Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/41

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"However agreeable it may be to return home after an absence of many years, and after having escaped many dangers and endured many toils,to tread again the soil of one's native country, enriched with knowledge and experience;still, it is not without a feeling of emotion, that we recall those scenes of danger and fatigue to our recollection. They flit past us like dissolving views, which appear only to vanish, yet still leave behind them deep traces of the past.

It was a secret impulse, an inward voice, which urged me towards the East, where the first man lived of whom history makes mention, where culture was first practised, and where arts and sciences flourished; where religion — that heavenly light — began to spread its rays. Patriam fugere, peregre proficisci.

I left my native town of Kronstadt, in Transylvania, in the spring of 1815. After having crossed Bukovina, Moldavia, and Walachia (where I remained above a year), I arrived, in the autumn of 1816, at Varna, on the Black Sea, whence I embarked for Constantinople. This was my first voyage. Being aware that the distance from Varna to Constantinople was short, I did not apprehend it could be attended with danger. On arriving at Varna, I was informed that several Turkish vessels were bound for Constantinople, on one of which I embarked. Besides seventeen Arnauts (Albanian-Turkish soldiers) a pretty French lady (from Jassy)