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disgusting, particularly at first sight, to an Englishman who has enjoyed the gaiety and contemplated the freedom of a city in Great Britain.
• The suburbs of Aleppo, and the surrounding country, are very handsome, pleasant, and, to a person coming out of the gloomy city, in some respects interesting. Some tossed about into hill and valley lie under the hands of the husbandman; others are covered with handsome villas; and others again laid out in gardens, whither the people of Aleppo occasionally resort for amusement.
· The roofs of all the houses are flat, and formed of a composition which resists the weather effectually. On those most of the people sleep in the very hot weather : they are separated from each other by walls; but the Franks, who live contiguous to one another, and who, from their disagreeable circumstances with regard to the Turks, are under the necessity of keeping up a friendly and harmonious intercourse together, have doors of communication, which are attended with these fortunate and pleasing advantages, that they can make a large circuit without descending into the streets, and can visit each other during the plague, without running the risk of catching the infection by going among the natives below.
“There is a castle in the city which I had nearly forgotten to mention.--The natives conceive it to be a place of great strength. It could not, however, withstand the shock of a few pieces of ordnance for a day. It is esteemed a favour to be permitted to see it; and there is nothing to recompense one for the trouble of obtaining permission, unless it be the prospect of the surrounding country, which from the battlements is extensive and beautiful.
* Near this castle stands the seraglio, a large old building, where the bashaw of Aleppo resides: the whole of it seemed to me to be kept in very bad repair, considering the importance of the place. It is surrounded by a strong wall of great height: besides which, its contiguity to the castle is very convenient ; as, in case of popular tumults, or intestine commotions, the bashaw finds an asylum in the latter, which commands and
overaws the city, and is never without a numerous garrison under the command of an aga.
• Such is the summary account I have been able to collect of Aleppo, the capital of Syria; which, mean though it is when compared with the capitals of European countries, is certainly the third for splendour, magnificence, and importance, in the vast extent of the Ottoman empire---Constantinople and Grand Cairo only excelling it in those points, and no other bearing any sort of competition.'
Mr. Campbell thinks the Turkish constitution not nearly so bad as it is conceived to be. The learned can always control the government, and neither blood nor splendid birth can of themselves raise a man to great offices. Their habitual tenderness and deference for the fair sex, while it speaks much for their manly gallantry, must be allowed by candour to be carried to an excess extravagant and irrational. There have been instances where the women have been guilty of the most furious outrages; where they have violated the laws in a collected body, and broke open public stores of corn laid up by the government: the magistrates attended, the janizaries were called, and came running to quell the riot---but, behold they were women who committed it: they knew no way of resisting them, unless by force; and force they could not use : so the ladies were permitted quietly to do their work in defiance of magistrates, law, right, and reason!
• While I remained at Aleppo,' says our author, 'I walked frequently about the streets, and I think I never was witness to so many broils in all my life put together, as I was in my wanderings there.----Not a time I went out that I did not observe one, two, three, and sometimes half a dozen or more. They have nothing terrible in them, however, and, were it not extremely disgusting to see men scold, would be very entertaining; for I will venture to say that a street battle “à la Turque” is one of the most ludicrous exhibitions in the world. The parties approach to each other, and retreat mutually, as the action of the one gives hopes to the other of victory, lifting their hands, and flourishing them in the air, as if ready to strike every moment, grinning and gnashing
their teeth, while their beard and whiskers besprent with the spume of their mouths, and wagging with the quick motion of their lips and ghastly contortions of their jaws, present the most ridiculous spectacle imaginable. They reminded me at the time of a verse in an old English ballad :
• Nothing, in fact, can exceed the extråvagance of their gesture: the vehement loudness of their voice, or the whimsical distortions of their countenances, in which are displayed sometimes the quickest vicissitudes of fear and fury, and sometimes the most laughable combination of both. All this time, however, not a single blow is actually struck; but they compensate for the want of bodily prowess by the exercise of the tongue, denouncing vengeance against each other, threatening instant demolition, lavishing every bitter reproach, every filthy epithet, and every horrible imprecation that they can think of, and both boasting occasionally of their patience and forbearance, which fortunately enabled them to refrain from annihilating their adversary. At last the fray gradually decays: exhausted with fatigue, and half choked with dust and vociferation, they retreat gradually backwards to their own doors; where summing up all their malignity into a most horrid execration, they part for the time, and retire to vaunt in einpty threat, and growl away their rage, in the recesses of their haram.
*Yet those people are found terrible by the Christian troops that have from time to time been opposed to them: here, if proof be wanting of the effects of religion on the human mind, is an incontrovertible one of its powerful operations. Under the influence of their faith, which tells them that they go to paradise instantly if killed in battle with infidels, they perform prodigies of valour fighting against Christians; while, forbidden by that faith to imbrue their hands in the blood of a true believer, their passions have been gradually brought under the dominion of their religion, till that which at first was faith at last becomes habit, and the appropriate energy and courage Vol. IV. (65)
of the man has sunk in the degrading and emasculent efforts of the woman.
The gentleman at whose house Mr. Campbell resided, though 65 years of age, had married an accomplished girl of 18. Unable to endure the disgust she felt at her situation, she resolved to elope, and Mr. Campbell imprudently became her confidant. His host discovered the whole affair, and complained to the British consul, which determined our traveller at any danger or hazard to set off. The person,' says he, ‘on whom the consul rested his hopes of dispatching me, came in the evening, and acquainted me that he was a Tartar, and one of the vast number of that description who are employed by the Turkish state to carry dispatches from court to the various viceroys and bashaws, and interchangeably between them again ; that they were men on whose fidelity the utmost reliance could be had; and that this man, who had an excellent character, had agreed to take me to Bagdad, provided I would submit to the disguise of a Tartar.
• The agreement between us I entirely submitted to the discretion of the consul, who had the goodness to settle it thus:---The Tartar was to deliver me safe at Bagdad; to supply me and my servant, who acted as interpreter, with an ample sufficiency of provisions and horses on the road; to exchange my horse for me as often as I pleased, and to go at such rate, whether faster or slower, as I thought proper : for this he was to receive 100%. ; and I further promised, as an encouragement to him, that if he acted to my satisfaction, I would, on our arrival at Bagdad, add a douceur of 201.
• The next day he came, and I had a distinct view of this my new fellow traveller and supposed master, for in several places I was to pass for his slave. He was one of those striking character figures that a painter would like to take a sketch of--and methought Tartar was written legibly in every lineament of his countenance and person.--He was tall, muscular, and bony----his figure bespoke great hardihood, strength, and activity----nor could the trowsers which he wore conceal the Herculean texture of his limbs--his shoulders were expanded to an enormous breadth----he was unincumbered
with flesh, or indeed rather extremely lean--his forehead, though partly concealed beneath his turban, was very high---his nose large, hooked, sharp, and prominent--a pair of small, fierce, black, penetrating eyes, barely separated by the nose, and a formidable pair of mustachios, which he carefully sleeked with pomatum into a point resembling an awl blade, and which moved like the whiskers of a purring cat, with every word he spoke, gave a whimsical ferocity to the countenance, beyond the reach of description, and rendered him altogether as discouraging a confidential friend, as ever a Christian trusted his life to since Mahomet first set up the trade of a prophet. He surveyed me with great attention--opened his mouth two or three times like a gasping pike, as if to speak-stroked his whiskers as often-and at last pronounced that he would undertake to conduct me; adding, in allusion to my black hair and dark complexion, that I looked more like a native, than any Frank he had ever seen. He ordered me to cut my hair quite short, to provide myself with a Tartar dress and cap, in the fashion of his own; and saying he would call on me in proper time, departed.
• Thus equipped, we set out, not without great pain and regret on my part; pain at leaving a most beautiful young woman, whom I pitied and esteemed, subject to the resentment of a husband, at once jealous from nature, peevish from habit, and enraged from her open and unequivocal demonstrations of hatred ; and regret at having been betrayed by situation into such a very serious dilemma.
• Previous to my departure the consul did every thing that it was possible for him to do, conducive to my safety and accommodation on the road, which as we were obliged to go to the city of Diarbeker, a great length out of our way, he observed would be long, dreary, fatiguing, and hazardous ; he procured me from others, and gave me himself, a number of letters, and at parting desired me to comfort myself with the reflection, that when I arrived at my journey's end, I should have to boast, that I went to India by a route never travelled by any European before.