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SIR STRATFORD CANNING.
the impossibility of fusion with others. While they decrease in number, the Rayahs increase in wealth, in numbers, and in intelligence.
The Russians are the Orientals of Europe, but St. Petersburg is a German town. German industry corrects the old Muscovite sloth and cunning. The immigrant strangers rise to the highest offices, for the crown employs them as a counterpoise on the old nobility; as burgher incorporations were used by the kings of three centuries ago.
No similar process is possible with Moslems : one course therefore remains open for those who wish to see the Ottoman Empire upheld; a strenuous insistance on the Porte treating the Rayah population with justice and moderation. The interests of humanity, and the real and true interests of the Ottoman Empire, are in this case identical. Guided by this sound principle, which completely reconciles the policy of Great Britain with the highest maxims of political morality, Sir Stratford Canning has pursued his career with an all-sifting intelligence, a
ARRIVAL AT VARNA.
vigour of character and judgment, an indifference to temporary repulses, and a sacrifice of personal popularity, which has called forth the respect and involuntary admiration of parties the most opposed to his views.
I embarked on board a steamer, skirted the western coast of the Black Sea, and landed on the following morning in Varna.
Varna.-Contrast of Northern and Southern Provinces of
Turkey.-Roustchouk.–Conversation with Deftendar.The Danube. A Bulgarian interior.-A dandy of the Lower Danube.-Depart for Widdin.
All hail, Bulgaria! No sooner had I secured my quarters and deposited my baggage, than I sought the main street, in order to catch the delightfully keen impression which a new region stamps on the mind.
How different are the features of Slaavic Turkey, from those of the Arabic provinces in which I so long resided. The flat roofs, the measured pace of the camel, the half-naked negro, the uncouth Bedouin, the cloudless heavens, the
tawny earth, and the meagre apology for turf, are exchanged for ricketty wooden houses with coarse tiling, laid in such a way as to eschew the monotony of straight lines; strings of primitive waggons drawn by buffaloes, and driven by Bulgarians with black woolly caps, real genuine grass growing on the downs outside the walls, and a rattling blast from the Black Sea, more welcome than all the balmy spices of Arabia, for it reminded me that I was once more in Europe, and must befit my costume to her ruder airs. This was indeed the north of the Balkan, and I must needs pull out my pea-jacket. How I relished those winds, waves, clouds, and grey skies! They reminded me of English nature and Dutch art. The Nore, the Downs, the Frith of Forth, and sundry dormant Backhuysens, re-awoke to my fancy.
The moral interest too was different. In Egypt or Syria, where whole cycles of civilization lie entombed, we interrogate the past; here in Bulgaria the past is nothing, and we vainly interrogate the future.
The interior of Varna has a very fair bazaar ;
not covered as in Constantinople and other large towns, but well furnished. The private dwellings are generally miserable. The town suffered so severely in the Russian war of 1828, that it has never recovered its former prosperity. It has also been twice nearly all burnt since then; so that, notwithstanding its historical, military, and commercial importance, it has at present little more than 20,000 inhabitants. The walls of the town underwent a thorough repair in the spring and summer of 1843.
The majority of the inhabitants are Turks, and even the native Bulgarians here speak Turkish better than their own language. One Bulgarian here told me that he could not speak the national language. Now in the west of Bulgaria, on the borders of Servia, the Turks speak Bul. garian better than Turkish.
From Varna to Roustchouk is three days' journey, the latter half of the road being agreeably diversified with wood, corn, and pasture; and many of the fields inclosed. Just at sunset, I found myself on the ridge of the last undulation