WITH THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR. 61
The pipe is lighted either by a fragment of ignited charcoal, or amadhoo; this last is
an inflammable spark prepared from decayed wood, or a particular kind of fungus, and
a Turk never goes without a portion of it, with a flint and steel, in his tobacco-bag.
In the centre of the room is generally an artificial fountain, bubbling and playing in
summer, and round it vases of flowers, with piles of the sweet-scented melons of Cassaba,
to keep them cool, and add, by their odour, to the fragrance of the flowers.
A frequent addition to the enjoyments of the caffinet, is the medac, or story-teller.
There are several of these public characters at Constantinople, who, at festival seasons,
are engaged by the caffinet-ghees to entertain their guests. On these occasions, to
accommodate the increased company, stools are placed in semicircles in the streets
before the caffinet, and refreshment sent from the house. A small platform is laid on
the open window, so that the audience within and without may hear and see. On this
the story-teller mounts, and continues his narrative sometimes till midnight. The
excellence of some of these men in their department, is surprising, and altogether out
of keeping with the dull and phlegmatic character of a Turk. In humour and detail,
they are equal to the best European actors; and sustain singly, and without any aid, a
whole drama of various characters. Their tact is equally clever. When the attention
of their audience is excited to the highest degree at the approach of some interesting
catastrophe, the medac suddenly steps down from his platform, and going round with a
coffee-cup in his hand, the audience soon fill it with paras, to induce him to resume his
place; and then, and not till then, does he mount, and go on with his story. One of
these medacs, called Kiz Achmet, or " Achmet the Maid," was particularly famous. He
has been engaged during the Bairam at a salary of eight hundred piastres; and the
sultan often sent for him, to entertain the ladies of the harem, though his stories on
ordinary occasions wrere of a very coarse and indelicate character.
THE VILLAGE OF BABEC.
ON THE BOSPHORUS.
In a very deep recess, formed by the expansion of the Bosphorus, immediately
above the Buyuk Akendisi, or " Great Rapid," and between it and the Roumeli Hissar,
or Castle of Europe, are the bay and village of Babec. The latter extends along one
side of it, having a level quay in front, and generally exhibits a scene of busy population,
with its caiques and fishery. Beyond it rise the wooded hills which skirt the shores of
the Bosphorus. Here the steep ascent is clothed with a very dense growth of trees,
casting their dark shadows on the waters below, which wash the margin of the deep
recess of the bay, and give it a peculiarly sequestered and solitary appearance. Here,
in the darkest shade, is seen a lonely kiosk, which strikes the traveller passing in a