H́nh ảnh trang

cerning his country. They are particularly inquifitive about the Frank women, their drefs, employments, marriages, treatment of children, and amusements. In return they are ingenioufly communicative, and difplay talents, which, being little indebted to artificial cultivation, appear, as it were, to expand naturally, under a clear fky, and the influence of a delicious climate. Their questions are generally pertinent, and the remarks they occafionally make, on manners differing fo widely from their own, are often fprightly and judicious.

When the vifit is at length concluded, notice being given to clear the way, the phyfician fets out, preceded as before by the flave. But it rarely happens that he is not more than once ftopped, to give advice to fome of the domeftics, who wait his return; for however flightly they may be indifpofed, the temptation of telling their complaints to a doctor is irrefiftible. These dam

fels feldom have any other veil, than

a handkerchief thrown over the head, one corner of which is held in the mouth; but, in order to avoid even that trouble, they frequently place themselves behind a door, or a window fhutter, half open, in which fituation, thrufting out one arm, they infift on having the pulfe examined. It fometimes happens, in the great harems, that another obftacle must be encountered before regaining the gate. This arifes from fome of the younger ladies, or flaves, who are at work in the court, refufing peremptorily either to veil, or retire; which is done merely in fport, to vex the conductress who is obliged of courfe to make a halt. In vain the bawls Dirb! and makes use by turns of entreaty,

threat, and reproach; till, finding all'in vain, the gives fair warning, and has recourfe to a never failing ftratagem. She marches on, and bids the doctor follow. A complete route enfues; the damfels fcamper different ways, catch hold of what ever offers firft by way of veil, or attempt to conceal themfelves be hind one another. It is only when none of the men are in the harem, that this fcene of romping can take place. When the physician is conducted by the aga himself, every thing paffes in orderly filence, and, in the chamber of the fick, none be fides the elderly or married relations offer to join in the converfa tion: but it is feldom that the aga himself takes the trouble, after the few first vifits, except the doctor be a ftranger to the family.

Account af the Turkish Ladies; from the fame.

Tare rather engaging than hand

HE women, in their perfons,

fome. It was remarked before, that they were pretty in infancy, but changed for the worfe as they grew up: yet they retain for ever the fine piercing eye, and many to the laft poffefs their exquifite features, though not their complection. They do not wear ftrays, and are at little pains to preferve their fhape. In general they are low in ftature, and fuch as are tall, for the most part, floop. The women of condition affect a stately gate, but walk inelegantly, and the carriage of their body is devoid of that ease and air to which an European eye has been accuftomed. The drefs in which they appear abroad is not calculated to fet off the perfon; the

veil fhews their shape to difadvantage, the legs are awkwardly concealed by the boots, and even without them, their movement is not fo elegantly eafy as that of their arms: which may be the reason that they appear to most advantage when fit

ting on the Divan.

The tranfient manner in which the Turkish women can only be

feen by a firanger renders it difficult, if not impoffible, to speak decided-, ly of their beauty, in comparison with that of the women of other countries, who are feen with more familiarity. Their drets and veil, which are fo difadvantageous to their fhape, may perhaps (the latter particularly) be of advantage to their looks. I have had occafion to fee great numbers, and thought them, in general, handfomer than the Chriftian and Jewish ladies; but I was fometimes inclined to doubt whether that opinion might not, in fome degree, be afcribed to teeing them partially, or when revealed in fuch a manner, as to give relief to their beauty: it is certain that many, whofe faces I had at first thought exquifitely fine from under a loofe veil, loft confiderably when more expofed.

Account of the Republic of San Marino. By Dr. Gillies, Author of the Hiftory of Greece; from Se

ward's Anecdotes of diftinguished Perfons, &c.



T the distance of twelve miles from Rimini and the Hadriatic Sea, we beheld a cloud-capt moun tain, fleep, rugged, and inhofpitafor their own ble, yet to Britons, whofe affection happy ifland cherished even the fainteft image of congenial liberty, more attractive and more engaging than all the gay luxuriance of Tulcan plains. Á black expanfion of vapour partly concealed from our view, the territory of what the Greeks would have called a nation, feldom vifited by ftrangers, though affuredly moft deferving of that honour. Liberty brightens and fertilizes the craggy rocks of St. Marino; and infiead of paradifes inhabited by devils (for thus the recollection or fuppofition of better times indignantly characterizes the countries through which we had juft travelled), this little ftate, we were told, would exhibit rugged hills and favage precipices cultivated and adorned by the ftubborn induftry of free men, who labour with alacrity, becaufe they reap with fecurity. We panted at the thoughts of taking a nearer furvey of this political wonder, and were impatient to leave Rimini; but the coun try adjacent to that city was deluged with rain; the rivers continued to overflow; horfes could not fafely

[ocr errors]

The epithet, Tufcan, is justified by the authority of Polybius, 1. ii. c. 14, and c. 17. He defcribes that extenfive plain bounded by the Alps, the Appenines, and the Hadriatic, and alfo the plains about Mola and Capua, called the Phlegræan Fields, as anciently inhabited by the Tufcans. The territory of this people, he fays, formed incomparably the finest portion of Europe. Before Polybius wrote his history, the dominion of the Tufcans had contracted to a norrow fpan; and, according to the faying of the modern Italians, while the pope poffeffes the marrow, the great duke of Tuscany bas only the bones of Italy.


clamber over rocks; and Rimini could not furnish us with mules. But they are delicate travellers whom fuch puny difficulties could reftrain from vifiting this illuftrious mountain, where liberty, herself a mountain-goddefs, has upwards of fourteen centuries fixed her rural throne. Careless of mules, or horfes, or carriages, to which laft the republic of St. Marino is at all times inacceffible, we adopted a mode of travelling, which, in a country where pomp is immoderately ftudied, because wealth is too indifcriminately prized, might poffibly have excluded unknown wanderers from the proud manfions of nobles and princes, the palaces of bifhops, and the villas of cardinals, but which, we rightly conjectured, would recommend us as welcome guefts to the citizens of St. Marino, whofe own manlines of character muft approve the congenial hardihood of humble pedestrians.

The distance from Rimini to the Borgo, or fuburbs of St. Marino, for the città, or city, ftands half a mile higher on the hill, is computed at only ten Italian miles. But the badnels of the weather and of the roads would have encreafed the tedioufnefs of our fatiguing journey, had not our fancies been amufed by the appearance and converfation of feveral perfons whom we occafionally met or overtook, and who, notwithstanding that hardness of features, which characterizes mountaincers, difplayed in their words and looks a certain candour and fincerity, with an undefcribed mixture of humanity and firmnefs, which we had rarely feen pourtrayed on the face of an Italian. Such virtues, perhaps, many Italian may poffefs; fuch virtues Raphael and Guido pro

bably difcerned in their contempo raries; unless it be supposed that the antique not only ennobled and exalted, but originally inspired their conceptions. Yet whatever might be the pre-eminence of Roman beauty, during the fplendor of the Cinque Cento, it must be confefled of the Italians of our days, that the expreflion indicating virtues of the mild or generous caft seldom breaks through the dark gloom and fullen cares which contract their brows and clond their countenances.

At the distance of five miles from Rimini, a fmall rivulet, decorated by a difproportionably large fione bridge, which at another feafon of the year would have exemplified the Spanish proverb of a bridge without water, feparates the territory of St. Marino from those of the pope. Proceeding forward, we found the road extremely narrow, much worn by the rain, alternately rough and flippery, and, always fo bad, that we congratulated each other on rejecting the ufe of the miferable rips that were offered to us at Rimini. In the midst of a heavy fhower we clambered to the Borgo, fituated on the fide of the hill, and diftant (as already faid) half a mile from the città, on its fummit. The former is defined for the habitation of peasants, artizans, and ftrangers; the honour of inhabiting the latter is referved for the nobles, the citizens, and thote who, in the language of antiquity, would be styled the public guelis of the commonwealth. In the whole 'territory there is but one inn, and that, of courfe, in the Borgo; for lone houfes are rare in all parts of the continent; the British dominions alone, by their native ftrength and the excellence of their government,

being happily exempted from the terror of banditti in time of peace, and marauders in time of war. We difcovered the inn at St. Marino, as is ufual in Italy, by the crowd before the door. Having entered, we were civilly received by the landlord, feated by the fire-fide in company with feveral other firangers, and fpeedily prefented with a bottle of fparkling white wine, the best we had tafted in Italy, and refembling Champagne in the characteriftic excellencies of that spright ly liquor.

We had not remained long in this caravanfera, (for fuch is the proper name for the place of hospitality in which we were received) when the drefs, manners, and converfation of our fellow-travellers ftrongly excited our attention, and afforded fçope for boundlefs fpeculation. They were the most favage-looking men that I had ever beheld; covered with thick capottas* of coarfe dark brown woollen, lined with black fheepskin. Their hats, which they kept on their heads, were of an enormous fize, fwelling to the circumference of an ordinary umbrella. With their drefs and ap pearance, their words and geftures bore too faithful a correfpodence. Schioppi and coltellate (gun-ihots and dagger-thrufts) were frequently in their mouths. As the wine went brifkly round, the converfation became ftill more animated, and took a turn more decidedly terrible. They now talked of nothing but fierce encounters, hair-breadth efcapes, and hideous lurking-places. From their whole behaviour, there.

Great coats.

was reafon to apprehend that we had unwarily fallen into company with Rinaldo's party: but a few hints that dropped from him who was moft intoxicated finally undeceived us, and difcovered, to our fatisfaction and fhame, that inftead of a band of robbers, we had only met with a party of smugglers. Their mafly capottas and broadbrimmed hats formed their defensive armour against custom-house officers and Sbirri; + and the narratives, which they heard or related with fuch ardour and delight, contained the acts of prowefs by which they had repelled the bravery of the Ro mans, and the arts of ftratagem by which they had deceived the cunning of the Tufcans. From the intermediate fituation of St. Marino between the dominions of Tuscany and thofe of the pope, its territory is continually infefted by vifits from thofe unlicenfed trafickers, who, being enemies by trade to thofe who adminifter the laws and collect the revenues of their country, naturally degenerate into daring and diforderly ruffians, the terror of peaceful men, and both the difgrace and the bane of civilized fociety.

From the company of the image. glers we longed to feparate, the more becaufe they eagerly folicited our flay, promifing to conduct us fafely across the mountains, and to defend our perfons and properties against robbers and affaflins; but we thought it a piece of good fortune, that our most valuable property, as we fhewed to them, confifted in our words and piftols. Having called our St. Marino host,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

we paid him for his wine and his faufage (profciutti), and were pleafed to find, that, contrary to our univerfal experience of Italian landlords, he was uncommonly thankful for a very moderate gratification; a fingularity which, though it probably proceeded from his being little converfant with English and other opulent travellers, we treafured with delight, as a confpicuous proof of republican* virtue that had efcaped pure and unfullied from the contagion of thole worthlefs guefts with whom the nature of his trade condemned him often to allociate.

About two o'clock in the afternoon, we left the Borgo to climb up the Città, carrying our fwords in our right hands, a precaution which the company we had jufi left warranted in this modern republic, but which, as Thucydides informs us in his proem, would have expofed us to be branded with the appellation of barbarians in the republics of Ancient Greece. Before we had reached the fummit of the hill, the cloud had difperfied, the fun thone bright, we had breathed a purer air, and the clear light, which difplayed the city and territory of St. Marino, was heightened by contraft with the thick gloom which involved the circumjacent plains.

Tranfported with the contemplation of a landicape which feeined fo admirably to accord with the po litical ftate of the mountain, a bright gem of liberty amidit the darkness of Italian fervitude, we clambered chearfully over the pres cipices, never reflecting, that, as there was not any place of recep tion for flrangers in the Città, we might poflibly be expofed to the alnernative of fleeping in the firects, or returning to the caravanfera, crouded with fmugglers, whole intoxication might exaiperate their natural ferocity. From all our past remarks, we had concluded, that the vice of drunkennefs was abominated even by the lowest clafies of the Italians. We dreaded ther fury and their knives in this unusual ftate of mind; but amid all our terrors could not forbear philofophif ing on what we had feen, and conjecturing, from the tumultuous merriment and drunken debauchery of the fmugglers, that the famed fo briety of the Italian nation is an artificial virtue arifing from fituation and accident, not depending on temperament, or refulting from character. Drinking is the vice of men whofe lives are chequered by vicilfitudes of toil and eafe, of danger and fecurity. It is the vice of fol diers, mariners, and huntfimen; of

The words, republican virtue' must sound harsh to modern ears. fo fhamefully has a wild democracy abufed and profaned the name of republic. Yet, according to Machiavelli and Montefquieu, and their master Ariftotle, republics require more virtue than monarchies, becaufe in republics the citizens make laws to govern themselves, whereas, in monarchies, the fubjects are compelled to obey the laws made by the prince. In republican governments, therefore, the citizens ought, in the words of Ariftotle, and of a ftill higher authority, to be a law unto themfelves. How few nations, there fore, are qualified, in modern times, for living happily under a republic; and least of al, that nation which has fhewn itfelf the leaft virtuous of all.

This word requires an apology; for the facred name of philosophy has been as shame. fully polluted in modern times, by fophifts and feèptics, as the word republic by madmen and levellers. The prefent generation must pafs away, before either of these terms can refume its priftine and native honours.


« TrướcTiếp tục »