STAMBOUL, THE CITY OF MOSQUES

This sounded promising, and I made a decision to attend.

It appeared to me that his Majesty was a really very long time at his rest room; however eventually we had been rewarded. Abruptly from the glass porch he appeared in Euro-pean costume, with very dishevelled trousers a lot too lengthy within the leg and a voluminous black frock-coat. He stood for a second holding the frock-coat with each arms, as if wishing to wrap himself up in it.

 Then, nonetheless greedy it, he walked shortly down the steps, his legs seeming nearly to ripple beneath the load of his physique, and stepped closely into the brougham, which swung upon its springs. The horses moved, the carriage handed near me, and once more I gazed at this mighty sovereign, whereas the Jap pilgrims salaamed to the bottom. Mechanically he saluted. His giant face was nonetheless unnaturally clean, and but in some way it regarded type. And I felt that this previous man was weary and unhappy, that his lengthy years of imprisonment had robbed him of all vitality, of all energy to take pleasure in; that he was unable to understand the pageant of life by which now, by the irony of destiny, he was known as to play the central half. On their own he sat within the bright-colored brougham, carrying a flaccid hand to his fez and gazing blankly earlier than him. The carriage handed out of the courtyard, nevertheless it didn’t go up the hill to the palace.

“The sultan/’ stated a voice, “goes out into the nation to relaxation and to divert himself.”

To relaxation, maybe; however to divert himself!

After that day I usually noticed earlier than me a big white envelop, and probably the most expressive individuals on this planet had been salaaming earlier than it.

MOSQUE OF THE YENI-VALIDE-JAMISSI, CONSTANTINOPLE

STAMBOUL, THE CITY OF MOSQUES

STAMBOUL is splendidly numerous. Compressed between two seas, it incorporates sharp, even brutal contrasts: of magnificence and ugliness, grandeur and squalor, purity and filth, silence and uproar, probably the most delicate fascination and a fierceness that’s barbaric. It may give you peace or a sword. The sword is sharp and merciless; the peace is profound and beautiful.

Each day early I escaped from the uproar of Pera and sought in Stamboul a spot of forgetfulness. There are various such locations within the metropolis and on its outskirts: the mosques, the little courts and gardens of historic tombs; the unusual and forgotten Byzan-tine church buildings, misplaced within the maze of picket homes; the cemeteries huge and melancholy, the place the useless sleep within the midst of mud and confusion, guarded by large cypresses; the lonely and shadowed methods by the partitions and the towers; the poetic glades and the sun-kissed terraces of Seraglio Level.

 

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