Travel, one may safely say, was Roehenstart's favorite occupation. As early as 1814 he applied for a British passport, and then, and probably before then, he chose to regard himself as English. His fictitious father was said to have been born in England in 1740, and the son is forever speaking of his countrymen or his fair countrywomen, meaning English men or women. He told the French police in 1817 that he and his father had lived before 1800 in London and Edinburgh, and he had a passport giving Edinburgh (wrongly, he confessed) as his birthplace. No national roots gave him a settled place of residence in England or Scotland, and he spent much of his time in travel, chiefly on the Continent or in the Levant. A youthful experience as a soldier fighting the Turks may possibly account for a continuing interest in the Levant. In a letter to Mrs. Hamilton (1839) he speaks of leaving the army in disgust after Austerlitz and of his hasty exit from Russia, and he continues: "I have since traveled much, visited every quarter of the globe, & made the regular voyage round the world." Mrs. Hamilton was not the only person to whom this much-wandering was detailed. The Barone di Carnea of Vienna wrote of Roehenstart as a pleasant acquaintance, "un uomo stimabile il quale avea veduto il Ganges ed il Mississippi." One may indeed doubt — though one cannot be certain — if Roehenstart ever saw either river: the romance of travel traditionally has a connection with romancing. The loving Indian princess whom he says he left behind him in America is doubtless pure fiction. Possibly he speaks truth of an experienced thrill when he writes of the happiness felt when "vaulting on my noble arabian I bounded over the desert." Greece and Turkey he certainly visited more than once. Other regions — even Iceland or French West Africa and the Niger — he talks of. He very likely visited Spain more than once, but the only sure visit to p88 that country is one made in the last year of his life. Of Russia and Sweden his papers say practically nothing after 1811.
We know certainly that he went from Russia to England and America in 1811‑12; we know that after 1814 he was frequently back and forth from south Germany to Naples and other Italian cities. He has left us accounts of much that he saw in Italy and Switzerland in 1814‑16. One judges that Baden and Bavaria as well as France were so well known that he felt no urge to record his life in those regions. In 1818‑19 he was traveling with two young men, Alewyn and Dirck, from Amsterdam to Naples and Messina, and from there through Greece and Asia Minor. In the early thirties in his undefined capacity as aide to the admiral (Sir Charles Hotham) on board H. M. S. "St. Vincent," he visited Lisbon, and made extensive trips to Athens, Constantinople, Smyrna, the plains of Troy, and several of the Aegean Islands.
Of these voyages in the Levant Roehenstart has left fragmentary but interesting manuscript accounts, which, as they exist in the form of journals, were written casually and revised intermittently and imperfectly. These journals he made from letters to various friends, especially to members of a family in England named Brunnurn (the name is variously spelled by Roehenstart). Other letters to unnamed persons are also related to his journals. His travel-writing thus varies from the informal epistolary or journalistic manner to the style of a factual guide book. There are even some imaginative travel fantasies, sufficiently glowing to be at once placed as such.
The height of fantasy seems to exist in his French Fragment d'un voyage sentimental, which in letters from "Rochester" to "Eulalie" (vertueuse épouse d'Edouard) tell of his voyage from Naples to Egypt and Turkey. Rochester seems to be a courier carrying documents to ambassadors — an employment that suggests Roehenstart's possible function in the thirties. A friendship with Volezzo, nephew of Cardinal Quirini, does not suggest Roehenstart. In Alexandria, Rochester is befriended by the banker Hollpensonk, who, after the traveler has visited the pyramids and other antiquities, treats him as a son. Rochester suddenly turns painter, and does a charming portrait of the ravishingly beautiful Androsine, young daughter of Hollpensonk. But the ship is ordered to carry dispatches to Constantinople, and more melancholy than ever, Rochester must leave these new friends. In Constantinople the enormously wealthy Turk Zagaa-Bassa takes over the function of patron for Rochester:
p89 He has offered me garments of cloth of gold: he has given me three Ethiopian women to make my tea in the morning; he has added to them ten African slaves; three to serve me sherbet; three to arrange my sopha; and the four last to await my orders. That is not all: I have three young white women subjected to my rule: one brings me perfumes; the others accompany me to the baths.
So in part runs this oriental apologue, and yet (we are told), without Eulalie, all this is simply ground for added melancholy — and so the fragment ends. It is far too much aglow with the sentimentality of Sterne. It may have some basis in Roehenstart's own voyage to Egypt, but Rochester is represented as a painter, whereas Roehenstart, a moderately good maker of sketches and maps, made no pretense to the use of the brush. The real traveler and Rochester have only their sentimentality in common.
The account of his voyage with Alewyn and Dirck is quite another matter. Here Roehenstart is the cicerone; his notes are those of a guidebook — and doubtless most of them are compilations from printed sources. In one manuscript he details the daily expenses of the voyage for all three men, and in another he gives a mass of factual detail concerning geography, topography, history, government, and major edifices — and anecdotes, usually interesting. It will be remembered that when he crossed the Atlantic, he carried with him several volumes about America, and in preparation for his voyage of 1818‑19 he gave Alewyn a list of books that the young man should provide for the occasion. The list reads:
Le Cours complet des mathematiques de l'Ecole Polytechnique
L'Histoire ancienne de Rollin
Continuation de la même par Crévier
Vies des hommes illustres de Plutarque
Abrégé des histoires Grequeº et Romaine par Dr. [Oliver] Goldsmith
For modern history and geography:
Histoire de l'Europe moderne et etat de l'Europe par Campbell
[i.e. John Campbell's Political State of Europe (1750?)]
Histoire de Charles V par Robertson
1 Essai sur les provinces unies par Sir W. Temple
Le siècle de Louis XIV par Voltaire
p90 2 Histoire d'Angleterre
3 Histoire de France1
For the English, French, Italian, and German languages I have several elementary books; so it is useless to buy others.
Le Cours de littérature française is enough for the moment.
The Spectator and the works of Pope
Works of Schiller
I assume that Mr. A. already has the greater part of the Greek and Latin authors.
For moral philosophy:
Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding
Burke's Inquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful
Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind by Dugald Stuart
With Roehenstart as governor, young Mr. Alewyn was in for no merely gay and fashionable cruise: the voyage was designed as an educational experience. It is notable that this list of books includes no works on eastern antiquities. Those were furnished by Roehenstart himself, who at Ephesus cites, for example, Pocock, Chandler, and Dallaway. On extensive voyages Roehenstart went armed with books on the regions to be visited. On a later voyage, when the "St. Vincent" was anchored near Smyrna, he conducted visitors over the ship and, if he liked them and if they knew the French language, showed them "my little cabin and my books." There was escapism in Roehenstart's fondness for travel, but there was more than that: he had a real and intellectual curiosity about the history and nature of civilization, and he loved to instruct others.
With Alewyn and Dirck he spent the first week of June, 1819, in Sicily and then sailed away to Zante and other Greek islands, to Patras, Corinth, and above all to Athens. Roehenstart's prepared notes (lecture notes?) on Athens — its history, topography, classical remains together with illustrations of Greek manners — run to about fifty large quarto pages, and must have been most informational to his protégés. From Athens they made less extensive visits to Smyrna, Ephesus, Constantinople, the more historic Aegean Islands, and to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the deep sea. At the end of the year they returned to England, and allegedly suffered shipwreck in Mount's Bay. The final p91 financial settlements for this voyage were difficult and, for Roehenstart, unsatisfactory. His notes contain little narrative of the voyage: they consist chiefly of information, assembled from books for the use of the two young men for whom he was cicerone.
Far more personal are the results of his observations made chiefly in the year 1833 during the period when he was attached to H. M. S. "St. Vincent." In 1832 the ship was stationed for a time at Lisbon, and in eight folio pages he writes up the current struggle between Don Miguel and Don Pedro for the Portuguese throne: this again is an educational project addressed to "my dear Dorcas" — who is unidentified. Late in June, 1833, begin the journals, which as letters to the Brunnurn family, recount his most significant travels in the Levant. He records fully his experiences at Constantinople, where he spent a month at this time. The rest of his journal concerns chiefly the plain of Troy, the site of which he studied during some days, Smyrna, where Turkish hospitality is attractively described, and the islands of Delos and Pharos,h among others. A separate manuscript, somewhat in the manner of a guidebook, gives an account of Egypt as visited by Roehenstart and his fellow officers.
Among the Turks Roehenstart ceases to be the collector of essential details from other travelers, and sets down his own interests and impressions. His taste for antiquities had been early heightened by reading Humboldt and by visits to Herculaneum and Pompeii. From visits to Vesuvius he contracted a keen interest in volcanoes. He prophesied the time of an eruption, and prided himself on his awareness of the habits of volcanoes. He visited Mt. Etna, and, characteristically, was in on one of the more spectacular volcanic events of his time, the submarine eruption that created Graham's Island. On a day in July, when his ship was at anchor in the harbor of Valetta (Malta), Roehenstart heard the report of John Cannino that he had seen the sea on fire near Sicily. This report was laughed at, but "the arrival the same afternoon of some small vessels soon confirmed the Signor Cannino's report." About a fortnight thereafter Roehenstart visited the new island and in his notes gives a detailed description of it. Where Roehenstart is something exciting is likely to emerge — though only once in a lifetime is it a newborn island.
His interest in the Levant, which possibly dates from his early military career, was confirmed by his reading and by an eager curiosity about the mores of strange lands, and by his sympathy with the Greek struggle for freedom from the Turks. It led naturally to an interest in p92 classical antiquities. Athens he viewed with careful veneration — though lamenting the decay and crudeness of modern Athens. His personal reactions here are studious: he is skeptical as to the knowledge of the local antiquarian, M. Fauvel, but is at times less impressionistic than usual. Witness, for example, his "Memo 2d Sept. 1833" made at the Parthenon:
Diam of the Cols. of the Parthenon — measured by myself in the presence of Monr Pettarki on the 2d of Sept. 1833 were as under
Viz. — 35 Cols. are now standing — their diams at the Base
Memo 2d Sept. 1833 of the Olympian
16 Cols. remain stand — diam — •seven feet / height sixty feet
Measured by myself 2 Septr 1833
A recurring theme is Roehenstart's reprobation of thefts of ancient sculptures, etc., by the English and others. He quotes Lord Byron's comment "scratched on the stone and mortar that replaced what Lord Elgin had carried off": Quod Gothi non fecerunt Scoti facierent. A more usual tone is the rhapsody sent in his third letter to Milborne Brunnurn in 1832:
You, my dear Milburn, who are now become a classic, how I envy your acquirement — How often do I think of my dear friends, at Bradwell as I wander among the ruined temples. We have Stuart, Robinson, Dr. Clark, Dodwell, Gill, and Chandler, and Leake with us as our fellow travellers. The Elligant Stuart exclaims in the delight which he experiences on this visit to Athens: "Here reason and voluptuousness flowed from the mouth of virtuous Epicurus! There the ameableº Plato inculcated philosophy and virtue! Cruel Sylla to deprive posterity of the sacred groves of the Academy in which Aristotle as he strayed propounded the deepest questions of metaphysics and morality — Yonder was the Areopagus — here stood the Odeum. This entire temple is that of Theseus, it seems to have been built but yesterday — around are the ruins of Minerva, of the Acropolis and the Pantheon.a Here the heroism, the science and the arts reached the highest degree of perfection to which the human mind is capable of attaining. These ideas present to the imagination a succession of scenes ever new and ever pleasing; my heart is penetrated with them; it palpitates: a soft melancholy succeeds these ecstasies. I yield to the pleasing illusion, and indulge in my reveries till they at length vanish like "the baseless fabric of a vision."
Freed briefly from the printed authors who are his fellow travelers the "Elligant Stuart" has given us more of a rhapsody than is usual with him.b He has a further gift for detailing modern instances of survivals in p93 folklore of classical customs. Such is his account of the continuing use of worship of the goddess Lucina in Athens:c
As the moon was also considered a goddess that had the care of childbirth it was under the influence of her light that the youthful brides of Athens with uplifted garments slid down the Lucinian stone, a portion of the red marble rock on which stood the temple dedicated to the goddess, which was thought an infalableº token of divine favor. The goddess was thus invoked, by maidens to secure the virtuous affections of their lover, and to hasten a marriage pure and unspotted as Luna's rock, and by those who were with child that they might be delivered without pain. . . . This ceremony still exists, and many an Athenian maid, is at this day detected in stealing out at midnight smoothly and silently to slide down Lucina's rock, whose temple has been succeeded by the Church of the Holy Virgin, who is now invoked instead of the fair goddess of silent hour.
Ancient edifices of Athens surviving in 1833 are described, but here Roehenstart offers little that is new or personal in his comments. Later when the "St. Vincent" is at anchor off the greater Delos, he gives an interesting account of that almost deserted island as he found it on August 21, 1833:
On landing we immediately directed our course to Mount Cynthus, a rocky and insignificant height, the summit of which we reached in twenty minutes. Here we found the foundation of a small temple of white marble with a portion of tesilatedº pavement. From this you command an extensive view of the Islands. Mount Cynthus must have fallen off wonderfully in size since the days of Dianas hunting, for there is scarcely space and food sufficient for the twenty goats I counted climbing the precipices and seeking a scanty subsistence amid the ruinis of the temples whose mossy fragments having rolled from the summit lay scattered around the declining [declivity?] of the mountain. In descending we discovered the remains of a beautiful Theatre constructed of white marble in an excellent state of preservation. Wandering amid the ruins we hit upon the pedestal of the statue of Apollo, an enormous block of white marble •15 feet by 12 and three feet thick. The inscription ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝ is very plainly to be read on the plinth of the pedestal. Our party dined on this stone. The mutilated figure itself lays a few yards as you walk from the beech to the left of the Pedistal. The trunk of the figure alone remains laying with the back upwards, deprived of the head, arms, and the lower part, which terminated in the tail of the dragon. The trunk is of gigantic proportions being •six feet between the shoulders. The ruins in white marble arround this spot cover a space of about five acres, and from the ship looks like a portion of snow on the ground. Looking towards the beach from the pedestal, on the right hand about four hundred yards is the remains of a dwelling house which has p94 been discovered by the excavation of modern travellers — what renders this particularly curious is the colouring on the walls, in some places perfectly fresh. Further on in the same direction is the remains of a beautiful Amphitheatred in white marble, a great part of the flooring remains which is composed of the same material. For many years the Greeks of the adjacent islands have been in the habit of breaking up the marble in small portions and burning it in kilns as we do lime. Several of these kilns we saw prepared. But the Occupation of the Greek Revolution has so engaged the islanders in the wars with the Porte that this work as they call it has fallen into disuse. I saw an excavation which was made by some German travellers, where lay 5 fluted pillars of the portico to a small temple. Of the eight discovered, four had been removed by these gentlemen and put on board an Austrian frigate. In our research to day I saw several camelleons which were too quick in their motions to be captured. They seemed to live in sociability with vast quantities of Lizards. This island is seldom visited by the modern travellers. I am quite convinced that a great deal might be done here from excavation. A boy and girl whose occupation was to attend a few goats belonging to their master at Miceni were the only human beings on the island who made their appearance from their hiding place among the ruins. Having discovered some of the barge men put one of their goats into the boat, they came down to the beach followed by their favorite goat to claim his companion, which we restored and the two seamen on reaching the ship were reported for theft. However they disowned the charge by assuring the Commanding Officer that they supposed the animals were wild and belonged to the gentiles as much as the Turks.
This visit to Delos is typically recounted. One must remember that in Roehenstart's time archeology was in its infancy, and must not be surprised to find him, though using many of the standard books of his day on antiquities, falling into error. He erred along with most travelers in the pre‑Schliemann period in thinking that the village of Bournabachi occupied the site of Homeric Troy. His confident belief in that location is stated firmly on his visit in 1819. Writing (in French) of the Scamander he says:
The plain that it waters is called "the flowery field of Scamander." It is described as having clear, pure water, whereas the Simois, coming down from the mountains, swollen by the accumulation of snows and the rains of autumn, rolls noisily its muddy waters and draws down in its rapid course rocks, trees, and dead bodies. Through lack of proper study several have been mistaken as to the site of Troy, but the precision of Homer is such that I do not believe he employed a single detail as to locality which even now is not perfectly applicable to the places he described. Some have pushed blindness so far as to say that the matter of the Iliad is pure fiction of the poet, and that the city of Troy in Asia Minor never existed except in the head of Homer! Mr. [Jacob] Bryant p95 has published a work to support this hypothesis: the author is certainly a fool, or one of these beings who wish at all costs to build up a literary reputation no matter how and in maintaining the silliest notions. If it was possible to shake the truth of historical facts that had been transmitted to us by the ancients and that are contained in Homer; if it could ever be proved to me that we are all in the wrong as to this matter, I should for my part say, "Leave me my error: it makes me happy."
The plain of the Turkish village of Bournabachi coincides perfectly with that of Troy.
His interest in the Homeric scene lasted on, and in 1833 he spent days exploring the mounds and fields in the region of the Scamander and Simois. He seems from his notes to have done this exploring by himself alone, though at times he suddenly drops into a plural "we." The same peculiarity in psychological attitude is shown in his account of his journey on foot over the Alps to Geneva in 1815. He had then a companion but writes as if he were quite alone. Psychologically perhaps he was always alone, or at least aloof. He seldom speaks of his wife or of close companions. One can hardly believe that he went about the Troad without any guide, but his focus is always on himself, and he evidently reveled in being treated as a personage. The course of one day as reported by himself will show his ready adaptability to strange surroundings. He seldom complains of conditions unpleasant to travelers either in towns or in country regions. The space here given to Greek shepherds as compared with the temple of Tymbrian Apollo reveals personal traits:
St. Vincent off the plain of Troy August 1833
Starting again yesterday, taking great care you may be sure to avoid the marsh, passing again through Kalefate and keeping more to the right than I did in my last visit, I soon reached the conical Tumulus and continuing my course along the mound mentioned by Dr. Clarke arrived at the temple in the grove of oak, where I found the Greek shepherds with their flocks had sought shelter from the mid‑day sun and were just commencing their frugal meal, which consisted of brown bread and cucumber, a neighboring fountain supplying them as usual with a bountiful supply of cool spring water. They spread out their capote on which they invited me to be seated close to the fragment of a beautiful marble frieze, which served as a table on this occasion, on which was placed watermelon, cucumber, a few Colambydes,e and the coarse brown barly bread of the mountains. While I was partaking of the welcome and hearty repast of these humble persons, I saw a stir that something was coming as a luxury. This was some curd cheese obtained from the Ewes, and which had been put in a bladder and cooled in the running stream. I p96 never partook of any thing half so cooling and grateful. This was too great a luxury for themselves and was only for me. An old shepherd who presented it, eating a little himself as he placed it before me — pronouncing Callo-callo. I had the post of honor here assigned me. The capotes were rolled and some put under my head and arms, I was invited to be at my ease, when a cheboque was presented while I smoked the group seated in a circle around me, and the old patriarch looking father at my feet. I could not but admire the picture, the outer circle comprised the dogs each near his master lay enjoying the cool shade with a watchful eye towards the strangers, and around were the marble remains of the beautiful temple.
I had been that morning recommended to take a pocket pistol containing a little brandy. This I mixed in the calabash with a little water and handed it round, each applying his hand to his heart as he passed the cup exclaimed, Callo! Callo! Effendi, Callo! (Good my lord good).
The Greeks are very quick; pointing to the marble remains & giving them to understand that I was in search of ruins, they pointed to the north and constantly repeated Nero Nero Hali‑El‑Alli Marmora Marmora. I immediately knew that I was in the direction pointed out to cross a river, and found myself near a Cellar in a grove of cypress trees, not far from which were the remains of the Temple dedicated to the Tymbrian Apollo. These villages are composed of wretched huts, built from the remains, and it is common to see the most beautiful fragments of white marble as a portion of the wall.
I returned by Kumquie: here the Turkish Agga invited me to his divan, and regaled me with coffee & a cheboque. I reached the ship at ten at night much fatigued and highly gratified.
Roehenstart's interest in antiquities, keen as it is, hardly exceeds his interest in men and women or in the manners of strange lands. His sociability and adaptability are important personal traits. Less indicative of his personality may seem to be the thumbnail sketches of famous persons whom he meets in his journeyings; but after all they illustrated his ability to find interesting events or interesting people. He happens to go ashore at Nauplia in August, 1832, on the day when grief at the funeral of the Greek patriot Ipsilanti engrosses the town. While at Egina he and his friends visited the heroic Canaris, and his story of the visit shows interest in the rites of hospitality and also in the person of Madame Canaris. He is very fond of describing the costumes of the Levantine ladies: one consequently wonders if perhaps some of these journals were letters to his wife.2
p97 While Roehenstart was absent from his lodging, Canaris had paid him a visit, and naturally the visit was returned:
The modern Themistocles was at home, seated with some masters of merchantmen who had been the companions of his youth. He was glad to see us, invited us to sit down — asked me very kindly after Sir Henry Hotham, and conversed on the subject of our journey. There was no introduction to his friends nor even to his lady, who entered followed by one of the young heros of Canaris's ship and who was a near kinsman to the Admiral. This young man bore a tray on which was a large glass of sweet jelly and spoons. Madam approaching us took the jelly in her hand and offering a spoon I helped myself, she then went round and returning to me took my spoon from me and presented me with a glass of water. This is the custom throughout the Levant, and is preparatory to coffee which she served herself. This is the greatest compliment that can be paid a stranger. Madam Canaris is about thirty — of a very fair complexion light hair and blue eyes. Her dress consisted on this occasion which I was given to understand was the usual dress of the morning of a green jacket lined with amber and ornamented with gold lace, a muslin handkerchief was thrown over the neck which was open and ornamented with a profusion of small gold beads. The tight sleeve of her jacket reached well below the elbow where it terminated in an open hanging slash fringed with a border of brochtra [trodtra?]. A pitticoat of amber silk trimmed with a pink boarder reached half way to the knee where a second of black fell trimmed with a great many rows of narrow yellow ribbon reach the calf, discovering the chemise trimmed with lace. This whole dress was bound together by a rich shawl round the waist, which answerd the purpose of stays, which the Greek women do not use. Her light hair of which she had a great profusion hang [sic] twisted below her shawl without ornament or curl. On the whole Madam Canaris is a fair beauty, like her husband simple and unaffected in her manners. Count Pecchio describes her grave and modest as Minerva. After we had smoked a cheboque, on our going away, she perfumed us with sweet water, followed us to the door where she stood till we were hid from her sight.
Canaris had asked us to dine, but we were anxious to visit the island and pleaded our excuse on this score.
Canaris, anxious to avenge some portion of the horrors committed at Scio, in an Ipsoanti [?] vessel charged with combustibles, disguised in such a manner as to resemble a merchantman bound for Smyrna, bore up for the Turkish fleet and passing the lookout vessels unmolested sailed boldly into the midst of the fleet at anchor in Scio roads; he succeeded in grappling his fire ship to a Turkish line of battle which bore the flag of the Caputan Pasha which he succeeded in destroying with the monster himself and the whole of his crew. Standing up in his boat, while the ship was in flames, he cryed out "Death to the moslimm, 'Tis I Canaris who did it."
p98 From matters of costume to anecdotes of Byronic heroism the account is typical of Roehenstart's catholic tastes as a traveler. Wherever he is, he is always interested in persons of literary fame. Quarantined in 1832 at Egina he happens upon a lady made famous by Lord Byron:
Mrs. Black also came to see her Husband She led a little boy of three years old — her only child. This lady was Miss Maeri, so celebrated as the Maid of Athens by Lord Byron. Poor Theresa, the death of her father and the long destructive war of her country has reduced her family to great poverty. The dark eyes and raven hair still show some remains of that beauty which captivated the youthful poet.
And again he writes:
Went and spent the evening with Mrs. Black. Her husband Mr. Black is at present engaged on board the Russian squadron as a teacher of languages. He is a very handsome young man, a native of Colchester, much devoted to Greek literature and romantically devoted to the cause of Grecian independence.
Disillusioned ghosts of the past! The "Maid of Athens" married to a teacher of languages from Colchester!
In calling upon the Maid of Athens he meets a famous French poet:
In the house we also found Monsieur LaMartine the French poet, with his wife, who by the way, is our country woman no other than the daughter of Alderman Birch. They have one child — a girl of eleven years. I had been introduced to him by Sir Henry Hotham at Napliaº where I had dined with him and met him afterwards. He has freighted at his own expense a vessel of 300 tons, and accompanied by Madam and daughter from this he intends first to visit Constantinople, then Jerusalem, Palmyra and Balbec if the Arabs will allow him — it being his object to pass into Egypt, ascend the Nile as far as Thebes. He is to winter at Smyrna, when he will visit the islands of the Archipelago and return home through Italy. Such he observes is the plan of his long and adventurous voyage. He does not calculate upon writing. "I go," he says, "to seek a purely personal inspiration on this great theatre of the religious and political events of the ancient world. I go to read before I die the finest pages of the material creation. If poetry should find them fertile in new inspirations and images I shall content myself in gathering them to colour a little the literary future which may remain for me." He is at present considered the first living poet. He has translated Child Harold and finished the remaining Canto. His poetry is much in the style of Byron — he is a remarkably genteel looking man, rather handsome, about thirty‑six years of age. Altho he speaks English tolerably well, and understands it grammatically, yet he seems to prefer speaking French.
Scattered through his other travel journals also are similar accounts of writers, scholars, or statesmen, whom he met. He gives a long p99 account of the Countess of Albany's friend, Alfieri; he discusses the merits of Rousseau's Nouvelle Héloise and other works as well. He even stoops to retail gossip about Mme de Staël:
Three leagues from Nyon is the chateau and village of Copette,º the country of Mme de Staël. Since she had my promise to come see her, I couldn't lose the opportunity of visiting this celebrated woman. — Nothing can convey the charm of her conversation: she has never been pretty, but her wit must have won her many conquests: her eyes and arms are very beautiful, and I readily imagine that she could still be preferred to many young and pretty women. — She is criticized for having lovers, but she is free and can follow her liking without wronging anyone. She lost her husband long since, and after all is it just to regard as criminal in a woman what is, so to speak, applauded in a man? One must only keep within measure and avoid scandal. — I have heard that her lover at the moment, successor to Benj. Constant, Labédoyère, Schleugel,º and Conyese is a young man of Geneva, a M. de Rocca, who fought in Spain, where he was wounded and concerning which he has just published memoirs, which his mistress has blanchi before allowing them to be seen. She has, so they say, brought this handsome chevalier into a consumption, bien en forme. People are unjust and malicious: they like especially to tear down those who are out of the ordinary: it is thus that they give her for bonne amie an English demoiselle who lives with her; but this monstrous taste does not accord with a passion for men. One has to be careful not to accept the silly gossip of the public.
The chief members of her coterie were Lady Charlotte Campbell & her day, who is on the point of marrying Sir Wm Cumming Gordon, Sir G. Webb, of whom I heard a rather pleasant account as also of Lady Webb when I passed through Lyon, where he was held prisoner for 10 years, the pretty Barone de Menou.f
Mme de Staël seems to have changed with regard to Buonaparte and is very critical of the politics of England, which she regards as egoiste. She was not happy about her journey to London &c. — She talks of going to visit Greece. Her father, M. de Necker, lives at Beaulieu.
This was set down in 1815 — at least the marriage mentioned took place in September, 1815. His later travels frequently contain day-by‑day accounts of pleasant small adventures, such as we have already seen with the Greek shepherds. To return to the Near East we may again see his ready delight in a somewhat longer narrative of a day passed near Constantinople. The time was July, 1833:
Having learnt through the kindness of our little neighbour that the Grand Segnor was to inspect the Russian encampment in the afternoon, we determined to occupy the early part of the day in visiting the environs of the forest p100 of Belgrade, opposite to which on the asiatic shore stands a sort of park called the Sultan's vally, the spot where the review was to take place, a distance of •twelve miles from the city. The cracking of whips [by] our Tartar guides announced the arrival of our horses, and shortly after daylight our party were seated in the saddle, mounting the hill outside of the town. It is on the acclivity of this hill where stands the famous fountain which receives the waters in pipes from the aqueduct, and from hence branches of the pipes to supply the four quarters of the city.
From this our road conducted us •four miles over an uncultivated rocky hill where scarcely a blade of grass is to be seen. This dreary sight was amply repaid as our horses winded slowly down the abrupt declivity which terminated this rugged hill. A valley of considerable extent lay at our feet ornamented with some farms enclosed by hedges, a thing which I have no where found before in the Levant. These farms guard the browsing of a thousand flocks. The sheep are the african breed; the coats weigh from 30 to 40 lbs. The plough was also in action by four oxen, and made a tollerable deep furrow (ploughing in manure) a circumstance also but rarely to be seen on the shores of the Mediterranean. The usual custom being to leave the land fallow for a season and then sow it, either with wheat or barley, or indean corn. There was also a small shew of the cotton plant on each of the farms, with the usual portion of watermelons and cucumbers and cabbages, which comprises the chief food of the peasantry. Rich meadows carpeted the centre of this beautiful vally wattered by the windings of a considerable stream, and afforded pasture to many herds of oxen of a grey colour, not large but very fat.
No hour at this season in these climates is so soft and so cheering to the spirits than sunrise. The picture was beautiful, and our admiration was considerably heightened in viewing the great Forest of Belgrade, the object of our visit, spreading its dark thick foliage for miles over the hills and dells which terminated the distance. Another hour along the valley brought us to the skirts of the forest which we penetrated by a bridle road truly romantic, ascending and descending alternately over precipices and rocks covered and surrounded with valonnia oaks and immense groves of chestnut trees. All at once we came on the village of Belgrade, which stands on a spacious opening in the forest. Here our Tartar guide and the french servant prepared a breakfast, consisting of coffee, eggs and cream, not unlike that which is potted in Devonshire. This repast while we were walking about was spread on the grass under the large trees which overhang a small fountain. This is still pointed out as a favorite spot of our fair country woman Lady M. W. Montagu, as well as her residence, an old wooden house painted red, which with its garden is now fast going into decay. It was from this very house that she gave Europe these elegant epistles that in her day and still in our own are so much and so deservedly admired.3
p101 Mr. Black, one of our first Turky merchants has his country house in this village. . . . [They briefly visit Mr. Black.]
Taking leave of our countryman, we persued a new direction through the forest that still presented the same romantic undulating scenery — the lofty trees affording a refreshing shade from the powerful rays of the mid‑day sun delighted the horses and sharpened the wit of our Tartar guide, whose mountebank tricks and jokes over the poor half witted greek lad, in charge of the horses, were truly ridiculous. We soon reached the grand Acqueduct whose arches still conduct the waters from reservoirs to Constantinople, a distance of •fourteen miles, one of the great works of the magnificent Sultan Solyman. A little farther on and we had a charming view. Close to our left run a steep cultivated valley from the forest to the shore of the Bosphorus, where stood the village of Buyukdéré, its houses and gardens skirting its deep bay, were ornamented by the streamers and masts of the Russian fleet. The Armenian village of Tarapia, the favorite country residence of the foreign ambassadors lay at our feet washed by the Bosphorus, whose width •scarcely a mile, devides the two continents. The hills immediately in front on the opposite shore were speckled with the white and green tents of the Russian and Turkish encouragements. On our left the towering hills and opening of the Black Sea, to the right the sea of Marmora and the distant view of the Olympian range.
Scarcely had we seated ourselves in the boats which were to conduct us over to the Sultans vally, than the sound of artillery anounced the appearance of the imperial yaucht, a beautiful and highly ornamented steam vessel built in Scotland. In a few minutes we reached the asiatic shore and got well placed on the small pier where his highness was to land. As he descended from the steamer into the barge the three frigates of the Allied powers, moored midway in the stream, manned yards and fired a royal salute of twenty‑one guns each. I assure you that no words of mine can adequately express the splendour, the elegant light taste of the imperial barge. Her ornaments are costly, yet far from being overloaded, and artillery of a different dunn from the boats of the Lord Mayor. This boat is •ninety feet long, pulls double banked by a crew of twenty powerful men, dressed in red caps, wide sleeved shirts of white silk with loose Turkish blouses of white cotton and yellow slippers. The floor of the stern sheets is covered with a red English carpetry made I understand expressly for the purpose. The Sultan was seated on a crimson sofa close to the stern, elevated a little above those at the sides which were occupied by the Sereinker [?] Pasha, Caputan Pashaw and several members of the Divan, all clad in the new military dress after the fashion of the continental armies, and wearing the Star and cressent composed of the most beautiful and brilliant diamonds.
In stepping from his barge, finding himself surrounded by the vast staff and officers of the Russian fleet, Mahmoud hesitated for a few seconds, looked around, like one doubtful whether to approach or not. It struck me that this embarrassment might have arisen from the cold and uncourtous manners of the Muscovites, who never left [lift?] the hat but to their Emperor, a stupid silence p102 was observed, nor bow nor obesence made. The approach of Count Orloff with his Dragoman recalled his Highness to himself and placing his hand upon his breast, assured His Excellency that he had a great pleasure in visiting the camp of his good friends. The count conducted his Highness to the head of the pier, where the Pashas and Ottoman Staff were in waiting. Here the Sultan mounted a beautiful little Arab from a stone horse-block, the usual mode observed on state occasions. To an English equestrian nothing can appear more awkward than this ceremony. Drawing up the shoulders and cloak, pointing the elbow at right angles with the body, two of the Pashas lay hold of his highness with both hands under the arm and actually push him up the steps, a page on each side hold the stirrup and continued to walk one at the horses head, which from time to time they continued to pat and stroke: the effect of this imperial mounting was altogether the most unbecoming ceremony you can fancy. The Pageant proceeded up the valley followed by a splendid retinue mounted on beautiful Arabs.
His Highness was received by the Russian army with presented arms, a salute of cannon, music and drums. He then proceeded to a tent on the acclivity of the hill in front, from whence he viewed the movements of the Russian line. The Russians move with continuous and great precision and seem to confine their movements to an exact well ordered and compact march in line. The Review this day consisted of four thousand infantry two hundred horse, and two brigades of Artillery. As soon as the Sultan had taken his place, the troops changed positions to the left — by echellon forming two lines. Skirmishers out in front were drove back when the first line advanced and opened a fire. The second line advanced in double column and relieved the first, passing the centre in Column of companies & deploying on a centre through the centre. This movement was done in great precision, under the cover of salvoes from the whole Artillery. The second line resting in line, ordered arms and stood easy. The two lines threw themselves into two squares the Guns occupying the left face of the first, and the right of the second. The line was formd to their former [state] to the left of the valley. The Sultan was again received with a general salute. The line advanced, and broke into Col quarter distance right in front, and defiled before his Highness to their various stations on the heights. This terminated the review. The Cavalcade again returned to the Blocking Stone, dismounted, embarked and descended the Bosphorus under a 2d salute from the allied frigates.
At the presentation of the officers Mahmoud observed a very young man commanding one of the regiments and who carried two decorations — said You are very young for your rank? where did you gain these decorations — From my sovereign your Highness. — In what battle? In a battle fought with one of our most valliant enemies, who happily has become now our dearest friend, Your Highness. Mahmoud was much pleased and beg the young soldier would permit him to have the honorable decorations set in diamonds.
p103 Still another aspect of Roehenstart's almost juvenile readiness to enjoy life is seen when on board the "St. Vincent" at Smyrna in 1833 he received visitors or paid visits ashore:
The Ship having anchored so near the town has occasioned much interest to the whole of the inhabitation whose curiosity has been considerably excited by the reports made and magnified by those who paid us a visit the first day. So large a ship has never before been seen at Smyrna. The variety of dress to be seen on our quarter deck from six in the morning till ten o'clock was highly gratifying, for at Constantinople, where the new system works well, the Nobles and frequenters of the Court had thrown aside the Turban & ample Eastern Robes. But here where they are so far removed from the Court, it is only a few of the Government Officers and those in public employments who have been compelled to submit to the national degradation of assuming the dress of infidels. The Greeks are fond of visiting the ship, and come off in great numbers, the father, mother, and the whole families. The girls are fond of our military band and with the greatest simplicity stand up to dance; so that our young midshipmen have as much practice at this salutary and accomplished exercise as they had last year with the Spanish maidens. That part of the female dress, which formerly attracted so much the admiration of travellers and which was constituted the habilment of the Smyrneotes has now given way to European costume. Still we frequently saw the Oriental dress which certainly is interesting: it consists of loose trousers which reach to the ancle and shows off the little foot to great advantage, the little jacket of silk and velvet which left lower part of the arm bare, and which is encircled by clasps of gold and numerous ornaments, these were principally worn by the families who came from the country to visit the great ship. These ladies are in general ornamented with a beautiful head of black hair tied up in tresses, which fall over the shoulders accorded with pink and blue ribbon, a portion is encircled round the top of the head, with flowers feathers and jewels, the neck and the bosom is always open. . . .
The Turks are an odd sedate people. After walking round the ship with Eki Effendi, one of the first gentlemen of the place, we reached the quarter deck just at the moment that a group of our midshipmen were figuring away in the dance under the awning. The curiosity and pleasure he experienced, at seeing the ship and squatting himself down cross-legged on the deck fixed his eyes with the greatest astonishment, and directing his pipe-bearer to seek for his friends who had loitered behind on the deck to come, instantly, or they might lose the sight of the dancers. They soon arrived and squatting down were equally delighted and pleased with the novelty of the scene. Eki Effendi then told me that they hired the greeks from the Islands to dance before them at their weddings and festivities. Having witnessed the first quadril [he] added that the young gentlemen had danced long enough, that he was much pleased and begged they would take care of themselves after so violent an exertion.
p104 A Turkish gentleman approaching me on deck addressing me in french in the best parisian style acquainted me that he had been directed to introduce himself to Captain Ballingall, that he had taken the liberty in common with his countrymen to intrude with a party of friends to visit the ship. This person was the only one of the party dressed after the new system, and it immediately struck me from the fluency of his language that was a renegade frenchman. I found him very polite. I conducted the whole party round the ship. I showed him my little cabin and my books, offered him some refreshment &c. with which he and the whole party was much pleased. On his taking leave he assured me how much he and the whole party were pleased with the attentions I had been pleased to show them.s He then acquainted me that he was the son of the Molloch of Smyrna, and that the gentleman in the Turkish costume was his senior brother, the chief judge of the city who had requested him to say that he would consider it a compliment if I would honor him with a visit and added that he would request Dr. Clarke to accompany me to his house, where he would have much pleasure to introduce me to his father. I assured him that I should do myself the honor, and most certainly avail myself of his polite invitation.
Yesterday I started to pay my visit. Dr. Clarke unfortunately had gone into the country, but Mrs. Clarke said I should not be disappointed in my intended visit. For I was to consider it a great honor to receive an invitation to the house of the Molla. She requested Mr. and Mrs. Purdy, an American merchant and his wife, with Mr. Wooly, an English merchant of eminence to join the party, Dr. Sinclair, herself and her two interesting pretty daughters, girls of 12 to accompany us. On our way Mrs. Clark said she would pass through the garden of Eki Effendi, the little Turk, who was so delighted at the dancing the day before. It would save a considerable walk, and that she could take that liberty, for we might have a peep of the ladies if they happened to be in the garden. We entered the garden which we traversed without seeing other than the gardeners and servants loitering about the Courtyard of a great staircase. We had scarcely left the gate on the other side when a black eunuch came running after us to say that the ladies were sorry we should pass without taking some refreshment, and begged we would return. This was just what Mrs. Clarke wished, and was at that moment regretting that the ladies had not seen our party. On entering the great gate which on this occasion was opened for our convenience, Eki Effendi himself received us, and conducted the party to his Kioski in the garden near the foot of the great stairs. This is what our people in England would call a temple to be seen sometimes in the gardens of our Noblemen. An open apartment in the stile of pictures which we frequently see in the Ladies pocket Book, representing the Brighton Palace. An ornamental roof supported with columns of light filagreed work. You enter this elegant apartment by a flight of a few steps in imitation of an ancient temple. The floor is of marble; in the centre is a fountain and jet d'eau surrounded with beautiful flowers, watered and cherished by a stout beardless p105 etheopean, whose sole pleasure in this life is to arrange this apartment, to cherish his flowers, and to receive the thanks of the beauties of the harem. We had scarcely taken our places in the division when a second beardless black announced in a squeaky voice that it was the pleasure of the harem to see the ladies. As our fair country women rose to go, we involuntarily rose to bow to the ladies. Poor Eki Effendi, unaccustomed to this part of European manners, was evidently embarrassed and requested our interpreter, who on this occasion was Mr. Purdy, to explain to us that he was extremely sorry, the custom of his country prohibited gentlemen going up stairs, that it was the ladies alone who were requested to do the harem that ho . . . he conducted the ladies of our party towards the door of the Harem. Two black servants brought us sherbet from the harem with the compliments that the ladies had prepared our sherbet with their own hands. . . .
There was a party of us 6 gentlemen, and 6 attendants appeared bringing each a pipe which they presented after the ladies sent us sweet jelly and water. As I reclined smoking my cheboque, a gentleman was announced who had arrived from the interior, a merchant of some repute in the interior of Asia Minor. He was quite astonished to find his old friend's divan filled with so many franks [Europeans]. He was an excessively handsome man, with an extraordinary full bushy black beard about thirty six years of age. As he ascended the few steps he slipped off his shoes, and saluting the whole company sat down on the divan and before saying a word smoked a pipe.
Coffee was served in little china cups which rested in one of filagree of silver somewhat in the shape of an egg cup. The ladies returned in half an hour and said that they had been highly gratified with their visit. . . . After the ladies returned, the blacks again appeared with a second beverage of red sherbet. On taking our leave the stranger who sat at his pipe unmoved desired the interruption to say that he knew I was a gentleman of consequence from my manner. This brought out one of my best bows you sure as we took our leave.
Our next visit was to the Mollah. Here we were received by my french friend who had been looking out for us. We passed into the garden, or rather into a grove of pomgranate, orange, and lemon trees, the walks being laid out at right angles. In the centre a little elevated stood a magnificent Kioski of lofty dimensions having a stream of water beneath filled with gold and silver fish, with a rocky island in the centre clothed with some pretty plants. In the Kioski sat the old Molah, a fine old man whose gray beard reached below his chest. He made me sit by him, and I received his pipe. He seemed highly amused to hear his son conversing with me in a foreign language. At one end of this apartment was a jet d'eau ellegantly cut in white marble. Iced water, sweetmeats, coffee & pipes constituted our entertainment, washing hands with rose water before we left to walk in the garden. During this time our amiable companions were invited into the harem. While walking in the garden I was diverted with several storks, whose sagaceous look and awkward gait attracted p106 my notice. Every now and then a turtle flew across the path. The old gentleman seeing that this pleased me clapped his hands, which caused flocks of those doves to leave the thick foliage.g Under the trees was some gazelles perfectly tame following us for the sweet meats. This was the garden belonging to the harem; that for the gentlemen was plain and divided by a wall. Here eight beautiful little arab horses were racked up under some trees: each had a short line attached to his hind feet; their beds were made of chopped hay in the shape and manner in which our gardeners form the beds for radishes. One of these little horses was the greatest beauty I ever saw — brown with dark main and tail. I played with him for sometime, and on coming away I was told as I admired the little arab that he was mine and that I might have him to take to England. As it is usual in the East if you accept a present to give one in return, I had nothing with me that was at all equivalent. So I thanked His Grace, assuring him how sensible I was of his kindness, but situated as I was, not knowing how political affairs would lead us, I was afraid that some accident might occur to him. However, they were determined that I should take something, so they presented me one of the little gazelles. The harem at this house consisted of the wife and daughter in law of the old judge — with some few young women and a child or two. They were very polite, but not so gay as the ladies at Eki Effendi's.
I was quite astonished to see the number of pets the ladies had — goats, antilopes, and numerous flocks of Durtleº Doves who were at liberty to fly and build their nests in every tree. But I was astonished to learn that the whole establishment had only arrived that morning from their estate in the country.
Such accounts have a charm in their revelation of a fundamentally enjoying personality. His sympathies go even further than those exhibited in his accounts of men and women. He gets sentimental and affectionate repeatedly with regard to animals. Those mentioned in the Mollah's gardens illustrate the fact, but Roehenstart speaks kindly even of normally less attractive animals. He is not distressed by the dogs that infest the streets of Constantinople; he waxes eloquent on Paros concerning the utility of the "noble" ass, and he is delighted by the affection and obedience that camels show to their masters. Greatly impressed with these last animals at Smyrna, he gives the following account of them:
It is here that the European traveller is struck with the wonderful number of camels that are continually to be seen in ranks one after the other entering the town with loads of merchandise from and to the interior. The sight is beyond anything extraordinary to a person from England who has been accustomed to see the articles of merchandise conveyed by canal or in our ponderous broad wheeled wagons on roads constructed at great expense. The whole commerce p107 of Asia Minor is carried by means of these animals under a burning sun and upon an arid soil, enduring great fatigue, sometimes without food for days, and seldom completely slaking his thirst more than once or twice during a progress of several hundred miles. Yet this noble creature under such privations is patient, apparently happy, and charmed with the kind expressions of his dervidge, or owner, at whose command he [or] they kneel down to receive their burden, in general a weight of six or seven hundred weight.
When the load is properly adjusted the animal rises and at command falls into his rank; for they always march in single file. Unlike the lean and feeble animals that we now and then see led about our streets, we here behold a noble huge creature with his head erect, stepping gracefully and without the least noise or fear through a crowded city. I always stop with pleasure to behold these patient sensible creatures pass along.
It is really truly curious to see them arrive at the spot where they are to deposit their burden. They halt and front at the command of their master with the greatest exactness. The camel on the left is then commanded to lay down, and when eased of his load rises and cheerfully takes his place on the right while the next performs his duty equally exact, and so on till the whole are released. Each dervidge has generally twelve of them in charge. They walk in file preceeded by an ass saddled for the convenience of the dervidge. It is really delightful to observe the groups when all released from their duties the dervidge sets down and shares his brown loaf with his companions of the desert, giving his favorite who is by his side a little more than the rest, who seems proud of the superior attention of his master. I am not ashamed to tell you that at the close of this picture, I was really moved to see this sensible, this patient, this noble creature come, kneel before his master, inviting him by the most affectionate regards to mount. The poor and hardy dervidge patted the noble creature, and told him in a language that they both understood that he would ride the ass. No sooner had he mounted than the noble creature again invited him to dismount. The dervidge seeing that I was pleased, desired the creature to come to him, and holding up his chin the animal actually rubbed his face over his head and shoulders, and seemed delighted with the caress of his master. Down he went soliciting a third time for his master to mount. All three had been equally delighted, the Turk, the camel, and myself. . . .
The silence of their step is one of the most curious features in the history of the camel. Not the least clank or noise is heard. You see whole rows of them coming down the streets of Smyrna heavily laden with immense bags of wool which adds to their immense size, with as little noise as that made by a dog.
There is a charm in Roehenstart's perceptions and sympathies, even when at times his prose becomes wavering and chaotic. One should always remember that these excerpts come from drafts of letters, much and yet incompletely revised. The spelling (here for the most part p108 silently corrected) is more defective than in his more careful writing. At times he violates English idiom noticeably: he wrote as well as spoke English "with an accent." But in travel he seems to forget the wrongs under which he suffers, and becomes a cheerful, likable person — a man of intelligence and of quick sympathy.
1 The function of the three superscript digits is obscure.
2 At Smyrna Roehenstart expresses to Eki Effendi a wish that he might introduce the noble Turk to Mrs. Stuart: she "has left her country to follow the fortunes of her husband, that she was now at Malta, waiting my arrival."
3 Roehenstart at this point inserts a marginal note saying: "Here ends Mrs. A. Brunurn's letter 20 Sept. 1833."
a Sic. There is no Pantheon in Athens: the Parthenon is meant. The confusion is not Roehenstart's; the mistake is Stuart's (James Stuart, A Picturesque Tour through Part of Europe, Asia, and Africa, London, 1793: p60). Roehenstart abridges the passage (and he or his printer fails to close a quote, omits and adds words, repunctuates, and introduces a misspelling). The original passage in full is as follows:
Here reason and voluptuousness flowed from the mouth of the virtuous Epicurus! There the amiable Plato inculcated philosophy and virtue! Cruel Sylla, to deprive posterity of the sacred groves of the Academy, in which Aristotle, as he strayed, propounded the deepest questions of metaphysics and morality! Yonder was the Areopagus — here stood the Odeum. This entire temple is that of Theseus: it seems to have been built but yesterday. Around are the ruins of that of Minerva, of the Acropolis and the Pantheon.
This place is still interesting, independently of its ruins, when considered as the theatre in which the most illustrious nation of antiquity performed their exploits; whose genius enlightened that of Rome, and for ever retained its superiority over her; and where heroism, the sciences and the arts reached the highest degree of perfection to which the human mind is capable of attaining. These ideas present to the imagination a succession of scenes ever new and ever pleasing: my heart is penetrated with them; it palpitates; a soft melancholy succeeds these ecstasies; I yield to the pleasing illusion, and indulge in my reveries till they at length vanish like "the baseless fabric of vision."
b A slip by Prof. Sherburn, inadvertently misleading the reader. The passage that follows is by a Stuart alright, but not the "Elligant Stuart" (James Stuart, one of those printed authors). It is Roehenstart's own comment.
c Properly, the Greek goddess Eileithyia, who had a sanctuary in Athens: Lucina was the Roman equivalent. Roehenstart here seems to be following Julien-David Le Roy's conflation of the two (in Les ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce, 1758).
d There is no amphitheatre in Delos; the theatre is meant. The mistake is very common — often due to pretentiousness — but no, a theatre and an amphitheatre are not the same thing.
e Sic: dolmades?
f If Barone is to be read as the French Baronne (Baroness), this must be Zubeyda al‑Bahouad, the Egyptian-born widow of Baron Abdallah-Jacques-François Menou de Boussay, a Napoleonic general who converted to Islam; if, less probably, the Italian Barone is meant (Baron), their 15‑year‑old son Jacques-Mourad-Soliman de Menou.
g Bringing back memories from twenty years ago as I transcribe the passage: very similar large flocks of birds nestled in the vines of the courtyard of the Palazzo Astancolli in Todi where I lived for two months, and sometimes I would do the same (that is, clap my hands; not nestle in the vines), although usually a mere footstep in the courtyard would be enough to send them flying out, then wheeling around back to their shady hiding places (Sept. 24, 1994).
h Sic. Paros is almost certainly meant, being distant from Delos by only about 30 km; on p106 the text mentions Roehenstart's visit to that island. The much farther Pharos in Egypt, site of the lighthouse of Alexandria, had not been an island for several centuries.
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