At a little distance from this column stands the other memorial of this ancient Hippodrome, - the Egyptian obelisk.

The Hippodrome

The Hippodrome.

It is a single block of reddish granite, nearly one hundred feet in height, brought hither fifteen hundred years ago from Heliopolis, the famous city on the Nile where Moses, and, at a later age, Euclid and Plato, received part of their education. How wonderfully well preserved it is! Yet its hieroglyphics, still defiant of the touch of Time, assure us that it has received the salutations of the sun for more than four thousand years. Yes, this same monolith, brought hither to enhance the glory of "New Rome," has looked on Joseph and on Moses, and no doubt often cast its shadow on fair Cleopatra and her Roman lover, amid the fascinating splendors of the Nile.

Engrossed with the memories of that far-off time, we came one day, in wandering through the outskirts of the city, upon a part of its old wall; for Constantinople was for centuries defended by prodigious battlements of stone, which climbed the hills and stretched around it like a mighty bow, twelve miles in length. Now they are all in ruins. Where flags of Roman emperors once proudly waved, masses of weeds and ivy now sway idly in the breeze. More than a thousand years ago this rampart was a dyke, on which the waves of war and conquest beat in vain. But finally an ocean of invasion made an opening here, a torrent of humanity poured in, and these colossal fragments, scattered here and there like pieces of a broken mountain, serve only to remind us of that great disaster. Some of the huge foundation stones were laid by Constantine himself. On foot, and followed by a brilliant escort, he proudly traced the line of these massive fortifications. What would his thoughts have been, could he then have forseen its fate? For on these walls, in 1453, perished the last of the Byzantine emperors, in the successful assault made by Mohammed II on Constantinople. Degenerate though the empire had then become, it must be said that its last ruler struggled to the bitter end, and even when struck down from the ramparts, - chief actor still in that appalling tragedy, - he fought on desperately in the moat till he lay dead beneath a heap of corpses.

The Obelisk

The Obelisk.

The Old Walls

The Old Walls.

Almost as ancient as the wall of Constantine is the old ruin known as the Palace of Belisarius. Tradition states that from one of its windows, in the five hundred and sixty-third year of the Christian era, the Emperor Justinian hurled to the pavement far below the man whom of all he should have least suspected of treason - - his faithful general, Belisarius, one of the greatest warriors of all time.

Kuined Battlements

Kuined Battlements.

The legend adds that, Belisarius being uninjured by the fall, the Emperor accepted it as evidence of his innocence, and restored him to his rank and honors. It is far pleasantcr to believe this than the old, well-known story of his poverty, blindness and neglect. At all events, whatever may have been his end, his glory is secure; for he who made Justinian's reign illustrious in military history, who defeated Persians in Asia, Vandals in Africa, and Ostrogoths in Europe, captured one king and twice rescued Rome from the barbarians, and was withal as much renowned for his humanity as for his skill and courage, is one whose name can never die.

Another monument coeval with the capital of Constantine is a dilapidated column, blackened by fire, and only kept from falling to pieces by a series of iron rings. Rough and unsightly though it now appears, no object in this city of the Bosporus has witnessed more of its momentous history ; since it has stood here during fifteen hundred years, casting its shadow impartially alike on Christian and on Moslem, while millions of both creeds have made their entrances and exits on this historic stage, like summer insects of a day. Standing beside this ruined shaft, it is interesting to remember that on its pedestal the first of Christian emperors caused this inscription to be carved: "O Christ, ruler and master of the world, to Thee have I consecrated this city and the power of Rome. Guard it and deliver it from every harm." Upon its summit was placed the famous bronze statue of Apollo, by Phidias, all trace of which has long since disappeared. No one is poor enough to-day to do the column reverence; but in the period of the city's glory, such was its sanctity, that horsemen would dismount as they passed by, to pay it homage; priests annually chanted sacred hymns before it; and miracles were thought to have been performed at its base. Pathetic in its desolation, it now stands in the capital of Islam like an exclamation-point of sadness, as if to emphasize the solemn, oft - repeated lesson of antiquity: Sic transit gloria mundi.