The morning was cold, and the temperature as well as the sky admonished us that we were passing out of the warm latitude. Twenty-five miles from the Chang and Eng forts we passed near but did not call at Gallipoli, an ancient city with few antiquities, but of great strategic importance. Whoever holds it has the key to
Constantinople and the Black Sea ; it was seized by the Moslems in the thirteenth century before they imposed the religion of the Koran upon the city of Constantine, and it was early occupied by the English and French, in 1854, in the war that secured that city to the successor of the Prophet.
Entering upon the Sea of Marmora, the "vexed Propontis," we had fortunately smooth water but a cold north-wind. The Propontis has enjoyed a nauseous reputation with all mariners, ancient and modern. I don't know that its form has anything to do with it, but if the reader will take the trouble to consult a map, he will see how nearly this hag of water, with its two ducts, the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, resembles a human stomach. There is nothing to be seen in the voyage from Gallipoli to Constantinople , except the island of Marmora, famous for the quarries which furnish marbles for the palaces of the Bosphorus and for Eyoub and Scutari, the two great cities of the dead. We passed near enough to distinguish clearly its fine perpendicular cliffs.
It was dark before we saw the lights of Stamboul rise out of the water; it is impossible, at night, to enter the Golden Horn through the mazes of shipping, and we cast anchor outside. The mile or two of gas-lights along the promontory of the old city and the gleams upon the coast of ancient Chalcedon were impressive and exciting to the imagination, but, owing to the lateness of our arrival, we lost all the emotions which have, struck other travellers anything but dumb upon coming in sight of the capital of the Moslem Empire work visa hong kong.