Once there was a man named Mahomet, who told people he was a prophet sent from God; but he was a false prophet, and a wicked man. He wrote a book called the Koran, and filled it with foolish stories, and absurd laws, and horrible lies...
Constantinople... like many other towns it looks beautiful at a distance, but turns out, when you arrive there, to be very unpleasant...
If you lived in Turkey, you would not be fond of dogs. There are a number of hungry dogs roaming about Constantinople, and eating up all the dead things or offal, lying in the streets. I will tell you an anecdote about them.
An English lady was walking one morning with her little niece in a burial ground in Constantinople, amongst the shady trees and beds of flowers; - when suddenly she saw troops of hungry dogs approaching her from every quarter. There they were on every side, whith their sharp teeth and glaring eyes, and noses snuffing the air, as if they smelt something very nice. The lady knew not what to do. She tried to reach the gate, dragging the child after her, while the dogs followed - howling and raging, and even daring to take her dress between their teeth. At last she came close to the door; then, flinging the bread as far as she could from her, she rushed through and escaped by a narrow path to the inn.
Character of the Turks. - They are so grave that they look wise. But how can lazy people be really wise? They like to spend their time in eating opium, sipping coffee and sitting still. They are so lazy that, though the land is very fruitful, they do not sow grain enough for their own bread, but send for grain to other countries. Thery read scarcely anything but the Koran, which they learn by heart. Yet in one respect they are to be praised. It is this. They bear troubles well.
Children. - The Greeks do not know how to bring up their children. I will relate an anecdote of one spoiled child.
An English lady was in a ship not far from Athens. When it grew dark she went down into the cabin. There she saw a Greek lady lying on the floor, twisting her hands in her long hair, weeping, and lamenting aloud, and crying out, "If the ship do not return to Athens immediately, I do not know what I shall do!" "What is the matter?" asked the English lady. "Oh," said she, "I have a little daughter of seven years old, and she wishes to go home; and when we told her she could not, she began to scream violently, and is still screaming so loud that I fear she will go into fits."
The English lady tried to quiet the naughty child by giving her cakes and sugar-plums. This plan succeeded. If the child had not been spoiled ever since she was a baby, she would not have been so wilful and passionate at seven years old.
Character. - The Greeks are very unlike the Turks. They are lively and warm in their manners, and fond of talking. They love singing, though they sing badly... They give way to all their feelings, crying one moment and laughing another. They do not bear their troubles well; when they are unhappy, they scream like babies.