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The Lion of Janina The Last Days of the Janissaries   By: (1825-1904)

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First Page:

MAURUS JOKAI

THE LION OF JANINA OR THE LAST DAYS OF THE JANISSARIES

A Turkish Novel

TRANSLATED BY R. NISBET BAIN

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS NEW YORK AND LONDON 1898

BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

THE GREEN BOOK; or, Freedom Under the Snow. A Novel. Translated by Mrs. Waugh. 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 50. (In "The Odd Number Series.")

BLACK DIAMONDS. A Novel. Translated by Frances A. Gerard. With a Photogravure Portrait of the Author. 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 50. (In "The Odd Number Series.")

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK AND LONDON.

Copyright, 1897, by Harper & Brothers.

All rights reserved.

THE LION OF JANINA

PREFACE

The first edition of Janicsárok végnapjai appeared forty five years ago. It was immediately preceded by the great historical romance, Erdely aranykora ( The Golden Age of Transylvania ), and the still more famous novel of manners, Egy Magyar Nábob ( A Hungarian Nabob ), which Hungarians regard as, indisputably, Jókai's masterpiece, while only a few months separate it from Kárpáthy Zoltán ( Sultan Karpathy ), the brilliant sequel to the Nabob . Thus it belongs to the author's best literary period.

It is also one of the most striking specimens of that peculiar group of Turkish stories, such as Törökvilag Magyarorszagon ( Turkey in Hungary ) and Török mozgolmak ( Turkish Incursions ), A kétszarvú ember ( The Man with the Antlers ), and the extremely popular Fehér rózsa ( White Rose ), which form a genre apart of Jókai's own creation, in which his exuberant imagination revels in the rich colors of the gorgeous East, as in its proper element, while his ever alert humor makes the most of the sharp and strange contrasts of Oriental life and society. The hero of the strange and terrible drama, or, rather, series of dramas, unfolded with such spirit, skill, and vividness in Janicsárok végnapjai , is Ali Pasha of Janina, certainly one of the most brilliant, picturesque, and, it must be added, capable ruffians that even Turkish history can produce. Manifold and monstrous as were Ali's crimes, his astonishing ability and splendid courage lend a sort of savage sublimity even to his blood stained career, and, indeed, the dogged valor with which the octogenarian warrior defended himself at the last in his stronghold against the whole might of the Ottoman Empire is almost without a parallel in history.

With such a hero, it is evident that the book must abound in stirring and even tremendous scenes; but, though primarily a novel of incident, it contains not a few fine studies of Oriental character, both Turkish and Greek, by an absolutely impartial observer, who can detect the worth of the Osmanli in the midst of his apathy and brutality, and who, although sympathetically inclined towards the Hellenes, is by no means blind to their craft and double dealing, happily satirized in the comic character of Leonidas Argyrocantharides.

Finally, I have taken the liberty to alter the title of the story. Janicsárok végnapjai ( The Last Days of the Janissaries ) is too glaringly inapt to pass muster, inasmuch as the rebellion and annihilation of that dangerous corps is a mere inessential episode at the end of the story. I have, therefore, given the place of honor on the title page to Ali Pasha the Lion of Janina.

I have added a glossary of the Turkish words used by the author in these pages.

R. NISBET BAIN.

Contents

Chapter Page I. THE CAVERNS OF SELEUCIA 1 II. EMINAH 19 III. A TURKISH PARADISE 45 IV. GASKHO BEY 62 V. A MAN IN THE MIDST OF DANGERS 72 VI. THE LION IN THE FOX'S SKIN 78 VII... Continue reading book >>




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