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would not miss a victim, he took the narrow side streets. A fellow friendly to dogs-of course a Turk-waylaid the Briton and, with some assistance, sent him to his berth, a battered specimen of humanity.
Besides the dogs, you may meet here and there a careless, lazy-looking set of vagabonds on the corners sunning themselves. They are the tramps of the town, or next to them-absolutely good-for-nothing, unmitigated nuisances, who have no excuse for their existence, except the fact that they were born. Their motto seems to be, “Grab and eat as much as you can and whine.” They do nothing but rest themselves, anywhere, everywhere, all day and every day. They are lucky if they can get ahead of some wandering dogs in securing the best shaded corner where they may stretch their lazy bones in peace. They always laugh at the wrong thing, at the wrong place, in the wrong time. To do nothing, to be of no earthly use, seems to be the keynote of their happy life. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.” These tramps must be the lilies of the swamp! Fruit sellers, Turkish grinders and hamals, or porters, are to be seen on
It adds a stranger aspect to the street scene to see the houses and yards, like castles or picturesque fortifications, surrounded by solid black walls from fifteen to twenty-five feet high, with a heavy stone gate before each house and an iron hammer suspended from its center. For admittance, the stranger must knock the hammer at the gate. Most of the residences are two-story houses, built of sun-dried brick around an open court-yard, and plastered within and without. There are few stone buildings and none of frame. Most of the houses have a balcony overlooking a tangled
garden. Window ledges are abloom with flowers. The numerous small windows are closely latticed on the outside with net-work of iron bars arranged in pairs. The roofs of the houses are covered with tile. As a rule, the residences are built very close together, with a space between them of not more than six feet, so a distant view of the dwellings makes them compact-looking, as though erected one above the other.
As we enter within the gate, passing through the yard we come to the house. Before we enter, however, let us go to the rear of the building, where generally are gardens. Lofty trees surround the house, with their branches of the brightest green; sparkling fountains play in the rich sunshine; flower beds, exquisite in variety of hue, with shrubs and roses, greet the eye on all sides. The air is freshened with soft zephyrs and sweetened with roses. There the nightingale builds his little nest in the bush. Oh, how often the bright days of my youth opened with the melodious songs of that delicate bird! How often our sunrise prayers and songs of hallelujah from our family altars, mingling with the soft strains, were wafted by the morning breeze before the throne of God! How precious the remembrances of the dreamlike sweetness of home, which still rest on my soul like solemn shadows! As we enter our house you will meet with a most cordial reception from the household, for hospitality and kindness to strangers is the first law in the Orient-a most pleasing and characteristic feature of Armenian society. The kind words and eager and ready display of hospitality, all vieing with one another in supplying your wants, is a striking scene to an American. Indeed, our people are the most friendly of friends. They enjoy life because they make other people enjoy it. Home is a philanthropic institution with them, so much so that some regret the introduction of western ideas, which has led to the founding of asylums, hospitals and orphanges, since custom will not allow a stranger within the gates to suffer from lack of food or shelter. He is given a seat at the table, and to sup with the master of the house means to lodge with him. The host furnishes slippers and night-robes. The guest is expected to entertain all callers with some account of himself, his country, its laws and religion, manners and customs. Interchange of visits is always expected. The people love to congregate, and greatly enjoy meeting together. In Christian homes, men and women meet in the reception room, but generally ladies, gentlemen and children form separate groups and chat on general topics. The themes vary according to the social position and intelligence of the company. If a Turkish house, it
If a Turkish house, it possesses two apartments—the haremlik and selamlik. The former is the ladies' reception room, and the latter for gentlemen. Holidays and long winter evenings are usually devoted to a pleasant and ancient pastime, which is indeed one of the happiest features of Oriental life. The master of the house opens the door of his home and welcomes the guest with numerous expressive gestures of unbounded hospitality. In the immediate entrance of the house there is a paved space; here custom and etiquette demands the people to remove their shoes instead of their fez before entering the rooms, while the hats, like the bonnets of American ladies, are never taken off, within or without the house. After exchanging graceful salutations, inquiries after each other's health, and formal civilities, the guest is ushered into a cheery court, thence into the reception room, where the first thing, coffee, is served, the universal beverage of the Levant. The square room, which they occupy, is comfortably fitted and arranged with a profusion of sofas, embroidered cushions and mattresses for sitting and reclining, and a few chairs, on a floor beautified by a fine display of rich Oriental rugs. In the center of the room is placed a stove, or a brazier, filled with a charcoal-made fire, as coal is not yet indispensable. The room is illumined by bright lamps, the old-fashioned tallow candle or olive-oil wick being long abandoned. Everything is agreeably prim and neat. The lady callers all cluster around the genial hostess, who sits by her babe singing soft and low the sweet, simple, cradle song, while the men are engaged in a discussion of the current events. They often exchange remarks with the ladies. The young boys have a lively time by themselves; they are eagerly planning upon the morrow to have a game in the field, or contemplating to engage in some sort of mischief, as is the characteristic of all boys. Little girls, with rosy faces, are clustered with their dolls and kittens around the good old grandmother, who tells them riddles and amusing stories, while the long, white-whiskered patriarch, bowed with years and honors, tells of his first Airtation, or of the social or municipal changes wrought in the country during his day. The remarks of the venerable man are always interesting, as revealing the evolution of the times. The