CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS. 7
of the city. The humidity oozing through the masonry, nourishes the roots of various
plants, which, trailing down, form festoons with their long tendrils, and clothe the
romantic arcades, which cross the streets, with a luxuriant drapery. Almost every house
stands within an area planted with jujube, judas-tree, and other fruit and flowery shrubs
peculiar to the soil and climate; so that the vast mass of building covering the sides
and summits of the hills, is interspersed and chequered with the many hues displayed
by the leaves, fruits, and flowers in their season. Of these the judas-tree affords the
predominant colour. The burst of flowers from every part of it, in spring, at times
actually gives a ruddy tint to the whole aspect of the city.
FOUNTAIN AND MARKET-PLACE OF TOPHANA.
As there is no object of consumption in life so precious to a Turk as water, so there is
none which he takes such care to provide, not only for himself, but for all other animals.
Before his door he always places a vessel filled with water for the dogs of the street; he
excavates stones into shallow cups, to catch rain for the little birds; and wherever a
stream runs, or a rill trickles, he builds a fountain for his fellow-creature, to arrest and
catch the vagrant current, that not a drop of the fluid should be wasted. These small
fountains are numerous, and frequently executed with care and skill. They are usually
fronted or backed with a slab of marble, ornamented with Turkish sculpture, and
inscribed with some sentence from the Koran, inculcating practical charity and benevolence. The beneficent man at whose expense this is done, never allows his own name
to make part of the inscription. A Turk has no ostentation in his charity; his favourite
proverb is, " Do good, and throw it into the sea; and if the fish do not see it, Allah will."
Among the many fountains which adorn the city, there are two on which the Turks
seem to have exerted all their skill in sculpture. One in Constantinople near the Baba
Hummayoun, or " the Great Gate of the Seraglio." The other in Pera, near Tophana, or
the " canon foundry." They are beautiful specimens of the Arabesque, and highly
decorated. That at Tophana, represented in the illustration, is particularly so. It is a
square edifice with far-projecting cornices, surmounted by a balustrade along the four
facades. These last are covered over with a profusion of sculpture, and every compartment, formed by the moulding, is filled with sentences from the Koran, and poetical quotations from Turkish, Persian, and Arabic authors. The following is a translation of some
of the inscriptions. It wras erected in 1732.
" This fountain descended from heaven—erected in this suitable place, dispenses its salutary waters
on every side by ten thousand channels."
"Its pure and lucid streams attest its salubrity, and its transparent current has acquired for it
an universal celebrity."
" As long as Allah causes a drop of rain to descend into its reservoir, the happy people who
participate in its inestimable benefits, shall waft praises of its virtues to that sky from whence it