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HOSPITALITY AT KARANOVATZ.
arrived after sunset, and proceeded in the dark up a paved street, till we saw on our left a café, with lights gleaming through the windows, and a crowd of people, some inside, some outside, sipping their coffee. An individual, who announced himself as the captain of Karanovatz, stepped forward, accompanied by others, and conducted me to his house. Scarcely had I sat down on his divan when two handmaidens entered, one of them bearing a large basin in her hand.
“My guest,” said the captain, “you must be fatigued with your ride. This house is your's. Suppose yourself at home in the country beyond the sea.”
“What,” said I, looking to the handmaidens, “ supper already! You have divined my arrival to a minute."
“Oh, no; we must put you at your ease before supper time; it is warm water."
“ Nothing can be more welcome to a traveller.” So the handmaidens advanced, and while one pulled off my socks, I lolling luxuriously on the divan, and smoking my pipe, the other washed my feet with water, tepid to a degree, and then
dried them. With these agreeable sensations still soothing me, coffee was brought by the lady of the house, on a very pretty service; and I could not help admitting that there was less roughing in Servian travel than I expected.
After supper, the parish priest came in, a middleaged man.
Author. “Do you remember the Turkish period at Karanovatz ?"
Priest. - No; I came here only lately. My native place is Wuchitern, on the borders of a large lake in the High Balkan; but, in common with many of the Christian inhabitants, I was obliged to emigrate last year.”
Author. “For what reason ?”
Priest. “A horde of Albanians, from fifteen to twenty thousand in number, burst from the Pashalic of Scodra upon the peaceful inhabitants of the Pashalic of Vrania, committing the greatest horrors, burning down villages, and putting the inhabitants to the torture, in order to get money, and dishonouring all the handsomest women. The Porte sent a large force, disarmed the rascals, and sent the leaders to the galleys; but I and my
people find ourselves so well here that we feel little temptation to return.”
The grand exploit in the life of our host was a caravan journey to Saloniki, where he had the satisfaction of seeing the sea, a circumstance which distinguished him, not only from the good folks of Karanovatz, but from most of his countrymen in
“ People that live near the sea,” said he, “get their salt cheap enough; but that is not the case in Servia. When Baron Herder made his exploration of the stones and mountains of Servia, he discovered salt in abundance somewhere near the Kopaunik; but Milosh, who at that time had the monopoly of the importation of Wallachian salt in his own hands, begged him to keep the place secret, for fear his own profits would suffer a diminution. Thus we must pay a large price for foreign salt, when we have plenty of it at our own doors ?."
Next day, we walked about Caranovatz. It is symmetrically built like Csatsak, but better paved and cleaner. 3 I have since heard that the Servian salt is to be worked.
Coronation Church of the ancient Kings of Servia.-Enter
the Highlands.- Valley of the Ybar.–First view of the High Balkan.—Convent of Studenitza.—Byzantine Architecture. — Phlegmatic Monk.-Servian Frontier.— New Quarantine.-Russian Major.
WE again started after mid-day, with the captain and his momkes, and, proceeding through meadows, arrived at Zhitchka Jicha. This is an ancient Servian convent, of Byzantine architecture, where seven kings of Servia were crowned, a door being broken into the wall for the entrance of each sovereign, and built up again on his departure. It is situated on a rising ground, just where the river Ybar enters the plain of Karanovatz. The environs are beautiful. The hills are of moderate
ENTER THE HIGHLANDS.
height, covered with verdure and foliage; only campaniles were wanting to the illusion of my being in Italy, somewhere about Verona or Vicenza, where the last picturesque undulations of the Alps meet the bountiful alluvia of the Po. Quitting the valley of the Morava, we struck southwards into the highlands. Here the scene changed; the valley of the Ybar became narrow, the vegetation scanty; and, at evening, we arrived at a tent made of thick matted branches of trees, which had been strewn for us with fresh hay. The elders of Magletch, a hamlet an hour off, came with an offer of their services, in case they were wanted.
The sun set; and a bright crackling fire of withered branches of pine, mingling its light with the rays of the moon in the clear chill of a September evening, threw a wild and unworldly pallor over the sterile scene of our bivouac, and the uncouth figures of the elders. They offered me a supper; but contenting myself with a roasted head of Indian corn, and rolling my cloak and pea jacket about me, I fell asleep: but felt so cold that, at two o'clock, I roused the encamp