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Leaving Constantinople, that mass of picturesque magnificence, when viewed from afar, but of poverty and barbarism when
examined in. detail, we passed the entrance from the Sea of Marmora, Leander's tower, the Sweet Waters of Asia, Scutari, and the Giant's Mountain, on the Asiatic side ; and admired the two great palaces of the sultan, and various other edifices on the European side. Tall cypresses rose around;
Dark tree, still sad when other's grief is filed
The only constant mourner o'er the dead. Therapia is prettily situated, but the town, or rather village, is insig. nificant, and has lately become more so in consequence of a fire, which burned part of it, and running up the hill, destroyed the houses where the attachés belonging to the English embassy were quartered. I could not help thinking that if the whole of what they denominate a palace, but which certainly looks more like a cottage or shed, had shared the same fate, it would have been no great misfortune.
Opposite is Buyukdere, where the Russian embassy resides, until the completion of their fine palace. Here is the Sultan's valley, a beautiful spot, and in summer a place of great resort. Here is also the famous tree called the Seven Brothers, being seven immense plantains united, and under which Godfrey de Boulogne is said to have encamped. As the evening was cold I did not land. We then returned to Constantinople, and the yachts anchored near the Seraglio Point, and the passage across to Pera in a rowing-boat was delicious. The Golden Horn seemed like a great looking-glass, the stars were shining, and the mosques were all illuminated.
We had now been a fortnight at Constantinople, during which we were favoured with that heavenly weather which is so necessary to the enjoyment of this place; because, in the first instance, its beauty greatly depends on a bright sun and a clear sky, to colour, gild, and light it up; and secondly, the communications, at all times difficult, become in bad weather impossible.
On Thursday we determined to start very early, and go to the Arms Bazaar, which had been hitherto closed. Accordingly we all agreed to meet at the famous Moustapha's, a well known perfumer at the entrance of the great Bezestein, where the Sultan Mahmoud used to delight in sitting to gaze on the passing crowd. Here we found great temptation in gold bottles of otto of rose and jessamine, oil of sandal, pastilles du Serail, and other delicious and powerful Eastern perfumes.
Having made our purchases, after duly bargaining and reducing the original price, and seeing our treasures weighed, we proceeded to the bazaar. Neither arabas nor horses, are permitted to enter the Arm Bazaar. It is a place of considerable extent, and I can only compare it to covered “allées" of pawnbrokers' shops.
Here every thing is thoroughly Turkish. Not a Frank is to be seen. Armenians, Greeks, and Turks, squat on low shopboards, the back of their stall being piled up to the top with old curiosities of every description. The crowd was so dense, and the squeeze so great, that it was with difficulty I kept my footing. All the articles are carried about and sold by auction, and the noise is stunning. Here an Armenian pulls your sleeve, and holds up a gold embroidered antery for a fair beauty, or a fine housing for your barb ; while another makes you turn and admire amber mouth-pieces of enamel, studded with diamonds. A step farther stands an old Jew, with silver caskets, claiming your attention, and next your steps are arrested by Greeks and Turks with all manner of arms, and every description of yataghans and gold-mounted pistols. Begging dervishes add to the confusion of the scene, which is indescribable. Every sort of odd, old, out of the way thing is found here, and, I have no doubt but that with time, patience, and perseverance, many valuable and interesting purchases might be made. The heat and smell are very oppressive, and the pressure would have been unbearable had I not occasionally found refuge by jumping on the low shopboards. On the whole, this was certainly the most remarkable scene l'had hitherto witDessed.
Next day we rowed across to Scutari, and, for the first time, I set foot in Asia. The inhabitants seemed, if possible, still wilder and more savage than at Constantinople. We hired horses, and scrambled up the miserable pavement. We passed a curious Armenian buryingground, and after ascending a hill for upwards of three miles, were rewarded by the most extensively magnificent view I had ever beheld. Far as the eye could reach over the ridge of hills, rolled the Black Sea ; Therapia, Buyukdere, the castles of Europe and Asia, the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, with Pera, Galata, and Stamboul, lay like a panorama before us. Again more distant on the other side, were the Prince's Islands, the sea of Marmora, and its islands. The evening was heavenly, the sun sank beneath the horizon while we gazed, and the Muezzin cry from the high minarets was heard summoning all the true believers to prayers ; after which their fast is over till sunrise.
We descended the hill, and rowed back to Tophana, admiring as we went, all the illuminated mosques, rendered doubly brilliant by a dark night without a moon. Next day we spent some more time in the Arm Bazaar; the same scene awaited us, and some bargains were concluded, though the noise was deafening, the cheating bewildering, and the heat and crowd insufferable.
In the evening we went to Madame Stürmer's, where I learnt that November 21, is termed La Nuit du Destin, for on that night a beautiful maiden is given to the sultan by his nearest relation, his mother, aunt, or sister, whose province it is to make him this present; and this fair girl, being neither purchased nor wedded, there is some fancied romance connected with this strange ceremony.
(To be continued.)
A LOST CHARACTER.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “ PETER PRIGGINS."
I worshipp'd thee and find thee but a shade!
“Good By, my boy, and may God bless you. Here are two one pound notes for you. Spend them like a gentleman. Do not forget the advice I have given you, but above all recollect what I have said on the subject of choosing your friends, for on that depends materially your success in life. Good by.”
These words were addressed to me by my kind father, on the day when he left me in the cloisters of school, of which I had just been appointed a foundationer.
I received his farewell, and the nice crisp new notes, with mingled smiles and tears. The tears were shed at the thought of being separated, for the first time, from my indulgent parent—the smiles were elicited by the notion of my being a boy of property.
Our parting had been witnessed by a good-looking lad, dressed in the school-costume, of about my own age. He had been very busy at whip-top close to us, and as soon as the rattle of the chaise in which my father was whirled away from me ceased to be heard, and I was gulping down, as I best might,'a sort of choky knot that seemed to fill my throat, he came up to me, and gazing at me as if he would read my character in my face, thus addressed me.
“Don't snivel-it ain't manly—and you've got lots of money. Here -I'll lend you my top-have a cut at him.”
I told him, I was very much obliged to him, but did not feel disposed to play just then.
Well, never mind; just let us lie down on the grass, and have a cozy confab. You shall tell me who you are, and all about your family, and I will put you up to all our school movements."
He threw his arm over my shoulder, and led me gently from the cloisters into the green, as the playground was called. It was a large square plot of ground, skirted on three sides by a raised mound of earth, the summit of which formed a broad terrace-walk. As we mounted the steps that led to this terrace, I saw a sort of alcove, in which sat an old woman surrounded by baskets and boys.
“ I say, old fellow, that's Mother Clayton's," said my new friend. “Well,” said I. “Well, cherries are just in—that's all.” “ Are they? we have had them for nearly a month at home."
“I wish I was not stumped, I would treat you to a pound. They are such beauties-only just look at them."
I did; and they certainly looked very tempting, so I changed one of my notes, and bought a pound of them, at about double the price they were worth, to treat the friend who would have treated me if he boy?"
had not been stumped—though what that meant I could only imagine.
We retired to a quiet spot, and lay down on the sloping bank, with the paper of cherries between us. My companion very goodnaturedly pointed out to me the principal boys of the school, as they played at cricket in the middle of the green.
While I was looking at them, he made a series of vigorous attacks on the fruit. When the paper was nearly empty he kindly hinted to me that it was customary at school, for fellows who had tips, to lend other fellows a portion of them until their fresh tips should arrive.
I was not so stupid as not to take so broad a hint, and as I had no notion of not doing as the other “ fellows" did, I was about to ask him how much he wanted, when another lad came up, not quite so big as my cherry-consuming friend, and said,
What, Beccles, at your old trick again—sponging upon a new Beccles looked daggers, and turned very pale.
“Come, sir, be off, or you shall feel the weight of this cricket-stump upon your back.” Becclesjumped up, and walked slowly away, inuttering something about “not standing it any longer;" but when he got to a certain distance, he hung a double cherry-stalk over his nose, like a pair of spectacles, and used a most insulting action, for which he was chased, run down, and severely beaten, by the lad who had interrupted our tête-dtête.
When he had chastised Beccles to his heart's content, he returned to me, and bidding me get up and take a stroll with him, locked his arm within mine, and walked with me for nearly an hour. In this time he managed to learn who I was, and whence I came, and to warn me against speaking to Beccles any more, as he was cut by the whole school, as a dirty sneaking fellow. I also managed to learn that my kind companion's name was Davenport Brandome, that he was the son of a wealthy London solicitor, and that he was high up in the school.
From that day we became most intimate friends. He was highly esteemed by the masters and his schoolfellows, and through his kindness, I found most of the inconveniences and hardships of a public school much lighter than I should have found them had I not been protected by so popular a lad.
I was very grateful to him for his exertions in my behalf, and when the holidays came, with my father's consent, I invited him to spend part of the vacation with me at our house, which was a few miles from London.
He came gladly; and thus our intimacy was cemented, for to use the school phrase, “ We knew one another at home.” I frequently spent the Saturdays and Sundays, on which we were allowed to go out, at his house; and we were more like brothers than scions of different
For six years we were seldom apart, and concluded our school career together. We were at the head of the sixth form when we left-he for a snug appointment in a government office, which his father had pro
cured for him through the then M.P. for Westminster-I for college, where I had been elected an exhibitioner in the room of Beccles, who was expelled in his first term, for having broken open the desk, and abstracted the money, of the man with whom he chummed.
Though separated, we still corresponded with each other, and when my vacations enabled me to leave the university, our intimacy was renewed. I either paid a visit to him, or he to me. Our tastes were similar on most points he was fond of theatricals and scientific pursuits, so was I. We visited the theatres, and attended lectures on chemistry and other sciences together, and as we were both great readers, we joined our forces and purses in subscribing to the best libraries of the day.
The only material point in which our pursuits varied was, that I was fond of fishing and field-sports, of which he knew nothing, and indeed he held them in supreme contempt; which might have arisen from his inability to see a float or a fly on a river, a partridge in its flight, a hare sitting, or a five-barred gate in his way, from being what is called shortsighted. He would accompany me to stream and stubble-field, and whilst I was killing trouts or partridges, amuse himself with a book, and the only ill-natured remark he ever made about my fondness for such sports was, that “ he wondered I could tire myself to death, and waste so much valuable time and shoe-leather in, vermin-catching."
As to getting him upon my old steady pony, to have a canter after a pack of diminutive beagles that were kept in our neighbourhood, I never could do so but once, and then he rode over two of the best hounds, and tumbled poor old Dick into a chalk-pit, which, fortunately for both the horse and its rider, was not a very deep one, or they must have been killed. He was seriously alarmed at the accident, and in spite of all my ridicule, and all my entreaties, never could be persuaded to mount again.
When I had done all that was required of me at college, I left the university, and entered the profession for which I had been educated. My avocations took me some distance from town, which I seldom visited more than twice in the year. Still I kept up a correspondence with Brandome, and he came to see me as often as he could absent himself from his office.
Even my marriage did not have the effect which such unions sometimes have, of causing me to renounce my bachelor friends. My first visiter after my honeymonth was over, and I returned to my Lares and Penates, was Davenport Brandome, and he stood responsible for the little errors of my first-born when he was taken to the font. I merely mention these facts to show the truly friendly footing on which we remained.
Davenport, though not a stingy or a mean man, was, what is some. times called, close-fisted. He had a considerable income, which increased coequally with his length of servitude. Of this he never spent more than one-third, for he lived at home, and his sole extravagance, if such it might be called, was in buying books. He was a great frequenter of stalls, and very industrious in hunting out quaint and scarce works, with which his library was richly stored.
When his father died, he was put in possession of a sum of money, upon which he might have retired had he chosen so to do; but he ge