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We had not been long in this situation, before the janissaries, with their large felt caps and white staves, ranged thenselves on each side of the street leading to the mosque ; formfig an extensive line of sallow-looking objects, as novel to an Englishman's eye as any in the Turkish empire.
About a quarter of an hour before the procession began, the imâm, or high priest, passed, with his attendants, to the mosque, to receive the sultan. They were in four covered wagons, followed by twenty priests on horseback. The procession then began, and continued, according to the order given below.* Afterward it returned in the same manner, although not with the same degree of regularity.
* Procession of the GRAND SIGxfor, at the opening of the Bairan. 1. A Bostangliy, (the Bostanghies were originally gardeners of the seraglio, but are DO# the sultan's body guard. Their number amounts to several thousands) on foot, bearing a wand.-2, Four BALTAGHIES, or Cooks of the Seraglio.-3. Fifteen Zaim, or Messengers of State. --4. Thirteen of the CHJAOUX, or Constables, with em broidered turhans.-5. A party of Servants of the Seraglio -6. Thirty CAPIGHI BASHIES, or Porters of the Seraglio, in high white caps, and robes of Powered satins, flanked by Baltaghies, or Cooks, on each side, who were on horseback, with wands. 7. Baltaghies, on foot, with caps of a conical form, and white wands.-8. Fourteen ditto, more richly dressed, and mounted on superb horses -9. Other Baltaghies, on foot.-10. Ten of the High Constables, on horseback.-11. Forty servants, on foot. - 12. The TEFTIRDAGH, or Financier of the Realm, on horseback, most magnificently caparisoned.-13. Forty Servants, on foot. -14. The REIS EFFENDY, or Prime Minister, in a rich green pelissé, on a magnificent charger, witb most sumptuous housings, &c.-15. Twenty Servants.–16. The great body of the Chiaux, or Constables, with magnificent dresses, and plumes ou their heads.-17. The COLONEL of the JANNISSARIES, with a helmet covered by enormous plumes.-18. A party of Fifty Constables of the Army, in full uniform, with embroidered turbans.-19. Ten beautifu! Arabian led Horses, covered with the most costly trappings.-20. The CAPU DAN PACHA, on one of the finest horses covered with jewelled housings, in a richa green pelisse, lined with dark fur, and a white turban.-21. Bostang hies, on foot, with white wands.-22. Ten Porters belonging to the Grand Vizier.-23. The KAIMAKAN, on horseback, as Representative of the Grand Vizier, jo a rich crimson pelisse, lined with dark fur, and accompanied by the appendages of office.-24. Twenty serYants, on foot, bearing different articles.--25. Twenty of the Grooms of State, on horseback, followed by slaves --26. The Master of the Horse, in embroidered satia robes.-27. Sersants on foot.-28. The Deputy Master of the Horse, in robes of em: broidered satin --29. Servants on foot..-30. Inferior Chamberlains of the Seraglio, on horseback.-31. Bostanghies, with white wands, on foot. -32. The Sumpter. Horses of the Sultan, laden with the ancient Armour talon from the Church of St. Irenie in the Seraglio : among which were ancient Grecian bucklers and shields, magnificently embossed, and studded with gens.--33. Forty Bostaag hies, bearing two turbans of State, flanked on each side by Porters.-34. An Officer with a bottle of water.-35. Fifteen Bostanghies, in burnished helmets, bearing two stools of State, flanked on each side by Porters.-36. The GRAND CHAMBERLAIN, most sumptuously mounted. 37. Bostanghies, in burnished helmets covered by very high plumes. –38. Lofty waving Plumes, supported by Chamberlains on foot.–39. The GRAND SIGNIOR, on a beautiful managed Arabian Horse, covered with jewels and embroidery, in a scarlet pelisse lined with dark fur, and a white turban ; flanked on each side by tall Plumes , supported by Chamberlains.--40. Lofty.waving Plumes, supported by Chamberiains on foot.---41. Slaves of the Seraglio, in black satin, having poignards in their girdles, whose handles were studded with pearls.-42. Bostanghies, on foot.--43 The SELIKTAR AGHA, or Sword hearer of State, carrying a magnificent sabre.--44 Party of Attendants on foot. -45. The AGNATOR AGHA, or High Chamberlain, on borselack, scattering paras, the small coin of the empire, among the people.--46 Party of At. tendants, on foot.47. The KISLAR Agua, or Chief of the Black Eunuchs, on horseback, making tiis salaams to the people, and favked on each side by a party of Bostaan The architectural merits of St. Sophia and St. Peter's have ghies.---18. Other Officers of the Seraglio, on horseback. ---49. The SECRETARY of STATE, on horseback, bearing the Grand Signior's embroidered leathern porte-feuille. --50. A Party of Attendants.---5). The CHANNATOR AGHA, or second of the Black Eunuchs, on horseback.–52. Party of Attendants.--53. The Inferior Black Eunuchs of the Seraglio.--54. Attendants.--55. The TREASURER of STATE.-56. Black Eu. muchs.-57. The CAIVEGHY Bashy, or Coffee-bearer of the Grand Signior.-58. Two Turbans of State, on Suapter-horses.-59. Party of Black Eunuchs, in very magnificent dresses.—60. Officers of the Seraglio; followed by a numerous suite of At. tendants, some of whom were leading painted mules, carrying carpets and various
When the ceremony concluded, the grand signior, accom-. panied by the principal officers of state, went to exhibit himself in a kiosk, or tent, near the seraglio point, sitting on a sofa of silver. We were enabled to view this singular instance of parade, from a boat stationed near the place; and, after the sultan retired, were permitted to examine the spleodid pageant þrought out for the occasion. It was a very large wooden couch, covered with thick plates of massive silver, highly burvished. I have little doubt, from the form of it, as well as from the style in which it was ornamented, that this also constituted a part of the treasury of the Greek emperors; when Copstantinople was taken from the Turks.
Among the misrepresentations made to strangers who visit Constantinople, they are told that it is necessary to be attended by a janissary in the streets of the city. In the first place, this is not true: in the second, it is the most imprudent plan a traveller can adopt. It makes a public display of want of confidence in the people; and, moreover, gives rise to continual dispute, when any thing is to be purchased of the Turks; beside augmenting the price of any article required, exactly in the proportion of the sum privately exacted by the janissary, as his share of the profit. Another misrepresenta. tion is, that a firmån from the grand signior is requisite to gaio admission to the mosque of St. Sophia ; whereas, by giving eight piastres to the person whose business it is to show the building, it may be seen at any time.*
* At the same time as a firman is necessary, in order to see the other mosques of the city, it may be proper to add, that having obtained one for the purpose of gaining admission to St Sophia, it is also a passport to all the others.
T be mords of the firman for seeing the mosques, when literally translated, are as follows: “ To the Keepers and Priests of the Great St. Sophia, and other
Holy Mosques of the Sultans. “It being customary to grant to the subjects of powerful Allies, permission to visit the Holy Mosque : and at this time, having taken into our consideration an application made by certa in English Gentlemen travelling in these Counlries, to enter the Mosques of this City, we hereby consent to their request ; granting to them onr permission lo view the holy temple of St. Sophia, and other Mosques of the Sullans; also ordaining, upon their comeng, accompanied by the respective guards appointed for that purpose, that you do conduct them every where, and allone them free observation of all things, according to established Isage."
beeu often relatively discussed; yet they reasonably epter ip10 do comparison. No accounts have been more exaggerated than those which refer to the former, whose gloomy appear. ance is well suited to the ideas we entertain of its present ab. ject and depraved state. In the time of Procopius, its dome might have seemed suspended by a chain from heaven; but at present, it exhibits much more of a subterranean than of an aërial character ; neither does it seem consistent with the perfection of an edifice intended to elevate the mind, that the entrance should be by a descent as into a cellar.
The approach to the Pantheon at Rome, as well as to the spacious aisle and dome of St. Peter's, is by ascending; but, in order to get beneath the dome of St. Sophia, the spectator is conducted down a long flight of stairs. I visited it several times, and always with the same impression. There is, noreover, a little. tless and copfused Gothic barbarism in the disposition of the parts which connect the dome with the foundation; and iu its present state it is bolstered on the outside with heavy buttresses like those of a bridge. Mogaic work remains very entire in many parts of the interior. The dome seems to have becu adorned with an uniform coating of gilded tesseræ, which the Turks are constantly removing for sale; attaching superstitious virtues to those loose fragments of Mosaic, from the eagerness with which strangers strive to procure them. In the great arch, opposite to the principal entrance, the Mosaic is. coloured, and represents the figures of saints, of the virgin, and groupes of enormous wings without bodies. I copied a few letters of an inscription in that part of the building, which were beyond all doubt coeval with the edifice itsell; and therefore, although they offer a very imperfect legend, it is proper they should be preserved; noibing of the kind having bitherto been noticed in St. Sophia.
The engravings published by Banduri, from drawings by Grelot, added to his own description, afford so accurate a representation of this building, that any further account of it would be superfluous. Many absurd stories have been circulated concerning the contents of the small chapels once used as oratories, the doors of which are seen in the walls of the galleries. Great interest was making, while we remained in Constantinople, to have these chamber's examined. A little gold soon opened all the locks'; and we scrutinized not only the interior of these apartments, but also every other part of the building. They were all empty, and only remarkable for the Mosaic work which corered the ceilings. Some of the doors were merely openiogs to passages, which conducted to the leads and upper parts of the building ; these were also either empty, or filled with mortar, dust, and rubbish. Still more absurd is the pretended pliosphoric light, said to issue from a mass of lapis lazuli in one of the gallery walls. This marvellous phænomenon was poiuted out by oar guide, who consented, for a small bribe, to have the whole trick exposed. It is nothing more than a common slab of marble, which, being thin, and almost vorn through, transmits a feeble light, from the exterior, to a spectator in the gallery. By going to the outside, and placing my hat orer the place, the light immediately disappeared.
The other mosques of Constantinople have been built after the plan of St. Sophia ; and particularly that of Sultau Solyman, which is a superb edifice, and may be said to offer a miniature representation of the model whence it was derived. It contains twenty-four columus of granite and of Cipolino marble, together with some very large circular slabs of porphyry. Four granite columns withiu the building are vear five feet in diameter, and from thirty-five to forty in height. There are also two superb pillars of porphyry at the entrance of the court. The mosque of Sultan Bajazet is rich in apcient columns of granite, porphyry, verde antico, aud marble : Two of them, within the mosque, are thirty feet high, and five feet in diameter. In the mosque called Osmania are pil. lars of Egyptian granite, twenty-two feet high, and three feet in diameter; and near it is the celebrated sarcophagus of red porphyry, called the tomb of Constantine, nine feet long, seven feet wide, and five feet thick, of one entire mass. This mosque is also famous for its painted glass, and is paved with marble. Iu the mosque of Sultan Achmed are columns of verde antico, Egyptian granite, and white marble. Several antique vases of glass and earthenware are also there suspended, exactly as they were in the temples of the ancients with the votive offerings.
In a mosque at Toplana was exhibited the dance of the dervishes; and in another, at Scutary, the exhibition of the howliog priests; ceremonies so extraordinary, that it is necessary to see them, in order to believe that they are really practised by human beings, as acts of devotion. We saw ihem both; and first were conducted to behold the dance at Tophana.
As we entered the mosque, we observed twelve or fourteen dervishes walking slowly round, before a superior, in a small space surrounded with rails, beneath the dome of the building. Several spectators were stationed on the outside of the railing ; and being, as usual, ordered to take off our shoes, we joined the party. In a gallery over the entrance were stationed two or three performers on the tambourine and Turkish pipes. Presently the dervishes, crossing their arms over their breasts, and with each of their hands grasping their shoulders, began obeisance to the superior, who stood with his back against the wall, facing the door of the mosque. Then each, in succession, as he passed the superior, having fioished his bow, began to turn round, first slowly, but afterward with such velocity, that his long garments flying out in the rotatory motion, the whole party appeared spinning like so many umbrellas
upon their handles. As they began, their hands were disengaged from their shoulders, and raised gradually above their heads. At length, as the velocity of the whirl increased, they were all seen with their arms extended horizontally, and their eyes closed, turving with inconceivable rapidity. The music, accompanied by voices, served to animate them; while a steady old fellow, in a green pelisse, continued to walk amoog them, with a fixed countenance, and expressing as much care and watchfulness as if his life would expire with the slightest failure in the cereniony,
I noticed a method they all observed io the eshibition; it was that of turning one of their feet with the toes as much inward as possible, at every whirl of the body, while the other foot kept its natural position. The elder of these dervishes appeared to me to perform the task withi so little labour or exertion, that, al. though their bodies were in violent agitation, their countenances resembled those of persons in an easy sleep. The younger part of the dancers moved with no less velocity than The others; but it seemed in them a less mechanical operation. This extraordinary exercise continued for the space of fifteen minutes;' a length of time, it might be supposed, sufficient to exhaust life itself during such an exertion ; and our eyes began to ache with the sight of so many objects all turning one way. Suddenly, on a signal given by the directors of the dance, unobserved by the spectators, the dervishes all stop