The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 10 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 628 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 10.

Here where the sun descends to the horizon almost in a vertical line the twilight is exceedingly brief and soon dark night had swallowed up every trace of the fugitive.  The Turks, without provision for themselves or water for their horses, realized that they were some twelve or fifteen hours away from home and in an unknown locality.  What could they do but return and bring to their irate master the unwelcome news that both the horse and the rider with the money were gone?  Not until the third evening did they reach Mardin, half dead of exhaustion and with horses hardly able to put one foot ahead of the other.  Their only consolation was that here there was another instance of Arabian perfidy for them to revile.  The traitor’s horse, to be sure, they were obliged to praise, and they had to confess that such an animal could hardly be paid for too dearly.

Next day, just when the Imam is calling to morning prayer, the pasha hears hoofbeats under his window, and into the courtyard the sheikh is riding entirely unabashed.  “Sidi,” he calls up, “Sir, do you want your money or my horse?”

Somewhat less quickly than the Arab had ridden we reached on the fifth day the foot of the mountain and near a clear rivulet the large village of Tillaja (Tshilaga), doubtless the ancient Tilsaphata, where the starving army of Jovian on its retreat from Persia to Nisibin found its first provisions.  There I learned that on that very morning Mehmet-Pasha had started with an army on an expedition against the Kurds in the north.  I at once decided to join him and, leaving the caravan, arrived at his camp that same evening.  There I was told that Hafiss-Pasha had sent a guard of fifty horsemen to meet us, whom we had missed, because they had looked for us in the direction of Sindjar.



[From a letter written by Moltke to his brother Fritz and dated October 28, 1846.]

My most interesting experience was a bullfight.  At three in the afternoon my Frenchman and I betook ourselves to the circular arena where twelve thousand people were assembled to watch the Corrida de Toros.  There are about twenty stone steps on which the people take their places, just as in the ancient amphitheatres, and on top there are two tiers of boxes, of which the one in the centre is reserved for the queen.  The arena proper where the fight is to take place is perfectly empty, and is separated from the spectators by a barrier of beams and planks seven feet in height.  A small platform makes it possible for those who fight on foot to vault safely from the arena when they can avoid the bull in no other way.

After some delay the gates opened and the alguazil, some kind of a higher official clad in old-fashioned garb, rode in and announced that the game was about to begin.  He was everywhere greeted with hoots, ridicule and disrespectful whistling; I do not know why.  But he seemed to know what to expect, for he apparently did not mind his reception in the least.  The Romans in the circus made sport of their consuls and emperors, and the Spaniards at a bullfight are permitted an equal latitude of behavior.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 10 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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