|In the past, what was known as Constantinople, is modern day Istanbul. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire until 1923.|
Etiquette at Constantinople
At last they bring the piano, but they have removed the legs, in order not to injure the mosaic work of the floor The grand piano is supported on five Turks! The poor fellows are on their knees, bent down and crushed by the enormous weight! But by objecting to play on a piano a cinq Turcs they only think you mean that the instrument is not level. They take a cushion aud place it under the knees of the smallest Turk. They do not suspect that a sentiment of humanity forbids your playing. You are obliged to explain this delicacy of civilization, and the process is long.
At last they place the piano on its real legs, and the Sultan appears. After all sorts of salamaleks, they order you to play. You ask for a chair. There is no chair. It is forbidden to sit in the presence of his Highness. Now a pianist without a chair is in even a more awkward position than an embassador who must not sit down. One must do at Rome what Rome does, and M. de Vogue has been merely taught that the same proverb is true of other places than Rome. But it is clear that a man who cannot stand a great deal — in many senses — is not fitted to be a representative of any kind at Constantinople. -1872
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