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Up yonder hill rides a Mussulman (I see
him distinctly with my glass), mounted
upon a bright bay horse of great power and
beauty, but a little low in the shoulder and
short in the pastern. He is going at a rapid
pace; and a groom on footthe invariable
attendant of a Mussulman gentlemanis
trying hard to keep up with him. The rider
wears the manly beard and long moustache
of the Oriental, and is dressed in an European
costume, which sits upon him ungracefully;
but he still wears the red cap of the country;
giving him when he dismounts the similitude,
at this distance, of a black bottle with a red
seal.

A little farther on, climbing the same
hill, is a European lady in her carriage.
It is a gingerbread affair, and does not
look very safe, but she sits in it grandly,
and queens it over the bankers' wives when
she drives past them in the city. It is a
stately thing to have a carriage at Constantinople;
and excitable small boys with little
eyes and sallow complexions huzzah as it
goes by with bump and jingle enough to take
the conceit out of all Long Acre.

At the road side, close under where I sit,
are a party of veiled women: they royster
along with unsteady gait, rolling from side
to side and laughing. Their eyes flash and
sparkle like diamonds in black settings, above
their thin gossamer veils. They are talking
about charms and love philters: I know
they are; for all Turkish women believe in
magic.

Go in, must I? Well, needs must when the
doctor drives. But it does not much matter.
My windows are all open, and the gay
breeze comes flaunting through them, dallying
with the curtains; and then, like a false lover,
hastens away, far, far away; deep into the
country; over the blue hills and along the
sparkling sea; over gardens and minarets;
over bowers and summer-houses; fluttering
round the robes of dark eyed maidens, and
about the pipe bowls of fat Pashas. He
fills the sail, he speeds the bark, he freshens
the wave, and dances among the flowers;
coming back to me laden with their varied
perfumes.

Hark to the salutes, how they boom and
roar out from the fort, and then to the
unequal guns replying, as they come from
the larboard or starboard side of a vessel just
arrived! Something is going on in the city,
and am I to be still imprisonednow that I
feel strong enough to perform a day's journey?
I give you fair warning therefore, kind,
considerate host, that I break bounds from
this hour.

So, I am just in timethe guns are
thundering from the shore and the ships that
lie anchored on the Bosphorus. All hail to
the Sultan!—Grand Seignior, Soldan of the
East, Brother of the Sun and Moon, Light of
the Faith, Allah's Vicar upon Earth, High
Priest, and King! In short, just what you
will; providing it be all that we have dreamed
of power and splendour, ever since we read
in childhood the Arabian Nights, in the dim
old time which is past.

His Imperial Majesty shoots swiftly in his
gilded caique over the calm still waters;
so still that the measured clash of the
rowers' oars comes distinctly to my ears, and I
see the silvery flash they raise at every stroke.
What a scene! The sky, the water, and
shores so wondrous in their beauty, and the
snow-capped mountains high and far. And
here I lie in a four-oared caique, with what
is called a jolly partywhom I have joined in
spite of host, doctor, and endless threats of
consequencesmunching walnuts and smoking
cigars, half stifled with laughter in the
midst of it! Such is romance, such is reality,
and perhaps the Sultan is not nearly so well
off as we are in this matter.

The Sultan is going to the mosque, for it is
Friday, the Mohammedan day of rest. He
will be received with acclamation wherever
he passes, and his subjects, who love him, will
throng round him with cheers and blessings;
for he is the gentlest monarch who ever held
the sceptre of the East. He is a mild-looking
mandark of courseabout thirty. He is
dressed in the European costume; although
his tailor has not been happy in the manner of
making it. His straight blue frock coat is
sewn with diamonds at the sleeves and collar;
and on his head he wears the simple fez, or red
cap, which is now all that distinguishes the
Turk from the unbeliever. For so great a
prince he is not surrounded with much pomp
or state. Only one or two caiques are following
him; and, if he returns to his palace on
horsebackas perhaps he willhis cortege
will not exceed a dozen horsemen. All the
splendour of the East seems to have taken
refuge in pipe-sticks; for the purchase of
some of which, estates are mortgaged.

The kind-hearted Sultan must have an
uneasy throne of it just now; despite all the
wealth and beauty of the land over which he
rules. He is in the position of that
householder of uncomfortable memory, who had
too many cooks. One puts in more salt than
is necessary; another pours in pepper; and
a third stirs the mess up with such vengeance,
that, for my part, I wonder it does not all
boil over and scald their toesthose jealous,
wrong-headed, wilful, obstinate cooks! If they
were not always pulling each others' aprons
so spitefully; if they did not hate each other
quite so cordially; if they could only contrive
now and then to do something in concert,
what an agreeable kitchen theirs would be!
As it is, an Irish stew is order and loveliness
to the mess they make. For the fact is,
every separate cook, being bent upon acquiring
honour and glory for himself, works
away at his own mess, careless of what his
rival may be doing in the same saucepan,
and thinks nothing whatever of the palate

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