The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 24, 1906, Page 2, Image 2

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of Mncedon laid siege to it and in so doing fur-,
nished Demosthenes with a theme for some of
Ills' greatest speeches. There is a tradition that
Phillip would have succeeded in spite of the aid
by the Athenians hut for the barking of the dogs,
which apprised the inhabitants of a night assault.
As the dogs were set to barking, not by the
-enemy, but by the now moon which rose just in
limo to save the city, tho Byzantines adopted the
crescent as their emblom and it has continued
o be tho emblem of Turkey, having- been re
tained by the Turks after their victory,
Alexander the Great became master of tho
Bosphorus, and later Byzantium fell into the
hands of the Romans. After a checkered career t
of two centuries It was takon by Constantinp, '
who decided to mako t the capital of tho Roman
world, and his own name has been given to; it
although he intended to call it New Rome. No
onp can doubt the political wisdom of the first
Christian emperor in putting the seat of govern
ment at this place. ,If Europe, Asia and Africa
aqe over brought together under one government
6i under one confederation, Constantinople will
,,'be tho natural and necessary capital. The shores
of Afriea, southern Europe and Asia Minor are
washed by the Mediterranean and by its gulfs
and bays; the Black Sea is the outlet of southern
Russia and part of Asia Minor, and the new rail
road which is Jjeing built to connect Europe
with tho Euphrates and India crosses the Bos
phorus here. When this road is finished, it will
, be possible to go from London to India in about
.six days, and one of the Turkish governors ex
pressed the hope that it would be completed
within six or seven years.
Constantine built a. magnificent cathedral, one
of the greatest ever constructed, it being his pur
pose to surpass any house of worship that man
had reared. It is in the form of a Greek Cross
and was originally rich in mosaics, some of
which still remain. The dome is one of the
largest in the world. This cathedral, called St.
Sophia, fell Into the hands of the Mohammedans
hen Constantinople was taken and is now used
as a mosque. When hope of successful resist
ance was gone, the Christians of Constantinople
crowded into the cathedral some have estimated
.the number as high as a hundred thousand, but
that seems hardly possible praying that the
church might at least be spared, but the leader
t of .the Turks rode into the building on his charger,
and, striking one of the pillars with his sword,
exclaimed: "There is no God but Allah and Mo
hammed is his prophet " Then followed a
slaughter so cruel and bloody that the Christians
. n6yer recall the day without Indulging the hope
.that the building may some day return to the
.possession of those who cherish the faith of its
' , Constantinople is full of mosques, their min
arets rising above all other buildings, but none
of them possess for either Christian or Moslem
"the importance that attaches to St. Sophia.
The modern mosques lack the stateliness
ot Constantino's building and are not so rich in
their ornamentation as some of the mosques of
India. There is nun hnvtaA. iT-q s .
SSta "aSTir " -girded b
luiKs as Especially sacred because it is th
tn.,, ' ' '"c,-iw'ro ?mpted the capture
The Commoner
other is a reproduction rf a Persian summer
house which, a former sultan having admired it,
his chief eunuch had removed to Constantinople
without his master's knowledge.
The most important building on the Point,
however, is the treasury where the crown- jewels,
ornamented arms, royal gifts and the robes of
former sultans are kept. It would require more
space than that allotted to a dozen . articles to
describe even the more important pieces of this
collection One room contains two thrones
brought from Persia, one of which, must have
rivalled the famous peacock throne of Delhi. !lt
is of unusual size and literally covered with
rubies, emeralds and pearls, arranged in grace
ful . patterns. The seat is of crimson velvet em
broidered with gold and pearls. The other throne
while smaller is even more richly ornamented ;:it
is incrusted with larger jewels and has a canopyare not suftlqient for the task imposed upon them.
though quite like the bazaa of. Cairo and Da
mascus. The booths are more substantially
built and more- commodious, and the labyrinth of
streets and alleys which form theold bazaar are
all under roof. As these passages wander about
aimlessly, one can easily become 'lost 4n them.
While one can not rely upon the first prize' given,
the vendors have a reputation for honesty, and
a lady told us of having had her attention called
to a mistakp of five dollars in change and of
having the money returned, to her when she next
visited the bazaar.1 . ,
.. I mentioned the Oriental dog in speaking of
Damascus;, he , forces, himself upon public atten
tion in Constantinople also. The dogs of this
city act as scavengers .and are relied upon to
keep the streets neat a vain reliance, for while
they devour everything that they can digest, they
from the center of which is suspended an emerald
of enormous; sizek nr
Along the walls of tone room were exhibited
tho -costumes of . the various sultans from Me
hammed II to the present. Nowhere else 'have we
seen such evidences of Oriental splendor in dress.
The robes of state are 'flowered and figured and
heavy with r gold; the turbans are huge some
times fifteen inches in height and breadth and
adorned with aigrettes of great value. One of
these, ornaments contains three stones, a ruby
and two emeralds as large as pigeon's eggs and
without a flaw. With each robe is the sword or
dagger carried by the sultan and each has a
jeweled handle. While the robes differ in color
and designas star dlffereth from star in glory
and while the aigrettes and sword handles vai'y
in pattern, all are on the same scale and shb'w
lavish expenditure. -They are in striking con
trast with the last of the series, which is- simply
a red military uniform covered with gold braid.
These dogs are wolfish in appearance and gen
erally yellow in color. Lacking the fidelity which
the. dog is accustomed to show to his master,
these animals roam about the street and haunt
the places, where, food is most likely to be found.
The people of Constantinople assert that the dogs
maintain a police force of their own and, divid
ing the city into districts, enforce their own regu
lations. If a strange dog comes into the district,
he is at once driven out by the canine sentinel
on that beat.
The Golden Horn is spanned by two pontoon
bridges, (if the word spanned can be used in con
nection with such a bridge) and the one connect
ing the business portions of Stamboul and Galata
is a veritable mint, the. income from the tolls
amounting at times to two thousand dollars' per
day. It is owned by the government and bridge
companies have offered to replace it with a good
bridge for the income of two Of three years, but
it is so profitable that it is allowed to remain in
The treasury contains numerous portraits of ' its present dilapidated condition.
Of Constantinnnlft TOov. ..i .i,i. ...
, : -- i-n Htumu visits mat mosaue
not hY?011 h,S relsn' and Christians are
amS mSd tc.use th0 street fading to the
mosoue. The sulnn vi0f o oi.,& "
yea,-, but he is in suoh'tor of aasls' nation that
ho usually has a street cleared for his passace
crowd " t,y g0S by Water t elude the
m.S? teSt ?,elt,ement at Constantinople, or at
Byzantine as it was originally called in honor ot
tooiagno Point, an elevation which extendq into
tSe oZen3 Zrb6tW,f " tUe Sea M "nd
me Golden Horn, it commands the best view of
a?y ft, in the city. The historian! Bancroft
visited this spot and was so impressed by the
magniflcence of the panorama spread out before
him that he stood gazing at it for an hour. ThS
E?w!S.Blte SQleCted f0r the royal Palace, d
Si 1 gS' emDerors and sultans lived here until
recent years, but it is so exposed to the attack
of any hostile fleet that the sultan's palacl has as
a matter of precaution been removed to the hills
hack of Galata, and Seraglio Point Is now a sort
of curiosity shop, it is visited with l Jffloultv
Sft11 application of the diplomatic repre-
?raS YBv th5 nat n to wh,oh the visitor be
?nf i y h.! collrtesy of our legation wo ob
tained a permit and found it full of interest nn
of the buildings contains a veryolll f library, an.
sultans and family trees presenting the heads of
the present royal line. It seems that nearly all
of the Mohammedan rulers wore a full beard,
and some of them had strong faces. '
Besides the swords of the sultans there are
In the treasury innumerable other swords wjth
jeweled handles, and with scabbards inlaid with
gold, silver and gems. There are guns also .of
every description, many of thCm engraved' and
ornamented with gold and silver. One fortifica
tion gun bears upon the barrel quotations from
the Koran written in gold.
Tien there are jewel boxes, vessels of gold
and vessels of silver, rare china, some of it set
with, jewels, nqt to speak of enameled ware and
embroideries. Many of these pieces were gifts
sent or brought' by other rulers, for in the Orient
the gift is as Indispensable in dealing with the
sovereign as "baksheesh" is in dealing with the
subordinate Turkish official.
When we had finished the inspection of Se
raglio Point, w.e were conducted to one of the
reception rooms and refreshed with a jam made
of rose leaves, and this was followed by Turkish
coffee. Turkish coffee, by th way; is very dif
ferent from the Coffee of the Occident. The berry
is ground or pounded until it is as fine as flour;
it is then put into water and raised to the boil
ing point and cooled three times. It is usually
served hot, and is very black and so thick that
at least half of the small cup is sediment.
The streets of Constantinople are narrow,
crooked and dirty. There is no park system, and
the cemeteries scattered through the city, being
shaded with cypress trees, furnish about the only
picnic grounds for the people. It is not an Un
usual sight to see a gay party spreading its lunch
amid the tombs. A Mohammedan graveyard is
Itill of headstones asiwell as trees, and on the
top of the stone Is often carved a fez or a. turban.
While most of this stony head wear is unadorned,
one sees occasionally a painted fez, red being -the
popular color.
There is one park, called the Sweet Waters
of Europe and extending along the stream which
bears that name, where the Turkish women con
gregate especially on Fjriday , afternoon. As
might be expected, the men have formed the
habit of driving in the park on these days in
order to catch a glimpse of the women, for Tur
kish women live in such seclusion that they are
seldom seen. They wear veils, but as we visited
tho park, we can testify that the veils are not
always heavy enough to conceal the features.
When the eye is especially lustrous or the. face
more comely than usual, the veil js occasionally
The ride to1 and from the park also gives
one an opportunity to see a great many fine teams
perfectly matched, for the Turk, has caught the
Arab's fondness for the horse.
The bazaars of Constantinople repay a visit,
One crih stand by this bridge and see all
phases of life and all types of human beings. All
nationalities meet in Constantinople and all
colors are' represented here. Two streams pass
each other on this bridge from dawn to dark,
and there is no better place to study the. trage
dies and the comedies of life as they are. depicted
in. the faces of the people.
The haste that is to be seen on the bridge
is in sharp contrast with the air o leisure which
pervades" the coffee houses aiid the side streets
where fezzed or turbaned Turks' meet to smoke
their hubble-bubble pipes (the smoke being drawn
through water) and discuss such topics as are
not forbidden by the extremely watchful govern
ment under which, they live.
Before leaving Constantinople we crossed
over to the Asiatic side to visit' the American
school for girls, which has enjoyed a prosperous
existence of more than twenty years. It is an
other evidence of the far-reaching sympathy of the
Christian people of the United States and adds to
the feeling of pride with which an American citi
zen contemplates the spreading influence of his
When we re-crossed' the Bosphorus we bade
farewell to Asia, within whose borders we had
spent about seven months. They have been won
derfully instructive months, and we have en
joyed the experiences through which we have
passed, but we can not say that we have fallen in
love with Asiatic food. We have been afraid
of the raw vegetables; we have distrusted the
water, unless it was boiled, and we have some
times been skeptical about the meat. The butter
has not always looked inviting, and our fondness
for cream has not been increased by the sight of
the goats driven from door to door and milked in
the presence of the purchaser. The bread was
not a rival for the Vienna brand, and the cooking
has not been up to western standards. But the
hen- long life to her! She has been our constant
friend. When all else failed we could fall back
upon the boiled egg with a sense of security and
a feeling of satisfaction. If I am not henceforth
a poultry fancier in the technical sense of the
term, I shall return with an increased respect
for the common, every day, barn yard fowl. There
are many differences between the east and the
west differences in race characteristics, differ
ences in costume, differences in ideals of life, of
government and of religion, but we 'all meet at
the breakfast table the x egg, like 'a touch of
nature, makes the whole world kin." - .
Congressman Esche got the pen witlr which
President Roosevelt signed the rate bill, but
this does not prevent the people from giving
proper credit to Senator Tillman, who engineered
tho rate bill through an unfriendly congress.
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