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THE IRON GATE.

193

ruins, attest the piety of the Neman dynasty. The convent of Studenitza was built towards the end of the twelfth century, by the first of the dynasty. The old cloister of the convent was burnt down by the Turks. The new cloister was built in 1839. In fact it is a wonder that so fine a monument as the church should have been preserved at all.

There is a total want of arable land in this part of Servia, and the pasture is neither good nor abundant; but the Ybar is the most celebrated of all the streams of Servia for large quantities of trout.

Next day we continued our route direct South, through scenery of the same rugged and sterile description as that we had passed on the way hither. How different from the velvet verdure and woodland music of the Gutchevo and the Drina! At one place on the bank of the Ybar, there was room for only a led horse, by a passage cut in the rock. This place bears the name of Demir Kapu, or Iron Gate. In the evening we arrived at the frontier quarantine, called Raska, which is situated at two hours' distance from Novibazar.

DIRECTOR OF THE QUARANTINE.

In the midst of an amphitheatre of hills destitute of vegetation, which appeared low from the valley, although they must have been high enough above the level of the sea, was such a busy scene as one may find in the back settlements of Eastern Russia. Within an extensive inclosure of high palings was a heterogeneous mass of new buildings, some unfinished, and resounding with the saw, the plane, and the hatchet; others in possession of the employés in their uniforms; others again devoted to the safe keeping of the well-armed caravans, which bring their cordovans, oils, and cottons, from Saloniki, through Macedonia, and over the Balkan, to the gates of Belgrade. · On dismounting, the Director, a thin elderly man, with a modest and pleasing manner, told me in German that he was a native of the Austrian side of the Save, and had been attached to the quarantine at Semlin; that he had joined the quarantine service, with the permission of his government, and after having directed various other establishments, was now occupied in organizing this new point.

A POLISH RUSSIAN OFFICER.

195

The traiteur of the quarantine gave us for dinner a very fair pillaff, as well as roast and boiled fowl; and going outside to our bench, in front of the finished buildings, I began to smoke. A slightly built and rather genteel-looking man, with a braided surtout, and a piece of ribbon at his button-hole, was sitting on the step of the next door, and wished me good evening in German. I asked him who he was, and he told me that he was a Pole, and had been a major in the Russian service, but was compelled to quit it in consequence of a duel.

I asked him if he was content with his present condition; and he answered, “ Indeed, I am not ; I am perfectly miserable, and sometimes think of returning to Russia, coûte qui coûte.-My salary is £20 sterling a year, and every thing is dear here; for there is no village, but an artificial settlement; and I have neither books nor European society. I can hold out pretty well now, for the weather is fine; but I assure you that in winter, when the snow is on the ground, it exhausts my patience.” We now took a turn down the inclosure to his house, which was the ground-floor of the guard196

KINDNESS OF THE DIRECTOR.

house. Here was a bed on wooden boards, a single chair and table, without any other furni

ture.

The Director, obliging me, made up a będ for me in his own house, since the only resource at the traiteur's would have been my own carpet and pillow.

CHAPTER XVIII.

Cross the Bosniac Frontier.-Gipsy Encampment.— Novibazar described.-Rough Reception.—Precipitate Departure.-Fanaticism.

Next day we were all afoot at an early hour, in order to pay a visit to Novibazar. In order to obviate the performance of quarantine on our return, I took an officer of the establishment, and a couple of men, with me, who in the Levant are called Guardiani ; but here the German word Ueber-reiter, or over-rider, was adopted.

We continued along the river Raska for about an hour, and then descried a line of wooden palings going up hill and down dale, at right angles with the course we were holding. This was the frontier of the principality of Servia, and here

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