Between Stamboul And Galata.
The Bosporus (European Side).
The Imperial Gallows.
In Stamboul .
The following incident well illustrates Oriental life no more than a century ago. The grandfather of the writer's intimate friend was then attached to the French embassy at Constantinople. One day the wife of this official, while passing through a lonely street, was insulted by a Mussulman. A moment later she met a Turkish Pasha of her acquaintance, complained to him of the affair, and identified her assailant. The Pasha promised her speedy justice, and she, continuing her walk, spent the day with a friend. Toward evening, as she approached her home, she observed a strange object in the doorway. Drawing nearer, she saw, to her horror, a man hanging by the neck from a spike driven above the portal. In his lifeless body the lady recognized the wretch who, only that morning, had insulted her. In walking through Stam-boul, we usually took with us a dragoman, or guide, not only on account of our ignorance of the Turkish language (an inconvenient circumstance when one is curious), but also because Stamboul is one of the most difficult places in the world in which to find one's way about. Its streets, as a rule, possess no names; its houses have no numbers. sev-eral important thoroughfares go reeling up and down the hills, as if they had been laid out by drunken men, or - if the simile be allowed - by the primitive Bostonians; while the caprices of the smaller streets are past all finding out. Frequently in my tours I became as hopelessly confused in them as in the catacombs of Rome.
A Victim Of Jealousy.
There are, however, certain prominent landmarks in Stamboul which greet one like oases in a desert. One of these is a gate of variegated marble, which, for beauty of design and richness of ornamentation, I have rarely seen equaled. Moreover, to relieve its massiveness, on each side has been placed a slender marble minaret. The Turks are as fond of gateways as the Romans of old were of triumphal arches. The very name by which the Sultan's government is known today throughout the world is the one given it by the French, la Sublime Parte, - the lofty gate, - so called from a magnificent portal, through which in former times only the Sultan and his family might enter the Seraglio.
One portion of Stamboul rivals in interest any relic of imperial Rome: it is its ancient Hippodrome, the fame of which once filled the world. One thousand five hundred years ago, this race-course was surrounded with magnificent marble porticoes, adorned with hundreds of the finest bronze and marble statues which Constantine was able to select from all that he possessed in Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor. And what could he not bring hither? Was he not master of the world? Among these treasures were the four bronze horses which to-day surmount the portal of St. Mark's in Venice; for, as Constantine had brought them hither from Rome, so the Crusaders, nine hundred years later, carried them hence to the Queen City of the Adriatic.
The Marble Gate.
The Sultan's Street-Cleaners.
Two interesting mementoes of the Hippodrome still remain here. One is a small bronze column, protected by a circular railing. At present it looks insignificant, yet the heart beats quickly when one thinks of its eventful history. In the time of Constantine, when around this race-course flew the gilded chariots in front of the great Emperor himself, arrayed in silk and purple and sparkling with gems, and in the presence of his brilliant court and eighty thousand of the eager populace, this column stood here, as it does to-day. Yet this is but an incident in its history, for even long before the birth of Christ, this very shaft supported the golden tripod of the Priestess of Apollo in the world-renowned temple at Delphi in Greece, the oracle of which was then regarded as the voice of God.