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THE PLAIN OF PAYASS, OR ISSUS. The descent towards Scandaroon, from the mountains, is fine, throughout the whole of the pass:—the foliage luxuriant, the natural features grand in the extreme—the gulf of Issus, where Darius was defeated, the range of mountains encircling it; the distance towards Adana was lost in the faint vapour of noon. The hovels of Scandaroon looked burnt and blackening, the miserable inhabitants wasting away. The traveller found out the home of Mr. Martinelli; it was a sorry dwelling, but the reception was polite and friendly. The marshes of Scandaroon have been drained by the exertions of this gentleman, of whose talents Ibrahim Pasha has served his purpose, and is now anxious to reap all the credit. This most useful undertaking was begun, continued, and ended by Martinelli, with no remuneration on the part of the Pasha, and no assistance beyond the commission to employ the wretched people at a price utterly inadequate. They were often so sick of the work as to threaten Martinelli's life: he was a man of great energy, and menaced, persuaded, and sometimes struck his workmen, to urge them on; and after expending £60 of his own, at length succeeded in making a canal to carry off the water. The air, formerly deadly, is now salubrious at Scandaroon: as to Martinelli himself, he is the picture of health; and the plan of draining was wholly his own. When he suggested the propriety of some remuneration on the part of Ibrahim, the latter said, that as the European powers were benefited by the place being made healthful, so that ships could stay there, they ought to remunerate him. Mr. M. was engaged as agent to the Aleppo merchants. He had travelled along the Euphrates with some English gentlemen, who went from Bagdad to survey the river: but being taken ill, he was obliged to stop short; while his companions proceeded to the next town, where the people, afraid of their river being made navigable, cried out, that the English would come to make them slaves, as in India; to prevent which, they murdered them all: Martinelli's absence from the party gave him time to escape. The road from Scanderoon to Issus, along the shore of the gulf, is all overgrown with thickets and choked with marshes, till it reaches the Shool mountain, and then there is a little plain, two miles long and a mile wide, represented in the plate, and which is crossed by two rapid streams. Then a second height and another plain succeeds, which is several miles in length and two or three in width; a stream runs through it, which is fordable. Mount Amanus runs parallel with the sea: an old Venetian-looking castle is on the right in the plate; and an old ruin, something like the piers of a gate, on the left At a distance on the right, just under the hill, are remains of walls, and two strong mountainstreams cross this plain, very difficult to ford, and dangerous if at all swollen by the rain: after some delay, a bridge was found close to the sea, over the nearest stream. The locality of the battle-field of Issus has long been a somewhat disputed point, and is placed by many on the second and larger plain; indeed, the plain in the plate offers too circumscribed a ground for such an extensive combat, and there is here no pass in Mount Amanus by which Darius could have fled. Ascending the hilly ground, the greater plain •»• „
of Issu9, which looks very like the identical scene, opens to the view: there is a defile in the mountain, where the fugitive-monarch probably escaped: this plain is an impressive scene, like one of those which we fancy to be marked by nature for some great event; it has the sea, the picturesque gulf of Issus on the left, the beautiful range of Amanus on the right: over it the sun was setting in glory, behind the mountain-ranges above Adana. Darius, after sending his treasures with his most precious effects to Damascus, marched his army through the pass of Amanus, and then turned short towards Issus. This spot of ground, which is said to have been wide enough for a small army only to act and move at liberty in, did not allow the Persians room for the twentieth part of theirs. Yet, there is nothing more surprising to a spectator than the comparatively small space of ground which a great army covers when drawn up in order of battle: whoever has seen twenty, fifty, or a hundred thousand men in the field, will allow that he could not at first believe it possible so large a number stood there. The spectator from the steeple of Leipsic, of its great battle, in which half a million of men were engaged, observes, in describing it, that he could not conceive that all these myriads were before him, till they began to move forward, and then he thought the earth had suddenly yielded up her dead to life, so vast, so endless was the sea of human beings, pouring on without pause, wave following wave. A plain of two or three miles wide, and many in length, might thus be sufficient for the greater part of the Persians to fight in, supposing the baggage and camp-followers to be left in the rear; yet it is said that "the plain, bounded by mountains on one side, and the sea on the other, must have been of considerable extent, as the two armies encamped on it: the multitude of the Persian forces was so great, that the field of battle was not able to contain a greater number in line than a hundred thousand infantry, which composed the front Darius drew up, facing the Macedonians: exclusive of fifty thousand cavalry, posted on the sea-shore." The present stream is probably the river Pinarus, that flowed between the armies, and the defile in Amanus answers to those narrow passes by which the fugitives crowded in masses, so as to impede their own flight.
In the twilight the artist entered Payass, where he expected to find a small town and some means of accommodation: entering a bazaar, and advancing some distance, all was gloom and silence, and there seemed little but ruins, where he had hoped for shelter and society. The guide was seized with a panic, said it was unsafe to remain in the desolate town, which in fact was enough to appal, when the late violences and robberies of the tyrant of Payass, a famous brigand, came over the thoughts. They retraced their way to the outside of the walls, and bivouacked under a tree in an open spot, where some peasants were winnowing corn, who supplied cream and melons for supper. Payass is a singular spot; it is a sort of fortified bazaar, whose long vaulted passage traverses a considerable space, and opens into a large court: on the left is a ruined castle and mosque. It is a station for the caravans from Constantinople to Aleppo, and a few shops are kept in the day-time by peasants, who leave the place in the evening, when it presents a scene of gloomy desolation. Next morning horses were to be found, and there were none forthcoming: the guide went hunting about among the cottages in the envi