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that unmarried ladies should be particularly cautious about their hearts when they reach the peculiarly tender and susceptible age of forty-two.
ARRIVAL AT A TURKISH CITY.
WE soon neared the southern bank of the river, but no sounds came down from the blank walls above, and there was no living thing that we could yet see, except one great hovering bird of the vulture race, flying low, and intent, and wheeling round and round over the pest-accursed city.
But presently there issued from the postern a group of human beings—beings with immortal souls, and possibly some reasoning faculties—but to me the grand point was this, that they had real, substantial, and incontrovertible turbans; they made for the point towards which we were steering, and when at last I sprang upon the shore, I heard and saw myself now first surrounded by men of Asiatic race. I have since ridden through the land of the Osmanlees, from the Servian Border to the Golden Horn-from the gulf of Satalieh to the tomb of Achilles; but never have I seen such ultra-Turkish-looking fellows as those who received me on the banks of the Save; they were men in the humblest order of life, having come to meet our boat in the hope of earning something by carrying our luggage up to the city; but poor though they were, it was plain that they were Turks of the proud old school, and had not yet forgotten the fierce, careless bearing of the once victorious Ottomans.
Though the province of Servia generally has obtained a kind of independence, yet Belgrade, as being a place of strength on the frontier, is still garrisoned by Turkish troops, under the command of a pasha. Whether the fellows who now surrounded us were soldiers or peaceful inhabitants I did not understand; they wore the old Turkish costume—vests and jackets of many and brilliant colours, divided from the loose petticoat-trowsers by masses of shawl, which were folded in heavy volumes around their waists, so as to give the meagre wearers something of the dignity of true corpulence. The shawl enclosed a whole bundle of weapons; no man bore less than one brace of immensely long pistols, and a yataghan (or cutlass), with a dagger or two, of various shapes and sizes; most of these arms were inlaid with silver and highly burnished, so that they contrasted shiningly with the decayed grandeur of the garments to which they were attached (this carefulness of his arms is a point of honour with the Osmanlee, who never allows his bright yataghan to suffer from his own adversity); then the long drooping mustachios, and the ample folds of the once white turbans that lowered over the piercing eyes, and the haggard features of the men, gave them an air of gloomy pride, and that appearance of trying to be disdainful under difficulties, which
I have since seen so often in those of the Ottoman people who live and remember old times; they seemed as if they were thinking that they would have been more usefully, more honourably, and more piously employed in cutting our throats than in carrying our portmanteaus. The faithful Steel [a Yorkshire servant] stood aghast for a moment at the sight of his master's luggage upon the shoulders of these warlike porters; and when at last we began to move up, he could scarcely avoid turning round to cast one affectionate look towards Christendom—but quickly again he marched on with the steps of a man not frightened exactly, but sternly prepared for death, or the Koran, or even for plural wives.
The Moslem quarter of a city is lonely and desolate; you go up and down, and on over shelving and hillocky paths, through the narrow lanes walled in by blank windowless dwellings; you come out upon an open space strewed with the black ruins that some late fire has left; you pass by a mountain of cast-away things, the rubbish of centuries, and on it you see numbers of big wolf-like dogs lying torpid under the sun, with limbs outstretched to the full, as if they were dead; storks, or cranes, sitting fearless upon the low roofs, look gravely down upon you; the still air that you breathe is loaded with the scent of citron, and pomegranate rinds scorched by the sun, or (as you approach the bazaar) with the dry dead perfume of strange spices. You long for some signs of life, and tread the ground more heavily, as though you
would wake the sleepers with the heel of your boot; but the foot falls noiseless upon the crumbling soil of an Eastern city, and silence follows you still. Again and again you meet turbans and faces of men, but they have nothing for you—no welcome-no wonder -no wrath-no scorn—they look upon you as we do upon a December's fall of snow—as a “seasonable," unaccountable, uncomfortable work of God, that may have been sent for some good purpose, to be revealed hereafter.
THE ORIGIN OF MUSIC.
SPIRIT, whose dominion reigns
Mortal, listen! I was born
In Creation's early years,
To the music of the spheres.
Once, as within the realms of space,
I viewed this mortal planet roll,
Unbidden, filled my seraph soul !
Angels, who had watched my birth,
For, though darkness round me clung,
Earth had list'ners while I sung.
Young spirits of the Spring-sweet breeze
Came thronging round me, soft and coy; Light Wood-nymphs sported in the trees,
And laughing Echo leapt for joy!
Brooding Woe and writhing Pain
Since those years of early time,
Faithful still to earth I 've sung; Flying through each distant clime,
Ever welcome, ever young!