"Chapter I." by Edith Durham (1863-1944)
"Of old sat Freedom on the heights"
THE great river of life flows not evenly for all peoples. In places it crawls sluggishly through dull flats, and the monuments of a dim past moulder upon the banks that it has no force to overflow; in others it dashes forward torrentially, carving new beds, sweeping away old landmarks; or it breaks into backwaters apart from the main stream, and sags to and fro, choked with the flotsam and jetsam of all the ages.
Such backwaters of life exist in many corners of Europe–but most of all in the Near East. For folk in such lands time has almost stood still. The wanderer from the West stands awestruck amongst them, filled with vague memories of the cradle of his race, saying, "This did I do some thousands of years ago; thus did I lie in wait for mine enemy; so thought I and so acted I in the beginning of Time."
High Albania is one of these corners. I say High Albania advisedly, for the conditions that prevail in it are very different from those in South Albania, and it is with the wildest parts of High Albania alone that this book deals.
The history of Albania, a complicated tale of extreme interest, remains to be written–strange that it should be so. The claims of Greek, Bulgar, and Serb in the Balkan peninsula are well known; so are the desires of Austria, Russia, and Italy. But it has been the fashion always to ignore the rights and claims of the oldest inhabitant of the land, the Albanian, and every plan for the reformation or reconstruction of the Near East that has done so has failed.
"Constantinople," says the Albanian, "is the key of the Near East, and Albania is the key of Constantinople."
The history of every people is a great epic, the writing of which is beyond me. The following brief sketch shows only the passing of the peoples that have swayed the fortunes of North Albania, but never yet subdued its stubborn individuality.
Illyrian Period (from about 700 B.C. to 230 B.C.).–A fierce tribal people, known as Illyrians, are recorded as dwelling in the lands now known as Montenegro, High Albania, the Herzegovina, and Bosnia. About 300 B.C. they were invaded by the Celts, who have probably left a deep mark on the people of to-day by the infusion of Celtic blood.
Roman Period.–Fierce fighters and inveterate pirates, the Illyrians brought down upon themselves a Roman punitive expedition in 230 B.C., and, after a long struggle, Illyria became a Roman province. Gentius, last king of Illyria, was defeated and captured at Scodra in 169 B.C. The land must have been thickly populated, for the Romans were long in subduing it. Thousands of prehistoric graves exist in vast cemeteries throughout Bosnia and the Herzegovina–similar ones are found in Servia, Montenegro, and High Albania. They yield many bronze and iron objects of the highest interest, for the patterns are still worn, or have been till recently, by the peasants of Bosnia, Servia, Albania, even of Bulgaria. The rayed ball or circle is not only a common pattern in silver, but is also a traditional tattoo pattern (see illustration).
1. Prehistoric Bronze Ornament, Bosnia (Sarajevo Museum, Sjeversko, T. 2).
2. Modern Silver Earring, of type common to Bosnia, Servia, Bulgaria, and Kosovo Vilayet.
3, 4, 5, 6. Common Catholic Bosnian Tattoos.
Rome found some of her best soldiers among the fighting tribesmen, and more than one Emperor–Diocletian and Constantine the Great, and many of lesser note, were of native blood.
In the mountains, it would seem the natives retained their own speech throughout. In the fat plain lands of the peninsula the Romans left Latin dialects. The Roumanian language still survives. The Latin dialect of Illyria, spoken universally in the coast towns in the Middle Ages, died out at the end of the nineteenth century, on the island of Veglio.
Christianity reached the Dalmatian coast as early as the first century. In the interior it made little progress till the fourth.
The transference of the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium had but little effect on Illyria, which remained part of the Patriarchate of Rome. And to Rome the descendants of the Illyrians have to a large extent remained faithful.
Servian Period (Seventh Century to Fourteenth Century).–The next event of importance was the Slavonic invasion. The ancestors of the modern Servians poured into the peninsula in irresistible numbers, overpowered the inhabitants, and reached the Dalmatian coast, burning the Roman town of Salona, 609 A.D. Serb influence grew stronger and stronger. At first as tribes suzerain to Byzantium, and then as an independent kingdom, they dominated the west side of the peninsula, and finally, under the Nemanja kings in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, almost the whole of it. The Venetians came in as protectors of the remaining Latin coast population in the eleventh century, and crept by degrees along Dalmatia.
The inrushing Slav appears not so much to have displaced the native population of old Illyria as to have absorbed it. There is no record of when the native Illyrian language died out in Bosnia, nor to what extent it had been replaced by a Latin speech by the time the Slavs arrived. In Albania it never died out, but survives to-day as modern Albanian. And with the language has survived the fierce racial instinct, which to this day makes the Albanian regard the Slav as his first and worst foe.
Empires came and went, and passed over the Albanian as does water off a duck's back. In the fastnesses, which he held, he was never more than nominally conquered, and retained his marked individuality and customs. He was probably one of the causes of the instability of the successive mediæval kingdoms, which were all, indeed, but loosely strung collections of temporarily suzerain tribes.
To race hatred was added religious hatred. The Slavs, converted to Christianity by missionaries from Salonika in the ninth century, decided eventually for the Eastern Church. The Albanian remained faithful to Rome.
A certain Frère Brochard in 1332–the palmy days of the Great Servian Empire–gives a vivid picture of the hatred of the Albanian for Serb rule.
"There is among other things, one that makes it much easier to take this kingdom (Servia). . . . There are two people, the Abbanois and the Latins, who belong both to the Church of Rome. . . . The Latins have six cities and as many bishops. Anthibaire (Antivari), Cathare (Cattaro), Dulcedine (Dulcigno), Suacinense (?), Scutari, and Drivasto. In these only Latins live. Outside the walls of them are Abbanois, who have four cities, Polat major and Polat minor (the tribal districts of Upper and Lower Pulati), Sabbate (diocese of Sappa), and Albanie (diocese of Durazzo). These, with the six above, are under the Archbishop of Antivari. These Abbanois have a language quite other than Latin, but use in their books Latin letters. Both these people are oppressed under the very hard servitude of the most hateful and abominable lordship of the Slavs. If they saw a Prince of France coming towards them, they would make him Duke against the accursed Slavs, the enemies of the truth and of our faith. A thousand cavaliers and five or six battalions, with the aforesaid Abbanois and Latins, would with ease conquer this kingdom, great and such as it is."
And no sooner did the Servian Empire break up after the death of Tsar Dushan in 1356, than the Albanians arose, and powerful chiefs ruled soon in lands that had been his.
The Servian kingdom shrank northward. The Balshas, a line of chieftains of Serb origin, formed a principality which in time included a large part of Albania and the Zeta (modern Montenegro). Though of Serb origin they were probably of mixed blood. Their sympathies were Albanian, for they made alliance with the Albanian chieftains, and fought against Marko Kraljevich, the best beloved of Serb heroes, wresting from him Ipek and Prizren (1373).
Down on the struggling mass of little principalities came the Turks. Greek, Bulgar, and Serb were shattered. The final great victory of the Turks at Kosovo established them in Europe to this day.
The Albanians were the last to fall. Led by their great hero Skenderbeg, they offered a magnificent resistance. But they had not outgrown the tribal system, and on his death (1467) broke up under rival chiefs and were overpowered. And after this the ancestors of many of the modern tribes fled from Bosnia and Rashia, and refuged in High Albania.
As for the very large population that must have been of mixed Serbo-Illyrian blood, whether they eventually called themselves Serb or Albanian seems to have largely depended upon whether they decided in favour of Rome or the Orthodox Church.
There are certain old Roman Catholic communities in Bosnia that have preserved to this day the ancient Illyrian custom of tattooing. This is never practised by the Orthodox or Moslem Slavs, but is common among both Catholic and Moslem Albanians. It is therefore possible that these tattooed Bosnians, though now Serbophone, descend from the pre-Slavonic inhabitants, and have not yet lost the custom of putting on a distingushing mark. It is of special interest to note that, of the present tribes in North Albania, the most tattooed are those that relate that they fled from Bosnia to avoid the Turks.
Forced to accept Turkish suzerainty, the position of the Albanians was yet different from that of the other conquered peoples. They retained very many privileges, and remained semi-independent under their own chiefs.
Their race instinct–the unreasoning, blind instinct of self-preservation–drove them ever against their old foe, the Slav. They did not hate the Turk less, but they hated the Slav more. Turning Moslem in numbers, and thereby gaining great influence under Turkish rule, Moslem and Christian Albanian alike supported Turk against Slav.
Already in the sixteenth century the Albanians began to go over to Islam. To-day two-thirds of the Ghegs (North Albanians) are Moslem. The reasons are not far to seek. School for native priests there seems to have been none. Foreign priests were often ignorant of native language and custom. The bishops, largely foreigners, strove only each to obtain power for himself. "The hungry sheep looked up and were not fed."
As early as 1684 the quarrels of the bishops for territory had become so bitter that a commission was appointed to delimit the bishoprics of Sappa, Durazzo, and Alessio, and the three bishops were solemnly adjured to observe these limits. "For it is not meet that your lordships should contend further, because of the scandal that may be caused, not only among the faithful, but also because of the grave inconveniences that arise from quarrels in those parts that are under the Turks."
Yet in 1702 it was again necessary to call the bishops to order. Pope Clement XI., of Albanian blood on his mother's side, wishful to save his Albanian brethren, sent Vicentius Zmajevich, Archbishop of Antivari, as Visitator Apostolicus, to Albania. After traversing the mountains and visiting all the tribes, he makes a most lamentable report. The vineyards of the Lord are corrupt, desolate, given over to pagan and Turkish practices; the bishops are quarrelling with one another for various villages. The worst case he gives is that of Postripa, for which three bishops at once contended, while the people were left "without leader or shepherd, like a scattered flock subject to persecution and oppression." To-day a very large part of Postripa is Moslem, which is not surprising. That any Catholics now remain in North Albania is mainly due to the efforts of the Franciscans, of whose courage there can be no question, and who, through the three darkest centuries, took Albania under their special care.
During the years dating from the Turkish conquest to the end of the eighteenth century, the Albanians continued to press the Slavs back and to reoccupy territory. More than once, especially under the powerful Pashas of Scutari–the Bushatlis–they were on the point of gaining complete independence; and, had they possessed organising power, would have done so.
But though they were a serious danger to the power of the Turk in Europe, their successive efforts were doomed to failure, owing to the want of unity caused by the tribal system. And before they were ready to stand alone the tide of Turkish affairs turned. The Serb arose; the Slav again appeared as invader. Russia proclaimed a Holy War to free the Serbs after four centuries of oppression.
The details of the Serb resurrection, and of the successive Russian campaigns, are too well known and too recent to need re-telling.
The Albanians had, and have, no allied power to come thus to their aid. They threw aside plans of independence, and again made common cause with the Turk against their old enemy the Slav, in the struggle for existence. This time they played a losing game. They had not merely military force to contend with, but also the forces of education and civilisation. Between the campaigns, Russia spared neither effort nor money to raise the condition of both Serb and Bulgar. More especially between the Crimea and the war of 1876-77, money was poured into Macedonia and Bulgaria lavishly. Schools and churches were built, teachers sent to preach the Panslavonic idea and fit the people for freedom.
The Slav triumphed. Turkey, utterly crushed, had to accept such terms as Europe chose to dictate. And with the Turks fell the Albanians. They were in fact the greatest sufferers. As valiantly as any others they had fought for their fatherland, but they were classed as Turks and their claims ignored.
Europe, too, was now afraid of the Slav. To check Slavonic advance, the wholly Slavonic lands were handed over to Austria to be "administered" (have their Slavism crushed out of them), and lands wholly Albanian were awarded to Montenegro.
The Albanians flew to arms and saved their towns of Gusinje and Tuzhi, but were ordered instead to cede Dulcigno, one of their best ports. Never has there been a more mistaken piece of bullying than the naval demonstration, instigated by Gladstone, to force the cession of this wholly Albanian town. The large maritime population left it, and has never been replaced. Trade has decreased, and Dulcigno remains a monument of diplomatic blunder. The Montenegrins have been unable to develop it; it is a constant reminder to the Albanians that they may expect no justice from Europe, and it has enhanced their hatred of the Slav. Austria has taken advantage of this, and works upon it. Only last winter, when war between Montenegro and Austria was imminent, the Albanians were advised to attack simultaneously with Austria and redeem Dulcigno, and were offered rifles.
North Albania is a hotbed of Austrian intrigue. The Austrian Consul-general even takes it on himself to spy the actions of tourists, as though the land were already under Austrian jurisdiction.
Scutari swarms with foreign consuls, and the Albanian has acquired the bad habit of crying to one and the other for help. Austria, by lavish expenditure, strives to buy up the tribes. Italy offers counter attractions. The Albanian has learnt by long practice how to play off one against the other. He accepts money upon occasion from each and all that offer it, and uses it for his private ends. This annoys the consuls. They hate to be outwitted at their own game, to find that when they mean to use him as a pawn he cries, "Check to your king!" They call him bad names–but it is only the "pot calling the kettle black"–and they offer bigger bribes.
"'Will you walk into my parlour?'" said the spider to the fly." And should he ever rashly walk into either, he will rue the day.
One must live in Scutari to realise the amount of spying and wire-pulling carried on by the Powers under pretence of spreading sweetness and light.
The Alphabet question will suffice as a sample. In early days an alphabet was made by Bishop Bogdan, and used by the Jesuits for all Albanian printed matter required by the church. Briefly, it is the Latin alphabet with four additional fancy letters. The spelling used is otherwise as in Italian. Help from without had enabled Greek, Serb, and Bulgar under Turkish rule to have schools in their own tongues. The natural result has been that each in turn has revolted, and, so far as possible, won freedom from Turkish rule. And those that have not yet done so look forward, in spite of the Young Turk, to ultimate union with their kin.
Albania awoke late to the value of education as a means of obtaining national freedom, and demanded national schools. But the Turks, too, had then learnt by experience. They replied, "We have had quite enough of schools in national languages. No, you don't!" and prohibited, under heavy penalty, not only schools, but the printing of the language.
The only possible schools were those founded by Austria and Italy, ostensibly to give religious instruction. These used the Jesuits' alphabet. Ten years ago some patriotic Albanians, headed by the Abbot of the Mirdites, decided that the simple Latin alphabet was far more practical. They reconstructed the orthography of the language, using only Latin letters, and offered their simple and practical system to the Austrian schools, volunteering to translate and prepare the necessary books if Austria would print them–neither side to be paid. A whole set of books was made ready and put in use. Education was at last firmly started; it remained only to go forward. But a united and educated Albania was the last thing Austria wished to see. Faced with a patriotic native clergy and a committee striving for national development, Austria recoiled. Three years ago the simple Latin alphabet was thrown out of the Austrian schools and a brand new system adopted, swarming with accents, with several fancy letters, and with innumerable mute "ee's" printed upside down–a startling effect, as of pages of uncorrected proofs!
It was invented by an influential priest. Its adoption enabled Austria to split the native priesthood into two rival camps, and–as it was not adopted by the Italian schools–to emphasise the difference between the pro-Italian and pro-Austrian parties; and that it was expressly introduced for these purposes no one who has heard all sides can doubt.
Nor can Albanian education make any progress till it has schools in which no foreign Power is allowed to intrigue. Such are now being started.
But enough of Scutari. I was bound for up-country.
Travel in Turkey is generally complicated by the fact that the political situation is strained. It was exceptionally so in the beginning of May 1908. An Englishman who, six weeks before, had applied for a teskereh to travel inland, had been flatly refused, and had had to give up his tour.
To ask, I was told, was to court refusal. I must "take my blood on my own head" and slip off quietly–or give up.
"It is my duty to show you this," said our Vice-consul; "but, as I know you, I do not suppose it will make any difference." It was an official letter from our Embassy in Constantinople, warning all persons travelling in the Turkish Empire merely for pleasure, that the British Government would neither be responsible for their safety nor pay ransom. The palmy days of civis Romanus sum are over.
As I knew there was no case on record of a stranger being "held up" in North Albania, and, moreover, the Albanian is an old friend of mine, it "made no difference." Meanwhile, it remained only to find a suitable dragoman.
Meanwhile I explored the environs of Scutari. They are strewn with the wreckage of dead Empires–past Powers–only the Albanian "goes on for ever."
In the fourth century the district was a Roman province called Prevalitana–its chief towns were Scodra, Dioclea, and Drivasto. Scodra was very early a bishopric, and, according to a Bull of Pius IX., was raised to an archbishopric from 307 to 601. The Archbishop was then transferred to Dioclea, and thence at the end of the tenth century to Antivari. Antivari is still an archbishopric–the remains of Dioclea have been recently excavated. Drivasto was a bishopric till 877, and is now a heap of ruins. Scutari alone survives as the capital, and was raised again to an archbishopric in 1867. So turns the world.
I left Scutari at 5 A.M., piloted by a native who "knew all about guiding foreigners," and regarded it as running contraband. "The Vali," he said, "at that hour would still be asleep." Going over the plain, we followed the Kiri and crossed it on the fine stone bridge, the Ura Mesit, said to be Venetian.
High on a hill that guards the entrance of the Kiri valley stood Drivasto–Drishti as it is now called. Half-way up, the modern village is built among the ruins of little houses. A rude gateway in the remains of an old wall leads to it. The people have been Moslem just two centuries–that is, since the bishops quarrelled over them. On the summit are the ruins of the citadel that in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries was of some importance. From the thirteenth century the Comneni–Despots of Epirus, and descendants of a side branch of the Byzantine Imperial family–were lords of Drivasto. It was part of the Balsha Principality, and in 1396 the Balsha prince, unable to withstand the oncoming Turk, sold Drivasto with the consent of its last lord, Angelo (Andrea?) Flavio Comneno, along with Scutari, to the Venetians. But in vain.
The Turks took it, after a most bloody struggle, in 1478, hewed off the heads of the conquered leaders, and set them on pikes round beleaguered Scutari to strike terror into its defenders. Scutari too fell. The survivors from both Scutari and Drivasto fled to Venice–in the records of which the names of many well-known Albanian families occur–and Drivasto was wiped out of existence.
Naught remains now of these "old, unhappy, far-off things" but the outer wall of the citadel, of rough, unmortared stone, and a few fragments of buildings. Coins and other relics are found from time to time, but the Drishti folk keep jealous watch that no stranger shall search in what they regard as their own Tom Tiddler's ground.
The Moslem village people, reputed fanatical, were most friendly. We were asked into the wide balcony of a house where the women–unveiled, and wearing a big tuft of black-dyed hair on either side of the face–were busy weaving red and white striped cotton. Men and women sat round and amused themselves hugely, teaching me Albanian. Then the women boiled milk for me, and the men inveighed against the Turkish Government. Had to pay tax, could not avoid it, the town is so near–and it all goes into the Vali's pocket. Nothing is done for the land. By God the men of the mountains are better off! Nothing is done for them, but they do not have to pay for it.
Drishti folk are thrifty and industrious. All the river bank is made into neat market-gardens, full of little ponds, from which the water is scattered with huge wooden ladles, and the produce is taken weekly to Scutari. When I left the elder lady rubbed cheeks with me, and all begged me to come again.
My next walk was to the villages Guri Zi and Jubani, with a lad of twenty. Over the plain we went, east of Scutari to the Kiri, which was deep and full, and bridgeless, and found a wadeable shallow where it spread in four wide streams. The water was cold from the mountain snows, and the bottom slippery shingle. It was one of the occasions upon which I wonder why I have come. Nor was the other side much better. All the fields were flooded. We dodged ditches and paddled in liquid mud. But the frogs kept us happy by hollaing and shouting "Brek-kek-kek-kek" all the time. Their Albanian name, bretkots, must come from that classic chant. It should be noted that they pronounce "koax" as "koach," with a gutteral German "ch." Perhaps they are the only people who remember the correct pronunciation. And the mudflats were beauteous with tall white flowers like bunches of snowdrops on one stalk.
Christian Jubani was hospitable as Moslem Drishti. The men were out ploughing, but the women, sewing and weaving at home, welcomed me to their little red-tiled, white-washed houses. These, quite unfurnished within, were very fairly clean, and the children bonny and newly washed. Most of the boys had a cross tattooed on the back of the right hand. Two came with us, and dashed into the hedge to hunt a large grass snake (Pseudopus), excellent eating they said, only you must cut off its head, for it is poisonous (it is not, but can bite sharply); also because you must always cut off a snake's head. If you leave it as dead, and other snakes find it before sundown, they will cure it even though its back be broken to pieces. The grass snake escaped. A few tortoises came out grazing. These too are very nice to eat, I was told, but later in the year–now "they had been eating earth all the winter, so were not good."
From Jubani we went to Guri Zi ("Black Stone") which takes its name from a huge isolated rock. The village is largely Moslem, but friendly. There is indeed no danger in visiting the villages near Scutari, save from the dogs, which are trained to fly at all strangers. They are great grey or white wolfish beasts, often with wolf blood in them (the hybrid is fertile). "Without dogs we cannot live," say the people. And when each house has three or four loose at night, no enemy can approach unnoticed.
Even when puppies–mere fluffy balls–they are extraordinarily ferocious, and before they can run or bark will roll over and choke in their efforts to scare you. Had it not been for the English laws about imported dogs, I felt tempted to buy fifty for Ireland. The drivers of other folk's cattle would find it a case of "the biter bit."
The priest of Guri Zi entertained me with the tale of how his large moustaches caused him to be arrested in Italy on the charge of masquerading as a priest. "A man may be a very good priest," said the old gentleman, "fit for Paradise, but he won't do for Albania unless he has a moustache. If they've made him shave it off abroad, he must just sit in his room in Scutari till it has grown again."
To be without a moustache, both in Montenegro and Albania, is held to be peculiarly disgraceful. The wicked man of Albanian fairy stories is a chosé (a hairless man). When I mentioned, in Montenegro, that my brother was clean shaven, I was told not to repeat such disgraceful facts about him.
My youthful guide objected to going more walks without a rifle. I had been specially advised to go unarmed. "If your boy wants a gun he probably owes blood. Don't go with him."
We were to go to Vraka next day, and, contrary to orders, he turned up with a Martini and a belt full of cartridges–borrowed–and persisted in taking them; and, thus weighted, objected to carrying my lunch-bag.
Vraka, the only Orthodox Serb village in the district, lies an hour and a half north of Scutari on the plain.
The people were highly delighted that I could speak with them, and at once started cooking me a meal. It would be a disgrace, they said, for me to eat my own food in their village.
The stone houses are good and large–some great one-roomed structures, others with stable below and dwelling-room above.
The people complained greatly of Moslem persecution. The houses were full of rifles. "Vraka," said my host, "is made up of various families that had fled, because they owed blood, from Bosnia and Montenegro about two hundred years ago." They number now some one thousand souls. His family had six houses, much land, grew maize and vines, and made plenty of wine and rakia. Being near the lake, they had enough fish for Wednesdays and Fridays. (A woman was stringing little fish on a long wire, and hanging them in loops to a great wooden frame over the open hearth, to be smoke-dried.) Were it not for the Moslems they could live very well, but not one of the Vraka men could now go into Scutari. They would be shot on the way. The women had to do all bazaar business.
He added philosophically, "The Moslems have killed a great many of us, but, thanks to God, we have shot plenty of them."
At Scutari I was told it was quite true that the Vraka men lived at the end of a gun–both ends–and had no protection from the Vali. The Vraka women wear their hair looped in two plaits on each side of the face and fastened with a cowrie-shell. It is rare to find the cowrie so far west in Europe. A child had a cowrie and blue beads on its forehead. The women would not say why. The men laughed and said it was against the Evil Eye–the women had put it there.
I began to draw the room. The woman snatched up the baby and drove other children away. "You may write the house," she said, "but not the children."
The head of the family slept in a cubby-house of hurdle, hung from a tie-beam of the roof and supported on a pole below. A long row of chests held clothing, and food was stored in baskets hung out of reach of rats and cats. All houses were marked with many crosses.
The church had been built with Russian help. My youth, a Catholic, disapproved of it, and whispered, "These people are not Christians, they are only Greeks!" I said that the Albanians in the south had churches like this. He replied, "They are not Christians, but Tosks."
We returned to Scutari without meeting any "blood foes," but the youth lost one of the borrowed cartridges, and had to pay threepence for it, which depressed him.
Then there turned up the man for whom I had been waiting, one Marko. He had been in his young days servant to a war correspondent, and knew all about rough travelling. He had friends in all the Christian tribes. And to his resourcefulness and intelligence I owe whatever success I may have attained on my travels.
His patience was unfailing, nor would he ever allow mine to break down. "We must remember," he would say, "the Wolf and the Fox. The Wolf and the Fox heard that Man was coming to take their kingdom and kill them. One day, when out together in the forest, the Wolf put his foot in an iron trap and began to howl loudly. 'What is the matter?' cried the Fox. 'Oh, my foot! my foot!' screamed the Wolf. 'Is that all?' said the Fox. 'If you make such a noise about a foot, whatever will you do to-morrow when Man comes to hammer you on the head till you are dead?'"
Moral. However bad things are, they might be worse. It is well to remember this in the Albanian mountains–and elsewhere.
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