« AnteriorContinuar »
the name Its required level. One of the largest of those bendts has
inspection of them every year with great ceremony, and order such improvements and alterations as they may think
necessary can be more interesting to a stranger than to contemplate the Turk whilst he is engaged with every appearance of the most anxious solicitude in treasuring up the minutest drop of water that trickles from the face of the rocks. Around the city, at unequal distances, the hilly parts are laid out in reservoirs.
oirs. Those are called Bendts, a word derived from the Persian language. In the construction of these bendts, advantage is taken of a natural situation, such as a narrow valley, or gorge, between two mountains, and a strong substantial work of masonry is carried across, sufficiently high to give the name of the Validay Bendts, and it consists of a solid wall of marble masonry, eighty feet wide, and supported by two large Luttresses, which rises to the height of a hundred and thirty feet from the bottom of the valley. It is four hundred feet long, and the covered with large marble slabs of dazzling brilliancy. On the side next the reservoir, a substantial marble balustrade, three feet in height, gives a finish to this Cyclopean undertaking. A tall marble tablet indicates the date of its erection, or more probably of its re pair or reconstruction. From the date, 1211, it appears to have been built about forty-six years ago. It is said to have been built by the mother of the reigning sultan. It is furnished with a waste gate, and, at a short distance below, the water from the reservoir is carried across a ravine by a short aqueduct. About two miles from this is another bendt, erected in 1163, which corresponds to the year 1749. This is also a magnificent work, although inferior in size to the preceding
In tracing the communications by which the water from these distant reservoirs is carried to the town, the traveller found that they were brought across deep vallies, but that yet the ordinary methods adopted for such conveyance were altogether unknown to the Turks. The following is the ingenious plan by which the object is effected: a number of square pillars is erected at short intervals, in the direction of the proposed channel for the water; those pillars are about five feet square, constructed of stone, and, slightly resembling pyramids, taper to the summit. They vary in height, according to the necessities of the case, from ten to fifty feet, and in some instances are even higher. They form a striking peculiarity in Turkish scenery, and it was some time before the principle upon which they were constructed was apparent. The water leaves the brow of a hill, and descending in earthen pipes rises in leaden or earthen ones, up one side of this pillar, to its former level, which must be, of course, the summit of the pillar, or sooteray, as it is called by the Turks. The water is here discharged into a stone basin as large as the top of the sooteray, and is discharged by another pipe, which descends along the opposite side of the pillar, enters the ground, advances to the next sooteray, which it ascends
and descends in the same manner; and in this way the level of the water may be preserved for many miles over large ravines or plains, where an aqueduct would be, from its expensiveness, manifestly out of the question. In the city of Constantinople, the old ruinous aqueduct of Valens, which no longer conducts water in the usual manner, is converted into a series of sooterays, and permits one to examine their structure in detail. The stone basin on the summit is covered with an iron plate, to prevent the birds from injuring the water. This is connected by a hinge, and, upon lifting it up, the basin is found to be divided into two parts, by a stone partition, Several holes are made in this partition near its upper edge. The water from the ascending pipe is allowed by this means to settle its foreign impurities, and the surface water, which is of course the most pure, flows through these apertures into the adjoining compartment, from whence it descends, and is carried to the next sooteray, where the same process is repeated. A number of projecting stones on the sides facilitate the ascent of the person who has charge of these sooterays, and whose business it is to remove the deposits from the water in
the stone basins. This ingenious hydraulic arrangement seems to possess adyantages which might recommend its adoption elsewhere. As the pres. sure is thus divided among this series of syphons, the necessity for having very strong and costly pipes is obviated. As they are from three to five hundred yards apart, the cost is probably much less than by any plan which could be devised, where, in addition to the cost of a canal, or series of pipes, we should be compelled to raise it again by the expensive agency of steam or, some other costly japparatus. The frequent exposure of the water to air and light at the summit of these sooterays is another very important advantage which cannot be too strongly insisted upon; as it is now well knowa that nothing tends more to purify water than the presence of these two agents.
dei coniblind The author calculates the total length of the water-courses of Constantinople to amount to a length of about fifty miles, and the expense he estimates at about fifty millions of dollars. His atten4 tion appears to have been particularly attracted to the subject of the supply of water in Constantinople, from the circumstance of the great neglect which is manifested by his own government respecting the supply of New York, where, he says, the inhabitants, amounting to upwards of 200,000, have been for years foolishly pondering on the propriety of expending two millions of dollars for the purpose of obtaining a supply of pure and wholesome water.
The travellers in the course of their peregrinations happened to light upon a Cornish man, who had been imported by the Turkish government for the purpose of practising in Constantinople, the English mode of tanning and preparing leather, Turkey being up to that time utterly destitute of anything like leather of good quality. At the time of the travellers' arrival, the Englishman had ade
is then raje Way fastened together by large spikes.
vanced so far in Turkish esteem, that the gove
t gave or for the building of an establishment expressly for his use; and the strangers were much gratified at the opportunity, of which they fully made use, of contemplating all the details of domestic architecture in Constantinople. - It appears that this metropolis, like London, is indebted to a distinct body of interlopers for its mechanics and labourers. The English capital is extended, or repaired, by the Irish; and Constantinople by Armenians and Bulgarians conjointly. The daily wages of the latter two classes of workmen do not exceed eight cents per day, but to judge from the indolent manner in which they set about their work, the frequent interruptions caused by their everlasting pipes, and the slovenly manner in which their work is executed, it may well be doubted whether they actually this small pittance. Their tools are few in number, and of the simplest kind. A long gimlet, a short saw, which when used is drawn towards the workman, and a short-handled adze, which also serves as a hammer, comprise nearly all the tools of a Turkish carpenter. The workmen are directed by a foreman, and it is with him that the government contract for the erection of this building,
The frame, which is of very small dimensions for the size of the common to see large stones arranged along the ridge, in order to keep the last rows of tiles more securely in their places. No chimneys of course are ever seen in a Turkish house. The ceilings are of thin boards, and, as close joints never occur, they are concealed by long strips of wood, which, when painted, as they usually are, of a different colour from the rest of the ceiling, produce a singular and not unpleasing effect. The lower story is filled in with bricks and mortar, or rather with mortar and a few bricks. From an examination of the mortar used in the construction of the most antient buildings about Constantinople, there is reason to believe that the process of making mortar at the present day in Turkey does not vary materially from that employed under the Greek emperors. Much pains appear to be taken in mixing it; tow, finely chopped, is substituted for hair, and pounded bricks and tiles form one of the most important ingredients. The windows, when glass is used, are in the French style, opening upon hinges, but more commonly they are closed by lattice-work, and the external air is kept out by inside shutters and curtains. The operation of painting goes on pari passu with the labours of the carpenter and mason. The different steps of puttying, priming, and then applying successive coats of paint, are here unknown. Armed with a long brush, which he wields with both hands, the painter follows up the carpenter, and lays on the paint as thick as it can, by any possibility, be made to adhere.od, you
1901 DO STF After having visited a few more establishments, which appear to be situated in a particular part of the city, our travellers proceeded
to a short distance beyond the suburbs in the same direction, and were struck with the beauty of a valley which they entered, and is known as a place of amusement, under the title of the Sultan's Place, They met several parties of merry Turks here, one of which treated them with marked and quite unwonted hospitality. The author no. ticed upon this occasion, as on many others, a particular article of food as being very popular amongst this people. It is called yaoort, and it is nothing more than curdled milk; but from the manner in which the culinary process connected with it is performed, it seems to be converted from a simple article of food into a delicious luxury. It is prepared by pouring a quart of boiled milk upon the yeast of beer, and allowing it to ferment. Take of this a spoonful and a half, and pour on it another quart; after a few repetitions it loses the taste of yeast, and becomes a very palatable and savoury food. In order to prepare the milk for use, take a tea-spoonful of the yaoort, bruise it with a spoon, and pour on it a quart of lukewarm milk, and set it aside in an earthen vessel: it will be fit for use in the course of an hour or two.
The author and his companions were particularly struck with the numerous instances of fires which take place in Constantinople. He denies, however, that they can be referred to any depravity of character in the Turks, which might induce them to commit acts of vengeance, or desperation, in this way; in fact, there are found causes enough in the common habits of the people to explain the frequency of these accidents, without having recourse to the uncharitable conclusion that they are the effects of malignant design. Every Turk (with the exception of the sultan himself) smokes his chibook night and day, and his fire is knocked out without the least care. If the floor is matted, the straw material is amply sufficient to nourish the flame, and, if not covered, the joints between the planks are generally open enough to receive a coal of fire, and at midnight the family are awakened by the blaze of their dwelling. The author has frequently observed coopers, cabinet-makers, and other mechanics smoking their chibooks, and knocking out the embers among the shavings and other combustible materials, with all the indifference which may be supposed
be supposed to denote an every-day occurrence, Notwithstanding the number of fires to which the Turkish metropolis seems fated, yet we have the authority of the author for the surprising intelligence that New York takes the palm even from Constantinople in the number of fires. During the year 1831 there were not less than 119 fires in the former capital, besides innumerable alarms.
It is a curious and by no means an unimportant fact, that the money of the Ottoman empire is to a great extent counterfeit, and it turns out, according to the present author, that great quantities of this false coin are the produce of Birmingham. There are even branch-banks for the issue of this base coin at Syra, or Hydra, and the agents carry on their business openly and above-board. They
defend their proceedings upon the ground of its being a lawful business transaction.” They aver that it is meritorious to injure 's a natural enemy” in any and every possible manner; and although they are no longer at war, yet a Turk is an infidel, and of course is everybody's enemy. Besides, if the English government authorized or connived at the distribution of forged assignats during the French revolution, why should not the Greeks do the same towards the Turkish government ?oThese counterfeiters also maintain that the money which they fabricate actually contains more gold than that issued from the royal mint, consequently they commit no crime, and certainly less fraud than the sultan exercises upon his own subjects. This practice, however, is of very antient standing, but certainly would be much more honoured in the breach than in the observance. .b. The author visited one of the new Turkish colleges in Constantino. ple. This is but a small specimen of the results of moral improvement which Turkey has very lately experienced. On entering the college he and his companion (the Rev. Mr. Goodel) were ushered into a large, well-matted apartment. There were some fifty or sixty young men in five, whilst the generality consisted of mere lads. 1. Several of the pupils appeared, from their costume, to be officers in the army: all were seated in various positions on the floor, with papers before them, making copies of what was read to them from a manuscript by Ees Hawk Effendi, the director. This personage was lolling luxCuriously on a large divan, smoking at intervals during the reading. The writing on this occasion was practised in the oriental manner, which is remarkably peculiar. The paper employed in this college is very stout, and is highly glazed, at least on one side. The pupil holds his paper (which, if a large sheet, is doubled) partly in the palm of his left hand, and this occasionally rests on the left knee. The pens are made of a species of reed, and are cut with a broad nib. The oriental mode of writing, it is well known, is from right to left, and of course the reverse of our own. Notwithstanding the apparently awkward position of the writer, and the rude writing materials, the characters were evenly and distinctly traced by the pupils, and some of their notes might have been exhibited as fair specimens of calligraphy. An ink-stand of singular shape is attached to their belt, and contains such pens as are not in use. In several of their manuscripts the author remarked that the lines, although parallel with each other, were not horizontal, but ascended in a slanting direction towards the left corner of the page to
Upon the whole, the process of education in Turkey was such as to inspire a hope, that considerable moral improvement in that empire is not far distant, and this prospect is the more gratifying, as, from the modest demeanour and simplicity of character which distinguish the youthful generation of Turks, they deserve the sympathy and interest of all those who have taken the start of them in civilization. He was shown into the library, which contained about