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192

DESTRUCTION OF THE JANISSARIES.

Mahmoud gave them such displeasure that endless seditions were fostered by them. At length an open rebellion burst forth; they overturned their soup-kettles, and threatened to fire the city. (The Janissaries when marching carried before each regiment a large soup-kettle instead of a standard:) And assembled at their barracks, situated at one end of the Atmeidan.

The brave Sultan summoned the few troops on whom he could depend, and headed them himself. The battle began. The Janissaries retreated into their barracks, and there the fight turned into a massacre ; for the Sultan's troops set fire to the buildings and all were consumed. About 5000 Janissaries perished on that day, and the troop was extinct. The Sultan's vengeance was not sated till the turban on the tomb of every deceased Janissary was knocked off, and many of their decapitated monuments are to be seen in the great cemeteries.

THE DANCING DERVISHES.

193

Near the Atmerda stands the Mosque of Sultan Achmet. Its chief beauty consists in the colossal proportions of the four columns which support the whole weight of the building. Turkish relics, highly valued by the nation, are kept here, but not exposed to view. Like most mosques, it was without furniture or decorations.

On the last Friday we spent in the East we intended to have seen the dancing dervishes, and went to Galata for that purpose; but, to our great disappointment, the Armenian gentleman who had promised to escort us, informed us on our arrival that a fire the previous night had burnt the Tehle or dervishes' house to the ground. They would not therefore dance until the following Friday; and before that day arrived we had left the East.

As we could not visit the dervishes, we proceeded to the French hospital at Pera. Our kind Armenian friend had procured for

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194

THE FRENCH HOSPITAL AT PERA.

us the only two carriages with springs to be hired in Pera. We drove to the hospital, which is distant about two miles from Pera. This building is a very fine one, admirably adapted for an hospital. We proceeded to the apartments occupied by the Sæurs de la Charité, twelve of whom are attached to this hospital. By them we were conducted through the wards—they were nearly empty.

Those who were wounded in the assault of Sebastopol had recovered, and from fifteen hundred the numbers had been reduced

to five hundred.

We had long been anxious to visit this hospital, having heard much of it from our very first arrival in the East. During the time of distress in our own hospitals it had been spoken of in high terms as possessing all we then so much needed. This was probably the

many months had passed, and now certainly we had outstripped our allies in the appearance of our hospital. How

case, but

THE CASTLE OF THE SEVEN TOWERS.

195

ever, it must be considered that during the summer, while our hospitals were empty, theirs had been crowded. The wards for both officers and men were inferior in cleanliness and general appearance of comfort to those at Koulali and Scutari, but of the management and routine of the French hospital we had, of course, no means of judging.

From Pera we drove to the castle of the Seven Towers, or the old state prison where captives were immured under charge of the Janissaries. Even foreign ambassadors were among these prisoners when war was declared against the countries they represented; for the Turks in those days did not think it worth while to keep faith with Christians. Times are changed indeed when the empire would be lost were not Christian blood shed to defend it. An older and sadder history even than theirs still clings to these now ruined walls. Beneath them was fought the last battle between the Ottomans and Greeks; there the Cross

196

A HOSPITAL OF HUTS.

fell before the Crescent, and from that victorious battle-field Mahomet II. rode into

the city.

The ruins of the Seven Towers had till lately long been deserted and silent, but busy sounds were once more heard among them. One of the numerous French hospitals was erected among the ruins, which are fast falling into utter decay. This hospital consisted entirely of huts, which were neatly built and had every appearance of comfort. The wards were beautifully clean, far more so than the stone ones at Pera. We saw one hut raised on a mound of earth. On entering we found it was the extra diet kitchen, furnished with a charcoal stove and boilers; the flooring being the uncovered ground. Several soldiers were very busy cooking, and a Sister of Charity superintending. In the centre of this hut was an immense space, boarded round and covered with planks. On inquiry we found it was

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