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greater diffusion of rural lending-libraries
for such as can read, schools for those who
cannot read, and wholesome recreation for all.



IF any lady or gentleman should think
proper to set out with me for my scamper, I
recommend them to be careful in stepping
into the crazy little caïque which stands moored
beside the official residence of the Pasha of
Tophana. My imaginary friend must take
care to step right in the centre of this
ricketty little boat, for, I may as well mention,
that a stout lady of my acquaintance, who
neglected to attend to this precaution after it
had been suggested to her by a mutual friend,
was only saved from drowning in the
Bosphorus by the rotundity of her figure and
the swelling circle of a remarkably respectable
silk dress.

Our servants and luggage must follow in
another crazy little boat, as there is not room
for them in ours. So, swift over the sulky
December waters thenpast many a
battered hulk which shows sad signs enough of
the wild hurricanes in the Black Sea;— past
transport ships by the score, and smug oily
commissariat officers, a little the worse for
their previous night's entertainment, but
keeping good hope of an appetite again by
and by at the hospitable board of a contractor
past barges with a score of extremely
dirty fellows, gentlemen in fezzes and baggy
breeches, labouring at a multitude of oars
slowly toiling along towards some ship bound
for Sebastopol, there to give up their dismal
and disheartened cargo of astounded peasants
from the far away interior, and who are
bound chiefly against their wills for the good
of glory.

Awaypast men of war with jovial officers
chatting to admiring visitors over the ship's
side, and making light of the dangers they
bore so nobly but yesterday, and will court
again to-morrow. One's very heart warms
towards the blue-jackets, and one cannot help
contrasting their frank, open, fearless looks
with the anxious, sly, shuffling appearance of
the commissariat fellow who pulled past us
in stealthy talk with a wily trader, just now.

And salutes are firing from the ship and
battlement, and gentle ladies of high degree
flit swiftly by us in their gilded boats to visit
the sick at Scutari.  I vow and declare there
goes Miss Nightingale, and yonder, in the
great official caïque, sits kind Lady Stratford
and her daughters fair. They are braving
wind and weather, as they have been doing
ever so long on the same kind errand, to
carry to the sad couch of the wounded in a
distant land, the meet tribute of Woman's
sympathy and admiration. Let us look our
last at a scene which has surely grown on my
mind like affection for a friend. There stands
rambling Scutaridismal enough, though
the neighbourhood around is beautiful
yonder is Leander's Tower, with its pretty
legend of captive beauty and conquering love.
There is the ricketty old wooden bridge, my
favourite walk so long. There go, fussing
and puffing away, the busy little steamers for
Therapia and the villages of the Bosphorus.
And I see through my glass that the shore is
as usual crowded with a rabble rout of
Greeks, Jews, Armenians, sailors, soldiers,
tinkers, tailors, sutlers, gaily dressed young
ladies, and all the dirty crowd of a sea-port.

There, some tearful widow who has left her
world behind her, on the hard-fought field or
the stormy sea, is being assisted into a boat
by some kind friend whose stout arm is now
perhaps trembling almost as much as her own
pale hand, which is laid upon it. She is
going aboard yon steamer where the union
jack is hoisted, and she will return to her
mockery of a homenow lonely ever morein
fatherland. She will keep holy the memory
of the brave man whose living love was hers;
who died, may be, with her name the last
word upon his lips.

There are horses embarking and
disembarking, and fat bales of merchandise toiling
along, near the smart boats of sea
captains and the flashing caïques of Pashas and
ministers. Here raves a Frenchman, there
roars a German, or yells a Greek; and the
shrill boatswain's whistle skims the deep.

Of all the steamers with which it was ever
my misfortune to become acquainted, I have not
the smallest hesitation in asserting that the
Austrian Lloyd boat, the Stamboul, plying
between Varna and Constantinople, is
the dirtiest and most inconvenient. I
scrambled, and tumbled, and slipped
through a variety of people and things.
At last the decks were cleared of hotel
servants, who had been forgotten and who
had come to claim some preposterous little
account which had been forgotten too, according
to the custom of their tribe. The last
Greek huckster had given his last wily counsel
to his supercargo, and the last Jew had
wrangled with the last boatman, who, Greek
as he was, wearied soon in the contestand
we were off.

Oh no! We should have been off
anywhere but in Turkey. As it was, we beat
about for several hours in the cheerfulest
and most obliging manner, to wait for some
impossible individual; who finally appeared
to have changed his mind, and declined making
the voyage with us.

It is the dusk of evening when we at last
flit rattling down the Bosphorus, and
already our keel leaves a bright track of
phosphorus light on the darkening sea, like the
steps of a water fairy.

Away, past the pretty villages on the shore,
where I have wiled away so many an
enchanted summer day; away, past tower and
fort and sleepy hollow. By the low rambling
wooden houses of the great pashas, with their

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