Title


CHAPTER XI.

FERÆ

In Transylvania is still a fair quantity of game, and any sportsman would be recompensed by coming here to shoot. The brown bear (Ursus arctos, L.) is to be found in the forests of the high as well as of the intermediate mountains, especially in those to the north of the country . The wolf, formerly met with in the high land and the woods advancing into the plain, is now in the coverts on the low ground, and commits nightly no unimportant ravages among the herds.

In the neighbourhood of Temesvar, in the Banat, the wolf-battues generally afford very good sport. There are just the coverts they like, low scrubby bushes and under- wood, affording good shelter. What makes the wolf so formidable an enemy to the farmer is, his habit of tearing in pieces more animals than he can devour. He destroys for the sake of destroying, and not merely to satisfy his hunger. They are timid brutes, and travel so quickly that it is difficult to get at them. To-night they ravage e flock, but by the morning they are in a thicket miles away; so that when the district, up in arms, proceeds to scour the country in pursuit, not a wolf is to found Unless a very extensive tract of country be surrounded at once, there is little chance of meeting them. The chief thing is to have evidence that in a certain covert wolves are lying. By chance some may turn up unexpectedly when you are after other game, as was the case one day when I was out hare-shooting. They are very cautious, too; their sense of smell is admirable, and if the least thing give, rise to suspicion, they skulk away, evading the sportsman or refusing to touch the bait. The best plan is to lay a dead sheep on the snow near your place of concealment, when the moon shines brightly. By this means, if the wind is good, a shot may be had. In winter they come into the villages during the night, to get what they can, -a pig or fowl or goose ; it is indifferent what. The peasantry lose much stock in this way by their depredations; but it is only when very cold that the animals venture thus close to human habitations. I once met one on returning home late from a party, close to the last houses of the town of Bistritz. It was moonlight ; the thermometer 27° Réaum. below freezing-point. I was walking in the middle of the road, where it was light as day ; the houses on my right were all in shade, and close to the wall I thought I saw a large dog skulking. The animal sneaked stealthily on, to avoid me and my companion, then crossed the road, when at once I saw by its peculiar gait that it was a wolf. "Why, look, that's a wolf!" I exclaimed, astonished. "Yes," said the other very calmly, and walked on. Passing the road, it went away over the fields.1 There is nothing attracts a wolf so irresistibly as the squeaking of a pig ; one therefore is sometimes put into a sack, and dragged over the smooth snow behind a sledge, through a forest. Should the game be there or in the neighbourhood, it soon makes its appearance, to look out for the expected booty.

Wolves fall on their wounded comrades, and devour them. In attacking horses or cattle, they never throw themselves on the foremost animal, but always on the second.

The lynx is occasionally seen, but very rarely ; and here, as in the forests of Bavaria, the animal seems wellnigh extinct. In the neighbourhood of Hermannstadt, however, some have been shot within the last few years.2 The pine-marten (Mustela Martes L.) is sometimes seen in the mountain-forests, but seldom. The wild boar may be found in the woods towards the north, on the Czibles ; here, in winter, several are generally killed. Roes are plentiful, and I was always much struck by the size of the animals, especially of those in the neighbourhood of Klausenburg. Red-deer are less frequently found, though I have myself seen noble stags shot in Rothen Thurm Pass, as well as the splendid antlers of others from the mountains to the north of Hermannstadt. Here, I am told, during the rutting seasons, their bellowing may be heard in all directions, and to judge by the magnificent heads which were shown me as coming from there, it would be well worth any one's while to take up his quarters in the forest during the month of September. He must, of course, be content to lead a squatter's life. Food could be sent up to him by a messenger every two or three days, and as in Transylvania the autumn is always very beautiful, a month passed in this way would be most enjoyable.

There are chamois on the Königstein, to the south- west, and also on the Butschetsch, to the south-east of Kronstadt. More, however, will be found on the, Retjezat, nearly 8000 feet high, not far from Hatzeg. Formerly the steinbock (Ibex) existed on the highest ranges of the Carpathians. Another animal, too, which was once an inhabitant of the woods and plains, has been since some years exterminated. This was the bison or ure-ox (Urus) -now only to be found in Europe in a forest in, Lithuania, where it is carefully preserved. Formerly this magnificent animal had its home in the woods of Gyergyo, near a morass, and according to one account was last met with in the month of March, 1775, near Udvarhely.

Vultures and eagles of largest size abound ; and frequently, when driving along the road, I have seen six or seven of the former birds standing round the carcass of a horse or calf that had died there, or been torn by wolves. I was told a case of a chamois that had been shot, when, hardly had it fallen, eleven eagles were hovering in the air above it.

In the forests in the Csik, on the eastern frontier of the province, there is good capercailzie shooting to be had. There are, too, black-cock, though rare ; partridges and quails, but not in great numbers. Heath-cock are frequent, and ptarmigan may be shot on the mountains near Hatzeg.

Not far from Hermannstadt, I have seen large troops of bustards, walking like soldiers on the plain bordering the river ; and, in the neighbourhood of Thorda, I was out after them day after day, as they stalked over the rape- fields, in vain endeavouring to get a shot. When the rape is coming up, they make their appearance, and eat the young shoots.

The caution of this bird is not to be surpassed, and hardly to be circumvented. On large plains only, where there is no wall or mound which could serve as covert to an enemy, will the bustard alight. As he stands on his long legs, with his head in the air, surveying the ground on all sides, the slightest motion or any inequality or unusual appearance is at once perceived. They always seem to be on the look-out, and so great is their vigilance that, worm yourself flat along the ground as you may, they are sure to perceive it. To approach them is more difficult than to get at a chamois, as they are always in a position where the advantage is wholly on their side, and where you are positively left without a single resource. For wherever there is anything by which it would be possible to advance upon them, that place they shun. They fly low and heavily ; and your only chance is to hide in a ditch or hole, and let another person endeavour to drive them so that in taking wing they pass over the spot where you lie concealed. I was not able to get even near enough to have a shot at one with a rifle.

On the ponds and rivers are ducks and other waterfowl, and besides these, herons, as well as razor birds of passage. The white spoonbill, the green ibis, and, far more rarely, the cane, have been shot while migrating across the country. At such times the swan, the cormorant, and the pelican have also been seen on the rivers. The latter are sometimes numerous, and Lieutenant -, who is an ardent sportsman, came home once, bringing with him seven that he had shot.

My ambition was to shoot a bear, and I soon was enabled to share in a hunting excursion. An order had been given, to prevent waste of time, for several men to go out and see if they could discover any bear-tracks. Should they find the game, they were to leave it undisturbed, return, and report what had occurred. But a letter came with an account that greatly annoyed us. The men had started on their errand, and when in the wood heard a grumbling noise. They separate, and, on advancing suddenly, see seven bears together. A cub is shot ; the dam, infuriate, rises on her hind legs to the attack, when a bullet through the head causes her to drop. Another is wounded, and two more are killed. In less than half an hour, all was over ; and thus the booty that might have been ours, had fallen to those who had been sent to look after it for us. It was most vexatious to be thus deprived of a famous day's sport, but there was nothing to be done but put up with the disappointment.

These Wallacks are such passionate sportsmen, they are quite unable to repress their ardour. No fear of punishment, no respect for a superior in rank, is able to control them when the game is in sight. An instance which was told me by the gentleman to whom it happened, gives evidence of this. His position, too, in the province was such that it might naturally have been supposed the fear of offending would have been a check and a restraint. A Wallack was standing behind him, carrying a second gun, while the beaters were going through the wood, when a roe leaps by. The man, without waiting for his master, fires across his shoulder and knocks the roebuck over. "Sir," he said immediately, "I can't help it; the impulse is stronger than I am." Indeed if they were forbidden, under pain of death, to fire, they would do so if they could.

Major -,who was out with us on this day, told me that when a boy he once saw seven bears together, but was so frightened that he did not fire.

We drove a considerable distance to a village, where we found, At the Austrian officer's house, an excellent breakfast laid out for us. The courtyard was filled with the rough ponies of the country, with wooden saddles, and a rope round the animal's nose as bridle. We presently mounted, and away the went, full of hope expectation. As we rode on and ascended higher, the peculiar formation of the mountains became distinctly apparent. One mountain-ridge rose behind the other. There were seven such where we stood, all cut up in gorges, seemingly impenetrable, like the one before us. These places are the resort of the bears ; but all here is so vast that it is not easy to find them. There had been much dry weather lately, on which account, it was said, they were low down in the vale.

We all took our places on a hillside, while the beaters, sent into the woods far in advance, scrambled as best they could through the branches towards us. We heard by their shouts that some annual had been seen, and learned afterwards that a bear had broken through the line, and escaped at the bottom of the valley. It was long before a leaf even stirred in my neighbourhood, when at last I heard a slight rustle. "Well, it's a wolf," I said to myself, "and though not a bear, it is better than nothing." All was as dense as a jungle, and I could only see a few yards before me. Noiseless and stealthily the creature, whatever it was, advanced, and now I saw a head gradually raised above the trunk of a fallen tree. But that surely is no wolf ! And like a snake it winds its body through the underwood, and from what little I can see, it appears to be a wild cat of large size. There was a small interstice between some dead boughs, and I could just catch sight of the animal's back ; so raising my rifle, for my shot gun was resting against the tree, and I was afraid to move sufficiently to lay hold of it, I fired. The cat turned, and slowly crept back and disappeared. I felt sure by the motion of the animal that it was struck ; for had it not been, it would have rushed away in fright at the near report and my presence. All search for the beast was in vain ; and it probably retreated into some hole or hollow tree. In looking about, however, I found a quantity of woolly hair, which told me that the bullet had shaven it close off to the back, and just grazing the vertebræ, had a numbness or lameness, accounting thus for the slowness of motion in the animal's retreat.

Another part of the forest was afterwards tried, but with no better success. Some persons, who were on more elevated ground, saw a bear make his exit where no sportsman was standing, and gallop across a meadow and away to the woods beyond.

The day before, October 11th, a youth of eighteen had been sadly ill-treated by a bear, on the very spot where we were. He had met the animal as he was strolling through a thicket, and taking off his cap when close to him, flung it at the bear. Bruin resented the insult by striking at him, and as the youth stooped to avoid the blow, his shoulders and the hind part of his head got badly mauled. The night before, too, some goats were mangled by wolves in the village where we stopped that day ; altogether, therefore, our chance of sport was good.

A bear climbs a tree so quickly, that it is useless attempt to escape the animal in this way. He will be at the top quicker than you. But, indeed, a bear will hardly attack a men unless himself attacked or wounded. One that had been fired at twelve or more times without being hit, passed in his flight a gentleman who was this day with us. In running by him, the bear clutched his dress, and they tumbled over together, the thigh of the one party being somewhat torn. The grand thing is to stand quite still, which this gentleman probably did not do. The bear is not sharp-sighted ; your form, if quiet, he will not distinguish, but he sees the least movement, and at once makes for the object whence it comes.

One of our company who had been out constantly with Prince Schwarzenberg, had shot six ; yet even now, he said he feels queer when he sees the bear coming.

We went out once again in the same neighbourhood, but got nothing.

In the neighbourhood of Bistritz, at Kushmar, about, five bears are shot annually. In 1863, however, fewer were seen here, as well as in other parts of Transylvania. Some years ago, in one drive, ten bears were started by the beaters. That so many less than usual made their appearance last autumn is owing, it is thought, to the scarcity of acorns. On this account, the bears did not come so low down as usual, but remained in the woods at the summit of the mountains.

There is, it seems, hardly any chase so entirely dependent on good luck as bear-hunting. One gentleman, who is perhaps the most noted sportsman in Transylvania, has shot but eight in his life, -a number which, considering his age, his perseverance, and his skill, is certainly not large. Another, a young man it is true, though unwearied in his endeavours, has killed only two. A third, who for years had been out annually in the woods, has not even had a shot at a bear ; while n youth of fifteen, who went out for the first time, shot a capital one at eight paces distance. One sportsman has been lucky enough to bag twelve. Of these, he shot three while they were in the act of attacking the hunter, ("er hat sie vom Menschen herunter geschossen,"), and when they literally had him in their grasp. Once he had a scuffle with a bear, and very nearly got "bagged" himself. The party he was with was after small game, when suddenly, close before him, a bear rose up out of the high gross. Though he had only shot in both barrels, he fired at the animal and wounded him, not dangerously, but just sufficient to put him in a rage. So he seized hold of his adversary, who having dropped his gun, could only defend himself by thrusting his arm into the bear's throat, and there he kept it, in spite of the wounds inflicted by the creature's teeth. Luckily, assistance was not far off; the man who came to the rescue attacked the bear with the butt-end of his gun, and made him quit his hold. The other, now liberated, would not relinquish the satisfaction of slaying his enemy, and in a few minutes shot him dead on the spot.

The bear is a timid animal. Not even when struck will he turn upon you, unless you are close to him, or you put yourself in his way. And though you have shot at him, if you stand motionless after having fired, he will pass by without touching you; for the noise and the smoke flurry him, and he is too confused to distinguish you from the tree against which you are standing.

For my part, I do not consider bear-hunting to be so dangerous as many believe it to be. Accidents, of course, may occur ; for every animal -even such timid creatures as the roe and chamois -will attack a man in their desperation, if forced by circumstances to do so. I have known a youth killed by a thrust of a stag's antlers, as he came suddenly close upon the animal in a thicket. And yet it is in the stag's nature to retreat cautiously at slightest sound. A bear, too, is most cautious and full of fear. He is up and away as soon as an unwonted noise is heard ; then he stops, sitting down like a dog, and puts up his head and snuffs the air on this side and that, and peers into bushes as well as his bad sight will allow him, and pricks up his ears and listens. Off he starts at a canter, then stops once more ; when, panic-stricken at the shouts behind, he rushes on, frightened out of his very senses at the mere crack of a percussion cap that snapped but did not explode.

One of the men with whom I was out shooting in Bikszád, told me how once, when in the forest, he had walked along the stem of a fallen tree, and coming to the end, where the bared uptorn roots were covered with earth and rotten woods and brambles, the mass gave way, and through it he tumbled ; when a bear rushed out, terrified to death at the sudden apparition. He had there made a comfortable den for himself, and at this invasion of his dwelling, darted away without waiting to know the cause.

Indeed many circumstances that are constantly occurring prove the bear to be subject to panic. He is particularly fond of raspberries; and it has not unfrequently happened that a woman has found herself face to face with a bear, when going into the woods to gather wild strawberries. One, in her fright, and hardly knowing what she did, suddenly gave the animal a box on the ear with her basket. Terrified at the inexplicable assault, the bear took to his heels as fast as he could go.

I once saw a bear sauntering about on a fine morning, -taking his pleasure, like a country gentleman in his own domain. On coming up from some low ground over the ridge of a hill, he quite unexpectedly beheld as men, and turning round, off he scampered like a hare.

While staying at Toplitza, a woodman related, how being late in the forest, he resolved to pass the night there, rather than make his way home. So he looked about for a shelter, and finding a sort of cave, took up his quarters in it. But before long, a bear, who had also taken up his lodging in the cavern, came home for the night. He did the man no harm ; but the poor fellow was so frightened that he was ill for a week afterwards.

The bear, at birth, is of incredibly small size, -scarcely bigger than a rat. On first seeing such a cub, I could hardly believe it was a bear. It grows, however, very animal is in appearance, it is quite astonishing with what speed a bear gets over the ground. To overtake, or to escape from one if pursued, is quite out of the question. He has great elasticity of limb, and jerks along at a prodigious rate. I once had a race with a bear, in trying to reach the edge of a forest before him; but though we ran downhill, and excitement and longing made me leap along with all possible speed, he got into the wood before me.

In listening to the tales of the Wallack bear-hunters, -for it is these men who seem to be most passionately fond of the sport, -you must be careful not to accept as fact the number of animals this or that celebrity is reported to have killed. You will be shown one man who has bagged thirty-five, another some forty bears. At first I believed the stories; but I discovered later that these individuals counted every animal at which they, with perhaps twenty others, had fired, and which at last, after being riddled with bullets, was brought to the ground. No doubt the other twenty shots also added the same bear to their list of trophies.

The number given above as having been slain by certain peasants would hardly be credible were we only to consider how greatly it exceeds what has been accomplished by the most ardent sportsman in places where bears were really abundant. The discrepancy is too great. Moreover, these men never by any chance fire at a bear unless he be quite near. All those chances, therefore, of getting a shot when the game is at some distance, are not to be taken into accounts. And the Wallack's reason for not firing except when the game is close to him is lest he should miss, and also, because he thinks the shot more deadly if delivered at eight or ten paces distance.

I was repeatedly told what a good shot this or that peasant was, but it seems to me there is no very great skill required to hit an object the size of a bear, when not further from you than the length of a moderate-sized room. I saw these men -these "good shots" -out hare-shooting, and they literally missed everything, whether near or not. But, it is true, their guns are of the most imperfect construction, -rickety affairs, fastened together with wire, and looking as if they would tumble to pieces at the first discharge. That their owners have little faith in their precision is probably another reason why the bear is not fired at unless he be quite near.

The firearm used is always a shot gun, charged with swan shot, and one or two bullets. It was often a matter of surprise to me that the barrels did not burst, with the quantity of powder and lead they were made to carry. But the peasant thinks the larger the charge, the surer he is of killing. Of a rifle, or its power and precision, he has no notion whatever. It always excited their astonishment that there was only one bullet in each of my rifle barrels -no shot and but a single bullet ! Then, too, the comparatively small amount of powder, -about one-fifth of what they deemed a fitting charge. They had little faith in such a rifle, or its power to kill. They were, however, astonished when I showed them the distance at which it was possible to strike a small object with precision.

I once saw them following a wounded animal, in which they displayed a sort of instinct, and kept on the track with indefatigable perseverance. They strained onward like an ardent blood-hound, and, instead of flagging, grew hotter with the pursuit. This was what they did best ; and hope of coming up with the animal and getting a shot, seemed to impel them and keep them to their work As soon as they got sight of the wounded bear, they all let fly at him at once, no matter what the distance, -forgetting now their usual caution in not firing from afar. They of course missed, and their shots had only the effect of rousing the game to renewed efforts to escape.

In Germany, where the laws relating to "the noble art of venerie" are still in force, the slain stag, or bear, etc., is considered to belong to him who first struck it with a shot likely to prove mortal, or inflict such a wound as would make it possible to follow and eventually to get the animal, though it did not drop at the first shot. But here, it seems, the law is different. He who fires the last shot claims the bear, or whatever game it be, as belonging to him. Nothing can be more senseless or unjust. An animal which I have mortally wounded may not drop to the shot, but rush on, and in passing one of the party, receive another bullet which brings him to the ground. In a minute or two more he would have dropped dead without the second shot; indeed, it may have nothing to do with his death, yet to him who fired it the prize is said to belong.

The slot of the bear is quite like that of a human being ; and had there been such animals on his island, Robinson Crusoe might easily have been mistaken as to the footprints he saw in the sand.

Acorns, beech-nuts, maize, wild apples, are the bear's favourite food, and honey, when he can get it, he relishes as a great delicacy. He prefers vegetables and fruit to flesh ; but if the former are not to be had, he will dine off a calf, a mare, or a colt, if he happens to find them grazing on the pasture. He is rather a sociable creature than otherwise ; and he likes to mix with the cattle, and joins the herds without doing any injury. But this, of course, only when he is not in want of other food. He has been known even to approach the fire that herdsmen had made to warm themselves.

The largest bear that has been seen for many years was shot in the autumn of 1863 in the neighbourhood of Görgény St. Imre. I measured the skin myself, and found the length, from the snout to the root of the tail, to be seven feet four inches. The hide was dry, and had probably shrunk somewhat ; but even as it was, it looked immense while lying extended on the ground.

The following tables of game killed are taken from Albert Bielz's excellent and comprehensive work, 'Handbuch der Landeskunde Siebenbürgens :'-

Bears.Wolves.Foxes.Lynxes.
18458101--
18469112-3
1851863982378-
185365685--
185486771--

In 1853 and 1854, according to the district-

District18531854
Bears.-Wolves.Bears-Wolves.
Hermannstadt13--------11115--------64
Kronstadt13--------11114--------94
Udvarhely18--------11817--------52
Maros Vásárhely18--------118(-)--------11
Bistritz25--------13429--------82
Déés25--------1341--------104
Szilágy-Somlyó01--------165(-)--------56
Klausenburg01--------165(-)--------95
Karlsburg08--------1673--------14
Broos08--------1677--------199

Some days after our unsuccessful bear-hunt, a party was made to the woods in the Rothen Thurm Pass. Here the river Alt, increased in volume by many streams from the Fogaras mountains, at whose foot it passes for miles, penetrates into Wallachia by a long circuitous picturesque valley, whose steep sides are covered everywhere with forest. Under Charles VI. a road was hewn through these walls of mica-slate along the banks of the river, as the inscription, "VIA CAROLINA IN DACIIS APERTA," high up on the face of the rock, announces to the traveller.

A Wallachian village, Boitza, is built here on the mountain-side, and the Red Tower, from which the pass has its name, still stands, a ruin now, beside the road, in a narrow part, to guard the passage. A staff-officer commands the post, and a few soldiers are always stationed here. The dwelling of the commandant is on a flat space, won from the slope above the road, and on approaching this part one is surprised and pleased at the sight of human dwellings scattered about in such a lonely spot.

So important a mountain pass, by which at any time the foe could enter Transylvania and ravage and destroy, was not to be left unguarded. And accordingly, King Ladislaus, in 1453, gave it and the village thereunto belonging to the "Seven Seats" of the then Saxon Government of the county, -at the same time imposing the duty of watch and ward.

It was here that George Hecht, burgomaster of Hermannstadt in 1493, obtained a victory over the Turks. These infidels, as was their wont, had marched through the land and collected an immense amount of booty ; and now, laden with it and accompanied by a number of prisoners, were making for the pass. Hecht mustered, with all possible dispatch, every burgher and peasant who could carry arms ; and, with the Wallachian inhabitants of the mountains, placed himself here in ambuscade. The Turks, unconscious of danger, advanced along the road ; when suddenly, from all sides, they found themselves set upon by the foe. Every rock and gully was alive with an enemy. In vain they fought for their lives ; they were killed, driven into river, or fled across the frontier. The prisoners were freed, and the victors returned home carrying with them the rescued plunder.

As we were to stay out a couple of nights, there were many necessaries to be carried with us. There, too, were what may be called our "camp followers" -a numerous, wild-looking, picturesque band. It was really a pretty sight to watch the ponies, with their large pack-saddles and guns strapped across, and the troop of Wallacks that led them, winding down to the water-side, and then, in parties, crossing in a boat ; while, opposite, was another troop waiting to be ferried over. Afterwards, too, as we all ascended the mountain on horseback, there they were above us in a long horizontal line on the slope, or scrambling up the steep sides ; the different groups disappearing and then seen again among the scattered trees. Later on the summit was each packhorse with his master stopping to rest, and standing in bold relief against the sky. Look where you might, something novel and pleasing was to be seen : below was, the river, locked in seemingly by the rocks in front ; one side of valley lay all in shadow, while on the opposite side the sunlight sparkled and made the beeches look like things of gold. The old ruined tower below mirrored in the water, where, too, crescent and turban had many a time been reflected, the village by the roadside, the peep of country yonder towards the plain, the magnificent forest which you now overlook, -all this formed a scene that it was a satisfaction to dwell upon. On that day I had the pleasure of having with me an acquaintance who had traveled in China, Japan, India, Ceylon, America, and Russia, as well as in other countries of the European continent ; yet he was delighted with what he saw, and told me it resembled the Caucasus more than any country he had seen.

Now, as well as later, I had an opportunity of appreciating the wealth of timber in these vast forests ; yet except where a road is near at hand, it is absolutely valueless.

The mountains here are broken by deep ravines, some extremely steep. In these all is terribly wild, and at the bottom, when rocks have fallen, and the streams have done their devastating work, and large trees are lying bare and bleached and ghastly, the whole has an eerie look. And then the silence -how oppressive !

We had poor sport. Two roes were shot, and one of the Wallack beaters killed a noble stag, -another proof of the irrepressible ardour of these men when in sight of game.

On my remarking to our host on the annoyance of having the game shot in this way by those employed to drive it, and that they should not be allowed to take their guns with them, I was told it was impossible to present this. The men came of their own freewill, -it was not a forced service. Although they received payment, that alone would not have induced them to come ; the pleasure of sharing in the sport and the chance of getting a shot were greater incentives than money. Other people were not to be had, and if these Wallacks refused their services, our shooting was at an end. "I cannot scold them," said the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in the province to me, "or forbid them to kill the game. They consider it a favour that they come at all ; and as they come, they do what they like. I pay them, it is true, but they say the game is there for them as much as for me. Many of those you see standing there, ragged as they look, are rich landed proprietors, farmers worth so and so much. I have no authority over them ; they take the pay, but do just what pleasure them notwithstanding." This was one of the many anomalies existing in Transylvania, with which I was later to become acquainted. You pay for a service, yet he whom you hire does not your work, but what he chooses. You may not find fault with him ; at least doing so has no effect except, probably, to cause him to refuse his services altogether.

From where we were, the Surul,3 one of the highest mountains in Transylvania (near 8000 feet high), may easily be ascended. Though on the frontier of Wallachia, a mountain-chain shuts out all view of that country, but, in the opposite direction, the eye ranges over a vast expanse. The peaks of the Carpathians are seen, and, far away, the pyramidical rocks near Toroczkó ; the beautiful valley of the Alt, studded with villages, lies at your feet, and further off the broad plain in which Hermannstadt stands.

Our bivouac at night was exquisite. The place chosen was a spot on the borders of the forest, and sheltered on all sides by the hills. Here the man had collected large heaps of dead leaves and boughs of fir ; and these, when spread out and covered over with rugs, made a capital bed ; round some a little fence of boughs had been erected, to keep off the wind. On a slope before us the ponies were grazing, others rolling with their heal, in the air, as frolicsome as though their supper had been a good feed of barley, instead of scanty herbage. Close to us and our beds blazed a huge fire, replenished continually by half a tree at a time ; while, a little further off, others were burning, at which our men sat and cooked their meal. Around lay blankets, pack-saddles, and cooking utensils ; the long Turkish firearms of the Wallacks, nets full of hay, and coverlets and cloaks many-coloured, that the people had flung down. What a subject for a painter ! I thought of my old friend Karl Haag, and wished he had been there. The meat was roasted on a long nicely-peeled beechen stick, and after our excellent supper, and when we had cheered ourselves with Transylvanian wine -all honour be unto it ! -water was fetched from the spring, and we soon had steaming cups of refreshing tea and fragrant coffee.

I am fond of sleeping in the open air, and enjoyed my night, snugly tucked in as I was, amazingly. From my pillow I could see the blazing logs, and the groups of men, some sitting, some standing around with their uncouth dresses, an axe stuck in the girdle, and a short, reddish-brown mantle thrown loosely over the shoulders. They looked very like banditti. At last I fell asleep.

I awoke early, and over the mountain-ridge in the distance was a slight appearance of the coming dawn. The Wallacks were still there, keeping up the fire ; I lay awake a long time, to watch them and the bright stars.

1In 1614 there were so many wolves, and of such unusual size, around Kronstadt, attacking not only cattle but men, "that," relates the historians, "at last we thought they must be lions." The magistrate of Schässburg paid one florin reward for seven wolves killed. Bears, too, roamed about, and some of the inhabitants of the mountains were as wild as they. It is no wonder that an Amsterdam traveller of that time should relate, "In Transylvania, through which I traveled, are merman -half fish, half flesh ; they clap their hands together in the water, so that the traveller is affrighted. And therefore he carries with him at night a burning torch, which the merman do fear, and hence will not show themselves." 2While writing this, I received the news that one had been shot at Deva. 3Slavonian for "The Great."

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