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tables, and sweetmeats; and this is immediately known to an experienced hunter, and rarely found elsewhere. It is true that here and there a fine specimen may be secured, and of such it has been my good fortune to collect a few. Generally speaking, however, the painting is coarse, the forms neither artistic nor tasteful, and of little value to those who look for beauty of decoration, chasteness in outline, and delicacy of execution.
In bidding adieu to the Eastern capital, I by no means recommend a visit to the bazaar, if merely in pursuit of ceramic treasures. I have, it is true, from time to time picked up a piece of Worcester, Wedgwood, and Dresden, at moderate prices; no. doubt brought to Constantinople in other days by an ambassador, consul-general, or some English merchant; but little now remains, and for such as there is to be found, the price asked is double that for which the same objects may be purchased in London. The fashion for collecting bric-à-brac without practice or knowledge has caused this. No sooner does an Englishman present himself in the bazaars than he is pounced upon by a host
of greedy, unsavoury-smelling interpreters, who vie with one another in the endeavour to pillage him, and who generally succeed. Now, the readers of these pages must permit me to introduce them to Mr. Zenope, in the Grand Bazaar, a most respectable Armenian. If you visit Stamboul, porcelainloving reader, go direct to him, place yourself unreservedly in his hands, decline all other assistance, and I, after many years' experience, will answer for his honesty and probity.
Meanwhile permit me to remark that scarcely any physical undertaking is more fatiguing than that of passing a day of research in the bazaars of Stamboul, particularly if you are not so fortunate as to find aught that is satisfactory.
The mode and manner of Oriental dealing is wide apart from that which may be simply termed European buying and selling. In London, Paris, or Vienna, you enter a bric-à-brac shop; its contents are, generally speaking, clear to the eye; you select that which appears to be desirable, ask the price, make your offer, purchase or refuse, and go your way. I must confess I should scarcely
have the courage to act in London as I should unquestionably be disposed to do either at Paris or Vienna, or indeed any other Continental capital or town, namely, offer about half or a third the: price asked. But all such delicate ideas may be banished in the bazaars at Constantinople, with the assurance that you will obtain nothing, great or small, on which some profit has not been secured to the sellers.
Having paid your respects to Zenope, accepted a cup of Turkish coffee or a glass of lemonade, according to season and inclination, smoked a cheroot or cigarette-if given to cigarettes, to which all the Frank inhabitants incline-proceed to that portion of the bazaars entitled the Arms Bazaar. It is dark, gloomy, not to say dirty, to the eye, and unsavoury to the nose, but curious and picturesque in the extreme.
You approach the shop, if it may so be called, of a bric-à-brac merchant. He is possibly engaged with some other customer, or smoking his pipe, or munching a cucumber, or counting his beads, and takes no more notice of you than if you were one
of the dogs that lie sleeping in the streets of Stamboul. Patience is said to be a virtue—prove that you possess it if you can, and bring all your goodtemper to aid you. Being in a hurry will not assist you in the slightest degree. If the dealer's tongue be unknown to you, appeal calmly for the aid of your interpreter, and arouse the old gentleman from his lethargy as you would stir up a sleepy animal in Wombwell's menagerie.
You see, or fancy you see, high on the shelf above him, a choice piece of china, or any other article of bric-à-brac, which might possibly suit you; and as it is in all probability covered with dust, and beyond your reach, you civilly request to be permitted to handle it prior to the investment of your money. In answer to your request, the merchant casts his expressive eyes towards the roof of the bazaar, and gives a kind of cluck with his throat, which means that the object is either broken or already sold, or that in his opinion it will not please you. The fact of the matter is, the weather is hot, and moving is unpleasant. Being, ;; however, desirous to judge for yourself, you again
politely rouse his Excellency, who at length uncrosses his legs, raises himself from his sitting position, and does you the favour to allow you to examine the goods he is there to sell, with the air of a man who is doing you an honour. We will say that you take a fancy to some object amongst his wares. Then comes the bargaining. Alas, this is a diplomatic process almost beyond European endurance. “Ask him the price," you say to your interpreter. The free-and-easy merchant chumps his cucumber or smokes his pipe, as he calmly replies, “Two hundred piastres." "Two hundred piastres! Why, I could buy it in Vienna for fifty!" you exclaim. “No doubt, sir,” says the disinterested interpreter ; " but you are in Stamboul, not in Vienna.” And so you move on, and, nine times out of ten, are called back, and possibly end by making the purchase for about a quarter the price first named. And so is it throughout the bazaars.
Turks are neither an energetic nor an inventive people; neither are they gifted with taste for, or love of, the fine arts. I should scarcely imagine