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EXTRACTS OF LETTERS FROM THE EAST.
(Continued from page 16.)
| which come over the Bosphorus, with the THERE is perhaps no place in the world varying weather, and the rising and more romantically beautiful, or more setting suns, no pen can describe. Somehistorically interesting, than the Bos- times a mist will conceal the sea and phorus. The intense beauty of its deep | ships, and discover the palaces and blue waters, and the budding luxuriance | mosques elevated, as it were, in mid air; of its banks, make it possess a freshness while, at another time, all along the sea of which the eye is never weary. In olden is clear, and everything above a low level times, as the division between the then concealed, till gradually, as the sun gains old world and new, it possessed for the strength, ships and houses come from ancients an undefined importance ; more under the veil, as if brought to life by a lately, as the boundary so freely contest. magic wand, and the whole beauty of the ed by Persian and Greek, Mohammedan matchless scene is unfolded to the eye. and Christian, it has often played an im- I saw both of these singular effects in the portant part in the world's history. Like course of one day lately. The wild birds the rich fringe of a beautiful garment, its which frequent the Bosphorus, too, from banks excel in luxuriance the fertile long immunity, have become so tame, lands which they border. A summer's that they hardly stir a wing to escape day spent on its waters is never to be your oar; and the merry porpoises bask forgotteu : it charms the mind for ever, in the sun, or dive briskly in the rushing like a dream of Eden. The clear blue tide, on every side of your caique. The waters sparkling and leaping around precept of the prophet is their charter, every promontory as they are carried and no one disturbs their inheritance. along by the many currents-the endless Claude Lorraine must have painted on combinations of incomparable scenery the Bosphorus, or else the scenery of its which leave you spell-bound with ad- shores is the development of his poetic miration - the extraordinary way in dreams. The pillared porticoes on the which everything seems so completely to tide's edge, the picturesque old ships, have fallen into the very place in the with their high prows and sterns, and odd landscape which it should have occupied rigs, and, above all, that peculiar light for the production of the general effect, o'er sea and land-that matchless beam enchants to a degree beyond any other of sunshine and subduing dreamy colourscene I ever saw. The bewitching palaces ing, which he has in so many of his built along the flood-their long line of pile pictures, is just what one sees daily on lars steeped in golden light-the trellised the Bosphorus. The Sultan is building flowers and hanging gardens—the deeply a new palace, which, when finished, will shaded valleys-the picturesque villages ærtainly be one of the most elegant royal stretching out on points, or snugly residences in Europe. It is built of an secure in some sandy bay, form a series architecture singularly in keeping with of pictures no imagination can overdraw. the scene; and its internal decorations, all Then, as one's boat glides along, an old of the most elaborate description, make battlement-a castle of Roumelia or of it an object of much interest to the Anatolia raises its grey walls amidst the traveller. But it is the wondrous panfoliage at your side, or the rapid caique, orama from the windows which makes this filled with its picturesque crews, silently palace so singularly attractive. Placed passes within an arm's length. The on a slight bend in the Bosphorus, it mind is never left to itself; it is kept commands a view of the entrance of the continually on the stretch by the variety strait, and also of the Golden Horn, the of objects around. Huge line-of-battle Seraglio point, and of Stamboul, together ships lie along the very banks; and ships with the ever changing, ever beautiful of every nation display their flags in the waters of the Bosphorus, which flash harbourg. Never were these seas so their blue waves up beneath the very crowded as at present. The fleet of screw windows. The taste displayed in buildtransports alone is endless. The other ing such an extravagant palace, when his day, I counted thirty-three steamers in soldiers are starving and shoeless, is the Golden Horn--no mean number for another thing, of which I suppose the sula place which till lately was almost de- tan is, or at least ought to be, himself Berted, The beautiful changes, too, the best judge.
TIIE DANCING DERVISHES.
fifteen of them thus twisting their long No stranger visiting Constantinople gowns in a space not larger than an orshould omit to go and see the dervishes, dinary sized dining room, they never -I mean both those which whirl and at any time touch one another; and, those which howl. They are really worth though they continue thus turning for a seeing; as shewing, if it be nothing else, i very long time, they never seem to get the extraordinary ways in which man- the least dizzy. It is truly the perfeckind suppose they can propitiate the tion of waltzing. During the whole time Deity. Both ceremonies are forms of the eccentric flutes' and the drunken worship; and, as each of these orders of drum keep humming away, varied now priests are richly endowed, they gain and then by the unearthly screech of the nothing by the performance; or rather, musicians. Of the origin or object of I should perhaps say, they do not make the ceremony I know nothing, though, these rites the pretence of extorting like all religious rites in which dancing money. The dervishes are much vener- has a part, it is, of course, fathered on ated by the Turks, and are the sort of David. The howling dervishes have a monks of the Mohammedan Church. They | much more elaborate ceremony, and on are of many orders. Some wander about, certain great occasions torture themselves having no fixed residence, while others frightfully with red hot irons, which live together in communities. The howl. they introduce into their mouths, and ing and the whirling dervishes are the score their skins. Some of their tortures chief bodies in Constantinople, — the are too horrid to describe ; but, of course, former having their residence in Scutari, the worse they are, the more is thought and the latter in Pera. The teké, or of the sanctity of those who undergo church, is alike, being in each instance a them. On ordinary days, however, the square building, having the alcove, which ceremony which has obtained for them represents their altar, on the wall towards the appellation of the “howlers," alone Mecca, a square clear space divided off is seen. Having divested themselves of by a low rail in the centre for the per their turbans, they range themselves in formers, and a piazza-like passage around line, and begin slowly to repeat the conunder the galleries, for the spectators. fession of faith, La illah illahlah, &c., In the galleries the musicians sit, if we swinging their bodies from side to side, can so dignify the brethren who perform and roaring it out as loud as they on drums and long reeds during the cere- can bellow. They soon get faster and monies. These same performers may faster, rolling and tumbling about, and certainly be said, with justice, to have repeating the same words, but so fast that brought the science of discord in sounds il lah is all that reaches the ear amidst to perfection. After the usual prelimin. the storm which becomes quite deafen. ary genuflexions and prayers, the whirl. ing. Groans, grunts, stamping of the ers march in solemn procession past their feet, and other equally agreeable varia, chief, and then, placing their hands at tions, come in at times, sometimes in first on the tips of their shoulders, and the most ludicrous way possible. They then stretching out their arms, they continue at this for an hour and more, begin to whirl round and round, as in a till your very head turns. Sometimes waltz, only making very little way. They they fall down in fits, and have to be wear a high conical felt hat, and a very carried out. At last, in one prolonged long loose petticoat which comes to stick grunt, it ends; and, reeking from the fight out quite stiffly all round from the regu- of lungs, they receive the blessing and larity of their movements. Some take kiss of peace from the chief priest, and an outside course, and others whirl more retire. As a form of worship it is even towards the centre of the room; and more curious than the dancing. It is through and between the whole walks an said to have been borrowed from the old dervish, seemingly to see that they | Persians. keep a proper distance from one another.
G. H. B. L. The curious thing is, that though there are
GLEANINGS ON THE WAR.
comrades, resolved to have his ChristCHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES. | baum on Christmas eve :-“We were in We have seldom read a more touching a broad ditch behind a few gabions. It episode than the following, from the pen was very dark. We had procured a poor of a German soldier, who, with a few | little pine branch, which we lit up with candle ends, and a few coloured paper
11. lanterns that we had made as artistically as we could. We suspended on the
A CHRISTIAN SOLDIER. tree, or placed around it, the gifts wel intended for each other; they were por- Dr. Marsh, writing to the London tions of biscuit, and salted meat, and Record, gives the following account of grog, which we had set aside for the the late Captain Vicars, to whom he purpose, stinting ourselves for a week refers as “a loved friend:"_“Captain previous. The crowning gift consisted Vicars, 97th regiment, was the son of a of two apples, and the leg of a smoked widowed mother, who placed a Bible in goose, for which we had together paid his hand at parting when he entered the six francs. The signal was given the army, at seventeen years of age. On his tree was lit up. We were full of joy, way to the West Indies with his regiand expressed it as children were wont ment, he mislaid and lost his Bible, and by the side of their father's hearth. But five years passed without an answer to a soon these feelings gave way before deep pious mother's prayers. But one day, gravity; our thoughts wandered to the entering the room of a brother officer, he dwellings of our beloved ones, to those opened a Bible which lay on the table. beloved ones themselves, who, at that and his eye fixed on the words. "The very time. were thinking of us with love, blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth and. alas! with pain. And then our us from all sin.' 'If this be true for me.' valiant Serjeant Nieumann spoke. No he said, ‘by the grace of God I will live art was in that speech, but the penetrat- henceforth as a man cleansed by the ing tone of a soul moved by Christ- blood of Christ should live.' The next ian emotion. He spoke of the past, of morning he purchased a Bible for himthe present, with its threatening perils, self, and kept it open on his table, as the and of the time to come-eternity, for new 'colours' under which he would which we must prepare the more, on fight. By some of his companions, as is account of these perils, with an ex
e verils with an ex. usual with so sudden a conversion, he treme solicitude. He spoke of Him who, was charged with hypocrisy ; by others. from the midst of eternal beatitude, came called a Methodist. Amidst considerinto the world to seek and to save that able opposition for several months, he which was lost. He said that, as His still maintained his ground. He then gracious coming was announced before began to be much honoured, which is Bethlehem to poor shepherds lying in also the usual result of consistency. He the fields, thus it is announced at this lived as a man who deeply felt his oblimoment to a handful of poor soldiers on gation to his Saviour. Whilst his regithe inhospitable shores of the Black Sea. ment was in Greece last autumn, cholera He ended with a fervent prayer. No, and fever raged amongst them for some never had a Christmas service so deeply weeks. Captain Vicars spent his days, affected us. Warm tears ran down our and often his nights, in the hospitals, cheeks furrowed with fatigue and cold. reading the Word of Life, and praying We forgot that rank or creed might with the sick and dying. As funeral separate us. Each pressed his fellow's after funeral took place, he was by the hand; and the one feeling which animated open graves, beseeching the soldiers us all was that of lively affection in the around to prepare to meet their God, holy and cordial love of the Redeemer! and telling them that “God was in Christ
"Our illumination was growing dim ; reconciling the world unto himself, not imthe fire we had been permitted to light, puting their trespasses unto them.' In and for which we had saved our week's the month of November last, the 97th scanty allowance of fuel, was going out; landed in the Crimea, whence, in the We threw in our beloved Christmas tree, midst of fatigue, hardship, and privation, then we took our repast together, sung a bis letters were as remarkable for their religious war-song, drank to our dear cheerful tone, and manly, soldier-like couotry, to faithful friendship, to the spirit, as for their deep and humble piety. triumph of our arms, and to a glorious Again, he found ample opportunities of peace! Our fire was out, but the dark bidding the dying. Behold the Lamb of ening clouds had dispersed, and over God which taketh away the sins of the our heads shone thousands of stars. world.' He was greatly beloved by bis Once more we clasped our hands, wished men; and an eye-witness said, that each other a good night, and each re- during the time he was in danger of turned to his quarters. On his way, one death from the fumes of the charcoal, his of those who had been with us received soldiers were standing around wringing his death-wound from a bomb from the their hands. •Fear not for me,' he wrote, walls of Sebastopol !"
not long ago, I am safe in my Saviour's
arms; I know it--I feel it-for life or for of the Cross should be the best soldier of death.' And his last letter, dated March | his Queen and country." 16th, he closes with the words, .Jesus is Captain Vicars was killed at the great near, and very precious to my heart and sortie a few weeks ago, against our lines. soul.' He was permitted to die, illustrat- | Upon the day appointed for humiliation, jpg his favourite maxim, that ‘A soldier ! he selected the lessons to be read.
GLASGOW MISSION TO THE HOSPITAL AT SCUTARI.
LETTERS FROM THE REV. MR. FERGUSSON TO THE SECRETARY.
up the war without the demands of the "SCUTaur, 12th March, 1855. allied powers receiving a complete satis“ Matters go on here very much the faction. Many, with tears running down same as when I last wrote to you, only their withered and spare cheeks, said, there has been considerable improvement when they heard the report that the in the health of the men, and many of the Emperor of Russia was dead, 'I do not wards have become less crowded, though wish him to be cut off, but for the sake we have had large arrivals from the of suffering men I long for peace. camp. The average of deaths last week “I do not find that I have anything was between seventeen and eighteen,-a which calls for special notice. I should great reduction. It is truly pleasant, as like, were it possible, to tell you of all I one passes along the corridors and do here,—the whole of my labours are, to through the wards, to see so many beds me at least, fraught with the deepest inempty, with the bedding turned up, and terest. My list has now swelled from the nightly occupants spending the day | 115 to 156. This looks a small charge in strolling about in the area of the quad for a minister ; but I find, that small rangle in their long sky-blue robes, with though it seems, it is, in truth, much too their most comfortable conical nigbt-caps large. I am not able to see over the of the same hue, or finding their way cases calling for special attention, so frethrough the various wards in search of quently as is desirable, as they are distheir comrades, taking them a book tributed in five different buildings; some which they themselves have read with of which are a considerable distance pleasure, or carrying a softer pillow to apart from the others. I went over to one whose weary cheek longs for (though the Palace hospital the other day, intend. it were but) a change, in the hope that ing to spend only one hour; but it was on it ease may be found for the aching fully three before I got out of it; and I head. But while there is much improve never spend, if possible, above five or ment in health, it is evident to all here, ten minutes beside a sick man. I gave (and it is deeply impressed upon the attention, on the occasion alluded to, to minds of the patients tbemselves,) that twenty-five of my own people ; which, in this is not the place where those weak the time spent, gives only eight minutes ened and shattered constitutions are soon to each ; some got more and some less as to be restored, so as to enable the men the case might call for it; and in passing to return to active duty; and it is truly by the beds of so many poor and patient painful to see so many undergoing a suc sufferers, it is impossible to resist speak. cession of diseases or relapses of the ing to many who are not specially under same disease ; each one as it passes slowly one's own care. I mentioned at the end away leaving a greater tendency to aof my last communication, that another fresh attack, and less physical energy to presbyterian chaplain here would make withstand its ravages upon the vital do all right; and as I went to post the letter main. There is great sympathy here I was made glad by the arrival of a preswith the purpose of Lord Panmure to byterian cbaplain from the Irish Church. remove the sick from the hospitals of It was thought advisable, however, to send Scutari. This, with the change in mini- him to Kulilee, where there is an hospital stry at home, and the death of the Czar, for sixteen hundred men. To have bas caused every heart here to thrill with lightened our labours here to the neglect lively hope. The desire for an honourable of this large field, would have been wrong. peace among the mon is very great, but I have now no hope of being able to visit all manifest a strong aversion to giving the Hulks for a time at least ; they are ature."
visited regularly by the Episcopal chap-, self to be turned in his purpose by any lain, who gives attention to Presbyterians man. as well as Churchmen, unless the patient “I intend to investigate the case. If objects.
these nuns be allowed to do such things, * The Episcopalians have lost two chap. they must leave the hospital. lains by death lately, and the most of
.... “Fever is raging them are suffering from the effects of dreadfully. Major Campbell, the assistclimate and overworking. My colleague, ant quartermaster-general, died in a few Mr. Drennan, is again quite well. I am days' illness last week, in the room below most thankful to say, that I have not had mine. I am in excellent health. The one day's sickness since my arrival. I heat is very great. Thermo. in the shade like the climate, though it must be trying now, (11 A.M.,) 74 degrees." to the constitution, from the frequent great and sudden changes of the temper
"SCOTARI, 20 April. ... "I have nothing of a general
character to communicate, unless I were LETTER IV.
to repeat what I have formerly reported.
Everything goes on much in the same “SCOTARI, 26th March. . | way. Particular cases are occurring, “I have only time for a very brief note. by individual cases that the success of
| almost daily, of very deep interest. It is Letters for my men take up the time. llabour here must be measured.. ... ... There is very much to encourage,
" If you wish particulars, I must send and not a little to depress. Several of
you extracts from my daily journal ; my people are now, with apparent sincer
that is very brief in many cases—which ity, crying out: What shall we do to
is perhaps its only recommendation. At be saved ?' Others are hopefully profess
the conclusion of my last note, I mening their attachment to Christ; and many
tioned a case of prosely tizing, which had are evidently and doggedly dead to all
occurred. The man is since dead; bre that concerns their everlasting well-being. I died a Protestant. I have written a let"I wish the friends and supporters of
ter to Lord William Paulet, the comthe Glasgow Mission to Scutari' could
mandant, giving an account of the case, only go one round of the hospital with
and craving his interference. me, and hear the blessings that I get
“We have had a large arrival of inheaped upon me. I am confident they
valids from the camp, but not many of would thank God that they had the them bad cases. Three shiploads have honour and privilege to take part in the
gone home from this lately; and a draft important work.
of about 400 sailed for the Crimea on "Please send to .... a post-office
Saturday. There is a great deal of fever order for twenty-five shillings. It is a
generated here, but the deaths are few melancholy present from her husband,
comparatively. who died here a few days ago. I have “Peace is looked for here on the part written her. John F- died in the
of all with much anxiety. Our hopes Lord. His case is most interesting. I
have been raised by the report, that a keep a note of important cases. I must | Queen's messenger went up last week tell you of what happened only yesterday. With despatches to Lord Raglan to stop One of my men, fast dying, told me when all hostilities in the meantime. We are I visited him, that he had been thinking all in hope that this may be true. . . . of becoming a Roman Catholic. He had
My health, I am happy to say, continues wished to see the priest in the morning, food. My colleague has had another and the medical officers had visited him
attack of fever--the third_and he is. for the purpose of testing his ability to
recommended to apply for sick-leave to. think for himself; they resolved to send
| Malta, or elsewhere, for a fortnight. for me, and two of them had gone in search of them when I called, I found that one of the nuns had been recom
ADDITIONAL SUBSCRIPTIONS TO mending him to pray to the Virgin. I
SCUTARI MISSION. left bim to judge for himself, after having Collection, per Rev. Mr. Shaw, Ayr L.10 II 6. set before him what I believe to be the Anonymous in Postage Stamps ... 0100 truth. He gave me his band, saying: 'I
Collected by Mrs T. O Fairlie of Coodham 2 100.
0 10 0 shall not think of becoming a Romanist.' Robert S. Moncrieff, Esq, of Fossaway 1 00
Mr. and Miss Pearson, 17 Royal Circus,
Edinburgh. tween my visits the nun had been back,
James Gardner, Es
bstitute, telling him that he should not allow him Campbelton