THE DOGS PROVOKE ME, AND THE WOMEN ARE VEILED.
The first visible annoyance in Constantinople is dogs, which Murray’s guide says is nobody’s property. In a space of a rod I counted seventy-four dogs, and not one respectable dog in the seventy-four! fifteen or twenty of them were marked on different parts of the body with scalds, some with only one ear, some blind, the streets were lined with them, lying down, standing up, fighting, breeding, and making love. The Turks are as particular about getting around and through them, as a good man would be in a crowd of children; in fact, I saw a Turk tread upon a child in an effort to pass around dogs. They take no notice of persons passing to and fro, but if you touch one, he jumps at you and lays hold.
During the night we have a long dog-note howl, from dark to daylight, and there is no way to stop it; they have systematical skirmishes of parties from different sections. Murray holds that they have fundamental laws of infringement, and woe be to him that don’t acknowledge their legality. The puppies, as soon as they open their eyes, he observes, join in the first fight, and off goes his ear, tail, or leg, and he grows up used to hardships, and the customs and responsibilities of war; he is also taught the responsibility of invasion. Before he learns the landmarks, he goes on another’s territory, where he is picked up by some old sentinel and shook a little, and thrown across the border, where he stands and barks a little, in defiance of the old dog’s pluck and courage to come on this “spot and do the like. In their hymenial adventures” they frequently cross the borders, in pursuit of their object of affection, when there is a free fight, that lasts until some devoted amour falls a martyr to his sincerity, whilst the object of his affection escapes, heedless of his fidelity, and his great care for her and his posterity.
The virtue of keeping so many dogs in Constantinople, is to cleanse the streets of offal, that is piled there by the citizens, who are not blessed with sink holes under the streets, they empty their swill, bad vegetables, and scraps of all corruption in the middle of the streets, and the dogs act the buzzard’s part, or the cholera would reign supreme all the year round. When the citizens are fearful of hydrophobia, the Sultan orders the dogs to be driven in herds to a lake a few miles from the city, and there to stay during the dog days; but when they are brought back, the city is generally raging with what they call in the east, the plague. If the city was blessed with sink holes, they could then dispense with the nuisance of dogs in such narrow streets, and the provocation of their efforts of progeny. They are frequently so close together that a man hardly ever takes notice of their condition to one another. I, trying to pass through a group, got entangled between two and fell over them, as it was impossible to get through, as one tried to go one way, and the other another; I was so provoked when I got up, I did’nt look back to see whether it was their legs or tails was tied together; I am sure it was one or the other, from their magnanimous struggles to take one another their own way.
Another source of low spirits to a man from off the waters, is to see women moving about like spirits or shadows, and cannot be seen. The promenades in Constantinople are the graveyards or any other sacred site. The graveyards are like rustic parks with immense numbers of tombstones denoting the head of the grave, and all are inclined to a fall. The ladies go there and lean against them and talk with their maids, and you can hear their sweet laugh, but see no smile. They sit like a tailor, on the inside of their heels or ankles. You will see five or six stand talking in their beautiful silk wrappers, and quick as a fall they will sink down upon those little feet, like a blossom sinking from its majesty of beauty to its downward decay. They seem to get closer to the earth than any other people could. One nymph-like lady was so wiry in her manner of talking to her black maid, and so full of good humor, that I knew she must have been pretty. I looked at her one hour, and she at me, through her eyelits. I would have given five pds to lift her veil; I know she was pretty, her voice was so fluty, and her hands so delicate, and her feet so small, and her dress so gauzy; she was like an eel. I do not believe she had any bones in her. I asked the guide if there was no way in the world to get acquainted with her, and he said, none under heaven. The guide and myself moved along to see some others, and something new presented itself at every step. Vanity is reigning monarch in all females. I had stopped in another part of the graveyard pleasure ground, and whilst leaning against a tombstone, this Mohammedan maid came up and seated herself as near to me as she was before. Her maid had changed her veil, and was still fixing it on her mistress. This veil was thin enough to make me believe I could see her figure of countenance, and I swear she was pretty. The guide said that she was for sale, I told him to go and buy her for me, and asked him who owned her, he said, her mother, but I could not buy her because I was no Mohammedan. I asked him what did he think she was worth, he said, about a thousand Turkish piastres, a sum of about twenty-five dollars. I told him if he could buy her for that I would give twenty-five dollars for himself. This was a powerful engine on his reflective powers. He said he did not know how it could be done. I asked him if he thought the girl would admire me; he had no doubt about that, and added, I need not have any uneasiness about that, as I could make her love me after she was mine, she was obliged to obey me according to the Turkish laws, and no man could change the laws but Abdul Medjid, the Sultan.
A COLORED MAN FROM TENNESSEE SHAKING HANDS WITH THE SULTAN; AND MEN PUTTING WOMEN IN THE BATH AND TA
A COLORED MAN FROM TENNESSEE SHAKING HANDS WITH THE SULTAN; AND MEN PUTTING WOMEN IN THE BATH AND TAKING THEM OUT.
Friday is a festive day with the citizens of Stamboul. It is celebrated by gondolar rides along the canal called “sweet water.” Males and females go up this canal, in all degrees of magnificence, and it is nothing but the elite of the city. From thirty to forty thousand assemble by eleven o’clock, the hour for the Sultan and his seven Sultanas, to arrive. Just about this hour it is very gay. The gentlemen are in groups of from two to ten, exercising on flageolets, or wooden or iron musical instruments of some kind. The ladies come some in Palanquins with strong Turks at each end, and others in a golden gilt carriage, drawn by either oxen, camels, or men; if oxen, their horns are decorated with ribbons and flowers, if camels no decoration of beauty is needed as they are appreciated for their capability of standing hardships and sufferings; if men, for their masculine limbs and jocular songs, whilst pulling the beauties to the festal scene.
Where I discovered the crowd thickest there I repaired, and the Mohammedans, were standing around a very large man, from Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America. His name was Frank Parish. He had in his hand as large a hickory stick as ever a man carried to be a stick; he wore Turkish costume from head to foot, and his Tarbouche was of the best red, and he stood up with a Narghehly in his hand and mouth, all cap a pie, ala Turkoise. Here the people began to give way for the Sultan and his seven legitimate wives. Frank didn’t give way an inch of territory for the Sultan. Two or three Pachas rode a head of the Sultan seated on camels in their golden saddles. The Sultan stopped every fifty yards and listened to the music. When he stopped close to Frank, he cast his eyes on his great form, and seemed to be interested; and Frank had brass enough to look at the Sultan as he did at other people. Frank took his pipe from his mouth and walked up to the Sultan’s carriage and offered his hand which the Sultan took, to the approbation of all present. The seven Sultanas were looking at Frank all the time through their eyelits as if they liked the looks of him. Frank is a man about 45 or 50 years of age, and looks like a man in every sense of the word. He is not a yellow, or black man, but what we call ginger-bread color. He had come to Constantinople, with a Mr. Ewing from Nashville, and was staying at Constantinople to recover from wounds he had received from Arabs that shot him through the shoulder with his own gun, whilst standing over the body of Mr. Ewing, who the Arabs were trying to kill, and thereby saved the life of Mr. Ewing. He was a free man and owned property in Nashville. The Sultan could plainly see that his loyal subjects were but as infants, by the giant-like man that stood over them. Being surrounded by such dwarf-like men, he showed off to great advantage. The Sultan is a weak looking man, and has the marks of fatigue well written on his forehead and limbs; he also looks like a man surfeiting on the fat of the world. He is a slow walking man, and seems as if he experienced some weakness coming from a hidden source which allowed its approach so gradually and agreeable that he is not conscious of its fatality. He knows nothing of the rest of the world nor cares for it, but believes that himself and Constantinople are the wonders and powers of it.
He is only twenty-two years old, but never once has been out of his Paradise, Shamboul. According to his opinion, he has no equals, consequently he has no associates. He is uneducated, because no one dare to instruct him. Such a man lives a Monarch and will die like a fool. If the Czar of Russia were to pay him a visit, he might smile with acknowledgement, 长沙桑拿全套论坛 but if Queen Victoria’s virtuous head would call, she could not stop in his seraglio as quick as Madame Rachel or Lolla Montez; and if General Zack Taylor called, his Pacha’s would receive him, and a General Jackson would scare him to death, as he is the most nervous man on a Throne.
As he is the descendant of Mahommed, it is admitted here that his authority to govern the people is received on all emergencies from God. He is incapable of fearing any nation on the earth, as he thinks that his is head of all. If some day, the news went to his palace that the Bosphorus was covered with a fleet, and that one ball had already struck the dome of the mosque St. Sophia, he would, through all his resolutions, break his haughty heart, and no doubt tremble off his divan. They are talking about a war with Russia, and I can find no 长沙桑拿价格 man here that thinks Russia can begin to fight them.
The Sultan’s harems are numerous. While the occupants of the large are removed to two small ones, we have permission to pass through it, to see its magnificence, by paying the sum of five dollars a piece. It is a government of itself. It has a large bath room of water, and one of vapor. The girls are as pure as silvan nymphs, and some have remained in this harem until they become old, on account of the Sultan’s fancy to certain ones. They are carried to the baths by black men, called eunuchs. They take their baths in all attitudes of pleasure, while these eunuchs lean over the large, stationary stone basins, and gaze at them in their Eve like costumes. But before these men are placed in this important position of servitude, they are privately handled to the disadvantage of 长沙桑拿爽记 displaying any demonstrations of manly pride, towards these vexed reflections that must naturally spring up in the reflective minds of virgins deprived of the luxuries of a life, built upon the confines of clandestine border thoughts of sexes.
GOING TO ATHENS WITH A PRIMA DONNA.
Having seen the Sultan’s great City, mosques, ambers, sponges, perfumeries and beads, I am now passing the Custom House, on my way back to Greece.
In the front part of this vessel the cabin is all one, and whoever gets any kind of a berth is lucky, as the passengers are numerous. The beds or berths are one over the other, like our lake boats’ second class cabin. One berth is a little higher than the other, they are three stories, and one person has to climb over another to get in bed, and even then you are too close together. The second class passengers find their own bedding, and sleep upon deck, and we have some very rich Greecian families aboard, with their bedding and food, who sleep on deck. Yesterday we passed by Smyrna, and stopped and took aboard three beautiful Albanian girls. When you see a pile of old rubbish lying about on these Dardanelle boats, there is always some owner lying under it.
These Albanian girls were dressed very different from the Turkish girls, and the pretty ones are not veiled. They had on a very pretty costume, but over it they wore a very large and coarse cloak, composed of either camel’s hair, or wool of some ugly animal. They have a bonnet attached to it, that they can either throw back, or wear on their heads, and this cloak drags the ground. On board of our vessel was two young gentlemen from New York, trying to attract the attention of these Albanian girls, though they had their beaux with them. These young gents are very rich, their wholesale oil establishment, in New York, is said to do a business of millions of dollars per annum, and their names were Bridgers. They were seen to follow these beauties wherever they promenaded the deck, still they received no encouragement. Sometimes these girls would hide themselves in their winding sheet, and throw the bonnet part over their heads, and fall down upon the deck as singular and as natural as an apple from a tree, and then they would appear as a pile of rubbish of old sacks. At last the gay Messrs. Bridgers lost them, and they hunted in all directions, but could not find these fairies. They got tired hunting, and seated themselves to talk on some old piles of blankets and quilts, but before he got seated. I mean only one, he was thrown flat on his face by one of
these pretty girls. In choosing a comfortable seat, he picked the covered head of the prettiest girl. He felt very bad about the mistake he had made, and I felt ashamed for him, but worst of all, he could make no amends, as she spoke nothing but Greek. He said “I wish I could apologize,” but he could’nt. She did not seem to like it at all.
The first night out we had a good deal of contention about berths. We had more passengers than the law of this company allows; they are not allowed to take one passenger more than they can accommodate.
Among the passengers on board was the first dancer of Constantinople. Those who had spoken for berths went to bed soon for fear disputes would arise about the right of them. I made sure of mine by sitting by it and watching it. After all the berthers had taken possession of their respective
places, I discovered many persons taking berths on the sofas around the cabin; there were some curtains hanging about to make screens, to dress and undress behind, and the lights always burned dimly. These sofas were on a level with the lower berths, consequently, whoever took a sofa berth, was almost sleeping with the occupant of the lower berth.
There was some choice about them, inasmuch as some were wider than others. I could see through my thin curtain that some one had picked out X 31, my own doorway. I lay like a rock to find out who it was, until I saw that everybody was in a resting attitude, after which I quietly drew back my curtain, to see what my neighbor was like. I knew it was some respectable person from the sweet smell of roses and other eastern scents which I inhaled. I could dimly see a Madonna figure of
considerable size, and the figure was nearly touching me. I did not get scared but lay as quiet as possible. I saw plainly that sleep had sent in a regret for that night, the lamp flickered up and went down, leaving a dark twilight perceptible around the cabin, and I put my hand slowly out to see what my neighbor felt like, and I felt the veritable prima donna of Constantinople, “qu est ce que vous voulez,“ said she, ”rien,” said I, and shut my eyes and went to sleep in a hurry, and slept as sound as any man could, by the side of a live Prima Donna.
ATHENS, A SEPULCHRE.