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537 A. D., less than six years after the foundations were laid. At its completion Justinian exclaimed: “I have surpassed thee, O Solomon!”
Over the central door, called the Royal Gate, is a long brass plate on which are engraved a dove and a throne, supporting an open book, on the open pages of which may be read these words:
“The Lord said: I am the door of the sheep; by me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall
in and go out and find pasture.'
The weight of the dome and the semi-domes of the mosque rest on eight great piers. On either side of the nave, which is practically a double square, two hundred and fifty feet east and west and one hundred and ten north and south, are four verde antique monoliths, quarried in Thessaly and presented to the Emperor Justinian by the Prefect Constantine of Ephesus. In each of the four corners are two porphyry columns, eight in all, quarried in Egypt, which once formed part of the Temple of the Sun at Baalbek or Palmyra. They were carried to Rome by Aurelian to adorn a temple there, and having come into the possession of a patrician lady, Marcia, they were presented by her to Justinian for the salvation of her soul. The vaulted roofs of the aisles are supported independently of the nave columns by twenty-four smaller columns of green marble. The floor of the church is of marble.
While there are in and about Constantinople at least one hundred mosques, all are copies, more or less modiTHE MOSQUE OF ST. SOPHIA
fied, of St. Sophia. The majority of the people are Mohammedans, but the Greeks have their Patriarch, the Bulgarians their Exarch, and the ArmeniansGregorian and Catholic—the Jews and the Protestants,
all have their representatives; and to all religious freedom is now freely granted.
Special permission may be secured to visit the Imperial Treasury, in which may be seen
seen a throne of beaten gold and inlaid work adorned with thousands of precious stones captured in 1514 by the Sultan Selim I. from Ismael, the Shah of Persia; a divan of Turkish work, inlaid and encrusted with precious wood and stone, over which hangs the great emerald ; the chain
armor of Sultan Murad IV. worn at the capture of Bagdad in 1638; a golden tankard studded with more than two thousand flat diamonds; a brass bowl inlaid with silver of Arabic work; Roman, Byzantine, Arabic and Turkish coins; precious stones and ancient arms; a collection of the state robes of the Sultan; emeralds as large as the palm of one's hand; garments plated with table diamonds—but why enumerate? tion which finds expression on many lips is this:
“Why, with these evidences of untold wealth in its treasury, should Turkey have a national debt?"
A chapter on Constantinople which made no reference to the dogs of the city would seem to have been written on the shores of the Hudson and not on the banks of the Bosphorus. An American, who has spent a good deal of time in Constantinople, was asked how many dogs there were in the city. Perhaps he spoke in round numbers, but his answer was: “About a million.” This expression he modified somewhat by saying that in a city whose human population was unknown one could scarcely be expected to say how
many dogs it contained. Probably in no other city in the world have there been such hordes of ownerless dogs, indolent dogs and in some parts of the city troublesome dogs as in Constantinople.
THE NEW CONSTITUTION
LIBERTY, like day,
TERE the missionaries connected with the
recent change in the Government?”' a missionary in Constantinople was asked.
“Some enthusiastic persons have expressed their belief that the great change in Turkey which startled the world on July 24, 1908, was largely due to the work and influence of American missionaries, reply. “No missionary, however, will claim so much as this without important limitation and reservation. The leaders in the movement which culminated that day, Nyazi Enver and his companions, were never in any way directly under missionary influence. The same may be said of all the members of the present Cabinet. The forces that pushed them forward were European civilization and education, and the firm and fierce purpose to lift their country out of the quicksands in which the now deposed and discredited Government was sinking her." “What of the future?''
“If Americans long resident in Turkey are not as optimistic as some think they ought to be regarding the speedy establishment of Constitutional Government in Turkey, it is because the leaders have had their training in southern and central rather than in northern Europe, and among Latin rather than Anglo-Saxon peoples. There is danger that these young men will tire under the stress and strain of the tremendous task which they have undertaken. They have made a beginning, a good beginning. They cherish noble aims and purposes and they should have our utmost sympathy. The Mohammedans who are out of sympathy with the new régime greatly outnumber those who really desire equality and fraternity to prevail. The Arabs on one side and the Albanians on the other have little love for Turks. The Christian races do not easily forget—who could expect they would?—the centuries of Ottoman oppression under which they and their fathers have groaned. Who can be surprised if they are not anxious suddenly to become Ottomans, unless it be under cover of a desire, and perhaps a purpose by and by, to realize national ambitions long crushed down under the heel of the Ottomans?”
“Does this mean that the missionaries claim no credit for the improvement of affairs in Turkey?”
“Thank God evidence is not lacking that efforts put forth by American missionaries during the last threequarters of a century to instil into the minds of the youth of Turkey the principles on which rests the better