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HISTORY

OF TURKEY.

BOOK TENTH.

I.

MOURAD, or as usually styled, Amurath II., although scarcely beyond infancy, was not an infant in war or politics. It would seem as if Mahomet I., his father, had had for this son the presentiment of a precocious reign, when he gave him, at the age of twelve, the command of the army sent to quash in the Balkans the communist insurrection of Bedreddin. It seemed to be the purpose of the Sultan thus to familiarize him early with the campaigns and difficulties of government, which are the exercise of sovereigns. The precocious understanding, also, of this boy seemed to answer to the secret designs of the father. His years, his features, the graces of his conversation, his impetuous bravery in the conflict, the skill and force with which he managed the bow, the sabre, and the horse ; his docility to the counsels of more experienced warriors, and chiefly those of Bayezid-Pasha, his tutor, under guise of his general; in fine, the admiration blent with affection which soldiers habitually feel at the sight of a child of whom they in heart are protectors while obey, ing him in arm,

,-all these had made Amurath II. the idol of the army and the hope of his people. The majestic beauty of his father, which reappeared in lines more feminine upon his boyish countenance, completed the moral prestige by the prestige of the eyes. Son of an Ottoman father, grandson of a Serviạn mother, born himself of a Circassian, the favorite wife of Mahomet I., Amurath II. blent in his

sus.

features the blood of those three races, robust as a Turk, fair as a Servian, slender and stately as a son of the Cauca

No prince was more fitted by nature to sway the eyes of a people who love to see on the brow of their chiefs the diadem of nature by the side of the diadem of birth.

The natural cause of this hereditary beauty of the family of Othman and the dynasty of Turkey has not been sufficiently noticed. It proceeds from the perpetual renewal of the blood retempered from generation to generation in the loins of odalisques of the various races, Greek, Persian, Caucasian—all selected for consummate elegance of form for the harem of the sovereign or the viziers. Polygamy, which degrades the sex and diminishes the population, embellishes the sons of the great by the selection of the mothers. These correct the imperfections of the features of the father; they communicate perpetually to the royal race of the Ottomans some lineaments of the fairest races who supply constantly the seraglio. In following back from sultana to sultana the descent of the actual emperors of Constantinople, there is perhaps not one mother who had not given to the sons of the imperial family something of foreign blood from the purest sources of Europe or of Asia. Another cause of this freshness of the blood and of this grace of countenance, is, that the Turks marry young, and that the first-born of the race of Othman thus partake of the youthfulness and gracefulness-of the parents scarce emerging out of childhood.

II.

Amurath II., after having traversed rapidly and without being recognized the long distance which separates Amasia from Broussa, attended by only a cupbearer of his father, arrived before the father's death had transpired beyond the gates of Broussa. Ibrahim and Bayezid-Pasha, already arrived with the pick of the army, were waiting to crown him. The Janissaries, at last informed by them of the death of Mahomet I., and prepared to receive the son with acclamation, went out to meet the young Sultan and brought him in triumph into the capital. Then was uncovered the bier of Mahomet I., who had been surrounded in his litter, on the march, with the same deference as if the sovereign had been alive behind the curtains. Amyrath bewailed his father with

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