« PreviousContinue »
general, has a right merry bacchanalian climate. Schiller or Symian wine is in the same parallel of latitude as Claret, Oedenburger as Burgundy, and a line run westwards from Tokay would almost touch the vineyards of Champagne. Csaplovich remarks in his quaint way, that the four principal wines of Hungary are cultivated by the four principal nations in it. That is to say, the Slavonians cultivate the Schiller, Germans the Oedenburger and Ruster, Magyars and Wallachians the Menesher. Good Schiller is the best Syrmian wine. But I must return from this digression to the guest of the Adler. On hearing that I was an Englishman, he expressed a wish to hear as much of England as possible, and appeared thunderstruck, when I told him that London had nearly two millions of inhabitants, being four hundred thousand more than the population of the whole of the Banat. This individual had of course learned five languages with his mother's milk, and therefore thought that the inhabitants of such a country as England must know ten at least. When I told him that the majority of the people in England
knew nothing but English, he said, somewhat
“ Can Wallachian be learned in London ?"
“I confess, I don't think that any body in London teaches Servian ; but”
“ There again, you travellers are always making statements unfounded on fact. I have mentioned three leading languages, and nobody in your city knows anything about them.”
Description of Belgrade.--- Fortifications.-Streets and Street
Population.—Cathedral.- Large Square.—Coffee-house.Deserted Villa.— Baths.
Through the courtesy and attention of Mr. Consul-general Fonblanque and the numerous friends of M. Petronievitch, I was, in the course of a few days, as familiar with all the principal objects and individuals in Belgrade, as if I had resided months in the city.
The fare of a boat from Semlin to Belgrade by Austrian rowers is five zwanzigers, or about 3s.6d. English ; and the time occupied is half an hour, that is to say, twenty minutes for the descent of the Danube, and about ten minutes for the ascent
of the Save. On arrival at the low point of land at the confluence, we perceived the distinct line of the two rivers, the Danube faithfully retaining its brown, muddy character, while the Save is much clearer. We now had a much closer view of the fortress opposite. Large embrasures, slightly elevated above the water's edge, were intended for guns of great calibre; but above, a gallimaufry of grass-grown and moss-covered fortifications were crowned by ricketty, red-tiled houses, and looking very unlike the magnificent towers in the last scene of the Siege of Belgrade, at Drury Lane. Just within the banks of the Save were some of the large boats which trade on the river; the new ones as curiously carved, painted, and even gilded, as some of those one sees at Dort and Rotterdam. They have no deck --for a ridge of rafters covers the goods, and the hoatmen move about on ledges at the gunwale.
The fortress of Belgrade, jutting out exactly at the point of confluence of the rivers, has the town behind it. The Servian, or principal quarter, slopes down to the Save; the Turkish quarter
to the Danube. I might compare Belgrade to a sea-turtle, the head of which is represented by the fortress, the back of the neck by the esplanade or Kalai Meidan, the right flank by the Turkish quarter, the left by the Servian, and the ridge of the back by the street running from the esplanade to the gate of Constantinople.
We landed at the left side of our imaginary turtle, or at the quay of the Servian quarter, which runs along the Save. The sloping bank was paved with stones; and above was a large edifice with an arcade, one end of which served as the custom-house, the other as the Austrian consulate.
The population was diversified. Shabby old Turks were selling fruit; and boatmen, both Moslem and Christian—the former with turbans, the latter with short fez's—were waiting for a fare. To the left was a Turkish guard-house, at a gate leading to the esplanade, with as smart a row of burnished muskets as one could expect. All within this gate is under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Pasha of the fortress; all without the gate