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Mission To The Ottoman Empire

( Originally Published 1911 )



IN the spring of 1897, I was asked by Rev. Dr. Storrs, President of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, if I would accept the position of Minister to Japan or Turkey, if desired by the President. Mr. William E. Dodge, of New York, speaking for the Presbyterians, asked the same question with respect to Turkey. They both had in mind the interests of Christian missions. I gave both to understand that if the offer of such a position came unsought by me, I would give it consideration.

In April, Senator McMillan, at the re-quest of President McKinley, inquired by telegraph whether I would accept the position in Turkey. After some correspondence, I finally wrote that I would accept, provided I could return at the end of a year or remain longer if I chose. While, with my wife and daughter, I was on a visit to New Orleans, my name was sent to the Senate and promptly confirmed. On my return home the Regents gave me leave of absence for a year from October. The Legislature of Michigan passed a vote of thanks to the President for the appointment.

On May 6, I visited Washington and had interviews with the President, Secretary of State John Sherman, and other officers of the State Department, all of whom received me very cordially. But two despatches were received from Mr. Terrell, our minister at Constantinople, which led me to ask the President to excuse me from serving. The first said the report had come to him that while in the South I had charged Russia with fomenting disturbances in Turkey, and that on this account my relations with the Russian Ambassador would be strained. The second stated that the Sultan objected to me because I, like most of the American missionaries, belonged to the denomination of Congregationalists. I did not desire to go with these difficulties as a handicap. But Secretary Sherman telegraphed my denial of the truth of the first despatch. It being soon ascertained that the Sultan had made the mistake of confounding the denomination of Congregationalists with such an organization as the Congregation of the Jesuits, with which he had controversies, our Secretary in charge of the Legation telegraphed that the objection to me was withdrawn.

I may as well say here that no one of the European Ambassadors was more cordial to me on my arrival than Mr. Nelidoff, the veteran Russian Ambassador and that the other ambassadors in answer to my inquiries, assured me that they never heard the least criticism of me from Mr. Nelidoff, or from any Embassy or Legation.

Furthermore, I may say, that the Sultan was always most affable to me in my inter-views with him, even when I had to discuss some missionary questions. In fact, I never saw any traces of the difficulties which Mr. Terrell reported.

The President and the Secretary declined to listen to my requests to be excused from service. I decided to go to my post, and made my arrangements to sail on July 17, for Havre. My wife and I left home on July 14. We reached Paris at an early hour on July 26. While we were there, floods in Austria destroyed the railways, by which we had planned to go to Constantinople. So we were compelled to go to Marseilles and take the steamer.

On the way south we visited Avignon, Nimes and Arles. After a comfortable voyage on the Messageries steamship " Senegal," we reached Constantinople late in the after-noon of the 18th. Mr. Riddle, the Secretary, Mr. Short, the Consul, and a Turkish official, representing the Grand Vizier, were at the wharf to greet us. In the Legation launch we proceeded at once to Therapia and took lodgings for the summer at the Palace Summer Hotel. The next morning a messenger from the Sultan called to greet me.

As soon as convenient I made my calls on the Ambassadors and Ministers. Baron Calice, the Austrian, was the Dean, a most courteous and amiable man with an English wife. His long service at that post made his knowledge of affairs valuable to us all. Nelidoff, the Russian, soon transferred to Rome, had been considered the most influential representative. He was succeeded by Zinovieff, a shrewd man, whose whole career had been made in Asiatic service. He informed me that Russia trained its men in diplomatic service, especially for Asiatic or for European posts. He had been much in Persia and under-stood the operations of the Oriental mind. Russia treats Turkey as belonging to the Asiatic department.

Sir Philip Currie, the British Ambassador, had been taken, as Pauncefote was, directly from the Foreign Office for diplomatic service. He was a man of the finest presence; but he could not get on with the Sultan. His English love of justice and honesty made him impatient with the artful devices and the wickedness of the Turkish officials. He was obliged to see Great Britain losing its influence and could not conceal his indignation at the policies of the Turkish government. But it was refreshing to hear his noble English spirit express itself.

Lady Currie, known in her own country as an author of fiction, was a woman of great brightness of mind and of singular charm of manner.

Monsieur Cambon, the French Ambassador, was a most attractive personality. He had been at his post in the time of the massacres and exerted himself to the utmost to induce his government to interpose by force to put an end to the cruel violence. He thought the Great Powers missed a rare opportunity at that crisis. He had the finest powers of a French conversationalist. I always counted it a happy hour when I could meet him. He is most worthily representing his country in London. He is an elder brother of the ambassador who won such favour with us at Washington during the Spanish War, in the delicate position of being the medium of communication between us and Spain, and who now holds the difficult position of French Ambassador at Berlin.

The German Ambassador on my arrival was Baron Saurmar-Jeltsch, who had been Minister at Washington, a large, bluff, blue-eyed hunter, who liked killing wild boars better than formal dinners. But he was soon succeeded by that able and distinguished statesman, Marschall von Biberstein, a man of high intelligence and great force of character. The German Emperor, who has sought and not without success to secure the influence in Turkey once wielded by Great Britain, sent this strong and vigilant man to carry out his policy. He soon made his power felt, and until the deposition of the Sultan, Abdul Hamid, was undoubtedly the leading ambassador at Constantinople.

Signor Pansa, the Italian Ambassador, was a very agreeable gentleman, but Italy apparently did not find her voice considered of as much weight as that of the other Great Powers.

My relation with the Spanish Minister, Urrutia, was very friendly. He was transferred after a few months and succeeded by a Marquis, who had been at St. Petersburg. In that capital, as is well known, social functions begin at a very late hour, sometimes at midnight. He was asked after he had been in Constantinople some weeks, how he found life there. "Oh," said he, "in many respects very well. But I must say it is the dullest place I have been in, after 2 o'clock in the morning." He was a most affable gentleman, and although the outbreak of the Spanish War compelled him and me to break off formal social relations, we never sacrificed our friendly feelings.

At the time of my arrival the ambassadors of the six Great Powers were in session with an Ottoman representative for the purpose of adjusting the relations of Turkey with Greece and the Balkan States. The Congress did not accomplish very important results. The diplomatic wits said it served to show " l'impuissance des Grandes Puissances." But in part at least owing to their influence a satisfactory Treaty of Peace between Turkey and Greece was negotiated.

It is well known that German officers, loaned to the Sultan by the German Emperor, really planned the campaign against Greece nominally conducted by Edhem Pasha. One of the German officers who was wounded in the war told me that the Turkish victories might easily have been made more decisive if the German advisers could have persuaded the Turkish commander to get up and have any fighting before noon.

On September 3, I was received by the Sultan. The whole staff of the Legation and the Consulate, were present. Court carriages came for us. The Assistant Introducer, Ghabit Bey, who had called on me in the name of the Sultan, on my arrival, occupied the carriage with me and my dragoman. The soldiers at all the guard houses saluted as we passed. Arriving at the Imperial Palace, the Yildiz Kiosk, Munir Pasha, the Chamberlain, met us. Officers in brilliant uniform were gathered in the large reception room. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Tewfik Pasha, then escorted me to a smaller room, where the Sultan was standing by the side of a small table. He wore his semi-military blue frock coat with no binding and wore many

jewels and decorations. I read my speech in English, of which one copy in English and one in French had already been sent. The Turkish Secretary then read a Turkish version. The Sultan replied in a low but pleasant voice, substantially reciprocating the wishes and sentiments I had expressed. The Secretary also in a gentle tone rendered the Sultan's speech in French. The bearing of the Sultan was affable and cordial.

I then withdrew to the salon, where cigarettes and light refreshments were served. The great hero of the Russo-Turkish War, Osman Pasha, and other notable persons were present. After a little we returned to the Legation and served refreshments to the guests.

On the next day I made my calls on the Ministers of the Porte. I will say a few words of those with whom I had subsequently to do business.

The Grand Vizier, Khalil Rifaat Pasha, was an old man whose mind seemed to act very slowly, but who in all my dealings with him was just and fair and obliging.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Tewfik Pasha, was a most affable and attractive man. I sometimes thought he was too ready to agree with me and to say yes to my requests, especially when it proved he had not the power to make good his promises. He had been Ambassador at Berlin, and there married a German lady. I often wondered whether in accepting his hand she supposed she was to be admitted to diplomatic society in Constantinople. As a matter of fact she was obliged, like all Turkish wives, to live in seclusion.

Zandi Pasha, the Minister of Public Instruction, was an amiable elderly man with whom I had much pleasant conversation on education. He regretted the failure of many officials to appreciate the value of general education. He complained that this greatly hindered his work, in which he seemed deeply interested. I may relate an incident which illustrates the devoutness of the pious Turks, which they are not ashamed to have us know. On calling at his office one day at 3 o'clock, I saw him kneeling and praying. I proposed to the porter that I should withdraw until he was free to see me. "Oh no," said he, "come in and take a seat." I did so. The Minister on his prayer rug continued some ten minutes at his devotions, then arose, and without any ceremony greeted me and gave attention to my business. One could hardly have such an experience with a cabinet officer in a Christian land.

He rendered me a valuable service in instituting a search for an ancient manuscript, alleged by the author of a book, written in Missouri, to be in the library of Santa Sophia. This book is entitled the "Archko Volume." It professes to give the contents of manuscripts called the Acta Pilati, found in the Vatican, and con-firmed in the library of Santa Sophia, giving many details concerning the early life and the trial and execution of Jesus. It was published in Philadelphia by the Antiquarian Book Company in 1896. It bears on the face of it the appearance of a fraud. A gentleman sent me the book with the request that I ascertain whether there is in the library of Santa Sophia such a manuscript or book as is referred to by the author as the authority for the narrations he gives. The Minister informed me that the library in question was under his special care and he would order a most thorough search. A few weeks later he informed me that the search had been made and that there was no trace of any such work in the library. His report did not surprise me.

Said Pasha, President of the Council, had been formerly Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to Berlin, and had been in public service all his life. He was a fine story teller and had a good sense of humour. He spoke with much interest of John A. Kasson, who represented us at Berlin. Among his stories was one of his handling of a missionary case when he was Governor at Salonica. An American woman teaching a missionary school had been annoyed by a young Turkish hoodlum throwing stones at her school house and made complaint to the Governor. He summoned the lad and was satisfied of his guilt. He then sent for the young woman, told her that he desired to frighten the fellow by threatening him in her presence with very severe punishment, and suggested that if she would then interpose and ask for his release the effect on the public would be most salutary, and insure her and her colleagues against further annoyance. She had the good sense to agree to this treatment of the case. His programme was carried out and there was no further interference with missionary work while he was in Salonica.

Of all the ministers, he and Tewfik Pasha alone spoke French. Munir Pasha, the Sultan's interpreter, spoke French. It was generally believed that the Sultan, who when a lad was some time in Paris, could understand it fairly. But he insisted in using Turkish altogether in his interviews with the diplomats.

The Porte under Abdul Hamid had lost the power which it had under his predecessors. He insisted on reviewing the whole of their work before action was taken on any affair of the least consequence. There-fore after working for weeks to carry a measure through the Cabinet, the foreign representative found his work only just begun. And even with the best purpose on the part of the Sultan to expedite business, it was simply impossible for him to accomplish it. And if he did wish to delay it, he had a ready excuse. The diplomatic body with one accord were greatly dissatisfied with the course which had to be taken, even with urgent business. Moreover there had grown up a sharp rivalry, one might almost say hostility, between the Porte and the Secretaries and other officials at the Palace. It was currently reported and widely believed that the Secretaries at the Palace had to be bribed if important measures were to be attended to with any promptness.

One day, after the completion of a little transaction which had dragged along for weeks, I said with some impatience to Tewfik Pasha, " Why do you have such ways of doing business? I. have heard that you are cousins to the Chinese. And you do have this same habit of provoking delay in finishing a task which in America we should do in fifteen minutes. Why is it?" With his amiable smile, which partially disarmed me, he replied, " Well, I can only say that is our way." And that was the only explanation.

Of course I had several interviews with the Sultan on business. Although subsequently our Legation was raised to an Embassy on the alleged ground that the Minister had not the same facility of access to the Sultan which the Ambassadors enjoyed, I had no occasion to make that complaint. I found no difficulty in securing an audience when it was necessary. The bearing of the Sultan was always affable. He heard with attention what I had to say and replied politely. On one occasion, during an audience, a messenger entered in great excitement with what appeared to be an important message. I offered to withdraw. The Sultan detained me. He gave some orders to the messenger. He then informed me that the message was that his sister's palace on the Bosphorus was on fire and that he had given orders to have the fire-men hasten to the palace and to have his sister and her children brought to his pal-ace. Then he proceeded to preach a brief but excellent sermon to the effect that when misfortune comes we must do our best to avert it, but having done that in resignation and faith, must leave all to God. I ventured to reply that his doctrine would be deemed good in all lands.

He remarked playfully to me one day that I was the only American Minister who ever came to his court who spoke French. In this I think he must have been in error.

When he learned that I was going to Jerusalem and Damascus, without any re-quest on my part he sent orders to his officials in the Holy Land to greet me and aid me in my journey. They did this to an extent which was sometimes almost embarrassing. I mention his courtesies, because I cannot but criticize and condemn many features of his government.

Though he was averse to allowing capital punishment, it was believed that his morbid fear of assassination and his dread of revolution led him to severe punishment of mere boys and to the exile to remote provinces of some of the best men in the empire. Two cases of the unjust punishment of boys came to my personal knowledge. A lad who had been a student in Robert College found his funds exhausted so that he could not complete his education there. Having heard that the Sultan sometimes gave scholarships in a Turkish school, one Friday he pushed through the military lines which guard the Sultan on his way to the mosque, and threw into the carriage a petition for the scholarship. It is a tradition of great antiquity in Oriental lands that any subject may petition the sovereign. When the lad came home, one of his comrades asked him how he succeeded in approaching the Sultan's carriage. The lad replied with fatal in-discretion, " Why, it was easy enough. I was so near him I could have shot him." This unhappy remark being repeated, he was arrested, charged with threatening the life of the Sultan, convicted and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. All efforts of influential friends to secure a modification of the sentence were in vain.

The other case occurred in the Turkish Medical School in Constantinople. Some men of revolutionary spirit gained access to the school and scattered incendiary circulars about the building. One of these papers was found in the room of a young student from Smyrna, though he affirmed through no agency of his. He was banished, but his poor mother could not learn where. In her despair she made, through a lawyer whom I knew, a request of me that I would forward through the Sultan's Secretary a petition to His Majesty, that she might be informed where he had been sent, and that she might be allowed to go to the same place and see him occasionally. Finding that under the usages at the Palace I could without impropriety oblige her, I did forward the petition, which was one of the most pathetic papers I ever read. But I never heard of any results.

Many absurd laws and regulations in force in the capital at the time of my residence were believed to be due to the Sul-tan's fear. For instance, though the city had nearly a million inhabitants there was no local mail. One had to send letters by special messengers to persons in the city. It was said that though there had formerly been mail facilities, the Sultan suppressed them because he received so many threatening postal cards and because conspirators could by mail easily mature dangerous schemes.

I had two singular controversies with the customs officers to handle. An Englishman, after visiting the hospital connected with one of our American mission stations, generously sent out from London a thousand dollars' worth of medicines as a present for the physician to use in his merciful work. In the invoice was a small ,quantity of carbolic acid, a remedy used in the treatment of sore throats. It happens that it can also be used in the preparation of the explosive gun cotton. On that account the whole shipment was stopped and threatened with confiscation. I laboured for some time with the officers, explaining to what an innocent and even beneficial use the dangerous article was to be put and urging them at least to seize that and sink it in the Bosphorus and let the rest of the medicines go on to their destination. Suddenly, as I thought I was on the point of success, the customs official, with whom I had been labouring, was succeeded by another. He took up the matter de novo. As though nothing had been said he sent me a note, informing me of the arrival of this shipment of medicines, saying the duty paid on it was so much, but that the fine on the acid was so much more, and he would thank me for a cheque for this excess and that the whole shipment had been confiscated. So I had to start all over again, and take as many more weeks to secure the release.

One comical case occurred. Robert College had appointed a young graduate of an American college to teach the Oriental boys not only some branch of book learning but also the American game of base ball. In examining his baggage, the custom officers came upon a pitcher's mask. "What is this?" they asked themselves. "Some new kind of revolutionary weapon?" They detained it as a strangely suspected article. After a week's deliberation and full explanation by the American consul it was permitted to enter.

The Sultan watched with much interest the events of our war with Spain and especially the naval contests. He asked me many questions about them. Finally he inquired if I could tell him how he could procure some ships like ours without the intervention of middle men, who were so given to cheating him in contracts. I told him that the builder of the "Oregon," which had performed its wonderful feat of coming round Cape Horn and going directly into action, was then in St. Peters-burg, and if he desired, I would ask him by telegraph to come to Constantinople and confer with him. I endeavoured to impress him with the belief that very much of our success depended on the man behind the gun. His mind was evidently turned more to our cannon than to our men. He said he had ordered some of the cannon. It is well known that he did finally order an ironclad of the Cramps of Philadelphia.

In this connection I may mention a singular fact about the attitude of the middleclass Turks towards us in the Spanish War. The sympathies in most of the Embassies, except the British, were rather against us, though they were never manifested to me in an unpleasant way. The newspapers published in Constantinople, except one edited by a Frenchman, were rather unfriendly to us. That one I kept well informed of our views. But rather to my surprise I found that the main body of the Turks in the capital leaned to our side. I was puzzled to know why. Therefore I asked a friend who was familiar with the Turkish language and with many of the people to ascertain the cause of their attitude. "Why," they said to him, "don't you remember that three hundred years ago these Spaniards drove the Mohammedans out of their land? Allah is great. The time of punishment for them has come." Not improbably the Sultan shared their feelings.

At the outbreak of the war I asked him if he proposed to publish a proclamation of neutrality. He said he would follow the example of other nations and that the Great Powers guaranteed the neutrality of the Dardanelles at all times. I asked how about furnishing munitions. "Oh," he replied, "everyone knows we never spare so much as a pistol."

It will be remembered that the Spaniards sent some ships of war as far as Port Said, on the way to Manila. They could not proceed farther without procuring coal. Tewfik Pasha asked me what international law required of his government about allowing the Spanish ships to coal. Of course I told him his duty was to allow them to take coal to return home but not to go on. The Spanish ships returned home. I have always supposed he knew the law without asking me. But I am not quite certain about it.

As I have spoken with emphasis of the dilatoriness of the Turkish government, I may properly credit them with commend-able promptness in one case. During the war with Greece the lights on the Turkish coast were extinguished to prevent the Greek war ships from approaching. In December, 1897, after the close of the war, the United States gun-boat, the Bancroft, was coming from Athens into the port of Smyrna in the evening. The captain saw the outer light at the mouth of the harbour burning, and so concluded that the port was open at night and kept on his way. As he was passing a small fort on an island in the harbour, he was fired on by musketry without any notice. He stopped his engines and sent a boat with an officer towards the fort, and the boat was fired on. The Bancroft anchored till daylight and then proceeded into the harbour and re-ported to Admiral Selfridge, who was there with the war ships, the Brooklyn and the Olympia. The Admiral made his complaint to the governor, who referred him to Constantinople. He sent a despatch to me and with it one of the bullets which had fallen on the deck of the Bancroft.

I at once sent a spirited despatch to Tewfik Pasha, demanding an apology and the punishment of the officers of the fort at Smyrna. The Imperial Council met the next day and decided to meet all my demands and to dismiss the officers at fault. The Admiral expressed himself as satisfied, and the affair was ended.

Whether action would have been so prompt if our ships under Admiral Selfridge had not been lying at Smyrna I cannot say, but I doubt it. Unhappily perhaps for some other business in my hands, owing to the outbreak of the Spanish War the Olympia was just then sent through the Suez Canal to Manila, where she had a part in achieving Dewey's notable victory, and the Brooklyn was ordered home for duty on this side of the sea.

My belief is that if Selfridge could have remained at Smyrna with those vessels, our claims against the Turkish government would without great delay and without the firing of a gun have been settled. When I was asked to go to the East, largely for the purpose of procuring a settlement of our claims, with my knowledge of Oriental ways I asked, and the President promised, that the vessels should be ordered to the Turkish coast. These claims were chiefly for the destruction of the property of American missions by Turkish soldiers. As they were under the control of the government, and in a legal sense its agents, and the property for which restitution was asked was destroyed not by rioters but by them, the responsibility of the government could not be denied. In fact, when I presented this argument to Tewfik Pasha, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, he did not and could not deny its validity. On the contrary, he told my dragoman that they would willingly settle our claims were it not for the embarrassment caused by the larger claims of the other nations. When the Great Powers were in conference they decided to present their claims not jointly but separately, in notes substantially identical. The various Ambassadors assured me that they were quite willing I should present ours at once and one of them said he should be very glad if we succeeded in collecting without delay. With the outbreak of the Spanish War and the withdrawal of our vessels, the Foreign Office relegated the question to the limits of indefinite discussion and procrastination, which lasted beyond my term of service. A settlement of the claims was finally made after some years more of delay, by adding the sum due to a contract price for the construction of a ship of war by the Cramps, this excess to be turned over by the builders to the mission board whose property had been destroyed.

The resort to espionage was a most serious blot upon the administration. The spies of the Sultan were everywhere. One Turk said to me the spy business was the most prosperous of any. I was assured that spies were sitting at the dinner tables of the principal hotels, to overhear the conversation of the guests. With one against whose visits I had been warned I had an amusing adventure. He was a handsome, dignified Arab, who had been in England long enough to talk English fairly well. He introduced himself to me, saying he had been Mayor of Jerusalem and was now trying to procure from the government a concession for the construction of a system of waterworks for that city. He regretted, he informed me, to find that the government was so corrupt that he had no hope of securing his concession except by bribing a whole row of high officials. It was refreshing to him to turn aside from these representatives of a corrupt and tyrannical government and pay his respects to the representative of a pure and honest democracy.

Supposing his object to be to draw from me some remark derogatory to the Sultan, which he could report to my disadvantage, I ventured to remark that a monarchy pre-sided over by a just sovereign was an edifying spectacle and that even in republics there were found sometimes corrupt men in office. He seemed surprised at my remarks and proceeded to eulogize republican governments. I continued my commendations of enlightened monarchies. The conversation ran on in this way for half an hour, when he bade me adieu, but as I flattered myself without any game for his bag.

The venality of some of the courts was also a fearful weakness in the government. I asked one of the best lawyers, an English-man who had been practising twenty years in Constantinople, whether the courts had improved in his time. "They have decidedly grown worse," was his reply. He then gave me the following illustration from his recent experience :

"I was counsel for a Liverpool merchant to collect a sum due him from an Armenian merchant here for a bill of goods. Not long after the trial began I saw evidence that one of the judges had been bribed by the defendants. I asked and procured his dismissal from the bench. Another man was appointed and the trial was resumed. After a little I ascertained that this man was bought up by the defendants. I arrested proceedings and asked for the removal of the new judge. Thereupon the Armenian came to me and offered to settle for half the face of the bill. "But why," asked my informant, "do you ask me to accept half the sum due? You know you owe the whole." "Oh, well," replied the merchant, "but it has cost me half the amount of the bill to buy these two judges."

Some of the religious ceremonies one sees in Constantinople are of much interest.

On January 9, we went to the Yildiz to see the Pilgrims start for Mecca with gifts. A Mohammedan acquires much merit by making the journey. The streets leading to the scene were lined with people. The concourse of women was exceptionally large. Dropped down on the grassy banks, wearing their white wraps, they resembled a flock of pigeons. As we looked on, a long procession of venerable ulemas poured forth from the mosque, where they had been to worship. They wore robes of every shade of green and a gilt band around the turban. The procession was headed by several camels and by a larger number of donkeys, laden with the gifts. Most of these gifts were covered by canopies of multi-coloured stuffs. But the last donkeys carried just such old hair-covered trunks as I used to see in the country in Rhode Island in my boyhood. As the procession started, a sham fight was carried on, representing an attack on the caravan, but a few brave Moslems successfully defended it. The old priests with much difficulty and considerable boosting mounted horses, each of which was led, and closed the procession. The day was perfect. The wild Arab music, the real or simulated enthusiasm of the defenders of the caravan, the gay trappings of the camels, the large concourse of the faithful, all made a fine Oriental pageant of semi-barbaric nature. It is however always well understood that the procession will not march overland to Mecca, but will be borne by steamer to Arabia.

On May 2, we attended the reception by the Sultan of the high religious and civic officials. This is held in the great hall of the Dolmar-batsche Palace. The diplomatic visitors, including the ladies, occupied the gallery. We were asked to be present at half-past six in the morning. The Sultan sacrifices a sheep but not in our presence. The ceremony began by the Sheik-ul-Islam approaching His Majesty and receiving a kiss on his shoulder. Then priests of high rank came forward and kissed the hem of the Sultan's coat. Those of lower rank kissed a tassel fastened to the Sultan by a gilt band and held by Osman Pasha. These and the civil officers all wore their official dress. The Sultan extended his hand a little as if to seem to lift up most of the priests from their bowing position. But in recognition of the salaams of the other officials he made not the slightest response by movement or gesture. A band played in the gallery during the whole ceremony. Tea, cakes, and fruits were served to us visitors during the long and rather monotonous ceremony. Munir Pasha, the Sultan's interpreter, came at the close to thank us.

I attended a remarkable and rather repulsive ceremony of the Persians at their Khan. They are known as the Shiite branch of Mohammedans. They believe that Ali, the son-in-law of Mohammed, was crowded out of the caliphate by his rivals for years and his son Hassein was murdered by them. Annually they have this celebration in honour of Hassein. The excitement is so great on the occasion that not unfrequently scenes of violence are witnessed. On this account it was not deemed prudent for me to take my wife with me.

It was already dark when I arrived. The place was brilliantly lighted. Round and round the building in the centre of the square, which is bordered by houses and shops of Persians, the procession marched from sunset till about 10 o'clock. It consisted of three principal sections of about sixty or seventy persons in each. One was made up of men beating their breasts as they marched before what seemed to represent a turbeh or tomb of Hassein, and responsively shouting something about him. Another section carried chains with which they flagellated their bare shoulders. The third section carried swords. They were clad in white cotton gowns, and as they marched and shouted they cut their scalps and faces with their swords till their necks and gowns were saturated with blood. One child five years old, riding a horse, did the same, and I even saw an infant in arms with a knife and its face and head apparently slashed. This last section grew more and more excited as the evening wore on. From time to time men became so weak that they were led away to be washed and cared for. Near the close of the evening one man appeared to be raving crazy. There were musicians, flag bearers and light bearers in the procession.

I understand the demonstration to be one of grief for the death of Hassein and also of penance. Many of the Persian bystanders wept and some sobbed aloud. In the houses adjacent, groups of Persians were looking on in gravity. Some of them were weeping, some were partaking of refreshments.

The Turkish soldiers were present in force to keep order. One might well believe that otherwise these frantic zealots would run amuck on the Giaours present. I was told that in Persia the demonstrations on such an occasion were more violent.

My wife and I frequently visited the Institutions, of which Americans may justly feel proud Robert College and the Woman's College. The former was established by that gifted missionary Cyrus Hamlin, endowed largely by Mr. Christopher Robert, of New York, and administered for so many years by Rev. Dr. George Washburn. It gave a good collegiate education of the American type to a large number of Armenian, Bulgarian and Greek students, and thus incidentally imbued them with the Christian spirit of regulated liberty. Several of the men most prominent in developing the civic life of Bulgaria were graduates of the college. Perhaps no foreigner in the Empire was so well informed about the political condition of Southeastern Europe as President Washburn. So highly was his opinion valued by the British government that he rarely passed through England without being asked by the Premier or the Foreign Secretary for an interview. A few Turkish students were in the college classes, but owing to the attitude of the Imperial authorities not many ventured to attend. English was the language of instruction in both colleges, though the eastern languages were taught.

The Woman's College had girls of the same nationalities as Robert College. Occasionally a Turkish girl was sent there by her parents. On one occasion I attended a class in English Literature. It happened that the subject on that day was Long-fellow's "Evangeline." I was surprised at the command of our language by these Oriental girls, and especially by the fact that the most proficient was a Turkish girl, the daughter of a Turkish official in the Treasury Department. I was told that she had entertained her father in his leisure hours by translating at sight to him pas-sages from Shakespeare and from Holmes' "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table." She had translated into Turkish an American book, "Abbott's Mother at Home," if I remember the title correctly, a work intended to instruct mothers in rearing their children, and her proud father had incurred the expense of printing it and distributing a thousand copies among the soldiers re turning from the Greek War. It is an interesting fact that this Woman's College owes its imperial authorization to Admiral Farragut. It had long been asked for in vain. He was informed of this on his visit. When he was received by the Sultan, in the friendly conversation of their inter-view, he asked the Emperor to give the college the sanction of an irade and his request was granted.

The summer of 1898 we spent in the island of Prinkipo, in the spacious mansion of Mr. Azarian, and with our launch made many beautiful excursions to the adjacent islands and to the main land.

On July 4, we invited all the Americans in Constantinople and all the members of the British embassy. One of the British gunboats was placed at the service of the Americans living on the Upper Bosphorus, so that our company numbered about sixty. We pinned little American flags on all, British and Americans indiscriminately, and had a merry celebration. Unhappily the news of the capture of Cervera's fleet did not reach us until the next day and even then was denied at the Spanish Legation.

One day we went to Bulwer's Island, some seven miles away from Prinkipo. It is named after Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, who negotiated with us in 1850 the noted Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. He built here two castles of stone in Norman style. Earth-quakes have made ruins of them, though one can see the elaborate carved decorations of the doorways and windows. It is said that his life here was of such a character as to lead to his recall and caused Lord Palmerston to give his successor the advice "Beware of Islands."

The adventure of an English neighbour of mine on Prinkipo is perhaps worth relating. Long resident in Constantinople, he had been an anonymous correspondent of a London newspaper, through which he made known to the public many facts concerning the Turkish government, which the Sultan preferred not to have proclaimed. The tidings came to my friend that the Sultan was preparing to banish him from the country. He had large interests in Constantinople which made it very undesirable for him to leave. He bethought himself of this device.

He sent for an influential Turkish official to whom he had once rendered an important service and who had promised to reciprocate the service if opportunity ever presented itself. He said to his friend, "I am thinking of going to England, and running for Parliament. I know of a district in which I can be elected." His friend besought him to remain, but immediately went away and spread the news among the officials at the Palace. They saw that in Parliament he could do much more harm than in Constantinople. Nothing more was heard of the scheme to banish him.

Since during the great fast of Ramazan it is impracticable to transact important business with the Turkish government, my wife and I left Constantinople on January 26, 1898, on my sixty days' leave for a journey to Egypt and the Holy Land. We went up the Nile to Philae, spent several days in Cairo, then went to Joppa and Jerusalem, to Jericho and Hebron, to Beirut, where we visited the American College as the guests of President Bliss, to Baalbec and Damascus, calling on the way home at Smyrna and making an excursion to Ephesus, finally reaching Constantinople on March 23. At every town which we visited in the Holy Land, the governors and military and civic officials, in obedience to the Sultan's orders, welcomed us on our arrival, and during our stay rendered us any assistance in their power.

One of the most agreeable excursions we made while in Turkey was to Broussa in fine days in May. The situation is most picturesque on heights from which one looks over a wide expanse of fertile valleys to the Sea of Marmora. Here Osman, the founder of the Empire, planted himself. Here are his tomb and the tombs of some of his successors. Here Pliny the younger was praetor, and here he wrote some of his letters which have come down to us. While we were there, a regiment which belonged to Broussa and the neighbourhood re-turned from the Greek War. The streets were crowded with men, women and children. We expected to hear the soldiers greeted with cheers. To our surprise, not a sound of a voice was heard. The march of these stalwart and sun-burned warriors, returning from a triumphant campaign, was made through the principal street in dead silence everywhere. I inquired what was the explanation of this strange scene. I was told that the government had never sent home or allowed to be sent home during the war any tidings concerning these men. Consequently the relatives were waiting in anxiety now to see who, if any, were missing. In this suspense there was no impulse to cheer. Those who were rejoiced to see their kindred returning were restrained from a public demonstration by a delicate regard for the feelings of those to whom the day brought disappointment and sorrow. This explanation made the spectacle very pathetic.

I had an interview with the Acting Governor-General Halib Ibrahim Bey. He had been Vali at Sivas at the time of the massacres and had been removed on the demand of the British Ambassador. But he now talked to me in the most liberal spirit of leaving freedom to all as far as possible. He sent the military commandant and his dragoman two miles out to meet me on my arrival and a squad of cavalry all the way to the sea on my return.

On August 5, I had my farewell audience with the Sultan. He talked mainly on our war with Spain, and asked me to request our Secretary of the Navy to commend to him some ship-building firms with whom he could deal directly. He thanked me for having maintained so cordial relations with him.

On August 13, we embarked on an Austrian steamer for Trieste. Some forty or fifty of our friends, missionaries, teachers, and diplomats gathered at the wharf to bid us adieu. Our Turkish coachman and servants evinced much feeling. It was not without emotion that we parted with our faithful servants and our numerous friends.



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