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Mussulmans, to the number of 1200 or 1300. But I was not allowed to explore it ; for the recent visit to Volo of the British military attaché had roused the suspicions of the garrison, and no sooner was my giaoúr head - gear detected inside the gates than I was courteously asked my business. On my replying that I wished to pay my respects to the bimbashi in command, I was told he was from home, and requested to call another day. So I was only able to take stock of a small wooden pop-gun, which appeared to have been placed inside the fortress-gate to enfilade inquisitive intruders. Across a marshy swamp, where a very thin battalion was encamped, presumably upon sanitary considerations, I trudged back to the new town of Volo. The latter is scarcely more than thirty years old. One of its veteran inhabitants, who settled there in 1858, told me that at that time it counted only about 80 houses; whereas now there are over 500 houses, with a population of some 4000 souls, Greeks almost to a man. It consists of one long, broad street, more than half a mile in length, running parallel to the sea, with a few warehouses and a steam-mill, and some shipping

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agencies, along the water's edge and in the streets running down to it. The houses are mostly well built, of stone and stucco, in the modern Greek style; and, besides coffee-houses and wine-shops innumerable, it boasts even a hotel, whereof the less said the better. Annexation to Greece is naturally looked forward to here with unmixed satisfaction. No town in Thessaly would gain more by the change. The only outlet for the produce of this rich grain-growing province, with an import and export trade which already exceeds £350,000 per annum, with a shipping traffic of nearly 150,000 tons, endowed by nature with an admirable roadstead and easy means of developing communication with the interior, it would soon grow into a first-class port, and take tithes of the increased prosperity which must accrue to the whole province. But there is an entire absence of anything like political excitement. The cession of Volo to the Hellenic kingdom, already accepted by the Ottoman Government in its former proposals, has long been looked upon as a foregone conclusion by Greeks and Turks alike. There is neither exultation on the one hand, nor despondency on the other, both having been long since discounted.

Between Volo and the capital of Thessaly there is a carriage-road, but, like most such roads in Turkey, heaven-made — the hand of man has had little to do with it; and he who allows himself to be jolted over it for eight mortal hours, in the rude wooden canopied carts called brashowkas—be the hay stretched under him ever so soft, his supply of rugs and wraps ever so plentiful—has cause to recollect for many a day the “ Sultan's road” from Volo to Larissa. On reaching the crest of the hills which divide off the seaboard from the plain of Thessaly, one obtains a most lovely view of the town and Gulf of Volo. The bastions and minarets of the Turkish quarter; the white houses of the new town; the groves of olive-trees, nestling at the foot of the mountains; the numerous villages, perched like eagles' nests on the precipitous slopes of Pelion; the bold outline of the jagged coast; the smooth blue waters, studded with many a quaintly rigged sail, and the dark forms of the Turkish fleet riding at anchor in the roadstead,-make up a striking picture, full of lights and shades, both for the moralist and the painter. Down the other side, the road soon reaches the vast treeless plain of Thessaly, which stretches away from the foot of Pelion and Ossa in one unbroken reach to the distant heights of Trikalla. Past a few miserable villages, and scarcely more prosperous chiftliks, through field after field of stubble, and wide tracts of land lying fallow, with here and there a marshy swamp, the brąshowka jolts along for six weary hours towards the distant minarets which mark Larissa, and seem to recede phantom-like as we advance. • But to all misery there is a term. By the time one has stuck his cramped extremities twenty times, first out of one, then out of the other, side of the strangely devised vehicle, in which there is room neither to sit nor to recline full length, but only to lie doubled up like a trussed fowl, our three horses put on a sudden spurt, and the giddy chariot bowls jauntily through the mudgateway pierced in the mud-embankment which forms the entrance to Larissa, and threads its way amid mud-houses and mud-hovels through the tortuous streets of the capital of Thessaly.

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CHAPTER II.

THESSALY AND ITS CAPITAL.

NoR is there much to repay the weariness of the journey when the capital of Thessaly is at last reached. With its mud - rampart, mud - walls, mud-houses, and a few whitewashed buildings, barracks, conaks, and mosques rising out of a yellow, treeless plain, it resembles nothing more than an Arab town of Upper Egypt shorn of its palm-trees and of the magic of its climate. To make the resemblance still more striking, there were groups of negroes squatting about the road just outside the gate through which we entered; for it was Friday afternoon, and the black population of Larissa had turned out in full festivalattire to bask in the autumnal sunshine—men, women, and children in gaudy Manchester cottons, contrasting strangely with their swarthy

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