16 AUGUST 1845, Page 15


The Tiara and the Turban ; or Impressions and Observations on Character within the Dominions of the Pope and the Sultan. By S. S. Hill, Esq. In two volumes. Madden mid ifaltoim. Sydney and Melbourne ; with Remarks on the Present State and Future Prospecta of New South Wales, and Practical Advice to Emigrants of various classee: to which Is added, a Summary of the Route Home by India, Egypt, Rt. By Charles John Baker, Esq., of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-law. Bmals and Elder. Pornor, The Ballad Poetry of Ireland. Edited by Charles Cavan Dufl.y. [Dnflys Library of Ireland] DuITY, D**M- FlerroN, My Marine Memorandum-book. By Hargrave Jennings. In three volumes. •Ireicfly.

THE TIARA AND THE THEBAN, ET MR. S. S. HILL. ACCORDING to Mr. Hill, there are three classes of travellers,—the young, who start with high hopes of the pleasure to be derived from novelty and variety ; the maturer mind, which has some object of study or inquiry, and amasses the largest amount of useful information ; the invalid or valetudinarian, who does not undertake a long and fatiguing journey of his own free will, but is prompted or driven by the hopes of finding a climate more fitted to his " case." To which of these classes Mr. Hill belongs, he does not expressly say ; but as he is not young, institutes many inquiries, and makes an inordinate number of reflections, it is pro- bable that he ranges himself partly under the second category ; whilst, as he seems ever running before the winter, and quite even Naples in Fe- bruary on account of the bad ireather, it appears certain that he partly falls under the last class.

The title of The Tiara and the Turban by no means indicates with accuracy the character of Mr. Hill's book : the only manner in which the tiara and the turban are brought into connexion is a closing disquisition on Mahometanism and corrupted Christianity, in which the preference is assigned to the former. The volumes really consist of a journey from Paris to Constantinople ; rapid enough till Italy is reached, in order to escape the later autumn, but then lingering at particular places, and sometimes mere villages, when the fancy struck the traveller. Mr. Hill sojourned at Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples, besides passing through such lesser show-places as Verona, Ferrara, Sienna. When "February fill dike" drove him from Naples, he visited Sicily; stopping a month at Messina. Thence he sailed in a Genoese vessel for Athens and Constan- tinople; with his sojourn at which city his tour in reality terminates, though we trace him to Smyrna and Syra on his return. The Tiara and the Turban differs from the usual narratives over this well-beaten track, in two points of view,—the number of our au- thor's travelling adventures ; a fulness and independence of reflection, which almost approaches the sermon. Mr. Hill appears to have been something of a cosmopolitan—to have had experiences of travel, though not in Europe, before he set out on his grand tour ; and he possesses the tolerance, approaching laxity, which an experience of various peoples, with their various modes and morals, is apt to produce. Intending to study the foreigners among whom he was travelling, Mr. Hill avoided his countrymen; and where they would not be avoided he cut them. At Naples, he boarded with a family in the outskirts ; at Messina, he formed a friendship with a priest; he made himself more at home with the at- tendants of the hotels than English travellers are in the habit of doing; and he threw himself more in the way of the people. This avoidance of the usual routine proceedings of tourists gave rise to many little inci- dents, illustrative of manners, character, or domestic life, which agree- ably relieve the usual common narrative of travellers. No sooner had he started than the youthful subject of a parting-scene was placed under his protection in the diligence ; and her story is curiously illustrative of French character. During his ascent of the Rhine, a priest he encoun- tered gave him a view of French religious opinion, which might tranquilhx. e all who are alarmed for the spread of Popery, and which view Mr. Hill confirms by his own knowledge during his residence at a Parisian professor's. At Rome, he became connected with another priest, who introduced him to some equivocal or indeed unequivocal characters. At Palermo, after wandering the streets benighted, he was indebted to a hospital or cha- ritable reception-house for a lodging. In short, scarcely did he visit a town or make a trip without encountering some little incident, or picking up some story of common life, which, though neither strange nor roman- tic, possesses an interest in its obvious truth and delineation of foreign society. His acquaintance with the clergy enabled him to get an insight into the workings of the rule of celibacy ; which he unfolds both by feet and argument, of by no means a spiritual kind.

Mr. Hill's method of composition is one of the most remarkable mix- tures we have ever seen. His incidents are told with some felicity; the style clear, the march sustained without flagging, and no attempt made at overdoing. The descriptions are often good enough, but not very striking, unless they furnish information or are connected with some human interest. The critical accounts are so-so ; the judgments neither natural nor artistica], and the expression wordy : but Mr. Hill adopts the

proper mode of passing over the mass of things, and only noting such as impressed himself, without regard to their general estimation. His re- flections, however, are the strangest part of the book ; and as they are mostly quite useless, and impede the march of the narrative, there was no temptation to insert them but the author's good opinion of their qua- lity. Yet, to judge from his titlepage and preface, it might be supposed

that he published on account of these "Impressions and Observations"; although his style is so lumbering and involved, and the structure of his

sentences so confused, that it is difficult to catch his meaning, and stall more difficult to believe that the simple narratives are really written by the same hand that penned the long-winded reflections which continually

stop the reader like bogs in his path. Mr. Hill in his preface clams in- dulgence on the plea of health and eye-sight: but this reason would apply to one kind of composition as much as another. It is the mind which influences the structure of sentences and the general character of a composition ; and Mr. Hill's seems deficient in that scholastic training which gives clearness and precision to disquisition.

The matter of his "Observations" bears equal marks of a want of preliminary study. He does not want sense ; but he takes the surface view of matters, without thinking that there is anything beyond or be- low, though he often makes some good points. Thus, in his disquisition

o n kahometanism, he overlooks the remoter and indirect effects of poly- gamy and political slavery, which obtain wherever it is established ; but he points to the horrors of prostitution in civilized Europe as a set-off Against the harem,--moreover, the harem does not extend to the lower classes.

From Mr. Hill's account of the various priests he fell in with, it would seem that something like dissatisfaction is moving the minds of the Romish clergy ; partly with celibacy, partly with Italian tyranny, partly with the abuses of the Church. It may be, however, that these are only individual not general feelings ; though the French priest whom Mr. Bill encountered on the Rhine made a strange statement.

"To take up our conversation from this point. When I had discovered that the pint was not of those bigoted opinions so frequent among the fraternity, but, without reason, attributed to the whole order, I observed to him, that if a foreigner might judge from what meets the eye in passing through the country, that his compatriots should be more religions in the provinces than in the me- tropolis. " The priest expressed no surprise at the remark, but replied— "'The mere peasantry are so.' " g That, however, is something.' U But it is not durable. It is not with us as with the Protestants. You mix reliØon with education; and as the one advances, the other increases in strength. This is not effectually so with any class of the people in France. To this end, the Government must act, not to assent merely, but to superintend, direct. Be- fire that, the nation—the instructed classes—must once more receive religion; and this will never be.'

"This opinion was new to me: at least, I had never heard the expression of despair, and, above all, in matters of religion, issue from the mouth of a Christian priest before. The word never, indeed, was uttered with such strong emphasis, and even emotion, by the priest, that, with the matter that preceded it, I found enough to engage my thoughts, until he inquired of me, after a short time had elapsed, whether I had been in Paris; and, in reply to the answer he received, de- manded whether I knew anything of an university education there. "To the last question of the priest I was able to reply, that I had even lived a short time in the family of a professor who had the eharge of the education of fourteen or fifteen or more boys and young men. "'Then,' said the priest, 'if you observed anything of their instruction, and will now suppose them, with their contemporaries, scattered through the pro- vinces of theiingdom, you may foretel what fruits the moral seeds sown in their bosoms should produce throughout France' as certainly as the husbandman relies upon the increase of its kid of the natural seeds which he commits to the ground.' But do you not think,' I here observed, 'that these effects are in some mea- sure owing to the character of the religious institutions which have any credit or enjoy any influence in France? Or is it conceived that the Apostolic institutions are here in their primitive purity?' " know,' said the priest, that a variety of opinions exist upon that subject, and I am not a solitary instance among those in holy orders who would gladly see another general council take place: and I believe that this boon will indeed be shortly given to the Christian world, and that the Protestants will be invited to attend.'

"Here the conversation was suddenly pat a stop to by our arrival at the quay at Basle."

The conduct and views of the professor with whom Mr. Hill resided seem to justify all that the priest anticipated. After some explanatory remarks, Mr. Hill proceeds to give this account of practice and theory. "The French professor informed me, that as by the still extant laws or cus- toms of the university his pupils were obliged, like good Christians, to go to mass on every Sunday, he of course conducted them to the church; that as soon as he had entered, he placed them within one of the recesses, of which there were several railed in from the side-aisle, and after locking them up, that they might the better amuse themselves as they thought proper, returned home, where he remained till the usual time of the termination of the mystery, at which hour he returned to liberate them: and what he told me he was accustomed to do, I once, at least, saw him perform. " The professor further informed me, that the boys who came directly from their mothers had usually some impressions of the ancient superstition; but that there were none in his school past the age of twelve years that had not entirely conquered or forgotten all they had learned from their mothers, or from the pro- vincial professors, who were usually priests: in short, that the whole matter of the Christian system was to them, as to himself, a mere idle farce, that might have bad, indeed, a beneficial influence in the government of the people, and a still greater and more legitimate over morals properly so denominated during the mid- dle-ages, but was too absurd for the more enlightened state of men's minds in the present day."

At Verona, Mr. Hill, not satisfied with the tomb of Juliet, inquired for the houses of Capitlet and Montague, or at least one of them ; which the cicerone undertook to produce ; and the next day our traveller with a French companion went to visit, what, if not the reality, will serve the turn as well.

"We were now brought to the extremity of the most ancient quarter of the city; and, close to where the last street which we threaded terminated, and was butted by a paling which enclosed the fields that are fast encroaching upon the crumbling remains of what should once have been a populous quarter of the town, we were shown an ancient edifice, still inhabited, which the cicerone informed us was the very dwelling of the family of the Capulets. There is a large garden behind the house, which, if we are in reality where we suppose ourselves, should be the place of the first private interview between the daughter of old Capulet and the youthful Montague; any doubts concerning whose history it would be mere wantonness to entertain.

"The garden-walls which form one side of a lane along which you pass are Mal on alIsides high and hard to climb,' for those, at least, who have not 'love's light wings,' and his object within, 'to e'erperch their stony limits.' But we could fee sufficient of what grew within the walls to mark the great age of the trees which they enclose. At the end-wall, as it should once have been, of the garden, there is a door, which was opened to us as soon as we knocked: but it leads only to a square apartment, at one time probably a family-chapel, but which has not now any operung to pass into the garden. And in this obscure chamber we were shown a sarcophagus, which we were informed was that which once contained, but there is now nothing within it, the mortal remains of the unhappy Juliet. "We loitered about the purlieus of the garden or orchard for some time; and I came away with more satisfaction, after a remark of my incredulous companion of the day before, indicative of greater faith in common report concerning these remains than he had had before he visited the spot. The good Frenchman had his guide-book in his band; and, after some aypropriste observations, he ended by saying-4 The very place is sufficient to excite inquiry concerning its former in- habitants; and I do not see less reason for believing this to be the actual residence of the Capulets, than that this city is the ancient Verona. Your poet could not have passed by without inquiring and hearing every impression in his time; which was not so remote from the events, nor the data of the romance from which he borrowed his legend, that a Be famous family abode should have become unknown.'"

The length to which a story, however brief, necessarily extends, mili- tates against the quotation of any of Mr. Hill's better parts, and induces us to close with a few miscellaneous passages.


We could observe, only, that the bay was surrounded by hills, that were on the 16th, and two following days of the month of March, in which we were at anchor here, covered with snow; and that the face of the country consisted generally of wild moult lands, on which we could scarce discover the remotest signs of culti- ration, and we saw no human dwelling. As the weather slightly moderated, the gloomy character of the scene around us was yet more apparent. All was dreary and death-like. No smoke of any fire was seen to indicate a human dwelling. No tree bent its head before the gale. There was nothing in motion. The site of a past world seemed to invite the traveller to weep over the ashes of the great cities which once adorned Greece, but of which nothing remains, even of their very stones, save the ruins of a few temples, and nothing of the philosophy of the schools, which, if it could not perish, survives only in other lands.

We were three days and nights at anchor in this bay, without being able to conununicate with the shore, by reason of the force of the gale, which remitted bnuigth little of its violence, until it suddenly abated during the watches of the third


Such is the slight variation in costume between the Mussulman and the [Arme- nian] Christian subjects of the Sultan, that a stranger will hardly know that he does not look upon one of the good Mussulman children of the representative of the l'rophet. But when we approach the Christian a little nearer, we find him, nor in air, nor in feature, nor in anything that appertains to him save his external habit, resembling, indeed, any more the one than the other of those already mentioned. If we observe how he passes the haughty Turk, it is not enough that his look is humble, his eye depressed. The attendants upon the Turk, perhaps, do not compass the whole of the way. It is in his power to pass directly by; but he is prudent. He might accidentally derange the step of a favourite slave, or jostle one armed with an offensive weapon: so, returning upon his steps, or put

his hack to the wall, by the moral force of humility he disarms oppression i of a portion of the malignant elements which compose it.

But as we proceed, we meet a Greek in Albanian costume, with air and step little less proud than those of the Turk, but with a countenance of the gayest in the world. He objects not to go to the wall; but it is with a merry leap out of the way; and if the Turk, whom he eyes as haughtily as if he had no kind of fear, has passed him before his slaves, he perhaps seeks rather than avoids the occasion to dispute with his abject inferiors the better path. But what shall be said of the poor Jew of Pere? Oppressed by one race or other everywhere else, the descendant of Abraham should scarcely expect com- passion in Turkey. Yet not the Turk alone is his oppressor here. Among all the motley inhabitants of the suburb of Constantinople, there is no exception in his favour, save that which will he presently named. All breathe scorn or contempt of the Hebrew. lie Mussuluians possess a faith not without the excitement to humanity: Moses and Jesus, after Mahomed, are with these the greater of thp , messengers from Heaven: yet has the " dogJew" no friend among the children of the Prophet.


The first party to which we stood opposite was a group of Negro women. About eight or ten of them were seated and veiled, while one or two were standing upon their feet, with face, arms, and a part of the legs bare, as a broker Jew was setting them off to the best advantage to a Mussulman, who was closely examining them with a view to their purchase. They appeared, for the most part, to be women of full age—perhaps none under twenty-two or three; and from the sort of inspection which they underwent, it was evident that strength and fitness for some

laborious occupation were the qualifications which regulated their value. •

They were perfectly dressed, except shoes and stockings; which made the pur- chasers' manner of examining their arms and legs appear the more particular, though it scarce could be said to pass the bounds of that strict decency which the Turks usually observe. The Jew exposed their legs to the knee; and the Turk severally pressed them thence to the ankle, making the women that pleased him best stamp upon the ground and walk a little, that he might the better judge of the firmness of their joints, and of their strength and activity. But the arm, which was next exposed for inspection, underwent a more minute examination, though its force was not so practically attested. After this, they were made to bend backwards and forwards, and place themselves in several attitudes, that might the better discover any crack or flaw that might be either the result of ac- cident or a natural defect: and all this they appeared to go through with the indifference that an irrational animal might have manifested, or that might be consequent to a matter of business in which they had no interest. But their position was probably by no means new to them; for, unless they were a part of the produce of the very last slave-hunt of the good soldiers of the renowned Ma- homed Ali and sent at once to Constantinople, very probably they might have passed already through several hands, in the same manner they might now pass through those that so carefully examined them. There was not the least gloom in the countenance of any of the party; while severalljoked and laughed, diverted, as I supposed, when I observed their merriment, by their speculations concerning the result of the bargains of which they were the direct subject: but I was much amused to find from my guide, who communicated what he had learned, with great caution and delicacy, that my grotesque self and dress had been the objects of their unrestrained pleasantry.