Of all, I think the most curious is the Spice Bazaar, contained in a separate and more substantial building, the arched roof of. which is painted black and white, in arabesques notj easily seen within the deep gloom . of the bazaar. As you look in at the entrance, you can dimly discern that there is a central way open to the exit, which shines "bright as the gate of Paradise" at the far end. A pungent odour issues from the doorway, compounded of spices and gums from every land—a smell which consorts well with the cool atmosphere of the sombre bazaar. On the wooden shelves in front of the shops are ranged jars of ground colours, of spice, of chemicals, many of which glitter with weird beauty in this magic-looking place. There are blocks of alum and saltpetre, the blue-green of sulphate of copper, heaps of henna, the curious yellow colour of which seems tinged with black, lumps of odorous rhubarb, ginger, cloves, gums, and glues, and by the door of each store sits a Turk, who scarcely ever invites a purchaser. On the highest shelf of one stall an old man, with strong spectacles leaning on his nose, which was shaped like an eagle's beak, with long white beard streaming over his dull red robe, his white turban mingling with the curious dried roots and herbs that hung pendant from the roof of his bazaar, stood speaking concerning the properties of some drug he was selling to two persons — a good subject for a sketch, if a painter wished to show a magician discoursing of his art. In the gloomy light and aromatic air of this bazaar, imagination may more easily construct new Tales of the Genii than in any other part of Stamboul.
From the Levant, the Black Sea and the Danube
By Robert Arthur Arnold (sir.)