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Halil the Pedlar A Tale of Old Stambul   By: (1825-1904)

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HALIL THE PEDLAR

A Tale of Old Stambul

by

MAURUS JÓKAI

Author of "The Green Book," "Black Diamonds," "The Poor Plutocrats," etc.

Authorised Edition, Translated by R. Nisbet Bain

[Illustration]

SANS PEUR ET SANS REPROCHE Third Edition London Jarrold & Sons, 10 & 11, Warwick Lane, E.C. [All Rights Reserved] 1901 Copyright London: Jarrold & Sons New York: McClure, Phillips, & Co.

Translated from the Hungarian, "A fehér rózsa," by R. Nisbet Bain.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

INTRODUCTION 7

I. THE PEDLAR 11

II. GÜL BEJÁZE THE WHITE ROSE 36

III. SULTAN ACHMED 49

IV. THE SLAVE OF THE SLAVE GIRL 69

V. THE CAMP 99

VI. THE BURSTING FORTH OF THE STORM 123

VII. TULIP BULBS AND HUMAN HEADS 134

VIII. A TOPSY TURVY WORLD 153

IX. THE SETTING AND THE RISING SUN 179

X. THE FEAST OF HALWET 203

XI. GLIMPSES INTO THE FUTURE 216

XII. HUMAN HOPES 240

XIII. THE EMPTY PLACE 270

INTRODUCTION.

On September 28th, 1730, a rebellion burst forth in Stambul against Sultan Achmed III., whose cowardly hesitation to take the field against the advancing hosts of the victorious Persians had revolted both the army and the people. The rebellion began in the camp of the Janissaries, and the ringleader was one Halil Patrona, a poor Albanian sailor man, who after plying for a time the trade of a petty huckster had been compelled, by crime or accident, to seek a refuge among the mercenary soldiery of the Empire. The rebellion was unexpectedly, amazingly successful. The Sultan, after vainly sacrificing his chief councillors to the fury of the mob, was himself dethroned by Halil, and Mahmud I. appointed Sultan in his stead. For the next six weeks the ex costermonger held the destiny of the Ottoman Empire in his hands till, on November 25th, he and his chief associates were treacherously assassinated in full Divan by the secret command, and actually in the presence of, the very monarch whom he had drawn from obscurity to set upon the throne.

This dramatic event is the historical basis of Jókai's famous story, "A Fehér Rózsa," now translated into English for the first time. No doubt the genial Hungarian romancer has idealised the rough, outspoken, masterful rebel chief, Halil Patrona, into a great patriot statesman, a martyr for justice and honour; yet, on the other hand, he has certainly preserved the salient features of Halil's character and, so far as I am competent to verify his authorities, has not been untrue to history though, as I opine, depending too much on the now somewhat obsolete narrative of Hammer Purgstall ("Geschichte des osmanischen Reichs"). Almost incredible as they seem to us sober Westerns, such incidents as the tame surrender of Achmed III., the elevation of the lowliest demagogues to the highest positions in the realm, and the curious and characteristically oriental episode of the tulip pots, are absolute facts. Naturally Jókai's splendid fancy has gorgeously embellished the plain narrative of the Turkish chroniclers. Such a subject as Halil's strange career must irresistibly have appealed to an author who is nothing if not vivid and romantic, and ever delights in startling contrasts. On the other hand, the unique episode of Gül Bejáze, "The White Rose," and her terrible experiences in the Seraglio are largely, if not entirely, of Jókai's own invention, and worthy, as told by him, of a place in The Thousand and One Nights... Continue reading book >>




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