Изображения страниц



you are willing to buy the article at any price to escape from the noise.

Both Greeks and Turks always talk as loud as we should shout, and jabber and gesticulate so as to make you think they are on the point of proceeding to blows; but they are quite calm in reality all the time. When we grew wiser, and came to Stamboul with our own interpreters, it was a delight to walk through the bazaars. True, they are dark and dirty, narrow, and paved as badly as the streets of Pera, but one could fancy oneself transported back to the days of one's childhood, and that the scenes described in the “ Arabian Nights,” to which we listened with rapt attention, were now realised.

Here were the embroidered slippers, pipes, divans, rich stuffs, bright colours, and all the wonders which one's fancy had painted. Here were the jewellers and the charmmakers, and here were Damascus scarves and





Broussa silks, and glittering table covers and bags, and tobacco pouches of every shade of colour and richly embroidered, and here at the corners of the streets were the tables of the money-changers. Here instead of counters were the divans whereon the Turk sat quietly and smoked his chibouque, and did you wish to make a bargain you sat down also on the divan, and gravely, by means of your interpreter, discussed the subject. You fix perhaps on a pair of Turkish slippers which the interpreter advises you to give thirty piastres (five shillings) for. You say

'katch grosh ?” (how much ?) the Turk informs you it is one hundred piastres; the interpreter says "Mashallah !” throws up his hands, and laughs scornfully. The Turk does the same. You rise to

You rise to go and proceed on your way, but are suddenly recalled and told you may have it for the thirty piastres.

It has a singular effect to look down the streets of the bazaars and see each long row



of divans entirely furnished with one particular article. One street of embroidered slippers, another fezs, another bags, another jewellery, another cashmeres, and so on. The extreme brilliance, richness of colour of the Turkish manufactures adds much to the effect. The cashmere bazaar is beautiful. The blue and geranium colours are unequalled in their peculiar richness of colour, while the soft texture of the materials exceeds all European manufactures, which is the reason why the dresses of a group of Turkish women fail to produce the gaudy effect which such a variety of colours would have in England. They always dress in one colour, but in a group one will be in blue, another in green, another in geranium, another in orange, another in yellow, another in lavender, and the colouring of each is so exquisite that they en masse look more like a bed of flowers than anything else.



At times the bazaars are much crowded, and many Turkish ladies may be seen, for shopping appears to be their great amuse, ment. Turkish carriages filled with ladies occasionally pass through the bazaars, obliging the foot passengers to climb on to the divan to escape being trodden down.

Here and there vendors of lemonade offer refreshing draughts to the weary traveller. Then, again, in small white saucers, is a dainty, somewhat resembling blanc-mange, which the Turks seem to consider very inviting; then tables and trays full of pistachio nuts, chesnuts, and almond cakes can be found; but if any other refreshment is needed the traveller must wend his Pera, for he will not get it in Stamboul.

Now we come to the chibouque bazaar, and find pipes of every variety; the cherrystick, either rough or polished, or richly painted, the amber mouth-pieces of all sizes -the imitation amber and the commoner

way to

[ocr errors]



kind of pipes. Then there are the shops, in which all sorts of nicknacks are to be bought; the beautiful amber-bead chaplets, the same of red Jerusalem-beads; also sandal-wood, with its sweet scent. Almost every

Turk one meets carries in his hand a chaplet, or string of beads in three divisions -thirty beads in each division, and divided off by larger beads—the whole finished with a long shoot of the same material as the beads. Then there are the pastiles, wrapped in gold leaf, one of which is sometimes put into the chibouque to add to the fragrance of the tobacco; the coffee cup-holders, in chased silver or carved wood; the tiny coffee cups themselves of china. The bracelet chains, and little bags made of pressed rose leaves, coloured black. These are the leaves of the roses after the attar has been pressed out of them. Then there is the celebrated attar itself, and scents of all kinds, of which our interpreter seemed to think the English were

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »