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first floor, to which the ascent is in general very inconvenient and narrow.---One or two rooms upon the ground floor, furnished with cushions upon a sopha raised about eight inches all round the apartment, are appropriated to the reception of visitors, and to the daily avocations of the proprietor ; the remainder to the servants and necessary offices. These habitations are built of wood, and several hundreds of them are frequently destroyed at one time by fire ; which are hastily replaced by others, built precisely in the manner and style of the former, without the smallest precaution or endeavor to avoid any similar calamity in future.
In cases of conflagration, the Vizeer and high officers of state repair to the spot; and however inconvenient it may prove to the Grand Signior, he is himself (from ancient custom) expected to attend for the purpose of distributing money, and exciting the. efforts of the firemen ; an established body of men, incorporated for this particular employment, and who, were the engines of larger dimensions, and the supplies of water better regulated, would be scarcely inferior in ability and address to those of our own insurance offices: their activity, indeed, is seldom exerted before the arrival of the Sultaun, whose liberality could not possibly be applied in any manner less likely to effect a beneficial purpose.—The firemen appear zealous---receive a gratuity---relax in their efforts - are again stimulated by presents—soon again
grow indolent---are again roused to exertion by the display of a few piastres ; and thus, as it may be immediately perceived, have no motive to extinguish speedily a fire, which by its prolongation ensures them such individual advantage.
The Sultaun, during these conflagrations, is exposed to hear various truths, which could not easily come to his knowledge without such opportunities; when the women, under pretence of bewailing the misfortune, loudly exclaim against the ministers, or any of their particular acts, or even against the Sultaun himself; and it has been therefore often presumed, that in consequence of this privilege, which custom has sanctioned, fires have frequently their origin in the political disputes of parties, or the hopes of redress in cases of peculiar grievance.
BAZARS-BEZESTENCENSURE. UPON TURKISH SHOP-KEEPERS PAL
LIATED-TESPEEUSE OF OPIUM-FEMALE ORNAMENTS AND
• DRESS_EVENING RECREATIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE
TOWNS-PUBLIC BATHS TURKISH CARRIAGES FOR FEMALES.
THE Bazars are long vaulted streets or cloisters built of stone, and lighted by cupolas with small glass windows, constructed in the roof.-In these, the various dealers and merchants expose their goods for sale ; and in addition to a little shop in front, each of them is provided with a small apartment behind, where he sits, consoling himself, during the interval of his customers' applications, with a pipe and coffee.
The Bezesten or exchange is a building of considerable extent, where second-hand goods chiefly are disposed of. And here the Shroffs or money-changers keep their banks for the exchange of all kinds of money and bullion. Jews and Armenians most.
commonly act as brokers; but many of the latter are engaged in commercial speculations upon their own account. - Not only in the Bazars and Bezestens particular parts are appropriated to particular dealers, but, generally speaking, in all the towns and villages each different trade occupies a certain street or portion of street, where others of dissimilar avocations do not interfere with them. Jewellers, goldsmiths, embroiderers, armorers, and saddlers, make an elegant display of their various articles.-Confectioners, cooks, and fruiterers, tempt the appetite by savory smells or fragrant perfumes; and the lower order of handicrafts, particularly shoemakers, who decorate their shops with yellow, blue, and red babouges and boots, contrive to arrange their wares. in rather a pleasing manner.
The censure which has fallen upon the Turkish and other Levantine traders, in respect to their attempts to deceive or cheat, by asking three times more than the value of the articles they sell, deserves some modification.--A Levantine trader fixes no precise price to his merchandise ;, his object is to obtain as much as he can ; not so much per cent, per annum upon his capital : He is acquainted with no price current, no rate of exchange; and from a want of that regularity in business to which we are accustomed, sees nothing contrary to propriety in demanding a considerable sum for an article of inconsiderable intrinsic value; estimating its worth by the probable necessity of the buyer, and therefore
not offended at any proposed diminution.--There does not appear to me, in this mode of traffic, any thing very repugnant to honesty, nor indeed very different from what every day occurs in commercial countries.—The distinction exists merely between the wholesale extensive monopolising advance in price of any article in denrand, established upon a grand exchange by very rich merchants, who all participate in the advantage; and the temporary effort at emolument of a poor huckster in a boutique, desirous of obtaining a more than usual profit upon an article which, by the inquiry, he supposes absolutely wanted.
The Turks are partial to carrying in their right hand a string of beads they call Tespee, with which they, in conversation, or at other times, amuse themselves by passing it with the thumb over the fore finger.-It is an object of such importance, that emeralds and pearls of great value are sometimes substituted for the more common beads of ivory, ebony, or amber; but it is not, as some authors have imagined, connected with their religious ceremonies, at least not by obligation.
EXAMPLES are occasionally met with of the paralytical state of imbecility to which are reduced those who make an immoderate use of opium ; but the practice of taking to excess this drug, this solamen miseris, as it may be justly termed, is by no means so frequent as writers have represented. It is in Constantinople