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and the surrounding country. During our ramble, we strolled into the ruins of a Turkish mosque, the majesty of the once beautiful dome, the airy elegance of the tapering minaret, now broken and crumbling, formed a not inappropriate type of the former splendour of the empire of Othman. The interior, although shattered with cannon-balls, still contained a few detached sentences from the Koran, and presented, with the breaches in the walls, and torn-up pavement, a mournful reminiscence of a contest between the Cross and the Crescent, which lasted upwards of thirty years. How fearful the odds !—a mere handful of swine-herds, shepherds, and haiducs contending for their independence against an empire There was a halo of classic associations about Greece in her struggle with Turkey, that excited for her children the sympathy of all Christendom; but these poor Servians, also Christians, unknown to the great world fought and bled unaided, and by their own firmness and bravery drove out the oppressor who had so long trampled in the dust all that is dear to man—his creed, nationality, and independence. The day was excessively warm for the month of April, and so sudden was the change from winter to summer, that we might fancy we had been transported from some northern climate to the tropics. Nature seemed to have burst into existence; the numerous insects of the field that lay mute and motionless only a day or two before, were now blithely flying from shrub to shrub, humming their merry song; the fruit trees had opened
into full bloom, and every herb and plant was arraying itself in the beauteous livery of spring. The inhabitants of Belgrade seemed to have caught enthusiasm from their joyous climate, for we heard the sounds of a fine band of music at no great distance, and from the number of gaily-dressed people that were seen streaming in every direction, we concluded they were about to celebrate the anniversary of some great national victory over the Turks; we, however, learned from Liouli that it was merely the opening of the public gardens for the season, and that by paying them a visit, we should have an opportunity of meeting the whole of the beau monde of Belgrade. The costume of the assembly was absolutely dazzling; gold caps, red caps, Russian caps, and jackets of every colour, embroidered with gold and silver, threw our unpretending Frank costume completely into the shade. Then the red sash of the men, filled with richly-mounted pistols, trophies of their wars with the Turks, together with the number of Servian officers, in full uniform, imparted something of a warlike character to the gailyattired multitude. The head-dress of the ladies we thought particularly becoming. This consisted of a scarlet fez of the finest texture, to the crown of which, fastened by a precious stone or brilliant, was appended a tassel of gold or silver; if this should be found of the latter material, then a gold band, about an inch in breadth, finished the edge of the cap; on the other hand, if the tassel is gold, the band is silver.
The scarlet fez, with its tassel, is evidently a favourite ornament for the head with our fair dames of Servia, and imparts a great deal of expression and liveliness to the features, since, according to the coquettish mood of the wearer, it is worn sometimes over one ear, and sometimes over the other, like the feather of a bird of paradise; then again, by a slight jerk of the head, it is made to fall over the face like a veil, or it undergoes another change, and covers the whole of the scarlet cap, which appears like one of gold or silver. Beneath this cap, the hair is neatly braided, and, like sensible women, they plait with it a band of ribbon, which announces to the stranger that the fair wearer is not to be flirted with —in other words, that she is a married woman. It is scarcely necessary to say, that the young ladies dispense with this ornament.
The lower classes, who cannot afford the costly fez and tassel, decorate their hair with ducats and some trifling articles of jewellery. The wealthy dames, also, form ducats and other gold coins into necklaces, the centre piece being about as large as a Spanish dollar, and the others gradually diminishing to the size of a silver penny. Their dresses are generally made after the European fashion; over this is worn a jacket, resembling in form that of a hussar, with large loose sleeves, richly embroidered, and braided with gold or silver. It was impossible not to admire the materials of which some of these dresses were composed, the richness and colour of the silks and satins, in some instances, surpassing anything of the kind we had seen either in France or England, which proves that the Turkish manufactures of silk at Broussa, however expensive, have lost nothing of the brilliant excellence for which they were always celebrated. Our fair dames of Servia, of whom a favourable specimen exhibited themselves on this fashionable promenade, however much their charms might be enhanced by the novelty, and, in some respects, the elegance of the national costume, could not sustain a comparison in tournure with our lovely and graceful women of the more civilized countries of the West. They were well made, handsome, rosy-faced, and good-looking, and might be said to resemble a bevy of buxom farmers' daughters of Old England, habited in gala costume, for a masked ball. The dress of the men was quite as gay as that of the gentler sex. The Servian officers imitated the Russian military in the cut of their uniform—the shape of the cap—in short, in all their appointments, however trifling. A few staid, mercantile-looking citizens wore the long Servian pelisse, braided, and lined with fur; but the greater number of the promenaders were attired in the national costume—round jackets, richly braided with gold and silver; shalwars, also braided, and the red fez, to this was invariably added, a silk sash, filled with ornamented pistols. At this time, the war of caps was at its height in Belgrade—in other words, Russian panslavism ; this article of dress indicating the party to which the wearer belonged, whether Russian or Servian. To judge from the assembly, which was evidently a trial of strength, the national party preponderated ten-fold, notwithstanding the presence of the Russian Consul, who, like some petty sovereign, moved from place to place, accompanied by his retinue of Russian caps. Passports, like Paul Pry, ever meddling with the affairs of the traveller, completely dispelled the delusive hope of maintaining our incognito at Belgrade. My friend, who was an adept in the use of the pencil, expected, in this far distant land, unknown, and unseen, to load his portfolio with a sufficient number of costumes for all the masked balls in Paris, during the next half century; while I as confidently contemplated filling my note-book without observation, or interruption. All our air-built visions were dispelled, by a visit from our respective Consuls; I had, however, the satisfaction of forming an intimate acquaintance with a very worthy man, our Consul-General, Mr. Fonblanque. We were now, in a manner, obliged to change the miseries of an Oriental han, for the comforts of an hotel of modern Servia, with which we had every reason to be satisfied; the beds were excellent, the charges moderate ; there was a capital salle-à-manger, and every convenience usually found in a third-rate hotel of France or England; and having already invited the Turkish officer, Mehmet Effendi, to sup with us, to our great satisfaction, the master of the hotel provided an excellent repast. The next day, our friend, Mehmet, introduced us to Selim Bey, the Pacha of Belgrade, whom I recognized as an old travelling companion, the moment I entered