136 Life and Letters of Francis Galton The last letter we have is that from Constantinople
STAMBOUL, Aug. 22nd, 1840.
MR (not Madame) JOSEPHINE'S LODGING HOUSE.
MY DEAR. FATHER, Here I am at Constantinople-among Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Jews and Franks, in a good Lodging House, as well as possible and happier and happier every day. The Golden Horn is just in front of me, crammed full of mosques and minarets, Seraglios and Towers. Scutari to my left on the other side of the Bosphorus and on bona fide Asia, and I myself in Pera on the top of the Giaour's Hill (remember the "G" in that word is pronounced hard, and it is only two syllables,
thus Glow_ ar) the `° ia" is just audible). I never in my life had a more pleasant voyage than down the Danube. The funny costumes, and languages, viz. German, Wallachian, Sclavonian, Illyrian, Turkish, Russian, Italian, French and English were all spoken around me. We eat water melons and grapes. I scetched (sic !) a good deal, walked on the land wherever the steamer stopped and really saw an immense deal. Tell Bessy that I passed by the cave where St George killed the Dragon, and sketched too-and that the putrid body of the Dragon gives birth yearly (so says the legend) to myriads of mosquitoes, very many of whom bye the bye bit me. At Orsova I went to the baths of Mehadia (see Murray-as you have got my "Southern Germany Murray" you must read up my route) the rapids and between Alt Mordova and Skela Gladova are very fine rough brown mountains on each side, a good deal of wood, a swift stream below, whirlpools occasionally, and splendid eagles soaring about. The Iron Gate is a humbug, the rapid is swift enough but the scenery nothing particular. At Orsrsva (Or-shiwa) on stepping into the boat we were tabooed for 10 days quarantine had we returned, and we were in a minute among turbanned Turks. The Quarantine laws are a great bore. A Turk has 3 days Quarantine in Wallachia and 10 in Hungary, a Wallachian 7 days in Hungary. So there are 3 nations close together none of whom can trade &c. to any extent, with the other. See Murray as to the way of making exchange, and passing the money through water.. Stopped at Czernaboda (that is a Russian name) and went overland to Kustendje-3 other English with myself made the first English party who had ever done it with the exception of one solitary Englishman about three weeks since. We arrived at :Kustendje and the Black Sea (! 1) all comfortably (except one breakdown of the axle tree), and found a very good inn and actually Barclay and Perkins' porter, a bottle of which I drank to the health of all at home. Steamer was to set off next morning at 12. Was lent a gun by an inhabitant and so went out a-shooting. Shot a couple of Sea Gulls first, then broke the leg of a heron, when flop flap flap up got an eagle, bang ! Mr Eagle lay a subject for dissection on the ground. Accordingly I did dissect him, at least skin him to the admiration of all beholders (I had my dissecting knives with me)-and I shall bring him to England. It is not a large one, not above 3J to 4 feet from tip to tip of wings, but a very powerful one. (Dinner's ready so I must stop.) Set off in a steamer on the Black Sea having first bathed therein. Very windy-cross sea worst passage since March. My breakfast and dinner were soon food for fishes, if they could digest them-I could not, in fact I was horribly squeamish at last having during my short time of health seen a splendid storm, lightning as bright as in the most vivid illumination, a broad glare of sheet lightning