had intended, as you know, to go to Lahore 
through Scinde, but the prospect of a tedious voyage of 
some six weeks up the Indus, and the absence of the 
Commissioner, Mr Frere, 1 from Kurrachee, deterred me ; 
moreover, the state of the country in the north is such 
that I might have been unable to get on. The roads 
between this and Agra and Delhi are still closed, but will 
probably be opened in about six weeks. Lord Elphinstone 2 
has, therefore, advised me to spend the time in seeing this 
part of the Presidency and the north of the Deccan, in 
which there are many interesting cities and ancient 
remains, amongst them Ellora and Ajunta. 

I am, therefore, going to Hyderabad, the capital of the 
independent states of the Nizam, and from thence I shall 
visit Aurungabad, Dowlatabad, and the Rock Temples, 
hoping to reach Indore the end of January. Sir Robert 
Hamilton 3 there takes me in charge, and promises to send 
me to Agra or Delhi. 

1 Sir Bartle Frere, Bart, G.C.B. (1815-84); Commissioner of 
Sindh (1850-59) ; received the thanks of Parliament for his services 
in the Mutiny. 

a John, thirteenth Baron (1807-60), Governor of Bombay during 
the Mutiny. 

3 Sir Robert Hamilton, Bart. (1802-87). The Governor- General's 
Agent for Central India ; in which capacity he accompanied Sir 
Hugh Rose's force during the important operations in that quarter 
for the suppression of the Mutiny. 

2i 4 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

1 have an old friend, Sir Hugh Rose, 1 commanding the 
troops now marching into Malwar, and I shall probably 
join his column. 

I travel slowly, having hired a palankeen with twelve 
bearers, who will carry me about four-and-twenty miles a 
day. My servants and people come in a bullock-cart or 
on ponies. 

I have a very intelligent young Brahmin with me, a 
scholar of the Elphinstone college, and recommended to me 
by the Principal. He is to be my interpreter, and to help 
me in gaining such information as I want. A very learned 
and agreeable Brahmin gentleman, Dr Bahnoo Daji, has 
accompanied me hitherto most kindly through his assist- 
ance I have seen more than most travellers, or even 
residents, in India, and have had access to many natives. 
I have been much interested in Poonah. The inhabitants 
are expecting Nana Sahib, who has many friends and 
relations here ; but they will probably be disappointed. By 

the way, there is a Major M living here, who is a very 

eccentric man ; he has given up the army because it is 
wicked to be a soldier, eats nothing but vegetables, 
preaches the Gospel, and is what Lord Somers' friend 
called a " Yarmouth bloater " (i.e. Plymouth brother). He 
never sees any one, but is a man of considerable acquire- 
ments, and has lately published a Maharatta dictionary 
which is considered to be a standard work. I have met 
with great kindness and civility both here and at Bombay ; 
Indian hospitality is unbounded. The country is still in 
a very disturbed and unsatisfactory state. Outbreaks may 
occur in any part of the country when least expected, 
but the really formidable part of the rebellion is now put 
down. There was much apprehension in Poonah for some 
time, but people are easier now. 

To Mr Austen. 

i -^th January 1858. 

Although the mail does not leave India for nearly a 
fortnight to come, I may not have another opportunity 
of writing or of sending a letter. I may as well, there- 

1 Sir Hugh Rose (1801-85), afterwards Field-Marshal Lord 

i8*9] MODE OF TRAVEL 215 

fore, give you some news of myself now that I find myself 
in a place which has a post-office a rare thing on my 
present line of march. . . . 

I wrote to my mother from Hyderabad about a week 
ago. I had a week's rest there, and derived both pleasure 
and advantage from my visit to the Resident, Colonel 
Davidson, who very kindly and hospitably entertained me. 
I resumed my journey on the 5th, and am now on my way 
to Aurungabad, whence I proceed through Indore to Agra 
and Delhi. My movements, however, a good deal depend 
upon the information I receive from Sir Robert Hamilton, 
our Resident at Indore, who has promised to keep me 
informed of the state of the country, and to pass me 
through the territories under his supervision as soon as 
that may be practicable. 

Travelling in this country is dreadfully slow ; it is 
impossible to progress, except at an expense utterly beyond 
my means, more than twenty miles a day ; that, indeed, is 
more than an average. My plans for travelling as free 
from encumbrances and luggage as I used to do in Turkey 
were soon upset. It is impossible for a European to do so 
in this country, where every native house is shut against 
him, and he must depend for food, and even for a glass 
of water, upon his own resources. Moreover, I am now en- 
cumbered with an enormous escort, which is little needed 
for my personal safety, neither worth the trouble nor the 
display, but which both Salar Jung, the Nizam's Minister, 
and the Resident, insisted on my accepting. The former 
added to his favours by lending me an elephant and an 
ambling pony for my journey through his master's 
territories, so that, with my own suite and that of my 
cavalry, who have their own servants, camels, and other 
encumbrances, I am altogether at the head of a con- 
siderable caravan. I hope, however, to be at Indore by 
the beginning of February, and at Agra by the end of the 
month. I shall make every endeavour to be at Calcutta in 
time to leave by the first May boat, so as to escape the 
monsoon, and to be in England early in June. 

I have no cause whatever to regret my visit to India. 
I have already seen and heard enough to repay me for 
any trouble or inconvenience. Without studying Indian 
questions on the spot, and having opportunities of com- 
municating with the natives themselves, it is impossible 
to form just or sound opinions. Although my present 
mode of travelling is tedious and somewhat irritating 

216 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

when one is in a hurry, yet it has the advantage of 
enabling me to see a good deal of the country, and to 
mix, as much as a stranger can do, with the people. The 
weather, too, is delightful, and this kind of life is conducive 
to the enjoyment of perfect health. The scenery of the 
Deccan is less interesting, perhaps, than that of most parts 
of India ; but there is sufficient novelty in all that surrounds 
me to occupy my attention, and to prevent the journey 
being really tedious. . . . 

I have no news to send you of the war in the north. I 
have heard none myself since leaving Hyderabad. In the 
Deccan, with the exception of bands of Rohillas, who are 
plundering right and left, there is no great excitement, and 
perfect quiet will, no doubt, be restored as soon as matters 
become more settled in the north. We have had, however, 
a narrow escape in this part of India. Indeed, the 
sympathy of the populations appears to have been with 
the rebels in all parts of the Peninsula. The sooner people 
in England open their eyes to the truth, and no longer 
believe, with the Government and the Times, that this is 
a mere military mutiny, the better ; the more chance there 
will be of our taking measures to preserve ourselves for the 

To Mrs Austen. 


is -t February 1858. 

As yet I have performed the first part of my journey 
successfully, though somewhat more slowly than I had 
expected ; but it has been impossible to get on any faster. 
The march of the troops has drained the country of its 
usual resources for travelling, and I have been compelled to 
creep along at a snail's pace. I should have no difficulty, 
had I plenty of time before me, in passing through any part 
of India, but I begin almost to fear that it will be difficult 
for me to reach Agra early enough to be able to get to 
Calcutta in time for the first May boat, by which I had 
made up my mind to return to England. The distances in 
this country are so enormous that, at fifteen or twenty 
miles a day, it requires months to journey from one part 
of it to another. I do not object to the marching ; it 
enables me to see much of the country and of the people. 
I generally start very early in the morning, so as to reach 

x869] BRITISH RULE 217 

my resting-place soon after ten o'clock. There, I usually 
find what is called a " staging bungalow," a small thatched 
building with a solitary white-washed room, a chair and a 
table very much resembling the solitary cell of a model 
prison. I have to take everything with me for bed and 
board, the village yielding nothing more than a little milk 
and a fowl. During the heat of the day I manage to read 
a good deal, exclusively works on the country, of which I 
have hitherto had an abundant supply, and in the afternoon 
I poke about the village, talk to the Headmen, and pick up 
such information as may be obtained as to the condition of 
the people, their mode of life, etc. 

Thus sauntering along, I have traversed a good part of 
the Bombay Presidency and of Central India. I have 
found the country, in general, quiet, though the population 
is far from well-affected towards us. In fact, I am afraid 
that the disaffection to our rule is deep and widespread, 
and that there are very few natives to be found who do not 
sympathise with those who are in arms against us. I have 
run no risk in travelling, as I have generally been provided 
with an ample escort. 

It is not difficult to understand the causes of this 
general hatred of our rule. It is partly deserved, and 
partly undeserved, but would have existed under almost 
any circumstance. We differ from the people in everything 
which might form a bond of sympathy between a conquered 
people and their rulers ; in language, religion, manners, 
habits, and feelings. We have done nothing to form any 
other bond of sympathy, or to create mutual interests. The 
people we govern are treated like a distinct race, inferior 
to us more, indeed, as if they were of a lower order of 
creatures ; not always actually unkindly, though in too 
many instances with brutality, but with that sort of 
kindness which would be shown to a pet animal. They 
are excluded from all share of government, they can never 
rise to anything beyond the most inferior posts. We are 
endeavouring to force upon them our old worn-out judicial 
system, with all its technicalities and delays, which we are 
gradually ridding ourselves of at home, and which is in- 
finitely more odious to them than it could ever be to us. 
We have Sanitary Commissioners and Boards interfering 
with all their private and domestic affairs, no doubt, all for 
their own good, although they won't so understand it. We 
are meddling with customs which are of no real importance, 
and yet are clung to with extraordinary tenacity by the 

2i& POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

people. We are breaking faith in the most scandalous 
manner with native princes, and annexing their territories. 
We are suddenly demanding proof of title to lands one 
hundred years back, and seizing in the most arbitrary 
manner men's papers and title-deeds. We allow widow 
ladies of the Brahmin caste to marry again (conceive the 
atrocity of Palmerston, of his own good-will, permitting a 
man to marry his wife's sister !). We are doing a thousand 
other things of the kind, and we are then surprised that 
our Indian subjects are disaffected. All we have really 
given them in return is perfect security, and this is certainly 
a great boon. Under it, money-lenders and fat Parsees 
and Baboos can make their fortunes and enjoy them ; but 
the cultivators and there is no one else in India, our rule 
having utterly destroyed the native gentry are reduced to 
the utmost poverty. We have done nothing to bring the 
people to us. Education, the diffusion of our language and 
our religion (it is nonsense to talk of the missionaries being 
unpopular), the means of inter-communication, irrigation by 
great public works, which would have enriched both the 
governed and the rulers, have been neglected to an extent 
perfectly incredible. No civilised government has ever 
done less for its subjects, and the East India Company is 
doubly to be blamed, as it has been the landlord of every 
acre of land, and has raised its rents by way of revenue to 
the utmost farthing. It is but a sorry justification to say 
that the people have been worse off under some native 

The first thing to be done is to get rid of the idea 
which still seems to prevail in England, and which the 
Government seems industriously to encourage, that this is 
a military mutiny. It is a rebellion, in which the Bengal 
Army, not, like our army, an isolated body, but part and 
parcel of the people and their representative, have taken 
the leading part. You will scarcely open an Indian paper 
in which you will not read of the execution of a Rajah, or 
some native authority, or of the burning of villages in 
whole districts. This shows the real nature of the out- 
break. Now that the country is to be transferred to the 
Crown, we may begin anew. We may do an immense 
deal of good upon the change, but we may, at the same 
time, do an immense deal of evil, and I very much fear, 
knowing who will have to carry out the change, 1 that the 

1 The Home Government, and not that of India, is probably in- 

1869] ROCK TEMPLES 219 

latter will preponderate. Nevertheless, I think matters had 
arrived at a state to render the transfer of India to the 
Crown absolutely necessary. 

The country through which I have passed, except that 
on the coast, is not, on the whole, of much beauty or 
interest vast plains, intersected by ranges of low hills, 
with a rich soil, in many places cultivated with great 
industry, and producing a variety of valuable articles of 
export. The vegetation is less remarkable and peculiar 
than that which so much struck me on landing at Bombay. 
There are magnificent trees around the villages, finer than, 
or as fine as, any of our forest trees. The banian, the 
peepul, the tamarind, and one or two others, are unequalled 
for the magnificence of their growth, and their picturesque 
form. The villages in general are miserably poor, and a 
temple with any pretensions to architecture is rare in the 
Deccan. Between this place and Aurungabad I visited 
the well-known rock temples and monasteries of Ellora and 
Ajunta. It would be impossible not to be struck by them. 
They are altogether different from anything one has seen 
before, the scene is altogether so strange and new. They 
are not devoid of a certain solemn beauty when taken as a 
whole. The dark mysterious gloom of the interior of the 
temples has an imposing and religious effect, well adapted 
to the purpose of a temple, but, as art, these works rank 
low, and are inferior to all prior and contemporary works 
of Italy, or of Greece, or even of Egypt and Assyria. The 
Indians have had no true feeling for the beautiful. They 
have aimed at the mysterious, the terrible, and the 
monstrous. Some of the details at Ajunta, especially the 
Arabesque paintings, are not without beauty ; unfortunately, 
all are rapidly falling away, and although a Major Gill, a 
man of considerable ability, has been employed for some 
years in making drawings at Ajunta, I fear he will not 
preserve that which is, perhaps, most worth preserving. I 
have not yet seen any very remarkable Indian city, or 
any of the most celebrated of the monuments of the 
Mohammedan rulers of India. The tomb of Aurungzebe's 
wife at Aurungabad is a bad imitation of the celebrated 
Taj at Agra, and, although of great beauty and richness 
in the materials, is of very poor architectural taste. 
Hyderabad is a ruinous city, with no very fine monuments. 
The tombs of Golconda are interesting. Aurungabad is 
also in ruins. 

[It is much to be regretted that Layard's letters 

220 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

describing the remainder of his tour in India have dis- 
appeared. On his way to Delhi he had a narrow escape of 
falling into the hands of the celebrated Nana, and at that 
city he saw many interesting persons and things.] 

To Mrs Austen, 

ROME, \\th November 1858. 

. . . Since I wrote to you from La Cava, I have been 
wandering about Tuscany, chiefly engaged in art re- 
searches, and in paying visits to some friends. I ought 
to have been here five or six days ago, but have been 
detained by the least expected of events a heavy fall of 
snow! I was caught when staying at the Conestabiles, 1 
at their very picturesque country house near Perugia. 
Yesterday it snowed in the streets of Rome a regular 
case for the oldest inhabitant, especially in this month. 

After spending two or three days with the Sloanes, I 
fell in with my friend, Mr Tom Taylor, 2 and his sister-in- 
law, Miss Barker, a very accomplished artist. We spent 
some days together very agreeably, principally at Assisi, 
and in the neighbourhood of Perugia. Taylor had not 
visited this part of Italy, and I had real pleasure in show- 
ing him the many interesting monuments with which it 
abounds, and an acquaintance with which is almost 
necessary for a proper understanding of the early schools 
of Italian painting. He is, you know, a rather dis- 
tinguished Art critic, writing most of the articles on Art 
in the Times. He has, however, like most Englishmen, 
little real knowledge of the subject, and I hope he has 
profited by what I have shown him. 

I have been very busy making fresh plans for the 
Arundel Society, and endeavouring to find some means 
of preserving records of the great works of art with which 
the sanctuary of St Francis at Assisi abounds, but which 
are fast perishing. The neglect and wilful destruction to 
which they are exposed is truly lamentable. Every time 
I return to Italy I find fresh progress in the work of decay. 
In a very few years but little will be left of the frescoes 
which covered the walls of the Church of Assisi, and I am 

1 Count Gian Carlo Conestabile della Staflfa, a distinguished 
archaeologist, died 1877. 

8 The dramatist, and editor of Punch (1817-80). 


anxious to find the means of having the most important 
copied before it is too late. I have secured for the 
Society a beautiful copy of the fine fresco by Raphael's 
father at Cagli, which I hope we shall publish next year. 
It is very important as a link in the history of Art, 
and remarkable for its intrinsic beauty, showing whence 
Raphael derived much of his artistic education. I am 
beginning to interest some of my Italian friends in our 
publications, and I hope to secure a great many sub- 
scribers in Italy. My friend, Count G. Conestabile, is an 
admirable specimen of an Italian nobleman of taste and 
erudition, with much of the character and bearing of an 
Englishman. He has been of great use to us in our 
undertaking. I spent two or three very pleasant days 
at his country house, an ancient palace, very picturesque 
and mediaeval, built on a hill in the middle of oak woods 
some eight miles from Perugia. 

. . . Rome is, fortunately, as yet somewhat empty of 
English. Yesterday I passed the whole day in the Sistine 
Chapel, undisturbed by a single sightseer, and had ample 
leisure to examine with the care I wished the wonderful 
works which it contains. My special object in Rome is 
to visit the early Christian monuments, especially the Cata- 
combs, and to examine the early frescoes and mosaics 
which abound here, and which are generally less known and 
studied than the later and more renowned works of art. 

[As a result of the battles of Magenta and Solferino, a 
provisional treaty of peace between the Emperor of the 
French and the Emperor of Austria was signed at Villa- 
franca on the nth July 1859. Under this Treaty it was 
proposed to cede Lombardy to the King of Sardinia, to 
establish an Italian Federation under the Pope, and to 
restore the Dukes of Tuscany and Modena to their 

To Mrs Austen. 

ROME, yh October 1859. 

I arrived here yesterday from Leghorn, having made 
the journey by sea to Civita Vecchia, and thence to Rome 
by railway. As far as Florence I took but little time, 
travelling generally night and day. There I remained 

222 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

above a week, being anxious to ascertain how political 
affairs were going on, and wishing to see the men who are 
now at the head of the Government. I found great 
excitement prevailing in Tuscany, as you may suppose, 
but the most perfect order and tranquillity. In all matters 
of police and custom-house, great improvements have 
already taken place, and one could not but be struck, 
even after being a few hours in the country, at the change 
for the better which had taken place since the expulsion of 
those who governed Tuscany under Austrian dictation. 
The towns and villages were everywhere decorated with 
tricolor and Sardinian flags, and there was scarcely a 
house which had not a portrait of Vittorio Emanuele, or 
of Garibaldi, pasted on the walls. The feeling of the 
country against the return of the Grand-ducal family seems 
indeed almost universal. There are, of course, a few of the 
nobles who have held places in the Court, or a few lawyers, 
hangers-on upon the Grand Dukes, who lament the 
change, otherwise the satisfaction at having got rid of 
the House of Lorraine is unanimous. Not so, I think, the 
idea of fusion with, or annexation to, Piedmont. The 
men who are at present at the head of affairs are all for 
such a union, and are taking every step in their power to 
carry it out ; such as introducing the name of the King 
and his Arms in all public documents, changing the coin- 
age, and removing all frontier lines of customs and police. 
But there is a very large and influential party in Tuscany 
against these measures, and, if I am not much mistaken, it 
will be upon this rock that the Liberals will split. The 
feeling of autonomy is so strong in Italy especially in 
Central Italy that such a city as Florence will never 
submit to become a dependency of Piedmont, a city of 
second rank, instead of the head of progress and civilisa- 
tion in Italy ; nor will Tuscany submit to become a mere 
province. The Austrians having been got rid of, the 
difficulty will now be to settle their own affairs ; and the 
difficulty is increased by the tortuous and disloyal policy 
of the French, who, whilst they are jealous of Austrian 
influence in Italy, are determined that the Italians them- 
selves shall never become a strong and united nation. 
There is still an impression that the Grand Duke will be 
brought back to Florence. If that should be the case, the 
results will probably be very serious. The moderate 
constitutional party now in the ascendency will lose all 
its influence, and the Mazzinists and "Reds" will commence 

i86 9 ] STATE OF ITALY 223 

their intrigues again, and there will be endless assassina- 
tions, bloodshed, and disorders. Hitherto the revolution 
has been brought about with the most perfect order and 
moderation. Ricasoli, who is at the head of the Pro- 
visional Government, is a very remarkable man. Of one 
of the oldest and wealthiest noble families of Tuscany, he 
has not before mixed in politics, having devoted his time 
to the improvement of his estates, and to the introduction 
of English implements into the country. With him are 
associated many members of the most ancient historic 
Tuscan families, so that the movement is by no means 
confined to the middle or lower classes. 

... I have had so much to do with politics, that I 
have had little time for the arts. We have had some very 
beautiful copies of frescoes made for the Arundel Society, 
and have obtained leave to get copies of the celebrated 
frescoes by Masolino and Masaccio in the Brancacci 
Chapel. The time, indeed, was very favourable for this, as 
the authorities were anxious to oblige me. 

To Mrs Austen. 

ROME, \*]th October 1859. 

I am now again in Rome, after spending a few days at 
the picturesque little city of Subiaco on the Neapolitan 
frontier. I had intended, on leaving England, to make a 
tour in the Abruzzi, a country little known, and probably 
containing many curious remains. But, in going to the 
frontier, I found that the state of the country was such that 
any attempt to travel in any out-of-the-way part of the 
Neapolitan States would be attended by the risk of being 
taken up as a spy, and lodged in the not very comfortable 
quarters of a Neapolitan prison. Moreover, without going 
to Naples, it would have been difficult to cross again into 
the Roman States. So, all things considered, I have 
thought it best to give up the Abruzzi until the times are 
more settled. I am very anxious to ascertain for myself 
the condition of Central Italy, so I shall return homewards 
quietly through Florence, Bologna, Modena, Parma, and 
Turin. Things are in a very interesting state, and I should 
like to see the last of them before getting back to England. 

Rome is quite empty of travellers, and will probably 
remain so during the winter, nobody liking to venture to 

224 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

Italy in the present state of politics. And I am not sur- 
prised, as anything may happen if the actual state of un- 
certainty continues, and Central Italy is left without a 
recognised government, and treated by the European 
Powers as if she were of no weight or importance whatever. 
It is surprising that order and tranquillity have been main- 
tained as things have been. The country has never been 
so well governed ; there has never been so little crime ; 
never so little trouble from police, passports, customs, and 
all the old nuisances of Italian travel. The Parma affair 1 
alone has unfortunately occurred to interrupt the general 
order, and that might have happened in any country. The 
only places where the old state of things continues are the 
Roman and Neapolitan States in these precious legitimate 
Governments, which are the curse of Italy and Europe ! 
If the French withdraw from Rome, which they will shortly 
do, I presume the Pope and his Cardinals must follow 
them ; the country would rise to a man. I met here two 
days ago Delane, the editor of the Times > and spent a day 
with him. He is very much changed on the subject of 
Italian affairs, and I see that the articles in the Times are 
written in a very different tone to what they formerly were. 
I really believe that, if the Italians are only allowed to 
govern themselves, and the Austrians prevented interfering, 
a new era of prosperity and national independence is open 
to them. I find the most moderate people here have joined 
the movement, indeed are at the head of it 

To Mr Austen. 

ROME, 2&h October 1859. 

... As to sending back the Grand-Dukes and Dukes 
with promises of a Constitution, and making the Pope 
promise to govern his subjects better in future, it is a mere 
farce. Such promises will be kept as long as it suits those 
who make them. With Austria in possession of Venetia 
and the fortresses, her influence would always remain 
paramount in Italy, if her satraps were restored. The 
moment the French troops were withdrawn, we should 
have the old state of things over again. The Italians 
know this quite well, and are determined to take the 

1 The reference here is probably to the murder of Count Anviti in 
that city, and his mutilation by the mob. 


present opportunity of resisting the return of the old 
Austrian families, and forming an independent govern- 
ment of their own. And they are quite right. I only hope 
they will persevere, and not be deluded by the Emperor of 
the French, or the fine promise of a Congress. 

... In matters of art and antiquity, I have been 
visiting the old Etruscan tombs of Cervetri, which interested 
me exceedingly, and the Catacombs, upon which I wished 
to make some notes. I was accompanied to Cervetri by 
Castellani, the well-known Roman jeweller, a most in- 
telligent and able man. He was kept in prison for three 
years, from 1853 to 1856, in a solitary cell scarcely six feet 
long, merely because he was suspected of liberal opinions ; 
and he was one out of hundreds of the same class who 
have suffered the same fate. We were entertained at 
Cervetri by one of those great farmers called " Mercanti di 
Campagna," a fine specimen of the class, with two sons full 
of activity and intelligence. The account they gave of the 
constant interference of the authorities, of the difficulties 
they met with in carrying on the simplest business, and of 
the necessity they were under of leaving the greater part 
of the land uncultivated, was a curious expost of the system 
of government. A gentleman cannot obtain his passport 
for leaving Rome, even to go to another city, without pre- 
senting to the police a certificate from the priest of his 
parish that he has taken the sacrament ! This the priest 
can refuse to give, and frequently does so, if the person is 
obnoxious to him or suspected of liberal opinions. I have 
seen Cardinal Antonelli ; he is always agreeable and full of 
protestations of good intentions. By his condescension 
and pleasant manners and flattery, he generally manages 
to get over the English who come to Rome. 

To Mr Austen. 

DRESDEN, gth September 1860. 

Thus far I have had a pleasant and interesting 
journey. My first stage was Cologne. There I remained 
the Sunday. A capital train brought us in one night from 
Cologne to Berlin. There we fell in with many friends, 
amongst them the Eastlakes l and Lord and Lady 

1 Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865) ; President of the Royal 
Academy, 1850; first Director of the National Gallery, 1855. 


326 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

Monteagle. We thus made a pleasant party for the 
galleries and exhibitions. I was delighted with the Berlin 
Gallery, over which I was carefully shown by our old friend, 
Dr Waagen, the Director. The arrangement of the pictures 
is so admirable, that, although the collection is not of the 
first order, yet I never saw a gallery which interested me 
more a proof of the advantage of that systematic arrange- 
ment in which we are so deficient in our public collections. 
The Museum contains all that has reference to art 
and antiquity, as our British Museum ought to do. The 
building is truly sumptuous, and the beauty and richness 
of the decorations of the halls and rooms, the frescoed 
walls, the marble columns, and mosaic floors, give value 
and importance to the contents ; whilst all the departments : 
painting, sculpture, antiquities, and works of art of every 
kind, are under one roof, yet each is perfectly distinct and 
there is no confusion. All this has been done within the 
last few years indeed, the building is not complete yet 
and, I suppose, at a third, if not a half, less cost than that 
monstrous nightmare of a building the British Museum. 
Altogether, Berlin is a fine city, though somewhat dull, I 
should think. 

To Mr A usten. 

VENICE, 24^ September 1860. 

I was, of course, delighted with the gallery at Munich, 
but I am no convert to the modern school of art. This 
German revival is without true life ; their art is but a poor, 
weak imitation of a bygone simple art, which was a due 
expression of the time in which it prevailed, but which 
would now signify nothing. As for their easel pictures, 
there is not one in their grand collection to compare with 
Wilkie's " Reading of the Will," which one is glad to see 
there, to show that, after all, we have something better than 
these poor milk-and-water imitations of early art At 
Berlin, there is much more that is worthy of praise 
especially in the new buildings but even there, one sees 
most of the defects of the German School. 

From Munich, we took rail to Innsbruck, and thence 
crossed the Brenner by the "snail -waggon," as it should be 
called, to Trent, whence we had a most charming drive 
down the Val Sugana, one of the most beautiful of the 
Italian valleys, to Bassano, where a friend of mine, Mr Ball, 1 

1 John Ball (1818-89), botanist, traveller, and politician ; first 
President of the Alpine Club. 

i86 9 ] STATE OF VENICE 227 

who is married to the daughter of a gentleman of that 
place, was staying. From Bassano, we drove to Con- 
egliano, and then spent two or three days in making 
excursions to some of the picturesque spots at the foot of 
the mountains in the Friuli. The scenery of this part of 
Italy could scarcely be exceeded in beauty. Its influence 
upon Titian and other painters of the Venetian School is 
well-known. We see it continually represented in their 
pictures, and many of the little towns and villages on the 
spurs of the Alps are to this day as they appear in the 
backgrounds of those painters. 

Between Bassano and Conegliano, I found a country 
house, formerly belonging to the Manin fomily, painted in 
fresco, in most of the halls and rooms, by Paul Veronese. 
I do not think these frescoes are known. They are ex- 
cellent quite worthy of the Master. . . . 

One hears on all sides that the city is deserted ; l that 
no Italian takes part in any public amusement ; and that 
there is a general discontent and agitation which may lead 
to an outbreak whenever an opportunity may offer. An 
Austrian regimental band played last night in the Square 
of St Mark ; there were a good many people present, but 
I could distinguish no respectable Italians. The prevail- 
ing language seems to be English, and the greater part of 
the crowd seemed to be made up of English and American 
travellers. Everywhere one hears the same story. It is 
impossible that the present state of things can continue. 
The country is getting daily more impoverished, and the 
expense of keeping it will be greater than even a Govern- 
ment far richer than Austria could afford. Nevertheless, I 
hope Garibaldi and his friends will not risk the whole 
Italian cause, hitherto so triumphant, by any wanton attack 
on Austria. The time will come when Venetia must be 
united to Italy ; by endeavouring to hasten the union 
before the time, the whole cause of Italian independence 
may be jeopardised. 

To Mr Austen. 

VERONA, nth October 1860. 

I left Venice last Sunday. During my stay there, I 
found myself amidst a number of friends. Besides the 

1 Venice and the Venetian territory remained in the possession of 
Austria till 1866. 

228 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

Drummonds, 1 Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, 2 my old friend Otway, 3 
Napier 4 (Lord Derby's Irish Chancellor) and his family 
and others were assembled there. We had many pleasant 
parties and excursions, and with the lovely weather, which 
has not yet deserted us, you may fancy that the enjoyment 
was very great. ... I was very sorry not to have met the 
Eastlakes again, as I enjoyed the hours we spent together 
in Germany very greatly. I should have been glad to have 
seen some of the Italian Galleries with them. I have not 
heard whether Sir Charles has made any purchases for the 
National Gallery. I think I have seen one or two pictures 
that would suit him. I have given myself a good deal of 
trouble in looking out. I made one purchase for myself in 
Venice ; a pleasing picture attributed to Palma Vecchio, 
and perhaps by him, with a fine female head in fair pre- 
servation and of the grand Venetian type that one sees in 
his best work. At Vicenza I was for three days bargaining 
after the Italian fashion for a very fine old German picture, 
a crucifixion, dreadful to look at, but for expression and 
power one of the most extraordinary bits of painting I ever 
saw. I believe it to be by Martin Schon. I have not yet 
succeeded in getting it, but I hope to do so, as the owner 
does not know its value, and only makes a difficulty about 
selling it because I picked it out of a number of worthless 
pictures he offered me. 

I was delighted with Vicenza, a city which I had 
neglected during my previous trips under the impression 
that it contained little worth seeing, and was less 
picturesque than the other cities of Northern Italy. I 
found it, on the contrary, full of objects of interest, and 
charming both from its situation and from the many 
beautiful buildings it contains. My opinion of Palladio is 
very much changed since I have seen the architecture of 
Vicenza, and I can understand how great an influence his 
genius had upon his age. But his imitators, like those of 
all men of genius, became mere mannerists, and Palladian 
architecture was soon reduced to a servile copy of one or 
two of Palladio's adaptations from classic styles. In 
Vicenza his buildings show the greatest variety, a wonder- 
ful feeling for the picturesque, and a beauty in the pro- 

1 The widow and daughter of Thomas Drummond, Under-Sec, of 
State for Ireland (died 1840). 

2 First Lord Lytton (1803-73), the famous novelist. 

3 The Right Honourable Sir Arthur Otway, Bart. 

4 Sir Joseph Napier (1804-82), Lord Chancellor of Ireland. 


portions which has never been excelled. It is this admir- 
able relation of all the parts which gives grace and beauty 
to his buildings. 

Mrs Burr has been working very hard as usual, and 
has made some capital drawings. I was surprised to find 
a capital amateur artist in Mr Collier, 1 who does not, 
however, wish to endanger his professional reputation by 
letting the solicitors into the secret of his accomplish- 
ments, only exercised during the long vacation. His 
drawings are really masterly especially those of Alpine 
scenery, and it is a pity that he executes them in materials 
so very perishable as pastelles. He works with great 
rapidity, and had made a surprising collection in six 
weeks. Bulwer Lytton had not been to Venice for 
nearly thirty years, and it was curious to see how different 
his first impressions of the city had been. I " ciceroned " 
him about for a couple of days. His talk is always 
pleasant and original. 

To Mr Austen. 

FLORENCE, 26M October 1860. 

. . . From Verona I went to Padua, where I remained 
a couple of days. The Austrians are making immense 
preparations for war in all their frontier places. But 
whether the Emperor will venture upon so hazardous 
and decided a step as crossing the boundaries and going 
to war with the Italians, or whether he is merely preparing 
to defend himself in case of attack, remains to be seen. 
The impression in well-informed quarters is that he will 
not wait to be attacked, but will commence the struggle 
at once, if he can secure the support, moral or material, of 
Russia. No success, however, would repay the dangers of 
another war in Italy. Austria never can hold the country 
again, except for a time, perhaps, by employing an amount 
of force which must ultimately exhaust her. 

From Padua I came on to Florence through Ferrara 
and Bologna. I was surprised at the immense change 
which has taken place in those two cities since they have 
been freed from the disgraceful and abominable govern- 

1 Sir Robert Collier, first Lord Monkswell (1817-86); Attorney- 
General, 1868 ; member of Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 
1871 ; a frequent exhibitor in the Royal Academy Exhibitions and 

230 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

ment of the Pope, backed up by Austrian bayonets. 
Ferrara used to be one' of the most melancholy and 
deserted cities in Italy. It is now full of movement and 
life ; and as for Bologna, it is rapidly becoming one of 
the most important and prosperous cities in the Peninsula. 
In a year or two all the great Italian railways, uniting the 
various provinces of the north with those of the south, 
will converge here. More has been done for railways during 
the last twelve months than would have been accomplished 
during half a century of papal misgovernment. Florence 
is very gay. The city is at this moment in a state of 
feverish delight at the news, arrived this evening, of 
Garibaldi's entrance into Capua. My Italian friends here 
are very sanguine of the complete triumph of the con- 
stitutional cause. Everything is certainly going on 
wonderfully well, considering that this country has only 
recovered its liberty within a few months, and was for 
the greater part of the time left to govern itself. If 
Garibaldi, who is the weakest and most easily influenced 
man in the world, can only be kept quiet, and the set of 
scoundrels who surround him and lead him be sent about 
their business, Austria at the same time being kept within 
her boundaries and not allowed to interfere, there is every 
reason to believe that, in ten years from this time, Italy will 
take her place amongst the great nations of Europe, and 
will probably far exceed at least two of them perhaps 
even three Russia, Austria, and Prussia in prosperity, 
material wealth, and strength. She will have a powerful 
fleet as well as an army, and this will at once place her in 
the first rank. 

To Lady Eastlake} 

FLORENCE, 6th November 1865. 

. . . Millais 2 is here, and I have had great pleasure in 
going over the Pitti and the Uffizi with him. He is very 
much pleased with what he has seen, and especially de- 
lighted with the Raphael portraits, Titian, the Bronzinos, the 
Tintorettos, and greatly struck by the splendid Mantegna 
in the Tribuna, and by the allegorical picture by Sandro 
Botticelli, " La Calumnia." . . . Millais is anxious that we 

1 Wife of Sir Charles Eastlake, President of the Royal Academy. 

2 Sir John Everett Millais, R.A. (1829-96), President of the Royal 
Academy, 1896. 


should get a Bronzino portrait for the National Gallery. 
He finds a great likeness between Bronzino and Maclise. 
He says that fifty years hence Maclise's pictures will look 
like Bronzino's. 

To Lady Eastlake. 

FLORENCE, i^tk November 1865. 

... I have been showing Millais about, and he is 
greatly delighted with what he has seen. The painter 
who, perhaps, has struck him the most is Sandro Botticelli. 
He is delighted with the allegorical picture of " Spring " by 
that great Master in the Accademia. We went with 
Baron Humbert to see the four pictures by him in the 
Pucci Palace which are for sale, and we agree that Sir 
Charles must secure these for the National Gallery. I had 
not seen them before, and was surprised to find such 
magnificent works of this rare master on sale. For 
exquisite beauty of execution, for the interest of the 
subject, and for illustration of manners and costume of 
the fifteenth century, they are unrivalled. Baron Humbert 
tells me that Sir Charles has seen them more than once, 
and has hesitated about making an offer for them, on 
account of the somewhat unpleasant nature of one of the 
subjects the lady being cut up ! But if this one be con- 
sidered too painful to be exhibited, it can be put into a 
chamber of horrors ; although I know many a martyrdom 
of a saint much more horrible. I should exhibit them 
all, and I think they would be considered amongst the 
most interesting and valuable additions that could be 
made to the National Gallery. I cannot too strongly urge 
upon Sir Charles to consider them. Millais was im- 
mensely struck with them, and will write to you on the 
subject, and will join with me in urging Sir Charles to get 

To Lady Eastlake, 

ROME, y>th November 1865. 

Neither the Millais nor myself have had any news of 
Sir Charles and yourself since we have been in Rome, 
which makes me a little uneasy about you, I hope, how- 
ever, that we may look upon no news as good news, and 
that Sir Charles has been making progress. The Millais 

232 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

will be more fortunate than myself in seeing you ; they go 
home by Pisa and the Cornice. I have been less able to 
go much about here with Millais than I was at Florence ; 
the distances are so great, and I have had a great deal to 
do, and so many people to see. However, we have seen a 
few fine things together. Rome, I think, has pleased him 
less than Florence, and this I expected. I confess that I 
much prefer Florence as a residence. I have also come to 
the conclusion that Rome is not favourable for the de- 
velopment of a school of art, either architecture, sculpture, 
or painting. The place belongs to the past ; and if art 
merely consists in reproducing with some accuracy what 
has gone before, an Academy here may be of use. But if 
art consists in the embodiment of the feelings, opinions, and 
manners of the day, as I think it ought, I should just like 
the student to have a good look at the great works here, 
and then drive him away to some place where there is life, 
national aspiration, and progress. Smoky London is in- 
finitely better in this respect than this cloudless sky and 
desert waste. Millais, I think, has felt this strongly, and I 
find that he looks with indifference upon the works of all 
the sculptors here. As to painters, there are none. 

To Mrs Austen. 

VENICE, itf/i September 1866. 

After writing to you from Baveno, I made an excursion 
up the beautiful Val Anzasca to Macugnaga, at the foot of 
the glaciers of Monte Rosa ; where I found the ex- 
Solicitor-General, Sir Robert Collier, and his wife. He, as 
you know, ranks very high as an amateur artist. He has 
been making a very careful and elaborate oil-study of 
Monte Rosa, which you will, I daresay, see in the next 
Exhibition. The view of the mountain from Macugnaga 
is singularly fine, and the whole valley of Anzasca contains 
some of the finest mountain scenery to the South of the 
Alps. I made one or two excursions to the glaciers, and 
then returned to Baveno, and spent a few days on the lake 
of Como, at the pretty quiet little inn of Varenna (the land- 
lady of which is not the least attraction of the place), and 
then went to Milan. There I learnt that the peace between 
Italy and Austria was nearly concluded, and the transfer 
of Venetia to the Italian kingdom would take place early 


in the next month, so I hastened on here. But now I 
find that delays have occurred in the negotiations which 
make it probable that matters will not be settled before the 
end of September, and that the King will not be here much 
before the middle of October. 

I am very glad to be able to spend a few weeks here, to 
see the last of Venice under the old rule, and the first of 
her under the new. Great preparations are being made, 
and, the moment the Austrians turn their backs, the city 
will be lined inside and out with the tricolor. The entry of 
the King will be a splendid sight ; the enthusiasm after the 
pent-up feelings of two-thirds of a century will be bound- 
less. At present the city is in a mournful condition. 
There is great poverty and suffering, and a complete stag- 
nation of all trade. To add to the misery, the thousands 
who were employed in the Arsenal and other public 
establishments have been dismissed, and are starving. The 
Austrians, as usual, are doing every manner of mean and 
petty thing to humiliate and irritate the people they are 
leaving, instead of parting company with them generously 
and gracefully. They have stripped the Palace of every 
article of furniture, down to the gas and water pipes, tear- 
ing up all the parquet floors to make packing-cases ; so 
that there is no place for the King to go to. They have 
carried away all the Venetian relics from the Arsenal, and 
such parts of the public archives as relate to Germany and 
Austria, and have gutted the public buildings. Fortun- 
ately, they have spared the pictures in the Academy and in 
the Churches. 

To Mrs Austen. 

VENICE, \tfh October 1866. 

I am likely to remain here some little time longer. 
Having waited so long to see the end, and the entry of the 
King, I cannot leave before the last act of this curious drama 
is played out. Lord Russell 1 and Lord Clarendon 2 are 
coming here shortly, and I should like to be with them for 
various reasons. I am well content to stay. I have many 

1 Lord John Russell, ist Earl Russell, as Foreign Secretary in Lord 
Palmerston's Administration, had proved himself a firm and valuable 
friend of Italy in the war of liberation. 

2 Lord Clarendon, 4th Earl (1800-70). Foreign Secretary in four 

234 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

friends here, and I am always in specially good health 
when at Venice. The delays here have been much greater 
than had been expected. The French have been giving a 
good deal of trouble, and their vanity and susceptibilities 
have led to a number of useless formalities in the ceremony 
of the cession of the Province and cities to Italy, which 
have only caused useless loss of time, and rendered the 
French more unpopular than ever in the Peninsula. 
Verona is, I believe, to be given up to-morrow, and Venice, 
the last of the cities, to be surrendered in the middle of 
next week. Then the country, on the demand of the 
French, must go through the farce of a " plebiscite," which 
will take some days. It is expected now that the King 
will not enter Venice before the 2nd of November. 

These constant delays have been very trying to the 
poor Venetians ; and, considering that there has been really 
no government at all here during the last six weeks, it 
says much for the character of the people that there have 
been no disturbances and no outrage of any kind. The 
people began to think that the Italian troops and the King 
were not coming at all. Yesterday the first detachment of 
Italian troops arrived. I saw them come in, and the sight 
was most interesting. In a moment the canals were lined 
with flags. The people at last seemed to think they were 
really going to be free, after their many disappointments. 
The flags were only out for a few minutes, and were then 
withdrawn as suddenly as they had been put out, because 
the Austrians are still in possession, and these demonstra- 
tions are not yet sanctioned. 

To Mrs Austen. 

VENICE, \oth November 1866. 

It has been of importance to me to be here at this 
moment, and for many reasons I am glad that I have had 
an opportunity of seeing so many persons of political 
importance together. The greater number of the Italian 
Ministers are here, and many of the principal political men 
in Italy besides Lord Russell. I have also met here many 
of my Italian friends, and my time passes very pleasantly. 
The fetes on the arrival of the King will be over on the 
thirteenth, and on that day I start for Florence. The 
entry of the King was a very magnificent pageant, although 


the weather was unfortunately misty, and there was no sun 
during the day. The barges and gondolas decked with 
silk hangings and rich stuffs, and canopies and sculptures, 
and rowed by gondoliers dressed in the costumes of the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, gave a singularly rich and 
unique appearance to the Grand Canal. Magnificent as 
the sight was, it was less interesting to me than the 
departure of the last Austrian ; the raising of the Italian 
Standards in the Square of St Mark, and the entry of the 
Italian troops. The enthusiasm was more spontaneous 
and more touching, and the weather was then magnificent. 
Last night the King went to the Fenice Theatre, and for 
the first time in this century all the nobility of Venice and 
the Venetian provinces was assembled. His reception was 
very cordial, and the, sight was certainly a very grand one. 
There is to be a masked ball to-morrow night at the Fenice, 
and a regatta on Sunday the entertainments for which 
Venice in the olden days used to be celebrated. 

To Mrs Austen. 

PARIS, i^thjune 1867. 

What with my working men 1 and the Ottoman Bank 
business, I have been at work from early morning till late 
at night. The first excursion has succeeded very well. 
The working men whom we have brought over are very 
much delighted with all that they have seen, and are well 
satisfied with the accommodation we have been able to 
provide for them. To-morrow I take a couple of hundred 
of them over the Louvre, and do the cicerone in the galleries. 
I hope to get the Emperor to see them before I leave. 

As regards the Exhibition, it is full of beautiful and 
interesting things, but it is like an enormous bazaar, or 
assemblage of shops. There is no such general view as we 
had in our first Exhibition, and which was so grand and 
imposing ; you see nothing but what is immediately around 
you. We do not, I think, hold so good a position as we 
might. The French have made enormous progress in 
machinery, and in other departments of manufacture in 
which we once were supreme. Their glass, enamels, 
bronzes, silver plate, and jewellery, are of the highest 
quality, and we are far behind them in all that relates to 

1 Layard had taken a party of some 2000 workmen from Southwark, 
his constituency, to Paris, to see the Exhibition. 

236 POLITICS AND ART [1851- 

design and taste. Our furniture is good better, I think, 
than the French. 

To Mrs Austen. 

VENICE, 8M January 1868. 

... I spent some days with my friends, the Moriers, 1 in 
the melancholy little town of Darmstadt ; but I enjoyed 
my visit, and made the most of my time. The Princess 
Alice, you know, lives here. I had a very pleasant interview 
with her. She is very charming, reads much, takes an 
interest in everything, and is an agreeable talker. She is 
the centre of a little literary society at Darmstadt, and is 
much liked. 

One of the objects of my visit to Darmstadt was to see 
the great Holbein which belongs to the Princess Charles, 
the Mother-in-law of our Princess. It is the original of the 
celebrated picture at Dresden that is, they are probably 
both by Holbein, but this is the finest of the two, and 
probably the one first painted. It is a most noble work, 
and fully confirms the highest opinion one could form of 
the powers of Holbein. Fortunately, too, it has escaped 
the restorer, and is in the finest possible state of preserva- 
tion. . . . 

I am very busy all day endeavouring to put the Salviati 
establishment into order. 2 This promises to be a most 
useful thing for Venice. The principal people now seem 
inclined to help, but they have little public spirit, and not 
much taste. French influence has done immense injury to 
Italy in every way. We have now got a contract for fifteen 
years to repair the mosaics of St Mark's, and to keep them 
in order. This enables us to form a regular school of young 
mosaicists, which will be very useful to the art. More- 
over, I have now a department for painting on glass, which 
promises exceedingly well, and employs young artists. 
They have produced some beautiful things. The glass- 
blowers have made wonderful progress, and are improving 
every day. I have been so much occupied with all these 
matters, that I have not been much into society since I 
have been here. 

J Sir Robert Morier, G.C.B."(i826-93), then Secretary of Legation 
at Darmstadt. 

2 This refers to the Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Work 
Company, of which Layard was the founder. Salviati was the 


To Mrs Austen. 

VENICE, 2yd October 1868. 

. . . Venice has been very full of travellers. Mr Cole, 1 
the King of South Kensington, has been here for the last 
few days. He is bent upon having a grand collection of 
mosaics in the Museum fac-similes of the finest works 
here, and at Ravenna, Rome, and Palermo. It is a great 
scheme, and if he succeeds in carrying it out, as I doubt 
not that he will, he will add a most important and interesting 
department to the Museum. These mosaics are to be 
executed in fac-simile by Salviati's people, and I have 
been busy making out the details with him. I am con- 
vinced that mosaic is the only external and internal 
decoration on a great scale which will suit our climate. It 
resists all the effects of our atmosphere, and is so brilliant 
that even our dark days would scarcely interfere with it. 
Fresco painting has so completely failed, that I have given 
it up. 

[The last two letters, recording his successful efforts to 
revive a noble and valuable industry in the beautiful city 
which was the home of his later years, and to whose people 
he gave such patient and loving service, seem to form a 
fitting close to this chapter.] 

1 Sir Henry Cole, K.C.B. (1808-82) ; Secretary of Science and Art 
Department, South Kensington, 1853-73. 



ALTHOUGH Henry Layard will be best known in 
History by his discovery of Nineveh and his great work 
in the East, yet his parliamentary life, though com- 
paratively short, is deserving of more than a mere passing 
notice. He was never in the inner circle of Government, 
but his work in the House of Commons was important ; 
and although it was outside that House that he initiated 
his measure for Administrative Reform, and aroused public 
opinion so successfully in its favour, he was much aided 
in so doing by his position as an independent Member of 
Parliament. It is well, therefore, that his brief but active 
Parliamentary career should be remembered. 

In February 1852, on a vacancy occurring in the office 
of Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Earl 
Granville, then Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of Lord 
John Russell, offered the post to Mr Layard. This offer 
created some surprise in political circles, Layard never 
having been in Parliament ; but the departure from the 
usual custom was received with satisfaction in the country 

In a letter to a relative, Layard refers thus to his 
appointment : 


ATHENAEUM, nth February 1852. 

I have just been named Under-Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs. You will, I have no doubt, feel no less 
surprise at receiving this communication than I did at 
receiving it viva voce from Lord Granville. 

I enter upon duties of such great importance with a 
deep conviction of the immense responsibility imposed 
upon me, and with an earnest desire to discharge them to 
the good of my country. 

I pray God to assist me, that I may not forfeit the 
good opinion of those who have so nobly justified the 
confidence of the country in the selection of one who has 
nothing but a reputation of abilities, perhaps not justified 
by their possession. 

You know I have never sought for advancement, and 
that I owe nothing to interest and connection. 

On the defeat of the Liberal Government, which ensued 
a few days after, Layard, at the request of Lord Malmes- 
bury, Lord Granville's successor in the short administration 
of Lord Derby, with some hesitation decided to remain in 
office, for the following reasons, as stated in a letter to his 
relative Lady Aboyne : 

" I have been waiting until matters were a little settled 
before writing to you. My sejour au pouvoir threatened to 
be very short indeed, but it has been prolonged for some 
little time. Lord Malmesbury has requested me to remain 
in office until Lord Stanley returns from India, which will 
be in May. After consulting with official friends, and 
taking the matter into mature consideration, I have 
determined to remain. In many respects this arrange- 
ment is very advantageous to me. I am thus enabled to 
acquire a better acquaintance with business than a short 
insight of six days would have given me, and I am much 
helped in my diplomatic career, if I continue in it. On 
the whole, my position is a very good one, and I have 
every reason to be satisfied." 

On this subject Lord Granville writes to his former 

Under-Secretary : 

LONDON, 27 'th February 1852. 


I spoke to Malmesbury, but he 
preferred proposing something to you. I think you ought 


not too hastily to determine to refuse anything he might 
offer. Ever yours, G. 

Parliament was dissolved on July 1852 ; and, after this 
brief but interesting experience of office under different 
Governments, Layard determined to find a seat in the 
House of Commons. His remarkable qualities, his great 
work at Nineveh, in which the country showed intense 
interest, and his world-wide fame, would have made his 
candidature acceptable to any important constituency. 
A local connection with Aylesbury, where his parents 
had lived and his father had died, induced him to offer 
himself as a candidate for that borough. Aylesbury was 
considered a safe Tory seat ; but, with Layard in the 
field as a Liberal candidate, a vigorous contest was certain. 
He was recommended to the electors by his proposer as 
a man "who had brought to light with extraordinary 
spirit Ancient History, and that which was interesting 
to them as religious-minded men a man of powerful 
mind, of indomitable courage, and lofty principles." 

The result of the election was the return of the two 
Liberal candidates, Layard heading the poll with a consider- 
able majority, and bringing in with him his colleague, Mr 
Bethell, who afterwards became Lord Chancellor Westbury. 

In a letter to Lady Aboyne, Layard thus refers to the 
proceedings which followed the election : 


gthjuly 1852. 

I never saw such a scene of triumph as our chairing 
procession. Every window full of well-dressed ladies, 
showering down bouquets of flowers, sending cakes and 
wine, waving flags, etc., etc. The procession must have 
extended half a mile. Women brought their babies, and 
carried them before us. It was a complete triumph and 
most gratifying. 

In another letter, however, he complains of the conduct 
of the clergy at Aylesbury towards him. 


" Fancy my having arranged to give a lecture in the 
Town Hall, when, the day before yesterday, three visiting 
justices, two of them clergymen, had the meanness to 
forbid the use of the Town Hall, because I was a Liberal ! 
There is no doubt (experience daily convinces me of the 
fact) that the clergy, with some honourable exceptions, 
are as a body opposed to the working classes, and to the 
spread of knowledge. We fortunately found a school- 
room (not nearly big enough to hold half the audience I 
should have had), still it answered the purpose, and the 
Tory justices have brought themselves into merited 

Lord Granville writes the following letter to Layard on 
his success : 

CARLSBAD, 17 th July 1852. 


After my brother's election at 

Stoke, the one I looked for with the greatest interest was 
that of Aylesbury. I need not say how glad I am at 
your success. I am sure you are now in a position in 
which you will gain further distinction for yourself, and 
be of great use to the public. Notwithstanding your 
diffident remark about your speaking, I have no doubt 
of your complete success in that art, which, after all, is a 
very easy one, and which depends chiefly upon practice. 

I believe the best advice which can be given was given 
to me by an excellent judge, when I first went into the 
House of Commons, viz. : Never, till your reputation is 
established, speak on any subject but those that you both 
know and are supposed by others to know, and never, 
however tempting the occasion may be, condescend to 

Carlsbad is pretty, narrow, hot, and crowded. The 
waters renovate old women, and freshen up faded ones, but 
they petrify insects and the human intellect. I have been 
taking them vigorously, as if I had every combination of 
gout and rheumatism, and feel perfectly stonified ; but they 
assure me this is quite what is to be desired. The heat is 
intense. As old Esterhazy, who is here, says : " It is a bad 
place for Diplomats, car tout transpire" 

I hope to see you and read your new work as soon as 
I get back. Yours ever. 



The new Parliament met in November, with Lord 
Derby as Prime Minister, in time to attend the funeral of 
the Duke of Wellington on the i8th of that month. 

After the Address in answer to the Speech from the 
Throne, the House of Commons considered the question 
on which the General Election had been fought, that of 
Free Trade or Protection, referred to in the Speech from 
the Throne, as " Unrestricted Competition." The remark- 
able debates which ensued, and which determined the 
future financial and economic policy of the country, ex- 
tended over many days. In these debates Layard took 
no part ; but he voted for Charles Villiers' resolution on 
Free Trade, and against Disraeli's Budget resolution, the 
defeat of which caused the fall of Lord Derby's Govern- 
ment in December of the same year. In the succeeding 
Coalition Government under Lord Aberdeen, Layard had 
reason to expect that he would be included. Lord Gran- 
ville wrote to him on this subject : 


As soon as I got to Chesham 

Place [Lord John Russell's house], I alluded to the circum- 
stances which attended your retirement from the F.O. I 
found it unnecessary. Lord John had been thinking and 
speaking about it ; but from what I have heard to-day, 
I am afraid that it will be very difficult to give effect to 
his wishes for the present. I should be more sorry than 
I am, if I did not think that, as you are perfectly capable 
of distinguishing yourself in the House of Commons, it 
may be better for you to do so in an independent position 
at first. 

Layard, writing to a relative with whom he was in 
constant and intimate correspondence, thus states his 

views : 

$oth December 1852. 

After keeping me in suspense all this while, they have 
decided, I understand, that I am to have nothing. I have 


not received one word, however, from any of the great 
people on the subject, either by way of explanation or 
otherwise. I wish they had made up their minds sooner. 
I should then have had the pleasure of spending my 
Christmas with you. I have now accepted an invitation 
to Bowood (Lord Lansdowne's) for Monday. 

I have not yet made up my mind what I shall do. 
The present Ministry may last long, although there are 
certain elements of dissolution in it. If it lasts, it would 
be useless for me with my very limited means to engage 
in a long Parliamentary career, without prospect of being 
employed in the public service. Of course, had I believed 
that, after what passed in the spring, I should have been 
left in the lurch, I should have hesitated in refusing Lord 
Derby's offer of a mission. 

Layard certainly was much disappointed with the 
position in which he now found himself, and, on an offer of 
employment being made to him by Lord Stratford de 
Redcliffe, he makes the following communication to an 

intimate friend : 

\st March 1853. 

I do not know what you will say when you hear that I 
am off for Constantinople on Thursday, leaving with Lord 
Stratford de Redcliffe. It has been a great struggle to me, 
and it was only decided last night. 

I have endeavoured to do what I believe to be most 
consistent with my duty. There is no doubt that this 
will be a considerable sacrifice, but what are professions 
worth unless you do make sacrifices? After all, I must 
remember that I owe very much to Lord Stratford, and 
that I am bound to make any reasonable sacrifice to show 
that I am not ungrateful for what he has done. More- 
over, the state of affairs is undoubtedly very critical, and 
my poor services may be of use at Constantinople. These 
considerations have induced me to decide upon acceding 
to Lord Stratford's wishes. Both Lord John and Lord 
Clarendon appear to be glad that I am going. 

At this time Eastern affairs were beginning to attract 
public notice ; and no member of the House of Commons 
had Layard's intimate knowledge of them. Turks, Persians, 


Arabs, Kurds, and the wild tribes among whom he had 
lived for several years, knew him and recognised his 
power. During his stay at Constantinople he had made 
himself thoroughly acquainted with the views and policy 
of Russia in regard to the Ottoman Empire. There 
can be no doubt, therefore, that his appointment to his 
former post at the Foreign Office would have been 
advantageous to the Government. Unhappily, the re- 
newal of his services under Lord Stratford de RedclifTe 
did not turn out a success. Difficulties arose, and Layard 
complains in a letter to Lord Aboyne that he finds 
himself reduced to " a kind of unpaid attach^, that he has 
nothing to do, and might as well be in Van Diemen's 

He therefore returned to England on loth May 1853, 
and, soon afterwards, he received the following letter from 
Lord Granville : 


I cannot say how much interested 

I have been by your three letters ; at the same time, 
I am glad that there is a chance of their being concluded 
by your return to England. You did what I believe 
is always right. You went where it was thought it was 
good for the public service that you should go, but there 
can be no necessity for your staying at Constantinople 
in a subordinate position when diplomatic matters have 
resumed somewhat of a routine. 

Gladstone has won immortal honour by the courage 
and ability which he has shown, but his health nearly 
broke down under it. Nothing can be more cordial and 
united than the Cabinet, and I think the jealousy which 
was so strong at first among the supporters of the Govern- 
ment is gradually disappearing. 1 

On his return to England, Layard, feeling convinced of 
the hostile designs of Russia towards Turkey, and that 

1 This jealousy was caused by the omission from the Government of 
some Whig and Liberal members, in order to find places for the fol- 
lowers of Mr Gladstone. 


war would ensue, tried in vain to awaken in the Govern- 
ment a true sense of the impending danger, and plied them 
constantly with questions. On I3th June he asked in 
the House whether orders for the removal of the Fleet 
to Besika Bay, or some point near the Dardanelles, had 
been given. He was answered that orders had been sent 
to the British Admiral at Malta directing him to proceed 
to Besika Bay, and that the British Ambassador had 
'been instructed to act, under certain circumstances. In 
reply to his question on 1st July, whether the Russians 
had blocked the entrance into the principal channel of 
the Danube, he was informed that the Government had no 
intimation of this. 

This state of things was so unsatisfactory to Layard that 
he gave notice that he should bring matters formally before 
the House by a motion. Lord Palmerston urged him in the 
public interest not to take this course, but on 22nd July 
Layard stated that during the last fortnight events of 
great importance had taken place in the East of Europe, 
and, pressing for a day in which these matters could be 
discussed, he said : 

" I will venture to state that, in the whole history of the 
intercourse of nations, acts so unjustifiable, so outrageous, 
so dangerous as those which have been committed within 
the last three months have never previously been com- 
mitted in Europe." 

Lord John Russell refused to grant a day, and it was 
not till 1 6th August that Layard found an opportunity of 
delivering his speech. 

He disclaimed any intention of attacking the Govern- 
ment by his motion. Public discussion was his sole aim. 
He had been accused of urging on war. No one more 
fully recognised the blessing of peace than he did, but 
England must be prepared for war in defence of her rights. 
The point of difference between himself and Her Majesty's 


Government was whether Russian conduct was the out- 
come of a deep-laid scheme, or only a temporary trouble. 
He quoted Prince MenschikofT's mission in support of 
his own belief of a deep-laid scheme, and instanced the 
duplicity of Russian diplomacy. He referred, as an attempt 
had been made to vindicate Russia's claim to interfere in 
Turkish matters, to Monsieur de la Valette's intrigues at 
Constantinople, gave a sketch of Prince Menschikoffs 
mission thither and his insulting demands for the dis- 
missal of the Servian Prime Minister. 

He then showed how this manoeuvre was followed by 
the Russian aggression in the Danubian Principalities 
which had become Russian provinces. 

He touched on the religious persecution of the Greek 
clergy and the support given by Prince Menschikoff, and 
spoke not only of the importance of keeping the Turkish 
Empire intact, but also of the danger which would occur 
to our rule in India with its large and warlike Mussul- 
man population by the Russian occupation of the capital 
city of the Sultan. 

" We have committed," said Layard, " two great errors : 
(i) having the knowledge of the Russia-Turkish Treaty and 
the information of Russia's vast military preparations on the 
Turkish frontier, we should have insisted on disarmament, 
as proof of a pacific policy ; (2) on Russia informing us that 
she was about to cross the Pruth (at that time the frontier 
of the Danubian Principalities) we should have intimated 
that her doing so would be taken as a casus belli, and the 
fleet should have been sent to Constantinople. As a result 
of our action, or inaction, Turkey has received a fatal blow. 
The Russian occupation of the Principalities is accepted, 
and Great Britain is regarded by the weaker states who 
look to her support as helpless against Russian encroach- 

He wound up in these words : 

" I have witnessed all these circumstances with extreme 
pain and regret. The day will come when we shall see the 


fatal error we have committed, and repent a policy against 
which, as a humble member of this House, I can only 
record my solemn protest." 

Letter from Layard to Lady Huntly. 

ATHENAEUM, i;M August 1853. 

You will have seen, of course, an account of our 

Turkish debate the other night. The Chronicle has the best 
report. Lord John's speech was most unsatisfactory, and 
the House felt it so. 

They received what I said exceedingly well, and were 
evidently with me. I was well cheered throughout by a 
very large House for this time of the session. 

Cobden's peace harangue was admirable, answered by 
Palmerston. His speech was immensely applauded, and 
the general impression was that, had there remained much 
more of session, he would have been so strong that he would 
have left the Government and formed a Ministry of his own. 
People felt that he was speaking what he felt, and that he 
was leaving his colleagues behind. I find that the feeling 
out of doors is pretty well the same as that in the House. 
If Ministers continue long in this unsatisfactory state, and 
refuse to give information to the public as to the real 
position of Turkey and Russia, there will be a very loud 
and very general expression of disapprobation. 

I was rather nervous when I began to speak, as you 
may suppose, and had a kind of general nightmare and the 
like conviction that I should break down, but after a few 
minutes I warmed up and got on very well, and without 
hesitation, to the end. The house was very full. The 
split between myself and the Ministers is now complete, and 
I suppose all chance of employment out of the question. 
I do not mind. I have done what I believe to be my duty, 
and I trust I shall always be able to refer back to what has 
occurred with conscientious satisfaction. 

During the anxious time preceding the war, Layard lost 
no opportunity of showing the intense interest he felt in all 
that affected the relations of Russia and Turkey, seeing for 
the latter a great danger in the case of Russia's success, 
and a great advantage to Turkey in the alliance with the 
British and French forces. After the war had been declared, 


he decided to proceed to the seat of action, and out of this 
adventure arose a regrettable incident (to use an expres- 
sion now in vogue) which affected temporarily his position 
in the House of Commons, and caused ill-feeling on the 
part of several members towards him. 

On reaching the Crimea he made the acquaintance of 
the distinguished officer Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, then 
second in command of the British Fleet, who invited him 
to be his guest on board the Agamemnon. From that ship 
he viewed the battle of the Alma, and was enabled to 
speak in the laudatory terms which he used in his speech on 
the Parliamentary vote of thanks to our soldiers and sailors, 
recounting feats of valour which he had himself witnessed. 1 

Before leaving England, he had promised Mr Delane 
(the very able editor of the Times > with whom he was 
on friendly terms) to send him occasional letters, and 
one of these which reflected on the conduct of Admiral 
Dundas, the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet, was pub- 
lished, contrary to his intention. The letter, being dated 
from the mast-head of the Agamemnon, caused a painful 
sensation, and, as Admiral Dundas had many friends in 
and out of Parliament, much ill-feeling was shown towards 
Layard, when it became known that he was the writer. 

Replying to a bitter attack made on him by Mr 
Drummond (the then well-known Member for Surrey), 
Layard, in the course of a personal explanation, said that 
no one regretted the painful incident more than he did. 
The letter was a private one, but, unfortunately, it was 
published. It was written on board the ship of a gallant 
officer who had shown him every hospitality. 

" I went to that gallant officer, told him my letter 
had been published, and, if he was called upon to ascer- 
tain the writer, he was at liberty to give my name to 
Admiral Dundas. 

1 See Diary in the Crimea, and letter to Mr Bruce, App. A. 


" I also, -unfortunately, referred to a letter from Admiral 
Dundas which was shown to me by a gallant captain. I 
accordingly wrote the following to him : 

"'As I have been guilty towards you of a breach of con- 
fidence in so far that part of the letter which you read in my 
presence has been published in a letter to a friend of mine, 
any reparation that you may ask, and that it is in my power 
to give, I am willing to afford! 

" With regard to Admiral Dundas, I further said : 

" ' Express to him also the deep regret I feel that a private 
letter should have been published, containing a charge which I 
would only have made in the House of Commons, and not in 
a newspaper anonymously ; but that, as the charge has been 
made, the only reparation I can give him, if he insists upon it, 
is to reiterate that charge publicly, giving him the opportunity 
of meeting it, and that I am ready to do.' 

" I am ready, if called upon by the House, to substantiate 
the charge my letter makes, also to substantiate it from the 
despatches written by members of the Government and 
evidence of those who have served under Admiral Dundas 
and have witnessed his conduct in this campaign. If 
Admiral Dundas's friends dare me to do it, I am ready to 
support the charges I have made. 

" With reference to what the Right Hon. Baronet, Sir 
James Graham, at the head of the Board of Admiralty 
said about Admiral Dundas, I will read a despatch from 
the Duke of Newcastle to Lord Raglan, and see what is 
the language used by the Government themselves. 


"' Your Lordship's cordial acknowledgment of the in- 
valuable services rendered by Sir E. Lyons and the Officers 
and seamen of the Royal Navy' 

" So that, in acknowledging after a great battle the 
services of the British Navy, the Government omit the 
name of the man in the chief command, and mention the 
name of the second in command. In the face of this, what 
right have you to say that I should never have made the 
charge? The question is one that rests between the 
Admiral and the Government. I am ready to support the 
charges I have made." 


It would have been better if Layard had finished his 
speech with the expression of his deep regret and his desire 
to make all the reparation in his power. The House of 
Commons readily forgives any one who does this, but his 
offer to justify his accusations was received with anger by 
many, and especially by the military members present. 

Subsequently Layard spoke in the highest terms of the 
military and naval officers engaged in the war, and he 
never failed to point out what he considered neglect, on 
the part of the Government, of deserving officers. He 
attacked with vigour all that savoured of favouritism, and 
cited (not without success) cases where men possessing 
social influence were promoted over the heads of those 
deprived of that advantage ; and there can be no doubt 
that his vigilance in detecting and exposing these instances 
was generally beneficial to the army. 

Layard's experience in the Crimea, during the war, 
of the great suffering endured by the troops, owing mainly 
to the defective organisation in England, caused him on 
his return to endeavour to bring about extensive adminis- 
trative reform. To do this, he proposed to excite public 
opinion by denouncing at some great public meetings the 
maladministration which had caused the loss of many lives 
during the war. The first of these gatherings was held 
in the Drury Lane Theatre, and was attended by several 
Members of Parliament and distinguished men. Mr 
Layard addressed the meeting in a vigorous speech. He 
said there was a general and deep-seated conviction that 
the country was misgoverned. Around him he saw 
eminent representatives of literature, of art, of science. 
What was it that drew such persons there from their 
ordinary avocations ? It was this, that, whilst, during a 
long period of comparative peace, all that concerned the 
private relations and the private enterprise of England 
had made a progress unexampled in history, the govern- 


ment of the country had been standing still. The blue- 
books just published by the Sebastopol Committee were 
records of inefficiency, records of indifference to suffering, 
records of ignorance, records of obstinacy, which had 
cast shame upon us and upon our system. After paying 
a tribute to the heroic conduct of Florence Nightingale, he 
blamed the Administration that for two months, while 
the greatest events were occurring, no Cabinet Council was 
held ; with the exception of two members, all the Ministers 
were away amusing themselves in the country, while the 
soldiers were sent to the Crimea with old arms and old 
tents, and thousands of lives had been sacrificed on the 
shrine of incompetency and neglect. Men were put into 
Government offices merely on political grounds. The 
offices were overfilled with inefficient men, and enquiry 
should be made whether the number of persons in the 
Civil Service could not be reduced and the work at the 
same time be better done. Layard then attacked Lord 
Palmerston, the Prime Minister, who, he said, had jested 
at the sufferings of the country. The Association (for 
Administrative Reform) would require men who would 
enter on the work with honest hearts and unselfish views, 
and with the determination to persevere until their object 
was secured. If they wanted an honest Government they 
must choose their members honestly. Let their motto be 
" Fitness not Favour." 

This speech, which was greatly applauded, was followed 
by one from Mr Otway, M.P., who remarked that it was 
not possible always to determine who was the right man 
for a post, but it was quite possible to say who was the 
wrong one. 

This meeting was followed soon after by another, held 
also in Drury Lane Theatre, over which Mr Samuel Morley, 
an eminent man, much respected in the city of London, 
presided. At this meeting Charles Dickens made a very 


eloquent and humorous speech, and greatly delighted 
the vast audience. There is little doubt that these meet- 
ings created a strong sense in the country in favour of 
Layard's views, and he followed up the feeling promoted 
by them with a motion in the House of Commons. On 
1 5th June he moved : 

" That this House views with deep and increasing- 
concern the state of the nation, and is of opinion that the 
manner in which merit and efficiency have been sacrificed 
in the public appointments to party and family influence 
and to a blind adherence to routine, has given rise to great 
misfortunes, and threatens to bring discredit upon the 
national character, and to involve the country in great 

To this motion Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton moved the 
following amendment : 

" That the House recommends to the earliest attention 
of Her Majesty's Ministers the necessity of a careful revision 
of our various official establishments, with a view to sim- 
plifying and facilitating the transaction of public business, 
and by instituting judicious tests of merit, as well as by 
removing obstructions to fair promotion and legitimate 
rewards, to secure to the service of the State the largest 
available proportion of the energy and intelligence for 
which the people of this country are distinguished." 

The position of the Conservative party in this debate 
was of importance. Had the entire party joined the 
forces on the Conservative side in favour of Administrative 
Reform, as advocated by Layard, the existence of Lord 
Palmerston's Government would have been seriously 
menaced. Among the Conservative members, however, 
there were many who put their faith in Palmerston, and 
had no desire to see him removed from power, whilst the 
leaders of the party themselves were unable to form a 
ministry which would have the confidence of the House 
of Commons and the country. Hence the amendment of 
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, which was so worded that, 


while associating the Conservative party with the desire 
for administrative reform, it could be and was accepted by 
Lord Palmerston, and consequently was passed by a 
majority of 313. During the debate Lord Palmerston, 
who had been greatly offended by the attack on him at 
what he called the "Drury Lane theatricals," defended 
himself with success. In restating these charges by 
Layard, he said : 

" To his face I tell him that there is not a word of 
truth in the assertions which he then made. I nevtc: 
jested at the sufferings of the soldiers. I never made 
light of their unfortunate condition, and so far from having 
vilified the people of England, the whole course of my 
conduct and every word which fell from my lips here or 
elsewhere has attested the respect and admiration which 
I feel for the people of this country, and the pride with 
which I am animated in belonging to a nation so noble 
and so distinguished." 

After this exhibition of anger, Palmerston proceeded 
to deal with some of Layard's arguments, and said with 
regard to the inaction of the Government and its indis- 
position to make reform in the public service : 

"If we do not do a thing, they say, ' Why, here, you 
have not done that, the want of which has been remarked 
upon for years, which has been recommended by commis- 
sions and in debates of this House. How blamable you 
must be for not doing it ! ' No sooner is it done than 
they say, * Lord 'a mercy ! this has been called for for 
years. There is no merit in doing that ! ' ' 

Layard's motion was defeated, it is true, by a large 
majority, but the cause had gained considerably by this 
protracted discussion. He had now established a recog- 
nised position, and his name will henceforward be insepar- 
able from the cause of Administrative Reform. 

Had he succeeded in his endeavour to re-organise the 
War Office, and to establish there the much - needed 


measures of Administrative Reform, in all probability 
many of the disasters and miscarriages which have 
occurred (during the war in South Africa), owing greatly 
to the inefficiency and want of organisation in that office, 
would have been averted. 

In March 1857 on the dissolution of Parliament, he 
bade farewell to the electors of Aylesbury, and in his 
speech said : " It is no disgrace to suffer with Cobden, 
Bright, Clay, Otway, Milner-Gibson, Cardwell, and many 
others who had been on the side of the people." Evid- 
ence was given of the estimation in which he was held 
in his constituency by a presentation of plate from his 

Layard had always interested himself in matters 
relating to India, and, being released from Parliamentary 
duties, he visited that country, while the Mutiny was still 
being suppressed, in order to see and judge for himself of 
the condition of the people and their requirements. On 
his return he addressed a great meeting at St James's Hall 
on the past misgovernment of India and the problems 
which had to be faced there. 

Desiring to renew his Parliamentary life, he took ad- 
vantage of a vacancy in the City of York, which occurred 
in April 1859, to present himself as a candidate, but was 
defeated by twenty votes. So pleased with him, however, 
were his supporters, that they opened a subscription to 
defray his election expenses, to which his rival, the success- 
ful candidate, contributed 100. 

He did not manage to find a seat till December 1 860, 
when he succeeded, at a bye-election for Southwark, in de- 
feating his Conservative opponent by a majority of 1195. 
He represented this constituency for the rest of his Parlia- 
mentary career. 

In the early part of the Session of 1861 Layard took an 
active part in the discussion of foreign affairs, making im- 


portant speeches on the relations of Russia and the Porte, 
and on the Syrian question, on which occasion he gave a 
masterly sketch of the state of things which had led to the 
French occupation of that country. He also spoke in vin- 
dication of his old friend Count Cavour from the charge 
of duplicity in regard to the cession of Nice and Savoy 
to France. " The one guilty of deception," he said, " was 
not Cavour, but the Emperor Louis Napoleon." 

In a speech seconding the motion of Colonel Sykes for 
enabling British subjects born in India to compete on the 
same footing as other British subjects for employment 
under the Crown, we find him combining his interest in 
the welfare of that country with zeal for Administrative 
Reform. The ability, and what is more, the personal 
knowledge and experience, which he brought to bear on 
these subjects, drew general attention to him ; and, when, 
in June 1861, Earl Russell offered him his former post as 
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the appoint- 
ment met with general satisfaction. 

Addressing his constituents on his acceptance of office, 
he paid a tribute to Earl Russell as the leader of the 
Reform movement. He alluded to the important measures 
passed for the better Government of India, and he said of 
Lord Palmerston, that he had preserved the honour and 
dignity of England, and had raised her to the highest 
position with foreign countries. 

In this new term of office, which lasted until the resig- 
nation of Lord Russell's administration in 1866, Layard 
had many occasions for profiting by his early travels and 
adventures. Such were the election of the king of Greece 
in 1863 ; a debate on the government of Naples, in which 
he must have given a very willing expression to the confid- 
ence of the Queen's Government in the great future which 
awaited Italy under the Piedmontese dynasty ; and a dis- 
cussion of the Servian question, in the course of which he 


gave an account of the Revolution of 1841 in that country, 
of which he had been an eye-witness. 1 

In the two following years he had still graver matters 
to deal with. In April 1864, on a Vote of Censure of the 
Government, with reference to their conduct in the affairs 
of Schleswig - Holstein and Denmark, moved by Mr 
Disraeli, Layard made a very effective speech, in 
which he showed that there was no foundation for 
the allegation that Denmark had been led to expect 
material assistance from England, and he warned the 
House of the danger to the country which would be 
caused by a change of the Administration at the present 
juncture. The Vote of Censure was rejected by a 
majority of eighteen. 

In 1865 the affairs of Abyssinia attracted the attention 
of the country, and in July Sir Hugh Cairns (after- 
wards Lord Chancellor Cairns) brought them to the 
notice of the House of Commons. 2 In reply to his 
speech Layard entered very fully into the matters 
referred to. He described the shameful conduct of 
King Theodore, who, he said, was not of royal birth 
but an adventurer ; his barbarous treatment of the 
missionaries and English women, whom he sent to 
jail loaded with chains, and the imprisonment of our 
Consular officers : treatment which later on led to the 
war with Abyssinia and the death of King Theodore. 

In July 1865 Parliament was dissolved, and Layard's 
return for Southwark was unopposed. Lord Palmerston's 
death occurred soon after, and Earl Russell succeeded 
him as Prime Minister, holding that office until 26th 
July 1866, when his Government, failing to carry their 
Reform Bill, resigned. In the new Government formed 

1 See Chap. ii. of this volume. 

a The Government had been attacked for not answering a letter 
from King Theodore. Layard declared that he had never seen this 
letter, and it had nothing to do with causing the war. 

i868] ABYSSINIA 257 

by the Earl Derby, Layard was succeeded as Under- 
secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by Mr Egerton. 

In 1867 Abyssinian matters were in a very critical 
condition, and on a debate of 2;th July Layard, following 
Sir H. Rawlinson, alluded to a speech by Lord Chelms- 
ford, to the effect that the appointment of Mr Rassam (for 
which Layard was responsible) was an insult, and said 
that, had the newspapers containing this reached 
King Theodore, all the party of prisoners would have 
been put to death. It was no use going into the origin 
of the quarrel. The question was how to liberate these 
unfortunate persons ; and with great reluctance he had 
come to the conclusion that there was only one course left 
now, namely, an expedition to Abyssinia. No doubt the 
captives would incur a certain amount of risk, but they 
were willing to run the risk rather than pass their lives in 
captivity. The expedition ought to be sent at once, 
as September and October were the only months in 
which our troops could operate in Abyssinia. 

The numerous speeches made by Layard on Foreign 
Affairs allow only a very brief and imperfect notice 
in these pages, which fails altogether to do justice to 
them. 1 

In November 1868 Parliament was dissolved and 
Layard was again returned for Southwark. 

On the formation of Mr Gladstone's Government 
in the month of December, the Prime Minister offered 
him the post of Chief Commissioner of Works, which 
he accepted, and it was said of him by a writer in 
the Saturday Review that he was the first expert that 
had ever been placed there. 

In that office it became part of his duty to superintend 
the adornment of public buildings, and this he endeavoured 

1 These speeches are very fully reported in Hansard's Parliamentary 
Debates, and in the leading newspapers. 


to effect in a manner befitting a great nation. He turned 
naturally for inspiration to Italy, the mother of European 
art, and the land of his affection. Difficulties, however, 
soon arose between him and the Parliamentary Secretary 
of the Treasury, a man of considerable ability, but of 
somewhat narrow views. Mr Ayrton, the Minister alluded 
to, was opposed to expenditure of public money on works 
of art. His views on the subject may be gathered by 
a speech to his constituents, in which he stated that 
he objected to public expenditure, on those whom 
he classified as "painters, sculpturers, architects, and 

The two most important projects with which 
Layard had to deal as Chief Commissioner of Works 
were the building of the new Law Courts and the 
internal decoration of the Houses of Parliament. For 
some time previous to his appointment what has been 
called "the battle of the sites" had been waged with 
great vehemence by two parties, the one .contending that 
the new Law Courts should be in Carey Street, Strand, 
the other, that they should be on the Thames Embank- 
ment. The question was discussed in and out of Parlia- 
ment with what has been described as "great superfluity 
and heat." The position on the Thames Embankment 
had been advocated by Sir Charles Trevelyan in speech 
after speech and letter after letter, and Layard, who 
was himself in favour of that site, announced in the 
House of Commons, April 1869, that the Government 
proposed to erect the new Law Courts on the Embank- 
ment site. Their views, as set forth by the Chief Com- 
missioner of Works in a speech to the House on 2ist 
June 1869, were based on convenience of access for all 
parties and the relative cost, while at the same time serious 
attention was drawn to the extent to which beauty of 
design would be affected by the decision. There was not 


much difference in the cost of the buildings on either site, 
but the approaches in the Carey Street site would be very 
costly. On the Embankment the case was just the reverse, 
and the light and air would be far better. The Government 
could not give undue weight to the alleged convenience 
or inconvenience of practitioners in Lincoln's Inn ; the 
interests of the public were paramount. But if the 
Embankment site was supported by Sir Charles Tre- 
velyan, Mr Gregory, Mr Layard, and Mr Lowe, in 
opposition to them there was no less an advocate than Sir 
Roundell Palmer, afterwards Lord Chancellor Selborne, 
who defended the Carey Street site. The opposition to 
the Government project, thus re-inforced by one of his own 
colleagues, had the effect of inducing Mr Gladstone, in July 
1869, to appoint a Select Committee to re-consider the 
question of the sites. Layard much regretted this, for he 
was convinced that he was on the side of public conveni- 
ence, salubrity, and beauty, and he desired to enrich 
London not only by a much-needed public building, but 
also by a national monument, which should be worthy of 
the greatest city in the world. 

The public have now an opportunity, when they 
look on the cramped, gloomy, ill-ventilated, and enor- 
mously expensive building in the Strand, for easily 
determining which of the parties was really right in 
this battle of the sites. 

On a motion being made by Mr Herbert, the member 
for Kerry, to remove the grating before the Ladies' Gallery 
in the House of Commons, Layard replied that the opinion 
of the House was sharply divided on the subject, and he 
had thought it right to ascertain the opinion of ladies 
who visited the gallery. He applied therefore to 200 of 
them, and he thought he could not do better than read 
a letter which he had received from a very gifted lady, 
a frequent visitor to the Ladies' Gallery. 


MY DEAR MR LAYARD, I do hope you will exert 
the weight of your official authority to preserve for us 
the protection of the grating in front of our gallery, 
which some honourable members, no doubt prompted 
by mistaken kindness, are disposed to remove. I fully 
appreciate the chivalrous zeal of Mr Herbert, but if you 
have an opportunity, I hope you will tell him how many 
more effectual ways there are of defending our cause 
in Parliament and earning our gratitude. Do not suppose 
that I mean to say the Ladies' Gallery could not be 
improved. The occasional visits we have from our friends 
in the House of Commons are too short for them to 
be able to judge of our sufferings up there, or of the 
quality of the air you provide for our lungs, but the 
removal of the grating would be no remedy ; on the 
contrary the protection we derive from it enables us to 
sit as we like, to talk together, to hang up our shawls 
and bonnets, and to sleep as we please these are many 
advantages, for you know we are obliged to sit quiet 
not to lose our places while bores are addressing the 
house. You will not take it amiss, dear Mr Layard, 
if I say there are some bores in the House of Commons. 
You cannot feel for us, because on these occasions 
you can go and talk to your friends and write letters 
in the library. The grating also enables us to leave the 
gallery in the middle of s dull speeches which we would 
otherwise be compelled to sit out patiently, especially 
if the orator were an acquaintance, and had obtained 
our seats ; and then the grating is of enormous advantage 
to honourable members themselves, who would not 
come and stretch and sleep and snore as they do 
immediately below us in the galleries, if they saw that 
we saw them ; and, last but not least, do you not think 
that a good many remarks and suppositions are made 
impossible by the interposition of this obstacle? Who 

can say now that Mr said so-and-so because Lady 

was in the gallery, or that Sir always 

stammers and breaks down when he is addressing the 
House and Miss is in the Ladies' Gallery ? " 

Mr Layard submitted to the House that there was 
a great deal of truth in this letter, though it was in 
favour of improved accommodation and improved ventila- 

i86 9 ] ATTACK BY MR RAIKES 261 

About the same time Mr Raikes brought forward a 
motion for enquiry into a contract formed with Messrs 
Salviati to supply mosaics for the decoration of the Houses 
of Parliament, the allegations being that the contract had 
been entered into without the knowledge of the House, 
and that the Chief Commissioner of Works himself held 
shares in the Glass and Mosaic Works of Salviati. The 
insinuation against the probity of Layard is obvious, and 
needs no comment. 

Layard, in answer to Mr Raikes, said he had, in his 
passion for Italy and art, been led to help Dr Salviati in 
his endeavours to revive the old mosaic enamel. 

The Queen herself had been one of the first to recognise 
its beauty, and he had applied to friends not to let the 
great work fall through for lack of funds. 

Some of the most distinguished men in this and the 
other House of Parliament had furnished funds, but owing 
to his own position, which might lay him open to political 
attacks, he had transferred his shares to a gentleman who 
was no relation of his. The company was undertaken with 
the sole desire to introduce into this country a great and 
noble decoration really serviceable to art. Mr Barry had 
suggested mosaic, and the Treasury had sanctioned the 
expense. It was Mr Barry who had made the arrange- 
ment with Dr Salviati. He further added that, with re- 
spect to the employment of foreign artists, one of his 
great objects in introducing mosaics was to enable English- 
men to become proficient in this art. 

Layard's explanation completely satisfied both the 
House and the country, and it is perhaps only fair to add 
that Mr Raikes, in an apologetic reply, said his object in 
bringing forward his motion was to give the Chief 
Commissioner of Works the opportunity to meet publicly 
the accusations that were being widely insinuated, rather 
than openly and honestly stated. If he had used any ex- 


pression which was offensive, or unfair, he was exceedingly 
sorry for it. He was quite satisfied with the explanation, 
and he was sure that the right hon. gentleman would 
be glad that the opportunity of making it had been 

The differences which have been already noticed 
between Mr Ayrton, the representative of the Treasury, 
and Layard,the First Commissioner of Works, increased as 
the time went on. The divergence of their views, and the 
hindrance to his work which Layard constantly experienced 
from the action of the Treasury, made his position very 

Mr Gladstone was aware of the state of things existing 
between these two active and strong-willed members of his 
Administration. He took the opportunity, therefore, on a 
vacancy occurring in a high diplomatic post, of suggesting 
to the Earl of Clarendon (then Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs) that he should submit for Her Majesty's 
approval the appointment of Layard to that post. Com- 
munication to this effect was accordingly made to Layard 
in Naples, where he then was, and he gratefully accepted 
the offer ; his satisfaction, however, was not a little 
diminished, when he heard that Mr Ayrton was appointed 
his successor. 

So it came about that Layard, bidding farewell to the 
House of Commons, and to his antagonist at the Treasury, 
recommenced, as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of 
Madrid, his diplomatic career, which he terminated as 
Ambassador at Constantinople. 

Layard's love of art was intense, and his knowledge, 
especially of Venetian and Florentine art, very great. Had 
he been enabled to give effect to his views, London would 
have undoubtedly derived benefit, and would have received 
some of that improvement which it greatly requires to 
raise it to a level with those Continental Capitals, and 




other great cities, whose inhabitants find pleasure and 
pride in their adornment. 

The following extract from a poem in Punch^ relating 
to the removal of Layard from the office of Chief Com- 


(Reproduced by kind permission of the Proprietors of " PUNCH.") 

missioner of Works to that of Minister Plenipotentiary at 
Madrid, hits off admirably the political character of Ayrton, 
and shows the difference between him and Layard. 


" Risk of diplomatic squabbles what if thereby we should run, 
Without risk there is no blessing to be purchased 'neath the sun, 
From the Works I see a blessing, if Layardos is set free, 
It will make a road for shunting Ayrton from the Treasurie. 

" To expense, Guerra al cuchillo ! Bills I like to hack and hew, 
But where I cut down a penny, Acton Ayrton he cuts two, 
In the House he makes as many foes as he gives sharp replies, 
If John Bull is oft pound-foolish Ayrton's always penny-wise. 

" On demands I fling cold water, Acton Ayrton flingeth hot. 
I'm resolved no more to bear his cold abstraction and his rot 
Great in Words, I vote we let him try the Works, the Works try him, 
While we send stout Don Layardos to Madrid to sink or swim." 

It cannot be justly said that Sir Henry Layard's 
career in the House of Commons enhanced the high 
reputation he had obtained in other fields. 

He was not an orator, nor could he be considered 
even a powerful speaker in an assembly which contained 
at the same time such men as Bright, Gladstone, 
Macaulay, Disraeli, Lowe, and Cowen (of Newcastle). 
Yet his speeches were always able, earnest, and straight- 
forward. They were well delivered, and one could not but 
admire, when he was speaking, his leonine head and 
manly presence. He was fearless in denunciation of 
abuses, and his sympathy was always with the oppressed. 
The best of his speeches, while Under- Secretary, was per- 
haps that in the great debate of 1866, on the Reform Bill 
of Lord Russell. As an ardent Reformer, more advanced 
than his Chief, he defended the Government measure with 
much vigour and at some length. He was indignant at 
the conduct of a small knot of disaffected Liberals, who 
formed what John Bright called " the Cave of Adullam," 
and whose secession on the historic division on Lord Dun- 
kellin's Amendment to an important clause of the Bill later 
on, caused the fall of the Government and the termination 
for a time of Layard's official career. 

His great knowledge of foreign affairs, recognised 

1869] "A SUPERIOR PERSON" 265 

as it was by all the Members of the House of Commons, 
established his authority in these matters, and was of 
much value to the Governments in which he held the 
office of Under-Secretary of State. 

But in truth Layard did not possess those qualities 
(House of Commons' qualities they may be called) which 
enabled men, intellectually much inferior to him, to obtain 
high office. He was, perhaps, somewhat intolerant of 
ignorance in those who pushed themselves forward, and 
he hated humbug. 

The writer of these pages was present at a meeting 
of some six or seven Members of Parliament, 1 mostly 
young men, in February 1855, held in Layard's rooms, 
who were desirous that he should be included in the 
Government which Lord Palmerston was then forming. 

Among them was a Member known as " the Superior 
Person," having been so named, in one of his sarcastic 
moods, by Disraeli. This Member made a speech, and 
used the following words : " I think Layard has won the 
Cabinet, but perhaps that is too much to expect for 
him at once ; but I say, that we ought all to agree to 
decline acceptance of office, unless a suitable position is 
offered to Layard." 

On the same evening " the Superior Person " obtained 
the office he desired, and he wrote a letter of several 
pages to Layard, which contained a lecture, quite in the 
style of the famous Mr Barlow, setting forth the virtue of 
humility, the danger of estimating too highly one's own 
merits, and the propriety of accepting a very inferior 
office, trusting to his talent and good conduct to rise 
from it. 

The circumstances attending the offer of office made to 

1 All these Members, with the exception of one who died shortly 
afterwards, held office either in the Governments of Lord Palmerston, 
Lord Russell, or Mr Gladstone, two of them being Cabinet Ministers. 


Layard by Lord Palmerston, are related in the following 

Letter from Layard to Lady Huntly. 


Monday, 27 th February 1855. 

I was somewhat premature, as it turns out, in my 
announcement of Saturday. After I had posted my letter 
I saw Palmerston, who withdrew his offer of the War 
Under-Secretaryship (under pressure of the Cabinet, I 
believe), and offered me that of the Colonies, which I at 
once declined. So that I am now free again, and am not 
sorry for it. There is only one place in the Government, 
except a Cabinet Office, which I could have taken without 
losing my excellent position and forfeiting my reputation, 
and that was the conduct of the war in the House of 
Commons. Palmerston would have given it to me, but his 
Cabinet is too strong for him, and this shows one that 
he cannot last. He also withdrew Danby Seymour's 
appointment to the Board of Control, and has behaved in 
the same way to others. In fact, the Brookite Whigs are 
determined to maintain their monopoly of Government, 
but it will not do. There is a spirit rising in the country 
which will be more formidable than our good, easy 
aristocratic families, who look upon Ministers as their 
perquisites, can now comprehend. I only hope it may be 
changed in time. Circumstances may lead me into leading 
the great movement which is now in progress. I have no 
wish to ; but if I am forced into it, nothing will turn me 
aside from my end ; and an immense struggle will be the 
result, in which I do not think I shall fail. Before many 
months are over things will change. 

As time went on, the ill-feeling created by an unhappy 
incident, to which reference has been made, wore itself out, 
and Layard regained his popularity. He had, as almost 
all public men have, some enemies ; but he had many 
more friends, and by them he was much liked, and to 
them he was always true. 

Endowed with an independence of character, which was 
often rather rough in its manifestations, and with utter fear- 
lessness of personal or party consequences where his feelings 


or convictions were deeply interested, he was also hampered 
in his political career by the fact that he represented a 
combination of views and opinions which was in his time 
quite strange and exceptional. During the greater part of 
his Parliamentary career the Liberal Party was led, or greatly 
influenced, by Lord Palmerston, who had no sympathy with 
the ideas of reform and legislation which developed so 
rapidly after his departure, and who entertained views on 
foreign policy which were utterly discordant with those of 
the most powerful section of his supporters. Layard, on 
the other hand, was at once an ardent member of the 
Progressive Liberal section in all matters of home policy, 
and as sturdy an upholder as Lord Palmerston of the right 
and duty of England to take a bold and active part in the 
politics of the world. He was therefore never thoroughly 
at home in the party system, and may be considered as 
a forerunner of a political section which has recently 
engaged much attention. He might not unfairly be 
described as the first " Liberal Imperialist." 





Friday, %th September. Left Therapia with Delane, 1 
Kinglake 2 and Sir Charles Edward Colebroke, at a quarter 
to two, in the steamer Danube, a small vessel constructed for 
the Turks for the navigation of the Danube, and purchased 
by the British Government Lieutenant Cator in com- 
mand. She was unprovided with a chronometer, her 
compasses were out of order, she had but a few feet of 
sounding line. The feeding pipe of her engine had broken 
down, and the " Donkey " was used to serve the boilers. The 
seamen, taken from different vessels, were all bad, inex- 
perienced hands, although her crew amounted to thirty-five 
men, She only carried one small gig. She was bought as 
a tender to the Admiral. The lieutenant in command's 
orders were to make Cape Kiliakri and Serpent's Island, 
and then to steer across to Cape Tarkan and to coast to 
Eupatoria if we did not fall in with the Fleet. A light 
breeze in the Black Sea, which freshened towards evening 
and blew from the northward strongly during the night, 
reduced our progress to 4 and 5 knots. The steamer, 
being fitted for river navigation, with flat bottom and large 
saloon on deck, rolled considerably 

Saturday, gtk. Opposite Varna in the morning light 
breeze from north, made Kiliakri about noon steered out 
about 50 miles, expecting to sight the Fleet not doing so, 
made for Serpent's Island no sail whatever seen our 
vessel anchored off Baltchik. 

Sunday, loth. Sighted Serpent's Island early no sign 
of Fleet steered for Cape Tarkan anxious look-out for 

1 Editor of the Times. 

2 The historian of the War. 


272 APPENDIX A [1854 

Fleet and for Russian cruisers. Squally during day. 
About four, saw smoke of steamer to southward. Doubtful 
whether if friendly or Russian soon after, line of battle- 
ships appeared in same direction after some doubt, made 
them out to be the French-Turkish Squadrons twenty- 
nine ships altogether sailing in three lines the Turks led 
by the Mamoudeyah, the French by the Ville de Paris. At 
sunset communicated with the French Admiral. Found 
that the English Fleet with the transports were to the north- 
ward about 40 miles ; steamed easily in that direction. 
Heavy squalls of wind and rain during the night. 

Monday, nth. Lights were seen about three in the morn- 
ing proved to be those of the Agamemnon (with Flag of 
Sir Edmund Lyons), Samson and Caradoc, with Lyons, 
Lord Raglan, Sir George Browne, General Canrobert, etc., 
returning from Sevastopol and the coast. The English 
Fleet with transports came in sight at daybreak. A 
beautiful sight as we approached, the vessels covering the 
horizon all at anchor. Came alongside the Britannia at 
eight sent letters, etc., aboard. Soon after the Admiral's 
(Dundas) boat came alongside for Delane and Colebroke, 
and brought me a letter from Sir E. Lyons inviting me as 
his guest on board the Agamemnon. His boat soon followed, 
and I left the Danube. Found that a conference had just 
been held on board the Caradoc, when it was finally 
decided that operations against Sevastopol should at once 
be undertaken. Lyons appears to have decided it. 
Dundas against still hoping something from the 
rumoured acceptance by Russia of the last Vienna 
proposals. His strange inactivity a subject of general 
comment in the Fleet. Lyons, and those who had 
reconnoitred with him, had returned well satisfied with the 
result of their visit, and confident of success in case of 
immediate action. Complaint that no blockade has been 
kept up and that troops have been poured in from Odessa 
lately, and that the trade has been carried on as usual. We 
ought to have anchored in Eupatoria where we should have 
been perfectly safe, have maintained a strict blockade and 
opened communications with the natives "which might have 
been of the utmost importance in land operations. General 
complaints that Admiral Dundas, still hoping for no 
hostilities, had neglected every precaution, even to the 
extent of not having sufficient supplies of coal. Orders 
given for sailing at mid-day. Squadrons and transports 
formed lines, according to divisions. The Agamemnon 

i854l APPENDIX A 273 

leads, keeping to the windward. In an hour, transports 
in sailing order. 

Tuesday, \2th. Squally with wind and rain during the 
night transports scattered at daybreak spreading far and 
wide over the sea. Several hours before they collected. 
French and Turks signalled to the N.W., but out of sight 
of Agamemnon, which again takes the lead. Cape Tarkan 
out of sight, and a long line of coast. Anchored about six 
15 or 1 6 miles from Eupatoria off low coast with 
villages and heaps of cut corn. 

The Sanspareil's engine continually breaking down ; 
immense sums spent in its repair, but the vessel almost 
useless ; most of her lower guns have been taken out, and 
she is now little better than a frigate. The Fleet ought to 
have blockaded Sevastopol and Odessa by anchoring in 
Eupatoria Bay. Communications might then have been 
opened with the Tartar chiefs and population. 

The Terrible went at full speed within three or four miles 
of Sevastopol, during the trip, chasing a small fishing-vessel 
struck on a rock, but fortunately passed over it, tearing 
off nearly the whole of her false keel and doing great 
injury to her bottom. The example of the Tiger does not 
appear to have done much. 

Wednesday, i^th. Signal made to weigh at daybreak, 
but great remissness on the part of the transports some 
not ready before ten o'clock. The Agamemnon in beautiful 
style whipping them up, and turning in and out like an eel 
in the water. The French and Turkish Fleets under full 
sail to the southwards a fresh breeze from the land, and 
all ships carrying sail a beautiful sight. Steering for 
Eupatoria Bay along a low coast. The Apollo, with the 
38th and Arthur (my brother) on board, passed close 
alongside of us, towed by the Highflyer. Anchored for the 
night in Eupatoria Bay. Town summoned, and surrendered 
at once. Conference on board the Admiral's ship. Lyons 
returned greatly out of spirits. Eupatoria left without 
troops. No enquiry made into the position of the enemy, 
the disposition of the people, etc. In fact, nothing can be 
more careless and ill- managed than the whole expedition 
the want of head apparent everywhere. 

Thursday, i^th. We weighed soon after midnight, but 
great confusion prevailed. The consequence was that the 
French reached their anchorage first, the Admiral's ship 
anchoring close in, and began to land immediately. Our 
vessels thrown into confusion, completely lost their lines, 

274 APPENDIX A [1854 

and anchored without order. Much valuable time was lost 
before our landing commenced, Lyons exerting himself 
with great energy and bringing transports into line. The 
Agamemnon landed so near that there were only six inches 
to spare between her keel and the ground. The Fusiliers 
were the first to land, with General Browne. Lord Raglan, 
the Duke of Cambridge, and most of the officers came on 
board the Agamemnon. A few Cossacks were seen on the 
beach, and an officer, seating himself within gunshot, re- 
mained for some time taking notes ; but there were no pre- 
parations for resisting a landing which, with the confusion 
in consequence of the change of plans, might have been 
done with some success. The Cossacks retired to a ridge 
as we landed. General Browne with a party of riflemen re- 
connoitred the country, and seized a convoy of arabas es- 
corted by Cossacks. Some of the men accompanying the 
carts were brought on board. I conversed with them. 
They declared that the whole Tartar population was dis- 
affected and ready to aid in every way. They gave me 
much information with regard to the country, and seemed 
honest, quiet people. The landing went on vigorously, not- 
withstanding the confusion, and before night nearly the 
whole of the infantry, about thirty guns, and a considerable 
number of staff horses, had been landed without any very 
serious accident. I went on shore with Lyons about five, 
and found the Light and 1st and 2nd divisions marching 
inland, the rest being on the beach. Arthur, with the 
38th (3rd division), landed shortly before sunset. I found 
him on the beach. 

Friday, \^th. Wind turned to the southward yesterday 
evening a heavy swell came in from the south, and this 
morning, after several ineffectual attempts, it was found 
impossible to land guns or horses or even to approach the 
beach. It had rained most heavily during the day, and 
the troops, without any protection or covering, had been 
thoroughly drenched. It was 12 o'clock before the surf 
had diminished enough to permit of an attempt to land. 
Only eight guns and a few horses were landed before eight, 
and several accidents occurred one man and several 
horses being drowned. The time lost at sea the cause of 
this. Two days earlier would have saved the southerly 
wind fortunately, the landing was not opposed. I went 
on shore with Delane and Kinglake about mid-day, and 
walked through the French, Turkish, and part of the 
English lines, which now extended far and wide over the 

1854] APPENDIX A 275 

country. The people of the country bringing in arabas, 
cattle, sheep and provisions in great quantities a very 
favourable feeling existing everywhere unfortunately, the 
French had plundered a village and destroyed everything 
in it. The English troops drying themselves in the sun 
a fine warm day. Arthur on the cliff overlooking the sea. 

Saturday, i6th. The surf somewhat less, but still con- 
siderable ; disembarkation continuing during the day. Went 
on shore with Captain Greville and Delane early ; met 
Kinglake ; saw Lord Cardigan start at the head of 300 
cavalry, two guns (horse artillery) and 200 riflemen, in 
search of a body of Russian troops said to be advancing 
horses and men apparently in very good condition walked 
up to Lord Raglan's quarters ; much pleased with the re- 
ception of the Tartar population several persons of im- 
portance had come into camp, and had given reliable 
information. The army under tents ; found Arthur. He 
accompanied us to the Turkish Pacha in command (Suleiman 
Pacha), who received us very civilly, and gave us horses to 
return. Returned with Captain Greville to his ship, the 
Trafalgar, and dined and slept there. 

Sunday, 17 th. Returned in the morning to Agamemnon, 
wrote letters to England, and then went on shore. Found 
Dickson and Romaine ; offer from them of tent, etc.; a few 
horses, artillery, etc., landed, but surf still high. The 
Kangaroo in the morning hoisted signals of distress. 
When officer of Agamemnon went on board, he found 1 200 
sick and dead the decks so encumbered with dead and 
dying that he could scarcely walk along them only one 
medical officer on board. The mismanagement in this re- 
spect very great. Saw De Lacy Evans, General Leyland 
and General Cathcart Delane and Kinglake land with 
tent, etc. Return to the Agamemnon. 

Monday, \$>th. Send letters to England. All troops, 
horses, etc., disembarked by noon, and the troops ready to 
march. Went on shore ; found that Delane had started for 
England in the Banshee. Captain Peel came on board the 
Agamemnon in the evening and represented the state of 
things on board the Cambrian, now the hospital ship, as 
bad as that yesterday on board the Kangaroo, which has 
started for Constantinople. Four cases of cholera on board 
the Agamemnon ; end fatally. 

Tuesday, \gth. The army marched early. The greater 
part of the transports made sail for Eupatoria. Agamemnon 
weighs about ten. The armies cross the Bulganok River ; 

276 APPENDIX A [1854 

deploy on the hills above. The Agamemnon advances 
midway between Bulganok and Alma Rivers. Russians 
seen posted on rising ground to the south of Alma. 
Cossacks, about 150, posted among hayricks in a valley 
beneath the hill occupied by the allied armies. Bodies of 
Cossacks and cavalry stationed en echelon towards Alma. 
A large body of Russian cavalry, regular irregular 
between 2500 and 3000, twelve guns and some infantry 
advance and form line. Our cavalry suddenly appears on 
the brow of the hill and in the valleys of the extreme left. 
The French advance on right, chasseurs and skirmishers 
in front. The advance of our artillery approach first 
Cossacks in valley, who retire. Our movement being per- 
ceived by the Russians, they advance rapidly and form 
within range of our own cavalry, which now appeared in 
strength with horse artillery. Fire opens on both sides 
a regiment of cavalry white uniforms advance rapidly 
towards French, and suddenly perceiving a body of English 
cavalry withdraw at gallop. French advance four guns 
and fire two shells amongst them. The Russians then 
withdrew on all sides and recross the Alma to their 
encampment. It would appear that about 20,000 were 
encamped on the rising ground one or two earthworks 
visible with about fifty pieces of artillery. The position very 
strong. Riflemen approach high banks overlooking sea at 
the embouchure of the Alma. A French steamer throws 
six or seven shells amongst them, not apparently without 
effect. During the manoeuvres, a horse soldier in white 
uniform advances to the beach and remains stationary, 
evidently wishing to attract attention. A French boat 
approaches within gunshot he dismounts, makes a mark 
in the beach, then retires to the cliff, waving his hand to 
the spot from which he had come. The boat turning 
towards it, he returns inland to the Russian troops. The 
French boat, after some delay, does not approach the 
beach, but returns to the ship. In the evening Lyons 
sends a boat, and finds an excellent well of water, near 
which the horseman had piled a heap of stones his pro- 
ceedings not very apparent. A heavy cannonade during 
the day to the southward, probably from Samson and 
Terrible. The French encamp on brow of hill to the south 
of Bulganok the English army, with the exception of a 
few outposts, not visible. The Russians light numerous 
watch-fires during the night. During the day on the 
maintop, from whence excellent view. 

i8 S4 ] APPENDIX A 277 

Wednesday, 2Oth. Agamemnon shifts her berth early, 
and draws nearer in shore and towards the mouth of the 
Alma. The Spitfire, Vesuvius, Sanspareil, Diamond, and 
three French steamers draw near in shore. The division of 
the French army forming the left descends from the high 
ground and halts in the valley only a few Cossacks seen 
to the north of the Alma, and they are withdrawn. The 
Russians remaining in position. Our cavalry seen at the 
extreme left. A French General officer, probably General 
Bosquet, with a small body of cavalry, advances almost 
to the mouth of Alma to take a reconnaissance. Thick fog 
out at sea, covering our Fleet, but not reaching in shore. 
English infantry not seen before ten, when it appeared 
on the crest of the hill, and advanced in two great columns, 
flanked by cavalry and rifles. 

The English halted, whilst the French division under 
Bosquet advanced along the coast. The ford across the 
mouth of the Alma was merely the bar, and scarcely wide 
enough for more than two or three to cross abreast there 
was a heavy surf breaking over the bar. Some time before 
the head of the column reached it, a swarm of Zouaves 
had crossed the river higher up, and were swarming up the 
almost perpendicular sides of the cliffs and through the 
ravines. The enemy had raised some earthworks at the 
mouth of the Alma, and on the crest of the cliff facing the 
sea ; but they could not defend them, owing to the Fleet. 
The Agamemnon, Diamond, Sanspareil, Highflyer, Vesuvius, 
etc., with several French steam vessels, including Admiral 
Bruat's three-decker, being anchored close in. A large 
body of Cossacks and infantry were drawn up as near the 
edge of the cliff as they could, expecting the division of 
General Bosquet. They were surprised by the Zouaves, 
who had mounted the cliff in their rear. They retired 
rapidly, and fell back upon the large body of infantry and 
cavalry on the undulating ground. The Zouaves formed in 
line as they reached the summit, partly protected at first by 
a tumulus of earth. They continued thus to form under a 
very heavy fire, and suffering a considerable loss. They still 
held their ground wonderfully well, increasing in number 
every moment, and allowing time for Bosquet's division to 
mount by a very steep pathway. At length artillery was 
brought up the horses could scarcely, however, draw up the 
guns, the slope being so steep. For a moment the Zouaves 
wavered, but they soon picked up, and opening a most 
dreadful fire upon the Russians the tirailleurs and artillery 

278 APPENDIX A [1854 

joining in, drove them back. The Russian shells fell 
somewhat over the French lines. A tumulus, many being 
scattered over the country, was occupied by a half-built 
octagonal tower of stone, intended for guns. This position 
was very warmly disputed ; but at length the French 
carried it, and a Zouave springing upon it raised the 
tricolor. At length the French main body gained the 
heights above the position of the Russians. The English 
had halted during the attack of the French, according to 
the plan. As soon as the heights were gained, our columns 
deployed and advanced in line. A large village with trees 
stood on the right bank of the river. To this village the 
Russians set fire as they advanced. The smoke was, 
however, driven into their faces, and rather concealed our 
advance. The English halted as they reached the village, 
to allow the smoke to blow off. The Russians, having 
tried the range of their guns, opened a tremendous fire, 
with considerable effect. The order was then given to 
advance. This village broke our line, and the troops 
rushed into the ford in some confusion. The Light division 
in the centre, instead of waiting to form, rushed up the 
slope, which was commanded by the earthwork with 
eight or twelve guns, and by the battery of twelve guns to 
the left of it. The slaughter was dreadful. The 7th and 
23rd lost, the first ten officers, the other twelve (according 
to report). They gave way, and fell back. Sir Colin 
Campbell then told the Duke of Cambridge that the time was 
come for him to place himself at the head of the Guards, 
as matters looked ill. This he did, and, supporting the 
regiments which were falling back, carried the earthwork, the 
Russians carrying off their guns with great speed. Before 
this, however, the French, having gained the heights, had 
forced the battery to the left to leave its position ; the 
guns were dragged off and placed higher up the slope 
behind the earthwork. The Russians made a charge upon 
our men in the earthworks and we gave way ; but Sir Colin 
Campbell at the head of the Highland Brigade advanced 
in magnificent style up the hill gained its summit took 
the Russians in flank, and, compelling them to retire, 
decided the day. Two very strong and dense squares, each 
of more than five thousand men, were formed above the 
earthworks, and had remained there without firing from the 
beginning of the day. Lord Raglan and his staff had 
crossed the ford through the midst of a very heavy fire, 
three of his aides-de-camp having been wounded and 

i8 54 ] APPENDIX A 279 

several losing their horses. He then turned down the 
stream, and, entering a ravine, ascended a hill overlooking 
the Russians. He saw at once the importance of driving 
back their square, and sent Dickson for two guns, which 
began to play upon the foremost square. It soon broke up 
in great disorder, the men running away in the greatest 
confusion ; the other square held for ten minutes longer 
and then also gave way before the immense line formed 
by the Highland regiment with the Light and First 
Division advancing up the hill. The Russians now re- 
treated on all sides. Our artillery, a battery of Heavy and 
another of Horse, followed for some distance, forming and 
firing into the retreating enemy with great effect. The 
3rd and 4th division, which had scarcely been in action, 
were in advance. The enemy's cavalry formed to protect 
the rear, and as we were without cavalry we could not 
pursue. Had we possessed sufficient cavalry, the retreat 
would have been a rout, and nearly all the guns would have 
fallen into our hands. The whole affair was over in less 
than three hours and a half, the English only having been 
in action for a little more than two and half hours. I 
witnessed the battle from the maintop of the Agamemnon % 
and landed with Captain Mends, Captain Dacres, and one 
or two others. Our artillery were engaged with the re- 
treating Russians. We found a large number of slain 
Russians and French on the heights, and many wounded 
very dreadful scene. The French were showing very great 
activity, and were already removing and attending their 
wounded, so that few must have remained on the field 
during the night. We met a staff-officer, Captain Weir, 
and an officer of Engineers, wounded severely. The un- 
finished tower was surrounded with dead bodies many 
horses were scattered about. At night a Russian General 
was brought prisoner on board the Agamemnon he could 
only speak Russian, and I had much difficulty in com- 
municating with him through a Turk, Osman Effendi, who 
understood a few words of the language. He stated that 
at the head of his brigade he had left Moldavia in August, 
and had been twelve days at the Alma, not having even 
marched to Sevastopol. He stated the number of Russian 
infantry engaged to be 33,000 the number of the cavalry 
he did not know, but he believed it to be about 5000 of 
the artillery, too, he was ignorant, but gave them a 100 
guns placing the whole force at about 50,000. All the 
troops 'had been withdrawn from Sevastopol to defend the 

2 8o APPENDIX A [1854 

passage of the Alma, and even the novices had been 
brought away ; so that the place had been left very weak. 

Thursday, 2ist. Went with Captain Peel on shore. 
Great efforts made by Sir Edmund Lyons and the Navy 
to bring off the wounded. Walked with Captain Peel 
through the French lines, found the men in high spirits. 
Parties burying the dead, making graves with crosses at 
head. The Russians still lying about in great numbers un- 
buried the whole loss of the French stated to be 1400. 
General Canrobert wounded. I saw and talked to him 
yesterday. The French took MenchikofPs carriage, which 
was coming with correspondence and provisions from 
Sevastopol many valuable letters. Found Sir Colin 
Campbell on the brow of the hill, brought out by a false 
report that cavalry had been seen in the distance ; highly 
delighted with the conduct of the Scotch Brigade which he 
commanded. Back to headquarters in the valley near the 
ford ; found Dickson, and walked with him over the field a 
frightful mass of dead and wounded, especially near the 
earthworks ; but scattered in every direction. The ground 
strewed with packs which the retreating Russians had 
thrown away helmets, arms, etc. The wounded had been 
left out all night several Russian officers lying one a 
very intelligent young man speaking French. Found 
Arthur with his division in the front. Beyond, a great 
number slain. Our artillery had inflicted great loss upon 
the retreating army a dreadful scene, every manner of 
wound and mutilation parties of soldiers in all directions 
carrying off the wounded and burying the dead ; returned 
to headquarters ; saw Lord Raglan, Duke of Cambridge 
talking with young Russian officer, Kinglake, many other 
friends. Returned to the ship with Captain Peel ; the road 
thronged with sailors carrying wounded. 

Friday, 22nd. Remained on board Agamemnon. 
Army did not move. Wounded still being brought down 
in very great numbers great want of proper medical 
assistance. The Colombo with 700 invalids, and the 
Alfred the Great detained nearly twenty-four hours for 
want of medical officers very disgraceful state of things. 
The army did not advance a whole day of inactivity, and 
valuable time lost. The 4th division had encamped on an 
old encamping place of the Russians cholera had broken 
out severely. The unfortunate sick were brought down in 
bullock carts, packed one above the other like so many 
sacks. Lyons had already protested against this, and 

i8S4] APPENDIX A 281 

lays the blame upon the head of the medical staff and the 
complete inefficiency of their department of the service. 

Saturday, 2^rd. The armies march early, and reach 
the Katcha without opposition. Encamp on the left bank 
the British troops about four miles inland. Walk up the 
valley to the Highland Brigade and see Sir Colin Campbell 
Stirling Sir Colin gives me full details of the battle. 
Some firing from the Russian forts to the north of 
Sevastopol upon our steamers. Lord Raglan, it appears, 
wished to march on to the Bilbek River, but St Arnaud 
refused ; and the previous day St Arnaud wished to 
march and Lord Raglan declined matters are not in a 
very encouraging state. 

Sunday, 2^th. The combined armies marched early 
and struck inland, soon being out of sight of the ships. 
It appears that they crossed the Bilbek beyond the reach 
of the Russian forts. Our steamers and the French 
exchange a few shots in the morning with the Russian 
batteries, without any results. Orders from steamers to 
fire at the batteries. Go with Lyons in the Highflyer to 
the mouth of Bilbek. Found the Tribune (Captain 
Carnegie) anchored there the Russians fire at him, but 
their shot falls short. Eight French and English steamers 
arrive off Fort about sunset, but remain out of range ; two 
French steamers afterwards approach and exchange fire 
for some time with Russian batteries ; no damage done. 

Monday, 2$tk. Lord Burghersh coming from camp 
with despatches for England. Cholera broken out very 
severely amongst troops. The French declined to advance. 
A change of plans contemplated the army to march 
about fourteen miles inland, and then, taking the road to 
Balaklava, to invest Sevastopol on the north. It is to be 
feared that there is much want of energy, and divergence 
of council. We accuse the French they probably do as 
much with regard to ourselves. In the afternoon Lyons 
gave me a small steamer, the Minna, and with Admiral 
Slade I joined three English men-of-war steamers and 
three French, firing upon Sevastopol ; most of the shot 
and shell fell short. The main mast of the Samson was, 
however, hit. We could not ascertain whether any damage 
had been done on shore. The Russian guns exceeded 
ours in their range. 

Tuesday, 26th. Information came in the night that the 
British army, by a forced march, had turned Sevastopol, 
and had reached the Tchernaya or Black River, and would 

282 APPENDIX A [1854 

be at Balaklava this morning. Weighed about nine, with 
the inshore squadron and a few transports carrying siege- 
train and provisions for the army. The Samson and 
Terrible take possession of Light House at Kheronese 
Summit. Reach Balaklava at about mid-day. Find a 
few Russian troops holding the ruined fort at the entrance 
of harbour. Soon after our appearance off the coast, our 
riflemen were seen coming over the hills, and the in- 
habitants of the town flying in every direction. The 
Russians in ruin commenced firing from mortars and a 
large gingal returned by our riflemen and by a party of 
horse artillery, which had reached the summit of a hill com- 
manding the fort. We fired a few guns at the Russians, 
whereupon they showed a flag of truce and surrendered. 
Many of the shots from our guns fell near the Agamem- 
non. Entered the harbour in the Niger (Captain Heath). 
Found Lord Raglan there with General Burgoyne and his 
staff. Explained their movements. Had surprised a large 
Russian detachment going to Baktcha Serai and had 
seized a large quantity of baggage ; but, owing to there 
being no cavalry ready, were unable, as they might have 
done, to capture the whole division. The forced march 
had been made through very bad country thickly wooded 
and abounding in ravines. The troops, the night after they 
had left the Katcha, had crossed the Bilbek. Many men 
and officers died of cholera and fatigue. Found Kinglake, 
Romaine, Dickson, etc., in a house. The people of the 
place, all Greeks, return many of them understood 
Turkish. The harbour very small and somewhat difficult 
of entrance for large vessels, but deep water an exceed- 
ingly picturesque spot. The town small. Before night 
several large steamers had entered. 

Wednesday, 2jth. Lyons brings in the Agamemnon 
early, in very gallant style. Lord Raglan and his staff, 
with a company of Guards, standing on the beach, cheer 
us as we enter. March into village, and some pillaging. 
Marshal St Arnaud brought down very ill had, yesterday, 
resigned his command to Canrobert, and goes to France 
immediately. Lord Raglan and staff go out on recon- 
naissance. Commence landing siege artillery. 

Thursday, 28^, to \st October. Landing siege artillery, 
cavalry from Varna, powder-shot, etc. The army advance 
towards Sevastopol and take up position on heights about 
if miles from the batteries to the south of the town. The 
FYench being chiefly on the left on the lowland, the English 

1854] APPENDIX A 283 

to the right on the heights one French division on the 
extreme right, and behind them the Turks. Go up every 
day to heights, which are within range the shot falling in 
some instances over the divisions. Mr Upton taken 
prisoner at his farm-house the son of the engineer who 
constructed many of the public works in Sevastopol, and 
consequently well acquainted with the place. The tents 
for the army not landed until to-day (ist October) great 
inconvenience from this unnecessary delay, which, with 
proper management, ought not to have taken place. 
General complaints of commissariat. Marines landed 
and placed on heights above town to defend harbour. 

Monday, 2nd October. Ride to lines with fine French 
Officer who commanded first battery that ascended at 
Alma, examining defences of Sevastopol. He explained 
to me that it was half Sequel's division which had made 
the first ascent, and which had separated from the rest 
during the march along the beach ; next it was Canrobert's 
division, then Prince Napoleon's, and lastly Torcy's. My 
informant's battery was long unsupported, and lost twenty- 
five horses with many men. Criticised the Russian position 
and our attack. Found Arthur unwell no tents yet 
delivered ; eight tents for the officers of each regiment 
expected this evening, but none for the men illness pre- 
valent on account of want of protection. 

Tuesday, ^rd October Sanspareil, Tribune and Vesuvius 
with three French steamers go to Yalta to take possession 
of some wine which Canrobert had heard of as being in 
store there. The Sanspareil with only 40 tons of coal, and 
another steamer with only 30, and the want of coal general 
most serious case of mismanagement. Ride to the lines 
to see Arthur, who is better. Find Sir Colin Campbell 
at the extreme right the Russians firing at intervals. 
The high road to Simpherapol, Baghtali Serai, still left 
open, and the town receives supplies and troops by it 
only to-day that we think of closing it, but nothing done. 
This neglect very extraordinary, but a talk of breaking 
ground to-night. Very little communication appears to 
exist between French and English Commanders. Lord 
Raglan evidently disinclined to it, and professes complete 
ignorance of all they are doing. 

Wednesday, ^th October. Warcloud transport arrives, 
having thrown overboard 70 horses, out of 78 of Enniskillen 
Dragoons. In the evening the Wilson Kennedy arrived, 
having thrown overboard 100 horses, out of 108 of the 1st 

284 APPENDIX A [1854 

Dragoon Guards. Both cases owing to carelessness of 
those who fitted the transports. Ride to the lines with 
Dickson who has command of a battery. The enemy 
commenced shelling about 3 o'clock, and their shells fell 
into the encampment of the 3rd division, killing a private 
and wounding a sergeant. No work yet commenced on 
our side, although the siege guns up the men still with- 
out tents. The Beagle arrives in the evening. 

Thursday, $th October. Lord Raglan and his staff 
move up to the vicinity of lines. He ought to have been 
there some days ago. The Beagle lands one of the Lan- 
caster guns. Our infantry roll to-day 16,000. The French 
propose to bring their line of battle-ships under fire of forts ! 
One of the Beagle's guns sent up. We have not yet broken 
ground some shell fall among our troops in the line and 
kill some men. Dr Thompson, who remained with his 
servant Mayroth for five days with the wounded at Alma, 
died of cholera this morning. Captain Staunton surveys 
the heights around Balaklava, to propose plan for fortifying 
them ; somewhat late. 

Friday, 6th October. Sanspareil, Vesuvius, etc., return 
from expedition from Yalta unsuccessful obtained 
nothing but a few tons of coal the Russians had quitted 
the place. The Rip Van Winkle arrives from Varna, 
having thrown overboard 50 horses of the Royals, owing 
to inadequate fittings. Question of fortifying Balaklava 
commenced to-day. Turks to entrench themselves at the 
entrance to the valley. Nothing done in camp ; no ground 
broken. Arthur comes in unwell. 

Saturday, Jth October. Alarm in the morning occa- 
sioned by a body of about 5000 Russian cavalry, infantry, 
and artillery coming out on a reconnaissance on the bank 
of the Tchernaya. Met by English cavalry and Mande's 
troop of Horse Artillery. Three of our Dragoons taken 
prisoners ; but the enemy fled after the first few shots from 
our artillery, many of them throwing away their arms a 
large number of swords, lances, and carbines being found 
on the field. Several Russians are supposed to have been 
killed ; some wounded Cossacks fell into our hands. Had 
our cavalry acted well, nearly 1000 men might have been 
taken. Rode with Lyons and Captain Drummond of the 
Retribution to headquarters. A council of Generals of 
Divisions at Lord Raglan's. No plans yet decided upon, 
and apparently great indecision. Sir John Burgoyne pro- 
posed that our troops should be advanced at once to within 

i854l APPENDIX A 285 

800 yards of batteries in a ravine, a proposal at once 
rejected does not seem to have any definite plan. The 
possibility of our being compelled to give up the siege 
for this year and to go into winter quarters discussed. 
Lyons uncomfortable about the state of things the 
Generals admit that the only object in coming round here 
was to make a coup de main, and the opportunity now lost. 
The Russians not firing to-day. No ground broken by our 

Sunday, 8//z October. Send letters to England. A 
battery commenced during the night, but the guns not in 
position. It would appear that the Generals separated 
yesterday without coming to any decision, except that a 
regular attack to the right was impracticable. Lord 
Raglan this morning suggested a false attack at the right, 
and a real attack at the left extremity by the French, we 
supplying men and guns to this Canrobert agrees. The 
French much in advance of ourselves, and doing the thing 
scientifically a great want of zeal and energy on our 

Monday, Qth October. Cold high wind from northward ; 
rode early to camp. Lord Raglan had stopped pro- 
ceedings in the night, and no guns placed in position. A 
heavy fire during the day on the French who, however, 
continued their work, pushing forward pluckily. Two of 
our batteries and earthworks nearly complete. The 
Russians did not appear to know of them in the morning ; 
towards the middle of the day they discovered one, and 
commenced throwing shot and shell amongst working 
party, but without any result. Later they sent out some 
cavalry and infantry to reconnoitre, but they withdrew 
upon our Light, 1st and 2nd divisions turning out under 
arms. During the greater part of the day with the 2nd 
division. De Lacy Evans unwell criticises operations 
condemns the extent of our line without supports. 
Fortunately the French are throwing up redoubts and 
entrenchments in our rear. Their operations much more 
scientific and regular than ours. Our park and powder, 
almost at the extreme right, were most exposed to attack 
of enemy and actually within range. Agrees that, if a 
regular advance anticipated, we should have commenced 
from the north. This side not exceedingly strong. A 
new work raised to the end of the second tower. Three 
batteries and guns in position completed to defend 

286 APPENDIX A [1854 

Tuesday, loth. Ambulance carts disembarked from 
Cambria. Ride to French lines, and, from a position 
where foremost sentinels of French stationed, obtain a 
capital view of town, fortifications and harbour, as well 
as of works thrown up by the French, which were ready to 
receive, according to their account, forty guns. Much 
firing from forts of shot and shell, but without doing any 
material damage. From French ride across to English 
lines ist division and artillery. Shot falling in the 
English camp from a new redoubt into which the guns 
were only placed this morning (the east of the Round 
Tower), and from a steamer moving about the harbour. 
One gun (Lancaster), placed by us in position during the 
night, works not very forward and complaints of tardi- 
ness of Engineers. Chasseurs d'Espagne arrive. Saw 
about 300 sick coming down in carts from camp 
without any medical attendants whatever. Two had died 
on the road. They remained for an hour or two at 
Balaklava without necessary assistance. Lord Raglan was 
present, and expressed great indignation. Determination 
to-day to get forty guns into position about 1500 yards 
from forts. 

Wednesday, nth. A marine with cholera brought to 
beach taken ill on guard yesterday morning, had been 
refused admission into the military hospitals because he was 
a marine (although the marines are placed under military 
authority in Balaklava), and left without any medical 
assistance in the open air all night. Yesterday a report 
that the Greeks of Balaklava had sent away their wives 
and families, and intended to set fire to the place. Lord 
Raglan had the priest arrested, and determines upon 
sending away the inhabitants to some Greek village on 
the coast for the present, a determination which should 
have been taken some days ago. Deserters state that the 
Russians intend attacking Balaklava on the I4th, and that 
the guns taken from Sevastopol during the last few days 
are for that purpose. Yesterday two guns taken away by 
the Inkerman road, which up to this moment has not 
been closed ! With the siege artillery, ist and 2nd 
divisions during the day. The trench work impeded last 
night by the Engineers having lost their tracing ! Three 
guns placed. 

Thursday, \2th October. At French lines during the 
day. A sortie during the night without result Yesterday 
a transport with hay becalmed within shot from the 

i8 54 ] APPENDIX A 287 

batteries was deserted by her crew, who left her sails set. 
She continued her course, and after having been struck by 
two shot in the hull, and two through the sails, ran aground 
under cover of a projecting cliff. The Firebrand en- 
deavoured to come to her assistance, but was prevented by a 
heavy fire from the batteries, five shot striking her. She 
continued, however, to prevent a Russian steamer taking 
or destroying the vessel. Dundas sent orders that the 
vessel was to be burnt rather than run the risk of sacrifice 
of life. However, Captain Stewart at night takes her off, 
and lashing her to the Beagle brought her in the 
morning to Balaklava. The Russians sent the steamers 
and several armed boats to take possession of her, but too 
late. Works, both French and English, made considerable 
progress during night. Heavy fire kept up upon them 
during the day, with small results one man killed and 
three or four wounded in English trenches. Great 
superiority of French organisation over ours. Trochu 
shows me maps and plans for siege we have nothing of 
the kind everything appears to depend upon chance. A 
new battery with heavy guns to be erected below the white 
house in front of the French camp. 

Friday, \^th October. Alarm of Russians advancing 
in the morning on Balaklava originated in the fact of 
the Cossacks having captured a sergeant of Dragoons on 
picket our cavalry have not distinguished themselves as 
yet, apparently ill adapted for picket and such service. 
Breakfasted with Canrobert, and afterwards, accompanied 
by a French officer, inspected the French camp and lines. 
Their organisation far in advance of ours the Engineer 
department admirable tent with maps, plans, etc. 
additions being every day made from field-books of officers. 
Commissariat equally well organised bakeries, etc. every 
other day the troops supplied with fresh bread. The 
engineering, mining and sapping tools, with the park of 
siege artillery, admirably arranged ; in all these departments 
there appears to be entire neglect on our side. Two 
divisions form the lines from our extreme left to the sea, 
enclosing the west part of the town those divisions are 
General Torcy's and the Prince's. Two in red forming 
the supports commanded by Espinasse and Bosquet with 
the Turks. A line of works now carried by the French 
completely round the rear. The headquarters occupy a 
central position, about a mile from Lord Raglan's house. 
Canrobert lives, with his staff, in tents. Twelve ambulance 

288 APPENDIX A [1854 

carts brought out, and now at our headquarters. They do 
not appear to me to be well adapted to the purpose. They 
carry four or even six inside, but the space very much 
confined ; a wounded man could neither sit up nor stretch 
or raise his limbs. The blood would drip through from 
the upper upon the lower ; in hot weather the heat would 
be overpowering, as there are only breathing holes at the 
sides. When the cart was ascending or descending, the 
position of those dangerously wounded would be exceed- 
ingly painful. The carts, too, are made for roads and 
could not go across country ; at Alma they would have 
been almost useless for removing the wounded from the 
field of battle. Six sit outside ; but the seats do not appear 
to me comfortable for a wounded man. About 3000 
Turks arrive to be employed for the defence of 
Balaklava of which Sir Colin Campbell is now appointed 

Sunday, i$th. Moved to camp, and took up quarters 
with Dickson and the officers of the siege-train. Passed 
afternoon in 5 -gun battery on extreme right. 

Tuesday, \*jth October. Fire opened. 

On the 2$th, the cavalry affair before Balaklava. Mande 

On the 26th. Sir De Lacy Evan's affair with the column 
of Russians. 

On the ist November, the French opened their advanced 
batteries 91 guns. Muster roll at the end of October, 
14,700 rank and file. 

Sunday, $th November. Soon after daybreak heavy 
Russian guns placed in position during the night opened 
upon 2nd division our extreme right. Immense bodies 
of infantry came over the hill and drove in our pickets. 
The morning hazy, with slight rain, so that little could 
be seen at a distance. The action became general, and 
lasted until nearly 4 o'clock. Our regiments beaten back 
when they charged, crossing bayonets, by the actual mass 
ot the Russian columns ; the latter gave way, however, under 
very heavy fire of grape, shrapnel shell and round 
shot from the English and French artillery. The 
Russian artillery covered their retreat, and was at length 
forced from its position by the Zouaves and other French 
infantry turning it. The French followed up the re- 
treating masses and inflicted great loss upon them. The 
Russians retired into the valley of the Tchernaya, and then 
formed. French artillery brought to the edge of the hill 

i8 S4 ] APPENDIX A 289 

played upon them they scattered, and in disorder clam- 
bered up the opposite hills. Shells and shot from the ship- 
ing and two batteries drove in the French artillery. Our 
loss very great, and the battle-field infinitely worse than 
Alma. De Lacy Evans very ill at Balaklava did not 
command, though he joined late in the day. Pennefather 
took the 2nd division into action. Cathcart appears to 
have fallen into a trap. The Duke of Cambridge went 
over the ground with me. During the attack on the 
extreme right, a large body attempted to take the 5-gun 
battery, but were repulsed with great loss by General 
Codrington and a part of General England's division. 
They also made a sortie on the French at the extreme left, 
but were repulsed, the French driving them back to the 
walls a report at one time that the French had entered the 
town. The Russians also made a feint on our rear before 
Balaclava. The Russian artillery chiefly silenced by two 
1 8-pound guns of position brought up by Dickson, after 
Gambier was wounded. The bells of the town began to 
toll early in the morning, and the batteries opened a brisk 
fire ; it would appear that the troops heard prayers, were 
made drunk with rum, and then led on to the assault. It 
was said that the Grand-Duke Constantine had arrived 
and commanded in person. Great re-inforcements had 
undoubtedly joined, and Canrobert, who was slightly 
wounded in the right arm, estimated the entire number 
in the Tchernaya at nearly 100,000 men. The Russians 
again bayonet the wounded. The French lent us their 
ambulances to carry away the wounded. 

Monday ', 6th November. Council of war at Lord Raglan's 
came to no decision to meet again to-morrow. A 
burial of Generals Cathcart and Strangways Goldy and 
Seymour buried on same spot. 




To Henry Bruce, Esq., M.P. 

H.M.S. Agamemnon, 


%th October 1854. 

MY DEAR BRUCE, Amongst various letters which I re- 
ceived a few days ago from England was an envelope con- 
taining the customary cards united by the customary silver 
thread. I wished at the moment that I could have sent you 
my hearty congratulations by the gale that was then 
sweeping over Sevastopol fraught with stories of bloodshed 
and misery. My wishes for your happiness will now appear 
to you very tardy, and will just arrive when the repetition 
of such wishes from every point of the compass must have 
become rather a bore ; but still I cannot refuse myself the 
gratification of assuring you that they come from the 
bottom of my heart, and would be expressed, if I were with 
you, with all my soul and with all my strength. But, 
writing from such a place as this, and in the midst of such 
great events, I must send you something more worth your 
receiving than a mere letter of congratulation and of compli- 
ment. I lost no time after leaving London in joining the 
allied fleets in the Black Sea. I found them anchored out 
at sea off Tarkan (Crimea). I was kindly received by 
Sir Edmund Lyons on board his magnificent screw line of 
battle-ship, the Agamemnon, and have since been his guest. 
Sir Edmund commands the "in-shore" squadron, whose 
duty it is to cover the advance of the army and to operate 
along the coast. I have thus had the best opportunity of 
seeing all that has passed, and of being present at all 
operations both on land and by sea. Moreover, I have 
found myself thrown with the only man in command for 
whose skill, energy and vigour I have the least admiration. 
He has been and is the life and soul of this expedition ; 

i8 S4 ] APPENDIX B 291 

without him, it would be difficult to say what would happen. 
Lord Raglan is a gallant English gentleman kind-hearted, 
sincere, and honourable but he wants the energy and 
vigour of intellect which an expedition of this kind demands. 
St Arnaud was a buffoon, well deserving the title which 
his troops gave him of " le Marechal Polichinelle " ; but a 
man of great personal courage and marvellous energy of 
character, which the most acute suffering and a state of body 
verging between life and death could scarcely subdue. 
Canrobert is highly spoken of; but as a commander has 
not had an opportunity of distinguishing himself. He 
behaved well at Alma, was wounded, and is a great 
favourite with the French troops. So much for the 
generals. I may add that there is very little sympathy and 
very little personal communication between the English 
and French commanders a state of things which naturally 
breeds mischief. The landing near Eupatoria was effected 
under the superintendence of Sir Edmund Lyons, without 
any opposition on the part of the Russians, and was a 
very remarkable event. They might have inflicted very 
great loss upon us, owing to a change of plans on the part 
of Admiral Dundas ; but these clouds of Cossacks of 
which we have heard so much, did not appear, nor indeed 
have they since. 

The Russians had taken up a position of very great 
strength on the left bank of the Alma. The river winds 
under very precipitous cliffs, which open into an amphi- 
theatre about three miles from the sea. An earthwork with 
guns had been thrown up in this open space, and batteries 
were placed in various parts of it. But the heights to the 
left of the position were strangely neglected, and, having 
been seized with great gallantry by the French tirailleurs 
and Zouaves, the flank of the enemy was turned. Nothing 
could exceed the want of skill shown by the Russian com- 
mander in holding a position which nature had almost ren- 
dered impregnable if defended by good troops. Menchikoff 
commanded in person. The French attacked the enemy's 
left, and our troops were directed against the centre. Only 
three divisions of the British army were actually in action 
(the Light, ist and 2nd). Our share in the battle has 
been much criticised. We had a stream, with high banks, 
to cross by a ford, and in some places wading through 
water breast high. The Light division crossed first in the 
very front of the batteries which poured a murderous fire 
over the river. The men were not called upon to form 

292 APPENDIX B [1854 

under the high bank, but were allowed to rush up the 
slope of the amphitheatre in confusion. In fact there 
appears to have been no command at all, nor any attempt 
at strategy. The men were thrown upon the resource of 
their own British pluck ; but the inevitable result was that 
the first three regiments (the /th, 23rd and 33rd) were nearly 
destroyed. The Russians, seeing them waver, leaped over 
their earthworks, leaving their guns, and charged with 
their bayonets. Matters were at this moment in a most 
critical state, and the battle was saved by the decision and 
coolness of our old cosmopolite 1 friend Sir Colin 
Campbell. . . . Sir Colin, at the head of his Highland 
Brigade, made an admirable flank movement, turned the 
battery, and, sweeping everything before him, completely 
defeated the enemy. Lord Raglan and his staff behaved 
with great courage and were under the heaviest fire ; but 
something more was wanted. Unfortunately, the Russians 
were allowed to retreat unmolested. Had the defeat been 
followed up, which it might have been done, as two 
divisions, the 3rd and 4th, had not been in action and were 
quite fresh, the Russian army would have been completely 
destroyed, and during the panic we might have entered 
Sevastopol. Not a deserter or prisoner since taken who 
does not confirm this. A perfect panic appears to have 
seized the Russians. Menchikoff, as we know from an in- 
tercepted despatch, believed he could hold the position for 
weeks the boasted power of the Russians had been ex- 
posed in three hours ! At such a moment as this the man 
of genius a Wellington or Napier was wanting. We 
lost two valuable days in looking after the wounded and 
dead in all that concerns them our mismanagement was 
astounding. Five days after the battle a forced march, 
which might have had the most brilliant results, placed us 
to the south of Sevastopol, with a splendid basis of 
operations, and before that part of Sevastopol which had 
been completely undefended. Had this effort been 
followed up, we might have been in Sevastopol that even- 
ing. But we neglected the opportunity old Burgoyne made 
up his mind to a regular siege, and here we are before 
the place. Unfortunately we have hitherto done nothing. 
We have allowed the Russians to recover from their 
panic, to throw up defences of great strength, and to in- 
troduce above 20,000 fresh troops into the place. All this 

1 Member of the Cosmopolitan Club. 

i854l APPENDIX B 293 

appears inexplicable. I have no doubt that, as usual, we 
shall succeed ; but our loss will, I fear, be very great The 
impression is that the place will not be able to resist the 
immense weight of metal which will be brought to bear 
upon it. The English alone will have nearly 130 guns in 
position, the fleet having landed between 40 and 50, the 
French about 60. They are all to open, I believe, at the 
same time. The defence will probably be desperate, but I 
cannot conceive the garrison holding out. It is yet doubt- 
ful what part the fleet may take in the great effort ; but I 
fear that under such a man as Dundas little is to be expected 
of it. This is truly a national misfortune, as our navy 
is discouraged, and the finest materials in the world, without 
any exception, are not turned to account. I have been 
greatly struck at the great superiority of the navy, in all 
that relates to details and management, and in energy and 
enthusiasm, to the army. This may be a good deal owing 
to the want of a military leader who can inspire troops 
with confidence, and infuse into them a part of his own 
spirit. All the commissariat and medical arrangements 
are exceedingly bad. The men are exposed to great 
unnecessary suffering, and the ravages of the cholera 
have been doubled by the want of common precautions. 
Up to this day the men have not had their tents, and 
the officers only received them two or three days ago. 
You would be surprised at the state of things. The fact 
is, there is no master mind to grasp the whole subject to 
give orders and to see that they are carried out. I could 
not put my finger upon one man (with the exception 
perhaps, to a certain degree, of Sir Colin Campbell) and 
say, " there is a man to command an expedition." There 
are a number of red-waistcoated gentlemen, with their 
hands in their pockets, idling about men of undoubted 
gallantry, but without a spark of enthusiasm or energy 
all voting the thing a great bore and longing for Pall 
Mall. At Varna, what with this spirit and the terrible 
ravages of the cholera, the army was well-nigh demoralised. 
In the navy, on the contrary, all is courage, enthusiasm 
and vigour. It is really good for one's soul to see how 
the captains and men of Lyons' squadron work ; they 
have been invaluable to the army, and have shown a 
spirit worthy of the best period of our navy. This is 
owing chiefly, of course, to having a man like Lyons at 
their head. The contrast with the army is the more 
regrettable, as the materials in both are the same, and 

294 APPENDIX B [1854 

all that is wanted is some one to make the same use of 
them. The fault lies at home Dundas will probably 
be made a peer, and Lyons not noticed a Guardsman 
gets the command of a division, and the man who is 
competent is overlooked. Being at headquarters, I 
have an admirable opportunity of seeing everything. I 
wish Sidney Herbert could have some such experience. 


List of Articles contributed to the Quarterly Review. 

Turkey and Russia . .' . . . . . December 1853 

The Turks and the Greeks . , >"; . . March 1854 

The Campaign in the Crimea . ... . . December 1854 

Objects of the War . June 1855 

Results and Prospects of the War .... December 1855 

The Peace and its Effects on Turkey . . . March 1856 

Persia and its Inhabitants April 1857 

The Manchester Exhibition July 1857 

Communication with India ..... October 1857 

The Condition of India July 1858 

Arundel Society Fresco October 1858 

The National Gallery April 1859 

Architecture of All Countries October 1859 

German, Flemish and Dutch Art .... April 1861 

Cavour July 1861 

Kinglake's Crimea April 1863 

Pompeii . . January 1864 

Rassam's Abyssinia April 1869 

Italian Painters July 1872 

Velasquez October 1872 

The Eastern Question and the Conference (Layard 

and Dr Smith) January 1877 

The National Gallery October 1886 

The National Portrait Gallery April 1888 

Early Life of Lord Beaconsfield .... January 1889 

The Italian Condottiere January 1890 




Nineveh and its Remains : with an Account of a Visit to the Chaldean 
Christians of Kurdistan, and the Yezidis, or Devil-worshippers ; 
and an Enquiry into the Manners and Arts of the Ancient 
Assyrians. 2 vols. 1849 

Nineveh and its Remains. A Narrative of an Expedition to Assyria, 
during the years 1845, 1846, and 1847. Abridged by the 
Author from his larger work. 1867 

A Popular Account of Discoveries at Nineveh. Abridged, etc. 1851 

Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon : with Travels in 
Armenia, Kurdistan and the Desert ; being the result of a 
Second Expedition undertaken for the Trustees of the British 
Museum. London, 8vo. 1853 

Nineveh and Babylon. A Narrative of a Second Expedition to 
Assyria during the years 1849, 1850 and 1851. Abridged by 
the Author from his larger work. 1867 

The Monuments of Nineveh. From Drawings made on the Spot by 
A. H. Layard. Illustrated in 100 Plates. Fol. 1849 

A Second Series of the Monuments of Nineveh, made on the Spot 
during a Second Expedition to Assyria. Fol. 1853 

Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana and Babylonia, including a 
Residence among the Baktiyari and other Wild Tribes, before 
the Discovery of Nineveh. 2 vols. 1887 

The Nineveh Court in the Crystal Palace. Described by A. H. 
Layard. 1854 



Inaugural Address of A. H. Layardon his Installation as Lord Rector 
of the Marischal College and University of Aberdeen. 1856 

The Massacre of St Bartholomew and the Revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes. Illustrated from State Papers in the Archives of 
Venice. Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Huguenot 
Society of London, 1887. Privately printed. 1888 

The Due de Rohan's Relations with the Republic of Venice, 1630- 
1637. 1893 

The Prospects and Conduct of the War. Speech delivered in the 
House of Commons on December 12, 1854. 1854 

The Rt. Hon. A. H. Layard and the Anti-Slavery Society. Being a 
Copy of a Letter addressed by Mr Layard to M. Laboulaye 
. . . together with Remarks on certain Misstatements contained 
therein. [1877] 

The Turkish Question. Speeches delivered in the House of Commons 
on August 16, 1853, and February 17, 1854. 1854 

The Condition of Turkey and her Dependencies. Speech delivered in 
the House of Commons on Friday, May 29, 1863. 1863 

The Danish Question. Speech delivered in the House of Commons 
on July 7, 1864. 1864 

Handbook of Painting. The Italian Schools. Based on the Hand- 
book of Kugler. Originally Edited by Sir Charles L. Eastlake, 
P.R.A. Sixth Edition. Thoroughly Revised and in part 
Rewritten, by Austen Henry Layard, G.C.B., D.C.L., with 
nearly 250 Illustrations. London, demy 8vo. 1891 


ABDUL HAMID, Sultan of Turkey, ii. 

Abdul Mejid, Sultan of Turkey, ii. 

56, 88, 109 
Aberdeen, Lord, Foreign Minister, ii. 

38, 40; prejudice against Layard, 

42, 70-73 ; 102 
Aboyne, Lady, ii. 239, 240 
Abraham, Mosque of, at Orfa, i. 287- 

88 ; legend of, ii. 7 
Abyssinia, war with, ii. 257 
Acre, i. 264-66 

Adana, Egyptian army at, i. 21 1 
Adib, Consular Agent at Antioch, i. 

216, 230 

Agamemnon, H.M.S. , ii. 248 
Ahmet Vefyk Effendi, character of, 

". 47-55 ; 74, 86, 89, 104 
Ainsworth, Mr, of Mosul, i. 306, 308, 

310; ii. 165 

Ajunta, rock temples of, ii. 219 
Akh-Shehr, i. 178-79 
Albania, revolt of, ii. 124-38 
Albany, Countess of, i. 12 
Aleppo, i. 232-33; society at, 234- 

35, 283 
Alexandretta (Iskanderoon), i. 215- 

Al Hadhar, ruins of, i. 310, 315 ; ii. 

Ali, Pasha of Baghdad, i. 344, 347- 


Ali Effendi, ii. 92-93 

Alice, H.R.H., Princess, at Darm- 
stadt, ii. 236 

Alison, Mr Charles, ii. 75-80 ; 145- 

Ambelakia, co-operative community, 

ii. 27-28 
American Missionaries, in Turkey, ii. 


Antioch, i. 216, 218, 224, 230 
Antonelli, Cardinal, ii. 225 
Apollonia, Lake of, i. 160 
Arago. M., aide-de-camp of Suleiman 

Pasha, i. 222, 232 

Arundel Society, ii. 196, 203, 211, 

220, 223 
Armenians, in Constantinople, ii. 63- 


Assisi, frescoes at, ii. 220 
Atash Bey, Kurdish Chief, i. 290- 


Athos, Mount, ii. 116-17 
Austen, Mr Benjamin, i. 17, 36, 41, 

43 ; character of, 46 ; regard for 

Disraeli, 47 ; 99, 103 ; letter to, 

ii. 10 ; 43, 214, 225, 230 
Austen, Mrs Benjamin, i. 17; 

character of, 46-47 ; letters to, ii. 

158, 164, 172-76, 182-87, 206-214, 

216-25, 232-37 
Aylesbury, Layard family at, i. 63 ; 

Layard member for, ii. 240 
Ayoub Nastalla, his sufferings, i. 


Ayrton, Right Hon. A., ii. 258, 

BABYLON, site of, i. 349-51 
Baghdad, i. 326 ; government of, 

344-49; letters from, ii. 1-13 
Bahmehshire, ancient outlet of Karun 

river, ii. 68-9 
Ball, Mr John, ii. 226 
Barker, Mr, of Tarsus, i. 266-67 
Barker, Mr, of Suedia, i. 218-24, 225, 

Barker, Mr Charles, of Aleppo, i. 

230, 233 

Barolo, Marquis of, i. 86-87 
Barry, Mr, the architect, ii. 261 
Beaufort, Captain, i. 206 
Beder Khan Bey, Kurdish Chief, i. 

299; ii. 175, 179 
Behr, Baron de, ii. 142-43 
Belgrade, revolution at, ii. 30-32 ; fast 

ride to Constantinople from, 33-37 
Berlin, Museum of, ii. 226 
Beshire, Emir, Chief of the Druses, 

i. 243, 264 



Bethell, Mr, ii. 240 

Bewsher, Rev. James, schoolmaster 

at Richmond, i. 37-41 
Beyrout, i. 250-51 
Birijik, on Euphrates, i. 284-85 
Blunt, Mr, Consul at Salonica, ii. 22 
Bode, Baron de, ii. 6, 28 
Bombay, ii. 212 
Bonafons, Chevalier, i. 76, 86, 89; 

ii. 185 

Borgognone, ii. 210 
Botta, Signor, historian, i. 88 
Botta, M., Assyriologist, ii. 107-8, 

152, 157, 161, 164, 184, 188 
Botticelli, Sandro, ii. 230-31 
Bourqueney, Baron de, French 

Ambassador at Constantinople, ii. 

Boutanieff, Count, Russian Minister 

at Constantinople, ii. 57 
Bright, Rt. Hon. John, ii. 264 
British Museum, Trustees of, ii. 156, 

177, 189, 190, 191 
Brockeden, Mr William, i. 47, 54 ; 

Bronzino, II, Millais' admiration of, 

ii. 231 

Bulgarians, ii. 24, 109 
Burghersh, Lord and Lady, i. 35 
Burnouf, M., Orientalist, ii. 185-87 
Burr, Mrs Higford, ii. 209, 21 1, 212, 

Byron, Lord, Silvio Pellico's opinion 

of, i. 89 

CABOULI, EFFENDI, ii. 92, 94 
Cadalvene, M. de, ii. 107-9 
Cairns, Lord Chancellor, ii. 256 
Calvert, Mr, at Constantinople, ii. 


Candili, on the Bosphorus, ii. 104-7 

Canning, Lord, i. 41 

Canning, Sir Stratford, ii. 16-18 ; 
his appearance, 19, 20-21 ; his 
Servian policy, 38-41 ; love of 
mystery, 56 ; violence, 58, 83-87 ; 
anger with Lord Aberdeen, 70 ; 
views on Turkish reform, 101 ; 
habits, 1 39-40 ; interest in Assyrian 
exploration, 150-53 ; contribution 
to, 155-56, 243 

Canning, Lady, ii. 60, 78, 95-96, 
120, 151 

Carmel, Mount, i. 267-68 

Cartwright, Mr, ii. 2 

Castellani, Roman jeweller, ii. 225 

Cattaro, i. 124-26 

Catzeflis, Mr, of Tripoli, i. 240 

Caumont, Jacques Mompart de, Due 

de la Force, ancestor of Layard, i. 3 
Cavour, Marquis Benso de, father of 

the statesman, i. 68, 69, 70, 76 
Cavour, Count Camille, the states- 
man, i. 69, 76, 90 ; ii. 255 
Cettigne, i. 127 
Chesney, General, Commander of 

Euphrates Expedition, i. 226-27 
Clarendon, Earl of, ii. 233, 262 
Clifton Camville, Barony of, i. 2 ; 

claimed by Dr Layard, 6 
Cole, Mr, of South Kensington 

Museum, ii. 237 
Collier, Sir Robert, his painting, ii. 

229, 232 

Comnenus, Dr, i. 286-87 
Conestabile, Count Gian Carlo, ii. 


Copenhagen, visit to, i. 94 
Cordova, Sefior de, Spanish Minister 

at Constantinople, ii. 61 
Coutts Co., misunderstanding 

with, ii. 43-44 

Cowley, Lord. See Wellesley 
Crimea, war in the, ii. 248-51 
Croze, Layard descended from family 

of, i. 34 
Ctesiphon, remains of, i. 351 

DALMATIA, tour through, i. 112-23 

Danielo, Prince. See Montenegro 

Danilefsky, General, i. 96 

Dante, recovery of portrait of, i. 28 

Daphne, groves of, i. 218, 229-30 

Delane, Mr, Editor of the Times, ii. 
224, 248 

Dervish Czar, Albanian insurgent, ii. 

Dickens, Charles, delight of Ahmed 
Vefyk in his works, ii. 49, 251 

Dickson, Sir Collingwood, ii. 73, 75, 

Didier, M. Charles, Layard's tutor, 
i. 20, 22 

Diocletian, i. 118-19 

Disraeli, Benjamin, first recollections 
of, i. 1 8 ; his friendship with the 
Austens, 47; "Vivian Grey," 48- 
49 ; his character in youth, 49-51 ; 
ii. 242, 256, 264, 265 

Disraeli, Isaac, i. 47 

Disraeli, Sarah, i. 48 

Dundas, Admiral, ii. 248-49 

Duport, M., Piedmontese manu- 
facturer, i. 69 

Duport, M. Camille, his son, i. 70, 
7i, 75, 76, 77, 89 




225, 228, 231 
Eastlake, Lady, ii. 21 1 ; letters to, 

Ekbal-ed-Dowleh, Nawab of Oudh, 

i. 337 ; ii. 178 
Elphinstone, Lord, ii. 213 
Eski-Kara-Hissar, ruins of, i. 178 
Ezekiel, allusions to Assyrian 

sculpture in Book of, ii. 166 

FELLOWS, SIR CHARLES, i. 47, 105, 


Fergussqn, Mr, the architect, ii. 213 
Fieschi, funeral of his victims, i. 65-66 
Florence, childhood at, i. 21-36; 

political excitement in, ii. 183 ; 

frescoes at, 208 
Fonblanque, Mr, Consul- General at 

Belgrade, ii. 32, 33, 38, 39 ^ 
Fox, Mr, Unitarian preacher, i. 56 
Fresco, in Italy, ii. 203-6 
Frere, Sir Bartle, ii. 213 
Fuad, Effendi, ii. 92-93, 104 


SINA, i. 77-85 
Galli, Canonico, his bird-catching, i. 


Garibaldi, ii. 222, 227, 230 
Gaudenzio Ferrari, ii. 209 
Germain, M. Vincent, of Aleppo, i. 

231, 235 
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., i. 138; 

ii. 244, 257, 259, 262, 264 
Grande Chartreuse, visit to, i. 75 
Granville, Earl, ii. 238-39, 241, 242, 


Gregory, Sir William, ii. 203, 259 
Guest, Lady Charlotte, ii. 189 


HAMADAN, in Persia, ii. 4 
Hamilton, Sir Robert, ii. 213, 215 
Hannibal, passage of the Alps, i. 72 
Hassan Pasha, i. 147-48 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, i. 31 
Hector, Mr, of Baghdad, i. 330 ; ii. 

Holbein, picture at Darmstadt, ii. 

Horns, in Syria, visit to, i. 237-39 

Hook, Theodore, i. 47, 51 
Huddleston, Sir John, i. 62 
Humbert, Baron, ii. 231 
Humboldt, W. Von, ii. 184, 186 


IASIN, rock tombs of, i. 174-75 
Ibrahim Pasha, i. 156, 162, 182, 205, 

208, 211, 214, 216, 226, 235-36, 

238, 241, 251, 259, 318 
Ilian, rock tombs near, i. 171 
Indian Navy, value of, i. 329-30 
Interlaken, schooldays at, i. 18 


JAMES, G. P. R., influence of his 

novels, i. 41 
Jerusalem, i. 273-79 
Jones, Captain Felix, i. 329, 353 


KALAH SHIRGHAT, ruins of, i. 313 
Kala Tul, Baktiyari Castle, ii. 7-9 
Karak, ii. 6 
Karun, river, exploration of, ii. 13-14 ; 

Keogh, Judge, his oratorical gifts, 

i. 60-61, 62 
Khorsabad, remains of, ii. 107, 152, 


Kiamil Bey, ii. 97-100 
Kilbea, Mr, of Beyrout, i. 251, 253 
Kirkup, Seymour, his character and 

habits, i. 28-33 
Kishon, river, i. 269 
Konia (Iconium), i. 168, 181-83 

LABORDE, M., the traveller, i. 246 

Lamartine, M. de, i. 246 

Landor, Walter Savage, at Fiesole, i. 


Layard, Antoine, i. 4. 
Layard, Charles, Dean of Bristol, i. 

Layard, Charles, son of the above, i. 

9, 99, loo, 1 02 
Layard, Charlotte, married 9th Earl of 

Lindsey, i. 8 
Layard, Daniel Peter, i, 3 ; claims 

Barony of Clifton Camville, 6. 
Layard, Edgar, i. 13, 20 ; ii. 21 1 
Layard, General Frederick, i. 2, 3 

3 02 


Layard, Sir Austen Henry, born at 
Paris, 1817, i. 10 ; first visit to 
Florence, 1 1 ; schooldays at 
Moulins, 14, at Interlaken, 18 ; 
return to Florence, 21 ; acquaint- 
ance with Landor, 24-25 ; early 
taste for books and Art, 26-27 > 
return to England, 37 ; schooldays 
at Richmond 37-42 ; articled to 
a solicitor, 43 ; life in London, 
42-46 ; early acquaintance with 
Disraeli, 49-52; friendship with 
Crabb Robinson, 54-58 ; inter- 
course with Polish refugees, 59 ; 
debating clubs, 60-62 ; loses his 
father, 64 ; tour in the Alps, 64- 
73 ; performs in an orchestra, 71 ; 
tour in France, 74 ; in Piedmont, 
75-92 ; acts with Carbonari, 91 ; 
fondness for music, 92; tour in 
Scandinavia, 93-96 ; sympathy with 
Poland, 97 ; determines to leave 
England for Ceylon, 99 ; political 
opinions, 103 ; leaves England, 
102-9 ; London to Venice, 109- 
n; through Dalmatia, 112-23; 
visits Prince of Montenegro, 127- 
40 ; ride through Rumelia and 
Bulgaria to Constantinople, 145- 
53 ; ride through Asia Minor, 
154-209 ; visit to Mr Barker at 
Suedia, 218-30; stay at Antioch 
and Aleppo, 230-36 ; visit to 
Lebanon, 240-50 ; meets Suleiman 
Pasha, 255-61 ; through Palestine, 
264-72 ; at Jerusalem, 273-79 ; 
journey to Mosul, 283-309 ; visit to 
Al Hadhar, 310-20; voyage down 
the Tigris to Baghdad, 322-27 ; 
life at Baghdad, 328-43 ; account 
of its misrule, 344-47 ; expedition 
to sites of Babylon and Ctesiphon, 
349-53 ; travels in Persia, ii. 1-15 ; 
introduction to Sir S. Canning, 16- 
20 ; Servian mission, 21-32 ; rapid 
ride from Belgrade to Constanti- 
nople, 33-37 ; hard times at Con- 
stantinople, 42-45 ; report on Turco- 
Persian boundary, 66-73 ; employ- 
ment on secret service, 82 ; 
opinions on Turkish Reform, 90- 
91 ; connection with the Press, 
102-3 ; life at Candili, 104-7 '> 
Assyrian studies, 107-9 ; presenta- 
tion to the Sultan, 109-11 ; visit to 
Mount Olympus, 112 ; voyage with 
Lord Somers in the Archipelago, 
113-20 ; educational work in Con- 
stantinople, 120; Mission to 

Albania, 124-37 ; private inter- 
course with Sir S. Canning, 139- 
41 ; trip with Baron de Behr, 142- 
43 ; romantic adventure at Con- 
stantinople, 145-50 ; preparations 
for Nineveh, 151-55 ; letters de- 
scribing discoveries at Nimroud, 
1 56-67 ; adventure on the Tigris, 
167-72; hunting adventure, 172- 
74 ; moving the sculptures, 177-78 ; 
return to Constantinople, 178-80; 
dangerous illness, 181 ; return to 
Italy, 182-83 J address to the 
French Institute at Paris, 185-87 ; 
reception in England, 188 ; second 
expedition to Mesopotamia, 190- 
93 ; return to England, 194 ; 
publication of book on Nineveh, 
197 ; return to Constantinople, 
198-200; his political prospects, 
202 ; work for the Arundel Society, 
203-6 ; views on German Art, 207- 
8; tour in Lombardy, 209-10; 
revisits Constantinople, 211; tour 
in India, 212-19 > studies for 
Arundel Society, 220-21 ; observa- 
tions in Italy after expulsion of 
Austria, 221-25 ; tour in Germany, 
225-26 ; at Venice in 1860, 226-27 > 
with Millais in Florence and Rome, 
230-32 ; witnesses liberation of 
Venice, 232-35 ; starts mosaic 
works at Venice, 236-37 ; appointed 
Under - Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs, 238-39 ; enters Parliament, 
240 ; activity on the Eastern 
Question, 243-47 ; visit to the 
Crimea, 248-49 ; preaches ad- 
ministrative reform, 248-54 ; Under- 
secretary again, 255-56 ; Chief 
Commissioner of Works, 257-62 ; 
his place in politics, 264-67 
Layard, Henry Peter John, father of 
Sir H. L., i. 7 ; his bringing-up, 
7-9; ill-health and travels, 10-12; 
death, 64 
Layard, Mary Anne, married last 

Duke of Ancaster, i. 5 
Layard, Mrs, mother of Sir H. L., 
her character, i. 9-10, 100 ; letters 
to, ii. 1-15, 156, 160-63, 165, 

Layard, Peter Raymond de, i. 5 
Lebanon, i. 242 ; cedars of, 245 
Lindsey, Earl of, i. 8 
Lippi, Filippino, i. 24-5 
Locke, John, Q.C., M.P., i. 53 
Longworth, Mr, i. 154 ; ii. 45, 48, 



Louis Philippe, i. 65-66 ; ii. 30, 

Lowe, Right Hon. Robert, ii. 259, 


Luini, frescoes of, ii. 209, 2IO 
Luristan, Wali of, ii. 12 
Lynch, Captain, i. 285, 328-29 
Lyons, Admiral, Sir Edmund, ii. 


Lystra, in Lycaonia, i. 186-88 
Lytton, Sir E. Bulwer, ii. 228-29, 



MACLISE, R.A., ii. 231 
M'Neill, Sir John, i. 104, 106 
Mahmoud, Sultan of Turkey, i. 146, 

156, 157, 173, 289, 307, 346 
Mahmoud Bey, Governor of Beyrout, 

his cruelty, i. 252-54 
Malmesbury, Earl of, ii. 239 
Mancini, Madame, i. 35 
Manjanik, legend of, ii. 7 
Mar Antonius, Convent of, i. 246- 


Marcello, Countess Andriana, i. 78 
Mardin, i. 295-96 
Maronites, i. 243, 247-50 
Masaccio, frescoes of, ii. 223 
Masolino, frescoes of, ii. 209, 210, 

Mathews, Charles, the actor, i. 33, 

Medici, Cosimo and Lorenzo de', ii. 

Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, i. 156, 

205, 225, 243, 251, 253, 254, 256, 

258, 263, 265, 279, 346 
Mehemet Sujeh Bairakdar, Pasha of 

Mosul, i. 308 
Mehemet Taki Khan, Baktiyari 

chief, ii. 6-7, 9-12 
MenschikofT, Prince, ii. 246 
Michael Angelo, i. 56 
Millais, Sir J. E., at Florence, ii. 

2 3-3 I > at Rome, 232 
Milosh, Prince of Servia, ii. 30-32 
Mitford, Mr, Layard's travelling 

companion, i. 102, 104, 106, 107, 

108, 109, 139, 155, 156, 174, 241, 

250, 263, 270, 281, 283, 305, 323, 

347 ; ii. 6 ; letter to, 190 
Moab, i. 280-81 
Montenegro, Vladika of, i. 113, 125 ; 

his palace, 127-28 ; opinions and 

habits of, 129-40 
Morier, Sir Robert, ii. 236 
Morozzi, Cardinal, visit to, i. 85 
Mosul, i. 305,320; ii. 159 

Moulins, school-life at, i. 13-18 

Muhammerah, ii. 66-71 

Mumtaz Effendi, story of his wife, 

ii. 95-97 
Munich, art galleries of, i. no; 

ii. 207-8. 
Murray, Mr John, i. ill ; ii. 191 


NABLOUS (Shechem), i. 271 

Namik Pasha, Governor of Thessaly, 

ii. 28-30 

Nana Sahib, ii. 214, 220 
Napier, Lord, ii. 182 
Napier, Sir Joseph, ii. 228 
Natali, Count, Prefect of Sebenico, 

i. 117 

Nazareth, i. 269-70 
Nestorians, ii. 108, 161, 175-76 
Nicholaison, Rev. M., at Jerusalem, 

i. 276 
Nimroud, i. 311, 324; ii. 158, 163- 

67, 174 

Nineveh, mounds of, i. 305, 306, 321 
Nizib, battle of, i. 156, 211, 257, 284, 

Noe, Comte de, i. 37 

OMAR PASHA, Governor of Macedonia, 

ii. 23 
Omar Pasha, puts down Albanian 

revolt, ii. 127-35 
Orfa, i. 286-89 

Ottoman Bank, ii. 195, 210-11 
Otway, Sir Arthur, ii. 228, 251, 254 
Ourouk, wandering Turcomans, i. 

172-74, 184, 194-95 

PACHOT, family servant, i. ii, 20, 22 
Palladio, his work at Vicenza, ii. 228 
Palma Vecchio, picture by, ii. 228 
Palmer, Sir Roundell, ii. 259 
Palmerston, Lord, ii. 180, 190, 211, 

218, 245, 247, 251, 253, 255-56, 

266, 267 

Paris, Exhibition of 1867, ii. 235. 
Pellico, Signer Silvio, i. 76 ; his 

sufferings and opinions, 86-89 
Perugino, Pietro, ii. 203, 211 
Petra, i. 280 

Petronievitch, Servian leader, ii. 31 
Pinturicchio, ii. 306 
Pisa, ii. 207 
Pisani, Count Frederick, ii. in, 140 



Pompeiopolis, ruins of, i. 205 
Pourtales, Count, ii. 105, 112 

RAGUSA, Republic of, i. 120-22 
Raikes, Mr Cecil, ii. 260-61 
Rassam, Mr Christian, Vice-Consul 

at Mosul, i. 305, 308, 310, 316, 

317, 320; ii. 155, 171, 192, 193 
Rassam, Mr Hormuzd, ii. 178, 190, 

192, 193, 257 

Rate, Mr Lachlan Mackintosh, i. 42 
Rawlinson, Sir Henry, i. 107 ; ii. 3, 

5, 7, 12, 166, 171, 173, 191 
Raymond de Toulouse, i. i 
Raymond, Calo di Calominti, i. 2 
Raymond, Jean, Huguenot martyr, i. 2 
Regina, " a medium," i. 30-33 
Rellini, Signer, of Florence, i. 23-5 
Reshid Pasha, ii. 28, 81-83, 8 7> 92, 


Rhyndacus, river, i. 159, 161 
Ricasoli, Signer, ii. 223 
Riza Pasha, ii. 56, 89, 101 
Robinson, Henry Crabb, his character 

and influence, i. 54-58 ; 73, 103 
Romano, Giulio, ii. 210 
Rose, General Sir Hugh, ii. 214 
Ross, Dr, i. 310, 313, 314, 331, 344, 

Ross, Mr Henry, ii. 173; letters to, 

188, 197-202 
Rucellai, their palace at Florence, 

i. 21, 22 

Ruh-ed-din Effendi, his character and 

mode of life, ii. 47-54 
Ruskin, John, ii. 209, 210 
Russell, Earl, ii. 233, 234, 242, 245, 

255, 256, 264 
Russia, influence at Jerusalem, i. 277; 

hostility to Servia, ii. 40 ; and 

Turkey, 20 1 

SALAR JUNG, Nizam's Minister, ii. 


Salona, ruins of, i. 118 
Salonica, ii. 23-26 
Salviati, ii. 261 

Sand with, Dr Humphrey, ii. 190, 193 
Schon, Martin, picture by, ii. 228 
Schuckborough, The Misses, school 

at Putney, i. 13 

Selby, Captain, i. 329 ; ii. 10, 68 
Seleucia, ruins of, i. 197 
Servia, revolution in, ii. 15-26 
Seve, Colonel. See Suleiman Pasha 
Shat-el-Arab, ii. 66-69 

Silpius, Mount, colossal sculptures 

on, i. 231 

Simeon Stylites, i. 223 
Sistine, chapel, ii. 221 
Sloane, Mr, ii. 182, 207, 220 
Soffietti, Signer, Carbonaro, i. 91 
Somers, Lord, tour with, ii. 113-20, 


Southwark, ii. 254 
Spalatro, ruins of, i. 119 
Stanhope, Lady Hester, i. 220-21 
Stratford de Redcliffe, Lord. See 

Sturmer, Baron, Austrian Minister at 

Constantinople, ii. 60 
Suedia, i. 218-20 ; value as a port, 

Suleiman Pasha, i. 222 ; strange 

career of, 255-62, 265, 277 
Swaboda, M., his strange fortune, 

i. 332-36 

TARSUS, i. 206-8 

Taylor, Colonel, Political Resident at 

Baghdad, i. 328, 339-41, 351 ; ii. 

2, 9, ii, 13, 14, 16 
Taylor, Mr Tom, ii. 220 
Texier, M., i. 178, 320 
Theodore, King of Abyssinia, ii. 256 
Thorwaldsen, i. 94 
Tigris, navigation of, i. 322-23 
Tocqueville, M. de, ii. 187 
Townley, Colonel, ride from Belgrade 

to Constantinople, ii. 37 
Trasimeno, lake of, i. 35 
Trelawny, the friend of Byron, i. 


Trevelyan, Sir Charles, ii. 258 
Treviso, Marechal Due de, i. 66 
Tripoli, in Syria, i. 339-41 
Twopenny, Mr, conveyancer, i. 97, 



URQUHART, MR, i. 155; ii. 27, 46 

VALORI, ABATE, schoolmaster at 

Florence, i. 23 
Venice, first visit to, i. in ; ii. 196, 

227; liberation of, 233-35 > mosaics, 

Vernet, Horace, the painter, i. 262- 


Veronese, Paolo, frescoes by, ii. 227 
Vicenza, ii. 228 



Villafranca, Treaty of, ii. 195 ; 221 
Villiers, Hon. Charles, M.P., i. 104; 

ii. 242 
"Vivian Grey," composition of, i. 18, 

Vogorides Bey, Prince of Samos, ii. 



WAAGEN, DR, of the Berlin Gallery, 

ii. 226 
Wales, Prince of, his birth celebrated 

at Baghdad, ii. 13 
Ward, Mr Robert Plumer, i. 47, 52 
Warren, Mr Samuel, the novelist, 

i. 47 ; character of, 52-54 
Watts, Mr G. F., R.A., ii. 207 
Wellesley, Mr (afterwards Lord 

Cowley), ii. 141, 180, 181 
White, Colonel, at Constantinople, 

ii. 46, 1 02 

Wilkie, picture by, at Munich, ii. 226 

Willes, Sir James, i. 62 

Williams, Sir Fenwick, of Kars, ii, 
73, 75, 180 

Wolff, Dr, the traveller, ii. 62 

Wordsworth, William, i. 55 

Worsaae, Professor, i. 94 

Wutchich, leader of Servian revolu- 
tion, ii. 31, 39 

YEZIDIS, or Devil-worshippers, i. 

284; ii. 176-77 
Young, Mr, Consul at Jerusalem, 

i. 274, 282 

ZUBAN, Servian statesman, ii. 31, 




of an Expedition to Assyria during the years 1845, 1846, and 1847. With 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo., 7s. 6d. 

NINEVEH AND BABYLON. A Popular Narrative of a 
Second Expedition to the Ruins of Assyria, with Travels in Armenia during 
the years 1849, 1850, and 1851. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo., 75. 6d. 


AND SUSIANA, including a Residence among the Bakhtiyari and other 
Wild Tribes. With Portrait, Map, and Illustrations. 2 vols. crown 8vo., 
245. ; also in I vol. crown 8vo, 75. 6d. 




Account of Journeys in Central and Western China, especially in the 
Province of Sze-Chuan, and among the Man-Tze of the Somo Territory. 
Dedicated by permission to the Marquess of Salisbury, K.G. With Map 
and numerous Illustrations. 8vo. , i, is. net. 


Travel. An Account of the Vicissitudes and Present Position of the 
Country. With Maps and Illustrations from the Author's Photographs. 
2 vols. large crown 8vo., 245. 


THITHER. With Map and Illustrations. Post 8vo., 145. 


to the Aborigines of Yezo and the Shrines of Nikko and Ise. Map and 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo., 7s. 6d. 


a Summer in the Upper Karum Region, and a Visit to the Nestorian Rayahs. 
Maps and 36 Illustrations. 2 vols. crown 8vo., 245. 

HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO. Six Months among the 

Palm Groves and Coral Reefs and Volcanoes of the Sandwich Islands. 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo., 7s. 6d. 


Illustrations. Post 8vo. , 75 6d. 


SIR ROBERT PEEL. Based on his Correspondence and 
Private Documents. Edited by CHARLES STUART PARKKR, formerly Fellow 
of University College, Oxford, and M.P. for the City and County of Perth. 
With a Summary of Sir Robert Peel's Life and Character by his Grandson, 
the Hon. George Peel. Three Volumes. Vol. I. From his Birth to 1827. 
With Portraits. 8vo., i6s. Vols. II. and III. From 1827 to his Death in 
1850. With Portraits. 8vo., 325. 

' ' A work of first importance to English history. " Daily News. 
"Mr Parker has done his work with admirable fidelity and judgment." The 



MR GLADSTONE: A Monograph. By Sir EDWARD W. 

HAMILTON, K.C.B. Crown 8vo., 55. 

' ' Nobody has a better right to put on record the impressions derived from long 
and close intercourse with Mr Gladstone ; and we may add that nobody could 
have done it better." Times. 


Study. By J. A. R. MARRIOTT, M.A., New College, Oxford; Lecturer in 
Modern History and Economics at Worcester College ; Secretary to the 
University Extension Delegacy. With Portrait. Large crown 8vo. 


G.C.M.G., British Ambassador at Constantinople, 1885-1891. By H. 
SUTHERLAND EDWARDS. With a Portrait. Demy 8vo., 125. net. 

MARCK. Derived from Visits to Friedrichsruh, Varzin, etc. By SYDNEY 
WHITMAN. Demy 8vo., 125. net. 

"One of the most interesting documents of our time. . . . Will charm not only 
Prince Bismarck's friends, but also all throughout the world who value the great- 
ness of its great men." Athemeum. 


GOSCHEN, Publisher and Printer of Leipzig, 1752-1829. With Extracts 
from his Correspondence with Goethe, Schiller, Klopstock, Wieland, Korner, 
and many other Leading Authors and Men of Letters of the Time. By his 
Grandson, Viscount GOSCHEN. With Portraits and Illustrations. 2 Vols. 
demy 8vo. , 363. net. 


Biographical Essays by the Rev. WHITWELL ELWIN, sometime Editor of 
the Quarterly Review. With a Memoir. Edited by his Son, WARWICK 
ELWIN. Vol. I. Memoir of Mr Elwin Cowper Lord Thurlow. Vol. II. 
Sterne Fielding Goldsmith Gray Boswell Johnson. With Portraits and 
other Illustrations. 2 Vols. demy 8vo. , 255. net. 


G.C.B., G. C.S.I., etc. The Story of his Life mainly in his own words. 
Edited by G. R. ELSMIE, C.S.I., Joint Author of " The Life of Lumsden of 
the Guides." With Portraits, Map, and Illustrations. Demy 8vo., 155. net. 


SIR HARRY SMITH, BART., OF ALIWAL, G.C.B. Including his Services 
in South America In the Peninsula and France At New Orleans At 
Waterloo In North America and Jamaica In South Africa during the 
Kaffir War In India during the Sikh War and at the Cape, etc. Edited 
by G. C. MOORE SMITH. With some Additional Chapters supplied by the 
Editor. With Portraits and Illustrations. 2 Vols. demy 8vo., 245. net. 

"... one of the most piquant and fascinating pictures offered in Military 
biography ... a store of true romances, of rollicking fun, and of unsophisticated 
sentiment. . . . We could wish for no more refreshing tale than the wooing and 
the wedlock of Sir Harry Smith. It begins in the manner of widely improbable 
romance ; it goes on in idyllic happiness to the last hours of the husband-lover's 
life." Standard. 

JOHN NICHOLSON. Soldier and Administrator. Based 

on Private and hitherto Unpublished Documents. By Captain L. J. TROTTER. 
Eighth Edition. With Portraits, Maps, etc. Demy 8vo. , 7s. 6d. net. 


-n I-.1O 

ocir JLO 



Layard, (Sir) Austen Henry 
Aut obi ography