The Burton Holmes Lectures, Volume 1 (of 10) In Ten Volumes
Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
With Illustrations from PhotographsBy the Author
COMPLETE IN TEN VOLUMES
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN
THE LITTLE-PRESTON COMPANY, LIMITED
M C M I
BY E. BURTON HOLMES
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The "Edition Original" of The Burton Holmes Lecturesis Limited to One Thousand Sets.
The Registered Number of This Set is —— ——.
Mr. Holmes has been asked to supply data for a biographical sketch.He replies that his biography will be found in his lectures, each lecturebeing a chapter from his life of travel. Thirty chapters of this autobiographyappear in these volumes,—thirty preliminary chapters,—forMr. Holmes hopes that his life of travel is but just begun.
Elias Burton Holmes was born in Chicago in January, 1870, inheriting alove for travel. In 1883 he acquired a love for photography. In 1886 hetraveled abroad and took pictures. He has been traveling and takingpictures ever since. In 1890 he appeared before his first audience,—themembers of the Chicago Camera Club, reading and illustrating an accountof a tour "Through Europe with a Camera." In 1893 he made his firstprofessional appearance in the recital hall of the Auditorium, Chicago,describing a journey to Japan. Kind friends and curious acquaintancesinsured the success of this venture, and encouraged Mr. Holmes to enterupon a career in which the labor has been a labor of love. For five successivewinters the Burton Holmes Lectures were among the features of theamusement season in the cities of the Middle West. In 1897, on the retirementof Mr. John L. Stoddard from the field which he had created andoccupied for nineteen years, Mr. Holmes found himself prepared to carryon the work begun by Mr. Stoddard.
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To transfer the illustrated lecture from public platform toprinted page is to give permanent form to the ephemeral. Toset down in formal black and white the phrases framed forthe informality of speech is to offer them to a keener scrutinythan they were meant to bear. To reproduce in miniature,by means of the half-tone engraver's art, pictures that wereintended to meet the eye, enriched by color and projected ina darkened auditorium, is to reduce mountains to mole-hillsand to dim the brilliancy of nature to a sober gray.
In these volumes The Burton Holmes Lectures undergo atrying transformation. The words and the pictures are thesame, but the manner of presentation must affect the valueand force of both. The appeal is now made not to expectantauditors in the sympathetic atmosphere of a place of entertainment,but to readers uninfluenced by the tone and theinflection of the speaker, and free from the magical influenceof pictures that glow and fade as the traveler tells his tale.
In an illustrated lecture the impression upon eye and earshould be simultaneous, that the suggestion of travel may besuccessfully produced. It may be pardonable to cite, in proofof the completeness of the illusion, an incident which conveysa convincing compliment to the art of the illustrated lecture.On the screen a picture of a village at sunset—a river flowsat the spectators' feet—misty mountains rise in the distance—thecalmness of approaching night seems to hover in thegolden twilight. All this simply an effect produced by theprojection of a colored photograph and the utterance of a fewsuggestive words. A woman in the audience looks and listens—andthen unconscious of the humor of her words, murmursto a companion, "Oh, if some one could only paint that!"
Therefore the author begs that all who read, will, at thesame time, listen with the mental ear to catch the shade ofmeaning that should be conveyed by every phrase, and thatthey will endeavor to project the illustrations, through thelenses of imagination upon the screen of fancy, and thus re-magnifythe mole-hills into mountains, re-tint the landscapesand the cities, and restore to the sunset-skies their wontedwealth of color.
In appearing before a new audience—the reading public—theauthor is cheered by the thought that it is an audience,not of strangers, but of friends, who, as readers in their easychairs at home, will manifest toward him the same indulgencethat they have shown as auditors in the orchestra stalls oftheaters or the seats of lecture-halls.
The author gladly acknowledges his debt of gratitude tohis auditors, who, by their support and sympathy, have madepossible the years of travel which these volumes represent;and to his fellow-workers whose efforts have contributed in solarge a measure to the success of his lectures, to KatharineGordon Breed, who was the first to realize the possibilities ofthe art of coloring lantern slides; to Oscar Bennett Depue,who, with modesty and self-effacement, has devoted himselfto the operating of the illustrating instruments and to thedevelopment of the art of motion-photography, and to LouisFrancis Brown, who, with business ability and tact, hasdirected the public presentations of The Burton HolmesLectures.
E. BURTON HOLMES.
New York, March 4, 1901.
The transatlantic steamers, thatevery season bear so many of ourfellow-countrymen from our own shoresdirectly to the ports of Italy, pass, as alltravelers know, through the GibraltarStraits. Those who have sailed thiscourse undoubtedly recall with a thrillof pleasure the morning when, aftereight days upon the broad Atlantic,they waked to find on either handthe shores of a great continent,—thehills of Spain upon the north, and opposite,the grim forbidding mountainsof Morocco.
They will recall, as well, thosetwo gigantic rocky promontories whichguard the western entrance to the Mediterranean,—thosehistoric Pillars of Hercules called by the ancients Calpe14and Abyla,—the rocks that for the men of that time markedthe extreme western boundary of the known world.
For centuries Calpe and Abyla, sea-girt mountains tornasunder by some god of might, were looked upon as the veryends of the earth. Beyond them no man dared venture.
Calpe is now the famous fortress of Gibraltar, a bit ofSpain held by the British Empire. Abyla, upon the shore ofAfrica, is now the penal colony Ceuta, a pieceof Moorish territory, conqueredand held by force ofSpanish arms. Atthe bases of thesetwo mighty cliffs thewaters of two oceansmingle; for there the wideAtlantic, the waterway ofthe new world, touches the historic inland ocean, around theshores of which are grouped the nations that have ruled theworld in ages past. The narrow channel that links the seastogether serves also to separate two lands so widely dissimilarthat nowhere in the world may the traveler, with so littleeffort, enjoy a greater shock of contrast than by crossing theGibraltar Strait from Southern Spain to Tangier, in Morocco.
In the space of a few short hours he may there go back athousand years; pass from to-day to a mysterious yesterday,strangely remote from us in life and thought. Within sightof the shores of Europe, within sight of the Spanish railwaystations, within sound of the cannon of Gibraltar, he willfind a land in which there are no roads of any sort, a peoplewho still use in war the picturesque Arabian flintlock andthe clumsy yataghan; he will find a remnant of the MiddleAges, so perfectly preserved by the peculiar embalming influenceof the Mohammedan religion that the Morocco of to-daydiffers little from the Morocco of the year one thousand.15
One of the most keenly relished moments of my life wasthe moment when that tiny patch of white, at first so like adrift of snow on the distant Moorish hills, finally resolveditself into a city of strange African aspect, and our shipdropped anchor in what the Moors are pleased to call theharbor of Tangier. At last we are about to touch the shoreof the strangest, most inaccessible, and most mysterious landthat borders on the Mediterranean. Algeria and Tunis havebeen modernized by France; railways transport pilgrims toand from the Holy Sepulcher in Palestine; Egypt is but anAnglo-Saxon playground; Greece also has her roads of steel,her daily papers, and her parliament. But Morocco remainsunique. Isolated from the world of to-day, and—thanks tothat isolation—completely independent, the Empire of theMoorish Sultan has preserved the customs and traditions18of its past, untouchedby modern civilization,unchanged by Europeaninfluence. Theland is to-day as itwas, and as it shall be—atleast until it beconquered by the infidel,and the throne ofthe descendants of theProphet be overthrownby the enemies ofAllah.
Meantime, the contemporarydevotees of Allah have taken cognizanceof our arrival. Lighters are quicklymanned, and we are treated to an excellent representation ofthe manner in which Christian ships were boarded and19pillaged by Barbary pirates, in the day when the Corsairsruled the sea, and all Christendom paid forced tribute to theSultans, Deys, and Bashas of the Barbary States. A horde ofturbaned porters and guides overrun the decks, seize indiscriminatelyall visible handbags, bundles, and boxes, andtoss them, yelling madly all the while, into the boats whichrise and fall alongside as the huge swells from the Atlanticglide swiftly underneathour ship.Emulating wise andpious Moslems, wedecide to trust inAllah for the recovery of our belongings in due time; and,while the battle of the baggage rages, we turn our attentionto a neighboring cattle-ship, where the embarkation of itsbovine passengers is proceeding with much celerity and considerablediscomfort to the unhappy creatures. The horns ofeach steer are bound with rope; a hook descends, is engagedin the loops; the donkey-engine snorts, and skyward go theastonished steers, two at a time, in attitudes painfully undignified.But painful as is this rise in beef, the worst is still20to come. To land the animal in theproper place upon the deck, fearless Arabsseize his tail, and by a series of vigorousyanks and twists cause the suffering creatureto alight with his nose pointed towardthe pen in which he may leisurely readjusthis elongated carcass,recover from his undisguisedindignation, and consolehimself by watching the precipitatearrival of some othersteer with whom he mayhave had unfriendly relationson the Moorish plains. Thus it is that hundreds ofhead of Moorish cattle begin their fatal voyage across thestrait; for vast quantities of Moroccan beef go to feed thelean and hungry Spaniard, or to supply the brawn andmuscle of Gibraltar's sturdy English garrison.
Having witnessed the acme of this cruelty, we observewith comparative unconcern the unceremonious manner in21which the animals are persuaded to enter the lighters. Ayelling band of Arabs and negroes boost and shove the resistingbrute up the gangplank and tumble him head foremostinto an already crowded boat, where he regains his feet as besthe may. The thuds of falling bodies, the wild cries of thesavage workers, continue until, the cargo complete, the craftputs off.