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and deposited in a coffin of lead and cypress wood at Gaeta, under guard of his two favorite viziers Ayas-Beg and DjelalBeg. Sinan-Beg, to whom the death of his friend restored his freedom of opinion and his country, went to Constantinople to announce to Bajazet II. the death of his brother. Bajazet II., then firmly seated on his throne, deplored the loss of a brother whom he would have loved if he had not feared him. He sent to Naples an ambassador and cortège of mourning to receive the coffin of Djem, and to transport it first to Gallipoli, then to Broussa, to the common tomb of their fathers, where terminate all rivalries.
Charles VIII. collected piously the treasures, the jewels, the arms, the apparel, which formed the property of the exiled Prince. He charged Nassouh-Beg, vizier of Djem, to convey them in one of his vessels to Egypt, and deliver them to his widow and to his mother.
Such was the end of the son of Mahomet II., the con. queror of Constantinople. The rival of his brother, the sport of the Knights of Rhodes, the client of the Christians, the prisoner of the Pope, the protege of the King of France, the victim of his destiny, he left in Europe and in Asia a romantic and poetic memory, perpetuated among the Ottomans as among the Christians, by his adventures, his amours, his exploits, his misfortunes, and his poems. He is the more accomplished Charles Edward of the Stuarts of England, transported into the country and the family of Othman. History, romance, poetry, have disputed for his name; but he has been to himself his own historian, and the Turks, who recite still at the present day his songs, account him of the number of the most glowing, most amatory and the most heroic poets of their tongue. They visit with a pious compassion his tomb beneath the palm-trees of the mosque of Broussa. “A flower clipped from the stalk of Mahomet II. upon the tomb of the Conqueror," as he had himself said, in two of his verses. He did not possess the Empire of Bajazet II., but he possessed the empire of imagination over the Ottomans.
Return we to Selim I.
Men who owe their usurped sovereignty to accomplices can maintain it but by satiating or by slaying the authors of their criminal rise. Whoever mounts a throne by crime can sustain himself but by blood. Such was the situation of Selim the day following the natural death or the parricide of his father.
The European ambassadoas who resided at that time at Constantinople, give us of this Prince, in their despatches to their governments, a sinister portraiture, entirely conformable to the idea which his reign was to afterwards convey of him throughout all Europe. His face presented the features of his character in relief.
“A man of forty-six years, say they, but in whom his vigor of body, kept up by continued exercise of arms, retrenches at least ten years, and who appears no more than thirty-six; of an aspect ferocious and brutally soldierish (soldalesque), indifferent to every thing but war; of a ruddy tint, of a cruel physiognomy, and through this analogy of character, beloved by the Janissaries; the legs were bowed, the bust long, the face round and plump, the cheeks sanguine; the eyes, prominent and restless, had a lustre which could not be fixed; the eyebrows, dark and thick, crossed their hairs upon the brow like a visor; like the Arabs, he wore no beard, but the habit of living among the Circassians had led him to adopt the usage of cultivating long moustaches, which in shading the upper lip and tapering off at the corners of the mouth, begloomed and hardened the expression of his countenance. This forbidding exterior was, however, relieved in Selim, by the splendor of his costume and of his arms, the soldier's luxury. His caftan, or vest, was woven of purple and thread of gold; the embroideries gave the cloth the solidity of metal; his scarlet bonnet, the head-gear of Amurath and of Mahomet II., his ancestors, quite disappeared beneath the ample folds of a twisted and entwining shawl, which converted his turban into a crown. “Since the high officers of the Empire and of the seraglio appear in my presence," he used to say, “ wearing bonnets of gold elevated and rounded like a cupola, a crown like to those of the Kings of Persia is the sole head-dress which befits the Sultan of the Ottomans."
II. This appearance, at once savage and superb, covered, however, in Selim I. some instincts for the government of a great people, and even some culture of mind, which caused astonishment in such a man. His common sense was sound, his genius was daring; his angers were but the impatiencies of his will; his despotism, which brooked no answer, was but a prevalence of order at any cost, both in his empire and in his armies. His quick and sure glance unmasked character; he penetrated the intentions beneath the words; he chose well his instruments, and he broke them at the work as soon as they had served his purpose; indefatigable in council as on horseback, he never complained of toiling with his viziers; without taste for the leisures of the table or of the gardens, or inclination for the women of his harem, he disputed his time with sleep to devote it to the administration. He trusted no one but himself to see the laws of the police executed. Like the Arabian Khalifs of Bagdad and of Damascus, he frequently set out, by night and day, from the seraglio in disguises which permitted no suspicion of the Sultan, to listen to the talk of the people in the cafés, the bazars, the barracks. By a strange contrast between his ferocious character and his cultivated mind, Selim stole, like his brother Bajazet II. and his uncle Djem, some hours of leisure from the throne and the camps to consecrate to poetry this vestige of a pastoral race. His was lyrical and belli
* M. de Lamartine in this and several other passages deceives himself in favor of the art which honors most his own name. There is no contrast, strange or otherwise, but on the contrary a just concomitance, between the absence of exterior and even of interior culture and the
cose, like that of Antar, that poet-warrior of the desert. There is some trace of it in this magnificent image in two verses which characterizes so eloquently the brevity and grandeur of his reign : “ Like the setting sun, I have overspread the earth with an immense shadow !”
Cruelty was less in him a natural ferocity than a system of terror. At first it extended but to his family, to his rivals, to his servants. From his advent to the throne, the people looked upon the public functions which brought the holders near his person, as so perilous, that a Turk, when he would imprecate misfortunes to another, wished him, as the direst malediction, to be “ a vizier to Selim.” It was a formula for: wishing the death of an enemy. His viziers, in fact, in the Crimea as in Turkey, passed frequently from the divan to the block. “ Accordingly,” says the Ottoman historian Solakzade, they always carried their last will and testament about them, and when they came out from the council, felt as if arisen from the dead."
The grand vizier Ali-Pasha, twice vizier under Bajazet II., and recalled to power by Selim, said to him one day, with the free irony of a man who faces an abyss, but after having measured its depth : “My padishah, I know that soon or late you will put me to death, under the first pretext that occurs to your mind; before this day arrives, grant me some hours of liberty, that I may put in order my affairs in this world, and prepare myself for the judgment of God.”
" It is in fact what I have been thinking of for some time back," replied the Sultan, with a burst of laughter, wherein merriment did not seek even to mask death ; the only thing that hinders me from granting thee this very day what thou hast been expecting, is the difficulty of finding a grand vizier to fill thy place.”
While Selim I. was thus scaling the throne, Korkoud, preserved alone by the protection of the Janissaries, through the confidence with which he honored them in lodging in their barracks, hastened to quit Constantinople and to take refuge love of poetry or of music in individuals or in nations. He ends himself, indeed, the sentence by declaring this implicitly, in calling poetry the vestige of a pastoral race. Only that it is another error to ascribe to race what belongs to age.--Translator.
in Magnesia. He who had respected neither the throne, nor the old age, nor perhaps the life of his father, could not respect the life of a brother and a rival to the Empire. Korkoud had now to struggle, not for the throne, but for his life. He weakly prepared himself rather to treat than to fight. The faithful friends of his youth whom he had at Magnesia and among the emirs of Caramania, composed him a nucleus of partisans, sufficient, at least, to protect his life. He kept himself in irreproachable but fortified tranquillity, offering to Selim I. to recognize, to serve him, provided he was guaranteed the government of his province. A studious existence in the leisures of his palace of Magnesia consoled him easily for the loss of the throne. Abdication is
easy princes more fond of wisdom than of power.
But the ambitious and turbulent Ahmed, so long destined for the throne by his father, and so often repulsed from it by the menaces of his brother, would not resign himself to the usurpation of Selim. The importance and the remoteness of his government of Amasia and of Saroukhan, the Turcoman troops which he kept on foot there to support his cause, rather than to serve the Empire, the four sons, already at the age of warfare, whom he early had of several mothers, Alaeddin, Mourad, Soliman and Othman, forbade him to surrender without fighting. While he recruited himself a numerons army among the warlike tribes of the mountains of Amasia, the eldest of his sons, Alaeddin, traversed rapidly Anatolia, with twelve thousand cavalry, and took possession of Broussa in the name of the Sultan, his father. The possession of the Asiatic capital, so near to Constantinople, might balance, even in Europe, the usurpation of the uncle.
Selim, with the promptitude of resolution which had won him the Empire, appeased rapidly by some concessions and by some punishments the rivalries existing between the Spahis and the Janissaries. He marched with seventy thousand men towards Mount Olympus, to surprise Alaeddin within the walls of Broussa. He, at the same time, sent his fleet to blockade all the ports of Asia Minor, from the gulf of Alexandretta as far as the gulf of Smyrna, to intercept the flight by sea of all fugitives of his family, who might, by their escape, give to his reign the anxieties which Djem had given to his father, Bajazet II.
Alaeddin, too weak to resist in Broussa the imperial