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When homeward brought Sir Cradock, then,
His wife, the Lady of the Fen.
Christmas had come. Upon the hearth
The Yule-log sang and laugh'd for mirth.
Merry it was in the loud, light hall.
Where roar'd and glow'd the festival,
And the feasters drank, in wine red-bright,
"Health to the Lady and her Knight!"


A WAR, a murder, or a railway, has the effect
of promoting very insignificant places into the
widest notoriety. The present north-eastern
warfare, for example, is causing the most
diligent consultation of the atlas and the
gazetteer to find the position on the map of
proper names which make their first appearance
in newspapers as the scenes of important
events. Varna is the latest debut.
Extreme significance is given to a report that
"a Russian frigate has been seen reconnoitring
Varna;" to the fact that "the
British consul has left Varna;" or to the
circumstance that "consternation had seized
the merchants of Varna." The effect of such
bewildering intelligence would be much more
breathless if ninety readers in a hundred had
ever before heard of Varna, or knew where
Varna is situated.

Their ignorance is the less pardonable
because it is not unlikely that the roll they ate
for breakfast was made from corn exported
from Varna. Varna, the port of Bulgaria
the present seat of warlike many other
towns along the shores of the Black Sea and
of the inner basin of the Mediterranean, was,
fifty years ago, a mere collection of huts. It
is now important enough to be governed by
a Turkish Mirmidar, or Pasha of three tails.
The population consisted, even as long ago as
eighteen hundred and twenty-eight, when it
was captured by the Russians, of about
sixteen thousand souls, of which eight thousand
two hundred are Moslems; the rest being
Greeks, Armenians, lonians, and a few Jews.
The city contains more than three thousand
houses, a good many of which are new or
in course of construction. There are four
mosques, three Greek churches (one of
which, that of St. Athanasius, is the
metropolitan), and one Armenian church. The
principal Greek place of worship was rebuilt
in one thousand eight hundred and thirty-
eight. It contains three naves, and space
enough for a congregation of above two
thousand. At Christmas and on Easter day
the other churches are shut up, and all the
Greeks collect in or around their cathedral;
the gyneceum or women's gallery of which is
completely filled, and yet more than half of
the fairer portion of the congregation are
compelled to remain in the court-yard.

Before the taking of Varna by the Russians,
with the exception of the clergy few persons
spoke Greek. The use of the Turkish was
general, so that the priests were obliged to
preach and hear confessions in that language.
The Varniote Greeks were assimilated to the
Bulgarians, and although they were not forced
to learn the Turkish, they found it necessary
to do so in order to carry on daily intercourse.
They were kept severely within bounds, and
forbidden to communicate with foreign
traders. They were not even allowed to
have windows in their wooden houses
towards the street. Daylight entered by a few
little holes.

In those times, however, Varna was a
garrison town, and there was constant danger
of spies. After Varna was restored to the
Turks the Varniotes, who for a time
emigrated, returned; and, by the assistance of
their archbishop, Joseph de Serres, rapidly
advanced in social improvement. Schools
were established on the Lancastrian principle,
and the Greek language was studied with
assiduity. Most young men now speak
Greek. A little library has been founded,
and there is a school for girls, directed by a
lady from Constantinople, who teaches reading,
writing, the first rules of arithmetic, and
needlework. It is curious to notice these
revivals of civilisation in places of which,
until lately, Europe never heard speak. The
commerce of Varna has advanced even more

The return of material prosperity to Varna
was subsequent to the return of intellectual
life. Fifteen years ago everything was
curiously cheap there. Three eggs were
bought for one parah, and a fowl sometimes
for five farthings. At present an egg costs
five parahs, and a fowl two piastres, or
fivepence. Then, the bread was very bad, none
of the Varniotes being learned in the science
of making it; but now, not only does the
Greek baker, Mr. Agabides, furnish excellent
loaves, but an export trade has been
established during the last two years from
Varna, which is only second to that from
Odessa. Very recently the inhabitants were
actually not aware that the chicory, the asparagus,
and the strawberries which nature produced
spontaneously in their fields, were good
to eat. At present they sell them at high
prices to the strangers, who have taught
them their value. Every requisite for a good
kitchen, and the other necessaries of European
life, except handy servants, are now to be
had at Varna. The tone of manners has
consequently much changed. Formerly, if a
lady in European dress ventured to go out of
her house, even accompanied by her husband,
she was hooted by crowds of idle children.
Now, she may go out alone without danger.
The public promenade since eighteen hundred
and fifty has been crowded with ladies,
dressed in the last fashions procured from
the well-assorted bazaars of Pera. Even the
men begin to dress in the European style;
and, in eighteen hundred and fifty-one four
European tailors established themselves.
European furniture now finds its way into