28 OCTOBER 1837, Page 16


MR. }TERVE is an artist, who visited the court of Greece, Smyrna, and Constantinople, on a professional speculation, and returned overland by Vienna, performing his home journey to Belgrade on horseback with a Tartar courier, and thence travelling in a Hun- garian waggon till he reached the region of civilization and stage- coaches.

Excepting the journey from Constantinople to Buda, the places Mr. HERVE isited base been described so often, that one is almost tired of talking of their staleness. And lie is not exactly the man to gather much information in a rapid gallop through a ccuntry,—from a deficiency in previous knowledge and enlarged comprehension, as well as from at habit of attaching undue impor- tance to bad roads, bad inns, bad beds, and all the other inconve- niences which the enlightened traveller prepares for. In addition te which drawbacks, Mr. HERVE writes from memory ; having lost all his notes on his return to England! These premises are not encouraging ; but the book is amusing enough, and indeed better than could have been supposed. The author has at least the eye of an artist. In describing features, figure, costume, or scenery, be notes characteristic points with skilful distinctness; and perhaps his very narrowness of view, and his attention to the small matters of daily life, are an advantage. They have combined to give reality and a certain degree of novelty to his volumes, enabling; him to strip off the disguises of life and look at things nakedly. Neither classical, romantic, political, nor conventional prejudices, operate upon his mind to a sufficient extent to endue objects with any extrinsic halo. The Greeks imputed upon him—he calls them rogues. The Bavarians are confoundedly ugly—which is sin the first. The majority, be is told, are mere adventurers, who flock to Greece as S-raoNonow and his collaboratteurs started for Ireland, to prey upon the natives—and this is sin the second. With the failings of little and uninformed minds, they have no other notion of a fitting existence than what they were accustomed to at home; so, on reaching the land of promise, they compelled every thing over which they had power to square to German fashions, whether it related to institutions or garments. They have tried to tax with German minuteness a half-barbarous nation of smuggler-pirates, with a country which it would puzzle the land-guard of France and the coast-guard of England to " protect " efficiently : so that trade is checked ; the actual revenue is pretty well absorbed by the army ; the naval force, the civil government, and the splen- dour of the court, being chiefly supported by the foreign loan, for the repayment of which England may whistle. In Smyrna, again, Mr. HERVE paints the European residents as thorough Levanters; describing and passing judgment upon morals which, if they really be as he says, have been varnished over by other travellers in con- sequence of Sanyrniote hospitality, or, after having eaten salt, they have not thought fit to divulge publicly what they knew. On these and on many other points, Mr. HERVE may indeed take small, superficial, and unrefined views ; in the gossip or stories he retails, he tnay likely enough have been sometimes misinformed ; but it is a variety at least to read a homely John Bull sort of judg- ment upon subjects where we have hitherto had little beside decla- mation, cant, and a litterateues dressings up for effect.

From what we have said, it will be conceived that Mr. HERVE'S critical accounts are generally depreciating ; yet they have an innate reality. We have read a variety of pictures of Orxo, but all much more courtly than this.

When one beholds a sovereign, we generally look at him with a very scru- tinising eye, endeavouring to discern a something beyond the ordinary stamp of man. To make any discovery of that description in Otho, must require a Icing of superior penetration : at any rate I must confess my own dehciency in that respect, never having been able to perceive that majesty of appearance in the young King which we naturally imagine the attribute of monarchs. His countenance is ever replete with the expression of good-nature, and is in that instance a faithful index of his character. Ile is in stature about the middle height, perhaps rather above—may be from five feet nine to ten inches; would appear taller if he did not wear his hair so flat to his head—as though it were gummed thereon; and as if to preserve it constantly in an unruffled state, he has a habit ever and anon of stroking it down with his hand, thereby retaining it in the most perfect and obedient state of smoothness that man could desire. I never saw one rebel hair astray : happy would he be could he keep his subjects in the same state of subordination. But I suspect that this extreme neatness of coiffeur assist. in giving him the air of a grocer's apprentice when dressed in his Sunday clothes,—tluat is to say, those of llishopsgate Street or Holborn, as those a the West cud are more stylish-looking fellows than Kiug Otho : and, indeed, he has other symptoms winch savour of the grocer's shop ; having a curious knack of continually giving innumerable little nods of his head, which one might be led to imagine he had acquired from endeavouring to emulate those Chinese figures the usual appendages of dealers in groceries. The comparison may be carried still further : nothing can be more inoffensive than the phyriogriouly of those images ; but undoubtedly that of the King's is Si much so. In fact, he always appeared to me to have the expression of a good lad whose master has just patted him on the head, and said to him, " There's a good boy ; " thus giving the youth an air of eatinflietiwi with hiais self and all the world.

Here, too, is another picture of Greek ladies at court, very ail. ferent from that of many travellers.

Amongst the brightest ornaments which adorned the court of Othos none were so brilliant as the three daughters of Count d'Armansperg, who might justly be compared to the three Graces. If not handsome, yet extremely pleasing in their persons agreeable in their manners, and elegant in their dee portment, they gracefully floated through the mazes of the waltz, forming a most striking contraat to most of the Greek ladies who rolled about like a parcel of heavy tubs one after the other, assisted in their progress, as they were lugged along, by those who had the misfortune of being their partners, whom I have often heard declare that the next day it was impossible to write, or ia any way use their arms, after the fatigue of spinning round one of these cute. brous ladies. Not that they were by any means tall or large women; on the contrary, generally very short, certainly often thick, and that sort of dead. weight which is difficult to wheel about. Often have I pitied the King, who, though young and slight, and not possessing, I think, much physical strength, yet out of pure kindness of heart would ask one of the aforesaid drags to waltz with him ; who became so elated and bewildered at the idea of being encircled within the arm of a king, that it required no common exertion, paralyzed and motionless as they were, to turn and twist about a heavy machine of that de- scription.


I wish to do justice unto all men ; and having made some allusion to the poverty of the Greekified Bavarians, let me now make the aniende honorable, by declaring that, however poor they might be, they were not improvident; ia fact, their system of economy wet carried to a degree of rigour I have seldom witnessed. A luckless French restaurateur had come to Napoli hoping to im- prove Isis fortune, and was soon assailed by the Bavarian officers, with the Colonel at the head ; who, partly by persuading and partly by bullying, in. (Need the poor devil to provide them a good dinner at a drachm a head (about

eightpence. halfpenny.) The man declared be should lose by it ; upon which they assured him, that his peat gain would be on the profit he would make on the French wines they should purchase of hint and the poor fellow declared to me they never ordered any but the cheap Greek wiues.


In one of the subjects from the chisel of some sculptor, who must have lived a thousand years before Christ, I found a proof of the extreme antiquity of the costume which the Greeks now wear. A man is represented stepping into a chariot, having a fostenella in large plaits or folds, precisely the saute as wont at the present day. The Romans also adopted something of the same descrip. thin ot garment, from the waist to the knees; the form exactly similar, but instead of being only of white linen' was composed of various materials, and what it lost in simplicity it gained in ornaineut. But this piece of drapery, with the Gteeks, has not varied, it appears, from what it was three thousand years since ; and in Scotland is still to be found in the Highlands, of various. coloured plaid.


It is amusing to observe the metamorphose that is effected in clothing men in our apparel who have been accustomed to the full flow of Eastern drapery : they having only habituated themselves to tightening the waist, whilst they have left full play fur the limbs, can ill support the conhnement of our trousers, which has a manifest influence on their gait. Instead of that bold, dignified step, which characterized even the Greek peasant, when buttoned up in Our nether garments their walk descends into a little sneaking shuffle; and, as a proof of how they were degraded in personal appearance by the change, in the eyes of their country-people, a good-looking young man, whom I had under. stood haul been always particularly successful in his affairs with the fair sex, assured nie one day when I was rallying him on the subject, that since he had uammed the European costume the ladies would not look at him ; telling him that before he had a chivalric air, but that now he looked all that was ins sign ilicant.


I met in the East with several correspondents of the London papers, gentle. men receiving high salaries and generally passably well informed men ; but I was much surprised at the light manner In which they gathered their intelli. geoce, the little trouble they were at to ascertain whether it was correct or otherwise. In one instance, where I convinced one of them who read me the article be was about to send to England, that part of what lie asserted was the direct opposite to the fact, he replied " Oh, never mind, it will suit my purpose just as well: so it shall go as it is, and will be more amusing than if I were to send them the real truth."


The desire of appropriating to themselves that which belongs to another, is the ruling passion with the Greeks; and however, in our own and other countries, we have heard of articles of all descriptions being stolen, yet one sort of thieving I never heard of until I arrived in Greece. A family who had lost one of its members had ordered the grave to he dug, and prepared for the funeral, which was to take place the following morning ; but another family having a similar misfortune, in the course of the night availed themselves of the grave that was ready, thereby saving the expense of having one dug; clapped in their coffin, with its contents, and covered it up ; and, as it is not permitted to disinter a body without great difficulties, they kept possession, retaining the full benefit of the theft they had made.


Respecting the Frank inhabitants, it has been observed that it matters little what nation a man comes from, as a few years' residence in Smyrna will make any one a regular Levanter. Perhaps the term may not be perfectly comma- hended by all my readers ; I will therefore endeavour to give some idea of it, although it is very difficult to render it in all its meanings, as understood by those who have travelled or sojourned much in the Levant. A regular Le. venter is supposed to speak several languages badly, and none well. The Greek spoken at Smyrna is execrable; and the little that a foreigner there acquires is a grade worse. The Levanter is ever considered so quickly alive to his interest, that, if he can take you in, he never will resist the opportuoity, either in making a bargain, getting off from it, or takiug advautage of the dd. ferencc of the value of money, which often will vary several times in the course of the day. His answers are generally evasive: he fears to give you a direct one, lest he might in any shape compromise his interest ; yet lie is indo- lent, compared with European merchants,—which alien from his adopting Eastern habits, which, after a thne, he finds infectious; mind as lie becomes ostentatious, he spends much and saves little. Hence so few large fortunee amongst the foreign commercial men in this part of the world ; but it heeds little what strangers say of the Sinyrniots, when they are so severe upon them- selves that it would not be easy for travellers to exceed the condetnnation they pronounce on their fellow townsmen. I have often observed, that, as So many persons are totally ruined by the fre- quent fires at Smyrna, I wondered that they had not any fire.insurance offices, as they had three for losses in shipping. They invariably made nie the same answer—that, if there were any means of insuring against fire at Smyrna, selling, or driving away the owners of the soil ; and the founders - eery man would set his house on fire. of the early plantations of America settled in a thinly-peopled I verily believe, if persons could see the operation of arranging the figs, they little or no intercourse in common. The New Zealand projectors never would eat another. There are the filthiest set of old women that can be will go out like the Grecian colonists of Italy, Sicily, and Asia

raked together, who are ranged in the merchants' long yards for the purpose

of squeezing them and packing them in the little round boxes in which they Minor, to a country very much under-peopled, but still inhabited ; are sent to Europe. Most a these women have young children, as dirty as they will mingle with a race much inferior to the colonist*, doubt- they can be; and one moment they are washing their babies, &c. and then less, but not absolute savages, and not totally ignorant of the arts ,geo pawing the figs, which alone make their hands in such a filthy me,, and of life or of commerce. But whilst the Greeks emigrated without the sight is so disgusting, that whilst this work was going forward. when I hail considering, the rights of the natives one jot beyond their means

occasion to pass the merchants' yards, I used to run threugh as fast as I could

tear, without looking either right or left. The sight is not more gratifying of of enforcing them, the rights of the aborigines of New Zealand are the preparation of the raisins : men are employed, after they have been dried to be regarded with the greatest care, not only by regulation and to a certain degree, to tread them down, with their feet and legs bare, until they opinion, but by law and the establishment of an officer ex- become in such a nasty condition, from the oozing out of the yellow brown pressly to protect them. Eventual benefit, no doubt, accrued to juices from the fruit, which has always a considerable portion of' diit with it, the inhabitants where the Greeks settled, and amalgamation of that I always turned away from them with complete nausea. race by intermarriages took place; but these were accidents 'lever The great pastime in Turkey is the pipe: but it appears singular that people lize the New Zealanders, and to protect them from the sort of who have no education, and consequently can have no resources in thew own minds, should be less subject to ennui than those who are more refined, and civilization which absconded felons and their comates are now whose accomplishments, one would imagine, would always prove a source of labouring to introduce, is the desien of the founders of Oil,' new amusement; but so it is, and experience has often afforded me the proof. I colony : to amalgamate the races is an object, or at least a hope. can only account for it in imagining that when any person's education has been May they be as much more successful in their plans than the wrought to the highest degree, they become fastidious, and few things can yield founders of Ionia, Doria, and Syracuse, as their purposes are more them delight. If they be perfect musicians, the hearing of music gives them no enjoyment, unless the theme and the performers both approach perfection ; philanthropic. GIBBON, when noticing a report that the Scots and sad how seldom dues that occur ? If they be excellent draftsmen, how few pie- Picts torso can afford them pleasure? If their taste for literature be exquisitely re- from savage to civilized life " tend to enlarge the circle of our Sae& even the happiness to be derived from books becomes limited. Such idea, and to encourage the pleasing hope that New Zealand may beings I have met with, and have been out of all patience with them, be. produce in some future age the Hume of the Southern herni- a:use they were incapable of enjoying any thing; even they would carry their fartidiousneas so far as to behold with indifference the expanse of a beautiful sphere." It would be a curious instance of lucky sagacity should country, because they had seen a finer. the sportive prophecy of the historian be c ,nfirtned. The individual The exact opposite to these tiresome personages are children. They seldom genius must of course be an accident, but the circumstances to ore conscious of ennui, because they can always find amusement; a trifle will form him seem in the course of fulfilment. afford it : occupation with them, if their own seeking, is a pleasure. In some With respect to the success of the enterprise, we see finite respects the natives of the East resemble the child. Indifferent music will please them, so will any daub of a painting ; and if it have a little gilt stuck reason to entertain a doubt—always supposing it to be properly ID, they will be quite delighted ; and so will they be with the relation of a tale, conducted. The country is sufficiently extensive ; its area being RO matter how extravagant or improbable. But here the similarity with somewhat larger than Great Britain. In one sense, it is better children ceases, as its pleasures are all active, whilst those of the Orientais are adapted for commerce; having, from its greater length, a longer