Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe, Volume 1

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This travel narrative covers the author's trip to the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, and other destinations in the Balkans. The author is not afraid to make harsh judgments of the Muslim culture he encounters, though his descriptions of his experiences are at times quite thoughtful, rather than just being a list of sights to see. Much attention is given to Christians and Christian minorities in the region, and the author reproduces conversations with locals explaining customs such as education, gender roles, etc.
 

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Page 53 - ... from its western to its eastern wall. This relic of Roman greatness, with its triumphal arches, still forms a marked feature in the Turkish city; but the moles of the ancient port have fallen to ruin, and the space between the sea-wall and the water is disfigured by a collection of filthy huts. Yet the admirable situation of Thessalonica, and the fertility of the surrounding country, watered by several noble rivers, still enables it to nourish a population of upwards of sixty thousand souls....
Page 69 - ... his flower-garden, nor to the scrupulous neatness of his dwelling. How strongly difference of race can tell under identical conditions of climate, religion, and government, is exemplified in towns where Greeks have been dwelling side by side with Bulgarians for centuries. The one is commercial, ingenious, and eloquent, but fraudulent, dirty, and immoral ; the other is agricultural, stubborn, and slow-tongued ; but honest, cleanly, and chaste.
Page 321 - Iive8 in avenging the country on its oppressors. We have already said that the Turkish conquest of Serbia was not only gradual, but partial ; the submission of the people was more partial still, since, besides those who held out in Zeta, numbers transferred themselves to Croatia and Sirmium, and repulsed the invader under foreign standards. Nevertheless, from the middle of the fifteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century, no portion of the old czardom reasserted its existence under the Serbian...
Page ix - ... desirous of the masculine stamp of approval for Georgina's and her political judgements, so Gladstone, on his part, wished to emphasise the significance of their characteristically feminine account of the Slavic parts of Turkey. Having praised the superior quality of the general information they provided ("no diplomatist, no consul, no traveller, among our countrymen, has made such a valuable contribution to our means of knowledge in this important matter...
Page 188 - And the third, the youngest brother, Goiko. Full three years they labour'd at the fortress, Skadra's fortress on Bojana's river ; Full three years three hundred workmen labour'd. Vain th' attempt to fix the wall's foundation, Vainer still to elevate the fortress : Whatsoe'er at eve had raised the workmen Did the Vila raze ere dawn of morning. When the fourth year had begun its labours, Lo ! the Vila from the...
Page vii - Government with a view to the general convenience of Europe, while they have seemingly omitted from the case all consideration of the question, how far the Porte fulfilled or defeated the main purpose for which every government exists namely, the welfare of those beneath its rule.
Page 19 - ... people is contrary to monastic life. But in some cases where the monastery perished, or has been replaced by an ugly modern building, its beautiful mediaeval church has outlived the days of ill, and remains to show the combination of Eastern and Western influences on the civilisation of ancient Serbia.
Page 49 - A black hole, sloping downwards at so steep an angle as made climbing up or down a task of some difficulty, descended thus abruptly about thirty feet, and then seemed to disappear into the bowels of the earth. The usual haggard crowd swarmed out of the dark and foetid recesses below and climbed up to seek for alms. A woman seated on a ledge of rock half way up burst into hysterical sobs ; it was at the sight of old Lazar. The good old fellow had already discovered these dens of destitution, and had...
Page 59 - French consul was shared by one of our English acquaintances. She would willingly have shown us some of these Hebrew dames, whom she described as accomplished and beautiful ; " but the fact is," said she, " that my new summer gown has not yet come from London ; and though in you, as a traveller, they might excuse a plain dress, I should not dare to go among them otherwise than spick and span." The middle class of Jews are also rich, but less exacting in matters of toilette, so no obstacle existed...
Page 192 - When they bring her infant Jovo to her, When they take the infant Jovo homeward. So they built the heavy wall about her, And then brought the infant in his cradle, Which a long, long while his mother suckled. Then her voice grew feeble then was silent : Still the stream flow'd forth and nursed the infant : Full a year he hung upon her bosom ; Still the stream flow'd forth and still...

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