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But once in and seated, it moves as silently and smoothly as a gliding star.
It was sunset, and the Golden Horn was true to its name. Ships at anchor, barges drifting up and down, were aglow with the sheen of evening—the water a tawny, molten flood, the still atmosphere like an impalpable dust of gold. Caiques carrying merchants to their homes somewhere along the upper shores were burnished with the aureate hue. Domes and minarets caught and reflected the wonder of it—the Galata bridge ahead of us had become such a span as might link the shores of the River of Peace.
Once more Constantinople was a dream of Paradise -a vision of enchantment-a city of illusion.
EPHESUS: THE CITY THAT WAS
IKE Oriental harbors generally, Smyrna from the Lsea has a magic charm. When we slowly sailed down a long reach of water between quiet hills and saw the ancient city rising from the morning inist, we had somehow a feeling that we had reached a hitherto undiscovered port—a mirage, perhaps, of some necromancer's spell.
We landed, found our train, and went joggling away through the spring landscape, following the old highway that from time immemorial has led from Ephesus to Smyrna-the highway which long ago St. Paul travelled, and St. John, too, no doubt, and the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalen. For all these journeyed between Ephesus and Smyrna in their time, and the ancient road would be crowded with countless camel trains and laden donkeys then; also with the wheeled vehicles of that period-cars and chariots and cages of wild animals for the gamesand there would be elephants, too, gaudily caparisoned, carrying some rich potentate of the East and his retinue—a governor, perhaps, or a king. It was a mighty thoroughfare in those older days and may be still, though it is no longer crowded, and we did not notice any kings. We did notice some Reprobates—the ones we have always with us. They sat just across the aisle, engaged in their usual edifying discussion as to the identity of the historic sites we were supposed to be passing. Finally they got into a particularly illuminating dispute as to the period of St. Paul's life and ministrations. It began by the Apostle (our Apostle) casually remarking that St. Paul had lived about twenty-one hundred years ago.
It was a mild remark—innocent enough in its trifling inaccuracy of two or three centuries—but it disturbed the Colonel, who has fallen into the guidebook habit, and is set up with the knowledge thereof.
“Look here," he said, "if I knew as little as you do about such things I'd restrain the desire to give out information before company."
The Apostle was undisturbed by this sarcasm. He folded his hands across his comfortable forward elevation and smiled in his angel way.
"Oh, you think so,” he said placidly. “Well, you think like a camel's hump. You never heard of St. Paul till you started on this trip. I used to study about him at Sunday-school when a mere child.”
“Yes, you did! as a child! Why, you old lobscouse" (lobscouse is an article on the Kurfürst bill of fare) “you never saw the inside of a Sunday-school. You heard somebody last night say something about twenty-one hundred years ago, and with your genius for getting facts mixed you saddled that date on St. Paul.”
The Colonel turned for corroboration to the HorseDoctor, who regarded critically the outlines of the Apostle, which for convenience required an entire seat; then, speaking thoughtfully:
“It isn't worth while to notice the remarks of a person who looks like that. Why, he's all malformed. He'll probably explode before we reach Ephesus."
I felt sorry for the Apostle, and was going over to sit with him, only there wasn't room, and just then somebody noticed a camel train—the first we have seen-huge creatures heavily loaded and plodding along on the old highway. This made a diversion. Then there was another camel train, and another. Then came a string of donkeys—all laden with the wares of the East going to Smyrna. The lagging Oriental day was awake; the old road was still alive, after all.
Like the first “Innocents,” we had brought a carload or so of donkeys-four-legged donkeys—from Smyrna, and I think they were the same ones, from their looks. They were aged and patchy, and they filled the bill in other ways. They wrung our hearts with their sad, patient faces and their decrepitude, and they exasperated us with their indifference to our desires.
I suppose excursion parties look pretty much alike, and that the Quaker City pilgrims forty-two years ago looked a good deal like ours as we strung away down the valley toward the ancient city. I hope they did not look any worse than ours. To see long-legged men and stout ladies perched on the backs of those tiny asses, in rickety saddles that feel as if they would slip (and do slip if one is not careful), may be diverting enough, but it is not pretty. If the donkey stays in