34 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
here by weight to the makers of conserves and attar of roses. Hotel-keepers and servants
from the various convents come here to make their bargains, and turbaned greengrocers and
itinerant vendors of fruit come to buy their stock for the day. Soon the place is crowded
and the bustle of buying and selling begins. No purchase is effected without a considerable
amount of contention. The seller does not usually price the goods, but waits for an offer.
The first offer is always absurdly low. The seller then names an exorbitantly high price.
For instance, a dignified-looking shopkeeper, wearing a white turban, will offer three piastres
for a large basket full of tomatoes. The girl in charge answers indignantly, " I will carry
my tomatoes back to Siloam rather than take less than fifteen !"-—" O thou most greedy of the
greedy, I will give no more than six!"—"O possessor of a tightly closed hand, I will not
take less than twelve! How shall I buy the rice for my mother if I give away the fruits of
her garden?" Finally she obtains seven and a half piastres for her tomatoes, and goes away
perfectly satisfied, having argued with pertinacity for the half piastre.
In an hour or two the market people disperse, and only a few retail sellers of fruit or of
rude pottery remain. The illustration on page i gives an excellent idea of this place as it
appears during the midday hours.
As soon as the market is over the crowds increase in the bazaars. The narrow bazaar, of
which a bird's-eye glimpse is shown on page 9, is called David Street. It opens into the
market-place, and is paved with shallow steps as smooth as polished marble, descending
towards the east, and generally littered with vegetable refuse. The shops on each side of the
way are like large cupboards raised one or two feet from the ground. Within these recesses
the shopkeepers sit at their ease gravely smoking in the midst of their wares. Damascus and
Aleppo silks, Manchester prints and calicoes, Constantinople and Swiss muslin coloured veils,
are displayed, and farther on pipes and hardware and dried fruits may be found. To the
right are the bazaars leading to the Jewish quarter, and here most of the busiest workers
congregate—tailors, embroiderers, tinsmiths, and shoemakers. The engraving on page 27 gives
a good idea of a shoemaker's shop in one of the most narrow but busy bazaars in the city. It
is close to an old archway overgrown with cactus and henbane. Two men are engaged at work.
The wearer of the earrings, the master, is seated at a bench formed of a solid block of wood,
and is vigorously using his mallet to beat into solidity a piece of leather for the sole of a shoe,
while from the bowl of the neglected narghileh at his side a long curling column of smoke
rises towards the dilapidated roof, and a lesser column issues from the mouthpiece which rests
on the edge of the stall. The poor old short-sighted assistant squatting on the floor, and
making a bench of his left leg, is patiently plying his awl and his waxed thread. The interior
of the shop is fitted up with rude shelves, on which are ranged in rows heavy red shoes with
pointed and turned-up toes and a few clumsy-looking lasts. Outside, on the large smooth
round stones (which give a fair example of the usual kind of pavement on level ground
in Jerusalem), may be seen the shoes of the occupants of the shop, two water-coolers of native
pottery, and a roll of leather soaking in a bowl of water.