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no children of your own — supposin' you
adopt one of 'em."

Mr. Bill suspected that the Colonel might
be alluding to the fabled she-wolf. The
Colonel, however, had never heard of the
distinguished originals of Roman story.
His remark was a mere jeu iPesprit, spring-
ing naturally fh>m the numerous sources of
satisfaction of the occasion.

The wild beasts were finally hidden fh>m
view, and all repaired to their seats. Colonel
Grice sat high, and near the entrance of the
rear tent from which the circus performers
were to emerge. Mr. Williams sat on the
lowest tier, near the main entrance. He had
taken his boys out of his pockets and held
them on his knees. The Colonel, when he
could get an opportunity, quiedy, and in a
very pleasant way, called the ring-master's
attention to him, who smiled and nodded.
Then the curtain was pushed aside from the
rear tent, the band struck up, and the pie-
bald horses came marching in with their
silent riders, who, at first, looked as if they
had just come from the bath and had had
time for only a limited toilet. Old Miss
Sally Cash, cousin and close neighbor of
Colonel Grice, exclaimed :

" Lor'-a-mercy, Mose I Them aint folks,
is they ? Them's wax figgers, aint they ? "

" I assure you. Cousin Sally, that thev're
folks," answered the Colonel, with marked



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THE EXPENSIVE TREAT OF COLONEL MOSES GRICE. 375



ious time it was. Kind-hearted people were
sorry they had come. In the straggle be-
tween life and death, the stranger seemed to
be beginning to sober. Sooner than could
have been expected, he raised himself from
the horse's neck (Miss Cash twisting her
mouth and screwing her neck as he reeled
back and forth from side to side), gathered
up the reins, shook from his feet the thick
shoes he was clad with, flung aside his old
hat, brushed up his curly hair, and before
Miss Cash could utter a word, was on his
feet Then began that prolonged meta-
morphosis which old Mr. Pate was never
satisdied with recounting, whether to those
who saw it or those who saw it not.

" Coat arfter coat, breeches arfter breeches,
gallis arfter gallis, shirt arfter shirt, ontwell he
shucked hisself nigh as clean as a ear o' corn."

When everybody saw that the stranger
was one of the showmen, the fun rose to a
height that delayed for full five minutes the
next scene. As for Colonel Grice, his
handkerchief was positively wet with the
teais he shed. Even Mr. Bill forgot his
own discomfiture in the universal glee.

"It's a shame, Mose," said Miss Cash,
" to put such a trick on BiD Williams, and
that right where his wife is. It would be a
good Aing if he could put it back on you."

Even at this late day, a survivor of that
period can scarcely recall without some exal-
tation of feeling that young girl of eleven
(who had been advertised as "Mademoi-
sdlc Louise, the Most Celebrated Eques-
trienne in the World "), as she ran out with
the daintiest of frocks, the pinkest of stock-
ings, the goldenest of flounces, the bluest of
belts, the curliest of hair, the peachiest of
chedcs, kissed her hand to the audience, put
one foot into the clown's hand, and flew into
tiie saddle. As she went around, dancing
upon that horse in full gallop, hopping over
her whip and jumping through rings, and,
when seated, smoothed down her skirt and
waved her sleeveless arms — weU, there was
one boy (his name was Seaborn Byne) that
dedarcd he " would be dinged if it wasn't
enough to melt the hearts clean outen a
statute."

In the interval before the last, named
"The Wonderful Tooth-Drawing-Coffee-
pot-Fire-cracker Scene," an incident oc-
curred that was not on the programme — an
interlude, as it were, improvised by the ex-
'ibcrant spirits of both spectators and sho w-
n»en. Colonel Grice, deeply gratified at the
*^wxcs8 of what, without great stretch, might



be called his own treat, was in the mood to
receive special attention and compliment
fh)m any source. When the pretended in-
ebriate had been lifted upon Mazeppa, the
clown took a bottle from his pocket, tasted
it when he had gotten behind his master,
smacked his lips, set it down by the middle
pole, and, being detected in one of his re-
sortings to it, was reproached for not invit-
ing some one to drink with him. They
were on the portion of the ring next the
main entrance.

" Why don't you invite Colonel Grice ? "
said Mr. Bill Williams, in a low voice.
" He expects it."

The master turned to notice from whom
the suggestion proceeded, and, before he
could determine, the clown, though with
some hesitation, said :

"If Colonel Grice "

" Stop it ! " whispered the tnaster.

But he was too late. The Colonel had
already risen, and was carefully descending.

" Is you goin' there, Mose, sure enough ? "
said Miss Cash. " It do look like Mose is
complete carried away with them circus
people and hisself." *

Having gotten safely over the interven-
ing heads and shoulders, the Colonel stepped
with dignity into the ring, at the same time
feeling somewhat of the embarrassment
which will sometimes befall the very great-
est warrior when, without his weapons, he
knows himself to be the object of the atten-
tion of a large number of civilians, both
male and female. This embarrassment hin-
dered his observation of the captain's winks,
and the clown's pouring a portion of the
liquor upon the ground. He walked up
rapidly and extended his hand. The clown,
with an effort at mirthfulness, the more eager
because he was doubtful of perfect success,
withdrew the bottie from his grasp, spread
out his legs, squatted his body, and, apply-
ing the thumb of his disenga'ged hand to
his nose, wriggled his fingers at the Colonel's
face, winking frantically the while, hoping the
latter would advance the joke by insistence.

In this he miscalculated. Persons who
claimed to have seen Colonel Moses Grice,
on previous occasions, what was called
mady said that that was mere childish fret-
fulness compared with his present condition
of mind, when, after the withdrawal of the
bottle, the whole audience, Miss Cash
louder than all, broke into uproarious laugh-
ter. Fortunately the enraged chieftain had
nor sword, nor pistol, nor even walking-
cane. His only weapon was his tongue.



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378



IN ALBANIA WITH THE GHEGS.



Leake and Johann George von Hahn, the
only reliable authorities on the subject of
Albania, mention a third clan called the
Liape, a poor and predatory race who live
in the mountains between the Toke and
Delvius. The principal Gheg towns are
Dulcigno, Scutariy and Durazzo, and the
chief Tosk cities are Berat and Elbassan.
The Albanians themselves, however, know
no such scientific distinctions as Gheg or
Tosk. In their own language, which recent
research has pronounced to be an independ-
ent branch of the Indo-European family
and, according to Humboldt, " the floating
plank of a vessel that has been sunk in the
ocean of time and lost for ages," they
call themselres Scipetaar^ or ** highlanders/'
The Turks in a like manner ignore all tribe
distinctions, and term them broadly Amauds,
The common belief is that Albania is
thinly peopled. Square mile for square
mile, no country on the borders of Albania
possesses more populous centers. Scutari
alone, the capital of the north, has a popu-
lation of almost 27,000, and Joannina,
the metropolis of the south, has quite
as many inhabitants ; Ochrida, Prisrend,
Elbassan, and Berat are all considerable cit-
ies ; nor are the minor towns of Dulcigno,
Alessio, Durazzo, Croya, Jakova, and Ipek
by any means thinly peopled. Hardly more
exact is Dr. Arnold's oft-quoted saying that
Albania " is one of those ill-fated portions
of the earth which, though placed in imme-
diate contact with civilization, has remained
perpetually barbarian." Disguised in one
form or another, this opinion has given color
to English encyclopedias, until Albania has
come to be regarded as a "very Botany Bay



ALBANTAN HORSB WITH WOODKN PACK-SADDLE.



in moral geography " — a black, barbaric spot
in Europe surrounded by a perfect halo of
Slav civilization. That its people are, as
yet, very far from the acme of civilization,
all who know them will readily admit ; but
that they are so wofully behind the social
advancement of their Slav neighbors is easy
enough to disprove.

In the first place, the Albanians are not
only industrious and skilled in various hand-
icrafts, but the country has several repre-
sentative manufactures which would not
disgrace the art productions of our Western
capitals. Can this be said of the Mon-
tenegrins, the Bosnians, or the Servians ?
In the towns of Ipek and Jakova, gold
and silver filigrees are made, far superior to
Maltese work, both in the artistic feeling
exhibited in the design, and the marvelous
intricacy and delicacy of the finish of the
workmanship. This glittering, lace-like
Jakova work is eagerly sought for in every
bazaar, and the costliest

** Gold cups of filigree, made to secure
The hand from burning," —

as mentioned by Byron in " Don Juan,** and
which are generally placed under the tiny
Turkish coffee-cups, — are always of Albanian
manufacture. Prisrend is famous for its
carpets, but more particularly for the pro-
duction of the magnificent silver- mounted
pistols and chased and' jewel-hilted yata-
ghans, which lend such splendor to every
opulent Albanian*s girdle; while Scutari is
celebrated for the skill of its cloth-workers,
and t^e dexterity of its gold embroidereis.
Have the Slavs on the northern and eastern
borders any industries such as these ?

Much has been said and more written
of late concerning the turbulent spirit of
the Albanians. But it must be remem-
bered that the country is most exception-
ally constituted, composed as it is of three
opposing religious bodies, governed by a
foreign power. The southern, or T<^.
Albanians belong, for the most part, to the
Greek church ; central Albania is chiefly
Mahommedan; and northern, or Gheg.
Albania is principally Roman Catholic.
Add to this the fact that nearly all the
Mahommedan Albanians are descended
from BektasheSy or renegades from the
Christian faith, and that, bitterly as these
tripartite factions hate one another, they
detest the Porte still more, and the only
wonder left us is that internal strife and
rebellion have not long ago decimated
the population. Yet the Albanians are not



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IN ALBANIA WITH THE GHEGS.



381



to the other, — alike in the crowded bazaars
and on the lonely hill-side, wherever the
avenger and the victim meet, — and the Porte
is powerless to punish because it is not
strong enough to rule. The blood-feud,
however, is confined by the people to the
settlement of their own private quarrels, so
that, unless a stranger is injudicious enough
to intermeddle, he need have no alarm about
his own safety in tiie country.

It would be difficult to point to a country
within nine days' traveling distance from
Paris so picturesquely quaint as Albania.
It is a land above all others for the artist —
a country locked within itself — a little
stationary world within our vast whirligig
outer one, where mediaevalism is preserved
in the most delicious freshness. It is the
land of Iskander as when Iskander him-
self ruled over it. The billowy landscapes
of the mountainous north are far more
changeful than the people, for nature under
the thin higliland air is as various as the
chameleon — now iridescent with the rain-
bow lights of dawn, next gleaming white
and azure under tlie fierce midday sun,
and anon wrapped in the violet mantle of
the night. But time may come and go,
and show the mountains and tiie lakes
under a thousand different aspects, and yet
the people have only one — that of their fore-
fathers.

The splendid costume of Albania is
brought vividly before the un traveled mind
by Byron's memorable description of

**The wild Albanian kirtled at the knee,
With shawl-clad head and ornamented gun,
And gold-embroidered garments fair to see."

Decked in this white and red and golden
magnificence, he is to-day as picturesquely
prominent in every Albanian bazaar as when
the poet saw him in the south at the com-
mencement of the century. But accurate
as is this picture of a Tosk Albanian, — for
Byron never traveled north, — it cannot be
applied to the Christian Gheg. Curiously
enough, the snowy kilt or festan is affected
only by the lowland Mohammedans in the
north. From the days of Iskander the
mountain tribes have worn their own pe-
culiar white woolen garments, and by these
the clans are distinguishable at a glance.

In my article on Montenegro, 1 ended
by saying that the peace which the Prince
looked forward to so hopefully was hourly
threatened, at the time of our sojourn in
the country, by the troubles on the Albanian
border, arising fi-om the annexation of terri-



tory at Gusinje by the Montenegrins. On
our arrival in Scutari, we found the people
in a patriotic ferment, and the outbreak of
a war with the Slavs — for which we had
waited some time in Podgoritza — appeared
to be imminent. This warlike demonstra-
tion against the Montenegrins appeared
to be a purely popular one, for which
the Turkish autiiorities were in no degree
answerable. The little border rebellion,



THE FRONTIER GUARD.



we were told, had been entirely organized
by a patriotic secret association styling it-
self the Albanian League. While I was in
Scutari, I made it my business to interview
several chiefs of this League, so as to be-
come acquainted with the governing prin-
ciples of a secret society which is at the
present moment sufficiently strong not only
to openly defy the Turkish Government,
but to number among its members some
of the foremost officials of the Porte in
Albania. In my opinion, the Albanian
League is the forerunner of a general rebel-



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IN ALBANIA WITH THE GHEGS.



383



tfaem. The head-quarters of the League,
my informant said, were at Prisrend ; but
the leader of the fraternity, AH Pasha,
was then at Gusinje, organizing the revolt
against the Montenegrin occupation of that
district. Money, I was told, had been
subscribed for the purpose at Scutari and
other Albanian towns ; and in the event of
the League succeeding against Montenegro,
it was their determination to fight Servia
or Greece, as soon as either country en-
deavored to take an acre of Albanian
ground. Further, I learned, in the event
of this programme proving successful, it was
the intention of the Albanians to declare
their independence. Turkey, according to
the notions of the League, was not capable
of governing its own affairs, and Albania
was the most flagrant example of the mal-
administration of its provinces, for here the
officials of the Porte not only robbed and
plundered the people, but left them without
soldiers or gensdarmes to protect their
lives and property. For these reasons the
Albanians were determined to cast off the
Ottoman yoke, and at all hazards to try
and establish their country once more as
an independent principality. In the event
of the aspirations of the League proving
successful, they had decided to offer the
rulcrship of Albania to Midhat Pasha, the
only man, my informant said, — but it must
be home in mind that he was a Mahom-
medan, — who had proved himself a thor-
oughly honest and capable statesman.*

As we had by this time become very
much interested in the ultimate conclusion of
the Gusinje question, we determined, if pos-
sible, to visit the place, and judge for our-
selves as to the probable success of the
Albanian cause. No sooner, however,

• Even as I write these lines, five months after my
intenriew with the chief of the League, the following
prodamation has been issued by that patriotic body
to their feOow-cofintrymen :

** Albanians : Europe has created a principality for
the Bulgarians, has delivered Bosnia and the Herze-
govina to Austria, has endowed Servia and Monte-
negro with territorial aggrandizement and independ-
ence, has given RoumeUa autonomy ; but what have
•e received ? Absolutely nothing. We Albanians,
^ arc not immigrants, but natives of the soil of
thii country, ^ho obtained our independence cent-
uries ago, must claim the right to create a State for
owjelvcs. Thessaly, Epirus and Albania proper
*« the &therland of the three million Albanians, and
^^ our btberland must be free and independent,
•d p>vemed by a prince. We will obtain that or
«e in the attempt**^

Prom this it b evident that the League has now
^ tilde an secrecy, and that open revolt to the
Ottoman rule is an accomplished fact



were our intentions mentioned at the Hotel
Toschli, than the utmost powers of the
Scutarine Christians who frequented the cafi
were exerted to dissuade us from our con-
templated journey. Toschli himself was
tearfully supplicative on the subject. Were
we mad ? — he asked. Did we not know
that a Christian's life in Gusinje would be
as brief as an infidel's days in Mecca?
Were we aware that Their Excellencies the
Frontier Commissioners had been stoned
and pelted with mud by the Mahommedans
when they tried to enter even the neighbor-
hood of Ali Pasha's h ead- quarters ? And,
above all, had we no regard for our hon-
ored heads? Finding, at last, that we
were determined upon our projects, our
friends ceased from troubling, and confined
themselves to looking at us with that mel-
ancholy cast of countenance peculiar to
those who gaze upon the condemned.

The shortest route from Scutari to Gusinje
was by the mountain passes cleaving through
the heart of the districts of Kastrati and
dementi. The reported ferocity of the
northern mountaineers, however, rendered
our journey impossible without a safe-con-
duct, and the method of procedure in
order to obtain one is sufficiently peculiar
to warrant a few words upon the subject.
As the Ghe^s of the highlands are all Roman
Catholics, it is necessary for them to ap-
point at the PaShalik of Scutari a Mahom-
medan representative, who acts in their behalf
much in the same manner as a consul repre-
sents his nation in a foreign capital. This
worthy is called the Boluk-Bashi of the tribe,
and among the various duties of his office
it is his province to grant safe-transit passes
to all persons who may have business within
his district. Armed with a passport from a
Boluk-Bashi, escorts are unnecessary, and
the traveler may wander unharmed through
the wildest mountain passes, with much
more security than he has in the streets
of Scutari. A safe-conduct pass, however,
is by no means easy to procure, as the
Boluk-Bashi will only grant them to such
persons as he can prudently permit within
his territory. Foreigners, too, are looked
upon with considerable suspicion by the
mountaineers, and a recommendation from
an official of the Porte to a Boluk-Bashi is
more likely to prejudice him than to allay
his suspicion. The existing relationship,
indeed, between the mountaineers and the
Turkish Government is none of the most
cordial kind. The Ghegs of the hills and
the Mahommedans of the plains have neither



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IN ALBANIA WITH THE GHEGS.



387



waded fetlock deep. Adem-Agar, we soon
discoTered, was well known on the road.
The purport of our journey was put to him
interrogatively by every peasant we passed ;
but the word ** Gusinje" invariably met with
a dubious shake of the head, most unpleas-
andy significant of the perils awaiting us at
our journey's end. At Koplik we made a
brief halt at a way-side khan for a hurried
meal of maize bread and sour goat's-cheese
and coffee, taken h la Turque^ squatting on
the mud-floor around a blazing log-flre, for
already the weather was none of the warm-
est, and then, after an inspiriting pull at the
raki-flask, we took saddle for the village
of Kastrati, where we were to pass the
night An. hour's ride from Koplik the
easy character of the road began to change,
and our ascent commenced up the bleak
Dorthem mountains. As we advanced, the
track gradually narrowed down from a
road broad enough to take a country cart,
into a thin, ribbon-like course, suggestive,



from its rugged rockiness, of the channel of
a moimtain stream. It is astonishing how
unerringly the sure-footed Albanian horses
pick out from among a labyrinth of stone
the crevices and fissures of the track, which
generally winds and twists oyer bowlders
worn smooth as pohshed marble, or plunges
down through loose angular crags as sharp
as spear-heads. And this is the more won-
derful, perhaps, when we notice the man-
ner in which the horses are shod. Both in
Montenegro and Albania the horseshoes are
made in the shape of plates, with a small
central hole, which completely cover the
hoof and frog. These shoes are attached
by strong arrow-head nails, bent over the
plate in such a manner as to allow the
horse to obtain a grip with their angular
edges. They seem to answer their purpose
admirably, although apparently opposed to
our notions 9f saentific farriery. Slipping
and stumbling over rocks and down ravines,
now dismounting to ease our weary horses



A WAY-SIDB KHAN.



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IN ALBANIA WITH THE GHEGS.



3«9



along elevated plateaux covered with the
red-berried arbutus, up purple-hued, snow-
capped mountains seamed with a thousand
cascades of snow-water, through forests of
beech aglow with autumn tints, and re-
sounding with the shepherds' guns as they
drove their flocks by firing blank cartridges
at them ; by the rugged plain of Arapshia,
and thence over the towering summit of the
wooded Velikci, from whence our descent
commenced by a perilous zig-zag path— -a
veritable via mala, where we dismounted,
and, following the Boluk-Bashi's example,
hung on to our horses' tails at each angle
of the track to prevent them plunging head-
foremost into the abyss beneath — ^into the
ravine where, at the bottom, the rushing
Zero marks the boundary between the leafy
heights of Albania and the gray ramparts
of Montenegro. At the head of this defile,
bounded on the north by the mountains of
Triepsci and on the south by those of Nikci,
wc crossed the Httle bridge of Tamar, at
the point where the river makes a fork and
is joined ftx)m above by the waters of the
VukolL Three hours* riding up the valley
of the Zem brought night-fall upon us ; but
soon the welcome sound of baying dogs told
us we were nearing a village, and, sure
enough, ten minutes later the yelping curs
of Selza were snapping and snarling at our
horses' heels as we entered the yard in fi-ont
of the cottage of Nikleka, cru or chief of
the tribe of the Clementis. Here the mis-
sion of our Boluk-Bashi ended. From this
point Nikleka was to put his highland wits
to work to try and smuggle us safely into
Gusinje. We soon learned, however, that
Nikleka was not at home, being at the time
of our arrival in Selza, in the stronghold of
Ali Pasha. But his brother, who welcomed
us to the cottage in the chief's absence, at
once volunteered to take our letter of recom-
mendation to Nikleka in Gusinje. He was
00 the point of arming himself before set-
ting out for this purpose, when a cheery-
kx>king Franciscan monk came bustling
into the cottage and saluted us in Italian.
The sound of something approaching to an
intelligible tongue was most welcome to
our ears, for hitherto our powers of conver-
sation in the Albanian language had been
limited to inquiries respecting such necessar-
ies of life as coffee, bread, cheese, and mutton ;
»o that the more elaborate efforts of sociability
or conviviality had always to be conveyed
by us through the primitive signs of pan-
tomime and facial contortion. In the Fran-
ciacao podire^ however, we found, at length.



and where we least expected it, a pleasant
and a courteous dragoman, with whom we
conversed in a marvelous jargon of French,
Latin, and Italian, and which we were as-
tonished to find he comprehended suffi-
ciently to translate into Albanese. Padre
Gabrielle, as the monk was called, was over-
come with astonishment on hearing that we
were en route for Gusinje, and abandoned
himself to many pious ejaculations of de-
spair on finding that we were not to be
shaken from our purpose by the picture he



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