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At Poplar there are other premises for
carrying on the export and coal business of
the Company. Within a capacious dock
steam colliers that arrive from Newcastle
in forty-eight hours, are unloaded in one
day by hydraulic machinery, and long
before they are down the river the coals
brought by them have been distributed by
the North London rail among a dozen coal
depôts along the eastern and the northern
suburbs of the town.

Commodious and airy vaults for the safe
storage of beer in wood, ready for export to
all parts of the world, have been prepared
both at Poplar and at Haydon Square. An
idea of the extent to which this branch
of the shipping trade is carried on may
be formed, when I say that within those
two stations I saw eight acres of malt
liquor in casks belonging only to two Burton

Before ending these few notes of my North-
Western exploration, let me say a word
about the post-office department of the railway.
The North-Western Company possesses
twenty-six carriages fitted up as travelling
post-offices. They contain desks, tables for
sorting letters, lamps, pigeon-holes, &c. &c.
Twenty-six travelling clerks and their red-
coated assistants start every night by the
mail trains. The letters have to be minutely
arranged on the road out, ready to be
dropped at the various post stations along the
lines, and it is not often that the whole
labour is finished much before cock-crow.



The Greek Lent is over, and it is Easter
at Constantinople. All night long great guns
have been firing afar off, and small arms are
being discharged by excitable persons at
every street corner. You might fancy the
town was being stormed, instead of holding
high festivalso violent is the noise and
uproar. During the day the streets are
crowded as a fair, and perambulated by
itinerant vendors of good things as boisterous
as on a Saturday night at Wapping. Fowls,
sweetmeats, rank pastry, various preparations
of milk and rakee seem to be the chief things
which furnish a Greek merry-making at
Constantinople. Little boys with eager black
eyes and tallowy complexions are in their
glory, and go yelling and whooping about, to
the dismay of staid wayfarers.

Here is a Greek and there is a Greek
with splendid picturesque face, and dark
matted hair falling about in wild array. I
know no race of men more romantic in
appearance. They go swaggering about
from street to street in all the bravery of
their national costume, and you may hear
their voices a hundred yards off as they
wrangle and glare at each other on the
smallest occasion of dispute. The dominant
race, the grave and dignified Turks, carry
themselves very differently. They sit about,
cross-legged, on the benches of coffee-houses,
or before their itinerant stalls of mohalibè
and yaourt. However dirty, poor, and
miserable the Turk may be, he always smokes
his pipe with the same grand calm air. When
two or three of them are together they may
perhaps tell each other now and then that
God is great; but this is evidently the only
attempt at conversation which is suited to
their sense of self-importance and the heat
of the day.

Moving on through the motley crowd
which fills the sunlit streets, and taking silent
note of these things, I saunter along past the
guard-house at the street corner, where the
officer on service is smoking a pipe; past
the artillery ground and its useless guns;
past the immense dung heap which has been
collecting for years beside it; and past
the legion of dog vermin, who howl thereon
perpetually, and form a distinct colony of
their kind. At length I arrive at "the great
field of the dead", or the Moslem burial
ground, where a species of fair is being held.
It is a strange place to choose; but I have
remarked that Eastern nations generally are fond
of playing above their dead; perhaps because
they usually choose the most beautiful sites
for cemeteries. The Grand Champ des Morts,
which is the local name for the place where I
now stand, occupies indeed one of the most
beautiful positions in the country, commanding
a magnificent view of the Golden Horn,
and of the mosques and minarets of the
Turkish City, and of Scutari on the other side
of the way. They look very beautiful, seen
through the clear air and reflected in the
waves. I would almost rather take my usual
seat at yonder café there and look my daily
fill, than remain in the noisy fair. I turn
indeed to do so; but there are a party of
Greeks, hopelessly drunk, congregated round
my quiet corner. Just at this time also,
meeting with a friend, I find that I am
fairly in for what is to follow, and so may as
well make up my mind to it.

The paths are far too narrow and ill paved
for us to walk arm in arm, our toes would be
broken a hundred times over if we
endeavoured to do so; we separate, therefore, and
pick our way over flat stones and smooth
places as carefully as possible. As we do so
we muse upon the reasons which have always
made Mussulman rule, at least in modern
times, another word for semi-barbarism,
national sloth, and indifference to all things.
The scene around us now, beggars description.
Though the afternoon is excessively
sultry and threatens rain, every tombstone
is crowded with a separate party of jolly
Greeks; and there they are again swinging
themselves from the branches of trees, and
riding round on wooden horses made to turn
about a pole. Some of the gentlemen
occupied in these invigorating exercises are

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