Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

PREF A C E.

In submitting the following pages to the tribunal of the Public, a few previous observations may be requisite, not only to moderate any high expectations that might be formed from the title which I have been obliged to prefix to the work (since in a title the precise route only of a traveller cannot be expressed), but also to solicit some degree of indulgence, by pointing out, that the nature of my travels, through the countries inentioned in this Volume, did not admit of such continued and elaborate investigation of them, or the manners of their inhabitants, as to enable me to present a regular and methodical history of either...

· In the rapidity of pursuit, I fear I have frequently overlooked those proofs which might have thrown a new and important light on subjects already treated of, with more or less accuracy, by literary pens; and from a necessitated adoption of the means and opportunities of proceeding towards the places of my destination, I have as frequently been compelled to abandon, prematurely and unexamined, even those objects which had not escaped my notice.

7

OS

[ocr errors]

) I AM well aware, that in the scientific works of many authors who have published accounts of Italy and Turkey, infinitely more information is to be obtained than the confined circle of my observation could furnish ; but I trust it will be held in remembrance, that mine are merely the sentiments of a traveller faithfully describing such things as he saw, the scenes in which he participated, and offering to the reader those reflections which resulted from the impressions he received : Not the labors of an historian, tracing through all their gradations the various civil and political connections of an empire; or patiently and carefully elucidating every circumstance that might tend to establish the opinion of its magnificence, or to expose its inferi

ority.

I VENTURE to persuade myself that no apology will be required for having confined to a few pages, my remarks on Italy. It is true, I could have dwelt with pleasure upon the invaluable private specimens of the arts to which I was favored with familiar access ; but descriptions of this kind are already too numerous. The details of churches and convents, of pictures and statues, are so mipute and so multiplied, that little new was left for so hasty a gleaner as myself to collect; and I have therefore endeavoured to avoid the reproach of repetition and sameness to which travellers are so generally exposed.

savour of petulance, unfavorable prejudices, or exaggeration ; or if they should appear contradictory to those authors of eminence who praise their urbanity, their wit, their talents, and their hospitality let me be allowed to state, that I travelled through great part of the Ottomaun dominions in the humble disguise of a poor Greek ; not under the protection of Janissaries, the influence of ambassadors, or the authority of a Firmaun * I have seen Turks of all ranks and of all manners, undisguised by the etiquette of high life, divested of fear from superior power, and uninfluenced by the caution of self-interest; I have associated with officers in eminent stations at the Porte, and joined a pedestrian party of menial servants ; and I have found the Turk every where a Turk. Their civilities are offered with the insult of superiority'; their protection granted under an injunction of their law, not on account of any one principle of humanity or kindness to the keupegt they succour ; and their own 7536743162, 113: ..!? the lite

* Passport, or order, sealed by the Grand Signior, to which great respect is paid in most parts of the Turkish dominions.

+ Keupeg signifies dog, and is a term very generally bestowed upon Chris

tans.

comfort or convenience was never sacrificed, on the score of ho spitality, in favor of an infidel.*.

With respect to the variations which I' have thought necessary to make in the usual orthography of those words derived from the Persian or-Turkish languages, I beg leave to observe that I have been actuated by no desire of aiming at singularity. It appeared to me an act of propriety to make the English pronunciation of those words correspond as much as possible with that of the original language, and to rescue this pronunciation from the confusion which invariably occurs, when the letters employed must, to convey any idea of the word, be pronounced conformably to the manner of foreigners...

· Thus, the words, Sultaun, Ottomaun, Müssulmaun, Effendee, Pat shah, Bashée, Capigee, Mustaphah, pronounced as they are written, convey the precise sound of the same words in the Turkish language ; but the English reader must be exposed to an improper: pronunciation, when an author, adopting the foreign sound of the vowels, writes them, Sultan, Ottoman, Mussulman, Effendi, Pacha, Bachi, Capidgi, Mustapha...

* Ghour or infidel, equally reproachful with keupeg, is the appellation by which they do not hesitate to distinguish a Christian even in conversation with,

him.

. I am conscious, however, of the difficulty, or, indeed, impossibility, of establishing, by writing, any positive mode of general pronunciation. Writing cannot convey the delicate inflections of voice; and I have found myself compelled, in some instances, to depart from the system which I wished to adopt. The word Khan I have not written Khaun, because it appeared to me that the pronunciation of the vowel was much shorter than in the word Sultan, where it is particularly long; and yet it is not a short a as in the English word man, so that I know not how to express it. In the word caravansera I have purposely omitted a final h, because the last a is never pronounced longand indeed this word may be written indifferently caravanserai or caravansera-serai, or sera, signifying a place or building for any particular purpose, though generally used to designate a palace.---But in all cases, where I have thought I could give the true pronunciation of a foreign word in English (the names of countries excepted), I have not hesitated to depart from the orthography of preceding authors, and hope I shall be excused for such deviations.

The countries referred to in the present Volume form a very small portion of those which I have visited; and detained me, comparatively speaking, a very short time: but they form the first link of the chain of observation, which I have made upon men and governments, and lead me naturally to those regions where

« AnteriorContinuar »