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warm enough for cuffs; several of which
are exchanged with great earnestness. At
last, however, the coffee-house keeper takes
bold Hamed on his weak side.

"Is not your master a great man? " he asks

"To be sure he is; swine!"

"Why then does he expect to pay less than
a poor hoja who passed here yesterday, and
gave me one hundred and fifty piastres without
a word?" returned mine host. This
settles the question. The two hundred
piastres change hands, Hamed throws
himself into the saddle and leads on. Three
or four hours more sharp riding brings
us into the rich plains of Magnesia, and
the storied old city rises before us beautiful
as a vision. There are no signs of human
habitation anywhere else. In an eight hours' ride
we have passed but one small village. The
whole country is a lovely unpeopled waste.

At last the evening closes solemnly and
grandly over the beautiful landscape, and the
moon rises. Hamed checks the led horses, and
causing the finest to be unclothed, holds the
stirrup while I mount. So we ride in a stately
manner through the quaint Eastern streets:
the Turks who meet us forming in line, with
their hands veiling their eyes: which is the
usual salute. My horse, which has belonged
to a Pasha, seems to recognise it and goes
curvetting and throwing his beautiful head up
and down every time I raise my hand to my
hat in reply. He is the politest horse I ever
saw. We stop before the fine palace of the
Great Sadik Bey, one of the most powerful
and wealthy Satraps in the land.


AN Eastern summer is full of wonders; but
there is, perhaps, nothing about it more awfully
appalling than those vast flights of locusts
which sometimes destroy the vegetation of
whole kingdoms in a few days, and where
they found a garden leave a wilderness.

I am riding along a pleasant hill side
towards the end of May. There is a sharp
pattering noise, like that of April rain in
Scotland, falling on hard ground. I look
attentively towards the earth, knowing that it
cannot be a shower this clear, balmy
morning, and I see a countless multitude
of little black insects no bigger than a
pin's head. They are hopping and springing
about in myriads, under my horse's
feetalong the hard stony road, which is
quite black with them, and far away among
the heather, which is turned black also. I
ride miles and miles, yet the ground is still
darkened with those little insects, and the
same sharp pattering noise continues. They
are the young of the locusts, who left their
eggs in the ground last year. They have just
come to life. Three days ago there was not
one to be seen.

A little later and I am passing through a
Greek village. The alarm has spread
everywhere, and the local authorities have
bestirred themselves to resist their enemies
while still weak. Large fires are burning by
the river-side, and immense cauldrons full of
boiling water are streaming over them. The
whole country side has been out locust-hunting.
They have just returned with the result
of their day's exertion. Twenty-three
thousand pounds weight of these little insects,
each, as I have said, no bigger than a pin's
head, have been brought in already in one day.

They have been caught in a surface of less
than five square miles. There has been no
difficulty in catching them. Children of six
years old can do it as well as grown men. A
sack and a broom are all that is necessary.
Place the open sack on the ground and you
may sweep it full of locusts as fast as you
can move your arms. The village community
pay about a farthing a pound for locusts.
Some of the hunters have earned two or
three shillings a day. As the sacks are
brought in they are thrust into the cauldrons
of boiling water, and boiled each for some
twenty minutes. They are then emptied
into the rapid little river swollen by the
melting of mountain snows.

My Albanian, Hamed, watches these
proceedings from his embroidered scarlet saddle
with much melancholy gravity. "Ah," he
says, "if there was but one dervish or good
man among those rogues he could pray them
away in an hour. There are no locusts in
my village, because we have a dervisha
saintly manthere."

It appears that no dervish comes, and the
plague goes on spreading daily from village
to villagefrom town to town. This is the
fourth year since they first appeared at
Mytilene, whence I am writing. It is said that they
seldom remain at one place longer, but that,
in the fourth generation, the race dies out
unless it is recruited from elsewhere. I am
not aware whether this is a mere popular
superstition, or a fact based on experience.
They show, however, certainly no symptom
of weakness or diminution of numbers. In
ten days they have increased very much in
size, they are now as long as cockchafers,
only fatter. They seem to be of several
distinct species. Their bodies are about an inch
and a half long, but some are much larger
round than others. They have six legs. The
hind legs of the largest kind are nearly three
inches long, or twice the length of the body.
They have immense strength, and can spring
four or five yards at a time. The legs are
terminated by sharp, long claws, and have
lesser claws going about half way up at the
sides of them; their hold is singularly
tenacious. Their heads and shoulders are
covered with a kind of horny armour, very
tough. Some are of a bright green colour all
over, some have brown backs and yellow
bellies with red legs, and are speckled not
unlike a partridge. Some are nearly black
all over, and have long wings. The largest