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The European with the Asian shore
Sprinkled with palaces; the ocean stream (1)
The twelve isles, and the more than I could dream, Far less describe, present the very view
Which charm'd the charming Mary Montagu. (3)
I have a passion for the name of " Mary,” (*)
Where I beheld what never was to be;
(1) 'zεavoro pεolo. This expression of Homer has been much criticised. It hardly answers to our Atlantic ideas of the ocean, but is sufficiently applicable to the Hellespont, and the Bosphorus, with the Egean intersected with islands.
(2) ["Lady Mary Wortley errs strangely when she says, St. Paul's would cut a strange figure by St. Sophia.' I have been in both, surveyed them inside and out attentively. St. Sophia's is undoubtedly the most interesting, from its immense antiquity, and the circumstance of all the Greek emperors, from Justinian, having been crowned there, and several murdered at the altar, besides the Turkish sultans who attended it regularly. But it is not to be mentioned in the same page with St. Paul's (I speak like a Cockney)."-B. Letters, 1810.]
(3) ["The pleasure of going in a barge to Chelsea is not comparable to that of rowing upon the canal of the sea here, where, for twenty miles together, down the Bosphorus, the most beautiful variety of prospects present themselves. The Asian side is covered with fruit trees, villages, and the most delightful landscapes in nature; on the European stands Constantinople, situated on seven hills; showing an agreeable mixture of gardens, pine and cypress trees, palaces, mosques, and public buildings, raised one above another, with as much beauty and appearance of symmetry as you ever saw in a cabinet adorned by the most skilful hands, where jars show themselves above jars, mixed with canisters, babies, and candlesticks. This is a very odd comparison; but it gives me an exact idea of the thing." LADY M. W. MONTAGU.]
(4) [See antè, Vol. VII. pp. 43. 291.]
All feelings changed, but this was last to vary,
A spell from which even yet I am not quite free: But I grow sad-and let a tale grow cold,
Which must not be pathetically told.
The wind swept down the Euxine, and the wave
'Twas a raw day of Autumn's bleak beginning,
In all, who o'er the great deep take their ways: They vow to amend their lives, and yet they don't; Because if drown'd, they can't—if spared, they won't.
(1) The "Giant's Grave" is a height on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, much frequented by holiday parties; like Harrow and Highgate. [In less than an hour, we were on the top of the mountain, and repaired to the Tekeh, or Dervishes' chapel, where we were shewn, in the adjoining garden, a flower-bed more than fifty feet long, rimmed round with stone, and having a sepulchral turban at each end, which preserves a superstition attached to the spot long before the time of the Turks, or of the Byzantine Christians; and which, after having been called the tomb of Amycus, and the bed of Hercules, is now known as the Giant's Grave. - HOBHOUSE.]
(2) [MS." Which lash the Bosphorus, and lashing lave."]
(3) [MS.—“For then the Parcæ are most busy spinning
The fates of seamen, and the loud winds raise."]
A crowd of shivering slaves of every nation,
Poor creatures! their good looks were sadly changed.
Juan was juvenile, and thus was full,
As most at his age are, of hope, and health; Yet I must own, he look'd a little dull,
And now and then a tear stole down by stealth; Perhaps his recent loss of blood might pull
His spirit down; and then the loss of wealth,
Were things to shake a stoic; ne'ertheless,
And then, though pale, he was so very handsome;
(1) [MS. - -"From use- no doubt as eels are to be flay'd,"]
"That he a man of rank and birth had been, And then they calculated on his ransom,
And last, not least he was so very handsome."]
Like a backgammon board the place was dotted With whites and blacks, in groups on show for sale, Though rather more irregularly spotted:
Some bought the jet, while others chose the pale. It chanced amongst the other people lotted,
A man of thirty, rather stout and hale,(1) With resolution in his dark grey eye,
Next Juan stood, till some might choose to buy.
He had an English look; that is, was square
In make, of a complexion white and ruddy, Good teeth, with curling rather dark brown hair, And, it might be from thought, or toil, or study, An open brow a little mark'd with care:
One arm had on a bandage rather bloody;
And there he stood with such sang-froid, that greater Could scarce be shown even by a mere spectator.
But seeing at his elbow a mere lad,
Of a high spirit evidently, though
At present weigh'd down by a doom which had
Lot of so young a partner in the woe,
Which for himself he seem'd to deem no worse
(1) [MS." It chanced, that near him, separately lotted, From out the groups of slaves put up for sale, A man of middle age, and," &c.];
My boy!"-said he, "amidst this motley crew Of Georgians, Russians, Nubians, and what not, All ragamuffins differing but in hue,
With whom it is our luck to cast our lot, The only gentlemen seem I and you; So let us be acquainted, as we ought: If I could yield you any consolation, 'Twould give me pleasure.-Pray, what is your
When Juan answer'd-" Spanish!" he replied, "I thought, in fact, you could not be a Greek; Those servile dogs are not so proudly eyed:
Fortune has play'd you here a pretty freak, But that's her way with all men, till they 're tried; But never mind,—she'll turn, perhaps, next week; She has served me also much the same as you, Except that I have found it nothing new."
"Pray, sir,” said Juan, "if I may presume, [rare— What brought you here?"-"Oh! nothing very "To this doom
Six Tartars and a drag-chain
But what conducted, if the question's fair, Is that which I would learn.". "I served for some
Months with the Russian army here and there,
And taking lately, by Suwarrow's bidding,
A town, was ta'en myself instead of Widdin.” (1)
(1) [Widdin is a considerable town in Bulgaria, situated on the right bank of the Danube.]