π1v π2r π2v π3r π3v π4r

A
Journey
Through
The Crimea
To
Constantinople

π4v A1r 1789M DCC LXXXIX. A1v partial mapflawed-reproduction A2r

A
Journey
Through
The Crimea
To
Constantinople

In
A Series of Letters

From the Right Honourable
Elizabeth Lady Craven,

To His Serene Highness
The Margrave of Brandebourg, Anspach,
and Bareith
.

Written in the Year 1789M DCC LXXXVI.
London:
Printed for G. G. J. and J. Robinson, Pater-noster Row.
1789M DCC LXXXIX.

A2v library stampomitted A3r

To
To His Serene Highness
The Margrave of Brandebourg, Anspach,
and Bareith
.

Custom has long given a Preface to
every book that has been published—It is
likewise accompanied with a Dedication. I have
always thought the last made the first unnecessary—
Indeed both may be dispensed with, if an author
does not think his stile requires an apology for
offering to the Public a work, which his humility
or justice may lead him to think fit only to put
his readers to sleep―The greatest part of the 4 A3v
public has my permission to doze over the
following sheets, as I expose them to the malice
of my enemies, without reserve, merely to oblige
many of my friends; who, knowing I had taken
a long and extraordinary journey, have desired
me to give them some account of it―The
best I could give, and in the most agreeable
manner to myself, was by transcribing part of
my letters to you—in which, though in a cursory
manner, I have given you a faithful picture of
what I have seen―Beside curiosity, my friends
will in these Letters see at least for some time
where the real Lady Craven has been, and where
she is to be found—it having been a practice
for some years past, for a Birmingham coin of
myself to pass in most of the inns in France,
Switzerland, and England, for the wife of my
husband—My arms and coronet sometimes supporting,
in some measure, this insolent deception; A4r
by which, probably, I may have been seen to
behave very improperly. I think it my duty to
aver upon my honour, that it has frequently
happened to me, travelling with my sweet child,
to find a landlady, who has shewn a particular
desire of serving me in the most menial offices,
with tears in her eyes, and upon my asking the
reason, in the honest indignation of her heart,
she said, she had been imposed upon, at such a
time, by a traveller who called herself by my
name”
―If I had possessed the invaluable
blessing of having you for my real brother—this
curious and unheard of treason to my birth and
character would long since have been punished
in the person who could only countenance the
deceit―But let me thank Heaven that I have
found in you, Sir, all the virtues which I could
desire in a brother, and that affection and respect
which leads me to dedicate these Letters to you. A4v
My actions in future will prove more than this
feeble tribute, how deeply impressed I am with
all the feelings of esteem that can fill a grateful
heart; your people, Sir, your many virtues, that
make all that approach you happy, will justify
my dedicating my studious, as my social hours to
you―

Eliza Craven.

B1r

Lady Craven’s Journey
to
Constantinople

Letter I.

The honour you do me, in wishing to hear
from me, deserves in return a greater entertainment
than my letters can afford; and if
it was not for the precious name of sister, which
you order me to take, I should perhaps be a long
time before I could venture to write to you; but
when you command me to look upon you as my
brother, the idea coincides so perfectly with the
esteem and friendship I feel for you, that I obey
with pleasure―

Since your Highness left Paris, I have had my
brother and sister here; the south of France has entirely
recovered her, and she is in a fair way of B B1v 2
producing an heir―I have many nephews but
none of that name yet — — — —
— — — — — —

I shall set out to-morrow for Touraine, called
by the French “le Jardin de la France”;—and at three
o’clock in the morning, as it is very hot—My harp
is in the coach with me; for though my intention
is not to stay above three weeks where I am going
to—I cannot be so long absent from the sound of
an instrument that I prefer to every other.

I have sent you some English garden-seeds which
were given to me by Lady ―. I hope when you
are eating your sallads this summer, you will think
of your adopted Sister, and believe that it must be
very good reasons, that deter her from visiting Franconia,
in preference to all other places. — —
— — — — — — —
— — — —

I have the honour to subscribe myself your
very affectionate sister, faithful friend and servant,

Eliza. Craven.

B2r 3

Letter II.

I slept at Orleans last night—and as the
weather is extremely hot, I rested in the middle
of the day at Blois, where I examined the Royal
Chateau
, a house composed of different orders
of architecture, built at different periods of time,
and by various persons. The most modern addition
has been made by Gaston Duc d’Orleans, who
chose to place an Italian structure in the midst of
the various irregularity belonging to the ancient
Gothic, one part of which was built by Francis the
First
―The ornaments of this (several of them)
were to me as incomprehensible as Egyptian hieroglyphics
would have been. I wished my friend
Mr. W. at my elbow, whose knowledge in, and
taste for the Gothic, might have explained them.
—The porter who conducted me about, seemed a
good historian for a person of his condition.―
I need not tell you, how many extraordinary personages
and events this Chateau called to my mind.
—If the confusion which ambition naturally creates
in history, should at this moment prevent your B2 B2v 4
memory from placing them before you—I refer you
to the Nouveau Voyage de la France, par Mr. Piganiol
de la Force
, who gives a cursory account of Blois,
and this Chateau—but he does not say, what I can
assert, that so many persons have scraped the stone
on which Henry Duc de Guise’s blood fell, that
there remains but one half of it.―My old conductor
told me those who preserved the powder
as a relick, were people related to the Guise
family
, and curious travellers—I was not one of
them.―This Letter would be too long if I inserted
an adventure which happened to me at the post
beyond Blois. You shall have it in my next. I
will only add to this, that if ever you go from Blois
to Tours, do not go by night—the road is on a
causeway, the Loire on your left, and a precipice
into meadows on your right, without any fence to
prevent an accident, if your postillions were drunk,
or your horses frightened.

The uncommon dryness of the season prevented
my judging of the much boasted beauties of the
Loire, which is now reduced to the narrowest rivulet
I have seen―There are many castles on the
banks which ornament the landscape—and were
probably fortified, in former days; one in particular
put me in mind of dear B. Castle. I suppose they B3r 5
are left now, as most habitations in France are (distant
from Versailles) for a Concierge to keep his pigs
and chickens in

―Adieu―

Letter III.

At the post beyond Blois, while the horses
were changing, (an operation not performed in one
minute as in England) one of my servants came up
to the door and said, “ces maudits postillions ne veulent
point laisser monter cet enfant derriere la voiture”
. The
word “enfant” always strikes to my very heart: among
the many reasons I had before, I have now an additional
one for feeling about an enfant of any sort.—

I am at this moment above a hundred miles distant
from the most affectionate, the most engaging,
and the most beautiful child that ever mother had,
—and for the first time I have ever left him — —
— — — — — — —

“Quel enfant?” says I, looking out on the left
towards the hind wheel of my Berline—I saw a boy,
seemingly about ten years old, decently dressed in
mourning—a crape round his hat, and black buckles
in his shoes.

“Madame”; says he—and the tears in his eyes
stopped his voice―

B3v 6

“Eh bien, mon enfant, parlez”

“Madame, le Maitre de poste à Blois m’a conseillé de
monter derriere votre Berline, comme il n’y avait point de
malle—à présent les postillions ne veulent pas m’y laisser—”

“Comment vous appellez vous?”

“Cassius”;

“Cassius—voila un beau nom”; “oui Madame”, said the
child; who had never heard or read of any other
Cassius but himself—“mon pere était géntilhomme”,—and
he gave me a pocket-book which contains letters.
One of these was from a lady of quality to the child’s
distant relations at la Rochelle, desiring them to
place him on board a ship.—

“Comment”, says I; “vous voudriez servir.—”“Servir” in French conversation always means serve in a military
capacity, and not as a servant―
.—

“Oui Madame; je ne saurais étre domestique, parce que
mes peres étaient gentilhommes”
,—and among a variety
of questions which I asked him—and to which he
answered modestly and pertinently—whenever he
recollected that circumstance, it was a painful idea.
—He had a brother and sister at Paris, who had
sent him to go from thence to la Rochelle on foot,
with six livres, and his letters of recommendation,
for his support and protection. What unfeeling B4r 7
people! “Avez vous diné aujourd’hui”? It was then
about six o’clock.

“Oui Madame, le maitre de poste à Blois m’a donné à
diner—ce sont les postillions d’ici qui ne veulent pas que
diner—ce sont les postillons d’ici qui ne veulent pas que
je monte derriere votre voiture”
. The postillions by
this time were listening to my conversation with the
child, and one of them with a gruff voice said—si ce
petit monsieur veut payer un cinquieme cheval, il montera.”

“—Et si j’avais une grande malle, comme de coútume?”
says I. “Montez, montez mon enfant”, and turning to the
postillion, “vous aurez de quoiboire à sa santé”; so he was
pleased, and the boy delighted; but as in France more
than any other country in the world, the value of
every thing is—“So much money as ’twill bring;”
—my maid was surpriz’d at my bonté d’ame.―As
I never eat but once a day in travelling, and that at
the end of my journey—I shall never forget
my supper last night―I had got into my bed fatigued,
and ordered my maid to bring me a soup.
I had lain half an hour; the room was dark; and
when the door opened, the first thing I saw was
Cassius holding two wax-lights, preceding my maid.
He said, “Mademoiselle might go to her supper, and
he would wait upon me,”
and his countenance had
a mixture of comfort, joy, and gratitude in it, 5 B4v 8
scarcely to be seen but in the candour of youth.
This morning I had settled with the mistress of the
inn that she should agree with a waggoner to take
Cassius safe to la Rochelle—I had given him some
money (too little for charity to name—perhaps what
the avaricious would think too much) and a recommendation
signed with my name, and my seal
upon it, when the postillions I had ordered to take
me to―came to inform me, that, as it was a
cross-country road, they expected three times the sum
usually paid―As I might just as effectually argue
with a horse as with a French postillion, I asked
“where the post-house was?―”

“Only two doors off.”

I went there; the master was out, but his wife
was at home; and while I was settling matters with her,
one of the old fashioned French post chaises stopt at
the door, with an officer in it, seemingly emaciated
by sickness, and his head wrapp’d up very much.—
Cassius was at my elbow: “Madame, Madame”, says
he, “ce monsieur n’a point de malle”, (in fact all the luggage
was before;) “F’irais bien plus vite à la Rochelle, si
vous vouliez lui demander de me laisser monter sur
sa voiture”
.―I went up to the chaise, and curtsied
very low; the officer bowed slightly; I
stept back; but Cassius pulled me by the sleeve,— C1r 9
so I once again advanced and curtsied―“Monsieur”

“Madame”

I brought Cassius forward―“Voici un pauvre orphelin
qui va à la Rochelle—Il est venu depuis Blois sur ma
Berline; si vous voulez bien lui permettre de monter derriere
votre voiture ce sera moi qui vous en aurai l’obligation
―Moi”
— I repeated in a higher tone of voice.
—The officer had begun staring at me from
head to foot; and before I had finished my speech
he endeavoured, but in vain, to draw off his nightcap
“Tout ce que vous ordonnez—tout ce qu’il vous
plaira, Madame”

And I had the satisfaction of seeing the little orphan
comfortably seated, and flying towards la
Rochelle
, certain that he would neither be robbed
nor beaten on the road―

I am setting out for * * from whence I will
write you an account of any thing I shall observe
worthy of being related―

C C1v 10

Letter IV.

My approach to this place was through bad
cross-country roads. I have seen nothing yet that
could justify the idea of this province being “le
Jardin de la France”
. I saw many chateaux, which
from the singular towers, their only ornaments, my
fancy might have represented heralds, giants, or
dwarfs, issuing forth to enquire what bewildered
heroine came so near—mais hélas—I did not see one
preux chevalier, nor any thing about these ancient
structures that could make me imagine they belonged
to gentlemen, much less to noble warriors—
Besides I was gravely seated in a comfortable coach,
varnished and gilt, instead of being on a white palfrey.
To be serious, I am probably writing in a room
once inhabited by one of Marguerite Reine de Navarre’s
ladies of honour; for this chateau was built
by Francis the First for his sister. The outside is
neither regular nor beautiful, and I cannot guess
what order of architecture was intended to be shewn
in the building―One front is towards the river
Cher, flanked by two large round towers with spiral 4 C2r 11
tops, and the ground floor, towards the court, is at
least four stories high from the meadows in which
the Cher runs; this suite of appartments was probably
royal, the rooms remarkably lofty and well proportioned
―I am told the propietaire had laid out
four thousand pounds to repair the house and beautify
the gardens―As to the first, it is in the same
state most country-houses in France are—wanting
painting, white-washing, and repairs of every sort―
The ornaments in the garden are these: many canals
small enough to look like troughs—and statutes
made in plaister, all mutilated; the little that remains
of them made me wish they had never existed
—Part of te castle-ditch remains, and under it
are cellars and subterraneous passages of an enormous
size and length―In this part of the country, the
peasant’s habitation is chiefly hewn in the rock, the
door being the only wooden part of it; the labourers
catch agues and fevers frequently, by returning
home warm, and resting in these damp cells.
From my windows I could see the Loire if at its usual
height, and I have the prospect of a Chateau where the
heiress of Bretagne gave with her hand that province
to France.―In a few days I shall go to Tours,
from whence I shall again write, and assure you how
much I am your affectionate sister

C2 C2v 12

Letter V

I Gallopped all the way here on horseback,
along a delightful meadow, and got off my horse at
the bottom of the Mail, a very fine walk shaded by
some venerable elms, which, by some strange prodigy,
have escaped the cizeau of the tondeur—and spread
their majestic branches much to the comfort of the
Bourgeoisie of Tours, who here find a cool promenade.
But I am told they are soon to be cut down. “Ils
sont trop vieux”
―If Mr. d’Eclufel, the late intendant,
was alive, he would oppose this horrid scheme; for
as he had lived in England some months, and had
sense enough to adopt what was good with us, he has
given this town a clean appearance by adding trottoirs
on each side of the new streets―I am lodged at
the archiepiscopal palace. Monseigneur is not here,
which I regret―I am told he is a man of letters
—of taste I am sure he is, by a chapel he has just
added to his palace.―There is a large cathedral
close to it, the outside Gothic—the stone-work is
worth seeing—nothing in the inside but what is very
mediocre.

C3r 13

Another large church here, de St. Martin,The king is chanoine de St. Martin—a very singular circumstance—
In the cloister is a most beautiful frize, done by the masterly hand of
Michael Angelo.
is so
nearly connected with our St. Martin’s in the Fields
in London, that the Tours clergy were obliged to
send to London to get some ancient charter explained
―There are many English here — —
— — — — — — — — — —

Adieu, I remain yours most affectionately.

P.S. I recollect that you may not know what I
mean by the cizeau of the tondeur; to explain which
I must inform you, that shearing the trees in a
French garden is a custom as ancient, and thought as
necessary, as shaving the beard; and tondeurs are paid
for it by the year, as barbers are by the month. I
have had several reasons given to me for this Gothic
custom, among the rest, that it made a tree grow
more beautiful and strong; which last excuse must
no longer be mentioned, naturalists having discovered
lately, that a tree draws as much nourishment
from the fluid received by the leaves, as from
the root itself, — — — But by nature may plead
in vain her cause for centuries to come in France,
she will long go disguised—The gardens and the
poetry exhibit melancholy proofs of this truth,
without my mentioning any more at present.

C3v 14

Letter VI.

I have been to see Veret, a house of the
Duc d’Aguillon’s, where there is nothing worth
looking at, and Richelieu, where not only the palace
but the town was built by the Cardinal of that name
―I rode to a village called Lillebouchar, lost my
way, and rambled above thirty miles over the country,
before I could find out the Curé’s house I was
going to dine with. He is a very good sort of man,
sensible and learned, and had assembled all the good
company in the neighbourhood to dine under a large
tent in the garden with me―I must not forget to
tell you that I passed close by the church from
whence Joan of Arc took her invincible sword,
placed there by Divine Power. Lillebouchar is
only two leagues from Richelieu; where at the first
gate of the avaunt-cour two old guards, with clothes
as ancient as their faces, their bayonets on their
shoulders, precede the company to the inner court.
Here the concierge shews first, statues of the Roman
emperors and heroes, tolerable copies. The
chapel is next shewn, where there is a picture that C4r 15
pleased me much, and which is said to have been
painted by Michael Angelo―I take it to be a
copy―It is spoiling for want of care—and I was
told most of the good pictures were sent to Paris.
I was led through many rooms—the palace is immensely
large. One apartment was called the
Queen’s―For the Queen’s apartment, and all the rooms, according to their
destinations, are shewn.
It was the Cardinal’s first intention to
bring the whole court to Richelieu―Every beam
of wood was shewn in the cielings of those times—
Here they are almost all carved and gilt over—
judge of the expence. There is a whole-length picture
of the Cardinal, by an Italian master, and a good
one. After being walked over the house, large
enough to tire a very able walker, I was offered to
see the “Jardins”; but from the windows I had perceived
the taste of them, and therefore declined that
pleasure―I imagine the reason why the Cardinal
prevented the court from ever coming to RichlieuRichelieu,
was the same policy that he introduced, and that
exists even now, of drawing all the rich nobles
from the seats of their ancestors—involving them in
all the expences of the court at Versailles, that they
might not feel they had a protection in their home
—but look for that, and support likewise, from C4v 16
royal favour alone―A cunning idea of making the
nobles support him in his measures, and particularly
if he acted contrary to the good of his country.

The nobles of my country may thank heaven,
when they reflect that they are members of a great
nation, enjoying their ancient seats, and expecting
honours and emoluments from the court as they may
deserve them from their country.

The French noblesse, at present, indeed have a
comfort under the weight of debts their fathers may
have left them—they have a young monarch, generous
and just—and I really believe one of the
best kings that ever existed. As his power is great—
if the nobles deserve—he will bestow greatly―

Adieu, Dear Sir, Yours.

P.S. I cannot see Chanteloup, the Duc de Choisel’s
house the Scellé is put on. He is dead but lately
so I can give you no account of that place―
I was obliged to assure the Intendant, and some more
French, the other day at his house, that Sir George
ElliotSir George must not be too highly flattered at this, for the French are
so fond of monopolizing all that is worth possessing, that Prince Eugene
and our Capability Brown, with many others, are claimed by them.
was not a Frenchman. Since he has immortalized
his name at Gibraltar, I find this nation D1r 17
is extremely desirous of claiming him—but I took
upon me to say I believed Scotland might boast of
being his native land, and that of most of his forefathers
—However, if indeed they would choose to
date from a much earlier period, most of us old
English would be found to be Danes, Normans, &c.
You will be surprized to find, that instead of returning
to Paris I am going Southward—My eldest
brother, Lord B―, has written me word, that it
is possible he may pass the winter in Italy; as it is so
long since he has been out of England. I have given
him two routes, and have told him I shall proceed
gently to Florence; there to wait for him―

D D1v 18

Letter VII.

Iam safely arrived here, and to avoid going
round some leagues I came a cross-country road;
look on your post-map for Cormery, Loches, Buxancely,
Chateauroux, Ardante, la Chatre, MontmarauCulan,
Roanne―But, dear Sir, follow me only
on paper; for the roads in some places were so bad, and
the lanes so narrow, that my coach is scratched—and
the drivers, with difficulty persuaded to go to the
places I ordered them, sometimes lost their way.
I went through the great part of the Bourbonnais
and within ten miles of Vichy, where the king’s
aunts were taking the waters, The Auvergne mountains
were fine objects to the right. On my approaching
Lyons, I felt a great difference in the
air—A warmer climate was easily to be perceived—
The small conic winding hills, round which the
country girls with their strange straw hats, and their
distaff at their side, were conducting their goats as they
spun, formed a landscape new to me—particularly
as the flat roofs to the cottages gave a lightness to the
buildings that pleased me much―

1 D2r 19

A simple kind of plough likewise, drawn by two
oxen, brought that period to my mind, when the
Romans were conquering towns, or founding colonies
―The evening coming on, with a stormy sky,
made me almost fancy that a Roman legion was here
and there concealed by the rocks, which crown almost
every one of the conic hills I have before mentioned,
and which might serve as small batteries; nay
the very clouds, which I often saw resting between
the hills, might have served for momentary concealment.

But we will step out of these clouds if you please
—for I am neither a Roman general nor a goddess,
but at this moment a very much fatigued mortal in
a handsome apartment, Hótel Dauphin, rue de l’Arsenal,
where I shall eat a good supper, drink your health,
and wish you as good a night’s rest as I am likely
to enjoy―

D2 D2v 20

Letter VIII.

On the 1785-07-16sixteenth I was too much fatigued
to look at any thing but the junction of the Soane
and the Rhone, but on the 1785-07-1717th I saw the paintings
in the Hotel de Ville, mostly by Blanchett: his works
are spoiling under the cold hands of neglect and time
―The Taurobolum may be very fine, and much
to be admired by all lovers of antiquity; but I, who
cannot admire what I do not think is beautiful, looked
at it with great indifference―Spon and other
writers give a learned account of this, and of the
brass-plate on which is engraved the speech made by
Claudius in favour of the town, and which is left
within reach of mischievous boys or idle beggars.
The people of Lyons seem to pay a greater
regard to the vanity of the moderns than to the
pride of the ancients. I saw a beautiful sarcophagus
in a lawyer’s court-yard that served as a cistern—
and, in many oldwalls and houses, carvings or inscriptions
which I wished to examine, while the
tradesman within these habitations stared at the
strangers, who could be more anxious about ruins D3r 21
than the new silks or embroidery they wished to sell.
I cannot help thinking any antiquary might find
many more things well worthy of the cabinet of
the curious here than have already been discovered.
As to the town’s being handsome, which I was told
it was, I must assert that many parts of it are positively
frightful; that the houses are crouded together; each
story, as it rises, projecting over the other—and the
streets, as narrow and stinking as those of Paris; but the
environs are beautiful, and it is extremely amusing to
go in aboat every way out of the town―I took
several sketches from different points, one from a little
island, which was formerly called Insula Barbara.
You recollect a large round tower which crowns the
prison of Pierre-encise. The proportions of it struck
my ideas of symmetry very much—and after looking
at it for some time, I landed at the foot of the prison,
and walked up a hundred and twenty steps cut in
the rock: the guards let me in very civilly, and, to
my utter surprise, among the prisoners I found the
— — — whom you must remember, as he was
very often with ― — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — — — —

He asked me about J―, D3v 22
and laughed very much in talking over several parties
with him and ― ―; but I
laughed on my part at his taking Mr. ― for Lord
B―
.

I had been told Pierre-encise was a state prison, but
it is no such thing: it serves as a temporary retreat
for people of fashion who live to fast—and are
placed there by Lettres de catchet, till it pleases
the kind parents who have obtained them to release
their prisoners. — — — declares, whenever
he obtains his liberty, he shall revisit England, which
I suppose at this time, more than at any other, seems
to him a paradise, as there is no such thing as Lettre
de cachet
there―

Do you recollect a most charming picture by
Rubens, in the chapelle des Penitents? I examined it
a long time with great delight―And did you ever
observe that all the fine pictures in France are
spoiling, but those possessed by the church? Indeed
knowledge and taste are chiefly confined to the
clergy—all other etats in France not having leisure
to form their taste; of which truth I must
give a most ridiculous example―Every body last
year, that would be quite à l’Anglaise at Paris, had to
wait on them, what they called a Fakay, a little boy
with straight, lank, unpowdered hair, wearing a round D4r 23
hat—and this groom-like looking thing waited upon
them at dinner, and was frequently stuck up with
three tall footmen behind a fine gilt coach―It was
in vain for me to assert to some grave old French
people that jockey meant riding-goom in a running-
horse stable, and that no grooms ever waited upon
us, nay scarcely ever came into the house, and certainly
nothing but servants, as well dressed and
powdered as the French, waited upon us, or went
behind our carriages. They answered, it must then
be a new fashion, for it was tout-à–fait à l’Anglaise
et comme on fesait à Londres

I am called away to go up to the tower of Fourviere
to look over all the town at once,

Yours, Adieu.

D4v 24

Letter IX.

The fine prospect I was promised from the
tower was immensely so indeed—Landscapes so various,
and objects so vast and innumerable, that the eye
seeks in vain for a resting place―I do not know,
dear sir, if you are of my opinion; but I like that my
sight as well as my mind should be collected, to enjoy
one pleasing subject at a time—Vary the scene as often
as you please—but I hate confusion so much, that if I
was obliged to choose a house, situated on an eminence,
commanding a large city, many windings of a
river, and an immense tract of country, or one at the
bottom of that eminence, with a view so confined
that I could see only to the end of a small garden, I
think I should prefer the latter―I know this may
seem very stupid, but I never could comprehend the
pleasure of what is usually called a fine prospect,
where it is only with a telescope that the wanderings
of the sight are to be fixed―

I have hired a boat to take me down the Rhone
to Avignon; it is only a few planks nailed together
that brought wood from Savoy, a sort of raft, but E1r 25
looks quite strong enough to contain me and my
small retinue. I send my horse by the coche d’eau
―Do not suppose that my love for the ancients
has totally made me overlook the modern artists
here; a Lyonnais merchant, whom I bought silks of
in London, has shewn me all the new silks and patterns.
An ill taste prevails universally as to dress in
France; the last new designs for waistcoats, particularly,
are frightful great sprawling butterflies—the
very man who was shewing them shrugged up his
shoulders:

“Que voulez vouz, Madame? Il faut toujours du
nouveau”

There is a curious mill to wind silk on bobbins
here; a horse in a garret on the fourth story turns one
wheel which sets several on all the other floors in
motion, and those turn many thousand bobbins.

Every ancient building here is stuck upon a rock;
and I cannot help thinking they look like teeth,
the rocks serving as roots to them.―I was assured
the Saone ran in a different channel from what it now
does, and that it was the Swiss who had cut through
the rocks to give the river its present course—but if
it ever was turned, I should think it was done by the
Romans, whose works, great and useful, stamped their
date―The remains, that testify how much they E E1v 26
did in the environs of this place, may fairly excuse
my supposition—if Caligula’s successor could now
peep out of his grave—or Nero, who re-established
this town—they might have some difficulty in believing
it was the same―

Adieu, Dear Sir, Yours.

Letter X.

Nothing can be more delightful than
my last method of travelling by water. I have had
high and contrary winds; but the Rhone’s famed
rapidity that I had heard so much of, was neither surprising
nor terrifying—the shores on each side were
rocks interspersed with vine-yards and castles―
I landed the first day at Condrieux, where I bought
some excellent wine for 25 sols a bottle, the growth
of that place—About a league from thence is la
Montagne Tupain
, belonging to Mr. de la Condamine,
where the best Côte-rotie wine is to be had; that
word signifies really and truly roasted-coast, the
grapes being almost broiled by the sun. The wine
is of a red and strong kind—reckoned very fine; but
like many other fine things, I did not relish it.― 4 E2r 27
A little farther on the left is l’Hermitage, a spot so
called because formerly a hermit lived upon that
hill, the wine of which is too much known for me
to say anything about it. I gave three livres a bottle
for it, but found the white so much better than the
red that I ordered some to be sent to Marseilles,
from whence I shall have it shipped for England.

There is a small town called Vienne, that has a
fine Gothic cathedral which I went on shore to
look at, together with a monument belonging to the
Montmorin family, well executed.

I saw several people on the banks of the Rhone
sifting gravel; they find among it little bits of solid
gold, washed down from the mountains; a most
horrid employment in this hot weather I should
think; but what will not poor mortals do for gold,
since the rich are often slaves to that which they
ought to be masters of — — —

Montelimart is a castle from whence I am told
three kingdoms are seen, and seven provinces. I
did not stop to see this or any other of the many
castles I passed by.

At the Pont. St. Esprit, which is a noble bridge
indeed, I think the passage might be dangerous, if the
boatmen were not very attentive.―My coach is so
large, and has such excellent blinds, that I have not E2 E2v 28
suffered from the heat at all.―The shores lose all
their beauty near Avignon, which I could not see,
because it is surrounded by a high turreted wall.—

Madame de Brancas, the Duc de Crillon’s sister,
was very civil to me, and we talked about— —
— — — — — — —

I dined with L— d ―, whose health is much
impaired, and I hope this climate will do him some
good.—

Adieu, dear Sir, yours―

P.S. I am told, by some one who knows the Duc
de Crillon
very well, that his sister is exactly like
him; which I can easily conceive, for she has as
many projects about her gardens and houses as her
brother had about the taking of Gibraltar: I hope
they will succeed better than his have, for she is very
good-humoured―

E3r 29

Letter XI.

Dear Sir, I thought it unnecessary to give
you any description of Avignon, because you have
been there, but as you did not take the same road to it
as I did in coming from it, I will endeavour to give
you some faint idea of a natural curiosity that I have
seen, and which pleased me highly—the much
famed Fontaine de Vaucluse.―

I set out from Avignon in the middle of the day,
and arrived at a town called Lille, where I took a
French post chaise, and went in it by the side of the
Sorgue’s clear stream, till the road was too narrow
for the carriage to proceed; I then walked in a
narrow path winding round the immense rocky
mountains to the left, with the stream rapidly flying
by me to the right about a mile, till a cavern, pretty
much in the shape of those which lions come out of
in an opera, presented itself to my view, and from
that flows the river. I am told it is an unfathomable
abyss. Why it is called a “Fontaine”, I am at
a loss to guess.

E3v 30

Monstrous rocks rise over and on each side of
this craggy arch; these seem to bend forward to
meet or crush the curious,―Which ever way I
turned my eyes, I saw gigantic and fantastic shapes,
which nature seems to have placed there to astonish
the gazer with a mixture of the melancholy, terrible,
and chearful; for the clearness and rapidity of the
river makes it a lively object, and where there is a
flat place on the banks, though not above a few
feet in circumference, the peasants have planted trees
or sowed gardens—you lift up your eyes, and see
the most perfect contrasts to them—the birds, which
hovered towards the upper part of the rocks, were
scarcely perceptible. In looking into the cavern, it
appears horrible and gloomy; I could almost have
fancied the river ran thus fast, rejoiced to quit
the mansion from whence it sprung. No wonder
Petrarch’s song was plaintive, if he courted his muse
with this scene perpetually before his eyes; Love and
all his laughing train must fly the human imagination,
where nature displays her features in the
majestic and terrible stile, and I was very glad to
find so good an excuse as this situation for Petrarch’s
eternal complaint—till now I was puzzled to guess,
how a man of his sense could pass the greatest part
of his life in eternizing a lady’s contempt of a E4r 31
faithful passion—but I now believe there was no
Laura—or if there existed one, he found in either
case his imagination particularly turned to poetry,
and that of the melancholy kind; in this, probably
his summer’s residence, I who you know ― ―,
and have as playful a muse as ever smiled upon
mortal, sat examining the astonishing picture before
me with a silent reverential sort of admiration—
and should have remained there till night, if I had
not been informed that it grew very late, and I must
see the pictures of Petrarch and Laura in the
Chateau of the Marquis de Chamont, which is a
miserable house a few steps from the Fontaine.
These pictures are very modern—probably as like you
as the persons that were drawn for.―I returned
to Lille, and eat crawfish and trout, the most excellent
that I ever tasted, which abound in the
Sorgue―I passed through Aix, to come to this
place; I did not stop, as I expected a letter at
Marseilles, the contents of which interested me very
much: for — — — —

I saw many plantations of canes, which I wonder
we do not cultivate in our water-meadows in England
—and I bought very excellent melons out of
the fields for five sols a piece.

E4v 32

A country flowing with wine and oil, and where
figs and melons are to be gathered on each side the
public road, may be a very fine thing; but a want of
verdure and fine trees gives it a most uncomfortable
and ungentlemanlike appearance. When I compared
England and the scene before me together, I
could almost have fancied I had the maladie du pays
upon me—so much did I wish to see a green carpet
under my feet, and some of our beautiful foliage
over my head―

Adieu, dear Sir; how often I wish to be with you
I leave the justice of your heart to determine. I
remain yours most affectionately―

P.S. I forgot to tell you, that while I was
changing the horses at Lille, I talked to Captain B―,
a sailor, who lives with his wife and two children
in that neighbourhood―He very civilly invited
me to pass the evening at his house, talked about my
brother G―, and informed me that the source of
the Sorgue was at this time remarkably low; and I
found by the marks the torrent had left on the
rocks when at its height, that it must be at least
forty feet lower now than when it takes its wintercourse:
as I saw it, it creeps humbly from the cavern
under part of the rock, and becomes rapid as it finds 5 F1r 33
its level and forms a river; whereas, when it is in all
its glory, it tumbles over the rock a wild cascade,
which must add considerably to its terrific beauties
— — —
I was informed by the inhabitants of Vaucluse,
that people, who are tired of life, fling themselves
into the cavern, where, as I told you before, the
water is unfathomable; upon this information, I
asked if bodies were often found there; I was
answered in the affirmative, and that they were
chiefly the bodies of priests
—Adieu―

P.S. I never felt any heat like that which I
experience here―

F F1v 34

Letter XII.

I Have examined the rocks just out of this
harbour, and think some of them most fortunately
situated to defend the port, but what surprised me
much, was being assured by the boatmen who row
me out twice a day (to get a breath of air) that, at
all times of the night, boats are suffered to come in
and out of the harbour without being examined―
— — — —

People of all nations, that fill every day the
great walk leading to the quay, made me think on
my arrival that some important event had drawn all
the people from the houses and ships together—
but a repetition of the same scene soon convinced me
of my mistake. There are two very fine pictures,
painted by Puget, representing some of the horrid
scenes at the time of the plague at Marseilles; they
are only too well executed; I saw several dying
figures taking leave of their friends and looking
their last anxious kind and wishful prayer on their
sick infants, that made the tears flow down my
cheeks―I was told the physicians and noblemen 4 F2r 35
who were assisting the sick and dying were all
portraits. I can easily conceive it, for in some of
the faces there is a look of reflexion and concern
which could only be drawn from life―

I have spoke to Captain ―, who commands
the King-Fisher; he is obliged to perform quarantine
here, though he had already done his duty
in that way at Leghorn and Genoa before; but the
plague rages very much all along the Barbary
coast
, from whence he is come; and one cannot be
surprised at any precaution taken at Marseilles
to avoid this danger―

I do not think Marseilles a beautiful town; and
the country houses in the environs, which they call
here Bastides, are frightful.

I have just got a note from on board the King-
Fisher
, that has been soaked in vinegar; the direction
is scarcely legible―Adieu, Dear Sir, the heat is
so excessive here that I am absolutely stupified by it.

Believe me yours affectionately.

F2 F2v 36

Letter XIII.

I Stopped in my way here at Toulon, and
intended to look at the dockyards, but was refused,
which surprised me very much, as an English lady
of my acquaintance was suffered to go into them at
the time of the last war with France, when her
husband and all the gentlemen with her were sent
out of the town―I could get no other reason
assigned for the refusal, but this—that since Lord
had seen them, nothing of English blood should
ever be permitted to go into them. So I walked
about, and all I could see was that the finest ports in
the world, and ships worthy of being commanded by
our admirals, will never make (at least for a great
while to come) good sailors of the French—my
reasons I will tell you, when we meet. — —

Mr. de S―, who refuses to let any English
person see the dockyards at Toulon, expressed a great
dislike to our nation, saying he had reason; you
will laugh when I tell you, that his reason for hating
us is, that in the late war two thirds of his squadron
were taken, with the greatest part of his convoy,
destined for the East-Indies, and had he not bravely F3r 37
ran away himself, he would certainly have fallen a
prey to those opiniatres, feroces matelots as he calls
our sailors―

The gentleman who waited upon Soulanges to
ask permission and plead my cause, wishing to recollect
what defence Mr. de Soulange’s squadron had
made, asked an officer in the room the name of the
French ships, which the poor Mr. de Soulanges so
bitterly lamented; he answered he should recollect
them if he heard their names, but could not
exactly remember―

My friend asked if it was―“the Ville de Paris,
le Glorieuxle Centaurl’Artoisle Caton
l’Argonautle Jasonle Prothéele Solitaire
le Pegase”
—here the gentleman stared at him, and
said, “le Pegase was one of them”

Soulanges said, “yes, but the Foudroyant that took
her was one of the largest ships in our navy, and
commanded by that feroce matelot Captain Jervais,
who would attack the devil, if he met him at sea”
;
“but,” added he, “Jervais could not have taken the
Pegase, unless assisted by other ships”

My friend told him, “the Foudroyant was a two
decker and carried only six more guns than the
Pegase, and was taken in the war before the last, by
the English ship the Monmouth, commanded by 1 F3v 38
Captain Gardiner, that carried but 64 guns—that,
though he had not the pleasure of being personally
known to Capt. Jervais, from his public character he
was sure he would do his best in time of war to burn,
sink, or take the devil, if under French colours.”
—He
had a great inclination to have told Mr. de Soulanges
what is very well known, that Capt. Jervais took
the Pegase after an action of little more than half an
hour, without any help whatsoever, but his commands
to a gallant crew—and that the other sail of
the line under Soulange’s command struck to the
Queen, Captain Maitland, after receiving a single
broadside; but he thought a repetition of naval
actions, fairly stated, might be painful to many officers
who were present, and who paid the tribute
due to our navy, in expressing the highest esteem
for it; and so took his leave.

The Pegase in question is the very ship my brother
commanded last war. I have often been told that
she could not sail, by the French—but I always
assured them, that she has profited so much by the
trim he gave her, that she goes now perfectly well—

They have also talked much of the improvement
made in their marine the last war; but unless it is
in the cloathing their ships’ company, I cannot find
out in what―Old English officers have told me, F4r 39
they always found their hearts lay in the same place
as heretofore—and that whenever they could sail
fast enough to get along side of the enemy, the business
was presently settled—I think I need no better
proof of this assertion than one, which I hope may
stand unaltered in the book of Fame for centuries to
come; it is this—our marine is in part composed of
line-of-battle ships taken from our enemies; whereas
there exists not a power upon the face of the globe
that can boast of having in their marine one ship of
the line taken from the British nation―

I do not doubt but that the Ministre de la marine
de France
, and French officers, are excellent naval
officers in theory—but when that is to be put in
practice, I hope events will prove, that we remember
we have no other ramparts to defend our country
and our liberties but the ocean, and that we ever
were, are, and must be, a race of feroces, opiniatres,
matelots
—You say amen to this wish, I am sure—so
remain yours most affectionately.

I think the drive from Marseilles to Toulon is
beautiful—the rocks are as stupendous and nearly as
fantastic as those about Vaucluse, and for some
miles they are covered with fir trees―

F4v 40

You may form some idea of the magnitude of the
hills and rocks by my protesting, that the trees and a
few cottages which adorn them, look, the first
like tooth-picks, and the latter like the smallest
Dutch toys—the road winds round most gracefully;
wherever there was a little valley, I saw large flocks
of goats—As I came nearer to Toulon, I began to
see many orange and pomegranate trees in the
gardens; and the caper, which is pretty but stinking
creeper, grows wild, wherever it is permitted to
take root―

From Toulon to Hyeres I was gradually apprised
of the charming situation of the latter place, by the
approach to it, which grew more and more lovely
every step I took—The hedges on the road are
composed of myrtle, pomegranate, and wild vine; I
passed by several neat-looking white houses, the
gardens of which are full of large orange trees.

The town of Hyeres is about a league from the
sea, placed on the side of a hill. I shall wait patiently
here for that letter I expected at Marseilles
This happy spot is refreshed by sea-breezes—and
from the elegant chearfulness which reigns here, it
might almost tempt one to devote many months to
solitude and study.

G1r 41

Letter XIV.

I went up last night on horseback to a
chapel situated on a hill near the sea, called notre
Dame de Consolation
: there is a man who calls himself
a hermit, by name Laurent, and who by his
medical knowledge, as he assures me, and the
assistance of the blessed Virgin, cures the King’s
Evil. I talked to him some time; his ignorance and
simplicity amused me very much; but I pity those
who trust to his physical knowledge; I gave him
some very curious receipts, all impromptu, as you
may guess, assuring him, among other things, that
bathing people in aqua fortis was an infallible
remedy for the disorder he cured―

I desire, if ever chance should bring you to
Hyeres, that you will ascend this hill, and examine
the scenes around, towards the sea; the islands of
Portecroix and Pourquerolle are beautiful objects, and
a peninsula called Gien which is joined to the land
only by a narrow road, forms a landscape worthy of
a great master’s pencil—On looking towards the
land, mountains on every side, whose tops are decoratedG G1v 42
with firs and rocks alternately, and towards
the bottom, with olive, orange, and fig trees, form
a beautiful circle, seemingly intended by nature to
prevent the sea from extending any farther—At a
little distance, inland, rises the hill, on the side of
which is built the town of Hyeres: above the town
are seen rocks and remains of the ancient town and
wall.―I could have sat and looked at all this beautiful
scenery for ever; but the evening closing sent
me home to my harp and my books.

Yours affectionately — — —

Letter XV.

Ihope the following lines will amuse you,
for a moment; I only wish they may make you laugh
as much as I did, when I read the French officer’s
melancholy story in prose; whosoever he may be,
should he take offence at my having turned his
tragedy into a farce, I shall bear his anger patiently,
when I think that the princes of the House of
Bourbon
, all the Spaniards, Lord Howe, and Sir
George Elliot
, each of whose valour he slights, will G2r 43
certainly laugh with me.―I have marked the
pages where I have literally translated his own phrases,
that you may not suppose I have invented the
strange things he says—and I send you his pamphlet
that you may compare the one with the other―

“Verses Written at Hyeres, on reading a pamphlet called
l’Histoire du Siège de Gibraltar, par un officier de
l’ Armee Francaise, imprimée à Cadix, l’an 17831783.
Sweet Muse, who hast with fragrant roses spread The thorny path of life, which mortals tread; Who hast, with fancy’s gayest varied flowers, Bedeck’d wlthwith many a wreath my youthful hours; If e’er and oft thy song beguil’d my care, Smiling maliciously, O Muse appear― Apollo form’d this sea-girt orange-grove, Fit haunt for playful Muse, or happy love; Here myrtle-blossoms gracefully entwine, And mix their perfume with th’ encircling vine― And this, a youthful poet might suppose, The spot where Venus from the waves arose― O Muse, approach, with all thy mirth and fire, While Momus, laughing, shall new-string my lyre, That I may briefly sing in numbers gay, What I have heard a prosing Frenchman say; G2 G2v 44 His country’s disappointment to assuage, He tells a tale, of fam’d Gibraltar’s siege; A Tom-Thumb story of this siege relates― Of Gallic fame, heroic Gallic feats; Of Crillon’s Duke, and all his conquer’d men, Who stalk’d out with him—to stalk home again.― My lyre be strong, for chords perchance may break, When Frenchmen of their arms and valour speak; While wond’ring worlds of Elliot’s justly ring; Thus spoke the grieving Frenchman, thus I sing: INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 5. line I.‘Seven thousand men, and eke York-Town, Artillery immense our own, Lately all taken by my nation, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 3.Has added to its reputation— The conquest of St. Kit’s adorn’d, Names henceforth never to be scorn’d, The names of (as new worlds can shew) INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 6.Washington, Bouillé, Rochambeau, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 6.Bussy, with our friend Hyder Kan, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 2.Suffrein, unconquerable man, Promis’d in Asia greater feats, Than e’er were sung in Paris’ streets; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 3.Promis’d us victory and teas; Our streamers glorying o’er the seas, Proudly display’d on th’ eastern shore, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 6.Where English banners wav’d before. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 9.Minorca too we call our own, Which adds to Crillon’s name, Mahon. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 12.Past conquests, oft bring fresh in view: Thus set we out in eighty-two, G3r 45 INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 13.Like the most brilliant summer’s mourn, A Dauphin at that time was born; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 16.The people all were drunk with joy, To see so fine a royal boy. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 17.Russia’s young heir from Northern courts, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 20.Came to admire our superb ports, Our industry, fertilisation— And Paris rais’d his admiration. What circumstances these, t’ inflame Our minds with glory and with fame! INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 28.But to these splendors, sad reverse! Unpleasant news our joys disperse; For Rodney’s vict’ry reach’d our ears, Which chang’d our vap’ring into tears, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 32.Our fêtes to mourning, hopes to fears. Since the year twenty-seven had Spain Thought of Gibraltar’s rock in vain; In awful silence long had star’d, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 7. l. 18.But to attack it never dar’d; Till CrillonA paper-merchant offered the duke an immense Kite, at the Tail of which a Man
in a sack was to ascend, and was to pour aquafortis over the officers and soldiers at the
Parade.—I am told that the duke had the kite sent over the rock—luckily for the
inventor, who had put himself into the sack, the string broke, just as he was lifted off
the ground
offer’d gold and pensions,
For such unheard-of new-inventions, As might this sturdy rock invade, For this full many a scheme was laid: INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 6. l. 33.The House of Bourbon squadrons mann’d, Collected armies, batt’ries plann’d; These preparations, vast and great, All Europe knew, were to defeat INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 7. l. 2.Brave Elliot in his snug retreat. G3v 46 D’ArçonLe Chevalier d’Arçon, whose floating batteries deserved a different fate from what
they experienced; they were neither executed nor seconded according to his plan. I
have examined the invention, with persons whose judgement I can trust to, and am
convinced that it is a very good one—and if justice had been done in the execution of
them, the batteries, I do believe, were incombustible and insubmersible, as he asserted
they were; but as to their assisting towards the taking of Gibraltar—from the prudence
of the general who defended it, I rather think we have to regret, and the combined
armies to rejoice, that they succeeded no better.
of floating batt’ries spoke;
Great Crillon hasten’d to St. Roque, To take upon him the command Of th’ army, both by sea and land. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 11. line 9.Four hundred workmen, under d’Arçon, (Whose batteries were made a farce on,) Incessant work’d by day and night, To finish them, which gave delight To Monseigneur d’Artois, who came INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 16.With laurels to bedeck his name.— Now martial feats his senses warming, And warlike stores around him swarming; Vessels of ev’ry name and size, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 19–23.In numbers dance before his eyes: Now to the lines the French troops march, Their queues so tied, their curls so starch, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 13.Heavens, how the Spaniards stood aghast! (INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 16.Of Soldiers they the least, and last) INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 17, 18.In flocks they came our men to see, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 19, 20.And, by their curiosity, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 21, 22.Prov’d how imperfect was their notion INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 23.Of music sweet, and rapid motion— INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 24.Our troops the Spaniards wonder rais’d— So on Columbus Indians gaz’d!— G4r 47 An English brig of sixteen guns Was taken by these stupid dons, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 14.And this unusual thing, a prize! INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Line 28.Our hopes uplifted to the skies— INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 29.The little fleet that watch’d the bay, Came in to keep St. James’s day; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 15. l. 10.For on a holiday ’tis right, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 11, 12.That Catholics should pray, not fight― But whilst our ships delay’d their cruising, The English brought the ugly news in Of Rodney’s triumph; from the Rock Of guns our ears receiv’d the shock; For Elliot thought, a gallant action INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 30.Deserv’d a mark of satisfaction― Soon after this, four English knaves INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 31, 32.Deserted, and inform’d us, slaves Of hope and fear—that Elliot’s troops INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 16. l. 1, 2, 3.Of provender had lost all hopes.― Which rais’d our spirits, made us gay, And think all fighting only play.— Then d’Arçon made us move so swift, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 21. l. 5.His barrelsThe same Chevalier d’Arçon, who invented the floating batteries, executed an
epaulement (which he planned) within the space of four hours, in the dark part of the
night, between the 1782-08-1515th and 1782-08-1616th of August, 1782. It was called by him the Parallel
Battery, but more properly by Sir George Elliot, the Sappe Volante, from the rapidity
of the execution: It was 1010 toises in length, and ten feet in heighth and breadth,
formed of sacks and barrels, brought to the spot and filled with the land found there:
I have seen his own account of the distribution of employment among so great a number
of men (viz. 17,000) and which proves, that he had a clear head to calculate the
work, so as to prevent confusion,.
and his bags to lift,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 6.That in one night, his epaulement INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 7.Was form’d so thick, so long, so strong, 4 G4v 48 INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 21. line 8.That sure, if Elliot and his men INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 9.Could ever be alarm’d, ’twas then― The Duc de Bourbon came to pore INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 16.O’er d’Arçon’s work, on sea and shore; His floating batteries complete; His forty cannon-boats so neat; His twenty bomb-boats add to these, Will take the place whene’er we please. The royal princes, twain of Bourbon, Of caution scorn’d to clap the curb on; But yielding to their valour hot, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 26. l. last.Advanc’d almost within gun-shot—
These awful things together bind Triumph and vict’ry in our mind. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 35. l. 3.Our soldiers play, and sing and dance: INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 27.Oh! happy nation! happy France! Whose people, light at head and heel, No pangs for others ever feel.— —All the work’s so quickly done, Hope on ev’ry visage shone: But all’s not gold, alas, that shines; For Elliot set in flames our lines; To the sea for water went our men; The English fir’d on these again; Ah, barb’rous nation! cruel foes! INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 36.Who merciless could fire on those, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 13, 15.Whom ye confus’d by many a shot, By Elliot’s order made red hot― 1 H1r 49 We burn’d our fingers, then we rested, In sleep our sad affronts digested. Our balls now fly round Elliot’s head; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 40. line 11, 12.But he lay silent, as if dead; In vain we make our bullets dance, or Sing against the rock―no answer.― INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 4. l. 26.Heav’n seem’d to favour our intent; The wind to westward firmly bent; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 29.Ships of the line, full forty-eight Of ours, bespoke poor Elliot’s fate― At anchor firm before his face, Resolv’d no English ship should place Or beef, or mutton, in his dish, (He, food for us) or feed on fish― Gibraltar mute, by us struck dumb, Our triumph now was soon to come:― INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 49. l. 5, 6.Alas! (the wheel is ever turning) Our triumph soon was chang’d to mourning: The floating batt’ries our reliance To set the general at defiance, From them by sea to end the matter, With showers of balls, his rock we spatter; He, seeing now what most we want is To eternise our new flottantes, Red bullets sends us by the score, That caus’d such mischief heretofore, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 18.And men of all degrees and nations, That gaze upon our diff’rent stations, With monstrous grief, excessive wonder, See turn’d to smoke our floating thunder. H H1v 50 Some in the camp were free from care, Nor dream’d they of the dire despair, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 54. line. 14.The rage, calamity, and crime, That struck us jointly at that time: INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 20.For thirteen English gun-boats came, To add fresh fuel to the flame. Amidst this burning, what could save Hundreds from th’ untimely grave? For through the flames no Frenchman chose, In saving friends, to scorch his nose; His brethren broiling calmly views, Rather than singe his beard or shoes. But Elliot and his men of steel, That act so stout, can pity feel, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 55. l. 16.And Curtis led the gen’rous crew, To save the foe, with death in view: Three hundred French and Spaniards took, And nurs’d and fed them at the rock, With anxious care, a care divine; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 30.Such deeds, brave Elliot, such were thine! More to thy glory far, ’tis said, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 60. l. 22.Than with hot balls to strike us dead― Our batt’ries burnt―our spirits fail, And gloomy thoughts our minds assail. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 65. l. 3, 5.Historians say that we inherit From Gauls a most impetuous spirit; But that it lasts not, as it ought, And ends before a battle’s fought― Our princes, sick of war’s alarm, Whom Crillon’s camp no longer charm, H2r 51 With Cordova were going away; But fresh bad news made them delay― A Spanish brig announc’d that night Howe and the English fleet in sight― Now hopes alone our bosom warm, For bursting clouds bespeak a storm, Sad councils and reflexions came About our ships, our hopes, our fame― The storm came on; it quickly bore The English off the Spanish shore, And ours from all their anchors tore: Some were driven near Elliot’s guns, Who sing’d the whiskers of the dons; Too sure there’s fire in that head; INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 78. line. 22.He sent us scores of bullets red; In him, ’twas horrid, I declare, To take la Fortune de la Guerre, When beat by rain and storms we were. In the midst of all this sad confusion, The English squadron made intrusion; Cordova, spight of wind and weather, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.p. 79. l. 30.Call’d all his officers together: They held a council, talk’d of fight― A frigate at th’ approach of night, An English frigate, skimm’d away, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.l. 34.Like lightning into Rosiere’s bay― Oh heaven and earth! to France and Spain, What indignation, wonder, pain, It was to see two more advance, And English transports to enhance! H2 H2v 52 The horror of our souls aggriev’d, For thus Gibraltar was reliev’d; It was reliev’d, dear France; but know, Not to brave Elliot, or to Howe, Is due the glory of this deed, Which makes our sorrowing hearts oft bleed, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that citedRange is unmatched.Page 91. line. 4.By copper, and by coals alone Their martial courage was made known; And if an Elliot’s sacred name, With that of honour be the same― To wond’ring ages yet to come, And we were sent like children home― The coals that made his bullets red Deserve the wreaths that crown his head― And copper-bottom’d ships I ween, That scud along so neat, so clean— Secure the active British foe, And not the valour of their Howe Dear friends, like me, treat with disdain Their glory, and forget your pain; Hate honour from your haughty souls That’s gain’d by copper, and by coals—’
And now, ye playful dolphins, quickly bear, Across the seas, this dismal tale with care; At CalpesSir George Elliot was then at Gibraltar foot, I charge ye, rest a while, Divert the warrior from his hourly toil— A British hero scarcely can refuse This trifling tribute from an English Muse. H3r 53 Then to the western ocean speed your way, Nor loiter thoughtless on the Biscayn-bay In Britain’s channel once arriv’d, remain; And let me countrymen from you obtain Your sacred charge―Beneath the oak’s deep shade, My honour’d friends, retir’d from toil, are laid― While they on French description smiles bestow, France sows fresh laurels for each English brow. Mean time with care a myrtle-wreath I weave To grace but one,Sir G. Elliot. the bravest of the brave.”

You see, dear Sir, that I meant to have sent it to
Sir George Elliot; I know he has the French
pamphlet—but as he may not be so partial to the
productions of my muse as you are, I am rather
content that you should see it.

Believe me your’s most affectionately―

H3v 54

Letter XVI.

Dear Sir! I am extremely surprised that
invalids, who fly to the south in winter, do not
choose Hyeres in preference to Montpellier or Nice;
it is true that it is more solitary than either of these
places; but I am sure, by the accounts I have had
of the last, its lying, gossiping, mischievous stile
of the society must be a most horrid thing for
nerves shaken by illness. There is an uncommon
clearness in the air here; the islands appear to the
eye to be not above three miles distant, and I
am assured they are seven leagues—Provisions are
excellent here, particularly fish; among these, the
John-dory and the red Mullet are of an amazing
size, and excellent; I thought the Dory was called
the Dorade, but it is called the “Poisson de St. Pierre”;
and the Dorade, of which there is plenty, is a very
indifferent fish―They spoil the red Mullet by
constantly pulling out the livers. The land is
too precious here to be spared for building, yet there
are houses enough to lodge several families―

1 H4r 55

There is very seldom any rain at Hyeres, and the
rides of the environs are the most beautiful that your
imagination can form—particularly one towards the
residence of a Mr. Glapiere de St. Tropés—who has
near his house a beautiful large valley between the
mountains, which he might with little expence
turn into a charming park with a river running
through it.—You must not suppose from the want
of rain here, that there is no verdure, or that the
orange-gardens look burnt by the sun; the natives
of this happy spot are extremely ingenious in
turning every little spring that comes from the
mountains (and these springs are numerous) over
their fields and gardens, so that the constant want of
rain here is the very reason why every vegetation
never fails of being refreshed perpetually.—

Put all these circumstances together, with another,
which I think must weigh with every reasonable
person, out of their own country, which is, that
provisions are very cheap, and you will agree with
me, that Hyeres is a very good place for an invalid
to pass a winter in.―

I am setting out for Antibes, having received the
information I waited for — — — — —
— — — — —

I remain your’s most truly,

E. C―.

H4v 56

Letter XVII.

Most part of the road from Hyeres to this
place is very mountainous and narrow, so I rode
along the greatest part of it―

I find here an ancient work of the Romans; it is
an aqueduct which a Colonel d’Aquillon imagined
might be restored to its former use of bringing
water to the town, at a small expence; he met with
much opposition and ingratitude from the very
people to whom it could be of use; but I am told
he has obtained a pension, and a monument is
intended to be erected to his honour—I believe
there is no nation but ours that waits for a person’s
death, to shew some sign of satisfaction—for the
benefit derived from their superior talents — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — —

If Vauban’s plan had been followed for this port,
it would have been one of the finest in the Mediterranean
—As it is at present, none but vessels of
the lightest burthen can enter—

4 I1r 57

I have hired a felucca, a long narrow boat with
three shoulder-of-mutton-sails, and ten oars, in
which I mean to go from hence to Leghorn—I
have talked so much lately to you about orange-
gardens, that you may fairly suppose, I passed much
of my time in them; but indeed I have not, for they
are far from being comfortable things to be in,
though magnificent to look at, from a little distance;
there is one, and not a very large garden, at Hyeres,
that brings the proprietor in fifteen hundred
pounds sterling a year; I was taken to see it upon
my arrival—but the ground is so precious in these
gardens, that none is to be spared for walks—so that
I was forced to creep among the orange-trees as I
could, like any other earthly reptile―

The Spaniards and Algerines having lately made
a peace, I am informed I run some risk of being
taken by a Barbary corsair, as the Algerines turn
their spirit of piracy on all other vessels but Spanish
at present—however I cannot say I am the least
afraid, since the very fears of my Italian sailors will
prevent them from going farther from the shore
than what is absolutely necessary for sailing—

Adieu, dear Sir,
I remain your’s―

I I1v 58

Letter XVIII.

I Got no farther than Monaco last night,
where I looked over the old castle which stands
perpendicularly upon a rock from the sea―The
prince was absent; he is adding a Salle de Compagnie
to his chateau, which it wants very much―The
building being ancient and irregular; he has taken
most of the fine pictures to Paris, as his people
told me, and I was shewn a modern cornish in
stucco, one of Adam’s designs, executing as a great
curiosity, though it was none to me, as we have
such in most of our parlours in England―There
are the remains of some fine painting en fresque in
the court―The room the poor Duke of York died
in is one of the most melancholy I ever saw; the
very bed had a gloomy look; but indeed all the
apartments are dark and dismal―The prince has
three houses for his own residence, at a small
distance from each other, on this coast—Monaco,
Moncobron, and Menton―His possessions do not
seem very fertile, from whence probably arises an
Italian distich my boatmen repeated so often in 5 I2r 59
going up to Monaco, that I could not avoid
retaining it; in English it is—Monaco upon a rock,
neither sows nor reaps, but lives on others property—
They added, that part of his revenue consisted in
a tribute which all small vessels pay in going from
France to Italy, that is, all but the French, who are
exempt from this tax, which, by the bye, I saw no
other method of exacting but a miserable little vessel
of his I saw in the port, which they told me
went after the others, who might refuse to pay it—

There were arms and ammunition for forty
thousand men sent in there, by small quantities at a
time, for fifteen months past—from France

Monaco’s Prince, from his connection with French
families, and his frequenting Versailles, is become,
I suppose (though a sovereign prince) only a tool
of that court―These private military preparations
are conveniently placed for Italy, Monaco being
within four-and-twenty hours sail of any Italian
port north of Leghorn.―Here I found the great
use of my new travelling bed—the feet, which are
of iron, are placed in tin cups full of water, and a
zinzalière, or gauze curtain with no opening to it,
that lets down over me, prevented my being
devoured by gnats and every other sort of biting,
stinging vermin―

I2 I2v 60

I can conceive nothing pleasanter than having a
clean comfortable English yatcht, with four or five
sensible people to go with into Italy, coasting as I
do—The scenery is beautiful—Nice, which I passed
by, is a fine object; the sky too is so clear, every thing
seems to conspire in making this voyage delightful—
but, alas! in a felucca, it is too true, what the late
Lord D― said, that you never come out of one,
without feeling all alive—As soon as the heat of the
sun goes off, with the approach of the evening,
these Italian sailors make a horrid noise too; they
sing, it is true, not unharmoniously; but for two
hours, nay more, the same hymn to the Virgin—
now and then interspersed with a lively balled—so
that the still part of the evening, which at sea particularly
invites to contemplation or conversation,
is ruffled by the gaiety of these poor fellows.―I
am at present in a very good inn, the Golden Stag
and every thing I see here is so unlike any thing I
ever saw before, that I am at the window gaping
like a country-miss, that is in London for the first
time in her life―

When I have gaped to some purpose, you shall
profit by it ― ―

I now wish you and a good night—
Your’s affectionately―

1 I3r 61

Letter XIX.

This town is oddly situated—it is so much
confined between the sea and high mountains; the
churches, convents, and their gardens, take up so
much room, that mercantile people can scarcely find
habitations; the palaces are extremely fine, but so
lofty, and the streets so narrow, that to see the
outside of the houses, I think one should lie down
in the middle of a street―I never saw any thing
more truly magnificent than some of the palaces,
the pillars and staircases of which are all marble―
You may judge of the solidity of these buildings:
some of them are seven and eight hundred years
old—I saw one stair-case, the altering of which cost
twenty thousand pounds.―It is well worth any
person’s while to come here who loves fine pictures—
in most of the palaces there are some—a few of the
palaces have large collections—and in these printed
catalogues of them—I have had the greatest pleasure
in looking at some—there are two Vandykes in one
of the Brignoli palaces, that I think invaluable.
The man is on a grey horse, the lady his wife, is a I3v 62
whole length—there is as much grace and beauty
in her face and figure, as his pencil could express—

All the magnificence of the Genoese is confined
to their palaces; by their laws, they cannot have
gold either on their clothes, carriages, or liveries—
The chief amusement of ladies here is walking the
streets in the evening, with their sedan-chair and
several servants behind them, accompanied by one
or more gentlemen—it is very much the fashion
likewise, for every person who can afford it, to have
one or several country-houses—as they call them;
but the situations of them, perched about the steep
rocks, gives me but little idea of the country—The
people in general do not look healthy―All the
women wear what is called a mezzaro, viz. about
two yards or more of black silk or chintz, wrapped
about their heads and shoulders, instead of a cloak; it
is extremely graceful, if well put on—Every woman
has an opportunity of hiding a defect, or shewing a
beauty, as they may conceal one eye, the throat,
the forehead, the chin, or in short suffer those they
meet to see only what they choose to display—The
mezzaro too has a great convenience, which is,
that a woman can so hide herself in it, that she may
walk all over the town unknown; this mezzaro
is particularly advantageous to a person with fine I4r 63
shoulders and eyes―There are but two streets
in the town where carriages can go; so that sedan-
chairs or walking are the principal methods of
going from one place to another.

The females among the lower class disgusted me
much by their head-dress—their hair is strained up
to a point on the top of their head, and fastened to
a pin—judge what figure an old greyheaded or
bald woman must make.

I cannot help thinking this once flourishing
republic, notwithstanding the opulence of some of
its noble families, is becoming very fast a dependent
on, or a creature of the court of France—Some of
their nobles marry into French families—and soon
lose their fortune and their patriotic ideas in the
extravagance and servility of that court—Corsica is
a melancholy proof of this opinion―

Of the two noble Genoese, to whom I had
letters, the lady is dead, and the gentleman is not
here; so that I have announced myself no where,
as I would not be detained here longer than just to
see the churches and pictures, and though I should
have been pleased to have seen the manner of
living of the Genoese nobles, I would not upon any
account get into a train of ministers dinners and
visits―

I4v 64

I have been much surprised to see a black Virgin
and child in one of the churches here; unless it
be to tempt Negroes to turn Christians, I cannot
conceive why they suffer it to remain―

I have been on board the Galéres—and if the
variety of very fine pictures have delighted me, the
sight of heavy chains, and so many human beings
enduring slavery for years, has shocked me beyond
description—yet they do not look unhappy—and I
think servitude a more rational punishment for some
crimes than death; but slavery to an English mind,
I suppose, must be very horrible by what I feel―

Yesterday two Algerine slaves came to my apartment
to sell slippers; the oldest of the two was one
of the handsomest brown men, with the best countenance
I ever saw—he has been a slave five-and-
twenty years, and is suffered to go about without the
usual attendant, which is a man with a stout stick in
his hand, who follows the slaves who walk about
the town chained together, always in pairs―

When I thought upon the fate of this old man;
guilty of no crime; a prisoner of war—his looks
so noble and so honest—I wept—and wished I
might have had interest enough with the Doge
and Senate of Genoa to have sent him home to
Algiers

K1r 65

These sort of pictures in real life, are of a dark
hue—I must therefore again turn to those I have
seen in the palaces—I confess I should not dislike
to pass three winter months here to examine them
at leisure, and copy a few.―There is a bust of
Vitellius in one of the palaces, for which I am
assured the Duke of Marlborough offered to give its
weight in gold—The sum must necessarily have been
very large, for the bust is so massy that it probably
weighs above half any other marble statue―But
it does much honour to the duke’s taste, as the
work is perfect; and much likewise to the possessor,
to prize so highly what deserves so well to be
esteemed.―I have been offered any price I
choose to ask for a chestnut Suffolk-horse here; the
stable it is in is crowded every day, and it grieves
some of the Genoese very much that I will not
part with him—but I think a good woman’s horse
is so difficult to be had, that I never can understand
how any person can part with one―

Adieu, my dear Sir―Believe me— —

K K1v 66

Letter XX.

I Set out again in a felucca, intending to land
at Leghorn, but contrary winds or calms became so
tiresome to me that I landed at an Italian port
called Via regia, had my coach taken out, and set
out by land for this place.―I have passed
through a forest of oaks, belonging to the Grand
Duke.

Some of these oaks are the largest and finest
looking timber-trees I ever saw; I am assured here
the wood is not hard and good, like our English
oak; if so, I suppose it is affected by the climate—

I could not help reflecting in one of the finest
palaces at Genoa on the want of unity and order,
the two principles on which good taste is founded,
that is ever discovered in the dress and ornaments of
all kinds which foreigners have―

I had passed through an immense suite of rooms,
each more magnificent than the other; when coming
into the bed-chamber of the mistress of the house,
her dress which she had pulled off the night before,
even her bracelets and rings lay upon a table, and K2r 67
I can with truth assert—no village-girl could have
adorned herself with more mean, ordinary, paltry
finery than was exhibited―The heir to this noble
house, a child of about two years old, that had
taken a fancy to my looks, and accompanied me
through the apartments, was dressed likewise in a
coarse coloured linen―

These circumstances were such contrasts to the
house, that it brought to my mind a hundred
examples of the like in France, where often, to get
at the most elegant Salle de Compagnie, you are
obliged to pass through a dirty antichamber, where
you are forced to hold up your petticoats, that you
may not sweep in to the inner rooms a load of
filth―In the streets you meet a magnificent
carriage, attended by servants in costly liveries,
drawn by a pair of dog-horses, the harness of which
a hackney-coachman would not use with us—and
frequently at Paris the finest hotels have their
architecture disgraced by the black funnel of a
temporary chimney, running out at a window or
through a cornice―

These incongruities cannot be imagined, nor
believed, but by those that have seen them―
With us cleanliness constitutes our first elegance;
and fitness of things is next considered—and I believe K2 K2v 68
it is the combination of these two circumstances
which enchants foreigners of sense and parts so much
in England

The Grand Duke and Duchess are here, so that
the apartments usually let out to company are taken
up by them and their suite―

I have hired a comfortable house here by the
week—these baths, first built by the Roman Emperors,
are kept in excellent repair; and well they
may, for the bathing is excessively dear―

There is a public room at the palace, where the
company assemble about nine in the evening—the
heat in the day is excessive—all the Italians lie
down and sleep after dinner, and get up to dress
about six, walk afterwards, and meet in the great
room.―I met the Grand Duchess last night,
with another lady—I had not the least idea who
she was, being followed by a single footman in
grey—she looked at me with the greatest attention,
and curtsied very civilly—I curtsied and stared
at her, from her extreme likeness to my cousin of
witty memory, the late lady T―

I was pestered to death with questions about my
harp at night―I find a harp with pedals is a very
rare thing in Italy—and an English person meets K3r 69
with homage little short of adoration―The very
shopkeepers and peasants look in my face and say—
“Cara—Cara Inglese—”

These baths are very good for palsies, paralitic
disorders, gout, rheumatism, and scrofulous complaints;
Pisa and Lucca are near—Pisa, I find, the
Grand Duke prefers to Florence.―I should think
an invalid might pass a comfortable winter here—

Hoping that you may never come here as one,
I finish this letter―
Yours affectionately — — —

Letter XXI.

I Have rode over to Pisa, where I have been
much entertained; the cathedral, the baptistry, and
the Campo Santo are well worthy a sail from
England

The leaning tower, which you may probably
have seen, or at least read and heard many accounts
of, is a proof, among many others, that in all ages
fancy is too often mistaken for taste―It has the
appearance of patchwork, from the variety of orders K3v 70
of architecture displayed in the pillars, which stand
in rows one above the other, from the base to the
top―As to the learned in building pretending to
say the tower was built leaning, only to shew the
excellence of the workmanship, they certainly
delude themselves, or desire to impose upon
credulous persons―There are many proofs of the
ground having sunk; one infallible, according to
my judgment; and that is, the first row of pillars
being above half buried in the earth―This tower
stands by itself—some paces from it, I entered the
cathedral through brass doors brought from Jerusalem,
representing, in relievo, the history of Christ—
but I would prefer the possession of one pannel of
the folding doors on the opposite side of the cathedral
to the whole of these; for the modern relievo,
executed by John of Bologna, is full of grace and
nature; while the ancient seems chiseled out by an
awkward carpenter―There is a beautiful urn
placed on a pillar on the outside of the church,
which was shewn formerly as the cup which
measured the tribute paid to sar—but that mistake
is now rectified, and the true ancient use restored
to it—it contained the ashes of some illustrious
personage―A fine sarcophagus is likewise placed at
the door of the cathedral, as a monument to the 5 K4r 71
Comtesse Matilda—who was sovereign of this
country—and is said piously to have added much to
the magnificence of these buildings—but the croisades
have afforded their most curious relics―

I refer you to books for a precise and minute
account of all that is to be seen in this vast and
magnificent cathedral; I have only time to give you
a few observations―

The chief altar is composed mostly of lapis lazuli
and all that is rare and costly―Some of the pictures
are fine, but the cathedral is too dark to permit
them to be seen to advantage—At the lower end is
a handsome sarcophagus to the memory of the
Emperor Henry VII. who was poisoned by a priest
at the holy table with a consecrated wafer―

I quitted the Cathedral to go into the Baptistry, a
building standing like the tower, at a small distance
from the cathedral; it is shaped like a handsome
bell—the first and second row of pillars on the
outside of this, one above the other, are in a good
stile; but the man dying without leaving a drawing,
or plan of his intentions towards the finishing, the
upper part is finished in the gothic stile, and ill
done―

There are granite pillars at the entrance very fine
indeed―

K4v 72

The font is very remarkable, it is immensely
large, of white marble, beautiful Mosaic sculpture
in different pannels, which surround the outside―
and the design of every one differs from the others,
so that there are not two alike―

The sculpture too of the pulpit is very fine; it
represents a groupe of personages―I was told
they were all portraits―many of the faces are ridiculous
caricaturas—but some barbarous travellers
have plucked off several of the heads; a thing easily
done by a strong hand, as they are not so large as
my fist, when doubled; if you have never seen that,
you may guess at the size from what I say―

The Campo Santo is earth brought from Jerusalem,
which had the singular property of destroying the
dead bodies put into it, four-and-twenty hours after
they had lain there. It was the burying-place of the
noble Pisans, when Pisa was a flourishing republic—
at present no use is made of it—it is an oblong
square built round with a cloister—the length is
three hundred and fifty feet—in the center is
deposed the holy earth, round which reign Gothic
arches forming doors and windows―these arches
are so light and simple, that they seem to hold together
by magic power; and if any thing could
reconcile me to the Gothic, these arches would— 1 L1r 73
against the wall on the opposite side from the
cloister, there are the remains of a painting en fresque
upon the plaster, which is very fine―This plaster
or stucco is broken off in several places, and
discovers that the outlines of the painting were done
upon the wall, before the stucco was laid on; this
appears perfectly incomprehensible, as the stucco is
thick, and can never have been transparent—but I
am assured that the red lines underneath, which
appear to me to be common chalk pencil, were
done with a composition which pierced through
the stucco when wet—in a faint line—the only
way of accounting for this singular circumstance—
I confess the drawing on the wall is done with so
much more freedom and boldness than the painting
expresses, that I wished all the stucco fallen off,
that I might see all the spirit of the design at
once.―As I walked back through the town, I
was shewn an ugly strange-shaped tower, where
Ugolino and his innocent family were starved to
death―As I looked at it, I thought, that if every
man in these days, who did not exert his utmost
abilities to save his country, was starved to death,
there might be formed a large regiment of good
cooks wanting employment―

L L1v 74

The grass grows in every street in the town—a
melancholy proof of the sad reverse this city
exhibits to that picture it once gave the admiring
world―

There are many remarkable monuments placed
in the cloisters of the Campo Santo. The King of
Prussia has erected one in memory of Algarotti—I
cannot possibly give you a list of them—I only
mean to be your finger-post—just to point out to
you what is worth seeing, if chance or choice
should lead you this way―

I was shewn several curious statues, and pillars
in the streets; till night only, as usual, sent me
home―

Adieu, dear Sir,
Believe me most affectionately―

L2r 75

Letter XXII.

Since I wrote last, I have been to see
Lucca—a virgin republic, for it has never lost its
liberty―The motto of the city over the gates,
or wherever it can be placed, is “Libertas”―The
territories belonging to it are only forty-six miles
long from St. Pellegrins to the Pisan mountains, and
nineteen from Via regia to Porquetto, the half of
which town belongs to the Tuscan dominion―

Lucca is extremely well fortified—crouds of
people in the street, and a look of opulence among
the bourgeoise prove the good effect of their motto—
The oil is remarkably good here―I was shewn
the Cathedral, which has nothing very remarkable
in it but a circular chapel, the shape of which is
pleasing—and it has four statues of the Apostles,
good―I was told this chapel, dedicated to the
Virgin, was transported in one night, entire, from
another church at some distance―The figure of
the Virgin I could not see, it was covered up—she
wears constantly golden slippers, and there is a skull
of one of the senators of Lucca, who was hung for L2 L2v 76
stealing one of them, though he declared that she
flung it at him, as he was praying at her feet for
more wealth―

I met in the inn ―, whom I certainly
should not have recollected again, his countenance
is so altered―I believe the Muses should not
marry, and he certainly is one— — —

There is something romantic and pittoresque in the
manner of training the vine here―In the low
grounds they twine round the trees which surround
the little enclosures, and hang in festoons from one
tree to another―The oxen too are of a particular
kind, very large, and of no other colour but a light
grey—in a small field I have seen these yoked to a
plough, preparing one corner of it for corn, while
the rest was filled with melons, olive, and fig-trees:
I am told the sun is powerful enough to bring the
fruits of the earth to perfection through the branches
of the trees—if so, they are extremely careless in
making their wine; there is little or none to be
bought good―

I do not know what people mean by saying Italy
is a beautiful country; a want of fine trees and turf
makes it in general very ugly. If travellers would
content themselves with saying, that in Italy, a
person who is passionately fond of the fine arts L3r 77
might find constant amusement, I believe the praise
would be just; but when led by their enthusiasm for
them, they say, Italy is the finest country in the
world, they prepare many people, as easy in their
faith as I am, to be as much disappointed as I have
been―

A lady on a side-saddle is an object of great
wonder here—the peasants who pass me on the right
side, when I am on horseback, the women, particularly,
say, “Poverina—Jesu Maria—Povera—una
gambia”

They actually fancy I have one leg only; their
stare of concern always makes me laugh—and then
they add cara to their lamentations.―In a day or
two I shall set out for Florence, from whence I shall
write to you. I confess I long to see the Venus de
Medicis
—and the Niobe family.―I do not envy
the Grand Duke his sovereignty—but his collection
of perfections, I confess, I should like to share with
him―

Adieu—your’s affectionately―

L3v 78

Letter XXIII.

I Hope you do not expect a very rational
letter from me, as I have been three days successively
to see the statues and pictures, and am so much
delighted with them, that I am at a loss how to give
you an account of my feelings, otherwise than by
telling you, that while I am in the Tribune, the
vulgar idle tale of real life never once comes into
my mind, and I feel quite happy—and if till now
I have been sorry often, when I have felt conscious
of having nice feelings, or what is commonly called
taste, at this moment I am extremely glad of it—I
think and dream of nothing but the statues, from
the time I leave them till I see them again—so till
a few days repetition of the same sights has familiarized
my head to them, I shall content myself
with telling you two little adventures I have had;
which may prove to you I have neither lost my eyesight
nor my pleasantry upon occasions which fret
and anger others—

I set out from the Pisa baths on the 1785-09-2323d in the
afternoon; I sent on my coach and some of my L4r 79
servants two posts, and went on horseback myself—
when I got about half way, I passed by a gentleman
in an English phaeton, whose curiosity I suppose
was awakened by an English horse and side-saddle—
From an uncommon slow trot he flew after me full
gallop—I was warned of this frightful operation by
my servant, and had just time to turn my horse into
a gateway—he could not stop his horses immediately
—but being determined to see me, as soon as
he could, he pulled up, and went as slow as it was
possible—I thought this so impertinent, that I determined
on my part, that he should not see me;
so I desired the persons who accompanied me to
follow me; and I passed by the left-side of the
phaeton as fast as my horse could go, with my hat
and head so low, that the foolish man could not see
me―My horse is a most excellent and fleet one,
and I kept him on till my pursuer gave up the
chase; and I then, when out of his sight, turned
into a farm-yard, and hid myself, till I saw the
phaeton pass again—so I positively got to my
carriage without being seen by this curious gentleman

The man at the post-house, upon my asking for
something to drink, brought me a bottle of white
wine, which he told me he had made himself, and 2 L4v 80
which he would have given to no one but me—it
was the very best white wine I ever tasted since I
drank vin d’Arbois, with which Henry quatre used
to drink to his fair Gabrielle—but I mixed it with
water, parcequ’il faut que les Dames mettent un peu
d’eau dans leur vin

The man was quite offended at my offering to pay
for it―

So I thanked him with one of my best smiles—
and got into my coach, where I had not been above
two hours before I was fast asleep—and waked only
to see the walls of the city of Florence—which do
not seem calculated to defend it from any enemies,
but those which smuggling might create to the
Tuscan sovereign’s purse―

I went to Meggit’s inn, and got into bed about
four o’clock in the morning. I have the same
apartment my mother and Lady Louisa H― occupied
—when there.

The next day, the first thing I did, was to go and
see the Venus de Medicis―I was shewn a youthful
figure opposite as an Apollo—and after I had
examined it some time, I asked why it was called an
Apollo―Does not Eccelenza see, says the guide,
his attribute the lyre? I do, returned I, but that is
modern to the statue—I made my observation—the 1 M1r 81
the man laughed―You are perfectly right, said
he, and I do not know any other reason for its
being an Apollo, than because probably that God
was thought a proper companion for the Venus
But how did you know those pieces were restored?
said he;—I told him, from some observations I had
made upon other fine works of that sort―

However this statue is very pleasing; but I do not
think it has the commanding look of the God of
day.―I looked at the face with delight; for
about the nose and upper lip it put me in mind of
my dear son William—who, probably, is now nearly
as tall―

It is lucky for my friends that I have that son and
some others; for in the humour I am in, I could
almost be tempted to remain a prisoner for life,
upon condition my cachot was the Tribune; and I
would ask for no other company than the heavenly
inanimate figures in it—their silence is so much
more eloquent than language—their forms so harmonious.
―I think you begin not to understand
me, and as I am not at all certain, if your ear and
your eye agree together, as mine do, I will not
attempt to explain what may be felt, but not described
so I beg you would recollect I did not
promise this letter should be perfectly rational; and M M1v 82
I believe I am in my sober senses, when I have
courage to end my rhapsody.―

I remain your’s affectionately— —

P.S. Apropos, on looking over my letter, I
find that I have forgot to tell you, the only object I
took notice of, from my coach going to Florence,
was the moon; it put me in mind of what Mr. de
Caraccioli
says; “que la lune de Naples valait bien le
soleil d’Angleterre”
—however, our English sun has but
one fault notwithstanding the Marquis’s witty remark;
and that is the same that an English mind
has—peeping through a cloud too often.―The
Venus suited the ideas I had formed of her; but the
Niobe family surpassed them; there is a horse belonging
to that, which is not placed in the room
with them, and which certainly was held by the
bridle by one of the sons―Every thing else seems
to be in perfect order―

M2r 83

Letter XXIV.

This city is very clean and chearful; the
streets are paved with large flat pieces of rock, unlike
any other pavement I have seen, and much
smoother; fine statues and relievos in marble stand
in the squares and angles of streets, without having
any thing to protect them but the respect the very
lowest people have for them―Sir Horace Mann,
Lord Cowper, the Prince Corsini, the Lucca minister
Comte Santini, and the Comte d’Albany, give great
dinners here to all foreigners of distinction; but the
Florentine noblesse never invite any one to dine or
sup at their houses―When they give an entertainment,
it is an assembly, where every creature that
can call itself a gentleman or gentlewoman, can easily
go―I was at one the other night given on account
of a wedding, and though it was but a few paces
from our English minister’s house, all his carriages,
horses, and servants, paraded with flambeaux to the
house—I went in one of his coaches with him―
The mistress of the house, and bride, stood at the
door to receive every body, and curtsey to them as M2 M2v 84
they passed―The number of rooms opened and
illuminated upon such an occasion is incredible—I
was told in this house there were eleven rooms which
were not seen, because they were not finished—I could
not help observing that all the handsome Florentines
are very like the English—an effect perhaps of the
great partiality the Italian ladies have for my country
people―What I mean is, that as they have constantly
so many English people here, their looking
at them constantly may very naturally occasion the
likeness―

The Italian ladies are very good-humoured,
which is more than I can say for their neighbours
the French; and they have likewise more natural
civility to strangers; for they do not stare at them,
and whisper to one another, so as to leave no doubt
to the Anglaise that her dress is criticised; but they
speak to her, and if they remark any thing new to
them, they do not tell her, “ce n’est pas a-la-mode”
but they suppose it is the fashion of the country she
is come from―

The sovereign might make Florence a paradise;
but he keeps no court―There is nothing about
his manner of living that betrays either the gaiety
or magnificence that naturally belong to royalty—
Any person whose rank suits presentation might be 2 M3r 85
presented to the Grand Duke or Duchess—but I
shall certainly not be so; for sovereigns, like the
sun, should chear with their rays the people who
look up to them; and when they choose to hide
those rays in a corner, strangers must be very foolish
to go and seek them out, disturb their privacy, and
gain neither pleasure nor amusement by it.―
Florence swarms with English―The operas here
are very indifferent―

In the palaces here, there are generally several
indifferent pictures mixed with a few good ones―
There are two Apostles out of four, painted by
Carlo Dolci, in the Palazzo Riccardi, which I think
invaluable—there is a Muse by the same in the
Palazzo Corsini

The Grand Duke has just purchased from the
Dini family a picture done by the Guercino da Cento,
and placed it in the Tribune; it is an Endymion
sleeping—the sweetness and beauty of the countenance
are enchanting; but Guercino was so taken
up with the mortal, that he has represented the
Goddess in one corner of the sky, like the paring of
a nail—however this new purchase is well worthy a
place in the Tribune―It cost the Grand Duke
not quite an hundred guineas―

M3v 86

I have been obliged again to assure the French,
at the French minister’s table the other day, that Sir
George Elliot
was not born of French parents―

Sterne’s adventure about Yorick, I have now good
reason to believe was a fact; for I was asked too by
a Frenchman if Sir Joshua Reynolds did not build
St. Paul’s.―I think Frenchmen should never quit
Paris; for they do not choose to be acquainted with
the chronology or genealogies of any other nation
but their own.―The only thing which seems to
delight the French minister here is, that the bridge
over the Arno, which is just before his windows,
puts him in mind of the Pont-neuf at Paris—the
only observation I have ever heard him make upon
the beauties of this town―

Judge of my surprise the other morning—Meggit
came running in haste to my apartments, to assure
me, that Lord B― would be here in two or
three days—he was at Venice he said, and produced
a letter to prove his assertion—but as I thought I
was more likely to have intelligence than he was, and
as the name was not spelt right, I contented myself
with telling him to reserve, as long as he could, an
apartment adjoining to mine, then empty, and promised
him I should endeavor to make him lodge
there; though my brother wrote me word, he should M4r 87
have une maison montée if he should pass the winter in
Italy—but I think it will be less trouble for him and
me to be here, if Florence is the place he fixes in—

There is a charming ride here about a mile from
the town, in a wood of the Grand Duke’s, called
the Cashins, (where the ladies walk or go in
phaetons, called here “Biroches”)—but its chief beauty,
the most enormous firs I ever beheld, are now felling;
— — — — — — — — — — —
There is also a dairy, where cream, milk, and
butter are sold, at a royal price indeed―There is
an excellent invention in it to keep the milk sweet
in this hot climate—the pans are placed in a trough
or frame, full constantly of fresh water, which runs
in at one end and out at the other.―Talking of
inventions too; I wonder why in all great cities
they do not copy one from the clock in the Piazza
di gran Duca
here—the figures shewing the hour
are transparencies, with a light behind them; so
that in the darkest night, the sober citizen can see
what hour of the night it is―

Lucca Giordano’s painting en fresque here I
admire; though he was called fa presto, because he
ended in three weeks what most painters would
have been two years about—but the genius that
could produce such effect by drawing, in so 1 M4v 88
short a time, has that freedom and grace, which
the precision attendant on study seldom can
give―

Miss Davies is here, and I am very sorry she does
not sing at the opera; for her voice and manner
please me more than any thing I have heard
here―

Your’s affectionately―

P.S. The Titian Venus, and the child by
Titian in the Strozzi palace, are both much impaired
by time―Very soon the copies will be invaluable,
because necessarily all the beauties of the originals
must vanish―

N1r 89

Letter XXV.

I Received about a week since a letter from
Lord B―, informing me that he could not pass
this winter in Italy; so I immediately determined
my course; and it is North.―Now I am on the
wing, I will see courts and people that few women
have seen, as I may never have an opportunity of
travelling again; and I will make the best use of my
time; few as the months are I can allow myself to
run about it, I will employ them, I hope, to my
satisfaction and your amusement―

I stopped my coach to look at the flame which
issues constantly from the ground about four miles
from FillegaraMr. Dutens mentions it in his
Itinerary.―From Florence to Fillegara the road
winds round one brown mountain to another; but
to-day the landscape improved much on my approaching
Loiano.―Some spots were not unworthy
the pencil of Salvator Rosa―There is a
beautiful descent of a mile and a half to Pianoro—I
there got upon my horse and rode to this place; and
I can never believe it is ten miles from Pianoro N N1v 90
here, which I am assured it is. I lodge at the
Locando Reale, a large inn, the mistress of which
assured me the Princess Czartoriska was in Bologna;
but it proves to be the Princess Lubomirska, her
sister-in-law, whom I do not know―I have only
time to tell you, if you should ever pass through
this city, that you must ask to see the Palazzo
Zampieri
, the church of St. Giovanni in monte, and
a few others.―This is a clean looking town, but
I do not comprehend the dialect; I had accustomed
myself to the Tuscan manner of substituting the “H”
for the “C”; but here, I do not conceive what letters
they put in the place of those which they ought to
pronounce— — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — — —

I can tell you no more at present.―I mean
to get to Venice as soon as possible—from thence
to Vienna—and I afterwards intend to proceed to
Warsaw and Petersburgh.―I take the advantage
of the winter, in hopes I may go on a sledge the
greatest part of my road—for I hate the jumbling
of a coach, though mine is as easy as possible.―
Pray do not make yourself unhappy concerning the
delicacy of my constitution, and the dread of pulmonary
affections, for I assure you I have neither N2r 91
had a pain in my breast, nor spit blood, since I
quitted the environs of Paris, which makes me suppose
the air of that part of France did not agree with me—
and I hope the frequent change of air I am taking will
strengthen my constitution, so that I shall never have
any returns of those ugly complaints—It is now four
months since I was last troubled with them―

Adieu, dear Sir; believe that the greater the distance
is between me and the objects of my affection, the
more I am anxious to hear from them, so write
often to your affectionate sister―

Letter XXVI.

I Stopped for a moment at Cento, to see the
picture which is called Guercino’s chef d’oeuvre—he
was born there, and is buried in the Cathedral―
From thence I proceeded to Ferrara, my road to
which I advise none to go by night; the country all
about is so low and flat, that the road, to be passable,
is raised upon a causeway, with nothing to prevent
your horses from rolling down on one side or the
other; it is extremely narrow likewise.―Ariosto,
who was born and died at Ferrara, did not gallop
his Pegasus, or invoke his Muse in the clay, and N2 N2v 92
among the dismal poplars to be seen in the small
fields thereabouts—I went about three miles an
hour―I slept at Ferrara, and among twenty
things served up to my table at supper, I could
eat nothing but celery―In Italy cinnamon is
an ingredient they put into every dish, which I have
a mortal aversion to—Woodcocks stewed in sugar—
and chickens roasted till they are as hard and as dry
as wood—voila la cuisine

I embarked with my coach in a very good boat
at a place called Francolino, and was rowed down
the Po—I had a fine clear sky, and did not feel that
I was in the month of November―From the Po
I came into a canal, and from thence into the
Brenta, a pretty but narrow river; except the Sorgue,
it was the only clear stream I had looked into since
I had left my native Thames―I had heard much
of the beautiful villas on the borders of the Brenta;
but I saw none that gave me the idea of elegance or
beauty on the outside―

A mile before I arrived at Fusino, a village, where
I was obliged to leave my coach and saddle-horses,
I passed a lock which separates the salt water from the
fresh—and there quitted the land, going five miles
across the sea, intermixed with flat sands, to get into
the great canal at Venice.―I had just read the 2 N3r 93
Abbé Coyer, who says, “Rome est batie par les hommes;
mais Venise par les Dieux”
—and I had formed some
idea of it from the pictures I had seen—and expected
to see a gay clean looking town, with quays on each
side of the canals; but was extremely disappointed;
the houses are in the water, and look dirty and
uncomfortable on the outside; the fine palaces have
most of them above half their windows shut up by
dirty shutters not painted.

The innumerable quantity of gondolas too, that
look like swimming coffins, added to the dismal
scene; and, I confess, Venice on my arrival struck
me rather with horror than with pleasure; but now
that I am accustomed to a gondola, have seen the
inside of the Casini, and have trusted to my own eyes
about several things, I cannot say I dislike Venice
in the least―The whole scene is unlike any
thing I could have imagined—I walk all the morning
—and that is the best way of seeing the town and
people―There are narrow passages that you
arrive at from one to another by bridges which cross
the small canals—The famed Rialto is built across
the large canal, the arch of which is very noble and
light; but there are three distinct passages over it,
formed by rows of shops, the tops of which are so
heavy that they disfigure this fine bridge very N3v 94
much―You may walk quite from one end of
Venice to the other―The extraordinary figures
I saw in the Piazza San Marco would tempt one to
believe, it is a bal masqué en plein air.―We are
not now in the time of the Carnival; but I meet as
many men in the black dominos and masks as without
them; these are the noble Venetians, who, constantly
watched by the state-spies, dare not go about unmasked;
for if an ambassador’s servant, or a minister,
or consul of any other nation, was seen speaking to
a noble Venetian, he might be imprisoned―The
laws are so excessively strict upon this subject, that
the Corps diplomatique are confined extremely in their
society, and I am amazed any gentleman can accept
of an embassy to a place where the natives must
avoid them, as if they were infected with the
plague.―Strangers pass their time well here; for
nothing can be more sociable, civil, and magnificent,
than the ministers are to one another, and strangers
presented to them―

The Casini are very small houses hired by one
person, or a set of people, to meet in of an evening,
where cards, conversation, tea, coffee, lemonade,
&c. and a well selected society conspire to give
pleasure―These Casini are fitted up with an
elegance of which you can form no idea—I have N4r 95
dined in one, which has so fine a view from it, that
from the neatness and taste of the inside, and of the
magnificence of the objects on the without, I could
almost have fancied a little fairy’s palace―Venice
seems to me to be a new world, retired and different
from any other I have seen―The Venetian ladies
are some of them very handsome, and a few of them
are most remarkably determined in their resolutions
―It is not an uncommon thing here for a
lady, married in the morning, to declare to her
parents before night that she has taken an aversion
to her husband—who, upon such an occasion, is
forced with the parents to apply to the great master
of the church (the Pope) who is always good enough
to admit of the reasons given him, as sufficient to
grant a divorce―The lady, once out of her convent,
bears the name of her own family in the world—
and the gentleman looks out for another wife―

Nothing is more frequent here than to see a
Venetian lady quit her palace, for months together,
to live in a casino; of which the husband perhaps
does not even know the situation―I could divert
you extremely with some Venetian anecdotes, but
I have no leisure to make this letter much longer;
for between my Venetian acquaintance and the ambassadors
I have scarcely time to breathe.―The 1 N4v 96
Comte Justiniani was delighted to see me again—he
has promised to accompany me to the Arsenal, which
is extremely large, and where the man, who shewed
it to me, was pleased to say, the State was building
frigates of a hundred guns each, and twenty such
lies―The ancient families of Venice are the
most pure noblesse in Italy—and that idea, together
with their natural spirit and extraordinary situation,
will produce many brave and gallant soldiers
among them, whenever a good cause calls them
into the field―

Adieu, dear Sir, I have three gondolas waiting
at my door for me—so I quit my pen.―

O1r 97

Letter XXVII.

I Have been to see the Doge’s palace, and the
church in the Piazza San Marco, both Gothic, and
what is very shocking to the eye, the fine bronze
horses brought from Constantinople are perched
over the door of the church. Books will inform
you more minutely than I can of the pictures to
be seen in Venice―The council chamber
is a very fine room; but all the paintings in it are dirty;
I went likewise into the court of justice, because
every body was running to hear l’Avocato Stephano;
and I thought from the grimaces and gesticulations
Italians make use of in common conversation, some
entertainment might be expected from one, upon
an occasion, where art would naturally produce
action—Nor was I deceived; nothing can be more
comic than what I saw—his pleading was scolding—
and his two thumbs which he had stuck upright,
and moved very quickly from and near his breast,
was perhaps the most ridiculous action that ever was
imagined, nor can I conceive how any persons, much
less the judges, could keep their countenances―

O O1v 98

It is impossible for you to imagine any thing more
entertaining than the Piazza San Marco: people of every
nation, and in dresses I never saw, and indeed never
can see but at Venice, are lounging in the shops and
coffee-houses; and it is a great amusement to me as
I walk there every morning—But I never stay long,
for they read English in my looks; and their love
for any thing of that nation is so great, that they
will come from the other end of the Piazza to look
at an English woman―

There are two fine lions at the door of the Arsenal,
in marble, brought from the entrance of the
Piræan port—It is a pity I cannot make them speak,
they might tell me many things I want to know
about Athens

The house I lodge in is miserably cold, it is
upon the grand canal—and as the glaziers here
seldom put putty to the panes of the glass, the winds come
in. This damp sea-air agrees perfectly well with me
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — — —

Provisions are very good here; every lady seems
determined to be amused and chearful, and I think
I could pass a very merry winter here; there are
several theatres, and I have been to an opera—very
good―The Russian minister’s wife is Madame O2r 99
de ―’s
daughter—a very young, and very amiable
modest woman―The Minister’s wife from Vienna
is likewise extremely sensible and polite, and her
husband the best man in the world; and I must not
forget, for the honour of our country, Madame
de ―
, who from her charming disposition and
talents I absolutely love so much, that it will be a
grief to me to part with her―The Russian Minister’s
wife often talks to me of Stowe in raptures,
though she was quite a child when she passed some
days there―

Mr. Emo’s floating batteries are much spoken of
here; I understand they were five hours and a half
before the forts of Golleta; so I have desired a
receipt to make them, and I have it as exactly to be
copied as any receipt to make a good pye—I shall
give it to G. B―, who being a professor in the
art of War—mat present to our enemies a dish of
the same sort of his making—whenever occasion
requires he should treat them according to their
deserts―

I must tell you a most ridiculous thing that has
happened to two English travellers that are here
now, and advise every gentleman who cannot speak
German, not to travel in Germany without a companion,
or servant that knows the language. These O2 O2v 100
gentlemen not having either, were in great haste to
arrive at Venice from Vienna—they left a large
town they had slept at over night, once morning,
and, after travelling post for two days, found themselves
drove into the very town they had quitted,
eight-and-forty hours before―If they hate the motion of a carriage as I do; I can easily guess how
angry they must have been―

I am advised to take a new road to Vienna as the
best—I shall write from thence, I hope soon; as I
do not mean to proceed in a retrogaderetrograde motion—so
with all kind wishes to your fire-side―

I remain—yours affectionately.

O3r 101

Letter XXVIII.

I Came, as I told you I was advised, by a new
road; but I should imagine from the difficulties I
met with it was the worst,—It is true, some of them
were owing to rivers, which, swelled by the late
rains, are become torrents which have carried whole
villages and many miles of the road before them—

I set out from Venice on the 1785-11-3030th of last month,
going by water to Mestre, where my coach and
horses met me―I meant that night to have slept
at Mr. ―, at Cornegliano; but the weather was
so bad that I was obliged to stay at a village called
Trevisa, where there is an excellent and clean inn.
The next day, I endeavoured to cross the river, but
the boatmen would not venture over, though I had
my coach embarked, and would have gone myself,
knowing I was expected by Mr. ―, so I was
obliged to return to the good inn—where I was
surprised to see, what I thought a fine large chicken
served up to my table, which upon cutting, I found
to have brown flesh; I asked what it was, and was
answered—“una Colombina”—it was a pigeon—I begged 5 O3v 102
to see one alive, or at least with the feathers on,
for it must have been a most extraordinary sight—
but the people seemed more astonished at my admiration
of this bird than I was at the size of it; for
it is the common pigeon there―

The next day, the rain and wind being somewhat
abated, I got to Cornegliano—and you may imagine
the real pleasure I was received with by a countryman,
who had not seen me for many years, and that
in my own house in the country. I never was more
delighted in my life than by the music I heard
there; his eldest daughter, a child about seven years
old, plays on the harpsichord with a taste and feeling
at which few people, more advanced in age and music,
ever arrive. Her sister too, an infant of five years
of age, played and sung her part afterwards wonderfully
for her years―

In the evening many of the Venetian noblesse
came to partake of the concert, and see the Donna
Inglese
; among Mr. ―’s country neighbours there
were several who were as fat, fair, and heavy as
many of our English Country ’Squires, and, like
them, had never stirred from their family mansion—
and I fancy the English lady and her horses,
will be the subject of their fire-side conversation
for some time―

4 O4r 103

The next day I passed the Taillamanta, a river
which had torn and washed away the road for nine
miles before I came to it; so I travelled in a bed of
gravel, every now and then jumping into and out
of a little ditch formed by the different torrents―
The river was frightful to pass. I got to San
Daniello
—from which place, this new road is called
the San Daniello road—from thence to Pontiebba
the road is good; but winds round rocks according
to the turns of a river, which was sometimes on the
right, sometimes on the left, in a most beautiful
manner—It is so narrow, that I think it the most
dangerous I ever went—nothing between the precipice
and the carriage to prevent an accident―
It would be well worth any person’s while, who is
as fond of the beauties of nature as I am, to ride
along this road―The views are romantic and
majestic beyond description―

Trevisa, which is the place I next slept at, I arrived
at with much difficulty; my coach drawn with
ten horses and four oxen—and you can form to yourself
no idea of the obstinacy, and provoking phlegm of
a German postillion or postmaster―At one place,
tired of the snail-like pace I went, I hired a traineau
of a peasant, and went on before my carriage―
It seems there is an order at every frontier town in O4v 104
Germany, not to suffer strangers who travel without
post-horses, to leave the town without staying in it
two hours—this the German post-master did not
choose to tell me—nor did he refuse me another
traineau and horses—but sat with two other fat
Germans playing at cards, without deigning to give
me any other answer than—“Patienza”, to any thing I
could say to him—when I recollect the scene of
these three fat men playing at cards, their figures,
and all I said in Italian to persuade the man and his
patienza I could die with laughing; however, in
about an hour, an officer came in; who looking at
me some time, said, “Parlez vous Français?”“Mon
Dieu, oui Monsieur”
, says I; and I found, the postmaster’s
deafness proceeded from his not being able
to talk Italian very well, French not at all—so he
took me for an impatient boy—and sent me to
Coventry—When the gentleman called me Miladi,
these three fat Germans deigned to look at me—
for I must tell you that in this country, the respect
paid to our sex is such, that it is enough for a
woman to speak, she is obeyed immediately—and
I had a traineau—and six horses for my coach ready
in an instant. One night I slept at Klagenfurt, a
large town, where one of the Emperor’s unmarried
sisters lives―I am arrived here at last, through P1r 105
a very beautiful country; but must observe, that
whoever wrote L. M―’s Letters (for she never
wrote a line of them) misrepresents things most
terribly—I do really believe, in most things they
wished to impose upon the credulity of their readers,
and laugh at them―The stoves of this country,
which she praises so much, are the most horrid invention
you can conceive. The country people in
Germany seem to fear the cold very much; the
casements of their windows are double; and there
being no chimney in the rooms, there is no vent for
fumes of any sort—so that the breath of the inhabitants
of them rests in drops of steam on all the
tables, &c. and the stink and suffocating heat that
assails the traveller’s senses when he enters any room,
particularly where people are, cannot be conceived.
I do not believe the German women, of the lower
order, are very gentle tempers—for several of them
flew into the most violent passions, when I opened
a door or window—and shut them again immediately
―My only resource upon these occasions
was to go out into the yard―

As to the stoves being ornamental; I think they
are frightful from the composition of them, the
ground work of which must be iron to resist the
fire within; the glazing, painting, and varnish soon P P1v 106
moulder off—and I leave you to judge, from this
inevitable circumstance, together with another,
which is the size of them, how it is possible they can
represent either China jars or any other thing that
may be elegant or pretty, as a stove fills up one
corner of the room―

In this town, several of the first houses have fine
comfortable chimnies, and stoves are, where they
should be—in the antichamber―The difference
of the chearfulness which a good fire gives to a
room, to that which reigns in one where there is
only a stove, is very visible―I think things must
be very much altered since that lady or gentleman
wrote about Vienna. The German ladies are handsome,
accomplished, and civil to a degree you have
no idea of; several of them, besides possessing many
other languages, read, write, and speak English well;
and I was surprised to find my connections, and other
circumstances flattering to my pride, better known
here than they are by half my acquaintances in
London

Most of the Germans are naturally musicians,
and I am sure a young Englishman, with good
manners, may every evening here pass his hours in
a circle of handsome and accomplished women of
the first rank—I have seen no place yet I should P2r 107
so much wish my son to come to as ViennaSir
Robert Keith
assures me he has presented above four
hundred noblemen and gentlemen, young countrymen
of mine, and has never had reason to complain
of them, while we hear and see constantly the follies
of the Anglais at Paris, where they go to ruin themselves,
equally with the Duchesse or the fille d’opera,
and only to be laughed at — — — — —
— — — — — — —

The ladies are tall and fair—more handsome than
pretty―There is a great supper at Prince Galitzin’s
every Sunday night; and at Prince Par’s every
Monday; the first is the Russian minister, who does
great honour to his court, by his sense and politeness
here―The presentation at court is very
different from our’s—but I have not time to say
more at present, than that I remain

Your’s affectionately―

P.S. I cannot help adding, that the questions
asked travellers by the guards at the frontier towns
are most ridiculous—are you married or not?—Do
you travel for your pleasure or upon business?—
Your name and quality?―It put me in mind of
a story told me by the Russian Minister at Venice, of
a traveller who being asked his name, answered P2 P2v 108
“Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo”“pray, Sir,” says the guard,
“how do you write that?” “That, Sir,” replied the traveller,
“is your business, I have told you my name;”
it is impossible, I think, to answer gravely to questions
so perfectly absurd.

Letter XXIX.

I Went with Madame Granieri, the Sardinian
Minister’s wife, to court. Nothing is more striking,
I think, than the variety of the officers dresses in
the Emperor’s antichamber―The Hungarian and
Polish I think beautiful, and I now am strengthened
in the opinion I always had, though probably I
have never told it, even to you, that every nation
ought to preserve the fashion of their country—and
that there is no necessity for mankind to ape one
another in dress―

The Emperor gives a private audience for ladies
that are presented to him. There was only myself
and the lady who accompanied me that went into
his room together; we met a Princess Esterhazi
coming out―The Emperor was close to the
door; and after bowing very civilly, he made us sit P3r 109
upon a sofa—and stood the whole time himself; I
staid three quarters of an hour; there is no occasion
to fear staying too long; for when he cannot spare
any more time for the audience, or for any other
reason chooses to end it, he very civilly says, he will
detain you no longer; you then get up, and go to
the door, which he opens himself—and thus ends
the presentation―I think much more agreeably
than to answer any questions a Sovereign chooses to
make before a hundred people that are within
hearing in the circle of a drawing-room—who generally
repeat what they hear, according to the folly
or malice they possess—and I should think it totally
impossible for a monarch to converse with any satisfaction
surrounded by so many ears, which have
often no brains belonging to them―The Emperor
is like the Queen of France, and the only
thing that genéd me at all was his not being seated—
He converses politely and agreeably―

The first minister here, Prince Kaunitz—is a very
extraordinary personage; he is reckoned an able minister
and a good patriot; I see in him all that sincerity
and frankness which are the constant attendants on
a mind truly great—and I believe the welfare of
the people at large is his delight; for he asked me
what I thought of Vienna; I told him that I had not 4 P3v 110
time to make many observations, but that there was
an air of plenty and comfort among the lower sort
of people very striking; “meme les vendeuses de pommes
ont l’air aisé mon Prince;”
on my saying this, there
was a smile upon his countenance, which I am sure
came from his heart; and he condescendingly told
me several particulars relative to the markets and
provisions, one of which I cannot help thinking very
necessary in all large cities—which is, that there is
an inspector for the garden-stuff—another for meat—
and so on, for all provisions exposed to sale; and if
they are not found perfectly good they are flung
away―And now we are upon the subject of provisions,
I must say, that I never saw such a profusion
of things, and those so excellent in their kind, as are
served up at the tables here—Green peas, artichokes,
and asparagus, I eat every day―The crawfish are
as large as the Chichester lobsters; and the pheasants
from Bohemia have a flavour you can form no
idea of―Yet I do not think the people are
gourmands; but they pique themselves on having the
greatest abundance and the best sort of eatables of
every kind. The forests and rivers of this country
do not in a small degree contribute to the possibility
of these things—for with us, our cooks cannot produce P4r 111
wild boar and venison, gelinottes, and coqs de
bruyeres
; or crawfish as big as lobsters―

There is one thing here that shocks me, and that
is, that every lower class of women paint white—and
even girls of ten years old going of errands in the
street are painted—What their reason for so doing is
I cannot guess; for the Germans are generally fair.
I dine very often with Prince Kaunitz—and as I am
naturally as sincere as he is, our conversations do not
grow languid, There is nothing that ever did
really flatter me so much, as when people of his age
and experience forget for half an hour, the distance
which time and knowledge must naturally put between
us; and as I have often been rallied by ―,
upon my taste for old beaus—I think I am justified
in his eyes, when I place him at the head of them,
and say I am proud they should lose their time with
me; while, I confess, I hate the conversation of boys.

There are great assemblies here as in London;
and I repeat it, there are women here with whom I
could pass my life―They have not the cold silent
reserve of English women, nor the impertinent
interét for me, of the French ladies―

The public works (such as sweeping the streets, &c.
&c.) are done by malefactors, who, chained two and
two, perform their task attended by a guard―

1 P4v 112

The Emperor has given up a park called the
Prater, to the public, where the bourgeoise and noblesse
ride, drive, and walk; and have little cottages, where
refreshments are sold—It has many fine trees in it,
and the Danube is one of its fences; it is very like
an English park―

I have been to see the pictures in the house that
was formerly Prince Eugene’s, now the Emperor’s,
and many things of which I have neither time nor
inclination to give you a description — — —
— — — — — — — — —

and there are so many Englishmen here, that, when
I am at Sir Robert Keith’s, I am half tempted to
fancy myself in England

Adieu for the present—
Your’s affectionately―

P.S. You cannot buy a drug at the apothecaries
here, without an order from a physician—A very
prudent caution against the madness of those who
choose to finish their existence with a dose of laudanum,
or their neighbours with one of arsenic—

Q1r 113

Letter XXX.

I Got away as fast as I possibly could from
Vienna; for if I had staid a week longer, I am convinced
I should have staid the whole winter―
The country between Vienna and Cracow is very
fine; chiefly open, here and there the plain beautifully
varied with hills of gentle ascent—and small
woods; the sportsman and the painter would be
pleased with it, as it affords a variety of landscapes
and game—equally favourable to both. The firs and
deciduous trees do not seem to flourish in the same
spot—I frequently saw a wood of the one to my
right, and of the other to my left―I observed,
that cattle of all sorts are suffered to eat the green
corn during the hard weather―

The herdsman with his cows, and the shepherd
with his sheep, gave living beauties to the fine
features of nature, whose graces I have studied
with much satisfaction to myself, when very
young, pointed out by Mr. Brown, who certainly
never learnt their value in the gardens of my ancestors

Q Q1v 114

I slept the first night at Nicolsbourg, a small town,
six posts, or sixty miles from the capital―The
next at Brun, a neat fortified town, commanded by
a fort, and steep hill west of the city, that is watered
by a branch of the river Thaja, which stream, a few
miles lower, mixes with the river Mash, at a short
distance west of Presburgh, and by uniting afterwards
with the Danube, adds considerably to the rapidity
of that river.

Most of the villages are situated under the shelter
of hills; the houses are chiefly built of logs of the
fir-tree, laid horizontally upon one another, the
interstices filled up with moss or clay. The road
from Brun to Olmutz is bordered with large old
cherry-trees. After quitting Olmutz, I passed a large
convent on the plain to the left; this and the
Chartreuse reformée to the right, make two fine objects
for travellers.

Adieu―

Q2r 115

Letter XXXI.

The entrance into the town of Cracow
exhibits a melancholy proof that confusion ever
ends in ruin―The system of government in
Poland is of all others the surest source of confusion
that ever yet was imagined by mankind—an elected
King from the noble families, most of which think
they have a right to royalty, and several really are
entitled to it— — —

I think, Sir, had I been born a Polish nobleman,
rather than have seen my extensive country divided
between ambitious neighbours, I would have called
my countrymen together—proposed to have relinquished
(for us and for our heirs for ever) that unfortunate
privilege; have invited some spirited prince
from Germany, in whom hereditary courage and
all the virtues belonging to a good soldier were
blended—and made him and his descendents the
lawful Sovereigns of this kingdom―

Dirty suburbs filled with Jews—and the Emperor’s
eagle, are the only objects that precede the gates of
Cracow—these gates are pierced by many a ball, Q2 Q2v 116
and probably, if each bore the name of his sender,
the gateway might be divided into as many pieces
for those who have claims to it—as Poland herself is
divided into parties―I had letters for several
Polish ladies at Cracow—but I staid only to rest
myself, and get a traineau made; for I was told I
might go thus—but a couple of miles from the town
I was obliged to take my coach off the sledge; and
here I must observe, Sir, that the Prince Galitzin at
Vienna, was very much mistaken, when he told me,
he should advise me to have just such a coach as
mine made, if I were not already mistress of such
a one―

I hung more than once upon fir-trees; the track
of the road being too narrow for my wide carriage—
and when travellers come into Germany—I think
they ought to part with their French and English
carriages—as the carriages of our northern countries
are liable to inconveniencies and accidents―

I staid two hours one night, so fastened with the
hind-wheel upon a fir-tree, that six men could not
stir it—and peasants were called to cut down the
tree—before I could proceed―

I shall refer you to Mr. Coxe’s book for the accommodations
I met with on the road, and confine
my descriptions to agreeable circumstances―

Q3r 117

When I arrived at Warsaw, I found my apartments
had been warmed and ready two days before
my arrival; the Comte de Stackelberg having bespoke
them, by the desire of Prince Galitzin—and
the Russian Minister C― de S― waited on me—
He is sensible, and even witty—he presented me to
the King, the day after my arrival, in the evening—
The King received us in his study; I was accompanied
by the Grand Marechal’s wife, who is one
of the King’s nieces―You, Sir, do not speak
better French and English than that amiable Sovereign
—he told me he had been in England thirty
years past, and asked me if Mr. W― was still
living—not only living I replied, Sir; but in good
spirits; for I have a charming letter in my pocket
from him―He said, if there was nothing imprudent
in his request, he would ask to see it.
He imagined Mr. W’s stile must be uncommon; I
gave him the letter—he put it into his pocket after
reading it, and told me, as his sister, the Princess of
Cracovia
did not understand English, he should
translate it into French for her; and if I would dine
with him two days after, he would read me his
translation, which indeed surprized me―He must
be a very elegant writer in every language he
chooses to profess―I wish I had dared to have 1 Q3v 118
asked him for a copy―Well, Sir, he is the
second person I have seen, whom I wished were not
sovereigns—for it is impossible that the many disagreeable
persons and circumstances, that surround
them, should not deprive them of the society of
people who, sacrificing only to the Muses, are better
company than those who only sacrifice to ambition,
when they give their time to sovereigns―We
were only fourteen people at the King’s dinner,
and we conversed as chearfully and as rationally as
if we had not been at a court―

The King, in his face, is very like the Duke of
Marlborough
, and there is an elegance in his language,
with a softness in the tone of his voice, that
pleases the ear to the highest degree―My old
acquaintance, the Princess C―, will be the occasion
of my shortening my stay here; for it is many
years since I saw her—and as she does not come
here on account — — — — — I shall give
her the meeting in the country—and afterwards set
out for Petersburgh―I told the King I should
see her, as he spoke to me of her—I hate party
affairs—and — — — — — — —
— — — — — —

I make visits in a new stile here—in the Comte
de Stackelberg’s
coach and six—and a couple of 2 Q4r 119
equerries at the two coach windows on horseback—
The Polish ladies seem to have much taste—magnificence
spirit and gaiety—they are polite and
lively—excessively accomplished—partial to the
English. There is a Princess de Radzivil, who,
if I were a man, I should certainly be devoted to—
I could be very happy here, Sir, if my heart could
forget maternal duties, or those of friendship— —
— — — — — —

I have seen several dwarfs here—who with
equerries stand in drawing-rooms of the great houses,
and hear all the conversation that passes—an uncomfortable
custom I think; and which in any other
country would be dangerous; but here servants and
dependants are the absolute property of the master—
and their fidelity in general is equal to their subjection;
to the credit of the Polish nobles, I believe
there are few servants that, having proved for eight
or ten years their attachment, are not dismissed with
a pension for life. I found the French maid, the
Princess C― had from me, in this situation; nine
years of service had obtained a hundred pounds a year,
and a farm of sixty acres of land for the rest of her
life—she seems the happiest creature in the world—
The King has a manner of saying things obliging or
flattering, peculiar to himself—he tells me he thinks Q4v 120
men, animals, trees, every thing in short, that takes
its birth or is produced by England, is more perfect
than the produce of other countries—the climate,
the soil probably, he says, may occasion this; his partiality
to the English, together with your’s, Sir,
would make me prejudiced in favour of my own
country, if I could love it better than I do—but the
word comfort which is understood there only—has
long stamped the value of it in my mind―

I am going to see the Princess to-morrow—and am
sorry to quit this place so soon; not that there is
any thing in this flat country that would tempt me
to see the beauties of it in the spring—but the King’s
acquaintance, with that of some of the ladies—and
Monsieur de Stackelberg’s conversation, I am sorry
to quit―

Adieu, Sir,
R1r 121

Letter XXXII.

The road between Warsaw and this place is
one insipid flat—except just in and about the town
of Nerva, where I took a sledge and flew hither.
When I wrote last, dear Sir, I think I was upon the
point of going to see the Princess C―, I passed
two days with her at a country house of the Princess
Lubomirska’s
, her sister-in-law—I was most sincerely
glad to see her, and we parted with regret―I
received a very civil message from the King, and
M. de Stackelberg sent me six bottles of bishop—
which I can assure you was very serviceable to me—
I did not stop at Warsaw on my return from the
P―, and the messenger caught me just one post
on this side of Warsaw―I can conceive nothing
so enuyant as travelling in such a country as this—
one flat plain—The view terminated by a forest,
which you drive through, only to arrive at the same
scene you have quitted—the frost was not hard
enough to make the road good, till I came to
Nerva―I am something like a country Miss,
gaping at the window all day here—every creature R R1v 122
that goes about the streets, seem as if they were in a
violent hurry—they drive full gallop—traineaus
with one horse ply at the corners of the streets as
do our hackney-coaches and chairs―Mr. S―
informed me, it belonged to my dignity to have
six horses to my coach, in order to pay my visits;
and I beg you will imagine my surprise, when I found
I had a coachman on the box, with three postillions,
one to each pair of horses—and these sitting on the
right-hand, I go thus, full gallop, running races
with every other attelage that falls in my way—the
streets are luckily wide—and custom makes the
danger less than one should imagine―

I am interrupted, and therefore wish you a good
night―

R2r 123

Letter XXXIII.

I Was to have been presented to the Empress
next Sunday—but she graciously sent me word to
come to the Hermitage on Thursday, where she
keeps her court in the evening every week—and
has alternately a French play or an Italian opera—
Marchesini and Madame Todi are the first fingers—
It is but justice to say, that nothing can be more
magnificent than the appearance the Empress makes
when she comes into the drawing-room; she has a
lively and good-humoured look—and her politeness
to me was very great; but I could plainly see that
some one had told her I was not an English woman—
for she asked me if I was not of a Scotch family―
I cannot conceive why this building which she has
added to the palace is called the Hermitage; it is a
long suite of rooms, full of fine pictures. You are not
ignorant, dear Sir, of the many collections the Empress
has purchased; among the rest Lord Orford’s;
all these fine works want at present, a person to
arrange them according to their shades and size—
and I doubt not but the Empress will find one―

R2 R2v 124

Petersburgh is a chearful and fine looking town;
the streets are extremely wide and long—the houses
stucco’d to imitate white stone; none above three
stories high—which certainly adds to the lively and
airy appearance of them—I think, Sir, if a young
woman may permit herself to judge of things otherwise
than en detail—that not only the town, but the
manner of living is upon too large a scale; the
nobles seem to vie with one another in extravagancies
of every sort, particularly in foreign
luxuries and fashion―The fashion of the day is
most ridiculous and improper for this climate;
French gauzes and flowers were not intended for
Russian beauties—and they are sold at a price here
which must ruin the buyers.

There are buildings erected for the reception of
Arts and Sciences of every kind; for artists or amateurs,
though but the surplus of Italy, France, and
England, would find handsome encouragement and
house-room from the Empress, whose respect for
talents, and generosity to those who possess them,
have induced some, and would many more, to fix
in the present capital of this vast empire; but, alas!
Sir, eight months of winter; and the horrid cold
I feel, must congeal the warmest imagination; poets
and painters require verdant lawns; and the flowers R3r 125
of fancy must fade and die, where spring is not to
be found―

The Empress and the Princess d’Ashkow are the
only ladies who wear the Russian dress; it is I think
a very handsome one; and I am more surprised
every day, that nations do not each preserve their
own fashions—and not copy one country that is at
present only the ape of every other—From Cherson,
the new town on the Turkish frontiers, which is
one thousand six hundred miles from hence, are
brought many provisions; from Archangel likewise
this town is provided, and from Astracan on the
Caspian Sea, near two thousand miles, all the
dainties, such as grapes, pease, beans, artichokes,
are brought―It is natural to suppose, that the
necessaries of life are dear, from these circumstances;
but some of them are extremely cheap—and I
believe Russia is one of the cheapest countries in
the world to live in; if French wines and fashions,
and English comforts can be dispensed with―To
these last I never felt so much attachment as at this
moment―Dans le Ligne Anglais, a quarter of this
town, where the English merchants live, I find
English grates, English coal, and English hospitality,
to make me welcome, and the fire-side chearful―
I have never yet been fortunate enough to make any 1 R3v 126
acquaintance in the world of commerce; but if all
English merchants and their families are as well
informed and civil as those I find here—I should
be very glad to be admitted into the city of London
as a visitor, to enjoy a little rational conversation,
which at the court-end is seldom to be found―
How should it be otherwise? A little Latin and Greek
in the schools of Westminster and Eton, and a great
deal of vulgar rioting, make our young men a strange
mixture of pedantism and vice, which can only produce
impudence and folly—Thus tutored, at sixteen
they are turned upon the hands of some unhappy
man, who is to present them at foreign courts, with
no other improvement or alteration in the boys
heads, than that of their hair being powdered and
tied behind―

The careful citizen, conscious that fair dealing
and knowledge only can promote the well-being of
his family, brings up his son to business—and that
only, as you know well, makes the idle moments of
life happy—Peter the First thought commerce an
essential pillar to his empire, and the English trader
was encouraged; our little island is a proof of the
consequence which trade alone can give any country;
and the new acquired possessions of the largest
empires may only become additional trouble to R4r 127
their masters, unless the advantages of trade give
them new life―

The French Ambassador, and the Comte Sergé de
Romanzow
(named to Berlin) are men of wit. Mr.
Ellis
is with Mr. Fitzherbert; and conversation does
not languish or grow insipid in their company―
We are in the last part of the carnival and balls;
those given by the Ambassadors are very superb—
Mr. de Segur, and the Duc de Serra Capriola, the
Neapolitan Minister, have each given one in a very
magnificent style―

I was presented to the Grand Duchess the same
night that I waited upon the Empress―She has
since been brought to bed―There are some young
Russian ladies very pretty and much accomplished—
many of them sigh after a different climate from
their own—and ― told me he had no idea of
happiness in the world like that of returning to
England as a private man, and purchasing a farm—
he speaks very good English―Indeed, Sir, the
elegance which is produced by the cleanliness and
order seen with us, is found no where out of
England; here the houses are decorated with the
most sumptuous furniture from every country—but
you come into a drawing-room, where the floor is
of the finest inlaid woods, through a staircase made 5 R4v 128
of the coarsest wood in the rudest manner, and
stinking with dirt―The postillions wear sheepskins
—and at a ball, when a nobleman has proposed
his hand to a fair lady—he often kisses her before
the whole company—à propos to this custom—I
must tell you an anecdote of — — — —
— — — — — —

Thus you perceive he was nearly in the same predicament
as the Chevalier dans le Fée Urgele—and
might have said, “pour un baiser faut-il perdre la vie?”

Adieu, Sir—I will give you some account in my
next of what I have seen at the Museum―

You may have heard much of Prince Potemkin;
I see him every where, but he is reserved and converses
very little with ladies―I was invited by
him to dine in an immense palace he is building in
the suburbs; the only room finished is too particular
not to be described; it is three hundred feet in
length, and on the side opposite the windows there
are two rows of stone pillars, whose height and
breadth are proportioned to the immense size of the
room, which is an oblong square; in the centre of
which on the side where the windows are, it is
formed into a semi-circle or what we call a bow—
which bow forms another large space independent S1r 129
of, though in the room; this space was laid out by
his English gardener into a shrubbery with borders
of flowers, hyacinths, and narcissuses—myrtles,
orange-trees, &c. &c. were in plenty―We were
seven or eight ladies, and as many men—immense
stoves concealed by the pillars, were heated in order
to make such a hall in such a climate supportable—
but I came home quite ill with cold―It was
there I heard that extraordinary music performed
by men and boys, each blowing a straight horn
adapted to their size—sixty-five of these musicians
produce a very harmonious melody, something like
an immense organ. The music, the room, the cold,
all was gigantic. I sat by Prince Potemkin at
dinner; but except asking me to eat and drink, I
cannot say I heard the sound of his voice; so am
unable to tell you what species of esprit has raised
him to the fortunes and dignities he possesses, or
what occasions Mr. S― and others to call him a
sensible man―

I have seen likewise the cabinet of medals and
the Museum here;A complete set of harness made of white leather, stitched with
coloured silks, for six dogs, with a sledge for one person, brought from
Kamskatka, was the lightest, neatest, and the most curious piece of
workmanship I ever saw.
the last when finished, will be
a very beautiful suite of rooms―Peter the Great S S1v 130
likewise sitting in a chair, with a coat of his amiable
Catharine’s embroidery―I cannot help thinking,
and often here, that notwithstanding he transferred
his capital to this place, and that the Empress, Prince
Potemkin
, and others, may build palaces of the
finest orders of architecture, to contain the produce
of learning and commerce, that a time will
come when the heads of an empire, which extends
from the South to the North, will prefer basking in
the rays of the sun, which clear the mind and the
body together—to eternal frost—and these stately
buildings will be turned into storehouses―

Justice obliges me to say, the Empress does all
she can to invite politeness, science, and comforts
from other countries, to cheer these regions of ice—
but, until she can alter the climate, I believe it is a
fruitless trial―I am informed the spring, or rather
the time of the year we call spring, is more melancholy
than winter here, so I shall hasten my
departure; but a conversation I had with the Swedish
Minister, a few days past, will make me give up
entirely the thoughts of returning into Germany
through Sweden and Denmark―I shall in my
next have the honour of repeating it to you; I
remain with the highest respect and regard,

Your most affectionate sister,

E.C―

S2r 131

I promised to give you an account of the conversation
with the Minister, here it is―

“M.S― L’on ma dit, que Miladi voulait me faire l’honneur de
prendre des reseignemens sur le voyage qu’elle compte
faire.
M― Oui, Monsieur, on prétend qu’il y a beaucoup de risque
à passer ces mers de glaces, et je voudrais sçavoir comment
cela se fait, parceque, de quel coté que je tourne me pas,
je veux faire le plus grande partie de mon voyage en
traineau, detestant le cahotage d’une voiture ordinaire,
et aimant beaucoup le traineau―
M. S― Miladi, sait elle que, pour aller d’ici chez nous, on
attele un troisième cheval devant les deux autres; mais â
une distance très considérable dans les endroits suspects—
M― Qu’appelléz vous endroits suspects?― M.S― Où il serait dangereux que la glace se rompit—et c’est
avec des cordes très-longues qu’on attele ce cheval, qu’on
appelle l’enfant perdu—parce que, si la glace vient à se
casser, vite on coupe les cordes; le cheval disparait pour
jamais, et les voyageurs retournent sur leurs pas―
S2 S2v 132 M― Comme je n’ai jamais commencé un voyage pour retourner
sur mes pas, et qu’il me semble que je cours
risque d’étre enfant perdu moi-méme, si j’entreprens ce
voyages―Je remettrai ma visite à votre pays pour
une autre occasion, Monsieur l’Ambassadeur;and so we
talked of other things―”

I shall now prepare every thing to visit the
Crimea or rather the Tauride; I have been told it
is a very beautiful country; and I confess I am not
sorry this enfant perdu gives me a good excuse for
turning my steps towards Constantinople

There are ladies here whom I shall be sorry to quit;
who in youth are possessed of many talents, and with
whom I could form an agreeable society; Italian
music, the pedal harp, and our English poets are perfectly
understood by them; I think often I can trace
Grecian features among the females in this country,
and the subtle wit of the Greek in the men; the pliability
of genius which causes them to speak so many
different languages well, and adopt all the inventions
and arts of other countries that are good―

I am speaking without any partiality, dear Sir;
but I do not see here the prejudices of the English,
the conceit of the French, nor the stiff German
pride—which national foibles make often good 2 S3r 133
people of each nation extremely disagreeable. I am
assured the Russians are deceitful—it may be so; but
as I do not desire to have intimacies, I am much
better pleased to find new acquaintances pleasant
and civil than morose or pert―

Mine at present is a geographical intercourse with
the world; and I like to find the road I travel
smooth―Wit and talents will always be objects
of importance to me; I have found them here, and
shall be sorry to quit them―Prince Repnin and
his nephew Prince Kourakin, whom I often saw in
England, are both here, and I look upon them as
old acquaintances, as it is thirteen years since that
period―The latter is grown fat.

I forgot to tell you, Sir, that the Grand Duchess
was brought to bed five days after my arrival; so
I have only seen her the night I was presented to
her, which was the same on which I was presented
to the Empress; her affability is great to strangers;
for Mr. S― had not announced me to her; but
seeing me move from one seat to another at the
opera, by the Empress’s desire, and probably being
informed who I was, she sent for me to come to her
after the spectacle—which I did―A most ridiculous
thing happened to me; for though I had no
less than three carriages as I thought waiting for me, S3v 134
I was above an hour getting at one, owing to the
great distance of the Grand Duchess’s apartments
from the Hermitage, where the theatre is—and Mr.
S―’s
telling me he waited for me at the Hermitage
―I went three times through the whole
palace, and while I was at one door, two of the
carriages were at the other. Prince Kourakin, who
had offered to conduct me back to the Hermitage
from the Grand Duchess, and who was engaged to
sup with the Grand Duke, was not a little embarrassed;
for the doors, opened to let in company,
were shut; and I had no other resource but to sit
in the guard-room of the Duchess, till Prince
Kourakin’s
servant should find one of the carriages
belonging either to me or my party―The Prince
went in to sup, but the Grand Duchess hearing this
circumstance sent me a very fine pelisse, which I
told the Prince I really did not want; but he informed
me I must put it on, so I did; and in a few
minutes I had a carriage—but the most ridiculous
circumstance was, that the Saxon Minister’s wife,
whom I had come to court with, thought I was
gone home in my own carriage—the company in
that, thought I was gone home with her, and gave
me up, after having paraded on the outside of the
palace from door to door, as I had on the inside— S4r 135
My servants at home thought I had been invited
to sup at the palace―

The Grand Duchess is fair and tall; the Duchess
of Wirtemberg
, who is the Duchess of Brunswick’s
daughter, is pretty, and very like our royal family—
she was very civil to me—I have not seen the Grand
Duchess’s children—I am told they are fine and
healthy―

Adieu, Sir, for the present. I remain your’s, with
great respect and truth―

P.S. I am not a little surprised to hear people
say: “I shall inherit so many hundred peasants”, or
such a one lost a village—it is the number of men,
and not of acres, that make a fortune great here;
so that a plague or any distemper that would prove
mortal to the peasants, would be death to the nobles
pockets likewise―
I have taken leave of the Empress, and you may
judge if I do not leave Petersburgh with a good
impression of her politeness; she told me before the
opera, that she knew my intention; but as we defer
disagreeable things as long as possible, you shall not
take leave till after the spectacle; these words she
said with the most gracious smile; and asked me if
I was satisfied with the amusements and civilities I 1 S4v 136
met with―I told her I must be both stupid and
ungrateful, not to regret infinitely, that I could not
stay any longer, to shew how sensible I was of the
hospitality and magnificence with which I was
treated. The Vicechancellor, Comte d’Osterman,
is obliged to have a table for sixty foreigners every
Wednesday; and a widow Princess de Galitzin, a
supper once a week—at Mons. d’Osterman’s too, a
ball every Sunday night. The Empress is at the
expence of these dinners and suppers—and, I confess,
I think it an excellent and royal idea, to be certain
of having houses open for the entertainment of
foreign ministers and strangers of distinction—for you
know, my dear Sir, that private houses are seldom
open to strangers now in most countries, for various
reasons―Here I am told there are many Princes
who keep a public day, as we do in England, for
the convenience of our country neighbours, and
expect people whom they leave a card with, to dine
with them upon such a day—but, if I was to stay
here ten years, I should never be prevailed upon to
go to those houses to dine without invitation—nor
can I believe it possible the masters of them can
expect a foreigner to grace their table, without being
desired even by word of mouth―I am assured I
shall affront ― and ― but as I meet them T1r 137
every where, I cannot think they should be so totally
ignorant of the manners of other countries, to expect
me to dine at their house without asking me―
There is a custom here which I think very abominable;
noblemen, who are engaged to marry young
ladies, make no ceremony, but embrace them in the
midst of a large company at a ball―
I have mentioned to a few people my intention
of seeing the Crimea; and I am told that the air is
unwholesome, the waters poisonous, and that I shall
certainly die if I go there; but as in the great world
a new acquired country, like a new beauty, finds
detractors, I am not in the least alarmed; for a
person, not a Russian, who has been there on speculation,
has given me so charming a description of
it, that I should not be sorry to purchase a Tartarian
estate.
Adieu, my much honoured and beloved brother—
I remain your’s―

T T1v 138

Letter XXXIV.

I Left my coach at Petersburgh, and hired
for myself and my small suite, the carriages of the
country, called Kibitkas; they are exactly like cradles,
the head having windows to the front which let down;
I can sit or lay down, and feel in one like a great
child, very comfortably defended from the cold by
pillows and blankets―These carriages are upon
sledges, and where the road is good, this conveyance
is comfortable and not fatiguing; but from the incredible
quantity of sledges that go constantly upon
the track of snow, it is worn in tracks like a road;
and from the shaking and violent thumps the carriage
receives, I am convinced the hardest head
might be broken. I was overturned twice; the
postillions I fancy are used to such accidents; for
they get quietly off their horse, set the carriage up
again, and never ask if the traveller is hurt―
Their method of driving is singular: they sit behind
three horses that are harnessed abreast—a shrill
whistling noise, or a savage kind of shriek is the
signal for the horses to set off, which they do full T2r 139
gallop; and when their pace slackens, the driver
waves his right-hand, shrieks or whistles, and the
horses obey. I am told the whip is unmercifully
used in the stables; I observed a postillion never
strikes a horse in driving; which caused my astonishment
at their being so tractable to the raising of a
hand only―I would never advise a traveller to
set out from Petersburgh as I have, just at the end
of the carnival; he might with some reason suppose
it is a religious duty for the Russian peasant to be
drunk; in most villages I saw a sledge loaded with
young men and women in such a manner, that four
horses would have been more proper to draw it than
one, which wretched beast was obliged to fly with
this noisy company up and down the village, which
is generally composed of houses in straight rows on
each side of the public road―The girls are
dressed in their holiday-clothes, and some are beautiful,
and do not look less so from various coloured
handkerchiefs tied over their forehead, in a becoming
and pittoresque manner. There is one particular
piece of roguery practised after this diversion upon
travellers, which ought to be put an end to: the
horse employed upon these festive occasions is
generally upon the point of death; and the first
post-horse that is wanted, that horse is harnessed to T2 T2v 140
a kibitka in his place, because a traveller is obliged
to pay the value of any horse that dies in his
service―I had one that died thus, though I remonstrated
upon his being put to the collar, seeing
that he was dying—but unless I could have armed
six servants with good cudgels, my arguments were
as fruitless as those I employed at the next post, to
prove how unreasonable it was, that I should pay
a great deal of money for a dead horse, that was
dying when he was put to the carriage―

The Russian peasant is a fine, stout, straight, well-
looking man; some of the women, as I said before,
are uncommonly pretty; but the general whiteness
of their teeth is something that cannot be conceived;
it frequently happened that all the men of the
village were in a circle round my carriages—and
rows of the most beautiful oriental pearl cannot be
more regular and white than their teeth―It is a
matter of great astonishment to me, how the infants
outlive the treatment they receive, till they are able
to crawl into the air; there is a kind of space or
entresol over every stove, in which the husband,
wife, and children lie the greatest part of the day,
and where they sleep at night—the heat appeared to
me so great that I have no conception how they
bear it; but they were as much surprised at me for T3r 141
seeking a door or window in every house I was
obliged to go into, as I could possibly be at their
living in a manner without air. The children look
all pale and sickly, till they are five or six years old.
The houses and dresses of the peasants are by no
means uncomfortable; the first is generally composed
of wood, the latter of sheep-skins; but trees
laid horizontally one upon another makes a very
strong wall, and the climate requires a warm skin
for clothing―It might appear to English minds,
that a people who are in a manner the property of
their lord, suffer many of the afflictions that attend
slavery; but the very circumstance of their persons
being the property insures them the indulgence of
their master for the preservation of their lives; and
that master stands between them and the power of a
despotic government or a brutal soldiery―Beside,
my dear Sir, the invaluable advantage which these
peasants have, as in paying annually a very small
sum each, and cultivating as many acres of land as
he thinks fit, his fortune depends entirely upon his
own industry; each man only pays about the value
of half-a-guinea a year—If his lord would raise this
tax too high, or make their vassals suffer—misery
and desertion would ruin his fortune, not theirs; it
is true, that a lord is obliged to give one man as a 4 T3v 142
recruit yearly out of such a number; but it is one
out of three or four hundred; so that notwithstanding
this great empire is said not to be populated in
proportion to the extent of it; when you reflect
what a number of troops the Empress has, and these
kept up by this method; the Russian people must
be more numerous than strangers may imagine, in
travelling through this country―It is very
amusing to me to reflect, without prejudices of any
kind, upon the ridiculous ideas of liberty and property
that our English common people have; for
— — — — — — — — —

And now, my most honoured and dear brother,
that I have given you so pretty a picture of English
liberty—I shall wish you a good night, and remain
Your’s affectionately―

E. C―

T4r 143

Letter XXXV.

I Believe I have not told you, that I am
possessed of all the instructions to proceed upon this
new journey in a very pleasant manner. The commanders
at Krementchouck and at Cherson are informed
of my intention to proceed to Perekop,
where I shall enter into the peninsula called the
Tauride, which, from the climate and situation, I
look upon to be a delicious country; and an acquisition
to Russia which she should never relinquish
―I must take off your attention, for some
time from your own people and my journey, and,
in as few words as possible, shew by remote and
past ages, that the Tauride must naturally become
a treasure to posterity―Long before Homer, the
first inhabitants of it that can be traced were the Cimmerians;
a numerous and warlike people, descendants
of the Thracians; in their incursions into Asia
Minor
, they were robbed by the Scythians of their
possessions, but preserved the Crimea longer than
the rest of them; the Scythians drove them from
the flat country -0656656 years before Christ; but they T4v 144
remained concealed in the mountains, calling themselves
Taourians—and from thence the peninsula
took the name of TaouricaTaourinia—or Tauris
The Greeks began to establish themselves in the
sixth century before Christ―The Milesians built
a town called Panticapoeum or Bosporus, now
called Kierche; and Theodosia, which at present
is mostly called Kaffa. The Empress has ordered
this town to be restored to the original Greek name
Theodosia; it is at present a town of no inconsiderable
commerce―Before I proceed to follow
the variations which the changes, and I may say
mixtures of nations that have governed this country,
and have produced the present annexion of it to
Russia, I must observe that, according to my usual
mode of tracing extraordinary appearances to their
primitive causes—I yet think I am perfectly right
in perceiving a lineal descent in many Russians from
the Greeks―The darkness in which we are lost,
when we turn back to nations conquered by savage
unlettered people, puts a stop to all certainty as to
genealogy—but when the Greeks by terror and
oppression were driven from Theodosia, and other
towns on the sea-coast—is it not very natural to
suppose that they wandered, or were driven farther
up into the country, and that by degrees their U1r 145
descendants peopled a country, which nothing but
necessity forced them to inhabit?—Many marks of
superior genius have pierced through all the difficulties
that ignorance and the climate have occasioned,
and shewn themselves in the Russian peasant,
nor should I wonder to find, if their genius was traced,
it descended from a Thales or an Alcibiades―Let
us return to history—-0480480 years before the birth of
Christ, the people from Mitylene founded a monarchy
in the Crimea, which was governed forty-two
years afterwards by Spartacus―This King and
his successors, we are told, favoured the Greeks,
particularly the Athenians, and drove away the
Scythians in a great measure; but they were entirely
extirminated by the Sarmatians. At this period, the
Taourians from the mountains molested the new
monarchy, till Mithridrates, King of Pontus, about
-0512512 years before the birth of Christ subdued them,
and made himself master of the whole peninsula—
About the birth of Christ, the Alains made the
Kings, possessors of Bosphorus, his tributaries, and
drove away the Taourians―These new masters
held their power about a century and a half―In
the second century the Goths succeeded to the Alains,
and it was under their dominion that Christianity
was first introduced into the Crimea―During the U U1v 146
lives of Diocletian and Constantine the Great,
bishopricks were created―But the Goths were
obliged to submit to the Huns, and like all other
possessors of the Crimea, when driven from the
plains, they, in their turn, took refuge in the mountains,
where they had their own sovereigns, who
were Christians; at that time there remained some
of the Alains in the mountains likewise, and a few
were dispersed over the plains―About the
fourth century, what was called the kingdom of
Bosphorus ceased to exist as a kingdom―The
Hungarians entered the Crimea in 0464464, they having,
with the Bulgarians, all the country between the
Don and the Dneister.―

The Goths and Alains went to Taman, where
they settled habitations―The descendents of the
Hungarians took the name of Aoultziagrians, and
led a wandering life in the Crimea, but were obliged
to submit to the Khatyares, who made likewise the
Goths in the mountains, and the Grecian towns on
the coast, their tributaries―About the eighth
century the Goths attempted a revolt, but were
subdued; yet were governed among themselves by
their own Kings. In the year 0840840, the Emperor
Theophilus
erected a government at Cherson, to
which he subjected all the other towns of the Crimea U2r 147
and Kouban, for though these countries were tributary
to the Khatyares, they acknowledged the
sovereignty of the Byzantian court—Notwithstanding
this, from the time the Khatyares had first
conquered the Crimea, that peninsula had taken the
name of Khat, or Gatyaria, except the mountainous
part, which was called Gothia, from the Goths, and
Tsikia, from the remaining Alains.―Jews were
then numerous in the Crimea

The Petchenegues or Kanglis, in 0882882, drove the
Hungarians from the Crimea; but beyond the
Isthmus of Or, remained two detached branches of
Bulgarians and Hungarians, known in the annals of
Russia by the name of Berendec, or Black Bulgarians;
from this period the Khatyares preserved
no power but in Asia, where it was likewise annihilated
in 10151015; yet even then the Crimea preserved
the name of Khatyaria

About the eleventh century, the Petchenegues
were obliged to give up that peninsula and most of
their possessions to the Komanes, otherwise called
Butyes or Polouzes, who likewise subdued the Goths
and Greeks that were left in it—At this period of
time the town of Sougdaia, now called Soudak,
became so considerable from the commerce and
trade carried on there, that all the land possessed U2 U2v 148
by the Greeks in the Crimea was called after it
Soudak

Till the year 12041204 they acknowledged the sovereignty
of the Byzantian empire; but then they made
themselves independent, or submitted to the power
of different princes, so that when the Ottomans
conquered that country, there existed two principalities,
one called Theodor, now Inkerman; and
the other Gothia, now called Mangoute―In
12371237, the Polouzes were subdued in the Crimea by
the Mongouls or Tartars, who were governed in
clans by their princes, by the titles of Ouloug Beigh,
in the plains, till Menguelci-Ghierai converted the
Crimea into a kind of state. The Goths and
Greeks paid a tribute to the Mongouls, as they had
before to the Polouzes―In the first part of the
Tartarian reign, a number of Tcher, Kafes or Circassians,
established themselves in the Crimea in
13331333; that part called Kierche was governed by a
Prince of that nation; and, as the Tartars carried on
a great trade in the town of Krim, the peninsula
took the name of Krim, by which only it is known
to the Orientals at this hour―While the Latins
were masters of Constantinople, they carried on a
considerable trade at Krim, Tamane, and Tana; the
most considerable traders were the Venetians—But U3r 146149
when the Genoese, by a treaty with the Emperor
Michael Paleologus
, had obtained an exemption
of all duties in the Grecian states, and a free navigation
in the Black Sea, they began to monopolise
all the trade of the Crimea―Bloody wars
ensued, in which they were almost constantly
victorious―They rebuilt, with the consent of the
Mongoul Khan, the town of Kaffa—made it the
chief repository or capital of their commerce, and
at last of such consequence, that Kaffa, for a time,
was the name by which the peninsula was called—
By degrees they conquered Soudak, and Cembals,
now called Balouklava―It is true, they paid a
tribute to the Mongouls, while these preserved their
power; but when their own intestine divisions had
weakened it, the Genoese shook off their yoke, and
the Mongoulian or Tartarian Princes were elected
or deposed as the Genoese thought fit―It was at
this period that the trade from India to the Crimea
was divided into two branches by the Amou, the
Caspian Sea, and Astrakan—one ended at Tana;
the other proceeded by Bagdad and Tauris to
Trapesond and Savastopolis. Tana belonged to the
Genoese and Venetians, under the supremacy of
the Mongouls; the Genoese had their consuls at
Trapesond and Savastopolis.

U3v 150

In 15751575 the Genoese lost their power in the
Crimea, by the Turks having conquered Kaffa,
Soudak, and Balouklava—and Tana upon the
Don―These new conquerors put an end to the
principalities of the Goths and of Theodori, established
garrisons in all the principal towns upon the
coast, and by that measure checked the power of the
Khans of the Crimea; these however, till the year
15841584, were rather the allies than the subjects of the
Porte, till it attained the power of naming them, or
confirming their nomination, when they ventured
to be chosen without having previously obtained the
sanction of the Ottoman council―

The Turkish cabinet began by establishing at
Kaffa a Sandjak, and then a Behjler-beghjilik, which
governed all the domains belonging to the Porte
either in the Crimea, on the borders of the Don, or
upon the sea of Asoph, and left a very strong garrison
in that town to intimidate the Khans—But from the
wretched policy of the Turks, they at the same time
shut up the entrance of the Black Sea to other
European nations, so that trade and commerce were
almost ruined in the Crimea, and the exports, from
that time to this, were confined to the productions
of the country and slaves―

U4r 151

The great market for the Circassians, of which we
have heard so much and know so little, was at
Kaffa; where they came and sold their children to
Greeks, Genoese, Jews, or Armenians, who sold
them in their turn at Constantinople, but that was
before the Turks had extended their power over the
Crimea

When the sovereignty of the peninsula passed to
Mengheli-Gherai, there were but few Tartarian inhabitants;
but the wars he was engaged in against
them, on the borders of the Volga, gave him an
opportunity to bring back into the Crimea with him
many thousand Nogais—which he obliged to fix
there; in this method of peopling the country, he
was followed by his successors, who furnished the
Kouban, and the country between the Don and the
Dneister with their prisoners―

The Crimea was for a long time a formidable
power to the Russians and Poles, till these nations
became improved in military science―Until the
peace of Karlowitz, both these nations were obliged
to pay the Khan to the amount of 100,000 rixdollars,
to insure their countries from the incursions
of the TartarsRussia has gained ground
by degrees, and by arms and policy is become U4v 152
master of the peninsula; the last Khan has a pension
from the Empress, and is retired to live as a private
gentleman; long before he resigned his sovereignty;
the Turkish cabinet on one side; the crafty policy
of the Russians on the other, left him no peace;
even some hordes of Tartars insulted his tottering
power. Thus, my dear Sir, I have summed up as
well as I am able, a sketch of the past and present
revolutions that happened in the country I am proceeding
to, in which there is at present about thirty
thousand of the Empress’s troops, including five
thousand Cossacks in her pay; which I am very
curious to see. The Khan’s palaces, noble Tartar
houses, and others are prepared for her reception,
in which I am assured I shall be received and treated
perfectly well―Notwithstanding all that has been
said to deter me from continuing my tour, I
shall certainly go on, and if I am not poisoned by
the waters in Tartary, or drowned in my passage by
the Black Sea to Constantinople, I shall, I hope,
afford you some amusement in the geographical
descriptions I shall give you, and variety of military
figures: who though not versed in tactics like your
Prussian troops, may always entertain any person,
who, like you, are a good soldier by inheritance, 4 X1r 153
example, and practice; I am going to dine at my
banker’s, who insists on shewing me his very fine
hot-houses—and having the honour of giving me a
good dinner.

I remain unalterably
Your affectionate sister,

E. C―

Letter XXXVI.

I Was obliged to put my kibitkas on wheels
at a vile little town called Soumi, before I
arrived at Pultawa―Notwithstanding there might
have been many things worth stopping to look at
in the immense town of Moscow, I was so impatient
to meet the spring, that I would not send my
name to any person whose civilities would have
obliged me to stay. I cannot say that Moscow gives
me any other idea than of a large village, or many
villages joined, as the houses stand at such a distance,
and it is such a terrible way to go to visit things or
people, that I should have made as many long X X1v 154
journeys in a week, as there are days in one, had I
staid―What is particularly gaudy and ugly at
Moscow are the steeples—square lumps of different
coloured bricks and gilt spires or ovals; they make a
very Gothic appearance, but it is thought a public
beauty there; a widow lady was just dead, who
having outlived all the people that she loved, she
left an immense sum of money to gild with the
purest gold, the top of one of the steeples―

At Pultawa I was shewn the ground on which the
armies moved—a memorable check to the wild spirit
of Charles the Twelfth. A private person, one Paul
Budenkof
, has, at his own expence, erected a monument
in remembrance of that event; it is a plate of
brass, on which is represented the battle in a good
engraving, the plate is fixed into a pillar. At Soumi
I conversed with a brother of Prince Kourakin’s
and a Mr. Lanskoy, both officers quartered there;
and to whom I was indebted for a lodging:
they obliged a Jew to give me up a new little house
he was upon the point of inhabiting—The thaw had
come on so quickly that I was obliged to stay two
days while my carriages were taken off the sledges—

Mr. Lanskoy has a little of the beauty and sweetness
of countenance of his cousin who died; the
favourite of the Empress; and who, if his pictures X2r 155
and the medal do not flatter him, was perfectly
beautiful. Both Prince Kourakin and Lanskoy are
very impatient to quit such dismal quarters, and
seem to desire some event in which they may display
a military ardour, very natural to soldiers, and increased
in them, by having no polished people to converse
with—as I found, upon my asking what society
they had, their account of the country nobles thereabout
was truly laughable―

There is no gentleman’s house at Pultawa; I slept
at my banker’s, and walked all about the skirts of
the town―

At Chrementchouk, the general who commands
has a very pretty well-bred wife, who did the honours
of her house and the place perfectly well.
Prince Potemkin has a large house just out of the
town, which I went to see; at the Governor’s I
assisted at a dinner where there was such a number
of people, and so much company after dinner, that
I was heartily tired—There I began to find the
manner in which I was recommended by the prince;
the greatest attentions and respect were paid to me—
An English woman, married to a Russian who was
there, came to my lodging, and looking earnestly at
me, said, “are you an English lady”: I smiled and said,
“quite so”: she flung her arms around my neck, and X2 X2v 156
almost smothered me with kisses—Forgive me, said
she, “I too was born in England and have never
had the happiness of seeing a country-woman since I left
it; I am married, have children here, and probably
shall never see England”
again―I was intreated
to stay by all the ladies at least some days; but I
cannot defer too long letting―know what is
become of me; I concealed from ― and ―
my intended journey, and only wrote word from
Petersburgh, that I was going to make a little tour
to a warmer part of that country—and I mean not
to let either of them know where I am till I get safe
to Constantinople.

I am going to see the Dock-Yard here and the
fortifications, which are to be new done by a Colonel
Korsakof
, a very civil spirited young man here, who
seems to have the welfare of this place and the
honour of his nation very much at heart. I shall
give you an account of what I have seen to-morrow.

I remain with respect,
Your affectionate sister,

E. C―

X3r 157

Letter XXXVII.

This place is situated upon the Dneiper,
called by the ancients, the Boristhenes; which falls
into the Black Sea; the only inconvenience of the
Docks here is that the ships, when built, are obliged
to be taken with camels into that part of the channel
deep enough to receive them—The town is not at
present very large, though there are many new
houses and a church built after pretty models; good
architecture of white stone―There are no trees
near this place; Korsakof is trying to make large
plantations; the town is intirely furnished with
fuel by reeds, of which there is an inexhaustible
forest in the shallows of the Boristhenes, just facing
Cherson―Rails, and even temporary houses are
made of them—These reeds are strong and tall, and
are a harbour for birds of various kind, particularly
aquatics; of which there are such a number, and of
such beautiful kinds, that I can conceive nothing
so entertaining as shooting parties in boats here―
Korsakof, and a Captain Mordwinof, who both have
been educated in England, will, I have no doubt, X3v 158
make a distinguished figure in the military annals of
Russia; Mordwinof is a sea-officer, and superintends
the ship-building here—there are some very pretty
frigates on the stocks. Repninskai is the governor’s
name, and he has a young wife, who is very civil;
my lodging is a large house built for a Greek Archbishop
—but, being empty, was appropriated to my
use: I have remonstrated here, but in vain, against
having centinels, and the guard turning out as I pass
through the gates. I hate all kind of ceremony and
honours, particularly such as I am not accustomed
to—but I am told here I must content myself with not
refusing the orders that are given—The Emperor’s
Consul has a wife who wears a Greek dress here; I
think it by no means becoming―Cherson may
in time become a very beautiful town, and furnish
the borders of the Boristhenes with examples of
commerce; that inestimable and only real source
of greatness to an empire―I am not soldier
enough to know what fault there was in the fortifications,
so that they are intirely to be done anew—
but by the active and studious spirit of Korsakof, I
have no doubt that they will be executed in a
masterly manner―

I can conceive nothing so pleasant to a young
soldier, as to be employed in places where his talents X4r 159
must create the defence and stability of newly acquired
possessions―I leave this place in two days, dear
Sir; and will do myself the honour of writing from
the first town where I can sit down again for a few
days―

I have nothing but maps and plans of various
sorts in my head at present, having looked over all
such as my curiosity could induce me to ask for—
The fortifications and plantations are executed here
by malefactors, whose chains and fierce looks struck
horror into my heart, as I walked over them, particularly
when I was informed there are between
three and four thousand―Yet I must confess, I
think this method of treating criminals much
more rational than that of shutting them up;
and rendering them useless members of the society
by which they must be maintained―

Mordwinof informs me, the frigate which is to
convey me to Constantinople is prepared, and is to
wait my pleasure at one of the seaports in the Crimea,
and that the Comte de Wynowitch, who commands
at Sevastopole has directions to accomodate me in
the best manner―Mordwinof and Korsakof both
are much more like Englishmen than any foreigners
I ever met with, except one―whom you are X4v 160
assured is the person upon earth I honour and
esteem the most; and to whom I subscribe myself
with all respect,

His most affectionate sister,

E. C―

Letter XXXVIII.

I Went in a barge for about two hours down
the Boristhenes, and landed on the shore opposite
to that on which Cherson stands. A carriage and
horses belonging to a Major who commands a post
about two hours drive from the place where I landed
were waiting, and these conveyed me to his house,
where I found a great dinner prepared, and he gave
me some excellent fresh-butter made of Buffalo’s
milk; this poor man has just lost a wife he loved,
and who was the only delight he could possess in a
most disagreeable spot, marshy, low, and where he can
have no other amusement but the troops―From
thence I crossed the plains of Perekop, on which
nothing but a large coarse grass grows, which is
burnt at certain periods of the year—All this country, 1 facingX4v facingY1r Plate I. Page 169. A landscape image with two rolling hills in the background, and a river flowing in the foreground. A few trees are situated along the bank, with a branch of the river flowing through a hollowed archway of rock. View of the Source of the River Karasou in the Crimea 1786-04April 1786. Y1r 161
like that between Cherson and Chrementchruh, is
called Steps—I should call it desart; except where
the post-horses are found, not a tree not a habitation
is to be seen—But one thing which delighted
me much, for several miles after I had quitted
Cherson, was the immense flocks of birds—bustards,
which I took at a certain distance for herds of
calves—and millions of a small bird about the size
of a pigeon, cinnamon colour and white—droves
of a kind of wild small goose, cinnamon colour,
brown, and white. As I went farther on, these multitudes
decreased, not choosing I suppose to go too
far from their shelter, the reeds―

Perekop is situated upon an eminence—the ditch
of it seems rather calculated for the lodgment of an
enemy than a defence―The governor did every
thing he could to detain me a few hours; but, as
there was nothing to see, I went on. Just without the
fortress of Perekop I was obliged to send one of my
servants to a Tartar village to get a pass; the servant
whom I sent, whose ridiculous fears through the
whole journey have not a little amused me, came
back as pale as death—He told me the chiefs were
sitting in a circle smoaking, that they were very
ill black-looking people―I looked at the pass,
it was in Turkish or Tartarian characters. I saw Y Y1v 162
there two camels drawing a cart—This village gave
me no great opinion of Tartarian cleanliness, a more
dirty miserable looking place I never saw—The land
at Perekop is but six miles across from the sea of
Asoph
, or rather an arm of it called the Suash, to
the Black Sea―The Crimea might with great
ease be made an island; after leaving Perekop, the
country is exactly like what we call downs in
England, and the turf is like the finest green
velvet―The horses flew along; and though there
was not a horse in the stables of the post-houses, I
did not wait long to have them harnessed; the
Cossacks have the furnishing of the horses—and
versts or mile-stones are put up; the horses were all
grasing on the plain at some distance, but the instant
they see their Cossack come out with a little corn
the whole herd surrounds him, and he takes those
he pleases—The posts were sometimes in a deserted
Tartarian village, and sometimes the only habitation
for the stable-keeper was a hut made under ground,
a common habitation in this country, where the sun
is so extremely hot, and there is no shade of any
sort. To the left of Perekop I saw several salt lakes
about the third post—it was a most beautiful sight.
About sun-set, I arrived at a Tartarian village, of
houses or rather huts straggling in a circle without Y2r 163
fence of any kind—At different spots upon the downs,
large herds of horses, cows, and sheep were approaching,
with a slow pace, the village—making at
once a simple and majestic landscape, full of that
peace and plenty which possessions in the primitive
state of the world might have enjoyed―

I stopped there and made tea; that I might go
on, as far as I could that night—You must not
suppose, my dear Sir, though I have left my coach
and harp at Petersburgh, that I have not all my
little necessaries even in a kibitka—a tin-kettle in a
basket holds my tea equipage, and I have my
English side-saddle tied behind my carriage—What
I have chiefly lived upon is new milk, in which I
melt a little chocolate. At every place I have
stopped at I asked to taste the water from curiosity,
I have always found it perfectly good— — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — —

I can easily suppose people jealous of Prince Potemkin’s
merit; his having the government of the
Tauride, or commanding the troops in it, may have
caused the invention of a thousand ill-natured lies
about this new country, in order to lessen the share
of praise which is his due, in the attainment or preservation
of it—but I see nothing at present which Y2 Y2v 164
can justify the idea of the country’s being unwholesome.
To-morrow I shall have the honour of
giving you an account of my arrival and reception
here, and what sort of a place it is.

I remain—yours affectionately,

E. C―

Letter XXXIX.

About half an hour after ten last night
I ordered my servants not to have the horses put to,
as I intended to sleep; for the only thing in which
I am a bad traveller is, that I cannot go to sleep
while the carriage is in motion―I had not an
idea of getting out of it, as our Post was a vile Tartar
village; in a few minutes the servants called me, and
said, the General’s nephew and son were arrived to
meet me, and very sorry to find I had quitted
Perekop, as they had orders to escort me from
thence. I opened my carriage and saw two very
pretty looking young men; I told them I should
certainly not think of detaining them; and we set
off, nor did I suspect that there were any persons with 1 Y3r 165
me but them: at ―o’clock I let down the forepart
of my carriage to see the sun rise; when, to my
great surprise, I saw a guard of between twenty and
thirty Cossacks, with an officer, who was close to
the fore-wheel of the carriage; upon seeing me he
smiled and pulled off his cap—his companions gave
a most violent shriek, and horses, carriages, and all
increased their pace, so that the horses in the
carriage behind mine took fright, ran away, and
running against my carriage very nearly overturned it;
and when I asked what occasioned this event, I found
my Cossack escort, seeing my carriage shut, thought
I was dead; as a Cossack has no idea that a person
in health can travel in a carriage that is not open,
and the shout I had heard, the smile I had seen,
was the surprise they had felt, that the young English
princess, as they called me, was alive; as they
believed it was only my corpse that was conveying
to Karasbazar to be buried―They always ride
with long pikes, holding the points upwards; the
Tartars ride with pikes, but they hold the ends of
theirs to the ground―About six I passed the
Tartar town of Karasbazar, lying to the left—and
arrived at the General’s house, a very good one,
newly built for the reception of the Empress; the
General Kokotchki, his brother the governor, and Y3v 166
almost all the general officers were up and dressed;
upon the steps of the house I found myself in my
night-cap, a most tired and forlorn figure, in the
midst of well-powdered men, and as many stars and
ribbons around me as if I had been at a birth-day
at St. James’s—I retired but rose again at one,
dressed and dined, and looked about me; this house
is situated near the river Karasou or Black-water,
which bathes the lawn before the house, and runs
in many windings towards the town; it is narrow,
rapid, and very clear; this is a most rural and lovely
spot, very well calculated to give the Empress a good
opinion of her new kingdom, for so it may be
called. I had a Cossack chief presented to me, a
soldier-like fine white-haired figure, he wore a ribband
and order the Empress had given him set round
with brilliants—The general told me he was sorry
he was not thirty years younger, as the Empress had
not a braver officer in her service―In the
evening, in an amazing large hall, several different
bands of music played; and I heard the national
songs of the Russian peasants—which are so singular
that I cannot forbear endeavouring to give you some
idea of them―One man stands in the midst of
three or four, who make a circle round him; seven
or eight more make a second round those; a third 2 Y4r 167
is composed of a greater number; the man in the
middle of this groupe begins, and when he has sung
one verse, the first circle accompany him, and then
the second, till they become so animated, and the
noise so great, that it was with difficulty the officers
could stop them—What is very singular they sing in
parts, and though the music is not much varied, nor
the tune fine, yet as some take thirds and fifths as
their ear direct, in perfect harmony, it is by no
means unpleasing—If you ask one of them why he
does not sing the same note as the man before him—
he does not know what you mean―The subjects
of these ballads are, hunting, war, or counterfeiting
the gradations between soberness into intoxication—
and very diverting. As these singers were only
young Russian peasants, they began with great timidity,
but by little and little ended in a kind of wild
jollity, which made us all laugh very heartily―
The Governor’s residence is not here, but at a place
called Atchmechet; he is only come here to meet
and conduct me through the Crimea; he is a grave
sensible mild man. I am told he has conciliated the
Tartars to their change of sovereign very much by
his gentleness and firmness—To their honour, I find
none would stay who could not bear the idea of
taking the oaths of allegiance—but are gone towards Y4v 168
Mount Caucasus—They have repented since, but it
was too late―All the country here is downs
except the borders of vallies, where rice is cultivated,
and what the Tartars call gardens, which I
call orchards―I cannot tell you, Sir, with what
respect and attention I am treated here, and how
good-naturedly all the questions I ask are answered

There is an Albanian Chief here, though his
post is at Bilaklava, a sea-port; he is distinguished
by the Empress likewise for his bravery; his dress
differs much from the Cossack; it is something like
the ancient Romans—he is an elderly man too. In
a day or two I shall give you an account of the
source of the Karasou, and take my leave of this
place for Batcheserai, the principal town and formerly
the chief residence of the Khans.

Adieu―

E. C―

Z1r 169

Letter XL.

Yesterday I went to see the source of
the river, it lies in the recess of a rock, which is
placed between many others that line the steep sides
of a valley; a Major Ribas, a very lively handsome
officer of the Chasseurs, has drawn it for me. I
rode a white horse of the general’s, a very quiet
creature, but awkward, not being used to a sidesaddle

I never saw a scene so lively as this visit—there
were near forty people on horseback—the variety
of dresses and colours upon the green carpet was
gay and picturesque. We continued going up hill
to the source, till we perceived the rocks, but the
sides of them were so steep that we were all obliged
to dismount and scramble down as we could; this
spring does not present itself like the Vaucluse, majestic
and terrible, but pretty and romantic—and
might be copied in a park where huge fragments of
stone could be had―As we returned, I got off
and walked beside the soldiers houses, and went into
some; they are placed in a line on the declivity of Z Z1v 170
the down, as they descend to the General’s house—all
things were very neat and orderly. The old Cossack
chief had looked with the greatest astonishment at
my riding, and when I jumped down from my horse
on returning home, he kissed the edge of my petticoat,
and said something in his language which I did not
comprehend, but the general told me he had paid
me the highest compliment imaginable, viz. I was
worthy of being a Cossack

In the evening I went in a carriage with the governor
and general to Karasbazar—and on the road
saw a mock battle between the Cossacks—As I was
not apprised before-hand, I confess the beginning of
it astonished me very much―I saw the Cossack
guard on each side the carriage spring from their
stirrups, with their feet on the saddle and gallop
away thus with a loud shriek—The General smiled
at my astonished looks—and told me the Cossack
Chief had ordered an entertainment for me—and
desired me to get out and stand on the rising part of
the down, facing that where a troop of Cossacks was
posted—which I saw advancing with a slow pace—
a detached Cossack of the adverse party approached
the troop, and turning round sought his scattered
companions, who were in search like him of the
little army—they approached, but not in a squadron, 4 Z2r 171
some on the left, some on the right, some before,
some behind the troop—a shriek—a pistol fired,
were the signals of battle—the troop was obliged to
divide in order to face an enemy that attacked it on
all sides―The greatest scene of hurry and agility
ensued; one had seized his enemy, pulled him off
his horse, and was upon the point of stripping him,A Cossack if he can avoid it never kills his enemy before he has
stripped him, because the spoils are his property, and he fears the blood
should spoil the dress―

when one of the prisoner’s party came up, laid him
to the ground, remounted his companion, and rode
off with the horse of the first victor―Some flung
themselves off their horses to tear their foe to the
ground—alternately they pursued or were pursuing,
their pikes, their pistols, their hangers all were made
use of—and when the parties were completely engaged
together, it was difficult to see all the adroit
manœvres that passed―

I was much entertained and pleased—and desired
the Cossack Chief might have my best thanks―I
arrived at the town, and was led to the Kadis’ house,
where his wife received me, and no male creature
was suffered to come into the room, except the interpreter
and a young Russian nobleman only
twelve years of age. This woman had a kind of
turban on, with some indifferent diamonds and Z2 Z2v 172
pearls upon it. Her nails were dyed scarlet, her
face painted white and red, the veins blue; she appeared
to me to be a little shrivelled woman of near
sixty, but I was told she was not above fifty―She
had a kind of robe and vest on, and her girdle was
a handkerchief embroidered with gold and a
variety of colours―She made me a sign to sit
down; and my gloves seeming to excite much uneasiness
in her I took them off—upon which she
drew near, smiled, took one of my hands between
her’s, and winked and nodded as a sign of approbation
—but she felt my arm up beyond the elbow,
half way up my shoulder, winking and nodding—I
began to wonder where this extraordinary examination
would end—which it did there―Coffee
was brought, and after that rose-leaves made into
sweatmeats—both of which the interpreter obliged
me to taste—The sweetmeats are introduced last, and
among the Orientals they are a signal that the visit
must end—Our conversation by the interpreter was
not very entertaining―She asked if I had a
child, and told me what I have been told so often
before, though I confess not by women,Tartarian and Turkish women, deriving the only pleasures of
society from women, have none of that envy which prevails in European
female breasts—and among the Tartarian and Turkish women, the
extravagant encomiums which fall from the lips of a man desperately in
love with a pretty woman, are to be heard and are in frequent use.
that would Z3r 173
be unnecessary to repeat it―A Tartar house is a
very slight building of one story only—no chair,
table, or piece of furniture in wood to be seen—
large cushions are ranged round the room, on which
we sat or reclined—but what is extremely convenient,
I observed more than double the space of
the room behind the wainscot, which drew back in
most places, so that in a small room, where it appears
there is nothing but the cushions—every necessary
is to be found―As the visit was at an end, I
curtsied and she bowed. In the court-yard there
was a dancer, a woman accompanied in her gestures
by a boy, but it was impossible to see them either
with pleasure or propriety; she never lifted her
feet off the ground but once in four minutes, and
then only one foot at a time, and every part of her
person danced except her feet―I went to a
Mosque, where several pious Mussulmen were going
round in a circle in the midst of the building,
groaning and flinging their heads almost to the
ground and then up again, a constant motion which
with the moving round one way soon puts them
into a kind of torture, under which they fall to the
ground; and then are dragged into recesses in the
Mosque, made on purpose to receive these holy men,
who sacrifice so many hours, and their persons to idle 5 Z3v 174
pain, in order to prove their devotion to Mahomet
They frequently pronounced “Allah”

In one of the recesses I saw a man lying, that I
was told had been there without eating or drinking
forty hours; which abstinence is another pious act,
and if their courage is excessive, and Allah can
inspire them with strength enough, they endeavour
in getting out of the dark and damp hole where
they lay for many hours, to join in the circle, and
begin to move, but in this attempt they generally
fall senseless to the ground, and are carried home to
recover their strength―This kind of mummery
inspires the people with a great reverence and esteem
for those who practice it—I returned home as
much disgusted with this nonsense as I was displeased
with the dirt of the town—The Mosque was
shabby on the outside and gloomy within, notwithstanding
many lamps in it―The Minaret, which
we should call a steeple, and all the other Minarets I
saw in the town, are uncommonly light, being very
high and narrow—A man stands at the top and calls
to prayers, instead of tolling bells as we do, at particular
hours—and makes a noise to the full as
agreeable―

The chief traffic of this town is the leather which
we call Morocco, of various colours, yellow, red, Z4r 175
green, and blue—it is to be had very cheap, and is
like sattin―The innumerable sheep with which
these plains are covered furnish much leather, which
is a cheap commodity, as well as the most beautiful
and costly pelisses—The sheep are all spotted—The
lamb-skins are beautiful, and they kill the ewes to
have the lamb-skins before the birth; these have
small spots, and are smooth like the lightest and finest
sattins―As many of these little animals must be
skinned to make the lining of one coat, it is no
wonder this is one of the most sumptuous presents
the Empress can make to an ambassador—I wish I
was rich enough to send you a pelisse made of these
skins―

I remain dear Sir,
Your affectionate sister,

E.C―

Z4v 176

Letter XLI.

In my way hither I dined at the Cossack
Chief’s post—and my entertainment was truly
Cossack—A long table for thirty people—at one end
a half-grown pig roasted whole—at the other a half-
grown sheep, whole likewise—in the middle of the
table an immense tureen of curdled milk—there
were several side-dishes made for me and the
Russians, as well as the cook could imagine to our
taste―The old warrior would fain have made me
taste above thirty sorts of wine from his country, the
borders of the Don; but I contented myself with
three or four, and some were very good. After
dinner from the windows, I saw a fine mock battle
between the Cossacks; and I saw three Calmoucks,
the ugliest fiercest looking men imaginable, with their
eyes set in their head, inclining down to their nose,
and uncommonly square jaw-bones—These Calmoucks
are so dexterous with bows and arrows that
one killed a goose at a hundred paces, and the
other broke an egg at fifty―The young Cossack
officers tried their skill with them, but they were Aa1r 177
perfectly novices in comparison to them—they sung
and danced, but their steps and their tones were
equally insipid, void of grace and harmony.

When a Cossack is sick he drinks sour milk for a
few days, and that is the only remedy the Cossacks
have for fevers―

At night I lodged at a house that had belonged
to a noble Tartar, where there is a Russian post,
with about twelve hundred of the finest men I ever
saw, and uncommonly tall. A Tartarian house has
always another building at a little distance from it,
for the convenience of travellers or strangers, whom
the noble Tartar always treats with the greatest
hospitality―Here the General parted from us.
I proceeded in the Governor’s carriage with him
thus far the rest of our company went to see
Kaffa or Theodosia. I go to meet them to-morrow,
at a place called Mangouss―We had only two
Cossacks with us, as the General, to please the
Tartars, never is escorted by a military party. Batcheserai
is situated in so steep a valley, that some of the
hanging pieces of rock seem ready to fall and crush
the houses―About a mile from the town on the
left, I saw a troop of well-dressed Tartars, there
were above a hundred on horseback; the Kaima- Aa Aa1v 178
KanThat word means the Khan’s first minister—a person called him
cream of Tartar—which I fearing he should be told of, turned into the
cream of the Tartars—which he said was no wonder; as he was so―
was at the head of this company, who were
come out to meet and escort us, but I who did not
know this, asked the Governor if there was a Russian
post here; which there is above the town, of a
thousand men―There are five thousand Tartar
inhabitants here; I do not believe there was a man
left in his house, the streets being lined with Tartarian
men on each side; their countenances were
very singular, most of them kept their eyes fixed on
the ground, as we passed; but some just looked up,
and, as if they were afraid of seeing a woman’s face
uncovered, hastily cast their eyes downward again;
some diverted at the novelty, looked and laughed very
much―There is a great trade here of blades for
swords, hangers, and knives—I am assured many
made here are not to be distinguished from those of
Damascus

The Khan’s palace is an irregular building, the
greatest part of it is one floor raised upon pillars of
wood painted and gilt in a fanciful and lively
manner—the arch, or last door-way, has fine proportions,
a large inscription in gilt letters is the
chief ornament―I am told it was perfectly in
ruins, but the governor has had it repaired, new Aa2r 179
gilt, and painted for the Empress’s reception―
Court within court, and garden within garden, make
a variety of apartments where the Khan walked from
his own residence to the Harem,Harem means that apartment where the women reside; which is
always a separate building from that which the master inhabits—and
sisters, mothers, wives, or mistresses all inhabit the Harem
which is spacious
and higher than the other buildings—What I thought
pretty enough was that several of the square places
under his apartment were paved with marble, and
have in the center fountains which play constantly—
My room is a square of more than forty feet, having
two rows of windows one above the other on three
sides, and it was with difficulty I found a place to
have my bed put up in―

I never saw such a variety of colours—different
coloured gold and silver mixed together―The
Kaima-Kan, and two other principal Tartars, supped
with us, and I find nothing can exceed the ignorance
and simplicity of these people—The Kaima-Kan is
the Khan’s first minister—He is totally ignorant of
the geography of his own country; and says that
England and Petersburgh are the same thing―I
am to dine with his sister to-morrow; she is married
to a rich Tartar, who has given a certain yearly sum
to possess, solely, the profits of the soap mines—For
among the excellent productions of this peninsula,Aa2 Aa2v 180
there is a mine of earth exactly like soap, and
reckoned very good for the skin—the Turkish women
consume a great quantity of it at Constantinople
and I am told this Tartar makes an immense income
from it―I saw from the windows a kind of dome
which raised my curiosity, and I am told it is a monument
built to the memory of a Christian wife,
which the Khan loved so tenderly that he was inconsolable
for her loss; and that he had placed it
there, that he might have the satisfaction of looking
at the building which contained her remains―Many buildings such as baths, summer-houses, &c. are in ruins
near Batcheserai. I went into one bath, it was circular, having white
marble on the inside, with niches for the bathers to sit in, which we have
no idea of. Cold bathing is unknown in Turkey and Tartary

This Tartar Khan must have had a soul worthy of
being loved by a Christian wife I think―

Adieu for the present, dear Sir,

E. C―

P. S. Wild asparagus grows in great plenty all
over the peninsula—and a wild kind of horse-radish
of an enormous size, and the strongest and best flavoured
I ever tasted—the root is as long and as big
as the stoutest leg you ever saw―

Aa3r 181

Letter XLII.

The last time I wrote I was at Batcheserai,
since which I have been at another Russian post, at
the place where the ancient town of Krim stood, of
which there is not a vestige left—A General Schlikt
commands a fine regiment of the Russian cavalry there,
and lodges in an outer building belonging to a good
house prepared for the Empress―This general
fought very valiantly in the Polish Confederacy
against the Russians, and his bravery induced the
Empress to take him into her service―He shewed
me among his horses a fine chestnut or rather gold-
coloured Arabian, so beautiful an animal I never before
saw―I must not forget to tell you that I went,
as I told you I should, to dine with the Kaima-Kan’s
sister, whose harem, with her husband’s house, is
situated in a very romantic manner at the foot of
some very extraordinary rocks, from which issue
many clear springs, that supply the houses and her
bath with perpetual fresh water; there is a strange
appearance on the summit of those rocks, places
where immense cables have certainly passed and 5 Aa3v 182
been tied—The Tartarians insist upon it that the sea
once lay at the foot of them—and ships were
fastened to them―We dined in the husband’s
apartment, a very dirty shabby place for so rich a
gentleman―Tartarian cookery consists in much
grease and honey―After dinner, the Kaima-Kan
walked across a yard and I was bid to follow.
I did so into another court, where four women and
some young girls met us, and last of all his sister—
Her dress was magnificent, particularly her girdle,
in front of which were two circles like bracelet
lockets; the centers of them contained two fine
emeralds―She offered me a large goblet which
held two quarts of sherbet, an indifferent kind of
lemonade—after that coffee, and last of all sweetmeats
―We conversed very well by signs, she was
neither old nor ugly, but how is it possible to judge
of a countenance hid under bad painting, and eyebrows
which join into one straight line drawn across
the nose―My gloves gave her the same uneasy
appearance I had seen in the other Tartarian woman,
so I pulled them off, but she was not so curious as
the other, and it seemed to be a high entertainment
to her brother to see us converse by signs. I wore
a chemise with two rows of very fine lace at the
bosom, which I thought would surprise her, but Aa4r 183
lace, and every magnificence which is not gold,
silver, pearls, or diamonds, I am told passes unnoticed
―Linen is not much in use; their shirts, and
the shirts of the men, are generally made of very
thin silk, or silk mixed with cotton, which is seldom
changed; but the very frequent use of baths makes this
custom less loathsome than it would otherwise be—
When she had quitted the harem, her brother staid
behind a little, and afterwards came up to me, kissed
the bottom of my gown, and presented me a very
beautiful handkerchief of his sister’s embroidery,
which the governor told me I must accept—I desired
the Kaima-Kan to thank her, and tell her I would
keep it for her sake—It is of muslin, the borders
embroidered with different coloured silks and gold,
and what I cannot comprehend, both sides are the
same―

I have been at Soudak, where the foundations
yet remain of a very large town, which was rebuilt by
the Genoese, on the descent of steep rocks. When you
get to the summit of these you look down to the sea,
and there is the remains of a chapel, where a granite
pillar is so placed that the first shake it receives
it must fall perpendicularly into it―This town
must have been inaccessible to a fleet, and from the
position of the fortifications and out-posts, of which Aa4v 184
there are remains, must have been extremely well
defended from the inhabitants of the interior part of
the country―

To the left of the town there is a fine harbour—
it is upon this southern part of the peninsula that
vines are cultivated, and grow wild in great abundance
—at present only a few private people there
have vineyards of their own—There is little good
wine made, and the Empress has indeed a Frenchman,
who seems to care only about the strength of
the wine being sufficient to make brandy, which he
distils in great quantities—He is settled at Soudak at
present, and probably will make a great fortune,
but not teach the culture of vines to the Russians
From Soudak I went to Atchmetchet, the residence
of the governor—It is prettily situated on a rising
ground, not far from the valley which borders the
river Salguir—and the soil on the borders of this
river is exactly like the black mould of our kitchen
gardens, and extremely fertile―The governor’s
house is comfortable, and the barracks with the
other buildings erected by the Russians make a good
appearance—I saw some people coursing with Tartarian
greyhounds, which are remarkably tall, and
reckoned very good. The governor shewed me
likewise a pretty collection of stuffed birds, and facingAa4v facingBb1r Plate II Page 193 An landscape of the sea with two boats in the foreground. The first boat on the left is larger, with two sails (one is wrapped up and the other is down). At least seven men are depicted on that ship, including three men climbing the mast of the closed sail to let it out. The boat on the right is smaller, with a single small sail. Four men are shown aboard that boat. A Turkish Boat Bb1r 185
other preservations; with stones, minerals, the produce
of the Crimea—but the fine turf, the excellent
soil, the orchards, the climate, are sufficient inducements
to be partial to this country—One very
particular thing I took notice of was a small pink
flower, that spread like net-work over the turf—
and, asking what it was, found they were peach-trees,
which when very young, being nipped by the sheep,
grow into little bushes―I was really sorry to
quit the governor; grave, steady, and cold in his
manner, there was a dignity in it which made his
extreme attention and respect for me the more acceptable,
nor can I say that he forgot any thing that
could make me take a true impression of the country,
or a favourable one of the Russian officers, who have
given me several maps, and every information I
could desire―I wish it may ever be in my power
to shew him in my country any marks of the sense
I have of his goodness—I have promised to take a
barrel of wine belonging to Mr. de Bullakof, the
Russian Minister at the Porte—and a root of horseradish
from him―

I find a thirty-six gun frigate, under the disguise
of a merchant-ship, had been fitted out for me, and
had been ready above a fortnight; the governor
accompanied me to this place, which the description Bb Bb1v 186
of would be too long for this letter, so I shall take
my leave of you for the present, only observing that
I have a whole house to myself, where the architecture
and furniture are English; it belonged to an
Admiral Mackenzie, who is just dead―I crossed
an arm of the sea in the Comte de Wynowitch’s
barge to arrive here—and upon landing, at the
bottom of a flight of several steps, I was surprised by
two or three voices, who said, “we are your countrymen,
my Lady”
—and in fact, there are several of my
countrymen as captains or lieutenants in this navy—
The Admiral’s house is just above this landing-place,
and makes a fine appearance―

Adieu, dear Sir,
I remain your affectionate

E. C―

Bb2r 187

Letter XLIII.

Dear Sir,

I Should be very glad you could see this
place—From the singularity of the coast, the harbour
is unlike any other I ever saw; it is a long creek
that is formed by the Black Sea between two ridges
of land, so high that The Glory of Catherine, one
of the largest ships in the Russian navy, which is at
anchor here, cannot be seen, as the shore is above
the pendant—The water is so deep that this ship
touches the land―All the fleets in Europe would
be safe from storms or enemies in these creeks or
harbours, for there are many.—Batteries at the
entrance of them, on one side, would be sufficient
effectually to destroy any ships that would venture
in, and placed towards the sea must even prevent
the entrance of a fleet―The Comte de Wynowitch
commands here, and has a little farm at
Inkerman, which must have once been a very considerable
and extraordinary town; at present the
only remains of it are rooms hewn out of the rock.
Here is a large chapel, the pillars and altars of
which are extremely curious; the stone is whitish, Bb2 Bb2v 188
and not unlike marble. I climbed up a stair-case,
and crept into and out of very extraordinary spaces
large and commodious; I entered at the bottom of
these singular habitations, and like a chimney-
sweeper came out at the top; and though it cost me
not a little trouble in turning and climbing up so
high, I had no idea I had mounted so much, till on
looking about me I turned quite giddy, in seeing the
Bay of Inkerman and all the Black Sea, at least two
hundred and fifty feet beneath the place where I
stood―Though I have not been absolutely all
over this peninsula, I think I am perfectly acquainted
with it; and though it is a new acquaintance to me,
I sincerely wish it to be peopled by the industrious,
who may restore to it that commerce and opulence,
which the natural productions of it demand from
the hand of man―Can any rational being, dear
Sir, see nature, without the least assistance from art,
in all her grace and beauty, stretching out her liberal
hand to industry, and not wish to do her justice?
Yes, I confess, I wish to see a colony of honest
English families here; establishing manufactures,
such as England produces, and returning the produce
of this country to ours—establishing a far and
free trade from hence, and teaching industry and
honesty to the insidious but oppressed Greeks, in Bb3r 189
their islands—waking the indolent Turk from his
gilded slumbers, and carrying fair Liberty in her
swelling sails as she passes through the Archipelago
and the Mediterranean, to our dangerous (happily
for us our dangerous) coast―This is no visionary
or poetical figure—it is the honest wish of one who
considers all mankind as one family, and, looking
upon them as such, wishes them to be united for
the common good; excluding from nations all
selfish and monopolizing views―I am in possession
of several maps of this country, drawn and
coloured very well, which I shall have the honour
of shewing you when I see you. I take my leave
at present, and remain

Your most obliged and affectionate

E. C―

Bb3v 190

Letter XLIV.

We set out the day before yesterday to see
a most beautiful valley called Baydar, but when we
had gone a considerable way across the mountains
in carriages, the Comte de Wynowitch told me that
we were five-and-twenty miles from the place we
were going to, and that we must take the Cossack
horses, of which we had five with us, and ride
them―As I was not apprised of this, I had not
brought my side-saddle with me. I told him it was
impossible for me to ride astride, and the Cossack
saddles I could not sit upon, so we returned back
to Sevastopole―We set out again yesterday for
the valley of Baydar, and at the same place where
we had left the carriages the day before, I had my
side-saddle put upon the tallest of the Cossack
horses, and after going about twelve miles among
the most beautiful mountains imaginable, a small
valley appeared a little to the right of us infinitely
pretty—We crossed that and went through a thick
wood, which led to the valley of Baydar—a most
enchanting and magnificent spot, intended by nature 5 Bb4r 191
for some industrious and happy nation to enjoy in
peace—A few Tartar villages lessen the wildness of
the scene, but, in such a place, the meadow part
should be covered with herds, and the mountainous
with sheep―When we were come into this valley
we found the mountains to the left less high, and less
rocky than those to the right, which run in a line
with those of Soudak, and form the coast―When
we were in the valley we could not have imagined
that we were so near the sea—as the rocks which
are above it are covered with wood of every sort,
wild vine, pomegranate, and many sweet shrubs—I
rode up to an elevation, which is, for as much as I
can guess, the centre of the valley—and sat there
with my companions contemplating the beautiful
scene―The valley is above twenty miles long,
wide enough to form it into a graceful oval—two or
three small rivers run through it, and there are fine
clear springs in every village―The Albanian
Colonel, who had been presented to me at Karasbasar,
met us with his son; and I shall never forget
their appearance. When they heard us coming they
got off their horses. I saw the son first—a tall lad
about thirteen years old, in a kind of Roman warrior’s
dress, with rows of gold like armour all down the
fore part of the vest―He had a helmet on—As I Bb4v 192
was not apprised of this, I had no idea what the vision
was that presented itself, till I saw the father—They
were both leading their horses, and came to me to
insist on my dining at Balaklava, on my way home—
which I did; and if I had not been obliged to quit
this country in a ship—I should certainly have
bribed my Cossack to have sold his horse to me;
the animal was so excellent a galloper that I was
obliged several times to stop till the rest of the company
came up―

The Cossacks, Sir, are extremely proud of their
horses, as they say since your immortal uncle the
King of Prussia first rode one, he never has, in time
of war, made use of any other than a horse from the
borders of the Don―I do not know who was
most pleased, the Cossack that lent me his horse, or
I who rode him―We turned to the left to go to
the Colonel’s house, and winding round some beautiful
rocks, the descent of which was gentle, we saw
before us the harbour of Balaklava—The Albanian
Chief had ranged his regiment in one straight line,
at the foot of the rocks to the left facing the sea,
on the edge of which his house stood―I can
conceive nothing so singular to a regular corps as
the sight of an Albanian troop; they had firelocks
of every country; each man is at liberty to dress 2 Cc1r 193
and arm himself as he pleases—Oriental and Italian
poniards, with the oddest pistols in the world were
stuck in their girdles—some had hats, other caps, and
helmets upon their head―Gregorio Chapone, the
colonel, desired I might be told they were alert, spirited,
and brave; his post indeed was of infinite consequence,
and he was placed there on that account—
opinions were unanimous concerning upon his military
reputation. The Albanians wear short jackets,
with two, three, or four rows of fillagree buttons, an
ornament they like much, and I thought them pretty.
The Colonel’s wife and several other women received
me at the door, and we conversed by interpreters—
There were several Turkish boats in the harbour,
but there was a line on the shore marked with fires
which they were not permitted to pass—The Turks
came to sell oranges, and every precaution is taken
to prevent their communicating the plague; so that
although they may come on shore, they are
obliged to heap their oranges within the space
allotted to them, and bargain at a distance―We
were above thirty people at table, and I returned
with my company to Sevastopole in carriages―
I called just now the Turkish vessels boats—but I
am told they are ships—a most dangerous sort of
conveyance for men or merchandise in my opinion— Cc Cc1v 194
long, narrow, and top-heavy―The frigate prepared
for me seems a good ship—the three sea-
officers who go with me, have never been at Constantinople;
we go as merchants, for by a treaty
between the Porte and Russia, trading vessels may
come from the Black Sea into the Canal of Constantinople,
but not men of war. We have a Greek
pilot on board, who is to steer us safe, please Heaven.
I am told we are not to be much more than two
days in our passage; but I have told my company I
expect to be seven. Why I have chosen the number
seven I cannot guess; but I can give no other
reason to you than that I have long resolved in my
mind to expect a triple dose of any bitter draught I
am obliged to swallow; and I assure you, Sir, in this
method of calculating events, I shall not be so often
disappointed as I have been in life, when the natural
chearfulness of my mind made me always foresee
prosperous gales
―I shall write to you next from
the Canal, whence I hope to afford you some entertainment.
There and every where else, Sir, I am
with all gratitude, respect, and esteem,

Your most affectionate, and ever attached sister,

E. C―

Cc2r 195

P.S. You may think me very odd in saying
a voyage is a bitter draught to me—you will be
much more surprised when I tell you I hate travelling;
but you know why I travel— — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — —
And as I do, I am determined to see that place
where the capital of the world ought to be placed;
when I am sick at sea I shall think of that—and
that according to a vulgar English saying, “the
longest way about is the nearest way home”

Cc2 Cc2v 196

Letter XLV.

I Am safely arrived, dear Sir, and hasten to
inform you how I made my voyage. I set out the
1786-04-1313th at five in the morning; Mr. de Wynowitch
took me out of the harbour in a small frigate, and
after seeing me safe in my cabbin took leave. I gave
him many thanks for the attentions he had paid me,
and wished him an opportunity of signalizing his
courage at sea, which seemed to be the thing he
had most at heart. He gave me a royal salute, and
as his guns fired, we set sail with a fair wind; we
had not been two days at sea before we were becalmed;
and we lay three days and three nights,
wishing for wind, which came on at last very fresh
with rain—It was a side-wind, the rain prevented us
from seeing the Turkish shore sometimes, and sometimes
we could see it very distinctly; but we ran
thus four-and-twenty hours to the left, without
seeing the objects that precede the entrance of the
Canal―On the seventh day, the Greek pilot, the
only person on board who had ever been at Constantinople,
was dead drunk and incapable of 5 Cc3r 197
speaking, much less of steering the ship—The officers
were greatly alarmed, and there was a long consultation
between them and the rest of the company—I
luckily had a small map of the Black Sea, and the
entrance of the Canal—which alone was our guide—
As to me I had dressed myself in a riding habit, and
had a small box in one hand, an umbrella in the
other, and had told the captain I was determined to
get into the boat and land on the Turkish shore,
rather than lose sight of the Canal, or sail into it
without being quite sure that we were right—There
is a large rock on the European shore, which is so
far distant from it that, unless a map or pilot directs
the mariner, he must infallibly take it for the entrance
of the Bosphorus, and several hundreds of
Turkish boats are wrecked upon it yearly.

The gentlemen and officers stood all the morning
upon deck, watching the shore; we had ran then
above ninety leagues to the left, always seeing land,
which was owing to the currents which had taken
our ship during the three days calm, so much more
to the right―As to me I stood between decks, till
the Captain told me to come and look at a village,
church, or something—It was a Turkish Minaret,
and a few moments afterward we saw that rock I
dreaded so much, upon which there are about a Cc3v 198
thousand Turkish vessels that perish constantly every
year, as the Turks forget as they leave it to the left
in coming out, they must leave it to the right in going
in—Perhaps they are like an Irish acquaintance of
mine, who going up a very steep hill in a carriage to
pay a visit, could never be made to understand that he
was to go down the hill in returning; the only argument
he made use of was, that as the road was the
same, he must necessarily go up the hill, having
done so, in going over that same road―

To return to my voyage, Sir: you may judge
how infinitely comfortable I felt, in being at anchor
about six in the evening; escaped from all the
dangers I had been threatened with upon the Black
Sea
; and the ugly circumstance that attended us
when we were about to take our leave of it. I had so
many birds, among which was a most beautiful milkwhite
small heron, that had taken refuge in the ship,
that my cabbin looked like a bird-shop―We
supped on board very comfortably, and I took some
hours rest; and the next morning we put ourselves in
the long-boat, and were rowed to Mr. de Bukalow’s
house at Bouyukdere, but he was at Pera, so we were
rowed by a Turkish boat down to Pera―The Bosphorus
takes a sudden turn at Bouyukdere—I refer
you to Mr. Gibbon, Sir, for his account of the singular 2 Cc4r 199
situation of Constantinople, my pen will repeat
feebly what he has described in language majestic
as the subject deserves―But I am certain no landscape
can amuse or please in comparison with the
varied view, which the borders of this famed Straight
compose—Rocks, verdure, ancient castles, built on
the summit of the hills by the Genoese—modern
Kiosks,Kiosk means a summer-house with blinds all round. Minarets, and large platane-trees, rising
promiscuous in the vallies—large meadows—multitudes
of people, and boats swarming on the shore
and on the water; and what was particular, nothing
to be seen like a formal French garden—The Turks
have so great a respect for natural beauties, that if
they must build a house where a tree stands, they
leave a large hole for the tree to pass through and
increase in size, they think the branches of it the
prettiest ornament for the top of the house; in truth,
Sir, contrast a chimney to a beautiful foliage, and
judge if they are right or wrong―The coast is so
safe that a large fleet of Turkish vessels is to be seen
in every creek, masts of which are intermingled with
the trees, and a graceful confusion and variety make
this living picture the most poignant scene I ever
beheld.

Cc4v 200

Judge of Mr. de Bulakow’s surprise, when he
had opened his letters and read my name; he had
scarcely time to offer me his services, when Mr. de
Choiseul’s
people came and claimed me from their
master, who had been prepared for three weeks
before for my arrival, by Mr. de Segur at Petersburgh;
and, I confess, from the character I had
heard of him, I was not at all sorry that he claimed
my society as his droit—And now I have heard him
speak, I am extremely glad that I am to profit by
his conversation and company, both of which are
as much to be desired as talents and politeness can
make them. Adieu for to-day―I am sun-burnt,
tired, but likewise pleased beyond measure—yes,
Sir, pleased to be here, and to call myself by the
honoured name of

Your affectionate sister,

E. C―

Dd1r 201

Letter XLVI.

I Have a double satisfaction in being au
Palais de France
; Mr. de Choiseul has been sick these
six months and never been out, but his spirits are
better, and upon my account he has opened his
house, and goes out a little, which cannot fail to do
him good. He has some artists with him, whose
pencils he has employed to collect all the finest
drawings, coloured, of the finest ruins that exist either
in Europe or Asia, where an artist could venture—
Monsieur Casas, one of them, has been plundered by
Arabs several times; but his beautiful and accurate
drawings will gain him immortal honour. The
Comte de Choiseul’s collection is, perhaps, the only
thing in the world of the kind, and he means, when
he returns to Paris, to have all the ruins and temples
executed in plaster of Paris, or some materials which
will copy the marble, in small models; to be
placed in a gallery upon tables―

The ambassador assures me the most ancient and
finest amphitheatre in the world is at Pola in Istria,
three days sail South-East of Venice; it stands near Dd Dd1v 202
the port, and in good preservation. The Temple of
of Augustus
and the Triumphal Arch, both of the
Corinthian order, belonging to the same town, are
fine monuments of antiquity—Mr. Casas has taken
drawings of them.―At night when we have no
visitors, and all the ambassador’s business is done, he
comes into my room, followed by Mr. Casas and a
few more people, with large portefeuilles full of these
most beautiful drawings, and we pass three or four
hours looking over them, and conversing upon
topics which are my favourites―It is a singular
instance of good taste in a Frenchman, to have given
himself up ten years ago to the finding and collecting
all that is really best worthy of record, as to
the ancient architecture―Mr. de Choiseul’s Voyage
Pittoresque de la Grece
, and when he was but two-
and-twenty, taking the most perilous journeys to
find out new antiquities, if I may so call them, must
endear him to all lovers of the fine arts—but now
that his judgment is formed, and that he sits down to
collect all his materials together, I doubt not the
work he is about to publish, which is an addition to
the first, will be the most perfect thing of the kind
existing―You will wonder that I do not begin
this letter by giving you a magnificent account of
the view from my windows; but my eyes and ears Dd2r 203
both are so much better pleased within than without
doors, that I must first give you an account of what
passes there―Mr. de Choiseul, beside being a
very fine scholar, is a very lively and polite man;
and has none of that kind of most odious attention
which young Frenchmen display, thinking it necessary
to say fine things to, or admire ladies upon the
slightest acquaintance; he has the dignity of the
Vieille cour, with the ease of modern manners—and, if
I was the Empress of Russia, he could not treat me
with more respect, nor if I was his sister with more
regard―His house is like a very fine French
Hotel at Paris, built with good stone and wood,
rare materials here, where every house is in the
construction like a stage, and composed of as slight
materials―From some of the windows I look
across that harbour called the Golden Horn by the
ancients, and from others can see the sea of Marmora,
the islands therein, and part of the Seraglio—
from mine I saw yesterday the Sultan sitting on a
silver sofa, while his boats, and many of the people
who were to accompany him, were lining the banks
of the garden―A magnificent sight, as they are of
a light shape, gilt, and painted very beautifully―
We had a large telescope, and saw the Ottoman Dd2 Dd2v 204
splendour very distinctly―The Sultan dyes his
beard black, to give himself a young look—and he
is known at a considerable distance by that, which
contrasts singularly with his face, that is extremely
livid and pale―The kiosk, which contained him
and his silver sofa, was not very large, and like a
hundred others to be seen on the Canal―It is
strange, Sir, how words gain in other countries a
signification different from the meaning they possess
in their own. Serail, or Seraglio, is generally understood
as the habitation, or rather the confinement
for women; here it is the Sultan’s residence; it
cannot be called his palace, for the kiosks, gardens,
courts, walls, stables, are so mixed, that it is many
houses in many gardens.

The streets both of Pera and Constantinople are
so narrow that few of them admit of a carriage—
the windows of every story project over those under
them, so that at the upper people may shake hands
sometimes across the street―No Turk of any
consequence makes a visit, if it is only four doors
from his own, but on horseback; and, on my arrival
here, I saw one who landed in a boat, and had a
fine grey horse led by four men, that went a long
way round, which he mounted gravely, to get off in
a few moments.

Dd3r 205

As to women, as many, if not more than men,
are to be seen in the streets—but they look like
walking mummies—A large loose robe of dark green
cloth covers them from the neck to the ground,
over that a large piece of muslin, which wraps the
shoulders and the arms, another which goes over
the head and eyes; judge, Sir, if all these coverings
do not confound all shape or air so much, that men
or women, princesses and slaves, may be concealed
under them. I think I never saw a county where
women may enjoy so much liberty, and free from
all reproach, as in Turkey—A Turkish husband that
sees a pair of slippers at the door of his harem must
not enter; his respect for the sex prevents him from
intruding when a stranger is there upon a visit;
how easy then is it for men to visit and pass for
women―If I was to walk about the streets here
I would certainly wear the same dress, for the
Turkish women call others names, when they meet
them with their faces uncovered—When I go out
I have the Ambassador’s sedan-chair, which is like
mine in London, only gilt and varnished like a
French coach, and six Turks carry it; as they fancy
it impossible that two or four men can carry one;
two Janissaries walk before with high fur caps on—
The Ambassadors here have all Janissaries as guards Dd3v 206
allowed them by the Porte―Thank Heaven I
have but a little way to go in this pomp, and fearing
every moment the Turks should fling me down
they are so awkward; for the platform, where people
land and embark from and to Pera is not far from
this house―

There the Ambassador’s boat waits for us, and we
row out: boats here are to be hired as hackney-
coaches are in London, and all very beautifully
carved, most of them with some gilding; the shape
of these boats is light and beautiful, and the Turks
row very well, which is a thing quite incompatible
with the idleness visible in all ranks of people―
I saw a Turk the other day lying on cushions,
striking slowly an iron which he was shaping into
an horse-shoe, his pipe in his mouth all the time—
nay, among the higher order of Turks, there is an
invention which saves them the trouble of holding
the pipe, two small wheels are fixed on each side
the bowl of the pipe, and thus the smoaker has only
to puff away, or let the pipe rest upon his upper lip,
while he moves his head as he pleases―Perhaps,
Sir, it is lucky for Europe that the Turks are idle
and ignorant—the immense power this empire might
have, were it peopled by the industrious and ambitious,
would make it the mistress of the world—At 1 Dd4r 207
present it only serves as a dead wall to intercept the
commerce and battles which other powers might
create one another―

The quiet stupid Turk will sit a whole day by
the side of the Canal, looking at flying kites or
children’s boats—and I saw one who was enjoying
the shade of an immense platane-tree—his eyes
fixed on a kind of bottle, diverted by the noise and
motion of it, while the stream kept it in constant
motion―How the business of the nation goes
on at all I cannot guess, for the cabinet is composed
generally of ignorant mercenaries; the Visir was a
water-carrier to Hassan Bey, the Capitan Pacha, or
high-admiral—Hassan himself was only a servant at
Algiers―Places are obtained at the Porte by
intrigue—each placeman, each Sultaness has her
creatures, and plots for placing them—and Versailles
has not more intricate intrigue than the Porte
A rebellious bashaw raises troops and lives in open
defiance of the sovereign who invested him with his
authority—There is one at this moment, at the head
of forty thousand men in Albany, who might with
the greatest ease make himself king of a large
country—his name is Masmoud, not above thirty
years of age—and he succeeded his father in the
government, which he now holds in defiance of the Dd4v 208
Porte―Is it to be wondered at if the Turk is a
predestinarian in most things, since it is neither
birth or abilities that can give him place or power—
nor is there generally any visible just reason why
heads are struck off―There is a recent example
here, proving that the confidence of the Sultan is
not the surest way to escape a sudden and unexpected
death—One Petraki, a Greek, a kind of banker to
the court, by his frequent access to Achmet, raised
the jealousy of the ministry, who, upon various
pretences, one day in council, desired Petraki’s head
might fall―

The Sultan, whose private reasons for keeping it
on, were infinitely better than those Petraki’s enemies
had alledged, was extremely averse to such a thing;
but the Capitan Pacha and his friends were bold
enough to declare, they would not stir out of the
council till Achmet had signed the order; which
he did, with the tears streaming down his cheeks.
Upon such occasions, there is a person whose place
it is to go the house of the unfortunate dead man—
and examine the papers of any person who in his
life-time had dealings with the cabinet―

The man found some, which he sealed up with
four large seals, and desired they might be delivered
into the Sultan’s own hands; very much alarmed at 2 Ee1r 209
having seen them; for Petraki was the private agent
of the Sultan, who received the money, which
Petraki seemed only to receive for places which his
interest procured—and Petraki’s accounts were so
regularly kept, that the money he delivered, with
the dates and the places, were registered―

The vile low intrigues of the ministers here are not
to be imagined―The Sultan has the highest
opinion of the sense and courage of the Capitan
Pacha; when he quits Constantinople the Sovereign
thinks his capital in danger―But I find all ranks
of people agree in his having introduced a better
police for the town than hitherto existed―At a
fire some Janissaries not doing their duty properly,
he had four of them flung into it. “Pour encourager
les autres”
, as Voltaire has observed upon another
occasion―He is always accompanied by a lion,
who follows him like a dog—The other day he
suffered him to accompany him to the Divan, but
the ministers were so terrified that some jumped out
of the windows, one was near breaking his neck in
flying down stairs, and the High Admiral and his
lion were left to settle the councils of the day
together―

I think it a lucky thing for the Ambassadors
that the Turks neither pay nor receive visits. Could Ee Ee1v 210
any thing be so terrible as the society of the most
ignorant and uninformed men upon earth?

You know, I suppose, that they were always persuaded
it was impossible for a Russian fleet to come
to Constantinople by any other sea than the Black
Sea
—and though the French endeavoured to prove
to them by maps, the passage of their enemies to
the Archipelago—till the Turkish fleet was engaged
with the Russian in the Bay of Tchesme, no Turk
would believe the possibility of the thing―

I am told here that a Mr. Bouverie, who desired
to see Constantinople, came and looked at it from
the frigate he was in—but never landed—I really
do not think he was to blame―Constantinople,
and the entrance of the Bosphorus by the sea of
Marmora
, is the most majestic, magnificent, graceful,
and lively scene the most luxuriant imagination can
desire to behold.

It was no wonder Constantine chose it for the
seat of empire—Nature has composed of earth and
water such a landscape, that taste, unassisted by ambitious
reflections, would naturally desire to give
the picture living graces—but I, who am apt to
suppose whatever is in possibility to exist, often
place along the shore, Petersburgh, Paris, London,
Moscow, Amsterdam, and all the great towns I have 4 Ee2r 211
seen—separate from each other, and there is full
room enough―Here I will end my suppositions,
and think it better that man has done so little where
nature has done so much—et que tout est comme il
doit etre
; who ought with more justice to think so;
I who have you for my friend and brother—But
lest you should not be of the same opinion as
to the length of this letter, I will now take my
leave, and assure you I remain at all times and
places,

Your affectionate

E. C―

Ee2 Ee2v 212

Letter XLVII.

The harbour called the Golden Horn,
which separates Pera and Constantinople, has a
singularity I wish much to have explained to me—
All the filth and rubbish of both towns are constantly
flung into it—custom-houses, barracks, storehouses,
the dock-yard, all these are placed on the
borders of it—whole dunghills are swept into it;
no measures for keeping it clean are taken; no quays
are formed by men—yet by the strength or variety
of currents, or some other natural cause, this port
is always clean, and deep enough to admit of the
entrance of the largest merchantmen; which, like as
in all the other harbours in the canal, may be hooked
on, close to the shore―This harbour grows narrower
as it meets the fresh water, and ends at last
in a small rivulet—But where it is just wide enough
to have the appearance of a small river, the
French some time past have dammed the fresh
water up, making of it square pieces of water, to
imitate those of Marly—Here kiosks and trees have
been placed in great regularity, and it is here that 2 Ee3r 213
on a Friday Turks in groupes are to be seen dining,
taking coffee, or smoaking upon carpets, spread under
the shade of the immense and lofty platane―I can
give you no other idea of the size of some of these
beautiful trees, but by telling you it corresponds to the
gigantic landscape of which they make the finest
ornament—yes, my dear Sir, the largest oaks you
can have seen would look, set down by these, as
little broomsticks―Women in groupes likewise,
apart from the men, meet here―But when they
come to these places, of which there are a great
number near Constantinople, they hire what they
imagine to be coaches, called arabats—A vile machine
like a covered cart, with rows of benches in
the inside. There are no springs to them; and one
day in a valley called l’Echelle du grand Seigneur, I
got into one, but chose rather to get out and walk
six miles, than be jolted unmercifully―All the
Ambassadors since my arrival here have given balls
and dinners. Madame d’Herbert, the Imperial
Minister’s wife, is lively, and I see her often—The
Dutch Ambassador’s wife is a very good woman;
and I am very comfortable, thinking people extremely
good to me to answer the million of
questions I ask―There is but one person here
to whom I never apply about any thing; for I Ee3v 214
observe a shifted smile upon every person’s countenance
when he opens his lips; his long residence
here has given the other— — — — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — —

So if his details to the ― cabinet are as
true as those in society—the business of the nation
will go on admirably— — — — — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — —

By the by, Sir, I forgot to tell you I found Sir
Richard Worsley
here, who has travelled much,
with a person to take views for him. He shewed
me a coloured drawing of the castle of Otranto;
which, said he, “I intend to present to Mr. W―”;
“and pray, Sir”, says I, “are you an acquaintance of
his?”
“No”; upon which I hesitated not to ask him for
it; that I as a friend of W―’s may have the
pleasure of giving it to him―He intreated me to
accept of some Egyptian pebbles, as knife handles—
and I obtained for him a permission to go in the
frigate, that brought me hither, to the Crimea

I am told there is an English merchant here
extremely offended at my lodging au Palais de Ee4r 215
France
, and says, if Sir R. Ainstie’s house was not
good enough for me, he had a new house, which
he would have emptied, and let me have had it all
to myself—It is an affront to the nation, he says—
“A peeress of England to lodge at the French Ambassador’s!”
―The English merchants are very good
to me; I believe they guess the respect and esteem
I have for them―

Mr. de Bukalow sent me a few days past one of
Merlin’s finest piano-fortes—to remain here as long
as I stay—and Mr. de Choiseul found out a pedal-
harp somewhere, and had it set in my room―I
believe people think it so singular a thing for a
lady to come here without being obliged, as a minister’s
wife, that they endeavour to keep me as
long as they can―Mr. d’Herbert told me— —
— — — — — — — — —
— — — — —

I repeat this to you, Sir, that you may know at
least that— — — — — — —
— — — — —

Think me not quite unworthy of your esteem and
friendship—and you will find I prize both, beyond
those of every other person; being

Your affectionate

E. C―

Ee4v 216

Letter XLVIII.

Dear Sir,

It would seem that every thing in nature
which has remarkable advantages, has likewise some
misfortunes attending it that counterbalance the
good, so as to reduce the portion of happiness to a
level for mankind―This beautiful enchanting
country, the climate, the objects, the situation of
it, makes it an earthly Paradise; but the plague—
but earthquakes—what terrifying subjects, to make
the thinking part fly it for ever. If things and
persons may be compared, is it not a beautiful
woman, who is handsomer than most of her sex, with
accomplishments equal to her beauty; but whom the
world, her very inmates envy those advantages—
and might not the base passions that surround her
frighten her greatest admirers from trusting to her
bewitching charms―

I was led to this comparison by talking about the
Grecian Islands, which I mean to visit—they are
all I am told volcanos; some of them have disappeared;
and those who have furnished Greece
with their men of greatest genius, only like them, are Ff1r 217
be found in books; and by an adventure which happened
to us yesterday, as we embarked at Tophana
There are small platforms of wood fixed on to the
edge of the water, where people leave or take
boats—As we arrived a boat full of Turks landed
with a corpse, seemingly in great haste, and as they
passed, touched Mons. de Choiseul and me—He
started, and I asked him what was the matter—He
told me he was sure it was a man dead of the plague;
and in truth it was so—Judge how disagreeable to
one who had not been out for six months―

I have been to see the Mosque of St. Sophia, with two
others. The dome of St. Sophia is extremely large,
and well worth seeing, but some of the finest pillars
are set topsy-turvy, or have capitals of Turkish architecture.
In these holy temples neither the beautiful
statues belonging to Pagan times, nor the costly
ornaments of modern Rome, are to be seen: some
shabby lamps, hung irregularly, are the only expence
the Mahometans permit themselves, as a
proof of their respect for the Deity or his Prophet—
I went and sat some time up stairs, to look down
into the body of the temple—I saw several Turks
and women kneeling, and seemingly praying with
great devotion. Mosques are constantly open; and Ff Ff1v 218
I could not help reflecting that their mode of
worship is extremely convenient for the carrying
on a plot of any sort—A figure, wrapped up like a
mummy, can easily kneel down by another without
being suspected, and mutter in a whisper any
sort of thing; the longer the conversation lasts the
more edified a silent observer may be―No particular
hour for divine service, or person to officiate,
is appointed. It is true, that at certain hours of
the day men are seen on the minarets or steeples,
bawling and hallooing to all good Mussulmen, that
it is the hour appointed for prayer; but they follow
their own convenience or devout humour, and say
their prayers not only when but where they choose—
for I have seen several Turks, in the most public
and noisy places about Constantinople, kneeling
and praying, without being the least deranged or
disturbed by the variety of objects or noises that
surrounded or passed by them―In order to procure
me a sight of the Mosques, the Ambassador
was obliged to apply for a permission; the Porte
graciously gave one, in which I had to leave to see
seventy-five―The burial places for the dead are
very numerous, and in a manner surround Constantinople
and Pera, forming very shady romantic facingFf1v facingFf2r Plate III Page 219 A nature scene with trees and open spaces of grass. A person is walking away from a stone memorial standing in the open grassy area. half a pageflawed-reproduction several wordsflawed-reproductionround Ff2r 219
walks, as the trees and grave-stones are huddled together
in a confused manner; both presenting great
variety to those who ramble among them―Each
grave-stone is crowned with a turban, the form of
which shews the employment or quality of the
corpse when living—I shall send you a drawing that
will give you some idea of them―

I can give you no just idea of the beauty of the
trees; which, particularly in these burial places, are
never touched, therefore spread and grow in the
most luxuriant and graceful disorder―There are
no bounds set, or fences to restrain or design the
form of these burial places, some extend a mile or
two; and, if it was not for one disagreeable reflexion,
would be as pleasant to a foreigner as to a Turk;
but when we consider that it is pestiferated earth we
tread on; that every new made grave may contain
a body rotting with the plague, and the slight
manner in which it is covered with earth, from the
hurry with which it is thrown in, we cannot with
reason stay therein—Turks are predestinarians, and
therefore imagine it is fate, and not the care which
is taken in Christian houses that prevents them
from dying of this horrid disorder; therefore
walk unconcerned, under the dangerous shade of Ff2 Ff2v 220
the trees that hang over their deceased neighbours

Constantinople is almost surrounded by a very
high wall, turreted and flanked by large square towers,
built by the Greek Emperors—the style of architecture
exactly like that of Warwick and Berkeley
Castle
—but many of the square towers, which serve
as gateways, are mouldering away under the negligence
of the Turks; most of whom believe in an
ancient prophecy, which announces that the time
is near when the Empress of Russia is to make her
public and triumphal entry through one of these
towers, as Empress of Greece, into Constantinople
Many have made up their minds, and taken their
measures to transport themselves across the Bosphorus
into Asia—nay, some go so far as to point to
the very identical gateway through which she is to
proceed―To some nations it would be very
agreeable that the Turkish empire was to be driven
from a situation, which seems by nature formed as
an universal passage for trading nations, which the
inactivity of the Turks has too long obstructed―
And it is to be wished by all those who bear any
respect to the best monuments of sculpture, that
Athens, and all it yet contains, might not by Mahometan Ff3r 221
ignorance be entirely destroyed: at present,
ruins, that would adorn a virtuoso’s cabinet, are
daily burnt into lime by the Turks; and pieces of
exquisite workmanship stuck into a wall or fountain
―There remains but a very little of that
pillar that once probably was a fine ornament to
the Atmeidan, or market for horses.

I have seen likewise the Sultan go in ceremony
to prayers—from the gate of the Seraglio to the
door of the Mosque—it was but a few paces―He
was preceded by a double row of Janissaries, to the
amount of about a hundred and fifty, with other
attendants; he was mounted on a grey horse led
by two persons, and followed by his son, a sickly
looking child, sitting on a milk-white horse; over
his head was held a green umbrella, the ribs of
which were set with diamonds. You must know
diamonds are the things which the Turks are most
fond of—While the Porte delays erecting batteries
upon the most important posts, under the pretence
of wanting money to pay for the pieces and work
necessary for the defence of the empire, the
jewellers cannot find diamonds enough to supply
the demands of the Harem, for which they
are paid ready money―It is the quantity, and Ff3v 222
not the quality of this stone, which they prize—
scarcely any other than rose diamonds are to be seen
here―

I have been with a large party to see the
Capitan Pacha’s wife, but as this letter will not
contain an account of this curious visit, I must
defer my account of it to the next. Believe me,
Sir, with the truest esteem and affection,

Your faithful friend and sister,

E. C―

omittedlibrary stamp Ff4r 223

Letter XLIX.

Dear Sir,

Monsieur de Choiseul proposed to the
Ambassadors wives and me to go and see the
Capitan Pacha’s country seat; accordingly we set
out with several carriages, and about a league from
Constantinople, towards Romelia, we arrived there—
The house and plantations about it are new and irregular
―The Ambassadors and the rest of the
male party were suffered to walk in the garden—but
the Ministers wives and myself were shewn into a
separate building from the house, where the ground
floor was made to contain a great quantity of water,
and looked like a large clean cistern. We then were
led up stairs, and upon the landing-place, which was
circular, the doors of several rooms were open.
In some there was nothing to be seen, in others two
or three women sitting close together; in one, a
pretty young woman, with a great quantity of jewels
on her turban, was sitting almost in the lap of a
frightful negro woman; we were told she was the
Capitan Pacha’s sister-in-law; she looked at us with Ff4v 224
much surprise; and at last, with great fear, threw
herself into the arms of the Black woman, as if to
hide herself. We were called away into a larger
room than any we had seen, where the Capitan
Pacha’s wife, a middle-aged woman, dressed with
great magnificence, received us with much politeness;
many women were with her, and she had by
her a little girl, dressed as magnificently as herself,
her adopted child―She made an excuse for not
receiving us at the door, as she was dining with her
husband when we arrived. Coffee, sherbert, and
sweetmeats were offered, and we hastened to take
our leave, as our cavaliers were cooling their heels
in the garden.

You can conceive nothing so neat and clean to all
appearance as the interior of this Harem; the
floors and passages are covered with matting of a
close and strong kind; the colour of the straw or
reeds with which they are made is a pale straw.
The rooms had no other furniture than the cushions,
which lined the whole room, and those, with the
curtains, were of white linen. As the Turks never
come into the room, either men or women,
with the slippers they walk abroad with there is
not a speck of sand or dirt within doors. I am
femmelette enough to have taken particular notice 2 Gg1r 225
of the dress—which, if female envy did not spoil
every thing in the world of women, would be graceful
—It consists of a petticoat and vest, over which
is worn a robe with short sleeves—the one belonging
to the lady of the house was of sattin, embroidered
richly with the finest colours, gold, and
diamonds—A girdle under that, with two circles of
jewels in front, and from this girdle hangs an embroidered
handkerchief—A turban with a profusion
of diamonds and pearls, seemed to weigh this lady’s
head down; but what spoiled the whole was a piece
of ermine, that probably was originally only a cape,
but each woman increasing the size of it, in order
to be more magnificent than her neighbour, they
now have it like a great square plaster that comes
down to the hips—and these simple ignorant beings
do not see that it disfigures the tout ensemble of a
beautiful dress―The hair is separated in many
small braids hanging down the back, or tied up to
the point of the turban on the outside―I have
no doubt but that nature intended some of these
women to be very handsome, but white and red
ill applied, their eye-brows hid under one or two
black lines—teeth black by smoaking, and an universal
stoop in the shoulders, made them appear Gg Gg1v 226
rather disgusting than handsome—The last defect
is caused by the posture they sit in, which is that of
a taylor, from their infancy―

The black powder with which they line their
eyelids gives their eyes likewise a harsh expression.
Their questions are as simple as their dress is
studied—“Are you married? Have you children?
Have you no disorder? Do you like Constantinople?”

The Turkish women pass most of their time in the
bath or upon their dress; strange pastimes! The first
spoils their persons, the last disfigures them. The
frequent use of hot-baths destroys the solids, and
these women at nineteen look older than I am at
this moment―They endeavour to repair by art
the mischief their constant soaking does to their
charms—but till some one, more wise than the rest,
finds out the cause of the premature decay of that
invaluable gift, beauty, and sets an example to the
rising generation of a different mode of life, they
will always fade as fast as the roses they are so justly
fond of―

Our gentlemen were very curious to hear an
account of the Harem, and when we were driving
out of the court-yard, a messenger from the Harem
came running after us, to desire the carriages might Gg2r 227
be driven round the court two or three times, for
the amusement of the Capitan Pacha’s wife and the
Harem, that were looking through the blinds—this
ridiculous message was not complied with, as you
may imagine—and we got home, laughing at our
adventures.

You must not suppos