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CHAP. I.

Saloon of the
Charem.

silk rags,

called Chalved Yiertzy, or, as the French would express it, Salle de promenade. Here the other ladies of the Charem entertain themselves, by hearing and seeing comedies, farcical representations, dances, and music. We found it in the state of an old lumber-room. Large dusty pier-glasses, in heavy gilded frames, neglected and broken, stood, like the Vicar of Wakefield's family picture, leaning against the wall, the whole length of one side of the room. Old furniture; shabby bureaus of the worst English work, made of oak, walnut, or mahogany; inlaid broken cabinets; scattered fragments of chandeliers; scraps of

paper, and empty confectionary boxes; were the only objects in this part of the palace.

From this room, we descended into the court of the Charem; and, having crossed it, ascended, by a flight of steps, to an upper parterre, for the purpose of examining a part of the building appropriated to the inferior ladies of the Seraglio. Finding it exactly upon the plan of the rest, only worse furnished, and in a more wretched state, we returned, to quit the Charem entirely, and effect our retreat to the garden. The Reader may imagine our consternation, on finding that the great door was closed upon us, and that we were locked in. Listening, to ascertain if any one was stirring, we discovered that a slave had entered to feed some turkeys, who were gobbling and making a great noise at a small distance. We profited by their tumult, to force back the huge lock of the gate with a large stone, which fortunately yielded to our blows, and we made our escape. We now quitted the Lower Garden of the Seraglio, and

ascended,

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VOL. II.

E

CHAP. 1.

Garden of
Hyacinths.

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ascended, by a paved road, towards the Chamber of the
Garden of Hyacinths. This promised to be interesting,
as we were told the Sultan passed almost all his private
hours in that apartment; and the view of it might
make us acquainted with occupations and amusements,
which characterize the man, divested of the outward
parade of the Sultan. We presently turned from the
paved ascent, towards the right,

ne right, and entered a small
garden, laid out into very neat oblong borders, edged with
porcelain, or Dutch tiles.

Here no plant is suffered to grow, except the Hyacinth; whence the name of this garden, and the chamber it contains. We examined this apartment, by looking through a window. Nothing can be more magnificent. Three sides of it were surrounded by a divân, the cushions and pillows of which were of black embroidered satin. Opposite the windows of the chamber was a fire-place, after the ordinary European fashion, and on each side of this, a door covered with hangings of crimson cloth. Between each of these doors and the fire-place appeared a glass-case, containing the Sultan's private library; every volume being in manuscript, and upon shelves, one above the other, and the title of each book written on the edges of its leaves. From the ceiling of the room, which was of burnished gold, opposite each of the doors, and also opposite to the fire-place, hung three gilt cages, containing small figures of artificial birds : these sung by mechanism. In the centre of the room stood an enormous gilt brazier, supported, in an ewer, by four massive claws, like vessels seen under sideboards in England. Opposite

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CHAP. I.

to the entrance, on one side of the apartment, was a raised bench, crossing a door, on which were placed an embroidered napkin, a vase, and bason, for washing the beard and hands. Over this bench, upon the wall, was suspended the large embroidered porte-feuille, worked with silver thread on yellow leather, which is carried in procession when the Sultan goes to mosque, or elsewhere in public, to contain the petitions presented by his subjects. In a nook close to the door was also a pair of yellow boots; and on the bench, by the ewer, a pair of slippers of the same materials. These are placed at the entrance of every apartment frequented by the Sultan. The floor was covered with Gobelins tapestry ; and the ceiling, as before stated, magnificently gilded and burnished. Groupes of arms, such as pistols, sabres, and poignards, were disposed, with very singular taste and effect, on the different compartments of the walls; the handles and scabbards of which were covered with diamonds of very large size: these, as they glittered around, gave a most gorgeous effect to the splendor of this sumptuous chamber.

We had scarce ended our survey of this costly scene, when, to our great dismay, a Bostanghy made his

appearance within the apartment; but, fortunately for us, his head was turned from the window, and we immediately sunk below it, creeping upon our hands and knees, until we got clear of the Garden of Hyacinths. Thence, ascending to the upper walks, we passed an aviary of nightingales.

The walks in the upper garden are very small, in wretched Upper Walks condition, and laid out in worse taste than the fore court of raglio. a Dutchman's house in the suburbs of the Hague. Small

of the Se

as

CHAP. I.

as they are, they constituted, until lately, the whole of the Seraglio gardens near the sea; and from them may be seen the whole prospect of the entrance to the Canal, and the opposite coast of Scutary. Here, in an old kiosk, is seen a very ordinary marble slab, supported on iron cramps: this, nevertheless, was a present from Charles the Twelfth of Sweden. It is precisely the sort of sideboard seen in the lowest inns of England; and, while it may be said no person

would

pay

half the amount of its freight to send it back again, it shews the nature of the presents then made to the Porte by foreign Princes. From these formal parterres we descended to the Gardener's lodge, and left the gardens by the gate through which we entered

I never should have offered so copious a detail of the scenery of this remarkable place, if I did not believe that an account of the interior of the Seraglio would be satisfactory, from the secluded nature of the objects to which it bears reference, and the little probability there is of so favourable an opportunity being again granted, to any traveller, for its investigation.

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Procession of the Grand. Signior, at the Opening of the Bairam

Observations on the Church of St. Sophia Other Mosques of
Constantinople ---Dance of the Dervishes -- Howling Dervishes-
Cursory Observations -- Bazar of the Booksellers - Greek Manu-
scripts Exercises of the Athletæ Hippodrome - Obelisk -
Delphic Pillar.

CHAP. II.

Procession of the Grand

One of the great sights in Constantinople is the Procession
of the Grand Signior, when he goes from the Seraglio to
one of the principal mosques of the city. At the opening Signior, at the
of the Bairam, this ceremony is attended with more than Bairam.
ordinary magnificence. We were present upon that occa-
sion; and although a detail of the procession would occupy

opening of the

too

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