It was open to the sky, the floor tiled with shining tesselated tile-work; a marble fountain rippled in the middle: the dado round the four walls, the three rows of pillars which on all sides supported the gallery above all were tiled in the same mosaic of small saffron-yellow, powder-blue, and white tiles, which are baked, coloured, and glazed in primitive potteries outside the city, and made only in Tetuan and Fez.
In the elaborate tile-work of old cottage roofs, in the decorated ironwork of decrepit farm-waggons, in the carefully fashioned field-gates to name but a few relics of the sort many a village of Surrey and Hampshire and Sussex has ample proofs that at least the artisans of old time went about their work placidly, unhurriedly, taking time to make their products comely.
It chiefly consists of substantial Chinese dwellings of brick and plaster, with beautiful tile-work of quaint figures, while temples glittering with gold peep out of thick, luxuriant, tropical growth. Two miles out of the city you can lose yourself in a dense tropical forest of the greatest beauty, and in the background is a chain of mountains, some of them of extraordinary shape.
Some of the stations are most ingeniously lighted from the streets above by bright reflecting tile-work, while others, too deep for such a method, or too much overtopped with buildings to admit of it, are lit perpetually with gas. The whole of the works are a singular instance of engineering skill, reflecting great credit on Mr Fowler, the engineer-in-chief.
A few French people have embraced Islám for worldly aims, and it is popularly believed by the natives that in England thousands are accepting Mohammed. The mosques of Tunis are less numerous than those of Fez, but do not differ greatly from them except in the inferior quality of the tile-work, and in the greater use of stone for the arches and towers.
Your necessity is greater than mine. Here are the plans." "I'm rather pleased with 'em myself, you know," said Beevor; "that roof ought to look well, eh? Good idea of mine lightening the slate with that ornamental tile-work along the top. You saw I put in one of your windows with just a trifling addition.
The intricacies of the tile-work, and the mysterious twinkling of light among the beams, are excellently felt and rendered; and one sees here, as in the two next plates of the storm and murder, what a fine eye the artist has, what a skilful hand, and what a sympathy for the wild and dreadful.
Sivas was also formerly a seat of learning; the imposing gates, with portions of the fronts of the old Arabic universities are still standing, with sufficient beautiful arabesque designs in glazed tile-work still undestroyed, to proclaim eloquently of departed glories.
In the Tower of the Infantas, a number of workmen were busy restoring the interior, which has been cruelly damaged. The brilliant azulejo, or tile-work, the delicate arches and filigree sculpture of the walls, still attest its former elegance, and give some color to the tradition that it was the residence of the Moorish Princesses.
The pavilions on the summit of the great octagonal towers flanking the gate are finely carved, and bear traces of painting and enamelled tile-work. Descending the staircase to the floors beneath, one can wander through the curious small chambers and look out from the balconies on the front of the gate. The Mûti Masjid.