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The Natchalnik then called a Momke, and gave orders for the child to be brought next day. At the appointed hour the father and mother came with the child. It was indeed a baby giantess, higher than its brother, who was six years of age. Its hands were thick and strong, the flesh plump, and the mammæ most prominently developed. Seeing the room filled with people, it began to cry, but its attention being diverted by a nodding mandarin of stucco provided for the purpose, the nurse enabled us to verify all the president had said. This phenomenon was born the 29th of June, 1842, old style, and the lunar influences were in operation on the tenth month after birth. I remarked to the president, that if the father had more avarice than decency, he might go to Europe, and return with his weight in gold.
Rich Soil.— Mysterious Waters.— Treaty of Passarovitz.· The Castle of Semendria.—Relics of the Antique. The
Brankovitch Family.–Pancsova.-Morrison's Pills.
The soil at Posharevatz is remarkably rich, the greasy humus being from fifteen to twenty-five feet thick, and consequently able to nourish the noblest forest trees. In the Banat, which is the granary of the Austrian empire, trees grow well for fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years, and then die away. The cause of this is, that the earth, although rich, is only from three to six feet thick, with sand or cold clay below ; thus as soon as the roots descend to the substrata, in which they find
no nourishment, rottenness appears on the top branches, and gradually descends.
At Krushevitza, not very far from Pasharevatz, is a cave, which is, I am told, entered with difficulty, into the basin of which water gradually flows at intervals, and then disappears, as the doctor of the place (a Saxon) told me, with an extraordinary noise resembling the molar rumble of railway travelling. This spring is called Potainitza, or the mysterious waters.
Posharevatz, miscalled Passarowitz, is historically remarkable, as the place where Prince Eugene, in 1718, after his brilliant victories of the previous year, including the capture of Belgrade, signed, with the Turks, the treaty which gave back to the house of Austria not only the whole of Hungary, but added great part of Servia and Little Wallachia, as far as the Aluta. With this period began the Austrian rule in Servia, and at this time the French fashioned Lange Gasse of Belgrade rose amid the “swelling domes and pointed minarets of the white eagle's nest?.”
1 In Servian, Belgrade is called Beograd, “white city;"poetically, “white eagle's nest.”
Several quaint incidents had recalled this period during my tour. For instance, at Manasia, I saw rudely engraven on the church wall,
Die 1 Aug. 1721.
Semendria is three hours' ride from Posharevatz; the road crosses the Morava, and every where the country is fertile, populous, and well cultivated. Innumerable massive turrets, mellowed by the sun of a clear autumn, and rising from wide rolling waters, announced my approach to the shores of the Danube. I seemed entering one of those fabled strong holds, with which the early Italian artists adorned their landscapes. If Semendria be not the most picturesque of the Servian castles of the elder period, it is certainly by far the most extensive of them. Nay, it is colossal. The rampart next the Danube has been shorn of its fair proportions, so as to make it suit the modern art of war. Looking at Semendria from one of the three land sides, you have a castle of Ercole di Ferrara ; looking at it from
the water, you have the boulevard of a Van der Meulen.
The Natchalnik accompanied me in a visit to the fortress, protected from accident by a couple of soldiers; for the castle of Semendria is still, like that of Shabatz, in the hands of a few Turkish spahis and their families. The news from Shabatz having produced a slight ferment, we found several armed Moslems at the gate ; but they did not allow the Servians to pass, with the exception of the Natchalnik and another man. “This is new," said he; “ I never knew them to be so wary and suspicious before.” We now found ourselves within the walls of the fortress. A shabby wooden café was opposite to us; a mosque of the same material rose with its worm-eaten carpentry to our right. The cadi, a pompous vulgar old man, now met us, and signified that we might as well repose at his chardak, but from inhospitality or fanaticism, gave us neither pipes nor coffee. His worship was so proud, that he scarcely deigned to speak. The Disdar Aga, a somewhat more approximative personage, now entered the tottering chardak, (the carpenters of Semendria seem to have emigrated