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grasshoppers, or locusts, who devour every thing they alight on; nor will the Turks allow these destroying hosts to be at all molested in their ravages.
Figs are brought principally from the interior of Anatolia, particularly from a country called Nassaly, and arrive at Smyrna in bags of 2 and quintals, into which they arc gradually collected, after being suffered to dry on the tree until they fall off on the ground, which they will do when ready for packing. They begin to enter the market at the commencement of September, and continue to pour in, in large quantities, from that time until the end of November, by which time the whole crop will have arrived. They are brought into the bazars by the cultivators, or country people, where the merchants or their brokers buy them; and, after having them transported to their warehouses, they collect there all the rabble of Smyrna—" the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind,"—from old decrepitude to tottering infancy. Here they are selected; and those figs which are found in a proper state, are washed in clean water, afterwards moulded in the hands of these filthy wretches, and fashioned, while moist, with their spittle, and by them packed damp in boxes of one quintal and half a quintal each, and in drums of from 15 to 50 lbs. English. The refuse of the figs are used in distilleries; and a great quantity are also sent to Egypt, where the poor people buy them for their food, at about one-fourth the price of those which are sound. The price, like that of raisins, is varied by the demand, and fluctuates from 15 to 30 piastres per quintal, unpicked. The general average of the exportation, annually, may be taken at from 30,000 to 40,000 quintals.
Red Wine is made at twenty-three different places in Smyrna, called taverns. About the end of August, the grapes of which the black fruit is made, are cut, and after the usual process they are pressedby the feet of men,and their juice suffered to ferment,which is done in about twenty days. The wine is then drawn off in barrels, and may be used within two months afterwards. In general 25 per cent., and even more, of water, is added to the real juice of the grapes, notwithstanding which the wine is still very strong. It is mostly a dry wine, though some of it is sweet, and when suffered to acquire an age of three years is as strong nearly as port. The refuse of it is used for making both vinegar and brandy. The quality made in Smyrna may amount in each season to 50,000 or 60,000 Venetian barrels, about 28 okes each; the half or twothirds of which are exported, and the rest are consumed in the country. The average price is 18 piastres per barrel, or 16 paras per oke, and 2J okes are about an English gallon. The Smyrna wine has the reputation of keeping well, while that of the Archipelago very soon turns sour.
Brandy, or as it is here more generally called by the Franks, Aqua Vita or Rakee, is made of the black fruit, which yields the best quality. The second quality is made of the refuse of wine and of figs, but neither of them are famous beyond their place of manufacture. Its ordinary price is 32 paras, but this, as well as some white wines also made here, has never yet been exported, nor would they promise any profit to the exporter.
Oil is not permitted to be shipped from Smyrna on account of the soap manufactories there. The only parts from which it can be exported are Mitylene, Candia, and the Morea, the whole of which may make annual shipments of 25 or 30 cargoes from 200 to 300 tons each, to different parts of Europe. Its price is from 56 to 60 piastres per quintal.
Oil Of Roses is made in Romelia, Layora, and Kigagatch, and comes very generally from Adrianople. It is sold by the metical of 1^ drachm. Very little of it is used in Turkey, where they prefer the odour of musk to that of the rose, but the greatest portion of that which is exported goes to England, and is worth from 4£ to 5 piastres per metical. It is an extremely deceptive article, being put up in ornamented glass bottles, and often mixed with common oil. Any quantity may be had by orders, but not more than 30,000 meticals are yearly exported.
Grain cannot be exported from Smyrna without a firman, or express permission from the Grand Signior; but though this prohibition extends over all parts of Turkey, yet it may always be loaded from the smaller ports by bribing the custom-house officers, who, in the farming of their situations from the Porte, calculate such gains as necessary and honourable profits, and regulate their purchase money according to the greater or less facility of reimbursing themselves by such means. The principal places of export for grain from Anatolia, are Scalanuova and Sanderlee, but all business at those places is done through the merchants of Smyrna. The Gulph of Salonica, the coasts ofCaramania, Satalia, and Syria, also export large quantities of grain; but Egypt is the chief granary of the East, whose harvests are scattered over all the Mediterranean. At all those places grain must invariably be purchased with cash, and for that pupose, Spanish dollars are found to be most generally acceptable. In time of peace between Russia and Turkey, the Black Sea furnishes also immense supplies of grain; but if a vessel from that sea should be driven, either by stress of weather, necessity, or convenience, into a Turkish port, the bakers of the country may stop the cargo, by paying for it a price arbitrarily fixed by their own government; which is the case with hemp, and other articles from the Black Sea, which the Turks may, at any time, be likely to want. To obviate this evil, vessels touching at ports often anchor without the castles which guard their entrance; while in town, the goods are easily sold, and transferred to European vessels.
Rice, which is an article of food in universal consumption throughout Turkey, arrives here chiefly from Egypt, and is sold, for cash, by the kilo of 10 okes, which is worth, at present, 6£ piastres. Scarcely a meal is made, either by the Turks or Christian natives of Turkey, without a pilau, or dish of boiled rice, which makes its consumption immense, and there is never a scarcity in the markets. Carolina and India rice are well known, but, as they are not so much esteemed, they sell, in general, about 10 per cent, less than the rice of Egypt.
Hemp is an article of which the importation is also prohibited in a raw state; but its quality is too inferior to make it worthy of a trial in England, even if it could be obtained.*
THE SUMMER SEA.
Go, visit now the peaceful shores,
Now is the time for joyous Love
Be quick—the hours of summer fly,
Biow. A similar detail of the import trade, with the consumption of British and other European manufactures at Smyrna, and throughout Turkey in general, will be given, to conclude this subject, in our next.—Ed.
PRIVATE JOURNAL OP A CANVASS FOR A SEAT IN THE EAST INDIA DIRECTION.
To the Editor of the Oriental Herald.
Sir,—Having been occupied for some weeks previous to the ballot of the 12th April last, when the election of the six East India Directors took place, in making interest for a very particular friend, I happen to have kept a Journal of my Canvass.
The bustle and irritation attending the election having now passed away, it has occurred to me, that it may be gratifying to your country readers, and both interesting and useful to the public, more especially to those who speculate on the future improvement of the home administration of Indian affairs, to have before them some record of the sort of feeling by which Proprietors of India Stock are actuated in giving their votes. The following extract from my Journal is therefore at your service, for publication in your interesting Miscellany, should you deem it admissible.
The commercial concerns of the Court of Directors occupy a comparatively small portion of their time and attention; the civil, military, and political affairs of a considerable quarter of the globe depend, in a great degree, upon their zeal, their talents, their prudence, and their knowledge; and many persons foretel that a few years hence the Court will still less than at present have to do with commercial affairs. Is it not then a matter of the highest importance, that the selection of the members of an executive, invested with such high public duties, should rest somewhere else than where it does at present? And does it not stand to reason, that so long as the electors care little for, or at best are not guided and determined in giving their votes by, any anxiety for the good government of India, those elected cannot be the fittest men for controlling the counsels of the Indian Governments? If it be asserted that the Board of Control remedies all errors in the administration of British India, arising out of the present defective constitution of the Court of Directors, there are few either at home or abroad of those who are at all acquainted with the present mode of conducting Indian affairs, but will deny the fact. If again it be contended, that there is no more reason to object to the system of trusting to the Proprietors of East India Stock the election of the persons with whom the due ordering of Indian affairs mainly rests, than there is to object to the election of the members of the House of Commons by that portion of the people who are entitled to vote, I must be permitted to deny that the cases are at all parallel. Be the motives of the electors to seats in Parliament pure or impure, selfish or patriotic, at all events it
must be allowed, that men, first in property and in influence, if not in talent, are elected. Granting that the electors to seats in the British Parliament be but little actuated by public spirited motives in giving their votes, yet so long as they continue to select men of large possessions as their representatives, this attribute of property, this holding of so large a stake in the country, ensures some, and not an inconsiderable degree of, zeal and anxiety for its welfare. But what large possessions do the Directors of the East India Company own in India? What great stake have they in that country? In this case, the impurity of the election is, in its evil consequences, not at all counteracted by the circumstance of the elected having, in the possession of large property in India, a powerful inducement to devote their earnest, their unremitted, their whole attention to the furtherance of its interests. Here, then, the absence of selfish views in the electors is even more essential than in elections to the House of Commons. It still remains a desideratum, for which the happiness of eighty millions of people loudly calls, to devise some plan whereby the organization and constitution of that most important body, to which the supervision of the affairs of British India is, to a great extent, intrusted, may be rendered less defective than at present.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, London, May 22, 1826. An East Indian.
Extract from the Journal of q Canvass for a Canditaie for a Seat in the East India Direction.
March 20, 1826.—My friend having started as a candidate for one of
the vacancies in the East India Direction, to be filled up by ballot on the 12th of April, requested me to assist him in his canvass I did not much relish the idea of the trouble, irksomeness, and variety of unpleasant circumstances, incident to such a task; I could not, however, hesitate for a moment to comply with his request; and having provided myself with pencil, memorandum-book, and a pocket full of my friend's cards, soliciting the honour of ladies'and gentlemen's votes and interest, and endeavouring to fortify myself with a quantum sufficit of assurance, I this day commenced my rounds of solicitation and canvass at the west-end of the town.
I called at No. 5, square—detained a quarter of an hour at the door,
when a dirty housemaid bawled out from tbi area, "The family not in town."
Called next on Sir P. ;found him at home; presented my friend's card,
and requested his vote. He expressed his regret that he could not accede to my application, as he had half engaged ' is vote to another candidate. I knew
Sir P to be an honest, independent country gentleman, not likely to be
swayed by City interests; I ventured, therefore, to urge the superiority of my fiiend's claims, his long services in India, his talents, experience, &c. &c.
Sir P begged pardon for interrupting my address; he had no doubt of my
friend's qualifications; but really a neighbour of his had a few years ago procured two cadetships, one for the son of his steward, and another for a son of one of his principal tenants, and he had ever since made it a rule to vote as his neighbour requested of him.
I proceeded on to the Rev. Mr. , in street; but no better success
here. He is already engaged to , through the interest of an old friend,
to whom he considers himself under obligations.
At No. 16, in the same street—not at home. At No. 25, I found Mr. —,