And now, as soon as extra, when the warmth and the hurry of the expedition are over, when the satisfaction and the pageantry have handed away, and that I’m getting ready to dwell over once more that transient interval of enjoyment—conjured again, as by magic, in gazing on the terribly devoted and admirable sketches which lie upon my desk in “ merrie England,” from the pencil of Mr. Bartlett,—I’m tempted to imagine that my hour of actual enjoyment has arrived; an hour which I could extend or multiply at my pleasure, by reminiscences of scenes well-known, and people vividly remembered—of magnificence and of luxurious, of legend and of tune. I look again upon my residence at Constantinople and its environs as upon a vivid imaginative and prescient, which I’m glad to have a possibility of calling up as soon as extra, and investing with tangibility: and thus I really feel that I’m now, maybe, having fun with the true and enduring privilege of the traveller, as I flip from one graphic sketch to a different, and recall the circumstances and incidents which have tended to impress every spot upon my reminiscence; whereas I’m compelled to doubt if the romance of anticipation, or the fatigue and threat of constructive residence, certainly outweighed the quiet reminiscences which throng about me to-day, and folks my cheerful condo with by-gone sensible shapes, and scenes by no means to be forgotten.
The good attraction of Constantinople to an European eye exists within the excessive novelty, which is in itself a spell ; for not solely the entire locality, however all its equipment, are so in contrast to what the traveller has left behind him within the West, that each group is a research, and each incident a lesson; and he feels directly the need of flinging from him a thousand factitious desires and slender typical prejudices, and of wanting calmly and dispassionately upon males and scenes wholly dissimilar to these with which he had beforehand been acquainted.
The attractive stays
Neither is even this all; for the march of expediency has been so speedy, and the mania for reform so lively in the course of the reign of the current Sultan, that probably the most extraordinary adjustments are consistently going down, not solely within the habits and emotions of the folks, however within the very side of their metropolis. The attractive stays of Moorish structure, so basically Oriental of their character, are giving place to European innovation ; the heavy, drooping, convoluted roofs of the fountains are disappearing, to make room for gentle iron railings ; and the brilliant frescoes and painted screens of the picket palaces are outdated by columns of sculptured marble; an anomaly sufficiently startling to persuade the traveller that it is just a primary step in the direction of the full extinction of that peculiar and fairylike species of structure which renders the neighborhood of the Bosphorus so in contrast to each different locality, that it seems to be fairly the embodyment of a “ Midsummer night time’s dream,” than a mere earthly panorama.