g6 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS;
doubted the fulfilment of it; as a token and punishment, he was struck dumb, and was
unable to speak for three days. The Turks, who do not seem to make any distinction
between the Evangelist and the Baptist, suffered this edifice to continue its Christian
worship after they had overrun Asia Minor, and taken possession of this city of the
Apocalypse; but on the subjugation of Constantinople, when Santa Sophia was assigned
to the worship of Mahomed, this great Christian church shared its fate, and was
converted into a mosque; but tradition says that a miracle caused it to be abandoned.
To mark its appropriation to the Prophet, a minaret was built at one of its angles, as
was done at Santa Sophia, where the muezzin ascended, and called the faithful to pray
in it. In this minaret was a door which pointed to the west or setting sun, a proper
orthodox aspect: when the muezzin returned next day to invite the people to morning-
prayer, he could not find the door; and after an examination as to the cause of its disappearance, it was discovered that the tower had turned completely round on its base, and
opposed an impenetrable wall to the entrance of the Islam priest: this was considered a
plain indication of the will of Allah; so the edifice was restored to its former worship.
This continued long after, till the decline and total decay of its Christian congregation;
and still the semblance of it is faintly displayed. The traveller, in exploring his way
through the ruins, is attracted by the light of a dim and dingy lamp, which he finds is placed
before a dirty, tawdry picture of the panaya, stuck on the naked wall behind it. The
poor Greek, his guide, as he passes it, first kisses it with affectionate respect, then kneels
and bows his head to the ground, and offers up a short prayer to this his favourite picture.
He then "goes on his way rejoicing," but never presumes to pass without this tribute
of devotion to the Virgin, though he probably knows nothing of the Evangelist to whom
the church was consecrated. Other parts of the building are applied to the meanest
uses; a portion of it is converted into a manufacture of coarse earthen ware, and filled
with heaps of mud, and rude and barbarous pottery.
As an appropriate object in our illustration, the stork is seen crowning the summit
of a tower with its slender form and elongated limbs. This bird has been in all ages
a never-failing inhabitant of Oriental towns, noted and celebrated for its qualities, which
have conferred upon it its name; it is called in Hebrew chcsadao, which implies " mercy
or piety," and alludes to the known tenderness and attachment of the bird to its parents,
whom it is reported never to desert in advanced age, but feeds and protects even at the
hazard of its own safety: its emigrating qualities are noticed by the most ancient
writers: Jeremiah says "Yea, the stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed time ;"*
and nothing can be more striking than their appearance at the approaching period.
They collect together in large detachments, and are seen wheeling about at an immense height in the air, above some lofty eminence, before their forward progress
commences, like scouts sent out to reconnoitre the way; their white bodies, long-
projected red legs, and curved necks turning to every point of the compass as if examining the road, give them a singular picturesque appearance, while the light, reflected
from their bright colours, causes them to be distinctly seen at a great distance in the air.
Jerera. viii. 7.