48 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS ;
Passing under the great dome, and opposite the vestibule, is the semi-dome which
forms the termination of the temple. Here was the high altar of the Christian church-
behind it, the sanctuary, separated by a screen from the body of the edifice. This
sacred place is now the Mehrabe, where the Koran is deposited. The ground-plan
annexed to the map will convey a better idea of these localities than any description.
The exterior of this interesting edifice is singularly heavy, and, as a celebrated
French traveller says, furieusement lourde en dehors. It exhibits an irregular mass of
cupolas, half-domes, shelving roofs, and stunted minarets; one of which, more mean than
the rest, is the identical one erected by Mahomet to convert the church into a mosque.
Even the great dome, so celebrated for its architectural beauty, and which the Turks
have never yet been able to imitate, looks low and flat when viewed on the outside, and
produces nothing of that " aerial" effect, in comparison to its internal structure. The
edifice has at length begun to exhibit symptoms of decay. About six years ago, after a
continued storm of wind and rain, one of the smaller domes fell into the church. On
clearing away the surface of rubbish, the flooring was found covered over with glittering
cubes which had formed the ceiling, and, in such abundance, that every one was supplied
with as much as he chose to take for a trifling gratuity.
The Turks regard this mosque with a veneration and jealousy greater than any other.
It is not always difficult to obtain admission to the rest, and generally the area in which
they are placed is a thoroughfare, through which a Frank may pass unmolested, but the
foot of an infidel is never suffered to desecrate, a second time, the precincts of this
converted temple: if he attempt to approach, he is always driven back with abuse. The
only occasion when permission is given to see it, is when an ambassador arrives, or is
about to leave Constantinople. As a special favour, a firman is granted to him and a
certain number of his suite, who are then, only, permitted to enter without molestation.
But even this is not always a protection against the fanaticism of individuals. Secretaries to embassies, accompanied by their ladies, have been insulted and assaulted with
the sultan's firman in their hands.
EYOUB SULTAN—FOUNTAIN AND STREET OF TOMBS.
The Turks recognize three persons distinguished by the name of Eyoub, or Job, and
confound them together, with little regard to time or place. One was the patriarch of
Uz, whose character resembles that given in our Bible, with some variations. The Koran
and its commentators say, that his wife so overcame his patience, that he beat her with
a palm branch; but, in recompense, when he was restored to health, she was restored to
youth and beauty: and further, that Allah gave back his property in a summary manner,
by raining down on his threshing-floor gold and silver, from two clouds sent for that