« السابقةمتابعة »
at each stopping-place, and by the roadside as we passed, indicating a remarkably favorable change of feeling toward the giaours in these latter days.
“As we proceeded on our way, suddenly a dark cloud rose from behind Mount Olympus, and came advancing toward the plain. The lightning flashed from it, and the thunder rolled fearfully down the mountain side. It drew near, and the rain and hail came like falling columns upon us. Our horses whirled round and trembled with fear, and we knew not but another earthquake was just at hand, so great was the commotion of the elements. Yet the scene was one of the sublimest in nature, filling the mind with awe. The storm continued only a few minutes, and sweet indeed was the sunshine, 'when 'twas past.' It diffused, too, a delightful coolness in the air, and cleansed and purified the face of the landscape. The approach to Broosa, under these circumstances, was exceedingly beautiful, as the clear sunlight was gilding the shattered minarets, domes, and towers, and painting the rainbow upon the dark background of cloud that passed behind the city.
“We began to see the effects of the earthquake immediately upon entering the suburbs. The plaster was shaken from the sides of the houses, the tiles and timbers from the roofs, the walls were cracked.
Some buildings were entirely thrown down in a mass, the domes of the mosques
were crushed in, the tops of the minarets broken off, and piles of stone and rubbish filled the streets. Here, huge boulders came tumbling down the mountain, and crushed everything before them, and a little beyond, we passed by the ruins of a large silk factory, where forty girls were buried in the fall, and some of them crushed instantly to death by one of these large masses of rock rolling through the building, though others lived for several hours, screaming for help. Their bodies are still lying under the heaps of rubbish. The terrified inhabitants fled from the earthquake at once upon the plain, but after the first shocks had passed, returned to the city, and gathered materials to build huts and tents for safety, entirely deserting their shattered houses. They had just begun to return and repair them, however, when a second earthquake came upon them, more destructive than the first, laying waste the city, and forcing them to flee again for temporary protection to their huts and tents. They have now begun to return a second time and prop up their houses, and build little wooden stalls for trading, and some are erecting new residences. The silk factories, most of which were but slightly injured, have commenced operation, and quite a new spirit of activity and enterprise is springing up in the city. Yet they all live in constant dread of another shock without a moment's warning.
“It was sad indeed, as we wound through the streets, to see such marks of ruin and desolation on every hand. We arrived at the house of a Protestant Armenian, just as the sun was setting and flooding the sky with golden glory. How delightful it is to receive the cordial welcome of a friend in a strange land, and that too from the hand of a stranger, when a spirit of Christian love fills the heart.
“We came drenched with wet and exhausted by our journey. They at once provided us with dry clothing, a neat room, and a mangal of coals in the centre; sent a servant with a basin of warm water to wash and rub our feet, as is the oriental custom; gave us Armenian cloaks lined with fur, to prevent our taking cold by the exposure; prepared us an excellent supper from the well-cooked dishes of the country; brought pipes and tobacco for a soothing influence, and then sat down and talked, till a late hour in the evening, of the Gospel and the love of Christ. I remarked :
"This was far greater kindness than I ever expected from a stranger, far in the interior of Turkey.'
"Oh,' said they, when our benefactors from America come to visit us, we love to express to them the fulness of our gratitude for sending us the Bible and the Gospel of salvation. you to receive it all as coming from our heart.'
MOSQUE OF BAJAZID.
“I said to them, 'It seemed like Bunyan's Pilgrim at the palace called Beautiful, who was received and entertained simply because his name was Christian.'
“We too slept in the chamber of Peace,' and awoke to sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord and Saviour.
“In the morning, after accomplishing my official business, I set out to explore the ruins of the city. First I visited several of the old khans or large public buildings, with an open court in the centre, let to merchants and travellers. These were all filled with ruins, so that it was quite impossible to occupy them. Then I came to the Mosque of Sultan Bajazid, the largest in the empire. Its principal walls are still standing. I readily obtained admission by giving a backshish to the keeper of the keys. The architectural effect of the immense columns, and the twentyfour domes supporting the roof, and the sense of vastness within, surpasses any of the mosques I have visited at Constantinople. It is adorned with inscriptions in golden letters from the Koran on the walls, and the high altar is elaborately wrought and gilded in the arabesque style. A fountain is still playing in the centre, though the domes are so much shattered and crushed, that it is not used for Moslem worship. Through some I could see the clouds passing, and the clear blue
VIEW FROM THE MINARET.
sky above. It seemed dangerous to remain long, as the least agitation would have precipitated the broken cornices and columns upon us. I therefore hastened out, when an old Turk stepped up to me at the door, and asked with an air of great satisfaction:
"Well, Chelibi, have you any such great buildings as this in your country, where you came from ?'
“I said, 'Yes, this was very grand, but the Franks had Cathedrals much more splendid.'
“At which he expressed much surprise and said, Allah mashallah, 'God is merciful,' and walked away.
“I then with much difficulty gained permission to ascend one of the minarets and take a view of the city, perhaps the first time this was ever granted to a European. The Moslems guard their minarets with special care, and allow none but Muezzims, or criers to prayer, to climb them, and these are often selected from among the blind, lest they should see any of their women unveiled as they walk out into the private gardens. The panorama around was beautiful beyond description. Mount Olympus towered above in rugged grandeur; Broosa, with its khans and mosques, its fountains, factories, and palaces, partly in ruins, partly active with life, stretched along the mountain side; and beyond lay the lovely plain, planted with the mul