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forms to the humane spirit of the Sultan, who has never been known to sanction an act of cruelty. It establishes boards and councils in the capital and principal towns, whose ordinances are, however, subject to the supervision of the Porte. It gives the privilege to the Armenian, Jew, and Christian, to sue and give testimony, and receive equal justice in the courts. But the Turkish kadis and muftis interpret justice and receive testimony just as they did before the constitution; judging all things by the Koran, and regarding all but Mussulmans as dogs and Giaours. The constitution is, in this respect, a complete dead letter. The blackest Nubian slave who believes in Mahomet can give testimony, but the most respectable Christian is not heard. The Ulemats of the law are permitted to plead and interpret the law as they please, which they do on paper, not orally; subject to the old contingency of being pounded to death in a mortar if they displease the government.
The Salique law is in full force in Turkey. Neither sons nor daughters under a certain age are raised to the throne, nor can a daughter transmit to a male offspring any claims to the succession. The brothers of the Sultan first succeed according to their age. The only brother of the present Sultan is kept close in the palace, and is seldom permitted to be seen. One of the tombs we saw was that of a Sultan. His brothers, murdered by him, to the number of nineteen, slumbered around him.-The object of their death was to avoid the law, so as to transmit the crown lineally to the Sultan's son. When the brothers fail, the son succeeds; hence the anxiety of Sultans about their brothers. The present Sultan, Abd-ul-Mejid has a son about ten years of age, of whom he is very fond, and to whom he is giving a fine education. He will succeed to the throne if the brother should happen to die.
The wives of the Sultan at present number thirteen. This does not include the harem, but only the Kadines, who alone have the privilege of producing an heir to the throne. They are chosen from the Odalisques, or females of the imperial harem.
There is no marriage ceremony performed, and the Sultan may divorce the marriage when he pleases. When the Sultan dies, the Kadines go into solitary retirement, still supported by the State. They never marry. The mother of the Sultan is more fortunate; she lives in a splendid palace, and is treated like the Queen Dowager of England. We saw the palace of the mother of the present Sultan at the head of the harbor—a splendid pile ! She derives a large revenue from some of the isles of the empire.
The inheritance of property is regulated by laws dissimilar from that which regulates the succession to the throne. There are two kinds of property-free and mortgage. The first is transmitted to the children, male and female, share and share alike. The mortgage property becomes absolute in the mosque (to which alone mortgage is permitted) upon the death of the mortgagor. If a person wishes to borrow five thousand piastres, he goes to his mosque, and during life pays a small interest of about one-half per cent.; the condition of defeasance being, that the property, which must be worth double the amount loaned, shall become absolute in the mosque on the death of the borrower. The mosques do not accumulate, but immediately sell and reloan. In the time of the plague, the mosques make money in round numbers. This financial ecclesiastical feature will account for the number and the influence of the mosques in Constantinople. No wonder so many minarets glitter in the sun, and so many domes swell under the cloudless sky of the east, amidst the mean, dirty, wooden houses that line the filthy streets. No wonder the city gleams so grandly in the distance, and reposes so tranquilly beauteous, far off!
The influence of the Moslem priests is paramount to all law. There is no connection between the Church and State, for they are one. The religion of the people is the State. The Koran is the real Constitution. Every rule of private and public conduct is drawn from its page. Greater devotion to a religion could not be had. Prayer with the Turks is universal; and they do not seek the intervention of priests to commune with Allah. It
is as common at night as in the day, at the feast as in Ramazan, in the field as in the chamber, in the mosque as in the cemetery. Last eve, at the fifth hour, the Moslems upon the steamer which is now bearing us westward, all bowed to the East, and simultaneously repeated their prayers, and performed their motions. At nightfall, the audible song went up from the deck, where cross-legged they sat; after which they enjoyed the pipe and their food, after the total abstinence of the day. The season of Ramazan is kept alike at every place.
We have two Pashas aboard, with whom I have been conversing in my usual manner by signs and a dictionary. Pleasant, dignified, and communicative, dressed in their ermine cloaks and red caps, and perfect gentlemen in all respects, except Christianity, they assume no airs, even over their own servants. Their salutation is tenderly symbolic of good will. They kiss the hand, touch the heart and forehead, and make a slight obeisThey seem thus to unite the respect of the mind with the warmth of their hearts. They have the reputation of being honest, hospitable and truthful; and that is more than is said of the Greek and Armenian Christians, who live among them, and who excuse these characteristics by saying, "Oh! their religion commands these things." Beautiful Christians! The Turks drink no spirituous liquor, which accounts for their moral and physical health, as well as for the scarcity of beggars, and the absence of cripples. Opium is not used generally. Tobacco is as common as the turban or fez cap. A Turk without his chibouque, would be like a man without a nose. It is a part of himself, not to be severed. He gives it prominence above everything, except the Koran-above the feast, the bath, and the turban.
I think that the slavery of Turkey is not properly understood in America. I have taken some pains to learn about these social customs, and must acknowledge my obligation to our viceconsul, Mr. Daniese, who has furnished me with the information. The slave markets of Constantinople have drawn forth a great
deal of sympathy, from the ladies especially. The idea of white women, almost naked, being sold in the public markets, has excited much horror. This is all superfluous. To be sure, slavery is bad enough in its best form. But the slave of the Turk is not the slave of the planter, by a good deal. Here, it signifies
a person purchased to be the adopted son or daughter of the owner. The market for white slaves is alone open to Turks, who purchase two classes of persons; one for wives, the other for servants. The former are sent by the best families of Georgia and Circassia to the Commissioner, who takes are that no insult of the slightest nature is offered. They are glad to go. All is voluntary. The females have the absolute right to refuse to be sold to any one whom they dislike. Ladies in America sometimes do not have as much accorded to them. Once bought, they become the wife of the Mussulman, just as fully as Miss Jones united to Mr. Smith, by Esq. Johnson, becomes Mrs. Smith. The law fixes their dowry; and if their husbands misuse them, it gives them redress in alimony and divorce. alimony allowed is their whole dowry. The property in the servant-slaves inheres to the wife, and not to the husband. He is bound to protect them through life, and provide for their maintenance. But when there are several wives-what then? I imagine that there are very few who have more than one wife. Our acquaintance, the good Bey, only had one, as he said; perhaps he meant only one to whom he gave his heart. When the wives are many, the same rule as to dower and maintenance obtains. There is one redeeming feature in Turkish slavery, and that is, that the mother becomes free on the birth of a child, who is also free. There is no hereditary slavery.
The male slaves have every chance to rise in the world, because they rise with their masters. Merit and mind rise above the institution. The son-in-law of the late Sultan, Halil Pasha, was once the slave of Khrosref Pasha, himself once a Georgian slave. The mother of the present Sultan-a fine portly lady, living in luxury in her palace, was once a Circassian slave, sold
for a price to Mahmoud II., the father of the present Emperor and is now the honored source of much of the power of the Sublime Porte. It is the religion which softens the harshness of the institution, and makes it a shadow. A day in Constantinople will convince the most unobserving that the Moslem faith recognizes no invidious distinction between the faithful. Indeed, the finest-looking man I saw was a dark but lofty-browed man, who, perhaps, was once a slave, but is now a chief prophet or priest of all Mahometanism. He presides at Mecca. I saw him under these circumstances. After leaving the gorgeous and splendid tomb of Mahmoud, the last Sultan, and while wondering at the perpetual freshness of grief which seemed to hover about the dead, caused by the rich shawls and mother-of-pearl work, as well as by the beautiful mosque around and over the tomb, and while admiring that appropriate symbol of the great wax candles, covered by the extinguisher, at the head of the tomb, we were disturbed and startled by the cries and bustle of the street. The soldiers were drawn up-the band played-the citizens rushed to see, and the word was—“ The Sultan, lo! he cometh over the Golden Horn!"
We waited in the shadow of a shop, and soon the officers and Pashas rode along on their fine steeds, which were led by slaves on foot; next came an awe-inspiring man, dressed in a long sweeping green robe exquisitely wrought, and upon his broad and high brow he wore the finest turban of white, embound in red. He looked grave in his long and solemn face. He seemed a man of sorrow, and his face was thin and indented with grief. A great calm, dark eye looked out from beneath his heavy intellectual forehead. If Mahomet resembled this, his successor, I would no longer wonder at the spell of Islamism by which he thralled the East. You forget his gorgeous apparel and his dark countenance, in the great mind which speaks from the face. He sits upon his fine Arab horse, a picture to "witch the world," not as Hotspur did "in wondrous horsemanship," but by the priestly sanctity and intellectual composure of his