THE CRESCENT AND THE CROSS. [chap, xix
What must have been thy nature, oh Greece ! when, marvellous lovely
As it is now, it is only the tomb of an ancient existence ?
R. M. Milnes.
On the morning after sailing from Constantinople we found
ourselves off the plains of Troy ; whence we ran along the coast
of Tenedos, and touched at the pretty little town of Mitylene.
Thence we coasted by Scio, and, entering the Gulph of Smyrna,
cast anchor off the town, forty hours after leaving the Golden
The beauty of " Infidel Ismir/' as Smyrna is called by the
Turks, has been much vaunted, yet scarcely realizes one''s expec-
tations of old Ionian loveliness. The scenery around the Gulph
is wild, and wide, and mountainous; softening a little as it ap~
proaches the city, and becomes interspersed with the gardens and
villas of the wealthy merchants. Smyrna itself is a comu m-
place, Turkish town, with dirty, narrow streets, and melancholy-
looking bazaars. 1 had little opportunity of judging of the wo.
men's celebrated beauty, as we only remained here during the
noontide hours, when all the fairer part of the human creation
were carefully hiding themselves from the scorching sun.
On a hill commanding the city are some fine ruins, and the re-
mains of an early Christian church. We are sometimes accus.
tomed to think of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor as of so
many distinct t dil ces> visible, ai d tangible; and many a traveller
who would smile at being asked to describe the shape of the
Church of England, or Ireland, or Scotland, has gone eagerly in
search of each seventh part of Asiatic Christendom. Tradition
consecrates Smyrna as the place where Polycarp suffered mar-