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was known as early as Pliny's time by the name of Auricornu, or the Golden Horn, either from the riches which commerce brought to it, its abundant shoals of fish, or the shape which it assumes. Nothing can be more picturesque than the scene it exhibits, covered, as it always is, with merchant-vessels, steamers, and ships of war, among which thousands of caiques fit in every direction ; while as many sea-fowl sport on the surface, fearless because undisturbed, except when porpoises, pursuing one another in playful mirth and partaking the universal gaiety, rear their uncouth backs above the water.

We passed the sultan's richly-decorated caique manned by eight Turks; and several pleasure-boats belonging to private gentlemen, whose rowers appeared peculiarly graceful in dresses of white muslin.

The mosques are so similar in appearance that a description of one is applicable to all. The most beautiful in Constantinople, not excepting St. Sophia's, is that of Soliman, surnamed the Magnificent; and it is the only one into which Franks are avowedly admitted, though not the only one of which we found a golden key would open the doors locked by Moslim prejudices. In two instances we were allowed


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to enter accompanied by a lady, in spite of the non-admission of even Mussulman women to worship in the assemblies of the faithful: on one of these occasions, however, we ordered out again. We took off our shoes as a matter of course ; a compliance from which we suffered little inconvenience, since the marble pavements are always covered with Indian mat or carpets, never soiled by the sole of a shoe.

The mosque of sultan Soliman is decorated externally with a handsome central cupola, two inferior ones, and a tall tapering minaret rising from each angle. Close to it are some plane-trees of great size and beauty. The interior is a square, surrounded by large and regular galleries. One of these, set apart for the sultan, is adorned with gilded trellis-work; and near it stands the pulpit of the chief imam, constructed of chaste marble. In another part is a fountain supported by columns of similar material which, together with those that sustain the cupolas and many of the valuable stones composing the structure, are said to have been brought from the ruins of Chalcedon. We measured one of the porphyry pillars, and found it to be twelve feet in circumference. The walls are covered with Arabic inscriptions,



and from the ceiling are suspended scores of strings, to each of which is attached a small unsightly lamp ready to be lighted for evening prayer, the egg of an ostrich, or some similar bagatelle. At sunrise, noon, and sunset, and once before and after noon, the MosJims are called to this sacred exercise; and their silent solemnity and apparent devotion are very striking. Time will not soon efface from my memory the impression first made, and often renewed, by the sight of hundreds of Mohammedans prostrating themselves and bowing their foreheads to the ground in the great mosque of Delhi, incomparably more splendid than any building existing at Constantinople, while the imam chanted in slow and solemn accents, and in the sonorous language of the Koran, “God is great and mer. ciful. There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God.”

No Christian is permitted to enter St. Sophia's without a firman, and this is never granted but on special occasions. We could, therefore, only peep into the interior and examine the outside. After the destruction of Constantine's temple by an earthquake, this far-famed edifice was erected in seventeen years under Justinian, who devoted to it,

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during that period, the whole revenues of Egypt.

The architects were Anthemius of Tralles, and Isidorus of Miletus. The exterior is so built up with Mohammedan additions that it is impossible either to discern its original, or to admire its present, form. Its site, however, is unalterable. It stands, like the first temple, on the hill of the ancient Byzantium, visible from the water on all sides, and presenting a more imposing appearance at a distance than when closely inspected. It has nine domes and four minarets. The great defect of the building consists in the flatness of the central dome, whose height is disproportioned to its span and elevation from the ground. The hundred pillars which support its roof, consisting of porphyry, Egyptian granite, verd antique, and other valuable marbles, were taken from the temple of the Sun built by Aurelian, the temple of Diana at Ephesus, and various structures of the early Romans. The interior of the domes was originally lined with mosaics representing Christian scenes, which were spared by the Turks till lately, when they discovered that it was a profitable speculation to pick out the component pieces and sell them to the Franks as ornaments or relics. The Koran was first



placed in the niche it now occupies when Mohammed the conqueror, entering the church on horseback, ascended the altar, and with a prayer dedicated it as a mosque to his prophet: then the sanctuary was defiled; the tribune of the sultan displaced that of the emperor, and the pulpit of the mufti succeeded to that of the patriarch. Such is St. Sophia's, of which it may be truly said that, however great that pristine magnificence which tempted its founder to regard it as a rival to the temple of Solomon, it has suffered so much internally from the alterations and mutilations necessary to convert it from a Christian church into a Mohammedan mosque, and so much externally from the large buttresses affixed to secure it from the effects of earthquake, that it can no longer be regarded as an object of first-rate beauty when compared with other sacred edifices in Europe and Asia.

The Jeni Jami, or Walidea, so named from its foundress,* the mother of Mohammed the Fourth, is adorned with a double row of fine marble pillars, most of which were brought from the ruins of Troy. The inside is lined with that species of blue and white ware so

rel, Walideh signifies a mother.

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