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Visit to Mr. Pouqueville—His Opinion respecting Parga—Visit to
Mouchtar Pasha—Adventure of a Robber-Accident at Signore Nicolo's House—Superstitions of Mustafà—Old Tatar sets out on his Pilgrimage to Mecca—Spring at Ioannina— Appearance of Hawks and Storks—Excursion to the North of Albania—Zitza—Fall of the Kalamas or Thyamis—Tzarovina—Vizir's Powder-Mills—DelvinakiMisery of its Inhabitants-Inscription upon a Church-Violent Conduct of Mustafa—Valley of Deropuli— Reflections thereon—Palaia-Episcopi-Snuff Manufactory-Libochobo— Remains of Adrianopolis—Appearance of Argyro-Castro—Albanian Soldiers—Captain GiankoCries of Women for the Dead—Description of Argyro-Castro-Inspection of the Fortress—Visit to Salee Bey the Vizir's youngest Son—The unfortunate Demetrio Anastasi-Statistical Paper sent by the Bishop of Argyro-Castro-Mistake of the Author respecting the Bearer.
MARCH 5th.—This morning we received an invitation to dinner with Mons. Pouqueville, at which time we learned all the particulars
VISIT TO MOUCHTAR PASHA.
of Ali's attack and massacre at Ajà, as well as his defeat by the valiant and patriotic Parghiotes. Our conversation to-day turned chiefly upon this event, and the consequences that might be expected to ensue from it. It is not very consoling now to reflect upon timents of the French consul upon this subject. He seemed fully aware that Parga would eventually change French for British protection, but he exulted in the prospect of its fate, and paid those compliments to our national faith which are particularly gratifying from the acknowledgment of a generous enemy. I recollect the almost enthusiastic fondness which he expressed for the character of the Parghiotes, with which his frequent residence amongst them had made him well acquainted ; a character which we invariably found acknowledged by all who had similar opportunities of observing it, and which our own sojourn upon their rock tended strongly to confirm. And for whom did British authorities think proper to expatriate this interesting people, and to rivet the fetters of Greece!
Next day we called upon Mouchtar Pasha at his serai. He received us with civility, and confirmed the intelligence of the capture of Ajà, though he studiously concealed the defeat before Parga. The mention of these events turned the conversation to his own exploits at the attack of Prevesa, where he headed the charge of Albanian cavalry, and drove in the out-posts. Like the generality of these warriors he boasted much of his own valour, and expressed a contemptuous opinion of the French which they little deserved : had they possessed a single troop of cavalry, probably Mouchtar would not have lived to tell the tale; nor would Prevesa have fallen so easy a prey,
had the French troops been properly supported. As we sat smoking our pipes in social converse, a secretary of the pasha's came to inform him that a desperate leader of banditti, who had long infested the forests of Acarnania, had voluntarily surrendered himself, and desired to make the adoration (tporxurhors) upon condition of receiving pardon and employment. In this ceremony the criminal prostrates himself before
ACCIDENT AT SIGNORE NICOLO'S HOUSE.
the chief and kisses the hem of his garment, after which his life is safe whatever may have been the crimes he has committed. Mouchtar admitted the man to this expiatory rite, but in so doing he incurred the displeasure of his father, whose vengeance was implacable against this individual, who had committed the most atrocious excesses and long eluded all attempts to take him. To give up the pleasure of revenge is not compatible with Ali's nature; whilst, on the other hand, to violate the customs of his country and destroy all confidence between himself and his old companions the kleftes was thought adverse to good policy.
policy. In this dilemma therefore he released the man, and gave him safe conduct to the haunts of his associates, determining to wait patiently until chance or a diligent police should again bring the culprit into his grasp.
Having left Mouchtar we paid a visit to young Mahmet Pasha, with whose conversation, as at all other times, we were highly interested, and then returned home to be witnesses of a catastrophe which had nearly laid all Ioannina in ashes. On this day we had invited a party of natives to dinner, and Antonietti, that he might do honour to us and give satisfaction to our guests by his skill in cookery, had lighted a fire to which the vizir's kitchen itself could scarcely have afforded a parallel : but the houses in this country are not built to stand fire; indeed, so seldom is a Grecian hearth illuminated by any thing like a blaze, that the architect takes no precaution to secure the beam ends of the upper story which may jut into the chimney. Such was the case in the present instance; a large dry beam coming into contact with Antonietti's flame, took fire, and the smoke soon ascended through the roof: luckily this was formed of pantiles instead of thatch, or the next messenger dispatched to the vizir might have told him · half his Troy was burnt:' for as more than one half the house, in all instances, is constructed of wood, whilst the modern invention of a water-engine has not yet found its way to loannina, and moreover, as a high wind finely calculated to spread a con
SUPERSTITIONS OF MUSTAFA.
flagration was then blowing, Antonietti very narrowly escaped gaining a niche in the Temple of Fame by the side of Erostratus. On our arrival we found every body and every thing in confusion ; but Signore Nicolo alarmed not less for his head than for his house, mounted the roof with uncommon agility, and acted the part of fireman: tearing off some dozens of the tiles, and exposing the enemy to view, he cooled his courage by the application of successive buckets of water, which we handed up to him, and Ioannina was saved: but the dinner was spoiled ; and our guests were taught to sympathise with the Horatian party in their misfortune at Beneventum.
Ubi sedulus hospes,
This however was not the only misfortune we experienced: the French consul, having understood that we gave an entertainment, kindly sent some sausages to garnish a turkey: these having been saved from the wreck, were amongst the articles dressed for dinner, none of the party recollecting that pork was a principal ingredient in their composition : but Mustafà was too good a Mussulman to forget it, and no sooner did his olfactory nerves give him notice that this infernal viand was to compose a part of our feast, than he consigned us all over to perdition, and with every mark of horror, and disgust pictured in his countenance, packed up his goods and retreated to his little den within the castron. At the expiration of two days, when he thought the house was tolerably purified, he re-appeared, but refused to break bread with us until Demetrio had washed
dish and platter in his presence, and we assured him that no more of this abomination should conie under our roof. Mr. Parker indeed contrived to persuade him that he had not partaken of the sausages, and by that means gained a step over me in his affections which I was never able to recover : as for Antonietti, who cooked the trash, he looked upon him with infinitely greater abhorrence than if he had
OLD TATAR SETS OUT ON HIS PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA.
roasted a Christian, nor could he ever after hear the name of M. Pouqueville mentioned with any degree of patience. This was not the only time when we were amused by the superstitious peculiarities of poor Mustafà. One day as he was putting in order a houka for Mr. Parker he happened to break the glass vase: for this he took not the least blame to himself, but ascribed all the fault to a Greek gentleman who had left the room ten minutes before, and whom he had observed to look at it with an evil eye (xoxò pari): he said he was well aware that some mischief would befal him, and was glad it was no worse ; for in going to the bath the day preceding he had broken the ribbon which fastened his amulet round his neck, and was thus left defenceless against the glances of every wicked eye that might be cast upon him. The fear of this eye-battery is equally prevalent amongst the Greeks, many of whom are struck with horror if a stranger praises any article of their property, or one of their children, for its beauty; they generally observe the ancient method of averting this evil by spitting upon the admired object, or into their own bosom.
On the morning after this conflagration scene we were awoke early from sleep by a violent outcry in the street, which we found to proceed from a long procession that was convoying the vizir's favourite tatar, named Delhi Yachjà Agà, out of the precincts of the town on his road to Mecca, where he was going to be made a hadjee, or holy
He was accompanied on this occasion by all the different trades of the city with silken banners flying, and the college of dervishes “carrying axes and halberts; these were preceded by a chorus of young men singing hymns in a fine sonorous strain, relieved at intervals by a band of music: his horse, magnificently caparisoned, was led by two tatars, his ataghan and pistols being tied to the saddle, whilst a large body of the tatarian fraternity in their picturesque attire closed up the
When he arrived at the outside of the town, near the plain of Bonila, he took an affectionate leave of his relations and friends, each of whom he kissed upon the cheek, then mounted his steed, and de