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Kaimak.--History of a Renegade.--A Bishop's house.
Progress of Education.-Portrait of Milosh.—Bosnia and the Bosniacs. – Moslem Fanaticism.—Death of the Collector.
The fatigues of travelling procured me a sound sleep. I rose refreshed, and proceeded into the divan. The hostess then came forward, and before I could perceive, or prevent her object, she kissed my hand. “Kako se spavali; Dobro ?”— “ How have you slept? I hope you are refreshed," and other kindly inquiries followed on, while she took from the hand of an attendant a silver salver, on which was a glass of slivovitsa, a plate of rose marmalade, and a large Bohemian cut crystal globular goblet of water, the contents of which,
along with a chibouque, were the prelude to breakfast, which consisted of coffee and toast, and instead of milk we had rich boiled kaimak, as Turkish clotted cream is called.
I have always been surprised to find that this undoubted luxury, which is to be found in every town in Turkey, should be unknown throughout the greater part of Europe. After comfortably smoking another chibouque, and chatting about Shabatz and the Shabatzians, the collector informed me that the time was come for returning the visit of the Natchalnik, and paying that of the Bishop.
The Natchalnik received us in the Konak of Gospody Iefrem, the brother of Milosh, and our interview was in no respect different from a usual Turkish visit. We then descended to the street ; the sun an hour before its meridian shone brightly, but the centre of the broad street was very muddy, from the late rain ; so we picked our steps with some care, until we arrived in the vicinity of the bridge, when I perceived the eunuchlooking coffee-keeper navigating the slough, ac
companied by a Mussulman in a red checked shawl turban.—“Here is a man that wishes to make your acquaintance,” said Eunuch-face.“ I heard you were paying visits yesterday in the Turkish quarter,” said the strange figure, saluting me. I returned the salute, and addressed him in Arabic; he answered in a strong Egyptian accent. However, as the depth of the surrounding mud, and the glare of the sun, rendered a further colloquy somewhat inconvenient, we postponed our meeting until the evening. On our way to the Bishop, I asked the collector what that man was doing there.
Collector. “His history is a singular one. You yesterday saw a Turk, who was baptized, and then returned to Islamism. This is a Servian, who turned Turk thirty years ago, and now wishes to be a Christian again. He has passed most of that time in the distant parts of Turkey, and has children grown up and settled there. He has come to me secretly, and declares his desire to be a Christian again ; but he is afraid the Turks will kill him.”
Author. “ Has he been long here?”
Collector. “ Two months. He went first into the Turkish town; and having incurred their suspicions, he left them, and has now taken up his quarters in the khan, with a couple of horses and a servant."
Author. “ What does he do ?”
Collector. “ He pretends to be a doctor, and cures the people ; but he generally exacts a considerable sum before prescribing, and he has had disputes with people who say that they are not healed so quickly as they expect.” .
Author. “Do you think he is sincere in wishing to be a Christian again ?"
Collector. “God knows. What can one think of a man who has changed his religion, but that no dependence can be placed on him? The Turks are shy of him.”
We had now arrived at the house of the Bishop, and were shown into a well-carpeted room, in the old Turkish style, with the roof gilded and painted in dark colours, and an un-artistlike panorama of Constantinople running round the
cornice. I seated myself on an old-fashioned, wide, comfortable divan, with richly embroidered, but somewhat faded cushions, and, throwing off my shoes, tucked my legs comfortably under
- “ This house," said the collector, “is a relic of old Shabatz; most of the other houses of this class were burnt down. You see no German furniture here; tell me whether you prefer the Turkish style, or the European.”
Author. “ In warm weather give me a room of this kind, where the sun is excluded, and where one can loll at ease, and smoke a narghile; but in winter I like to see a blazing fire, and to hear the music of a tea-urn."
The Bishop now entered, and we advanced to the door to meet him. I bowed low, and the rest of the company kissed his hand; he was a middle sized man, of about sixty, but frail from longcontinued ill health, dressed in a furred pelisse, a dark blue body robe, and Greek ecclesiastical cap of velvet, while from a chain hung round his neck was suspended the gold cross, distinctive