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China, the muslins of Bengal, the shawls of Cashmere, the gems of Golconda, and thegoldand ivory of Africa, while railroads and countless steamers supply all the products and manufactures of the busy hives of the West. You wander through miles of glittering wares, where all the arts, industries, and riches of three continents meet the gaze, and where aromatic drugs, and all the sweet odours of “ Araby the Blest,” scent the air and intoxicate the senses. Here each trade has its allotted quarter, and the variety of Oriental luxury and magnificence to be seen on every side affords a splendid and interesting spectacle. The richly-decorated shops are tastefully arrayed with costly and beautiful goods, while in the midst of each is an elaborated divan, where squat bearded Osmanlis, with enormous turbans and yellow and green dolmans. As they puff listlessly at their narghilis, they gaze vacantly on all around, with that complacent dignity peculiar to the followers of the Prophet. Whichever way you turn, you are bewildered and astounded by the extraordinary multiplicity of the countless gorgeous articles arranged with exquisite taste on every side. Here are Turkish silks from Broussa, in blue, green, and crimson; soft, downy carpets from Persia, resplendent in brilliant colours; gaudy scarfs from Tunis, light and airy as clouds; delicate brocades from Bagdad, glittering in silver; and gold embroidered satins from Cathay, in beautiful designs of flowers and birds; caftans from Trebizond, fur coats from Thibet, camel-hair huiks from Arabia, and countless beautiful manufactures from
“Kashgar and Yarkand,
Bokhara and Samarcand;" With every description of textile manufacture, from the transparent muslins of Hindostan to Scotch plaids and the coarse cotton fabrics of Bradford and Manchester. At one stall you may purchase & turban, with jewels in it, suitable to grace the brow of a prince, and at another you may procure a flowing robe, befitting the dignity of a monarch or the sanctity of a pope. Here you may bargain for scarlet tabouche, gorgeous with embroidered verses from the Koran, and on the other side of the way, for the matter of a few parts, you may become the proud possessor of a pockethandkerchief, sanctimoniously emblazoned with all the moral precepts of Mahomet. The shoeshops present the most brilliant appearance, and contain pointed-toed slippers in green,
red and yellow, and purple, and some are so small, so delicate, and so deftly worked, that they appear as if they had been
designed for the pedal extremities of fairies. There are red morocco boots, too, of the most elaborate manufacture, boots with high heels, boots with low heels, and boots without any heels at all; but all rich with gold and silver lace, and bright with the colours of the rainbow. In the jewellers' shops may be seen gold dust and ivory, with precious stones of the most costly description; diamonds from Allahabad, Orissa, and the Carnatic; rubies and emeralds from Ceylon; pearls from the Red Sea, topazes from Teheran and Shiraz; andopals from Siam ; with garnets and turquoise from the Himalayas, andagatesand aquamarines from the shores of the Caspian. Wherever you go, you see around you countless little objects that charm the eye, and make you wonder at the strange freaks of fancy displayed in the production. With pipes and cigar-holders in every variety of form, there are chibonques, with red bowls from Siout, and with splendidly carved amber mouth-pieces for viziers, pashas and beys to puff their latakia from, and glittering narghilis of crystal and Khorissan steel encrusted with precious stones fit for the palace of the Sultan. There are fragrant gums and odoriferous woods, benzoin, myrrh anđ pistachio nuts; and exquisite essences of bergamot, miniature flasks of ottar of roses in cases of carved ivory, and embossed velvet flasks of tinted rosewater; small strong-smelling bags of musk and chaplets made of ebony, and amber beads for the fair odalisques of the harem to play with as they while away the hours on luxurious divans and sinoke the most delicate of perfumed cigarettes. We stroll through whole armouries where there are ponderous old saddles, covered with embossed leather and bedizened with silver crescents and stars, gorgeous housings embroidered with gold and silver filagree, and bits and stirrups of all shapes and sizes, in inlaid steel and silver gilt. Here too, are antique arms, jewelled yatagans, poignards chased in curious designs, scimitars in sheaths of green and crimson velvet with bandles of agate and ivory, and sharp cruel blades of Damascene steel; and in grim contrast to these costly hand-jars are huge twohandled swords, such as C@ur de Lion or Godfroi de Bouillon, and a thousand other heroes of chivalrous romance, might have wielded to cleave in twain the thickest of infidel skulls, while helmets, casques and coats of mail, shields, pikes, spears, and long matchlocks, engraved and inlaid in fantastic patterns, complete a brilliant galaxy in which all the barbarous weapons of the middle ages, with guns, pistols, swords and revolvers of the present day, are mixed up together, as if all the warriors of Islam and Christendom since the time of the Crusades had come here to hang up their arms, and had
then marched off to their tombs to await the sound of the last trumpet In one part of the bazaars are to be seen the gold and silver wire drawers, who make the glittering metallic thread, with which the Turkish caps, slippers, and jackets are exquisitely embroidered ; and in another are to be found the workmen in brass and copper, which department of trade generally embraces the manufacture of cooking pans, drinking vessels, and such articles of domestic use; for all these things are made of copper and brass, hammered out to the proper size and shaped by manual labour. As the Turks invariably follow as a religious duty the profession of their forefathers, their handicrafts have been handed down to them but little changed by modern improvements from one generation to another. The tools which they employ are few and exceedingly simple in design; and when at work they always sit in the well-known Oriental posture, the feet being educated to assist the hands in almost every labour which they undertake.
It is in these attractive bazaars that the life of Constantinople flows in a continuous stream. Dense crowds of men, women, and children, clad in brilliant and gaudy costumes, light up the long vistas of the bright arcades, with their variegated colours; and as they mingle together and flit about amid the gorgeous array of glittering wares, they compose a gay and ever changing scene which recalls forcibly to mind those vivid pictures of enchanting Oriental life we read of in the Arabian Nights; and all the varied and fantastic characters of those delightful creatures, come rapidly before my imagination, as the variegated cavalcades of dark skinned beings pass by me like a gay carnival. That stately Oriental mounted on an arab steed, with a red turban glittering with golden braid on his manly brow, a yellow caftan over his shoulders, and a jewelled scimitar by his side, and with the grave majestic look of a Caliph of Bagdad, reminds me of Haroun Al Raschid, “Prince of the Faithful;” and that sturdy man not far distant, in flowing robes of purple silk, and with a pair of cruel flashing eyes looking out over a hooked nose, appears to be the very cut of “Shah Zeman," who murdered his wife; while that plethoric Turk, with a grey beard reaching to his girdle, a yatagan thrust through the crimson folds of his sash, and a white turban twisted about with snake-like coils of silver cord, looks, for all the world, like “Solyman the Magnificent." Here is the "merchant, with Jenna and the Sheikhs,” coming along with a string of camels; and here too, is "Abul Hassan, the wag' laughing by my side; and that sleepy individual squatting cross
legged upon the ground, with a chibouque in his mouth, can be no other than “Aboo Mohamed, the lazy.” Here also is “Khalefeh, with Jaffa and the Eunuch," and behind them comes "Noor Ed Deen” upon his mule “with a saddle ornamented with gold, with stirrups of Indian steel and housing of velvet of Ispahan.” They come before me quickly and disappear suddenly, like the fabled genii of the deserts, until I begin to wonder whether they are really sentient beings, or mere fleeting shadows of the past. When at that happy age, when infancy just merges into childhood, I had sat, night after night, in the wide chimney corner of a quaint old manor-house, in the old country, with my hair standing on end, and my eyes as wide open as saucers, listening with bated breath to those glorious Arabian tales of fable and romance, I had pictured to myself all these men and women scampering wildly over sandy deserts; and when I used to go to my bed, these same men and women, black-faced, veiled and turbaned, as soon as I was left in dark, would poke their horrible heads through the panels of the wainscot wall, and grin, and put out their tongues and make hideous grimaces at me; and when fatigued and horrified by their diabolical importunities, I fell off to sleep, they would come and sit on my stomach and turn back somersaults on my chest until I would awake in a cold sweat, with the big tears rolling down my infantile cheeks like balls of redhot crystals. Then I had a terrible dread of these Eastern conspirators and assassins, but now, as I stand among them--with, I presume, the average amount of inordinate self-conceit of the fullblown Briton-I feel that I don't care a "pinch of snuff" for the whole phalanx of them, although not a few of them are armed to the teeth and look tremendously fierce. In reality, however, there is not much to fear, and if you do not tread too heavily on their toes, or trample the tails of their flowing robes under your infidel feet, you will find much to admire both in the character and bearing of these romantic looking Orientals. Every stall of the bazaars is a picture of itself, full of colour and fancy, and every group of individuals around presents some new and interesting type of people, and you see before you at a glance, representatives of all the varied races, from the Nile to the Danube, and from the Euphrates to the Adriatic. At every turn you behold strange looking men, and mysterious looking women, and every variety of countenance and complexion attracts the eye. The white Albanians look whiter still beside the bronzed Bedouins; V01. III.-No, 15.
and the classic features and rosy skin of the Circassian beauty mingles, in marked contrast, with the flat noses and woolly heads of the black syrens from Ethiopia. You mark the manly visage of the Armenian, the beetling brow of the Bashi Bazouk, the haughty mien of the Turcoman, the bold bearing of the Kurd, the treacherous glance of the Afghan, and the calm countenance of the Hindoo; and you are struck by the stately grace of the Arab Sheikh, and by the meek appearance of the Egyptian fellah. You see Turks of the old school, with enormous turban, dressed in the fashion of the first Hegira; and Turks of the modern school, dressed in the western fashion, and with nothing but the scarlet fez to denote that they are Osmanlis. You behold sleek-skinned Greeks, in all the picturesque costumes of their country, and Servians, Montenegrians, and Bulgarians, in white kilts, and long knives thrust into their wide belts, and silver cartouche cases across their breasts; and big bearded Circassians, in picturesque costumes, and flashing pistols and daggers, of antique design, sticking out of the folds of their crimson sashes. There are groups of Turkish women, and all wear the ungainly feridjee-a long tunic, with a cape and wide hanging sleeves, like wings, and which is made of silk of all colours, from apple green to sky blue and pink to sombre black. Below this hideous garment come their full baggy trousers, which are tied at the ankles, over yellow morocco boots. All affect the yashmak, which covers the whole of the head and face, save where a narrow space is left for their dark dreamy eyes to peep out. The fair daughters of Greece charm you, on the other hand, by their smiling countenances, and fascinating glances, and by their dark lustrous orbs, and raven tresses, while their easy grace and attractive costumes, set off their well-turned forms to wonderful advantage. Their only head-dress is a yellow and blue handkerchief, or a small crimson velvet cap, with a golden tassel, while their short skirts of scarlet or green silk, richly embroidered and trimmed with golden cord, hang in graceful folds over their full red trousers. At every turn some fresh group or curious figure comes before the gaze. Those tall, dark, Quixotic-looking fellows, with snowy turbans, and flowing haiks wrapped round their spare forms,are Arabs, from the plains of Syria, and those black effeminate men, in white muslin tunics, bare legged, bare armed, and woolly-headed, are eunuchs, from the tropical land of Darfur. Those gaunt individuals, with nothing but a dirty cloth around their loins, are from the banks of the Nile, and those bearded, swarthy-looking