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ject — seemed something chimerical — impossi-
ble !

These transports of his happiness were soon
woeftdly interrupted^ for as the morning wore
on, and he was imparting his sentiments and
hopes to Veronica, one of his servants ap-
proached him with a face pale with fear, and
whispered in his ear, that the barge of the
Bostandji-Bashi was coming up the channel,^^)
and seemed to be making for their house. The
Prince would not alarm his young bride, but
went out of the room.

The domestic had seen but too well, and his
apprehension as to where the visit of this
dreaded agent of the Turkish police was in-
tended, was but too well founded, for Constan-.
tine saw the boat at a few oars length from the



THE ARMENIANS. 209

quay, and in another minute it had stopped
opposite to his door.

He returned to his bride, who at once took
alarm at his altered countenance, and before
he could explain or encourage, the officer of
the Porte and his train glided like evil genii
into the apartment.

Veronica, half fainting, threw herself into
the arms of her husband, and clasping him
round the neck, protested that death alone
should separate her from him.

The starch Bostandji-Bashi seemed no
ways affected by this tender scene. If how-
ever he withheld his sympathy, he exercised no
gratuitous cruelty. He informed the Prince,
that Veronica was demanded by her family;
that he was despatched by his superiors to
bring her to the Porte, and that of course he
must conduct her thither.



210 THE AEMENIANS.

" But the lady is now my wife/' said Constan-
tine, in reply, ^^and the laws of the Osman-
lis guarantee my rights to her, and place me
aboTe her father and her family — surely they
cannot take my wedded wife from me."

The Bostandji-Bashi coolly said, '^ yok in-
shallah ! — no, if God pleases, but that the
Porte must decide, and there I must take her/'

He had however the good nature to add that
he was sorry the affair had fallen within his
jurisdiction — ^that Constantine had not gone to
some other place than the Bosphorus — and to
wish, for his part, that the Armenians, who it
appeared, though not by what means, had dis-
covered the place of his retreat early that
morning, had been baffled in their search, and
had left him to enjoy the society of his wife —
at least a little longer.

Resistance would have been madness, and



THE ARMENIANS, 211

Constantine had none to oppose, sare his single
arm ; he was beside confident in the force of
his acknowledged right as a husband ; and
cheering his weeping partner, he expressed to
the Bostandji-Bashi his readiness to attend
him.

^^ But I was not told to bring you to the
Porte — my orders extend only to the person of
the young Armenian,'" said the ofl&cer.

^' Constantine ! my husband — ^my defender —
you will not leave me alone to face their wrath
— you will not see me thus snatched from
your side !" cried Veronica, clinging closer to
his neck, '^ all the world are as nothing to me,
or are arrayed against me, with scourges in
their hands, to torment, to drive me to mad-
ness ! you are my only prop, and by the vows—
the vows enregistered in heaven — pronounced



^12 THE ARMENIANS.

here last night — you will not be divided froili
me thus !'^

The Bostandji-Bashi might have been some-
what touched, though an impenetrable face —
that general property of Turks, whether in
office or out, whether Pachas or peasants — ^be-
trayed no emotion, for after reflecting a mo-
ment, he said—

'^ I am only anxious as a servant of the Sul-
tan, to obey my instructions to the letter; you
were not included in the seizure I was to make,
but I have no orders to prevent you from fol-
lowing — I must take my prisoner with me, but
your boat may follow mine : the hall of justice
is open to all men,^*^ and you may enter it
after us. But mean while we must be going —
my commissions brook no delay."

Constantine well knew this, and nothing re-



THE ARMENIANS. 213

mained for him to do, but again to encourage
the trembling Veronica with the confident hopes
he still felt, that the Porte, when apprized of
their marriage, would not infringe their laws,
but would refuse to have any thing to do with
the contending parties.

The heart of Veronica was less accessible to
sanguine expectations, but at length summon-
ing up all the firmness of her character, which
as she had already shown, was really great, she
threw on her cloak and veil, and leaning on
the arm of her husband, this wife of a few
hours, left the conjugal abode — left it, alas !
never again to enter therein. The Prince
handed her to the Bostandji's boat, whispered
a few more encouraging words, and then^
though with a bitter pang, left her for his own
caik.

The Bostandji-Bashi with bis fair captive.



214 THE ARMENIANS,

and the Greek close astern, swiftly descended
the Bosphorus, and shot into the Golden Horn.
He landed at the Vizir-Iskellesi, and proceed-
ing through the streets of Stambool, still closely
followed by the Prince, soon reached a large
but mean building, appropriated to the high
offices of government, in lieu of the palace the
Janissaries had so lately burned. On arriving
at the door of the hall of assembly, the se-
ralFs, and all the males of their tribe, with a
host of Armenian friends, were seen within,
lowering under their black calpacks.

Veronica's heart sunk within her, and with
unsteady steps, and her head, which she kept
closely wrapped in the folds of her mantle, bent
towards the ground, she crossed the dreaded
threshold. Almost at the same instant, Con-
stantine glided in, but with a bearing different
to hers — the sight of the men he hated had



THE ARMENIANS. 215

roused his spirit — his head was erect in wrath
and scorn, and thus he stood before the judg-
ment seat to plead his own cause.

The conviction of its justice, and the efficacy
of the appeal, must have been intense, or the
first glance at the tribunal would have sealed
his despair. The grand Vizir himself was
there in all the dignity and terror of his office ;
a Moolah, or priest judge, who held a scrap of
paper in his hand, and whose large black but
deadened eye, seemed fixed in vacancy, save
now and then that it cast an oblique glance
of impatience and contempt on the infidels,
sate as stiff and motionless as a sculptured
figure, on the divan, the other honoured occu-
pants of which were old dreaming Turks who
had never felt, or had long been insensible to
the gentle feelings of our nature, and the voice



216 THE ARMENIANS.

of justice — ^when it pleaded against their pre-
judices or their interest. ^^^

Among these men Con&tantine saw several^
who in the peculiar and uncertain friendship of
Turks in office^ were the friends of the seraffs,
and more than one, w^ho in his communica-
tions with the Porte for the business of the
Hospodar his father, had shewn himself his
personal enemy. Yet nothing daunted by all
this, when the Vizir said in a tone as indif-
ferent as if he had been merely awarding to the
right party a sum of money, or a contested
bale of goods, '^ the girl is here, let her be
given up to those to whom she belongs," the
young Greek stepped forward, seized the cold
hand of Veronica, and respectfully bowing to
the lieutenant of the Sultan, said in a firm
voice, '^ she is mine — my wedded wife, and as



THE ARMENIANS. 217

such, I ?laim her on the strength of the laws
of the Prophet, which forbid you to dissever a
wife and her lawful husband ! "

The Vizir turned his eye indolently towards
the immoveable Mollah. The man of law un-
derstood the address, and pronounced, in a
harsh and brazen voice, '^ Let the runaway
girl be restored to her father, and the cause
dismissed — we want not this infidel to instruct
us in our justice/'

^^ But this cannot be !" said Constantine,
vehemently, ^^ a daughter once married is no
longer at the disposal of her father ! Again I
say this lady is my wife, and the vows which
made her so were pronounced in the name of
Allah 1"

" The person by whose side I now stand,"
said Veronica, who, though almost overpow-
ered by despair, had strength and spirit to

VOL. III. L



218 THE ARMENIANS.

make this last effort at struggling with her fate,
" this person is my husband— for him I have
left my father and my home^ and with him I
will abide '/'

'^ The law hath spoken, let its will be
done !" said the inflexible Vizir.

Old Agop stepped forward to seize his
daughter, but with an agonizing scream Vero-
nica clung to the Prince, who repelled the
Seraff with such violence that he reeled back-
wards, and almost fell among the morocco
boots of his house and friends.

Constantine again addressed the divan, and,
in affecting and thrilling language ; but he
might as well have expected the old, dingy
walls, that echoed his words, to reply to them,
as to make those men feel the voice of nature,
affection, and justice. Not a muscle was re-
laxed from its austerity by this last appeal.



THE ARMENIANS, 219

but the MoUah again s poke, " let the childish
scene — ^this indecorous contest cease — it is in-
sulting to our presence. Let the Seraff have
his daughter, or she shall be taken by force."

Constantine would not relinquish the lovely
bride now in his embrace, and he could not
have done so had he wished, for she clung to
him with the strength of love and despair,
and shrieked in extremity of anguish. The
sight might have pierced any less impenetrable
stuff than the hearts of the Effendis. Both
mantle and veil had fallen from the head of
Veronica, and her exquisitely delicate face, pale
and pure as marble, and her eyes flashing
through the tears that rained from them, were
visible — but these upright judges were as in-
sensible to sight as to sound, and the Vizir
made a slight sign, at which a number of Chi-
aushes in attendance crossed the hall, and,

L



9



220 THE ARMENIANS.

grasping, some of them the Greek, and some
the fair Armenian, literally tore them asunder
by brute force.

Veronica fainted, and in this condition she
was carried off by her tender relatives. Con-
stantine was detained for a while at the Porte,
and then permitted to depart — to dro>vn him-
self, or to die of love if he chose. The Turkish
dignitaries, in dismissing him, presently dis-
missed all care or thought about what ap-
peared to them a very childish and ridiculous
piece of business.

'^ Mashallah ! but this young ghiaour is in
a terrible taking !" said a grey bearded Ef-
fendi, as he walked homeward with a colleague
and a certain number of the Seraff's mahmoo-
diers chinking in his purse, " did you ever
hear such a to-do, such hosh-lacredi,^^^ about
a woman before ? "



THE ARMENIANS. 221

"Never!" said his companion; "to be
sure the stripling had her only one night —
had he been married a year we should not
have seen him part with his wife with so much
difficulty."

" That is likely enough/' continued the first
speaker^ " but after all to struggle and afflict
himself in such a manner for a kuz''^"'^

^^ And yet, brother Osman, when you lost
your favourite Pembe you tore your beard in
grief."

^^ True ! — it is true enough I did so, for I
had bought her at a high price — she had cost
me eight thousand piastres 1"^^)

If Constantine, to whom we must now re-
turn, had even valued Veronica in proportion
to the money she had cost him, she would still
have held a higher price than the old Turk's
slave. Heart-rent and almost distracted when



222 THE ARMENIANS.

he left the Porte, he knew not whither he
directed his steps, and it was through the
guidance and care of a friend he met in the
streets, and who was alarmed at his wild,
haggard looks, that he reached his melancholy
abode in the Fanar.

He had not been there for months ; and
when, on entering the dusky and silent apart-
ment, the incidents that had occupied that
interval came rushing with dreadful concen-
tration — the events of those months, and their
passions and feelings making themselves sen-
sible, and all together in one brief moment —
when the forest of Belgrade, his marriage night,
and the scene at the Porte flashed across his
brain — when he felt that she whom he had
loved so long, for whom he had done and
suffered so much, had been his — and torn
from him in the first rapturous moments of



THE ARMENIANS. 223

his bliss ; his fevered head reeled, and, throw-
ing himself on a sofa, he buried his face in his
hands, and wished that in excluding the hate-
ful light — that deceitful light which in the
morning had so flattered his fond hopes — he
could check the current of life that still ran
from his bereft heart.

It was a long time ere he recovered sufficient
possession of himself to heed or to understand
the friend who had conducted him home, and
would not leave him in such a state of de:&pair.
When at last he spoke, he could not — ^for his
life he could not — relate the scene at the Porte,
and the consoling Greek, who, like nearly every
body at Constantinople, knew of Constantine's
amour, was unacquainted with its last few and
fatal hours, and it was only from his hurried
and unconnected exclamations that he formed
an idea of what had happened. His consolation



^4 THE ARMENIANS.

and advice could then take a more specific
course, and he spoke of the folly and meanness
of spirit there was in thus letting himself be
humbled by the Armenians, and in giving up
his long contest with them in cowardly despair.

The susceptible pride of Constantine was
awakened, and such was its force and his spite
against the seraffs, that hate, independent of
love, might have sufficed to produce the reso-
lution to resort to every measure, to the worst
extremities, to snatch their daughter from their
tenacious grasp.

The immediate suggestions of himself and
his friend were numerous, but the first thing
they had to do, was to discover whither Vero-
nica had been carried, and about this they set
off together forthwith.

They learned from a Greek boatman at the
Vizir-Iskellesi that the seraffs' ca'ik had taken



THE ARMENIANS. 225

the direction of the Bosphorus. Constantine
concluded they must have gone either to their
house at Emenergen-Oglu or to that at Kandilly,
and with his friend he ascended the channel.

As they were passing the filthy Jewish vil-
lage of Orta-keui, not far from the imperial
palace of Beshik-tash^ on the European bank,
they met one of the large boats of the Bos-
tandji-Bashi, and a plaintive voice from amidst
the moustachoed myrmidons of that dreaded
officer^ addressed the Prince and begged him
to think of him and his desolate wife and six
children. This could be no other than an im-
portant personage in our drama — the half-
starved priest who had performed the marriage
ceremony, not without foresight of the mis-
fortune that might befall him.

It was indeed he : he had been discovered or
betrayed by some means, and seized by the

l3



226 THE ARMENIANS.

Turks at the application of the Armenians^ and
was on his way^ not to the madhouse at Prin-
kipo, but to a much worse place — to the
Bagnio. ^^^

Absorbed as he was in his own wretchedness^
Constantine could not be insensible to those
despairing tones, and to the fate of a man who
on his account was hastening to the horrors of
that earthly hell. But fallmg in with the pre-
vailing feelings of the moment, the circum-
stance only added to his furious hatred against
the Armenians, and, grinding his teeth with
rage as the Bostandji's boat shot from them,
and the voice of the Papas died away in a
melancholy moan, he swore vengeance against
those who could resort to such barbarous ex-
tremities to punish one whose only offence was
his having married him to their daughter.

At the village of Arnaiit-keui, where they



THE ARMENIANS. 22/

arrived towards sunset, the inquiries of Con-
stantme and his friend were successful, for they
karned from some villagers who had just re-
turned from the opposite side of the channel,
and had seen a number of the Armenian family
enter their house, that Veronica was at Kan-
dilly, the scene of the exploits in building — a
lovely spot nearly opposite to Arnaiit-keui.

Constantine, undecided as to the first steps
he should take, resolved meanwhile to stay
where he was, in the neighbourhood of his
wife. He sought and found a lodging in a
poor half -fallen Greek house on the side of the
hill, with nothing to recommend it but that his
eye could thence repose on Kandilly and the
dark house upon which he had before gazed
for so many hours, and which noiv again
contained his Veronica. His friend left him
there, and when he reached Constantinople,



228 THE ARMENIANS.

rather from his own impulse than from any in-
struction of Constantine, sent some of his at-
tendants to join their master in the hermitage
he had chosen.

From the moment that with a buoyant and
dissipated heart the young Greek had first met
the pale and beauteous Armenian, it had been his
fate to know many sad and sleepless nights ; and
whether on the banks of the Bosphorus, to the
murmuring of its stream and winds,, or in Pera,
to the harsh sounds of the iron-shod staff of
the Turkish watchmen, (^^) who in their rounds
strike the pavement of the streets (as our de-
funct Charlies used to call the hour), or in the
forest of Belgrade to the notes of the amorous
turtle-doves, the wakeful nightingale, or the
mysterious moaning of the woods, they had
been irksome hours to his enamoured and im-
patient heart. But those restless nights, were



THE ARMENIANS. 229

the pangs of all of them condensed into one^
could not be compared to the night he passed
at Amaiit-keui.

After walking up and down the desolate
creaking room_, till the sun with splendour and
joy fulness rose from behind the Asiatic hills_, he
threw himself exhausted — faint — on his miser-
able pallet. Sleep or stupor fell upon him
for a few hours^ and when it left him he found
himself unable to rise, he ached in every limb
and joint^ his sight was dim — he was burning
with fever.

The violent agitation of his mind, which had
produced the malady, increased, if it were sus-
ceptible of increase, when he felt that at this
moment, which called for all his exertions, he
could neither move hand nor foot. The fever
was provoked, and in a few days it was doubt-
ful whether the young Greek would not end his



230 THE ARMENIANS.

life where his love had begun — by the side of
that stream^ its appropriate emblem.

The Pontic sea,
Whose headlong current and compulsive course
Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont ! (H)

Shakespeare.

In this hopeless condition he was seen by
several of his friends^ who consoled him with
the assurances that Veronica still remained at
Kandilly, concealing an important fact, that she
was suffering from a dangerous illness similar
to his own.

Youth is a stout antagonist ; it wrestled with
disease, and overcame it ; for at the crisis of
the disorder, when he had looked, as he sup-
posed, for the last time on the hills and trees,
and the house at Kandilly, he closed his eyes,
not in death, but in a heavy slumber, the precur-



THE ARMENIANS. 231

sor of convalescent life. He grew better daily,
and as soon as he could quit his couch, faint
and feeble as he was in body, he commenced his
efforts to regain his wife, whom he now for the
first time learned had been suffering — though
at present restored to health — like himself.

But those efforts, alas, were all fruitless !
The Armenians' influence at the Porte de-
feated them all. From his friends among the
Turkish effendis — dubious friends purchased by
bribery — after being flattered awhile by hopes,
in exchange for his money, he received from one
after the other, the mortifying protestation that
they durst do nothing in his business, which
was a hopeless one.

So deep was the interest that Constantine's
long adventures and recent sufferings excited
in the breast of a portion of his friends, that
some young Franks formed a project of be-



232- THE ARMENIANS.

setting the Armenian house at Kandilly, and
carrying off Veronica by night ; but a dread of
the Turks^ and the uncertain issue of the ad-
venture^ dissipated the chivalrous project, and
the Prince was left to help himself to his wife
in his own way.

No way but one seemed now to remain to
him, and this he determined to take. On the
morning of each Friday/ ^2) t^g Sultan, whether
he be at the seraglio or his summer kiosks on
the channel, repairs to one of the imperial
mosques at Stambool, to show himself in
splendour to his subjects, and — what is per-
haps an object of minor consideration — to offer
up his Namaz ^^^^ to Allah and Mahomet. To
show his clemency and attention to the in-
terests of those over whom he rules, every
subject, whether Osmanli or Rayah, may ap-
proach and present a petition, not into the



THE ARMENIANS. 233

hands of Majesty indeed, but into those of
one of the Sultan's suite.

The iron-hearted Mahmood started from the
Palace of Beshik-tash the morning that Con-
stantine, resolved on this last measure, of ex-
posing the circumstances to his sovereign,
was awaiting his approach at the mouth of
the Golden Horn. As the kachambas '^-^^ of
the Sultan, gorgeous with gold and carving,
and preceded and followed by a number of
barges scarcely less splendid, drew near, Con-
stantine held up his written petition in his
right hand over his head.(^'^^ He did not seem
to attract the dreaming eye of Mahmood, but
one of the attendant barges laid upon its oars,
an officer of the imperial household made a
sign to the Greek to approach, and to his
ungentle care Constantine consigned the his-



234 THE ARMENIANS.

tory of his love — his application for his wife— ^
his last hope of regaining Veronica.

The aquatic procession, than which few
things can be more picturesque and beautiful,
shot up the Port towards the marble mosque
that covers the bones of the Arab saint, ^^^^ and
the Prince retired to a,wjut with anxiety, and
the alternation of hope and fear, the answer
to his application to the Sultan.

That very evening his own petition was pre-
sented to him, torn in half. That was his an-
sw^er — and a fatal one it was, for, by old esta-
blished usage, it is in this wordless, contume-
lious manner that the Sultan intimates to his
subject, or his slave, that his prayer for grace
is spurned.

The Prince had not much time allowed him
to indulge in grief — at least not in Constan-



THE ARMENIANS. 235

tinople. Two days after, a sentence of banish-
ment from the capital was passed against him
by the Porte, and he was ordered to depart
forthwith for Bucharest, whence his father
might send an agent or hostage, less apt than
he to disturb the tranquillity of the Sul-
tan's faithful Armenian subjects, by amorous
adventure.

At almost the same hour that Constantine
took his departure from one side of the Bos-
phorus, Veronica took hers from the other.
To hide her shame, to recall her to the right
path, her family had come to the resolution of
burying her in a Catholic convent, far in the
solitary interior of Asia Minor ; and while the
young and hapless husband, to still his burst-
ing heart, was galloping towards Bucharest,
the more youthful and yet more hapless wife.



236 THE ARMENIANS.

under a strong escort^ was creeping along in a
tach-tarevan, or litter^ towards Angora. ^^''^



Our tale is told. — To those, however, who
may complain of a want of catastrophe, and to
a melancholy story are satisfied only with the
final one of death, we may add what was re-
ported to us at Constantinople about a year
after the separation of the lovers ; that Con-
stantine perished of the plague which broke
out in the Wallachian principality shortly after
its occupation by the Russians in . Se-
veral months before that, the whole body of
the Catholic Armenians were, by a capricious
and mysterious act of tyranny on the part of
the Sultan, despoiled and banished. ^^^^ The
seraffs, the great, the rich Unghir-Oglus, hum-



THE ARMENIANS. 237

bled to the dust^ and beggared^ took the deso-
late road on which they had sent the fairest
daughter of their house and race but a few
months before.

With spirits softened by calamity, at An-
gora they might embrace love's exile -, but in
what state they found Veronica, we could never
ascertain, nor do we know at this moment


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