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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






THIS has been a stirring day. The Superintendent of the
railway put a train at our disposal, and did us the further
kindness of accompanying us to Ephesus and giving to us
his watchful care. We brought sixty scarcely perceptible donkeys
in the freight cars, for we had much ground to go over.
We have seen some of the most grotesque costumes, along the
line of the railroad, that can be imagined. I am glad that no
possible combination of words could describe them, for I might
then be foolish enough to attempt it.

At ancient Ayassalook, in the midst of a forbidding desert,
we came upon long lines of ruined aqueducts, and other remnants
of architectural grandeur, that told us plainly enough
we were nearing what had been a metropolis, once. We left
the train and mounted the donkeys, along with our invited
guests—pleasant young gentlemen from the officers' list of an
American man-of-war.

The little donkeys had saddles upon them which were made
very high in order that the rider's feet might not drag the
ground. The preventative did not work well in the cases of
our tallest pilgrims, however. There were no bridles—nothing
but a single rope, tied to the bit. It was purely ornamental,
for the donkey cared nothing for it. If he were drifting
to starboard, you might put your helm down hard the
other way, if it were any satisfaction to you to do it, but he
would continue to drift to starboard all the same. There was
only one process which could be depended on, and that was to


Page 419
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 419. In-line Illustration. Image of a man carrying a small donkey. In the background a group of people carrying umberellas ride away on donkeys. The caption reads, "DRIFTING TO STARBOARD."] get down and lift his rear around until his head pointed in the
right direction, or take him under your arm and carry him to
a part of the road which he could not get out of without
climbing. The sun flamed down as hot as a furnace, and neckscarfs,
veils and umbrellas seemed hardly any protection;
they served only to make the long procession look more than
ever fantastic—for be it known the ladies were all riding
astride because they could not stay on the shapeless saddles
sidewise, the men were perspiring and out of temper, their
feet were banging against the rocks, the donkeys were capering
in every direction but the right one and being belabored
with clubs for it, and every now and then a broad umbrella
would suddenly go down out of the cavalcade, announcing to
all that one more pilgrim had bitten the dust. It was a wilder
picture than those solitudes had seen for many a day. No
donkeys ever existed that were as hard to navigate as these, I
think, or that had so many vile, exasperating instincts. Occasionally


Page 420
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 420. In-line Illustration. Image of a man kneeling next to a donkey who is lying down. The caption reads, "A SPOILED NAP."] we grew so tired and breathless with fighting them
that we had to desist,—and immediately the donkey would
come down to a deliberate
walk. This,
with the fatigue, and
the sun, would put a
man asleep; and as
soon as the man was
asleep, the donkey
would lie down. My
donkey shall never
see his boyhood's
home again. He has
lain down once too
often. He must die.

We all stood in the
vast theatre of ancient Ephesus,—the stone-benched amphitheatre
I mean—and had our picture taken. We looked as
proper there as we would look any where, I suppose. We do
not embellish the general desolation of a desert much. We
add what dignity we can to a stately ruin with our green umbrellas
and jackasses, but it is little. However, we mean

I wish to say a brief word of the aspect of Ephesus.

On a high, steep hill, toward the sea, is a gray ruin of ponderous
blocks of marble, wherein, tradition says, St. Paul was
imprisoned eighteen centuries ago. From these old walls you
have the finest view of the desolate scene where once stood
Ephesus, the proudest city of ancient times, and whose Temple
of Diana was so noble in design, and so exquisite of workmanship,
that it ranked high in the list of the Seven Wonders of
the World.

Behind you is the sea; in front is a level green valley, (a
marsh, in fact,) extending far away among the mountains; to
the right of the front view is the old citadel of Ayassalook, on
a high hill; the ruined Mosque of the Sultan Selim stands
near it in the plain, (this is built over the grave of St. John,


Page 421
and was formerly a Christian Church;) further toward you is
the hill of Pion, around whose front is clustered all that remains
of the ruins of Ephesus that still stand; divided from it
by a narrow valley is the long, rocky, rugged mountain of Coressus.
The scene is a pretty one, and yet desolate—for in
that wide plain no man can live, and in it is no human habitation.
But for the crumbling arches and monstrous piers and
broken walls that rise from the foot of the hill of Pion, one
could not believe that in this place once stood a city whose renown
is older than tradition itself. It is incredible to reflect
that things as familiar all over the world to-day as household
words, belong in the history and in the shadowy legends of
this silent, mournful solitude. We speak of Apollo and of
Diana—they were born here; of the metamorphosis of Syrinx
into a reed—it was done here; of the great god Pan—he
dwelt in the caves of this hill of Coressus; of the Amazons—
this was their best prized home; of Bacchus and Hercules—
both fought the warlike women here; of the Cyclops—they
laid the ponderous marble blocks of some of the ruins yonder;
of Homer—this was one of his many birthplaces; of Cimon
of Athens; of Alcibiades, Lysander, Agesilaus—they visited
here; so did Alexander the Great; so did Hannibal and Antiochus,
Scipio, Lucullus and Sylla; Brutus, Cassius, Pompey,
Cicero, and Augustus; Antony was a judge in this place, and
left his seat in the open court, while the advocates were speaking,
to run after Cleopatra, who passed the door; from this city
these two sailed on pleasure excursions, in galleys with silver
oars and perfumed sails, and with companies of beautiful girls
to serve them, and actors and musicians to amuse them; in
days that seem almost modern, so remote are they from the
early history of this city, Paul the Apostle preached the new
religion here, and so did John, and here it is supposed the former
was pitted against wild beasts, for in 1 Corinthians, xv. 32
he says:

“If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,” &c.,

when many men still lived who had seen the Christ; here


Page 422
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 422. In-line Illustration. Image of a crowded amphitheater. There are chariots, gladiators, and a tiger all fighting in the center. The caption reads, "ANCIENT AMPHITHEATER AT EPHESUS."] Mary Magdalen died, and here the Virgin Mary ended her
days with John, albeit Rome has since judged it best to locate
her grave elsewhere; six or seven hundred years ago—almost
yesterday, as it were—troops of mail-clad Crusaders thronged
the streets; and to come down to trifles, we speak of meandering
streams, and find a new interest in a common word when
we discover that the crooked river Meander, in yonder valley,
gave it to our dictionary. It makes me feel as old as these
dreary hills to
look down
upon these
moss-hung ruins,
this historic
may read the
and believe,
but he can not
go and stand
yonder in the
ruined theatre
and in imagination
it again with
the vanished
who mobbed
Paul's comrades
there and shouted, with one voice, “Great is Diana of
the Ephesians!” The idea of a shout in such a solitude as this
almost makes one shudder.

It was a wonderful city, this Ephesus. Go where you will
about these broad plains, you find the most exquisitely sculptured
marble fragments scattered thick among the dust and
weeds; and protruding from the ground, or lying prone upon
it, are beautiful fluted columns of porphyry and all precious


Page 423
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 423. In-line Illustration. Image of an empty amphitheater seen from above. The caption reads, "MODERN AMPHITHEATER AT EPHESUS."] marbles; and at every step you find elegantly carved capitals
and massive bases, and polished tablets engraved with Greek
inscriptions. It is a world of precious relics, a wilderness of
marred and mutilated gems. And yet what are these things
to the wonders that lie buried here under the ground? At
Constantinople, at Pisa, in the cities of Spain, are great
mosques and cathedrals, whose grandest columns came from
the temples and palaces of Ephesus, and yet one has only to
scratch the ground here to match them. We shall never know
what magnificence is, until this imperial city is laid bare to
the sun.

The finest piece of sculpture we have yet seen and the one
that impressed
us most, (for
we do not know
much about art
and can not easily
work up
ourselves into
ecstacies over
it,) is one that
lies in this old
theatre of Ephesus
which St.
Paul's riot has
made so celebrated.
It is
only the headless
body of a
man, clad in a
coat of mail,
with a Medusa
head upon the breast-plate, but we feel persuaded that such
dignity and such majesty were never thrown into a form of
stone before.

What builders they were, these men of antiquity! The
massive arches of some of these ruins rest upon piers that are


Page 424
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 424. In-line Illustration. Image of a large open space with a few piles of stone left to mark where buildings once were. The caption reads, "RUINS OF EPHESUS."] fifteen feet square and built entirely of solid blocks of marble,
some of which are as large as a Saratoga trunk, and some the
size of a boarding-house sofa. They are not shells or shafts of
stone filled inside with rubbish, but the whole pier is a mass
of solid masonry. Vast arches, that may have been the gates
of the city, are built in the same way. They have braved the
storms and sieges of three thousand years, and have been shaken
by many an earthquake, but still they stand. When they
dig alongside of them, they find ranges of ponderous masonry
that are as perfect in every detail as they were the day those
old Cyclopian giants finished them. An English Company is
going to excavate Ephesus—and then!

And now am I reminded of—


Page 425

[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 425. In-line Illustration. Image of men with packs and spears walking in a line. The last man is dragging an unwilling dog behind him. The caption reads, "THE JOURNEY."]


In the Mount of Pion, yonder, is the Cave of the Seven
Sleepers. Once upon a time, about fifteen hundred years ago,
seven young men lived near each other in Ephesus, who belonged
to the despised sect of the Christians. It came to pass
that the good King Maximilianus, (I am telling this story for
nice little boys and girls,) it came to pass, I say, that the good
King Maximilianus fell to persecuting the Christians, and as
time rolled on he made it very warm for them. So the seven
young men said one to the other, let us get up and travel.
And they got up and traveled. They tarried not to bid their
fathers and mothers good-bye, or any friend they knew. They
only took certain moneys which their parents had, and garments
that belonged unto their friends, whereby they might
remember them when far away; and they took also the dog
Ketmehr, which was the property of their neighbor Malchus,
because the beast did run his head into a noose which one of
the young men was carrying carelessly, and they had not time
to release him; and they took also certain chickens that


Page 426
seemed lonely in the neighboring coops, and likewise some
bottles of curious liquors that stood near the grocer's window;
and then they departed from the city. By-and-by they came
to a marvelous cave in the Hill of Pion and entered into it
and feasted, and presently they hurried on again. But they
forgot the bottles of curious liquors, and left them behind.
They traveled in many lands, and had many strange adventures.
They were virtuous young men, and lost no opportunity
that fell in their way to make their livelihood. Their
motto was in these words, namely, “Procrastination is the thief
of time.” And so, whenever they did come upon a man who
was alone, they said, Behold, this person hath the wherewithal—let
us go through him. And they went through
him. At the end of five years they had waxed tired of travel
and adventure, and longed to revisit their old home again and
hear the voices and see the faces that were dear unto their
youth. Therefore they went through such parties as fell in
their way where they sojourned at that time, and journeyed
back toward Ephesus again. For the good King Maximilianus
was become converted unto the new faith, and the Christians
rejoiced because they were no longer persecuted. One day as
the sun went down, they came to the cave in the Mount of
Pion, and they said, each to his fellow, Let us sleep here, and
go and feast and make merry with our friends when the morning
cometh. And each of the seven lifted up his voice and
said, It is a whiz. So they went in, and lo, where they had put
them, there lay the bottles of strange liquors, and they judged
that age had not impaired their excellence. Wherein the wanderers
were right, and the heads of the same were level. So
each of the young men drank six bottles, and behold they felt
very tired, then, and lay down and slept soundly.

When they awoke, one of them, Johannes—surnamed Smithianus—said,
We are naked. And it was so. Their raiment
was all gone, and the money which they had gotten from a
stranger whom they had proceeded through as they approached
the city, was lying upon the ground, corroded and rusted and
defaced. Likewise the dog Ketmehr was gone, and nothing
save the brass that was upon his collar remained. They wondered


Page 427
much at these things. But they took the money, and
they wrapped about their bodies some leaves, and came up to
the top of the hill. Then were they perplexed. The wonderful
temple of Diana was gone; many grand edifices they had
never seen before stood in the city; men in strange garbs
moved about the streets, and every thing was changed.

Johannes said, It hardly seems like Ephesus. Yet here is
the great gymnasium; here is the mighty theatre, wherein I
have seen seventy thousand men assembled; here is the Agora;
there is the font where the sainted John the Baptist immersed
the converts; yonder is the prison of the good St. Paul, where
we all did use to go to touch the ancient chains that bound
him and be cured of our distempers; I see the tomb of the disciple
Luke, and afar off is the church wherein repose the ashes
of the holy John, where the Christians of Ephesus go twice a
year to gather the dust from the tomb, which is able to make
bodies whole again that are corrupted by disease, and cleanse
the soul from sin; but see how the wharves encroach upon the
sea, and what multitudes of ships are anchored in the bay;
see, also, how the city hath stretched abroad, far over the valley
behind Pion, and even unto the walls of Ayassalook; and
lo, all the hills are white with palaces and ribbed with colonnades
of marble. How mighty is Ephesus become!

And wondering at what their eyes had seen, they went down
into the city and purchased garments and clothed themselves.
And when they would have passed on, the merchant bit the
coins which they had given him, with his teeth, and turned
them about and looked curiously upon them, and east them
upon his counter, and listened if they rang; and then he said,
These be bogus. And they said, Depart thou to Hades, and
went their way. When they were come to their houses, they
recognized them, albeit they seemed old and mean; and they
rejoiced, and were glad. They ran to the doors, and knocked,
and strangers opened, and looked inquiringly upon them. And
they said, with great excitement, while their hearts beat high,
and the color in their faces came and went, Where is my
father? Where is my mother? Where are Dionysius and


Page 428
Serapion, and Pericles, and Decius? And the strangers that
opened said, We know not these. The Seven said, How, you
know them not? How long have ye dwelt here, and whither
are they gone that dwelt here before ye? And the strangers
said, Ye play upon us with a jest, young men; we and our
fathers have sojourned under these roofs these six generations;
the names ye utter rot upon the tombs, and they that bore
them have run their brief race, have laughed and sung, have
borne the sorrows and the weariness that were allotted them,
and are at rest; for nine-score years the summers have come
and gone, and the autumn leaves have fallen, since the roses
faded out of their cheeks and they laid them to sleep with the

Then the seven young men turned them away from their
homes, and the strangers shut the doors upon them. The
wanderers marveled greatly, and looked into the faces of all
they met, as hoping to find one that they knew; but all were
strange, and passed them by and spake no friendly word.
They were sore distressed and sad. Presently they spake unto
a citizen and said, Who is King in Ephesus? And the citizen
answered and said, Whence come ye that ye know not that
great Laertius reigns in Ephesus? They looked one at the
other, greatly perplexed, and presently asked again, Where,
then, is the good King Maximilianus? The citizen moved him
apart, as one who is afraid, and said, Verily these men be mad,
and dream dreams, else would they know that the King
whereof they speak is dead above two hundred years agone.

Then the scales fell from the eyes of the Seven, and one said,
Alas, that we drank of the curious liquors. They have made
us weary, and in dreamless sleep these two long centuries have
we lain. Our homes are desolate, our friends are dead. Behold,
the jig is up—let us die. And that same day went they
forth and laid them down and died. And in that self-same
day, likewise, the Seven-up did cease in Ephesus, for that the
Seven that were up were down again, and departed and dead
withal. And the names that be upon their tombs, even unto
this time, are Johannes Smithianus, Trumps, Gift, High, and


Page 429
[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 429. In-line Illustration. Image of seven headstones in a close row. The caption reads, "GRAVES OF THE SEVEN SLEEPERS."] Low, Jack, and The Game. And with the sleepers lie also the
bottles wherein were once the curious liquors; and upon them
is writ, in
ancient letters,
words as
names of
gods of olden

Such is
the story
of the Seven Sleepers, (with slight variations,) and I know it is
true, because I have seen the cave myself.

Really, so firm a faith had the ancients in this legend, that
as late as eight or nine hundred years ago, learned travelers
held it in superstitious fear. Two of them record that they
ventured into it, but ran quickly out again, not daring to tarry
lest they should fall asleep and outlive their great grand-children
a century or so. Even at this day the ignorant denizens
of the neighboring country prefer not to sleep in it.