You are there surrounded by the people, and the confused customs of many and various nations; you see the fussy European adopting the East, and calming his restlessness with the long Turkish “pipe of tranquillity”; you see Jews offering services, and receiving blows; on one side you have a fellow whose dress and beard would give you a good idea of the true Oriental, if it were not for the gobe-mouche expression of countenance with which he is swallowing an article in the National; and there, just by, is a genuine Osmanlee, smoking away with all the majesty of a sultan, but before you have time to admire sufficiently his tranquil dignity, and his soft Asiatic repose, the poor old fellow is ruthlessly “run down” by an English midshipman, who has set sail on a Smyrna hack.
It is this; when an Osmanlee dies, one of his dresses is cut up, and a small piece of it is sent to each of his friends as a memorial of the departed—a fatal present, according to the opinion of the Franks, for it too often forces the living not merely to remember the dead man, but to follow and bear him company.
A good Mussulman seems to take pride in repudiating the European notion that the will of God can be eluded by eluding the touch of a sleeve. When I went to see the pyramids of Sakkara I was the guest of a noble old fellow, an Osmanlee, whose soft rolling language it was a luxury to hear after suffering, as I had suffered of late, from the shrieking tongue of the Arabs.
It is a favourite diversion of the Pasha himself to row some favourite Circassians in one of the barques and to overset his precious freight in the midst of the lake. As his Highness piques himself upon wearing a caftan of calico, and a juba or exterior robe of coarse cloth, a ducking has not for him the same terrors it would offer to a less eccentric Osmanlee.