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in an obscure war, and in a remote corner of Europe. Such is the soldier's unequal lot. Some are proudly slain on famous fields; "honor decks the turf that wraps their clay," and their names become in after-times watch-words and rallying cries; while others, with arms as strong, hearts as brave, hopes as warm, and souls as aspiring, fall in petty skirmishes, the very spot of which soon becomes uncertain, and tradition itself preserves not a record of their names.
Smith was severely wounded and left for dead upon the field. Some sparks of life were found in him, and the Turks, judging him to be a man of distinction by the richness of his armor, healed his wounds in order to secure a large ransom. As soon as he was recovered, he was taken to Axiopolis with many other prisoners, and there they were all sold, "like beasts in a marketplace." Smith was sold to the Bashaw Bogall, who sent him to Constantinople as a present to his mistress, the young Charatza Tragabigzanda (a name not very manageable in a sonnet), telling her that he was a Bohemian nobleman, whom he had captured in war.
This young lady viewed with compassion the afflicted condition of her captive, who was at that time in the flower of his youth, and adorned with those manly graces, which make valor more attractive, and affliction more pitiable. Not hav
ing her time so much occupied as modern young ladies, she would often contrive an excuse for asking a question of the interesting captive who dwelt so much in her thoughts, as she had a slight knowledge of Italian. To her surprise she learnt, that the story told by her lover was a sheer fabrication, that Smith was an English gentleman, who had never seen the Bashaw till he had been bought by him in the market-place of Axiopolis. The tender feeling, with which she had, perhaps unconsciously to herself, begun to regard Smith, was probably increased by the indignation, with which she heard of the deception that had been practised upon her. She drew from him the whole story of his adventures, to which she did, like Desdemona, "seriously incline," and, like Desdemona, "she loved him for the dangers he had passed," as well as for his graceful manners, fascinating conversation, and that noble and dignified bearing, which the weeds of a captive could not conceal. She mitigated the pains of his captivity by all the means in her power; and, apprehensive lest her mother (who probably suspected the dangerous progress he was making in her daughter's affections) should sell him in order to remove him from her sight, she resolved to send him, with a letter to her brother Timour, Bashaw of Nalbritz, in the country of Cambia, and province of Tartary, who resided near the borders of the sea of Azof.
In this letter she enjoined it upon her brother to treat Smith with the greatest kindness, and, to make "assurance doubly sure," she frankly told him of the state of her feelings towards him, which disclosure had, however, upon the haughty Tartar an effect very different from what she anticipated. Highly incensed that his sister should have disgraced herself by an attachment to a Christian slave, he vented his displeasure upon its unfortunate object. He ordered his head to be shaved, his body to be stripped and clothed with a rough tunic of hair-cloth, and a large ring of iron to be fastened around his neck. He found many companions in misfortune, and, being the last comer, he was, as he says, "slave of slaves to them all;" though, he continues, "there was no great choice, for the best was so bad, that a dog could hardly have lived to endure."
Smith does not inform us of the length of his captivity, nor have we any data for ascertaining it, but it could not have been many months; for the battle, in which he was taken, was fought in 1602, and we hear of his return from slavery, to Transylvania in December, 1603. He has left an account of the manners and customs, religion and government, of the "Crym-Tartars," as he calls them, which does credit to his powers of observation, and the retentiveness of his memory, but which would be neither new nor interesting to the
reader. Of their offensive and comfortless style of living he speaks with the energy of personal disgust, but makes honorable mention of their justice and integrity. For their military equipments, knowledge, and discipline he expresses the contempt natural to a thorough master of the art of war, but does justice to their bravery, their skill in horsemanship, and their powers of endurance. The brave spirit of Smith could not be conquered even by the galling chains of bondage, which were rendered heavier by his despair of being ever able to throw them off; for he says, that "all the hope he had ever to be delivered from this thraldom was only the love of Tragabigzanda, who surely was ignorant of his bad usage; for, although he had often debated the matter with some Christians, that had been there a long time slaves, they could not find how to make an escape by any reason or possibility; but God, beyond man's expectation or imagination, helpeth his servants, when they least think of help, as it happened to him." He was employed to thresh corn in a country-house belonging to Timour, which was a league distant from his residence. His cruel master, who felt a particular ill-will towards him, never passed him without displaying it by gross abuse, and even personal violence. His ill-treatment, on one occasion, was so outrageous, that Smith, maddened and
transported beyond the bounds of reason by a sense of insult, and reckless of consequences, knowing that, happen what might, his miserable condition could not be changed for the worse, rose against him and beat out his brains with his threshing-flail. The instinct of self-preservation is fertile in expedients. He clothed himself in the rich attire of the slain Timour, hid his body under the straw, filled a knapsack with corn, mounted his horse, and galloped off to the desert.
Save the exulting sense of freedom, his condition was but little improved, however, and he could hardly hope for any thing but a death more or less speedy, according as he was recaptured or not. He was in the midst of a wild, vast, and uncultivated desert, dreading to meet any human beings, who might recognise him as a runaway slave by the iron collar which he still wore about his neck, and again reduce him to bondage. He wandered about two or three days without any end or purpose, and in utter loneliness and despair; but Providence, who had brought him out of captivity, befriended him still further, and directed his random steps to the main road, which leads from Tartary into Russia.
After a fatiguing and perilous journey of sixteen days, he arrived at Ecopolis, upon the river