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bit at his own city (New York) for its lukeNOTICES NEW PUBLICATIONS.
warmness on this important subject. SKETCHES OF TURKEY.
“Every stranger is struck with the numerous The Sketches of Turkey, by an American, contrivances around Constantinople for supplyjust published by the Messrs. Harpers, is gene- ing it with pure and wholesome water. Belong. rally attributed to a son of Dr. Dekay, of New ing to a city in the United States, which has loog York, himself, we presume from the context, a been distinguished for its nauseous and detesta. physician. A more curious, entertaining, and ble water, and for the culpable degligence of its authentic book has rarely issued from the Ame- rulers on a subject of so much importance, do rican press. The details are ample, and afford opportunity was neglected to obtain all the inus a better insight into the present condition, re- formation in our power in regard to the hydrausources, manners, and customs, of the Turks, than lic establishments in this neighbourhood. The any book extant. The author is a scholar, and in result, however mortifying, must not be concealthe course of the volume displays a variety of in- ed, and we therefore state, that on a subject information; he sets down his own impressions and timately connected, not only with the comfort, observations without reference to former travel- but with the health of the people, the commercial lers; and in fact the changes introduced by the emporium of the United States is some centuries present Sultan, are so numerous that the people behind the metropolis of Turkey. present now almost a new aspect. A newspa- “ Under the Greek emperors, Constantinople per is printed having ten thousand subscribers was supplied with water by the means of aque-- literature and schools tlourish, and should the ducts, and large reservoirs were established in same policy prevail, the Turkish Empire must different parts of the city. These latter, howersoon take a high rank among civilized nations. er, have now gone into disuse, as expensive and
The author touched at several of the Grecian inadequate for the purposes intended. Under islands, on the voyage, and bas given several in the present system, all the water-works about teresting chapters respecting ihem, which we Constantinople are under the management of an pass over, in order to introduce Constantinople, officer, termed the soo naziri, or inspector of wa. that wonderful city, as viewed by the eyes of one ters. It is his business to keep them in good reof our own citizens. We shall 'make such ex- pair, and he is responsible for any accidents tracts as speak most plainly of the place, its in- which may obstruct or diminish the supply. As habitants and customs. The particulars of the no time is to be lost to repair injuries, this officer fire at Pera, are curious. It broke out at ten is clothed with great power, and be compels o'clock in the morning, and lasted till six in the every one to assist in restoring the line of comafternoon, in which time it destroyed 10,000 munication. This resembles the corvee of old houses, and property estimated at more than France in some measure, but is much more opeight millions of dollars.
pressive; for the soo naziri fines most rigorously In a conflagration where 10 000 houses were all who dwell in the vicinity of any breach of destroyed, and 80,000 persons turned into the injury unless they give immediate information streets, there must necessarily have been much of the disaster. So important are these watersuffering, but we did not learn that more than courses considered, that the sultans have always four or five lives were lost. The Turk suffers been in the habit of making annually a formal but little by a fire. His wardrobe is carried on visit of inspection, which is accompanied with his back, and a large chest contains all his much ceremony, and ordering such improvemoveables, consisting of a few amber-headed ments and alterations as are deemed necessary. pipes, an oke or two of tobacco, and perhaps the "It is impossible to travel any where in the same quantity of coffee. If he saves this his loss vicinity of Constantinople without being struck is nothing, except the rent of the house, which with the great pains taken by the Turks to treais always paid in advance. The fire luckily oc- sure up every rill, or the minutest trickle from curred in the day-time, and during a warm and the face of the rocks. These are carefully colpleasant season of the year. The sultan imme- lected in marble or brick reservoirs, and the diately caused one hundred thousand piastres to surplus is conveyed by pipes to the main stream. be distributed, and issued a firman in which he in passing through sequestered dells, the travelenjoined upon his subjects to receive into their ler frequently comes suddenly upon one of these houses, and to treat with kindness, all the suffer- sculptured marble fountains, which adds just ers by the fire, whether Greek, Frank, Arme- enough of ornament to embellish the rural scene. pian, or Jew. He likewise assigned for their They are frequently decorated with inscriptions immediate accommodation the large barrack in setting forth the greatness and goodness of Prothe neighbourhood of Pera, which is capable of vidence, and inviting the weary traveller to holding 7000 men; ordered provisions to be dis- make due acknowledgments for the same. Un. tributed, and furnished tents to such as were like our civilized ostentation, the name of the still without shelter. We saw hundreds of these benevolent constructor never appears on these tents erected over the ashes of their former sculptured stones. The quaint Turkish adage, dwellings, and the inhabitants rakıng among the which serves as a rule of conduct, is well esemashes and composedly straightening the nails plified in this as in many other instances : * Do which are to serve in the construction of a new good and throw it into the sea; if the fishes don't dwelling.'
know it, God will.' The use made by the Turks of water, in their Among the hills at various distances, from religion, baths, &c. requires an immense supply, fifteen to twenty miles from the city, are conand our author has graphically described their structed large artificial reservoirs. These are 11.ethod of introduction, which affords him a fair / termed bendts, and are built in the following
! ! !
manner: Advantage is taken of a natural situa- | no further attention is bestowed upon his body
The funeral of a Greek, affords the following of sorrow are abstained from, as not only uninstance of the writer's happy manner :- manly, but impious. The corpse is buried with
“I was witnessing, this morning, the operation in a few hours after death; the imaum, or parish
rays over the gently-roughened waves of the
Bosphorus, when the regular plunge of many Aspice demissos lugentis more capillos, oars announced the approach of a barge belongEt tunicas lacrymis sicut ab imbre graves. ing to some personage of disticction. We were
not left long in doubt as to the personage in As the procession moved slowly onward, the question ; for immediately, a band of music poor mourner would frequently bend over the struck up a spirit-stirring air, and from our litcorpse, kiss its pallid features, address it in the tle coterie the exclamation arose in various tenderest manner, and then break out into a tongues, The sultan is coming.. The first boat, wild shriek which completely drowned the dis- rowed by ten oars, contained, in fact, the sulmal funeral dirge. With mingled sensations of tan, accompanied by one or two of the officers of pity and disgust I turned away from the scene; his court; and the second, which was larger, when a friend, who happened to be present, dry- bore a full band of musicians, and was brilliantly inquired whether this was the first Greek fu- ly lit up, in order to enable them to see their neral' I had ever seen, and then furnished me notes. I may take this occasion to remark that with the following explanation. The death of a all the military bands are now upon a footing Greek is, in some respects, celebrated like an with those of Europe. There is a very extenIrish wake; as it is always the signal for a regu- sive school, under the direction of an Italian lar frolic, and the ow! De! of the mourners is musician, where young lads are carefully inthe undoubted prototype of the Irish ululu! The structed, and from a natural aptitude become poor bereaved widow, as l had considered her, excellent performers. Sultan Mahmoud's Grand whose passionate grief bad made such an im- March is known throughout the empire, and as pression upon my feelings, was, in all probabili, it is in fact a composition of much merit, will in ty, an utter stranger to the deceased, and had a few years doubtless become as national an air been engaged for the occasion at the rate of five as the Parisienne, or God save the King. piastres a day, with bread and rakee at discre- “ As the gay cortege approached, the imperial tion. I had frequent opportunities of verifying caik suddenly diverged from its course, and the accuracy of this information, and the prac- steered directly for the court in which our par, lice seems to be of the highest antiquity. This ty were assembled. For a moment we imagined custom also prevailed extensively in Rome; and that we were to be honoured by a royal visita was carried to such lengths by the real mourn- circumstance of no unusual occurrence, and ers, that women were forbidden by the laws of great was the consequent bustle and Autter the Twelve Tables to scratch their cheeks or among the ladies of our party at the idea of such tear their flesh with their nails. When a Greek an unexpected honour. The imperial barge dies, his body is sewed up in a coarse cotton approached so near that we could readily dissheet, over which are placed his finest clothes. cern the person of the sultan, balf-reclined upon When it reaches the place of interment, the a sumptuous cushion; although the indistinctness clothes are stripped off, and the body is launch of the moonlight prevented us from examining ed into the grave without any further ceremony. his features. As he approached, a slight moveIf wealthy, a marble slab with the customary ment of the helm sent the caik almost grazing words, 'Here lies the servant of God, &c., is the marble steps of our court, and his majesty placed over his grave, and masses are said for surveyed us, or, perhaps I should rather say, the the repose of his soul. "If the deceased be poor, | ladies of our party, with apparently as much
earnestness as we endeavoured to trace the fea- 1 present day, had they not undertaken to meddle tures of the absolute monarch of so many mil- with the acts of the government. These eastern lions of human beings. The procession passed dervishes are supposed to have been the last on, sweeping along the crowded quay of Buyuk- of the idolatrous priests of Baal, alluded to in the dery ; and the last seen of it was near Therapia, scriptures, and the ministers of that heathen where for two or three weeks past the sultan idolatry which Mohammed declared himself sent has taken up his residence. In these excursions to destroy. They were finally extinguished by it is always understood that he is incognito, as it the janisaries, who in turn are no more. would be considered a great breach of decorum If the howling dervishes are extinct, the dan. to recognise him by look or gesture.
cing ones appear to retain their full vigour:Like all his subjects, the sultan is extremely Carefully taking off our boots and shoes at temperate in eating, and his establishment is far the door of the chapel, and carrying them in unfrom being on that expensive and magnificent der our arms, we entered just as the exercises scale which we are accustomed to attribute to had begun. Within a large area in the centre oriental courts. I have been assured by an offi- of the chapel, and railed off from the spectators, cer of his household, that the expenses of his ta- five dervises were spinning round like tops, ble rarely exceed ten piastres, or about fifty while an instrument like a flageolet, but bloko cents, a day; and from various anecdotes which through the nose, poured forth a monotonous and I have elsewhere heard, I should not be disposed lugubrious air. The heads of the dervises were to believe that his annual expenses exceed those covered with a high conical cap, a tight short of the President of the United States."
jacket enveloped the body, and a coarse loose The population of Constantinople has never gown completed their attire. been accurately ascertained, but is estimated by “ An aged dervise stood at the eastern side of this author too low; he thinks it cannot exceed the enclosure, and appeared to be at the same 250,000, of whom 160,000 are Turks, 30,0000 time the master of ceremonies, and the chief obGreeks, 30,000 Armenians, and 30,000 Jews. ject of the adoration of the others. While they Other authors rate it much higher. He says were performing their gyrations their eyes were that the tales of travellers who state that the closed, their bands steadfastly extended, and Franks and strangers are not allowed to reside their gowns opened out by their revolutions in in the city, is all a fiction, and is of opinion that the manner of making cheeses, as practised opium eating is now almost discarded, being un- by our little folks at home. Gradually the mu. fashionable and contrary to law. The plague sic assumed a louder tone, and a tambourine and affords the following sketch of manners and cus- kettledrum struck io with the wild and plaintire
strain. At the expiration of about five minutes " To-day, however, we have undoubted evi- the music and the spinning ceased, and then dence of the existence of plague. A house next commenced a series of bows, which would have to us is shut up, and the Franks who are obliged been deemed graceful even in a Parisian salon. to pass it, cross over cautiously to the other side of After performing several of these salaams, with the street. Two persons have already died, and divers ad libitum variations, and the perspirathree others are said to be at the point of death. tion oozing from every pore, they again began An Armenian physician, who is known here un- spinning upon the carefully waxed Hoor, while der the name of the plague doctor, and is in the several male voices now joined in the plaintive service of government, has made an official vi-chorus. At two o'clock the music, the spinning sit, and his declaration that it is plague in its the singing, and the bowing ceased; the waltzworst form, leaves no room for skepticism. From ers dropped on their knees with their faces on my window, this day, I noticed a man in the the ground, while their attendants threw over street struggling between two others who were them thick cloaks to prevent their cooling too endeavoring to drag him along. In this they suddenly. We left the chapel with mingled were assisted by a Turkish officer of police, who feelings of contempt at witnessing such monquickened his pace by the occasional applica- strous absurdities, practised under the name of tion of a horsewhip over his head and shoulders. religion; and pity for the audience, who seemed It was one of the persons who had been employed disposed to consider them in the light of divine in burying the plague corpses; and in conse- inspirations." quence of his services on that occasion, they That a great change in the habits of the peowere thus unceremoniously thrusting him out of ple has taken place, is inferred from the passage the village. This reminds me of a similar cir- at page 250, where the author asserts, from his cumstance which occurred at Kadikeui, when own experience, that a person may now travel the plague broke out there a few wecks ago. in any part of Turkey without peril of life or
The persons attacked were forcibly removed out limb, except as endangered by the ordinary of the village into the adjoining fields, the house casualties of a journey. was carefully fumigated and drenched with wa- “ This excellent order and public tranquillity ter, and all the contagious and infectible arti- is to be attributed to the energetie measures of cles of furniture or dress were destroyed by fire. the present sultan, and, for the purpose of curbWhen this operation had been performed, the ing still further the natural insolence of an ignopersons employed in it were driven pell-mell rant soldiery, they are not permitted to wear into the sea, and there compelled to remain until arms, except when on duty. Indeed, the rule it was supposed
that they were sufficiently puri- has become a general one for all classes, and if fied.
by chance you meet with one armed, he is either The howling dervishes it appears are extinct. a traveller just arrived from the interior, or one of They might have been permitted to howl to the the scarlet showmen attached to each European
SKETCHES OF TURKEY.
557 embassy. These kavasses, as they are termed, | asks her company to take a ride out to Belgrade, are, as far as costume is concerned, the last re- or to an excursion on the Bosphorus. Instead mains of the Janizaries, but are, in fact, livery of being bored to death like Mrs. White, who servants of the ambassadors. They certainly hopes half her dear friends will stay away, and, make a most formidable appearance, and, as between the grumbling of husband and remissthey approach, appear to be bristling with ness of servants, is in a feverish Autter for a swords, daggers, yataghans, pistols, and other week or fortnight, the Turkish lady manages the deadly weapons, which stick out of their belts in business in a different manner. The fair Fatithe most threatening manner. I had the curiosi- mah orders provisions to be put up for a day's ty one day to stop one of these Turkish noli-me- excursion, and leaving enough for her complaitangeres, and to examine his armory. In this sant husband, steps into her caik and calls upon I was good-naturedly assisted by the man him- her friend the Lady Zaylilah. From thence the self. li consisted of a hanjar, the handle of party proceed up the Golden Horn, or, breasting which was studded with cornelians, but the the Bosphorus, select some lovely valley borderblade was wanting; a tastefully decorated dag- ing upon that ocean stream. Here the friends ger could not be unsheathed ; a pair of silver- spend the day surrounded by their household, mounted pistols had no flints; and, in fact, the and continuing their customary avocatious, only really offensive or defensive weapon was while the young people are sporting under the an ivory-handled pair of tongues, used to place shade of the lofty, trees, and the party retur a coal of fire to his tobacco-pipe. Let us rejoice home in the evening in high spiríts, and with that these things are so, for there can be no surer their health improved by exercise in the open sign of the precarious nature of a government, air. It may be doubted whether our young woand the inefficacy of its laws, than where indivi- men are equally benefited by spending an evenduals are obliged to carry weapons for self-pro- ing in a heated and crowded room, and vitiated tection.
atmosphere; but we fear the comparison may “The soldiers of the garrison examined my be thought Gothic." fowling-piece with much minuteness, and when I snapped off several percussion caps, great was In no article do the Turks display more ostentheir astonishment, and copious the showers of tation and extravagance than in their pipes. Mashallahs! and Ollah Kayrims! When the This is carried so far, that a single amber head gun was put into their hands to repeat the expe- has been known to sell for $300. The amber is riment, it was remarked that, like the militia of supposed to possess the peculiar property of not a country which shall be nameless, they shut conveying infection as it passes from one mouth their eyes or turned away the head when they to another. Of the state of the mechanic arts, pulled the trigger. This, of course, will be cor- our author gives a poor account. The blackrected by dint of practice. In explaining to smith's work is extremely coarse and imperfect them that we were Americans, they appeared to the cabinet maker would deem it absurd to at. have very vague ideas of our country, but the tempt to make a perfect joint; the turner works mention of the New World cleared up the mys- with an ordinary hand bow, while his toes afford tery immediately; and it is not unlikely that him no inconsiderable assistance; and the shoebereafter the idea of an American and a percus- maker supplies by means of paste, gum, and sion cap will be intimately associated in the plaster, the deficiencies
of his thread. So badly minds of these simple-minded Asiatics." are the houses built, that a story is told of a
It appears from the following passage that we child being lost through the cracks of the floor, have long been in error respecting the state of and, on a visit to a Penote nobleman, an umbrelliberty enjoyed by the Turkish women :- la actually disappeared through a crevice, and
“Every person who has been in Turkey, and was not recovered, as the owner did not like to
hands to change, he returns the whole amount, several officers of government, from the sultan and leaves it to the purchaser to deduct the price downwards, with the amount in money which of the article. When it is recollected that the each expects to receive. The presents themmoney of this empire is counterfeited to a great selves are merely intended to disguise the trans. extent, the honesty of this procedure is appa- action; but they have each a marked value, and rent; he not only confides in your good faith, find their way immediately into the jeweller's but exhibits his own in no small degree. hands, to serve for another occasion. This
TURKISH MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS.—“The identical snuff-box, for example, has no doubt general character of the Turkish monumental passed through the hands of the sultan, the broinscriptions, as they have been translated to kers, and the foreign ministers, upon a dozen me, is extremely simple. They consist of the different occasions. name of the deceased, his occupation, or “We have mentioned that when a minister is the offices which he filled, and conclude by re- presented, a treaty ratified, or any other public commending his soul to the only living and true act performed, an exchange takes place of preGod. Panegyric, or even a simple notice of the sents of equal value. The Turkish government qualities of the deceased, is never dreamed of by bad, however, been informed of the seizure and these queer people, who would perhaps consider sale of the horses which had been presented to a it as a mortal sin to tell a falsehood in conversa- former American agent, Mr. Rhind, and of tion, much less to perpetuate one on marble.". course will make no return to our minister.
SLAVES.—“The chief supply of male and fe- This system of making presents appears to us male white slaves has hitherto been from Geor- highly absurd, but it is one of those oriental cus. gia and Circassia, where they were sold by their toms which will propably never be eradicated." parents or relatives. The condition of these no- The account of a wedding is too graphic to be minal slaves is in point of fact rather enviable omitted here. The author formed an acquainthan otherwise, for the females become the
with the father of the groom, and his bouse spected heads of families, and the males are being open to all comers on the occasion, the carefully educated and trained to occupy the Americans with others entered the premises. most important stations in the empire. It is a “We were shown into the upper part of the curious fact, to which we have already advert- house, but the attendants would not allow us to ed, that it is from this class that we see selected take off our shoes, as we wished to do, in order to fill some of the most elevated stations in the to comply with their customs. We were then realm, persons who in other countries would be, introduced into the chief apartment where the from the circumstance of their origin, necessa- old man was in readiness to receive company, rily excluded from any office whatsoever. From and who presented us to the bridegroom, a young whatever cause this singular practice may have inan about eighteen years of age. originated, there can be little doubt that its di- dressed of course in bis best, and a turban of rect tendency has been to free the country from spotless white shaded features wbich were re the shackles of an hereditary aristocracy, inde- markably regular and agreeable. The bride pendent of the equalizing effect of its religious herself could hardly have displayed more difi. code. Whether it may not be more than coun- dence than this young man; and we may in geterbalanced by the absolute authority vested in neral observe, that young Turks are more quiet the sultan, which is unrestrained by a proud and and orderly in their deportment, and more re formidable nobility, is a question which, with our spectful to their parents, and to their elders in ideas of government, we must frankly answer in years, than the youth of any country we have the affirmative.
ever seen. The room was filled with articles of “By the late treaty with Turkey this traffic dress, piled up on shelves, and their quantity and was formally abolished,
on the plea of humanity; variety gave it the appearance of a well-stocked but its inevitable effect has been to annoy the shop in the bazar. These were from the young
Turks.exceedingly. It does not appear, howev- lady and her friends, all of whom contribute er, to be acted upon, or rather, we should say, something towards housekeeping upon such octhe business has changed hands. In August casions. These articles all belong to the wife in last a Russian vessel arrived here with seventy case of the death of her husband, or of being dislaves from Georgia. They were all immediate- vorced from him. The Franks here in their ly purchased up at prices varying from three to marriage contracts, which are always drawn up eight hundred dollars a piece."
in writing with great formality, have a practice PRESENTS.-" It is an ancient oriental custom somewhat similar, but which is carried to an exto accompany the transaction of all important tent the most ridiculous and absurd imaginable. business by an interchange of presents. We In the outer hall our attention was called to a were favoured yesterday with a sight of the pre- formidable collection of pols, kettle, stewpans, sents which are intended to be presented by our and all the numerous et ceteras of a complete minister to this government as soon as the trea- kitchen. After partaking of sweetmeats, pipes, ty shall be ratified: they consisted of snuff-box- and coffee, we were permitted to depart, but es, fans, spy-glasses, watches, coffee-cup stands, Mustafa requested us to witness the religious and other knicknacks, all glittering with dia- ceremony, which would take place in the vilmonds and precious stones. One snuff-box lage mosque that evening, alone, which was intended for the sultan himself, * We found at the door five arabahs, drawn by cost $10,000; and the total value of all the pre-oxen, which were decorated with ribands, flow sents' amounted to nearly $40,000. Previous to ers, &c., and the arababs were filled with the le the distribution of presents there is a list handed male relatives of the young map, about to go in in to the minister containing the names of the search of the bride, who resided in a village just