William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By William Henry Seward; Olive Risley Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II.
HUNGARY AND AUSTRIA.

On the Danube.--Varna.--Rustchuk.--Wallachia.--German Travellers.--What shall we say of Turkey?--Reflections on the Future of the Turks.--Orsova.--The Iron Gate.--Hungarian Loyalty.--Buda-Pesth.--Contrast of European and Asiatic Civilization.--The People of Pesth.--The Bridge of Buda.--The Buildings of Buda.-- The History of Hungary.--The Danube.--Vienna.--John Jay.--Count Von Beust.-- Politics of Austria.

On the Danube, July 12th.--We awoke this morning in the harbor of Varna, one of the seaports of Turkey in Europe, and the capital of Roumelia. The town acquired great importance from being the principal scene of Omar Pacha's military and naval operations in the Crimean War. It has since that time, however, acquired greater importance of another kind. The Danube, approaching the Black Sea, takes a northeasterly direction, dividing its flood into three channels. The mouths of these channels are much obstructed, while their navigation is long and tortuous. British capitalists have supplied the means with which a railroad has been constructed from Varna, one hundred and fifty miles long, which intercepts the Danube at Rustchuk. This railroad, reducing the journey from Vienna to Constantinople four hundred miles, already divides the freight traffic with the circuitous Danubian route, while it takes the entire passenger-trade.

The United States consul, the British consul, and several European and American missionaries, were gathered at the wharf at Rustchuk to welcome Mr. Seward.

The Danube, now carrying a high flood, spreads here over a

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