Fountain Of The Sweet Waters.
The Turkish Bath.
Mosque Of Suleiman And The Golden Horn.
Saving The Head.
"Like Restless Ghosts."
Shades of the "Seven Sutherland Sisters," I thought, suppose they had scraped my head thus without warning! As I expressed by emphatic gestures that, like Samson, I attached great value to my hair, they gave up the idea with evident reluctance ; but took immediate revenge by pouring over me, from head to foot, a lather of hot soap-suds, followed by a douche of hot water. Then they rushed at me like two ferocious prize-fighters, and gave me a three-minute round with coarse hair-mittens, that felt like nutmeg graters on my skin. Finally, when all was over, they wrapped my remains in a sheet, and bore them into a cooling-room, where they were laid out on a mattress to await resuscitation, or burial, as the case might be.
When I came to life again, the first thing I saw was one of those bilious-looking Turks (his head all ready for the Angel of Death to operate on), bringing me on a salver a cup of coffee. I drank, and when I attempted to move, my limbs felt as light as egg-shells. Enjoying a most dreamy-languor, I dressed, and asked for my bill. I would have gladly paid a large sum for the exquisite buoyancy I then experienced. I actually blushed, therefore, when I learned that I had obtained all this pain and subsequent pleasure for the modest sum of about ten cents.
The Cooling Room.
The most imposing and important structure in Constantinople is the Mosque of Santa Sophia. It is the crown of old Stamboul, as St. Peter's is the coronet of Papal Rome; and, strange to say, the same religion built them both. For though the Turks have made of it a mosque, and though they have surrounded it with minarets and propped up its gigantic dome with heavy buttresses, this was originally a Christian church, dedicated, long before the birth of Mohammed, to Christ, under the name of Santa Sophia, or the Divine Wisdom. When it was finished, now more than thirteen hundred years ago, the Christian Emperor Justinian was so elated at its splendor, that he exclaimed: " O Solomon, I have surpassed thee;" and he caused a statue of King Solomon to be erected opposite the church, with a grieved expression on his face, as though lamenting the superiority of Justinian's temple over his own at Jerusalem.
Mosque Of Santa Sophia.
There are few impressions more powerful than that which one receives when the interior of this building bursts upon the astonished gaze. It is in some respects more overpowering than that of Cologne Cathedral, or St. Peter's at Rome. For there are here no such chapels or side-aisles, as we find in most cathedrals. Its immensity at once reveals itself. Before the visitor who stands upon the threshold, stretches away a plain of various colors, on which the feet fall noiselessly; for one walks here, not on the marble pavement, but on soft Turkish rugs, or matting covering the whole expanse. Upon this area are always groups of faithful Moslems, kneeling in prayer, their faces turned toward sacred Mecca; while two hundred feet above them arches the marvelous dome, unequaled in the architecture of the world, - so distant and so vast, that one might almost fancy it a portion of the sky. Some distance up the nave, is the Moslem pulpit, - a lofty structure surmounted by a conical roof and reached by a flight of marble steps. Here, every Friday (the Moslem Sabbath), a priest of Islam reads from the Koran, holding meanwhile a drawn sword in his hand, - a symbol that this shrine was taken by violence from the Christians. Directly opposite this, supported by five jasper columns, rises an octagonal gallery, behind whose metal screen are seats for the Sultanas. Nearer the dome, the gaze is drawn with wonder to gigantic wooden disks, upon which, in enormous Arabic letters, appear the names of Allah and Mohammed.