Constantinople (edited from B.L. Add.Mss. 56529)

Constantinople is a much more interesting place than Athens.  The “English Palace”, or Embassy, provides Byron and Hobhouse with a wider circle of friendly associates than do Mrs Macri, or Lusieri, Fauvel and Galt.  And although the city has nothing to parallel the mythical power of the Acropolis, and its environs nothing to equal the plain of Marathon, it has plenty of surprises to make up.  The myth which grows in the young men’s minds about the tragic reforming Sultan Selim III – assassinated only the year before – is balanced by a glimpse of realpolitik when they experience an audience with his successor, the cryptic Mahmoud II.  Athens has in 1810 ceased to exist, and is ruled by spooks; Constantinople is an energetic metropolis, politically mobile and socially pullulating: there are floor shows of every kind, from the quasi-sacred to the freakishly pornographic.  All Greece can offer is rude puppet displays; in Constantinople you can chose between bazaars and mosques, the Turning Dervishes and the Howling Dervishes, lascivious boys dancing and toothless prostitutes touting, the a—e palace and the Hagia Sophia, the Valley of Sweet Waters and the Symplegades.

Friday May 11th 1810

Fair light wind and rain.  Weighed anchor [at] ten.  Passed the forts – saluted, seventeen guns – returned by the Asia Fort.  Sailing along, came to where the Hellespont appears the narrowest: a battery on Asia side, and high land with a vale running down to the shore, forty miles at least from [the] town of Maito1 in the bay on the Europe side, and five from the Dardanelles.  Current here less.  Channel of the Hellespont does not widen much for some distance.  The most beautiful scenery on either side; cultivated hedgerow land interspersed with romantic villages.

About five o’clock, came to opposite Lamsaki,2 a middle-sized town on low land, coming out into the strait, and, two miles farther on the Europe side, the large town of Gallipoli.  Appearance of an old tower, and a range of perpendicular rocks looking like fortifications – a lighthouse a little farther on.  A shoal runs from Gallipoli, and also from Lamsaki, straits widen very much on Asia side – calm at night – Gallipoli out of sight.

Saturday May 12th 1810

Made very little way3 in the night out of the straits.  High land of Europe rather more barren, but villages to the water’s edge – islands – off a long narrow low one, and the rocky island of Marmora,4 at five and six.  Light and baffling airs all day – in the evening at eight breeze sprung up – five-knot breeze all night.

Sunday May 13th 1810

In the morning <almost in the mouth of the Bosphorus> don’t see mouth of Bosphorus till round Seraglio Point.  Low, green land of Thrace near.5  Very distant land in Asia – Ponte Grande6 – three bridges over a marsh, six hours from Constantinople (No, no).7  Now in sight with a glass.  One o’clock, wrote this from Tuesday. – – – – – – –

Have been reading Lord Chesterfield8 – admire him very much, but he mentions a “pretty person” as to be possessed by the accomplished gentleman, so his precepts are not for me.9

First view of Constantinople two o’clock, the white minarets of Sultan Achmed and Santa Sophia looking like Kings College Chapel at a distance.  Came on to blow hard from the north.  Beating up, view obscured by the bad weather – innumerable minarets.

Anchored a little before sunset, nearly off the first point before the Seraglio Point … dined in gun room …

Monday May 14th 1810

Cold rainy bad weather.  Left the frigate in the gig at twelve.10  Rowed round the first point.  There were waiting fellows with rope lines, which they flung into the boat and towed her against the strong current under the walls of the Seraglio Gardens for more than a mile.

Saw two dogs gnawing a body.11

Walls of the Seraglio without artillery – gloomy appearance of the dark cypress trees rising above the walls.12  Rowed over to the other side of the Canal to Tophana, the cannon foundry, where landed, and went after some little time on horseback, climbing up a hill to the inn in Pera, where four ways meet, the gayest in Pera but most miserable, and small – bad as Wapping.13  We get two very decent rooms indeed, and are served with the best inn dinner we have met with out of London.  Very cold – a large billiard room at our inn – the man well-bred and polite.  Good butter from Belgrade,14 but not made into the English consistence.  In the evening gentlemen from frigate called – had a fire in room.

Tuesday May 15th 1810

A finer day – determined to have a tooth out, which has been long my occasional misery.  Sent for a Jew who extracts for the Grand Signor, and who, when first sent for to the Seraglio had recourse to this expedient: the instant he got the instrument on the Sultan’s tooth, he twisted it out and fell backwards with a great scream – the Sultan jumped up and inquired the cause of his alarm, but before he could be answered began spitting blood, and to his great joy found his tooth was out, the scream of the Jew having taken away his attention from the pain of the operation.15  This man pulled out my tooth very well indeed.

Byron called on Canning16 – praises him much.  Captain Bathurst called twice today – good dinner again, with Pontac and Hock and good London porter.

Wednesday May 16th 1810

Up ten.  Called on Mr Canning.17  English Palace18 very superb, of stone.  Large rooms – a throne.  Suites of apartments, but damp.  Number of servants – a burying ground, not unpleasant, in Turkey, below, and then the port or canal, with the Turkish men-of-war making a fine show.  The effects of the late fire19 close to the Palace, but quickly rebuilding.  Mr Canning pleasing young man with a vulgar voice.20  A fine day.  View from the inn, the palaces of the Seraglio, the mouth of the Bosphorus, and of the Canal.  The town on the low land below Scutari (Calcedon formerly, not Scutari)21 and Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmora.

Dined at the Palace, Mr Canning, Mr Meyers, Mr Biddle, and Dr Bates.22  Dinner cut at the side table – a bad plan.  Mr Adair23 desired to see me and I went to his room.  I saw him, very pale and weak, dark eyes, but an ugly man, mild manners.  Tells me he knew my father.24  Detests the Turks.  Santa Maura taken – many Albanians killed.25  Mr Adair says “we.”26  Dragoman to the Porte is called “mon Prince”27 Desired when we do not dine at the Palace to give notice.

Thursday May 17th 1810

Fine day.  Up at ten.  Walked with Andrew28 to Tophana, thence to Galata, where the foreign merchants have their warehouses.  Principal streets built of stones and more regular and large than Pera, from which it is separated on the upper part by a castellated wall, underneath which is a rope-walk, and near the gate the high round tower of Galata, built by the Latins.  A cone of windows crowns the tower, and here there is a guard who beat a large drum on the occasion of a fire and scream from the top of the Tower.  Hearing music, went into a room like a hall with a gallery all round it.  This was a wine-house29 and here I saw a boy dancing in a style indescribably beastly, scarcely moving from one place, but making a thousand lascivious motions with his thighs, loins, and belly.30  Small tables set out in various parts of the gallery.  The boys Greeks with very thick and long hair.  An old wretch striking a guitar and singing kept close to the dancer, and at the most lecherous moments cried out, “Ομοφφα ομδφα!!”31

Called on Mr Baraband.32  Entered our new lodging in Pera, for which we are to give 300 piastres per month in advance, exchanging fifteen-and-a-quarter in pounds sterling!33 A good house, four rooms.  Dined at the Palace again, in uniform.

Friday May 18th 1810

Up ten.  Put on uniform, and at two went on board the Salsette.  Thence proceeded with Captain Bathurst and officers to see the Capitan Pasha34 in his office by the arsenal in the Golden Horn, where the fleet lies.  Received by him in a splendid room at the water’s edge.  He did not rise.  Black eye, black beard, reported to be a very savage fellow.  Asked Captain Bathurst if the wind was likely to continue long in the same quarter as today.  Asked him if he had a man on board to manage the compass for him.  He has never yet been at sea.35  He gave no pipes.36

Captain Bathurst, in his ironbound, returned first on board, then home.  Dined at the Palace.  Mr Meyers tells me the society here once was good, there having been twelve respectable missions, who were able, with their friends and guests, to keep up a good company without mixing with the dragomans.  Society divided into the diplomacies, the dragomans by family, who are very numerous, and the merchants, who are not at all respectable.  Great abilities and extreme exertions of Mr Adair, who has succeeded in persuading the Porte that no concessions will prevent their subversion by the French.37  Want of communication between the governments and the embassies; Mr Maubourg, the French Chargé d’affairs,38 has been six months without a dispatch [from] France, who does not think it worth while to send a Plenipo39 here.  England and Germany alone have one.

Saturday May 19th 1810

This day, went with Byron and a party to the wine houses of Galata.  Took pipes, and saw two old and ugly boys, who wrung the sweat off their brows, dance as before, waving their long hair.  Also they spread a mat and, putting on a kind of shawl, performed an Alexandrian woman’s dance – much the same, except that they knelt, and, covering each other’s heads, seemed as if kissing.  One of Mr Adair’s Janissaries,40 who talks English and has been in England, was with us.  I asked him if these boys would not be hanged in England.41 “Oh yes, directly.  De Turk take and byger dem d’ye see?”

For this beastly sight we paid fifty-five piastres, five to the boys each, and five to all fiddlers and singers and performers &c.,42 nor is this dear, I understand.  Turk boys are not allowed to dance.

Afterwards we went up the tower of Galata – 147 steps – hollow tower with a habitation at the top.  View every part of this beautiful city, but cannot discover the seven hills.  The Pera side most uneven, apparently.

Dined at the Palace.  Sent off a packet in two parts to Matthews43 by a Tartar to Smyrna, and one to Seton.44

Sunday May 20th 1810

Up ten.  Called on by the officers of the Salsette.  Saw a procession preceded by six men in German livery – crosses and chanters, and a car adorned with flowers containing a dead priest, his face and hands uncovered, and the body dressed up as when living45 – his eyes were open, and a rheum running from one of them.  I thought at first it was a waxen image.

Just opposite our windows is a convent for women, and a chapel where there is service performed and where I hear prayers chanting.46

Walked out down the street of Pera to the Armenian burying-ground and the large barracks, a regular-built white building.  Here were all sorts of diversions: coaches or light waggons drawn by a pair of oxen, horses ready saddled, ups-and-downs,47 sherbet stands, and games of chance such as I have seen in England – teetotums, the leather and the stick, at which I lost five shillings.48  Here also was wrestling; the men were quite naked except for a pair of loose drawers.  Their great attempt was to be uppermost, making no account of falling, and sometimes linked exactly as in the Pancratium picture in Potter.49  Here were tents also, and groups sitting under the trees under the tombs.  Parties seen strolling along the different roads into the country, the Turks seeming principally to enjoy the leisures of the Xtian sabbath.

The distant view here is also very beautiful: Scutari, the Bosphorus, and the villages on this side.

Came home.  Saw a procession.  Two men carrying a pole, to which hung two kettles or pots, then a double line of men with sticks, and lastly a man, strangely dressed with [a] large bell-looking button.  The Janissaries at the Ambassador’s gates stood up reverently as they passed.  These were the kettles of the Janissaries,50 and their cook, to which they pay more respect than to their standards or their colonel.

Dined at the Palace, and shown by Mr Canning a very large collection of pictures containing the costume of Turkey and of some parts of Constantinople.

Monday May 21st 1810

Breakfasted half-past eight at the Palace.  Went with Captain Bathurst, Mr Jackson, Mr Bidell and Chamier,51 having Mustapha and another Janissary, to Constantinople.  Visited the bazaars – covered in, very full of women and people, and a great display of all kinds of merchandise.  Each bazaar confined to some peculiar kind of goods.  Went to the buistun,52 very full – criers with goods in their hands walking round the enclosure.  Asked 450 piastres for a Damascus blade.  Visited a Han of stone53 with iron gates, enclosing a yard, which are shut up in case of fires, insurrections, &c.  Small rooms, neatly enough furnished, let out to merchants.  180 of these in Constantinople, that which I saw the largest and of a considerable size, with trees in the yard.

Visited the 1,001 pillars,54 underground, formerly a reservoir, now sunk in the earth and half only of pillars apparent.  Here were a number of silk twisters.55  There are not 1,001 pillars.  Visited the Burnt Column56 and went into a house to get at its base, which is square.  Visited the Atmeidan,57 an oblong open piece of ground running along the rails of the court of the mosque58 of Sultan Achmet.  Here we saw the great granite Obelisk59 on a base of marble with reliefs and a Latin inscription, on one side of which there are three lines and this is the last:

Omnia Theodoris cedunt pubolique perennia60

Saw also famous brazen twisted serpents,61 part sunk in the earth, but whether the head or the tail is not agreed.  It grows bigger towards the bottom.  They are hollow, and filled with stones broken at the top.  [On] one side of the Atmeidan are sheds with coaches in them.  Went into the court of the mosque, and the outward hall where are noble pillars of red granite.  Could not enter the mosque.  This has six minarets, which is singular to it alone; and having a noble court with trees has a great effect.

Near the mosque saw the sepulchre of Sultan Achmet, the founder.62  Went on to the walls and the gate of the Seraglio gardens, high and gloomy, with the niches on each side of the gate where the heads of criminals are exposed, the body being flung on a dung mixen63 near.  Looked through a grating in a building near, and saw the sepulchres of Sultans Mustapha and Selim,64 with red and yellow turbans.  Saw [the] outside of St Sophia, and in the court of Sultan             65 mosque, saw the sarcophagus of red granite, supposed to have been the tomb of Constantine66 – it has no covering, and is now full of water.  Came to the new mosque, where we had entered, and where is a kind of old clothes fair,67 and dined in a kebab68-house a half mile further.  Kebab, little pieces of fried mutton with milk and butter, very good indeed.  Meat dressed on a dresser in the outer shop and carried into a kind of coffee-room with boxes behind.  We had a room – there is but one, upstairs – drank sherbet, which is very sweet.

Went across the water to the Arsenal and thence to the Galeogis Wharf, where saw a dead man on his belly with his head off lying between his legs, face upwards.  He had been executed yesterday on the same spot.  The skin was off his legs and arms by bastinado or burning.  He had been a Greek Cogia Basha69 and was from Toccala.  His face was black and he seemed to have been dead a week at least.

Walked up burying-ground to the English Palace, and thence home where wrote this very imperfect account of the day’s tour, which has left upon me a much more favourable idea of Constantinople than I entertained before.  The streets are clean, more regular, wider, and better built than Pera, and the bazaar and buistun are very striking, even to a person acquainted with and accustomed to the wealth and the shops of London.70  The number of Jews everywhere immense – not insulted.  Saw many armed men.

Dined at the Palace.

Tuesday May 22nd 1810

Rainy weather.  Did nothing, but after dinner two balleures de pavé71 all night which were brought by the inimitable serious Mr Buffo,72 the man who personated the bear before Sultan Selim.

Wednesday May 23rd 181073

Up ten.  Rainy cold weather, but walked with Mr Bidwell and Dr Bates74 to the Topgis barrack.75  Passed the burying-ground down the hill to the gardens of the Sultan’s palace on the Bosphorus, at the entrance of the garden is a picquet,76 and tents placed, now the Sultan is at his country residence.  Went to the wood wharf where had a view of part of his palace, which is directly on the water’s edge.  Returned towards Pera by another road and turning into a small house on the side of a hill saw the kennel of the Sultan’s bear-dogs – sixteen very large mastiff-looking dogs, each of whom roused themselves at our entrance and looked fierce enough, though double-chained, to frighten us away.  Met a Greek burial, face and hands exposed as before.77

Dined at the Palace.  Byron not going.78

Thursday May 24th 1810

Up ten.  Rode out at two with Mr Canning to a place called Sweet Waters,79 in a valley, where runs one of the rivers which serves to make the port of Constantinople.  The river has here the appearance of a canal cut straight, each bank having a row of large trees, giving the place very much the appearance of being laid out by some European, which I hear it was.80

Crossed the river, passed through village, crossed another wooden bridge, and proceeded down the long enclosed valley, where the Sultan’s horses were feeding in great numbers, with tents pitched for the guard of them.  These guards fired on Mr Meyers one night as he was returning from Belgrade, his Janissary galloping off as fast as he could.

Ascended the hill on the right, and rode over a fine down to a barrack, burnt down in Muchtar Bairacta’s rebellion.81  Returned there by the large Topgis barracks.

Home.  Dined at the Palace.  Mr Bidwell has mentioned that the Janissaries will protect not only one of their body from the Turks, but that one regiment has been known to protect a deserter from another who had asked their support.  The English ambassador is put under the protection of a whole regiment, about 200 men – the 40th.  Some regiments have 800, some 1,200 men.  The Topgis joined them in the late rebellion, and are now considered as belonging to their corps.  They are 8,000 men and perform the part of City guard.

Friday May 25th 1810

Up eleven.  Went with a party to the Turning Dervishes.82  We were conducted into the room by a private door and were seated in the gallery of the room, which was octagonal with the interior part railed off, with a wood floor, highly polished.  We waited some time, when the large door opposite the red carpet placed for the Superior of the order83 was opened, and the Turks rushed in exactly like the mob into a playhouse, each however carefully taking off his shoes or slippers as he entered.  The place outside the rails and the gallery was soon nearly filled.  The dervishes dropped in one by one, and as they entered the railed enclosure, most reverently, and most of them most gracefully, bowed to the Superior’s seat.  At last the Superior entered, better dressed than the rest, and with his feet not naked.  With him was another man, better dressed, who seemed to officiate afterwards as clerk.84  Other dervishes arrived, and went up into the gallery opposite the Superior, where were lying four small cymbal drums.  The Superior now began praying for about ten minutes.  Then a dervish stood up in the gallery and sang from a book for some time.  Next the drums were beat, and a general song commenced in the gallery, four dervishes playing also on long yellow cane-pipes, to tunes by no means unpleasant and indeed something like an English air.

On some sudden note being struck, the dervishes all suddenly fell flat on their faces, clapping their hands all at once on the earth.  Then the music ceased, and the Superior began again to pray.  Then he rose and began to march slowly round the room, all the others following and bowing, each of them, on both sides of the Superior’s cushion.  They compassed the room three times, the Superior bowing also, but not to the cushion only – when he was half-way across it – then the Superior re-seated himself, prayed a short time, the music struck up, and the dervishes stood up.  Fourteen out of the twenty who were present let drop a long coloured petticoat and threw off their cloaks, then the clerk marched past the Superior and bowed, retiring into the middle of the room.

A dervish followed, bowed and began to whirl, his long petticoat flying out.  [sketch]85 The rest all followed, and soon all were in a whirl, a circle round the room, and three or four in the middle – the arms of one man alone were held straight upwards, the rest had theirs extended horizontally, out full length, generally with the palm of one hand turned upwards, and of the other downward, the fingers close together.  Two of them had their right arm crooked like a kettle spout.

Some of them turned with great speed – they revolved round the room imperceptibly – the clerk continued walking amongst them and the Superior waving his body gently <backwards and> sideways and smiling.  They continued at this work for twenty-five minutes but with four short intervals.  The last time they turned ten minutes, nor did any one seem affected by this strange exercise, though there was one boy about fifteen and another seventeen perhaps.

The clerk, after the turning and music ceased, prayed, and a man walking round threw his cloak upon each of the dervishes as he was in his place bending to the earth.  The Superior then prayed the last prayer and we left him in the midst of it.86

These dervishes are more liberal and learned (in Arabic) than any men in Turkey (see Rubruquis p 119)87 &c., and the public is obliged to them for the preservation [of] the beauties of the Arabic, as all of them are instructed in that tongue, and as they gather together collections of books in that language.

Dined at the Palace as usual – beat Mr Canning at chess after a very long uphill game.

Saturday May 26th 1810

Went with Byron, the Captain, and a large party, to the Arsenal, the Dock, the Rope-yard, the brass nail foundry, and the ships.

First called on the Minster of Marine,88 whom [we] found with a kind of painting apparatus and hair pencil, painting a sprig of flower upon small bits of written paper, and handing them off to Turks in waiting.  He seemed full of himself and smiled heartily, especially at young Mr Chamier89 being an officer, which circumstance seemed indeed to strike everybody.90  He said first, “I love English Captains”, then “I love English seamen”.

The water is deep enough up to the piers for a three-decker, and one was lying there, and about nine two-deckers, and also the La Justice which carried Denon91 to Egypt, now called the La Victorieuse, with a palm bunch at the head.  There are several well-contrived marine inventions, one for hoisting masts up the ship, good store rooms, but not full and but little work going on in them.  There are several piers of stone for heaving down, but had Selim92 lived it was his intention to have run a stone wharf all along the extent of the port.  He introduced several improvements, and built a college for cadets of marine.

A neat house on the water’s edge near the dock, with a green rail on one side of it.  Saw a three-decker on the stocks.  A man a hundred years old.  Russian prisoners93 chained, working.  Went on board the Sultan Selim, 120 guns, compliment 1,200 men, who the captain said were all on board Capitan Pacha’s ship.  His cabin very elegant – not particularly large – with a stern galley, and beautiful marble quarter-galleries with a small hole to drop the excrement in, and water and sponges at hand.94  Captain’s Cabin not good, nor the gun room.  Officer’s cabins forward, immense – oven for bread-baking – four large cannon on each side with [  ] without trucks or wheels.

Whilst on board, Capitan Pacha passed in his gilded barge, going to Buyuckdere, and the trumpeters mounted on the poop and played melancholy but not unpleasant music, as also did those in the other three-decker ships.  In commission now ten [are] ten seventy-fours and two three-deckers.95  Sultan Selim clean and sweet, and quarter looking clean, of course, not being burthened with any conveniences or necessaries for the crew.

Went on board a seventy-four96 commanded by a man who was taken at Alexandria by the English, and who, being afraid to return to Constantinople, stayed three years in Syracuse with another man, who had also been in power in Alexandria.97  He was with this captain.  When the English returned to this city the Captains returned also, but the government was going to cut off their heads, a proceeding prevented by Mr Adair, who not only saved them but got them a ship – we were most heartily received.  They spoke Italian, regretted they were unprepared, and would have sent for coffee.  Upon discerning Mr Meyers, with whom they had come up the Archipelagoes in the Pylades,98 they hastened to him with delight in every feature, pressed him tenderly by the hand, asked him a thousand questions, and showed their love and gratitude by a thousand expressions of kindness.  ’Tis a pity that we cannot call again on board this ship, as that notice might be dangerous to these grateful persons.

Leaving the seventy-four, we proceeded by the dock, up the burying-ground, and so home.

Did not either of us dine at the Palace today.  In the evening I took a walk [at] nine o’clock with Mr Ekenhead to three <bawdy>-houses, two amongst the ruins of Pera, and met no-one.99  Warm day.

Sunday May 27th 1810

Breakfasted half-past seven at the Palace.  Proceeded on board the frigate afterwards, thence to Scutari – took horses, a large party.  Horses always to be got, and decent ones.  Rode to the village of Bocyalosce and the hill above, where there is a fount of clear water, sold five paras a two-quart bottle in Constantinople.  On top of the hill are a few shady trees.  It commands a view of the winding of the Bosphorus as far as Buyuckdere, of Constantinople from the Seven Towers to the Topgis Barracks in Pera, of the downs towards Belgrade behind, of the island of Marmora (we did not see it, being a misty stormy day) and of the Princes’ Islands and the Gulf of Nicomedia.  The country immediately round is well-cultivated, with gardens supplying Constantinople with fruit, vineyards, and melon grounds, and towards the Black Sea the ground is divided, with pleasant hedgerows and frequent clumps of trees.  The hill is not quite an hour’s ride from Scutari.  Here Lusieri took his minute drawing of Constantinople.

Proceeded from the hill, leaving Scutari on the right, through a village and hedgerows and corn grounds, to Phanari-batchi,100 a point where are some tall cypresses, a lighthouse yielding a poor light, and a ruin said to have been a house of Constantine ye First,101 afterwards a mosque, and now nothing.  On the south of the point is a fishery.  A man is perched upon a high pole, and when he sees the fish, lets drop the net, as singing birds are ensnared – here at a little distance from the point, behind, are two raised banks with stone sides o’ershadowed with high and venerable trees, with a fountain playing in each of them, and in a square bath of cold spring water102 four feet deep, which may be made sufficiently private by a canvas curtain contrived to drop on the side of the bank next to the other parterre.

Here we took some cold provisions, and afterwards some coffee and pipes provided by the Turk bostanjic,103 the tenant of this retreat.  Under the contiguous shades was a large party of gentlemen and ladies carousing with a genteel apparatus of tablecloths, &c.104

Left the place two o’clock.  Proceeded homewards through fields and through the town of Katikue (Calcedon) to Scutari.  Passed by the railed enclosure intended for the exercise of the Kiram Jedid by [the] Sultan, and the site of the barracks burnt down,105 capable of containing 30,000 men – also by his mosque near the barracks, and the regular wide-built streets which this enterprising Sultan intended to have allotted to manufacturers in silk and other precious stuffs; as it is, cottons are sent from Smyrna to England, spun there, and thence imported into Constantinople to be worked into garments, furniture &c.106  Here visited the printing-house, only one press which in twelve years has printed no more than forty different books: bought the new regulations of the Ottoman Empire107 in French – small folio.

Got into the boat, and crossed over to Tophana, going, on account of the current, within Leander’s Tower,108 where are five small cannon for salutations and [  ].

Came home, dined at Palace as usual.  Mr Bidwell today told me that a Sultan had left so much to feed a number of cats twice a week in the court of Ahmet’s mosque: “To endow a college or a cat”,109 and also related that when a dependant of Yusuf Pacha, the present Prime Vizier, had knocked out his eye with a djerid,110 he called the man to him and gave him a sum of money to maintain himself, but desired him to leave him instantly, “For,” said he, “when I become fully sensible of the loss which this accident has occasioned to me, I may perhaps be induced to revenge myself upon you for the injury”.111  It is reported that Selim used to walk familiarly with General Sebastiani in the gardens of the Serail.112  Mustapha told me today that had Bairactar arrived in the palace one hour sooner, the life of Selim had been saved, and that had Bairactar seized Tophana, all the Janissaries in the empire could not have beat him out of it – – – – –

Monday May 28th 1810

Up eight.  Put on gay regimentals,113 went with Byron to the Palace, where stayed some time, negotiations [being] entered into for settling Byron’s precedency, which terminated unsuccessfully, and he went away because he would not suffer Mr Canning to walk before him.114  I did not recognise Mr Adair, he being in green and gold regimentals.

Procession set forward – the Janissaries, about a hundred in two rows, twenty marines in two [rows], Mr Ekenhead and Mr Lloyd115 at their head on horseback, a dozen servants at least in two lines in yellow and gold and blue, and gold liveries, Holpa116 the dragoman, fourteen sailors in two lines, two officers, and the Master of the Ceremonies at their head.117  Inside the sailors, eight or ten like pages in red, with fur caps, surrounding Mr Adair on horseback, two leading his horse, two supporting the horse close behind.  Then came Mr Canning, then Captain Bathurst, then Mr Consul Morier,118 then myself, then Mr Bidwell, then several gentlemen from the ship, and the gentlemen of the Levant company.119  We proceeded to Tophana [where] the marines and sailors embarked in the large cutter belonging to the frigate, Mr Adair with Mr Pisani120 and the master of the ceremonies in his own barge.  Mr Canning, Captain Bathurst, Mr Bidwell and myself with another in a large country barge.  The frigate was strung with colours, the yards manned, and as the ambassador passed, a salute was fired of seventeen guns.

Landing at             121 Mr Adair, Mr Canning, Mr Morier, Mr Bidwell, Captain Bathurst, myself and one or two others paid respects in a small room to the Bashi122 and had pipes, &c., &c., a long embroidered napkin being laid, part on the Bashi’s knees, part on Mr Adair’s.

On coming out, the whole party mounted on horses richly caparisoned, and sent in great numbers from the Porte for the purpose, and proceeded as before with a smaller guard of Janissaries, the Fortieth123 being left on the other side.  Rode up hill some time, then passed by the walls of the old Seraglio, and in half an hour arrived at the Porte, or government houses (the old one burnt down) the windows of which were all filled with heads gazing at us.  Hurried upstairs arm-in-arm with Mr Bidwell, an immense crowd of Turks pressing about us, with no ceremony for any soul but the Ambassador.

Went through two or three apartments – entered the audience room.  Mr Adair stopped, spoke a little, then the Caimacan,124 or Vice Grand Vizier, entered, and was saluted with a loud prayer (πολυχεονιζειν).125  Mr Adair and he stepped up the step of the room together, and another shout was made – the Caimacan then seated himself, and Mr Adair opposite him in an armchair (the privilege of Ambassadors only), when a third loud prayer was let off.

Mr Adair then made his speech, which he repeated by heart, having it, however, written on his hand (I was close behind his chair): “Having obtained permission from the King of England to return to my country,126 I have come hither to take leave of your Highness.  And I have to request that your Highness will procure me my last audience of the Grand Signor, on the first convenient day.127  I have to express to your Highness the grateful recollection which I preserve of the attention which I have received during the whole of my embassy, and to assure your highness that on my return to England I shall continue by every means in my power to give strength and durability to that peace which it was my good fortune to conclude between the Sublime Porte and His Majesty the King of England.128  I beg that your Highness will exert yourself to the same end, and co-operate with my successor in preserving the alliance and amity at present so happily existing between the two nations.”

This was the substance, and as nearly as I can recollect, the words, of Mr Adair’s speech, which was interpreted by the dragoman of His Highness in a speech appearing to me three times as long, and so low I could not hear him.  The Caimacan then began.  He endeavoured to repeat also, but was out once or twice, and obliged to look on his paper, repeating, as I heard myself, one word over two or three times like a boy at school.  His speech was interpreted by the same man in French to Mr Adair but I hardly heard a word of it.  The dragomen are afraid of speaking loud in presence of a Turk – the greater the dignity, the lower they speak.129

Then sherbet, sweet meats and perfume were served to Mr Adair and the Caimacan, but to no-one else, all the rest being standing, bowing with greatest reverence when being spoken to by the Reis Effendi (Foreign Secretary) on his left hand, the Kiagha Bey or Home Secretary on his right, kissing the hem of the Caimacan’s garment, for it is a maxim that before a superior a man (a Turk) loses all his dignity, and this Vice Vizier, a Pasha of three tails,130 by a slight horizontal motion of his hand, might (would) have every Turk in the room carried off to death.  Then the pellice of honour, of sable and gold-work, on a white ground outside, was put on Mr Adair, and a miserable imitation of it in a kind of sackcloth on the dragoman of the Caimacan, who put his nose almost to the ground for it.  Then seven cloth and dark fur pellices were distributed and put on by Pisani (before the Caimacan) who it seems has the allotment of them, calling over the names from a paper, which has a bad effect, then about ten white pellices with stuff were given, one of which I got; and then a few gowns without fur.  This was a most tedious time.

The room a small one, quite full and running with sweat, the Turks crowding and treading on your toes.  The ambassador then rose, and the Caimacan with him, when we all hustled out of the room as quick as we could and I very nearly lost my horse.  We proceeded as before, except that there were a number of Turks sent by the Caimacan preceding the Ambassador to see him to his boat, where we got at last, the streets being crowded everywhere, but not so as to retard the procession at all.

We crossed to Tophana, the frigate again saluting, and went up to the palace as we came down, except that the marines played off the drums and fife, to the great scandal and annoyance of the French and with a very paltry effect, as they had only their side arms.

I dined at the Palace but Byron did not, indeed I found him packing up and going the day after but one to Smyrna by way of Mickalitch.132

Pisani dined at the Palace, and told some curious yarns.  Mustapha Bairactar133 was taken in by a great dinner given by the Janissaries at Sweet Waters, dismissed his troops, and two days afterwards had his house set fire to, and was obliged to act out his catastrophe.134  When Selim resigned, he had 35,000 men devoted to him not far from the capital, but he took fright, went to the Mufti, [and] asked him what he must do.  The Mufti could not advise,135 so he wrapped himself up in the robes of Mahomet, and seating himself in a corner of the Seraglio (mosque, I believe) told his attendants to bring his successor, for that he would reign no more.  One of the chief actors in the rebellion was one Mustapha Pasha – [the] Caimacan.  He had been for twenty years the sport of many of the ruling Turks – had been removed from136 his Pashlicks, had lost his tails, &c., all which he bore with a patient shrug,137 but when he came into office, determined to pay himself his debt of revenge, which he did most fully and became a most bloody138 man in a most bloody revolution – the first heads that he cut off were those of the Reis Effendi and the Kiagha Bey,139 two old and innocent men.  He led the Sultan to believe that this would appease the Janissaries, but when the heads were presented in platters before them the soldiers exclaimed “No, no!  These are not the heads we want!”

Mustapha was in his turn beheaded by Bairactar.

Pisani mentioned that many Turks were authors of elegant compositions, many historical, but that fear prevented them from publishing their labours.

He told a story of two blind beggars, one of whom always called on the name of God and the other on the name of the Sultan Mahamut.  They had a pleasant dispute on which was the more efficacious mode of petition.  The Sultan came to hear of it, and ordered the man who called on the name of the Sultan to be given a duck stuffed with zecchins – the blind man put it in his wallet.  Meeting his friend at night, he asked him what luck he had had that day by calling on the name of God. “I have got eight paras,” said he. – “Then you are more lucky than I, for I have only got a duck which was given me at the Seraglio gate,” rejoined the other, “I will buy your duck.  Here are five paras.” – “You shall have it.  I am in no humour for duck tonight.”  The beggar soon ate his way to the money, and when the other man found the bad bargain he had made, “Ah!” he cried, “God has done more for you than the Sultan has for me – he gave me a roasted duck, but he never told me it was stuffed with zecchins.”

This story is stupid enough, but Pisani seemed to think it very good.140

Tuesday May 29th 1810

Up eight.  Breakfasted at the Palace, and afterwards went with Captain Bathurst and a large party from the ship in a boat up the harbour to the spot where the city wall141 begins to cross the peninsula.  There, after waiting some time near a large burying ground, got horses and proceeded by the walls.  They are most picturesque, shaded with large trees, and are three in number. one rising above the other, the inner wall having octagonal towers at short intervals, and in most places very nearly entire, with the ancient battlements.  The outer ditch is now cultivated, and the inner filled up nearly.

We passed by Selivria Copse, and Adrian Copse,142 and other gates, then turned off to the right to see a small church, Agia Panagia,143 where we saw a fish in a little cold fountain lighted up in the chapel, of which they tell this story: when Constantinople was besieged by Mahomet the Second,144 the last of the Cæsars145 was eating in company with a priest on this spot by the side of the fountain.  News was brought to him that the Turks had made a breach in the walls – “That” said the Emperor, “is no more possible than [that] that fried fish on my plate should ever swim in the water again”.  On his saying the word, the fish jumped out of the plate into the water – and the city was taken.  The fish they show is of the same species, they say, i.e., if fried, and in like circumstances, would jump into the water, is now more than 100 years old, and has never been less or will be bigger than it is now.  Its size is about that of a minnow.

We returned to the walls, came to where the first breach was made where there is now a bridge, and also to where Constantine was killed – Egeri Kapua146 – then entered at the gate next to the Seven Towers,147 into which we tried to enter, but were stopped at the gate.  The Seven Towers form eight.148  The angle of the city walls on this side – the length of the walls on this side is reckoned an hour and a half.

We were near that time going fast, but then we went out [of] our way and stopped at one or two of the little coffee-houses, something like those pot-houses on the Islington Road, to take some refreshment, (water and cherries), under the shade of a large tree or two.  We hardly saw one person on the road, so that you might easily suppose the walls to surround a city in ruin, rather than one of the most populous capitals in the world.

Not finding our boat at the Seven Tower stairs, we rode on, keeping near the wall, not on the sea side, through mean streets, with few people stirring.  At last, came to a large printing-cotton manufactory, which we visited, the work all done by hand.  Walked then to a range of coffee-houses, much of the better sort, by the side, where were sitting a crowd of Turks, well-dressed, smoking and listening to some pretty airs of a fiddle and guitar – these coffee-houses are where the story tellers, or meddahs, resort, and are the only theatres of Constantinople.149  The coffee-houses are generally well-contrived, with marble seats and benches, [and] a fountain playing in the middle.  Some of the recesses, or niches, are furnished with a pillow and stuffed carpet or mat, where the Turks sleep undisturbed amidst all the noise of the company.  In many places there are conveniences of this kind on the outside of the coffee-house, but no-one disturbs or notices the sleeper, who in London150 would have his pocket picked and a thousand practical waggeries passed upon him.

We dined on kebab at a wine-house not far off, where some jolly young Turks, the bloods of the quarter perhaps, came and regaled with wine and fruit and got exceedingly tipsy, screaming out at intervals, which is their method of being posing and jovial.  They made us drink with them.

We got into our boat, rowed round Seraglio Point151 (Ackor Kopse, where are the Sultan’s stables) and passed the little green wooden projection from the Seraglio walls, called Balik Hane.  There is one small kiosque-chamber, where the deposed Vizier is sent through a gate from the Seraglio gardens close behind to wait his sentence, and a less[er], single chamber by itself near it, where the prisoner is carried to lose his head.  Pass by several kiosques of the seraglio …152 got on shore, where the cannon are under wooden sheds.  Get into one of the two big ones on my knees – walked along to the boat-houses of the Sultan, saw his large golden barge with a little wooden chamber to hide him from the eyes of his people.  Came to the green <kiosque>153 (pavilion, the outer part being canvas or cloth) where he takes leave of the Grand Vizier when he goes to the army (so Mustapha said, but I believe it not), and here we saw a long silver chair or sofa.

Opposite the water there we embarked and rowed over to Tophana, having thus, by boats, riding, and walking, compassed the whole of Constantinople, stoppages included, from nine to half-past four.  Over the gate leading into the Seraglio gardens near the cannon are some large fish-bones suspended by chains – the Turks say they belong to some giant (Voyage de Benjamin fils de Jonas).154

The last mentioned <kiosque> pavilion is called Tali-Kensch / Teschrid,155 and as there is a spacious open place round it, it is used on certain solemnities, when the Grand Signor seats himself on his silver throne, tents being pitched for the Grandees of the Empire, and the Foreign Ministers, and views games of several kinds, and fireworks – so says Baron D’Atenfels156 – also that the enclosure of the Seraglio is equal to that of Vienna within the ramparts, i.e. 2,000 toises.157  The considerable kiosques from Balikhame to the green pavilion are,  1) Indschouli-Kiosch or the Pearl Pavilion;  2) Mermer-Kiosch, or the Marble Pavilion, supported by five columns of verde antique – and near which within the Seraglio you can see the Corinthian pillar158 of white marble fifty feet high, with this inscription: “Fortunæ reduci ob devictos Gothos” on the pedestal;  3) Yali-Kiosch.159

Seven Towers only five.  Kauffer’s plan of the city160 the best.

Dined at the Palace – a cold dinner at six – beat at chess by Mr Bidwell, to whom I had offered a piece on his saying he could not play at all.

Wednesday May 30th 1810

This evening [I] was informed by Mr Maltass at the Palace that the Armenians, who seem so poor and despicable when abroad or in Constantinople, enjoy every luxury when at home.  Their villas on the banks of the Bosphorus are furnished with every luxury, and in their retreats of Belgrade, where they are unmolested by the Turks, they keep up a continual festival of dancing and feasting and singing during day and night.  He mentioned that the Greeks would undergo the annexed penalty, sometimes death, for wearing yellow boots and slippers, which is the privilege of none but protected Greeks.  The first act of Sultan Selim’s reign was to cut off the head of a Greek whom he met with this distinction when incognito, and he stayed to see the execution performed.  The purser of the Sea Horse and a woman crossed the street before him as he was going incognito.  He ordered them to be bastinado’d.  He was told that one of the offenders was an English officer, and only the woman was cudgelled.

Prince Marousi161 the dragoman, who interpreted for Mr Adair to the Caimacan, has a large house which he has painted of three colours, so as to look like three houses, that no passing Turk may be struck with the presumptuous dimensions of his mansion and obtain his prescription at the Porte, and yet this and other Greek princes, the descendants and kindred of the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia,162 keep a kind of court in the interior of their own houses, where they are courted by the servi servorum163 of their own sect.  The rayahs164 are not allowed to paint their houses of a lively colour.  A physician who had cured a Sultan was desired to name some recompense for his deserts – he only requested permission to paint his house according to his own taste – the house is still shown.

Stayed at home all this day till dinner-time, when dined at the Palace.

Thursday May 31st 1810

Breakfasted at half-past seven at the Palace.  Went to the ship, and from thence in the large cutter up the Bosphorus, a continuation of wooden houses interspersed with palaces of the Sultans and some better-most sort of people, for two hours.  The ground behind being high and well covered with wood, in some places also adorned with hanging gardens.  The whole view wider on both sides, being something entirely unrivalled.  Came in half an hour more to Buyuckdere165 or the village on the bay.  In this deep bay on the left you are fronted with the most beautiful prospect of high waving hills, covered with verdure and terminated with a belt of fine wood, like the plantation of an English park.

Arrived at Buyuckdere, where is a street along the sea-side, chiefly composed of houses belonging to Franks.166  Visited Mr Adair in the house of a Count Ludolf, an honest man who has lost his property in Italy by adhering to the King of Sicily,167 whose resident he is and who pays him nothing.

Set out in Mr Adair’s country boat to the Black Sea, keeping on the Europe side.  The ground becomes higher and less cultivated as you go on on both sides, till at last in the mouth of the Bosphorus you pass by the side of dark rocky precipices.168  With no appearance of that culture, &c., that you have left, you may easily forget your vicinity to the capital, and a voyageur from the Euxine might suppose himself approaching a barren inhospitable land.

In two hours from Buyuckdere came to the Cynaean rocks,169 just opposite and at a little distance from the village of Phanasaki, where is the light house.  Ascended the Black Rocks – not extensive – got on and made a circuit – altar or pedestal still there, five feet high, near six170 in circumference, with a garland and ram’s head in bas-relief carved round it, and cut with modern names.  On the top are several oblong grooves, so that perhaps this was not the whole of the column.

Descended, got into the boat, and rowed round, so [as to] have a view beyond the last Europe point in the Black Sea – saw that the land recedes suddenly backwards more than on the Asian side, so that the entrance into the straits is abrupt, and, as Mr Canning well observed, a person entering them might think them the mouth of some mighty sea monster, the several white forts171 on each side having the resemblance of teeth.  Tasted the water of the Black Sea and all agreed it to be only brackish.

Returned again near the Asian side under the Giant’s Hill, to Buyuckdere in an hour.  Dined at Count Ludolf’s with Mr Adair, who said that the framers of the Austrian match with Bonaparte172 were those Germans who had estates in the Pays-Bas, those who had estates on the frontiers, and some Hungarians.  The Emperor meant it only as a sacrifice for peace, but these men had interested views.  General Marmont173 has ordered the Turks out of the part of Bosnia ceded by the Emperor to the French.

Returned at quarter past seven.  Men tipsy.  Captain Bathurst thumped one of them.  Each side of the canal lighted by a thousand fires.  Passed Turkish fleet, and were hailed, which is extraordinary – came home.  Byron asked me how I did – and then turned sulky, and so went to bed.174

N.B.  Mahomet’s tower is reckoned half way to Buyuckdere, and the narrowest part of the Bosphorus.

Friday June 1st 1810

This morning in bed received a letter from a friend dissolving partnership, to which replied in pencil as well as my surprise would suffer me to do.175  Again reason to remember “expertus metuit”.176  Walked out, it being a cold blowy day, to the Xtian burying ground and Mrs Arbuthnot’s ugly monument.177

Dined at Palace.  Came home, &c., &c.

Saturday June 2nd 1810

Walked out with Mr Ekenhead down to the wood-wharf of Dolma-batchi, Sultan’s present residence, then through Tophana and Galata to the ruins of Pera.  Home.  Dined with Byron and Mr Ekenhead and Mr Mitchell178 at a new inn – not so good as Marchand’s.179

Sunday June 3rd

Rode out with Byron to Mahomet’s Tower,180 or rather the hill above it, where the Bosphorus appears like a majestic river running between lofty and woody banks – chosen for the beauties of its situation to be the site of a suite of villages.  Just opposite is the lovely country house of the Bosphterunyee Basha,181 on a green, with clumps of trees and two fresh-water streams, looking like an English park.

Rode thence to the Valley of Sweet Waters, through the village and down by the canal and straight avenues, to the kiosque in ruins,182 where is a battery of cannon pointing up the valley, and where the water falls over a cascade of marble steps.  Under some larger trees were dining parties, smoking parties, and a Jew conjuror playing off to a French party.

Returned.  Dined at the Palace and hear that Sir Francis Burdett183 has been sent, after a three days’ struggle, to the Tower.  Cool as England, and cooler.

Monday June 4th 1810

King’s birthday.184  Frigate dressed and fired twenty-one guns, as did the [  ].  Walked into Constantinople with Mr Ekenhead – saw the house where they burn and pound coffee in large quantities – pour it by hand.  Visited the mad-house.185  Twenty-five confined, but in a most miserable condition, rags and filth – a chain round their necks, attached to the iron bars of the windows in the seats of which they were seated.

To the Aurat Bazaar,186 a wretched kind of mews, Tusuk Bazaar, where are the writers of manuscripts (Banchi: Comment. p.615. Vol II).187  This is a trade, and as I saw seems to me very neatly performed – some pages illuminated.  Here is paper.  Books are sold.188  Went under the aqueduct of Valens.189  Visited the fine court of Salimanie,190 granite pillars very magnificent and very <noble> convenient structures for schools and hospitals.  Came to a range of coach-houses, where are covered coaches, gilt for ladies, driven by horse, but without springs.

Returned – dined at the Palace.  A grand fête in the hall.  Table in a cross:

Mr Adair
Mr Canning seating diagram Mr Meyers
Mr Bidwell191

After dinner, which was half figures and flowers,192 Mr Adair got up and gave the King’s health, when three “Hourras!” were given from the next room by the servants, which had a funny effect.  Stayed some time.  Pisani,193 after I had drunk wine once with him, sent me this note: “My dear Sir! You have, I know, no objection to a glass of wine.  Will you take one with your humble servant Mr Pisani.”  (This was written by Mr Canning.)194  He also sent one to Canning.  At dinner were present Mr Palin the Swedish minister, Mr ———, the Spanish resident, and Count Ludolf, the Sicilian.195  Mr Palin is an antiquarian.196  Sir W. Ingleby  M.P.197 – funny little fellow.  Sat next him, and [he] told me, “God, Sir he’s a wonderful fellow – he reads the Owls and Elephants like Α and δ.”

Tuesday June 5th 1810

Called on Mr Palin, who showed me a very large collection of coins, and some Egyptian knick-knacks.  He does read the Owls and Elephants: takes up a little cylinder, and gives you a verse of the Psalms, as if the Hebrew were the sacred language of the Egyptians.  He says the Patriarchs wrote in hieroglyphics – he has a Pascanium Niger, and one of his wife.198

Stayed at house, till dinner, when dined at ye Palace, Mr Adair at table.

Wednesday June 6th 1810

Set off at nine for Belgrade.199  Road over wild ugly down country, till came to the woods of Belgrade, which are most thick and beautiful.  Came to Belgrade, sunk in the bosom of the wood with a pretty village green and a stream running at the bottom of the valley – rode some way farther on by the side of one of the large reservoirs which supplies Constantinople.  It is railed off, and as the wood goes down to the water’s edge has the effect of a large lake in a park not unlike Bowood in Wiltshire.200  Came to where the tank is dammed-up with stones to a considerable height.  Got off.  Lounged about.  Here in the woods are winding paths, and the most romantic forest scenery is viewed at every turn.

Returned to Belgrade to Mrs Pisani’s, formerly Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s,201 but rebuilt by Sir Robert Ainslie.202  It is on an elevated spot in the village, standing alone, and better situated than any other house in Belgrade, as from the windows there is a view of part of the reservoir amidst the forest, which is not seen from other spots, and the water has the appearance of a winding river, as you neither see one end nor the other.

Rode through the thick noble wood to Buyuckdere, and on a sudden burst upon the view of the Bosphorus, and the hills and mountains beyond.  Just where you stand is the large aqueduct Zoun, of Theodosius, rebuilt by Sultan Selim,203 running from one hill to the opposite eminence across a narrow valley.  It has a double row of arches [sketch] and you pass through it down the valley to Buyuckdere.  On a meadow near this village they were making hay, which had an English appearance to us.  It was done in the English style.

Dined out at the Hotel d’Europe, kept by a Finiote204 who has been in England, and knew Lord Byron’s uncle.205  Returned in the evening to Constantinople over wild downs, passing by the water forces, and did not get home till nine.

Messenger arrived from England – brings a letter from Hudson206 to Byron – tells him the Collection207 is accused of indecency.

Thursday June 7th 1810208

Surprised this morning by a visit from Cockerel,209 my old Westminster chum, who is come out here on architectural purposes in the Black Joke lugger.210  He has a strange smile about him.211  Byron and myself dined at the Palace.  Mr Adair told us of Mr Fox,212 that he was close to him at his interview with Bonaparte213 – that Fox had no private interview with the other.  That Bonaparte defended the slave trade – that turning from a fat man who had been calling him the pacificateur du monde, he said to Mr Fox, “Here’s a fellow would make one believe he is glad of the peace – and he’s a Hamburg214 merchant who has been profiting from the misfortunes of our two nations, during the war”.  He called out to another man, “Eh bien, comment vont les amours?”

Friday June 8th 1810

Did nothing.  Dined at home.  Employed the evening, and till four in the morning, writing to Matthews.215

Saturday June 9th 1810

Went in a boat to Buyuckdere, with Mr Ekenhead and Lord Byron, who frightened me by tipping the boat all the way.  From Buyuckdere passed over to the Grand Signior’s Scale,216 where is a paper manufactory.  Here is a fine meadow shaded by large straight oaks, and here the ladies of the Seraglio frequently come in the summer,217 and parade getting into arabats.218

Jaunt up the beautiful valleys to the reservoir and fish and dine.  We rode through a mowed meadow, and, winding up the hills, had peeps of the valleys opening upon us from below.  Arrived at the Giant’s Hill,219 where is his tomb, a flowerbed more than fifty feet long, with a stone turban laid [at] the head and feet.  From this spot a fine view of the winding of the Bosphorus and of the Black Sea, but not so good as that which we enjoyed on a barren hill a little farther on, whither we went and turned down to the old [  ]220 castle.

We returned by the same road to the Scale and passed over to Buyuckdere.  Dined, and came home by eight.  Finished my letter to Matthews.

Two Χαμαιτυπες,221 but not touchable, one having black teeth and the other being a perfect Gorgon.

Sunday June 10th 1810

Did nothing all day but dined at the Palace, where stayed till late with Mr Cockerell, who says he has a friend whom he loves as a brother.222  He did indeed talk of him with tears in his eyes.

Monday June 11 1810

Read part of the fourth number of the Quarterly223 which seems to me a most inferior performance, full of religious and political bigotry, and not half enough severe, especially not on such a blundering booby as Kett:224 except from this the review of Philipatris Varvinsky.225  Walked out to Armenian burying ground – saw Yanne226 with a Surgee riding, I having my pistols.227  Dined at home alone.

Tuesday June 12th 1810

Rode with Byron to Purgos, a village between two large aqueducts of Justinian – running across the valley, the last fifty-four arches double till you get to this valley.  The ride over dreary downs, but here well-wooded and picturesque.  Turned back and went through the woods to Belgrade, passing by other small aqueducts and by the side of a stream – the road like a park.  Walk through the finest trees for more than an hour, then arrive at the large reservoir, which we had seen before.

Thence to Belgrade, and from Belgrade, to Constantinople by seven o’clock – dreadful diarrhoea.

Wednesday June 13th 1810

Walked with Captain Bathurst and Mr Canning to Dolma Bashi Gardens,228 where took coffee – diarrhoea again.  Dined at Palace with Byron.  Turks lost 5,000 men, &c. …229

Thursday June 14th 1810

Forget all that happened on this day.230

Friday June 15th 1810

Went on board to breakfast.  Afterwards, in jolly-boat, went to Seven Towers, thence walked all along the walls, 118 towers, in one hour seventeen minutes.  Crossed the water to the Bombardiers’ Stairs.231  Walked over the hills by the Mahometan Pillar through the villages to Pera, then to the frigate.  Dined, and in the evening saw a play on board232 – home late.

Saturday June 16th 1810

Rainy day.  Did not go out, except to dine at the Palace – find that the presents of shawls and clothes sent to the embassy in return for the peace presents are, except Adair’s, old, darned and washed, whereas the Sultan’s dagger given by King George cost 30,000 piastres.  Mr Canning very feelingly discanted on the humiliation to which Xtian missions are reduced.

Sunday June 17th 1810233

With Mr Maltass,234 Mr Cockerel, and Mr Dale,235 rode across the peninsula and back by the walls.  Dined at inn with the same.  Mr Maltass mentioned the utter insufficiency of Charles Arbuthnot and Wellesley Pole,236 the latter of whom went to the Reis Effendi,237 flung himself on the sofa, threw up his legs and delivered a note: “If the princes of Wallachia and Moldavia are not reinstated,238 an English fleet of twenty sail shall come and burn down Constantinople – I’ll be damned if they shan’t”.  An order was given to this effect and Pole galloped in thirty minutes to Buyuckdere [and] entered crying “Victoria!” – told his exploit to the Miss Chanouskies,239 who were spies.  Sebastiani240 heard of it, told Selim241 of Poole’s triumph, and the event242 followed.  Arbuthnot congratulated the merchants at having saved their lives,243 ran away, and afterwards sent Maltass, at the hazard of being cut to pieces, with a flag of truce when the fleet were at Princes’ Islands.  They stayed fourteen days.  The second day was a strong southerly wind – did nothing – and then Arbuthnot fell sick.  Arbuthnot, whose boldness was praised in the dispatch, was down in the cockpit.244

Up the Bosphorus is a red house, Gaout Serai, a—e palace, the mont of the resistance245 and the prize of a fat youth of eighteen, who won it as the only way of obtaining his favours from his lover.  Maltass says the French commit sodomy with women – came home half-past nine.

Monday June 18th 1810

Rode out with Byron on the downs towards Sweet Waters – dined at the Palace.

Tuesday June 19th 1810

Up seven.  Proceeded with a large party to visit the mosques.  First to Santa Sophia246 – a large nave, but two pillars large for the arches they support, and the capitals of a most corrupt style, the effect spoilt by the thousand lamps, large eggs, tails and ornaments hanging very low from the dome, and the miserable little white and red and blue painting in squares about the higher part of the church.  The floor of fine granite and porphyry, and verd antique, covered with mats.  Went up into the first gallery, which is broad – opposite the altar niche observed that the line of the nave did not appear at right angles with the altar niche, which effect, produced by the high marble pulpit of the preacher on the right hand being brought forward, and the mats being so disposed, as to make the middle of the niche pointed to the southward of east, i.e. to Mecca (ancient temples ran east and west)247 observe [on] the marble doors the cross erased, the singular effect of the flat-looking dome.

We did not go up to the upper gallery, which is railed, but will admit only one abreast to light the lamps.  Several men sold pieces of the mosaic which had tumbled from the dome.  We could not make out the form of the cross into which Greek churches are said to be built – outside, the mass supported by huge buttresses.

Proceeded to Sultan Ahmet,248 which has a very fine exterior court, extensive, with colonnades, supported by granite columns.  In the mosque there is nothing grand – the dome much smaller than Santa Sophia.  Four immense, ill-proportioned columns, spoilt also by bad painting and the usual little lamps.  Here the curtain or door of the temple of Mecca, which is brought annually away when a new one is sent by the Sultan.  Over one of the highest-reaching pulpits in Sophia are the two small banners of Mahomet II, when he took Constantinople.249  In the recess of this and the other large mosques we saw men reading in one place, children in school in another – here a man stretched out asleep – and Turks lounging about – doors of brass.

Went to little Sophia,250 exactly in the middle of large Sophia, with a Greek inscription running round the cornice – something about Justinian.  A poor, mean place.

Next visited Nourri Osmanie (la lac d’Osman),251 which is very elegant in one high-light dome rising directly from the sides, not from pillars, of white marble built by Greek architects in 1755 – saw sarcophagus.

Next went to Sulymanie,252 which is the most magnificent and though perhaps not quite so large, far preferable to Santa Sophia, being lighter and better coloured.  Here are the four immense porphyry columns, sixty feet high, from Ephesus, giving the principal support to the dome.  Here on one side of the aisles is a library in departments.253  Entered by figured, open gates of bronze, but apparently not very extensive – this was built by Suleiman I, and has schools, hospitals, and alms-house attached to it.  There is also a fine colonnaded court to it, besides a yard with fountains and trees.  The ground entrance-gate to the court is of a singular taste, like the top of an ornamental bishop’s cathedral chair [sketch] or stall, with a flight of steps.

Visited the Janissaries’ Tower254 close by – a very fine view of the whole city, except that part shut out by the mosque.  Peninsula narrow – no comparison with London.

Went on board by one o’clock.  Took beefsteak.  Home.  Caputan Pashaw dressed as galinger on horseback, and the other day a great man255 sitting in disguise on the gunners’ bench opposite Marchands, a regular palace spy.

Dined at Palace.  N.B. put on yellow slippers when we went into the mosques.

Wednesday June 20th 1810

Blowing a hurricane from the north, so could not cross the water, as intended, to Scutari – stayed at home all day except at the Palace in the evening.

Thursday June 21st 1810

Went a pretty ride by Dolma Bachi, up the valley to Star Serai, built by Sultan Selim,256 where is a grand prospect of coast, and over the Bosphorus, and the Sea of Marmora.  Rode to Mahomet’s Tower, thence home.  Dine at Palace.

Friday June 22nd 1810

Breakfast at Palace.  Went over to Scutari with Mr Canning, to Bourgaloe,257 thence to Fanar-Baktchessi,258 where dined à Turkish with three young Georgian boys and several slaves who attended the boys.  Returned to Palace late and dined.

Written on the back of the late treaty between Francis and Napoleon (one of whose titles therein is Beschütser des Rhomisch),259 and turned:

Great Caesar, though ever so wary,

Is in but a shitten quandary;

But that does not matter a bit, Sir –

Bonaparte himself is the shit, Sir.

— Stratford Canning.

Saturday June 23rd 1810

Rode out with Captain Bathurst and a party across the Sweet Water Valley to Däout Pacha,260 three hours to Pera, where is a kiosque and mosque, and fine plane trees.  Here the Turks encamp when moving to Adrianople.261  The face of the country here is immense – waving downs as far as can be seen, and near coast well-cultivated, with corn like a Wiltshire down.262  Rode back, but not the same way; up and down high, uneven hills to a barrack, and thence to a village, or rather suburb, beyond the walls.  Thence under high, large plane trees, walnut trees, and up the Valley of Sweet Waters – cross the bridge, and home.  Dine at the Palace, &c.

Sunday June 24th 1810

Do nothing, and dine at the Palace.

Monday June 25th 1810

Went in the morning on a visit to my friend Cockerell.  Walked out with him.  Met Captain Bathurst in the burying grounds, and walked down to Dolma Batchic [and] back.  Dined at home … and went in the evening with Cockerell to Mr Marchand’s, where met Mr Gropius,263 and heard curious account of Turkish justice, exemplified in his own case.  Also a Mr Foster,264 who cried at entering the Parthenon.

Tuesday June 26th 1810

Went out with Captain Bathurst and a party to see the Howling Dervishes.265  At Atmeidan waited some time in the cloisters of a mosque built by a vizier, with a court and very large plane trees, cells, &c., &c., and fountains, now apparently unfrequented.  On the hill above are several marble pillars, as the marks of the Sodophysyte Sultan (see Olivier).266  We were informed that this religious ceremony did not take place except when there was a sufficient audience collected.  After staying some time in a little ante-court, hearing the singing and praying in the small room of ceremony, entered whilst there were a large party singing, or rather bawling, in a dirty deal apartment filled up at one end with several flags in the centre, axes, swords, small drums on one side, and a silk lettered cloth on the other, which they say is part of Mahomet’s tent, the rest being at Vienna.267

Here were three principals kneeling and waving their heads sideways to the music, and in the right-hand corner a small,268 black, starving, thin fellow, kneeling also, and contorting himself in every horrid and ridiculous gesture, now and then becoming furious and knocking his arms and head violently against the ground, and at last opening his half-opened shirt below his navel and led off as a maniac.269  Then the principals advanced, the vulgar, not monks, forming three sides of the oblong and in the middle six persons sitting or squatting down.  The singing began from those squatting, the whole keeping up chorus, which seemed to be the name of God.  They continued waving backwards and forwards and sideways, all close together, howling and grunting, to a kind of tune that at last was lost in an exclamation: “Yullah Illah!”,270 when they jumped and jogged themselves into that which appeared to me a sensual ecstacy, from certain symptoms in the youngest part of the performers (who are promiscuous, introducing themselves only by kissing the principal’s hands, &c.)

The principals only jogged their heads and moved on their heels and seemed half in joke – as many were – especially a person or mosque-reader, who accompanied us and joined in the jogging and howling to great effect, as I saw by his hiding his fork with his robe.271  During this time the chief entered.  He looked a red-faced fellow and whispered as if conducting a ceremony, with frequent “pishes” of anger.  (I must mention that before the violent howling and jogging began, an itchy scabby friar came round, and reverently took away every man’s turban, and placed it under the banners on that side of the room.)

After the howling, &c., there was a prayer, and all dispersed, going away to take pipes and coffee in an adjoining small chamber, to recruit them.272  They soon came back when a jug of water that the chief had blown into was handed round, and afterwards a shirt, consecrated before, or holy.  Two little children were also at intervals brought in and being laid on a mat before the chief, he stood first on their bellies and then on their backs and they were supposed, after he taking them up had breathed on them, to be cured of some complaint.

The howling and jogging then recommenced, then after some time was a prayer by the chief.  Then he took two men and ran needles, like netting needles, with curious handles, through one cheek, and through the thick skin above the windpipe.  After a short time he pulled these out, spitting on his fingers and wetting the wound and certainly nothing appeared, for we were close, and the performers brought the fellows near that we might see all fair.  At last a black curly-haired Egyptian, on the chief drawing out the needle, appeared to faint, fell down, stayed some time till the chief recovered him by puffing or spitting in his mouth, when he rose up, screaming out “Yollah!” in a convulsed manner, but, ridiculously, recovered in a moment.

This boring ceremony was performed on several, the jogging and crying still continuing.  Then the chief (who indeed only seemed chosen for the occasion as head of the conjuring) took out an ataghan,273 having first drawn several rusty swords – breathed on it – and gave it to a black Arab, who stripped to his waist and, after crying out several times on the name of God, applied [the sword] to the narrow of his belly as tight as possible, working his belly and the sword about in a very frightful manner, but without hurting himself, except leaving something like bloody scratches.  Whilst performing he cried out to us, “Bono? bono?”274 Then another black Arab took the ataghan, did the same and lay down, suffering the chief to stand on the knife when it was across his body.  The same fellow then took two sharp iron spikes with wooden globes filled up with iron chains and knobs, and appeared to drive them repeatedly (these also being breathed upon and blessed), so as almost to meet into his lower abdomen.  He seemed in a fury, and with an enthusiastic coquetry could scarcely suffer the priests to take the spikes from his hands.

Then followed half-a-dozen fellows, seemingly promiscuously chosen, holding red-hot irons (having licked them cooler), in their teeth – one fellow near us made dreadful faces and pulled the instrument out, but the others pretended that they were loath to part with them.  Then one of the Arabs swallowed several pieces of glowing charcoal, and without a trick, the coals, as all the other instruments being first solemnly breathed upon by the chief.

Whilst the burning ceremonies were going on, several tambourines were handed down from the wall, and beat upon by the company, some of whom seemed to enjoy the fooleries which they were encouraging.  During the whole time the whole party continued screaming and jumping, and did at last huddle all together into a ring, leaping round and round and squeezing the middle men to a jelly.

Such a mixture of religion and jugglery was never seen.  ’Twas very tedious, lasting from half-past one to half-past four.  We paid fifteen shillings for our seats, and were afterwards followed by the two Arabs (one of whom spoke a little English) asking for an additional reward for their tricks.  What is singular is that the dervishes appeared only directors of the ceremony, the principal performers being only common fellows.275

Dined at the Palace.  Told long stories about s<ec>ts276 and heard no new ones.

Wednesday June 27th 1810277

This morning at just past twelve, being my first entrance into a new year, erected a tablet to the twenty-fourth year of my life now departed.  Up at half-past ten.  Did nothing.  Copied map of Olivier’s Troy.278  Called on Cockerell – walked by myself into the Armenian burying-ground, lounged in the tombs for one hour and a half, and could not make out a birthday verse but this:

What gratitude makes me a debtor

To the year that’s past over my shoulder?

’T has made me nor wiser nor better

And nothing for certain, but older.

Put on a new blue Constantinopolitan coat, dined at the Palace and had my health drunk in punch by his excellency, Mr Bidwell, and the Doctor and most cordially by Captain Bathurst.  Wrote the journal from Sunday last.

Thursday June 28th 1810

Did nothing.  Dined with Cockerell; received a letter from my sister Charlotte, this being her birthday.

Friday June 29th 1810

Did nothing but ride with Byron to Levent Chiftlick, destroyed in the late rebellion,279 where the ruin is so complete as if a thousand years had intervened.  It was burnt down – here are remains of two sets of barracks for 15,000 men, an exercising ground well-planted with trees, which is a luxury never forgotten by the Turks, and [a] marble kiosk with a fountain all in ruins,280 two low domes erected over the walls enclosing the 500 Nizam Djedid281 destroyed in the rebellion on this spot – amongst the remains are those of a bath, an eating room, a powder-magazine, and other conveniences.  The entrance to the building is through an arch along an avenue of limes with stone reservoirs, and a garden still cultivated.  We stepped our horses over the ruins [at] a short distance [from] a hospital house still entire.

Dined at home, &c.

Saturday June 30th 1810

Walked with Captain Bathurst to the tents of Dolma Batchi.  Returned.  Dined at the Palace, &c.

Sunday July 1st 1810

Went to Buyuckdere – introduced to Mr Chanousky and daughters.282  Dined with Spanish minister, Mr Harvat, and lady.  Mr Adair present.  Walked on parade in the evening, Mr Adair joined by the internonce Maubourg.283  Passed in his barge.  Returned home.  This day, thundering over the hills.

Note: Mr Ekenhead’s mistake about Lord Chief Justice Holt and Lord Ellenborough – committing Mr Abbot.284

Janissaries bowing by putting their heads on one side.  Fine flowers, carnations &c.  Large [  ] of plane, lime, and walnut trees.285  No excessive heat.

Monday July 2nd 1810

Walked to the fine hill of Atmeidan286 with Captain Bathurst.  A party of Turks looking at arrow-sporting, which we did not make out for some time, the shooting being at such a distance as to be scarcely discernible287 – not shooting at a mark, but for distance only.

Dined at Palace – met Colonel Rooke,288 (called “Captain” by Adair) a singular fellow, an old grey-headed man who lives amongst the Islands, keeps a boat of a hundred tons, and has been here eight or nine years.  As rattling and as incorrect as a boy called Lambro.  Lambro Cazzoni!!289  Took up the cause of the Syriotes about Ferguson’s ship beating the town about290 … proposals for a squadron of small craft.  Septinsulars291 and others in these seas under British flag, and command very useful292 – numbers of ships here with French flag.  French and German cloth beat out the English, which is too dear.  Camlets only from England.

Drank a glass of Bergerac, alias Belgrade wine, with Byron, to our having been a year together out of England – – – – –293

Tuesday July 3rd 1810

Went with the Captain to Buyuckdere, to Marriot’s.294  Wet evening went to Mrs Zorab,295 who sung.  Her husband, an Armenian, mentioned some things of the Revolution.296

Wednesday July 4th 1810

Walked at Buyuckdere with Bathurst.  Called on Ludolf297 and Spanish Minister.298  Walked up the hill above the first castle of the Bosphorus – pretty view of the narrow valley beneath, and a road winding through it.  One side of the hill covered with vineyards.

Returned.  Dined at Marriot’s.  In the evening took boat to the meadow, where walked, and saw the large tree, or rather circular clump of large trees: a plane.

Returned to Pera late.  Story told that the Capitan Pasha tore off a Frenchman’s eyeglass299 with his own hands.

Thursday July 5th 1810

Rode out with Byron down Valley of Sweet Waters where he bathed.300  Dined at Palace.

Friday July 6th 1810

Breakfasted with Canning, who let me read a short didactic on the pleasures of eating much, and also an official account, written by himself, of the three late revolutions, which I recollected as well as possible, and wrote down on the end of this book.301

Dined on board the frigate at two o’clock,302 and stayed all the evening.

Saturday July 7th 1810

Received an account from Mr Dale that a Turk has been bastinado’d this morning, for being one of the police, and knocking down both the English sailors engaged in a row, and the Genovese engaged with them according to custom, &c.  A Turk ordered to be beheaded.  Rode out with Byron to Sweet Waters.  Turned down the valley, rode over above the Jews’ quarter, up to the Atmeidan, and by the thousands of sepulchral stones on the side of the hill.  Passed by St Demetrius,303 the Topegies’ barracks, and home – dined at Palace, and home.

N.B.  Foot soldiers.  Beat on the beach.  Horse on the feet.  All the guard broke this day.  The Captain fled.  Mr Adair sent down instantly fifty Janissaries to apprehend them – what imperia in imperio!304

The Armenians are divided into Schismatics and Catholics.305  The first / last have no churches, and go to the Catholic chapels of Franks, but till lately were most powerful, the Patriarch being of their persuasion – a late Patriarch ordered a convert from the Schismatics to the Catholics to receive 500 blows – he has power, except of life and death, over all Armenians – this from Mr Zorab.306

Sunday July 8th 1810

Did nothing but ride out on the road to Sweet Waters, to try a pair of Cukenruyter’s pistols.  Made no good shots.  Dined at Palace, and home.

Monday July 9th 1810

Did nothing.  Walked out with Mr Meyers.  Dined at Palace.

Tuesday July 10th 1810: Audience of the Grand Signior307

Up at four.308  Proceeded half an hour after, much in the same order as on the day of audience with the Caimacan,309 to Tophana.  As we passed in the boats, the sun rose over the Mountains of Asia.310  The frigate saluted, and the sun, seen red through the clouds of smoke, and giving to these clouds a fiery red dun colour, presented a scene most indescribable.  As before, we visited the Chaoux Bashee, who had on a super robe of flowered gold, and the caftan over all.  As we were sitting there, heard the frigate saluting the Grand Signior in his passage from Dolma Bachi to the Seraglio.

We set off soon, with this Chaoux Bashee at the head of the procession, [and] with a suitable guard went through part of the city for half an hour, till we came to a tree.  There all waited for the Caimacan, who soon arrived from the Porte with his procession.  Passed by the Ambassador and suite, on his road to the Seraglio.  We waited a short time, and then followed him.  He was dressed in his best court dress, a bright green satin, and his turban of state.

In nearly another half hour we arrived at the first gate of the Seraglio.311  Passed through it on horseback, and through the first large court, where is, on the left hand, the Xtian church of Irene.312  The next gate of the Seraglio313 is up a slight ascent, and the guards and officers of the Porte alone being drawn out, and the procession moving onwards with the variety of splendid head dresses and robes, had at a distance a very good effect.  We dismounted before about a hundred yards from entering the second gate, and then, in an instant, all our state seemed lost, for we were shown into a small, dark, dirty room, at the left side of the porch, where we remained huddled together in complete darkness, some of us mistaking our way into a piss chamber.314  It seems we were put in here that we might just enter the second court at the time that the Janissaries ran for the pilau,315 which is placed in numberless small dishes, and scrambled for.

The second court is considerably smaller than the first, and shaded with rows of cypress trees – it is also colonnaded on all sides.  Opposite the entrance is the third entrance gate, on the right, the Seraglio kitchens316 – on the left, an open space with a fountain, and the Divan317 – the middle space is a green shaded well.

On entering the Divan we found the Caimacan already seated on a cushioned bench (something like our Court of Chancery), his seat being a little raised on his left hand.  At a short distance were seated the Cadelaschears of Romania and Natolia,318 the first in a green turban.  On the bench on the right hand entering were seated three tefterdars, or treasurers.  On a small bench on the left was sitting the officer employed in making the royal cyphers, which he was doing with a small camel-hair brush, as we were entering with great solemnity – Chelik Effendi.319  The room is small and vaulted, with three small windows in the dome admitting the light.  It is rather dark, but richly ornamented and wainscotted, with a plaster wall contrived to represent a pink variegated marble in the manner of ———.320  On the right is another vaulted chamber, about the same size, between which and the divan chamber there is only a division breast-high, so that it seems to light the Divan, which is rather too dark.  It was filled with the clerks and servants of the court.

The amabassador seated himself near Chelik Effendi.  A few whispers passed between him and the Caimacan by means of Prince Marousi,321 then a large party of officers with papers came bowing and reverencing in.  Something was read.  The Caimacan appended his signature to some papers, and they bowed out again – this was adjudging a cause.  Then came the payment of the Janissaries.  The money was brought in yellow purses of 500 piastres (nominally each but with such a real deficiency as on the whole to put about 150,000 piastres in the pocket of the first teftedar and friends).  It was heaped up in two wedged formed lines or prisms, on each side of the Caimacan, running lengthways from near his bench almost to the door of the room.  When these wedges were made, the proper officers began to till out the money – all this time no one said a word.

The Ambassador continued sitting.  All the others of the party are supposed to stand, but some of us, putting the dragoman and others before us, contrived to get a seat on the same board with him.  After the money had been once told out, they brought part of it into the outer court of the Divan, and thence conveyed it out (fifty bags at a time – the man telling it out with an audible voice), into the courtyard, placing [it] on the pavement, a little distance from the divan door.  At every fifty the teller exclaimed with a shout, “Orta twenty-three, &c. come!”322 and immediately a body of Janissaries of that regiment, who were stationed at some distance down the yard, and who were made [to] start fair,323 ran all as fast [as they] could, falling and scrambling upon them.  The reason of this is that each man that makes himself master of a bag receives one piastre for his pains.  This turbulent method of distributing the bags continued till all were disposed of, which was by nine o’clock; then some papers were read and signed.  A man read a list of officers of the Janissaries, who each in his turn came forward, kissed the lower hem of the Caimacan’s garment, returning thanks, I understand, for the payment.  (Montesquieu mentions that in a despotic government power is deputed entire.)324

At ten o’clock dinner was served.  The Ambassador alone sat at table placed before the Caimacan and dined with him.  Mr Canning, Captain Bathurst, Lord Byron,325 and myself dined at a table with Chelik Effendi, who was some time in arranging us, and seemed out of temper, objecting at first to my sitting on the bench next to him.  The dinner opened with rice, with soup – which we all dipped our little thin wooden spoons into, the table furniture being nothing but the spoon and a thin large cake of bread for each.  The meals we ate with our fingers, tearing out of the dish.  N.B. take care to use only the right hand in the dish, the left hand being reserved for abstencion of the anus.326

We were sent one dish at a time, two-and-twenty altogether, some being instantly taken off, as if Sancho’s dread doctor327 and his wand were there.  Getting up, they gave us no water, only the Ambassador, to wash hands, but sprinkled rose water about us.

In a short time a messenger arrived from the Sultan that he would receive the Eltschi,328 whose arrival and humble request to see him had been before communicated to him.  The Ambassador was accordingly led out towards the third gate of the Seraglio,329 but stopped under a wooden shed where there was only a dirty stone seat for him.  Two common-looking fellows came with two bags full of pellices, which were distributed to the party.330  We waited some time, quite overlooked.  Presently the two cadyaschers331 passed from the divan through rows of Janissaries bowing to them, and took their seat on a bench on the left side, entering the third gate, which was covered with ministers of state in tall white turbans.  The right side were guards (without arms, as was everybody) and directly before the gate, though at some distance, were standing three rows, twenty in all, of the tall plumaged gentlemen (Capiji Bashes, I hear).332  I soon saw the Cadelschee go into the third gate, and come shortly out again.

At last the Caimacan proceeded from the Divan to the Sultan, but in great state, two officers of state with large gilt silver staffs (which they banged on the ground) preceding him.  He stopped a very short time at the gate, and then went in.  In ten minutes, orders came for the Ambassador – our swords we had pulled off some time before we had the pellices.  Just before entering the porch there was some unseemly pushing and shoving, some who had not pellices being twirled out (Bates, Ekenhead, Jackson, Chamier).

At last we entered, a man on each side with a hand pressing on each shoulder.  I had only one man, or rather half a man, mine being one of the White Eunuchs333 who were standing in the third inner court.334  We went through a small court, or rather large room, open on both sides – on the right hand was a body of pages in very handsome gilt caps and white dresses.  We stepped up a low step, going on carpets into the next chamber, which was the presence chamber.  Comparatively small and dark, but hung round with silver ornaments and pearls and precious stones,335 it seemed full of people, but my eunuch pushed me forwards to a good place within twenty yards, or fifteen, or ten, of his Majesty,336 who was seated on his throne, like a bed with bed-posts, but very brilliant and elegant, with polished silver and pearls, of which the canopy appeared entirely formed.  The throne was placed badly in a corner, so that the Sultan was sitting close to a fire-place on his right, the Caimacan standing between – on his right hand was his sabre, partly drawn, supported by the cushion on his left, the silver covering enclosing the letter to King George, and near the left cushion a silver inkstand covered with jewellery.

He himself was clothed in a pellice of yellow satin with the blackest fur borders, his dagger and an ornament on his breast studded with diamonds, a white and blue turban, [and] a large diamond star, from which rose a tall straight bird of paradise plume.  He for the most part just kept a hand on each knee, scarcely moved his head, but rolled his eyes slowly, not looking directly at the Ambassador.337  Several times he stroked a turned-up beard, which was of a blackness not quite natural but giving him a most noble air.338  His eyes are jet black, and his features regular, except that his nose turns up a little, which however does not but improve his physiognomy339 (this is not an Ottoman feature).

We proceeded to the gate immediately after the Ambassador was in his place, and after making a small bow with his hand on his breast, he made his speech in a low tone which was interpreted in a tone still lower.  The Sultan then said a few words to the Caimacan, who proceeded to speak to the Ambassador, but hobbled340 most terribly (eighty-four years old) being prompted several times aloud by the Sultan.  He seemed to stop before he had concluded, but this does not much matter, as a dragoman of the Porte knows the speech beforehand.  This speech being interpreted, there was some little stop when the Ambassador seemed341 as if about to retire.  The Sultan whispered something to the Caimacan, who began hobbling another speech, and was again prompted.  This speech being interpreted and received, as was the other, with a low bow from the Ambassador, the Sultan took the King’s letter, and, saying a few words, delivered it to the Caimacan, who, kissing the sleeve of his Caftan and touching his forehead with the letter, said something, and delivered it to the dragoman, who reverenced it, interpreted, and gave it to Mr Adair, who bowed and almost immediately withdrew.

During the audience my Eunuch pressed my arms down pretty tightly, and when going out shoved me along, dismissing me from the outward step by a gentle push off.

Afterwards we went out of the second gate, mounted, and stayed a long time, till all the Janissaries had issued out running and roaming from the Seraglio, many of them quite children and all the very scum of the city in appearance.  Then we waited for the Caimacan to proceed first to the Porte, and at last, a little before twelve, set off as before, but went a nearer way to the waterside, where we crossed, were again saluted, proceeded from Tophana to the Palace, [and] went home directly by one o’clock.  The Sultan’s departure from his country seat was announced to us soon after leaving the audience, by the cannon of the frigate and the Seraglio.

Went to bed.  Got up at six, dined at Palace, a large party.  The dragomen dined and their wives came to tea.  Pisani told me that Bairactar342 considered that he had reconciled the Janissaries by the dinner which he gave to them at the Sweet Waters, where they and his Romelia militia, to the amount of 50,000, dined, and afterwards swore and crossed their swords to the establishment of the new system – “He did not know his countrymen,” said Signor Pisani.  During his administration, when the city was full of his Arnauts,343 not a theft nor a violence was committed.  It does not appear that from the first he was against the Janissaries.  When Sultan Selim gave up he had 10,000 armed men [in] the Seraglio.  Had he shut the outer gate, shown a cannon, [and] sent for his Scutari and Chislick troops, he would have subdued them at once, or had he cut off Mousa Pacha the Caimacan’s head the night before.  Djerid Pacha, off Acre,344 professed of their man that he would be the cause of great troubles, but he was generally thought the most submissive of all the Pachas, having been frequently deposed of his governments without a complaint.  He was beheaded – when?345

Wednesday July 11th 1810

Occupied about making up accounts.  Dined at home.

Thursday July 12th 1810

Accounts again.

Friday July 13th 1810

Walked out with Captain Bathurst to see a new Greek church, neatly built.  A great picture opposite the altar of the Day of Judgement, the Turks going to hell and Xtians to heaven.  Some of the saints near the altar very well-painted – a farewell walk to Dolma Bachi.  Dined at the Palace.

Saturday July 14th 1810

Embarked on board the Salsette at two o’clock p.m.346  Lord Byron saluted half after three.  Mr Adair came on board – he also saluted, seventeen guns – dined on board, but did not weigh till ten at night, as Mr Adair waited for some communication with Prince Marousi, dragoman of the Porte, in the absence of his brother.  All Princes’ brothers and children are Princes.  Going over the side, he thrust his hand into his bosom, and pulling out a handful of small zechins, gave them to two of the sidesmen.

Farewell to Constantinople.  Fine breeze and fine moonlight.

Sunday July 15th 1810

Off the rocky island of Marmora in the morning – fair breeze.  Sailed down the straits and through the beautiful channel by Gallipoli, and came to our anchor in mid-channel, two miles, about, from Asca Castle of the Dardanelles by seven o’clock in the evening.  Great negotiations carried on by means of Tarragona Jew, British Consul,347 whether the frigate or the fort should salute first.  Nothing agreed this night.

Monday July 16th 1810

The difference made up by Mr Adair going on shore, the frigate saluting him when leaving the ship and visiting the Pacha and governor, “in state”, as they called it, in a room twelve feet square.  They talked a great deal, and paid Mr Adair unusual compliments, contrasting the pride of the French consul with his humility.  They called him Eltschi Bey.348  In the room in which we were, the negotiation was carried on.  The governor of the town, a fat merry man,349 asked us how we liked the Sultan’s presence-chamber.  We said very much. “Ah,” returned he, “I swept it out fifteen years!!”350

Leaving the shore, the Turks saluted Mr Adair by seventeen guns.  Set sail, saluted, and had salute returned.  Frigate drifting backwards, from violence of the current.  Passed the farther castles.  Could not discern Ajax’s tomb at Intepe.  Farewell the Hellespont – farewell Troy – passed Tenedos and Mitylene, Skyro by night, not far from Capo d’oro in Negroponte.

Tuesday July 17th 1810

In the strait of Tihura.  Little wind, but passed the passage at last – come off the very narrow entrance of the port of Zea – the hill above covered with windmills, and the capital hanging upon the rocks.  Went on shore with Lord Byron and suite.  Took leave, non sine lacrymis,351 of this singular young person on a little stone terrace near some paltry magazines at the end of the bay, dividing with him a little nosegay of flowers, the last thing perhaps I shall ever divide with him.352  Four o’clock p.m., came on board again.  Contrary light winds all the evening.

Farewell to Hymettus353 [last three words squeezed in]


1  

“Milto” (Ms.)  Journey (II 811) has “Maito”.

2  

Journey (II 817) has “Lampsacus”; but is inconsistent.  Lampsacus was a city on the Hellespont, and was the chief centre for the worship of Priapus, who was associated with the wine grown there.

3  

“weigh” (Ms.)

4  

Journey (e.g. II 819) has Marmora; but H.’s “a”s and “o”s are often interchangeable.

5  

In ancient times, north-eastern Greece; now, mostly European Turkey.

6  

Journey (II 819) has Buyuck Chekmedjee, or Ponte Grande.

7  

They saw the minarets at 2pm, and anchored at sunset (Journey, II 820).

8  

The Letters to his Son of the fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773) were published in 1774.

9  

The standards by which H. finds himself lacking are listed by Chesterfield as follows: “A thousand little things, not separately to be defined, conspire to form these Graces, this je ne sçais quoi, that always please.  A pretty person, genteel motions, a proper degree of dress, an harmonious voice, something open and chearful in the countenance, but without laughing; a distinct and properly varied manner of speaking: all these things, and many others, are necessary ingredients in the composition of the pleasing je ne sçais quoi, which every body feels, though no body can describe”. – Letter CXII (Bath, March 9th 1748: first edition 1774, I 268).  Dr. Johnson said the Letters taught “the morals of a whore and the manners of a dancing master” (Life, I 177).  At Don Juan IV 85, 3, B. has Raucocanti echo Chesterfield’s words as he, Juan and the enslaved opera troupe also approach Constantinople:

“As for the figuranti, they are like

“The rest of all that tribe, with here and there

“A pretty person, which perhaps may strike …

… and at XIV 72, 2 it is the sexual neuter Lord Henry Amundeville whose problem is that

… there was something wanting, as I’ve said –

That undefinable je ne sçais quoi,

Which, for what I know, may of yore have led

To Homer’s Iliad since it drew to Troy

The Greek Eve, Helen, from the Spartan’s bed …

10  

John Smythe Davies records, “Salsette at Anchor off the Seraglio Constantinople 1½ Mile in 14 fms Landd Rt Honble Lord Byron and his party under Salute of 13 guns, from the Ship” – (opp. p. 97).

11  

Compare The Siege of Corinth 409-12.

12  

Compare Don Juan V 40, 8.  The thoughts of Midshipman Chamier and the crew seem to have been on other matters: “When we passed the Seraglio we manifested as much curiosity to see the inmates, as they did to see us: our telescopes were unceasingly directed to the small peep-holes, misnamed windows; and little did two of the young imprisoned beauties dream that we were criticising their features, or they would have veiled their faces”.  (Chamier I 116)

13  

In London’s dockland area.  Journey (II 833) says that their inn was “situated at the corner of the main street of Pera, where four ways meet”.  A map at the start of Thomas Thornton’s The Present State of Turkey (1809) shows that there wasn’t much to Pera except its main street.

14  

Not the city in Serbia, but a small rural town to the north of Constantinople.  Several of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s letters are written from there: see 6 June 1810.

15  

For H.’s next extraction, see 11 Aug 1812.

16  

Stratford Canning (1786-1880); Under-Secretary to the English Ambassador Robert Adair.  He was George Canning’s cousin, and much later, as ambassador (Lord Stratford de Redcliffe) his Russophobia was in part responsible for Turkey’s rejection of the Vienna peace terms which would have prevented the Crimean War.  BLJ III 160n reveals that he was in 1814 an unsuccessful suitor for the hand of Annabella Milbanke.

17  

B.’s rank had given him precedence the previous day.

18  

The English Embassy was in 1810 at the edge of Pera, with a view of the Turkish fleet at its moorings.  H. calls it “the Palace” as a literal version of its Turkish name, Inglees-Sarai.  It had been built by Lord Elgin on the model of Broomhall, his own house in Scotland.

19  

The fire is referred to at Journey II 836; but no date is given.  Fires were a perennial hazard in Constantinople at this time: see the words of Chelik-Effendi to the Divan, reported by Sebastiani at 29 Dec 1815.

20  

Recollections (I 29) has “bad voice”, and puts the interview with Canning on May 15th – the same date as B.’s.

21  

Chalcedon (sic) site of the 451 AD Christian council, is further south than Scutari.

22  

All unidentified: though Meyers soon metamorphoses into Myers and Biddle into Biddell and finally Bidwell.  All are embassy staff.

23  

Robert Adair (subsequently knighted: 1763-1855) had been sent in 1807, after the Treaty of Tilsit had alienated France from Turkey, to repair the damage done to Anglo-Turkish relations by the English attack on Constantinople in February of that year.  He negotiated the Treaty of the Dardanelles in 1809, and left, supposedly because of ill-health, in July 1810.  The anonymous author of Don Leon (1866, probably written earlier) has a theory as to wherein his “ill-health” lay:

Adair delights his manhood to display

From window casements, and across the way

Wooes some sultana’s fascinated eyes,

Convinced the surest argument is size.  (788-91)

A note elaborates: “The following anecdote is derived from a foreign ambassador’s lady, who resided with her husband near Portman-Square.  Sir Robert Adair, whilst he was ambassador at Constantinople, is known to have carried on an anonymous parley across the street with a Greek lady by dumb signs; a significant one was the display of his pænis [sic] in a plate on the sill of the window.  It was supposed, as the Greek women have latticed windows as well as the Turkish, and dare not be seen openly looking out, that someone had taken, unobserved, the lady’s place, and afterwards divulged the ambassador’s innocent practices; for the circumstance was very generally spoken of in the diplomatic circles of the Porte”.  (Don Leon, Fortune Press 1933, n on p.76).

On 1 May 1815, Latour Maubourg – the French Ambassador – relates in H.’s hearing that “A[dair] was a passionate man who disgraced himself by following the servant maids of Pera, which shocked the Mussulman gravity …”

24  

Well-intentioned; but not the information best calculated to put H. at his ease.

25  

Santa Maura had been taken on 22 March 1810.

26  

He uses the royal plural.

27  

The dragoman was the official interpreter; the word signifies anyone who interprets from Arabic, Persian or Turkish.  See 14 July 1810.

28  

See 4 Dec 1809.

29  

A café selling alcohol – in theory forbidden by Islam; Sultan Mahmoud II contented himself with fining transgressors occasionally.

30  

Dancing girls were forbidden by the Islamic laws of the day.  H. may be disgusted with the floor show; but he brings B. to see it two days later.

31  

Note pending on lascivious Greek phrase.  Anybody got any ideas?

32  

Their new landlord is called Marchand (Journey II 833); but the spelling Baraband here is unambiguous.

33  

£15 2s 6d per month.  Given the high price of the accommodation (described at Journey II 836 as “a house in the main street”) it is lucky that free food is always available at the Embassy to B. (as nobility) and his guest.

34  

Strictly the Capudan-Pasha; Admiral of the Turkish Fleet: his name was Haffiz Ali.  B. refers to him in his note to The Giaour, 593 (They curl’d his very beard with ire): “A phenomenon not uncommon with an angry Mussulman.  In 1809, [sic] the Capitan Pacha’s whiskers at a diplomatic audience were no less lively with indignation than a tiger cat’s, to the horror of all the dragomans; the portentous mustachios twisted, they stood erect of their own accord, and were expected every moment to change their colour, but at last condescended to subside, which, probably, saved more heads than they contained hairs” (CPW III).

35  

The full depth of his innocence is only clear from Journey (II 903): “He asked him if the wind was likely to continue long in the same quarter; and when he was answered that his highness, from having been accustomed to the climate, was more likely to know than a stranger, was unable to comprehend the inference.  He inquired if the captain had a man on board to manage the compass; and, learning that every man in the ship was acquainted with that instrument, replied, pointing to a young midshipman in our company, ‘What! does that boy know anything of the compass?’”  Frederick Chamier (who probably was the midshipman) elaborates: “He was quite astonished at being told that all our youngsters understood the mystery; and remarked, when he saw one of us take an altitude, ‘that the beardless boy had much wisdom’” (Chamier I 131).

36  

His failure to pass tobacco round was wilfully discourteous.

37  

The success of General Sebastiani, Napoleon’s ambassador earlier in the decade, had been with the now assassinated Selim III, who was associated with French ideals of enlightenment and national improvement.  English commonsense now prevails.

38  

The French Chargé d’Affaires was M. Latour Maubourg.  See the guests assembled for the party celebrating George III’s birthday, 4 June 1810; see also Shelley I 129; H. meets him in Paris during the Hundred Days in 1815.

39  

A plenipotentiary ambassador.

40  

Frankish travellers in Constantinople were always advised to hire the services of a Janissary (a member of the Imperial bodyguard), it being a state offence to attack anyone so protected.  The English Ambassador had over two hundred Janissaries.

41  

Homosexuality was a hanging crime in England, as Castlereagh and the Bishop of Clogher were to know to their cost.  Publicly H. waxes rhetorical: “Rome itself, at the period of the famous edict of the Emperor Philip, could not have furnished a spectacle so degrading to human nature as the taverns of Galata” (Journey II 885).  This is an episode with which the anonymous writer of Don Leon (written in the 1830s, printed 1866) appears familiar:

Here much I saw – and much I mused to see

The loosened garb of Eastern luxury.

I sought the brothel, where, in maiden guise,

The black-eyed boy his trade unblushing plies;

Where in lewd dance he acts the scenic show –

His supple haunches wriggling to and fro:

With looks voluptuous the thought excites,

Whilst gazing sit the hoary sybarites:

Whilst gentle lute and drowsy tambourine

Add to the languor of the monstrous scene.

Yes, call it monstrous! but not monstrous, where

Close latticed harems hide the timid fair:

With mien gallant where pæderasty smirks,

And whoredom, felon like, in covert lurks.

All this I saw – but saw it not alone –

A friend was with me, and I dared not own

How much the sight had touched some inward sense,

Too much for e’en the closest confidence.  (441-8).

42  

Unlike the entertainment H. had seen on the 17th, this one was private.  B.L. Add.Mss. 56528 13v. has Buggering shop Const .. 55.

43  

C.S. Matthews.

44  

Seton unidentified.

45  

On 23 May 1810 H. refers to a similar procession and says it is a Greek funeral.

46  

H. may be being coy here.  According to an anonymous writer quoted at HVSV 33, opposite their lodgings “… lived a Venetian ex-dragoman, whose family consisted of several grown-up and good-looking daughters whose manner led B. to believe that they took a more than common interest in his concerns”.  He was received in the house, and “his demeanour soon became such as to convince them that he was labouring under some strange delusion.  They all, therefore, quitted the room with precipitation, leaving his lordship in amazement.  The father of the girls shortly made his appearance, and, instead of having him turned out of the house, as might have been expected, very civilly told him that he had mistaken its character”.

47  

An up-and-down is a see-saw.

48  

A teetotum is a spinning top with numbers at the edges; an elementary roulette wheel.

49  

John Potter (c.1674-1747) Archaeologia Graeca, or The Antiquities of Greece (1697-1699).

50  

When the Janissaries upset their kettles it was a sign that they were mutinying.

51  

Jackson not identified.  Biddell is the previous Biddell and the subsequent Bidwell.  Chamier is the midshipman.

52  

The word is a variation on bezanstein, H.’s version of bezesteen, “an exchange, bazaar, or market-place” (OED).

53  

A “han”: a safe warehouse, lodgings, and counting-house for merchants.

54  

The Binbirdirek Cistern, or the Cistern of a Thousand and One Columns; the Byzantine reservoir, which actually has 224 columns.

55  

“… a number of half-naked and pallid wretches, employed in twisting silk through the long corridors by the glare of torches” (Journey 957).

56  

Erected by Constantine I in 330.  Called the Burnt Column, from fire-damage it sustained, or the Hooped Column, from its support rings.

57  

The racecourse, on the site of the Byzantine Hippodrome.

58  

H. spells this word “mosch” throughout.

59  

The Egyptian Obelisk, fifteenth century B.C.: brought over by the Emperor Theodosius I (346-5).

60  

The lines praise Theodosius for erecting the column.

61  

The Serpentine Column was brought by Constantine from Delphi.

62  

Founded by Sultan Ahmet I (1589-1617); he died in the year of its opening.  See 19 June 1810.

63  

A dunghill.

64  

Selim had been assassinated in 1807; Mustapha in 1808.  See 24 May 1810.

65  

Ms. gap, signifying uncertainty not just over the name of the mosque (the Osmanie, completed 1775, was the one H. visited) but also awareness that this is only one candidate for the location of

66  

the tomb of Constantine the Great.  Journey (II 975) prefers the claim of the Seirek mosque, to which the diary makes no reference.  Constantine’s tomb, in the Hagia Eirene, was looted by the Crusaders in 1204; and the Hagia Eirene was destroyed after 1463 to make way for a mosque, which was itself destroyed in a 1766 earthquake.  Part of Constantine’s tomb is now displayed in the Archaeological Museum in the Topkapi.

67  

Similar to Rag Fair in London (see Beppo 5, 3).

68  

H. spells this word – familiar to us, not to him – “cabob” throughout.

69  

A Cogia Basha is an elder, or senior provincial governor.  Accused of trafficking with the Russians, he had in fact been the victim of the rapacity of the Capudan-Pasha (see 18 May 1810) who coveted his wealth (Journey II 903).  Beheading was a death more humiliating than strangulation, and to place the head between the legs was further humiliation: had he been Turkish it would have been placed under his arm.  Frederick Chamier had tried to attend the execution itself but had arrived too late.  He claims B. was there: “… the beheaded criminal was lying in the front of the execution-office, with his head placed between his thighs, and only one human being near.  Lord Byron looked with horror at the appalling scene … Not far from this exhibition … stood a melancholy looking Turk, endeavouring to scare away some dogs; but his attempts were fruitless, for, unmindful of our presence, they rushed at the body, and began lapping the blood which still oozed from the neck.  I never remember to have shuddered with so cold a shudder as I did at that moment; and Byron, who ejaculated a sudden ‘Good God!’ turned abruptly away”.  (Chamier I 145-6).

70  

Journey (II 963) has “… the arrangement and exposure of their various and gaudy articles would astonish a person acquainted with the splendour of London”; but Recollections (I 30) which reduces this day’s entry to eleven-and-a-half lines, at this point reverses the meaning, too: “… the bazaars and bezasteins are not very striking buildings to one acquainted with the shops and wealth of London”.

71  

“Female pavement entertainers”, or pedestrian Paphians as B. styles them (Don Juan IX 30, 4).  H. writes that they are “… a class of which there are but few in the place” (Journey II 834); and further reports (II 850) that they were “chiefly Greeks, although there are some Armenians, and a few of the lowest class are Mahometan”.  For some apparently “of the lowest class”, see 9 June 1810.

72  

Unidentified so far; though he is to Constantinople what Mr Franks (23 Mar 1810) is to Smyrna and Antonio Mire (27 Sept 1817) is to Venice.  On 9 June 1810 he shows less taste, or less resource.

73  

B.L. Add.Mss. 36456 18r reveals that this evening, aboard the Salsette, was performed The Rival Candidates, a two-act comic opera of 1775 by Sir Henry Dudley Bate, in which the part of BYRON, the Candidate successful in love and politics, was played by Dr. Lynch.  Here is a sample:

Narcissa, alone: Surely the time will come when I shall regain my liberty, and my BYRON have an opportunity of resuming the tender subject of his passion, so cruelly cut off in its infancy.  Air:

Soft fancy, thou truant to me,

My summons oh quickly obey!

Neglected by BYRON and thee,

How heavily passes the day!

The opera was followed by the comic entertainment Prick upon Prick, with hornpipe, songs, &c, as interlude.

74  

See 16 May 1810; Mr Biddle has his name spelled properly at last.

75  

Headquarters of the Gunnery Corps.

76  

A picket: a guard of sentries.

77  

See 20 May 1810.

78  

B. had found that in the procession to the reception which the Caimacan had granted Adair, and which was planned for 28 May, his Baronial rank would not be recognised, and that he would have to follow the Embassy officials.  He had decided therefore not to go, although the entry for 28 May makes it appear that some last-minute negotiation was attempted.  He went to the next reception on 10 July (see BLJ I 256).  Alternatively, B not going may refer to the entertainment on the Salsette, where he would have seen a character bearing his name being depicted in a romantic intrigue with a heroine – Narcissa – played (presumably) by a midshipman.

79  

B. became very attached to this place: see BLJ III 180, where he refers to it in a letter to Annabella.

80  

It was “constructed by a Frenchman on the plans of the gardens of Versailles and Fontainebleau” (Journey II 858).

81  

Bairactar (“the Ensign”, so called from his humble origins) was Pasha of Rustshuk province, who, on hearing in 1807 of the deposition of Selim III, had rebelled against Selim’s usurping half-brother Mustapha IV.  His attack on the Seraglio had panicked Mustapha and caused him to bowstring Selim, whereupon Bairactar had proclaimed Selim’s nephew, the present Sultan Mahmud II.  Mustapha was put in the Cage and beheaded himself a year later; for Bairactar’s fate, see 28 May 1810.

82  

The primary meaning of “dervish” is “poor man”, which is the way B. normally uses the word (minus the “h”) at, for example, The Giaour 340, or The Corsair 49; only at Don Juan III 29, 6-7 (dancing / Like Dervises, who turned as on a pivot) does he employ it as it is to be understood here.  The Turning or Whirling Dervishes were Sufi mystics whose ecstatic dances brought them closer to communion with the Godhead.  Journey (II 925) identifies those seen here as monks from the Mevlevi monastery in Pera (the Mevlevi are a monastic order).  They are not to be confused with the Howling Dervishes described in the entry for June 26th, who seem to be a branch of the entertainment business.

83  

The Sheikh.

84  

The Semâ Zân.

85  

This side is illustrated in the top right-hand corner by a left male profile with aquiline nose and curly hair.

86  

They walked out in the middle of a reading from the Koran.

87  

Guillaume de Rubruquis, thirteenth century: a Franciscan traveller, contemporary of Marco Polo.  The reference, which is to Voyages remarquables de Guillaume de Rubruquis en différentes parties de l’Orient (1735) is in a different ink from that on the main page; H. does not use his note in Journey.

88  

His title was Ters-Hame-Emini; he was subordinate to the Capudan Pasha.

89  

“Chamieri” (Ms.)

90  

H. means that everyone was aware of the Minister’s lust for “Chamieri”; not that all present lusted for “Chamieri” (probably Frederick Chamier, the midshipman).

91  

Dominique Vivant, Baron de Denon (1747-1825); painter and diplomat who was in favour successively with Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, and Napoleon.

92  

The would-be reformer Sultan Selim III, a hero for both B. and H.

93  

Russia and Turkey remained at war until 1812.

94  

Islamic hygiene conventions made the toilet facilities much better than the corresponding ones on an English man’o’war.

95  

“The line-of-battle ships in commission when we were on the Sultan Selim, were two of three decks, and ten of seventy-four guns” (Journey, II 909).

96  

Compare Don Juan V 3, 3 (… the Ocean Stream / Here and there studded with a Seventy-four).

97  

Unidentified: it is made clear at Journey 911-12 that the two men were Turkish, and H. comments “Ingratitude is a vice unknown to the Turks”.

98  

The Pylades, commanded by Captain Ferguson, had taken B. and H. from Athens to Smyrna in March.

99  

Neither H. nor Ekenhead met any English on their ways either to or from, or in, the bawdy houses?  Did B. go too?

100  

Fanar-Baktchesi was a place of popular resort for all races.

101  

Constantine the Great (c.274-337) founder of Constantinople: see Don Juan V 86, 7-8.

102  

The remains of the Baths of Justinian.

103  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

104  

See B.’s note to Don Juan V 5, 3 (quoted at 9 June 1810).

105  

In the rebellion against Selim III.

106  

England thus benefited from the revolt against Selim III.

107  

Tableau des Nouveaux Réglemens de l’Empire Ottoman, composé par Mahmoud Rayf-Effendi, ci-devant Secrétaire de l’Ambassade Impériale près de la Cour d’Angleterre.  Imprimé dans la Nouvelle Imprimerie du Génie sous la direction d’Abdur-rhamin Effendi, professeur du Géometrie et d’Algébre, à Constantinople 1798 (Journey II 1011).

108  

An eighteenth-century building; Kis-Kalessi, the Maiden’s Tower, also vulgarly called Leander’s Tower (Journey, II 882).

109  

Quotation unidentified.  Anybody got any ideas?

110  

See 11 Mar 1810.

111  

It was Yussuf Pacha who knocked his dependant’s eye out, not the other way round.  The one-eyed fellow had to avoid Yussuf Pacha, lest he remind him of his financial loss.

112  

See 29 Dec 1815.  Selim had been unmarried, and uninterested in the women of the Seraglio.  The most important woman in his life had been his aunt Aimée, the cousin of Josephine Beauharnais: he derived his enlightened ideas in part from her.  His intimacy with Sebastiani indicates his sympathy for enlightened French ideas.

113  

H. was, illicitly, wearing B.’s old regimentals which had been replaced at Gibraltar.  See above, 17-27 Aug 1809.

114  

See 23 May 1810, and HVSV 31-2.

115  

Lloyd is not otherwise mentioned.  He must have been another marine officer on the Salsette.  H. meets his father on 22 Mar 1811.

116  

Also not mentioned before or after.

117  

H. overlineates both his references to the Master of Ceremonies.

118  

James P. Morier was British Resident and Consul-General in Albania.  He had been Lord Elgin’s private secretary.

119  

Otherwise unmentioned; said at Journey II 828 to possess “… no more than five or six mercantile establishments”; at Journey II 983 “the whole Levant Company” is said to be present.

120  

Pisani was chief dragoman to the Embassy.  Journey (II 828) describes him as coming from an “ancient Venetian family of Galata”, and says he spoke English “with the utmost purity”.

121  

Ms. gap.

122  

Identified at Journey (II 983) as the Chiaus-Bashe, the Master of Ceremonies.

123  

The regiment attached to the English Embassy.

124  

H. experiments with the transliteration of this title; in the 10 July 1810 entry it is spelled consistently Caimacan, which I have done throughout.  The man with whom they now have an audience is Yussuf, an eighty-four-year old former Georgian slave.

125  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

126  

Ill-health was Adair’s reason for retiring.

127  

The audience is given on 10 July 1810; B. attends.

128  

He had negotiated the Treaty of the Dardanelles (January 1809).

129  

“they speak lower the greater the dignity” (Ms.)

130  

A Turkish general’s seniority was shown by the number of horse-tails his standard bore.  The Vice Vizier has the same rank as Ali Pacha – or rather, Ali Pacha has the same rank as the Vice Vizier.

132  

There are no further references to B.’s plan for quitting Constantinople early in dudgeon.  H. must have dissuaded him; but does not describe doing so.  B. came to the next audience.

133  

He had tried to rescue Selim III but failed (Journey II 1042, and 24 May 1810).

134  

He retreated to an arms- and powder-room, which was hit by a stray bullet (or a deliberate one – see The Siege of Corinth, final section) and his body was found in the ruins.

135  

The Mufti would not advise Selim (Journey II 1033), indicating that his reign was over.

136  

“for” (Ms.)

137  

The Merchant of Venice, I iii 104.  Only H.’s second Shakespeare quotation since starting the diary.

138  

“bloodie” (Ms.)

139  

The Home and Foreign Ministers.

140  

The tale is traditional.

141  

Built after Rome fell to Alaric in 410, the walls were unbreached until 1463.  If B. did not come on this excursion, he went on a similar one, and it inspires one of his few descriptive passages about Constantinople.  On 28 June he writes to his mother: “… the ride by the walls of the city on the land side is beautiful, imagine, four miles of immense triple battlements covered with Ivy, surmounted with 218 towers, and on the other side of the road Turkish burying grounds (the loveliest spots on earth) full of enormous cypresses.  I have seen the ruins of Athens, of Ephesus, and Delphi, I have traversed great part of Turkey and many other parts of Europe and some of Asia, but I never beheld a work of Nature or Art, which yielded an impression like the prospect on each side, from the Seven Towers to the End of the Golden Horn” (BLJ I 251).

142  

The Silivri Kapoussi (Gate) and Adrian Kapoussi (Gate).

143  

Journey (II 937) has “a little chapel dedicated to Agia Panagia”.

144  

Mahomet II (1430-81), who captured the city in 1453 and extinguished the Roman Empire.

145  

Constantine XI (1403-53), the last Roman Emperor, died in the unsuccessful defence of the city.

146  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

147  

See Don Juan V 150, 8.  The Yedikule, or Castle of the Seven Towers, a prison-fortress in which the Turks imprisoned the ambassador of any power with which they were at war.  In fact it had four-and-a-bit towers, two having been destroyed, and one partially, in an earthquake of 1768.

148  

At this point H. writes “11<1/>8/1”, an arithmetical hieroglyph hard to comprehend.

149  

Theatre in the Western European style did not develop in Turkey until the late 1860s.

150  

Journey (II 942) has “… in any other city”.

151  

There are echoes here of the route taken by Baba, Juan and Johnson at Don Juan V Stanzas 40 and 41.

152  

Text corrupt.

153  

An abortive theatrical project of H.’s in 1815 is a comedy or melodrama called The Green Kiosk; see 21 Dec 1815.

154  

Unidentified.  Anybody got any ideas?

155  

H. is unsure which.

156  

Unidentified.  Anybody got any ideas?

157  

A toise is a French measurement, equivalent to two metres approximately.  See Don Juan VII 9, 8.

158  

It dates back either to Claudius II (268-70) or Septimus Severus (146-211).

159  

The Alay-Kiosk; the Pavilion either of the Processions, or of the Landing Place.

160  

Unidentified.  Anybody got any ideas?

161  

Prince Marousi (“Maroozi”) brother of the chief dragoman to the Porte.

162  

Princes of these northern provinces were often of Greek extraction: most famous among them had been Demetrius Cantemir, Hospodar of Moldavia, with whose History of the Growth and Decay of the Othman Empire (1734-5) B. had been intimate since his school days (see CMP 3, 4 and 220; also Don Juan, V 147, 7 and VII 31, 5).

163  

“Servants’ servants”.

164  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

165  

Halfway to the northern mouth of the Bosphorus, on its western side.

166  

Western Europeans: see Don Juan III 767 and IV 377.

167  

The Bourbon King of Naples and Sicily was in theory Ferdinand (IV of Naples, III of Sicily); in fact he was at this time King of Sicily only, having been replaced in 1806 as King of Naples by Joseph Bonaparte.  Joseph was made King of Spain by his brother Napoleon in 1808, and was replaced as King of Naples by Joachim Murat.  Murat was shot in 1815, whereupon Naples was returned to Ferdinand.  Whether Count Ludolph then received any back-payment is not clear.

168  

Compare B. Don Juan, V, 5, 7-8: There’s not a Sea the Passenger e’er pukes in / Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine.

169  

The Symplegades, for the sexual significance of which see Martial, Epigrams XI 45 or VII 19; and Ovid, Tristia I 10, Heroides XII 121-2, or Metamorphoses XV 335-5.

170  

Journey (II 870) has “… nine and a half feet in circumference”.

171  

Built under the orders of Baron de Tott (see Don Juan, VI 31 5).

172  

In February 1810 Napoleon, having divorced Josephine, had married Marie Louise, daughter of Francis I of Austria.

173  

General Marmont was subsequently created Duke of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) by Napoleon.  See 31 Sept 1816 and 1 Oct 1816.

174  

B. sulked because he thought he’d missed his chance of climbing on to the Symplegades, as a feat complementary to his having swum the Hellespont: if he is to be believed, however, he managed the trip at some other time.  See BLJ I 245: “I am just come from an expedition through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and the Cyanean Symplegades, up which last I scrambled at as great a risk as ever the Argonauts escaped in their hoy”.  Also CMP 132: “As for the Euxine – I stood upon the Symplegades – I stood by the broken altar still exposed to the winds upon one of them – – I felt all the ‘poetry’ of the situation, as I repeated the first lines of Medea – but would not that “poetry” have been heightened by the Argo? – It was so even by the appearance of any merchant vessel arriving from Odessa” … although there is no reference in H.’s diary to any other excursions to the entrance to the Black Sea.

175  

B. sent H. an early morning letter saying that because he hadn’t invited him to the Symplegades he wouldn’t be friends with him any more.

176  

The quotation H. used on 3 Apr 1810: Horace, Epistles I 18 88-7: Dulcis inexpertis cultura potentis amici: / Expertus metuit.  (To those who have not tried, it looks pleasant to court a friend in power: those who have tried, dread it).  It implies that H. needs to keep on the right side of B. at all costs.

177  

Tomb of the first wife of Charles Arbuthnot, English Ambassador to Constantinople and subsequently friend of the Duke of Wellington.  Arbuthnot’s second wife was Harriet, the diarist.  See 17 June 1810; and Arbuthnot I 227.

178  

Unidentified.

179  

The establishment of their previous innkeeper, a Frenchman.

180  

Note pending.

181  

The “Bostandge Basha”; the Chief of Police.

182  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

183  

Burdett was in prison from April 9th to June 21st for breach of parliamentary privilege.

184  

George III’s insanity was in 1810 at an early stage of development.  John Smythe Davies records, “Captain Bathurst and his officers by invite dined with the Ambassador at his Palace in Pera.  Ship dress’d with colours Fired a Royal Salute under the Standard with Yards Mann’d being ye Kings Birthday – men double allowance of Grog” (opp. p. 112).

185  

Not mentioned in Journey.

186  

H. may mean the Aurat-bazaar, the female slave-market.  At Malta, B. had made a twenty-guinea bet that he would get into such a place (see 8 Sept 1809); but was frustrated.  The slave-market in Don Juan V is from his imagination entirely, for Franks were forbidden access to all Turkish slave-markets without a firman from the Sultan.  G.A. Olivier (see 26 June 1810) had obtained such a firman (Olivier I 175-6) which may have fuelled B.’s hopes; but the Aurat-bazaar had been burnt down in the rebellion against Selim III.

187  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

188  

H.’s commentary in Journey (II 964) is so guarded as to make it seem that he spent very little time in this, the bazaar of the professional scribes: “Those acquainted with oriental literature would naturally resort to the shops of the Tusuk-Bazar, and, as I understand, would meet with most of the books in any repute in the East”.

189  

Built in the second half of the fourth century A.D., and still functioning.  Journey (II 850) has “… built originally by Theodosius, or Valens and Valentinian”.

190  

Süleymanye, the mosque built by Süleyman the Magnificent.  They inspect its interior on 19 June 1810.

191  

The diagram is mixed-in with the text.  H. does not show where either he or B. sat; as is frequently the case, he does not even say that B. was present.

192  

A lot of elaborate speeches were made.

193  

The principal dragoman of the Embassy: see 28 May 1810.

194  

Unclear.  Did Adair write a note to himself?

195  

No French or Russians present; but no Germans either.  For Ludolf, see 31 May 1810.

196  

See next day.

197  

For Sir William Ingilby (sic) see B. to H., 17 Nov 1811 (Ingilby has been mentioned earlier in the letter): “Sir W[illiam]. with whom you are so wrothfully displeased, is gone to Edinbug – burgh, I tell you, he is not what you take him for, but is going to be married, reformed and all that”.  (BLJ II 131; see also II 148).  No letters from H. to B. naming Ingilby survive.

198  

Two coins from the reign of C. Pescennius Niger, defeated by Septimus Severus in 196 A.D.

199  

The village north of Constantinople.

200  

Lord Lansdowne’s estate.  H. transfers the comparison to Journey II 861.

201  

The only reference to Montagu in this part of the diary; see 14 Jan 1811, where H. apparently reads her Turkish Letters for the first time, though he incorporates several references into Journey.

202  

Sir Robert Ainslie (1730?-1804); English ambassador to the Porte 1776-92.  A noted numismatist.

203  

Note pending.

204  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

205  

The “wicked Lord” from whom he had inherited his title in 1798.

206  

Unidentified, even at BLJ III 83; BLJ I 248 has [Hodgson?] but the spelling here is clear.  Marchand I 245 reads “tales spread – the Edleston is accused of indecency”, but again the spelling is clear.

207  

Their 1809 anthology Imitations and Translations.

208  

This date is given on the manuscript of B.’s poem Farewell Petition to JCH Esq, even though he and H. do not part until 17 July 1810.

209  

Charles Robert Cockerell (1788-1863), afterwards Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy.  At this time he was an archaeological researcher, and unearthed the Aegina Marbles in April 1811.

210  

The Black John (also known as the Black Joke) commanded by Moses Kennedy, was attacked and taken by French privateers off Algiers later in the year, with the loss of seven British lives: see BB 42-3, and BLJ II 30.

211  

Normally an Hobhousean code for homosexuality.  See 10 June 1810, and H. to B., 10 Dec 1810: “If you see Cockerell, remember me.  How is his bed?” (BB 62).

212  

Adair had been an intimate of Charles James Fox.

213  

Fox had had several interviews with Napoleon in Paris in 1802, during the Peace of Amiens.  He had found him “a young man considerably intoxicated with success”.

214  

“Hamborough” (Ms.)

215  

C.S. Matthews.

216  

A “scale” is in this case a flight of steps.  Journey (II 876) has “… the landing place, leading to a majestic kiosk, now in ruins”.

217  

B. wrote of the scene here in The Pleasures of the Summer Houses of Byzantium, translated from the Armenian in 1816-17 (CPW IV 110-13).

218  

An arabat is a wheeled carriage: on 4 June 1810 H. and Ekenhead see the coach-houses where the Sultan’s ladies’ arabats are kept.

219  

See Don Juan V 5, 3, and B.’s fair-copy note: “‘The Giant’s Grave’ is a height on the <Asiatic> shore of the Bosphorus – much frequented by holiday parties – like Harrow and Highgate”.

220  

This word is “genred”.  But what does it mean?  Anybody got any ideas?

221  

“Whores” (Greek).  Protest as he may about the unsatisfactory pair, H.’s account book records Χαματυπαι .. 40 / Pimp .. 10 (B.L. Add.Mss. 31038 14r).

222  

Cockerell spoke openly of his platonic love for H.

223  

The fourth number of the Quarterly Review had come out in November 1809.

224  

The review is of Emily, a moral Tale, including Letters from a Father to his Daughter upon the most important Subjects, by the Reverend Henry Kett, Fellow of Trinity College Oxford.  The reviewer (whose work is improved by Gifford) is George D’Oyly.  In fact the review is damning: the narrative is described as tame, languid and spiritless, and ladies are recommended to read it as a means of overcoming insomnia.

225  

Characters of the late Charles James Fox, written by Samuel Parr under the pseudonym Philopatris Varvicensis; the review is variously ascribed to Robert Grant, John Davison, and John Hookham Frere.

226  

Yanne unidentified.  Anybody got any ideas?

227  

Text obscure; note pending.

228  

Transliterated in Journey (e.g. II 991) as Dolma Baktche; a public gardens on the north shore of the Bosphorus, eastwards from Pera and Galata.

229  

Engagement unidentified.

230  

Perhaps a sign that something humiliating occurred on it to do with diarrhoea …

231  

Note pending.  Anybody got any ideas?

232  

Play unidentified.

233  

This is the date on which B. writes to Henry Drury telling him “I am just come from an expedition through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea and the Cyanean Symplegades …” (BLJ I 245) and tells of writing his version of the Nurse’s lament from Euripides’ Medea.  H., who had made his own trip to the Symplegades on 31 May, is not in B.’s company on this day.  A relevant entry from Frederick Chamier’s book may fit this date, although he does not mention the Symplegades:

“Lord Byron had formed a party to visit the French minister, at Bouyouk-déré, a village situated on the shores of the Bosphorus, and not far from the borders of the Black Sea.  This village is the general resort of the diplomatists; almost every ambassador has a house in that direction; the ride is pleasant, and the view delightful.  We rode out, and spent a very agreeable day.  Amongst other modes of spending time, we got into a boat, and pulled into the Black Sea, – merely to say we had been there, and to notice the entrance of the Bosphorus” (Chamier 158-9).

234  

Stephen Maltass was an employee of the Levant Company.

235  

Dale was the second lieutenant on the Salsette.

236  

Charles Arbuthnot (1767-1850); the English Ambassador before Adair.  Recollections (I 31) has inefficiency; and dates the revelations about Arbuthnot and Pole to the 16th.  William Wellesley (later “Long”) Pole (1788-1857) a nephew of Wellington’s, was the Secretary of Legation; for B.’s opinion of him, see BLJ II 142 and IV 79.  The inside information H. and B. now have about the January 1807 affair is used in an appendix to Journey (II 1111-22) to exonerate the Grenville administration of that time, who had been accused by the Tories of responsibility for it.

237  

The Turkish Foreign Minister.

238  

They had just been deposed by the Turks: Pole’s aim was either to have Sebastiani (Napoleon’s ambassador) removed, or to give the British fleet an excuse to bombard Constantinople in support of Russia, which was then at war with Turkey.

239  

H. meets the Chanouskies on 1 July 1810.

240  

At 29 Dec 1815 Sebastiani relates to B. and H. his version of the 1807 British debacle.

241  

Sultan Selim III, assassinated in 1807.

242  

The English fleet had to retire with heavy losses, taking the entire English colony away, against their wills.  It was the end of Arbuthnot’s diplomatic career.

243  

The English colony had been invited to dine on board an English ship, of which the cables were then cut, supposedly to save their lives.

244  

His first wife (see 1 June 1810) had just died.

245  

Phrasing obscure, intimation clear: though we are not told who discovered, or recommended, the place, nor who, if anyone, used it.

246  

Built by Justinian in 537.  Converted to a mosque after 1453.  B. wrote to his mother “… St. Sophia’s is undoubtedly the most interesting for its immense antiquity, and the circumstance of all the Greek Emperors from Justinian having been crowned there, and several murdered at the Altar, besides the Turkish Sultans who attend it regularly, but it is inferior in beauty and size [sic] to some of the other Mosques, particularly “Soleyman Etc” and not to be mentioned in the same page as St. P[aul]’s (I speak like a cockney …” (BLJ I 251).

Evidently the midshipmen were in the “large party”.  Smythe Davies records, “Salsette at her Moorings in the Harbour of Constantinople a gay day for a Birthday in a Midshipmans Mess Several Gun Room officers dined with us – Visited the Mosque of Saint Sophia – and saw the Lions before Dinner – and walked the walls of Constantinople” – (opp. p.120).

247  

The Hagia Sophia faces 33 degrees south of east.

248  

Built 1609-16.

249  

In 1453.

250  

Formerly the church of St. Bacchus and St. Sergius, founded by Justinian in 527.

251  

The Nuruosmanyie (1755).

252  

Built by Suleyman the Magnificent (see Don Juan V 147, 8) between 1550 and 1557.

253  

The Süleymaniye Library.

254  

The Beyazit Tower.  Mahmoud II improved it in 1828, having killed all the Janissaries.

255  

He was the Bostandge Basha, the Chief of Police. “galinger” is H.’s version of galiondge: “sailor”.

256  

It had been his favourite summer-house.

257  

“Bourgaloo” (Ms.); Bourgaloe, a hill above Scutari.

258  

“Fanar-Bakthise” (Ms.); Fnar-Baktchessi, a public garden.

259  

“Protector of the Romans”; the treaty involved the marriage of Napoleon to Maria Louisa.

260  

Daout Pacha is northwards from the Seven Towers.  The Valley of Sweet Waters lies in the opposite direction from Daout Pacha; going to one via the other involves a complete northern circuit of the city.

261  

H.’s information is from Olivier I 191-3.

262  

See H.’s comparison of the landscape near Belgrade to Lord Lansdowne’s Wiltshire estate at 6 June 1810.

263  

Carl Wilhelm Gropius (1793-1870) was a Prussian artist employed by Lord Aberdeen and Lusieri to make sketches.  He quarrelled with Lusieri, who challenged him.  See B.’s notes to Childe Harold II (CPW II 191 and 285).  I do not know what he was doing in Constantinople, or in what way he had encountered Turkish justice.

264  

Unidentified.  Anybody got any ideas?

265  

Called the Cadhri, and not to be confused with the Turning Dervishes, whom they had seen on 25 May.

266  

Guillaume Antoine Olivier, Voyage dans l’Empire Othoman, l’Egypte et la Perse (1802-7) another important subtext for JourneySodophysyte is a coinage from sodomite and monophysite (“believing in the one substance of Christ”): it is not clear to which Sultan H. refers.  The main reference here, to Olivier I 91, refers to Sultans in general, and relates to the archery-field near the Atmeidan: “Skilful flatterers, ever active about the man in power, have not failed to find that every arrow shot from the hand of the sovereign reached to a prodigious distance, and, in order to eternize the remembrance of it, have been eager to erect, every time that the Sultan has taken this diversion, a marble pillar on which is engraved in relief a long inscription”.

267  

Islam was as fascinated by relics as Christendom.

268  

He was a dwarf (Journey, II 930).

269  

He frothed at the mouth (Journey, II 930).

270  

A version of God’s name.

271  

This phrase is unsuccessfully erased with a pencil line, which then whirls around to encompass the entire page of the diary.  For fork, see Beppo 92, 3 (“Is’t true they use their fingers for a fork?”).

272  

A subsidiary meaning of to “recruit” is to “refresh” or “reinvigorate”.

273  

A sword with no guard and a double-edged blade.  See The Giaour, 355.

274  

“Good? Good?” in bastard Italian.  He wanted to know that his audience was pleased.

275  

They were “taken from the spectators” (Journey II 934).

276  

Sects, that is, forms of sexual deviation.  Methodism, for example, was a code-word between H. and B. and their friends for homosexuality.

277  

H.’s birthday, the first since he started the diary.

278  

The fifth map in Olivier’s Atlas to Illustrate the Travels in the Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Persia (see note on Olivier at 26 June 1810); Olivier had during his stay in Constantinople  (i) gained access to the female slave-market but  (ii) been imprisoned in the Seven Towers.

279  

The rebellion of the Janissaries against the would-be modernising Sultan Selim III had occurred in 1807, and both B. and H. had been moved by accounts of it: B. may have stored away memories of it for the writing of Sardanapalus.  For passages parallel to H.’s here, see Journey II 1046-7 (the last paragraph of the main text): “The schools of the arsenal, and the barracks of the bombardiers, are no less deserted than the exercising-grounds of Scutari and Levend Tchiftlik; nor can the pious alarms of the Ulema be now raised by the unhallowed encouragement of Christian refinements.  The presses of Ters-Hane are without employ; the French language has ceased to be taught in the Seraglio; and the palace of Beshik-Tash is no longer enlivened by the ballets and operas which amused the leisure of the unfortunate Selim”.  On 29 November 1813, B. wrote to Annabella: “I never saw a Revolution transacting – or at least completed – but I arrived just after the last Turkish one – and the effects were visible – and had all the grandeur of desolation in their aspect – – Streets in ashes – immense barracks (of a very fine construction) in ruins – and above all Sultan Selim’s favourite gardens round them in all the wildness of luxurient neglect – his fountains waterless – and his kiosks defaced but still glittering in their decay. – They lie between the city and Buyukdere on the hills above the Bosphorus – and the way to them is through a plain with the prettiest name in the world – ‘the Valley of Sweet Waters’” (BLJ III 180).

280  

Compare The Giaour, 295-319.

281  

The Nizam Djedid was the new constitution of Selim III, proclaimed in 1796.  Its death was signalled by the battle at Levent Chiftlick, on November 18th 1807, at which five hundred Seimens – the new, reformed troops of Selim – were massacred by the Janissaries (Journey, 1045).

282  

According to Mr Maltass’ information on 17 June, Chanousky’s daughters had been French spies at the time of Arbuthnot’s humiliation in 1807; but evidently this did not deter H.

283  

M. Latour Maubourg, the French Chargé d’Affaires.

284  

Ekenhead has shown some comical misconception.  Abbot was a Tory barrister, later Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, and Ellenborough, the Lord Chief Justice himself, is unlikely to have committed him at any time.  Alternatively, Sir John Holt had been Lord Chief Justice in 1689.

285  

H. provides no context for his horticultural list.

286  

The race-course, on the site of the old Byzantine Hippodrome.

287  

Journey (II 929) shows that they had strayed into the archery range.

288  

Unidentified; the unpunctuated syntax might suggest a nom de voyage for

289  

Lambro Katzones.  It is not clear whether H.’s exclamation marks indicate that this is the Lambro Cazzoni, or that the name is a striking coincidence.  See B.’s note to The Bride of Abydos II, 380 (CPW III 135 and 441): “Lambro Canzani, a Greek, famous for his efforts in 1789-90 for the independence of his country; abandoned by the Russians he became a pirate, and the Archipelago was the scene of his enterprizes.  He is said to be still alive at Petersburg.  He and Riga are the two most celebrated of the Greek revolutionists”.  Politically and socially he is model for his namesake, Haidée’s father, in Don JuanJourney (II 589) has Canziani: but mentions no meeting.  See Olivier I 192.

290  

Ferguson’s ship was the Pylades, which had taken B. and H. from Athens to Smyrna in March.

291  

The Septinsulars were the Ionian Islands.

292  

H. shares the predilections which had led to the English re-occupation of the Ionian Islands (see 19 Oct 1809).

293  

They’d sailed from Falmouth on 2 July 1809.

294  

Marriot was an Englishman who “… kept a hotel … in which a stranger may find comfortable lodgings and good fare” (Journey II 868).

295  

The wife of an Armenian friend.

296  

The recent Turkish revolts against Selim III, and then against his usurper.  H. is storing information away for the last section of Journey.

297  

See 31 May 1810.

298  

Mr Harvat: see 1 July 1810.

299  

“ylass” (Ms.)

300  

But as usual the unhygienic H. did not bathe.

301  

H. writes his memorised abridgement of Canning’s paper backwards from pages 89v-83v of this volume.

302  

“on board the two o’clock frigate” (Ms.)  Why H. calls the Salsette by this name is not clear; unless he’s writing rapidly, and means that he boarded the Salsette at two.

303  

A church on the way to the Atmeidan.

304  

Journey (II 829) elaborates: “A disturbance taking place one evening whilst we were at Pera, between some English and Genoese sailors, which the patrol endeavoured to allay by knocking both parties down with their long clubs, fifty of the English Janissaries, being despatched to the spot, immediately secured the parties, with the exception of the offender, who, having stabbed a marine of the Salsette, had fled to the French palace, and they also apprehended the whole guard; one of whom, but for the interference of the Captain of the Frigate, would have lost his head for his indiscriminate assault, and, as it was, received a severe bastinade.  Pera may thus be said to be abandoned to the foreign ministers”.

305  

Unable to make social contact with Turks, H., at least, is mixing with Armenians.  The Armenian monastery at St. Lazzaro in Venice, where B. studied in late 1816 and early 1817, is Catholic.  See 13 and 29 Nov 1816.

306  

An Armenian friend.

307  

H.’s title for this day’s entry.  What H. writes at Journey (II 830) may be repeated here, that foreign Ambassadors “experience on their visits to the other side of the water every humiliation which Ottoman pride can contrive to inflict”.

308  

H. does not make it clear at the outset that B. subordinated his sense of aristocratic precedence to his natural curiosity, and came on this trip.  See his letter to Adair at BLJ I 256-7.

309  

The immediate subordinate to the Grand Vizier.  This is the word with which H. plays such resourceful games in his entry for 28 May 1810.  Here he transliterates it consistently throughout, perhaps on advice.

310  

Compare Don Juan, VI Stanza 86.

311  

The Baba-Humayun (Bâbi-Humayun) or Sublime Gate.

312  

Church of the Divine Peace (Hagia Eirene); founded by Justinian in 537.  Used by the Janissaries as an arsenal.

313  

The Baba-Salam (Bâb-üs-Saade) Gate of Health, or of Felicity.

314  

Not mentioned in Journey.  The dirty room is the executioner’s lodge, a fact H. must have found out after writing this entry.

315  

See Don Juan III 31, 3, and V 47, 2.

316  

Compare Don Juan V 47, 1-2.

317  

The seat of the Ottoman Council of State.

318  

The Cadileskers of Romania and Natolia were Islamic priests/judges; the Mufti was traditionally selected from those of Romania.

319  

“Cheliby Nichandgi-Effendi, a minister of the first repute and well-known to all the foreign missions” (Journey, II 994).  Olivier (I 318) reveals that he was receiver of a commodity-tax levied by Selim III.

320  

Ms. gap.  Unidentifiable.

321  

Prince Maroozi was brother to the dragoman, and was deputising for him.  He was beheaded in 1812.

322  

An orta was a company.

323  

From the same point, as in a race.

324  

Overlineated in a different ink.  Identified in Travels as De L’Esprit des Lois, V xvi: “Dans le gouvernement despotique le pouvoir passe entier dans les mains de celui à qui on le confie”.

325  

The only mention of B. in the whole entry is very casual, and should alert us to the fact that in other entries the absence of any reference to him should not be read as implying his absence.

326  

Not in Journey; a reflection on the table manners of Chelik Effendi (“abstention”: the act of keeping back or restraining).  Anyone got any ideas?

327  

See Cervantes, Don Quixote, II, 47.

328  

The Ambassador.

329  

The Baba-Saadi or Gate of Happiness.

330  

At BLJ I 245 B. writes to Captain Bathurst referring to the May 28th audience with the Caimacan and asking him if he “was pleased with your garment of yesterday”.

331  

The Cazy-askers, or priests / judges from Romania and Natolia.

332  

The speed of the correction is perhaps a sign that some expert from the Embassy is looking over H.’s shoulder as he writes.

333  

If only H. had noticed who held B.’s arm, we might have an unambiguous prototype for Baba in Don Juan V and VI.

334  

“inner seraglio” (Ms.)

335  

Compare Don Juan, V Stanzas 56, 64-5, and 93-4.

336  

Sultan Mahmoud II (reigned 1808-38); son of Aimée Dubucq de Rivery, the cousin of Josephine de Beauharnais.  He had taken over on the assassination of Selim III.  In his reign Turkey lost Greece, and Egypt; but he terminated the reign of Ali Pacha, and destroyed the Janissaries in June 1826, killing between ten and twenty thousand of them in a single day.

337  

Etiquette forbade him to look directly at a Frank; but this did not prevent the rumour that, on being told in 1823 that B. was conspiring against his power in Greece, he said it could not have been the handsome Frank present at this audience, for that was a woman in disguise.  See the New Monthly Magazine, 1827, XIX, p. 147.  He may have been confusing B. with Lady Elgin, who, disguised as “Lord Bruce”, had attended a reception with Selim III in November 1799.

338  

He is not at all like the Sultan at Don Juan V Stanzas 147-52, who is still less like Selim III, who was Sultan at the supposed time of Juan’s arrival in the Seraglio.

339  

Last letters conjectural.  The word is severely cramped into the bottom-right-hand corner of the side.

340  

He fluffed and stammered, forgetting his words.  A literary term, applied to verse with poor scansion and rhythm.  Journey (I 514-15) says that this was not occasioned by real forgetfulness, but was only affected as a mark of humble confusion.

341  

“seeming” (Ms.)

342  

See 24 May 1810.

343  

Moslem soldiers from Albania.

344  

Djezzar Pasha was the Turkish commander of Acre at the time of Sir William Sidney Smith’s action in 1799.

345  

In 1807.

346  

John Smythe Davies’ diary has, “Salsette at Constantinople recd on board Lord Byron and Mr Hobhouse with their baggage &c under Salute 11 Guns recd his Excellency Mr Adair with 21 Guns – The Prince of Moldivia [sic] came onboard to say Good bye in Cog as an Arminian at 10 PM weighd and made Sail with Transport Brig in Company” – (opp. p. 141).

347  

See 12 Apr 1810.

348  

“The Great Ambassador”.  The Turks subsequently transferred the title to Stratford Canning.

349  

Recollections (I 31) has “a very Falstaffian person”; and transfers the interview to July 14th, compressing three days into one.

350  

Journey (II 907) makes it clear that he is boasting; the performance even of menial tasks at the Seraglio was considered a high honour.

351  

“Not without tears”.  The quotation is from Horace, Odes III vii:

Quid fles, Asterie, quem tibi candidi

primo restituent vere Favonii

Thyna merce beatum,

constantis iuvenum fide,

Gygen? ille Notis actus ad Oricum

post insana Caprae sidera frigidas

noctes non sine multis

insomnis lacrimis agit.

atque sollicitae nuntius hospitae,

suspirare Chloen et miseram tuis

dicens ignibus uri,

temptat mille vafer modis …

… at tibi

nec vicinus Enipeus

plus iusto placeat cave;

quamvis non alius flectere equum sciens

aeque conspicitur gramine Martio,

nec quisquam citus aeque

Tusco denatat alveo.

prima nocte domum claude neque in vias

sub cantu querulae despice tibiae,

et te saepe vocanti

duram difficilis mane.

[Why, Asterie, are you weeping for Gyges, whom the first breaths of spring will bring back to you, rich with Bythnian gifts, and your constant lover still? / Driven by winds to Oricum, after the rising of Capricorn, he passes the cold nights restlessly, not without much weeping. / Yet the messenger of his love-lorn hostess tells him how Chloe sighs for him, and finds a thousand ways of tempting him … / … But you must be careful yourself, lest your neighbour Enipeus appear more pleasant than he should, though no-one else rides so skilfully over the field, nor swims so swiftly down the channel. / Shut your door at night, and don’t listen in the streets for the music of his lute; though he may say you’re cruel, stay unavailable.]

352  

H. to B., 31 July 1810: “I kept the half of your little nosegay till it withered entirely and even then I could not bear to throw it away.  I cant account for this, nor can you either, I dare say” – (BB 39).

353  

The mountain in eastern Greece; see Childe Harold II 79, 4, and BLJ II 37 and 137.