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men who had made themselves stone huts,
without mortar, or cement, after the model of
the oyster-shell grottoes, which prevail during
August in the suburbs of London. These
good folks had no sympathy with my desires.
That a man who might sit at home, should
climb a hill for amusement, was, in their eyes,
incomprehensible; and one misanthropic
personage pronounced my conduct to be "eshek
gibi," i. e. like a donkey. Undeterred by his
censure, I pushed on; and in due time reached
the foot of the precipice. From there I could
see that there were excavations of considerable
size at various heights upon the rock;
and that there had been galleries, or covered
pathways, sloping from one excavation to
another; and from the lowermost one to the
ground. These paths were, of course, zig-zag,
and had been cut with prodigious labour out
of the perpendicular surface of stone. From
the crumbling nature of this, from the effect
of time, much had fallen down; but the
remains led me to believe that the whole had
originally been masked by the outer face of
the precipice; and was only exposed by its
decay. The lower portion of the path was
altogether gone; and the commencement of
what remained being fully twelve feet from
the ground, I was compelled to defer any
farther investigation.

The next morning I returned to the charge,
attended by a man carrying a ladder. Its
assistance enabled me to reach the pathway;
rdong which. I could walk easily to the lowest
excavation. This proved to be a Greek
chapel, about eight feet square, its stone roof
and walls covered with plaster, and this with
the usual pictures of saints in very fair
preservation. There was no outlet but by the
way I came, and no apparent means of
communication with the excavations higher up.
But the pathway presented just one evidence
of having formerly been covered; in the shape
of an arch near the chapel, probably the sole
remains of a once continuous roof and outer
wall of rock. Moreover, the original
termination upon, the ground was easily traceable
by the eye; and on proceeding to this point
I found another little cave, and a well of
excellent water; leading me to conjecture that
,the object of the path had been to open a
communication with this well, rather than
with the world without; and that the caverns
had probably served as places of refuge
and concealment for the early Christians,
in times of persecution. Afterwards, they
would doubtless be used as hermitages and

Besides the excavation which I entered,
and which was about twenty-five feet from
the ground, there were three others. Two
of them were nearly in a line above the first;
and there were signs that a pathway had
once connected them with it, and with each
other. The third was at some little distance
away, about forty feet from the ground, and
with no visible remains of any way of access.
Its entrance was large and irregular, as if
rock had fallen; and it seemed to contain
three little vaulted chambers, giving its ground-
plan somewhat the shape of a club on a playing
card. Remains of painting could also be
discerned from below; but nothing very
definite. While wondering how the artist had
ever reached the scene of his labours, I caught
sight of some little hollows in the rock, like
pigeon-holes, regularly arranged in a double
row, and intended to receive the hands and
feet in climbing. The lowermost one was
above my reach; but it seemed likely that
the series had once extended to the ground.
As at present existing, not one of the holes
would afford a fair inch of purchase; and I
could not restrain a shiver as I thought of
the number of hermits whose necks may have
been broken in the endeavour to mount so
perilous a ladder.

Returning once more to my accessible
chapel, I stood awhile in its entrance to
admire the view over the city and suburbs;
and over the then tranquil waters of the
Black Sea. I was startled by a succession of
loud knocks, such as might have been
produced by the knuckle upon a hard table.
Comforted by the belief that spirit-rapping
was unknown in Turkey, I turned into the
chapel; and, in a gloomy corner, found three
enormous owlets, seemingly of tender age,
but with throats large enough to swallow me.
Their beaks, rapping together, produced the
noise that had discovered them; and
displayed, I suppose, their manner of asking
supplies from the old folks. To their infinite
surprise, displeasure, and disgust, they were
forthwith taken down the ladder; and then,
to Trebizond, the outer garment of the ladder-
carrier being extemporised into a bag for the
occasion. The largest of them measured,
when caught, nearly four feet across the
wings; the other two being somewhat smaller.
They throve very well under my care, and
seemed amiable and docile; but their odour
was so objectionable that on reaching
England, I was forced to discard them, and to
obtain them a home amongst their kindred
in the gardens of the Zoological Society.

On Thursday, the twentieth instant (Almanac-day), will
be published, in Twenty-eight pages, stitched,
Household Words Office, No. 16, Wellington Street
North, Strand. Sold by all Booksellers, and at all Railway