WITH THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR. 5
Thus distinguished as an honoured and enlightened city of the pagans, its citizens
were among the foremost that embraced the doctrines of Christianity when proposed to them.
The apostle established here one of the seven churches; and while he denounced that
" the candlestick of Ephesus should be removed," he exhorted the Christians of Smyrna
"to be faithful unto death, and he would give them the crown of life." Ephesus is no more,
but Smyrna still flourishes. It was assaulted by the Saracens, and nearly extinguished
as a Christian city; it was restored by the emperor Alexius, and greatly enlarged when
it was captured by the Turks. In the beginning of the last century it contained 28,000
persons, of whom 11,000 were Christians of the Greek, Armenian, and Latin churches,
which have their respective temples, monasteries, and bishops. The present population is
estimated at 100,000. It contains a number of Protestants sufficient to form a congregation for religious worship; and it is the only one of the towns of the Apocalypse in
which is established a church of the Reformation.
The city describes a semicircle, at the lower termination of its noble bay ; its site is
low and alluvial, and embosomed in a range of hills. The Franks carry on an immense
trade, by exchanging the produce of the West for that of the East. Caravans daily
arrive from Persia, bringing raw silks and drugs, and ships from Europe with cochineal,
indigo, &c. ; but the most remarkable commodity in which the English trade, is fruit.
Charles II., it seems, was so fond of figs, that he directed his ambassador, Sir T. Finch,
to conclude a commercial treaty, by which two ship-loads should be allowed for the king's
table; and under the shadow of this, all England has since been supplied with them.
The drying and packing of these form an animated and entertaining scene in Smyrna at
The Frank quarter, which Europeans occupy, forms a spacious terrace, or marino,
along the sea-shore, ventilated by the fresh and wholesome breath of the never-failing
Inbat. The edifices in which the merchants reside, are divided into stores and offices
below, and above into corridors and galleries which communicate with various apartments
and saloons opening on the sea, the breezes from which circulate through them with
a constant current. The Turkish quarter is perfectly Oriental, consisting of narrow
streets, with balconies projecting one over the other till they nearly meet at top, excluding light and air. One is given in our illustration, its dark and distant prospect terminated by the hill of the Acropolis, and its narrow passage nearly obstructed by a single
file of loaded camels, bringing to the Frank quarters the produce of Persia and India,
to be exchanged for that of Europe and America.