Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

a

a

the conclusion that they were a myth. By sleepy to remove them, that most of them the time I had satisied myself on this had cones attached. C. and F. tried the point there was only an hour of daylight same material for their .beds, and their left, but I hurried down to a point which dreams were not peaceful. As an old commanded a wide extent of the forest. campaigner, ! pretended to instruct them Here I had scarcely opened my glass be- in a better dodge, which is to dig and fore I made out a stag and a hind feeding scrape a hollow for the hips. In theory at the bottom of the valley below us. Ce- it is admirable, but in practice beastly. lestin was greatly excited, having never The next day was a blank, and the folseen any game larger than chamois and lowing one promised to be another. C. certain other rock skippers which he had and I had long returned to camp. It was pursued in my company: Everything pitch dark and raining hard. Bouba was seemed to favor the stalk. We got quickly in a state of trepidation that F. and Celes. down under the shelter of trees, and had tin would spend their night in the open, arrived within three hundred yards when and wanted to start search parties. A the hind started. The fact was, the wind, good motherly old brigand was Bouba ! which had been blowing up the valleys all in vain I assured him that my Pyrenean day, at sunset changed its direction. The could find his way on any mountain in the stag had not yet caught the taint, and stood dark. At last a loud“ whoop " proclaimed awhile. I could see that he was large in at once their return and the cause of the the body, but the light was too dim to delay. When they stumbled into the red make out his head. I tried a despairing glow, drenched with the rain, this was shot, but the distance was too great and I soon explained. F. had slain the stag of could scarcely see the bead. It was a bad stags. “ Mais que j'avais peur quand je chance and, alas ! I never had the luck l'ai vu !” said Celestin. He had made out to get a better. Three times on the way with a glass from a long distance a single back to camp I heard the roar of a stag, tine of a horn in a thicket of young fir-trees, which, when heard on a still evening echo- but for some time was uncertain of its na. ing through the great tree-stems, is a ture. Then the stag removed all doubt by sound calculated to make a man impatient rising and showing himself as he crossed for the next morning. It was the fifth of an opening. In time they reached the November, which is late for these demon place, but could see nothing till Celestin strations, and, as a matter of fact, I did suddenly met him face to face in the not hear it again after that night. If they thicket, and shouted to F., “ L'animal ! Le had continued to give out such signals we monstre! Tirez ! tirez !” but “ l'animal” should have done better.

was off, and this was easier said than It had been borne in upon us at midday done. For a moment he showed himself that the arrival of the camels with our crossing the bed of a stream, and F. missed equipage that night was problematical, as him clean. Now what did this polite stag these splay-footed animals do not travel do but cross the stream and calmly mount well on mountain paths, and one of the a knoll, where he stood fully exposed as party was sent back to bring on, by some long as you please at fifty yards. That means or other, something to eat and, if shot told. The stag went off, but they possible, some coverings. It was long soon found blood. Then followed a most past dark when we heard our messenger exciting stern chase for the best part shouting, for he had missed the track and of half a mile, the great beast laboring got entangled among the trees. Half an on through the thicket in spite of his hour_later he blundered into camp with deadly wound, while F. struggled after, in old Bouba and a donkey laden with cer- vain seeking a chance to plant a second tain necessaries, but we had little to cover bullet in a mortal place. It is to be feared our bodies that night, and not overmuch that some that he attempted would have to put inside them. Bouba had to squat involved a shilling fine at Wimbledon. under the canopy of his cloak, which gave Once he measured his length - which is him the well-known bat-like appearance of almost half-way between six and seven a stage desperado, and explained with a feet – in a stream and hurt himself so grin that he was accustomed ten years severely that I congratulated him after. back to that sort of shelter that is be- wards upon having got a stiff knee for life, fore a páternal government interfered with with wbich he would always bave the most his line of business. We filled our pleasurable associations. His cartridges luncheon-bags with pine-shoots for pil. were nearly exhausted, when a soap shot lows, but as they were gathered in the struck the back of the head, and the huge dark, we did not find out, till we were too | beast lay conquered. How noble a trophy

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

he had won the following figures will journey, and whereas up to that time we show, at least to the initiated. The head had done scarcely anything with them, I carried fourteen points, but one of the was very unwilling to return home beaten • bays " had been broken in fighting. The by a mere goat. We therefore, perhaps length of the horn from the burr is forty- foolishly, left the red deer and sought out three and one-half inches, span inside the the goats again. That my amour propre horn thirty-eight and one-half. No such was saved the following total bag will stag as this, to the best of my belief, has show: Seven ibex, two red stags, one wild been seen in western Europe at least for boar (a very fine beast killed in a cane. many generations. The castle of Moritz- brake on the plain). On our return to burg, which contains the most remarkable Smyrna, we found our deeds celebrated in collection of stags' horns in Europe, gath- the local Greek daily, a quotation from ered during several centuries, can scarcely which shall conclude this ariicle :match it for length and width. I do not think the weight could have been much | απόστασιν από της σιδηροδρομικής γραμμής Δινέρ

'Ολίγοι βεβαίως γνωρίζουσιν ότι είς μικράν less than forty stone. This it was im- | υπάρχουσιν εν τω εσωτερικό αίγαγροι και έλαpossible to verify, but the foot and shank-φοι, πρώτοι δε νομίζομεν οι Αγγλοι περιήγηται, bone attached weighs two and one-half | έλθοντες επί τούτη υποδεικνύουσι την οδόν εις pounds, which is considerably more than τους ημετέρους, τους αγαπώντας τα μεγάλα και double that of a good Scotch stag. F.'s åt non kuvhyca. initials could have stood for “ Fortuna. Which my last from school thus freely tus on this trip. But, then, the last time renders: There are wild goats and deer we had been together, somewhere in the far north, the luck had been the other way; sians let these Englishmen be the first to

up there, and yet you slow-bellied EpheThe next night an incident occurred

show
you

the which shows how unsophisticated the

way to catch them."

E. N. BUXTON. fera nature are in this district. The Yuruk put his head into the tent and said there was a beast prowling about, might he shoot it? Half an hour afterwards he fired at and missed a fox. Undeterred

From The Cornhill Magazine.

A POMPEII IN BOHEMIA. by this, the depredator carried off in the night the whole of the venison in camp. It was in the strange, fascinating old The following day F. secured another town of Tabor that we first heard a hint stag, a much smaller one, the venison of of this hidden new strangeness in a counwhich was placed for security in the centre try where surprises are ever in store for of the camp. The fox again returned at the Englishman who penetrates into the dusk, and was shot dead by the camp fire, unknown world of Bohemian mediævalism. within five yards of us all.

From the lips of a professor in this old. Our host from the village below thought walled, many-towered town, we had heard it a necessary act of hospitality to come drop the words, in answer to a question up and remain at our camp during the had we seen Pribenic, “ But they should ; whole time of our stay. Notwithstanding it is a mediæval Pompeii.”. And so we tbe rain, which here came down in toro ordered a carriage to be ready for an early rents for two nights, he sat through it a start, with especial requests that a driver picture of serene patience. His followers might be found who spoke German; for were not so well off, especially his black the directions to find this Pompeii were servant, for there was no room in the tents. very vague, no road led to it, we must Hearing talking in the night I looked out, leave the carriage and dive into the forest, and saw this wretched negro sitting in the and fiod the destroyed town for ourselves. drenching rain and carrying on a loud No guides would proffer their services; conversation with himself to keep himself all that we could learn was that we were

to seek for the ruins, far in the forest, of The big stag was our crowning success, a dead town and fortress, and yet a town and if we could have spared more time we that had lived in an exciting period of might have repeated it; for, though the history; and now we were driving out unforest was fairly dense, they were not so der the old towers and archways, where still wary as the ibex. As Bouba said : “All the pulleys of the drawbridge are in place animals are Sheitan (Satan), but these as they were used by their famous builder, stags are not quite such Satans as those Ziska; driving on along the causeway with Satans of goats.” The fact was that these a lovely panorama before us, en route to

Satans were the object of my trace out the walls and houses of this de.

warm.

same

stroyed town. We soon found our coach- of sigos we soon made him understand we
man did not know German. It was true wanted to see a town at the bottom and a
after long thought he could muster up a fort at the top of a hill, and away we weot
phrase or two which he had learnt when beneath the fierce blazing sun, under bis
soldiering ; but he could not upderstand guidance.
us or answer our questions, so our doubts We dived into the forest, and could
increased as we drove on.

hear tire cuckoo not far off, while beneath
We were soon descending the hill that our feet sprang up lovely flowers and for-
leads down to the picturesque valley of get-me-nots in rich profusion. The pines
the Lusinetz, with the Eastern-like domes were just bursting with the plume-like
and towers of the monastery and pilgri- clusters of young bright green shoots, and
mage church of Klokot high up on the the warm sun was now veiled; but it
opposite heights. As we descended to brought forth the health-giving resinous
the bridge that crosses the swift-flowing odor of the pines.
river we could look back and see all the Onwards we trudged until, as we neared
towers and walls of Tabor, and note where a faint path that struck downwards into
the crumbling old walls were still propped the valley, we saw by the side of it frag:
up with timber to prevent their sliding ments of worked stone capitals and bits of
down into the valley, and we could well columns, that told us we were on the right
see how carefully the Taborites were re track. Here in this silent forest lay traces
storing their walls, and capping them with of a past teeming life, and our curiosity
red-tiled pents, to thus preserve the mem. was raised to a high pitch as we pointed
ories of the powerful past and vigorous to these remnants of some chapel or hall,
history of this little town.

and waved our hands round and upwards The outskirts of the town were passed to our guide to make him understand we and we slowly ascended the opposite hill, would go everywhere, wherever anything where some bright figures, in the pink like this was to be seen. and red colors so loved by the peasantry, Shortly afterwards we saw a little to the were climbing up a green sloped hill, be left of the track traces of houses, and then flecked with yellow Howers, and bordered a rounded hole such as our archæologists on each side with dark fir slopes. Behind love to describe as a pit dwelling; but we these figures came another in black velvet passed on, still descending the hill, until jacket, and deep red skirts, and pink head- we burst suddenly on to a small level dress; and a little way behind another green mead, with a lovely river flowing figure in soft light green.

swiftly on around its richly flower-decked As we topped the hill, we saw behind sward; high above it, on the opposite us the whole town of Tabor, on its isolated shore, rising up clothed in all the fresh rocky plateau, impregnable in bygone beauty of spring foliage, rose a rocky tree days. A red-backed shrike flew out of the and flower clad cliff. A bluff of bigb black hedge as we drove on, and gay butterflies rock jutted out on our right, rising some of rare types divided our attention with two hundred feet above the river, and on the peasantry and the landscape.

our left were remnants of the walls of the A short drive brought us to the little town, some eight feet high, a thick, wellvillage of Slapy, where the flocks of geese, built wall, that we followed up for a hunand children in pinks and yellows, formed dred yards. In some parts it rose to a picturesque bright groups; but on we height of fifteen to twenty feet, and meas. passed, over an open plain with a wide ured in thickness about four or five feet. prospect of distant mountains around, We penetrated inside this wall, to find the until we came in sight of the red tower of level space all overgrown with young trees Malesich ; and now we drew near to where and brushwood, and teeming with insect we must leave our carriage, for the coach- life; ants and lizards, butterflies of rare man pointed to a fir forest and said, beauty, songbirds that twittered in the bot " Pribenic;" we motioned to the village, nood sun, whilst, in the grass patches, making him understand we wanted some wild orchids and hyacinths, anemones and one who spoke German to guide us, but rich forget-me-nots, made the place a para. he pointed to a farm lying in the middle dise in its beauty ; but we soon stumbled of the plain, and, saying “ Deutsch,” struck in the brushwood upon groups of round off the road across a bone-breaking track pit holes with the banks around them, and towards this farm; arrived there, the only the stones that had formed the houses, guide who could be got was a sharp lad lying where they had been overthrown who spoke but Cech ; but on being shown some four centuries ago. a map, seized at once upon it, and by dint We worked in and out amidst the un

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

arms.

dergrowth, and traced three lines of Taborites were in the year 1420 everyhouses, many of this round description, where victorious, and on November 13, and others square ; and as we passed on, they attacked this town of Pribenic with now climbing up the hill, we passed thick its two defending forts. Hitherto this clusters of walls until we stepped out on place had been considered impregnable, to a round point that was really the sum- and for safety a great mass of treasure, of mit of the bluff we had noted below, and gold and silver, precious stones, and costly where we could now see a rou tower had apparel, and als of holy relics and rare formerly stood. Our lad let a stone drop books, had been brought here; and there from here into the river, showing the steep was also imprisoned bere the famous descent from this point of outlook and leader and priest of the Taborites, Wendefence. Further up we climbed, soon zel Koranda, who had been captured by coming upon a remnant of a square tower, the Rosenbergs two months before whilst and yet further up to another round tower, on his road from Tabor to Bechyn. But and from here was a most lovely outlook on this thirteenth of November Wenzel down upon the river that stretched away managed to free himself of his chains, and into a narrow pine gorge, broken just to set some of his brother prisoners free; beneath us by a pleasant green island that and together they overpowered their divided the stream into two glittering guards and bound and enchained them in

their places. And now above us was the topmost One of these guards named Odolen tower of all, and up upon its ruined debris begged for his freedom and offered in rewe climbed; some steps were still in posi- turn to do anything Wenzel demanded of tion, and some of the moulded brickwork him; so he was despatched in all haste to could be traced, laid in alternate couples Tabor to acquaint the Taborites of what of flattened angular ones, and square with Wenzel had done. a shoulder to them, to give a broken orna- The commander at Tabor at the time mental line to the masonry. This tower, was Zbynek of Buchow. Ziska the day which we presumed to be the topmost before had made the bloody and ruthless keep, was hexagonal in shape, and the an. capture of the strangely interesting town gles were faced with well-worked blocks; of Prachatitz; but Zbynek had the energy but the ruin and débris had filled up all and decision of his great leader, and with entrances and we could but stand upon its the armed folk he had about him at once summit and look out over the lovely scene sallied forth to besiege the town of Priaround us. The air, now warm with the benic. The garrison was terror-struck by scent of the pines, and filled with the this sudden and unexpected attack, and twink and chirp of birds and hum of in their fear was increased when, from the sects; and coming up to us from below summit of their own keep, they heard the was the rush of the river as it swept on war-cry of their enemies, Tabor Hurra ! now as centuries ago, when all these dwell-Tabor! and stones began to pour down ings were peopled with bitter enthusiasts upon them, proving that their own strong. who fought to the death for their party and hold was already in the enemy's hand, their faith.

and the stone balls they had probably Our artist frieod lingered to make a piled up to defend any attack were being sketch of this topmost tower, and whilst used against them. we sat beneath the pines and awaited him, The fight did not last long, and the Ta. we were able to read up the history of borites were victorious, and took possesthis strange, forsaken town in the account sion of the tower and town through whose our friends at Tabor had given us. ruins we had been wandering; and the

In the thirteenth century the two towers little garrison of the lesser fort on the had been built of Great Pribenic and opposite side of the river, seeing their Little Pribenic; for there had been on the friends had lost the day, quickly evacuated opposite side of the river another tower, their position, leaving the Taborites in full connected it appears with a bridge; but all possession of Great and Little Pribenic. trace of the bridge is gone, and from this The Rosenbergers despatched help from side we could see no glimpse of the other Sobeslaw, a town that lay some miles

In the fifteenth century the towns away on the banks of the Lusinetz, but and towers were in the hands of the this only resulted in making the defeat of mighty family of the Rosenbergs, the bit. the Rosenberg party the more decisive. ter enemies of the sect of the Wyclifites The victory was not gained without known from their town as the Taborites. some of the hideous cruelties which dis.

Under Ziska, their famous leader, the graced all parties in this bitter race and

tower.

religion war. Amongst the prisoners in gious rites descended into orgies of lust the castle was found the Monk Bishop of and gluttony. Driven fiercely out of Ta. Nicopolis and priest of Milicin, the same bor by Ziska, they seized upon this probwho ihree years ago at the instigation of ably deserted town of Pribenic; but they Ceneck of Wartenberg had ordained a were again driven from here to their last number of Hussite priests, but who since refuge, an island in the Nezarka further had turned into their bitterest enemy. south between Neuhaus and Wessely. Io The victorious Taborites seized this an article upon Pribenic there is not space bishop, and, in spite of his streaming to go further into the history of this curitears and earnest promises to do whatever ous sect; but many of their tenets singu. they wished, they dragged him to the larly agree with those of the modern bridge and drowned him beneath it with Positivist, such as the teaching there was the most horrible cruelties.

neither God nor devil, but simply good This capture of Pribenic was of the ut- and bad people; certainly if any spot most importance to the Taborites, for it could make one long to go back to the taught their arch and powerful enemy priinitive joys of Paradise, this lovely, Ulrich of Rosenberg their strength was silent corner, where all nature beneath the too great for him to withstand ; and he warm sunlight seemed jubilant with fresh turned from fighting to treaties, and joy and gladness, was the very spot to agreed not only to accept the conditions induce that longing; but we had yet fur. of the Taborites, which shortly were: 1, ther surprises in store for us upon this that the word of God should be free; 2, day, and we made signs to our guide that that the body and blood of Christ should we wished now to return to the edge of be given to all the faithful without excep- the forest, where we had left our carriage. tion ; 3, that the worldly possessions of After halting to get a sketch of some of the priesthood should be abolished; 4, the fallen pillars and capitals, we made that the deadly 'sins throughout his terri. our way out of the 'cool, shadowy pines to tory should be suppressed as much as where our coachman had drawn up bepossible, and this under the earnest money neath some fruit trees. of ten thousand schock (sixty) of Prager Bidding adieu to our lad, from whom, Groschen; but he also promised to use had we been able to talk with him, we his influence with King Sigismund that should probably have heard many a legend he should also strive to obtain the accept- and tradition (he had made us understand ance of these articles throughout Chris- that there was much treasure hidden tendom.

within the ruins), we drove on, passing Thus it will be seen that this mediæval many peasants in gay colors, until we Pompeii, as the Taborites of to-day fondly came to the little village of Malesicb, but exaggeratingly term it, amidst whose where our horses were to be baited, and ruins we were sitting, had played no un. we were to get what lunch we could fiod; important part in the struggle for freedom this turned out to be good black rye bread of thought and conscience in the great and cheese (luckily not stinking as the Wyclifite movement, and as we slowly band cheeses), and some excellent beer, descended the steep hillside, silently upon but there was preparing for us a scene the soft, slippery "spines of the fir-trees which carried us almost as far back in the that formed a carpet over the debris of centuries as had done the walls and towtower and turret and court and cottage, ers of ruined Pribenic. we halted once more to look down upon We quickly strolled out from the close the pretty island that divides the once room of the inn to the great wide open blood-stained Lusinetz. What facts the village common, whereon flocks of geese walls and ruins of this town would yield were feeding and one or two stalls for the if they were cleared from the débris and sale of goods and sweetmeats had been overgrowth of four centuries, we could not put up. The little church was near these, tell.

a plain white building with red onion“A perfect paradise" were the words domed tower, and surrounded by a high that came to the lips to describe the soft white wall. Going within this wall we calın and beauty of the scene as we now saw a group of women attired in the most looked upon it. The little town beneath astounding hues, and as we halted to note us had witnessed the destruction of a them, more came in until the churchyard strange sect who thought they could bring was nearly filled with peasants dressed back again a Paradisaical life; a sect in a perfect blaze of color. Some wore terming themselves Adamites, some of white muslio skirts reaching just to the whom went about naked, and whose reli- kaee. Green and yellow aprons over

« ElőzőTovább »