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the grim spectres of a long-forgotten age, and, besides being the home of all the Moslem population to be found within the walls of Constantinople, it contains all the royal mosques and mausoleums, the chief khans and principal bazaars, with the palace of the Sultan, and all the public offices of the Government. Like Rome of old, it stands on seven hills, whence the buildings run down the declivities and spread themselves over the valleys below, so that from the summit of every one of these eminences you may look down upon a forest of houses and mosques, and trace the streets and thoroughfares as they wind about in interminable vistas, bright with their ever-changing crowds of gaily-clad inhabitants; while from any one of them you may behold the Sea of Marmora on the one side, the Golden Horn on the other, and the winding Bosphorous connecting the dark waters of the Euxine. Although many of the buildings of Galata and Pera are built in the European style, in Stamboul everything is strictly Oriental. Once within the confines of the "City of the Faithful,” you feel yourself to be in the very centre of Islamism; and the illusion would be perfect if you could only convince yourself that you had a green turban on your head, a flowing dolman over your shoulders, and a pair of Mameluke trousers on your nether extremities, of the orthodox balloon-shape cut. The quaint houses that hem you in on every side, the enormous mosques that tower above them, the countless minarets with their golden crescents pointing towards heaven, the darkskinned turbaned men who pass you by, the veiled women who glance furtively at you from the barred casements, the children in the gutters who salute you as “infidel dog," aye, the very curs that growl and snarl at you at every corner of the dismal streets, have a mysterious Oriental look and Mohammedan air about them, which at once rivets the attention and excites the imagination, and leads your mind captive as it were, into the very heart of the Dark Ages, when the followers of the Crescent grappled hand to hand with the disciples of the Cross, and when the sword of the Prophet flashed from the Euphrates to the Danube, and from Aden to Gibraltar; and it is not until you get a glimpse of the Bosphorus down some narrow causeway, with a fleet of steamers churning its blue waters into foam, or a sulky-looking ironclad ploughing its way across the Sea of Marmora, that your dream is dispelled; and you suddenly awaken to the fact that the era of barbarous fanaticism is passed away, and that you are living and breathing, albeit, sometimes with difficulty, in the enlightened high-pressure days of the nineteenth
century. Here, at every turn, some new and attractive feature meets the view; and there are bits of scenery in almost every street that would make the fortunes of an artist in search of the quaintly picturesque. The houses of the Moslem city are, as a rule, not magnificent in structure, but the general appearance is delightfully artistic, and they have a peculiar cachet of their own-for Orientalism is indelibly stamped on every wall, window and door. The dark interiors, enlivened now and again by glimmering lamps; the barred windows half-hid by trailing vines; the arabesque balconies with their jealously-screened lattices; and the ponderous overhanging roofs, while giving them a fantastic Eastern appearance, impart to them at the same time a singular aspect of mystery and gloom, while the decrepit and decayed look of many is strikingly suggestive of cholera morbus and the plague; and you
will just examine them for a moment, you will see that they are replete with a teeming life, and redolent with the pungent odours of stale tobacco-smoke and fried fish. On not a few the sun never seems to fall, but now and again a golden ray, like an angels, smile will shoot into the narrow street as you pass along, and you may see a veiled face with a pair of lustrous dark eyes beaming at you from a latticed window; or, you may catch through a half-opened doorway, the disdainful glance of a pious disciple of the holy Prophet, who fervently anathematises your Christian soul as he salaams devoutly in the direction of Mecca. Now and again, a shining mosque, the gilt summit of a minaret, a marble palace, a banner with a silver crescent, a crimson curtain streaming from a window, a line of variegated clothes hung out to dry overhead, a coloured turban in the street, or a delicate hand waved from a balcony above, attracts your eye as a ray of light falls upon it, and then suddenly a quaint gable will cast its fantastic shadow upon the ground, and make the spot where you are standing as black as night; anon a juvenile Moslem will poke his shaven skull round a corner, glare at you for a moment, and shout “ giaour” in defiant accents as he beats a precipitous retreat in fear and trembling lest the infuriated“ unbeliever" should strangle him with a bowstring, in the good old fanatical way; and next your imagination is delighted by the sight of an india-rubber-looking baby being fondled by a pretty dark-eyed girl with henna-stained hands, and with nothing on but a pair of wide red trowsers to hide her graceful symmetry of form; and then, in sad contrast to this agreeable picture of youth and beauty, you behold a copper-coloured crone huddled
up in some dark corner, so old, so weazened, and so ugly, and with nose and chin so grimly pointed, that you think an Egyptian mummy would appear beautiful in comparison. In one street, you seem to be walking in a deserted town; in another, the crowd jostles you from side to side, and you have to fight your way along as for your bare life. At one moment, a turbaned emissary of the Sultan, gorgeous in velvet and gold lace, as he speeds on his way from the Sublime Porte of the Seraglio to one of the embassies on the hills of Pera, will nearly trample you to death under the iron hoofs of his Arab steed; and in your too earnest desire to avoid an untimely end, you may put your foot under the heavy wheels of a ponderous araba drawn by oxen, in glittering trappings, and filled with veiled houris of the harem; and then if you are lucky enough to escape a cut across the shoulders from the hippopotamus-hide whip of an enraged eunuch for your audacity, in coming too near to his fair charges, you may get a kick from the hind-leg of a refractory mule in the small of the back, or go knee-deep into an open sewer. A file of camels laden with bales of merchandise will turn you aside in one street, a troop of donkeys, driven furiously along by a crowd of wild shouting boys, will send you to the wall in another; while in the next, if you do not have to defend yourself against a pack of ferocious dogs, you may go head first over a heap of naked children making dirt pies in the gutter, or tread upon the stomach of a tattered mendicant taking his siestu in the middle of the public highway. On every side, in fact, dangers assail you when pursuing your way along the crowded streets of Stamboul, and it is only by combining the agility of the monkey with the fairylike nimbleness of the bounding gazelle that you can manage to get through your journey with a whole skin.
We direct our course to Balata, or the “Jews' Quarter," as it is more generally termed by the Franks, which runs by the shores of the Golden Horn, and pass along an infinity of winding alleys where the smooth treacherous stones are so slippery with slimy mud and filth that it is almost impossible to maintain one's equilibrium, and where the stifling air is so full of reeking odours that one's nose seems to turn up in spite of itself, and as I hold my breath and pinch my nostrils tightly together, my stomach seems to revolve and whirl about within me, and all the grim horrors of death by a dire pestilence come vividly before my mind. Here fætid sewers, open drains, heaps of indescribable filth, countless millions of flies, crowds of unwashed, frowsy-looking men, and endless battalions of mangy dogs
greet the eye at every turn, and you find it somewhat difficult to divest your mind of the belief that you have suddenly entered some villainous republic in which the canine element holds undisputed sway.
The number of dogs in fact to be met with in all parts of Constantinople is incredible. They constitute a second population of the city and form a lawless, homeless community, living entirely in the streets, where they eat, sleep, die and are born. They belong to no one, and apparently to no defined breed, for they are of all shapes, colours and sizes, but with a general family likeness in which the ferocity of the wolf and the cunning of the fox appear to be strikingly blended. They are to be found everywhere; indeed, their ubiquitous instincts are wonderful. They lie in heaps in the middle of the most public thoroughfares, make their dens in the graveyards, prowl in and out of the houses, slink into the mosques, frequent the cafés, attend the places of amusement, congregate round the fountains, lounge about the public gardens, and even snarl and growl in a defiant,“ dogmatic” kind of way under the very portals of the Sublime Porte of the Seraglio. They bark all day, howl all vight, and fight from sunrise to sunset, when they usually settle down for an hour or two to scratch their fleas and lick their wounds. Their characteristic trait is consummate laziness, but when hard-pressed by hunger, as they usually are, they range over the city and become omniverous to a degree, devouring all kinds of refuse with ghoulish avidity. In this manner, they perform the duties of scavengers and rid the streets of a great deal of objectionable matter. Their privileges are numerous, and as they are looked upon with a kind of superstitious veneration by all true Moslems, it would be considered gross sacrilege to harm one. We wind in and out of narrow lanes where daylight scarcely penetrates, and where the houses on either side appear twisted and distorted as if by rheumatic pains, and seem to lean against each other for support. We go past dark hovels and dismal cafés, where slip-shod, turbaned Israelites in tattered robes of faded colours, and with hawkish eyes, and noses like the beaks of birds of prey, sit smoking their narghilis on grimy divans, or taking siestas in the most nonchalant attitudes; past crowded eating-houses, where impecunious Levantines are thrusting cheap feeds of kebab down their throats by the aid of their unwashed fingers; past usurers' stalls where oriental Shylocks sit gloating in a dreamy kind of way over heaps of coin; past stalls of silvery fish and luscious fruits; past musty shops filled with motley assortments of cast-off clothes, where a dirty fez,
or a greasy turban that has covered a dozen heads, may be purchased for a few paras, and where gaudy dolmans, Bedouin cloaks, ragged caftans and rusty cassocks, and tattered remnants of tawdry female attire, dangle from the walls and flutter like scarecrows in the breeze; past wildernesses of shattered walls, where blackening fires have carried ruin and desolation in their track; past mouldering burial grounds, where the tall gravestones assume all the eccentric attitudes of drunken men, where skulls and marble turbans from the tombs of the Janizaries scatter the ground, where lean donkeys are browsing and fowls are scratching, where half-starved dogs are basking in living heaps beneath the fierce blaze of the sun, and where the tall cypress trees rise up like phantoms around, and sigh mournfully as the soft zephyrs float through their dark foliage; and then we emerge into an open space, a veritable oasis amidst a desert of houses, where the balmy air circulates freely, where plane trees and feathery palms spread a grateful shade around, where a marble fountain, beautiful with a rich tracery of verses from the Khoran, sends forth a sparkling jet of water, where camels are resting beneath their ponderous burdens, where mules and asses in fantastic trappings are dipping their noses into the cool liquid of the shining font, and where a couple of young Osmanlis, seated beneath the shadow of an enormous tree, are devouring with becoming gusto a huge golden melon which looks like a ball of liquid sunshine.
It is but a short distance from the Jews' quarter to the Bazistan or Grand Bazaar, and we press on to visit one of the most attractive sights in the East. The Bazistan covers a wide extent of ground, and forms a complete labyrinth of streets, lanes, and passages, which branch off in every direction from the main thoroughfares by which it is intersected. It is built entirely of stone, in the Byzantine style of architecture, and the arched roof painted in various colours, and lighted by small domes, and supported on sculptured pillars, gives it the appearance of an immense temple. The shops of the Bazistan, in the splendour and variety of their articles, are perhaps unequalled in the capital of any other country. In whatever part of the bazaars you may penetrate, you conceive yourself to be in the heart of some great fair, where all the beautiful things of the realm are exposed for sale. You walk, in fact, in one of the greatest emporiums of the Eastern world, where every article of necessary comfort or prodigal luxury in the Orient is to be found. The caravans, which come here with a slow but a sure progress, over burning deserts and trackless wastes, bring with them the silks and teas of