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which compose a second city, as populous as the metropolis. The connection with Europe is by an isthmus, closed with a treble wall, famous, during many ages, for the assaults which it has resisted. The eastern extremity faces Asia, from which it is separated only a few furlongs; it contains other suburbs, that spread in delightful confusion along the shore; while, in the contiguous country, nature, ever young and vigorous, still bears an abundance of noble and useful productions.
On the nearest point that approaches Asia, rising by gradations, stand the numerous structures of the Seraglio, half-concealed by the umbrage of pines, cypresses, and plantains, which, though formed by the hand of nature, are always striking, and appear with all that delicacy of touch that is so conspicuous in the sketches of art.
At the foot of the walls of that august edifice runs a beautiful water, catching the sun's reflections, and tinged with a freshness that seems the effect of a first creation. From the continual motion wherewith one wave rolls over another, on the surface, before they enter the Propontis, the stream might be thought to flow for Constantinople alone; especially on a first survey. But its immensity excites a contrary sensation, when the eye penetrates, through profound solitude, the vast cemeteries that conceal it, on the side where it joins to Europe.
No verbal descriptions can sufficiently illustrate many of the views, however obviously and fully they may be written for the drawings. In some particular points, however, the finer shades may be successfully sketched and precisely determined. The imagination of the traveller will be carried to the highest pitch if, with classical remembrances, he has a relish favourable for the particular observation of nature's beauties. Both fable and history concur to elucidate the different branches of such a subject, and, in the contemplation, the eye may be considered as embracing a general view of all the treasures of imagination.
THE PLATES. The accompanying designs are minute and correct, and may be recommended for their fidelity, but they can do justice only to a part of the merits and beauty of the original. The contour gives a partial, if not a complete idea of the exterior local of Constantinople, and the banks of the Bosphorus; constantly selecting the most delicious vallies of an earth enlivened with fruits and flowers, for the enchanted sight to repose on. They present also the various gifts and charms of art and its monuments, correcting the wild scenery of nature. The collection displays the inhabitants of those remote countries in their habitual costume ; designating the manners, customs, and occupations of common life. One professed purpose of these designs is to convey a more ample explication and elucidation of the work which they accompany; and, by a mutual relation, they invite it to report a general summary of their contents, and make them intelligible, if any thing, on a retrospective review, appears of doubtful consideration. Plate I.–View of Constantinople, from the Tower of the Janissary Aga, to its Extremity on the Land-Side:
Here the point of view is the top of the Palace of England. In the last of the plans, appear the Tower of the Janissary Aga, and the Mosque of Bajazet. The Aqueduct of Valens is seen next, then the Mosque of Mouhamed, flanked with its two minarets, as also that of Selim, at some distance; and, lastly, the quarters attached to the included space. In the approach, we discover that portion of the harbour which is bounded by the quarters of Balata and of the Pharos on one side, with those of Cassem-Pacha and of Kassoe-Keuin on the other. The fore-ground exhibits the Little Field of the Dead, which, from behind Pera, reaches to the Palace of the Capitan-Pacha. In this edifice, the artist has made a good use of its commanding situation, to redeem it from the vaporous tinge its distance might be obscured with. Plate II.-View of the South Part of Constantinople.
This view, taken from the promontory between Scutari and Chalcedoni, reaches from the Seven Towers to Dolma-Baktché. In succession, it exhibits the Mosque of Achmet, and that of St. Sophia, the southern part of the seraglio, the entrance of the harbour, the tower of Galata, the land-arsenal, Fondoukli, and the large Field of the Dead, apparent on the back of the heights of Pera. The design affords materials to judge of the walls, embracing an extent of ten miles, interspersed with objects of great and various excellence, that, in their combination, detail a most unique and elaborate tableau.
PLATE III.- View of the Imperial House of Plea
sant Waters. This design may claim the merit of novelty, as two years have scarcely elapsed since its erection. It answers a double purpose, that of presenting one of the most celebrated situations in the outline of Constantinople, and that of specifying the most eligible spot for an imperial kiosk. The structure here alluded to is not modified by any of those alterations which other buildings of the same kind have borrowed from us.
In the first plan is seen the canal, on which arise artificial cascades and pavilions, in perfect accordance with the principal subject. On the further side is the field of Dgirite, and in the foreground an enclosed retreat for the women. The artist, in taking his stand, had to regret that he could not take in a larger space of the landscape that environs one of nature's retired corners, where she seems fearful of being seen. The habitation, however, rears its height in a part remarked to be superior to any other, in the sportive overhanging of woody distances, but we cannot feel the full force of it, as the artist, from his obligations to fidelity, could not assume the requisite liberties in colouring.
PLATE IV.-View of the Place of Top-Khané. The fountain forms the principal subject, though the accessaries by which it is surrounded are not wholly sacrificed to it. On the left, appears the Mosque of Ali Pacha, with its shades; to the right, and in the third plan, is the Palace of the General of Artillery, distinguished by an elegant portico. The Place of Top-Khané is a sort of fair, from the continual throng of passengers, &c. It contains dealers in wood, fruit, eatables, &c, and by way of episode, the triumphant march of the flesh-pot of the Janissaries, placed in the front of the drawing. The other side of the place from which the artist has taken his view, communicates with the Land Arsenal, the facade of which stretches along the river. Behind is a casern of artillery, which contributes not a little to produce a beautiful diversity in that quarter; but the whole attention, on the first glance, is arrested by the delightful fountain, which is unparallelled, in point of magnificence,
PLATE V.-View of Therapia, This view is taken from the coffee-house at the lower part of the haven, It takes in only one half of the surrounding heights; but, the artist has selected the most picturesque part of the site. This part of the shore furnishes one of those pleasurable scenes, wherein repose, the pipe, coffee, and other attractions, beguile the time of such as frequent it.
Most of the crowd here assembled are Greeks, a few scattered Mus. sulmans only appearing, as passengers. The former compose almost the whole of the population of Therapia. In proof of this, are seen ladies of that nation, with their toilettes, which may give some idea of the elegant costume that atti the women in the ven.
In this quarter, the languages of Demosthenes and Racine are spoken with equal purity. Both sexes evince intelligence and information, blended with a gay manner, the product of education.
Plate VI.- Place of the Hippodrome. On a first landing at Constantinople, one of the matters most likely to engage attention, as marked with the most prominent features, is the place of the Hippodrome; it forms alike a primary object of the artist and of the tourist, affording to the enraptured mind inconceivable pleasure. Constantine had so decorated it with the monuments of Greece and the spoils of other countries, that he left it in a state of the highest splendour, and it received many other embellishments again and again, from Theodosius and his successors. In those times, it was indicative of the vast powers of the Cæsars, but suffered, in the following ages, when those powers were almost circumscribed within the walls of the capital. The Ottomans found it in that state, and consecrated one part to the Deity, while the other was retained on the plan of its original institution.
The point of time selected for thedrawing is when the Grand-Signior, coming from the prayers of Bayram, in the Mosque of Achmet, crosses this place, on his return to the Seraglio. He is on horseback, surrounded by his ministers and guards, with a concourse of spectators, whom the occasion never fails to attract.
The primary design of this view is to display an imperial mosque, so as to give a general idea of the plan, elevation, &c. of sacred edifices among the Mussulmans. The point of view assumed will enable the spectator to survey at once St. Sophia and the Achmet of Djarnissi, and the friends of the arts may draw a comparison between them. There are also other monuments of antiquity particularly impressive, and which, in strong language, excite a pathetic interest, the Egyptian obelisk, and the wreathed or twisted column, a religious object consecrated by the victors at Plateæ. PLATE VII.–View of the Valley of the Grand-Signor.
Could Venus and the Graces appear among the Mussulmans, in the full glow of their attractions, and, unconscious of intrusion, sport with the loves on the flowery lawn, or mossy bank of some crystal stream, the delicious landscape here designed would constitute that sweet, sacred haunt. But as beauty cannot be seen without its veil, or only by stealth, amidst the orientals, the privation imposed by this austerity must be supplied by the majestic character of a scene, where the eye encounters the Sultan in the circle of his court. Here the lord and master of a vast empire appears seated, in the Asiatic manner, under a tent most conspicuous; the groupe of nobles and others around him forms his household. Under the surrounding boughs of overhanginggroves, some retire, to shun the rays of Phoebus, while others recline on the turf, or in the foreground partake of coffee and refreshments. In the first plan, are the figures of a Jewish family on the ground. In the third, is a mother lulling her child to sleep, delicately cradled in a shawl, suspended to the flexible branch of a tree. In the second, are women enveloped in feredge and yachmak, a coffee-house man, with his laboratory, a vender of sweet-meats, &c. The point of view has been taken from the sea-faring part of the town.
ON arriving at Constantinople by land, nothing apprizes the
traveller that he is approaching a capital city. In other countries, the seat of empire is always surrounded by a profusion of magnificent villas, and the country assumes the appearance of cultivated gardens and pleasure-grounds. But here the land is as completely a waste as in the desert plains of Romelia; and it is only at the very gates of Constantinople that verdure is perceived, where, instead of rural seats, are found immense cemeteries shaded with cypress.
But if we arrive by water, the views are luxuriant beyond description ; all is wonder, and every spot is prolific in classic associations; the sea which bears us is the Propontis of the ancients; in the distant horizon are seen the shores of Asia, the cradle of civilization and the arts. We seek through the slight mist that envelopes us, the kingdom of Priam, and the seat of Ilium, famed in story; we wish that the island of Proconnesus (Marmora,) were removed, that we might view the mouths of the Granicus, where Alexander acquired his first bloody laurels.
On looking around here, from this spot, we behold a rugged, mountainous chain. It is no other than Ida, from whence flows the Esepus, the Rhodius, the Scamander, and the Simois; the fertile plains are those of Mysia, where we still behold Artaces and Lampsacus, and where, in days of yore, flourished Cyzicum, Parium, and other cities, of which, now even the ruins are sought in vain; yonder is the kingdom of Bithynia, wbere reigned Antigonus, Lysimachus, Prusias, and Nicomedes; the cloud-capt Olympus, bounding the horizon, affirms the truth of it.
Proceeding along the spacious gulph, we find Nicomedes still standing, a lasting monument of its ancient fame, but so VOYAGES and TRAVELS, No. 1. Vol. IV.