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The innocents abroad, or, The new Pilgrim's progress

being some account of the steamship Quaker City's pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy land ; with descriptions of countries, nations, incidents and adventures, as they appeared to the author






We left a dozen passengers in Constantinople, and sailed
through the beautiful Bosporus and far up into the
Black Sea. We left them in the clutches of the celebrated
Turkish guide, “Far-away Moses,” who will seduce them into
buying a ship-load of attar of roses, splendid Turkish vestments,
and all manner of curious things they can never have
any use for. Murray's invaluable guide-books have mentioned
Far-away Moses' name, and he is a made man. He rejoices
daily in the fact that he is a recognized celebrity. However,
we can not alter our established customs to please the whims
of guides; we can not show partialities this late in the day.
Therefore, ignoring this fellow's brilliant fame, and ignoring
the fanciful name he takes such pride in, we called him Ferguson,
just as we had done with all other guides. It has kept
him in a state of smothered exasperation all the time. Yet we
meant him no harm. After he has gotten himself up regardless
of expense, in showy, baggy trowsers, yellow, pointed slippers,
flery fez, silken jacket of blue, voluminous waist-sash of fancy
Persian stuff filled with a battery of silver-mounted horse-pistols,
and has strapped on his terrible scimetar, he considers
it an unspeakable humiliation to be called Ferguson. It can
not be helped. All guides are Fergusons to us. We can not
master their dreadful foreign names.

Sebastopol is probably the worst battered town in Russia or
any where else. But we ought to be pleased with it, nevertheless,
for we have been in no country yet where we have been
so kindly received, and where we felt that to be Americans


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[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 382. In-line Illustration. Image of a man with a full beard. He is wearing salwar trousers. The caption reads, "FAR-AWAY MOSES."] was a sufficient visé for our passports. The moment the anchor
was down, the Governor of the town immediately dispatched
an officer on board to inquire
if he could be of any assistance
to us, and to invite us to
make ourselves at home in Sebastopol!
If you know Russia,
you know that this was a
wild stretch of hospitality.
They are usually so suspicious
of strangers that they worry
them excessively with the delays
and aggravations incident
to a complicated passport system.
Had we come from any
other country we could not
have had permission to enter
Sebastopol and leave again
under three days—but as it
was, we were at liberty to go
and come when and where we
pleased. Every body in Constantinople
warned us to be
very careful about our passports,
see that they were strictly
en regle, and never to mislay them for a moment: and they
told us of numerous instances of Englishmen and others who
were delayed days, weeks, and even months, in Sebastopol, on
account of trifling informalities in their passports, and for
which they were not to blame. I had lost my passport, and
was traveling under my room-mate's, who stayed behind in
Constantinople to await our return. To read the description
of him in that passport and then look at me, any man could
see that I was no more like him than I am like Hercules. So
I went into the harbor of Sebastopol with fear and trembling—
full of a vague, horrible apprehension that I was going to be
found out and hanged. But all that time my true passport


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had been floating gallantly overhead—and behold it was only
our flag. They never asked us for any other.

We have had a great many Russian and English gentlemen
and ladies on board to-day, and the time has passed cheerfully
away. They were all happy-spirited people, and I never
heard our mother tongue sound so pleasantly as it did when it
fell from those English lips in this far-off land. I talked to
the Russians a good deal, just to be friendly, and they talked
to me from the same motive; I am sure that both enjoyed the
conversation, but never a word of it either of us understood.
I did most of my talking to those English people though, and
I am sorry we can not carry some of them along with us.

We have gone whithersoever we chose, to-day, and have met
with nothing but the kindest attentions. Nobody inquired
whether we had any passports or not.

Several of the officers of the Government have suggested
that we take the ship to a little watering-place thirty miles
from here, and pay the Emperor of Russia a visit. He is rusticating
there. These officers said they would take it upon
themselves to insure us a cordial reception. They said if we
would go, they would not only telegraph the Emperor, but
send a special courier overland to announce our coming. Our
time is so short, though, and more especially our coal is so
nearly out, that we judged it best to forego the rare pleasure
of holding social intercourse with an Emperor.

Ruined Pompeii is in good condition compared to Sebastopol.
Here, you may look in whatsoever direction you please,
and your eye encounters scarcely any thing but ruin, ruin, ruin!—fragments
of houses, crumbled walls, torn and ragged hills,
devastation every where! It is as if a mighty earthquake had
spent all its terrible forces upon this one little spot. For
eighteen long months the storms of war beat upon the helpless
town, and left it at last the saddest wreck that ever the sun
has looked upon. Not one solitary house escaped unsathed—
not one remained habitable, even. Such utter and complete
ruin one could hardly conceive of. The houses had all been
solid, dressed stone structures; most of them were ploughed


Page 384
through and through by cannon balls—unroofed and sliced
down from eaves to foundation—and now a row of them, half
a mile long, looks merely like an endless procession of battered
chimneys. No semblance of a house remains in such as
these. Some of the larger buildings had corners knocked off;
pillars cut in two; cornices smashed; holes driven straight
through the walls. Many of these holes are as round and as
cleanly cut as if they had been made with an auger. Others
are half pierced through, and the clean impression is there
in the rock, as smooth and as shapely as if it were done in
putty. Here and there a ball still sticks in a wall, and from it
iron tears trickle down and discolor the stone.

The battle-fields were pretty close together. The Malakoff
tower is on a hill which is right in the edge of the town. The
Redan was within rifle-shot of the Malakoff; Inkerman was a
mile away; and Balaklava removed but an hour's ride. The
French trenches, by which they approached and invested the
Malakoff were carried so close under its sloping sides that
one might have stood by the Russian guns and tossed a stone
into them. Repeatedly, during three terrible days, they
swarmed up the little Malakoff hill, and were beaten back
with terrible slaughter. Finally, they captured the place, and
drove the Russians out, who then tried to retreat into the town,
but the English had taken the Redan, and shut them off with
a wall of flame; there was nothing for them to do but go back
and retake the Malakoff or die under its guns. They did go
back; they took the Malakoff and retook it two or three times,
but their desperate valor could not avail, and they had to give
up at last.

These fearful fields, where such tempests of death used to
rage, are peaceful enough now; no sound is heard, hardly a
living thing moves about them, they are lonely and silent—
their desolation is complete.

There was nothing else to do, and so every body went to
hunting relies. They have stocked the ship with them. They
brought them from the Malakoff, from the Redan, Inkerman,
Balaklava—every where. They have brought cannon balls,


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[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 385. In-line Illustration. Image of a fragment of a jaw bone. The caption reads, "A FRAGMENT."] broken ramrods, fragments of shell—iron enough to freight a
sloop. Some have even brought bones—brought them laboriously
from great distances, and were grieved to hear the surgeon
pronounce them only bones of mules and oxen. I knew
Blucher would not lose an opportunity like this. He brought
a sack full on board and was going for another. I prevailed
upon him not to go. He has already turned his state-room
into a museum of worthless trumpery, which he has gathered
up in his travels. He is labeling his trophies, now. I picked
up one a while ago, and found it marked “Fragment of a Russian
General.” I carried it out to get a better light upon it—
it was nothing but a couple of teeth and part of the jaw-bone
of a horse. I said with some asperity:

“Fragment of a Russian General! This
is absurd. Are you never going to learn
any sense?”

He only said: “Go slow—the old woman
won't know any different.” [His aunt.]

This person gathers mementoes with a
perfect recklessness, now-a-days; mixes
them all up together, and then serenely labels them without
any regard to truth, propriety, or even plausibility. I have
found him breaking a stone in two, and labeling half of it
“Chunk busted from the pulpit of Demosthenes,” and the
other half “Darnick from the Tomb of Abelard and Heloise.”
I have known him to gather up a handful of pebbles by the
roadside, and bring them on board ship and label them as coming
from twenty celebrated localities five hundred miles apart.
I remonstrate against these outrages upon reason and truth, of
course, but it does no good. I get the same tranquil, unanswerable
reply every time:

“It don't signify—the old woman won't know any different.”

Ever since we three or four fortunate ones made the midnight
trip to Athens, it has afforded him genuine satisfaction
to give every body in the ship a pebble from the Mars-hill
where St. Paul preached. He got all those pebbles on the sea-shore,
abreast the ship, but professes to have gathered them


Page 386
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 386. In-line Illustration. Image of two men looking at a large rock with heiroglyphics carved into it.] from one of our party. However, it is not of any use for me
to expose the deception—it affords him pleasure, and does no
harm to any body. He says he never expects to run out of
mementoes of St. Paul as long as he is in reach of a sandbank.
Well, he is no worse than others. I notice that all
travelers supply deficiencies in their collections in the same
way. I shall never have any confidence in such things again
while I live.