0Thursday. 6th [December 1877]—Constantinople
BaylorBrowning Guide

         Lady Layard’s Journal         
Go to a Date         
Search the Journal         
Previous Entry | Following Entry
6 December 1877 — Constantinople
Thursday. 6th [December 1877]. At 12 Henry & I drove to Yildiz Kiosque to pay a visit to the Sultan. We were met by Kiamil Bey who took us straight into the Sultan’s room where was Said Pasha who interpreted until the Grand Vizier was called in & Henry & the Sultan had some private talk. After a time H.M. asked me to accompany him to the Harem to pay a visit to his Sultana apologising for leaving Henry alone. We set out on foot I, the Sultan, Said & Kiamil Pashas, to walk across the garden to the Harem a few steps off. At the gate of it Said & Kiamil stopped & we were met by 2 men one of whom was black. We went thro’ a long kind of hall till we came at the end of it to a staircase where stood a young slave girl & the Sultan said in French “La dame d’honneur.” She made bows & led us up & half way up stood a little fair woman dressed in pink damask & a purple velvet jacket & the Sultan said “ma mere”—at the top stood the Sultana & H.M. said “Madame la Principe.” She shook hands & then the Sultan & I walked into a large kind of hall like the one below—there were chairs & divans all round & the Sultan placed me on a divan & took a chair next me & the mother sat opposite & the Sultana after much pressing sat next the Sultan, the slave standing opposite me. After stopping a few minutes H.M. left us & the little slave girl talked incessantly interpreting for the Mother & making her own remarks besides. She said once “You see the Sultana sits there without speaking a word” as much as to say what a fool. The Sultana is dark with a fair complexion & wore a blue damask loose gown. She is now near her confinement. She had her head tied up in a kind of silk handkerchief & wore a large diamond locket with big stones. The Mother (H.M. step mother) wore pinned on a violet silk band on her forehead a large diamond ornament with cabochon emerald drops. Presently in came a tall dark woman rather middle aged & sat down a long way off at wh my friend said “Ça on appelle la seconde Rhadun.” Soon after the Sultan returned & sat & talked & made the slave sit down wh she did placing a chair respectfully in the distance. I told her I had brought a fine Shetland shawl in an English oak box for the Sultana from Bss Burdett Coutts as a specimen of English work. According to etiquette they merely thanked me but betrayed no curiosity to see the present. At last the Sultan rose & the little slave said “Vous voyez il s’ennui ici” & I took the hint & took leave. On returning to the salaamlik the Sultan showed me his aviary & said he would give me some birds if I would go & choose them one day next week. I said I would wait his orders any day he chose to send for me. Henry & the Grand Vizier made their reappearance & began talking again to the Sultan so he asked Said & Kiamil to show me over the upper floor wh they did. There is a fine hall with deep recesses & divans & small rooms leading out of them. There were some fine old Chinese vases & some handsome Brusa silk furniture but otherwise the house seemed empty. On returning to the Sultans room we took leave of him & went home to luncheon. After lunch we played lawn tennis.

Previous Entry | Following Entry