ePub 版

It was

Constantinople would be rendered impos- mated in her march to the Mediterranean, sible. The Crimean War was a war waged and practically free to disregard her by France, England, and Turkey to get promises to make certain specified ports military control of the Crimea, and espe- in the Black Sea free, and I believe also cially Sevastopol, and so prevent Russia to leave Sevastopol unfortified. from advancing on Constantinople. The Our Crimean shore experiences, as English took possession of the tiny land promised, were to include three days: (1) locked harbor of Balaclava on one side of a visit to the fortifications of Sevastopol the peninsula, perhaps ten miles from and to the harbor of Balaclava; (2) a Sevastopol by road and twenty by sea, drive across the peninsula and along its without opposition. The harbor is quite northeastern shore to Yalta ; (3) a visit inadequate for vessels of any considerable to the summer gardens and summer palsize; indeed, what England could do with ace of the Czar near Yalta. We were off it except use it as a landing place for pro- the boat and on the dock by nine o'clock visions, I do not know. She made no on Wednesday morning, April 16. The attempt to fortify it, and, so far as I can square was full of carriages, and the passee, Russia has made no attempt to fortify sengers were rushing to and fro to get in. it even now. She landed her troops, also We took the one into which we were put without opposition, on the Sevastopol side by Cook, and thereby learned a lesson. of the peninsula about thirty miles from The next morning the Student picked out Sevastopol, and advanced upon the city. our carriage horses and driver, and we At the crossing of the river Alma, about got far better accommodations. Through twenty iniles from Sevastopol, the battle some lack of direction or failure by the of Alma took place; the Russians were coachman to understand them, the installdefeated, and the allies advanced upon ment of carriages, eight in number, to Sevastopol.

ill defended and which we belonged did not drive to the might easily have been taken by assault, fortifications, but direct to the village and but caution was deemed the better part of harbor of Balaclava. Cook's agent envalor, and the allies made a circle about deavored to rectify the blunder by proposSevastopol and connected their forces ing that we take the fortifications on our with the harbor at Balaclava, in and near return, and even went with us to insure which their fleet, such as it was, was lying. success; but the sun was getting down, Here the Russians attacked; here took the air was getting cold, and we were place the famous Charge of the Light getting weary, so we gave them up, getting Brigade; here again the Russians were a quasi bird's-eye view from the distance. defeated; and again the allies advanced. I think it was no loss to the ladies and Midway between Balaclava and Sevastopol no great loss to me, although I had anticitook place the third battle, that of Inker- pated seeing with interest thr fortificaman; again the Russians were defeated, tions of a siege and an assault in one of and the road lay open to Sevastopol. But the great wars of contemporaneous history, the Russians had used well their time in in which at the time I took no little interpreparing fortifications, and these made a est. It was, in a small way, like being siege necessary. After a protracted siege within a few miles of the battlefield of an assault was ordered, the English storm- Gettysburg and failing to see it. But ing one fortification known as the Redan, it really did not matter; for the whole the French another known as the Mala- topography I could see and understand koff. The defeat of the Russians in the from a distance. fourth battle necessitated the surrender of After a drive of about two hours across Sevastopol and the abandonment of the an undulating country, we approached attempt on Constantinople by Russia, and over a gentle eminence what appeared so ended the Crimean War. England and like a fresh-water pond-it might, at France should have occupied the Crimea a guess, be a mile or a little less long, and so prevented Russia's future realiza. and a quarter or possibly half a mile

But France was tired wide-but I am not good at estimating of the war, England could not or would distances, and I made no attempt to estinot carry it on alone, and so it ended, mate the size then. The shore of this leaving Russia checked but not check pond was lined by what looked like the


tion of her purpose.


edifices of a summer resort, and it was carriages. We drove out of the city, over not until we had fairly drawn up at the a well-macadamized road through a rolling door of the inn where we were to lunch, country, but approaching a range of hills that we assured ourselves that this was of considerable elevation. We passed a Balaclava. The entrance to this land- monument which marked the Battle of locked pond was so narrow and winding, Balaclava, guessed as well as we could and the hills which walled it on either just where was the charge of the Light side were so high, that we could discern Brigade, then descended a long slope, no exit from it, nor easily convince our- watered our horses, and ascended a long selves that it was really a harbor. I do hill, descending it on the other side into a not think that even a moderately large fertile valley only to enter on another long steamer could have gotten in; I am sure climb, and so down another long descent it could not have turned round in the and into another fertile valley, in the heart harbor unless it had twin screws. Indeed, of which was a curious Tartar village of while we were there an American steam one-storied houses, made, I judged, of yacht, the Wanderer, entered the harbor. sun-dried brick, with roofs some of thatch, She was not a large boat, and she had to others of tile. Once we passed what, use her twin screw to get round the sharp judging from the children gathered about corner in entering the harbor. This har it, was a school, where, with some dirty bor was the scene of one of the tragedies and unkempt urchins, were some others of the Crimean War. Some transports well dressed, for whom a coachman was lay inside. Fearing lest the Russians evidently waiting-a, to us, unexpectedly should get command of the neighboring democratic incident in so aristocratic a heights and shell them, the boats were country. Once we passed the forlornestordered into the open sea outside, and, a looking graveyard I ever saw, so covered storm coming up, one of the transports with stones that not a blade of grass was driven on shore and several hundred could grow, and with graves marked by soldiers perished.

ill-set boards for monuments not In one respect we were fortunate in not marked at all. At one point some ragged having gone to the fortifications of Sevas boys ran by the side of our carriages call. topol. We had a choice of seats at lunch, ing for bakhsheesh in the most cheerful and so had not to take our meal, as tones of voice and with laughing faces, as some did, in an unprotected position out- though beggary were a great joke. As side, where we should certainly have we left this Tartar village we began to been uncomfortable in the wind and dust. climb a third hill, longer and steeper than A walk up on to the hill above the any which had preceded. The road, town for some of us, a in the though not very wide, was very skillfully harbor for others, a drive home, taking engineered and as smooth as a floor ; but in a Greek monastery most romantically it was the only sign of twentieth-century situated on a shelf of rock overhanging civilization which we At length, the sea, and including an ancient chapel after we had driven for four hours, now in a cave which nature and art had ascending, now descending, now looking combined to fashion in the cliff, where a off for miles from the vantage-ground of devout old soul was droning out a prayer some eminence, now dipping into a cultior a Scripture lesson in the sing-song tone vated valley or shut in by impenetrable which for some inexplicable reason is woods on either side, but with the general supposed to be the especial vehicle of trend of our road upward and every descent piety, finished the first day.

less than the ascent which had preceded, Thursday involved a trifle of a drive- we found ourselves approaching simulfifty-three miles from Sevastopol to Yalta, taneously our luncheon hour and what I in carriages each with three horses har- suspected, from the character of the rocks nessed abreast. We started from the dock and the scanty vegetation, was what the at about half-past eight, some hundred and farmers in New England call “the height fifty passengers in a long procession, or o’land.” At a turn of the road we found succession of processions, for each boat the carriages of our predecessors emptied load of passengers started as soon as they of their passengers and without their had found their places in the waiting horses. Our driver made signs to us to




get out. This, then, is the “Gate of bought at fair prices, and the supply Baidar," where our itinerary has told us seemed inexhaustible. we are to lunch. Miss

and I hurry But the drive that followed! Twentyforward to secure places for the party, five miles of Gibraltar--no! of one Gi. while the Student and the Matron follow braltar piled upon another, with a road more slowly. Another house, another clinging to the side of the cliff midway stable, more carriages, fellow-passengers between the summit and the sea; and yet in groups upon the road and on the rocks, this, too, is inexact. Let me try to recall it a great archway of stone spanning the more accurately-as if that were possible. roadway, so large that its top constitutes Perpendicular palisades, from one to two a platform big enough to hold tables for thousand feet in height; piled at their over a hundred to sit down at lunch to- base a mass of rock conposed apparently gether, a score or so of our fellow-passen- of débris fallen from the cliffs and extendgers already seated there or getting their ing another thousand feet or so down to seats, through the archway and

the sea ; the sea, vast, illimitable, suggestIt is impossible to record what I saw. ive of boundless space, the only horizon It was so like an impossible vision which the line where sky and sea meet and might disappear in a moment that I forgot melt into each other, indistinguishable, my purpose to secure seats for our party, inseparable ; then between this sea and and turned back to hurry the Student and these palisades a shore line, sometimes the Matron forward, lest the picture should scarcely less perpendicular than the cliffs vanish before they arrived. We were on above, sometimes sloping gently to the the top of a cliff eighteen hundred or two sea at its base, sometimes so narrow that thousand feet high; above us rose peaks our road seemed to hang over the sea, three or four hundred feet higher; below with no spot below large enough for a us, at our feet, lay the Black Sea; upon tree to find root or a blade of grass to its waters our steamer could be discerned, grow, sometimes so broad as to afford a looking like a launch for size; half-way resting place for terraced gardens and down the cliff, on a promontory of rock vineyards, or a bit of pasture, or even an jutting out over the sea, a Greek church; occasional village; sometimes naked, grim, zigzagging down the cliff to this platform, desolate, terrible, sometimes fruitful, efand from it thence along the base of the florescent, fragrant; through this scene cliff and about midway between its pre- of desolation and of fertility, of mountain cipitous wall and the edge of the sea, precipice and blue sea, of alternately the road we were to traverse.

That pic

exquisite beauty and awful grandeur, a nic lunch will, I think, never be forgotten: road constructed at the foot of the cliff, on the top of the great stone archway, but far above the edge of the sea, winding the peaks above us, the wall of rock in and out in endless curves and up and extending for miles before us, the sea down in endless undulations to meet, below us, glimpses here and there of the evade, or overcome the difficulties of the road which presently we were to follow way; at intervals the most primitive of for twenty-five miles further to our resting villages, with swarthy Tartars looking place. The lunch itself, which had been curiously at us as we passed, sometimes provided by Cook and sent out to this with contemptuous amusement depicted mountain solitude in advance for our on their faces, sometimes with jeering coming, amazed us all by the variety of the greetings as we drive by; in many cases viands and their appetizing and even lux- the perpendicular face of a precipitous urious character, where very simple food rock constituting the sole back of their and plain service might have been ex- houses, which seem as though they were pected. Fish with much-spiced dressing, plastered on the rock like the nests of fish in jelly, cold meats pressed and some gigantic and ingenious bird—such jellied, cold chicken, vegetables prepared were the features, or some of the features, in ways new to me, cakes, and fruit, with of the most romantic drive I have ever bread, butter, and cheese, were given in taken or ever conceived of. It is nearly an abundance which matched even the or quite seven o'clock when we at last German appetites. Tea, mineral water,

turn around the edge of a promontory wine, and beer were there also to be we have been long approaching and see far down, a thousand feet below us, the clear case of everybody for himself. The lights of a considerable town glittering Student and I start to look up accommoalong the shore and the lights of our dations. Hotel number one is already steamer in the open sea near by--for taken. Hotel number two is equally full there is no harbor; and our driver points before we reach it. Hotel number three with his whip and says, “ Yalta,” and our proves to be a lodging-house only, which tired horses, taking new courage from an furnishes rooms, but not meals-a not instinctive sense that their work is nearly uncommon type, I believe, in Russia. done, begin the long descent on a run All the hotel clerks are running about which would terrify us had not our hearts distracted; all the passengers are running lost the capacity for further sensation. about distracted after them. The passenThe wind has risen as the sun has gone gers cannot understand the clerks, nor down; it is growing cold and dark, and the clerks the passengers.

To show that we are growing hungry, and the prospect I want a bed I put my head on my hand of being on board our yacht and sitting and shut my eyes ; to show that I want down to her well-equipped dinner cheers two beds I hold up two fingers. Two our hearts. We do not care how soon we roubles ? ($1.08). I nod my head; but are there. Now we are driving by a long also two rooms--and I put my head on wall, over which we get glimpses of fruit my hand twice.

Then two fingers are trees in blossom, and occasionally of gar- held up twice and something added. I den beds and walks ; now by a great distinguish roubles and something else gateway, with gorgeously gilded double- unintelligible. I nod. I will pay three eagles perched on standards, and again roubles if necessary, and two roubles and our communicative driver points his whip something will be less than three roubles. and says, “ Livadia”--the summer garden with some difficulty we make this clear of the King, which we are to visit to- and are taken up to see the rooms. morrow. Now we are trotting in a long They seem clean but barren, one bed in procession along the quay, where the waves each, with a mattress but no bedding. from the sea are breaking with such force as We make it clear that we want another now and again to send the spray over us- bed in each, take the keys that no one interesting embarking this is going to be, else may get them, and go after the Matron, but no matter, we have good officers, all will content to have assurance that she will be safe, and a romantic embarkation will not have to sit up in a chair or sleep on form a fitting culinination to a romantic the foor. Except for one provident day. Halt! The carriages fill the street couple, there was not, I think, so much from curb to curb. Others come rolling as a toothbrush in the entire company. up behind us. What is this? The hotel ? A few persons more energetic than the But why do we stop at the hotel? Why rest shopped for toilet conveniences and do we not drive on to the landing-place? night-garments, but most of us settled No one who knows can speak English. down to what we had; for the ladies, hairNo one who can speak English can find pins and side combs answering for their out. Presently it begins to be rumored “coiffure,” and chewed match-ends for that we cannot embark to-night; there is toothbrushes. As to robes de nuit, they no harbor, and the sea is too high. What were not to be thought of. shall we do? We will wait a few minutes How the Student, Miss and I to see if the rumor be true and to get went out to get some supper for ourselves directions from the men who have charge and some provisions for the Matron, who of the excursion. Presently the rumor is needed rest even more than supper ; how verified, but simultaneously it is made to at the primitive restaurant we had to appear that no one regards himself in divide rations for one among two or three, charge of the excursion. There is with and go ourselves to the room adjoining us an agent of the steamship, but it is the kitchen for bread and butter ; how not his business to take care of us on the Matron stayed at the lodging-house, shore. There are two of Cook's agents and by signs made the porter understand here, but they do not think it their busi; that she wanted a fire in the great Rusness to take care of us after the drive sian stove, and got it at last, after much is over. It dawns on me that it is a waiting, but could get heat from the big stove only by sitting immediately in front arrangement was in fact made, I believe. of the open door to the sort of oven in by the captain of our steamer through the which the wood was burning; how grad- intermediary of the first officer. We ually the furnishing for the night was had nothing to pay on the steamer, except brought in- parts of an iron bedstead at for luncheon if we chose to take it. So intervals, then, in succession, with waits far as I know, not till all the arrangebetween, a mattress, bedclothes in install- ments were consummated and most of ments, water for washing, bottled water the passengers had gotten word and were for drinking, and, last of all, some towels; on board, or preparing to go on board, how all we could bring her home for her did the agents of the Cook Company frugal supper was some bread and butter, appear again. Whether they kept out of a little fruit, and some Russian choco. sight because they did not know what to lates; how we slept on hard beds, and do, or because they wanted to avoid for whenever we wakened heard the noise of Cook all responsibility for the predicathe waves dashing up against the sea-wall ment in which we were placed, I do not outside ; and how when my bill came in I know. found I had to pay for light, attendance, Generalizations from a single experience bedding, and making up the bed, so that or a brief series of experiences are not my rooins were four roubles each instead very safe; but the results of our experiof two, I need not recall here more in ences on this trip confirmed Mr. —'s detail. This was not an imposition, as I advice to me; before I left New York he was at first inclined to suppose. We had said: “Buy your circular tickets of Cook; landed in a house characteristic of Rus- occasionally you can use him to advantage sia and of Oriental countries, in which in especial carriage trips—but avoid the the landlord furnishes the room and the “personally conducted tour.'” In fact, we bedstead, and leaves the traveler to fur- paid a good price at Sevastopol in order nish his own bedclothes, which he ordi- to have all care taken off, and when the narily brings with him.

crisis came it all tumbled back on The next morning the problem how we again ; we paid for a third day's excurwere to get on board our steamer pre- sion--to the garden of the Czar--which sented itself. The wind, rattling the shut- never had, and had not only to pay ters and blowing open the French windows our bills at Yalta, to which I do not espeof our room, gave us no hope of a quiet cially object, but had to shift for ourselves sea, and I was not surprised to see the under circumstances of no little perplexity, yacht moving up and down-in while our personal conductors disappeared ways than one-a half-mile or more from from the scene, not to appear again until the shore. I succeeded by signs in all the trouble and perplexity were passed. getting from the landlord of the lodging- To our surprise, the Russian steamer, house a glass of tea and some bread and though primarily for freight, had very butter for the ladies, and then started out comfortable provision for passengers, and to reconnoiter. At seven o'clock I was we, with unexpected steadiness, steamed at the chief hotel, but no one knew what back over the water which we had looked was to be done, and every new passenger down upon the day before, our "yacht " I met had a new rumor to repeat or a accompanying us all the way. Although new plan to propose. We must ride back we lost our promised view of the palaces to Sevastopol ; the horses we re exhausted and the splendors they contain, we gained and the drivers would not take us ; we a new view of the marvelous cliffs along must wait here until the sea goes down; which we had driven. We are now at we are going to be taken to the steamer home again on the Prinzessin. Our time in launches, etc., etc. At length it began on the yacht is growing short, and we to be reported, though still no official begin to wonder whether after the exchange notice was given, that there was a Rus- to land traveling we shall be as comfortsian local steamer inside the breakwater, able. But there is a pleasant thought in that we were all to go on board of her, the idea of longer time in our stoppingthat she was to take us back to Sevasto- places and larger space for manipulating pol, and that we were to embark on the our luggage to compensate for the luxuries Prinzessin in the harbor there. This we shall leave.



L. A.


« 上一頁繼續 »