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Harold B. Lee Library 

Brigham Young University 

914.96 
Se22t 
1877 
vol.1 



BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 



3 1197 22728 2404 



J^/U^^' ^ 









TRAVELS IN 

THE SLAVONIC PROVINCES OF 
TURKEY-IN-EUROPE 







SERBIAN BORDER GUARD. 



TRAVELS IN 

THE SLAVONIC PROVINCES 
OF TURKEY-IN-EUROPE 



By G. MUIR MACKENZIE and A. P. IRBY 



WITH A PREFACE BY 

THE RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P. 



IN TWO VOLUMES.— I. 



SECOND EDITION REVISED 



LONDON 
DALDY, ISBISTER & CO, 

56, LUDGATE HILL 

1877 



LONDON 

PRINTED BV VIRTUE AND CO. LIMITED 
CITY ROAD 



THE SECOND EDITION OF THIS WOEK 

IS 
TO 

SOPHIA, LADY MXJIR MACKENZIE, 

OF DELVINE, 
IN TOKEN OF LOVING ESTEEM; 

AND IN MEMORY OF HER DAUGHTER, 

WHOSE NAME STANDS ON THE TITLE PAGE; 

WHO MARRIED, IN 1871, SIR CHARLES SEBRIGHT, BARON d'eVERTON, 
AND WHO DIED IN CORFU, JANUARY, 1874. 



The Illustrations are from Original Sketches by F. Kanitz, 
Author of ^'Serbien," ^'Bulgarien," &c. The greater portion of 
the Text of the First Edition was Contributed by Gr. Mxjir 
Mackenzie, and has been Eevised for this Edition by A. P. Irby, 
who has added the Three Chapters : " Bosnia in 1875," ^' Journey 
in Bosnia in August, 1875," "Bosnia in 1876-7." 



PEEFACE. 



TTNTIL our own day, it has never been possible for the 
people of one country to obtain trustworthy informa- 
tion respecting the contemporary condition of the people 
of another. The press, the telegraph, the railway, the 
large and costly development of diplomatic and consular 
establishments, and the usages of popular governments, 
have, in their several manners and degrees, contributed 
to place within our reach this description of knowledge, 
in other times substantially inaccessible. In the general 
absence of it is to be found the best excuse for the 
seemingly heartless manner in which the statesmen of a 
bygone generation have argued for the maintenance of 
the Ottoman Government with a view to the general 
convenience of Europe, while they have seemingly 
omitted from the case all consideration of the question, 
how far the Porte fulfilled or defeated the main purpose 
for which every government exists — namely, the welfare 
of those beneath its rule. With the possession, even the 
partial possession, of such knowledge, we have obtained 
a great advantage. But we have also come under a new 
and very grave responsibility. We cannot now escape 
from the consciousness that we are dealing with ques- 



viii PREFACE. 

tions wliicli gi'eatly involve the happiness or misery of 
many millions of human beings, whose condition 
we had formerly omitted from our calculations. In 
the case of Greece, the recollected glories of the past 
and the scandal of the servitude of a race once 
illustrious, were associated vrith the arguments drawn 
from the distm-bance of the Levant, and probably told 
more in the production of the result than any keen sense 
of the specific character of Turkish oppression. 

But, although this important change has been effected, 
it still remains a matter of difficulty, as well as of desire, 
that this knowledge, in cases with which we have chosen 
to concern ourselves, should be trustworthy, should be 
complete, and should be effectual. So to be concerned, 
is indeed a matter of great inconvenience, and even mis- 
chief. Ill able to cope with the problems which appertain 
to our own affairs, we can yet worse afford to meet drafts 
upon our care and attention for settling the affairs of 
others. Happily or unhappily, we have taken upon our- 
selves a heavy charge of this kind in the case of Tui'key. 
Some found themselves upon British interests, others 
upon general duty, others upon the specific obligations 
growing out of our anterior proceedings, and especially 
out of the Crimean war. But all, or very nearly all, are 
agreed, that the question of the Ottoman Empire is one 
from which we cannot wholly with(Jraw. Yery nearly 
all, whether freely or reluctantly, now confess that in 
treating it we cannot refuse to look at the condition of 
the subject races. And if we are to include that element 
of the case in our view, it is most important that we 
should sec it as clearly and fully as may be possible. 



PREFACE. ix 

I do not mean to disparage the labours and services of 
others when I say that, in my opinion, no diplomatist, 
no consul, no traveller, among our countrymen, has made 
such a valuable contribution to our means of knowledge 
in this important matter, as was made by Miss Mackenzie 
and Miss Irby, when they published, in 1867, their 
travels in some of the Slavonian Provinces of Euro- 
pean Turkey. I shall not now dwell upon the infor- 
mation they have given us with respect to Montenegro : 
for, although it is highly interesting and instructive, 
it is subsidiary to the main part of the volume, on 
which I now dwell. Here, much more than in any 
other work I have been able to discover, is exhibited 
to view without passion or prejudice, as well as without 
reserve, the normal state of life among the subject 
races, the standing relation both between them and 
their government, and likewise between them and 
those Mahommedans, mainly descended from renegades, 
who are at once their fellow-subjects and their masters. 
At the time when these ladies undertook a mission of 
the purest philanthropy with a view to the diffusion of 
education in the Provinces, the Eastern question did not, 
among ourselves, wear even in the slightest degree 
the aspect of a party question. There was nothing 
from this side to disturb a perfect rectitude of view. It 
was still more important, that there was then nothing 
occasional, nothing exceptional, in the condition of the 
Provinces themselves. They had been, for some time, 
what would be called in Turkey tranquil. The journey 
was indeed one which would never have been undertaken 
except by ladies endowed with a courage and resolution 



X PREFACE. 

as remarkable as their discernment and their benevolence. 
But they were able at the time to draw, with steady 
hand, all the lineaments of a picture, which is the picture 
of Ottoman rule over a Christian majority at its best, and 
in the absence of all exasperating circumstances. Without 
studying pictures so taken, our knowledge of the 
Tui'kish question must be essentially defective, and more 
or less misleading. The condition exhibited in it is that 
which determines the true measure of happiness or misery, 
groT\i:h or retrogression, elevation or depression, in the 
ordinary human life of these provinces. It shows us 
also the point of departure, from which begin the terrible 
processes, not indeed without example in former times, 
but never so fully exhibited to the view of Christendom 
as in the Bulgarian massacres of 1876, now ineffaceable 
from the memory of civilized mankind. 

We thus come to learn, that there are two distinct 
phases of existence for the subject races of Turkey : the 
ordinary, and the exceptional. The exceptional phase 
comes when the ruling race finds or thinks itself threat- 
ened in the key of its position. This is on the rare occa- 
sions, when oppression is felt to be absolutely intolerable, 
and the down-trodden rayahs, appealing to force, seek to 
obtain their rights by the same instrument which has 
been the source and the vehicle of all their wrongs. 
Other conquerors, such as the Greek or the Eoman, 
have relied, along with force, upon intellectual supe- 
riority, and upon the communication of benefits to the 
conquered. The Ottoman Turk, with his satellites, has 
relied upon force alone. Whatever intellect he has at 
any time displayed, and it has not always been small, 



PREFACE. xi 

has been intellect addressed to the organisation and 
application of force. The rebellions rayah for once 
meets him on his own ground. He is in a manner 
compelled to develop and apply on these occasions the 
whole of his large inventory of the weapons of violence 
and torture, and other yet worse and baser means of 
inflicting agony upon his subjects. For, if these instru- 
ments fail, he has nothing in reserve. It is now, there- 
fore, coming to be understood, that the indescribable 
proceedings of last year in Bulgaria were not due to 
passion, ignorance, or accident ; but to method, policy, 
and principle : the ends sought were absolutely vital 
to Turkish power as it exists in these Provinces, and 
the instruments chosen were admirably adapted to the 
ends. 

"With reference to this, which I have called the excep- 
tional phase of existence under the Ottoman Power, 
Miss Irby, in the new edition of her work, has supplied 
illustrations of very great interest and importance. 
Although a considerable portion of the Metropolitan 
daily press systematically suppresses the too copious 
evidence of continuing Turkish outrages in Bulgaria, 
this portion cannot control its remaining organs, and it 
has become generally known that the reign of terror is 
still prolonged in that unhappy Province, and that what 
was done last May to hundreds and thousands is still, 
and daily, done to units, or fives, or tens. If the tem- 
pest has passed by, the swell still continues. Ottoman 
security is felt to depend upon keeping alive in the 
mind of the subject races the memory of the great 
massacres \ for on the mirror of the past is drawn the 



xii ^ PREFACE, 

image of the future. The work of Miss Irby, with 
the chapters she has added, widens our perspective. I 
have myself stated, months back, to the public that, 
while we were venting indignation about Bulgaria, the 
Turk was doing the very same foul work, though not on 
the same imperial scale, in Bosnia. The Manchester 
Guardian has rendered important public service with 
respect to the same afflicted region, through its very 
valuable correspondence. Eut Miss Irby, after her long 
and self-sacrificing experience, speaks with a weight of 
dispassionate authority, to which neither I nor any 
correspondent of a public journal can pretend. She 
now discloses, and that down to the latest date, upon 
information which she knows to be trustworthy, a state 
of things which exhibits a greater aggregate of human 
misery flowing from Turkish rule, than even the Bul- 
garia of 1876 could show. In Bosnia and the Herze- 
govina more than a third of the population are exiled 
or homeless; the mass of these (as we now learn) 
reduced to an allowance of a penny a day, but rather 
preferring to travel, and that rapidly, the road to famine 
and to pestilence, than to descend, by returning, into 
the abyss of a suffering which is also shame ; and with 
this, the constant and harrowing recurrence of the 
cruel outrages, which are more and more fastening 
themselves, as if inseparable adjuncts, upon the Turkish 
name. 

" I nunc, et versus tecum meditare cancros." 

Teach, you who will, the duty of dealing effectually 
with the insuiTcction, and setting up again that 
fabric of Turkish rule over a Serbian people, which, 



PREFACE, xiii 

amidst all this misery, we may hope is tottering to its 
final fall. 

Such is the aid Miss Irby gives ns towards the attain- 
ment not merely of a theoretical, but of a practical and 
living knowledge with reference to the condition of the 
Slav Provinces of Turkey after an insurrection. I how- 
ever attach not a less, perhaps even a greater, importance 
to the less exciting picture which is drawn in the older 
part of the work. By the simple, painstaking communi- 
cation of the particulars supplied from daily experience, 
it presents to us in comparatively quiet landscape, rayah 
life, under Turkish mastery, in the best condition it 
could attain, after many long years of peace for the 
Empire abroad, and of reforms promised at home, with 
facilities for effecting them such as are not likely to 
return. And what was rayah life under these happier 
circumstances ? It was a life never knowing real se- 
curity or peace, except when the Government and its 
agents were happily out of view. A life which never had 
any of the benefits of law, save when the agents of the 
law were absent. A life in which no object, that was 
valued, could be exposed. A life which left to the 
Christian nothing, except what his Mahommedan master 
did not chance to want. A life in which wife and 
daughter, the appointed sources of the sweetest consola- 
tion, were the standing occasions of the sharpest anxiety. 
A life debased by cringing, poisoned by fear, destructive 
of manhood, shorn of the freedom which is the indispen- 
sable condition of all nobleness in man, and shorn too of 
every hope, except such as might lie in an escape from 
it to some foreign land; or in the dream of a future 



XIV PREFACE. 

redemption, wliich we may think to be now probably at 
band, when acute suffering has been substituted for dull 
chronic pain, and when a people, too long patient, seems 
to be at length determined, in vindicating its own rights, 
to A'indicate the insulted laws of the Most High. 

W.E.G. 

April 10th, 1877. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



-♦- 



CHAPTER I. 

PAOB 

BOSNIA IN 1875 1 



CHAPTER II. 

JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875 24 

CHAPTER III. 

BOSNIA IN 1876-7 . 35 

CHAPTER IV. 

SALONICA IN 1863 54 

CHAPTER V. 

BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA. PART I (55 

CHAPTER VI. 

BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA. PART II 83 

CHAPTER VII. 

FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR 90 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND THE MODERN TURKISH TOWN 102 



xvi CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

king's son maeko : his castle and his story . . .115 



PA«E 



CHAPTER X. 

THE BULGARIAN TOWNS OF PRILIP AND VELESA . . .128 

CHAPTER XI. 

VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862 . . .145 

CHAPTER XII. 

THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN .158 

CHAPTER XIII.- 

KATCHANIK , 1^8 

CHAPTER XIV. 

THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO ...... 182 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA 198 

CHAPTER XVI. 

STARA SERBIA • 209 

CHAPTER XVII. 

FROM PRISHTINA TO VUCHITERN 228 

CHAPTER XVni. 

VUCHITERN 234 

CHAPTER XIX. 

FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA 252 



CONTENTS. xvii 

CHAPTER XX. 

PAGE 

NOVI BAZAAE ......... 265 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE BOSNIAN BORDERS — NOVI BAZAAR TO TUTIN . . . 285 

CHAPTER XXII. 

THE BOSNIAN BORDERS — TUTIN TO ROSHAl . . . . . 298 



YOL. J. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



VOL. I. 



SERBIAN BORDER GUARD ..... FrontispiCCe 

MAP OF THE SOUTH SLAVONIC PROVINCES . . . faCWg p. 1 

SALONICA ON THE ^GEAN ....... 54 

BULGARIAN PEASANTS, WITH BULGARIAN MERCHANT AND HIS SON 
CATHEDRAL OF OCHRIDA ...... 

BULGARIAN MONASTERY OF RILO .... 

MAP OF STARA (oLd) SERBIA ..... 

SPECIMEN OF SERBIAN ARCHITECTURE 
MUSSULMAN BEYS AND CHRISTIAN PRIEST . 

INTERIOR OF SERBIAN CHURCH MANASSIA . 

SERBIAN PEASANTS AND CITIZENS OF A COUNTRY TOWN 
BOSNIAN RAYAH PAYING TRIBUTE .... 



69 

loa 

151 
209 
212 
255 
275 
281 
311 



■^ 




t/> 



t^ 



Map 

SOUTH iimwmi^ 

COUNTRIES 

^^^i^^^V^-r shown tTtus ^-..^ 
Explanation of Colours 



-Serbian 
Greece 









^^^■fVecL. 



iH 




CHAPTEE I 

BOSNIA IN 1875. 

^pHE rearguard of Mahommedanism in Europe maintains 
its last stronghold in the Turkish vilayet of Bosnia. 
Here, as the religion of the ruling caste, Islam has had 
a trial of nearly four centuries. What fruits has it 
borne ? 

In geographical position the nearest to European civi- 
lisation, but in social condition the most barbarous of the 
provinces of Turkey in Europe, Bosnia, including Turkish 
Croatia and the Herzegovina, extends to a point west of 
the longitude of Yienna, and interposes a savage and 
Oriental aspect between the Dalmatian shores of the 
Adriatic and the advancing culture of Serbia, Hungary, 
and Croatia. Cross the frontier from these lands, and 
you may fancy yourself in the wilds of Asia. 

The soil of Bosnia teems with various and valuable 
minerals, her hills abound in splendid forests, her well- 
watered plains are fertile and productive, her race, under 
culture, proves exceptionally gifted. Yet her commerce 
is contemptible ; '-'- flums^'' to quote the report of Mr. 
Consul Holmes for 1873, being " the most valuable 
article of trade in the province ; " her population is un- 
educated, not one man in a hundred knowing how to 
read, and the chief town, Serajevo, which contains from 
forty to fifty thousand inhabitants, possessing not a single 
book shop. 

VOL. I. B 



2 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

One or two English speculators have been tempted to 
inquire into the mineral riches of the land, but have 
prudently retired, being unable, on the one hand, to come 
to satisfactory terms with the government, and, on the 
other, to find a company to work the mines in face of the 
vexatious hindrances which baffle all enterprise under 
the present regime. The immense mineral wealth re- 
mains untouched. 

An Austrian company has obtained some sort of local 
concession to work all the mines of coal, lead, and cop- 
per, within thirty miles of the proposed line of railway. 
But this concession has not yet received the needful 
ratification at Constantinople, and it appears that the 
Turks have a peculiar disinclination to give their neigh- 
bours, the Austrians, any footing in Bosnia. The beau- 
tiful marble of the country, white, and white with red 
streaks, is put to but sorry use in the rough Turkish 
pavements. Stone for building purposes is plentiful: 
yet even in Serajevo, wood, rubble and shingles still 
prevail ; only here and there brick and stone houses, 
roofed with tiles, are beginning to appear. 

A road now leads from Brood on the Save to Serajevo, 
a distance of about one hundred and thirty-eight English 
miles, along which passes once a week each way the post 
cart of the Austrian consulate in Bosnia ; three places 
on the hay in the springless vehicle may be hired by 
those who do not object to jolt on continuously for two 
days and a night, or more. If a private cart be taken 
from Brood, at least three nights must be spent on the 
way, sleeping at khans, the discomfort of which is not 
to be described. It is necessary to take bed and bedding, 
or at least a mattress, and moreover to command the 
immediate expulsion of the carpets, mats and cushions, 
which form the only furniture of the rooms. A road is in 
course of completion from Serajevo to the Dalmatian fron- 



I 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 3 

tier by way of Mostar, the chief town of the Herzegovina. 
Two years ago the rough carts of the country might be 
driven to Livno, and thence across the Austrian frontier 
to Spalato on the Adriatic ; but the Turkish portion of 
this road is now impassable. There is a road from 
Serajevo by Travnik and Banjaluka to Gradishka on the 
Save, and other cart-roads and fragments of roads exist, 
but they are constantly out of repair and the bridges in 
most uncertain condition. 

It is possible to traverse this rude land in many direc- 
tions, on foot or on horseback, rejoicing in the ever 
changing beauty of mountain, wood, and water, Avhich is 
enlivened by the rich colouring and picturesque variety 
of national costume. But the traveller may journey on 
for days, and he will come upon no works of modern 
enterprise, no monuments of ancient medieeval art. He 
may, indeed, if he search diligently, and if he know 
where to look, discover beneath weeds and brushwood, 
or scanty tillage, traces of Eoman roads, one of which 
led across the province from Scissia (Sisseg) on the 
Save to Salona on the Adriatic. Such tracks of ancient 
passage he may find for the searching, and what is 
likely to be more to his purpose, he may come upon 
the fragment of a modern railway, lying detached and 
unconnected on the Bosnian plains. Along this railway, 
without beginning and without end, a train used to 
run once a day each way, conveying a ludicrously small 
average of goods and passengers between the village of 
Novi and the more important town of Banjaluka. The 
ideal and fragmentary nature of the achievement was 
owing to the collapse of the contract between an Aus- 
trian company and the Tm-kish government ; but the 
whole, of which it should form a part, may some day 
become our main highway to India. It is to be seen on 
the map of the '^ Continental Guide," where Bradshaw 

B 2 



4 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

has traced in anticipation a railway (elsewliere, by-the- 
bye, prophetically designated a branch of the great 
Euplirates Yalley Eailway), which, trending eastward off 
the well-known Semmering line between Vienna and 
Trieste, and traversing a part of Croatia, may at some 
future time cross Bosnia, Old Serbia, and Bulgaria, to 
Salonica and Constantinople. Such means of passage 
through the land, viz., lost Eoman roads, of which 
scarce a trace remains, and the projected Turkish rail- 
ways, of which, save the fragment here noted, not a 
Bosnian sod has been turned, constitute the chief works 
— with the exception of the roads, telegraphs, and 
bridges of the last few years, I should rather say the 
only works, for which Bosnia is indebted to ancient 
Eoman and modern Turkish enterprise. 

But what traces do we find of the intermediate cen- 
turies which elapsed before a part of the Eoman pro- 
vince of Mcesia became the Turkish pasLalik of Bosnia ? 
Euined castles of the ancient feudal nobility, ruins of 
Serb and Latin churches and (convents ; and the three 
Franciscan convents of Foinica, Xreshevo, and Sudiska, 
which, endowed with special privileges, have been main- 
tained from the fifteenth centuiy to the present day. 
The Paterenes, or Bogomiles, the early Dissidents of 
Bosnia, were very numerous from the twelfth to the 
fifteenth centuries, but they were scattered or exter- 
minated with cruel jjersecutions, and have left visible 
traces only in graveyards popularly assigned to them. 

Before the Turkish conquest at the end of the fifteenth 
century, the frontiers of Bosnia were repeatedly changed, 
and its inhabitants were incessantly harassed by the 
passage and encounters of hostile troops. For Bosnia 
has ever been the borderland of contending rival states 
and rival churches. Its history, in the Middle Ages as 
in later periods, is a distressing and tangled record of 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 5 

petty warfare, revolting treachery, and terrible crimes. 
A gleam of legendary light falls on the times of Ban 
Kulin, who held the faith of the Paterenes, and whose 
name is still remembered among the people, marking the 
era of a distant Golden Age. Its race is identical with 
that of Free Serbia, Old Serbia, and Montenegro, and 
with the Serbs of Hungary and Dalmatia. The name of 
the country is derived from the Bosna, a tributary of the 
Save. As in other Serb countries, the early princes of 
Bosnia were called zupans. At one time nearly all these 
lands acknowledged the supremacy of Byzantium. At 
another period Bosnia was incorporated in the kingdom 
of Hungary. In the middle of the fourteenth century 
it formed a part of the empire of Stephan Diishan, that 
great ruler of the house of JSTemania, who assumed the 
title of ^' Christloving Czar of all Serbs and Greeks," 
imitated the style and institutions, and aspired to suc- 
ceed to the sovereignty of Byzantium, but died of fever 
on the march to Constantinople (1355). 

Before the Turkish conquest, Bosnia was again a 
separate state under native bans and kings, and had 
been partly conquered by and partly reconquered from 
the Magyars. The Serbs belonged to the Eastern, 
the Hungarians to the Western Church, and then as 
now the jealousies of rival hierarchies divided the 
Serbian race. 

Whatever germs of free institutions may have existed 
in the barbarous communities which we trace through- 
out the Serbian countries, and in Bosnia among the rest, 
were here stifled beneath the growth of feudalism, and 
the contending claims of the Eastern and Western 
Churches. Finally, the accidents of geographical posi- 
tion exposed the Southern Slavs to the full sweep of the 
Turkish deluge. The Osmanli conquered ; the Byzantine 
Empire was overthrown ; there suffered also a younger 



6 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

race, the younger children of t\\Q European family, the 
Southern Slavs, who, after centuries of repression, are 
asserting their right to independent existence. 

After the conquest of Bosnia by the Turks, those of 
the nobility who remained alive in the land became 
Mahommedan. The Bosnian Begs were the offspring of 
an alliance between feudalism and Islam. 

The feudal system, which had been established in 
Bosnia in the Christian period, was continued after the 
Mussulman conquest, with this sole difference, that the 
feudal lords changed their faith and their suzerain. 
Their own position was confirmed by the change. We 
have seen that Bosnia was continually the object of 
attack from Hungary. IS'ow the Turkish policy was 
acute and masterly ; there was also much that was noble 
and magnanimous in the Osmanli character ; tempting 
terms were offered to the Bosnian nobles. Perceiving 
that under the shelter of their mighty conquerors, they 
would be able to preserve their nationality, maintain 
their caste privileges, and bid defiance to Hungary and 
the Pope, many of the nobles threw in their cause with 
that of the Empire of Othman, and the Bosnian Slavonic 
Mussulman became, in the words of Turkish writers, 
'^the lion that guarded Stamboul." Bosnia was the 
bulwark of Islam against Western Europe. As in later 
times the vis inertice of the Turkish Empire in Europe 
has been considerably weighted by the Mussulman ele- 
ment in Bosnia, so in the sixteenth and first half of the 
seventeenth centuries, the days of its aggressive vigour, 
the spahis or feudal chiefs of Bosnia, led powerful 
contingents to the Turkish armies, and the ranks of the 
Janissaries were largely recruited by her sons. 

But the tyranny and pretensions of the Begs waxed 
too great. They assumed entire independence, they ' 
coerced or chased away the viziers sent from Constanti- 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 7 

nople to reside or rule in Eosnia. It became necessary 
to subdue it as a rebel province. This subjection was 
accomplished in our own days by Omer Pasha, who in 
1850-1 put an end to the feudal system in Eosnia, 
equalising the Mussulman Eosnian Eegs, or magnates, 
with all other Mussulmans in Turkey, abolishing the 
rank and office of spahis, or military feudal chiefs, and 
compelling the tithe hitherto received by them to be 
paid into the government treasury. 

All Mussulmans being equalised before the law in 
1850, and political and social equality among all creeds 
and classes having been proclaimed by the Hatt-i-Huma- 
youn of 1856, let us inquire what was the actual con- 
dition of the subjects of the Porte in Eosnia in the spring 
of 1875, immediately before the outbreak of the revolt. 

The population of Eosnia and the Herzegovina, form- 
ing part of one Slavonic race, is still commonly spoken 
of as three different ^'nations," so great is the division 
marked by difference of creed. I give the following 
statistics gathered from Turkish official rej)orts of 1874. 
Their accuracy cannot be relied upon : the number of 
Mussulmans is enormously exaggerated ; the proportion 
between Greek and Latin Christians is fairly stated. 

Bosnian Mussulmans 442,050 

Christians of the Orthodox Eastern Church . 575,756 

Roman Catholics 185,503 

Jews . 3,000 

Gypsies 9,537 

Total . . 1,216,846 

In addition to this native population should be men- 
tioned some 5,000 Austrian subjects, and some hundreds 
of Osmanli officials. 

It is only in the mutesariflik of Serajevo that the 
Mahommedans are in the majority. In the other six 



8 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

subdivisions of the land the Christians, Eastern Church 
Sljivs and Eoman Catholics being taken together, on the 
whole greatly outnumber the Mussulmans. 

I. The Bosnian Mussulmans are the owners of the 
land, and they reside on their estates, or in houses in 
the towns. They are also small merchants, and follow 
trades. Some are hnets^ or farmers of the lands for 
richer Mussulmans. The Bosnian Beg par excellence, 
the powerful feudal chief of sixty years ago, is a chained 
monster with drawn teeth and cut claws. He was 
too decidedly a megatherion for our age. The brute 
force of the savage is greatly broken, and he has ac- 
quired no other force. For, with some possible excep- 
tions, the Bosnian Begs of to-day are ignorant and 
corrupt, indolent, and wholly incapable of organization 
or combined action. Some have learnt a little Turkish, 
Arabic, and Persian, but very few know how to read 
and write their own tongue. The spirit of feasting and 
merrymaking, banished by Mahomet and his followers, 
but ineradicable among the Slavs, still lingers among 
the Bosnian Mussulmans. Instead of the annual festival 
of the Krsno ime^ when the friends and relations of 
every Serbian house gather to celebrate with feasting the 
day of their patron saint, the Begs still in many places 
make a festivity of the time of boiling down plums for 
bestilj\ or plum syrup. But even this lingering oppor- 
tunity for social union is being relinquished, and scarcely 
anything else of the kind remains. 

The Mussulmans of Serajevo still keep St. John the 
Baptist's day (24th of June, 0. S.), when the sun is said 
to dance at da^vn on the top of the hill Trebovich : on 
that day, and on St. Elias's and St. George's days, the 
Mussulman population turns out of doors, and the whole 
side of Trebovich, especially the neighbourhood of the 
Moslem saint's tomb, is bright with red turbans and 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 9 

jackets and groups of women in white veils. They sit 
in separate companies smoking and drinking coffee, and 
there is a striking absence of life and gaiety among 
them. 

Many of the Bosnian Begs are not indisposed to embrace 
the Christianity professed by their forefathers. They call 
a priest to say prayers over them when they are ill, they 
keep the name of the patron saint of their family, and 
they preserve with care the patents of nobility of their 
Christian ancestors. But on the other hand many of 
them are fanatic Moslems, and nourish a blind and 
savage hatred against their Christian fellow countrymen. 
This hatred finds vent even in quiet times in many a 
hidden act of cruelty. At the present moment of licensed 
insult and revenge (autumn of 1875), we hear of Chris- 
tians being imjDaled and flayed alive, and cruelties of the 
worst ages committed on helpless women and children. 
In a season of perfect quiet (1871-2) some fierce Mussul- 
mans of Serajevo swore to cut the throats of the Christians 
if they dared to hang bells in the tower of their new 
church. The conspiracy was discovered, and the leading 
Mussulmans held responsible for the quiet of the town. 
The pasha confessed the weakness of his authority to 
maintain the law when he called the principal merchants 
and asked them to give up their legal rights to the bells, 
on the ground that if their sound were heard he would 
be unable to restrain the fury of the Mahommedans. 

The state of political feeling among the Bosnian Mus- 
sulmans was described to me before the outbreak by those 
who knew them well, as by no means unanimous. At 
present they have no leader of preponderating influ- 
ence who might render them strong and dangerous by 
uniting them in one purpose. Some were amicably dis- 
posed towards Serbia; others were fanatically jealous of 
the Christian principality. The name of the late Prince 



lo BOSNIA IN 1875. 

Michael of Serbia was not unpopular among them, but 
his assassination by men who were his own subjects 
greatly injured the Serbian cause, and is regarded by the 
Eegs of Bosnia, among whom lingers the spirit of their 
aristocratic caste, as a crime which condemns the nation. 
Dislike to the Osmanlis and to Stamboul is universal 
among them, and has been much iD creased by taxation 
and by the obligation to serve in the Turkish army. 

The conscription was first enforced by Osman Pasha in 
1864. The Bosnian Mussulmans are drawn by lot for 
the regular army, or nizaiii^ for a term of four years' 
service ; and likewise for the redif^ or reserve, in which 
they must serve one month in the year for nine years. 
Exemption may be purchased from the nizam by the 
payment of a hundred ducats, about £50, or a substitute 
may be found ; but service in the redif is compulsory 
on each man on whom the lot may fall. The Bosnians 
are not required to serve outside the province. They are 
all infantry ; the cavalry and artillery stationed in Bosnia 
are natives of other provinces of Turkey. Since the 
outbreak, robber bands of Turkish volunteers have been 
raised in different parts of the country.* The redif (or 
reserve) in many places have refused to serve. 

The sacerdotal-legal profession is greatly desired by 
the Bosnian Mussulmans. Many of their ulemas have 
studied at Stamboul. Pilgrimages to Mecca are frequent. 
It is a not uncommon sight to see crowds of the Mussul- 
man population sally forth from Serajevo to meet some 
returning hadji, or to escort pilgrims setting out for the 
Holy Places. Wandering dervishes visit the country, ex- 
citing the fanaticism of the faithful. Although no spirit 
of proselytism exists in Bosnia, yet renegadism has been 

♦ Their method of suppressing suspected insurrection has been amply illus- 
trated in Bulfraria. The like method is to this hour being pursued in Bosnia. 
But there are no reporters. 



BOSNIA IN 1875. II 

more frequent of late among the Christians. In the 
course of 1874, in Serajevo alone, ten women and four 
men, Catholics and Pravoslavs, became Mahommedan, 
and it is uncertain how many in other parts of the 
province. The immediate cause is generally the great 
poverty of the Christians, which often compels them to 
place their girls in service in Turkish houses. 

The difficulty presented by the Mussulman element in 
Bosnia has been greatly exaggerated, together with its 
strength and numbers. Any well- organized Christian 
government would be able to deal with it. But as long 
as the Mussulmans alone are permitted to bear arms the 
difficulty is insuperable. With regard to toleration it 
should be remembered that since Serbia expelled the 
Turks from her own territory she still maintains a 
mosque in Belgrade for Mahommedan visitors, the 
expenses being defrayed by the Serbian government. 

II. The Pravoslav Christians of Bosnia are merchants, 
small tradesmen, and farmers. 

Some few Christians have attained to the possession 
of landed property ; but the Mussulmans cannot endure 
the innovation, and they do their utmost, usually with 
success, to prevent a ghiaour from acquiring land, or to 
dispossess him if he has accomplished the purchase. 
This can be done in various ways ; whether by bringing 
in Mussulman evidence — always ready at the call of 
Mussulmans — to prove that the late owner had no 
proper title, and that the sale is therefore invalid; or 
by making use of the law which exists in Turkey (or at 
least in Bosnia), that no property can be sold without 
first giving all the neighbouring owners the right of 
refusal. It is very seldom that a Mussulman can induce 
his neighbours to consent that he should sell his land 
to a Chi'istian, and thus introduce a ghiaour into 
their midst. Public opinion prevents the sale, even 



12 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

though no one of the neighbours be able to purchase 
instead. 

The Bosnian cultivator or farmer (here called kmet)^ 
usually a Christian, pays to his landlord, usually a 
Bosnian Mussulman, one third of the produce, or one 
half, according to the agreement, and as the landlord or 
the tenant may supply oxen, seed, and implements. A 
tithe, which is now actually the eighth, is paid into the 
government treasury, and is collected by the tax- 
gatherer, who farms the taxes from the government. 
Great and bitter complaints are made of the injustice 
and exactions of the tax-gatherer. The cultivator dares 
not gather in his crops till the visit of the assessor ; 
while he is waiting it repeatedly happens that the har- 
vests perish. The tax on the arbitrarily calculated value 
is, of course, exacted all the same. In fact the peasants 
suffer much less from the Mussulman landlord than 
from the government official, for the landowner is inter- 
ested in the prosperity of his tenant. 

The tax in lieu of military service which is paid by all 
non-Mussulmans weighs very heavily on the poor, who 
have to pay equally with the rich twenty-eight piastres 
for every male. In the poorest and most miserable 
family this sum must be paid for the male infant who has 
first seen the light a few hours before the visit of the 
tax-gatherer. This tax on the young children of the 
rayah is the most oppressive and galling to him, col- 
lected often by house visitations, in which the sanctity of 
his hearth is most vilely outraged. Great suffering results 
from the forced labour exacted by the government. For 
instance, in tlie making of the new road to Mostar, 
Christians were driven by zapties from great distances, 
and compelled to work for days without pay. 

Systematic and legalised extortion has succeeded to the 
intermittent violence of former times ; the mass of the 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 13 

people are ground to the dust under the present regime. 
They were materially much better off in the days of 
Begluk (the reign of the Begs). The Christian rayah was 
often less miserable when more directly under the Beg, or 
resident landowner, than he is now under the temporary 
official — the present farmer of the revenue — whose sole 
advantage lies in pocketing all he can for himself. The 
position of the landowner and his dependents affords op- 
portunity for the development of much kindly human 
feeling : the tax-gatherer is by nature a bird of prey. 
Not long ago the Christian retainers of the Begs used to 
come into the town to church on the great festivals, 
decked out in the old-fashioned silver ornaments of the 
country, but now these ornaments are seldom seen, for 
their owners have been obliged to sell them. 

I will here give a translation of the words of a 
native Bosnian woman, describing the changes which 
had taken place in the dail}^ life of the Christian women 
of Serajevo, within the memory of the present generation 
and since the residence of the European consuls in that 
city has restrained the grosser outrages still committed 
in other parts of the country. 

'^ When the vizier resided at Travnik, thirty years ago, 
the common people were much better than off than they 
are now, for then there were no taxes but the haratch 
(in exemption from military service). They were rich, 
and had horses, oxen, swine, sheep, and poultry; they 
wore fine clothes with silver ornaments, they had beau- 
tiful arms. Although there was no liberty, yet the 
Begs and Agas, lords of the land, protected and defended 
their own kmets. The greatest violence was in the days 
of Mental Pasha and Fazli Pasha, who plundered, killed, 
raged, tortured, and tormented just as they chose ; there 
was no inquiry made and no evidence taken. This lasted 
till the time of Omer Pasha. As regards liberty (personal 



14 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

safety), from that day to this, the difference here is as 
great as between heaven and earth; at that time the 
women in Serajevo did not dare to go to the eharshia 
(market place) or along the streets, they did not dare to 
stand at the doors; when they went to church, or 
wherever they were obliged to go, they went without 
ornaments, and covered down to the feet in a white 
cloth ; the Turkish women rarely went along the streets, 
even covered up so that you could not see their eyes. 
Now for some time past Christian women and maidens, 
wives and daughters of the Pravoslav Serajevo mer- 
chants, adorned with ducats and pearls, in their best 
dresses, go along our streets, and in our eharshia, as in 
their own homes, by day or by night without any fear." 
With the exception of a few merchants, the Pravo- 
slav population is miserably poor. There has been 
no development of the immense material resources of 
the country, no means of employment and occupa- 
tion which might enable the poor to meet the ever 
increasing taxation, the extortions of the officials, and 
the heavy exactions of their own clergy. But in 
spite of all hindrances, the Serb merchants of Bosnia 
have advanced steadily, though slowly, in wealth and 
position. It was jealousy of their progress which led to 
the oppression of the thriving merchants at Gradishka, 
opposite the Austrian frontier, in 1873. False accusations 
were made against the leading Christians of the place 
and some were seized and put in prison ; they petitioned 
the Porte, and, as usual, a counter-statement was got up 
by the medjliss, which Christians were made to sign, not 
knowing the contents of the document to which they had 
put their names. Fourteen Christian merchants fled over 
into Austria, and went to Vienna, declaring they would 
never return unless placed under Austrian protection. 
Through the initiative of Austria, Mustapha Assim 



BOSNIA IN 1875. IS 

Pasha, the then governor of Bosnia, too zealous a Turk 
for the age, and determined by repression of Christian 
progress to restore the waning Mussulman prestige, was 
recalled from the province. Had he remained, the inevit- 
able revolt must have broken out sooner. The imme- 
diate cause of the insurrection of 1875 may be found in the 
iniquitous manner of raising the taxes and the additional 
screw which had of late been put on the ^' naked Bosnian 
rayah" to contribute to the payment of Turkish bond- 
holders. But this is not all. Far deeper than any tem- 
porary accident of increased taxation, lies the innate 
strength of Serbian nationality and the immutable de- 
termination of the Christian Serb to throw off the foreign 
yoke of the Turk — a yoke as foreign now to the Serbs of 
Bosnia as it was when first imposed on them four 
centuries ago. And it is certain, from the vengeful 
temper of the Mussulmans, that should the present insur- 
rection terminate in the pacification of Bosnia as a Turkish 
province, the condition of the Christians will be worse 
than before, notwithstanding any amount of promises and 
professions from Constantinople.* 

The Bosnian Christians of the Eastern Orthodox 
Church have the same peculiar customs, the same na- 
tional saints and heroes, the same historic traditions, as 
the Serbs of the principality, with whom they count 
themselves one nation, though politically separated. 
In the house of every Christian Orthodox merchant 
you will find pictures or photographs of the princes of 
Serbia, and ornaments bearing the Serbian arms. Mari- 
novich, some time prime minister at Belgrade, is a 
native of Serajevo, and related to the richest houses 
there. I know a Serbian family living in Belgrade 
which has in Bosnia Mussulman, and in Croatia Eoman 
Catholic, relations of the same name. In Bosnia and 

* Written in 1875. 



i6 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

Serbia tlicre are many families related to one another, 
and who interchange visits from time to time. They 
call themselves alike Serbs; their religion is the Pravo- 
slav. And the Pravoslav Serb, whether he find him- 
self under Austrian or Turkish rule, or whether he 
be a Montenegrin or a native of Free Serbia, is the 
citizen of one Serbian fatherland, and nourishes an ideal 
national unity. 

Considerable confusion has arisen from the term Greek 
being applied indiscriminately to all Christians of the 
Orthodox or Eastern communion. It is sometimes taken 
for granted that all the Christians of Turkey in Europe 
are Greeks by race as well as by religion. This has 
arisen from the habit of French writers describing them 
as ^'les Grecs.'' It is really less reasonable to call the 
Orthodox Slavs Greeks than it would be to call the 
Eoman Catholic English and Germans Latins. For 
the different branches of the Eastern Church are all 
distinctly national in this sense, that they acknowledge 
no foreign authority whatever. The Serbs of the Ser- 
bian Principality and the Greeks of Free Greece have 
their own metropolitans, who reside in Belgrade and in 
Athens, and are independent of the Phanariote Patriarch 
of Constantinople. The Serb Christians of Turkey 
reckon it among theii* chief grievances, that they are 
forced under the jurisdiction of the Greek Patriarch of 
Constantinople, and have not their own metropolitan. 
Appointed in Constantinople, and Greeks by birth, the 
Phanariote bishops placed over Serb flocks are tools of 
the Turks and play into their hands. They are the 
wolves and not the shepherds of the flock. The name 
Pravoslav, the old Slavonic liturgies and Church services, 
the Serbs have in common with the Russians; herein 
lies theu' bond of union with Eussia. 

III. The Eoman Catholic Christians, or *^ Latins,'' of 



BOSNIA IN iSjS' 17 

Bosnia and the Herzegovina, are more orderly and 
submissive, but less sturdy and enterprising than the 
Pravoslavs. They are on a much better understanding 
with the Turks. Eoman Catholic priests are never heard 
of in the Turkish prisons, Serb priests frequently, and 
for the most part on accusation or suspicion of political 
offences. Among the Eoman Catholics of Serajevo there is 
not one single merchant ; some follow trades, but for the 
most part the community are miserably poor. In the vil- 
lages they are hnets^ and cultivate the land for the Begs. 
In Travnik, Livno, and other towns there are ''Latin " mer- 
chants ; here and there they have recently acquired land. 
Notwithstanding the superior education and intelligence 
of the priests and the privileges granted to the clergy 
from the time of Mahmoud the Conqueror, their flocks 
remain ignorant and benighted. The paucity of schools 
is astonishing — unparalleled I believe among any other 
Eoman Catholic population in Europe, except the Al- 
banian. There are only from thirty to thirty-four Eoman 
Catholic boys' schools in the whole province. Within 
the last few years girls' schools have been established in 
four places by sisters of the society of St. Yincent de 
Paul, who have their mother house in Croatia. Some 
improvement may also be expected from the future priests, 
who are receiving a more national and liberal training in 
Bishop Strossmayer's seminary at Diakovar in Slavonia. 
Up to this time they had been educated in Italy or 
Hungary, and to a great degree had lost sympathy with 
the spirit of their nation, although their superior learning 
gave them much influence with the people. They have 
succeeded in entirely abolishing among the Eoman Catho- 
lic Bosnians the festival of the Krsno ime^ on the ground of 
the expense which it involved to the impoverished people. 
But whatever are the abuses and the reckless extravagance 
of these festivals, they have served to keep up the brother- 
VOL. I. c 



i8 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

hood, courage, and sense of national unity among the 
Pravoslavs, and made them stronger to resist the Mussul- 
man influence. The Bosnian Eoman Catholic is to a great 
degree denationalised. He does not call himself Serb, 
but Latin. So far as he has any political intelligence 
whatever, he has the same aspirations as the Catholic 
Slavs of Austrian Croatia and Slavonia. But the unity 
which is gradually gi'owing there among the educated 
Pravoslavs and Catholics has not yet penetrated Bosnia. 
Bishop Strossmayer, however, is hopeful that the Eoman 
Catholic Bosnians would coalesce with the others under 
a fair and free system. 

The Jewish community of Serajevo is very prosperous ; 
some of its members have grown rich within the last ten 
years and have acquired property in land and houses. 
Their poor are exceedingly well cared for, and a Jewish 
beggar is never seen. No Jew is ever accused of murder, 
theft, or violence, or found in the Turkish pri-ons, except 
on account of debt. This is the bright side of the picture ; 
there is a dark side : in some respects they are miserably 
degraded ; their houses and persons are filthy, they are 
small of stature, and the women always undersized. 
Their language, I am told by Dr. Thompson of Constan- 
tinople, probably the only Englishman who has conversed 
with them in their own tongue, continues the same as that 
spoken in Spain at the time of their expulsion, and is 
very nearly that in which ^'Don Quixote" is written. 
They have a boys' school only. They have many holidays 
and feasts, and more merrymakings at home than any 
other ^^ nation" in Serajevo. 

The wretched condition of education in Bosnia is one 
of its greatest misfortunes. Before the insurrection the 
Pravoslavs had in the whole province only six gu'ls' 
schools, and at the highest estimate forty-seven boys' 
schools. The first girls' school was established by the 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 19 

Bosnian woman Staka, with help from Eussia. She 
travelled to Serbia to find a teacher. The population is 
carefully kept in ignorance by the Turkish government, 
the stupidity of the people being a necessary condition 
for Turkish rule. In the whole province there is not 
a single book shop, excepting the depot of the British 
and Foreign Bible Society in Serajevo, which has been 
established for about eight or ten years. But no other 
books are to be bought in the place, save a few elemen- 
tary school books, the old Slavonic ''Book of Hours," 
and an occasional almanack. A Bosnian merchant, 
who recently attempted to have a few Serbian books in 
stock for sale, was obliged to give them up to the Turkish 
authorities. In fact, Serbian books and newspapers are 
strictly prohibited at the frontier ; whatever enters the 
country must be smuggled in. So great is the perfectly 
reasonable jealousy with which newspapers are withheld 
from the eyes of Bosnian readers, that not long ago a 
formal complaint was made by the Turkish authorities to 
the Austrian consulate that one of its officials had shown 
Slav newspapers received there to Bosnian merchants. 
There is a government printing press in Serajevo, but it 
has sent forth nothing save a few very indiftbrent ele- 
mentary school books, a song book, and two newspapers 
in Turkish and Slavonic, whose contents are of the most 
meagre description, relating chiefly to the movements 
and changes of Titi'kish officials, which, indeed, are so 
frequent that their record leaves little space for the 
scanty scraps of news which fill up the remainder of the 
sheets. It may be supposed that this newspaper has no 
circulation among the Serb population. 

One of the first questions asked by t]iose who have 
any knowledge of a Turkish province and any human 
interest in its inhabitants will always be this : ''Is the 
evidence of Chiistians against Mussulmans received in 

c 2 



20 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

Bosnia ? " The evidence of Christians cannot be accepted 
in the mehkeme or kadi's court, the ancient Turkish court 
of justice, whose decisions are based on the Koran alone. 
In the modern courts of justice, councils or medjliss, 
the evidence of Christians against Mussulmans is 
admitted by law; their right is now in principle 
acknowledged, and even in Bosnia the evidence of Chris- 
tians against Turks has sometimes been actually taken ; 
more especially when backed by a bribe, by means of 
which, be it remarked, justice or injustice may at any 
time equally be obtained. But it is certain that 
the evidence of twenty Christians would be out- 
weighed by that of two Mussulmans. The Turks have 
naturally shown little zeal, except under European pres- 
sure, in carrying out the design, which, taking from the 
kadis the decision of all disputes between Christians and 
Mussulmans, and referring such cases to the medjliss, 
threatens to destroy the essentially Turkish institution 
of the mehkemes. 

In each of the medjliss of Serajevo there are four 
or six Mussulmans ; one, sometimes two, Pravoslavs, 
one Eoman Catholic, and one or two Jews. A know- 
ledge of Turkish is necessary, as the proceedings 
are Avholly conducted in that language. The influence 
of the non-Mussulmans is very small, and the office is 
most unpopular among the Pravoslavs, on account of the 
contempt with which they are liable to be treated by the 
Mussulman majority. Such being the state of things, 
the position of the Christian towards the Mussulman 
remains intolerable. The hereditary insolence of the 
Mussulman Bosnian is met by the hereditary cringing of 
the ray ah. It will take some generations of another 
system than the present to restore to the ray ah the 
virtues of the free. As an instance of Turkish insolence, 
under the eyes of the European consuls in Serajevo, 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 21 

where the Turks are on their best behaviour, I will give 
the following anecdote. A dervish, named Hadji Loya, 
met in the road near the town of Serajevo, a Pravoslav 
priest on horseback. He ordered him to dismount, 
telling him, '^ Bosnia is still a Mahommedan country ; do 
you not see that a Turk is passing ? Dismount in- 
stantly ! " Three different times he met the same priest, 
and obliged him to get off his horse. This dervish also 
forced a whole wedding party of Eoman Catholics to 
pass him on foot. This happened in 1871, and that same 
year, in Serajevo itself, a Christian boy of eighteen was 
stabbed by a Mussulman, who escaped in the midst of 
the market-place, in the presence of numerous Turks 
and zapties. 

I used to find it very difficult to obtain circumstantial 
accounts of Turkish cruelties which I heard of as perpe- 
trated in the distant parts of the country which I had 
not visited. I know that so recently as the spring 
of 1875, in the immediate neighbourhood of Serajevo, a 
rayah was tied barefoot to an Aga's cart, and made to 
run behind it. This was told me by a terrified eye-wit- 
ness under strict promises of secrecy. The wretched Chris- 
tians were too terrified to speak, for Turkish vengeance 
would have too surely pursued the reporters. When 
I complained to one of the more intelligent among 
the fugitives of the difficulty which I had found in 
Bosnia in getting the Christians to speak openly to me, 
he answered: '^Why, we dared not comjdain to one 
another; how, then, should we tell strangers what 
happened? I did not dare to tell my friend, lest he 
should quarrel with me and betray me, or get di'uiik 
and repeat what I had said. The Turks would have 
marked me as a dangerous man, and I should have been 
imprisoned on some excuse or other, or have been put 
out of the way." • I said to him: ''Well, at least you 



22 BOSNIA IN 1875. 

may tell me now you arc on Austrian ground and the 
Turks cannot hear you." In tlic course of our con- 
versation he spoke as follows : ^' The extortions of 
the tax-gatherers and the Begs (land-owners) and the 
irregular exactions of the zapties (police officers) have 
reached a point never known before. What with the 
eighth paid to the government, the third or half to the 
Beg, the tax in exemption of military service, the taxes 
for pigs, cattle, and everything we have and have not, 
there remains nothing for us villagers to live upon. I 
have seen men driven into pigsties and shut up there in 
cold and hunger until they paid, hung up from the 
rafters of their houses with their heads downwards in 
the smoke, until they disclosed where their little stores 
were hidden. I have known them hung up from trees, 
and water poured down them in the freezing cold* I 
have known them fastened barefoot to run behind the 
Beg's cart ; I have known women and maidens at 
Avork in the fields suffer the extreme of brutal vio- 
lence, or be forcibly carried off to Turkish houses. If 
we complained or reported, we were imprisoned or put 
to death." 

Now, the same true and horrid tale I have heard 
repeated again and again of deeds recurring throughout 
the length and breadth of the land. These were causes 
enough, indeed, to account for the rising. Encouraged, 
no doubt, it was by promises of help from without ; and 
by so-called Serbian emissaries and agitators, who, 
however, to my certain knowledge, were native Bosnians 
and Ilerzcgovinians living in exile in Serbia and Austria. 
The inhabitants of the Serbian principality are of the 
same race and speech as the Bosnians, and the Serbs 
dwelling in Austria are all exiles, of a more or less 
recent date, from the countries conquered by the Turks. 
In the neighbourhood of Paki-ac, in Slavonia, we found 



BOSNIA IN 1875. 23 

the whole Srerb or Pravoslav population mindful of their 
Bosnian origin, and for the most part looking forward to 
the time when they shall leave the fever- stricken dis- 
tricts between the Save and the Drave, and return to 
their own beautiful land, to the ^^Bosna ponosna," the 
^' lofty Bosnia," of their songs. 



CHAPTEE II. 

JOUENEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 

TOWAEDS the end of July, 1875, we left England to 
return to our school established at Serajevo for the 
purpose of training female teachers. We intended to 
make a recruiting expedition through some parts of the 
country which we had not yet visited, our plan being 
to induce the Serb communities in different parts of the 
country to send one or more girls to be educated as 
schoolmistresses, each for her own native place. 

At Vienna we saw General Zach, the adjutant of the 
Prince of Serbia, who apprised us that the revolt in the 
Herzegovina was likely to become serious, that it would 
probably extend into Bosnia northward along the Dal- 
matian frontier into Turkish Croatia, and would spread 
simultaneously along the Serbian frontier and through- 
out the mountainous districts. He added that it would 
be impossible for the princes of Serbia and Montenegro 
to restrain their subjects from rushing to the aid of their 
brethren in race and religion. He urged us not to 
venture into Bosnia at a time when the desperate rising 
of the crushed and abject Bosnian Christians would call 
forth a terrible vengeance from the armed and fanatical 
Mahommedan population. 

On the Save steamer we conversed with a Hungarian 
doctor in the Turkish service, on his way to rejoin the 
cavalry regiment at Banjaluka. He was of opinion 



JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 25 

that the rising would become "• schrecklich ernst." The 
causes were deep and widespread. He knew the country 
too well to repeat fables about foreign instigation ; but 
he related with the freshness of an eye-witness the 
ever-recurring facts of the intolerable oppression exer- 
cised by the farmers of the taxes, of the bribery, cor- 
ruption, and extortion, systematic among the Turkish 
officials. 

We visited Turkish Gradishka under the guidance of 
Yaso Yidevic, a native Bosnian merchant, and the leader 
of the deputation to Yienna in 1873 to entreat protec- 
tion from the Emperor. We were paddled over the river 
in one of the long narrow Save canoes, hollowed out of 
the trunk of a tree, and found ourselves once more amid 
the Oriental barbarism, the dirt, squalor, and misery 
which everywhere mark the frontier line of the Asiatic 
encroachments into Europe. The houses are built almost 
entirely of wood, here and there varied with plaster, and 
their condition was ruinous. In the tcharsia, or bazaar, 
were sitting turbaned Turks, cross-legged, in their shops, 
before the usual paltry stores of water-melons, Manchester 
cottons, leather shoes, rice, sugar, clay pipes, and little 
coffee cups. At last we came to a shop of European 
aspect, with counters arranged within, and the name 
Bozo Ljubojevich, painted in bright colours without. 
This was the shop of the richest Christian merchant in 
the place, one of those who had been obliged to flee into 
Austria two years before. He owned the largest house 
in the village, a very respectable building surrounded by 
a garden. Here we sat talking with his wife and 
family, served with coffee and sweetmeats. In 1873 
armed Turks surrounded the house, insisting that ammu- 
nition was concealed there, and they made a rude but 
fruitless search. This house has been now completely 
sacked and demolished ; the whole family are in exile 



26 JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 

in Austria, and Ljubojevicli is a ruined man. In the 
poor little church Yaso showed us with pride a bell, 
which tlie brave Christians of Gradishka had dared to 
hang up in accordance with their rights : the only 
bell in any Orthodox church in Eosnia which could 
be heard from the outside. The Mussulmans would 
not tolerate the sound. But Yaso boasted that their bell 
could be heard even across the Save. Close to the church 
was a school, and on a plot of ground belonging to the 
community they were going to build shops, the rent of 
which would help them with their girls' school. At 
that time the town contained 150 Orthodox, 50 Latin, 
and 500 Turkish houses. 

The next day we drove to Banjaluka, four hours 
distant, across a level plain, surrounded by hills, along 
the best road I have ever seen in Bosnia. At a short 
distance from the town we crossed the tramway of that 
fragment of railway which had been completed between 
Banjaluka and Novi. It has now been wholly destroyed, 
the bridges thi'own down and rails torn up. 

We paid a visit to a Bosnian family to whom we 
had brought a letter. The father, then absent, was one 
of the principal merchants in the place. The mother 
was an Austrian Slav, a native of New Gradishka ; 
the daughters, who were beautiful girls, had been 
educated by governesses from Austria, and are now 
married to Serb merchants, living in Belgrade. It was 
evident, with all their courtesy and real pleasure at 
seeing friends, that they were no little troubled at our 
coming. They told us that any intercourse with 
strangers rendered them objects of suspicion to the Turks. 
The father of the family had been seized and imprisoned 
in 1873, solely because he was on intimate terms with the 
then Austrian vice-consul, who was known to be friendly 
to the Christians, and eager to inform himself about their 



JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 27 

condition. They said that to avoid persecution they had 
requested the new Austrian vice-consul not to come to 
the house ; that a Mussulman who had been long in their 
service had warned them to be exceedingly on their 
guard, and that they felt their lives and property were 
not safe. How much worse was it with the poor peasant, 
fleeced by the Mahommedan landowner, by the tax- 
gatherer, and by the native priest and Greek bishop, 
till nothing remains to him but the bare life ! His 
food is the coarsest black bread, boiled beans, and maize : 
meat he does not taste once a year. In reply to our 
inquiries, they told us they had known instances of 
girls being carried off by Mussulmans in the villages in 
the neighbourhood of Banjaluka, but the cases were not 
so frequent now ; though much that happened in the 
distant villages no one heard of. 

Immediately after we left a zaptie came to the house, 
to inquire who we were and what we had come for. 
On our way to the inn we were met by another zaptie, 
who ordered us immediately to appear before the Turkish 
authorities. I replied that we were English ladies, and 
should do no such thing ; and, producing our passport, 
told him to take it to the governor immediately, and to 
say that we must be supplied with an escort to Travnik 
the next day. The man said '' Peki " (very well), and 
went off. Just then appeared the Turkish doctor, our 
friend of the Save steamer, who immediately went to the 
konak, to secure us a suitable guard for the journey. 

Further information, however, as to the detestable 
condition of the hilly road between Banjaluka and 
Travnik, reported movements of Turkish redif (land- 
wehr) about the country, together with the intense heat 
of the weather, decided us to give up the new route, 
and return to Gradishka, to take the steamer to Brod ; 
much as we regretted the loss of a visit to the lake 



28 JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 

scenery of Bosnia, and the old historic fortress and castle 
of Jaica. 

The day after we left Banjaluka, Sunday, l5th August, 
commenced the rising in North Bosnia, at Kosarac, in 
the district of Priedor, and in the neighbourhood of 
Gradishka. TVe first heard of it on the Monday morn- 
ing, when at an early hour the two girls of the family Ave 
had visited at Banjaluka appeared at the door of our 
room in the inn at Austrian Gradishka, telling us their 
mother had sent them away in the middle of the night 
with all the children and those of a neighbouring family 
to join their relations in Austria. They reported that 
" a Christian had killed a Turkish tax-gatherer," and 
that ^^ Turks and Christians were now killing one another 
in the fields." Yaso Videvich had been with us the after- 
noon of the preceding day, and he knew nothing then of 
what was taking place. He had told me a few days pre- 
viously that the rayahs in North Bosnia could do 
nothing, that they were too weak to join the Herzego- 
vinian example, and that they had no arms and no 
Montenegro to help them. Now we saw him earnestly 
consulting with some Bosnians in the garden of the 
inn. He was going away by the steamer, and he 
would never return to Turkish Gradishka. We found 
some months afterwards that he was then taking his 
whole wealth to purchase guns for the Christians. He 
conveyed these guns to Gradishka in Save boats, but the 
landing was ill arranged, and as the boats had lain there 
two or more days, it being perfectly Avell known that 
arms were on board, the ofiicials were obliged to seize 
th(nn. They were confiscated, and are to this day 
lying in tlio Austrian fortress at Gradishka. The same 
thing happened again and again. We heard that quan- 
tities of ammunition were confiscated, notwithstanding 
the readiness of every Slav official along the Austrian 



JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 29 

frontier to wink at the transmission of arms for the 
insurgents. On one occasion the poor fellows had con- 
trived to store some powder on an island in the river. 
It got damp ; they spread it out to dry, it caught tire, 
and several men were killed or badly hurt. Another 
time they had made a wooden cannon, which they 
crammed so full of powder that it burst, killing one 
man and wounding several. What could be expected 
from peasants who were wholly unaccustomed to the use 
of firearms, and absolutely illiterate and unskilled ? It 
is only surprising that the armies of the Porte have not 
been able long ago to put down the revolt of unarmed 
and ignorant peasants, but the rising is now stronger 
than ever,* and the Bosnian rayahs, who are apt to 
learn and keen-witted, now know better how to handle 
their weapons. 

But to return to our own narrative. On board the 
steamer we found the Croatian avocat^ Dr. Berlic, 
returning home to Brod. He had come that morning 
from Sisseg, and he told us that at a short distance from 
Gradishka, on the Turkish bank of the Save, he had 
seen from the deck of the steamer women and children 
hiding in the bushes at the water's edge, and peasants 
running to and fro with hoes and spades in their hands. 
Certainly the rising had commenced. Yaso Yidevic, 
pale as death, called us down into the cabin, and 

* " The capital error in Europe was the not aiding and encouraging' the Turkish 
provinces to rise entirely and simultaneously, and helping them even, if necessary, 
in their self-liberation, as she has helped the Turks, with arms and means, leaving 
the discipline of war and nulitary organization to establish the bases of political 
organization. The process would have been costly, but would have been pro- 
fitable in the end ; for it would have made of these slaves, men, as it has, to a 
certain extent, done in Herzegovina and Bosnia - would have brought forward 
their natural chiefs and established a moral authority of the highest importance 
in the new state of things. War and death are not so dreadful as slavery and 
corruption ; and it remains to be seen if the solution to be adopted will not in the end 
cost more bloodshed than the natural solution by a general insurrection." — " Herzego- 
vina and the late Uprising." By W. J. Stillman. Longmans. 1877. 



30 JOURNEY Iisr BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 

implored us, with tears, not to go to Serajevo ; per- 
sisting that it was highly dangerous to attempt the 
journey, and that the Austrian post-cart would very 
likely be fired at in the night. We told him, en- 
couragingly, it might prove a very good thing for their 
cause if two English ladies were killed. To which he 
replied, "Yes; but not you." He was quite right 
in expecting the disturbances would spread eastward 
towards Brod. Many women and children were killed 
a few days afterwards at Kobash, near which place 
three Christians were impaled* two months later. A 
fierce Beg, named Osman Aga, from Dervend, on the 
post-road to Serajevo, sallied forth and efi'ectively 
checked for a time the rising in that neighbourhood by 
the massacre of many defenceless men, women, and 
children. Corpses were seen floating down the Save, 
and were cast on the sand of the island near Brod. The 
body of a man was brought on shore at Brod, and was 
found on examination by the town doctor to be terribly 
burnt across the chest. This poor victim had suf- 
fered one of the well-known Turkish tortures, which 
consists of heaping burning coals on the breast. These 
horrors took place a day or two after we reached 
Serajevo. We left Brod in the post-cart August 17th, 
travelled through the night and the following day in 

♦ " In tho month of October, 1875, after the Turks had been two or throe times 
defoutod by tho insurgents at Srbac and in the hills of ISIotaica, retuminj? 
enraged and infuriated, they cut in pieces four peaceful Christian inhabitants, in 
tho villages of Vlamka and Brusnika, named Simo Vrsoika, Marco Guzoioa, 
Stevan Vrovac, and Jovan Lepir ; and three they impaled alive on stakes on the 
banks of the {Save above Kobash, ojjposite the Austrian churchyard and church 
of Kloster, namely, Mihail Snegotinae and his brother Alcksa Snegotinac, and 
Luka Drajevic, all three from the village Kaoo, in Bosnia, ;ib .vo Kobash. To 
this testify Kuziuan Skolnik and Bozo Davidovish, who beheld it with their 
own eyes, and th( re arc many others who will not give their names. 

" (Signed) Vaso Videvi6." 

The impalement witnessed by Canon Liddon and Rev. M. McColl was no 
solitary instance on the bunks of the Save. 



JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 31 

safety, slept at Kiseljak in the khan (where I remember 
being awakened at midnight by angry Turkish women 
flinging charcoal in at our open window), and reached 
Serajevo August 19 th. 

Our arrival was unexpected, and never had the aspect 
of the house, and the garden, and the whole little 
establishment been so encouraging. The holidays were 
over, and we found pupils and teachers at work in the 
school-room, three new gii'ls having been just brought 
from Nova Yarosh, on the Serbian frontier. 

Mr. Consul Holmes was absent, having accompanied 
his friend Dervish Pasha to Mostar, the Turkish head- 
quarters in the Herzegovina. The aspect of affairs was 
considered very grave by the acting-consul, Mr. Free- 
man. Our Austrian friends held civil war to be 
imminent, and the wife of the Austrian consul-general, 
on the excuse of the illness of her mother, was on the 
point of starting with her little boy. Scarcely any 
regular troops were left in the town, every available 
man having been sent off to the Herzegovina. The 
Mahommedans of Serajevo are three times as numerous 
as the Christians, and are many of them exceedingly fa- 
natical. They had sworn that it should go hard with the 
Christians in the tosYU unless the rising in Bosnia was 
soon quelled. The defence of the place was almost 
wholly entrusted to some companies of the redif, 
composed of native Bosnian Mussulmans. The redif 
were being called out all over the country, and com- 
panies of fierce and wild-looking recruits on their way 
to the barracks were constantly passing our windows 
shouting their war-songs. One of the most cruel Bos- 
nian Begs of Serajevo, Cengic Aga,* who had large 
properties in the Herzegovina, had started to form a 

* Happily for the Christians, this Cengio Aga was wounded early in the 
insurrection, and died of his wounds at Mostar, 



32 JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 

troop of Mahommedan volunteers, that is, to collect a 
band of licensed and fanatical marauders. 

The situation was anything but hopeful. We decided 
to turn those adverse circumstances to the furtherance of 
our educational plans and to carry oiF the most promising 
of the pupils to continue their training at Prague, in' 
Bohemia. The consuls assured us it would be impossible 
at that moment to obtain for these girls, or for any 
Turkish subjects, the necessary teskere, or passport ; 
the authorities were refusing the numerous applications 
now made, and objected even to women and children 
leaving the country. Mr. Freeman did, however, obtain 
the requisite permission, in exchange for a written pro- 
mise, signed and officially witnessed, that we would 
bring back these subjects of the Porte to the lands of the 
Sultan. At the same time we received from the repre- 
sentative of the pasha an earnest request to remain, for 
our going away would give a bad impression of the 
inability of the Turks to maintain order. We thought 
juattcrs too serious to admit of our staying for the sake 
of keeping up appearances for the Turks, and we there- 
fore effected our departure early on the morning of 
August 23rd. 

We were a party of ten in all, occupying four of the 
springless carts of the country. Three of our drivers 
were Mussulmans, the other a most miserable Christian 
boy in their service, who was always blubbering, and 
seemed literally terrified out of his wits. On the way 
we were obliged to take on another cart for the luggage. 
This was driven by its owner, a Jewish khangee. One 
of our Mussulman drivers, a black man, who went by the 
name of "the Arab," got frightfully drunk, and be- 
haved so ill that we appealed to the kaimakam at 
Shebsche to put him in prison. Kotwithstanding the 
order of the kaimakam, at our next halt the Arab 



JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 33 

appeared again, but he had been frightened into behaving 
himself better, and we had no further trouble with him. 
Another of the Mussulman drivers, a Turkish boy of 
sixteen, the son of a Bosnian Aga, owner of the horses, 
proved entirely beyond control. He stopped wherever 
he chose to stop, or he tore recklessly along the road, 
flogging his miserable horses and firing off pistols in the 
air. This boy was after the worst type of Bosnian Mussul- 
mans. He was lank and small, with colourless eyes ; 
wisps of his sandy hair escaped from the red handker- 
chief which was tied round a dirty white linen cap ; his 
weazened boy's face was old with an expression of mingled 
cruelty, rapacity, and cunning. The day before we 
reached Dervend, the zapties told us the Turks and 
Christians were fighting there, and that the Turks were 
cutting the Christians to pieces ; but we need not fear, 
whatever happened, for they had orders to defend us. 
These rumours referred to the raid of Osman Aga of 
Dervend, which I have already mentioned, and which 
had accomplished its cruel work some days previously. 
When we passed the next day through the Turkish por- 
tion of Dervend, which is on the post-road, all was quiet 
as the grave. Several times the new zapties, who 
seemed to suspect our sympathy with the Christians, 
volunteered to tell us about the revolt of the rayali ; 
^^Nasha rayah" (our rayah) ^^had actually dared to 
rebel, but the Sultan would send a great army to Bosnia 
along the Save." 

Before we reached Brod, still expecting some diffi- 
culty in getting the Bosnian girls across, we made them 
put on European costume, which we had prepared for 
the occasion before leaving Serajevo. It may have been 
owing to this disguise that their teskere, or passport, was 
never asked for, and we were allowed to cross the river 
with our whole party into Austrian territory, after a few 

VOL. I. D 



34 JOURNEY IN BOSNIA IN AUGUST, 1875. 

lazy questions as to the contents of our luggage. A 
peal of bells from the cliurch in Austrian Brod sounded 
more cheerily than ever across the water, while we 
were waiting for the ferry-boat in a golden breadth of 
evening sunlight. The loveliness of the earth and sky 
had all along uttered a protest against the odious sights 
and sounds of human degradation which we witnessed 
on the way, and the cloudless starlit heavens had invited 
us to forget the dii't and the disgust of the Turkish 
shelters. We had spent the nights in a cart, guarded by 
the zapties, and knowing even then but little of the 
terrible scenes enacted in (his beautiful land, to which 
Ilumanity is faithless. 



CHAPTEE III. 

BOSNIA IN 1876-7. 

A ^AECHY, insiuTection, terror, massacres, ^^ infernal 
chaos." More than one-third of the whole Christian 
population fled over the frontier out of Bosnia into the 
neighbouring lands — Austria, Serbia, and Montenegro. 
The number of those who have perished by the sword, 
the famine, and the pestilence within the land is im- 
reckoned and unknown. 

A letter which I have just received from a native 
Bosnian merchant will best describe the present con- 
dition of his wretched country. I can vouch for his 
trustworthiness. He writes from Austria Slavonia, on 
the northern frontier of Bosnia : — 

" Gradishka, ^ March, 1877. 

'' When the Bosnian refugees in Austro-Hungary 
heard that Serbia had made peace with Turkey they 
were struck dumb, as if a thunderbolt had lallen from 
the sky. They ask incessantly, ^ What will become of 
us now ? Do the Powers want again to force us under 
the Turkish yoke ? Better each one of us should perish 
than return on the faith of the Turk.' They ask, ' What 
Power could have the conscience to wish or dare to diive 
us back under the Turkish sword, to ignore and forget 
our two years' struggle, and again hand us over into 
slavery ? ' I told them, only to see what they would 

D 2 



36 BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

reply, that perhaps Austria would send her armies into 
Bosnia. They answered, ' Why should we go from one 
slavery into another ? Better we should slay our wives 
and children, and all seek death among the bands of the 
hdiduks (outlaws), than go from slavery to slavery.' I 
think you will have already heard this sentiment from 
the Bosnian Serbs. As for Bosnia, and the Serb (Pra- 
voslav) population of Bosnia, this is the condition to-day, 
as described to me from genuine sources within the pro- 
vince, and also by some who have saved their lives by 
flight. There is a complete clearing out of the Serb 
people of Bosnia, for the Turkish authorities themselves 
hunt them down, and give full licence to the Bashi- 
bazouks and Gipsies, also to the Catholics and the Jews ; 
and every one is free to kill or do any violence to a 
Bosnian Serb, or to take away his property, and no 
Serb dares to make a complaint. They are fleeing inces- 
santly out of Bosnia, wherever they are able. Below 
Brod, near Yuchijak, a hundred families have crossed 
over. I spoke with them myself, and asked them, ^ Why 
do you fly, brothers, when here you must perish of 
hunger ? ' Weeping and groaning, they replied they 
would rather jump into the river than sufl'er what they 
have to endure. They said there were a hundred families 
in Gomje, the half of which had fled into Austria, but 
afterwards returned at the bidding of the Turks and of 
the Austrian government, who had assured them of per- 
fect safety. They had been left in peace for some 
months, but now their suff'erings were greater than ever 
before. They were incessantly harassed by Mussulman 
bands, composed of the worst murderers and evildoers, 
who violated women, carried off maidens, and seized 
whatever property they found. The principal inhabitants 
of the place had been canned off" to Dervend, to Teshan, 
and to Prnjavor, and had never returned. 



BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 37 

^^ These tidings gave me bitter grief. I said what I 
could to comfort them and went on my way to Diakovar. 
On my return I visited Austrian Brod, in order to get 
further information ; and there again I heard terrible 
news. It so happened that I met there a merchant who 
is still living at Dervend, the first town on the post road 
between Turkish Brod and Serajevo. I asked him what 
was going on at Dervend and in the neighbourhood. 
He looked very anxiously round to see if any one was 
within hearing, and when he was satisfied that we were 
alone he went on to tell me that in the course of the last 
two months forty- two men, the principal Bosnian Serbs 
in the neighbourhood, had been murdered at Dervend. 
These butcheries had been perpetrated at night, behind 
the Turkish barracks. When the relatives of these men 
came to visit them in the prison and to bring them bread 
(as is the custom), they were driven away, and told to go 
home until the time came to shut them up too. Then 
they were also accused, and were sent off to Banjaluka. 
I hear now that this is the way the Turks are proceeding 
throughout Bosnia. Only to-day I heard that thirty 
families from Gashitza and other villages tried to escape 
into Austria across the Save below Jassenovatz, but the 
Turks came up with them, and murdered those who had 
not yet got over; a certain Jovo from the village of 
Medjedj was cut to pieces, and his two children flung 
into the water. Behold those woes upon woes, and 
behold the selfishness and inhumanity of Europe, which 
keeps us for centuries in slavery, and is resolved still so 
to keep us ! There remains nothing for us but to fight. 
Better die than live in shame and misery. You know 
very well what sort of people are gone from Bosnia to 
represent the country at Constantinople. Misery, indeed, 
for us ! Faim Effendi, from Banjaluka ; Pctraki, from 
Serajevo; Ephzem and Marotic, from Travnik, are all 



J8 BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

men who, together with the pashas, suck out the life of 
the rayah. No pen can describe the evil of the Tui'kish 
government, but the Turcophiles will neither see nor 
hear. 

^^ In Bosnia the assessment and collection of the taxes 
is carried on in the following manner. Tui'ks on horse- 
back, with alibashis, go by twenties about the villages, 
demanding lodging, food, and drink for nothing, com- 
mitting every sort of violence on men and women. 
Cattle worth 300 piastres have to be sold for 150 
piastres in caimes (paper notes), on which the loss is 
40 per cent., and the tax is to be paid in silver. The 
villagers have thus become so impoverished that about 
one-third of them have no live stock remaining, and the 
prisons are full of those who oannot pay. The various 
dues to the Beys and to the government, and other 
oppressive levies, are multiplied from day to day. With- 
out excuse the bimbashis send zapties into the villages 
to terrify the inhabitants, and in some way or other to 
collect a few hundred piastres. For all the misery and 
wrong which the Christians are suffering at the hands of 
the Turks there is no justice and there are no judges, for 
none of the courts will give them a hearing. As for 
murders, they are happening every day. The last day 
or two there are fresh cases. Mahmoud Muftic, in the 
middle of the town, cut off the right hand of Pejo 
Savanevic. Osman Shabio killed Josef Ervachenin in 
his own house, and flung the body into the middle of the 
road in the wood. Achmet Asnada killed Jovo Uvkovic 
in the village of Timara, together with another whose 
name I do not know. Also Sefto Jakupovic, whom 
Faim Effendi let go that he might kill and rob the 
Christians, killed a housefather in his house in the 
village of Timar. In the quarters of the Turkish redif 
at Gradishka, he killed a peaceful villager from Koba- 



BOSNIA TN 1876—7. 39 

tovca. Ifisli Mlicharevic killed the son of tlie Knez 
Eistic in his own house in the village of Miljevic. 
N^umerous like atrocities there are everywhere and 
in every place, and for all these misdeeds no one is 
answerable to anybody, for the government makes no 
inquiry, and will not even hear. Faim Eifendi, the 
most renowned bloodsucker of the Christians, and the 
present representative of Bosnia and the Herzegovina at 
Constantinople, has spread a secret proclamation to be 
read by night to the Bosnian Mussulmans, in which it is 
declared that the Mahommedans will on no account 
accept any reforms, but that on the contrary they will 
everywhere oppose them with all their might, and that 
the utmost violence is to be carried out upon the rayah. 
The Turkish government has during the last few days 
distributed fresh arms to the Bosnian Mussulmans from 
12 to 80 years of age. Three considerable encounters 
have taken place in the neighbourhood of Banjaluka, in 
the village of Yerbac, three-quarters of an hour distant ; 
in Klashonica, three hours distant ; and the third at 
Mortanza in Zupa, eight hours from Banjaluka. Also 
in the Sandjak of Travnik in the villages of Pechko 
and Metko, between Livno and Travnik. We hear 
of encounters daily. IN^umbers are escaping to the 
mountains and to the camp of Despotovic. Some of 
the richer villagers had fled from the country into the 
towns to be under the protection of the authorities. 
Turkish violence is now driving them all out of the 
towns, out of Travnik and Banjaluka, and other towns. 
They dare not go into the villages, for the Turks have 
taken to disguise themselves as insurgents. The Chris- 
tians from the towns also are now escaping into 
Austria." 

The rising was joined at the beginning by Eoman 
Catholics. They were restrained by their priests, who 



40 BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

received orders from Eome to stand aloof. Dread of the 
success of Serbia has also been a powerful withholding 
motive. As a rule, the Eoman Catholics have aided 
the Turkish power in the insurrection ; they have played 
into the hands of the Turks ; they have acted as spies ; 
they liave gone on patrol with the Turkish soldiers. The 
rule, however, is not without exception, and at this 
moment Fra Euonoventura, a Eoman Catholic priest, is 
one of the insurgent leaders in South Bosnia, and other 
priests, besides the well-known Herzegovinian Mussics, 
have led theii' flocks against the Turks. 

I have just received the following account from Peter 
TJzelatz, a trustworthy resident on the Austrian frontier, 
of what is now passing in South Bosnia. He writes 
imder date March 29 : — 

^' In Ochijevo the Turks have massacred the brothers 
Yaso and Jefto Xaranovic, have outraged women and 
girls, plundered 300 head of cattle, and burnt many 
houses. In the Klechovaca Mountains the Turks have 
fallen upon a quiet village, have killed three brothers 
named Kecman, stolen cattle, and exercised all kinds of 
brutalities. In the neighbourhood of Glamosh the Tui^ks 
are attacking quiet Christian villages, and are massacring, 
plundering, and robbing in every direction. Near Gla- 
mosh four brothers Govzdonovic were murdered; their 
heads were cut off and carried to Glamosh. 

^^ Turkish licence is driving numbers of the Christian 
population to Austria for safety. The help given by the 
Austrian government was reduced on March 20 from 
ten to five kreutzers(ld/.)per day. From April 1 it will 
be given only to women and children and sick persons. 
Ablebodied men will receive nothing. Help is more 
necessary than ever at this very time, for it is a moment 
of the greatest poverty." 

The diminution of assistance by the Austrian govern- 



BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 41 

ment is intended to check the immigration, and to drive 
back the fugitives into their own land. But these poor 
people, who have seen from the experience of their own 
lives and the lives of their forefathers what Turkish 
promises are worth, dare not return, knowing their 
certain fate to be massacre and outrage. The result 
of the Conference at Constantinople was announced to 
the Bosnians in the following manner by Kulinevic 
Beg at Yakup, in South-western Bosnia. The pro- 
clamation of the Constitution* being read in Turkish 
was then explained in Slav, in the style of the 
Bosnian Mussulmans : ^' It is all quite right and 
very good ; the Turk rules as before, and the rayah 
remains rayah. The Sultan, the Brother of the Sun, 
the Cousin of the Moon, Bond-brother of the Stars, the 
Friend of Allah, the Kinsman of Mahomet, the Son of 

♦ The correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, writing from Ragusa under 
date February 9th, gives the following anecdote of the election of a Christian 
deputy for the Turkish Parliament : — " At Mostar, where consular supervision 
has also to be taken into account, these enlightened employes of the Turkish 
government have seized on and forcibly elected a Christian merchant as deputy 
for the capital of Herzegovina. The unfortunate Bilich, who was anything but 
ambitious of this unexpected honour, was so far intimidated that he dared not 
refuse it at Mostar, and was accordingly packed off to Stamboul by way of 
Ragusa. The instant, however, he set foot on Christian soil he despatched a 
letter to Mostar resigning his seat, and, feariu'^- to return, is at present a refugee 
at Ragusa. Truly, it remained for the Turks to discover this new form of elec- 
toral intimidation." He goes on to say : — " Meanwhile the Mahommcdan popu- 
lation of Herzegovina are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the first- 
fruits of the new regime. Among the merchants of the towns ruin has been sown 
broadcast by an cnormoiis influx of paper money ; Trebinjc alone has been flooded 
with a new paper currency to the amount of 100,000 piastres. In the district of 
Trebinje, indeed, nothing but the neighbourhood of Turkish nizam has prevented 
Mahommcdan discontent from bursting into open revolt. According to the law 
the heads of families are exempted from military service, but the kaimakam of 
Trebinje has been attempting to extort large sums of money, in some cases as 
much as 1,000 florins, from the heads of the richest Mahommcdan families, in lieu 
of military service. Upon their appeal the tyrant tried to seizT and imprison 
them, but has not been able to set hands on more than a dozen. The rest, to the 
number of over a hundred, and among them several Begs and influential land- 
owners, have fled, and during the last few days no less than seventy Mahom- 
mcdan refugees have arrived at Ragusa. Even as I write, I hear of fresh 
arrivals." 



4a BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

Osmap, Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Prince of 
Princes, Lord of the Earth under the Sky, has commanded 
of those kings wlio came to him at Stamboul that they 
shall di'ive back for us our rayah into our lands again, 
and has decreed that whoever is not obedient on his 
return shall be put to death." Before the conclusion of 
the Conference, Bosnian Mussulmans had begun to 
spread the report that the Sultan would decree the 
massacre of every Christian in the land, in order that 
Bosnia might be preserved intact for the Faithful. 

I have related in the last chapter the story of the 
beginning of the Bosnian rising in August, 1875, in 
Korth Bosnia. The following account of the spread of 
the insurrection was sent me by Herr Fric, in August, 
1876 :— 

^'The Bosnian insurgents, who are extremely nume- 
rous, and in some instances well armed, are for the 
most part distributed among the following troops and 
bands : 

^^1. The bands in the Eissovac and Grmec moun- 
tains in West Bosnia. 2. In the Yucjak in East Bosnia. 
3. In the Pastirevo and Kozara mountains in North 
Bosnia. 

^'The insurgents in the Eissovac and Grmec moun- 
tains are under the leadership of the well-known Golub 
Babic, Marinkovic, Simo Davidovic, Pope Karan, and 
Trifko Amelic. Latterly the Serb Colonel Despotovic 
luis assumed the chief command, and has formed eight 
battalions out of the scattered bands. In Pastirevo and 
in Kozara are the bands of Marko Gjenadija, Ostoja, 
Spasojevic, Marko Bajalica, Igumen Hadzic, and Pope 
Stevo. The new camp of Brezovac, not far from Novi, 
is held by Ostoja Yojnovic. The former camp of Peter 
Karageorgevic in Chorkovac is held by Ilija Sevic. 

*^The joint object of these bands at the present 



BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 43 

moment is so fully to occupy the Turks as to prevent any 
greater concentration of Mussulman troops or irregulars 
on the Drina, on the western frontier of Serbia. As 
there is no possibility of systematically organizing an 
insurrection in Bosnia, the mode of warfare peculiar to 
the land is pursued that is, by perpetual harass- 
ing to drive back the whole Mussulman population into 
their towns and strong places. Another object of the 
insurgent bands is the safe conduct, under cover of their 
protection, up to the frontier of Austria or Serbia, of the 
Christians who have escaped from the cruelties of the 
Turks into the forest mountains of Bosnia. Sometimes 
these poor exiles — unarmed men, women, and children 
— have been for months hiding in the woods, until the 
armed bands could open a way for them through the 
country into neighbouring Christian lands. They were 
driven from their homes by savage Mussulman soldiery, 
who suddenly appeared in their peaceful villages, mur- 
dering and plundering, and then setting fire to their 
houses. It is hard to realise the misery of these 
flights ; the father loses the son, the mother the daugh- 
ter ; the young and the feeble perish on the way ; weeks 
or months go by before the scattered members of a 
family find one another, and the fate of many is never 
known. No property, hardly the bare life, can be 
saved. 

^^ It is especially to be observed that these Turkish 
onslaughts on Christian villages are not made exclu- 
sively by the Mussulman rabble of the land on their 
own account. These murderous raids are frequently 
ordered and authorised by the Turkish officials, and the 
regular troops take part in them. 

^' On my last journey from Kostainitza to the ^dry 
frontier,' near Novi, Bosnian fugitives who had just 
crossed over at Kuljani (between Kostainitza and 



44 BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

Podove), from Svinja on the Save, assured me that large 
Mussulman bands led by the recently appointed kaima- 
kan of Bihac, Vessel Boy, had fallen on the village of 
Svinja and burnt it to the ground. The next day this 
account was confirmed to me in the presence of the 
Austrian authorities at Dvor by many other fugitives, 
"Nvho had fled before a similar incursion conducted by the 
Turkish Miralay. Driven by the kaimakam Vessel 
Bey, and this Miralay overrunning the land, 3,000 to 
4,000 fugitives have passed over into Austrian territory, 
according to official report. 

*^ With a heavy heart I call to mind the passage of 
the fugitives over the TJnna at Kuljani, protected by a 
very large body of insurgents against an expected on- 
slaught of the Turks. The miserable exiles this time 
reached the Austrian shore in safety in the little canoes 
of the river. What a scene of wretchedness ! Hundreds 
and hundreds dragging themselves along the dusty road 
— men, women, and children. In the heavy despairing 
countenances of the tall strong men may be plainly read 
the hereditary misery of centuries. Weary women and 
little children can scarcely crawl along ; some of the sick 
(for the most part smallpox cases) fall do^\^l by the way. 
I go up to a group which is gathering round some object 
on the road-side ; a woman has been overtaken by the 
pains of labour, and, surrounded by her children, is 
giving birth to an infant. A few steps further on is 
another gi'oup ; here lies in the last agony a woman who 
has been wounded ; seven wounds on her body .... 
Here lie some others slightly wounded, who from pain and 
fatigue can crawl no further. Many sink down on the 
dusty hard roadside to seek on Christian soil the sleep 
to which for nights they had not dared to yield. By 
degrees the greater number reach the Gemeinde Haus 
in Divari. The whole group sit or lie about on the large 



BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 45 

grassy space in front of the building. Some begin to 
eat the ears of Indian corn which they have brought 
with them out of Turkey ; for in the fiekls on the 
Turkish side is still lying Indian corn of last year's 
harvest, which neither Turks nor Christians, out of 
mutual fear, have dared to gather. Fathers of families 
go to seek bread in the village. Some have brought 
away a few coins, and can pay for it. Now, a father 
returns with some bread, which he divides among his 
family ; the children watch every mouthful with longing 
eyes. Another father returns empty-handed ; a cry of 
distress bursts forth. Alas ! there are hundreds upon 
hundreds of such scenes ; for fresh bands of fugitives 
are crossing daily at one or another point on the frontier 
into Austrian territory." 

I spent the greater part of 1876 on the Croatian and 
Slavonian frontiers of Bosnia, engaged, together with 
Miss Johnston, in applying for the benefit of the exiles, 
the ^' Bosnian and Herzegovinian Fugitives and Orphan 
Belief Fund."* 

Near Kostajnica, on the Croatian military frontier. 
Pope Mandic, of Meminiski, told us that he had in 
his parish over 2,700 fugitives, the number of inha- 
bitants being 2,400. Thus the fugitives exceeded by 
300 the number of inhabitants. The parish is extremely 
poor, and the house - room insufficient in ordinary 
times. In winter, not only one family, but several 
families, composing the zadniga or house commu- 
nion, which prevails in this country, all sleep in one 
room round a fire made 'in the middle, the smoke of 

* Some account of this work will bo found at the end of the second volume. 
Donations are received by Messrs. Daldy, Isbister & Co., 66, Ludgate Hill ; at 
Messrs. Twinings' Bank, 215, Strand; by the Clydesdale Bank ; the London and 
Westminster Bank ; by Lady IMuir ^Mackenzie, 8, Eaton Place West ; by Mrs. De 
Noe Walker, 10, Ovington Gardens, S.W. ; and by the Hon, Treasurer, Andrew 
Johnston, Esq., lo8, Luadeuliall Street. The protits of these volumes will be 
given to the fund. 



46 BOSNIA IN i^'6—j. 

which escapes through the rafters of the unceiled dwell- 
ing. In common winters there may be found in such 
houses from twenty to thirty persons sleeping on the 
ground, round the fire, in this manner ; when the poor 
fugitives Avere taken in there were sometimes upwards 
of forty. Was it surprising that first smallpox and then 
typhus had broken out, and that this priest had some- 
times ten burial services a day to perform ? Then there 
were newborn babies for whom their parents had no 
clothing, and for whom, when born on the flight, their 
fathers had cut up their stockings to make some sort of 
little covering for them. 

The Bosnians' love of their own country is very great ; 
they remain as close to the frontier as they can, within 
sight of their own hills. One poor man came from a 
distant village to Kostajnica, and crossed the bridge on 
to the narrow strip of land by the Austrian fortress on 
the other side to breathe his native air. ^^The air of 
Bosnia," he said, *^ smells like a rose." We heard from 
one and all the fugitives the same story — their houses 
are burnt, they escaped for their lives from the Turks, 
and they will never go back so long as the Turk rules 
there. The Bosnian villages, at a distance from the 
frontier, which had never risen, were frightfully plun- 
dered and maltreated by Turkish soldiers, regular and 
irregular, and by the native Mussulmans. We were told, 
on thoroughly trustworthy authority, that the former 
practice of the Turks was again resorted to of hanging 
up the rayah to a tree with his head downwards and 
pouring water over him, in the freezing weather, till he 
reveals the place where his little hoard of coin is hidden. 
At the present moment no Christian's life or property 
is safe in Bosnia, except under the eyes of the European 
consuls in Scrajevo. The land is a desert. We hear from 
numerous Bosnians that thixe sowing seasons have 



BOSNIA IN i^-je—-]. 47 

passed, and nothing has been sown except in the gardens 
belonging to the towns. The fields are bare ; the Turkish 
villages have been destroyed by the insurgents ; the 
Christian villages by the Turks. Large tracts of country 
are absolutely depopulated. An enormous number of 
Mussulman widows and children are left, for the Christian 
Bosnian insurgents do not harm women and children, but 
let them go safe ^^in the name of Christ and St. John." 
On the other hand, the treatment of the Christian women 
by the Turks is now well known. The ^^ Bulgarian 
atrocities" have been repeated again and again in 
Bosnia, from time to time, on a small scale, in different 
parts of the country ever since the beginning of the 
uprising. 

In January, 1877, we went to the Dalmatian frontier 
of Bosnia, where the greatest distress prevails, and where 
there have been many deaths from sheer starvation. At 
this moment over one third of the whole Christian popu- 
lation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are in most miserable 
exile; the number of fugitives all round the frontier 
very considerably exceeds 200,000. The magnitude of 
the misery has been impressed upon us, eye-witnesses, by 
the constant repetition of the same scenes all through these 
many months, and along the extent of so many hundred 
miles. "We found in the neighbourhood of Knin in 
Dalmatia the same misery, in a still greater degree, which 
we had left in the distant Slavonian district ; we heard 
the same changes on the same sad story over and 
over again: ^'Our homes have been burned by the 
Turks, our crops destroyed ; we fled for the bare life ; 
we could save nothing, or we have spent all we 
were able to save. Our children are dying of hunger 
and sickness, but we will all rather perish here 
than return to encounter the armed and angry Turks." 
From whatever quarter you may approach the Bosnian 



48 BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

and Herzegovinian boundaries, be it from Serbia or Mon- 
tenegro, from Slavonia, Croatia or Dalmatia, you will 
find the same throng of ragged starving fugitives. They 
are in a worse condition than last winter, and the 
mortality among them is very great. 

Mr. Arthur Evans thus describes a scene on the 
frontier : — 

'' We approached the Bosnian frontier by way of the 
village of Strmica, about which as many as 6,000 
refugees are crowded. I had never come in contact with 
so much human misery before. Th^y crowded round us, 
these pinched haggard faces, these lean bony frames, 
scarred by disease and bowed down with hunger ; they 
followed till it seemed a dreadful Dance of Death. There 
was one lad of twelve, as pale as a spectre, who could 
not live many hours ; and by him another younger child, 
whose only clothing was a few rags tied together and 
eked out by the long tresses of a woman's hair. Some 
English help has already reached Strmica, but in 
many cases it had come too late, and in this village 
alone over 500 have died in the last few months. 
A little further on the mountain side we came upon 
a new graveyard already well tenanted. We now 
crossed the Bosnian frontier, and followed a path 
along a precipitous mountain steep, passing the debris 
of a stupendous landslip, and beneath some extraor- 
dinary rock pinnacles, called '^ the Hare Stones " by 
the Bosnians. !N^ear here we saw the first signs 
of Turkish ravages — the village of Zaseok burnt by 
the Turks at the first outbreak of the insurrection ; 
and presently found an old Bosnian, who guides us 
by more difficult mountain paths to a lonely glen, 
where a torrent divides the Austrian from the Bosnian 
territory, and where, on the Christian side, we descried 
a series of caves in the rocky mountain side, to which 



BOSNIA IN 1876-7. 49 

we now made our way. Then indeed broke upon 
my sight such a depth of human misery as it has 
perhaps fallen to the lot of few living men to witness. 
We crossed a small frozen cataract, and passed the 
mouths of two lesser caverns, toothed with icicles three 
feet long and over, and then we came to the mouth of a 
larger cave, a great black opening in the rock, from 
which, as we climbed up to it, crawled forth a squalid 
and half-naked swarm of women, children, and old men, 
with faces literally eaten away with hunger and disease. 
A little way off was another small hole, outside which 
leant what had once been a beautiful girl, and inside, 
amidst filth and squalor which I cannot describe, dimly 
seen through smoke and darkness, lay a woman dying of 
typhus. Others crowded out of black holes and nooks, 
and I found that there were about thirty in this den. In 
another small hole, going almost straight down into the 
rock, I saw a shapeless bundle of rags and part of the 
pale half-hidden face of another woman stricken down by 
the disease of hunger ; another den with about a dozen, and 
then another more horrible than any. A black hole, slop- 
ing downwards at so steep an angle as made climbing 
up or down a task of some difficulty, descended thus 
abruptly about thirty feet, and then seemed to disappear 
into the bowels of the earth. The usual haggard crowd 
swarmed out of the dark and foetid recesses below and 
climbed up to seek for alms. A woman seated on a 
ledge of rock half way up burst into hysterical sobs ; it 
was at the sight of old Lazar. The good old fellow had 
already discovered these dens of destitution^ and had 
brought them some food from the English ladies all the 
way from Knin. They had tasted nothing then for three 
days, and would have all died that day, she said, if he 
had not come. Then, slowly tottering and crawling 
from an underground lurking place at the bottom of the 

VOL. I. E 



50 BOSNIA IN 1876-7. 

pit, there stumbled into the light an old man, so lean, so 
wasted, with such hollow sunken eyes, that he seemed 
nothing hut a walking skeleton ; it was the realisation 
of some ghastly mediaeval picture of the Eesurrection of 
the Dead ! He seemed to have lost his reason, but from 
below he stretched out his bony hands towards us as if 
to grasp our alms, and made a convulsive effort to climb 
the rocky wall of his den. He raised himself with diffi- 
culty a few feet, and then fell back exhausted and was 
caught by a girl in her arms. Poor old man ! It was 
not hard to see that he would never leave that loathsome 
den alive ; nay, I dare not say that those horrible re- 
cesses were not catacombs as well. Not far off we 
passed another cave, where the bodies of some women 
and children had been found." 

Insurgent bands are again making sign from mountain 
and forest throughout the land. The rising has acquired 
compact strength in a district of South Bosnia, which is 
cleared of the Turks and held by Bosnian bands, who are 
at present under the command of Despotovic, between 
the Austrian frontier and the Turkish fortresses of 
Kulin Yakup, Kljuc, and Glamosh. This district was 
visited, in February last, by Mr. Arthur Evans, who 
has fully confirmed, by the evidence of his own eyes, 
the accounts I have heard from many native Bosnians. 
He says the bulwark of this insurgent territory, to the 
east, is the great mountain range of Cerna Gora, or the 
Black Mountains, so that there literally exists at this 
moment a Bosnian Montenegro. "• The fields and fertile 
lands of the peasants are circled, like a fortified town, 
by mountain walls, and often approachable only by diffi- 
cult mountain portals. When this fact is appreciated, 
you will understand the great capabilities of defence 
possessed by a country whose mountain strongholds con- 
tain fertile fields, where corn may be sown and harvests 



BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 51 

gathered in. Against the Turkish towns the insurgents 
may show themselves weak ; but, with ordinary leaders, 
they could defy the invader for generations in their 
mountain fastnesses. They are themselves beginning to 
appreciate their defensive strength, and the importance of 
dividing their energies between agriculture and defence ; 
but during the period when the insurrection was con- 
fined to a few villages on the Dalmatian frontier, the 
Turks had penetrated into their secluded uplands, and 

several villages had been burnt." 

^' The district of Podic runs apparently in an undefined 
manner into that of Yidovoselo, to the north-west of this 
polje^ and the whole of this district has been ravaged by 
the Turks in a most atrocious manner. As I have no 
wish to indulge in loose and unsubstantiated charges, I 
may say that I have taken down the accounts of three 
sets of witnesses. First, of the peasants, a man and a 
woman at the hut at Podic ; secondly, of two peasants 
of Yidovoselo, by name Stojan Yasovic and Gavran 
Tadic, whom I saw at Unnatz, and who actually wit- 
nessed what occurred from a wood above the village 
where they had hidden themselves; and lastly, fi'om 
Boian Sterbac, who was horribly cut in the neck by a 
blow from a yataghan and his left hand nearly severed, 
and who lies at present in the insurgent hospital at Knin, 
where I saw him, and whose deposition and extraordi- 
nary signature I have before me. All these accounts 
agree in the minutest particular, and 1 do not think 
that even the Turks themselves would call them in 
question. On the 12th July of last year, about two in 
the afternoon, the peasants of this district were peace- 
fully engaged in their fields, when a large band of 
Bashi-bazouks from Glamosh, under the leadership of 
Ahmed Beg Philipovic, of that place, broke into the 
polje. They hunted down and killed — some on the 

E 2 



52 BOSNIA IN 1876—7. 

plain and some in the houses — twenty-three unarmed 
peasants, nine of the village of Podic and fourteen of 
Vidovoselo. I have the names and families of all the 
victims before me. Among them were two children, one 
of five years old and the other about ten. The village 
pope, Damian Sterbac, w^as hacked to pieces ; his wife, 
Stana Sterbac, was cut with yataghans about the breast ; 
and his daughter Militca was wounded in the arm. The 
villages were first plundered and then burnt, and the 
Turks made off to Glamosh, carrying with them the 
heads of most of their victims. The hut we were in was 
saved from burning by the timely appearance of an 
insurgent band on the height above. A party of Bashi- 
bazouks were engaged in plundering the cottage when 
they caught sight of the enemy, and as unarmed peasants 
and women were their game, and not armed men, they 
decamped in a hurry." 

I have a list of the names of these victims, and the 
signatures of some of the eye-witnesses whom I saw at 
Xnin, among others of Boian Sterbac, whose scars are a 
frightful confirmation of his almost incredible story of 
escape, after being left for dead on the ground.* 

• I give a translation of this statement: "On the r2th of July, 1876, Turks 
from Glamosh found peaceful villagers at work in the fields. They killed them 
all with the exception of the undersigned, whom they wounded terribly with a 
j-'itagan about the neck and hands. He lay on the ground, the Turks counting 
him for dead; when they were at a distance hunting other \'ill'iger8 along the 
fields, his wife and neighbours came, and carried him off, that he might tell it 
to the world, and relate the names of his murdered companions. The under- 
signed is the witness of this deed, and he writes with his own wounded and 
maimed body; other witnesses also sign who beheld the deed with their own 
eyes. Murdered— Vo^a Damjan Sterbac, Aleksa, Golub, Gliso Ilija, Vid, Nikola, 
Lazo Sterbac, Tode, Mijat and Stanko Vestica, Vaso and Ilija Knezevic, Sava 
Srccio Sava Tomic, Luka Mandic, Mijo, Pane, David, Jovan Radano\dc, Peter 
lijidim, Gavio Jo vie, Vid Kadun. Left Wounded— Utana Sterba6, wife of the 
I»ope, Milica, his daughter, Gliso Srecic. Kuzman Sterbac. 

"^(Witnesses) Q Bojan Sterbac. 

4- Vasilj Knezevic. 
X Jovan Tomic. 
X Ivan Vjestica. 
" For the other wounded, above-named who cannot write, signs 
" Unatz, Uth February, 1877. T. Sudievich." 



BOSNIA IN 1876—7. ^^ 

Ko correct estimate can be formed of the numerical 
and military strength of the Bosnian insurgents. It is 
said that Despotovic can summon 5,000 armed Bosnians, 
not counting other bands in Kraina, Kosarac, and else- 
where, who are not under his command. It is certain 
that the whole Pravoslav population would to a man join 
the insurgent ranks if they had arms. '-'- We cannot fight 
the Turks with our pipes," said tall strong men whom 
we saw hanging listlessly and moodily about the fron- 
tiers, among the old men, women, and children, who 
are living on the scanty pittance doled out by the 
charity of the Austrian government. One of our hardest 
tasks lay in the absolute necessity we were under to 
refuse to assist them in any way with arms and ammuni- 
tion. To have done so would have been to compromise 
our whole special work of education and relief. But it 
was impossible to resist the conviction that if the Chris- 
tians had had arms last spring they would soon have 
learned to use them and have settled their own affairs 
for themselves. 

In any proposal of Turkish disarmament it should be 
remembered that the Mussulman Bosnians have been 
recently supplied by the Porte with fresh arms for the 
defence of Islam after the approved method, and that it 
will be practically impossible to disarm them except in 
the presence of a superior force. The Mussulman popu- 
lation is armed to the teeth, and is even now carrying 
out the extermination of the Pravoslav inhabitants — that 
is, of the industrious, enterprising, and independent 
majority of the population of Bosnia. 



CHAPTEE IV. 



SALONICA IN 1863. 

" The admirable situation of Thessalonica, and the fertility of the surrounding 
country, watered by several noble rivers, still enables it to nourish a population 
of upwards of sixty thousand souls. Nature has made it the capital and seaport 
of a rich and extensive district, and under a good government it could not fail to 
become one of the largest and most flourishing cities on the shores of the Medi- 
terranean." — Finlay's History of the Byzantine Empire, p. 317. 



T^HE reader is now requested to go back into the quiet 
-^ times of Turkey in Europe, and to start on a journey 
through Southern Bulgaria, Old Serbia, ISTorthern Al- 
bania and Montenegro. 

We first reached Salonica at the end of May, 1863, 
and had our best view of it from the deck of the 
steamer. But though cities that rise in amphitheatre 
round a bay are always most favourably seen from the 
sea, a Turkish city has a charm of its own whatever 
its situation, and looked at from what point you 
please. True to the pastoral instinct of his ancestors, 
the Turk ever seeks to absorb the prosaic town into 
the poetry of nature ; he multiplies spires to atone for 
roofs, and wherever he builds a house he plants a tree. 
For the ground indeed he cares not, provided his horse 
be good, so in roughness his street outdoes a quarry, 
and in filth exceeds the wallowing- ground of swine. 
But potent is the magic of outward beauty. After a 
time one consents that nose and feet should suffer 
offence ; if only, when the labours of the day are over, 



SALONICA IN 1863. 55 

one may recline on the cool, flat house-roof, and feast 
one's eyes on masses of white and green, pierced by 
taper cypresses and glistening minarets. 

Salonica has several points that repay a ride ; among 
others the Fortress of the Seven Towers, which stands 
on the site of the ancient Acropolis, and commands a 
glorious view, bounded by Mount Olympus. But the 
citadel itself is in a very tumble-down condition, and the 
dwelling houses within its walls are mostly deserted. 

The Chaoush Monastery stands also on a height above 
the town and ofi'ers healthy quarters for a traveller. 
Its monks live in somewhat ignoble comfort, for their 
convent was left standing and endowed with privileges 
as reward for one of its former inhabitants having 
betrayed the neighbouring castle to the Turks. The 
present caloyers are Greeks of that servile type which 
sets many an Englishman against the whole race ; 
nothing could be more honeyed than their flatteries of 
England, because it was then popularly expected 
that she would transfer her patronage from Tiuiey to 
Greece. 

As the precious things in the convent were almost all 
presents from Eussia, it was necessary to explain this 
away ; the monks did so by saying that the Czar had 
given them in exchange for relics of inestimable worth. 
For instance, a service of communion plate and a costly 
book were said to have been received in exchange for a 
goiu-d out of which our Saviour drank at the Last 
Supper, or, as others say, at the Well of Samaria. 
*' Look ! " said the Greek, '^ they gave us miserable gold 
for a treasure that kingdoms could not buy ; they re- 
ceived from us a skin of oil and in return have sent 
us a single olive." Finally, it was declared that ''- if 
England will only protect us, she may count on oiu* 
eternal devotion." 



S6 SALONICA IN 1863. 

On the way doTSTi the hill we passed through the 
burying-place of the city. The Franks have secured 
themselves graves between those of the Turks and the 
walls. On the other side of the Turks lie the Jews, 
^' that they may be obliged to carry their dead furthest 
from the town." The whole ground is unenclosed, and 
desecrated by asses and dogs. Some time ago a violent 
thunder shower washed the earth from an ancient 
sarcophagus which was found by the French consul and 
sent off to Paris. 

The antiquities of Salonica occupied two days' sight- 
seeing, and no kinder nor more persevering cicerone 
can be wished than the Scottish missionary. Almost 
every street, every fountain, shows fragments of coloured 
marbles and sculptured stones ; and on the Yardar Gate 
and Arch of Constantino* may still be seen the proces- 
sions of Eoman triumphs. Among the principal objects 
of interest we may enumerate the churches of the 
Twelve Apostles, St. Sophia, and St. Demetrius; the 
pulpit wherein St. Paul is supposed to have preached ; 
the so-called Eotunda ; the remnants of a sculptured 
hema outside the Eotunda ; and the five figures (called 
by the Jews incantadas) which formed the propylaeum 
of the hippodrome. Except the two latter relics, which, 
though ruined, are not transformed, all that is of the 
pagan period has been byzantinized, and all that was 
Byzantine has been mahommedanized ; so that while 
much may be traced to interest the antiquary, there 
is scarce beauty enough left to delight the unprofes- 

• '* The Egnatian way, which for many centuries served as the high road for 
the communications between Rome and Constantinople, formed a great street 
passing in a straight lino through the centre of the city from its western to its 
eastern wall. ITiig relic of Roman greatness, with its triumphal arches, still 
forms a mark<;d feature in the Turkish city ; but the moles of the ancient fort 
have fallen to ruin, and the space between the sea-wall and the water is disfigured 
by a collection of filthy huts."— Finlay's Byzantine Empire, p. 317. 



SALONICA IN 1863. 57 

sional traveller. Perhaps the Christian who spoilt a 
classic temple in the attempt to render it cruciform, 
may he deemed as harharous as the Mussulman who 
turned the cathedral of St. Demetrius into a mosque ; 
but the latter achievement has had results so grotesque 
that we cannot forbear enumerating them. 

The nave is supported by columns of precious marble ; 
but these the Turk has painted green, and their capitals 
strawberry and cream colour. Icons and candles he has 
banished, and in their stead strings up ostrich eggs to 
ward off the evil eye ; also garlands of little lamps, 
which look fairy-like by night, but wherein by day 
the oil floats cold and brown. The altar has been hurled 
from its site, but thereabouts stands the pulpit of the 
imaum, with its narrow stair and extinguisher canopy. 
A little side chapel is purged of its idolatries, and 
instead crammed with old mats, rubbish, and tools. As 
for the name and superscription of St. Demetrius, these 
must be sought on one of the doorsteps, but the tiny cell 
containing his tomb is respected and ostentatiously shown. 
This distinction it owes to its miraculous exudations, 
which attract hosts of Christian pilgrims, and bring to 
its Mussulman guardian a regular income of bakshish.* 

But the real curiosity of Salonica is its population, 
that strange medley of antipathetic races. The Therma 
of ancient history and the Thessalonica of St. PauPs 
Epistles yields at present the curious instance of a city 
historically Greek, politically Turkish, geographically 
Bulgarian, and ethnographically Jewish. f Out of 
about 60,000 inhabitants some 40,000 are Hebrews ; 

* The Sahatli mosque is now notorious as the scene of the massacre, May 6, 
1876, of the French and German consuls by a Mussulman mob. 

The number of Jews at Salonica is estimated (1863) at 40,000, but with their 
usual astuteness they contrive to avoid being taxed individually, and the com- 
munity bribes the Turkish ofi&cials to let them pass without scrutiny for no more 
than 11,500. 



58 SALONICA IN 1863. 

and these, the most numerous citizens, are also the most 
wealthy and considered. They came, like most of the 
Jews in Turkey, from Spain, whence they were expelled 
by the Inquisition, and the comparative tolerance 
showed them by the Sultan renders them his good 
subjects. The Hebrews settled in Salonica are hand- 
some, many of them auburn-haired, and their women 
often delicate, and even fair. In beauty the latter 
exceed the Hellene, which now-a-days is not saying 
so much, for, at least in Europe, the modern Greek 
woman falls short alike of the softness and fire of the 
Oriental and the refinement and loftiness of the Western 
lady. 

Like most other numerous communities, the Salonican 
Jews are divided into three ranks — the tip -top, the 
middle, and the low. Of these the foremost, by their 
wealth and luxury, absolutely extinguish their Christian 

neighbours. The French consul. Marquis de , 

told us that for him and his wife society was out of the 
question. All the richest people are Jews. If they 
give a dinner, friends and relatives lend each other plate 
and other trappings, so that the pomp is overpowering, 
and in return one cannot receive them in any way that 
would not appear mesquin. Then, if one gives parties, 
the Jewish ladies come so apparelled that the Europeans 
feel genees in meeting them : ''on finirait par n'avoir que 
dcs Juives chez soi." The opinion of the French consul 
was shared by one of our English acquaintances. She 
would willingly have shown us some of these Hebrew 
dames, whom she described as accomplished and beauti- 
ful; ''but the fact is," said she, "that my new summer 
gown has not yet come from London ; and though in 
you, as a traveller, they might excuse a plain dress, I 
should not dare to go among them otherwise than spick 
and span." 



SALONICA IN 1863. 59 

The middle class of Jews are also rich, but less exact- 
ing in matters of toilette, so no obstacle existed to our 
visiting them. The first family we saw was that of a 
rabbi, and more interesting than others, as retaining 
some remnants of traditional habits and costume. The 
daughters had muslin dresses made in the European 
style, but their long hair hung loose down their backs. 
On marriage the hair is cut off, and the matrons wear a 
small turban fastened with a black handkerchief, which is 
passed under the chin and tied on the top of the head. 
The rabbi himself appeared in a sort of long loose coat 
bordered and lined with fur. 

In Salonica, doctors disagree as to the advisability of 
adopting Frankish fashions, so we sought to learn the 
ideas of this good man, who is reputed liberal in his 
views. We alluded to the Jews of Cracow, to their 
peculiar dress, and to their unwillingness to change it. 
^' Yes," quoth the rabbi, '^ but in Poland the Jews dress 
differently from us, and are of very different character. 
We came here from Spain, and at first all wore black, 
like Spaniards ; what we now wear is Turkish, and some 
of us are beginning to imitate the Franks." '^ In that 
case," said we, '' you do not connect any religious feeling 
with your costume ? " He answered evasively, " Every 
dress has a religious value in the eyes of the people to 
whom it belongs." He then asked if we had remarked 
the curious out- door pelisses of the women. These are 
of scarlet cloth, lined with fur and bordered with gold. 
Over the head is worn a long scarf of the white stuff 
used for Turkish towels. 

The rabbi whom we visited is a merchant, and carried 
on the conversation in Italian ; he is also a rich man. 
We learned that here most of the rabbis are merchants 
and also rich ; for wealth is one of the most needful 
qualications to obtain their office and sustain its influence. 



6o SALONICA IN 1863. 

Much of their commercial success is owing to their power 
of association, and their willingness to help one another. 
Herein they and their brcthi'en excel the local Chris- 
tians, who seldom seem able to trust each other or work 
as one. 

Another distinction of our rabbi is that he keeps a 
printing-press. This privilege is not granted to the 
Greeks, and was lately denied to a Bulgarian bookseller. 
The request of the latter was supported by the English 
consul, who regarded it as most desirable that the Sla- 
vonic population in the neighbourhood should obtain 
books in its own language. Of course the excuse was 
put forward that the press would be used to circulate 
Eussian proclamations ; as if the lack of a printing- 
press in their own country were not precisely what 
hitherto has forced the Bulgarians to take their books 
from Eussia. 

The next house we visited was that of a rising coal 
merchant ; a handsome dwelling, cleanly and cool. We 
came rather too near the middle of the day, so the lady 
and her daughters were enjoying a siesta, but they sent 
us a message so earnestly begging us to stay that we sat 
down patiently to wait. For this we were rewarded by 
seeing the maid carry three gowns and three " cages " 
upstairs, through the saloon, and past us into her mis- 
tresses' chamber. After the interval necessary for don- 
ning them, out came three ladies, elegant and smiling. 

While waiting, our attention was directed to the 
extraordinary precautions adopted to secure the house 
against fire. The cause of this is that the Jews here 
will not touch fire on their Sabbath. Not only do they 
keep their candles ready lighted from the evening before, 
and a Gentile servant to do the necessary work ; but 
should a' conflagration break out among their dwellings, 
they must let it burn on, rather than meddle with it. 



SALONICA IN 1863. 61 

Jewish servant girls, whose clothes have happened to 
catch fire on the Sabbath, have been known to run burn- 
ing to the nearest Christian house before they could 
obtain assistance. When a Salonican Jew sets up to be 
^^ liberal" one of his first symptoms is to smoke a cigar 
on the Sabbath. Sometimes the rabbis make an effort 
to reclaim him, e.g,^ they bribe the pasha to put him in 
prison. 

Another Jewish observance consists in saying prayers 
for the departed, a certain amount being sufiicient for a 
good spirit and a longer time for a wicked one. Hence, 
while it would be considered undutiful for a son to omit 
having prayers said for his father's soul, he must take 
care not to have them said too long, lest he cast a slur 
on his father's character. 

We were told that many of the poorer Jews are dis- 
posed to think that Sir Moses Montefiore will shortly 
prove to be their Messiah. The richer are said to be 
in no such hurry, '-'- inasmuch as the coming of the 
Messiah would involve their own migration to the 
Promised Land, and being an exclusively commercial 
people they have little fancy to become landholders in 
Judea." 

We cannot attempt to describe the Turkish residents 
in Salonica, as it happened that we saw nothing of them; 
but next in interest to the Hebrew comes the Greek 
community. Although it cannot vie in number or wealth 
with the Jews it counts some rich merchants, who were 
building fine houses while we were there. Besides these 
there are certain families which, from intermarriage for 
generations, are to all intents Greek, yet claim Western 
descent, and enjoy the protection of foreign powers. 
This, by sheltering them from Turkish interference, gives 
them great advantage in trade. In some cases ffehe right 
to such protection is rather doubtful, and should a 



62 SALONICA IN 1863. 

European agent not prove himself above bakshish great 
abuses are certain to ensue. 

It was with consternation that we heard of so-called 
British subjects stooping to farm taxation for the Turk. 
For ^^a man cannot carry fire in his bosom and his 
clothes not be burned ;" and a tale was told us of the 
working of this system, in the particulars of which we 
would fiiin hope that there may be some exaggeration. 
Certain Frankish merchants undertook to farm the pig- 
tax, and hearing that the Christian peasants of a village 
were suspected of concealing pigs, they called on the 
Pasha to put five of their principal men into prison, where 
at the time typhus fever was raging. Out of the five, 
four took the fever and died. 

Among the Greeks of Salonica, as elsewhere in Turkey, 
prevails the heinous custom of taking up dead bodies 
after a year spent in the grave, to look whether they be 
consumed or no. The scene on these occasions was 
described to ns by a native who had often attended — the 
horrid curiosity, the superstitious terror, the fearful sight, 
and still more fearful smell, of which many women sicken 
on the spot. Should the body be preserved, it is taken 
as a bad sign and prayers must be said, for which of 
course the priest is paid. Then the corpse is reinterred 
for another year, and unless decay ensue the ceremonial 
may be repeated three times. So tyrannical is con- 
ventionality in this particular, that wealthy educated 
mothers — living in intercourse with Europeans — feel 
obliged to have their children disinterred. We heard 
of one instance where there was the additional agony 
of finding the little body in a state which relations and 
neighbours considered as indicating that the soul was 
in hell. 

From «iese grim revelations, we turn to a quaint anec- 
dote of the late sultan, Abdul Medjid. He came to 



SALONICA IN 1863. 63 

Salonica, and was invited to visit the garden of the rich 

Mr. John . Having walked about for some time, 

he asked to see '^ the merchant Jack." The merchant 
came, and with a profound bow gave utterance to the 
following Oriental compliment : '^ When I beautified 
this garden and planted these flowers I dared to hope 
that they might one day be honoured with a visit 
from your Majesty." The Sultan replied, with grave 
sincerity, '-'- This day then God hath answered thy 
prayer." 

Sight - seeing and visiting being accomplished, we 
had only to look if there was anything pretty in the 
shops, and then make preparations for the inland route. 
The Bazaar of Salonica is the finest in European Turkey 
next to that of Constantinople, and is far before the 
best in the interior, viz., those of Adrianople and 
Serajevo. 

We had seen in Athens a dress made of the silk gauze 
of Salonica, a material stronger, and less like French 
gaze de soie than the gauze of Broussa. It was for 
this that we sought first, and then for silver bands to 
trim it ; but we had to consume no end of time in col- 
lecting enough bits of a few yards each to make up the 
quantity required for a gown. The reason is, that the 
silk is made in private houses in pieces, each sufficient 
for a shirt. 

We saw tailors working at splendid embroidery, 
and in many shops hung long trusses of what looked 
like golden straw — used to mingle with the locks of a 
bride. 

One article we had made at Salonica, viz., the cover 
of a box. Our dragoman assigned the task to Jews, and 
we, soon after coming into the corridor, were startled to 
behold two venerable patriarchs, looking as if they had 
walked bodily out of an old picture Bible. These 



64 SALONICA IN 1863. 

patriarchs seated themselves on the floor with the large 
chest between them ; their bare feet extended on each 
side of it, their hands holding the ends of a long piece of 
sacking whereof they purposed to make the cover, and 
which they wound round and round the box by way of 
taking the measure. 



CHAPTEE V. 

BULGARIA VIEWED FEOM SALONICA.— PART I. 

" The entrance of Russia into the political system of the European nations waa 
marked by an attempt to take Constantinople, — a project which it has often 
revived, and which the progress of Christian civilisation seems to indicate must 
now be realised at no very distant date, iinless the revival of the Bulgarian 
kingdom to the south of the Danube create a new Slavonian power in the east of 
Europe capable of arresting its progress." — YiyiLAY' s History of the Byzantine 
Empire, p. 223. 

"As for the Bulgarians, whether they remain yet awhile under Turkish rule or 
free themselves from it in our own time, as they must ultimately do sooner or 
later, it is in them alone that one can see any really hopeful prospect, on taking a 
broad general view of the probable future of these countries. This is afforded by 
their numerical preponderance ; their utter primitiveness, which has learned 
nothing, and has nothing to unlearn ; their industry and thrift ; theii' obstinacy ; 
and their sobriety of character." — Lord Strangford. 

TI/'E have said that Salonica is geographically Bulgarian; 
in other words, it is one of the ports of that country 
with a Slavonic-speaking population which stretches from 
the ^gean to the Danube. Indeed, Salonica itself forms 
a point on the ethnographical boundary which, in this 
part of Turkey in Europe, divides the Slavonic popula- 
tion from the Greek. To a certain extent this frontier 
coincides with the line of the old Eoman road between 
Salonica and the Lake of Ochrida ; nevertheless some 
miles of country, inhabited by Bulgarians, stretch south 
of the Yia Egnatia, Greek colonies lie to the north of it, 
and in the towns the population is mixed, in part consist- 
ing of Osmanli Turks. The other boundary cities are 
Monastir, Yodena, and Yenidje ; in all of which dwell 

VOL. I. E 



66 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART I 

few or no Greeks, whereas in Salonica itself there are 
only about 500 families of Slavs. 

On its south-eastern frontier, it is worthy of notice, 
the mass of the Slavonic population stops everywhere 
short of the sea, and leaves (or perforates only with 
stragglers) a coast-strip including part of Thrace, 
the Chalcidian peninsula, the cities of Constantinople 
and Salonica. This district is so variously peopled, so 
important for commercial and strategical purposes, — 
and it would so ill-suit any one that it should fall into 
the grip of any one else — that those who look forward 
to a readjustment of the Slavo-Greek peninsula take it 
under their especial care. Among other plans, they 
suggest that it be erected into a neutral territory, and 
attached to the two great sea-ports, in the same manner 
as domains are attached to the Free Cities of Germany. 
These modifiers would give Greece her due in Thessaly 
and Epirus, and accord native and Christian self-govern- 
ment, as now exercised by the Principality of Serbia, to 
all the Slavonic provinces of Turkey. 

Without venturing an opinion on this or other poli- 
tical projects, we may remark that any arrangement 
which would disincumber the thrifty and well-disposed 
Bulgarian of the yoke of his present barbarous master, 
would certainly prove a gain to civilisation, and in one 
respect especially to ourselves. Its immediate result 
would be the development of the resources of the 
country, and, among others, of its resources in cotton. 
The vast desert plain of Salonica is stated to be pecu- 
liarly adapted for the growth of Sea Island cotton ; and 
a neighbouring district, not far from the town of Seres, 
is so favourable to the culture, that a man who planted 
the third of an acre with cotton realized a profit of £G0. 
This cultivation is in the hands of Bulgarians; the 
Turkish landlord cares only to clutch half the produce, 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA— PART I. 67 

and the farmer of the Turkish revenue is the arch-foe of 
industry. 

The labouring, i,e.^ the Christian Slavonic, population 
of the country behind Salonica holds land on the follow- 
ing tenure : after a tenth has been paid to the Sultan, 
seed is put aside for the coming year, and of what pro- 
duce remains the landlord gets half. 

As for the taxation : in Turkey, grievances commence 
at the point where in other countries they are supposed 
to culminate ; so we say nothing of the injustice to a 
population of millions that it should have no voice in the 
disposal of its money. Granted that the Bulgarians be 
"ready to give all the government calls for, and, more- 
over, to pay for exemption from the army, that is, for 
being disarmed and held down by Mussulmans,* still 
the greatest grievance remains, viz., the waste and 
iniquity wherewith the revenue is raised. 

Hitherto the taxes have been paid in kind, a method 
which always gives the gatherer much power to extort 
bribes, since he can refuse to value the peasant's stand- 
ing corn until half of it be spoiled. But Turkish tax- 
farmers do not confine themselves to such by-paths of 
cheating. The following is an instance of what con- 
stantly recurs : — 

Two men agree to keep a flock between them, the one 
in summer on the mountains, the other in winter on the 
plain. The tax-gatherer compels the first to pay for the 
whole, promising that he will ask nothing of the other ; 
he then goes to the second, and with a similar promise 
forces him likewise to pay for all. In like manner, the 
Christian can be compelled to pay twice over for exemp- 
tion from the army if the tax-gatherer declare his fii'st 

* " Exemption from the army " is the name now given to the tribute paid by 
Christians as such, which formerly was called haratch. The people still use the 
old word, for to them the tax remains the same, and so does its practical signifi- 
cation, i.e., the Christian continues the disarmed tributary of the Mussulman. 

F 2 



68 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART I. 

receipt forged. The other day a Bulgarian brought his 
receipt to the British consul, who threatened the official 
to have it sent up for investigation. Immediately the 
charge was withdrawn. 

A change of system is being introduced which will 
supersede payment in kind by payment in money. But 
it is hard to see how this is to prove beneficial without 
such means of transport and security of communication 
as would enable the peasant to bring his produce to 
market. At present, while he must sell it in the neigh- 
bourhood wherein it abounds, he is taxed for it at market 
value. The people declare that the oppression is now 
worse than before, and that this is one of the many soi- 
disant reforms which tell well, on paper, while unless 
followed up by other reforms they prove actually mis- 
chievous. We ourselves saw the tax-gatherer swooping 
down on the villages, accompanied by harpy-flocks of 
Albanians armed to the teeth. 

On occasion of the late cotton famine, the British Go- 
vernment instigated the Porte to encourage the growth 
of cotton, to give the seed for experiments, and, what 
is more important, to suspend, in favour of cotton, 
some of the modes of taxation which chiefly harass 
agricultural industry. The Christian Bulgarians have 
responded to this encouragement in a manner that gives 
fair promise of their energies should they ever be entirely 
free from vexatious interference. 

By Bulgaria we understand, not that insignificant 
portion of the same termed '' the Turkish Province of 
]iulgaria," but the whole tract of country peopled by 
Bulgarians. The population, usually given as four 
millions, is estimated by the people themselves as from 
five to six millions — forming the eastern division of 
the South Slavonic race. The Bulgarians are distin- 
guished in all essentials from their neighbours — the 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART I. 69 

Greek, the Eouman, and the Turk ; they differ in a few 
points of character from their own western kindred, 
the Croato-Serhs. The chief of these latter points is 
a deficiency in what is called espHt politique^ and a 
corresponding superiority in the notion of material 
comfort. Unlike the Serb, the Bulgarian does not keep 
his self-respect alive with memories of national glory, 
nor even with aspirations of glory to come; on the 
other hand, no amount of oppression can render him 
indifferent to his field, his horse, his flower-garden, nor 
to the scrupulous neatness of his dwelling. 

How strongly difference of race can tell under identi- 
cal conditions of climate, religioUy and government, is 
exemplified in towns where Greeks have been dwelling 
side by side with Bulgarians for centuries. The one is 
commercial, ingenious, and eloquent, but fraudulent, 
dirty, and immoral ; the other is agricultural, stubborn, 
and slow-tongued ; but honest, cleanly, and chaste. The 
latter quality has from early times attracted respect 
towards the South Slavonic peoples. Their ancient 
laws visit social immorality with death, and at present 
their opinion, inexorable towards women, does not, like 
our own, show clemency to men. A lady told us that 
in the society of Greeks she could not be three weeks 
without becoming the confidante of a chronique scanda- 
leuse ; among Bulgarians she had lived for months, and 
never heard a single " story."* 

In Bulgarian towns the Mussulmans are Osmanli colo- 
nists, who form, as it were, the garrison of the province. 
The Slavonians who have become Mahommedan mostly 
live in the country and continue to speak Slavonic. 

* " The Greek cannot overcome the Bulgarian, nor lead him, nor incorporate 
him. He is of a less numerous and not of a superior race ; his mind is more 
keen but less solid ; roughly speaking, he is to the Bulgarian as the clever Cal- 
cutta baboo to the raw material of the English non-commissioned officer." — Loiu) 
Strangfokd in Eastern Shores of the Adriatic. 



70 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART I. 

In their bravery and warlike disposition the renegade 
Bulgarians evince the character of the nation before 
it was betrayed and disarmed, and they themselves 
adopted Mahommedanism only to avoid falling into the 
position of rayahs. In some parts they are known by 
the name Pomak (from pomegam^ '^ I help "), and are 
supposed to be descended from those Bulgarian troops 
who served in the Sultan's army as '' allies," until the 
Turks grew strong enough to force on them the alter- 
native of surrendering their arms or their creed. 
Among our guards once happened to be a Bulgarian 
Mussulman, who allowed us to be told in his presence 
that he was still at heart a Christian; and in the 
neighboui'hood of Salonica we heard of Mahommedan 
Bulgarians who excuse their apostasy by the following 
story. Being hard pressed they fixed a certain term 
during which they would fast and call on Christ, at the 
end whereof, if no help appeared, they would submit 
themselves to Mahommed. Help arrived not, and so 
Mahommedans they became. Since then, the old hatred 
of race has caused them to take part against the Greeks in 
more than one insurrection ; but they equally detest the 
Turk, and thus sympathize with their own Christian 
countrymen in their national antipathies as well as in 
tenacity of their native tongue. 

The rural population of Bulgaria is Christian, and 
hereabouts the rayah has a down-look and a dogged 
stolidity, which give one the impression that heart and 
mind have been bullied out of him. Of late years, 
however, he has presented an unflagging resistance to 
the Porte's imposition of foreign bishops ; and those who 
have instructed him, both in his own country and out 
of it, assured us that he is of excellent understanding 
and zealous and apt to learn. The Christian Bulgarian 
is reproached as timid, but at least his is the timidity 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.— PART. I yr 

of shrinking, not of servility ; he hides from those he 
fears, he does not fawn on them. His country, lying 
as it does on the road of Turkish armies to the Danube, 
has been subject to unceasing spoliation, and nothing 
is more melancholy than the tale told by its desolate 
highways, and by the carefulness with which villages 
are withdrawn from the notice of the passers-by. Cross 
the border into Free Serbia, and the cottage of the 
peasant reappears. 

To give a sketch of Bulgarian history, one must go 
back to the end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth 
century, when a Slavonic population south of the Danube 
is spoken of by Byzantine authors. 

Under the old East Eoman Empire the people of 
Bulgaria appear both as subjects and as rulers. Jus- 
tinian's birthplace was, as it still is, a Slavonic village, 
in the neighbourhood of Skopia, and his Latin name is 
the translation of his Slavonic one, Upravda. The great 
Belisarius is said to have been the Slavonic Yelisar ; 
Basil, the Macedonian, or, as Finlay calls him, the 
Slavonian groom, was the father of the longest line that 
ever maintained itself upon the throne of Byzance. 

It would appear that the first colonists established 
themselves to the south of the Danube gradually, and 
recognised the imperial rule ; but in the seventh century 
they were joined by tribes of a more warlike character, 
under whose leadership they rose against Byzance, and 
overran the greater part of the peninsula. These new- 
comers, who were of the same race with the Finns, 
adopted Christianity, and amalgamated with the Slavs. 
From them dates the name of Bulgaria, and the first 
dynasty of her sovereigns. Though often at war with 
the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarians profited by its 
neighbourhood so far as to imbibe a certain amount of 
civilisation. In the ninth century they fought covered 



72 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART I. 

with steel armour ; their discipline astonished the vete- 
rans of the Empire, and they possessed all the military 
engines then known. Their kings and czars encouraged 
literature, and were sometimes themselves authors. As 
almost all accounts of them come from Byzantine sources 
there can be little doubt that this portrait is not flat- 
tered. Under their more powerful rulers the Bulgarians 
threatened Constantinople; under the weaker they 
acknowledged the Byzantine Emperor as suzerain, and 
more than once Byzantine armies efi'ected a temporary 
subjection of their land ; but their monarchy was not 
finally overthrown till the end of the fourteenth century, 
when they were conquered by the Turks. Coins of 
Bulgaria are to be seen in the museum of Belgrade, 
and a curious chronicle of Czar Asen has lately been 
published in modern Bulgarian. 

At the Turkish conquest, 1390, Shishman, the last 
king of Bulgaria, surrendered himself and his capital to 
the conqueror's mercy ; but the people submitted only 
by degrees, and always on the condition that if they 
paid tribute to the Sultan they should be free to govern 
themselves. Their soldiers were commanded by their 
own voivodes,* their taxes were collected, and towns 
and villages ruled by ofiicers of their own choosing. 
The Bulgarian Church had native Bishops and a Patri- 
arch, residing first at Tirnova then at Ochrida. All 
this is proved by firmans and berats accorded to them 
by numerous Sultans. 

Those who take the scraps of liberty now-a-days 
octroyed to the rayah as evidences of a radical change 
in the maxims of Turkish rule, should bear in mind that 
far better terms were accorded by Turks to Christians 
five centuries ago. Those who put faith in Turkish 

* In mfxlcm parlance, generals, — signification cognate with the German 
Herzoy and Latin dux — hence also used for duke. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART I, 73 

promises, should inquire how the liberties guaranteed to 
such Christians as submitted to the first Sultans came to 
be trampled under foot so soon as the Turks could call 
themselves masters of the land. 

Of the Bulgarian voivodes the most resolute were cut 
off and the rest left to choose between emigration and 
apostasy. In 1776 the autonomy of the Church was 
destroyed, and in place of native bishops of one interest 
with the people, Greeks were sent from Constantinople, 
who plundered the peasants, denounced the chief men 
to Turkish suspicion, set an example of social corruption, 
and burnt all Slavonic books and MSS. whereon they 
could lay their hands. The last schools and printing- 
presses found shelter in the Danubian Principalities ; 
when those lands came under Phanariote * government 
nothing was left to the Bulgarians save some old con- 
vents in the recesses of their hills. 

Few points are more remarkable in the history of 
Ottoman rule than the mode in which Turks and 
Greeks have played into each other's hands. The 
Sultan could never have crushed the heart out of his 
Christian subjects without the aid of a Christian middle- 
man, and the Greek has used the brute force of his 
Mahommedan employer to complement his own clever- 
ness and guile. Under the later emperors Greek do- 
minion was unknown in Slavonic and Eouman lands ; 
whereas under Ottoman sultans, we find Greek pre- 
lates and Phanariote princes ruling the Eouman, the 
Bulgarian, and the Serb. That nationality must be 
of tough material which gave not way under this double 
pressure. 

The first break in the prison wall was made by the 
revolution at the beginning of this century. ^' Free 

* Phanariote : so called from the Phanar, a quarter of Constantinople where 
the Greek Patriarch resides. The derivation of '\Phanar " is variously assigned. 



7+ BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART I. 

Greece, autonomous Serbia : may not Bulgaria have her 
turn ? " Gradually the wealthier Bulgarians sent their 
sons for education no longer to Constantinople, but to 
Eussia, Bohemia, France. In the country itself were 
founded native schools; and even in districts already 
half Hellenized the national spirit began to revive. Per- 
sons who used to write their own language in the Greek 
character learned late in life the Slavonic alphabet, and 
we have ourselves seen parents who spoke Bulgarian 
imperfectly anxiously providing that their children 
should know it well. It was the obstacle presented 
by a foreign hierarchy to these efforts at national 
development that brought the people to the resolu- 
tion of freeing their Church from the control of the 
Phanar. 

This temper was taken advantage of by the Eoman 
Propagandists, and emissaries were sent all over 
Bulgaria, promising self-government and services in Sla- 
vonic, with no other condition than that a nominal recog- 
nition of the Patriarch should be exchanged for that of 
the Pope.* This condition cannot be called hard, and 
at its first start the Eomanist Propaganda was a success. 
The number of converts has been hugely exaggerated, 
yet it doubtless included some persons of influence. 
But the principal bait to the adoption of Catholicism 
was the promise of sharing the protection of France ; 
and when it became evident that this protection could 
not be unlimited, nor exempt its proteges from payment 
of taxes, the new-made Eomanists recanted in troops. 

♦ The contest between Constantinople and Rome for the ecclesiastical supremacy 
of Bulgaria dates as early as the ninth century, on the pica that the Danubian 
Provinr-os were anciently subject to the Archbishopric of Thcssalonica, in the 
times when that archbishopric was immediately dependent on the Papal See. 
The Buli^Mrian czars seem to have deferred their choice between the Greek and 
I^tin Churches until they obtained from Constantinople the recognition of a 
Patriarch of their own. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART I 75 

Then, too, their leaders became convinced that the 
movement could have no other effect than to extend to 
Bulgaria what had already broken the strength of 
Bosnia and Albania, ^>., a Latin sect, separated from 
the other Christians, cowering under foreign protec- 
tion, selling its assistance to the Turks. With these 
views (we give their own version of the story), and 
not from any religious sentiment or scruple, many 
to whom the Propaganda owed its first encouragement 
withdrew their aid and opposed it with all their 
might. 

But the indifference wherewith the common people 
had talked of transferring ecclesiastical allegiance proved 
to the thinkers in Bulgaria that the dangers of divi- 
sion might at any moment recur. For the second 
time in their church history it was recognised that the 
South Slavonians would remain in the Eastern Church 
only on condition of ecclesiastical self-government. If 
they are to have foreign bishops or a foreign head, it is 
all one to them whether their Pope resides at Constanti- 
nople or Eome. 

At this juncture deputies from Bulgaria made their 
appearance in Constantinople. They came to demand 
that in virtue of the Hatt-i-Humayoun, their national 
patriarchate, formerly recognised by the Porte, should 
be restored, or at least that their Church should be 
declared autonomous, with native archbishop, bishops, 
and synod, and an ecclesiastical seminary at Tirnova. In 
short, they desired such a system of church government 
as succeeds admirably in the Principality of Serbia. It 
is years since the Bulgarians put in their claim, but the 
Turk is in no hurry to remove a cause of quarrel between 
his Christian subjects. With great subtlety he has tried 
to improve the occasion by hinting to the Bulgarians 
that they had better secede from the Eastern Church. 



76 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART. I. 

They have been told that by the treaty of Adrianople 
the Greek Patriarch is declared head of all the Orthodox 
communities in Turkey. ''Be Catholic," says the Ma- 
hommedan judge, ''or Protestants, or set up a sect 
of your own, and we will recognise you with pleasure ; 
so long as you call yourselves ' Orthodox ' we must 
know you only as Greeks." 

But the Bulgarians avoided the snare. They replied 
that their demand affected no religious question, that 
they had no desire to separate themselves from the 
Orthodox communion. They were perfectly ready to 
yield the Greek Patriarch recognition as head of the 
Eastern Church ; to be its onhj Patriarch he had never 
aspired. His predecessors had acknowledged a Patri- 
arch of Bulgaria till within the last ninety years ; he 
himself at the present moment recognised Patriarchs cf 
Jerusalem and Antioch. Besides, the practical settlement 
of the business depends, not on the Patriarch, but on 
the Padishah. When the Bulgarian patriarchate was 
abolished it was by authority of the Sultan; to this day 
no prelate throughout the Ottoman Empire can exercise 
his functions without an imperial firman ; and for such 
a firman a Bulgarian primate, already chosen by the 
people, was waiting in order to appoint his bishops, 
convoke his synod, and regulate internal affairs. Give 
him this, and the Greek Patriarch might defer his recog- 
nition so long as it suits his own convenience, while 
without a firman the recognition of the Greek Patriarch 
would be of no practical effect. 

This statement places the Ottoman government in an 
attitude somewhat different from that which has been 
claimed for it ; for it has been usually represented 
as striving vainly to reconcile Christians in a reli- 
gious dispute, wherein it may mediate but not inter- 
fere. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART. I 77 

No doubt, however, the Greek Patriarch might have 
done much to avoid an appeal to Mahommedan authority, 
and would have best consulted the interests of his own 
community by agreeing to accept the proffered recogni- 
tion together with a fixed tribute.* But it must ever be 
remembered that in a post so important as that of the 
Constantinopolitan chair none but a pliant agent is 
tolerated by the Turk. Certain it is, that the Patriarch 
then in office behaved equally unworthily and unwisely. 
Three bishops (Hilarion, Accentios, and Paissios,) had 
declared themselves ready to resign their sees in Bul- 
garia unless confirmed therein by the choice of the 
people. They might have been used as mediators ; on 
the contrary, they were seized and sent into exile. 
All such Bulgarians as did not accept the Patriarch's 
terms were anathematized and declared heretics. 

By such measures the formidable wrath of a slow 
stubborn people has been thoroughly roused. The 
Patriarch who excommunicated them they have re- 
nounced ; rather than receive his bishops, communities 
declare they will remain without any ; should a Greek 
venture to impose himself upon them they resist him by 
every means in their power. 

A series of scandals took place throughout the Pro- 
vinces. Churches were closed, in order that the Greek 
liturgy might not be read therein. When the Greek 

* Though some progress has lately been made towards a formal un lerstand- 
ing between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Bulgarian Church, recent 
confusions have prevented an v- real settlement. The 1 atriarch has declared his 
willingness to recognise the virtual independence of the Bulgarian Church, his 
own primacy, which has never been questioned, of course being retained. But 
he has limited the area to the tenitory north of the Balkan Mountains, which 
will be governed b^- an Exarch or Patriarch residing at Sophia. The Bulgarians 
contend that the independence should regird race, not territory; in which case 
a large portion of country between the sovithern slope of the Balkan Mountains 
and the M^axn Sea would be inc uded within the rule of the Exarch of Bulgaria. 
Greek susceptibilities have as yet prevented this arrangement from being accepted 
at the Patriarchate. 



78 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART. I. 

bishops returned from their revenue-gathering progresses 
they found their palaces locked and were conducted 
beyond the city walls. If they entered a church to 
officiate, no Bulgarian priest would take part in the 
service ; when they departed the floor was ostentatiously 
swept, as if to remove traces of impurity. In Sophia, 
when a new bishop was expected, men, women, and 
childi-en filled the palace and blocked it up, till, unarmed 
as they were, they had to be expelled by Turkish 
soldiers. The bishop then dwelt in isolation, until, on 
occasion of a burial, he got hold of a Bulgarian priest 
and demanded why he did not come to see him. The 
priest answered that he must stand by his flock ; that 
as it would not acknowledge the bishop neither could 
he. Thereupon the priest's beard was shorn, the fez of 
the dead man stuck on his head, and he was turned out 
into the streets as a warning and a sign. Again the un- 
armed citizens rose ; shops were shut, houses evacuated, 
thousands of people prepared to leave Sophia. Their 
elders waited on the pasha and said, '' Either the Greek 
bishop must go or we,^'' The pasha advised the prelate 
to withdraw, and as the authorities in Constantinople 
would not permit the people to elect a new one Sophia 
resolved to do without a bishop at all.* 

At Kish, a town on the Serbian frontier, the bishops 
anticipated an inimical demonstration by accusing the 
elders of the Bulgarian community of a plot to join the 
Serbs. The elders were called before the pasha, and 
without a hearing, without being allowed to say farewell 
to their families or to send home for extra clothing, 
they were hurried into carriages and sent off into banish- 
ment. This occurred in the depth of winter, and when 
in the ensuing August we were hospitably received by 

• For some further details see " Donan-Bulgarian und der Balkan." Kanitz, 
Leipzig, 1876. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PARI . I 79 

the family of one of the exiles, they besought us to 
apply to some English consul to learn if their relatives 
were yet alive. 

Meanwhile a variety of evils pressed on Bulgaria ^ 
— outbreaks of haiduks, some political outlaws, some 
liighwaymen — influx of Mahommedan Tartars from the 
Crimea, for whom the Bulgarians were forced to build 
houses and provide food — emigration of Bulgarians to 
Eussia, succeeded by their destitute return — attempt of 
other Bulgarians to get ofl" to Serbia, frustrated by the 
Turkish authorities — finally, a shoal of Bashi-bazouks 
turned loose among the villagers, on pretext of guarding 
the frontier from the Serbs.* In the summer of 1862 
we were witnesses to this state of things. Another 
means resorted to for holding down the Bulgarian is the 
introduction of Mahommedan colonists, who replenish 
the declining Mussulman population, and are kept well 
supplied with arms, of which the Christian is deprived. 
Since the Tartars, Circassians have been introduced, and 
the idea has been adopted of planting them along the 
frontier of Serbia, so as to bar off the Bulgarians. The 
Tartars were only idle, whereas these new immigrants 
come thirsting to avenge their own sufferings on all who 
bear the Christian name. It is said, however, that the 
Circassian mountaineers do not thrive on the Bulgarian 
plains and are rapidly decreasing in number. 

In Constantinople we heard a good deal of the Bul- 
garian question — the Greek side of it from the Patriarch 
and his secretary, the Slavonic side from the Bulgarian 
deputies. Each party supported its arguments in pam- 
phlets swarming with protestations of loyalty to the 
Sultan, and taunting its antagonists as emissaries of 

* The Bulgarian horrors of 1875 are the intense a^'<::ravation of a chronic 
condition. They could astonish no one personally acquainted with the interior 
of the country. 



8o BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART. I. 

Eussia. Eussia in Turkey plays the part of ^' cat " in a 
careless household ; being charged with the doing of all 
mischief by those who wisli to exonerate themselves. 

As to probably impartial judges, we appealed to the 
opinion of foreign residents ; these, especially French, 
British, and American, gave their verdict for the Bul- 
garians. British consuls assured us they were astonished 
to find a population in Turkey so industrious, thrifty, 
moral, and clean. As for the Americans, in a quiet way 
they are the best friends the Bulgarians have. Their 
eminent scholar, Dr. Eiggs, has rendered the Old Testa- 
ment from ancient into modern Slavonic, and numerous 
school-books have been translated from the English ; 
American schools are in the Bulgarian principal towns, 
and their books are sold by native colporteurs in several 
parts of the country. 

During our own travels we saw proofs enough that 
the people are trying to improve, and we were especially 
struck with their eagerness for education. The moun- 
tain chains of the Balkan and the Ehodope divide Bul- 
garia into three sections — northern, central, and southern. 
Of the northern district, between the Balkan and the 
Danube, we cannot speak from eye-witness, as the Turks 
declared it too disturbed for travellers; but we say, 
on the authority of persons who have liA^ed there, that 
those Bulgarians who grow up with the great water- 
way of commerce on one side of them and their natural 
mountain fortresses on the other are more independent 
and enterprising than their brethren on the inland 
plains. Ilere, too, the people maintain numerous 
schools, of which the best are at Tirnova and Shumla. 
Tirnova, the ancient capital, is the site proposed for an 
ecclesiastical seminary, and if possible for a printing 
press, both of which the jealousy of the Porte as yet 
denies. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA— PART I. 8i 

Central Bulgaria is that which lies between the ranges 
of the Balkan and the Ehodope. Ilere we visited the 
schools of Adrianople, Philippopolis, Samakoff, Sophia, 
Nish, — all supported and managed by the Christian 
communities without pecuniary aid from the government 
or bishops. The school-houses, mostly of good size and 
airy, are, like everything in Bulgaria, clean. The 
school-books, gathered from various sources, are eked 
out with those of the American Board of Missions. To 
conciliate the Turks, Turkish is frequently taught to a 
scholar or two, and phrases complimentary to the Sultan 
have been framed into a sort of school hymn. True, the 
same tune has another set of words in honour of him 
who shall deliver the country from Turkish rule. One 
or other version is sung before the visitor, according as 
he is judged to be Cliristian or Turcophile. We had 
opportunities of hearing both. 

At Philippopolis, Samakoff, and Sophia, there are girls' 
schools. That at Sophia was founded by a patriotic 
citizen.* In his own words : ^' When my wife died and 
left me but one son I resolved not to marry again, but 
to give all my money and attention to this school." He 
has brought a female teacher all the way from the Aus- 
trian border, for Slavonic trained schoolmistresses are 
hard to find in Turkey. 

Southern Bulgaria lies, as we have already indi- 
cated, between the Ehodope and the frontiers of ancient 
Greece. Such schools as we there visited were smaller 
and poorer than elsewhere, but we did not see those of 

* In 1877 we found a young relative of this patriotic merchant among the 
Bulgarian students at Agram in Croatia. Ten lads and four girls had been sent 
to the excellent schools in this town before the recent disasters in Bulgaria, and 
are still continuing their studies, in spite of the privations consequent on the cut- 
ting off of remittances from home. We were glad to be able to render them some 
timely help from a sum entrusted to us especially for Bulgarians. The young 
girl from Sophia told me that the schoolhouse built by Hadji Traiko had been 
seized by the Turks and turned into a barrack for soldiers. 

VOL. I. G 



82 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART I, 

Istib and other towns lying on the more northerly route 
between Saloniea and Skopia. Those on the line of our 
journey we will notice as we proceed. 

Throughout the places we have hitherto mentioned, 
the Greek Bishop contents himself with ignoring the 
Bulgarian school, or from time to time expelling an 
energetic teacher ; but nearer the Graeco-Slav boundary 
we found Slavonic education positively impeded. In 
Vodena and Yenidje a Greek school is founded, and the 
community must needs support it; in case poverty 
should not be sufficient to deter them from supporting 
also one of their own, every possible hindrance is thrown 
in the way. 

One result of this anti-national policy is, that the 
Bulgarians, elsewhere so eager to learn, are in these 
districts listless and dull ; another result is, that being 
alienated from their own clergy, they lend an ear to 
overtures from Eome. Some of them calculate on using 
Latin aid to get rid of the Patriarch, and then finding 
means to get rid of the Pope ; others still fear that the 
yoke they know not may prove heavier than the yoke 
they know. In Monastir the Unionists * had a school, 
and at Yenidje they were building a church. 

Meanwhile, in the neighbourhood of Saloniea, awakes 
a party which bethinks itself that Protestants acknow- 
ledge neither Pope nor Patriarch, and that the protection 
of England would do as well as that of France. The 
question is asked whether, supposing they became 
Protestants, England would take them under her wing. 
For answer they get an emphatic ^^ No." Still they turn 
to the Protestant clergyman at Saloniea, and beg that 
he will procure for them books and teachers in their own 
tongue, duly offering to pay for both. 

* The name Unionist is given to communities which retain the Oriental rite 
while they acknowledge the supremacy of Rome. 



CHAPTER VI. 

BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA. PART II. 

" The fame Methodios acquired among his contemporaries, as well as from those 
in after-times who saw his paintings, may be accepted as a proof that they pos- 
sessed some touches of nature and truth." — Finlay's Byzantine Empire, vol. i., 
p. 266. 

TI7E have now worked round to our starting-point, the 
various-peopled city of Salonica. At no time were 
the Bulgarians its masters, yet its name is identified with 
the one incident in their obscure history which has left 
a mark in the annals of civilisation. We allude to the 
christianization first of Bulgaria and then of the whole 
Slavonic race, through the medium of a translation of 
the Scriptures in the dialect still called '^ Church" Sla- 
vonic. That dialect is generally considered to have been 
the ancient written language of Bulgaria, and the trans- 
lators were natives of Salonica. 

lu the ninth century Salonica formed part of the 
Byzantine Empire, and its citizens are, without distinc- 
tion, termed Greeks ; but many Slavs had settled there, 
their language was spoken in its streets, and long after- 
wards a Slavonic hero, named Doitschin, is celebrated in 
the national songs as having delivered the city from the 
exactions of a lobber chief.* 

* Even in Constantinople, and as early as the eighth century, the Slavic 
element was sufficiently predominant for the Slavonian Niketas to fill the Patri- 
archal Chair, and the Greeks tell an anecdote showing that he was by no means 

G 2 



84 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART II. 

At this period their lived in Salonica the brothers 
Cyril and Methodios. Cj'ril, the elder, was learned and 
studious; the younger, Methodios, enterprising and 
energetic. Both were inspired to make known the 
Gospel to the Slavonic population outside the walls, and 
while at home Cyril prepared himself by study and 
cultivation of the language, Methodios went forth as a 
missionary. The latter presented himself at the court 
of Boris, king of the Bulgarians, and, as the legend 
goes, caught the humour of the monarch by offering to 
paint the walls of a favourite hunting lodge. Boris 
came to examine the work, expecting to see wolves, 
bears, and legal huntsmen; instead, he beheld the 
picture of a Great Day of Judgment, like those 
still common among peoples where justice is dis- 
pensed by the monarch in person. On the throne sat 
a King, not like Boris, frowning in wild pomp ; but 
majestic and mild His courtiers stood around him, but 
they did not flaunt Bulgarian horsetails, nor flourish 
blov^dy weapons ; they had soft waving hair, and gold 
circlets, and white wings dipped in rainbow hues. The 
approved servants were b^ing received on the right 
hand, above them opened a golden gate ; the condemned 
were dragged off on the left, and beneath them yawned 
a pit of fire. But the strangest part was, that among 
the honoured and accepted were to be seen many frail 
and shrinking forms, the weak, the defenceless, the sick, 
the blind, and even figures in vile raiment, while among 
the reprobated were more than one fierce warrior, not 
altogether unlike to Boris and his lords. The king 
called the artist to give him the interpretation of this 

completely Hellenized. One day reading the Gospel of St. Matthew, he pro- 
nounced the name MarQaiov, instead of Mar&a7ov. One of his people whispered 
to him that the vowels of the diphthong were not to he separated. The prelate 
turned angrily round, and exclaimed, " My soul abhors diphthongs and triph- 
tli inga ! " lliis story is remarked on by Mr. Finlay. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA.—PART II 85 

picture, and Methodios expounded it thus: ^' The great 
Xing is the God of the Christians. He made the earth, 
and for a while dwelt on it in the likeness of man ; but 
as He took on Him a humble form, and was holy and 
truthful, wicked men hated Him, and He suffered of 
them all that the evil still inflict on the truthful and the 
good. At the Last Day He shall come again in His 
glorious majesty, and shall judge both the living and 
the dead. He knows the sufferings of the oppressed, 
who Himself was once suffering and poor; He knows 
the cruel and violent deeds of great men : such men ill- 
treat 3d Him and crucified Him on a tree." Boris con- 
sidered the judgment throne, the winged messengers, 
the golden light that played over the throne; he felt 
himself in the presence of power and glory, higher, other 
than his own. Then he considered the dress and coun- 
tenances of the guilty and the grisly monsters that were 
carrying them away, and his conscience gave him an 
uneasy twinge as to his own mode of treating the weak 
and defenceless. He turned to Methodios and said, 
^^ Canst thou teach me how I and my subjects may 
escape being sentenced to the pit of fire?'' Methodios 
answered, ^' Send to Constantinople, and pray the em- 
peror that he give thee wise men who can instruct thee 
and show thee how to tame thy wild people." One year 
from this time King Boris and his nobles bowed their 
proud heads in Christian baptism, and to this day the 
Bulgarians attribute their conversion to the picture- 
sermon of Methodios. Therefore he is represented in 
their schools and churches with his painting in his hand. 
Some time after the mission to Bulgaria there appeared 
in Constantinople a deputation of strange men speaking 
the Slavonic tongue. They came from the western 
Slavic peoples, who were then welding themselves into 
that great kingdom of Moravia which, but for the 



86 BULGARIA VIEWED IROM SALONICA,—PART II. 

jealousy of the neighbouring Germans, might have saved 
eastern Europe from disunion and barbarism.* The 
words of this deputation are given by old Nestor, the 
monk of Kieff : ^' The Moravian princes, Eastislav, Svia- 
topolk, and Kotzel, sent to the Emperor Michael and 
said, * Our land is baptized, but we have no teachers who 
can instruct us or translate for us the sacred books. 
"We do not understand either the Greek or the Latin 
language; some teach us one thing, some another; 
therefore we do not understand the words of the Scrip- 
tui-es, neither their import. Send us teachers who may 
explain to us the Scriptures.' "When the Emperor 
Michael heard this, he called together his philosophers, 
and told them the message of the Slavonic princes ; and 
the philosophers said, ' There is at Thessalonica a man 
named Leon ; he has two sons who both know the Sla- 
vonic language and are clever philosophers.' On hearing 
this, the Emperor sent to Thessalonica, to Leon, saying, 
* Send to us thy sons Methodios and Constantine,' which 
hearing, Leon straightway sent them ; and when they 
came to the Emperor he said to them, ^ The Slavonic 
lands have sent unto me requesting teachers who may 
translate for them the Holy Scriptures.' And being 
persuaded by the Emperor, they went into the Slavonic 
land, to Eastislav, to Sviatopolk, and to Kotzel. Having 
arrived they began to compose a Slavonic alphabet, and 
translated the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, 
whereat the Slavonians rejoiced greatly, hearing the 
greatness of God in their own language. After which 
they translated the Psalter and other books." (Nestor's 
"- Annals," original text edition of St. Petersburg, 1767, 
pp. 20-2 3. t) Well says the monk Chrabr, writing in 

* For history of the great Moravian State see Palatzky's " History of Bo- 
hemia," German translation. And for a sketch of the same, and of part of its 
territories, see " Across the Carpathians." London : Macmillan & Co. 

t Fur an account of the mission of Cyril and Methodios among the Western 



i 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART IL 87 

the eleventh century, ^' Dost thou ask any of the Sla- 
vonic authors who invented your characters and who 
translated the Books into your tongue ? They all know, 
and will answer, ^ The holy philosopher Constantine, 
called Cyril ; he and his brother Methodios invented our 
characters and translated the Books into our language.' 
But dost thou ask at what time this took place ? that 
also do they know and will tell thee : ^ In the days of 
Michael the Greek Emperor, of Boris, the prince of the 
Bulgarians, of Eastislav, prince of the Blatens,* in the 
year of the creation of the world 6363 ' " (= 855 a.d.) 

The strong presumption that the Salonican Apostles 
were not by race Hellene, but Slavonic citizens of a 
Byzantine city, rests less even on their perfect acquaint- 
ance with a tongue which the Greeks contemned as 
barbarous, than on their carefulness to make their 
mission a means of establishing the Slavonic language, 
not, as Greeks would have made it, a means of extend- 
ing Greek. 

The work of Cyril and Methodios bears date 855, and 
earlier than this it cannot be certain that the Slavonic 
was a written tongue. But that it was so is pre- 
sumed, on the following grounds : — 1st. Because unless 
the language had attained a certain degree of develop- 
ment, Cyril could scarcely have made what he did — a 
literal translation of part of the Scriptures — without 
borrowing largely from the Greek; nor could he 
have rendered almost all the terms and epithets of the 

Slavs, see Count Krasinski's admii-able work on the "Eeligious History of the 
Sclavonic Nations." Shafarik gives his decision for the opinion urged by common 
sense, that the greater part of this translation was prepared before Cyril and his 
brother left Salonica. The dialects of the Slavs north and south of the Danube 
must at that time have been sufficiently alike for one written language to be 
intelligible to both. The son and successor of Boris was himself the writer of 
several books. 

* " Slavs on the Balaton, Blaten, or Platten-see," in the south-west of 
Hungary. 



88 BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALQNICA—PART II, 

original by Slavonic equivalents.* 2nd. Because the 
alphabet in which the earliest Slavonic MSS. are 
written bears trace of an existence prior to the in- 
troduction of Christianity, and would seem to have 
been first cut on sticks in the Eunic fashion. This 
alphabet is called Glagolitic, from a letter named 
Glagol, which signifies ^^word." 

The so-called Cyrillic alphabet is supposed to have 
been introduced as easier than the original character, 
both for copyist to write and for foreigner to acquire. 
Some of its signs are modified from the Glagolitic, 
but those which Greek and Slavonic have in common 
are simply taken from the Greek. Tradition calls its 
inventor St. Cyril, and history proves that it was 
brought into general use by his pupil Clement, first 
bishop of Bulgaria. It is adopted by all the Slavonic 
peoples belonging to the Eastern Church, and thus 
again their version of the Scriptures points back to its 
Bulgarian source. t 

The Greek Christians of Salonica have always been 
left the use of certain churches and monasteries. Hence 
we looked for some testimonial to the memory of those 
missionaries whom their communion has to thank that 
at the present day it is represented in the councils of 
Europe by the Slavonic power of Eussia. But no chapel, 
no monument, not even a house or a shrine, is pointed 
out as connected with Cyril and Methodios ; and the 
monks whom we questioned on the subject would not 

♦ Unlike the translations of the Scriptures in German, French, English, &c., 
wherein theological terms are borrowed wholesale from Greek and Latin, in the 
Slavonic they are mostly rendered hy equivalents. Thus the word " theology " 
ifl translated bogoslor'ie ; orthodox, proroslav, &c. 

t There was long debate between Slavic scholars as to the relative antiquity 
of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets, and it has been but lately decided that 
the former is the oldest. To recommend it to the court of Rome, it was said to 
have been invented by St. Jerome ; and now, to recommend it to the Slavs of the 
Oriental communion, the fact is insisted on that its origin dates from a period 
before the split between the Eastern and Western Churches. 



BULGARIA VIEWED FROM SALONICA—PART II 89 

know or hear anything about them. In fact, that 
Pope who in 1016 interdicted the Slavonic alphabet, and 
branded as a heretic the very missionary whom his wiser 
predecessor had consecrated archbishop,* did not bear 
more emphatic testimony to the national character of the 
ministry of Methodios than do these Greeks of the nine- 
teenth century to the national character of the translation 
of Cyril. 

It is to the possession of a liturgy and Scriptures in 
their own tongue that the Slavonic churches owe it, that 
they never have been utterly dcDationalised by foreign 
influence, whether proceeding from Constantinople or 
Eome. Nay, the common possession of these Scriptures 
and liturgy has proved a link between Slavonic peoples, 
even when long divided as adherents of Latin or Greek. 
In 1862 occurred the thousandth anniversary of the 
Salonican Apostles; it was celebrated by more than 
eighty millions of Slavonic Christians, without distinc- 
tion of sect or denomination, from Prague to the Pacific, 
from the Baltic to Salonica. 

* To ohtoxn. the Pope's permission for the establishment of a Slavonic ritual 
Methodios made two journeys to Rome, and was there consecrated Archbishop of 
Pannonia and Moravia, with full powers to carry out his plans. Even during 
his lifetime, however, tliis authority was qualified, and after his death the Council 
of Salona (1016) went so far as to brand the Slavonic missionaiics as heretics 
and the Slavonic ali^habet as an invention of the de\'il. It is no small proof of 
national tenacity that from that day to this the native liturgy should have main- 
tained its ground in a part of Roman CathoHc Dalmatia, and, so far from being 
likely to relinquish it now, the Croatians are taking measures to substitute it for 
Latin tlii'oughout their churches. In Bohemia the Slavonic Bible has held its 
ground, through struggles that form a long and important chapter in religious 
history. 



CHAPTEE YII. 

FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR. 

AUE visit to Salonica happened in June, when silk 
merchants were scouring the country, taking up all 
decent horses, and over-paying the Turkish guards. The 
pasha, with so many buyourdis (passports) on his hands, 
neglected to send ours till late on the evening before we 
started ; moreover he gave our escort no instructions to 
behave properly, and took no pains to secure us good 
steeds. Consequently the guards showed themselves 
generally disaffected, and refused obedience to various 
directions ; the horses brought were so miserable that 
we had to send them away, and at the last moment sit 
down to wait for others. We did not get off till long 
after sunrise ; and let no one attempt to ride over the 
plain of Salonica in the sun. 

The first stage was Yenidje, a town near the site of 
ancient Pella, about nine hours from Salonica and as 
many from Vodena. The whole way thither passes over 
the plain, which is for the most part desert, and here 
and there marked with hitherto unexplained tumuli. 
Through it runs the new road "Imperial," a rascally 
performance in the fullest sense of the term. In the first 
place it is badly made, and full of ruts ; in summer it is 
as hard as stone, and in winter a Slough of Despond ; 
furthermore, it was made by fraud. The pasha raised 
an extra tax from the country people, on plea that all 



FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR. 91 

their work on the road would be paid for, but having 
once got the money he put it in his own pocket, and 
made the road by forced labour. Families upon families 
were ruined by the double process. 

The road Imperial crosses the Yardar, and to this end 
a bridge is in process of erection. Considering when it 
was begun, one might have expected it to have been 
finished long ago ; but this did not suit the private views 
of the workmen. They began at each end, and worked 
till near the middle ; then, where the stream runs 
deepest, they stopped, and bridged over the chasm by 
planks removable at pleasure. When a traveller appeared 
these planks were taken up until he paid what the work- 
men required, and then they were put down for him to 
pass over. At length the pasha made an end of this 
system of black-mail ; nevertheless, when we traversed 
the bridge it was in a very imperfect state. 

On the other side of the river stands a large new khan 
with several separate cells. Here we took shelter for 
our mid- day meal, and the great heat kept us within 
doors till well on in the afternoon. Even then we could 
not help envying the buffaloes that lay cooling in the 
shallow river — their heads and humps alone visible above 
water, and their muzzles just sufficiently approached to 
enhance felicity by companionship. These huge beasts 
are the only creatures on the plain of the Yardar that do 
not show signs of ill-treatment ; slow and stubborn in 
disposition, they are too strong to be bullied and too 
useful to be neglected. The eye, turning from their 
repose, falls on the trains of patient horses carrying iron 
from Cardiff and cotton from Manchester to the markets 
of inland towns. 

It was sunset when we reached the slightly elevated 
field which marks the site of ancient Pella. A large 
cistern lies between the rising ground and the road, on 



92 FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR. 

the other side of which is a khan with trees. The sight 
of carved stones in the walls of this khan attracted the 
British consul at Salonica, and he obtained permission 
to dig for further remains. His workmen had just begun, 
and we found the hole excavated by them at the foot of 
a rude fragment of Turkish wall. Leaving our horses, 
we descended into it, and carried off a sherd of ancient 
pottery. 

From the site of Pella it is scarcely two hours to 
Yenidje, for which place we had been provided with a 
letter to a principal Bulgarian. We sent it on by one 
of the zapties, and desired him to meet us outside the 
town, and conduct us to our quarters for the night. No 
one showing, we were obliged to follow the other zaptie 
to the khan, whence his fellow issued and deliberately 
stated that he had left the letter with the Bulgarian and 
had desii'cd him to meet us ; then, lazily giving some 
insufficient directions as to the whereabouts of the house, 
he returned to his rest. His comrade, gruffly murmur- 
ing, led us about and around Yenidje, now stumbling 
over ill -paved alleys, now stooping under the boughs of 
enormous planes. The night had fallen, and after nine 
hours' ride in the heat the chills struck us through and 
through. 

At last we gained the door of a court which proved 
to be our hoped-for Jconak.'^ Here the master of the 
house received us, and explained in consternation that 
he had been to meet us, but that we had missed him by 
entering by another gate. This he spoke in Greek, but 
the mistress welcomed us with the Slavonic ^^Dobro 
doshl^."f The room to which we were conducted was 

• A TurkiKh word used hereabouts to express either the residence of a governor 
or one's night-quarters. It is one of those that has passed into use among the 
Slavs : even in Croatia, konatchiti signifies " to pass the night." 

t " Dohro doshle" (f. pi.), lit. "You arc welcome." To which greeting the 
response is '« Bolie vas nashli," " Bettor we have found you." 



FROM SALONICA TO MON ASTIR. 93 

upstairs, large and well- carpeted — one side all windows, 
mostly unglazed. We seated ourselves on the divan, 
waiting for our luggage, and here happened the greatest 
breach of respect we ever met with in Turkey. Our 
principal guard entered the room, threw himself down on 
the opposite end of the divan, and roared out ^' Voda" 
(water). We instantly rose and left the chamber, and 
on being followed to see what was amiss we pointed 
without a word to the zaptie on the divan. He dared 
not remain, and the master of the house was diffidently 
following him out of the room, when we called the latter 
back, requested him to be seated, and bade the woman 
shut the door, leaving the Turk in the dark outside. 

The luggage had missed the road; it seemed ages 
before it came, and again ages till our beds were put up, 
our tea made, and chicken and rice ready. Overtired, 
our sleep was not refreshing. But the worst part was 
yet to come, l^ext morning the horses did not appear, 
and we saw with dismay the cool hours shortening while 
messenger after messenger went to summon them. 

Then came one of the zapties to inform us that, before 
proceeding, the kiradgees wished to be paid for their last 
day's work. Perceiving that the zaptie himself supported 
their requirement, we immediately exclaimed, ''Surely 
these kiradgees are Turks ! " It proved but too true, and 
now we knew what we had to expect. The message 
being interpreted, meant that the kiradgees wanted to 
turn back. We answered, '' If they turn back here, we 
do not give them a single piastre. The zapties must go 
instantly with 'the dragoman, show our buyourdi to the 
mudir of Yenidje, and demand horses in place of these.'' 
When the kiradgees heard this they asked only for half 
their pay. We required obedience, and would listen to 
no terms. Next it was alleged that one of the horses was 
ill. ''Then begone all of you, with your horses; as we 



94 FROM SALONICA TO MON ASTIR. 

have said, we will get fresh ones." More than once the 
dragoman actually left the court to go to the mudir, and 
was each time called back by promises of obedience. 
At length, all excuses being exhausted, they began to 
bungle over and mislead the luggage. We saw that 
our poor dragoman, unsupported by the zapties, could do 
nothing, while his not wearing the European dress 
further detracted from his influence. 

The sun always getting higher and higher — yet we 
would not go without a word with the master of the 
house ; so when luggage and Turks were at last packed 
off we called in the Bulgarian for a talk. He gave 
us not much fresh intelligence, but confirmation of 
what we had heard from the most trustworthy sources 
at Salonica. 

Yenidje numbered about 6000 houses, half Bulgarian, 
half Turks ; the Mussulmans being all Osmanlis. The 
Christians here, as in the country around, are Slavonic, 
the only Greeks being the bishop and the schoolmaster. 
The principal men speak Greek, for commercial pur- 
poses, but none of the women know it. As for the 
Papal movement, at that time two Bulgarian United 
priests celebrated a Slavonic service in a room — ^but a 
new church was being built. Converts once numbered 
fifty to sixty families, then not more than thirty-five ; 
their number having declined because they were de- 
ceived as to exemption from paying the taxes. They 
would, however, increase again should the new church 
turn out exactly like those to which they are accustomed, 
for ^' they would then be persuaded that the Pope does not 
want to latinise them — only to supersede the Patriarch." 
Aware of this, the Greek bishop was doing his utmost to 
prevent the completion of the building ; and should 
this be impossible, he hoped to obtain a mandate for- 
bidding the Roman Catholics to imitate the Orthodox 



FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR, 95 

style, decoration, and service. Some Bulgarians regard 
the Unionists as deceivers, but our informant was 
evidently not quite decided as to his opinion of them. 
For himself, he felt an objection to do anything that 
would be considered a desertion of his father's faith, 
but at the same time entertained reasonable doubt that 
any real blame could attach to a person for substituting 
in his prayers the name of the Pope, whom he did not 
know, for that of the Patriarch, whom he could not 
bear. ^^ What we want," said he, ^4s, protection, and 
some help to start with. We are not rich enough to 
build a second school, and since the bishop forces us 
to keep up the Greek one all we now ask is that his 
teacher should also know Bulgarian. But if we had 
the protection of some foreign power we could get on, 
and if a school with a Bulgarian teacher were once 
founded it is to it that we would send our children. 
Should we agree to go over to the Eomanists, they 
promise us both church services and school teaching 
in our own tongue ; and though we would rather get 
these benefits in some other manner, it is better to get 
them thus than not at all." 

Prom Yenidje we had but six hours to Yodena, but 
starting late, the first part of the ride was, as yesterday, 
in the burning sun. We halted at the khan of the 
little village of St. Georgio, inhabited by Bulgarians, 
but having a Greek school. This khan has no separate 
room, but the heat w^as too great to remain out of 
doors, so we had to dine in the stable, on a sort of 
platform raised round the poles that support the roof. 

By the time we again started a cloud had come over 
the sun, and the last three hours of this day's ride 
proved delicious. We reached the Karasmak (the 
ancient Lydias), its banks dotted with grazing herds; 
and this boundary passed over, every step brought us 



96 FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR. 

nearer to the glen of Yodena, where the weary level of 
the treeless plain melts into mountain shadow, bowery- 
verdure, and overflowing streams. It was evening 
when we entered the glen ; in the mulberry gardens 
that fringe the road the nightingales were singing 
their serenade, while a light breeze shook the scarlet 
bells of pomegranate bushes in full bloom. 

Presently we came on a meeting of waters over- 
shaded by mighty planes, and there halted to take in 
the scene. We found ourselves at the foot of a pre- 
cipice wherewith the upper glen suddenly breaks off 
from the mountains on either side. Over this precipice 
breaks the river, not in one sheet, but in five large cas- 
cades, while countless little watercourses flash out from 
the green on the height, and run races in the valley 
below — a glorious confusion of verdure and foam. 
Above, on the rock, at the head of the cascades — its 
glittering minarets seeming to rise besprayed out of 
the river — stands Yodena, the Bulgarian ''city of 
waters," once the Macedonian Edessa. 

In Yodena we were most fortunate in being accom- 
modated in the house of a Swiss silk merchant. The 
family was absent, but, unlike our hosts of Salonica, 
had left its furniture behind. The manager of the 
factory, a Bulgarian, educated in Yienna, had been 
indicated to us as a person of intelligence ; and besides 
the introduction from his master, we brought him a 
letter from a Bulgarian friend ; hence he received us 
with great cordiality. We were soon at supper in a 
large airy room, comfortably furnished, and having but 
one fault, i.e.^ two of its sides were glass windows, and 
this, during the sunny hours, made it like a hot-house. 

At Yodena, fearing fresh carelessness in the orders 
given for our journey, we sent to desire the mudir 
would come to see us, and he duly appeared — the fattest, 



FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR. 97 

Host stolid, most uncouth Turk we ever beheld. With 
him we tried to arrange our route to Castoria, but this 
turned out to be beset with obstacles. The authority 
of the mudir of Yodena, as subordinate of the pasha of 
Salonica, went no farther than Ostrovo, i.e.^ about three 
hours distance, and at that station there were no officials 
and no horses. Then the mudir insisted that between 
Ostrovo and Castoria the way was infested by robbers, 
and that he did not know, and no one could tell him, 
whether we should find anything like a road between 
Castoria and ISTaum on the lake of Ochrida. Altogether 
we were obliged to come back to the plan we ought to 
have adopted from the first, and decide to go straight 
to Monastir. On this, after another endless series of 
conferences, a bargain was struck with some Bulgarian 
kiradgees. With Turkish carriers we would have no 
more to do. 

So much time had been taken up by these affairs that 
we stayed a second day at Yodena in order to see 
something of the place. When the heat was past, our 
obliging and intelligent host came to take us a walk 
round the town. The character of Yodena is most 
peculiar, the river running alongside of the street; it 
might be called a miniature Yenice, but for the differ- 
ence between still canal water and rushing mountain 
streams. Straight out of the water rise the handsome 
houses of the wealthier citizens. Among them many 
are merchants, a few Swiss, and some Bulgarians. 
The lower story in these houses is stone, the upper, 
wood, and the great fashion here is to paint the walls 
white, picked out with blue. The lounge of the town is 
a grove on the river, over which plane trees throw their 
shade. Here we saw a group of Mussulmans seated in 
circle, holding grave and earnest converse. Our host 
told us that many councils are held there, and that 

VOL. I. H 



98 FROM SALONICA TO MON ASTIR, 

at present the Turks are alarmed in prospect of a 
regular income-tax, for hitherto they have succeeded 
(as the consul at Salonica told us) in paying one piastre 
where the ray ah paid twelve. Eesides being engaged in 
a little row with the mudir, which it requires some or- 
ganisation to prolong, they are busy consulting together 
on means to neutralise the effect of the new system; 
and as the valuation of property will be performed by 
Mahommedan agents, what through national partialities, 
what through bribes, they have every prospect of getting 
off as before. 

We were next taken to see the place on the rock where 
materials were hauled up to build the school. Such is 
the steepness of the bank whereon the city stands that 
it cost less to wind up the stones with a windlass to the 
site of the building, than to bring them thither by road. 
From this spot the view is lovely, and as we exclaimed 
at the beauty of the landscape a Bulgarian muttered, 
*^ Aye, a good land ; and it is TurMsh. The pig always 
gets into the best garden." We were now invited to 
the garden of a neighbouring house, where we could sit 
down and enjoy the view at our ease. A carpet was 
spread on the brink of the cliff, and thence, with the 
scarlet pomegranate blossoms for our foreground, we 
looked down on a scene of beauty which has few 
equals. On each side of Yodena the mountains widen, 
and through gradual descents of glen and valley subside 
into the Yardar plain. The plain in its purple distance 
melts into the glittering sea, and on the rising ground 
on the farther side of the gulf the light falls on the 
white walls of Salonica. Such is the view right before 
us ; but turn to the left and behold another picture : 
from the cascades and mulbeiTy groves of Yodena rises 
a low range of wooded hills ; above this a higher range 
and a higher, till all culminate in the Mount Olympus, 



FROM SALONICA TO MONASTIR. 99 

whose broad snowy brow now shines golden in the 
setting sun. On scenes like these one must gaze and 
gaze till they are painted on the memory — every hue 
and line and shade — so that, in after times, among dull 
street walls and duller walls of drawing-rooms, one may 
have but to shut one's eyes and call back the living 
picture. For the sake of thus bearing away the views 
from Yodena we would have thought no price too dear 
save that which we paid for it. Sitting in the garden 
after sunset we both caught the fever. 

Had we known what was the matter with us next 
morning, when we felt so aching and so heavy, we 
certainly should not have started, even after all the 
bother of getting the kiradgees to come. As it was, of 
course they came late, and were of more than Bulgarian 
stolidity, so that again, for the third time, we had to 
ride in the sun. 

For some distance from Yodena the scenery is of the 
same enchanting character. You follow the river up a 
green luxuriant glen, from the head of which it falls in 
a cascade. Look back, the view is exquisite. On this 
road we came to a species of toll-bar, and saw foot pas- 
sengers stopped by Albanians. To our surprise no 
demand was made on ourselves, our guides calling out 
that we travelled with buyourdi, and explaining that the 
toll was only meant for the ^^poor." Afterwards, for 
three hours, you descend abruptly on the Lake of 
Ostrovo. If not so bleak, this little lake would be 
pretty ; its waters are picturesquely broken by a small 
island, with a mosque. The story is, that this mosque 
once stood in the centre of the village, and that the 
waters have submerged all round. But since last year 
they have taken the turn, and disgorged a strip of bare 
beach in place of all they swept away. The village of 
Ostrovo is miserable in the extreme, the dwelling-houses 

H 2 



100 FROM SALONICA TO MON ASTIR, 

ruinous, and all of wood ; the khan, where we halted far 
mid-day, is scarcely in a better condition. 

Because of the steepness of both sides of the lake the 
zapties on this station are not mounted. Those who 
accompanied us changed every half-hour at the little 
^^ bothies " which serve them for stations. It is only on 
seeing these rural guard-houses that one recognises the 
mode in which this road is guarded or infested by its 
Albanian police. 

After mounting to some height on the other side of 
the lake, we came to the khan of Gornischevo, where we 
were to spend the night. Great was our consternation 
to find it so very bad, that, but for the cutting cold of 
the high land whereon it stands, we should have pre- 
ferred sleeping in our tent. This was, however, not to 
be dared, so we had to instal ourselves upstairs in a tiny 
room, with mud walls and floor, no glass in windows, 
and some difficulty in fastening the door. It may be 
imagined that, if it had been possible, we would have 
left this place of penance by next morning at daybreak ; 
but, alas ! it was not possible, and we found our only 
course was to lie still and tide over the fever fit. 

At first the kiradgees were impatient, the guards 
unruly, and the villagers, as usual when one comes with 
Turks, declared they had nothing to sell. Our obstinacy 
conquered theirs, for we were too ill to be driven away. 
The guards we let go ; the kiradgees were satisfied by 
promises to pay their expenses while we remained. The 
villagers, seeing the Turks depart and being spoken to in 
their own language, brought forth milk, fowls, and food 
for the horses, and finally negotiated for a Bulgarian 
spelling-book. But at the end of the first day wo were 
no better. Then the objection to say ^Mie" yielded 
to the fear of dying in reality, and dying in this 
detestable khan; we despatched a note to the consul 



FROM SALONICA TO MON ASTIR. loi 

at Monastir, to whom we had already forwarded our 
letters of introduction, and asked him to be so kind as, if 
possible, to send some sort of a carriage to fetch us. There 
is not, in Turkey, one out of a hundred places where 
such a request could be complied with ; nor, perhaps, one 
other place in the world where such a reception would 
await sick travellers as we met with in Mr. and Mrs. 
Charles Calvert's house at Monastir. 



CHAPTEE YIII. 

THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND THE MODERN 
TURKISH TOWN. 

" Samuel, King of Bulgaria, at the end of the tenth century, established the 
central administration of his dominions at Achrida. The site was well adapted 
for rapid communication with his Sclavonian subjects in Macedonia, who fur- 
nished his armies with their best recruits. To Achrida, therefore, he transferred 
the seat of the Bulgarian patriarchate. As a military position, also, Achrida had 
many advantages ; it commanded an important point in the Via Egnatia, the 
great commercial road connecting the Adriatic with Bulgaria, as well as with 
Thessalonica and Constantinople, and afforded many facilities for enabling 
Samuel to choose his points of attack on the Byzantine towns of Macedonia, 
Hellas, Dyrrachium, and Nicopolis. Here, therefore, Samuel established the 
capital of the Bulgaro-Sclavonian kingdom he founded."-^FiNLAY's Sistory of 
the Byzantine and Greek Empires, vol. i., p. 438. 

" To talk with Turks, no men seem better to understand everything, or more 
fit to nile ; to witness their real practice, no men so inapt for authority ; all that 
is debased and debasing, ruinous and disloyal. . . . Those who have chatted with 
the elegant Turkish agent over a bottle of claret at the hotel, or held agreeable 
discourse with him in a carpeted kiosk on the shores of the Bosphorus, may find 
it hard to bring themselves to imagine how the burning houses and violated 
women of Damascus, the desolated villages and butchered peasants of Syria and 
Anseyreeyah, can be anyhow the work of a goverament headed by men so intel- 
ligent, so amicable, and, above all, so polite." — Palgrave's Central and Eastern 
Arabia, vol. i. p. 299. 

"rkUEING the fortnight we spent at Monastir our 
^ strength was not sufficiently re-established to allow 
of any lengthened expedition, and a ride or two to the 
neighbouring convents, with a visit to the schools in the 
town, were all that we could manage in the cool hours 
of the day. So far as our own pleasure was concerned, 
the loss of an excursion to the Albanian lake country 
proved a disappointment ; for we had looked forward 



THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL, ETC. 103 

to enjoyment from the beauty of the scenery. On the 
other hand, our principal aim being to see those parts 
of Turkey least familiar to Europeans, we were con- 
soled for missing the Albanian lakes by the knowledge 
that they had been well described in the travels of 
Mr. Lear. We heard too that another description was 
in progress from the pen and pencil of an accomplished 
lady.* 

But even these considerations availed little to make 
up for foregoing Ochrida, not only a scene of unusual 
beauty, but to us a spot of unusual interest, as the 
^' hundred-bridged city " of ancient Bulgaria. Here, 
towards the end of the tenth century, Samuel, czar of 
the Bulgarians, established the capital of a really for- 
midable monarchy, in defiance of the then Byzantine 
emperor, himself the representative of a Slavonian line. 
We will not go into the story of those campaigns which 
at length won for Basil II. the grim title of " slayer of 
the Bulgarians," but we cannot refrain from telling a 
quaint love- tale, of which the heroine is Samuel's 
daughter, and the hero one of the early Serbian kings. 
We dwell on this legend the rather because it turns on 
an incident when Bulgaria, in one of its moments of 
strength, meets the slowly-growing power of its western 
sister-state, Serbia, with whose history we shall soon 
have to do. The subject of dispute between them, viz., 
the cities on the Adriatic, illustrates a point to which 
we must afterwards refer — that the first kinglets of 
southern Serbia were also rulers of the northern Alba- 
nians, and that the same state which comprehended 
Montenegro stretched to Alessio and Elbassan.*]* 

* See " Through Macedonia to the Albanian Lakes," by Mrs. Walker. 

t The early rulers of Serbia are properly called zupan, but the " chronicler of 
Dioclea" speaks of them in this chronicle as "kings," reges. Almost to the pre- 
sent day the hereditary pasha of Scutari, in Albania, was descended from a 
renegade branch of the old Serbian princes of Zeta. 



104 THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND 

Czar Samuel had resolved to extend his realm to the 
sea, so he began by taking Durazzo from its Byzantine 
garrison ; but not content herewith he pushed forward 
to Dulcigno, a town belonging to the young Serbian 
king Vladimir. In the war that ensued Vladimir was 
driven to the mountains, where his warriors suffered 
greatly, and he then resolved to purchase peace for his 
people by resigning his own person to the enemy. 
^' The Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep ; " 
thus spake the King, according to the old chronicle, and 
for this among other reasons he is revered as a saint. 
Samuel led his captive to Prespa, a town not far from 
Ochrida, where he had a strong castle and kept his 
treasures ; it was also at that time the residence of his 
family, among others of his daughter Xosara, a damsel 
fair, pitiful, and devout. 

The pious Vladimir, praying in his dungeon, was com- 
forted by the vision of an angel promising him speedy 
deliverance ; the pious Kosara, praying in the palace, was 
bidden by an angel to visit the prison, and humble her- 
self by washing the captives' feet. '' In the process of 
this her good work, she came on Vladimir, and was 
struck with his noble looks, his dignity, his calmness ; 
she spoke to him, and was equally astonished with his 
wisdom and piety ; then hearing that he was of royal 
rank, and filled with pity for his misfortunes, she felt 
her heart move towards him, and bade him farewell, 
bowing herself before him. Eesolved to free the noble 
captive, she hastened to the Czar her father, threw her- 
self at his feet, and besought him, saying, ^ My lord and 
father, I know that thou art thinking to provide me 
with a husband, as is the custom at my years ; therefore 
I beseech thee of thy goodness give me thy captive 
the Serbian Vladimir, or know that, rather than wed 
any other than he, I will die.' The Czar, who deeply 



THE MODERN TURKISH TOWN. 105 

loved his daughter, and knew that Yladimir was a king, 
her equal, rejoiced at her saying and resolved to fulfil 
her petition. He sent for Yladimir, and after he had 
been bathed and dressed in royal apparel, he was 
brought before the Czar, who looked on him favourably, 
and before all his great men received him with a kiss 
and gave him to his daughter. After the marriage had 
been celebrated right royally, Samuel restored Yladimir 
to his kingdom, and gave him, besides his patrimonial 
lands, Durazzo and the district thereof. Further, the 
Czar sent messengers to tell Bragomir, the uncle of 
Yladimir, that he need no longer remain hidden in the 
mountain, but might return to his territory of Trebigne, 
call his people together again, and inhabit the land. 
Which all took place." 

With this glance at the old Bulgarian days we will 
now return to the present Turkish days, wherein 
Ochrida has become a place of far less importance than 
the military station, Monastir. This town is beautifully 
situated at the extremity of a great plain, flanked by a 
majestic range of mountains, amid which the snow- clad 
crest of Peristeri attains a height of 7,500 feet. Besides 
its Greek name, Monastir has a Slavic one, ^.^., Bitolia 
(from an older form, Butel), while the Turks uniting 
both, call the town Toli Monastir. 

This variety of appellation is answered to by a variety 
of population almost as great as that of Salonica, though 
of somewhat different ingredients. The Jews are nume- 
rous, but do not outweigh the other races ; the Mahom- 
medans are Osmanli ; the Slavs, of whom but few live 
in the town, people its environs and all the country 
around ; the Greeks, who people neither town nor 
country, contrive to have their interests and language 
represented by the wealthy and crafty Tzintzars. The 
story of this race, so called by their Slavonic neighbours, 



io6 THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND 

is very curious. It forms part of that which calls itself 
Eouman, and inhabits Wallachia, Moldavia, with a por- 
tion of Transylvania : without doubt, too, it once was 
numerous in Thessaly and Macedonia. At present it is 
represented south of the Danube by mercantile commu- 
nities in Tm-kish towns, villagers in eastern Serbia, and 
shepherds on the Pindus and the Balkan. To this day 
the greater part of these speak their own language, 
which some call a barbarian dialect Latinized, others a 
Latin dialect barbarized. Of late years, however, Greek 
schools have been introduced among them, and the Hel- 
lenes have been clever enough to persuade them that they 
were originally Macedonian Greeks, romanized during 
the Empire ; hence they identify themselves with Greek 
ambitions and antipathies, and make common cause with 
the Phanariote bishop in his determination to keep down 
the Slavonic element. The sly, grinding, and servile 
character of the Tzintzars in Turkey detracts from the 
respect one would otherwise feel for their industry and 
shrewdness; while the kindliness and honesty of the 
oppressed Bulgarian conciliates sympathy, even when, as 
here, his intelligence is at the lowest ebb. At that time 
the only Bulgarian school belonged to Unionists, and 
was superintended by a priest from Brittany, assisted by 
a native schoolmaster. 

The Mahommedans of Monastir and in the country 
about it and Ochrida are said to be more numerous than 
the Christians. Wherever this is the case the state of 
the disarmed and disfranchised rayah is most pitiable, 
and open murder occurs frequently and unpunished. 
We will relate two instances which we had at first hand. 

A lady with her husband and friend were spending 
Sunday at a village near Ochrida. Looking on the 
lovely and peaceful scene they said to each other, 
*^ Surely here at least violence has not entered in." But 



THE MODERN TURKISH TOWN. 107 

at that very moment, in the grove below, among the 
group of Christians who had been enjoying its shade, 
one lay dead, another maimed. The murderer was one 
of the Mahommedan zapti^s or rural police. This man had 
a grudge at the Christian elder, who had caused him to 
be reprimanded for a gross offence. He had been sen- 
tenced to a short imprisonment for burglary, but at the 
end of forty days was not only liberated, but received 
back into his former office, and thus let loose on the 
community he had offended — excited by revenge and 
armed. Forthwith repairing to a spot where the aged 
Christian was at dinner with his friends, he discharged 
his pistol at him, and hit, not the intended victim, but a 
young man sitting by his side. Three other zapties 
were present, yet none of them moved to stop the 
assassin. A young unarmed Bulgarian, a friend of the 
murdered man, raised his hand to arrest the murderer, 
and he was at once struck down by a blow which severed 
an artery and left him a cripple for life. The cowardly 
assassin afterwards made off to the woods, but except for 
the accidental presence of an European consul in the 
town, he need not have troubled himself even thus far. 
The mudir was dead drunk, and when forced to appear 
was scarcely able to give the order that the other zapties 
should pursue their colleague. They went just far 
enough to fancy they were not watched, but were seen 
to hold a parley with the murderer, who afterwards dis- 
appeared in the woods, the zapties returning to say that 
further search was useless. 

Another case of the same kind happened shortly after- 
wards. A Bulgarian, one of the most prosperous men 
in Ochrida, had a sum of money borrowed from him by 
a Turk who did not repay it, so at length he made 
interest with the mudir to get his debtor put into prison. 
At the end of a few days, however, he let him out, only 



io8 THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND 

fixing a future time for payment ; but this indulgence 
was vain ; for the son of the Turk resolved that his 
father's imprisonment by a ray ah should be bloodily 
avenged. He watched a moment when the merchant 
was taking his siesta under a tree, and then crept up to 
him and discharged a gun into his body. A few weeks 
later the merchant died of the wound ; yet the murderer 
remained at large.* 

In this manner murders are committed every day, and 
so long as the victims are rayahs the authorities take no 
notice ; but even if they did the conviction of the assassin 
is hopeless, for a Christian cannot give evidence in cri- 
minal cases. It may be asked, why do the Christians 
not resist ? In the first place, they are not, like the 
Mahommedans, armed; secondly, the injury of a Ma- 
hommedan by a Christian, even in self-defence or the 
defence of another, is rigorously punished in Mussulman 
courts. 

A terrible instance of this deserves record. A late 
grand vizier, travelling through the provinces by way 
of doing justice and reforming abuses, stopped in his 
progress at Monastir. He found before the tribunal the 
case of two boys, a Christian and a Mussulman, who had 
been fighting, and were both hurt. The Christian 
remained long and severely, ill, the Mussulman died; 
thereupon the grand vizier ordered the execution of 
the Christian boy. IN'ow, it may not be known that in 



♦ Since writing the above, we have found these and other stories related at 
length in " Through Macedonia to the Albanian Lakes," by Mrs. Walker, sister of 
the Rev. Charles Curtis, British chaplain at Constantinople. She also says : — 
" The Christians of Ochrida complain bitterly of the murders of their co-reli- 
gionists which have taken place in that ncighboiuhood within the last three 
years. No less than thirty lives have been thus sacrificed, but in no single 
instance have the assassins been brought to justice" (p. 211). An American 
missionary told us (1863) that near Eski Sagra, in Bulgaria, whore he was 
stationed, from seventy to one hundred Chriatiuns were killed annually by 
Mussulmans without inquiry being made. 



THE MODERN TURKISH TOWN, jog 

Turkey capital sentences are rare. A criminal will be 
ordered to receive a number of lashes, under the half of 
which he dies, or he is assigned a term of imprisonment 
in a loathsome den, wherein he is certain to perish ; but 
he is not sentenced to die. Hence the sentence of death 
pronounced on this Christian caused great and painful 
sensation. He had only struck in self-defence, while 
defending a friend from the molestation of Mussul- 
mans ; moreover, he had been himself wounded. It was 
felt that if in the face of all these extenuating circum- 
stances the Christian lad were to suffer capital punish- 
ment, and that too on the sentence of the highest 
functionary of the central government, it was equivalent 
to a declaration that any Christian who might defend 
himself against the blows of a Mussulman should be 
punishable with the utmost rigour of the law. For this 
reason a petition for pardon was thrown into the vizier's 
carriage, and the consuls endeavoured to procure a 
revision of the sentence. But the very inference depre- 
cated by the Christians was that which the vizier 
intended them to draw. Accordingly the consular 
remonstrance was disregarded, the petitioning citizens 
were punished and exiled, and the vizier himself (a 
europeanized Turk, who speaks French to perfection), 
although on the point of departure from Monastir, 
delayed his journey to witness the execution, and kept 
his carriage waiting at the door until he saw the Chris- 
tian die. 

No wonder the Bulgarian feels that, so long as the 
Turk rules the country, resistance to abuse of power is 
vain; the Christians of the Serbian principality, how- 
ever, who have enjoyed at least one generation of 
freedom, already meet injustice very differently, and an 
instance illustrating their higher spirit occurred while 
we were at Monastir. 



no THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND 

A Serb mercliaiit, trading in wine, had the ill-luck to 
fall in love and marry out of his own country, and his 
wife, a Turkish subject, could not bear to be separated 
from her family. Hence he passed much of his time near 
Monastii\ The man was supposed to be rich, and a scheme 
was entered into — and that among the highest person- 
ages — to get a sum of money out of him. Accordingly 
they trumped up an accusation, and got some creature 
to swear that six months before, on the bombardment of 
Belgrade, he and the Serb had agreed to seize booty 
together and to divide it. A share in the plunder was 
what he claimed. The falsehood of the charge was 
transparent, but it served as an excuse to put the mer- 
chant in prison, and so soon as he was there he received 
the message, ^^Only pay so much, and you shall be 
let out." He answered, '^ I owe nothing, and will pay 
nothing." The affair came to the ears of the consuls 
and some representations were made. Fearing he should 
escape, the authorities sent to the man, offering him 
liberation for half the sum originally proposed. He 
refused as steadily as before. Again representations 
were made, and at this juncture the Commissioner 
Subi Bey arrived. This commissioner must visit the 
prisons, and ask every prisoner the cause of his de- 
tention. The case of the Serb having attracted consular 
notice could not be shelved, and his mouth would not 
easily be stopped. Yet once more an attempt was made 
on him, and he was offered his liberty on the pay- 
ment of only 100 piastres. It was then that the 
Turks found out they had to do with a man who was 
accustomed to take no less than justice. The answer 
was the same : ^^ Do your worst. I will not pay a single 
para." Under the circumstances there was nothing for it 
but to try the merchant as fast as possible and to release 
him on bail. If he took the advice of his friends, he 



THE MODERN TURKISH TOWN. in 

made the best of his way back to Serbia before the 
commissioner left Monastir. 

In this last story we have alluded to a ^^ commis- 
sioner," and will therefore explain his visit and functions. 
From time to time, and frequently at the instance of 
some European ambassador, the Turkish government 
despatches a so-called ^^ commissioner " to perambulate 
the provinces, and root out and punish local abuse. If 
any further testimony were needful as to the corruption 
of Turkish officials, the results of one such commis- 
sioner's investigations would furnish all the evidence 
required. When we were at Monastir scarcely a day 
passed without some maladministrations coming to 
light, and so far as we heard, Subi Bey lacked neither 
energy to punish nor shrewdness to detect. But there 
is little use in ruining wretched subordinates while 
pashas and their secretaries escape ; so a most unplea- 
sant impression was made on those who heard that 
another commissioner in the western provinces, having 
presumed to arrest a high official, had forthwith been 
recalled. It was much feared that this example would 
not strengthen the hands nor sharpen the sight of Subi 
Bey. 

One day a mudir entered the consulate. He was 
an honest, jovial-looking personage, and his face beamed 
with satisfaction in relating how triumphantly his ex- 
amination had been passed. In a tone of decent regret 
he added, however, that of all those examined at the 
same time none had come out with clean hands but he. 
Nor did even this unique mudir pretend to have been 
acquitted of more than dishonesty and injustice ; his 
mudirlik was in sad disorder, the local Mussulmans 
despising the law, Albanian brigands infesting the 
road. But these things were no fault of his, and 
encouraged by the commissioner's approbation, he had 



112 THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL AND 

even ventured to tell him so, declaring himself power- 
less to effect improvement unless his authority were 
supported by better agents than the local zapti^s. 
The commissioner had of coiirse promised him that 
all should be done as he wished; a body of regular 
troops should execute his orders, and he himself be 
raised to the rank of kaimakam. ^^ If God will," ended 
the mudir. 

Unfortunately his case is no solitary one. Supposing 
a new Turkish governor to come to his post, rapacious 
and cruel, all those who await him there will be ready 
to abet his plunder on condition of sharing his spoils. 
But let him be an honest man, with a desire to do justly 
and restore order, and he finds that all the traditions of 
his predecessors, all his own myrmidons, are against him ; 
while the central government rarely puts him in a posi- 
tion to be independent of the local Mussulmans, who will 
only support him on condition of being suffered to pro- 
long their corrupt regime. Nor, alas, is it only Mus- 
sulmans who thrive on abuses and strengthen wicked 
hands. We have already alluded to the miserable circum- 
stance that in Eoumelia Greek bishops are amongst the 
most decried hangers-on of the most decried governors ; 
and hatred of race or greed of gain is ever sure to 
keep numerous rayah agents at a powerful Mussul- 
man's beck and call. Such Christians, being the worst 
specimens of their own community, are of course still 
more reckless and base than their Mahommedan fellow- 
workers ; consequently those travellers whose experience 
lies mainly in ofiicial circles are apt to affirm, and that 
with truth, that they found the Christians worse than 
the Turks. But these parasite Christians in Turkey are 
regarded by their honester brethren with hoiTor as 
great as we can feel for them; and bitterly do the better 
sort complain that the material oppression of the Turkish 



THE MODERN TURKISH TOWN. 113 

system is a lesser evil than its demoralising action. 
Only those among the rayahs who are servile and un- 
scrupulous can make their way to power ; lawful demands 
are disregarded, outspokenness and independence of 
spirit crushed out;, while prizes are held out to cupidity 
and treachery, and the scum of society is raised to the 
top. 

At Monastir we strove to collect information as to 
ways and means of travelling between Macedonia and 
the southern frontier of the Serbian Principality. The 
lamentable plight wherein we had appeared before our 
kind hosts made us ashamed to tell them that we had 
purposed, after leaving Monastir, to visit all the places 
of interest in so wild a district as Old Serbia ; on the 
other hand, we could not make up our minds quite to 
surrender this cherished plan. By way of compromise, 
we resolved on going straight from Monastir to Belgrade, 
seeing the battle-field of Kossovo, and such other famous 
spots as could be taken en route. This, at the time, 
really seemed the utmost our scarcely restored strength 
could attempt, and even for this it was deemed necessary 
to ascertain that the road could be traversed in a car- 
riage. Our furthest point on Turkish ground was to be 
the town of Novi Bazaar, and the way between Bitolia 
and this station is one of the regular tracks of inland 
commerce, therefore we had counted on being able to 
hear all about it at Monastir. But herein we were dis- 
appointed ; for after asking all sorts of people, nothing 
but contradictory statements could be obtained, and we 
had to fall back on the strangers in the land. The 
consul and his wife could answer for having made their 
way tant hien que mal with a carriage as far as Y(^lesa. 
Then Halm's book testified that he had taken a carriage 
between Yelesa and the town of Prishtina on the field of 
Kossovo. But beyond Prishtina to the Serbian frontier 

VOL. I. I 



114 THE ANCIENT BULGARIAN CAPITAL, ETC. 

went no man's ken, and one might have supposed that 
]N'ovi Bazaar lay at the other end of the empire, instead 
of within a distance of about seventy hours. At last a 
Polish officer in the Turkish service, happening to pass 
through Monastir, declared that he had ridden over the 
whole road and knew that it was traversed by cannon^ 
and thereupon some one remembered that talikas con- 
veying the officials' harems must sometimes pass that 
way. On this collected evidence our bargain was made 
for a sort of covered waggon drawn by two stout horses, 
which, when necessary, were to be assisted by oxen. 
Some Tzintzar kiradgees undertook the luggage, and the 
consul allowed an intelligent young Albanian trained in 
his service to accompany us as cavass. 



CHAPTEE IX. 



king's son makko : his castle and his story. 

" King. — Son Marko, may God slay thee ! Thou shalt have neither monument 
nor posterity ; and ere thy spirit leaves thy body the Turkish Sultan thou shalt 



" Czar. — Friend Marko, may God help thee ! Bright be thy face in the Senate ; 
sharp thy sword in the battle. Never shaU hero surpass thee. And thy name 
shall be remembered so long as sun and moon endm-e. 

" Thus they spake, and thus 'tis come to pass." — Old Serbian Ballad : '^ Marko' s 
Judgment." 

l^OTWITHSTANDING- all the comfort and kindness 
experienced during our stay at Monastir, it was no 
unwelcome change from a modern Turkish town to that 
atmosphere of poetry and romance which surrounds the 
mediaeval sites of Serbian power. The site in question 
is the Castle of Marko Kralievitch, i.e., of the king's 
son Marko ; it overlooks the town of Prilip, and is one 
of the rare feudal remains of any size to be found in this 
part of Turkey. 

Even as Scadfir, or Scodra, is common ground to 
Serbians and Albanians, so is Prilip, or Perlepe, com- 
mon ground to Bulgarians and Serbs. The population 
of the town and district of Prilip is Bulgarian, but the 
presence of Marko Kralievitch's castle connects the whole 
place and neighbourhood with Old Serbian memories 
and myths. Who Marko was, and how his name is 
interwoven with the web of historical legend, forms a 
story of no common interest ; but one so long that, if we 
begin with it here, we shall afterwards be in no humour 

I 2 



1 1 6 KING 'S SON MARKO : 

to climb a hill and see his tower. Therefore, with our 
reader's permission, we will do the castle first, our point 
of departure being that small monastery which stands at 
the foot of a three-horned rock, some hundred yards 
distant from Prilip. 

Perhaps the monks might have been pleased to show 
us the ruin and tell us all manner of legends ; at least 
so they usually did when we approached them through 
a Slavonic medium ; but we had left the dragoman at 
home, and one of the party addressed the caloyers most 
affably in TiirJclsh. Then all was over ; the Bulgarians 
stiffened into wooden stupidity, and left us to make our 
way to the castle with no better cicerone than the guard. 
One attempt to mollify them we did make, but unsuc- 
cessfully, not being strong in Bulgarian, so began, ''We 
would see Marko ," but then stopped short to recol- 
lect the next word. The monk shrugged his shoulders, 
with a smile, as if to say, ''AH your wilfulness cannot 
achieve that^'^'' and then answered, " God forgive us ! 
Marko has been dead these 400 years.'^ So he has ; and 
yet, if all tales be true, this is no reason why we should 
not see him, if only we could wait until the anniversary 
of his festival or " slava," and hide ourselves in a certain 
little chapel where some of his family lie entombed. At 
midnight the doors burst open and in rides Marko, fully 
armed, and mounted on his favourite charger — that 
famous steed Sharatz.* 

Left to make our own way to the ruin, we climbed 
thither straight up from the monastery, but soon found 
that in this, as in other cases, the longest way round is 
the shortest way there. An easier road, apparently 
the ancient approach, leads round the lower part of the 
hill, and had we followed it we should have avoided 
clambering over blank slabs of rock, whereon the gentle- 

* Sharatz — literally " the variegated ; " probably " piebald." 



HIS CASTLE AND HIS STORK 117 

men's boots slid as on ice. At length we gained an 
open space, said to have been the old place d^armeSj 
whence the horns of the rock branch upward right and 
left. The best view of the highest of these eminences 
is to be obtained from one of the lower, which we 
therefore ascended, and thereon found a group of 
enormous stones poised against each other, and in 
appearance not unlike rocking-stones ; however, they 
would not rock. 

Near the top of the hill is a ruined tower, but the 
path thither was barred by a lean grey form which 
stopped the narrowest part of the way, and seemed 
jealously to watch our meditated ascent. So steadily 
did it stand, that we had time to draw nearer and see 
what it was — a mountain goat, last sentinel in the feudal 
hold. 

And now, reaching the higher brow of rock, we found 
it covered with walls, but without a single roofed 
chamber; so that though one enclosure is commonly 
called ^' the powder magazine," and another ^'the 
lady's weaving-room," they might as well pass for 
sheep-pens. On the highest crag poises another of the 
giant stones, so surrounded below by masonry that 
under it there runs a little corridor. On the top of this 
block stand the remnants of a cell, called by the country 
people ^'Marko's Kiosk," wherein Bulgarian legends 
describe him as seated, and viewing from afar all who 
approach his castle, either as guests or foes. On the 
kiosk walls are still to be found the traces of rude 
frescoes, horses and dogs — not that we saw them, but 
we had heard of them beforehand — and a zaptie who 
clambered up the big stone, which we could not, ex- 
claimed at the wondrous drawings he found. Immedi- 
ately below this perch one finds the enclosure of a lower 
chamber, to which the approach is over a slab of rock, 



ii8 KING'S SON MARKO: 

SO steep and smooth as to explain the necessity of the 
foot-rests therein hewn ; some of these are in form 
like a horse's shoe ; and it would be deemed hyper- 
critical to question that they were made by Sharatz. 
From this point, looking over the fortified hill, the town 
below and the plain beyond, the landscape is pictu- 
resque, and might be pretty but from the scarcity of 
trees. Though less curious, it has some likeness to the 
view from Castle Blaga'i in the Herzegovina. 

Eeturning to Prilip by the proper road, we saw 
several graves cut in the rock, and passed by the walls 
of a small church. It seems that at the back of the 
hill there is a ruined chapel, containing some paintings 
and tombs, and on a high-peaked separate eminence stands 
a monastery, from whence the view is said to be fine. 
Dilapidated as Marko's Castle is, it has evidently been a 
place of larger dimensions than any mere watch-tower 
or Albanian kula. It recalls, not the hold of a robber 
chief, but the residence of a feudal potentate, and as 
such belongs to the date when careers like those of the 
King's Son and his compeers were possible in Turkey. 
Hence the sight of it gives local colour to that story of 
Kral'ievitch Marko, whereon we will now enter without 
further delay. 

With some writers it is as inevitable to draw parallels 
as with some speakers to make puns ; but surely a bad 
parallel is even more vexatious than a bad pun. We 
begin with this remark, in order somewhat to excuse 
the irritation wherewith one cannot but reflect on those 
writers on the character of the King's Son Marko, who 
have called him the Serbian ^^ Eoi Arthur." No doubt 
Marko resembles Arthur in so far that he is the hero 
of a wide cycle of legend ; but in no one of them does 
he occupy the position of a Eoi ; and the character 
of Arthur as chief of a circle of paladins, as cliampion 



HIS CASTLE AND HIS STORK ii9 

of a falling cause, as perfect knight and Christian king, 
is realised, not in Marko, but in Lazar, the last of the 
Serbian czars. Indeed, with one exception, the ballads 
about Marko belong to a phase later in date, lower 
and feebler in tone,, than the highest strains of Serbian 
minstrelsy ; and these lower-pitched songs group them- 
selves around the Kralievitch, just because he in his 
own person is typical of a lower period, because his 
class of achievements began when that of the heroes of 
the czardom was closed. 

These legends convey to us the only extant picture 
of manners in Serbia during that dark period after 
the Mussulman had succeeded in overthrowing Chris- 
tian rule, yet had not thoroughly substituted his 
own. At this time the policy of the Sultans ex- 
hibited, what some persons are pleased to term, an 
unprecedented regard for the feelings and rights 
of the vanquished ; in other words, these rights and 
feelings were regarded until the conqueror had 
established himself in the country and could tread 
the vanquished down. Until in one way or another 
every noted Christian could be got rid of, it was neces- 
sary to begin by soothing and flattering such promi- 
nent aristocrats as would agree to do the Sultan 
homage ; and during this interval the said aristocrats 
found themselves following the Grand Turk in his 
Asiatic campaigns and serving him against the Latin 
abroad, while yet at home they attempted to protect 
their countrymen from the lawlessness of Moslem 
spoilers. 

Of these Slavonic nobles, in their eminently false and 
eventually untenable position, Marko Kralievitch fur- 
nishes us the type. It is because of this his typical 
character that there is interest in examining into the 
functions and qualities attributed to the King's Son by 



120 KING 'S SON MARKO : 

popular song, for thus we may form some idea how the 
Serbian people looked on the leaders left to them during 
the first three centuries that followed the Moslem in- 
vasion. Over this whole transition period Marko's life 
is supposed to extend. He lives 300 years, and during 
this long career his character undergoes all the phases of 
a gradual degradation, such as undoubtedly showed them- 
selves in the class he personifies, as it passed from its 
prime to its fall. 

Marko begins life as one among the chosen circle of 
youths educated by the Serbian Czar Dushan to be the 
future ruling class in that empire which he hoped to 
leave more extended and more civilised. In spite of his 
high birth and warlike tastes, the Kral'ievitch is studious 
and turns his studies to account. An archpriest instructs 
him in wi'iting, and in reading books both clerical and 
lay ; during the Czar's last campaign young Marko 
appears as his secretary and as the depositary of his 
testament. 

Such Marko's spring-time ; but the premature death 
of his master leaves his half-tame spirit to run wild in 
the mazes of the troubled times. He is well-intentioned, 
kindly, and dauntless, but devoid of settled purpose ; he 
lacks the moral strength that can steadily sacrifice small 
aims to great ones, and subordinate egotism to an ideal : 
he is too haughty to yield place to an equal, and ends 
by falling under his inferiors. Marko becomes a Turkish 
vassal. 

This is the first step downward ; but for some time its 
pernicious consequences appear not in their full extent. 
Marko is still a champion to whom the Christian looks 
for protection, and whom the Mussulman flatters and 
fears: songs tell of his exploits in camp, castle, and 
court. A change for the worse comes on slowly, but 
surely. The King's Son is insulted by the Turks, and 



HIS CASTLE AND HIS STORY. 121 

though he takes signal vengeance on the individual, his 
equal comradeship with them is at an end. He retires 
more and more from political scenes ; his achievements 
become those of a slayer of monsters, or mere feats of 
strength, such as excite the wonder of the hunter and 
the hind. They grow, too, ever more mythical in 
character, till at length, merging into the lingering 
myths of heathenism, local legends of Marko can hardly 
be distinguished from those properly belonging to the 
ancient wood-gods. 

Deeper and deeper Marko sinks into the forest, till 
his bond-sister, the Vila, or mountain-nymph, tells him 
he must die. The last we see of him — once knight in a 
Christian court, and long the pride of the Padishah's 
armies — is lying outstretched on his mantle, close to a 
mountain spring, his cap drawn over his eyes, dying like 
a worn-out haiduk — robber-outlaw. Yes, a ha'iduk ; 
300 years after Serbia's warrior nobles consented to do 
homage to the Mussulman the last trace of independent 
Serbians seemed to die out in the mountain forests as 
ha'iduks. 

Marko leaves neither monument nor successor. The 
class to which he belonged sank into unknown, un- 
honoured graves ; the Turk they had helped to establish 
in Europe suffered no Christian to continue in the position 
held by Serbian nobles ; the Slavonic race in the empire 
of the Sultan came to be represented only by rayahs or 
by renegades. 

Such is the story of Marko ; nor less significant than 
the incidents of his career are the virtues and vices 
assigned to him by the popular song. This Serbian 
King's Son is never represented as an oppressor of the 
lower classes ; on the contrary, we find in him the 
people's champion, defending them against outrages 
perpetrated by the Turk. Again, we find Marko sung 



122 KING 'S SON MARKO : 

by the peasants as manfully drubbing every Turk with 
whom he comes into antagonism ; nor dares the Grand 
Seignor himself contradict him, even when he slays a 
vizier. ^' Of any Turk," so says the Sultan, '^ I could 
make another vizier; but where could I find another 
Marko ? " Moreover, at least in his earlier days, Marko 
^' fears naught save God and the truth," and judges 
righteously even to his own hindrance. Dutiful he 
shows himself to both parents — to a worthless father and 
to a mother noble as a Eoman or Spartan, or, better said, 
as a Christian matron. Finally, Marko is hospitable 
and bountiful; he is the friend of the unfortunate, of 
little children, of dumb animals ; and he is true to his 
creed; for, although a vassal of the Sultan, he never 
forsakes the Orthodox faith.* 

Doubtless the picture has its shady shade. Marko is 
rough in manners, and a hard drinker; nay, he bursts 
into passion so sudden and violent as almost to equal 
the Scandinavian Berserk. f Though a true friend, he 
is relentless to those who affront him, even to women ; 
and his outrageous treatment of one lady who mingled 
the refusal of his hand with a jibe, must be set off 

* In Bosnia a blind minstrel was one day heard reciting a poem about Marko 
to a street audience of Orthodox, Latins, and Mussulmans, all equally interested 
in the Slavonic champion. The minstrel being himself a Latin, chose to repre- 
sent his hero as belonging to the Western Church, when instantly one of the 
Mahommedans present interrupted him with a blow, exclaiming, " How darest 
thou make out Marko a Latin, when during 400 years we have never been able 
to make him out a Mussulman ?" 

t In one song a Serbian noble is represented as cautioning his attendants not 
to press too obsequiously to welcome Marko, not to kiss his mantle, or try to 
relieve him of his sabre, lest Marko, being in an ill -humour or excited with wine, 
should push his horse past them and ride them down. This instance has been 
cited to prove how merdlessly Serbian nobles must have treated their attendants. 
Surely it rather indicates the reverse. The noble in question would scarcely have 
thought it necessary to warn his servants against incurring treatment to which 
they were accustomed from his own hands or those of most of his guests. No 
doubt the times were rough enough ; but Marko's violence is always instanced as 
exceptional. The very word for " oppression " used in the Serbian songs is a 
Turkish word. 



HIS CASTLE AND HIS STORY. 123 

against his disinterested championsMp of numerous 
damsels in need. 

Other peculiarities of temperament are curiously cha- 
racteristic of the still primitive race to which he belonged. 
For instance, although he asks more than one lady in 
marriage, and saves more than one lady from offence, the 
rough Serbian hero is never represented as performing 
his exploits under the influence of la helle passion. On 
the other hand, of all those questionable gallantries, 
deemed so excusable by Eomance minstrels, Marko is 
guiltless by look, act, or word. 

Another strongly marked trait is his rooted antipathy 
to the Osmanli, an antipathy perpetuated to this day 
among those renegade Serbian nobles — the Bosniac 
Mussulmans. Bitterly hating the Asiatic, Marko abso- 
lutely loathes the African. Taken captive by a Moorish 
king, he represents as worse than all the weariness of 
his prison the love-making of the Moorish princess. 
When at last the promise of freedom bribes him to flee 
with her, he only bears with her till she attempts to 
embrace him with her black arms, and then in a frenzy 
of disgust draws his sabre and strikes off her head. 
The graceless deed is humbly repented of; churches 
and monasteries are raised to atone for it; but still, 
when Marko confesses it to his mother, he half excuses 
himself by describing his sensations : ^' Oh, mother 1 
when I saw her close to me, all black, and her white 
teeth shining ! " 

More excusable and more dignified is the last evidence 
of hatred to the Mussulmans given when Marko' s death- 
hour is come. He shivers his lance that the Turk may 
not use it ; he slays his horse that the Turk may not 
force it to carry wood and water in its old age ; he 
breaks his sword into four pieces that it may not be used 
by the Mahommedan, and Clnistendom curse him as one 



124 KING'S SON MARKO: 

who has put a weapon into the enemy's hand ; he even 
desires that liis grave may be concealed, lest the Turk 
shoukl rejoice over his fall. IN'ay, the Serbian peasant 
believes that Marko's thorough detestation of the Mus- 
sulman, whom he himself detests so thoroughly, will 
yet find a more practical expression, ^^When the times 
shall be fulfilled the Kral'ievitch will arise out of the 
cave where he is sleeping, and valorously lead the Ser- 
bians to drive the intruder from their fatherland." 

So much for Marko's typical character ; and long it 
was commonly supposed that he had no existence in any 
other. But some years ago a diligent numismatic col- 
lector brought to the Museum of Belgrade some coins 
found in ^N'orthern Macedonia, with the superscription 
'' Marko Krill." To no other person in Serbian history 
could this name possibly belong, so inquiries were set 
on foot, old records consulted, and the discovery made 
that Marko Kral'ievitch actually reigned at Prilip, and 
had had an historical career. 

He was found to be really, as tradition had reported, 
the son of the historic Krai Yukashine, one of the 
governors appointed by Czar Diishan. Yukashine's 
territory extended from Macedonia to the Adriatic, and 
thus had for its two principal fortresses, on the west 
Scadar, on the east Prilip. At the sudden death of 
Diishan, the regency of the empire and the care of his 
young son passed to the Krai, as to the second person 
in the realm ; and he, to retain the power in his own 
hands, treacherously murdered his ward. 

Marko took no part in this crime, nor did he even 
share the fruit of it, separating himself from his father 
and continuing faithful to the old royal line. But when 
both the young prince and the wicked Krai were dead, 
and the Serbian people met to choose a new czar, Marko 
considered himself a candidate whose claims ought to 



HIS CASTLE AND HIS STORK 125 

distance every other, and lie could not forgive the 
election in his stead of Lazar Greblianovitch, Count of 
Sirmium. It would seem that in his disappointment he 
gave way to a burst of menace ; for Lazar, usually so 
mild, called on the assembled nobles to support him in 
reducing Marko, and finally deprived him of his fief. 
Landless and exasperate, Marko sought the camp of the 
Turks and ofi'ered his sword to the Sultan, — apparently 
for those campaigns in Asia wherein, Mahommedan 
warring against Mahommedan, adventurers from Chris- 
tendom cared not on which side they fought, so that 
they earned booty and renown. 

It is said that the Sultan at one time gave Marko the 
nominal investiture of " Castoria and the Argolide '' (?) 
but afterwards, when Amurath marched on Serbia, the 
heir of Yukashine resumed possession of his own Castle 
of Prilip. Hence, whereas the Serbians know Marko 
only as Kralievitch, or King's Son, the Bulgarians of 
Prilip call him ^' Marko Krai." 

That Marko fought for the Turkish Sultan in many a 
campaign is doubtless, but that he ever marched against 
his native country remains at least wholly uncertain. • 
Indeed it appears impossible that he should have been in 
the habit of serving against any people of his own com- 
munion, when we read of his consternation at being 
summoned to fight the Orthodox Prince of the Eoumans. 
Loyal to his suzerain, Marko Kralievitch came into the 
field ; but when he saw men of his own faith arrayed 
in battle against Mahommedans, and himself on the 
lufidels' side, horror took possession of his soul. "Oh, 
God ! '' cried he, '^ do thou this day destroy all those 
who fight against Christendom, and foremost Marko." 
Then, throwing himself upon the spears of the Chris- 
tians, or, as some say, plunging into a morass, he met 
the doom he felt he had deserved. 



126 KING'S SON MARKO : 

Of this repentant death, the feeling, if not the facts, 
has been truthfully preserved in popular poetry. Taken 
in conjunction with Marko's life-long antipathy to the 
Turks, his proud bearing towards them, and his cham- 
pionship of the oppressed among his own countrymen 
— all these extenuating circumstances have contributed, 
in the eyes of the Serbian peasantry, to throw a veil over 
the one stain on the shield of their favourite hero, 
namely, that he served the Sultan. They cannot deny 
it, they would not palliate it, but they regard it less as a 
crime than as a calamity ; indeed they set it down to the 
effect of a curse hurled against the Kralievitch by his 
own father, when by one of his righteous judgments he 
prevented him from becoming Czar. 

Unfortunately modern literati, emulous of the nase- 
tveis school of modern Germany, have showed them- 
selves determined not to let the errors of the ^^ peasants' 
hero " lie thus reverently enveloped in mist. On the 
stage of the little theatre of Belgrade, an author ven- 
tured to exhibit Marko Kralievitch, not in his traditional 
character — rescuing the oppressed, and performing mar- 
vellous exploits — but in a situation wherein tradition 
and history have alike forborne to exhibit him : arrayed 
on the side of the Turks in a battle between them 
and the Serbs. 

The announcement of an historical piece had, as usual, 
drawn to the little playhouse numerous spectators of the 
poorer class, and the entrance of each traditional hero 
was welcomed with delight. But when Marko, the well- 
beloved Marko, presented himself in so odious a charac- 
ter, a sudden chill fell on the audience : to enthusiasm 
succeeded (not even the expected hoots and hisses, but) 
a gloomy, restless silence ; the silence of those who are 
at once puzzled and pained. 

It appeared however as if, to the end of the scene, 



HIS CASTLE AND HIS STORY. 127 

the people hoped that Marko would do something to 
atone for his false position ; but at last he quitted the 
stage without a redeeming act or word. Then one 
simple heart could bear it no longer ; and bursting out, 
almost with a sob, a peasant's voice cried, '^ Marko is 
not ^ traitor." 



CHAPTER X. 

THE BULGARIAN TOWNS OF PRILIP AND Vl^LESA. 

T^IIE distance from Monastir to Prilip is estimated at 
-^ about six hours, and six very long hours it took 
us to jog over the rough and dusty plain that separates 
the two towns. 

On the outskirts of Monastir we passed a church 
lately built by the Bulgarians for themselves, but in 
which, as we have since heard, the bishop insists on 
performing service in Greek. However, half-way between 
Monastir and Prilip one crosses the stream of the Tzerna 
Eieka (Black Eiver), and at every step on the other side 
the Greco-Tzintzar element becomes weaker, and the 
Bulgarians have got more and more the upper hand, 
both in church and school. 

The spurs of the Babuna range, surmounted by the 
ruin of Marko Krai's Castle, become visible some 
distance from Prilip, and a prospect of getting to hills 
and a river makes one quite impatient to arrive at the 
journey's end. 

Prilip is a town of from 6,000 to 7,000 inhabitants, 
and forms the seat of a large yearly fair : hence it is 
one of the most prosperous places in southern Bulgaria, 
and boasts a very tolerable bazaar. On occasion of this 
fair the peasantry from the neighbourhood crowd hither, 
and arc said to be well worth seeing. In one district the 
women are remarkably tall and stout, strong, thrifty, and 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 129 

industrious. It seems they are not allowed to marry 
until the age of thirty years, and that for two reasons : 
first, in order that their parents, who had the labour of 
bringing them up, may be rewarded for their services ; 
and secondly, that they themselves may not be encum- 
bered early in life with large families. 'A similar 
practice prevails in some of the country districts in 
Serbia, men marrying young, and choosing housewives 
in the full force de Vdge, This arrangement struck us 
as somewhat queer, and as unlikely to be agreeable to 
the woman, being conceived on the principle of getting 
the greatest possible amount of work out of her ; but 
the men justify it by its results, and say that domestic 
comfort, social morality, and fine physical development 
prevail in the districts where it is followed. In the 
towns, both of Serbia and Bulgaria, the women follow 
the Oriental fashion of marrying and fading extremely 
young. 

A letter from the British consul at Monastir procured 
us hospitable entertainment at the house of a rich Bul- 
garian merchant, where two rooms were given up to our 
use. The inner chamber was large, well stocked with 
cushions and carpets, and so cleanly that, although we 
prepared our beds on the divan instead of on our iron 
bedsteads, no disturbance of rest ensued. The merchant 
and his family trade in tobacco, which grows in abund- 
ance on the Prilip plain, and one of the brothers con- 
ducts the business of the house with Vienna. Unluckily 
he was from home, but his Yiennese proclivities were 
represented by a musical clock, which strikes up tunes 
every quarter of an hour. We had been warned that we 
should find this article in our bedrooms, and that its 
performances would be fatal to sleep ; but it seems our 
good-natured hosts had found out that it disturbed their 
former visitors, for just as we were vainly composing 

VOL. I. K 



130 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

ourselves to rest, a daughter of the house demanded 
entrance, clambered up on the divan, and stopped the 
clock. 

The civilised importer of the musical timepiece, and 
the grave and portly master of the house, are both 
members of a family of five brothers, who with their 
wives and children eat at one table and live in houses 
opening on one court, within the protection of one high 
wall. These family associations, or zadroogas, are gene- 
ral thi'oughout Bulgaria, and have certainly tended to 
sustain the Christians under the lawless regime of the 
Turk. Besides securing to every household the presence 
of a number of men to protect the women from intruders, 
they ensure widows and orphans a maintenance and 
security in the bosom of their own kindred. Where 
land is to be cultivated, they enable a family to do its 
own work without hiring strangers, and they provide a 
sphere for younger sons without sending them out to 
service. Thus, too, family intercourse is kept free from 
the dread of spies ; old ties, old memories and customs 
can be fostered, and foreign innovations can be with- 
stood. Above all, natural affections find their due satis- 
faction; young women are preserved from temptation 
and young men are certain of a comfortable and well- 
regulated home. The Bulgarians may thank their united 
family life if they have preserved at once their nation- 
ality and their purity of manners while living under the 
yoke of strangers, and often side by side with people the 
most depraved. 

Of course, however, the use of these family societies 
being mainly to defend and conserve, they become 
unnecessary when danger is past ; neither can they 
co-exist with the movable relations and individual 
enterprise of modem society. 

There are tkree Christian schools in Prilip, one for 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 131 

the Tzintzar mercliaiits who choose their children to 
learn Greek, the other two for the Bulgarians, who 
bring together 400 scholars, and manage them their 
own way. The Bulgarian books come from various 
places— Philippopolis, Pesth, Vienna, Belgrade; some 
are translated from the Serb reading-books, some from 
those of the Americans.. The principal schoolmaster 
was a Serbian, and told us the children could read his 
language as well as their own. They showed us very 
fair writing, and seemed to know their way on the 
map. We asked if they could sing, and were at first 
told ^^ 1^0 ; " but presently a big boy was produced who 
was being trained as a priest, and he began to intone a 
psalm. We soon regretted having provoked his per- 
formance, for it proved at once dismal and monotonous, 
and was strongly sounded through the nose. 

Not observing the usual picture of Cyril and Me- 
thodios we asked after it, and in the course of some 
incidental explanation we found that the children were 
well acquainted with the history of the national 
apostles. l^Tor did they omit to apply its teaching, 
for they coupled with the memory of the translators 
of the Slavonic Bible the name of a patriotic citizen 
of Prilip, who had been principally active in founding 
their own school. 

Prilip was one of the places where some years ago 
the Greek clergy held their burning of Slavonic works ; 
believing therefore that a present of books would be ac- 
ceptable, we gave some to our hosts, to the schoolmaster, 
and to the best scholars. There was great anxiety 
for histories of Serbia, and scarcely were we returned 
to our quarters when a Bulgarian pope called on us, 
and requested that we should give a book also to him. 
We begged his acceptance of a New Testament, and 
seeing that it was in the common language of the 

K 2 



132 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

people, he forthwith began reading it aloud. Another 
student in a humble line of literature was found in the 
little nephew of our host, who opened one of our 
spelling-books and began to read from thence an edify- 
ing description of the ^'Domestic Cat." The little girls 
collected eagerly to hear him, so we took the book and 
gave it to one of them, telling the boy that he would 
obtain access to it by' offering to read it to his sisters. 
When the mother heard this she called to the other 
women, and they all blessed us heartily for letting the 
men know that women too should learn from books. The 
housefathers, thus challenged, declared that they did 
wish for a female school, and had room and money for it, 
but how to obtain a teacher they could not tell. 

Conversation over the books induced a certain degree 
of cordiality; but as our letter of recommendation to our 
entertainers was not from one of their own people, they 
showed us little confidence, and eluded questions as to 
the state of the country. Having heard all we wanted 
from other sources, this was of less importance ; but un- 
luckily we found them equally unwilling to tell us any 
stories of Marko Kral'ievitch, though Prilip, being his 
own patrimony, is said to produce a plentiful crop. 
Afterwards we obtained a book of popular poems, and 
therein found some Bulgarian tales respecting the 
famous Krai, but they proved very inferior to the Serbian 
legends — long-winded, trivial, and full of Turkish words. 
As a grotesque specimen of a quasi-religious story, we 
will here give a Bulgarian song, which so far as we 
know has not hitherto been translated. It is called — 

The Grudging Old Woman. 
When St. Peter received his summons to enter into 
the Paradise of God, his old mother followed at his heels 
— a wicked mother, a sinful soul. And she called after 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 133 

him, " Stop, my son ; wait for me, that I may enter 
with thee ; for I also would see Paradise." Then St. 
Peter turned him about, and answered : '^ Begone, thou 
sinful mother ; it is not so easy to enter Paradise ; the 
gates of Paradise are closed, but open stand the gates of 
Hell. Hast thou forgotten thy conduct while we both 
were yet in the world? Thou wert rich; yes, my 
mother, a rich woman, with much substance, and flocks 
and herds more than enough \lit. over thy head]. But 
the mighty devil had power over thee, and kept thee 
from giving anything for God's sake to the poor. One 
day two beggars^ came to thee ; they came to thee, and 
played before thee — from morning till evening did they 
play before thee ; and yet, mother, thy heart did not 
melt to them, thou didst not take pity upon them. Thou 
didst bring forth a crust of bread, grown stale by three 
weeks' keeping ; thou didst bring forth a flaxen girdle, 
and this thou gavest them as alms ; and even as thou 
gavest it thou didst turn away, and cry out crossly, 
' Ah, God I golden God ! hast thou given me flocks 
and herds that my substance be eaten by strangers 
and foreigners, by the German and the dumb Turk ? * 
What is left for my own children ? ' Alas, mother ! 
sinful soul ! those beggars were not beggars ; they were 
two of God's angels : one of them was St. Elias and the 
other St. Nicholas. 

^' Of another sin I will convince thee. Thou didst 
accept the ofiice of godmother — of godmother to little 
children — and thou frequentedst the chi'istening feasts ; 
but thou wentest to the christening for the eating and 
the drinking : to the children thou gavest no gift ; not 



* " Dumb " is an epithet applied by Slavonic peoples to aU who do not speak 
their language ; more particularly to the German, whom they call by no other 
name than nemac, the dumb. The word Slav is probably derived from slovo, word, 
and signifies those who can understand each other's speech. 



134 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

a shirt, nor baby-linen, nor stockings, nor a little cap. 
Naked, barefooted, these children are standing to accuse 
thee before the Lord. How wilt thou answer to the 
Lord? 

^^Yet again I will convince thee. Thou, mother, 
wert a landlady, and thou didst pour out the glowing 
wine. Travellers came to thee, poor travellers, and 
asked of thee, ' How dost thou sell ? ' And, mother, thou 
didst swear to them, ^ May God or the devil receive my 
soul, as I give full measure for full payment.' Then 
what didst thou pour out to them but one hundred 
drachms of wine mixed with three hundred of pure 
water ? Oh mother ! sinful soul ! full payment thou 
tookest, short measure thou gavest. Wait, mother, 
while I condemn thee. The mighty devil had power 
over thee, and from thy poor neighbour thou didst 
borrow flour; pure flour didst thou borrow, and didst 
render again half flour, half ash-dust." 

And now St. Peter and his mother came nigh to the 
Paradise of God ; St. Peter walking first, after him the 
sinful soul. They had to pass the Bridge of Thread,* 
and over it the saint passed safely ; but when the sinful 
soul would follow him, and had got to the middle of the 
bridge, in the midst it broke under her, and she sank 
down to the lowest Hell. 

St. Peter became chief of the archangels, and prayed 
constantly to the Lord. Three years he begged and 
prayed — three years and three days: ^'Alas, Lord! 
golden God ! grant me a pardon for my mother, for my 
mother's sinful soul ! " 

But he was answered : ^^ Don't ask for that, St. Peter ; 
thou mayst not beg pardon for thy mother ; thy mother 
has many sins on her soul." 

• Evidently an idea borrowed from the Mahommedans ; as we have said, the 
legend \& full of Turkish words. 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 135 

Still St. Peter prayed on for three years and three 
days ; and at the end of three years and three days the 
Lord said to him : '^ Cease now, St. Peter, for thou hast 
obtained pardon for thy mother's soul. Get thee to the 
sea- shore, and twist thee a slender rope, and lower it to 
the bottom of Hell. There may thy mother catch it, and 
be hauled up to the light of day. But, besides thy 
mother, there are seventy other souls; let them take 
hold of her skirts and her sleeyes, that they too may be 
drawn out of Hell." 

Off went St. Peter — off went he hastily to the sea- 
shore ; and he tore off half his skirt, and he tore off his 
flaxen girdle, and of these he twisted a long slender 
rope, and lowered it to the pit of Hell. Alas ! the little 
rope proved too short ! But St. Peter wore a red 
feather ; this too he tore off, and added it to the length 
of the rope. 

And now St. Peter cried aloud : ^^ Catch hold, sinful 
old mother ! I have obtained a pardon for thy soul. 
And you seventy other souls, do you hear ? You are to 
lay hold of my mother's skirt — of her skirt and of her 
sleeves — and you too shall be drawn up into the light 
of day." 

But behold the old woman was grudging^ even as she 
had been while yet in the white world. She called out 
to the seventy other souls : "• Begone, you dogs ! begone, 
you swine ! what right have you to be saved with St. 
Peter's mother ? I myself suckled St. Peter : I sang the 
lullaby of St. Peter : ye did not suckle him ; ye did not 
sing his lullaby." 

The Lord heard the old woman's words ; suddenly the 
rope brake, and down she fell to the lowest pit. Alas, 
mother ! sinful soul ! thy place in Hell has been fully 
earned. 



136 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

From Prilip to Yelesa is a journey of eleven to twelve 
hours, too far for one day without travelling through the 
heat ; we therefore started from the former place after 
dinner, and resolved to sleep in the Vezir khan, at the 
foot of the Babuna Pass. 

The entrance to this pass begins about two hours from 
Prilip, but we had been led to believe the distance 
shorter ; and had been warned that after entering the 
hills we must not attempt to sit in the carriage. We 
therefore concluded that it was not worth while to get 
into the carriage at all, and started on horseback at 
once ; but we found, to our cost, that this was a mistake. 
Crossing the plain the heat was perfectly sickening ; and 
when succeeded by the chill of the ravine produced sen- 
sations which caused us to anticipate a revival of all the 
horrors of Gornischevo. We were yet to continue for a 
few days the disagreeable part of our journey, so called 
in contradistinction to the agreeable part which followed. 
Certainly it is a difficult thing to know at what time of 
year to travel in Bulgaria. In winter the cold in the 
plains is terrible, in summer the heat ; in spring, roads 
are all but impassable, while the mountain regions are 
exposed to the swelling of streams ; finally, autumn is 
the unhealthy season, when most places become almost 
uninhabitable from fever. 

Leaving Prilip by the road to Yelesa, one has on the 
left the Prilipska Ei'eka, Marko Krrd's castle, and the 
range of Babuna hills. Here and there we perceived 
some small ruins, but heard that they are not old, only 
kulas, which, till lately, were tenanted by the haiduks. 
Instead of the haiduks, their next of kin, the zap ties 
now hold a kula on the highest point of the pass ; here 
one pauses to rest after scrambling up the vile Turkish 
road on one side of the ravine, and before scrambling 
down the vile Turkish road on the other. 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 137 

The descent is certainly all but dangerous. Our poor 
beasts slipped most distressingly, and crossed and re- 
crossed in search of footing, that is to say in search of 
some spot of earth which the Turks have not attempted 
to pave. The attention necessary to get safely to the 
bottom was the more grudgingly bestowed on our part, 
because, after the bare ugliness of the Macedonian side 
of the Babuna, we wanted thoroughly to enjoy the 
wooded valley on which we had come among these 
recesses of the hills. Truly picturesque are the peaked 
summits of its steep green sides, whereon the little 
village of Czenitza lies in the midst of a patch of golden 
field. 

Our mid-day halt on the morrow was at the Khan 
of Yranofze, where we obtained access to a cool dark 
corner set apart for the drying of curd. There we 
found a victim to Bulgarian notions of hospitality, 
i.e,^ a relative of the family in whose house we were 
to lodge at Yelesa, who had ridden out thus far in 
the scorching heat to meet us. It was cooler when 
we resumed our road, but a particularly rough bit 
of ground occurring shortly before we arrived at Yelesa 
the carriage lurched violently, and one of the horses 
sprained its foot. Nevertheless, when we begged to 
be set down at our quarters by the back door, which 
was easy of access, our remonstrances were disregarded, 
and we were mercilessly dragged up a steep street to 
the front. Thus ended for the second time (the first 
happened in the course of a journey between Constan- 
tinople and Belgrade) our attempt to traverse the 
interior of Turkey in a coach. The luckless harems, 
that cannot help themselves, may possibly be trans- 
ported part of the way in talikas ; and Consul Hahn, 
being resolved to make the experiment in the interest 
of his projected railway, succeeded in taking a light 



138 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

vehicle witli good horses the whole distance from Bel- 
grade to Salonica. 

Yelesa lies on the banks of the Yardar, which at this 
distance from its month forms already a powerful stream, 
and is made use of by wood-merchants to float rafts 
down to the iEgean. The banks of the river are steep 
and high ; and the town, climbing them on both sides, 
seems to contain a fair number of good houses. Indeed 
its situation affords such facilities for trade as made it 
even in early times a place of importance and compara- 
tive civilisation. 

Velesa is a thoroughly Bulgarian town ; out of 4,000 
houses only 1,000 were divided between Turks and Tzin- 
tzars, while the other 3,000 were Christian Slavs. Under 
such circumstances the Bulgarians of Yelesa were able, 
till long after the Turkish conquest, to continue as the 
guardians of a certain amount of national learning. A 
store of valuable MSS. was said to be hidden in one of 
their monasteries ; and for a short time it would appear 
that their city possessed a Bulgarian printing-press. All 
this adds evidence to the fact, which a nearer acquaint- 
ance with the Christians in Turkey in Europe is ever 
revealing to the traveller, namely, that the earliest times 
of Turkish oppression were not in all respects the worst, 
and that for the Bulgarians the cruellest trial of patience 
occurred within the last ninety years. Till the' ,end of 
the last century the Slavonic patriarchates were not 
abolished ; and while they remained, the conditions on 
which the Slavonic Christians parted with their national 
liberty did not appear to be altogether ignored. 

The books stored at Yelesa escaped destruction during 
more than 400 years of subjection to the Ottoman ; it 
was his Christian middleman, the Greek bishop, who 
ordered the bonfire that consumed them on the market- 
place; and it is said that this took place only thirty 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 



139 



years ago. Hence, so long as tlie Porte continues to 
refuse to Bulgarian communities their native pastors, 
and to force on them a foreign clergy, its Slavonic sub- 
jects cannot but believe that it is even more disposed to 
trample on their liberties than it was in the first era of 
its rule. 

Five or six years ago the Bulgarian movement gained 
strength sufficient in Yelesa to menace serious disturb- 
ances ; at last, in the words of the people themselves, 
" The authorities saw that Bulgarians never could be 
made into Greeks and never would agree with Greeks, 
so we got some of the consuls to take our part in order 
to keep the country quiet. Since then we have been 
suffered to hold service in our own language and to set 
up our own schools." 

The Bulgarians at Yelesa are certainly of a sturdy 
stock, as is shown by the following incident which has 
lately been communicated to us by letter. The deputy 
of the Greek bishop being on a tour to collect revenue, 
came to Yelesa, held service in the church, and began to 
read in Greek. The people instantly interrupted him, 
ordering him to read Slavonic. He replied that he 
did not understand it. ^' Then," said they, ^^ we have 
some one who does;" and thereupon the service was 
performed in Slavonic as they desired. But besides 
being stubborn in the assertion of their rights, these 
people are really anxious for the spread of education, 
and to our knowledge have sent forth at least one active 
disciple of progress, Hadji Traiko, to whom we have 
already alluded as patron of the girPs school at Sophia. 

Of course, such Bulgarians at Yelesa as have traffic 
with the south speak Greek, just as those who trade 
north of the Danube acquire German. The merchant 
in whose house we lodged spoke Greek fluently, but 
his wife and family did not know a word. European 



140 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

travellers who do not know Slavonic, or even know about 
it, are often deceived as to the extent to which Turkish 
and Greek are spoken in the interior of Turkey in 
Eui'ope ; inasmuch as in a Slavonic city they are fre- 
quently quartered with one of the very few citizens 
acquainted with either of these tongues. 

The house in which we lodged at Yelesa was that of 
a rich merchant. It was furnished in the European 
style, and its master wore a phase of Prankish dress very 
common in Turkish towns, viz., loose white trousers, a 
black coat, and small red fez. He had had just converse 
enough with the world to rub the crust off that solid and 
shrewd intelligence which characterizes the Bulgarian 
mind, and which needs only the prospect that honest 
pains will be compensated to develop into as sturdy and 
practical a national character as any south of the cliffs 
of Dover. So long, however, as the Bulgarians live 
under an Oriental despotism they will scarcely get rid 
of their present defects, a sulky timidity and want of 
openness. 

The master of the school at Velesa is a priest, reputed 
among his own people for learning. We had a private 
letter for him, so he came to see us, and told us a good 
deal about the Bulgarian movement. Both he and our 
host declared that the state of the country was much the 
same as that which we have ah-eady alluded to in the 
neighbourhood of Prilip, Monastir, and Salonica. Chris- 
tians are frequently murdered by Mahommedans, who 
thus pay off debts and get rid of any one whom they think 
in their way ; highway robberies are constant. None of 
these vexations can be put an end to until the Turkish 
governors take to punishing Mussulmans with rigid and 
summary justice ; this, however, they will not do, inas- 
much as their rule depends for support on the interest 
which the Mussulman element has in perpetuating it. 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 141 

The raising of the taxes in the new method was also 
bitterly complained of. When they were raised in kind, 
things seemed so bad that they could not be imagined 
worse ; but now that the peasant is compelled to pay in 
money, while he remains without means of bringing his 
produce to market, the oppression is intolerably greater. 
As the government of the Porte must have money, taxes 
are now taken from Mussulmans as well as Christians, 
although not in the same proportion. Eut the Mussul- 
mans being lazy are thus completely ruined, and those 
who were landed proprietors in the neighbourhood are 
trying to sell their tchifliks, but trying in vain, l^o one 
is willing to buy them, partly because few are rich 
enough, and partly because Christians, if they improved 
the land, would run a risk of having it taken back from 
them. These grievances relating to the sale of land are 
almost identical with those we heard of in Bosnia. 

In all the principal rooms of the house at Yelesa the 
side that looked on the river was entirely given up to 
windows, and windows without shutters, while in these 
countries Yenetian blinds are yet unknown. The glare 
was terrible, the heat that of a forcing-house ; all day 
long we felt ourselves, as it were, melting in the sun. 
By the time of evening coolness the schools were closed, 
so we did not see them, and had to take the word of our 
informants that the Tzintzar school contains thirty to 
forty pupils, and the two Bulgarian schools 500 between 
them. There is also a curious little Bulgarian monas- 
tery, which is said to be worth seeing. 

But what we could not do ourselves in ascertaining 
the state of education at Yelesa, was to some extent 
supplied by our dragoman, who opened the store of books 
he had received from the Missionary at Salonica, and 
announced that he was prepared to sell. Immediately 
purchasers flocked to claim them, and especially pounced 



142 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS 

upon tlic Old Testaments — of whicli the few books 
already translated into modern Bulgarian were bound 
together in volumes, costing half-a-crown a-piece. All 
our store was sold at Yelesa, and the priest was quite 
cross with us because we had not brought a larger 
supply. Some of the elder men slowly counted up the 
number of the prophetic books, and asked, somewhat 
suspiciously, why the loliole Testament was not there. 
Our explanation appeared necessary to satisfy them 
that there was no intention of suppressing certain 
writers. 

At Prilip — where the historical associations of Marco 
Krai's Castle connect the town with the history of 
Serbia — the schoolmaster came from Serbia, and much 
interest was shown to possess Serbian histories. In 
Yelesa, where the historical associations are entirely 
Bulgarian, and only those of a seat of learning, the 
Serbian works of history and popular poetry were not 
asked for, and Bulgarian religious books were the thing 
desired. Apropos of this we may remark, that the 
Bulgarian's mode of cultivating his language necessarily 
differs from that of the Serbian. The written language 
now cultivated in Serbia is taken from the mouth of 
the shepherd and mountaineer, its root vocabulary is 
that of the national songs, and its pronunciation is 
borrowed from the minstrel warriors of Herzegovina 
and Montenegro. With the Bulgarians, on the con- 
trary, the language of the common people has degene- 
rated into a corrupt and frightful patois, full of foreign 
words, Greek, Turkish, and mongrel, with hurried 
enunciation and snarling accent. In short, if anything 
can excuse the Greeks for their inability to comprehend 
that the Bulgarian objects to part with his mother- 
tongue, it is the excuse suggested by one's ears on 
hearing Bulgarian spoken after Greek. On the other 



PRILIP AND VELESA. 143 

hand, the Eulgarians regard the SlaYonic of Cyril 
and Methodios as their own ancient language, and 
are inclined to make use of it (as the Greeks of 
Athens make use of ancient Greek) for a model 
whereon to reform their modern tongue. Should 
they ever succeed in resuscitating this glorious old 
language, with its organ tones and rich depth of ex- 
pression, they will do an unparalleled service to the 
whole Slavonic world, and their national life will find 
its expression in one of the noblest channels of human 
speech. 

The editor of a Bulgarian newspaper aspired to make 
it equally readable by Serbians, Croats, and Bulgarians. 
Practically he succeeded, and he told us that the old 
Slavonic furnished him with words and forms intelligible 
to all southern Slavs. 

In the meantime, next to the patois of the Bulgarians, 
the Serbian spoken by the mongrel population of Bel- 
grade may perhaps take rank as the least musical and 
dignified of all lugo-Slavic dialects ; while the pure 
Serbian, wherein Montenegrme pleaders advocate their 
own cases before the judgment-seat of Cetigne, is 
the most pleasing to the ear for its distinctness and 
harmony. A master in the gymnasium of Belgrade 
told us that among the scholars were a few from the 
mountains on the southern frontier, and that when they 
and the other boys were repeating the same lesson their 
intonation and style were as different as the declama- 
tion of orators and the chattering of apes. 

Among the books we disposed of at Yelesa the trans- 
lation of the Bulgarian Old Testament is due to the 
exertions of the American, Dr. Eiggs ; while the trans- 
lation of the Bulgarian !N'ew Testament was undertaken 
for a Protestant society by John Neophytes, the present 
abbot of Eilo, a monastery in the Ehodope, about four 



144 THE BULGARIAN TOWNS PRILIP AND VELESA. 

days' journey north-east of Yelesa.* As we did not 
visit the comment of Yelesa itself, and we did visit the 
convent of Eilo, we will go back a summer and 
pass over a chain of mountains to describe the 
largest of the Bulgarian monasteries, and that wherein 
the national element has most successfully held its 
ground. 

* Through Istib, Karatova, and Kustendil. 



CHAPTEE XI. 

VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 

npHE traveller on the high road between Stamboul and 
Belgrade jonrneys for many a weary day along 
the sultry and feverish Thracian plain, nor nntil he 
approaches the to^n of Philippopolis does he espy in the 
west the boundary of the Ehodope, on the north the dis- 
tant range of the Balkan. A day later he has gained the 
hills, and supposing him still to keep to the post-road 
he will cross the Balkan by its most westerly and most 
famous pass, the Kapu Derbend, or Gate of Trajan. 

But we, though on the way to Belgrade, did not at 
this point keep to the straight line, for we wanted to 
visit an old Bulgarian monastery, said to lie in a gorge 
of the Ehodope, at the foot of its highest mountain, 
Eilo ; so we struck into the hills, crossed the pass called 
Kis Derbend, between the Ehodope and the Balkan, 
made our first stage at the mineral waters of Bania, and 
our second at the little town of Samakoff. 

The upland plain wherein Samakoff lies is crossed by 
the bridle roads from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, and 
Thrace. Hence it forms a point of meeting, not, as 
might be expected, for commercial travellers, but for 
highwaymen escaping from one pashalik to another ; 
for which purpose the Turkish authorities take care to 
allow an interval between each crime and the pursuit. 

We came to Samakoff provided with a letter to one 

VOL. I. L 



146 VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF 

of its wealthiest Christian inhabitants, who received us 
hospitably, and conducted us to a chamber surrounded 
by a broad divan. In arranging the cushions to form 
our beds we lighted on a pair of loaded pistols. Of 
course we covered them up again and said nothing, 
but their concealment testified to what we had been told 
already, i.e.^ that although to pacify a revolt it was 
nominally conceded that every Bulgarian may have the 
means of defending his women from Mussulman intru- 
ders, yet while Mussulmans swagger about in belts full 
of pistols, the Christian, if he have arms, must take care 
that they be not seen. 

Samakoff was the first place west of Constantinople 
where we found Greek not even understood, but this 
did not constitute the people barbarians. On the 
contrary, they had two nice schools — one for boys, one 
for girls ; large airy edifices, built of wood, and gaily 
painted, after the fashion of the country. Over the 
doors was an inscription to the effect that they had 
been erected by the elders of the community without a 
farthing of help from any one ; the emphasis being a 
reflection on the late Greek bishop and existing Turkish 
government. We visited these schools — examined the 
work, the maps a;nd the copy-books, heard the children 
sing hymns and read, and rewarded the best scholar in 
each with a copy of the Bulgarian New Testament. 

Another object of interest at Samakoff is the convent 
of Bulgarian nuns, which we came to visit under the 
following auspices. We were scarcely settled in our 
chamber before it was entered by a sweet-looking 
young woman, dressed in a black mantle and a quaint 
coif. To our amazement she accosted us in German. 
She told us that she was an Austrian Slav, and had 
oome from Vienna with her mother, who was servant to 
a German physician; on her mother's death the old 



RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 147 

doctor advised her to seek protection as a nun. She 
said the community at Samakoff was of the order of St. 
John of Eilo, and acknowledged as spiritual superior the 
abbot of the monastery of that name. It was formed by 
a number of elderly women, each of whom took a young 
woman to live with her, wait on her, and after death 
become her heir. The nuns supported themselves by 
their own spinning and weaving, and of their earnings 
have built them a church : they do not attempt outward 
benevolence, but on the other hand pride themselves on 
receiving help from none. To beg a livelihood they 
hold as degrading as we do ourselves. The works of 
merit constituting sainthood seem in their estimation 
to be five : diligence, obedience, abstinence from meat, 
wearing black garments, and making a pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem. This journey to Jerusalem is the event of 
each still life, and lends it its redeeming spice of ex- 
pectation, retrospect, adventure, poetry. The nuns have 
not their goods in common ; some are comparatively 
rich, others poor ; some are assisted by their relatives 
towards defraying the expense of the expedition, others 
have to pay all from their savings. When the money 
is in hand two set out, and walk till they fall-in with 
one of those parties of pilgrims constantly passing 
to Jerusalem from Bulgaria. They cross the sea to 
Joppa, journey thence to the Holy City, and are re- 
ceived into a monastery, where they may remain a whole 
year, to join in all the feasts and festivals. On their 
return home they bring away with them a holy picture, 
a marvellous concoction of scarlet and gold, depicting 
all the Holy Places, all the holy persons, and the devil, 
distinguished by horns and a tail — as is not unnecessary 
among so many grim forms. 

Primed with this information, we set out to visit the 
nunnery, and having hopped from one to another of the 

L 2 



148 VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF 

big stones which act as bridges to the muddy river- 
street, we entered a gate and found ourselves in a clean 
and dry inclosure in front of a neat little church. Behind 
it lay the gardens of the nuns with their little dwellings, 
containing two rooms — a tiny kitchen and divan- encircled 
parlour. Here we paid a succession of visits, first to the 
principal mother of the community, then to a very old 
and saintly mother possessed of a famous picture of Jeru- 
salem, and beloved among the younger nuns for her end- 
less stories of adventures by the way; finally, to the 
special mother of our guide, who caused her dear child 
to show us various little treasures and to bring out her 
best Sunday mantle. Then came evening service, which 
we attended, and in the dusk of the church the young 
nun whispered to us with sparkling eyes how the sisters 
prayed for the success of the brave Montenegrines, and 
that God would give all Christians a good courage and a 
united heart. ''The great Christian Powers," said she 
— " is it true that they are leaving that little band to 
fight alone ? Of the people here I say nothing, they 
deserve what they suffer, for they have not the hearts of 
men. Eut the Montenegrines are the soldiers of the 
Cross. No nation in all Christendom has battled with 
the Infidels as they." 

We wished to have taken the nun with us next day to 
the monastery as an interpreter, but it was thought more 
discreet for her to stay at home, so we gave her at part- 
ing a Bulgarian Testament and she gave us each a rosary 
of plaited silk, marked here and there with large mother- 
of-pearl beads — a gift involving the sacrifice of some 
thirty piastres from the fund she was storing for her 
journey to the Holy Grave. 

This day there had been rain, so the glorious sun of 
the morrow rose on an earth refreshed and green ; men 
and horses had enjoyed a rest, and now set forth with 



RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 149 

glad spirits and bounding tread. Our shining-armed 
cavalcade was clattering and gay : eight well-mounted 
Mahommedan zapties — two of whom were cavasses of the 
pasha of Philippopolis — our dragoman, and an Ionian, 
deputed by the British consul to give us the benefit of 
one Christian sword in case we should be attacked in 
the mountains by the first cousins of our Mussulman 
guards. The Bulgarian driver of the waggon wherein 
we had come over the hot plain could not leave his 
horses even for a pilgrimage, but the boy was allowed 
to go, and on his nimble feet soon had the advantage of 
us all. 

But all our enjoyment would have been marred had 
we ourselves been left to ride the sorry steeds furnished 
us by the mudir at Samakoff. Luckily a bakshish 
induced our guards to change with us, and we could not 
but laugh at the superstition current respecting horses 
'^ accustomed to carry a lady " when we felt these high- 
mettled animals treading proudly and gently under the 
unwonted side-saddle, the flowing skirt, and fluttering 
veil. A well-trained Turkish horse is delightful for a 
journey, being used to walk both for travel and parade. 
Hour after hour he bears you evenly, lightly, over the 
rough track, and when you enter the toAvn he rears his 
head and marches with, a procession step, representative 
of your dignity and his own. 

But something more than flne walking became neces- 
sary when we left the plain for the pathless glen, and 
began to dispute with the torrents their rocky passage 
down the mountain side. When at length avo reached 
the head of the pass we came to a bit of rough highland, 
where a halt was called, and the guard showed us the 
graves of a party of robbers here run to earth and killed. 
^' Until quite lately," said he, '^this was the worst glen 
in all the hills, but the new pasha of Sophia has lately 



150 VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF 

put some robbers to dcatli and caused their heads to be 
stuck on poles : that will stop it for this summer." Soon 
after they called our attention to the hollow sound of the 
earth beneath the horses' feet, and explained that it was 
caused ''by prodigious wild boars, which lived under- 
ground and undermined all that part of the hill." 

And now came a descent almost impracticable for 
horses, and yet so cutting to the human foot that we 
remained mounted far longer than w^as safe. The stiff 
stair led down to a basin, receptacle of waters from all 
the neighbouring mountain streams. One of the zapties 
pointed out to us a clear pebbly spot where the water 
escaped by an underground passage. This little tarn of 
the Balkan,* with its grey stones and solemn fir-trees, is 
one of those scenes which would repay an artist for the 
journey from England, only to carry it home in his 
portfolio. We sat down on its beach, and could have 
sat there till now, but the sun was sinking, and the 
road, ostensibly six hours, was very certain to take ten. 
The first sight on remounting was a view over beech 
forests opening on a grassy vale, at the extremity of 
which rose an outline of grey walls. '^ Here," quoth 
the guards, '4s the boundary of the domain conceded 
by old sultans to the great monastery of Eilo." Scarcely 
had we crossed the frontier when w^e were met by the 
convent guard, dressed in white linen tunics and scarlet 
girdles, and commanded by a man in the garb of an 
Albanian, who, however, styled himself a Serb, meaning, 
doubtless, that he belonged to the Serbian creed. The 
array of armed men on horse and foot lent sound and 
colour to the long dark wood that followed, and once 
below, the passage through the narrow valley became 
every moment more beautiful. Exceptionally beautiful 

* ITie Turkish name Balkan, though usually limited to the northern chain, or 
Hemus, is in thiB part of Turkey given to all mountain ranges. 



RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 151 

indeed, for the mountain scenery between tlie north of 
Albania and the Danube is usually rather wild than pic- 
turesque. Amphitheatres of hills, covered with wood, 
to which the blending of beech and oak with fir gives 
in the distance a bluish green ; few sudden elevations, 
few rocky precipices — such is its character, answering 
exactly to its Slavonic name, ^'Planina," that is to say, 
*' forest mountain.'' Doubtless single scenes show ex- 
traordinary loveliness, and the gorge of Eilo is of this 
number. The hills terminate in horned crags of the 
most picturesque abruptness, of the most fantastic form. 
From these the wood sweeps down in masses, which 
break into groups and tufts on the park-like meadows 
which fringe the valley stream. On one side a large 
building lies to the right, which we took for the monas- 
tery, but which proved to be a house set apart for 
pilgrims, who crowd hither on certain days. To arrive 
at the convent itself the whole length of the valley must 
be traversed. The mountains draw nearer and nearer — 
they seem once more about to close — when, serried in 
their angle, rise the rugged towers and swelling domes. 
Outside the gate, in stately row, stand long-gowned, 
long-veiled, long-bearded caloyers, who gravely salute 
and sign to us to enter. As we pass through the portal 
out ring the bells — Christian bells. Who knows what it 
is to hear their voices in a Mussulman land ? not in 
the city, nor in the villages of the plain, where they are 
forbidden, and where at any rate they would jar with a 
thousand conflicting sounds, but in the wild hiding of 
the Balkan, breaking on the stillness of convent aii\ 

We were so thoroughly tired out by our long day's 
scramble, that we scarcely received more than a general 
sense of peace and beauty as we passed through the court 
and into the galleries of the monastery. They led us to 
a chamber painted in bright colours, and furnished with 



152 VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF 

low well-carpeted divans. Here we remained, and had 
our supper served — as much chicken, fruit, and sweet- 
meat as the hungriest could wish, besides rice and clotted 
cream and a huge glass jar of excellent wine. We found 
also a little cupboard in the wall wherein a bottle of 
wine and sweetmeats were placed in store for private 
refection. But that night we wanted nothing but sleep. 
Next morning we were invited to an interview with 
the abbot in his chamber of audience, and found him 
with two or three venerable monks, one of whom, with a 
long white beard, we had the night before mistaken for 
the superior. The real superior is not more than middle- 
aged, small and spare, with a refined intellectual coun- 
tenance unusual among Bulgarians, who are generally 
large and ponderous men, with a wise expression rather 
"than a clever one. But John Neophytos is no common 
person. His name stands on the title-page of the modern 
Bulgarian New Testament, and his knowledge of his own 
language, both ancient and modern, together with his 
zeal to educate and benefit his people, caused him to 
accept the offer of a Protestant society to undertake the 
translation. He has a store of the sacred books in his 
convent, and finding we had several with us he exhorted 
us to turn our journey to account by dispersing them 
abroad among the people. He told us that the American 
missionaries in Constantinople, who are translating the 
Scriptures, keep up a correspondence with him, and that 
two of them had that year been to visit him. Then were 
shown us the curious old documents which mark the 
early history of the convent. An inscription on the 
tower in the court states it to have existed under the 
mighty Czar Stephan Dushan, who united Serbia and 
Bulgaria in his realm. But the earliest chrysobul is of 
the end of the fourteenth century, and from a personage 
who styles himself John Shishman, Faithful Czar and 



RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 153 

Autocrat of all the Bulgarians and Greeks, i.e.^ of the 
Greeks in Bulgaria. 

The next documents are Turkish firmans, such as 
many of the richer monasteries were able to buy from 
the first Sultans. The monastery of Eilo, in virtue of 
its privileges, stands (like our Abbey of Westminster) 
under no bishop, and hence has been able to maintain 
its exclusively Bulgarian character. It consists of 150 
monks, each of whom has a pupil, who becomes his heir. 
In all, the personnel of the convent amounts to 400 souls. 
Women are excluded, and it is even said that no one of 
them may dwell on convent land. This does not, how- 
ever, extend to visitors, nor to the female relatives of 
pilgrims. The revenues of the convent depend partly on 
its mountain pasturage, partly on the gifts of pilgrims. 
Within the last century it has been benefited by the 
liberality of its northern co-religionists, and the monks 
have been allowed to gather funds for their new church 
by begging journeys through Eussia, Serbia, Austria, &c. 

The acquaintance which the superior showed with the 
history of his country and with the present needs of his 
countrymen, his services in the matter of the translation, 
— all struck us as strangely contradictory of a report we 
had heard at Constantinople, that the Greek Patriarch 
did not appoint native bishops to Bulgarian eparchies 
because there were no natives sufiiciently educated. We 
afterwards heard that John Neophytes had been pointed 
out and demanded as bishop by his countrymen, but that 
the only efi'ect of thus recognising his talents was for the 
jealous Phanariotes to banish him to this secluded abbey 
of the Balkan. As it is, he has a lithographic apparatus 
in the convent, and spoke of setting up a printing-press. 
Though, under the eye of jealous prelates, the light 
must be carefully hid under a bushel, there can be little 
doubt that the influence of such an abbot on the young 



1 54 VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF 

students in the monastery of Eilo, will send tliem 
forth on their begging journeys able to sow as well as 
glean. 

One remark of the abbot's struck us especially. We 
told him that the first Slavonic monastery we had ever 
seen was that of Cctigne in Montenegro. His brow grew 
dark, and after a moment's hesitation he said, ^*It is 
reported that that monastery is now given up to the 
Mussulmans and burnt." We asked him where he had 
read it? ^^In a transcript from the Journal de Con- 
stantinojyle.''^ '^ Is that all?" cried we. '^Then do not 
distress yourself; that journal has burnt Cetigne and 
killed the whole population of Montenegro already two 
or three times over." 

"But," asked the abbot, "do you believe the great 
powers of Europe will sit still and allow that monastery 
to be burnt?" "We trust and believe not. France 
will do her best to save it." " France," said he, "per- 
haps ; but England ! " Feeling heartily ashamed of 
ourselves, we answered that the want of interest dis- 
played by England in the Slavonic Christians arose in 
great part from her ignorance respecting them — that one 
really never heard their name. 

" I have understood so," he replied. " The Americans 
have told me as much. It is, however, a pity that so 
great a country, whose children are free to travel where 
they please, and publish what they please, should remain 
in such profound ignorance of the Christians in a country 
where she is on such intimate terms Avith the Turks, 
For the rest," he added, changing his tone, " what have 
I to do with these matters ? I live here as a mouse in a 
hole, and our Bulgarian people are quiet. Do you please 
to go over the monastery ? " 

The monastery is well worth going over, but first let 
us pause in its open gallery, and feast our eyes on the 



RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 155 

rich mass of wood that rises precipitately behind the 
towers in the court. The hill serves the convent at once 
for wall and screen. 

The church standing in the court is new, the former 
one having been burnt to its foundations. The restora- 
tion took place in 1839, with money in great part 
gathered from alms. The building is in the form of a 
Greek cross, with domes, and has cloisters painted botli 
within and without. The interior is supported on 
columns, and has a beautiful iconastasis of gilded wood, 
achieved by the Tzintzar carvers who do all that sort of 
work in Turkey. A Christ's head was pointed out to us 
as painted by a native of Samakoff who had studied at 
Moscow. It showed the softened Byzantine type of the 
modern Eussian school. 

Strange worshippers were in the temple — shepherds 
from the Balkan, talking a barbarous dialect of Latin 
and calling themselves ^^Eomans," while they live as 
savages. These people herd flocks, and when the men 
are absent the women defend the huts, and like the 
female Albanians, are noted for their accurate shooting. 
Their wild mode of life was illustrated by their remarks 
on ourselves ; for, seeing that we were foreigners and 
accompanied by a Turkish guard, they took it for granted 
that we had not come hither of our own free will, and 
pointing at us asked, ^' From what country have they 
been rohhed ? " 

But for such monasteries as that of Eilo these shep- 
herds would be shut out from any form of worship, but 
here they assemble at certain times to confess and take 
the sacrament. How far these people are edified by 
services in a language which they understand not is 
perhaps an open question, but we were witnesses of the 
instruction which in such instances may be conveyed 
by sacred pictures. A fresco of the birth of Christ is 



156 VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF 

painted on the wall of tlie church. The older of such 
frescoes are grisly icons, respecting which it may at least 
be said that those who bow down to them are not wor- 
shipping ^' the likeness of anything in heaven or earth ;" 
but the modern pictures are more life-like, and this one 
was a genuine Oriental scene. One of the shepherd- 
pilgrims caught sight of it, and shouted out in rapture, 
'^ See, there is the bii'th of the Christ.'^ The women 
crowded round him, and he pointed out to them the 
Babe, the mother, the star, the shepherds, the ox, the 
ass — explaining as he went on. 

"We afterwards attended evening service, at one part 
of which the monks took of their caps, and remained 
for some time bare-headed, their long locks flowing down 
their backs. The singing was good as to voices, but 
monotonous and nasal-intoned. It seemed to us to differ 
somewhat from what we had heard in Greek churches ; 
but not to have improved as far as the Serbian 
psalmody, in which Western influence has counteracted 
the idea, apparently prevalent in the East as in Scotland, 
that there is something saintly in music through the 
nose. 

The most interesting part of the Eilo monastery is 
the old tower containing the original church. The 
times wherein the latter was built reveal themselves by 
its position high up in the wall, which has no window 
or lower opening, except one overhanging the doorway 
through which to pour stones or boiling oil on the 
assailants of the gate. This is not the chapel of St. 
John of Eilo, who lived and died a hermit, worshipping 
in caves and hollow trees ; it is not even the place of his 
interment, which lies at some distance on the hill. It is 
said to have been built at a very early date to defend 
the monastery from robbers, and was doubtless after- 
wards useful during the worst days of Mussulman 



RILO, IN AUGUST, 1862. 157 

fanaticism, when the life of a monk must have demanded 
a brave man. At the foot of the tower is a cell, wherein 
insane persons are confined, and whence they are brought 
into the church during service by way of being exorcised. 
The monk asked us if such persons were found in our 
country. We answered ^' Yes; but instead of cells we 
lodge them in large and airy dwellings, and instead of 
the priest they are brought to the doctor." ^^ And do 
they recover?" ^' They do sometimes, but alas! not 
always." ^^ Strange ! " cried he ; ^' that is just the way 
with ours." 

The last place to be visited is the mortuary chapel, 
wherein we perceived numerous skulls on the altar. 
We were told that to have a skull placed there is a 
compliment to the departed, for which the relatives are 
willing to pay. Also that here, as in the Greek parts of 
Turkey, the dead are disinterred in order to judge by 
the state of their bodies whether their souls are in heaven 
or hell. 

In recompense for our liberal entertainment at the 
convent we could get permission to leave nothing next 
morning save a donation, ostensibly for the church. On 
the other hand, we carried away some curiously carved 
wooden spoons, the portrait of old King Shishman, taken 
from a contemporary document, and a brand new history 
of St. John of Eilo, depicting his eccentricities, miracles, 
and burial. 



CHAPTEE XII. 

THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 

TTAYrN'G got to Yelesa, the thing was to get away 
again. The horse which had sprained its foot was 
not seriously injured, but could not be used again for 
some time, and the driver wanted us to wait at Yelesa 
while he rode back to Monastir to get another. But 
^ this was not to be thought of; so we paid him his 
bakshish, and gave him a letter of explanation to the 
consul at Monastir, while another letter of the same 
tenor was sent by the Turkish post. 

Being rid of the coach, how were we to proceed ? On 
horseback ? But the road to Skopia passed over a 
broiling plain ; besides, we felt too weak and ill to ride 
throughout a whole day. In a talika drawn by buflPaloes, 
after the fashion of the country ? But buffaloes walk 
three times as slow as the slowest horses, and can only 
journey during the few hours of cool. In this dilemma, 
our dragoman came to us with a suggestion from the 
master of the house, which, as he expounded it, sounded 
strange enough. '' Listen," said he, ^' that I may explain 
to you how the Turks convey their women from place 
to place, and themselves travel when they are sick, for 
hereabouts no one goes in coaches. There is a little 
chamber, with a door and windows, made of wood, and 
fastened on poles ; horses go between these poles, before 
and behind, to carry the chamber, and men walk, two on 



THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 159 

each side, to steady it. The Turks call this a tak- 
taravan."* In other words, there was nothing for it 
but to travel in a litter, and, as it proved, a very rude 
one. Its sides were not padded, it contained no seats, 
and yet was not long enough to lie flat in. It was, 
moreover, too narrow for us to sit comfortably side by 
side, and in any other position one or other ran the risk 
of bursting open the door. The sui3porting poles were 
fastened to each side of the wooden saddles of the horses, 
but in the rudest fashion, with ill-tied knots which con- 
stantly slipped, so that now the equilibrium of the 
^' piccola camera " was overthrown on one side and now 
on the other. The few men who attended on the litter 
paid very little attention to its balance ; and but for our 
cavass, whose love of fault-finding and ordering about 
him stood us on this occasion in good stead, we should 
have been upset many times. The heat of the sun, 
beating on a low, dark lid, we avoided by nailing some 
sheets over the roof so as to form a white drapery. Of 
course it is vain to attempt to see country traversed 
in such a fashion, so the landscape through which we 
passed between Yelesa and Skopia may remain unde- 
scribed. 

Our mid-day halt was in the Kaplan khan, and while 
there we became sensible that the weather was under- 
going a change : the kiradgees predicted that on the 
morrow there would be a thunderstorm. We started 
again in the taktaravan, but ordered our horses to bo 
saddled and led by its side. Soon, the heat abating 
and the day drawing near to its close, we began to fear 
being late in Skopia, and lost all patience with the slow 
motion of the litter. We got out, and found ourselves 
on a desert-looking plain bounded by low hills ; over- 

* We spell this as the pronunciation — possibly the mispronunciation— struck 



i6o THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 

head a grey sky lit up with a hirid sunset ; the castle of 
Skopia in the distance. A sense of unwonted coolness 
was scarcely more refreshing than that of freedom to our 
cramped limbs. Usually we were very sparing of our 
horses, fearful of knocking them up by fast travelling, 
but the neighbourhood of their night's quarters and the 
comparatively easy ground now gave us an excuse for 
the gallop wherein we longed to indulge ; so off we set, 
and arrived at the end of that day's journey in better 
spirits and far less wearied than we had felt or fancied 
ourselves when starting from Yelesa. 

From the little window of the taktaravan we had 
looked out for the village of Taor, identified by Hahn 
with Tauresium, birthplace of the Emperor Justinian. 
After we arrived at Skopia, and were comfortably 
ensconced in the clean house of a Tzintzar merchant, we 
got out our books, and read up all such lore as we could 
find regarding the emperor and his cradle. The Goths, 
who from beginning to end have stood godfathers to 
so many Slavonic achievements and personages, were 
long set down as the country folk of Justinian, and his 
native name was derived from a Gothic word. Luckily, 
philology has lent its aid to the refutation of this error. 
^^Upravda" is no longer forced into ^^aufrichtig," but 
allowed to be the genuine Slavonic equivalent of 
Justinian. Even the name of the emperor's father, 
Istok, is now assigned to its real origin. It is a curious 
coincidence that the famous Byzantine emperor of 
Slavonic extraction should also be the emperor famous 
for compiling a code of laws, for in the early history of 
every Slavonic people the kingly lawgiver is a person 
of higher repute even than the war-leader or conqueror. 
Whether it be the Bohemian Krok, Queen Libussa, 
the Polish Cracus, the Slovakian Svatoplilk, the Serbian 
DQshan, or, nearer our own day, Peter the Great of 



THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. i6i 

Eussia, and St. Peter the bishop- chief of Montenegro ; 
the warlike character is the subordinate, while that of 
the remodeller, the legislator, is the aspect under which 
the Slavonic hero is most admired.* 

Justinian showed his regard for his native village by- 
causing it to be defended by a square wall and four 
towers — a style of fortification termed a ^Hetrapyrgon ; " 
he also built or restored towns and villages throughout 
the district, and especially the chief city Skopia. To it, 
when rebuilt and beautified, he gave the name Justi- 
nianea Prima, and made it the seat of the archbishop of 
Illyria. So it remained until Samuel, king of Bulgaria, 
established his residence at Ochrida, and removed the 
archiepisco^^al seat thither, when it would appear that 
the name of Justinianea Prima, being identified with the 
see, was transferred from Skopia to the new capital. 
Procopius says that it would be hard to describe the 
churches, the magnificent houses, the pillared halls, the 
market-places, and fountains, wherewith Skopia was 
adorned in its Justinianea Prima days ; it was also well 
supplied with water by an aqueduct ; and altogether its 
prosperity was so firmly established that it long con- 
tinued one of the finest and most opulent cities in that 
part of the world. Under the Serbian czardom it 
flourished, under the name of Skoplie, as a free city with 
a great yearly fair, and specimens of its coins may be 
seen in the museum of Belgrade. In 1347 Skopl'ie be- 
came the scene of that great Serbian saho?^, or parliament, 
wherein Stephan Dilshan was proclaimed by the title of 
Czar, and promulgated the code that bears his name. 

* As regards the present prince of Montenegro, IMr. Stillman gives the follow- 
ing testimony : "I have myself heard Turkish functionaries in Albania praise 
his justice and trustworthiness in terms which recalled Haroun-al-Raschid, while 
in any dispute in which Turk and Christian are engaged near the frontier, and 
in which the Tirrk believes he is in the right, the disputants go to a Monte- 
negrin judge in preference to a Turkish one." — Herzegovina. W. J. Stillman. 
Longmans. 1877. 

VOL. I. M 



1 62 THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 

Here, too, the metropolitan of Serbia was raised to the 
rank of independent patriarch. 

As the last czar of Serbia made his stand against the 
Turks on the field of Kossovo, north of Skopia, this town 
was one of the first prizes of the conquerors ; nay, some 
traditions say that it became peaceably subject to them 
as part of the inheritance of Marko Kralievitch. In the 
very year of the battle of Kossovo certain it is that 
Sultan Bajazet sent Turkish colonists to Skopia, so that 
it must have fallen directly under Turkish rule long 
before other parts of the Serbian realm. The withering 
influence told on it surely, but at first slowly ; the early 
colonists built handsome mosques ; in 1686 a traveller 
describes it as still a flourishing city ; and even in the 
last century Eagusan and Venetian merchants frequented 
it, and have left their names written on the pillars of the 
principal khan. But now Eagusa is no longer free, and 
Skopia is a decaying and wretched place, its inhabitants 
sickening under the unhealthy exhalations of undrained 
marshes. A still more melancholy fate has overtaken 
Novo Berdo, a town two days' journey north of Skopia, 
whose coins we also saw in Belgrade. In Serbian days, 
Novo Berdo was celebrated for its rich silver mines, and 
was called the Mother of Cities ; Major Zach, who visited 
it in 1858, found only sixteen houses, of which one was 
Christian, and fifteen Mahommedan. The Mussulmans, 
who are descended from Asiatic colonists, say that the city 
used to contain 6,000 houses; this, however, is only half 
the number insisted on by the Christians. One source 
of decay is to be traced in the neighbourhood of a 
certain castle, now a ruin, but till lately the residence 
of an hereditary governor. Such governors were law- 
less Albanian chieftains, who, during the disorders 
of Turkish rule, exchanged their hills for the pil- 
lage of flourishing Serbian cities, and finally them- 



THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 163 

selves perished in reyolts against the Sultan's govern- 
ment. 

At Skopia we found our quarters prepared for us in 
the house of a Tzintzar merchant, who lived in the most 
agreeable part of the town, Le,^ on the banks of the 
river Yardar. Our host* was a grumbling old man, who 
astonished our servants by the extreme parsimony 
which, in spite of considerable riches, he practised in 
his own diet. The day we left, a younger man and a 
pretty-looking young woman in rich costume entered 
the garden, and we heard that it was a family festival. 
They seemed ready enough to enter into conversation, 
but the presence of the cross housefather tied our 
tongues. 

The proverbial unhealthiness of Skopia led us to fear 
taking the fever while we remained there ; but this time 
the change of weather saved us, though our cavass was 
unwell, and wore a livid hue during the whole time of 
our stay. To run no risk, we had intended remaining 
only one day, and then to joui-ney thi'ough the pass of 
Katchanik to the monastery of Gratchanitza and the 
town of Prishtina, on the plain of Kossovo. But the 
kaimakam of Skopia sent to urge our remaining two 
days, since by that time he could provide us with 
a carriage wherein we could travel the whole way to 
Gratchanitza. To this arrangement we agreed, and 
resolved to devote our second evening to a visit to the 
castle. 

The. citadel of Skopia stands on a low platform of 
rocks, which must have been fortified from a remote 
period. We were told that, properly speaking, we 
ought not to have been suffered to pass within the 
castle gate on horseback, but that we had been per- 
mitted to do so, lest, not understanding the custom, 
we might be offended by a request to dismount. Within 

M 2 



1 64 THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 

the fort we found a few poor-looking Turkish artillery- 
men, and the whole place looked deserted and melan- 
choly. The kaimakam used to reside in it, but his 
sera'i (palace) was lately burnt down, so at present he 
lives in the town, while the blackened walls of his 
deserted dwelling by no means add to the trimness of 
the citadel. 

Mounting by means of a stair in the wall to one part 
of the crenulated battlements, we enjoyed a singular 
though not a pretty view over the treeless level and 
low-topped hills. 

On the north-east the plain of Skopia is bounded by a 
low chain of mountains, called by the Turks Kara Dagh, 
or Black Mountain, and by the Slavonians ^'Bulga- 
rian Tzema Gora." The zapti^s said that these hills 
were inhabited partly by Albanians and partly by Bui - 
garians. Northward lie the collateral ranges of the 
Shaar Planina (ancient Scardus). In these are the 
sources of the Eiver Yardar, which flows through the 
plain of Skopia. Part of the plain is planted with rice- 
fields, and the eastern half is occupied by a marshy lake, 
whose surface Hahn estimates at ''an hour" in length, 
the same in breadth. It could easily be drained, but 
not being so, leaves Skopia a prey to pestilential fevers. 
From our position on the citadel we could trace the 
two highways, or rather high tracks, which traverse 
Skopia. That by which we were travelling leads from 
Macedonia to old Serbia and Bosnia; another, running 
from east to west, crosses a pass in the Shaar Planina 
to Prizren, and unites Thrace and !N"orthern Bulgaria 
with Albania and the Adriatic. 

The only building of any beauty that struck our eye 
was a mosque with a particularly handsome minaret. 
The guide said it was " four hundred years old '' — mean- 
ing that it was as old as a mosque hereabouts could be. 



THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 165 

for four hundred years is the term roughly assigned to 
Mahommedan occupation of the Slavonic lands. To 
say that any building is '^four hundi^ed years old," 
implies that it was built by the first conquerors ; 
to say that it is '^ more than four hundred years old '' 
is a significant mode of referring it to Christian 
times. ^' Now-a-days," added the zaptie, ^^ they build 
no fine mosques, nothing but wretched little white- 
washed things." 

Next day our visit was to the Slavonic school, our 
host assuring us that the Greeks had none. In this 
direction, then, we had traced the Graeco-Tzintzar influ- 
ence to its vanishing point. Whereas at Monastir the 
Tzintzars have schools, and contrive to withhold them 
from the Bulgarians, at Prilip they have but one school, 
while the Bulgarians have two ; at Yelesa, their one 
school is much smaller than those of the Slavs, but at 
Skopia they have no school at all. Skopia is, indeed, the 
point where the Bulgarian element meets the Serbian, 
and in Serbian districts neither Eouman nor Greek can 
ever assert himself to the exclusion of the Slav. It would 
appear that the historical pride and expectation of one 
day resuming empire, which gives the Greek so positive 
a power of self-assertion in face of the Bulgarian, meets 
its match in the historical pride and definite ambition 
of the Serb. The Tzintzar merchants at Skopia are its 
most wealthy citizens, but the Christian schoolmaster 
was a Serb, and in his sanctum we found pictures of 
the ancient Serbian kings and of the heroes who had 
flourished in those days when Skopia was the seat of a 
Serbian sabor. 

There were three Slavonic schools in Skopia: two 
contained 60 scholars between them, and another, which 
was larger, held 100. The Christians had built a large 
church, apparently unmolested, for which liberty they 



1 66 THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN, 

were possibly indebted to the circumstance thatSkopia wa s 
at one time a consular station. In districts between this 
and !N^ish there are places where the Christians, having 
received the Sultan's firman permitting them to build a 
church, have seen it twice thrown down by the neigh- 
bouring Mussulmans, and only succeeded in keeping it 
after the expense and labour necessary to rear it a third 
time. If any such story were connected with the 
church of Skopia we should probably have heard it ; but 
we did not even hear complaints of the Greek bishop. 
At the time of our visit he was absent, and probably 
his substitute read the service in whatever language the 
people pleased. 

While we were in the school at Skopia, there arrived 
a merchant who was anxious to see us, because, as he 
said, he had heard of us the year before in Eosna Serai. 
He traded with that city, and told us that he had been 
taking thither cotton from Seres and tobacco from 
Prilip. He further related that his father was a Mon- 
tenegrine, banished from the mountains for breaking 
the laws ; that he himself had made money as a travel- 
ling merchant, and settled in Skopia. Appealing to 
his experience of different parts of the country, we 
asked him whether he considered that Bosnian or 
Albanian Mussulmans behaved the better to the rayah. 
He said that the most cruel, rapacious, and lawless 
Mussulmans in Turkey were the Albanians at Ipek, 
Diakova, Prisren, Prishtina, and the Mahommedans 
near Prilip. The Bosnian Mussulmans are very op- 
pressive, but after all it is ^^only because they are 
Mussulmans ; they speak the same language as our- 
selves," whereas Albanians and Osmanlis, ^* not speak- 
ing our language," would be enemies, whether Mus- 
sulmans or no. We asked him if he had found the 
Albanians faithful to their engagements when they 



w 



THE CITY OF JUSTINIAN. 167 

promised protection and peace. That he admitted. '-'' If 
the fiercest Arnaout give his word of ^ Bessa ' — peace — 
to the poorest rayah, he will keep it ; the Bosnians 
have no such talisman, and scarce think a promise to 
the Christian sacred.'' 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

KATCHANIK. 

CiN the evening before we left Skopia, sounds of 
rumbling and crasbingj as of a cart upset at the 
door, announced the carriage promised by the ka'ima- 
kam. We went down for an inspection, and found the 
horses tolerable, the driver an Arab. The vehicle was, 
we were assured, the best in the country, and had con- 
veyed the harem of a rich official between Skopia and 
Salonica. Hence it deserves to be described. A little 
cart on four wheels, without springs or seats ; four 
poles support its canopy, and from the canopy depend 
curtains : the curtains are cut in strips, and devoid of 
buttons or strings, so that they keep out neither sun nor 
rain, but when the wind blows they stream outward 
like banners or flap the faces of the inside passengers. 

For the use of this family coach for two days we had 
been told that the due price would be at most 200 
piastres ; the proprietor, who accompanied it, demanded 
700. We left the arrangement to be discussed, but 
were surprised when, after long debate, the figure did 
not come down. It was the old story : the proprietor 
was a Mahommedan, and the zapti^s had a finger in the 
pie. We had to send our cavass to the governor with 
this message: ^^Two days ago the ka'imakam induced 
us to wait here on promise of a coach. The coach 
has come, but the owner requires a price which every 



KATCHANIK, 169 

one assures ns is exorbitant. We are willing to pay the 
usual price, ^>., 200 piastres; he asks 700. What is to 
done ? '' 

It was now late, so the chances were that the kai- 
makam would be retired in his harem, and the subordi- 
nates refuse to attend to business. The cavass requested 
that he might take with him, by way of credentials, the 
buyourdi. But the buyourdi was with the ka'imakam 
already, and we had nothing left but the firman. The 
eyes of the cavass sparkled when we told him what it 
was ; he seized it eagerly from our hands and made ojff. 
In about half an hour he returned in great excitement. 
The ka'imakam was gone home for the night, and the 
subordinates were enjoying lief ; but at the sight of the 
firman the uzbashi had waked up at once, turned on the 
proprietor of the carriage like a tiger, and told him we 
were only too good to allow him anything for its use. 
He then sent us the message to give what we chose ; 
^^200 piastres was more than the tariff, but even if we 
did not choose to pay at all it would be made up out of 
the government money." It was not a little to the sur- 
prise of the driver, and, we fear, a good deal to the dis- 
appointment of our attendants, that we abode by our 
former bargain. Now that it was known we had a 
firman, the difficulty was to get along quietly or pay 
honestly for what we used. 

Next morning we left Skopia ; late, of course, but 
yesterday's thunder- shower had broken up the weather, 
so that the sun was no longer to be feared. The riding- 
horses were fresh, and we rode briskly forward, our 
coach following with streamers flying like a medioDval 
carroccio. Its intended use was to give us shelter in 
case of showers, but it creaked so frightfully that we fled 
out of hearing, and were generally too far off to get back 
before the rain. 



1 70 KATCHANIK. 

A short distance outside the town we passed the ruins 
of Justinian's Aqueduct, and left the road for a nearer 
view. This aqueduct used to conduct water from a dis- 
tance of about two and a half hours, supplying Skopia 
from a stream in the Kara Dagh : near the town there 
occurs a depression in the ground, which had to be 
traversed by the building whereof the ruins remain. 
There is still standing a double row of about 120 arches, 
all in the round style ; between these larger arches come 
small ones, of which some are round and others pointed. 

From one arch now pours a stream of water. Under 
the shade of another we descried a tiny garden of melons 
and pumpkins, and therein, seated and smoking, a white- 
turbaned Turk. Strange ! to find thus in juxtaposition 
the witnesses of two conquering races : the Eoman who 
builded, the Ottoman who destroys. 

Pursuing our way, we in due time reached those hills 
which bound the feverish plain of Skopia. To get from 
thence to the green upland field of Kossovo one must 
traverse the Pass of Katchanik, a long, narrow defile, 
through which flows the river Lepenac. 

To render this pass traversable for cannon, a road has 
been made by the Turkish government, but not with- 
out considerable difficulty. In one place the passage is 
bored through a rock ; in others, lack of earth on the 
side of the bank renders it necessary to support the path 
by a sort of wooden scaffolding or shelf. The sight 
of such a piece of workmanship in the backwoods of 
Turkey in Europe not a little edified the travellers 
Zach and Hahn, and they gave it a bountiful meed of 
praise ; however, on nearer inspection one of them per- 
ceived that part of the wood used in construction was 
green. Not long after, this traveller met with the 
engineer under whom the road was made, and told us 
that he had remarked to him on the detected blemish, 



KATCHANIK. 171 

adding, " Your road is very well now, but in a year or 
two it will be thoroughly unsafe.'' The engineer, a 
European renegade in the Turkish service, shrugged 
his shoulders, and answered, ^' I know that as well as 
you." Five years after this conversation took place 
we passed over the road to Katchanik, and it had become 
thoroughly unsafe ; the bridges were full of holes, the 
scaffolding over the ravines was nearly worn through. 

The Pass of Katchanik is peopled by Albanians. 
!N'ow the Albanians are great favourites of Austria, for 
in case of her ever getting hold of these regions she 
must, like the Porte, make use of these cut-throats to 
keep down the Bulgarians and Serbs. Accordingly, it 
appears that the observant and far-sighted Austrian con- 
sul Hahn gladly came to the conclusion — if indeed he 
was not actually told — that the work of the road of Kat- 
chanik, having been done by the inhabitants of neigh- 
bouring villages, must have been done by Arnaouts. This, 
if certain, would be a notable fact. Call the Albanians 
ruffians, robbers, what you will, see, with a little drill- 
ing, how useful they can be. But the consul's fellow- 
traveller was of opinion that the matter admitted of a 
different explanation. He said to us — 

'-'- Although Arnaouts hold the Pass of Katchanik, it 
is not likely that the Turkish governor, having a road 
to make, would seek the labourers in their glens ; the 
adjacent plain of Skopia and other neighbouring dis- 
tricts are inhabited by industrious Christian Bulgarians; 
and here — let who will state to the contrary — it is 
most probable, and according to all precedent, that the 
workmen would chiefly be sought and found." Of 
course it is not for us to decide which of these opinions 
was correct, and possibly the truth rests between them ; 
but in support of the latter we may quote the testimony 
of the Albanians themselves, of whom two, in the 



172 KATCHANIK, 

capacity of zapties, accompanied us througli the defile. 
Indeed they seemed highly entertained at the idea of the 
Sultan asking Mussulmans to work when rayahs were to 
be had close by. 

In the course of the ride these zapties told us some 
traits of their local countrymen, which, if less promising 
in a utilitarian point of view, were more in accordance 
with the nature of the Skipetar. For instance, at one 
point we stopped to look at the view, and our cavass 
told the zaptie that we thought the place beautiful. 
With a hard laugh he cried, ^'Beautiful? yes, indeed, a 
beautiful place for robbers ! " He then explained that 
hereabouts a band of forty thieves had a fierce battle 
with a former kaimakam of Skopia, who had been 
obliged to march against them in full force, and in 
reward for defeating them was made a pasha. Only two 
days ago six robbers had been captured on the very spot 
where we stood. At another point the zaptie bade the 
cavass attract our attention to a house perched near 
the top of a wooded hill. In front of it a space was 
cleared for an Indian-corn field and some haycocks, and 
from its position the inhabitants could survey the ap- 
proaches on every side. *' There," said the zaptie, ^4s 
a specimen of the houses hereabouts. They stand alone, 
and in strong positions, like so many kulas." * In these 
glens there are no villages, and more than three Alba- 
nian houses seldom stand together. We were not near 
enough to observe how this place was built ; such Alba- 
nian kulas as we afterwards saw served for the resi- 
dence of several brothers with their families, and were 
defensible, by shooting through loopholes, against any 
attack but a surprise. Presently we passed two women. 
^^Look at them," cried the zaptie; 'Hhey are women 

* Kula^ or tower, is a Turkish name applied in those countries to all small 
forts or fortified houses, and even to the stations of the rural police. 



KATCHANIK. 173 

■worth looking at, for well do they know how to handle a 
gun." We asked/ 'Are they Mahommedans?" '^ Assu- 
redly." '^ But they do not wear the yashmak ? " '' Not 
they, indeed ; they have never worn it ; and wherefore 
should they ? they are fiercer and more unapproachable 
than the men." After these descriptions of the tenants 
of the Pass of Katchanik we no longer wondered that it 
is given in the Serbian songs as the scene of Marko's 
famous encounter with Miissa, the bandit Arnaout. 

We have already noticed that Sultan Amurath, or, as 
he is called hereabouts, the '^ Turkish Czar Murad," 
when leading his army to Kossovo, is believed to have 
halted at Skopia, and hence an opinion has generally 
prevailed that he must have traversed the Pass of Kat- 
chanik. On this hypothesis, and not being personally 
acquainted with the ground, some Serbs of the Princi- 
pality have wasted much good indignation on their own 
Czar Lazar, for not having fallen on the Moslem host 
while entangled in the defile ; others have even accused 
Marko Kralievitch of traitorously holding the passage 
for the foe. But according to Turkish sources the Sultan 
went from Kustendil to Karatova, where he lay for some 
time encamped. From thence the army passed through 
the Moravitza valley, and near the village of Dolnia 
Chukarka a mound is shown as marking the spot where 
Sultan Murad's tent was pitched when he encamped on 
the way to Kossovo. The only natural obstacle to the 
advance of the Turks by this route would be the neces- 
sity of crossing the river Morava, which they did cross, 
if their own records may be believed. It would have 
been almost impossible to transport a large army through 
the long and narrow Pass of Katchanik, even if uninter- 
rupted by the Serbians, who had the Albanians on their 
side.* 

* The famous Albanian hero, George Kastrioti, caUed by the Turks Scandei^- 



174 KATCHANIK. 

We once held an interesting conversation on this 
subject with a Serbian officer, comparing our respective 
notes on the country with passages from ** Hahn's 
Travels " and Ilammer's ^' Ilistory of the Ottoman 
Empire." He was of opinion that if the Turks really 
followed this route, and debouched on the plain at Gra- 
chanitza, and not at Katchanik, the position wherein they 
were awaited by the Serbians, behind the rivers Lab and 
Sitnitza, admitted of explanation, and would in all proba- 
bility be justified by future investigators of the question 
and of the ground. 

A fight did take place at Katchanik, and our zaptie 
failed not to mention it. It occurred three centui-ies 
later than the great battle of Kossovo, and in it the 
Turks drove back an outpost of the Austrian army, 
which at that time was encamped on the neighbouring 
plains. This was preparatory to the retreat of the 
Imperial army, which abandoned to the vengeance of 
the enemy those Christian inhabitants of the country 
whom Imperial promises had induced to join the cam- 
paign. 

The scenery of Katchanik is hardly grand enough to 
require a particular description, but, like wooded river 
defiles in general, it is wild and picturesque. Near its 
mouth the way is closed by a singular bar of rock, 
reaching from the top of the bank to the brink of the 
stream. Hard by, the ruins of a bridge show that at 
one time this obstacle was avoided by crossing the river ; 
now the road passes right through it by means of a 
tunnel, which an inscription at its entrance ascribes to a 
pasha of Skopia, 1794. On the other side of this tunnel 

beg, was present at the battle of K688ovo. {See Hahn.) He is said to havedis- 
Buadcd Czar Liizar from surprising the Turks at night, remarking, with cha- 
racteristic Albanian hoastfulness, that daylight was wanted in order that they 
might be utterly destroyed ; in the darkness too many would escape. He him- 
eelf survived the battle, to conduct the heroic defence of his own country. 



KATCHANIK. 175 

one arrives at the best place for taking a last look at the 
pass, and at this point the view is striking. 

As you proceed the precipitous banks abate, and the 
river JSTeredimka flowing towards you joins its stream to 
that of the Lepenitz. Low in the angle of their junction 
stands the ruined castle of Katchanik; the so-called town 
occupies the left bank of the Neredimka, and lies to your 
right as you issue from the ravine. 

Outside the walls of Katchanik we found the chief 
citizens drawn up in a line to meet us — Albanians all, 
but showing by their dress that they lived on the borders 
of a Serb district ; for the fustanella was exchanged for 
a simple short white tunic, and no dangling sleeves de- 
scended from the vest of crimson embroidered with gold. 
The chief man came into the middle of the road to 
welcome us, and then led the way through the town ; 
say, rather, he sprang from point to point of the rubbish 
heaped where a town may have been. 

On one hand lay the ruins of a large building ; they 
said it was once a serai (palace) ; the houses looked as if 
they could not stand a day longer, the streets were 
deserted, the shop-boards all but bare of goods, and 
tenanted instead by solitary and often sleeping forms. 
Much as we had seen of Turkish villages, still Katchanik 
was something startling ; here, too, appeared that worst 
of all signs, namely, that the place was not only in a bad 
state, but in a state that grows worse every day. Some 
explanation was wanted, but it was not wanting long ; 
in reply to our first question as to the population, we 
heard that the town consisted of seventy Mahommedan 
houses, '-'- not one ray ah among them all ! " 

Having traversed the street, we halted before a gate, 
and the Albanian shouted his order that it should be 
set open ; then, taking our horses by the bridle, he pulled 
them into a large court, with dwellings at the further 



176 KATCHANIK. 

end, and stopped before a very low house. Here we 
dismounted, and were conducted through the kitchen 
into a room where we took our places on the divan and 
were served with coffee. The Arnaout, standing before 
us, and speaking in Albanian, desired our cavass to tell 
us that this was his house, and this the room where, in 
passing thi'ough Katchanik, all pashas. Begs, and con- 
suls, invariably spent the night. Fui'ther, we were to 
be informed that he himself was a great Beg, and that 
under his roof we need fear no ill. 

As we knew it had been debated at Skopia whether 
the Mussulmans at Katchanik could be induced to 
receive us at all, we acknowledged his hospitality in a 
phrase as elaborate as our knowledge of Greek would 
afford, and by the length of the cavass' s translation into 
Albanian it seemed not to have lost anything in its 
passage. The Beg looked pleased, and again assured us 
that we need ^^fear nothing;" but as ^// (/)o/3i/(T^€ was 
repeated again and again, we could not help interrupting 
to ask why it occurred to him that we were likely to be 
afraid. A longer experience of Arnaoutluk accustomed 
us to be told ^' not to fear," and moreover taught us not 
to take it for granted that we were sure to be safe. 

So long as the master of the house was present, 
politeness deterred us from an examination of our 
apartment, but when he was gone we began to congra- 
tulate ourselves on its being so much better than the 
dilapidated outside led us to expect. Though extremely 
low, it was not small, and its windows had panes, of 
which some were filled with glass. The rest were covered 
with paper, and the excessive stuffiness of the atmosphere, 
added to the discovery that the windows would not open, 
at last reduced us to make an incision in one of these 
paper panes. All rooms in Turkey have a certain family 
resemblance, which renders a description unnecessary to 



KATCHANIK. 



11 



those who have seen any of them ; but, as the coldness 
of the climate in the northern provinces occasions some 
divergence from the best known models, we will herewith 
describe our Arnaont room at Katchanik, even at the 
risk of telling some people what they already know. 
The ceiling was carved, and both it and the plaster walls 
were painted in the gayest hues. In this instance the 
execution was rough and tasteless, but in richer houses 
it is often artistic. Unfortunately, the beautiful wood- 
work harbours insects, so that chambers literally ''ceiled 
with cedar, and painted with vermilion," are often in- 
fested by innumerable plagues. In many rooms, we have 
already mentioned that two sides are entirely taken up 
by windows ; but in mountain regions like Katchanik, 
where the climate is chilly and society unsettled, the 
apertures of dwelling-houses are small and few and 
overhung by the roof. Immediately within the windows 
is the divan, covered with cushions, and in front of the 
divan comes a raised part of the floor, usually of wood 
and carpeted, where it is ill-mannered to tread in shoes. 
Between the raised floor and the door intervenes a lower 
gradation, uncarpeted, and often of bare ground ; this is 
subdivided into a standing-place for servants, a cupboard, 
and a stove. The cupboards are very convenient, even 
the space between their doors being provided with little 
cells; the stove, which in form is like a beehive and 
usually painted green and white, is on the outside pressed 
full of round holes, wherein we more than once baked 
apples for supper. There is also a fence of rails round 
the stove, on which garments can be hung to dry. Pegs 
abound in various parts of the room, and under the ceiling 
runs a high shelf, on which china dishes or other treasures 
may be displayed. 

Such is the usual dwelling-room of a Mussulman 
house in this part of Turkey in Europe. As for the 

VOL. I. N 



1 78 KATCHANIK. 

kioslc^ it is the very poetry of a chamber, giving you 
at once a large open fireplace and large open windows, 
a comfortable sofa and the full enjoyment of the air. 
Unluckily, in rooms as well as in garments, the poor 
Turks are surrendering, for imitations of Europe, the 
few characteristics which they would do well to retain. 
On the other hand, they retain, even in good houses, cer- 
tain blemishes in domestic arrangement, which cannot be 
sufficiently stigmatised. First, the plan of sleeping in 
rooms where they also sit and eat, and by day hiding 
away their bedclothes in cupboards ; secondly, the har-r 
bourage of unnamable insects, which infest alike fur- 
niture, carpets, and clothes ; thirdly, the toleration of 
accumulated filth under windows, under divans, in short, 
everywhere. This latter grievance is connected with a 
total absence of ways and means for removing impurities 
to a distance from dwellings. Certainly much of our 
own experience would go to prove that in their habits 
the Turks are dirty, and respecting the degree of clean- 
liness which results from ceremonial washings we con- 
fess ourselves unable to give a report. On this head, 
too, the accounts we received from others were abso- 
lutely contradictory. For instance, one resident would 
assure us that no adoption of Frankish fashion can make 
the Turk disregard his religious cleansing, while another 
had Turkish acquaintances who, being just europeanised 
enough to wear boots instead of slippers, limited their 
nether ablutions to besprinkling their chaussure. Again, 
we have been told by persons who professed to speak 
from experience, that Turks* wash their hands and faces 
but very rarely change then* linen ; and in direct con- 
tradiction to this statement, we have been told that 
they change their linen every day. So far as our own 
observation is concerned, we must say that the Otto- 
man soldiers and officials, the Greeks, men, women, and 



KATCHANIK, 



*7^ 



children, and the Albanians of all clans and creeds, 
seemed to us heinously unclean. 

Of their Slavonic neighbours, the least cleanly are the 
Montenegrlnes, who, however, are ashamed of it, ex- 
cusing themselves from the fact that during a great part 
of the year their villages are ill supplied with water. 
On the other hand the Bulgarians are more cleanly 
than any people between them and the Dutch, and or- 
derly and careful to boot. The Danubian Serbians are 
less dirty than Germans ; they love fresh air, and let it 
well through their houses ; though not as yet tidy, they 
are particularly anxious to become so, inasmuch as they 
regard ^'shiftlessness '' as one of the attributes of the 
Turk. Their brethren of race, the Mussulman gentlemen 
of Bosnia, cultivate snowy linen and beautifully clean 
houses, and so do the Bosniac Christians as far as their 
poverty will permit. Indeed an appreciation of cleanli- 
ness is one of those points in which the Slavonic Chris- 
tians differ in character from their southern co-religionists 
the Greeks, with whom they are so often confused. 

Soon after we were settled in our room 'at Kat- 
chanik there came a message from the women of the 
Bey's family. They wished to visit us, and to this 
end, requested that we would send our men servants 
out of the house. Of course we agreed; and there- 
upon the Bey, having first seen our attendants to a 
safe distance, liberated his female Relatives and him- 
self withdrew. In a moment our room was full of 
Arnaout women, and we were reciprocally scanning 
one another — on our side with disappointment and 
disgust. For in Turkey, as elsewhere, it is usual 
for ladies, when paying a call, to be arrayed in their 
best, and we had expected to see some fine speci-« 
mens of Albanian costume ; instead of which these 
dames showed themselves in all the shabbiness of 

N 2 



i8o KATCHANIK. 

Albanian deshabille. One of the maids spoke a few words 
of Slavonic, so we asked her whether her mistress had 
not anything better to put on ; and thereupon it ap- 
peared that the poor creatures had not dared to sport 
their best clothes for fear of exciting our cupidity. The 
maid, anxious for her lady's honour, began to describe her 
parure of ducats, when her mistress snubbed her, fiercely 
snapping out, ''• Who talks of ducats ? Hold your tongue." 
Failing the subject of dress (on which in such interviews 
we frequently relied), and the Slavonic words between us 
being few, we sought to amuse them with the pictures in 
a Bulgarian spelling-book. At this juncture the party 
was joined by a boy about twelve years old. To our 
surprise and the immense admiration of the rest of the 
audience, he knew all the Slavonic letters and read the 
alphabet aloud ; he seemed, indeed, a quick enough child; 
but like every lad we saw in a harem, his manner to 
his female associates was not unlike that of a young 
turkey-cock among his silly troop of hens. 

While all were thus intent suddenly a cry was raised, 
and the whole party bundled out, throwing their dirty 
wraps over their dirty and ugly faces, tumbling over one 
another, and in their haste leaving their slippers behind. 
The cause was explained next moment when our cavass 
entered bringing in the soup ; but after all this fuss we 
happened to leave our room unexpectedly, and found 
two or three womeif in the kitchen while the dragoman 
was cooking. ^^ Ah, ha!" said he; ^^ they are not so 
particular as they would have you believe. When they 
want the kitchen they don't mind me." 

Next morning before starting we made the discovery 
that the ^^ great Bey " of Katchanik, like more than one 
Bey in Bosnia, was the proprietor of a khan, and only as 
such consented to oflfer distinguished guests the superior 
accommodation of his own house. He sent in his demand 



KATCHANIK. i8i 

for so many piastres with no greater scruple tlian the 
most ordinary khangee. 

Quitting Katchanik, en route for the monastery of 
Gratchanitza, we had to cross the river Neredimka ; for 
this purpose, and in order to get safe out of the street, 
we mounted our horses and rode on during the next 
two hours. The way skirting the bank of the Lepenic 
traverses steep and broken ground, and it was to our 
surprise that the carriage rejoined us uninjured. 

The hills that form the western wall of the Pass of 
Katchanik here meet the eastern extremity of the Shaar 
Planina, and their point of junction is the pyramidal 
mountain, Liubatern, which rises to 6,400 feet. The 
zaptie who rode before us pointed to the cloud-veiled 
summit, and called out, ^'Look up there! Near the 
peak of that great mountain lies a lake whose shores are 
of snow ; from that lake comes this river, but truly, it 
makes many twinings and twirlings on the hill-side before 
it gets down here." 

We have never been so fortunate as to hear this 
assertion either confirmed or contradicted on competent 
authority, nor did we ever meet any one who had 
ascended the peak of Liubatern. 

And now the unwinding of the mountain ranges 
showed us the great upland plain of Kossovo, stretching 
to Mitrovic at the northern extremity, a distance of 
fourteen hours as the rider goes. It lies on an average 
1,700 feet above the level of the sea, and forms the 
watershed of the ^gean and the Danube.* 

* The whole surface was doubtless once a lake, and part of it still remains a 
marsh, while of the four rivers that drain it, two — the Xepcnic and the Ncre- 
dimka — fall into the Vardar (Axius) ; and two — the Lab and the Sitnitza — are 
carried through the Ibar and Morava into the Danube. The country people say 
that the Neredimka sends water both to the Black !Sea and the White, meaning 
by the latter the Mediterranean. WTiat they imply is, that while its principal 
stream falls into the Lepenic, a portion of its water contributes to feed a mill- 
brook which loses itself in the bog of Sasli, the source of the river Sitnitza. 



CHAPTEE XIV. 

THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO.* 

" Cursed be Vuk Brancovic, for he betrayed the Czar on Kossovo- But the 
name of IVlilosh shall be remembered by the Serbian people as long as the world 
and Kossovo endure." — Serbian Ballad. 

" Never let me hear that brave blood has been shed in vain ; it sends a roaring 
voice down through all time." — Saying of Sir Walter Scott. 

^FHE morning on which we entered K(5ssovo was che- 
quered by those alternations of cloud and gleam 
which usually herald a showery day. The wind blew 
fresh from the snow-wreaths on Liubatem, and swxmg 
aloft the boughs of the oak-copse, showing bright little 
lawns and dewy pastures, to which the grazing horses 
and cattle pushed their way through brushwood and 
fern : we felt that we had exchanged the yellow plains 
of the East for the green mountains and watered valleys 
of Europe. Unhappily, the verdure and the breeze are 
all that now testify of Europe on the field of K(5ssovo. 
Old chronicles tell that at the time when a Turkish array 
first appeared on it the country was well cultivated and 
peopled with villages ; roads and bridges were the espe- 
cial care of the ruler ; the Serbian parliament generally 
held its meetings in the neighbourhood ; and the adjacent 

* The name Kossovo Folic has always been rendered by the Germans Amselfeldy 
i.e., field of the blackbirds. Serbian etjTnologists now incline to derive the word 
not from kos, morula, but from kositi, to mow. Of the battle there are differing 
accounts ; we have followed those most generally accepted both by Mahommcdans 
and Christians, and which form the text of the principal national songs. Later 
ballads ascribe almost every engagement between Turks and Serbians to the battle 
of Kossovo, and thus abound in contradictory details. 



THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 183 

cities of Skopia, Novo Berdo, and Prizren, had great 
yearly marts, which formed the rendezvous of foreign 
merchants. Yes, in those days K6ssovo belonged to 
Europe — to a society, though rude, of activity and pro- 
gress ; but it was conquered to be a pasture-ground for 
Turkish horses, on just such a showery morning as this, 
some five hundred years ago. 

The large plain of K6ssovo, situated in a mountainous 
region, and lying as it were before the doors of Danubian 
Serbia, Bosnia, and Albania, has in all ages been marked 
by its position as a battle-field, and it is still pointed 
out as the spot where combat may once more decide the 
fate of the surrounding lands. The earliest battle of 
K6ssovo of which there is a record, was fought between 
old Stephen Nemania and the Byzantine governor of the 
adjacent castle of Svetchani, and it delivered the Serbs 
of this district from the last claims of Byzantine suze- 
rainty. Again, it was on K(5ssovo that the Turks first 
appeared as invaders of Serbia, and were on that occasion 
beaten and driven away; while in 1448 there was a 
celebrated combat, wherein the Hungarian general, John 
Hunyady, fought the Turks for three days running, in 
vain hope of recovering the land. But the great battle 
of K(5ssovo was that wherein the last Czar of Serbia met 
the Moslem invaders of his country ; and so fresh remains 
its memory that to this day it is scarcely possible for a 
traveller to converse for more than a few minutes with a 
genuine Serbian without hearing the name of Iv(5ssovo, 
After five centuries, the lessons taught by the defeat 
are constantly applied; the loss of the country is an 
ever-rankling thorn. We have ourselves been present 
when Serbians quarrelling Avere quieted by the remon- 
strance, -^What, will ye strive among yourselves like 
your fathers before the battle of K6ssovo?" and we 
have heard a Serbian peasant answer, when praised for 



1 84 THE battle-field OF KOSSOVO. 

bringing in a large load of Tvood, *^ Ay, but it is time we 
Serbians should gather in our wood from the field of 
K(5ssovo." As for any one who has been much in Serbia, 
and has studied the national traditions and songs, he will 
at last come to feel almost as if he had been at the battle 
of Kossovo himself, so minutely is every detail enume- 
rated, so vividly are the motives and actions realised, so 
deep the lines, so strong the colours, in which the prin- 
cipal characters are drawn. 

It was on '' fair St. Yitus's day,'' June 15, 1389, that 
the Turkish and vassal hosts, led by the Ottoman Sultan 
Amurath, engaged the combined forces of the Serbs, 
Bosniacs, and Albanians, which were drawn up on the 
field of Kossovo to repel further invasion of their land. 
The relative numbers of the combatants are very vari- 
ously stated, each party raising that of its adversary to 
not less than 300,000, and declaring that itself was out- 
numbered as one to three. 

The pride of the Serbs was their heavy-armed cavalry ; 
and Turkish histories relate that on the evening before 
the battle it was debated among the Ottoman leaders 
whether it would not be advisable to try and frighten 
the enemy's horses by placing a row of camels before 
the Turkish line. Bajazet, eldest son of Amurath, ob- 
jected to employ stratagem, inasmuch as it showed dis- 
trust of God. The grand vizier deemed it unnecessary, 
because, when he last opened the Koran, he had lighted 
on a promise of victory. Beglerbeg Timour Tash settled 
the question by declaring that the camels were more 
likely to run away from the Serb cavalry than the Serb 
cavalry from the camels. Another difficulty perplexed 
the Turks. All night long the wind blew strong from 
the Christian camp and towards theirs; the leaders were 
uneasy, lest, during the combat, it should blow the dust 
into their men's eyes. Sultan Amurath spent the night 



THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 185 

in gloomy foreboding that this battle was his last ; he 
had recourse to prayer, and just before sunrise a light 
rain fell, laying the dust and wind. When the shower 
ceased and the sun shone out it was the signal for the 
armies to engage. 

Meanwhile, in the camp of the Serbs counsel was dark- 
ened by domestic quarrels. Czar Lazar had two sons-in- 
law ; the one, Yuk Brankovic, was the greatest and best- 
born vlasteline in Serbia, the other, Milosh Obilic, 
was her bravest and most chivalrous warrior. The Czar 
loved Milosh, and trusted him as his own soul. Yuk 
was moved to jealousy at the sight of a man who owed 
his position to his sword preferred before himself; 
accidentally the jealousy of the brothers-in-law was 
brought to a point by a dispute between their wives. 
The quarrel had to be settled by a duel, in which Milosh 
unhorsed his antagonist, but forbore to follow up his 
advantage, and generously offered to make friends. But 
Yiik was envious, and envy does not forgive. It is said 
the Turkish Sultan had already been trying to weaken 
the resistance of Serbia by tampering with some of 
Lazar' s nobles, and had offered the crown to any one who 
would assist him to overthrow the Czar ; it is said that 
Yiik Brankovic accepted the offer, and engaged to 
desert during the impending battle. Certain it is, that 
towards the end of the engr.gement he did lead his men 
from the field, and afterwards he applied to Amurath for 
the crown; hence to this day the popular voice of Serbia 
curses him as a traitor. But the Turkish chroniclers 
know nothing of Yuk's treachery, and in default of 
evidence, modern historians of Serbia are fain to suppose 
that he was no more than a mean sluggish character, 
who left the field because he deemed the battle lost. It 
is possible that he and Milosh mutually suspected each 
other of having listened to propositions from Amurath, 



1 86 THE BA TTLE-FIELD OF KOSSO VO. 

and Yuk was too glad to undermine the credit of his 
rival by accusing him to the Czar. But Lazar, true to 
his noble nature, was slow to believe evil ; he would 
tolerate no private malignity, act on no private suspicion. 
If a doubt rested on the fidelity of Milosh he should be 
given the opportunity of justifying himself publicly ; 
the accusation should be accompanied with a recognition 
of his former services and with a token of the gratitude 
of his prince. 

On the evening before the battle the Czar sat at table 
with his vlastela. At his right hand was placed old liig 
Bogdan, vicegerent of Macedonia, and after him his nine 
sons — the brave brethren of the Czarine Militza. On 
the Czar's left was Vuk Brankovic, and after him all 
the other vlastela. Opposite the Czar sat Milosh 
Obilic, and on either side of him his bond-brothers, 
Ivan Kosanchic and Milan of Toplitz. Every Serb 
between the Danube and the Adriatic is as familiar 
with the names of all here mentioned as with those of 
his own brothers. 

After supper, began the usual ceremony of proposing 
toasts ; wine was poured, and the Czar, taking from his 
cupbearer a costly golden goblet, thus addressed the 
assembled voivodes : — 

^^To whom of you all, my lords, shall I drink this 
cup to-night ? If the claim be age, I must drink to 
the aged Iiig Bogdan ; if rank, to Yiik Brankovic ; if 
affection, to my brothers-in-law, my nine brothers, the 
lugovics ; if beauty, I drink to Ivan Kosanchic ; if 
height, to Milan of Toplitz ; but if valour, then to 
Milosh. And to none will I drink to-night save unto 
thee, Milosh Obilic. Health to thee true ! health to 
thee, traitor ! Once thou wert true : traitor at last. 
To-morrow on Kossovo thou wilt betray me — wilt 
desert me for the Turkish Sultan. Yet here's to thy 



THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 187 

health ! And now do thou drink : drink out my wine, 
keep the cup as my gift." 

To his light feet springs Milosh Obilic, and bows 
him before the Czar to the earth : — 

'' Thanks to thee ! " cries he, ^' glorious Prince Lazar ! 
thanks to thee for thy toast — for thy toast and for thy 
gift — but no thanks to thee for thy words. Traitor I 
am not, was not, will never be. Eather, on the field 
of Kossovo will I perish in defence of my faith. Traitor 
is he who sits at thy knee, under thy skirt — sipping 
the cool wine. The false, the accursed Yuk Brankovic. 
Enough. To-morrow is fair St. Yitus's day, and on 
the battle-field we shall see who is true and who is 
traitor. As for me, so help me God ! my hand shall 
slay the Turkish Sultan, my foot shall stand upon his 
neck." 

We next see Milosh in consultation with his bond- 
brother, Ivan Kosanchic. In the words of the song, 
he says to him : — 

" Oh, my brother, Ivan Kosanchic, 
Hast thou spied out the Tui'kish host ? 
Have the Moslems many warriors ? 
Are we strong enough to fight them ? 
Are we strong enough to beat them ? " 

And thus answers Ivan Kosanchic : 
" Oh, my brother, Milosh Obilic ! 
I have spied out the Turkish army, 
And truly it is a mighty host. 
If we all were turned to salt 
We could not salt one Turkish meal. 
Full fifteen days I go around them 
And find no limit nor end of numbers. 
For wide-spread is the host, yet dense ; 
Horse pressed on horse, hero on hero, 
Lances a forest, banners as clouds, 
And tents whitening the earth like snow. 
Should a storm-shower rain from heaven 
Not a drop could reach the earth, 
All would fall on steeds and warriors." 
♦ ****«» 
The Sultan camps on Mazgit plain, 
And holds the rivers Lab and Sitnitza. 



1 83 THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 

Yet again asks Milosh Obilic, 

" Oh, Ivan, tell me truly 

"V\Ticre stands the tent of Sultan Murad ? 

For to our Prince I have vowed a vow 

That I will slay the Turkish Sultan 

And set my foot upon his neck." 

** Iklilosh, my brother, art thou mad ? 
Dost thou ask where INIurad's tent stands ? 
In the centre of the camp, 
Hemmed in by the thickest squadrons. 
If thou hadst a falcon's plumes 
And couldst swoop on it from heaven, 
Verily thy wings would not 
Avail to bring thee out alive." 

Then doth Milosh thus adjure him : 
" Swear to me, bond-brother Ivan 
(Thou who, not my brother bom, 
Hast to me a brother been). 
That what thou hast told to me, 
Thou wilt not tell to our Prince, 
Lest it weigh down his heart with care, 
And spread a panic through the host." 

Next morning, the morning of the battle, Milosh 
had disappeared from the Serbian camp. Was he gone 
to fulfil his wild vow ? or, as suspicion again hinted, 
had he indeed deserted to the enemy? Yiik Eran- 
kovic pressed the latter interpretation; Czar Lazar 
was sore at heart; for, on what errand soever, Milosh 
was gone. 

Ilis arm, his word, his example, all were needed, and 
all were absent ; the division of the army which he was 
to have commanded missed its leader and murmured. 
At this juncture in came spies, bringing such accounts 
of the mighty force of the Turks, that even now, at the 
eleventh hour, many of the Serb lords counselled 
negotiations. But this Czar Lazar could not brook ; in 
a few noble words he spoke courage to his troops and 
aiTaycd them for battle. But first the whole army 
confessed and took the sacrament. The Serbian Czar, 
in that priestly character still upheld by the Czar of 



THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 189 

Eussia, solemnly absolved them from their sins, and 
declared, that in fulfilling their allegiance to the Cross 
and to him they died as martyrs for their faith and 
fatherland. 

Before the host the banner of the Cross was carried 
by the Czarine's eldest brother, brave Bosko lugovic. 
Says the old song: ^^ His chestnut steed is trapped 
with glittering gold, but o'er himself the great Cross 
banner flings its flowing folds, hiding him to the 
saddle. Above the banner shines the golden globe, 
out of the globe the golden crosses rise ; down from 
the crosses golden tassels hang, and strike on Bosko's 
shoulder as he rides." True is the poetic instinct 
which thus represents the Christian standard-bearer : 
covered with the flag, his personality is lost in his office, 
and not he, but the Cross-banner alone, fills the eye. 

We now return to the account of the Turkish his- 
torian. The battle raged and the left wing of the 
Ottomans had begun to give way, when Bajazet, sur- 
named '^the Lightning," flew to its aid, crushing before 
him the heads of the foes with his iron mace. '' Already 
streams of blood had dyed the diamond sword-blades 
to hyacinth, and the mirror-bright steel of the spear 
to ruby ; already, by the multitude of heads struck oft^ 
and of turbans rolling hither and thither, the battle- 
field was made to resemble a bed of many-coloured 
tulips ; when, as a bird of prey rising from carcases, 
there raised himself from the heaps of slain a noble 
Serb." Milosh Obilic— for it was he— forced aside 
the crowd of myrmidons that surrounded the Sultan, 
shouting out that he had a secret to tell ; Amurath 
signed that he should be allowed to approach. The 
Serb fell down before him, as if to kiss his feet, 
seized his foot, dragged him to the ground, and plunged 
a dagger into his body. The Sultan was mortally 



190 THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 

wounded : a thousand swords were drawn on the assassin ; 
but he, strong of arm and light of foot, shook them off, 
struck them aside, and three times, by prodigious leaps, 
rid himself of the pursuing crowd. Almost he had 
reached the river's brink, almost he had regained his 
trusty steed, when a fourth time the multitude closed on 
him, overbore him, cut him down. 

Some versions of the story say that he was killed at 
once, but most assert that he was brought back 
wounded and fainting to the Sultan's tent, and there 
kept till the end of the battle, when he was executed 
with other prisoners to glut the eyes of the dying Turk. 

The hand of Milosh, who slew an Ottoman Sultan, 
was long preserved at the tomb of Amurath, near 
Broussa ; and from his daring act dated the practice 
that strangers admitted to the presence of the Padishah 
must give their weapons in charge to his attendants, 
and even allow their hands to be held. 

The deed of Milosh being thus related by his enemies, 
one fears not to give the version of his countrymen. 
Indeed this differs only so far as to make him appear 
before the Sultan with twelve companions, gain access 
to his tent in guise of a deserter, and take his life 
before the battle began. On both sides the deed is 
noticed as one of heroism ; and even in our own day it 
deserves honour as an instance of self-devotion. Milosh, 
rendered desperate by calumny, resolved to show his 
patriotism by a desperate service ; he beheld in Amurath 
an Infidel, a barbarian, and the invader of his country ; 
but he used craft only to the point necessary to gain 
access to his victim, and he paid the price of blood with 
his own. 

Meanwhile the combat raged on. Amurath, though 
dying, was still able to give orders, and Bajazet inspired 
his hosts with new fury by calling on them to avenge 



THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. tgt 

their Sultan. The tide of battle turned against the 
Serbs ; and at this juncture Yiik Brankovic, who 
commanded the reserve, marched off the field without 
striking a blow. His brave men, 12,000 in number, 
believed they were only shifting their position, but their 
involuntary desertion decided the fate of the day. They 
were among the best troops of the army — the trusted, 
vaunted cuirassiers. 

Still, however, the Bosniacs fought well, and the 
centre led by the gallant Czar bore all before it. But 
at length the Czar's horse broke down and he had to 
exchange it for another. For the moment he vanished 
from the view of his men, and the sight of his well- 
known dappled charger led from the front spread the 
report that he had fallen. The Christian ranks broke ; 
and when Lazar, remounted, strove with voice and 
example to rally them, he was borne along by the 
panic-stricken crowd ; his horse stumbled and fell in a 
trench, he was surrounded and taken. 

The Turkish Sultan lay in his death struggle when 
the Serbian Czar was brought before him, and over the 
couch of the dying Amurath the eyes of Lazar met those 
of Milosh. Then all was told, and the prince solemnly 
rendered thanks to God that he had been spared to 
find Murad fallen and Milosh true. 

Euriously, Bajazet asked of him how he had dared to 
cause the death of his father. Undaunted, the Czar 
replied, ^'And thy father, how dared he invade my 
realm?" ^^ Gospodar," interrupted an attendant, '^ are 
then thy neck and shoulders of willow wood, that thy 
head, if cut off, can grow again ? " But not heeding 
him, Lazar spoke on : '' And thou Bajazet, son of Amu- 
rath, thinkest thou if I had at my side a certain thing 
which I have not, that I would now delay to send thee 
after thy sire ? " 



192 THE BATTLE-FIELD OF KOSSOVO. 

Bajazet commanded the executioner to strike. The 
faithful squire entreated that he might share the blow ; 
and then, kneeling down before his master, held out- 
spread the royal mantle to receive the royal head. 

Such was the end of the last Christian Czar of Serbia ; 
her first Turkish Czar began to rule by causing his 
brother Jakub to be slain over the scarce cold body of 
their father ; and justified himself by a maxim from the 
Koran, to the effect that, rather than let a man cause 
dissension, it is better to put him to death.* 

Thus was Kossovo severed from Europe, and thus it 
became a pasture for Turkish cavalry. 

* Hammer. "History of the Ottoman Empire," vol. i., book 6. Among his 
exonerating motives is also stated the following : — " He considered that it 
became him to imitate the example of God, who is alone and without rival. 
Wherefore God's shadow on earth, the Ruler of the Faithful, must be like 
God — alone on his throne, and rule without the possibility of rivalry." 



CHAPTEE XV. 

THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, AND THE TOWN OF 
PRISHTINA. 

TITHENj from the broken ground at the mouth of the 
Pass of Katchanik, one has fairly emerged on the 
plain of Kossovo, it becomes possible to sit in the carriage, 
and even to proceed at a sort of jog-trot. This, how- 
ever, is owing to the level, not to any superiority in the 
road, and the bridges are so rickety that one is recom- 
mended to take the precaution of getting out to traverse 
them on foot. 

As for the scenery at this part of the way, there is 
nothing to be lost by passing it in a canopied coach. At 
every step the wood becomes more sparse, and the grass 
more mingled with sandy-looking soil, nor is this com- 
pensated by increasing signs of culture or human 
habitation. We passed some poor khans, and near, not 
through, a village said to be Albanian, its wretched huts 
surrounded and almost hidden by a hedge of interlaced 
roots and thorns. One of the khans is called by the 
Turks the New or Yeni Khan, but it proved as dilapidated 
as the oldest, and seems to retain its title only because 
there are none newer. It stands on the bank of the little 
river Neredimka, which we crossed immediately on leav- 
ing it. At mid-day we halted at the khan of Sasli, on 
ground that in winter forms the bog of Sasli, whence 
rises the river Sitnitza. On the brink of the stream 

VOL. I. 



194 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

there rested a drove of cattle ; and as the hour was about 
milking time, we were given delicious milk with our 
coffee. Afterwards we crossed the Sitnitza, and next 
passed the khan of Eupofze, to be remarked by travellers 
as a half-way house, distant five hours from Katchanik, 
five from Prishtina. A little farther on, the side track 
leading to Gratchanitza diverges from the Prishtina 
road. 

We may mention that, some distance to the left of 
that road, and on the right bank of the Sitnitza, is to be 
found a village, containing some thirty Christian houses 
and a church. Hilferding remarks that its name, Liplan, 
is mentioned by Byzantine writers as early as the eleventh 
century, and in old times it was sufficiently important to 
be the seat of a metropolitan. To the right of the 
road between Sasli and Eupofze lies the Bulgarian village 
of Babush. Till lately this village was remarkable as 
wholly belonging to a single family, whose members 
were exempt from taxation because their ancestors ren- 
dered service as scouts to the army of Sultan Amurath. 
It is said that their privilege has ceased since the issuing 
of the Tanzimat. 

Late in the afternoon we drew near to the spurs of 
those hills which bound Kossovo on the east, and here, 
in a low and sheltered spot, we came upon the monastery 
and village of Gratchanitza. Previously we had passed a 
lately erected chapel, of which the extreme smallness and 
entire lack of ornament show that hereabouts the Chris- 
tians are still afraid to offend the Mussulmans by displaj^ 
In telling contrast to this poor little modern church rises 
the old church of the monastery, the noble zadushUna 
(work for the soul) of a Serbian king. Seen from 
afar, it appears a cluster of arches and cupolas, culminat- 
ing in one large dome. On nearer approach, one per- 
ceives that the smaller domes are four in number, and 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. ,95 

that among the curiously interlaced arches the higher 
are pointed, and the lower round. The principal merit 
of the structure is its general effect; and this, for 
Eyzantine architecture, is so unusually graceful as to 
remind one of some churches in North Italy. 

Evidence of Italian influence might doubtless be traced 
also in the frescoes of the interior, but injustice is done 
to these, as to everything else within the church, by 
the numerous subdivisions necessary to accommodate the 
inner to the outer form. Whether in the sanctuary, the 
nave, or the porch, one is always in a dark compartment, 
too narrow for its height. It would almost seem as if 
this blemish in Gratchanitza had served for a warning 
to the architect who built the church of the patriarchate 
at Ipek, for there outward beauty has evidently been 
sacrificed to giving the congregation a large well-lighted 
nave. 

Among the frescoes at Gratchanitza are portraits of 
the founder, King Milutin, and of his queen, Simonida, 
daughter of the Emperor Andronicus II. Paleologus 
Milutin was the father of the king who built the church 
of Detchani, and the grandfather of Czar Dushan ; ho 
reigned from 1275-1321, and it is said that he erected 
no less than forty- eight buildings for religious or benevo- 
lent purposes. The privileges decreed to the monastery 
of Gratchanitza are engraved on the wall of the church, 
and the monks call this inscription their archive. 

The figures of saints which form the subject of several 
frescoes have suffered from the Turks, who fired pistols 
at them, and were also at the trouble to poke out their 
eyes. This latter injury evinced so much of the malice 
of deliberate insult, that it riled the Serbians more than 
wholesale destructions Avhich might be supposed to have 
taken place in the confusion and heat of assault. Besides, 
the desecrated forms remain on the church wall, so that 

2 



196 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

their injury can never be forgotten ; and their marred 
faces meeting the upturned eyes of the worshippers, seem 
ever to cry out for retribution. In the Principality of 
Serbia, where some ruined churches have been rebuilt, 
these blinded pictures are left unrestored. An old bishop 
said to us, '-'- We still need them — they are the archives 
of centuries of oppression ; and our people must not lose 
sight of them so long as the oppressor still keeps foot on 
Serbian land." For the frescoes themselves this feeling 
is most fortunate, as it has saved them from the doom of 
whitewash ; and it is only to be wished that some similar 
protection could be extended to the exterior sculptures 
and walls. While the modern phase of taste in Serbia 
is represented by the new cathedral of Belgrade, such 
monuments of the mediaeval monarchy as survived the 
Turkish deluge, have more to dread from the zeal of the 
restorer, than aught that befell them from the ravages of 
the foe. 

Among the frescoes at Gratchanitza, one alone has 
been preserved by the height of the dome, or, as the 
monks say, by a mysterious terror which seized on the 
destroyers, and saved the church itself. This rescued 
fresco is the Head of Christ, which in Eastern churches 
is usually depicted of colossal size, and looking down in 
the act of benediction. The conception of the face here 
drawn is as superior to the stiffness of the Byzantine, as 
to the weakness of modern schools. The artist who 
painted it would be a contemporary of Cimabue, and 
Luccio of Sienna ; and, like theirs, his genius was strong 
enough to infuse power and grandeur even into the then 
conventional forms. Indeed, the Christ of Gratchanitza 
is of so stern a type, that one could almost believe the 
painter to have had a foreboding of the dark days in 
store for the church. Those awful eyes look down 
from under brows whereof the frown might well strike 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. J97 

terror into desecrators engaged in their unhallowed 
sport. 

There are a few Eoman remains at Gratchanitza, con- 
sisting of stones with inscriptions and two stone arse, the 
latter preserved within the church. Hahn conjectures 
that these were brought from the station Yicianum, on 
the great military road between Lissus on the Adriatic 
and Mssus, a few days' journey from the Danube. Out- 
side the church we saw the lid of a large stone coffin, 
marked with the cross. 

From our experience of Serbian monasteries, we had 
hoped to find at Gratchanitza both comfort and satisfac- 
tion, but nothing could present a stronger contrast to the 
state of convents in the principality than the condition 
of the convent here. We came, indeed, at an unlucky 
moment, for the prior had just been carried off captive, 
— a fate which by all accounts he richly merited ; but 
which served as excuse for every passing Mussulman to 
bully the monks, and extort what he pleased. Under 
such circumstances, the presence of our zapties was a 
terrible infliction, and it was revolting to behold their 
insolence, together with the cringing alacrity with 
which the monks made haste to satisfy them. After 
a while, the sub-prior got our dragoman into a quiet 
corner, and told him how matters stood. Of course we 
at once sent to assure him that we would take away the 
zapties next day, and pay for all that we consumed. 

The story related by the sub-prior, as to the misdeeds 
and imprisonment of his superior, was bad enough, and 
we afterwards heard it confirmed with additions which 
were not improvements. The captured Hegumon was a 
man much too young for his post, and who would seem 
to have attained it by bribery; he was imperious and 
passionate, and made enemies in the village. On the 
occasion of a wedding-feast, when raki had got into the 



198 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

heads assembled, the abbot of Gratchanitza received a 
blow, and returned it with interest, felling his assailant. 
The man came down on some hard substance and was 
seriously hurt ; his family demanded reparation, and also 
indemnification for the loss of his work during the time 
the wound would take to heal ; altogether 2,000 piastres, 
about £20. This the Hegumon thought extravagant, 
and declared that it would be enough for him to pay the 
doctor, meanwhile lodging and supporting the patient ; 
but the relations insisted, and the fine was paid. The 
man got better, and went out to work as before, but 
after a time he caught cold, the half-healed wound in- 
flamed, and he died. The family haying been paid for 
the wound, and recognising the death as an accident over 
which the Hegumon had no control, made no further 
demand; but the neighbouring Turkish authorities 
thought to improve the occasion and extort money from 
the monastery. They therefore interfered, and demanded 
a second fine ; the Hegumon could not or would not pay 
it, so they seized what money they could find, and 
carried him off to Prizren. He was condemned to prison 
for seven years, and if any one could have relied on the 
sentence being carried out, the whole country would 
have rejoiced to be quit of him. Unluckily it was well 
known that he would only be kept till the authorities 
were sure that he had paid them all the money he pos- 
sessed, and then he would be sent back to Gratchanitza 
on the condition of raising more. 

The wretchedness of the monks at Gratchanitza extends 
to what they call their school. Perhaps, considering that 
they live in an out-of-the-way part of Turkey, are but 
four in number, and have the services of the church to 
attend, it is rather creditable that they have a school at 
all, and should they acquire a good superior, the germ 
may develop into real usefulness. At present, however. 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. 199 

their school is certainly far behind all others in the 
country, and that in more ways than one. In an unfur- 
nished cell we found five miserable children with torn 
books under their arms. The books were the smallest 
Belgrade chitankas, and the scholars read out of them 
both old Slavonic and Serbian, but so glibly that we 
could not but suspect they were repeating by rote. We 
therefore opened the books at another place, and then 
they could scarcely read a word. Their teacher, a kindly- 
looking monk, apologized more candidly than many others 
of his calling, by taking the blame on his own ignorance ; 
^^ however," said he, ''I only teach them the first rudi- 
ments, and afterwards they will go to the good new 
school at Prishtina. As their poor little chitankas were 
torn, we gave them some, together with two New Testa- 
ments to the monks. Next day another monk came to 
us at Prishtina, and asked if we would give a Testament 
to him also, as he belonged to Gratchanitza, but happened 
during our visit to be from home. 

Before leaving the schoolroom we ventured a very 
earnest remonstrance as to the mode in which the pupils 
had greeted us. At our entrance they had literally fallen 
down at our feet, and that with a sort of grovelling 
action which, if not revolting, would have been ludi- 
crous. We asked how in the world they came to suppose 
we should wish to be thus received? Their teacher 
answered, '^The Turks taught it us: their dignitaries 
require us Christians to prostrate ourselves before them." 
^'But we are not Turks, and for Christians to enact or 
to permit such self-degradation is not only a shame but 
a sin. Have not some of you been in Free Serbia and 
seen how the school-children behave there?" '^No, 
none of them." But at these words they exchanged 
glances, and began to cheer up a little. They invited us 
to come into the church, and presently brought thither 



200 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

a man from the village who had been in Free Serbia. 
This man wore a turban, was of uncouth aspect, and 
otherwise looked like the other rayahs ; but he was far 
more outspoken than the monks. We desired him to 
say if the Serbian school-children prostrated themselves 
as these did. '^ Of course not," cried he, '^ but then in 
Serbia everything is different. There they have good 
roads, good judges, peace and prosperity ; here there is 
nothing but disorder and zulum" (Turk.^ violence and 
oppression).* 

Prostrations like those of the school-children at Grat- 
chanitza frequently greeted us during this journey, and 
we cannot think that any civilized traveller would see 
them with less distress than ourselves. But one's own 
feeling at thus witnessing the degradation of fellow- 
creatures and fellow- Christians gives but a faint idea of 
what is felt by the Serbs of the principality, to whom 
these rayahs stand in the relation of brethren of race, 
nay, often are near of kin. Monks, merchants, and emi- 
grants of all sorts, constantly pass from the Turk-ruled 
districts to Free Serbia, and not even the accounts which 
they give of their position awake such indignation as the 
involuntary evidence of it afforded by their cringing 
demeanour, until they learn the manners of a new land. 
One instance among many may stand here. A young 
man working in Belgrade had committed some offence, 
and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment with 
labour. His old father, a Christian in Bulgaria, taking 
it for granted that the imprisonment would endure until 
he could be bought off, came to Belgrade, and found 
that the culprit, having served his time, was about to be 

* For greater distinctness we shall use the term " Free Serbia" when speaking 
of the Danubian Principality, as distinguished from districts inhabited by 
Serbians, but ruled by Mahommedans. In the country, however, the name Serbia, 
without any prefix, is always understood to denote the free districts, the rest 
being called Old Serbia, &c. 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. 201 

set at liberty, and that there was no occasion for bribing 
any one. In his joy the father craved an interview of 
Prince Michael, in order to thank him for pardoning his 
son. This did not exactly please the prince, who is 
doing all in his power to break his own people of the 
habit of referring to him to comment on or change the 
sentence of the law ; he feels that such a practice as this 
testifies to a state of society where the caprice of the 
despot takes the place of justice. However, as the old 
man came from far, and would not be satisfied without 
seeing him, he agreed to receive him, and walked into a 
room of his palace where the Bulgarian had been told 
to wait. The moment the man saw the prince, he fell 
down and grovelled at his feet, again and again with out- 
stretched hand touching the fioor and then his own brow. 
In vain he was entreated to rise, in vain assured that his 
degraded attitude infiicted on the prince the keenest 
pain ; poor rayah ! that was an idea which his mind 
could not readily take in. The scene was described to 
us by the prince himself, — the very recollection caused 
him to writhe: he added, '^Je me suis dit, Yoila 
done comment il faut se presenter devant un pasha." 

As we were making our arrangements for departure 
from Gratchanitza, the new zapties who had come to 
meet us from Prishtina sent to say, that if we wished to 
continue the carriage they could compel the driver to go 
on with us, — we need not pay anything more. Of 
course we did not take advantage of this unjust proposi- 
tion, but having sent the poor man home, as previously 
agreed, proceeded on oui* own journey on horseback. 

The ride from Gratchanitza to Prishtina is not reckoned 
more than an hour and a half. The town stands in the 
undulating ground where surrounding hills mingle with 
the plain. It is dirty and small, but makes a fair show 
in the distance, owing to the minarets of eleven mosques, 



202 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

said to have been erected by Turkish women whose 
husbands fell at the battle of Kossovo. A picturesque 
feature is the little eminence to the right, which at the 
time of our visit was dotted with white and green 
military tents. There is generally a cavalry regiment 
stationed on the field during summer ; and in camp, as 
in city, the Turk shows his taste by relieving the glare 
of white with green. 

The kaimakam of Skopia had despatched a letter re- 
commending us to the mudir of Prishtina ; and this 
letter had an excellent effect, for besides sending to meet 
us at the monastery, he had provided us with capital 
quarters in the town. The house selected was that of 
the bishop, which, though not quite answering to the 
European idea of an episcopal palace (it boasted only 
four rooms, three small and one large), was neverthe- 
less an agreeable residence. The prelate himself, a 
Fanariote, was naturally away at Constantinople, and 
the community deplored not his absence ; neither did 
we, since in consequence we came in for his large, 
cool, pleasant room, with its row of windows shaded 
by the projecting roof. From these windows most 
pleasant is the view : the house, standing on a 
slope, looks down on the clustered town, and beyond 
it far over the plain to a shadowy frontier of distant 
hills. 

Immediately on our arrival, the mudir of Prishtina 
sent to offer a visit, and then appeared, not as usual in 
the form of an obese and greasy-uniformed Osmanli, 
but as a gaunt Albanian in a green robe lined with fur. 
He was a fine-looking old man, with silver hair, glitter- 
ing black eyes, a pale complexion, and with a look of 
blood unattainable to dignitaries who have earned pro- 
motion as a favourite pipe-lighter or cafe-gee. In a few 
minutes the companion of the mudir informed us that 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. 203 

his superior came indeed of a noble race, and, as we dis- 
played lively interest in the subject, the mudir himself 
took up the discourse, and told us the name of his family, 
adding that they were all Ghegga by race, and that in 
their country no one spoke a Avord of Turkish. Thus 
encouraged we proceeded to question him about other 
families of Northern Albania, and especially if he agreed 
with Consul Hahn's informant that the greatest houses 
were those of Ismael Pasha and Mahmut Begola. He 
said they were great, but that the last sprout of one of 
them had taken service under the Sultan, adding con- 
temptuously, ^^He is a humpbacked little fellow," and 
imitating the humpback. 

Eef erring to our journey, the mudir told us that he 
especially rejoiced to welcome us, inasmuch as at one 
time he had served under English command, and was 
well content with his treatment and pay. During 
the Crimean war he had accompanied an English 
consul through the districts of Ipek and Detchani 
in order to gain recruits. '^ The monastery of Det- 
chani of course we knew — as it is the greatest in the 
world." 

When the mudir was gone, the Serbian kodgia bashi 
came to ask us to visit the Christian school. After what 
we had seen at Gratchanitza our expectation was at the 
lowest ebb, and hence we were the more gratified with a 
very pleasing sur23rise. The schoolroom was large, airy, 
clean, properly fitted up, and embellished with texts 
from the Slavonic Bible written scrollwise on door 
and walls. These scrolls are the work of the school- 
master, a Serb from Mitrovic, on the Austrian border 
of the Save ; and he has imparted so much of his ac- 
complishment to his pupils that they not only write 
well, but also draw. Two wonderful pictures represent- 
ing the Madonna and St. George were given us to take 



204 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

away as keepsakes. The bright and yigorous-looking 
children that filled the school then proceeded to show us 
that they could read and cipher with ease; but they 
proved unusually backward in geography — which sur- 
prised us, inasmuch as a set of good maps appeared on 
the wall. In a while, however, we perceived that they 
were fastened so high that no one could look at them 
without getting a crick in the neck. The schoolmaster, 
being of the tidy persuasion, affirmed that this was 
necessary in order to keep them from being dirtied by 
the children's fingers. 

The books at Prishtina were from Belgrade, but as 
they seemed only to have chitankas adapted for the 
youngest children, we asked if they had not some 
histories of Serbia. The master looked furtively around, 
and then said that he had some, but dared not to use 
them openly. '^ Why not?" ^'Because the officers of 
the Turkish regiments frequently come and loll about 
in our school, and the cavalry officers are often Hun- 
garians or Cossacks or Poles, and can read the Slavic 
books." ^' But these brief, dry histories contain nothing 
revolutionary, and surely the officers who are your fel- 
low-Christians would not wish to calumniate you." ^' The 
rest would not, but the Poles are more Turkish than the 
Turks themselves. One day a Polish officer looked over 
the shoulder of one of the children, and called out, 
' Halloa, master ! what do I see here ? These books are 
different from those used in Bulgaria ; they come from 
the principality, and here is something about the history 
of Serbia. If I catch you at this again, I shall report 
you to the authorities.' I trembled from head to foot, 
and knew not what I should say or do ; but luckily there 
was also present a Cossack, a deserter from the Eussian 
service, a good man who had always befriended us ; he 
got the Pole out of the room, and said to him in dis- 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. 205 

pleasure that they were not sent to Prishtina to meddle 
with the Serb school. Since then all reading of our 
country's history has been in private." It need not be 
pointed out what ill service this Polish officer was doing 
the Sultan, in thus angering the Christians by sup- 
pressing the open school study of Serbian history, on a 
spot where its most exciting details are known to every 
man, woman, and child through the medium of national 
song. Unfortunately such malevolent tale- telling is not 
singular, and we have since heard how in one of the 
largest Slavonic towns in Turkey, the school histories 
of Serbia were seized. Of course the pasha had not 
read them himself, but some one told him of their ex- 
istence, and that they contained passages tending to 
throw contempt on the Turkish government ; fanatical 
Mahommedans raised a cry, and the Greek bishop proved 
a ready agent in the seizure. It is worthy of remark, 
that one of the more intelligent local Mussulmans, him- 
self Slavonic and possessed of the suspected histories, 
objected to this measure on the ground that contempt 
for the Turkish government was far more likely to 
be engendered by such a step, than by anything con- 
tained in Serbian school-books. Having, like this 
Mussulman, read the book in question, we can unhesi- 
tatingly endorse his opinion. 

Eespecting the schoolmaster's assertion that Poles in 
the Ottoman army are more alienated from their op- 
pressed fellow- Christians than the Mahommedans them- 
selves, we must confess to have heard it often repeated, 
and with the bitterest emphasis. No doubt, at one 
time, these exiles were too a]3t to hate the Slavonic 
Christians in Turkey, inasmuch as they regarded them 
as clients of Eussia. Subsequently, however, they 
showed more discrimination, and on the occasion of 
the bombardment of Belgrade, Poles as well as Hunga- 



2o6 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, 

rians offered their services to the Government of 
Serbia. 

The school of Prishtina contains a second large room, 
which would just do for a class of girls ; but as usual 
there is the lack of a female teacher, and the customs of 
this part of the country would oppose boys and girls 
being taught in one room. There is also another obstacle. 
Even the boys on their way to and fro are insulted 
by the Arnaout gamins^ — what would be the fate of 
girls ? This objection was urged by the kodgia bashi, 
and thereupon the schoolmaster said to him : — '' Do you 
know what I have been told? The new mudir has 
informed the medjliss that it is the Sultan's pleasui-e that 
the children of his subjects should go to school, not 
excepting the children of Arnaouts. !N"ow if the young 
Albanians were shut up at their tasks, ours could get 
through the street in peace." The kodgia bashi gave us 
a look, as if to see how much we believed, and then said 
shortly, '' When the Arnaouts become quiet and go to 
school like other people, it will certainly be an excellent 
thing." 

The said kodgia bashi was not particularly liberal- 
minded in respect to female education. He observed to 
us, that in their community many of the boys were yet 
untaught, and it would not be well that the women 
should know how to read and write before the men. 
Thereupon we showed him some handsomely-bound 
books, and told him that the contents were histories 
and records of travel written by women. He examined 
the works narrowly, and called upon the schoolmaster, 
who knew Latin letters, to decipher the title, adding, 
'* Are you quite sure that it is neither a letter nor a 
song?" ''Quite sure," answered we; and the school- 
master confirmed our statement. Then said the kodgia 
bashi, " If women will write such books as these, we 
must see what ours can do." 



AND THE TOWN OF PRISHTINA. 207 

After he was gone, the schoolmaster told us that the 
inhabitants of Prishtina have generally the gift of impro- 
vising poetry, and that to the national songs which they 
constantly recite, they add others composed on divers 
occurrences of their own life. Of course this gift is 
turned to account in courtship, and hence a notion exists 
that if women could write they would be for ever in- 
diting love-letters. Such ideas naturally prevail in a 
country long subjected to Mahommedan influence, but 
the old songs tell us of Serbian ladies who '^ wrote like 
men." 

Yet, with all his prejudices, the kodgia bashi is at 
Prishtina an apostle of progress. It is owing to him 
that the new school was built, and by him the school- 
master was found and brought. In default of the absent 
bishop it is he who leads the little community of Serbs ; 
moreover, although one of their poorest members, he is 
chosen to represent them in the medjliss, because he does 
them credit by his demeanour, and dares to speak out 
before the Turk. Of course he has been in Free Serbia. 
You see it at once ; for, like the people over the border, 
he holds up his head and steps out like a man. The 
question is. Why did he return ? This question we fre- 
quently put respecting persons who had similarly come 
back to their native town, although the state of things 
in it was one under which they groaned. The answer 
was as follows : In such cases all the family possesses — 
a bit of land, or a little shop — is in Turkey, and the 
Turks throw every impediment in the way of disposal of 
property for the purpose of emigration. Then, while 
some members of the family are willing to go, others 
cannot bear to leave their birthplace or the friends of 
their youth, and, rather than forsake their families, able- 
bodied inen remain. Again, unless they go to Serbia 
before theii^ mode of life is formed, they can seldom keep 



2o8 THE MONASTERY OF GRATCHANITZA, ETC. 

pace even with the workmen of the principality, and 
their habits are irregular and slothful ; they cannot save 
enough to bring over their families, and rather than 
abandon these they go back to Turkey. But instead of 
themselves they send their children ; the young son of 
the kodgia bashi was then on the eve of his journey. 




W.S:A.K..Johnsiari. Ediutuj 



STARA (OLD) SERBIA 



Stara (Old) Serbia.— A district between Macedonia and the south of the Serbian Principality. In consul 
reports it is included in Northern Albania, and the Mussulmans call it Amjtoutluk. 

Population. — Numbers very uncertain— someday about half-a-million. 

Races.— Serbian. Gheggha- Albanian. The Osmanlee is represented by a few troops and governors of tow 
and some families in Prizren. The Greek only by the Bishops. 

Languages.— Serbian and Albanian. Turkish spoken only by officials, and as one of three languages in Prizr< 
Greek only by Bishops and their Secretaries. 

Religions.— Serbians, Christians of the Oriental commuuion. Albanians, mostly Mahometans, some Rom 
Catholic. 



, CHAPTEE XVI. 

STARA SERBIA. 

"Where tlie sword is, there is the true faith." — Albanian Proverb. 
" It is under the torture that the hero is shown."^ — Serbian Proverb. 

i ND now finding ourselves at Prishtina, in the very 
heart of Old Serbia, it may be as well to inquire 
what extent of country is included under the name, what 
is its history, population, and condition. And here let 
us give notice, that if once we attempt an explanation 
which relates to various and conflicting elements of race, 
language, religion, and political interest, we are likely to 
spin out a long chapter. Eeaders who have no fancy to 
go in for it, need not do so in order to understand the 
allusions throughout our future narrative, if they will 
but consent to look at the subjoined map, and charge 
their memories with its explanation. 

Even in the days of the czardom, it would appear that 
Serbia Proper was distinguished from the " Serb lands.'' 
The latter appellation included all the countries peopled 
by the Serbian race — Zeta, Bosnia, Herzegovina, &c. ; 
but Serbia, in its strictest sense, denoted the tracts now 
comprehended in the Principality, together with those 
that intervene between the south of the Principality and 
Macedonia. Old maps of Turkey in Europe, which were 
drawn while all Serbia was subject to the Turks, give 
the whole of this country under its proper name ; but 
now that the portion nearest the Danube has thrown 

VOL. I. p 



210 STAR A SERBIA. 

off Mahommedan government, while the portion nearest 
Macedonia remains enslaved, map-makers have restricted 
the name of Serbia to the free districts, while the rest of 
the country is called by its Christian inhabitants Old or 
Stara Serbia. 

This name is in nse not only among the Slavs in Tur- 
key, but also with those throughout Austria and Eussia, 
yet it is ignored equally by the Turkish authorities and 
by European Consuls in Turkey. The latter, with the 
exception of an Austrian at Prizren, are indeed stationed 
at too great a distance to know much of the local Chris- 
tians; whereas they are aware that the Turks call the 
country Arnaoutluk, and that it is partly inhabited by 
Mahommedan Albanians. In the district itself both 
names may be heard. If you notice any instance of ruin 
or lawlessness, Turks and Serbians alike reply, ^'What 
do you expect in Arnaoutluk ? " If you halt in wonder 
and admiration at the sight of an ancient church, and 
exclaim, ^^Who would have thought to find such a 
building hereabouts?" the priest who acts your cicerone 
draws near and whispers, '' We call this country Stara 
Serbia." 

The limits of Old Serbia have then no political de- 
finition, nor any definition except that which is assigned 
them by their Christian inhabitants. This, again, de- 
pends on historical associations, so that it is not easy to 
determine boundaries. 

Yet, by way of giving some idea of the region, we 
will indicate a few of its geographical features, and begin 
with the frontiers as assigned by local tradition. On the 
north^ i.e. where Old Serbia meets the southern frontier 
of the Principality, stands the town of Novi Bazaar; 
whence westward runs a chain of hills (Eogoshna 
Planina), terminating in that mountain knot which 
culminates in the Montenegrine Berdas. At the south- 



STARA SERBIA. m 

western extremity of Old Serbia lies Prizren, the former 
^'Czarigrad," and behind it the Scardus range, now 
called Shaar Planina. As on the west a line from north 
to south is marked by the mountains of Herzegovina, 
!N'orthern Albania, and Montenegro, so on the east a line 
from south to north may be drawn from the castle of 
Marco Krali'evich at Prilip to Skopia, and thence, fol- 
lowing the range of the Bulgarian Cerna Gora, to IS'ish. 
Nish stands a little outside the boundary of the free 
districts, but it owns a monument erected by the Turks 
with the skulls of Serbians who fell in defence of free- 
dom ; and this monument, as Lamartine observed, marks 
the true frontier of Serbia. 

Mountains, 

At the point where Old Serbia meets with Monte- 
negro, we find the highest mountains in Turkey in 
Europe, and their most elevated summits, Kom and 
Dormitor, rise from 8,000 to 9,000 feet. Liubatern, 
6,000 feet, we have already noticed as marking the 
western end of the Shaar Planina, at the corner where 
the Pass of Xatchanik debouches on the plain of 
Kossovo. 

Plains^ Rivers^ Towns, 6fc. 

The heart of Old Serbia, both historically and geo- 
graphically, is formed by the sister plains of Metochia 
and Kossovo. On or near Kossovo are situated the 
towns of Prishtina, Novo Perdo, Gilan, Yuchitern, the 
monastery of Gratchanitza, and the site of the famous 
old church of Samodresha. The castle of Svetchani, 
once a residence of the kings of Serbia, occupies an 
eminence at the northern entrance of the plain. 

The field of Metochia lies west of Kussovo, and is 

p 2 



212 STARA SERBIA. 

separated by the low chain of the Golesh hills. On this 
plain, as at once the centre of the Serb lands and a fertile 
spot in a defensible position, the ^emanides fixed their 
capital, and afterwards Stephen Dushan transferred 
thither the seat of the Patriarch. The Czarigrad Prizren 
lay but a few hours distant from the ecclesiastical city 
Ipek, and between the two stood the famous church of 
D^tchani, of which the king who built it felt so proud, 
that he took his name from it, and has gone down to 
posterity as Urosh D^tchanski. Throughout national 
poetry Kossovo is celebrated as the battle-field, Met6chia 
as the garden, of Serbia. 

It would appear that the districts included in Stara 
Serbia, together with the southern part of the modern 
Principality, were in old times peopled by the richest 
and most civilised portion of the nation. Most of the 
higher nobles, whose family names are perpetuated in 
the Book of Serbian aristocracy,* appear to have held 
their residence in this part of the realm ; while the beau- 
tiful churches still remaining either as ruins or partially 
preserved, show that a taste for the arts early penetrated 
regions which now are all but a desert. 

The native sovereigns of Serbia were evidently liberal 
in their expenditure on works of piety or public useful- 
ness. They took their surnames from the places where 
they had founded some holy house, and the impression 
left by their munificence on the mind of the people is to 
this day traceable in popular songs. We cite as a speci- 
men the following curious ballad, whereof the scene is 
the convent of Gratchanitza, while the occasion is a 
Sabor held after the death of '' Czar Kemania.'' 

" Behold," says the minstrel, ^^ the Christian gentle- 
men of Serbia hold parliament in the fair church of 

♦ Said to be pi^'served in a monastery of Mount Athos. A copy was shown us 
by M. Ljudevit Gaj, in Agram. 



STAR A SERBIA. 213 

Gratchanitza, and they are saying one to another. Great 
God ! what a miracle is this ! The seven towers which 
Czar JN'emania heaped full of gold and silver now stand 
empty. Is it possible that the Czar should have wasted 
all this wealth on weapons, and battle-axes, and trap- 
pings for the war-horses ? " 

Then the Czar's son, Sava l^emanjic, rises, and thus 
addresses the assembly: — ^^ Ye Christian gentlemen, 
speak not foolishly, nor sin against my father's soul. 
My father did not waste his wealth on weapon or mace 
or trappings for the war-horse. My father worthily 
employed his wealth on many and noble ^ works for the 
soul.' On the holy mountain of Athos he built the church 
of Hilindar, and for that he emptied two towers of gold. 
By the stream Bistritza he raised High Detchani, above 
^Novi Bazaar the columns of St. George, in Stari Yla the 
white Laura of Studenitza ; these cost him another 
tower." (Here follows a long list of names containing 
many churches really built by the descendants of N^ma- 
nia, but in this poem attributed to himself.) Then 
Sava adds : — 

^^ What remained of my father's wealth he spent in 
making well-paved roads, in building bridges over the 
rivers, he divided it among the sick and blind, thus 
winning a place in Paradise for his soul. Truly several 
towers of treasure were emptied by the Czar my father, 
but on this manner was his wealth employed." 

From Stara Serbia in the time of the Nemanides, we 
pass to it in our day. Previous to 1389, it was the most 
flourishing and favoured portion of European Serbia ; 
at present, excepting the neighbouring mountains of 
Albania, it is the poorest and worst-ruled part of Tur- 
key in Europe. The turning-point in its history is to 
be found in the victory of the Turks on Kossovo, but 
the transformation of a fruitful land into a wilder- 



214 STARA SERBIA. 

ness was a gradual process, and came about as fol- 
lows : — 

According to the terms made between the Sultan 
and the Serbians who first submitted to him, the church 
and the mosque were to stand side by side, and men were 
to worship in either as they might incline. But these 
conditions met with no better observance in Serbia than 
in Bulgaria. The moderation, the tolerance of the Turk, 
lasted only till he got a firm grip on the country, and 
then he appropriated to his own use whatever he did 
not destroy. Of the children that were not slain, the 
girls were dragged off to harems, the boys to the 
janissaries, while their elders could only save themselves 
by '^ransoming their heads" (the original signification 
of the haratch). Such churches as escaped being 
destroyed or taken for mosques, owed it either to their 
smallness or to their occupying sites not convenient for 
Moslem worship, or finally because to save them the 
Christians were willing to pay large sums of money. In 
this manner Gratchanitza and Detchani still contiuue a 
source of income to the Mussulman. 

]N^evertheless, except the Ottoman colonies sent soon 
after the battle of Kossovo to Skopia, Prizren, and Novo 
Berdo, the Mahommedanisation of Stara Serbia went 
on but slowly, so long as the population of the country 
were Serbs. But in the latter half of the seventeeth 
century, events occurred which nearly emptied the 
country of its original inhabitants. 

The Turks having carried their depredations into 
the dominions of the Emperor of Germany, — having 
installed themselves in Hungary and besieged Vienna, — 
the House of Hapsburg took up the war against them 
in earnest, and the Serbian Christians south of the 
Danube were called on to lend their aid. At Adri- 
anople the Patriarch of Serbia met George Brankovic, 



I 



STARA SERBIA, 215 

last scion of her last princes, and anointed him ruler ; 
then both the secular and the spiritual chief undertook 
to raise the people to arms. We have in another chapter 
noticed the result of this effort. Austria, having used 
George Brankovic as a tool, held him captive for life 
at Eger; her generals having penetrated to the Kos- 
sovo Polje, mismanaged matters and had to retreat. 
Thereupon the greater part of the inland Serbian 
population, finding themselves given over to the Turks, 
and judging further contest in their own country hope- 
less, resolved to accept the Emperor's offer and emigrate 
to his dominions. 

In the year 1690, 37,000 families passed from their 
fatherland under the leadership of the then reigning 
patriarch, Arsenius Tsrnoievic ; they were the remnant 
of wealth and valour in central Serbia, and preferred 
expatriation to unconditional submission. In their new 
settlements north of the Danube and Save they formed 
the greater part of that famous military frontier, which 
long served to protect Austria alike from the plunder of 
Oriental armies and from the contamination of Oriental 
disease.* The Emperor of Germany promised that their 
service in his dominions should be but temporary ; that 
he would conquer their land back for them, and that 
meanwhile, if they would but help to defend his, they 
should continue to be governed by their own authorities, 
civil and religious. 

But the old land has not been reconquered, and the 

* In the rising of 1875 and 1876 the military frontier, which formerly served as 
the defence of Christian Europe against the Turks, has served as the bulwark of 
Islam against Christendom. Although it has been found practically impossible 
to restrain the sympathies of a kindred population, or to reckon upon the fidelity 
of every official, yet the northern frontier has been strictly guarded against the 
passing over of men with any sort of arn^s in their hands into Bosnia. Turkish 
barbarities have been committed within sight of Austrian soil, and attacks from 
Mussulmans on the lives and properties of Austrian subjects have been made 
with impunity, owing to the resolute determination of Austria-Hungary to 
keep peace with Turkey at any price. 



2i6 STARA SERBIA, 

new land was by no means freely accorded to its gallant 
defenders. The succession of the patriarchs was ren- 
dered dependent on the caprice of the cabinet of Vienna ; 
the office of the Yoivode was mulcted of real power ; 
nay, some of the new settlers were so tormented in 
order to induce them to change their religion, that they 
left Austria for Eussia. 

At this moment, the Serbians under national govern- 
ment are not more enthusiastic patriots than those whose 
families have dwelt for 200 years on foreign ground; 
nay, young men among the Austrian Serbians take 
service in the principality rather than in the empire. 
Since the War of Liberation hundreds of families have 
passed over to Free Serbia, and should the Turks ever 
evacuate the more southerly districts, the bulk of the 
north Danubian colonists declare that they will return 
whence they came. 

Significant of this unbroken adherence to their old 
fatherland, is the arrangement whereby the Austrian 
Serbs have consecrated a portion of their new territory 
in memoriam. The spot chosen is the so-called Frusca 
Gora, a hilly peninsula between the Danube and Save ; 
there the newly arrived emigrants built churches named 
after those they had left behind them; thither they 
transferred their few treasures, and the bones of their 
last czar. 

We visited the convent where Lazar lies. His body 
was carried from the field of Kossovo first to Gratcha- 
nitza and thence to Eavanitza, — a church now included 
in the principality; finally to New Eavanitza, erected 
in the Frusca Gora. The day of the battle of Kossovo 
is celebrated as the czar's anniversary ; on it thousands 
of people make pilgrimages to his shrine, crowding 
around the open coffin wherein he lies, robed with the 
garments in which he fought and fell. A large picture 



STAR A SERBIA. 217 

of the battle is preserved in the same convent : it serves 
as a text for poems on the Turkish conquest, and for 
trijditional descriptions of home. 

Having now seen how Old Serbia lost her Christian 
and quasi-civilised inhabitants, we will examine how it 
came to be tenanted by barbarians and Islam. 

The place of the fugitives who quitted the plains, 
both at the first emigration and afterwards, was filled 
up from the neighbouring hills by a descent of 
Skipetars, or Albanians, or, as the Turks call them, 
Arnaouts. 

From the beginning of Serbian history there must 
have been districts where the Slavonic and Albanian 
elements existed side by side.* How far north the 
Albanians dwelt previous to their last ingress it is hard 
to determine ; but it is certain that the Slavonians 
shared Albanian territory as far as Durazzo and Elbassan ; 
also that, even before Nemania's time, the little Serbian 
kingdom of Zeta united northern Skipetars and southern 
Slavs. Afterwards, the laws of the empire speak of 
Albanians, both orthodox and catholic, as fellow-sub- 
jects with the Serb. Finally, after the breaking-up, 
first of the czardom, and then of Zeta itself, we find the 
Albanians under separate princes; but these princes — 
for instance, Scanderbeg himself— are relatives and allies 
of the Serbs. 

Most of the northern Albanians dwelling near the 
Adriatic became adherents of the Latin Church. On 
the Mahommedan conquest it was the interest of the Otto- 
man to sow division between the Christian races. The 



* M. Hahn is inclined to consider the Albanians as the aboriginal inhabitants, 
who vacated the fertile part of the country during the Serbian occupation for 
centuries. However this may be, both they themselves and the Slavonic inhabi- 
tants speak of their immigration as recent ; in some places they have come do\^^l 
from the hills within the last fifty years, and constantly talk of returning 
thither. 



2i8 STAR A SERBIA, 

Eoman Catholics being in the minority were those to 
whom the most indulgences could be safely granted, and 
the mountaineers of Albania, unlike those of Montenegro, 
grew weary of acting breakwater to the flood of Turkish 
power. They therefore agreed to become subjects of the 
Sultan, on condition of a separate licence to maintain 
their religion and perpetuate their wild mode of life ; 
these terms are still acted on by such tribes as dwell 
in the hills, and cannot well be reached by a Turkish 
army. 

But when Albanians came down to live on the Serbian 
plains, they soon found that no better faith would be 
kept with them than with other Christians, and their 
fickle character and lack of definite purpose furnished 
poor stujff for patient endurance. Part of one tribe, 
called the Clementiner, did indeed emigrate with the 
Serbians ; but those who remained in Turkey gradually 
yielded to the policy of the Porte, i.e. they became 
separated in interest from their brother- Christians, and 
purchased, at the price of apostacy, permission to hector 
over the rest of the population. 

In Old Serbia the remnant of Eoman Catholic Alba- 
nians is but small, although from time to time it is 
recruited by fresh arrivals from the hills. The new- 
comers usually follow the example of their predecessors, 
and after a while become Mahommedans. Even when 
they continue in the Latin faith, they compound for 
an exemption from haratch by lending the Sultan mili- 
tary service, and helping to keep down their fellow- 
Christians. Indeed, wherever the authorities are Mus- 
sulman and Mahommedan law is observed in courts of 
justice, it requires no small exertion on the part of the 
Eoman Catholic priests, with occasional encouragement 
from foreign powers, to prevent all the so-called Latins 
in Old Serbia from going over to Islam. If once a few 



STARA SERBIA. 219 

families in a village become Mahommedans, they never 
cease bullying the rest nntil they have made them follow 
their example, for apparently nothing annoys a renegade 
like the presence of constancy greater than his own. 
Waverers attempt to bridge over the passage between 
the two creeds by adopting Mahommedan names, and 
thus passing for Mussulmans abroad, while they remain 
Christians at home. We shall have occasion to speak 
of these Eomanists hereafter — their principal parishes 
lie at Gilan, Ipek, Diakova, and Prizren. 

As for the general characteristics and customs of the 
Northern Albanians, there exists a full and particular 
treatise on the subject, written by one who knows them 
and whom they know well. We refer to the book of 
M. Hecquard, late Consul of France at Scutari in 
Albania. At present it suffices to remark that the 
Arnaouts in Old Serbia belong to the division Ghegga, 
and, like all Gheggas, entertain a strong aversion for 
the southern Albanians, or Tosks. The Tosks are cer- 
tainly very different from them, many being to a certain 
extent Hellenized, and exhibiting both in physique 
and character some affinity with the graceful, intelligent, 
and fickle Greeks. The Gheggas, on the other hand, 
are a sturdy and hardy type, and those settled in 
Slavonic districts have a strong tinge of Slavonic blood ; 
indeed, some of their families are of Slavic descent, for 
if a Serb forsakes his religion he at once loses the name 
of Serbian, and is henceforth termed ^^ Arnaout." 

The Albanian in Old Serbia is taller and more stal- 
wart than the Albanian of Epirus ; he is cleaner in his 
person, and his substantial and splendid di'css displays 
more analogy with the Montonogrme costume than with 
the Tosk fustanella and dangling sleeves. But a cross 
with the Serbian has not contributed to render the 
Ghegga character more amiable. If more stately than 



220 



STARA SERBIA. 



the Tosk, he is also more stubborn, and the Amaouts 
now installed in the old city of the Patriarch, fully 
justify the merchant of Skopia's description, as the most 
lawless Mussulmans in Turkey. Their antagonism to 
the authority of the Porte is, however, quite as marked as 
their arrogance to the Christians. ^' Fear God little,'' 
say the Arnaouts of Ipek, ^^ and as for the Sultan, do not 
know that he lives." They plunder the ray ah, and are 
glad of the excuse of their creed for plundering, but 
they care about religion very little any way, and they 
and the Serbs are certainly not separated by hatred of 
race, as both are from the Osmanli. The Serbs look 
down on the Albanians for their inconstancy, lawlessness, 
and ignorance, but they admire their fighting qualities, 
and they declare that many Albanians joined the "War 
of Liberation, and have since amalgamated with the 
Danubian Serbs. 

We now come to the remnant of Serbian families who 
yet remain in the old country, and whom the emigration 
of their countrymen and the apostacy of the Arnaouts 
have left in the smallest minority formed by Christians 
in any part of Turkey in Europe. 

In dialect, dress, and physique, the Old Serbians are 
identical with those on the southern frontier of the prin- 
cipality, and, like them, are as hardy a race as one could 
wish to see. Even among Mussulman neighbours their 
warlike qualities secure esteem ; but they are slow to 
rouse, and this has often placed them at a disadvantage, 
both with Turks and Albanians, in cases where sudden 
and unscrupulous action wins the day. It is, however, 
in time of peace that appears the radical distinction 
between the Serbian and any of the Mahommedan peoples 
of Turkey. His idea of order and right is not Oriental, 
but European. In the principality, where he has his 
own way, popular government is found compatible with 



STARA SERBIA. 221 

quiet and contentment; and his is the only country 
hereabouts where brigandage and official corruption are 
kept down. 

In Arnaoutluk, and contrasted with the Arnaout, we 
have heard the Serbians called ^'good workers," but it 
is a comparison of laziness, for they certainly do not 
share the Bulgarian's disposition for agricultural labour. 
This lack of industry, together with a dourness which 
makes it difficult for them to yield in trials or to get on 
with others, constitute their most obvious faults. Forti- 
tude, independent spirit, self-respect, and self-restraint, 
in fact a certain nobleness of character, cannot make up 
for such practical defects ; nevertheless, in the Serbian, 
such qualities have a special value, inasmuch as they 
are precisely those which the other Christians of Turkey 
lack. 

The government of the principality discourages the 
Old Serbians from emigrating to seek a home with their 
brethren, because they would thus abandon the old 
country entirely to Mahommedans. Of course, however, 
the existence in their neighbourhood of a free state 
governed by Serbians helps to give them self-confidence ; 
and besides this, in Old Serbia, unlike Bosnia or Bul- 
garia, every proud memory is for the Christian. 

The Asiatic Turk who conquered at Kossovo has left 
few and sparse settlements in the country ; the Albanian 
Mahommedan represents a doubly conquered race. He is 
a European who has lost not only liberty but religion, 
whose past is barbarian, his present apostacy, and his 
future either a sneaking return to his former faith, or 
slavery to a despotic government administered by foreign 
officials. The Christians, on the contrary, meeting at 
their festivals under the walls of the grand old churches, 
claim as their own all traditions of ancient empire, and 
of such civilisation as distinguished Old Serbia so long 



222 STARA SERBIA. 

as it was a part of Christian Europe. And if the past 
be theirs, they have only to look forward to be sure that 
the future is theirs also ; that sooner or later they must 
become a part of Christian Europe once more. Their 
kindred of race — often their own near relatives — are 
living as European Christians in Serbia and Austria ; 
hence they know what is meant by freedom, and there 
is no confusion, no uncertainty in their prospects for 
their children, who are educated in the conviction that 
they at least will be free. But all this ideal life (which, 
as it has been truly observed, one can only get at by 
coming among a people with some knowledge of its 
language and history) is not inconsistent with an occa- 
sionally despairing view of things at present, and an 
occasional temptation to throw up everything and be 
gone. 

The condition of the country is indeed bad enough to 
reduce to despair all its inhabitants, excepting of course 
those evil men who thrive on it. The Porte, having 
exerted energies sufficient to extinguish national liberty 
in Albania, and to drive great numbers of Albanians to 
apostatise, has never carried its pains to the point of 
bringing its new adherents into the attitude of orderly 
citizens. Whenever authority is exerted over them, it 
is in order to obtain recruits, or to impose Turkish 
officials in lieu of the old hereditary governors — not to 
enforce a just treatment of the Christians. The mode 
wherein the administration is conducted gives so good 
an idea of the state of society, that we will describe it in 
a few words. 

In the towns of Stara Serbia the governor is a Turkish 
official ; sometimes an Osmanli who does not know the 
language of the country, sometimes an Albanian who 
has served in the regular army. This official supports 
his authority by aid of a few zapties and cavasses in his 



STAR A SERBIA. 223 

own service, and these useful persons derive their pay 
chiefly from what they can rob from the people. The 
mudir, kaimakam, or pasha, buys his post to begin with, 
and is then left to enjoy it so short a time that his chief 
aim is to reimburse himself as quickly as possible. 
Every one knows this, so Mussulmans and Christians 
alike ply him with bribes. But, besides enriching him- 
self, he has to raise the Sultan's taxes. If the Mussul- 
mans will not pay their share he must doubly fleece the 
Christians ; for the Mussulmans are not to be trifled 
with, as, should he offend them, they may bribe some 
higher authority to remove him from his post. At 
Prishtina this was constantly the case ; the mudir we 
found there was the second in a year, and before we left 
the district he was already deposed. 

Supposing, however, that a governor will not be 
intimidated, and having friends among the higher 
powers, cannot be got rid of by fair means, force must 
be resorted to. At Ipek the kaimakam being resolved 
to raise taxes from Mussulmans, not only obtained 
regular troops to support his designs, but seemed 
inclined to circumvent the local Mahommedans by con- 
ciliating the rayahs. Thereupon the Arnaouts waylaid 
him, and shot him from behind a bush. This instance 
came under our own observation, inasmuch as while at 
Prishtina, we took it into our heads to inquire if we 
could make a detour by the monastery of Detchani. 
The mudir told us that he could not send us thither, 
the road being beset with Albanians who had lately 
murdered the governor of Ipek, and who would not even 
respect the Sultan's firman. If we were resolved to go, 
we must make a round by Prizren, and ask the pasha 
for a guard of Nizam. 

Next in authority to the Tui-kish governor comes 
the town-council, or medjliss. The members of the 



2 24 STAR A SERBIA. 

medjliss are (with the exception of one Christian) Mus- 
sulmans, and in Old Serbia the post is filled by the 
most influential chiefs among the Amaouts. In former 
days, when the governor was a native, he usually had a 
strong party in his council, for many of its members 
were his kin ; hence the Christians had only to bribe 
him in order to secure a certain amount of protection. 
^N'owadays, the governor must still be bribed, but being 
a stranger he has not the same power to shelter 
his proteges, so all the medjliss must be bribed too, and 
in this respect the Christians themselves told us that 
their present state is worse than the first. The only 
cliance is to play the foreign governor and the local 
Mussulmans against each other; but it is a dangerous 
game, as whenever the two sets of plunderers find it 
their interest to make peace, they make it at the 
rayahs' cost. 

The Christians could do far more to help themselves 
if they were worthily represented in the medjliss, but 
this is rarely the case. In Old Serbia, as throughout 
Turkey in Europe, the Mussulmans congregate in the 
towns, and in order to keep out of their way, the Chris- 
tians dwell in the country and villages. Hence the 
town community of every Christian district is com- 
paratively small, and furnishes the Turkish Govern- 
ment with a pretext for restricting Christian represen- 
tation in the medjliss to a single member, or, if there 
are both Eoman Catholic and Oriental Christians, to 
two members. Even this is a late concession, and 
certain Turkish governors, who would be glad to use 
the Christians against the local Mussulmans, have them- 
selves described to us the treatment which dej)rives the 
ray ah member of the medjliss of all power. In the 
first place, he is one against many ; secondly, he is used 
as a servant to hand pipes and 005*00 to the Mussulmans ; 



STARA SERBIA. 225 

thirdly, he is sent out of the room whenever anything 
of importance is to be discussed. In consequence, few 
Christians, except such as are willing to expose them- 
selves to ill-treatment, will consent to sit in the medjliss. 
Sometimes a poor wretch is put in and paid for it; 
sometimes a creature of the bishop's or the governor's 
is got in by intrigue, and then becomes the scourge of 
his own community. In Old Serbia the courage of the 
Christians shows itself by better men offering for the 
post; and those who have been for a while in Free 
Serbia bring to their office a resolute demeanour and a 
definiteness of purpose which enable them now and 
then to hold their own. 

Of the Christian community the principal representa- 
tive is properly the bishop ; hence nothing could more 
effectually take the heart out of the Slavs in Turkey than 
the transfer of this important office to Greeks, who do 
not care a rush for Slavonic interests. In most parts of 
Old Serbia the idea w^e found associated with a bishop 
was that of a person who carried off what few paras 
the Turks had left. When at home he would occa- 
sionally exert himself to prevent Christian children 
being carried off and made Mahommedans, but he was 
too often absent to be available even for this purpose. 
Of course, in this case, as in that of Turkish governors 
and Christian representatives in the medjliss, there are 
honourable exceptions to the general rule. 

Under existing cii'cumstances, the actual head of a 
Christian community is its primate or chief elder, usually 
known by the Turkish appellation, kodgia baslii. This 
personage is supposed to be elected by the Clu'istians 
themselves. He has little political power ; but his social 
influence is great for good or evil, as he helps to appor- 
tion the taxes, and acts as judge in civil cases. In the 
latter function he is aided by the chief men, called 

VOL. I. u 



226 



STAJ^A SERBIA, 



Kmets, a title general among Slavonic tribes, and which 
may be traced back in the ancient annals of Bohemia, 
even to the days of Queen Libussa. The room wherein 
we lodged at Prishtina was used in the bishop's absence 
for the meeting of these kmets, who considered civil 
cases in the community itself ; criminal cases are referred 
to the mudii-'s court, where, as we shall presently instance, 
Chi'istian evidence is not received. 

Having thus sketched the present condition of Old 
Serbia, we may conclude by quoting thereon the opinion 
of its inhabitants. This is, — that however in other parts 
of the empire improvement may be compatible with 
Turkish government, here that government is the very 
root of ill. The evils that desolate Old Serbia have their 
source in the antagonism of races and creeds : the first 
aim of a good government must be to appease these 
rivalries : the maintenance of Turkish rule depends on 
fomenting them. Hated alike by Albanian and Serb, 
the Asiatic conqueror, since the day he entered the coun- 
try, has skilfully worn out the energies of his enemies 
by turning them against each other; should he ever 
allow them to make up their differences, their first act 
in concert would be to di'ive him from the land. That 
this will be the end of the matter is, in fact, the expecta- 
tion of all parties; for the Arnaouts are only held to 
their present creed by interest ; and the attempts lately 
made by the Porte to introduce the conscription and 
foreign officials have so disgusted them, that they have 
begun to ask themselves if they might not make a better 
bargain elsewhere. Their present profession of Mahom- 
medanism is not an insurmountable obstacle : ^^ they were 
all Christians once, -and to gain anything they would be 
Christians again." During the last war with Monte- 
negro it was very generally expected that a Serbian army 
would cross the border and co-operate with its kindred 



STARA SERBIA. i2j 

in the hills. On this occasion the Albanians in Old 
Serbia held assemblies and reasoned thns : — "We have 
long been fighting the Montenegrines, and know that 
they are good heroes ; nevertheless we can hold our own 
against them, for they have not Frankish arms. But it 
is said that the Serbians on the Danube have cannon, 
and ofl&cers trained in Frankish schools. If they join the 
Montenegrlnes there will be another battle on K(5ssovo ; 
we shall be beaten, and then we must make terms. Let 
us seek persons who have been in Free Serbia, and ask 
what taxes are there paid." They were told that the 
Serbian government requires two ducats from every 
householder. " Two ducats ? We will give tlu^ee, if 
in return they will promise not to take us for nizam." 
Answer : " The Serbians do not care to have nizam, their 
soldiers are militia, who wear the national dress, and do 
not go on foreign service." "Good, good," cried the 
Arnaouts; ^^ why, we should be better off under the 
Prince than we now are under the Sultan. Let but the 
Serbs march over the border, and we will negotiate with 
them through the Abbot of Detchani." 

But a Serbian army could only cross the border in 
event of a Christian rising throughout Turkey — a rising 
which, even if successful, must entail massacre and 
pillage. No wonder, then, that some persons would 
desire to avert such extremities by diplomatic arrange- 
ment. According to them, we must find an agent for 
bringing this part of Turkey under civilisation, without 
necessarily detaching it from the Ottoman empire ; such 
an agent is to be found in the native Christian govern- 
ment of Free Serbia. That government manages to keep 
order ; and were the southern frontier of the principality 
extended so as to include Old Serbia, we should soon see 
brigandage put down, and all clans and classes equal 
before law. The present population is sparse, idle, and 

Q 2 



228 



STARA SERBIA. 



disorganized ; but once let life and property become 
secure on tbe fertile plains of Met(5cliia and K(5ssovo, and 
their inhabitants would be recruited from beyond the 
Danube by industrious and well-ordered colonists, able 
to retrieve their fathers' exile, and give back to Europe 
the Old Serbian land. 



CHAPTEE XYII. 

FROM PRISHTINA TO VUCHITERN. 

A T Prishtina we dismissed the kiradgees who had ac- 
companied us from Monastir. Their grass-fed 
horses were becoming knocked up, and we spent so many- 
days in resting, that it was bootless expense to pay for 
them when not in use. Scarcely had we parted, when 
the poor fellows met with a grievous mischance. As 
usual, to save paying for their horses in the khan, they 
drove them out to pasture. At nightfall, in a lonely 
place, they were accosted by some Arnaouts, who, pre- 
tending to be zapties, found fault with them for letting 
their horses graze in such and such spots, asked their 
names, and otherwise bothered them. When at last the 
kiradgees contrived to satisfy these tormentors and drove 
their horses together, they found that three were missing. 
At once they suspected that the soi-disant police were but 
members of a party of horse-stealers, and that they had 
engaged them with questions merely that the rest of the 
crew might have an opportunity of making off with the 
beasts. But it was now dark, no search could be made; 
and next morning at daybreak a diligent quest succeeded 
in recovering, not the horses, but the horses' tails — cut 
off, and left on the ground. On this discovery, the 
kiradgees considered it certain that their beasts had not 
merely strayed, and they repaired to the town to see if 
anything could be done towards reclaiming them from 



2 30 FROM PRISHTINA TO VUCHITERN. 

the thieves. To swear to the horses having been in 
their own possession overnight, they called in the evi- 
dence of our cavass, ^^ because his oatJi^ as that of a llussul- 
man, tvould he received, and theirs ivould notP This he, a 
Mussulman, explained to us, when requesting leave to 
go with them. 

So soon as the mudir heard what had happened, he 
determined to give the passing Frankish travellers a 
proof of his zeal ; therefore he sent out into the bazaar, 
and captured the first two stranger Albanians on whom 
his zapties could lay their hands ; then he let us know 
that the thieves were caught, and that he would 
send them, loaded with chains, to Prizren. Through our 
di'agoman we questioned the kiradgees, if they thought 
the imprisoned Albanians were really the thieves. They 
answered that it was most unlikely, as the men who stole 
their horses would not be found next morning dawdling 
about the bazaar ; they had doubtless made off, and the 
horses were with them. Besides, the poor kiradgees re- 
marked, that what they wanted the mudir to catch was, 
not the thieves, but the stolen animals, and to this end 
no steps had yet been taken. We thought of a law of 
old Czar Dushan, which ruled that if the magistrates and 
nobles of a district did not keep that district free from 
robbers, or, when a theft had occurred, could not find the 
robbers and force them to make restitution of stolen goods, 
they, the nobles and the magistrates, should indemnify 
the plundered voyager. It seemed that some law of this 
kind was still needed to quicken the execution of justice 
in Stara Serbia. 

However, we asked the kiradgees whether, since they 
believed the captured Albanians not to be those who had 
stolen their horses, they would not say so, and have them 
released. But this no one would hear of : ^^ All Arnaouts 
were tliieves ! If those now imprisoned had not stolen 



FROM PRTSHTINA TO VUCHITERN. 231 

the horses in question^ they had stolen others, or were 
about to steal them. The mudir himself had pronounced 
them mauvais sujets^ their teskeres were not in proper 
order, and their testimony concerning themselves agreed 
not together. Let them stay in prison by all means; 
doubtless the mudir would let them out as soon as we 
were gone." 

As the horses were not ours, nor any longer in our 
service, we did not see that we could intermeddle further, 
and we really dreaded to do so for fear of causing other 
persons to be thrown into jail. Evidently y^^^^/c^ was 
beyond the mudir' s functions, and all representations on 
our part would be considered simply as cries for ven- 
geance. In this part of the world, if a privileged person 
demands justice, somebody is sure to be punished, and 
that promptly — whether he be the culprit or not is a 
matter of comparative indifference. 

The road between Prishtina and Yuchitern lies over the 
actual battle-field of Kossovo, and crosses the river Lab, 
which flowed between the hostile camps. To the right 
are passed the ruins of the old church of Samodresha — 
identified with many Sabors (parliaments), and with one 
account of the last sacrament partaken of by the Serbian 
army. The spot where Sultan Amurath was assassinated 
is covered by a small mosque, and all the neighbourhood 
between it and Prishtina is associated with legends of 
Milosh. By the Turks themselves a house is shown 
containing the tombs of the Yizier, and his companions 
slain by Milosh in his death-struggle. They also point 
out a mound on the top of which they say he planted 
himself, and killed all who attempted to apjn-oach. 
^' All the graves around it are graves of Turks whom 
Milosh slew." But the most interesting monument has 
perished ; three large stones placed at equal distance, 
and each marking the spot attained by Milosh in the 



232 FROM PRISHTINA TO VUCHITERN. 

three bounds that almost carried him to his horse's side. 
The third stone marked where he was cut down. Some 
years ago, when the mosque of Murad was rebuilt, these 
stones were removed and used as materials. Considering, 
however, how long they had been suffered to remain, it 
would not appear that the Turks intended, when removing 
them, to insult the Serbians ; any more than the British 
peasant intends to insult the memory of the Druids 
when he breaks up their stone circles to build his 
cottage walls. 

The hospitable sheikh from Bokhara, who entertained 
the winter travellers Zach and Hahn with tea, is still 
guardian of Amurath's tomb ; but at the time of our 
visit he was absent at Prizren, and his black locum tenens 
was not communicative. He demurred at first about 
letting us enter, but whether as women or as ghiaours 
we knew not. However, the Usbashi gave a positive 
order, in the name of whom we also knew not ; and the 
result was that not only were we admitted, but nothing 
was said about taking off shoes. There is little to be 
seen. The so-called tomb is a shabby likeness of some 
of those in Constantinople, ^>., simply a room containing 
a large coffin. The body is not there, having been carried 
to Broussa,'but over the coffin hangs a scarf, and at the 
head of it is fixed a sultan's turban. Once the actual 
vestments worn by Amurath when he received the blow 
were kept here ; but the attendant assured us that the 
" old soiled ones had been thrown away, and that those 
we saw were bran new and sent from Stamboul." The 
turban is on the pattern of those worn by the lay figures 
in the hall of the Janissaries, a pyramid of linen coils 
monstrous to behold, and as unlike as possible to that 
most stately and simple of headgears, the turban, as it is 
still worn in Bosnia. At the top stands a little red fez, 
stiff and crimped as if with irons ; this again is totally 



FROM PRISHTINA TO VUCHITERN. 233 

unlike the fez with its long flowing tassel as sported by 
the Albanians and Greeks. 

It is said that the sword of Milosh Obilic used also 
to be kept here, but this we did not see, and the guards 
said it had been taken away. Having left the mosque, 
we remounted and rode onward for about half an hour, 
when the zaptie stopped to point out what the Turks 
call the site of Murad's tent ; he showed us also a heap of 
stones where some Beg or other had fallen. Apparently 
the latter was of late origin, and referred to another battle 
on K6ssovo. Then we crossed the Lab, but not having 
with us any Christian from the neighbourhood, we could 
identify no spot connected with the Serbian battle array 
except the hills of Golesh (Slav, gol^ naked), where Vfik 
Brankovic is said to have been stationed, and which 
have been cursed with barrenness for his sake. 

But if the remembrance of their army's station is 
faded from all but uncertain local tradition^ Serbian 
minstrels have not forgotten the order and manner of 
their heroes' fall — old lug Bogdan early in the day ; 
eight of the brothers lugovic side by side ; the brave 
Ban Strahinia '^ where blood flowed knee-deep;" last 
the Standard-bearer Bosko is seen ^' chasing the enemy 
in flocks as a hawk chases pigeons, and driving them 
before him into the Sitnitza ; " and where ^' the broken 
spears are strewn thickest and the bravest warriors lie 
slain," there is the spot where fell the Czar. Thus in 
the ever- darkening twilight we passed over that fatal 
field where once on the warm quiet Sabbath morning 
came forth the ministering ^'maiden of Kossovo," with 
water to wash the blood of the wounded, with wiiie to 
freshen the lips of the faint, while still she sought her 
gay bridegroom of yesterday among the mangled corpses 
of to-day.* 

* See one of the most touching Serbian ballads, " The IVIaiden of Kossovo." 



CHAPTEE XVIII. 

VUCHITERN. 

TITE had lingered so long on the way that it was dark 
when we reached Yuchitern, and then our drago- 
man, who had ridden on before, met us with a face of 
dismay, saying^ ^^ They have nothing for supper." How- 
ever, it seemed that quarters had been bespoken, and we 
presently found ourselves in the house of the Serb pope, 
and in a room which, though it lacked window-panes 
and even shutters, was provided with a substantial 
goat's hair carpet. While we were improvising cur- 
tains the popadia entered, and by the time the luggage 
was brought up, we had made friends, and she whisper- 
ingly informed us that ^^ a fowl was in the pot." Why 
then had they not said so at once? For this very 
sufficient reason. The pope and the kodgia bashi were 
standing without when the dragoman rode up and ac- 
costed them abruptly — behind him they saw Turkish 
horsemen. ^^You know," said the popadia, "we had 
not enough for all, and if those Turks had heard of 
supper in our house, they would never have gone to the 
khan." 

The peasants from Prfshtina went no farther than 
Yuchitern, and we sent back the postman with his 
obstreperous steeds, so that the operation of getting 
horses had to be performed all over again. We knew 
this would prevent us from starting in good time, and as 



I 



VUCHITERN. 235 

our hosts appeared the sort of people likely to give 
information about the country, we agreed to spend next 
day where we were. This resolve we communicated to 
the mudir's son, who was in attendance the evening we 
arrived, and next morning at an early hour the mudir 
himself came to visit us. Our room was not yet arranged 
for the reception of company, so we agreed to receive 
him on the chardak, — a sort of covered balcony in form 
like a small room, which forms the outer saloon of most 
houses hereabouts, and where guests may be received 
without entering the house. However, when we came 
forth, we found him not reclining on the cushions of the 
chardak, but seated at the head of the stairs on a chair. 
The Arnaout or Bosnian Mussulman rarely affects foreign 
fashions, so we saw at once that this must be an Osmanli 
desirous to be thought cognizant of European manners. 
An Osmanli he was, and dressed in European costume, 
with an enormous pink waistcoat, which set off his 
emhonpoint to the full. But an Osmanli shows much 
better when he is surrounded by menacing Arnaouts 
than when he is fattening on Bulgarian and Eanariote 
bribes ; in the post of danger he is forced out of his 
sloth, his courage is called into play, his will too puts 
forth its real strength, while its imperiousness is re- 
strained. Moreover, we found the mudir at Yuchitern 
both obliging and intelligent, and willing to tell what he 
knew about the place, though being himself a foreigner 
he had to call in assistance before replying to any ques- 
tion. Especially he was anxious to let us know that he 
had not always lived among barbarians. No — he had 
been mudir in the Eoumelian provinces, and his son 
spoke Greek well. Encouraged by his amiability, and 
appealing to his civilised sentiments, we asked if we 
might visit the Mahommedan girls' school. The counte- 
nance of the mudir fell, and all present looked one upon 



2 36 VUCHITERN, 

another. This was not the first time we had made the 
request, but it was the first time we had asked point- 
blank ourselves. Our former messages had always met 
with some excuse : the schoolmaster was ill, the children 
had a holiday, or, as at Prlshtina, it was Friday, and the 
school was not held. Yet we kept hearing of Amaout 
girls' schools, and in the same breath that their women 
lived in gross ignorance. How were these accounts to 
be reconciled ? Evidently we must see the schools. 

The mudir of Yuchitern having no time to frame an 
excuse, waited only a minute to take breath, and then 
replied, that the request we had made was such as might 
be expected from civilised and enlightened travellers ; 
further, he was well aware that it would be cheerfully 
complied with in Constantinople. But we were now in 
Arnaoutluk, and he regretted to say that the Mussul- 
mans were fanatical and rude. However, he would take 
steps to secure that we should see what we desired ; the 
girls' school was next door to his harem, and if we would 
condescend to visit his khanum (lady), she and his son 
would escort us to the school. The visit was fixed for 
the afternoon, and all preliminaries were nearly settled, 
when we called to mind the slovenly deshabille of the 
women at Katchanik, and therefore remarked to the 
mudir that we had heard much of the beauty and 
splendour of Albanian costume, and that we had long 
wished to judge of it for ourselves. He took the hint, 
and promised that in his harem we should see the best- 
dressed women in the town. At the same time, the 
cloud on his face gave way to a good-natured smile, as 
if this last trait had served to assure him that whatever 
we might ask or attempt, we had no motive deeper than 
feminine curiosity. 

When the time for our visit came, the popadia ofiered 
to accompany us, and for that purpose arrayed herself in 



VUCHITERN, 237 

black serge; her tight-fitting garment reaching to the 
ankles, and scarcely differing from a long pelisse. We 
were heartily glad of her company, for such was her 
quickness of comprehension, that she contrived not only 
to understand our broken language, but also to interpret 
it to others. At the gate of the harem we found a sort 
of lodge, where we had to leave our cavass and drago- 
man, and where we were met by the Greek-speaking 
son, a dreadful little fellow in shabby uniform. He con- 
ducted us through a court to the chardak, on which 
carpets and cushions lay prepared. At the foot of the 
stair we were received by his mother. The khanum was 
a fat old Turkish woman, frightfully like an overfed bird 
of prey ; her di^ess showed the same Prankish taste as her 
husband's pink silk waistcoat, for it was of brown Eui'o- 
pean muslin, but its thin trousers and scanty bodice 
could hardly be said to become a corpulent and withered 
form. None the less, she was not emancipated fi^om the 
fear of exciting dangerous admiration. While we sat 
sipping coffee, it happened that a zaptie having some 
message for her son, poked his head out of the lodge. 
Far off as he was, a hue and cry was raised, and the old 
dame ducked under the side of the chardak with all the 
haste that might have beseemed a fair one of eighteen. 
This incident recalled to us certain reflections that had 
occurred fi'equently in the female compartment of the 
steamers on the Bosphorus ; namely, that if Turkish 
women value their prestige as beauties, they must oppose 
every attempt to draw them into public view ; and for 
the following reasons. Most Oriental women have dark 
eyes, bright enough to look bewitching through the slit 
of the yashmak, and all can paint well enough to produce 
a complexion which seems roses and lilies when half seen 
through muslin folds. Eut alas for their charms should 
the veil be torn away, and the wearers be called on to 



238 VUCHITERN. 

show their faces honestly beside those of European 
women — the whole face, in broad daylight, exposed to 
sunshine, wind, and rain ! Of course in the wealthy 
harem, where a high price is paid for beauty, and the 
faded rose is discarded or passed on, one sees exquisite 
forms arrayed with taste and splendour. But many of 
the officials in the European provinces cannot afford 
polygamy, nor to buy Circassian slaves ; or as sometimes 
happens, they have inherited the favourite of some higher 
official — hence in this class, as a rule, the women are 
unpleasing to behold. Indeed it is hard to see how they 
could be otherwise. They destroy their teeth by smoking 
and eating bonbons, even when they do not blacken them 
on purpose. They dock their hair, they cultivate fatness, 
they bedaub their finger and toe nails with a coating 
that looks like red mud. Then, unless they have what 
is much admired, a broad, flat, featureless countenance, 
they exhibit the Turkish long nose, retreating brow, cut- 
away chin, and sallow complexion. Absence of intel- 
lectual occupations, and exclusion from cultivated society, 
deprive plain faces of a redeeming expression of intelli- 
gence, while even fine features bear the stamp of sloth, 
triviality, and too often of unbridled passion. 

While we were at Constantinople, some persons who ^ 
should have known better spread the report that a fete 
given by Fuad Pasha would be signalised by the eman- 
cipation of Turkish ladies — to wit, by their appearance 
outside the harem and dressed in Parisian toilettes. Of 
course, when the fete took place, there was nothing oi 
the kind. Supposing, however, the report had prove( 
true, is it not a question how far the moral elevatioi 
of the Turkish ladies would have been advanced by thei 
mingling in Pera society, or by exchanging the dress oi 
their country and climate for the foreign artifices oi 
Parisian mode ? Till the Mahommedan woman can receiv( 



VUCHITERN. 239 

an education calculated to arm her with self-restraint 
and self-respect, those would indeed assume a grave 
responsibility who should turn her loose on Oriental 
society, or suddenly divest her of her present guardians, 
the veil and the sacred walls of the harem. One might 
say more than this, and assume that until the women of 
Christian communities situated in Levantine cities shall 
make a more creditable use of their liberty, Mussulmans 
can hardly be expected to believe that the Eastern female 
possesses powers of self-guidance sufficient to justify a 
husband's confidence. 

Such were our reflections while the khanum put num- 
berless questions to the popadia : they were interrupted 
by her son taking leave, and then the door into the 
house opened, and a troop of ladies crowded in. In a 
few moments all were squatted on the chardak, staring 
at us, and we at them. Many of them were old and 
withered, and wore a heterogeneous costume ; others 
were gaily coifed with seed-pearls and coins, but enve- 
loped in a black serge pelisse like that of the popadia, 
and unlike any other dress that we saw in Turkey. 
These yoimger dames were painted to such a degree that 
at first we really thought they wore masks, and as their 
mask-like faces represent the ideal of beauty in this part 
of the world, we may state that this consists of cherry 
lips and cheeks, a very fair complexion, and jet-black 
eyebrows, strongly di-awn. Among them all stood one 
unpainted fresh-looking girl — a bride — and, as we un- 
derstood, the bride of the mudir's son ; she it was who 
produced the fine clothes. Her trousseau was brought 
forth, bit by bit, and all wrapped in pretty handker- 
chiefs, for it is a coqiietteric de toilette that the hand- 
kerchief should be handsome enough to correspond with 
the garment it enfolds. After a little coaxing she went 
in and dressed, reappearing in a suit of rose-coloured 



240 VUCHITERN. 

Tinder-robes, with the over-robe of dark green velvet ; 
a charming ensemble of which the idea seemed to be 
taken from a rosebud half folded in its leaves. 

The details of the costume were as follows : — First, a 
garment of white silk gauze, the lower part of which 
disappears in voluminous trousers of rose-coloured silk, 
while over the upper part is worn a waistcoat of ruby- 
coloured velvet, showing the shirt in front and at the 
sleeves. Waistcoat and trousers are connected by a 
girdle, which, to match the dress, should be of the 
richest material ; maybe the bride had a silver one at 
home, but that which she here wore was a piece of stuff. 
Over these garments, and open down the front, hangs a 
robe of silk, also rose-coloured, but lighter in shade than 
the trousers and vest; this robe has long sleeves. 
Lastly, comes the green velvet paletot, falling backwards 
and without any sleeves. Consisting, as this dress did, 
of so great a variety of parts, no portion of it was hidden 
by the rest, no item appeared de trop. As for the work 
on the robes, it was all in gold and exquisitely embroi- 
dered ; yet when with pride they told us its enormous 
price, this did not exceed what is paid every day in 
Paris or London for perishable garnitures composed only 
of artificial flowers, ribbons, or tulle. The young girPs 
headgear consisted of a fillet of coins and seed-pearls, 
with a natural rose stuck behind the ear. 

The dress being duly complimented, handmaidens 
brought forth bundles of handkerchiefs worked by the 
ladies present. They were of muslin or something like 
it, and embroidered in coloured worsted with a slight 
admixture of gold thread, but displayed little taste in 
hue or design. We supposed these handkerchiefs were 
worked at school. ^^ No, at school the ladies did not 
work." ^^ What ! did they only read and write?" 
*^No, all those present had been to school, but none of 



VUCHITERN. 241 

them could write or read." ^^Then what is it that you 
do learn there ? '' ^^ To say our prayers, Turkish 
prayers."* *^ Can you understand these prayers?" 
'' No." " Do any of you speak Turkish ? " '' No, no." 
Here the khanum interfered, highly amused at what she 
considered an enforced confession of inferiority. ^^ / 
speak Turkish," quoth she, and then bursting out laugh- 
ing, and spreading her hands over the assembly, she 
added, ^^ but these women are every one of them 
Arnaouts." 

Becoming wearied of this society, we at length pro- 
posed to adjourn to the school, when the khanum 
answered carelessly that there was no object in doing 
so; the school was empty, and the pupils were here. 
Former pupils, perhaps, but there were no little girls 
present ; however we were about to yield the point 
when the good lady turned to the popadia, and with a 
wink at us and a scornful laugh said something about 
ghiaour. At the sound of the word c/hiaour there 
flashed on our minds a recollection of the manifold 
excuses by which hitherto we had been dissuaded from 
seeing Mahommedan schools ; we felt we were excluded 
as unbelievers, and that the cause of our exclusion was 
fanatical contempt. At once we determined to see the 
school. With a changed voice and frigid manner we 
turned to the popadia and said, ^'The mudir promised 
us to see the school, so be it full or empty we go there 
now." With these words we rose to our feet. What a 
hubbub in the chardak ; the khanum exchanged her 
malicious triumph for a look of real alarm, and with 
deprecatory gestures hurried into the house. The 
Arnaout women scattered before us, as followed by 
the popadia we descended the stairs, walked to the 
lodge, and summoned our attendants. With them 

* By Turkish, the Albanian and Bosniac mean Mahommedan. 
VOL. I. E 



242 VUCHITERN, 

came the mudir's son. ^^ We are going to the school," 
said we, and therewith walked to the next door in the 
wall ; it stood open and we passed in. Before us lay a 
sort of garden, and in the garden were a number of little 
girls who, half-frightened and half-curious, ran before 
us and showed the way. En route we came to an 
aperture in the wall between the school garden and 
that of the harem. It was stuffed with heads, among 
which we recognised those of the khanum and her 
visitors. Scarcely had we passed when the whole 
party, frantic with curiosity, clambered through the gap, 
and appeared in our train. 

At the further end of the garden stood a house, with 
one door on the ground floor and another in the upper 
storey, the latter reached by an outside stair. At the 
top of the stairs we beheld a tall figure completely 
enveloped in mantle and veil, but at the sight of us she 
vanished instantly, and her place was taken by two 
unveiled women, who hurried down the stairs to meet us. 
And now the popadia, who evidently enjoyed the dis- 
comfiture of her fanatical neighbours-, took the com- 
mand, and laying hands on the little girls nearest her, 
began to push them in at the lower door. The other 
women called out to her that many of those children 
did not belong to the school. '^ Never mind," cried 
she, *' scholars or no, let them get in and fill the room." 
In a few minutes we were invited to enter. To be sure, 
there was the school, i.e,^ a little low den, with earthen, 
unsmoothed floor, and a few broken benches. Of the 
scholars of course we could not judge, as many of those 
present were unaccustomed to attend, but in the front- 
row sat some elder girls holding in their hands books 
dirty and torn, and written in Oriental characters. 
These girls were reciting or rather humming while they 
swayed their bodies to and fro. ^' You see," observed 



VUCHITERN. 



H3 



the popadia, ^^ it is as they told you, what they learn 
here is to say the Turkish prayers." At that moment 
a voice sounded behind us, and one of the women of 
the house appeared. Her demeanour was nervous, and 
she asked very humbly what we were pleased to desire. 
'^ Here was the school, here were the scholars, as for the 
teacher (hodgia) she hoped we would not call on her 
to appear, she was a very reverend person." '^ She is 
sick," screeched a voice from the upper storey, '-'- she 
cannot come : why don't you say she is sick ? " ^^ Ah, 
yes," said the former speaker, ^^ that is it, she is sick, 
and very old too. Will you then be pleased to excuse 
her ? " This we did gladly, and had they not betrayed 
themselves we never should have known that the 
hodgia did not choose to see us, any more than why 
they kept us from the school. It was only because we 
were excluded as ghiaours — a character shared by all 
the non-Mussulman inhabitants of Turkey — that we felt 
bound to carry the point. What right have they to 
shut Christians out of their schools, while Mussulmans 
walk into Christian schools without so much as asking 
leave ? 

The son of the mudir waited to escort us home. He 
seemed much agitated, and several times repeated, ''0, 
this is not Constantinople, this is Arnaoutluk, Arnaout- 
luk ! " But the grievances of Arnaoutluk were not at 
an end, our cavass had his story to tell. The horses sent 
in the morning for us to choose from were all miserable, 
and we had charged him to inquire for better. On our 
way to the harem we had encountered a drove, all strong 
and well-looking. He had been to inquire about these, 
and had found that the mudir dare not serve the firman 
on them because they belonged to Mussulmans. This 
story and the discussion thereon took us to the end of 
the baza.ar, and then the popadia begged us to come with 

B 2 



244 VUCHITERN. 

her and visit the Serbian kodgia bashi. On taking leave 
of the mudir's son we charged him with the following 
message: — All due thanks and compliments to his father, 
whose good intentions we fully recognised; but we were 
much surprised to find how little his Mussulman subjects 
cared either for the Sultan or for him. In spite of his 
order, the hodgia had refused to show us the school, and 
at this we were not so much angry as hurt, for we had 
intended only to show a friendly civility such as we 
were in the habit of paying to Christian schools. The 
Christians invited such visits, and took them as compli- 
ments, hence we perceived that hereabouts the Christians 
were the most enlightened and dutiful part of the com- 
munity. Moreover, we were indignant to find that no 
good horses could be obtained for our journey, inasmuch 
as the Mussulmans would not obey the Sultan's firman, 
and give their horses for fair payment. The whole bur- 
den fell upon the Christians, who, being the poorer, 
could least bear it. Were the Mussulmans not also sub- 
jects of the Sultan ? Had not the firman equal claims 
on them? As we finished these words we became aware 
that the end of the bazaar was filling with Arnaouts ; 
and the thick gossamer veils which we wore as protec- 
tion against sun and dust, could not altogether screen us 
from the flashes of angry eyes. 

The mudir's son saw the eyes too: he was terribly 
frightened, flung his arm caressingly over the dragoman's 
shoulder, and speaking in a low voice assured him all 
would be well, his father would see to all. He then 
almost ran homewards, leaving for our protection a stout 
zaptie, who strode before us out of the bazaar ; our 
cavass brought up the rear. 

But a troop of urchins followed in our wake, and 
before we reached the kodgia bashi's dwelling we had 
ample grounds to credit the complaints made of the 



VUCHITERN. 245 

aggresive habits of these Mussulman gamins. Lurking 
in a body behind to watch favourable opportunities, they 
detach parties to run in front. These parties station 
themselves on each side of the way, and then first from 
one quarter and then another the victims are assailed by 
a pelt of small stones. In vain the zaptie swore and 
threatened, till at last, being struck himself, he furiously 
drew his hangiar and dispersed the tormentors with a 
sudden charge. Our cavass, a southern Albanian, was 
excessively incensed, and again and again assured us 
that in his part of the country the Mussulmans were not 
half so bad. 

1^0 wonder that the kodgia bashi's door was barred, 
and that cries from without afforded no inducement to 
undo it. At length the popadia caught sight of one of 
the family passing by, and asked him to use his voice in 
our behalf. When we had entered, and the door was 
closed behind us, what a change, and what a pleasant 
change ! Instead of the parrot screams and excited 
gesticulations of the Arnaout females, or the khanum's 
medley of compliments, disputes, and insults, we were 
met by the sedate and hospitable greeting of a Serbian 
'^ house-father," and cofi'ee was served by a gentle 
slender woman, modestly attired, and with unpainted 
face. Then came a half-hour's conversation, into which 
one could enter with earnestness and cheerfulness while 
resting in the well-cushioned '^ char dak," and looking 
down on the large and quiet garden. 

Another interesting conversation was held that evening 
in the house of our host the priest. Pope Dantcha is a 
person well known throughout Old Serbia, and looked 
up to as he deserves. Without being previously aware 
of his reputation, we were much struck by his intelli- 
gence, his facility in communicating what he knew, and 
his courageous and upright bearing. In the presence of 



246 VUCHITERN. 

the mudir he showed none of that timid obsequiousness 
too common among the Christians in Turkey, while 
behind the mudir' s back he abstained from reviling him, 
and did full justice to his difficult position. ^' There," 
said he, " the mudir sits — one man with half a dozen 
zapties — what can he effect ? There are here but 200 
Christian houses, and from 400 to 500 Mussulman, so 
the Arnaouts have it all their own way. They rob the 
Christians whenever and of whatever they please ; some- 
times walking into a shop, calling for what they want, 
and carrying it off on promise of payment, sometimes 
seizing it without further ado. Worse than this, their 
thoroughly savage, ignorant, and lawless way of living 
keeps the whole community in a state of barbarism, and 
as the Christians receive no support against them, no 
enlightenment nor hope from Constantinople, they 
naturally look for everything to Serbia ; — to the Serbia 
of the past for inspiring memories, to the Principality 
for encouragement, counsel, and instruction." 

The town of Yuchitem must needs have been once 
more important than it is at present, for it formed the 
seat of a bishop, and its old castle, whereof the ruins are 
used for the mudir' s konak, was the residence of the 
hero Yoina, brother-in-law of Czar Dushan. One of 
the most fanciful of Serbian legends relates the feats of 
Yoina' s youngest son, and how he saved his imperial 
uncle ^^ from the false friendship of the Latins." The 
old church of Yuchitern was destroyed, but a new one 
has been built. Not only is it of the plainest exterior, 
but lest it should overtop the houses of the Arnaouts it 
is sunk some feet in the ground. A similar church, but 
still further underground and almost dark, is to be seen 
at Nish, a town on the high road between Constantinople 
and Belgrade ; but at Nish the Christians, having of late 
years got leave to build another church, have shown the 



VUCHITERN. 247 

joy of their hearts by beginning it on so large a scale 
that it towers over every building in the town. 
At Yuchitern there is a Serb school containing about 
sixteen children. We saw it, and though small it was 
clean and orderly, with an intelligent-looking lad for a 
teacher. A girls' school they have not, for the same 
reason as at Prishtina, but with a little encouragement 
they would be likely to start one, for the wife of Pope 
Dantcha would do her utmost, and is as energetic and 
clever as himself. 

She said with pride, '^ I come from Ipek, and at Ipek 
there is a girls' school." We exclaimed, '•'- But are 
not the Arnaouts of that district the most lawless in 
Turkey?" '^ So they are, but, on the other hand, the 
Christians of Ipek are the ^ greatest-hearted ' in Old 
Serbia. They have amongst them the church of the 
Patriarchate which is so stately and venerable ; they 
have amongst them ^Katerina' — a woman whose equal 
is not to be found in the land. It was she who founded 
the female school." The pope added with pride, '-'- My 
wife is her relative ; " and feeling this a great recom- 
mendation, we asked many more questions about the 
school at Ipek. They said that it was provided with 
books, but not with maps, so we gave a set to be taken 
by the popadia on her next pilgrimage to her native 
town. Expecting soon to be in Free Serbia, we also left 
nearly all our remaining books to supply Pope Dantcha's 
school. 

By way of rewarding us for these evidences of sym- 
pathy, the pope sat down on the carpet and gave us a 
sort of catalogue raisonne of all the churches, monas- 
teries, and schools in the neighbourhood of Yuchitern. 
Most of them we shall presently have occasion to describe 
or allude to. All or almost all of the churches are old, 
some royal chapels and some formerly belonging to large 



248 VUCHITERN, 

convents. Many exist now only as ruins, but the people 
make pilgrimages to them regularly, and it is on or near 
their sites that new churches will rise. Unfortunately, 
while enumerating the ruins, the pope did not specially 
insist on the chiu'ch of the old castle of Svetchani, and 
thus we passed it over on our way. 

The glowing and affectionate praises bestowed by the 
popadia on the old city of the Patriarchate, and her 
husband's description of the church of Detchani, again 
roused our desire to go to Ipek ; and we resolved to ask 
whether the route between it and Yuchitern was as 
dangerous as that from Prishtina. It was agreed, to try 
the effect of the ffrman, to send the servants early next 
morning with it and our request to the mudir. In order 
to give instructions to the dragoman we opened the door, 
and stood for a moment on the head of the stairs. He 
came, but with him Pope Dantcha in great apprehension, 
solemnly conjuring us not to appear outside with a light. 
^'Por fear of fire?-' ^^Is^o;" but the Arnaouts had 
been rather excited in the bazaar ; some of them would 
now be lolling about on their way home, and talking 
angrily of our visit to the school. In that case our light 
might serve to '^ direct their mark ! " In a room with- 
out shutters, this was no pleasant idea to sleep upon, so 
we put it out of our heads, assuring ourselves that the 
pope's apprehension led him to exaggerate. But we 
afterwards received the same warning from Mussul- 
mans ; and found that to take a suspicious stranger for 
a target is one of the recognised freaks of the Arnaout. 

!Next morning all was bustle, and by the time we had 
dressed and breakfasted the servants returned from the 
mudir. The firman had been read in full medjliss ; to 
show proper dutifulness, the principal councillors de- 
clared that if we would go to Ipek, they would raise 
100 Arnaouts and take us there. On the other hand, 



VUCHITERN. 249 

the mudir sent us his earnest advice by no means to 
make the attempt. According to the most recent tidings, 
the ka'imakam of Ipek had been murdered by the local 
Mussulmans while in the act of raising the Sultan's 
revenue, the whole district was in confusion, and who 
would receive us he could not say. As for himself, 
his zapties were few, and necessary for his support at 
Yuchitern ; he could not give us enough for protection, 
and we should be at the mercy of an Arnaout guard. 
With less than 100 men the Arnaouts would not go, as 
they had feiids all over the country, and certainly would 
not return without a fight. 

To such representations there was of course but one 
reply. ''We grieved to find the Sultan's dominions in 
such a state, but as his officers were responsible for our 
safety we could not act against their advice." The fact 
was, that we might have got over the murdered ka'imakam 
and the general confusion, but we could not have 
answered it to ourselves to make a two days' journey 
through Chidstian villages, and to have halted at the 
monasteries described by Pope Dantcha, with a retinue 
of 100 fiends. 

Scarcely was this matter decided when the mudir him- 
self appeared. He enforced the arguments used by the 
dragoman, and further took occasion to express his regret 
at the discoui^tesy of the Arnaout hodgia. Now, he 
assiired us, she was convinced of error, and he would be 
much obliged to us to give her an opportunity of proving 
penitence. Would we go to the school once more ? 
The khanum was coming to return our visit, and would 
conduct us thither herself. 

But we had had enough of the khanum ; and hastened 
to deprecate her coming on the ground that we were 
engaged in packing and had not a room wherein to ask 
her to sit down. As for the school, for sake of precedent 



2 50 VUCHITERN, 

we thought it better to act on the mudir's invitation, but 
we intimated that, as we could not come forth expressly 
to pay it a second visit, we would take it on our way 
out of town. This we did, and experienced a recep- 
tion so strongly contrasting with that of yesterday, 
that we could scarcely suppress a smile. At the first 
tap at the garden door, it was opened by a man in a 
turban who bade us welcome, and even carried his 
courtesy so far as to draw water from an adjacent well 
and offer it all round. He then led us into the school, 
which was this time filled with scholars, all duly rock- 
ing to and fro, and humming the prayers they did not 
understand. Even the recalcitrant hodgia was present, 
but with ill grace enough. Wrapped in yashmak and 
mantle as if for a walk through the crowded bazaar, she 
crouched against the wall in front of the first row; her 
back turned to us in the peculiar attitude adopted by 
Mahommedan women when desirous not to be seen. At 
our entrance she gave no sign, but about a moment 
later, espying one of the children raise its head to look 
at us, she dealt it a slap — such a vicious slap, its very 
sound spake of spite and rage. 

Scarcely were we remounted, when, followed by his 
zapties, the mudir walked forward to bid farewell. He 
asked us formally if we were satisfied, and carried his 
pink waistcost with additional dignity in the conscious- 
ness of having made himself obeyed. We did our utmost 
in the way of acknowledgment, feeling sincere admira- 
tion for his firmness, bearding the very Arnaouts whose 
brethren had just attacked his compeer, the luckless 
ka'imakam of Ipek. Poor old mudir ! his post was not 
enviable, and probably off'ered but little emolument to 
reconcile him to its danger : apparently he had not even 
the luxury of a horse, or else, as a Turk, he would 
scarcely have presented himself to mounted strangers on 



VUCHITERN. 251 

foot. At the moment lie turned to go, there appeared 
to escort us two of the principal members of the medjliss, 
so splendidly accoutred that we involuntarily thought of 
old Voina and his son. One of them bestrode a magni- 
ficent white horse, and the pistols in his belt wxre richly 
worked and gilded. These grandees rode speechless on 
either side of us, and as soon as we were out of town 
they turned back with a silent salute. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 

T^ROM Yucliitern it takes but four hours to reacli the 
•^ northern boundary of Xossovo, formed by the con- 
vergence of mountain ranges through which flows the 
river Ibar. The gate of the plain is the Castle of 
Svetchani, which rises from the banks of the stream, and, 
as seen from a distance, appears to fill up the angle 
between closing chains of hills. The eminence on which 
the castle stands is now richly clothed with wood ; its 
sides, steep and tapered like a pyramid, look as if (like 
those of the hill of Castle Yissoko in Bosnia) they 
owed something of their form to art. In truth, the 
first dawn of history in these regions shows Svetchani 
as a fortified point, and it was probably a castle of the 
East Eoman Empire before the immigration of the 
Serbs. In the beginning of the eleventh century all 
the surrounding country owned the sway of Samuel 
of Bulgaria, and when he was overthrown by the 
Byzantine Emperor Basil IL, Sv(itchani was probably 
one of the numerous fortresses which sent its keys to 
the conqueror.* 

The last Byzantine governor of Svetchani was ejected 
by Stephan Nemania ; and it was under the Serbian 
dynasty that this castle earned its tragical renown. 

• In one district alono thirty-five are mentioned. — Hilferding's " History of 
{Serbt) uxd Bul^ariaiui." iSee also Fiuluy's " Bysantine Empiru," p. 460. 



FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA, 253 

First a royal residence, it became a royal prison, and 
there King Urosh III., called Detchanski, was detained, 
and mysteriously died. Stephan Dushan, the son of 
Urosh, who had superseded his father in the government, 
has been accused of giving the order for his death ; but 
a cloud rests upon the whole transaction, and the Serbs 
are naturally anxious to exonerate their great czar. It 
is alleged that the sainted Detchanski, in his old age, 
fell under the power of the clergy, whereas his son, the 
strong-willed Dushan, never was a favourite of theirs, 
— and the monks have had the telling of the tale. The 
most probable opinion is that cited by Mr. Finlay, 
viz., that nobles who had rebelled against the father 
murdered him to prevent a reconciliation between him 
and his son. 

This tragedy in the Neman jic family has furnished 
a topic to the modern Serbian poet, M. lovan Subotic. 
His poem, called ^^Kral Detchanski," tells its story 
simply and picturesquely in the easy language and 
metre of the popular songs ; — language and metre so 
suited to each other that it almost seems as if good 
Serbian naturally utters itself in rhythmical flow. In 
this story the mischief-maker is Dilshan's stepmother, 
who, moreover, causes the death of his young bride, the 
daughter of a Zetan noble. The brothers Merliavche- 
vic and other evil counsellors goad on the prince to 
take up arms, and then hastily mui'der the king, know- 
ing that should he and Dushan meet, theii' mutual affec- 
tion would cause them to make peace. The scene of 
the king's death is laid at Xeredimlie, a (*ountry palace 
in the neighbourhood of Prizren ; but history places it 
at Svetchani, a stronghold where it would be likely for 
the old monarch to retire with his treasures and wait 
for an opportunity of coming to terms with his son. 
Perhaps M. Subotic may have taken one idea in his 



254 FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 

narrative from the charter of the Detchansky Monas- 
tery, wherein Urosh himself, with touching words, refers 
to the misunderstanding caused by his Greek step- 
mother between him and his father. King Milutin. 
Naturally enough, the Serbians lay on these foreign 
consorts the blame of all quarrels in the Nemanjic 
family ; for whatever may have been the faults of that 
dynasty, its members were certainly benevolent to the 
people, and left among them a memory of strong per- 
sonal love. IN'ot so the later and lesser rulers. Irene, 
the consort of one of the despots, has left a name 
proverbial in hatred, and her husband is allowed to 
bear his full share of blame. 

At the foot of the hill of Svetchani lies the little 
to^vn of Mitrovic, and at a short distance outside the 
town a khan marks the boundary between Bosnia and 
Arnaoutluk. I^ear the khan stands a great stone, and 
here it is customary for Mussulmans passing from one 
district to the other to slay a sheep, by way of thank- 
offering for the safety of the journey thus far. 

The boundary represented by the stone of Mitrovic 
does not apply to the Christian population, which on 
both sides is alike Serb, calls its country Old Serbia, 
and insists that Bosnia does not properly begin till 
much farther to the north-west. But for the Mahom- 
medans on either side Mitrovic the sacrificial stone 
marks a real frontier ; the Mussulmans in Ai-naoutluk 
being Albanian immigrants, while the Mussulmans in 
Bosnia are the renegade descendants of a native Slavonic 
aristocracy. In Bosnia the Mahommedan has not only 
more prestige than in Arnaoutluk, but his tenure of 
the land is far older ; for the greater part of the Bosnian! 
nobility became Mussulmans towards the end of the 
fifteenth century, whereas the Cliristian emigi-ation from 
Old Serbia did not occur till the end of the seventeenth 



i 



FROM ARNA UTL UK INTO BOSNIA . 255 

century, and the Arnaout renegades did not become 
masters of the soil till then. The relative position of 
Christian and Mussulman is also different in Arnaout- 
luk from what it is in Bosnia. In Old Serbia, where 
such noble families as did not perish in war gradually 
amalgamated with the people, they inspired the mass 
with theii* historic recollections, their proud obstinacy, 
and warlike spirit. Thus, although at a later period 
the Arnaouts obtained supremacy by adoption of the 
conqueror's creed, the Serbian still continues to feel 
himself their superior; and the renegade's slight at- 
tachment to his new faith causes him to be hated less 
as a Mahommedan than as a barbarian and a brigand. In 
Bosnia things went very differently. There the Christian 
population consists of that part of the nation which 
already before the Mahommedan conquest occupied the 
lowest room ; while the Mahommedan represents the class 
which from time immemorial has been man-at-arms 
and lord of the soil. Hence in Bosnia antagonism fixes 
itself far more specifically on creed than in Arnaoutluk 
— difference of creed, not difference of race, being the 
barrier between the Bosnian Christian and Mahom- 
medan : remove this, and they are one people. 

It is curious to remark that the Croatians, and even 
the Serbs of the Principality, who are no longer 
oppressed by Mussulman landowners, look on the 
Mahommedan Bosniacs with great philosophy and even 
complacency as brethren of race, and the remnant of an 
old Slavonic nobility. They take a certain pride in 
observing that the Bosniac used to be the '^ Lion that 
guarded Stamboul ; " that some of the greatest Turkish 
viziers were Bosniacs ; nay, they glory in the Bosnian 
gentleman's superiority in stature and manly bearing as 
compared with the Osmanli official. It would not be 
hard for the Bosnian Mussulman to obtain good terms in 



2 56 FROM A RNA UTL UK INTO BOSNIA . 

a political arrangement with any South Slavonic com- 
munity which is already free ; but woe betide the 
haughty and oppressive landlord should he be left to 
the mercies of a successful rising of his own rayahs. 

For ourselves, having travelled throughout the greater 
part of Bosnia, we have not to complain of the Mussul- 
mans, who generally infused into such civilities as they 
rendered us a frankness and courtesy which savoured of 
the old noble. On the present occasion, although the 
orders to receive us with due observance had been the 
same to Mitrovic as to Yuchitern, at Mitrovic we met 
with a reception which showed how different was the 
disposition to interpret them. 

The first thing we saw on approaching the Bosnian 
frontier was a troop of horsemen, richly dressed and 
armed ; and soon we discerned that these included not 
only the mudir, but also the cadi and the whole medjliss. 
They were magnificent-looking fellows, and their wel- 
come was full of hospitality. When to their salutation 
in Arabic we answered by a salutation in Slavonic, the 
ice was at once broken, and they talked away with real 
cordiality. They insisted that, if we would not pass the 
night at Mitrovic, we should at least halt there, and 
take some refreshment ; and for this purpose conducted 
us, not to a Christian's humble dwelling, but to the best 
Mussulman house in the place, and there sat in state 
with us and drank coffee. The room in which we were 
entertained was very handsome, and bore every trace of 
belonging to old landowners, being filled with old arms 
and china and other family valuables. "We conversed 
some time pleasantly, and among other questions asked 
our entertainers whether they had served in the last 
Montencgrlne war. As usual, the answer was, ''No; 
the Albanians did, but not the Bosniacs." ''Had the 
Sultan gained anything by the war ? " "He had got 



FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 257 

back a little bit of Vassoievitcli." "" Had he not got 
Cetinje ? " '' Certainly not." 

No one made himself more agreeable than the cadi, a 
personage who in other places seldom came near ns at 
all. He was a tall, fair man, with European features, 
and gave one an idea of the knights his forefathers, when 
they fii'st put on the turban. He valued himself on his 
Arabic learning, but had a thorough abhorrence of 
Turkish and a strong love for his own language. As 
we were tolerably well up in the conventional phrases 
exchanged in Serbian meetings he imagined that we 
knew more of his language than we really did, and 
exclaimed : '^ It is a great pleasure to me to hear you 
speak Bosnian ; / am a Bosniac [Ja sam BosniaJc).^^ 
When we departed he and all the rest accompanied us, 
and before mounting our horses the mudir presented us 
with a bunch of roses. 

But these Mussulman civilities cost us dear, and placed 
us for once in the position of those travellers who in 
passing through Turkey in Europe held converse only 
with Mahommedans. The same feeling which induced the 
Bosniacs of Mitrovic to deem it an honour to entertain 
us themselves, caused them to exclude the rayah from 
joining in the intercourse. We passed some Christians, 
standing near the road to have a look at us, ^nd stopped 
to ask them about the castle on the hill, but they said 
they were strangers, and evidently did not choose to 
speak. In Mitrovic no rayahs appeared, and thus we 
heard nothing about their school, nor about the old 
castle, for the Mahommedans were of course oblivious of 
all local curiosities, and especially of Christian ruins. 
We afterwards heard that the Castle of Svetchani con- 
tains the remains of a church and several tombs, that it 
commands a magnificent view over the plain and the 
mountain ranges, and that the ascent is by no means so 

VOL. I. s 



258 FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA, 

long and arduous as it appears from below. But all this 
was learned too late; our quarters for the night had 
been fixed for Banska, so we went on thither, and passed 
Svetchani by. This mistake caused us so much chagrin 
that we would do our best to secure other travellers 
against it by counselling them to divide their journey 
thus: — from Prishtina to Yuchitem in the morning, 
from Yuchitern to Mitrovic same afternoon ; spend the 
night at Mitrovic. Next day go up to the castle 
and spend the night at Banska. If an extra day can 
be passed on the way, let it be at Mitrovic, not at 
Yuchitern. 

When issuing from the street of Mitrovic we finally 
passed out of the plain of Kossovo into that range of 
forest-mountain which divides it from the valley of 
Karanovac and the basin of Novi Bazaar. This so-called 
Zelena Planina, with its long-drawn furrows, forms 
the natural bulwark of Danubian Serbia ; Sultan Bajazet, 
though victor on the plain of Kossovo, durst not attempt 
to cross the hills, and attack the Czarina in the town of 
Krushevac. Therefore he at once offered her favourable 
terms, and by his fair words opened the door he could 
not storm. 

For some distance the road runs along the right bank 
of the Ibai: and winds round the base of the castle hill, 
affording a striking view of the ruin. The change in 
scenery is attended by an equally sudden change in 
climate : one passes from hot and brilliant sunshine into 
the chill shadow of the hills. 

At a turn of the winding road the way was stopped 
by a group of armed horsemen drawn up behind a tre- 
mendous figure, who was clothed from head to foot in 
crimson and mounted on a huge black steed. This red 
trooper proved to be the Bosnian chaoush of the little 
station of Banska, who had duly come out to meet us. 



FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 259 

As he rode home before us, we rejoiced in having so fine 
a piece of colouring to relieve the grey rocks and droop- 

ig green boughs. 
Near Banska the green became sparse, and the rocks 

>egan to assume a volcanic form and hue ; the place is, 
las its name indiates, the site of a bath or mineral 
[spring.* It is also a defensible point of the pass, and 
Serbian times was held by that brave Banovic 
Strahinia who was killed on Kossovo, and whose adven- 
tures and generosity form the subject of a stirring poem. 
While the inhabitants of all the neighbouring villages 
are Christians, those of Banska are exclusively Slavonic 
Mussulmans : may be the descendants of her ancient 
garrison, if, like some others, it apostatised to avoid 
laying down arms. The bath establishment at Banska 
is small, and as it was evening we did not go in ; but 
we made the tour of the old citadel, now in the last 
stage of ruin. The high-walled enceinte contains 
nothing except the kula of a few zap ties, who have also 
a watchman's post on the wall, uninhabited houses, and 
a deserted mosque; twenty years ago, they said, the 
houses were inhabited and the mosque used for worship. 
But traces remain of an earlier stage. From the ruined 
wall project the heads and forepaws of two stone lions, 
the rest of their bodies having been built up with the 
gate or pillars to which they belonged. The mosque too 
is in the form of an Eastern church, and the lower part 
of its apse displays some rows of beautiful masonry, 
marble of red and gray ranged in alternate layers and 
polished, like that which we afterwards saw at Detchani. 
Both church and castle appear to have been stately 



* It soem8 however, doubtful whether it takes its name, like so many other 
places, from Banja, a bath, as it certainly possesses mineral springs, or, as is 
sometimes alleged, from its having been the residence of the Ban celebrated in 
Serbian song. A district ruled over by a Ban is called Banovina. 

s 2 



26o FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 

structures when in Serbian hands ; indeed King Milutin, 
their founder, took from them his surname of Banski. 

Here, on the subject of ruins in Bosnia, we may 
remark that the description which Mr. Baton gives of 
that country, from what he heard of it on the borders, 
though probably applicable at the time he heard it, is 
not so now. Omar Basha, when putting down the last 
revolt, did much to reduce the Begs, who no longer 
occupy feudal strongholds, but live more or less meanly 
in towns, going into the country only to collect their 
rents ; even when in the country they inhabit white 
houses, neither old nor of castellated exterior, though 
probably capable of being defended. Castles of the size 
and age of that of Marko Kralievitch, at Brilip, may be 
seen near some of the towns or guarding the most 
important mountain passes ; but they are either, like 
Marko's, totally ruined, or still nominally defended by a 
few rusty cannon and local guards under the name of 
Imperial fortresses. In fact, anything of a feudal 
residence on a large scale in Bosnia is so dilapidated as 
to give less idea of having been lately inhabited than 
the castles on the Danube and the Ehine. Such relics of 
architecture as the older castles exhibit, such legends of 
warlike owners as lend them a romantic interest, mostly 
refer to ante-Turkish times. 

Our night's lodging had been prepared in the house 
of the chaoush himself ; and though the room was 
small, it was interesting from its primitive ornaments 
in carving, old pottery, and arms. The officer himself 
received us with great hospitality, and presented to us 
Avith his own hand a large round cake (Slav, kolatch\ 
which he evidently thought a great dainty. We longed 
to bestow it on the poor Christian drivers, who must 
have spent an uncomfortable night. There are no fields 
near Banska, and it was hard to get forage for the 



FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 261 

horses ; moreover, as the small khan would not hold 
them, they had to remain in the court of the chaoush's 
house. 

But one good result accrued from their discomfort — 
they were ready to start at break of day. This is very 
necessary when the joui-ney is from Banska to Xovi 
Bazaar, for, although nominally only nine hours, it is 
nine hours of such mountain travelling as may be inde- 
finitely prolonged. Not but that there is a road, sol- 
disant tel^ made by the Turkish government, and, like 
others, answering its end so far as to serve for the trans- 
port of cannon, but extremely rough withal, and uncom- 
promisingly steep both up and down hill. In every part 
it is wide enough for two bullocks to pass abreast, and 
we met several patient couples dragging the elementary 
cart of the country laden with the stems of trees. Alto- 
gether, we cannot quite endorse the opinion of the 
Polish officer who pronounced this road passable for a 
carriage containing ladies, because it is passable for 
wood and guns ; but we are none the less obliged to 
him for his verdict, without which, in our then state of 
health, we should not have dared to attempt this route 
at all. 

A day's riding in the Zelena Planina (green forest- 
mountain), such as we came in for here and elsewhere, 
left us each time the richer by a memory of delight. It 
brings a fresh breeze over one for ever after, only to 
think of those forest hills, green as they are and windy 
as the summer downs in England, and yet with almost 
Grecian sunlight pouring on their brows. Greece her- 
self has lost her forests, and so has beautiful Dalmatia, 
which the Venetians robbed of fertility when they bared 
her hills and left them to dry and bleach in the glare. 
It is well that the Serbian ranges did not share this fate, 
for they present comparatively little picturesqueness of 



262 FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 

lurm wherewith to atone for bleakness, and their inland 
scenery lacks the thousand charms inalienable from 
countries washed by a southern sea. 

In the hills between Kossovo and Novi Bazaar the 
grand monotony of greenness is only broken here and 
there by the grey walls of a far-off ruin. Svetchani is 
seen again and again as you round each new ascent; and 
farther on, the lone castle of Yelic appears on its eagle 
crag. 

There would seem to be Eoman remains in this neigh- 
bourhood; at a roadside fountain where the horses 
drank we descried on the trough a Latin inscription, 
and found that it was an ancient sarcophagus. After 
much questioning, which (no Christian being present) 
was difficult and unsatisfactory in the extreme, all we 
could elicit was, that this sarcophagus came from a 
village called Seochanitza. Seochanitza is said to lie two 
hours from the Kadiaschi Khan near the fountain where 
we saw the sarcophagus, six hours from Novi Bazaar, 
and four hours from the Serbian frontier; moreover 
many other stones covered with ^mting have been found 
there and walled into the little village khan. By all 
accounts the place is very small, and not abounding in 
konaks or food for horses, so we dared not turn out off 
the road to explore it. 

Our chaoush, who had provoked us greatly by his 
^'know-nothingness" about the Eoman remains, was 
more communicative on the subject of the population 
here and on the Serbian border. He denied that there 
were any Albanians to be found in the neighbourhood, 
and said that from Banska to Novi Bazaar all the villages 
were Christian, or, as he called them, ^'Serb." On the 
other side of the border, as we doubtless knew, the 
Serbians had set up a state of their own. Last year they 
and the Sultan quarrelled; and he, the chaoush, and 



FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 263 

many other persons, had expected to see a Serbian army 
re-appear on the field of Kossovo. The men on the 
Serbian border were fine fellows, and so were those on 
the Bosnian side; in fact ^^ borderers always are the 
finest people of any country, as they are kept in fighting 
practice.'' We told him that one reason why the Serbs 
had not crossed the border was, that last year they had 
not good arms, but that now they had received a supply 
and had drilled 200,000 men. He answered, ^^We all 
know that quite well. They have also plenty of cannon ; 
and, as I heard, not less than 300,000 men." ^^And 
how many fighting men do you think there are in 
Eosnia?" He answered, '-'- They say 50,000 ; but they 
could never bring that number into the field."* Being 
a Bosniac, he spoke on this subject quite dispas- 
sionately, having probably made up his mind that, 
whatever the chances of a second battle of Kossovo, 
he, like his forefathers, would make his terms with 
the victor. 

With the chaoush and his fellow-borderers we must 
confess to have shared the anticipation of seeing the 
Serbs reappear on Kossovo, when, the road attaining its 
highest bend, we turned back to take our last view of 
the field. We left our horses and walked to a little 
eminence where, resting under the trees, we could look 
over the winding of the mountain ranges, and past the 
spiral summit of Svetchani down on the far-off golden 
plain. 

How many and divers travellers must have halted on 
this spot and been moved by this view ! Here the con- 
tingent from Eascia and Bosnia, on their way to join the 



* The immense disproportion between this number and that in the principality 
of Serbia, which has not a much larger population, is accounted for by remem- 
bering that in Bosnia the Christians, who form over two-thirds of the population, 
are not counted as fighting men. 



20+ FROM ARNAOUTLUK INTO BOSNIA. 

camp of Czar Lazar, must have seen the spot that was to 
behold their fall. Here the Mussulmans of Bosnia — all 
renegades and traitors as they be — when marching to 
vindicate against the Sultan their claim to govern their 
own provinces, broke out into the gloomy chant — ^^We 
march, brethren, to the plains of Kossovo, where our 
forefathers lost their renown and their faith ; there it 
may chance that we also may lose our renown and our 
faith — or that we shall maintain them, and return as 
victors to Bosnia." Here, day by day, the passing 
rayah prays, '' that God will hasten the hour when a 
Christian army shall cross these mountains, to deliver 
Old Serbia, and redeem what their fathers lost on the 
old battle-plain of Kossovo." 



CHAPTEE XX. 

NOVI BAZAAR. 

rpHE middle of this day we spent under the trees, near 
-^ a dii'ty khan without any separate room. After 
leaving it we commenced the descent towards Xovi 
Bazaar, passing by a short cut through a wood, of which 
the paths were spoilt by late rain, and so slippery that 
our horses could scarcely keep their feet. Emerging 
thence on the main road, we found ourselves at a beauti- 
ful point of view; we looked down on Novi Bazaar, 
lying in a basin of hills, traversed by the road that 
passes from Constantinople to Serajevo, and overtopped 
by a steep eminence on which rose the dome of a church. 
At the foot of the last descent we met a zaptie, who 
instantly galloped off to give notice of our approach, and 
soon after we saw coming to meet us a train of horse- 
men, so numerous as to reduce that of Mitrovic to 
comparative insignificance. At their head rode throe 
personages, all so portentous and dignified that for some 
time we could not discover which of them was the 
greatest. The most solemn wore plain clothes and a fez, 
and appeared to be so precious that, in case he should 
fall off his horse, a man walked at its side all ready to 
catch him; the handsomest and most brilliant wore a 
splendid Turkish uniform ; while the fattest — and in 
Turkey this is often a criterion of high position — had 
what looked like a French uniform with voluminous 



266 NOVI BAZAAR. 

scarlet trousers. In due time we learned that the civil 
governor of Novi Bazaar was gone on business to 
Sera'ievo, and that the man in plain clothes was his 
locum tcncns. The handsome soldier was military 
kaimakam ; the fat officer, a cavalry bimbashi ; in their 
tail followed the medjliss of Novi Bazaar. Though 
heading the native Mussulmans in the ceremony of hos- 
pitable reception, the three superiors were Asiatics, and 
could speak nothing but Turkish, which our dragoman 
imperfectly understood. Hence the procession moved 
on in silence, the Turkish dignitaries acting as our out- 
riders, the Bosniacs bringing up the rear. In this order 
we entered !N'ovi Bazaar, and rode very slowly and very 
solemnly through the long charshia (market-place), round 
the foot of a hill covered with the houses of Mussulmans, 
and on and on, till between the holes, the stones, and the 
weary-footedness of our sorry steeds, we began to get 
into despair. At this juncture an incident took place 
which among any west-European crowd would have 
been saluted with roars of mirth. Down the central 
gutter of the sloping street flowed a brisk stream, swollen 
by recent rain ; our poor horses were thirsty, one of them 
suddenly got his head down, stopped stock still, and 
drank. It was hopeless to get him to move till he had 
his fill ; officious blows dealt by the cavass from behind 
only served to make him kick ; so there we stuck fast, 
while the unconscious dignitaries rode out of sight, and 
the wondering Bosniacs pressed one upon another. On 
each side the shopkeepers sat cross-legged on their boards 
and stared at us — stared, yet did not smile. But from 
the lattice windows above peered down a galaxy of female 
eyes, and it was from these hidden spectators that the 
only expression of amusement at our ludicrous position 
escaped : almost on a level with our ears bubbled out 
the irrepressible giggle of a gii'l. 



I 



NOVI BAZAAR, 267 

On rejoining the vanguard we found that it was 
leading us, not up the hill to the large houses of the 
Mussulmans, but down a narrow street to the marshy- 
land near the river, i,e,^ to the Christian quarter. Here 
we stopped before the dwelling of the Greek bishop, 
who, like his confrere of Prishtina, was spending his 
time more pleasantly at Constantinople. In his absence, 
the house was kept by his servant's family, and they 
had received orders to prepare the best room for our use. 
liad's the best ; small and unfurnished, it is like a slice 
off a passage, and has no glass in any of the four windows. 
Worst of all, these apertures look towards the street, 
whereby we are exposed to the observation not only of 
passers-by but also of the dAvellers on the opposite side ; 
the latter, stationed at their windows, stare at our doings 
as from the boxes of a theatre. 

In places where we stayed more than one night it 
was customary for the Turkish authorities to appoint a 
zaptie to remain in our house, in order that we might 
send him to say if we required anything and have his 
protection if we walked abroad. For all these purposes 
one man was sufficient, and one could be managed 
without much inconvenience by the Christians Avith 
whom we lodged ; give him good food and di'ink and a 
comfortable corner, and he would sit all day in a state 
of kef, or discuss horses and arms with our cavass, when 
the latter had time to attend to him. 13ut in order to do 
us especial honour the authorities of Novi Bazaar left 
us, not one zaptie, but three, and these thi'ee proved an 
attraction to their comrades, who came constantly out 
and in. They were a terrible nuisance — those imperious, 
rapacious men turned loose in a ray ah' s dwelling ; no 
part of the lower house was free from their presence, 
the women had to hide from them, and the young father 
of the family was ordered about as their slave. 



268 NOVI BAZAAR. 

We soon perceived that something was amiss by the 
repressed cringing air of the man, and sent our dragoman 
to say that we only wanted one zaptie and would only 
give bakshish to one. However, the other two would 
not stir, so all we could do was to ask the master of the 
house into our room, and try to reassure him with kind 
words. But the sound of our voices caused him to shake 
like a leaf, and to the most indifferent question he would 
only give a whispered reply. 

The dragoman then told us that the zapties were 
sitting in a room just below our own ; the man was in 
agonies lest they should hear us talking with him. 
Immediately we too whispered, assured the poor fellow 
that the obnoxious guards remained in his house contrary 
to our express desire, and that our inquiries proceeded 
from the sympathy we felt for the Serbian Christians, 
who through all our journey had treated us with hos- 
pitality and kindness. We then told the dragoman to 
ask him a few questions as to the state of the Christian 
community in Novi Bazaar, and meanwhile we talked 
to each other in a raised voice, for the benefit of the 
guards below. How curious a picture was the group in 
that little room ! At one end, in the candlelight, we sat 
talking cheerfully on each side of our little table covered 
with English books and work ; at the other end, where 
the shadow fell darkest, crouched the dragoman and the 
rayah, the former with his keen swarthy face bent down 
to catch the whispers of his companion — that companion 
a young man with the fresh colour and rounded contour 
of an European, but quaking, almost convulsed, with 
fear. 

The whispers became quicker and more eager; our 
question as to the state of the Christians had acted like 
the sudden withdrawal of the dam from a stream, the 
pent-up waters overflowed, the rayah was pouring forth 



NOVI BAZAAR. 269 

his tale. ^^ The Christian community of Novi Bazaar is 
at the mercy of the Mussulmans; they enter houses 
both by day and night, take what they choose, and 
behave as they will. Eaise an arm or speak a word, 
and you bring on yourself death or the loss of a limb. 
Make a representation to the authorities, and you are 
ruined by the revenge of those of whom you have dared 
to complain." 

We asked if within the last few years things had 
become better or worse. 

^' In so far they are better, that the officials now sent 
from Constantinople are jealous of the Beys and the Beys 
of them, and the two opposing cliques act as some sort 
of check on each other. The Christians are less perse- 
cuted in their dress and other trifles, and they may enter 
their own quarter of the town on horseback, though it 
would still not be safe to ride past a Mussulman in the 
road or the bazaar. On the other hand, since last year 
great repression has been exercised, for fear of the 
Christians rising to join the Serbians over the border. 
We have been obliged to do forced labour in raising 
defences, and to contribute both in food and money to 
the maintenance of troops ; and such troops ! Do you 
know that last summer Bashi-bazouks were sent to Novi 
Bazaar? But no insult, no injury is so hard to bear, as 
that of Mussulmans carrying oflP Christian girls. Lately 
a maiden of the rayah community was servant in a 
Mussulman family. Suddenly her parents were in- 
formed that she had become a Mahommedan ; she was 
not suffered to return to them nor see them, but was 
secretly sent off to Sara'ievo. She escaped, came back 
to her family, and they ventured to give her shelter, 
but the Mussulmans tracked her home and theii^ ven- 
geance fell upon the whole C'hristian community. Out 
of its 110 houses at least 100 were, in their estimate. 



ayo NOVI BAZAAR, 

connected with the escape of the poor gii-1 ; all felt the 
weight of their wrath, and several were completely 
ruined." 

This calamity was of recent occurrence, so it appeared 
uppermost in the narrator's mind ; but when questioned 
as to whether he could say that a similar outrage had 
ever actually occurred in his own family, he answered 
straightforward that it had happened to his wife. Being 
a handsome young girl, the Mussulmans got hold of her, 
and she only escaped because the bishop was at home 
and took up the matter himself. As soon as she was 
released, the bishop married her to her present husband; 
when he left the town he put them in his house as one 
mode of providing for her safety. 

Thus ran our landlord's tale, but he was not the only 
sufferer whose story came to our ears at !N'ovi Bazaar. 
On the morning of our departure an old man knocked at 
our door, pushed into the hand of the dragoman a paper, 
and then turned and ran away. It contained some sen- 
tences in very crabbed Serbian written characters, which 
we could not decipher by ourselves, and knowing it was 
out of our power to redress the injuries of the writer, we 
deemed it wiser not to expose him to a risk of betrayal 
by showing it to any one in Turkey. We took it to 
Belgrade, where we were helped to read it, and found 
the meaning to be as follows : — ^' Gracious ladies, in 
God's name I welcome your visit to our town. Have 
pity, and save my unhappy daughter, whom the Mussul- 
mans have carried away." 

It has been said that the Cliristians in Turkey invali- 
date their complaints of Mahommedan oppression by the 
very fearlessness with which they complain, also that 
travellers detailing the grievances of these Christians 
have seldom had their stories first hand. We leave 
candid readers to judge whether either the one or the 



NOVI BAZAAR. 271 

other of these explanations can be applied to the cases 
just detailed.* 

At Novi Eazaar we passed three days, and one after- 
noon went to sec the Serbian school. The zapties were 
left at home, our cicerone being the master of the house. 
Indeed he had volunteered to be our guide, and since 
last night appeared another man. He walked at our 
side stoutly, and spoke — although still in an undertone 
— cheerfully ; neither did he show us any more of that 
servile homage which indicates terror mingled with hate. 
Such other Christians as were now presented to us, also 
opened out with friendly confidence, and one after 
another at convenient opportunities would whisper, '' So 
you have been in Serbia ? " — meaning the principality. 
The word ^'Serbia'' is the Open Sesame of hearts be- 
tween Prizren and Novi Bazaar. 

Approaching the school our ears were saluted by a not 
inharmonious burst of children's voices singing ^' Wel- 
come " ; but when we reached the door we saw that the 
poor little choristers looked very miserable and ill. The 
atmosphere of the school was certainly not bracing — an 
exception to the rule hereabouts, where you find in every 
room open windows and draughts ad libitum. At the 
further end of this school we perceived a row of holy 
pictures with lighted lamps hanging before them, and 
we were told that the room was also used for a chm-ch. 
Hence the sickly after-smell of incense (worse even than 
that of tobacco) mingled with the unhealthy closeness of 
the air. We did not venture to remain more than a few 
minutes, and were glad to be invited to a stone seat out- 
side, where we looked over the books, which were all 
from Eelgrade. Meanwhile the schoolmaster released 

* Consular reports testify that, so far is the offence hero alluded to from 
being, punished, that the man who carries off a Christian girl, and can make her 
become a Mahommedan, is rewarded by exemption from the conscription. 



272 NOVI BAZAAR. 

the poor children, who had been called together out of 
hours for us to see. 

The bench assigned to us was an old tombstone, and 
others similar stood against the wall ; but neither the 
priests nor the kodgia bashi could tell us anything about 
them. They cared rather to show us the town, of which 
this spot commands a view. Lovely it looks, in the 
naiTow wooded valley, with its clustering white houses 
bedded in rank green ; but evidently it lies in an airless 
caldron, and its inhabitants say that it is cursed with 
bad water and ague-breeding swamps. Smallpox had 
raged throughout the winter, and now the summer fever 
was in full force. Six persons of the richest families in 
the town had died of it lately within a few days. "We 
now knew why that morning we awoke with the heavy 
feeling we hoped to have left behind at Skopia. 

^' To whom belong the houses on the hill?" ^^ All 
to Mussulmans." ^' How many may there be ?" The 
rayahs looked at each other, and hesitated, as if talking 
treason, then said in a low voice, ^^ About 800, we be- 
lieve. But the Turks themselves say 1,200 or even 
1,400." ^^How many Christian houses?" "That is 
soon told; 110." " So few ?" " Say rather, so many. 
God knows why any of us live here ; better for us we 
should dwell in the woods and never see a town. Look 
at our quarter, in the lowest ground close to the river ; 
the garden of the house where you are staying is all but 
a marsh." We turned our eyes to a high breezy terrace 
immediately above the town, and asked, " Why do you 
not build there ? the Mussulmans have not taken that." 
The rayahs exclaimed, ''We build there! the Begs dare 
not build there themselves. It is vakouf." ''Yakouf" 
means that it belongs to a mosque, and thus at Novi 
]3azaar, as at Volo, on one pretext or another, the Turk 
has tabooed the most healthy site in the town. 



I 



NOVI BAZAAR, 273 

We afterwards took a walk in this vakouf land, and 
thence perceived — rising on the top of the hill imme- 
diately above us — that beautiful light dome of a church 
which we had already admired from a distance on our 
approach to Novi Bazaar. 

We were now told that this was the celebrated Giur- 
gevi Stvipovi, or Monument of St. Gearge,* built in the 
latter half of the twelfth century by the first IN'emania 
as a thank-offering. The church is supposed to cover 
the mouth of the cavern where that prince was confined 
by his elder brothers : St. George was the good friend 
who delivered him from their thrall. Two Serb priests 
had joined our party, and one of them, an outspoken 
intelligent person, offered to show us the church; our 
host persuaded some of his friends to lend us horses, and 
we. set out forthwith. 

The hill, which, from its steepness and commanding 
situation, appears from a distance of considerable height, 
may be ascended from the town in less than half an hour. 
The church stands on a point of rock ; a little below it 
one arrives at a rough plateau, where from time imme- 
morial it has been customary for pilgrims to leave their 
horses and approach the shrine on foot. This spot is 
marked by a large stone cross, strangely like some of 
the Celtic crosses, and also by three of the beacons 
erected last year by the Turks all along the frontier 
range of hills. The sight of the cross called forth the 
priest's enthusiasm at the humility of the Nemanjic 
sovereigns, who dismounted thus far from the chui'ch 
door ; the sight of the beacons elicited a cry of reproba- 
tion on the profancrs of JSTcmania's slu'ine. ^^ Oh ! " he 
exclaimed, " those Bashi-bazouks ! God knows how they 
treated us here ! " 

* Stupa, in Serbian, moans literally " pillar " or " column ; " but is also used in 
the sense of mouumeutal erections that may consist of more than a mere column. 

VOL. I. T 



274- NOVI BAZAAR, 

The shell of the church is still so far intact that until 
one is quite close it preserves a stately effect. First we 
reached a small building open on two sides and vaulted 
within ; the pope supposed it to have been an outer 
chapel or a porch, but Hilferding describes it as the base 
of a campanile. Its walls are covered with frescoes, of 
which the colours are still in part fresh and the inscri])- 
tions legible ; on one side is a pictui-e of the Last Supper, 
and of SS. Cosmo, Damian, Pantaloon, &c. ; on the other, 
portraits of the IsTemanjic family, in long gem-bordered 
garments and with glories round their heads. The priest 
declared this porch to be of later date than the church, 
and his opinion is confirmed in so far as that the royal 
personages there represented belong to a generation later 
than the first IsTemania.* In the church you see him- 
self, represented as founder, holding the model of the 
building ; there too is his son and coadjutor, St. Sava, 
depicted with a long fair beard; also his patron, St. 
George, with the di-agon. The relics of another Ne- 
man] ic used to lie in a side chapel, but were stolen 
thence some time ago ; we saw the broken tomb, but did 
not distinctly gather who the occupant had been nor 
whither the body was gone. Hilferding calls him King 
Dragutin, and heard that his bones had been *^ lifted " 
by the family Znobic of Novi Bazaar, who thereby 
brought a curse on themselves and their posterity. 

From the outer building it is some paces to the west 
door of the church, and on the way the priest pointed 
out a shattered column of red stone, which had formed 

* We had unfortunately left pencils and notebooks behind us, so could not 
write down the names on the spot. Hilferding enumerates among the frescoes 
the following names : — 1. Saint Simeon, Nemania, lord of all the Serbian lands, 
1169—1195. 2. StephenPervovencani,SimeonMonach, 1195— 1228. 3. Stephan 
Krai Ourosh, Simeon Monach, 1240—1272. 4. Yelena Velika Kralitza, daughter 
of Emperor Baldwin, who then lived in Constantinople, and wife of Ourosh. 
6. Stephen Ourosh, called Dragutin, 1272 — 1275. 6. Katherina Kralitza, daughter 
of Stephan V., King of Hungary, wife of Dragutin. 




INTERIOR OF SERBIAN CHURCH. 



NOVI BAZAAR. 275 

part of the doorway. He said, ^^ This was thrown down 
quite lately by Turkish soldiers from Prizren." 

The church of Giurgevi Stiipovi is one of the oldest 
specimens of Serbian architecture, it is also one of the 
most simple ; the numerous little domes of other churches 
are wanting, and thereby the large dome in the centre 
gains infinitely in effect, its full swell reminding one of 
those island churches of Yenice which look like bubbles 
blown from the sea. But while the outer shell is nearly 
entire, within the building is completely gutted, its 
pillagers having helped* to exhibit its fair proportions by 
carrying off those doors and screens wherewith most 
Serbian churches are encumbered. In the principality, 
we know only Manassia where the interior proportions 
receive justice, and that because funds are still wanting 
to raise the picture- screen (iconostasis) to the wished-for 
height. The interior of Giurgevi Stupovi must have 
been covered with frescoes, but it is only on that part of 
the walls which cannot well be reached, either from 
above or below, that any traces of painting remain. To 
obliterate the figure of Christ, the destroyers have 
broken up the plaster of the dome, while all the lower 
part of the frescoes has been picked off by mischievous 
hands. The paintings still extant are attainable only by 
throwing stones ; and while we were in the act of look- 
ing at these a pebble rattled in through the door, and 
left its mark on the painted wall. Turning round, we 
perceived our zaptie, whom we had left with the horses, 
and who, striding in at the shattered entrance, rudely 
asked the priest, ^^ What was here ? " Our wi'ath was 
only increased by the civil and deprecatory tone in 
which answer was returned, and we peremptorily inter- 
fered, demanding of the intruder how he dared follow us, 
and ordering him back to his charge. Our cavass, who 
at first was in ecstasies of wonder and delight over the 

t2 



276 NOVI BAZAAR, 

beautiful colours, on the entrance of his co-religionist, 
the zaptie, thought fit to adopt a nonchalant and scorn- 
ful mien ; finding the latter contemptuously expelled, 
he changed again, and exclaimed, '^ Eeally the Turks 
here surprise me ; they are extremely mischievous, and 
destroy beautiful things." Then, with an after-thought 
highly creditable to his former employers, he added, 
*^ But you see, at I^ovi Bazaar there are no consuls P 
From this date to the end of our journey, whenever he 
was struck with a case of Christian suffering, we used to 
hear him promising the people that the Queen of England 
would send a consul to their town. The behaviour of his 
co-religionists in these parts was not, however, without 
effect on our Albanian attendant, and we had to watch 
constantly to prevent him from making all sorts of unjust 
requirements in our name. On the way to IN'ovi Bazaar 
he thought he recognised the lost horses of the kiradgees, 
and forthwith dispatched zapties to bring the drove and 
its drivers before the ka'imakam, when, by his own ad- 
mission, he found that the horses were not the same. 
After this he made an attempt, unknown to us, to 
obtain for our journey the good horses lent to us to 
visit the church. So far as we could learn the price and 
quantity of what we used, we were most anxious to pay 
for it, but from time to time it came to light that the 
zaptie sent on beforehand ordered seven chickens where 
we ordered and paid for one, &c. Indeed, one of the 
great discouragements to travelling in these parts is that, 
with the best intentions, one cannot avoid being con- 
stantly oppressive to the inhabitants. 

On the floor of the church we observed a piece of 
marble beautifully carved with old Slavonic letters. 
Outside the south door we discovered a fresco, with its 
colours as fresh as on the day when limned, but half 
smothered in a heap of rubbish ; better that the whole 



NOVI BAZAAR. 



277 



had remained concealed, for doubtless it has only become 
visible to be destroyed. 

On the north side of the church, and as it were hidden 
behind it, is a small plot, used as a Christian burying- 
ground. Before the south door there is a larger space, 
where the pilgrims assemble on St. George's Day, and 
where we found numbers of faded oak-boughs, which 
they bring along with them for shade. Here the pope 
showed us a small hole in the rock, hollowed as a reser- 
voir for rain. The women of the district have a super- 
stition that water from this sacred hole is a cure for 
fever, and the plants near it are decorated with scarlet 
threads, sacrifices drawn from holiday aprons in testi- 
mony of supposed cures. It is to be hoped that the 
inhabitants of this feverish district will not lose their 
faith in the rain water at the top of this rock until 
they have learnt how much fever patients may be bene- 
fited by a change from valley to hill aii* ; especially 
during such short cheerful journeys as their holiday 
pilgrimage to the church of St. George. 

From the rock of Giurgevi Stupovi there is a fine 
view towards a range of hills, of which the names were 
written down for us by the priest. We give them here 
for the benefit of future travellers, who may thus be 
enabled to judge of the excursions best worth making 
from Novi Bazaar. Towards the north and east are the 
mountains Sokolovitza and Kopaonik ; from the latter of 
which there is an extensive view of the lands between 
Macedonia and the Danube. Among the hills to the 
south lies Yelic, with its old castle just visible. 
South-west are the hills where the river Eashka has its 
source ; among them lie the monastery of Sapotehani, and 
the so-called castle of Eelja. North-west is seen a pic- 
turesque gorge in the hills, called the Ludslia Clissura ; 
and further north rises a summit, conspicuous for its rich 



278 NOVI BAZAAR. 

covering of grass and wood ; it is called the Czerveni 
Yerh (or Red Height). 

The plain which stretches towards the Serbian fron- 
tier is called Dezevo Polj(3 ; and one can see Dezcvo, 
now a village inhabited by Mussulmans, but formerly 
a town '' where the family of Nemanjic loved to 
dwell.'' The road which leads thence in the direction 
of the hill Sokolovitza is called to this day the *' Tsar- 
ska Ulitza," or the '' street of the Czar ; " and it is 
said that hereabouts lay the divor or country house 
of Czar Diishan. The village Sudsko, also inhabited by 
Mussulmans, lies about a quarter of an hour from the 
*^ street of the Czar;" it marks where in old times the 
Serbian rulers used to hold their court of justice (Slav, 
sud). 

A heap of stones on the bank of the Eashka is called 
by the country people the house of Relia, and belonged 
to that hero in the winged helmet who appears in every 
gallery of Serbian worthies. Winged Relia is sung as 
the bond-brother of Marco, and one of the paladins of 
Lazar ; like Milosh Obilic, he was of unknown parent- 
age, and was rejected by a haughty damsel as a found- 
ling picked up in the streets of Novi Bazaar. There is 
a certain popular song which seems to have been com- 
posed in order to contrast the merciful rule of the native 
sovereigns with the tyranny of foreign lords, and in it 
Eelia is intrusted with the punishment of the Czarine's 
own brothers, because they kept back the pay of the 
Czar's workmen. But in this song, which is very old, 
Eelia lives, not at Novi, or New Bazaar, but at Stari, or 
Old Bazaar, the ruins of which were afterwards pointed 
out. to us. This Old Bazaar would appear to have been 
no other than the capital of the so-called '^ kingdom of 
Eascia," one of the zupanias most frequently spoken 
of in Serbian annals, and by some supposed to have 



NOVI BAZAAR. 279 

included the greater part of the country now known as 
Old Serbia. 

Eascia is mentioned as a Serbian government by- 
Byzantine historians as early as the ninth century ; and 
in 1143 its bishop, Leontius, was one of the few pre- 
lates in Serbia belonging to the Orthodox Church. 
The father of Nemania was zupan of Eascia before he 
succeeded his cousin Bodin, king of Zeta ; afterwards he 
does not seem to have changed his title ; and according 
to some reports, he continued to reside in Eascia. In 
the government of that district he was succeeded by his 
son Nemania, though not till after a struggle with those 
relatives who are traditionally said to have imprisoned 
him in the cave. The prisoner, released by miraculous 
intervention, and abhorring the heresies of his rival 
brethren, was admitted by Eishop Leontius into the 
Orthodox communion in a little church near IN'ovi 
Eazaar, still called by the country people the ^'Holy 
Metropolitan Cathedral of Eashka." Afterwards arriv- 
ing at supreme power, he erected as a monument of his 
deliverance the large and beautiful chui'ch of St. George. 
Some writers say that the old capital of Eascia was de- 
stroyed in war : the legend says that it was overthi-own 
by an earthquake. In either case, the new zupan would 
have to build a new town, which, lying like the old on 
the frontier between Serbia and Bulgaria, and succeeding 
to its position as a rendezvous of merchants, would, like 
it, be distinguished by some such name as the Turks 
have translated by bazaar,''^ 

When the seat of Serbian government became fixed at 

* In early Serbian history it is mentioned that an exchange of prisoners 
"between Serbians and Bulgarians took place at this to^v^^ of Kascia, as being then 
the frontier between Serbia and Ikilgaria. 

The Serbian name for that part of a town where the citizens live is varosh, in 
contradistinction to the grad, or citadel. Terg is the immediate market-place, 
whence tergovac^ a merchant. 



28q NOVI bazaar. 

Prizren, Eascia gradually lost the position of a separate 
state, and its name is now associated only with the river 
Eashka, with the little metropolitan church of St. Peter 
and St. Paul, and with those emigrants who passed in 
the seventeenth century from this neighbourhood into 
Hungary, where to this day the appellation Rashki 
denotes Serbians of the Eastern Church. 

According to the plan of journey made out at Monastir, 
IsTovi Bazaar was our last stage on the Mussulman side 
of the border ; but the ride over Kossovo and the Zelena 
Planina had so far restored our health, and the descrip- 
tions of Ipek and Detchani had so strongly excited our 
interest, that we could not bear to leave all this unex- 
plored country behind us and cross into the principality, 
where we knew every step of the road to Belgrade. 
Eather we bethought ourselves of a long-cherished 
scheme, viz., so turn back at Novi Bazaar, cross the 
hills to Ipek, and then pass via Prizren to Scutari in 
Albania. 

Novi Bazaar is a principal etation on the road between 
Constantinople and Seraievo, and it was evident that the 
authorities were not ill-off for troops ; no doubt they 
could spare us such an escort as was required. On the 
other hand, if we could not get to Ipek at least we might 
go a two days' tour further westward to Senitza, and 
cross thence to Serbia, in which case we should visit 
Uzitza, a part of the country we had not already seen. 
Of this change of plan it was necessary to apprise our 
friends at Belgrade, lest, should we not appear at the 
date when they expected us, they might express 
anxieties, which the Austrian papers would take up 
and cook into some absurd report or other. 

At our request the kai'makam of Novi Bazaar sent to 
the Serb capitan at Eashka to ask if some one would 
come over and speak with us. Porthwith, two Serbians 




^ u 



NOVI BAZAAR. 281 

rode across the border ; not military men, for that might 
have excited suspicion, but quiet ^' house-fathers," mem- 
bers of the national guard. 

These good people brought us pleasant tidings. They 
said we were expected, and orders given for our wel- 
come. They told us that we should lodge in a good 
house at Eashka, and that if we would fix a day for 
crossing, the frontier capitan and his followers would 
meet us and bring us over with rejoicing. From 
Eashka onwards there is a good road, but the country is 
mountainous, and they added, that if we wished for a 
carriage they must send for it to Karanovac. The men 
looked peaceful and good-tempered, clean, calm, and 
comfortable, like the members of a well-ordered com- 
munity, unlike either terrifiers or terrified ; it really cost 
an efi'ort to turn from them and their hospitable off'ers, 
and plunge again into a country where every one's hand 
is against his neighbour. However, as Serbians, they 
could not but highly commend our idea of a pilgrimage 
to Ipek and Detchani, and they promised that, lest after 
all we should be obliged to give up our plan and cross 
to the principality by Senitza, the capitan of adjacent 
Uzitza should be duly prepared to receive us. 

Having sent news of movements to Belgrade, the next 
thing was to communicate with the Turks. The three 
dignitaries had duly sent to ask at what hour they should 
call, and we had appointed the afternoon, adding, that 
as there was not in the house a room large enough to 
accommodate them we would receive their visit in the 
garden. This garden was decidedly swampy, nevertheless 
cushions and carpets were carried into it ; punctual to 
the hour, the Turks arrived with a numerous suite, and 
were conducted to the spot prepared; then we were 
apprised ; but when we came down and found so many 
grave personages enthroned in the long grass, and 



282 NOVI BAZAAR, 

surrounded by tlieir attendants stooping under the 
boughs of the low fruit trees, we could scarcely suppress 
a smile. The dignitaries smiled too, and observed that 
like ourselves, they were strangers to Bosnia, and 
considered its climate and accommodation as things to be 
rather endured than enjoyed. On this we became quite 
grave, and assured them we prayed God that on the first 
convenient opportunity they all might be transferred to 
Asia. ^'Please God,'' responded they fervently, thus 
probably expressing the sentiment of every unlucky 
Turk quartered in the Slavonic provinces, and certainly 
that of their still more unlucky harems. The wife of a 
high-placed official once said to us, '^ Such Osmanlis as 
are sent to these parts are sent by their evil fate. This 
is Bosnia : every one knows what that means, and that 
it does not mean our land." We most heartily agreed 
with her. 

After the usual round of compliments and coffee^ we 
began to tell our visitors of the difficulty we had met 
with about going to Ipek, and how two governors 
had refused to send us there. The military ka'imakam 
observed superciliously, '^that those little mudirs pro- 
bably had no zapties to spare, but that he could provide 
us with an escort with which we might go whither we 
pleased.'' The civil officer further remai'ked that no 
doubt the mudirs were themselves Arnaouts, and did 
not wish us to penetrate into their country, but that, 
bearing with us the Sultan's firman, we should be pro- 
perly received everywhere. As to the road from Novi 
Bazaar to Ipek, it certainly passed over the mountains, 
but the inhabitants were Bosniacs, and Jconacs could be 
secured. He also recommended jis to go by Eo&ha'i, a 
station on the frontier between Bosnia and Arnaoutluk, 
for there we should find a new mudir, a talented and 
liberal-minded person, who would receive us with every 



NOVI BAZAAR. 283 

distinction. At this juncture some of the attendants 
interfered, and began telling a long story, when it 
appeared that, although living only two days' journey 
from Ipek, the governors of Novi Bazaar had not yet 
heard of the attack on the Ipek kaimakam. At this 
news they rather abated their zeal, and the civil officer 
remarked that the mudirs who had warned us not to 
venture, might possibly, from their proximity to Ipek, 
be acquainted with sufficient reasons for their advice. 
However the military kaimakam repeated 'Hhat with a 
Eosniac guard nothing was to be feared ; those wretched 
Arnaouts were altogether barbarous, but Bosniacs could 
be depended on." At this point the matter was deferred 
for further reflection. 

Wishing to know something about the state of the 
Montenegrine frontier, which is here but twelve hours 
distant, we asked if they could send us to Berda.* 

The Turks replied that they could send us to the 
border, but that on the other side they could answer 
for nothing : even our firman would be of no use to us 
there. It was evident that whatever might be pretended 
in Constantinople, these officers of the Porte were well 
aware that Montenegro had not been compelled to 
acknowledge the authority of the Sultan. We replied 
that we knew Montenegro perfectly, and that therein 
everything was quiet and well-ordered ; our anxiety 
for safety referred solely to this side the frontier, and if 
they could guarantee that, well and good. However, we 

* B'rda, or rocky mountains, is the name given par excellence to the north- 
eastern portion of Montenegro ; Cerna Gora, or black-wooded mountain, being 
properly applied only to the part nearer the Adriatic. Both alike were included 
in the government of Zeta, of which the present principality of Montenegro 
claims to be the representative ; But during the greatest distress of the Christians 
the champions of independence could only maintain themselves in a very small 
district, and it is under their present reigning family that they have re-asserted 
bit by bit their old territory, as one tribe after another dared to join them and 
openly to disclaim allegiance to the Sultan. 



284 



NOVI BAZAAR. 



would think over our plans and let them know. Soon 
after they were gone our cavass came to us with a 
message from a Bosnian Mussulman. He had just come 
from the neighbourhood of Ipek, and could answer for 
it that at Eosha'i we should find Bosniacs willing and 
proud to take us into the Arnaout country. Whatever 
information we wanted he could give us, and would tell 
us to whom to apply for help. ^^ On no account," he 
said, ^^be persuaded not to go to Ipek; all the alarm 
about danger is a pretence of those beggarly Arnaouts." 
This was the only communication we had with native 
Mussulmans at Xovi Bazaar. We should much have 
liked to find out some connections of our friends made 
in Bosnia the previous year, but we dreaded to remain 
longer in so unhealthy a spot. Then, too, we had no 
personal introductions, and under the circumstances it 
would have been difficult to adjust amicable relations 
with the Beys, considering our intercourse with their 
adversaries on either side— with the Turkish authorities 
and the Christian Serbs. 

However, from the message now received it was 
evident that the Bosniacs thought there was no reason 
we should not go to Detchani ; so we forthwith sent to 
the ka'imakam, saying that we had quite made up our 
minds to go to Ipek, unless he could formally declare it 
to be unsafe. He replied that he would take steps to 
make it safe, and that W€ had only to fix the day. 



CHAPTEE XXI. 

THE BOSNIAN BOEDEUS. 

" Little heart ! do not get angry with me ; 
For if 1 were to get angry with thee 
All Bosnia and Herzegov-ina 
Could not make peace between us again." 

Bosnian Love Song. 

NECESSAEY preliminaries having been adjusted, on 
the fourth morning after our arrival at ISTovi Bazaar 
we turned our horses' heads, not, as hitherto, towards 
Belgrade and the Danube, but towards Scodra and the 
Adriatic. 

The first stage was to be Tutin, a Mahommedan village 
in the mountains ; thither we sent our luggage on pea- 
sants' horses, and ourselves were lucky enough to follow 
on decent animals furnished by the menzil. The two popes 
came to escort us, as before leaving Novi Bazaar by the 
western end we were to ride a quarter of an hour to the 
east, and visit that little church of St. Peter and St. 
Paul, called by the country folks the cathedral of Eashka. 
Just as we were starting the kaimakam was announced — 
come in person to accompany us out of town. What 
was to be done? We would not for the world miss 
seeing the place where Nemania was baptized ; so there 
was nothing for it but go thither, kaimakam and all. 
Having slowly proceeded to the church, we entered it 
in company with the popes, but were well satisfied to 
remark that the official and his Tui'ks rcmaini^d outside. 



286 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

The cliurcli is very small, with windows like gun-holes. 
It was built at least as early as the eleventh century, 
but was restored in 1728; owing probably to its un- 
ostentatious exterior and its situation without the town, 
the Christians have been allowed to retain it in use. 
A small side chapel contains the tomb of a Serbian 
patriarch ; we were shown also part of a patriarch's staff 
inlaid with mother-of-pearl, an old candelabrum, in form 
like a griffin, and a curious little tryptich in gold. 
Lastly, the popes brought forth a Serbian copy of the 
Gospels, sent from Ipek, and began to explain the sig- 
nification of some handwriting on the first page; but 
they moved and spoke nervously and hurriedly, ever 
with one eye on the door. And with good reason. 
While we were thus engaged the sound of tramping 
caused us to raise our heads, and behold the church fast 
filling with the figures of the ka'imakam and his train. 
Possibly they were only tired of waiting outside ; more 
probably they suspected and hoped that some treasures 
were being brought from their hiding-place ; but what- 
ever the motive the entry was made with rude careless- 
ness of all feelings except their own. Without speaking 
to the priests or waiting for guidance, the Turkish 
official walked straight through the church and through 
the principal door of the iconastasis into the sanctuary, 
where even Christian laymen may not enter without 
special invitation. Our first sight of him was when the 
tassel of his fez was already disappearing behind the 
screen, so all we could do was to get him out again as fast 
as possible by instantly quitting the church ourselves. 

We had mounted our horses when the dragoman called 
our attention to the Turk, who had followed us and was 
striving to make a speech. He evidently saw that some- 
thing was wrong, and therefore told us that he had been 
impressing on the priests the necessity of always keeping 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 287 

this churcli smart and clean, that it might remain a show 
to strangers. We replied that we hoped he would extend 
his solicitude to the beautiful church on the top of the 
hill ; and in order that it might be preserved for admi- 
ration, that he would desire the Mussulmans to eease 
pulling it to pieces. To this the Turk answered, with 
some peevishness, that the church on the hill had been 
ruined ages ago, and turning to the pope he demanded 
what we meant. But the pope stood his ground, and 
declared that part of the building had been destroyed 
quite lately by the rude soldiery from Prizren ; he also 
took occasion to inform the governor that near the very 
church where we stood the Christians had lately begun 
to build a little house for a priest, but that the Mussul- 
mans had pulled it down. The governor was evidently 
not prepared for this statement of grievances before 
strangers, and he looked all the more cross when he saw 
that the priest's outspokenness pleased us well. 

The procession now resumed its march, and the ka'i- 
makam, with admirable patience, escorted us to the other 
end of the town. At parting, we offered him very sin- 
cere thanks for having secured our journey to Ipek ; 
and contrasting the mode of our exit from Novi Bazaar 
with that of our countryman Mr. Paton, we felt that the 
introduction of a rival element, in the shape of officials 
from Constantinople, had here acted as a much needed 
curb on the fanaticism of the native Mussulmans. 

Scarcely had we parted from the Turks when down 
came a pelt of rain ; no one seemed to know where the 
next house stood, and for some time we galloped pell- 
mell along the road. Meanwhile the priests underwent 
a sudden metamorphosis ; each drew from behind his 
saddle a wide red mantle, and flung it over, not only 
himself, but the greater part of his horse. Thus ac- 
coutred they looked so exceedingly like the heroes whose 



288 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

portraits adorn the walls of Serbian taverns, that we had 
only to strain our fancy a little to see old Eelia tilting 
along on his own ground. 

The first attempt at shelter was under a tumble-down 
shed, literally so called, for part of it tumbled on our- 
selves; while we were there the zapti^s discovered a 
Mussulman's cabin, and prepared it for our reception in 
the following manner. They caused the proprietors to 
make a good fire and then turned them out of doors, the 
father of the family improvising a harem by baning his 
women up in the maize shed. When we arrived nothing 
was to be seen save a hen hatching in the corner of the 
inner room, and on the floor a wooden trough of the 
favoui'ite plant basilica. Before departing we got them 
to call the master of the house, in hopes that a bakshish 
might console him for his trouble. 

The rest of this day's journey proved unexpectedly 
interesting, partly because the chaoush of the Eosniac 
guard turned out a great talker and knew something 
of the local traditions. Our way first pursued the left 
bank of the Eashka to a point where it is joined by 
another mountain stream. The angle between the rivers 
is occupied by a huge rock, and on the opposite side of 
the Eashka lies a small plain covered with low ruined 
walls. ^^Here," said the zaptie, '^ stood Stari Eazaar, 
which was a great town before I^ovi Bazaar was built. 
There are the stones of some of the houses, and in that 
great rock lived the king's daughter, called Morava. 
One day an earthquake destroyed the city, and shut 
the king's daughter up in her cell." 

This, then, is the traditional site of the ancient town 
of Eashka, to which we have alluded in the preceding 
chapter. 

Some distance up the glen to the right are the ruins 
of the famous church of Sapotchani. We had much 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 289 

wished to see it, but were told this was impossible, as 
there were no konaks within several hours. Let not 
other travellers be thus deterred. Sapotchani cannot be 
more than three hours distant from Xovi Bazaar. It 
might be visited thence in one day, but if taken on the 
way to Ipek there is a house belonging to a certain 
Murad Bey, where one would probably find as good 
quarters as at Tutin. 

Our way now left the course of the Eashka, for that 
of a smaller stream to the left ; after a while we crossed 
this also, and struck over a wooded hill. Here all 
around is forest- mountain, its wild stillness broken only 
by the gurgle of unseen brooks, or by the fitful sobs of 
the breeze when rain is in the air. But though no 
human habitation is to be seen, the region is not 
really uninhabited; through these glens the Alba- 
nians have pushed from the borders of Montenegro 
to their north-western limit, namely, Senitza, a small 
town on the Serbian frontier. The Bosniac guards 
called our attention to one hill in particular, and said 
that in its glens lay ten villages which had never 
obeyed the Sultan nor paid tribute till some ten years 
ago. Then Eeschid Pasha was sent to quiet the 
country. There was a great war in the glen, and the 
villagers lost many of their men, some being killed 
and some sent prisoners to Stamboul. We asked, ''Do 
the villagers pay tribute now ? " 

"Not very punctually," he answered; "but they 
cannot rob their neighbours and go on as they used 
to do." 

" Were the robbers Bosniacs or Albanians ? " 

" Mixed. The real boundary between Bosnia and 
Amaoutluk is Boshai, but you will find Albanians 
mixed with Bosniacs on this line as far as Senitza." 

" Are there any Christians hereabouts?" 

VOL. I. u 



290 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

" Yes ; but few, very few." 

Finding the chaoush so communicative, we questioned 
him about the country through which we rode. Passing 
a beautiful ravine on the left one heard the sound of a 
descending torrent; thereupon he declared that not far 
off, in a spot called Ostravitza, was to be found an inter- 
mittent spring ; he further told us that the hills we had 
passed were called Yelak and Euya, and that we should 
next cross a high ridge named Kanima — all before we 
reached Tutin. 

A new theme was then started by the menzilgee, who 
suddenly burst into a wild song, whooping exultingly 
such words as these : '^ I am a Bosniac, I carry shining 
arms." 

We asked the chaoush, *^ What kind of military ser- 
vice do you Bosniacs prefer, the !N'izam or the Bashi- 
bazouks, i.e,^ regular or ii-regular?" 

He answered, impetuously, ^'Not the Mzam; we will 
have nothing to do with Nizam ; but the Bashi-bazouks 
are fine fellows, and have always good horses and fine 
clothes." 

*' Has the Sultan yet raised Nizam in Bosnia ? " 

"No, nor can he; the Bosniacs will not give him 
Nizam." 

"How is that?" we asked; " the Amaouts furnish 
Nizam." 

" So they may, but the Bosniacs — no." 

"And which, then, do you consider the best heroes — 
Albanians or Bosniacs ? " 

" Listen," he said. " The Albanians are heroes with 
guns, whereas with guns the Bosniacs are worth nothing; 
but the Bosniacs are heroes on horseback — :hu ! — such as 
there are not in the whole world." 

The distant view of the Vassoievic Mountains here 
suggested a change of subject, and we asked whether he 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS, 291 

or any of his peoj^le, had been fighting there last year. 
He said, ''No, but the Albanians Avere." 

'' And what sort of heroes are the Vassoievic ? '' 

" Good — very good : heroes, and like the Albanians, 
with guns." 

'' Are they as good as the Arnaouts ? " 

As a Mussulman he would not allow this, and said 
the Arnaouts were better. Wanting to hear what he 
would say, we asked if it were true that Yasso'ievic 
used not to belong to Montenegro, and if it was only 
during the last thirty years that even the Berdas had 
become free. 

'' Yes," he answered, ''they do not belong to the old 
Montenegro, but now they are all free together." 

"We asked if they heard anything about the Danubian 
Serbians arming lately. 

" Oh, yes," he cried, "but we don't care about them. 
It is true they have good cannon, but they are not 
heroes." 

" Were they not good heroes in Kara George's time ?" 

"Yes, that they were; but now we know that they 
cannot be, for this reason, they have not fought thete 
thirty years." 

The sun was setting as we emerged from the thick 
woods of oak and beech. ]3efore us lay the little moun- 
tain plain of Tutin, traversed by a stream, on the banks 
of which rise wooden houses with peaked roofs. At the 
entrance of the meadow, two well-mounted Eosniacs with 
their attendants were drawn up to await us. The elder 
was a fine old man in turban and robes; the other, 
middle-aged, wore over his linen tunic a crimson jacket 
lined with fur. The former led the Avay in silence ; the 
latter said, "Dobro doshle," and rode into the village at 
our side. At the door of the largest house the cavalcade 
stoj)ped, the crimson jacket alighted, and seizing the 

u2 



292 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

nearest of his guests, literally sous le hras^ half carried 
her up-stairs. All was dark, the steps broken, and the 
general impression that one would hmd in a granary. 
With pleasant surprise we found ourselves in a comfort- 
able room, thorou<j;lily carpeted, and containing a fire- 
place as well as a stove. The windows were very small, 
but the wooden walls were literally perforated with loop- 
holes, whence to fire on a besieging foe ; some of these 
were large, some small, and most covered with thick 
white paper, so as to exclude the air. 

That evening we amused ourselves with recalling what 
we had heard about a personage whose forest realm we 
were now traversing, i.e.^ the vila. Of her presence in 
the surrounding mountains the chaoush had spoken 
without a shade of doubt. He affirmed that she was 
frequently seen both by Mussulmans and Christians, 
provided they were natives of the country ; but he did 
not think she vouchsafed to appear to strangers, whether 
Franks or Osmanli. '^ And what is she like, when seen ?" 
asked we. He answered, " She does not always appear 
in the same way. Sometimes she looks like a fair maiden 
riding on a good horse." Such, indeed, is the usual 
description, with the further details that her dress is 
white, her bright hair flowing, and her steed swift as 
the wind. When not riding, she is represented with 
white wings. Albanians talk of her as well as Serbians, 
yet she would seem to be of Slavic origin, for she is 
found in most Slavonic countries, and even in that half 
of Germany of which Latham says that ^' if it did but 
know, or would but own, it is Slavonia in disguise." 
Famed as are the vila's horses (a vila steed being 
proverbial as a good one), she has been seen mounted 
on other animals ; for instance, on a stag, with a snake 
for bridle. But this is told of an eccentric old vila, 
who used to make travellers pay for troubling her 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 293 

woods and waters, and got her quietus from Marko 
Kralievitch. 

The supernatural maiden on horseback reminds one of 
the Scandinavian valkyr^ who rides wind and storm, 
and from whose horse's mane the drops fall as dew into 
the valleys, producing fertility and freshness. But the 
valkyr, though more than human, is human still ; though 
termed the Maid of Odin, the Fair One of Yalhalla, the 
Chooser of the Slain, she may also be the daughter of an 
earthly chief, the bride of an earthly hero.* In fact, 
the valkyr is the conception of a race whose christianized 
descendants carried the idealization of woman both into 
religion and daily practice, and as such she is the 
legitimate precursor of the high-bred, high-spirited, yet 
gentle ^'ladye" of chivalry. But the Serbian has no 
such female ideal. His free, powerful vila is one thing ; 
his submissive, affectionate wife another; the former 
has no link with humanity save that of j^osestrima^ or 
bond-sister, whereby certain heroes engage her, in order 
to secure aid in the hour of need.t 

But if the vila has not the idealized humanity of the 
valkyr, as little has she the demoniacal taint of the 
northern race of elves and gnomes. We hear of no 
^^ tithe paid to hell," no uneasy forecasting of future 
condemnation, no terror of holy signs, no deceitful pomp 
and private wretchedness. Indeed the Serbians have 
not the same intimate acquaintance with demons as the 
Germans. The devil in person is not a hero, either of 
popular legends or religious epics; he is distinguished 
by a simple and awful name, ^^ the Foe," while human 
enemies are merely called '' not -friends," or, in Turkey, 
by a Turkish word — dushman, 

• See " The Story of Svava and Hclgi" in tho Edda. 

t That some vilas have domestic ties among their own people may he inferred 
as allusion is occasionally made to their children, though not to their fathers and 
mothers, hrothers, lovers, or husbands. 



2 94 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS, 

Perhaps, althovigli with important differences, the 
vila has most in common with the nymph of classic 
heathendom. We hear of her sleeping at mid-day in 
the deep shade of fir trees, while her feet are washed 
by the wavelets of a forest tarn. Near her the swans 
build their nests, and so do the utvas^ or gold-winged 
ducks. In her realm the wild deer let themselves be 
tamed and bridled, and the lamb grazes confidently by 
the wolf's side. She has too her cloud-castle built on 
the hill-top, with its gates, one of scarlet, one of gold, 
one of pearl. In some cases she is even the " cloud- 
compeller," — storm and thunder come at her call. 

Now-a-days the most frequent appearance of the 
vila is as a spectator of human concerns. In that 
capacity the nymph most celebrated is she who dwells 
on the mountain Lovchen. 

The peak of this hill overlooks Montenegro, and a 
poetic chronicle of events in that country usually begins 
by announcing that they were witnessed, heard of, 
lamented over, or predicted by the Lovchen vila. "We 
happen to have seen two little modem poems, the one 
written by a poor Montenegrine, the other by the 
present prince. The prince's poem describes the battle 
of Grahovo; that of his subject, the death of Prince 
Danilo ; but in both the first lines introduce the vila, 
and throughout you are supposed to heiir with her 
ears. 

One might go on for ever instancing the actions 
attributed to the vila by the more ancient popular 
songs. We will merely give that which at this moment 
we can remember as her most purely benevolent deed. 

The eyes of a poor lad have been pat out with the 
connivance of his own mother, and he is left alone 
weeping among the hills. The vila washes his wounds 
in the brook, and then, '* having prayed to God," she 



I 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 295 

proceeds to make him new eyes. The ballad recording 
this is too long to stand here ; it is called '' lovan and 
the Elder of the Deevi" (giants). We could fancy its 
scene among the weird caves of that deev-haunted 
region we afterwards traversed between Montenegro 
and Old Serbia.* 

On the other hand, the most purely malevolent action 
we can remember of the vila consists in w^atching the 
hasty temper of one of two brothers; setting those 
brothers, who really loved each other, fighting, and 
when one is killed mocking the survivor with false 
hopes only to goad him to despair. The heroes of this 
legend are Slavonic Mussulmans, and it originates in a 
region bordering on Montenegro ; hence the remarks of 
our Bosnian chaoush naturally introduce it here. We 
will give it under the name of 

Hasty Wrath ; 
OR, THE Vila as Mischief-Maker. 

There were two brothers, Muyo and Ali, who lived 
together in wondrous love. 

So lovingly did they live together that they changed 
horses with each other, that they changed with each 
other their shining arms. 

One day they arose, and went together to the dark 
mountain-lake to chase the utva with golden wings. 
Muyo loosed his grey falcon. Ali sent forth his well- 
trained hawk. They caught the utva on the lake. 

* There is much to be said about this word deev, or div, and its forms in dif- 
ferent languages from Sanskrit do-vsTiwards. In Serbian it is given to mythic 
giants to denote, not their size, but their supernatural character. Divno, adj., 
in Serbian expresses "wondrous," and when used for "wondrously good" or 
beautiful, the words "good" and "beautiful" are understood. The ^Vlbanian 
giant is also called dex\ dcf\ (see Hahn's " Journey from Belgrade to Salonica," 
p. 39 ;) he and the Serbian have several localities and exploits in common. 



296 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS, 

Muyo cried out, "The falcon struck it;" but Ali said, 
*^ Nay, it was the hawk," — and his words vexed Muyo 
to the soul. And now they sat down under the trees, 
under green fir trees, drinking cool wine : over the 
wine sleep surprised them. 

All this was seen by three white vilas, and the eldest 
of them said to the rest, " Behold two marvellous good 
heroes. A hundred sequins would I give to the vila 
that could set them quarrelling." 

Then flew off the youngest vila — off she flew on her 
white wings, and alighted at Muyo's head. Burning 
tears she wept over him, wept till they fell on his face 
and scorched him. Up sprang Muyo, startled to fury ; 
but when he looked, behold a damsel ! Loud called 
he to his brother, ^' Eise, Ali, let us get home ! " The 
young Turk bounds from the earth to his feet (but still 
half asleep and the wine dazing him ; he sees, not one, 
but iivo damsels). " Ho, Muyo ! " cries he ; " may evil 
befall you ! Two maidens for thee, and for me not 
one ! " Again Ali's words stung Muyo, vexed him to 
the very soul. From his girdle he snatched the 
hangiar, and struck his brother through the heart. 

Ali falls on the green grass. Muyo seizes his white 
steed, and throws the fair damsel behind him ; off they 
go to his home in the hills. Ali's black steed neighs 
after them. Then wounded Ali calls to his brother, 
" Ho, Muyo, brother and murderer ! Turn thee again, 
and take my little black horse, that it be not left 
uncared for on the hill. Else, better pluck out thine 
own eyes than meet such praise as thy comrades will 
give thee." Muyo returns, takes the black horse, and 
sets the fair damsel on its back; off again they go 
among the hills. 

But lo ! in the middle of the road there meets them 
a raven without its right wing. *^ Alas ! poor raven ! " 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 



■97 



cries Muyo, ^^ how wilt thou fare without thy right 



wing ? " 



With a loud croak the bird answers him, ^^ I shall 
fare without my right wing, as a brother without his 
brother : as thou^ Muyo, without Ali." 

Then doth the Turk begin to say to himself, ^^111 
done, oh Muyo ! was to-day's exploit. If the very 
birds upbraid thee, how much more thy kinsmen and 
comrades!" Thereupon out speaks the vila : ''Turn 
thee again, oh Muyo ! Once I knew something of 
leechcraft ; maybe I could heal thy brother's wound." 

Back they ride towards the dark lake ; back they 
ride till now they have reached it. Then Muyo looks 
behind him ; he beholds the black steed — the vila 
is gone. 

Muyo falls on Ali's body, but already Ali has 
breathed out his soul. When the young Turk, Muyo, 
sees this, from his belt he snatches the hangiar, and 
plunges it into his own breast.* 

♦ Parentheses mark where we have interpolated a line telling how Ali came 
to sec two maidens when there was but one. Such an explanation we ourselves 
required, and think it likely others may need it also ; but in the written version 
of the legend it is omitted, perhaps because the audience to whom it is usually 
recited know well enough that after drinking wine a man sometimes sees 
double. 



CHAPTEE XXII. 

THE BOSNIAN BORDERS — [continued). 



FROM TUTIN TO ROSHAl. 



XTEXT morning we started for EoshaY, but before 
"^ departing we asked to speak with our host. He 
looked very sulky, and took our expression of thanks 
without any return of Oriental compliment. We asked 
whether the pushJci (gun) holes with which the chamber 
was studded were still necessary for defence. He said, 
" No ; but ten years ago they were constantly in use. 
In those days the Arnaouts plundered the country, 
and haunted the village to that degree that we and our 
rayah dare not stir beyond doors." ^^ Who put an end 
to this state of things ? " "• Eeschid Pasha — he who 
made an expedition into the mountains and erected so 
many kulas." '^ Was that the same pasha who fought 
with the ten villages that would not pay tribute ? " At 
the mention of these villages the brow of the aga 
became still darker and his utterance slower ; he knew 
nothing about ten villages ; something like that to which 
we alluded had been spoken about in his hearing, but 
it only concerned one village, not ten." '^ Did he know 
the name of the village ? " '^ No, he did not ; it had 
no name." We then asked him some questions as to 
the road we were about to travel and the names of rivers 
and mountains. He told us that in winter the roads 
between Tutin and Novi Bazaar were filled up with 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 299 

snoTT, but the snow froze so hard that communications 
could be carried on without difficulty. Further, he said 
that the whole substance of the village consisted in 
cattle, the mountains being unfit for cultivation, but, as 
we saw, well-watered and abounding in pasture. ^' How 
many houses are there in Tutin?" He took up the 
string of beads which he was twirling in his fingers, 
and counted thus : ''• There is my house, and my 
uncle's, and Abraham Aga's — that makes three " — and 
so on — '' in all seven." '' And to whom does the village 
belong ? " He again became sulky, and answered that 
he did not know what we meant, but that this village 
and all the district stood under the kaimakam of Kovi 
Bazaar. This struck us as a strange reply, for besides 
that the Bosniacs do not in general like to be reminded 
of the central authorities, in what country would a pro- 
prietor be likely to describe his estate as standing under 
the governor of the nearest town? Suspecting some- 
thing amiss, we only added that we should much like to 
know his name, as that of a person who had entertained 
us hospitably. Without seeming aware that he thus 
replied to our former question, he answered readily, 
'' I belong to the family Hamsa Agitch, and so do the 
other proprietors of this village, who are all my brothers 
and cousins — we and our rayah are the only people 
here." On coming outside the gate to mount our horses, 
we saw the representatives of '' our rayah," in the shape 
of three or four supremely ugly women, clad in shirts 
and aprons and adorned with silver coins. They looked 
at us in a friendly and confiding manner, and smilingly 
stood forth to let us examine their weird head-gear and 
necklaces. It appears that they had inquired of our 
dragoman if we were really Mahommedans, as the aga 
had told them, and when they heard we were Christians 
they rejoiced greatly, for **was it not a fine thing to see 



300 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

Christian women received with honours and lodged in 
the aga's house?" But if the rayah were glad to 
see us, so was not the old uncle in the turban. This 
morning he looked grimmer than ever, and again escorted 
us without uttering a word. We could not but marvel 
at this demeanour, as opposed to all we had formerly seen 
of Bosnian Mussulmans. But in due time the pheno- 
menon was explained. The possession of a firman, the 
journey to Ipek at this crisis, perhaps also some expres- 
sions in the letter of the kaYmakam of Novi Bazaar, had 
given rise to the impression that we were emissaries from 
Constantinople. This was made known to us by our 
dragoman the moment we had taken leave of our host. 
Like us, he had been struck by the exceeding reserve and 
suspicion shown by all at Tutin. But during the evening 
one person after another had come to ask him if we were 
really the persons sent by the Sultan to investigate 
matters at Ipek. '^ This,'' he added, ^^was the reason 
they would tell you nothing more about the contumacious 
villages, indeed they were very vexed you should have 
heard of them at all." We asked the dragoman if the aga 
really thought we were Mahommedans ? He answered, 
^^ Who knows ? The kaimakam probably did not tell 
to the contrary, for otherwise they might have objected 
to lodging you. At any rate they did not wish their 
rayah to think that they had been forced to receive 
ghiaours." We were by no means satisfied with this 
story. The sullenness of these Bosniacs was no good 
omen of the temper in which we should find the Ama- 
outs, who had an attack on the Sultan's representative on 
their consciences. If we were taken for emissaries at 
Tutin, how much more at Ipek ! We had not forgotten 
that the Arnaout, when uncertain of the good intentions 
of strangers, is apt to quiet his mind by taking a shot at 
them, and under such circumstances we could not but 



I 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 301 

fear lest the mudir of Eoshai should forbid our going 
farther. To be turned back a third time would have been 
too bad. All we could do was to bid our servants din in 
the ears of future inquirers that we were from England, 
not from Stamboul ; and that we were not Mahom- 
medans but Christians, on a pilgrimage to Detchani. 

What a day's ride between Ipek and Rosha'i ! 
Here is again Zelena Phinina in all its shades — from 
fir to hazel; in all its forms, from the park-like 
valley to the grim ravine. Then ever and anon some 
break in the dark woods, opening like a break in 
rain-clouds, shows sunlit vistas of the eagle's realm, 
— of Montenegrlne summits streaked with snow. 
It is in such scenes - that one identifies the epithets 
wherewith the Slavic language characterizes, and even 
seems in sound to describe, the varieties of highland 
landscape. There is the shuma^ or great forest ; the 
pldnina^ or mountain-chain ; the bercla^ or knot of rocky 
mountains ; the cerna gorci^ or black- wooded hills ; and 
lastly, the vcrh^ or individual height, whose huge grey 
shape, rising out of the blue-green, looks like the giant 
shepherd of the forest-mountain, his head envelo2)cd in 
a misty stroolca,^ 

A peak wherewith we made acquaintance to-day for 
the first time is Ilaila, immediately above Roshai. liising 
as it does to the heiglit of nearly 7,000 feet, its limestone 
crags retain even in the end of July a partial covering 
of snow, and it forms a magnificent feature in the land- 
scape as seen at intervals from this forest rid(\ Pre- 
sently our path emerged on a lovely little valley, its 
lawns strewn with fresh-mown hay and sloping to 
a rapid stream. At its farther end appear two twin 



* StrooJca, tlio i)luid of th(3 Montonogrlno hij^hlandt-r ; in tt^mpostuous 
weather he wraps it about his head; in colour it is usually grey, lilack, or 
brown. 



302 THE BOSNIAN BONDERS. 

hillocks covered with the dark wood, while darker still 
— cerna gora in its gloomiest form — rises behind them 
the hill of Soke. Having traversed the valley we 
crossed the stream, and began climbing the fir-clad 
ascent. 

Some years ago this region was so infested by robbers 
that none could pass it except in a large company ; 
and the " thousand shining-armed wedding guests ". 
celebrated in Serbian poetry would scarce have been too 
strong an escort for a bridal party between Tutin and 
Eoshai. Whether in self- congratulation on their present 
safety or from old habit, our zapties began to fire oil 
their pistols and to whoop and shout with giant voices ; 
the cavass, who, being badly mou-nted, had fallen back, 
came rushing up on foot, sword in hand, expecting 
to find us in a fray with haiduks. The dragoman 
was also behind, but did not rejoin us till long after- 
wards; he then told us that, like the cavass, he had 
dismounted, and, believing us attacked, had turned ** as 
green as death." Here, however, the story broke off", 
and we were at liberty to suppose that the end of his 
exertions was to creep into a bush, 

A long ascent brings you to the top of the pass — 
unluckily, not to the top of the hill, from whence the 
view must be magnificent. We saw the summit rising 
on the left, its apex a large rocky fragment, whereon a 
shepherd was keeping watch. We would fain have 
climbed this eyrie, but the wind blew chill and the 
horses were heated ; the zaptie would scarcely let us 
halt even for a moment, whereas, we could have sat for 
hours to feast our eyes on the vale of bowery wood we 
were leaving behind. But a greater feast awaited them 
on the other side, when we began the descent towards 
Eoshai. This frontier hamlet, built of the rough wood 
of its own forest, lies at the foot of a deep glen, and 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS, 303 

^' in the water and out of the water" of the Ibar, which 
here, near its source, is a powerful mountain burn. Eight 
in front rises the peak of Haila, now golden with the 
sunset on its snows, while on each side the woods open, 
showing pastures scattered over with herds, and glades 
dotted with heaps of green hay. Near the head of the 
glen a few roofs peep up from a Bosnian Mussulman 
village. There are Christian villages among the hills, 
but none in sight from any point of our way. 

Within half an hour of Eosha'i the mudir met us with 
all his following in full array. He bestrode a great 
black steed, and managed it in the Turkish style, Le.^ 
causing it to rear and bounce as if in conflict with a swarm 
of wasps. This looks very fine, till the poor brute becomes 
covered with foam, and one perceives that, being all the 
while perfectly quiet, it has been heated and wearied by 
the rider for show. 

The whole population of Eosha'i turned out to see us, 
and a truly picturesque community they appeared : many 
wore turbans, and all wore white and red garments that 
well set off their stalwart forms. 

The dwelling prepared for us belonged to a Mus- 
sulman. We were not a little surprised at its size, 
cleanliness, and the proportion of glass to paper in tlu^, 
window frames ; above all, there was a regular firejilacc^, 
such as one still sees in mcdia3val houses in Englanc^, 
with a peaked stone canopy for chimney-piece. The 
young mudir ushered us into the room and then seated 
himself a la Franca, threw off his fez, and ran his fingers 
throught abundant hair, which showed small sign of the 
Mussulman tonsure. He then began to talk at a great 
rate in Slavonic, and called to his counsels, not the 
master of the house, a dignified Bosniac, but the 
Christian kodgia bashi and pope, both of whom he in- 
troduced to us in a perfectly conventional style. In 



304 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

return, those representatives of the rayah treated the 
mudir with ease ; nor could we discern in their behaviour 
anything of the usual traces of fear. The text of 
their discussion was the letter of the ka'imakam of Novi 
13azaar, which had not been sent forward to the mudir 
as we expected, but reached him first by the zaptie 
who accompanied us. Hereupon it appeared that the 
mudir had not the slightest knowledge of such a place 
as Detchani, although the far-famed monastery lies but 
thirteen hours from Eoshai. ^Neither did he at first see 
any difiiculty in our going to Ipek ; but on this subject 
a second thought struck him, and he suddenly ex- 
claimed, ^^ Ey-the-bye, the last thing we heard from 
Ipek was, that the mudir and all the medjliss had been 
called to Prizren to answer for murdering their kahna- 
kam. It is a question who may now be there in autho- 
rity, or in a temper to obey the Sultan's firman." Here 
w^as a difficulty. The Bosnian master of the house 
came forward, and said that he and his friends would 
take us to Ipek, maugre all the Arnaouts in the hills. 
But the mudir dismissed this idea rather impatiently, 
deciding that as we wished to go not only to Ipek but 
beyond it, it was peremptorily neaessary to know how 
matters stood. Hereupon we suggested that he should 
send a messenger with a letter, enclosing the order 
of the kaimakam, and we would await the answer at 
Eosha'i*. 

This proposal found favour with all parties, and we 
ourselves were not sorry to have a day's rest. But now 
a fresh solicitude arose. Where was our luggage? We 
had not passed it on the way, and hence expected to 
have found it awaiting us, but no ; and after the mudir 
was gone some time passed without its app^^arance. At 
length unpleasing ideas suggested themselves; either 
the drivers must have mistaken the road, or else some 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 305 

accident having happened, they had quietly resolved to 
wait where they were, counting that we should send to 
look after them. At last the mudir did despatch some 
zapties, but not till it was already dark and we had 
made up our minds to an uncomfortable night. How- 
ever, about nine o'clock the wished-for tramp of horses 
was heard, and the drivers being called to account, 
explained that there had been no accident, nor had they 
lost their way, but they had taken a different road from 
ours, and in the middle of the day had indulged in a 
long rest. Eoshai was the limit of their district, so 
next day they and the IS'ovi Bazaar zapties went home. 
So did the menzilgee, though we had engaged the 
menzil horses to Ipek; he insisted on returning with 
the guards, because, should he return alone, he was 
certain that the Arnaouts would shoot him and make 
off with his beasts. 

Of the two days we spent at Eoshai waiting for an 
answer from Ipek, the first was unpleasantly taken up 
in getting over the effects of a chill caught the even- 
ing before. When it became known to our host that 
we were taking remedies for fever he begged us to pre- 
scribe for his eldest son, who had been suffering from 
it for a year, and a lad of fifteen was brought before 
us, terribly green-faced and glassy-eyed. We gave 
him some of the simple medicine we had found most 
useful, and thereupon the father apj)lied for himself. 
Though a stout, well-built man, he had, like all the 
inhabitants we saw at Eoshai, an unhealthy, livid hue. 
After nightfall there came a message from the harem, 
hoping that ^^ if we came back this way " we would 
prescribe for a woman who suffered much from her 
head. We were really glad not to be asked to see her 
this time, being afraid of doing mischief; nor did we 
ever attain the happy confidence wherewith so many 

VOL. I. X 



3o6 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

amateurs can prescribe in total ignorance of a patient's 
constitution. With such scruples it is painful to be 
asked for medical aid, in a country where to refuse it 
would be considered irreligious as well as unkind. 

There is not much to be seen at Eosha'i, except the 
picturesque Ibar Glen and slight remains of an old 
castle. The pope told us that at some distance there 
lie the foundations of an ancient church, and that 
hither on great feast days the Christians gather, and 
hold divine service among its grass-grown stones. 
Making inquiries as to the road to Senitza, we heard 
of two ruined castles on the way. The convent of 
Bielopolye lies also in that direction, and the pope said 
that its monks keep a school. 

The kodgia bashi and the pope were loud in praise of 
the new mudir, and gave the following story of his ap- 
pointment. Last year, during the Montenegrine war, 
numbers of Christians were arrested on suspicion, and 
it was believed that the Mussulmans hatched a plot to 
kill, imprison, and exile every energetic and intelligent 
rayah ; in fact, a plot similar to that which, in the be- 
ginning of this century, gave rise to the war of libera- 
tion in Serbia. Then came the bombardment of Bel- 
grade, to which the Serbs replied by an unexpected 
show of teeth and claws, and the spirit of the rayah 
hereabouts was roused by the hope of a kindred army 
crossing the frontier. The Turkish government, having 
its hands full with Montenegro, dared not drive the 
Slavonic Christians to desperation, and orders were sent 
to let them alone. At the same time the late mudir of 
Eoshai was displaced and succeeded by the present. 
Now the former mudir was a fanatic Turk, and in all 
things went hand in hand with the native Mussulmans, 
but the present governor had come with instructions to 
conciliate the Christians, and was a man whose temper 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 307 

and antecedents disposed him to carry his orders out. 
For this yery reason he was odious to the Mahomme- 
dans, and the Christians expected to see him murdered 
by these Bosniacs, as the kaimakam of Ipek had been 
by the Arnaouts. The first part of this story we had 
heard before, for we had ourselves met with exiles from 
this part of the country at Travnik in Bosnia, and we 
now delivered their messages to their families, who thus 
first learned what had become of them. The second 
part of the tale, namely, the efforts of lately-appointed 
governors to win over the Serbian population, was also 
corroborated by several instances of our experience. 
Everywhere, however, with a like result, Le.^ while it 
fails to diminish the legitimate longing of the rayahs for 
a Christian administration, it has the effect of rousing the 
native Mahommedans to ominous discontent. The agent 
of this policy, now at Eoshai, may be taken as a superior 
specimen of his class. He also represents another re- 
markable though not numerous type, namely, the young 
generation of Bosnian aristocrats when transmuted into 
Turkish officials ; thus furnishing an illustration of what 
bureaucracy, centralisation, and Stamboul life make of 
the tough old Slavonic Bey. 

The day after our arrival the mudir came again to 
see us, and this time chose to talk Turkish, falling into 
Slavonic when necessary to make his meaning clear; 
probably he did not wish the people of the house to 
understand him, for he had much to say, nor did the 
deficiencies of our dragoman in Tui^kish discourage 
him from a conversation of some hours. This may be 
partly accounted for by the circumstance that he was 
talking of himself and his ancestors. Like Bosniacs in 
general, he had ^'ancestors," and no sooner knew that 
we had been in the Herzegovina, and seen Mostar, 
Blaga'i, Stolac, than he poured forth their history and 

x2 



3o8 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

his own. He came of the house of Eizvan Beg, a 
relative of the famous Ali Pasha of the Herzegovina. 
The family seat was Stolac, and had been so ever 
since the Turkish conquest, but the rank and power 
of the family dated earlier; they had been great 
people in the days when Herzegovina was called the 
Duchy of St. Sava, and they came to Stolac when 
the last duke was driven from Blaga'i by the Turks. 
One branch of the family renegaded to save its 
lands, the other followed the duke into exile, and 
became nobles of the free city Eagusa ; but between 
both branches friendly intercourse continued, and the 
family of Eizvan Begovic always remained on good 
terms with the Latins. At last came the grand revolt 
of the Bosnian Mussulmans against the Porte; one 
after another the great families found their ruin, 
and the turn came to that of Eizvan Begovic. Ad- 
vantage was taken of its old connections to accuse 
it of treasonable negotiations with the Latins, and a 
firman of the Sultan empowered Omar Pasha to deprive 
its members of their lands and bring them captive to 
Stamboul. 

At the end of this story the mudir drew a long breath, 
and then asked — 

'-'- At Stolac did you see a factory built by an 
European merchant ? " 

'^We did." 

^'Well, the merchant who built that factory agreed 
to set it up at his own expense, on condition that for a 
certain number of years he should hold it free of rent. 
During the war the factory could not work, the mer- 
chant lost money, and he called on my family to in- 
demnify him. But at that time all our rents were 
paid in to the Sultan, and we lived on a yearly allow- 
ance from the treasury ; therefore it was settled that the 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 309 

Sultan should indemnify the merchant, and stop the 
amount out of our revenue. Thus ever since we have 
been shut out of our estates; but they say that by 
next year all will have been repaid, and that we shall 
get our lands again. Meanwhile my father lives in 
Constantinople, and there I was born and educated. 
My mother was a Circassian : it was from my father 
I learned the Bosnian tongue. I spoke it when I was a 
child, but I never had occasion to speak it since, till I 
came here two months ago." 

"We told the mudir that much of his story was already 
known to us, and that we had met other families of Bosnia 
and the Herzegovina in the same position as his own. 

^^Yes," he said, ^'in Bosnia and the Herzegovina 
there is scarcely one whole family spared. Do you know 
any of these ? " — and he named one after another the 
great Bosnian houses. 

^^Yes, we know some of them, and also some of 
those that went over to Eagusa and have fallen under 
Austria ; and a Herzegovinian family we know that 
would not submit either to the Turks or to the Latins, 
and are now princes of Montenegro." 

"Ah!" he exclaimed with a start, "ah, indeed! 
Well, my family was once almost as great as princes, 
and when Montenegrines came to Stamboul, they always 
visited my father. Pray tell me what sort of place is 
Montenegro." 

Thinking of the adjacent Amaoutluk, we answered, 
" It is a place where robbery has been put down, and 
where even a woman may walk in safety by day or 
night, carrying any property she pleases." 

He interrupted impatiently, " I don't mean that kind 
of thing : is it a comfortable place to live in ? I have 
heard that it is all mountains. What sort of house has 
the prince ? " 



310 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 

We answered, that the prince had a good house, 
but that the most of the country was mountainous, 
and that to preserve their freedom the people were 
constantly at war. 

"Yes, yes," he said, "that is just as it was described 
to me ; but now tell me, have you been at Bucharest ? " 

"l^To." 

" Well, that is a delightful place ; it would surprise 
you to see such a European-looking city in this out-of- 
the-way part of the world. Kow that is the sort of 
place I should like to live in. The truth is, I have 
become used to large cities, and if to-morrow the Sultan 
were to give me back all our estates, and say, ' Now 
you may go back to the Herzegovina,' I would beg 
him to keep them. I could not go." 

These last words he said with a tone and air absurdly 
like hiase young gentlemen elsewhere, and apparently like 
them he believed that his utterances bore the impress 
of great mental superiority. As, however, we gave no 
sign of admiration he changed the subject, and began 
thus: 

" I have been in England. One of my relatives is 
attached to the embassy, and I was sent to him on busi- 
ness. What a great city London is ! but when I was 
there it was almost as dark as night." 

We asked him if the climate had not disagreed with 
him. 

" ISTo, indeed; the climate of England is not bad, but 
it is a climate wherein it is necessary to drink a little 
spirits." 

We asked him if he had ever seen English people in 
this part of the world before. 

" Not here," he answered, " but once, while I was 
mudir in Caramania, an English gentleman came to dig 
for antiquities. He had a huge train of servants and 



TTT3r» 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 3 1 1 

baggage, and like you he carried a firman. I went out 
to meet him as I did to meet you, on my best horse, 
with all my people, but the English gentleman coming 
thus suddenly on a great company of armed men took 
us for robbers and turned to flee : with difficulty he was 
persuaded to return. Ah ! " added the mudir, presently, 
'^ Asia Minor is a much nicer place than this. There, if 
I wanted any number of horses I had only to send out a 
zaptie, and the people brought them at once ; here, if I 
require horses, I may send a dozen zapties and not get 
them after all. The people here are headstrong to a 
degree ; they do not even care to earn money. If horses 
are wanted for travellers, the travellers pay for them at 
a fixed rate ; if they are wanted for government service 
the owners receive in exchange a receipt, and when the 
tax-gatherer goes round he remits the equivalent. Yet 
rather than thus gain money the people of this district 
will let a horse stay idle at home." 

In qualification of this statement we were aware, first, 
that the government pay is too low to defray the 
expenses of horse and man ; secondly, that the receipt 
is not always honoured by the tax-gatherer, while the 
horses are starved, overdriven, and not unfrequently 
taken away altogether. However we only remarked 
that so far as the Christians were concerned they felt it 
a hardship to be called on for horses when the demand 
was not equally served on Mussulmans. 

^^ That," said the young governor, '-'• is the fault of the 
mudirs : they are afraid of the Mussulmans and do not 
force them to do their duty. But I am not afraid ; they 
may kill me if they will ; but I have the Sultan's autho- 
rity for it, and I will make them obey. Why should 
there be any difference between men of one faith and 
another ? For my part what do I care who is Christian 
and who Islam?" 



312 THE BOSNIAN BORDERS, 

We remarked that witli such sentiments it was a pity 
he did not live in the Herzegovina, for there the Mussul- 
mans in their fanaticism were always goading the Chris- 
tians to revolt. He answered, ^^It would do no good; 
nothing can make these Mussulmans act otherwise." 

^* But your ancestors used to make themselves listened 
to, why should not you ? " 

^' True," he said, ^^ you are right. If I were restored 
to the Herzegovina, it might be an excellent thing for 
the people : but you see, it would not be at all pleasant 
for myself." Presently he added, ^^ To show you what 
a set of people I have to deal with, I must tell you that 
the Christian pope finds a better friend in me than among 
his own flock. His dues are small enough, but the rayah 
would not pay him unless I forced them. What do you 
think of that?" 

We thought that, whatever it proved for the mudir, it 
told very badly for the priest. 

The conversation finally turned on Serbia. Of the 
new roads and schools the mudir had heard, and he much 
wished to visit the country. He said, ^^I have heard 
that Serbia has kept up the old ways, and has not, like 
Bucharest, become European, But they say there is 
justice for the poor in Serbia, and that rich and poor are 
equal before law." Then he added, ^' I did not mean 
that Bucharest is a good place, only that it is a place 
where a man can enjoy life. They say there are good 
schools in Serbia. I was at school in Constantinople ; 
my brother went to a school where he learned French 
and Greeky and I should have liked to have learned 
Greek, for it is the most beautiful of all languages ; but 
in the Mahommedan school there is nothing taught but 
Turkish." 

^^ Is nothing taught but Turkish in the Mahommedan 
schools in the Herzegovina ? " 



THE BOSNIAN BORDERS. 313 

^' IN'othing," he replied ; ^^ but the Christians are taught 
Serbian, and we will send our children to the Christian 
schools rather than they forget their fathers' tongue." 

The morning before we left Eosha'i, the mudir, who 
was evidently a great dandy, sent to ask if we could 
spare him a pair of gloves. At first we feared that none 
of ours would be large enough, but as he was a little 
fellow, with the hand and foot of his Oriental mother, 
we decided to try a pair of ample German gloves we had 
bought for riding — the only specimens to be got at 
Salonica. Of course we supposed they were to be kept 
for his next visit to Novi Bazaar ; so, conceive our 
amusement when, at the door of our house, we found 
him on his prancing charger, and with the great black 
handschuhs carefully buttoned. 

Early on the morning of Monday a message came 
from Ipek to this effect : '' The pasha of Nish holds 
court in Prizren, and thither all holders of authority at 
Ipek have been summoned to answer for the attack on 
their ka'imakam ; meanwhile, in the room of the ka'ima- 
kam a new mudir has been appointed at Ipek, and he 
will be glad to receive you with honour, in obedience to 
the Sultan's firman." Hereupon we made ready to 
depart, the master of the house at Eosha'i hospitably 
inviting us to return. ^' Only," added he, ^Hhis thing 
I pray you : when you think to come here write not to 
the mudir, but to me; and if you want horses apply 
not to him, but to us residents. This time, if you had 
asked me, I would have procured you capital horses from 
my friends; but you have applied to him — see what 
miserable beasts he has got ! " 

END OF VOL. I. 



LOMUOK : PJUNTED BT YIUTUK AND CO., LUUTED, CITY UOAD. 



^Sirb ([Bbitiott. 



THE 

CHRISTIANS OF TURKEY 

THEIR CONDITION UNDER MUSSULMAN 
RULE. 

By the Rev. WILLIAM DENTON, MA., 

Author of " Servia and the Servians." 

Crown 8vo, 5s. 



ACADEMY. 

*' Those who are still curious to learn what the status quo actually is in Turkey, 
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SPECTATOR. 

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DAILY NEWS. 

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CHURCH TIMES. 

** Mr. Denton has framed a formidable and unanswerable indictment. We 
trust that his book may be widely and carefully studied." 

NONCONFORMIST. 

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he has resided in the country, studied the people and their ways, and in a good 
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BRITISH QUARTERLY REVIEW. 

" Mr. Denton has resided in Servia, and is well acquainted with the Turkish 
rule. He knows, therefore, where to find evidence, and what its value is. His 
book should sting the political conscience of Europe to the very quick." 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 

MONTENEGRO 

In the Press. 



DALDY, ISBISTER & CO., 56, LUDGATE HILL, LONDON. 



jfiftj eBtiition. 



ACROSS AFRICA. 

By COMMANDER CAMERON, R.N., C.B. 

With 200 Illustrations from the Author's Sketches, Maps, &c, 
2 vols, demy 8vo, 32s. 



TIMES. 



" After reading these two volumes we wonder how Cameron managed to 
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DAILY NEWS. 
" An achievement unsurpassed in the history or romance of human enterprise." 

PALL MALL GAZETTE. 

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which places Captain Cameron in the foremost rank of African explorers." 

ATHEN^UM. 

"The noblest contribution to the literature of geographical exploration in our 
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SATURDAY REVIEW. 

** Its very simplicity and downright straightforwardness will prove a re- 
commendation." 

SPECTATOR. 

** Surpasses all its predecessors in its record of physical suffering and difficulty, 
and its pictures of the slave trade in Central Africa." 

ACADEMY. 

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given Cameron's name an undying place in the history of African discovery." 

GEOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE. 

"As a scientific explorer he stands first amongst the foremost explorers of 
tropical Africa. . . . An achievement which was as bravely and gallantly 
performed as it is now efficiently and modestly described." 

BRITISH QUARTERLY REVIEW. 

** Has a very real and permanent interest as the genuine story of difficult and 
dangerous exploration, and will of necessity continue for many years to be the 
text-book for the geography and anthropology of south tropical Africa." 



DALDY, ISBISTER & CO., 56, LUDGATE HILL, LONDON. 



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o\^l