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TO the Western eye there seems to be always hanging before Constantinople a veil of mystery and separation. Its remoteness from Great Britain and America in territorial distance and antiquity of history is intensified manyfold by that other remoteness, caused by variety of races, languages, customs, and creeds.
It is difficult for the foreign resident to know it well, and for the passing stranger or tourist, utterly impossible.
It has been my precious privilege to enjoy unusual opportunities for learning the story and entering into the life of the kaleidoscopiccity. The preparation of this book has been a labor of delight, but it has occupied many years. No man could have a more fascinating theme.
Even as Constantinople has a charm for all classes of mankind, I have sought to make this not a volume for any one narrow range of readers, but a book for all.