Throughout the youth of Sultan Mahmoud, lie was induced to seek the advice of a celebrated astrologer, who, amongst different predictions, foretold, that whereas he continued to construct palaces, he needs to be profitable in all his undertakings. And it will seem that he put essentially the most excellent religion within the prophecy, for each fairly bay within the Bosphorus has its kiosque; and the variety of his residences within the rapid neighborhood of the capital, quantities to fifty-seven. The palace of Bcshik- Tash is the final and most in depth of the entire, however decidedly the least picturesque and chic. Its Armenian architect was not, nevertheless, chosen with out due consideration on the a part of the Sultan, who was gained to determine on the current plan by the peace of mind that it was totally European; a reality which couldn’t be disputed, have been the glittering and well-proportioned columns that help the open peristyle swept away, when this large pile, which has price upwards of one million sterling, would current exactly the looks of a manufactory.
There’s an anecdote related with the palace which is extraordinarily attribute of its regal builder, and which can appropriately be launched right here. Whereas but undecided unto whom he ought to confide the good work of its erection, an architect (additionally an Armenian) was launched to the Sultan by one in every of his favourites, and was desired to be upon the spot destined for its web site at a specific hour, with the intention to decide of its capabilities, and to elucidate them to his imperial grasp. Ere they entered upon the precise topic of their assembly, Mahmoud stretched forth his arm in the direction of the Serai Bournou,* of which nothing may he seen above the encircling partitions however the gleaming roofs, with right here and there a tall white minaret, or a stately dome, standing out from amid a forest of cypress and maple-trees; and drily inquired what the stranger considered the palace of Amuratli ? The Armenian cautiously replied, that by no means having been enabled to look at the character of the constructing, lie was completely insufficient to kind any judgment. “ Let liim have the chance;” mentioned the Sultan to the Bey by whom he had been launched, “ and to-morrow I’ll hear the end result.”
The astonished raiah,f consequently, discovered himself in just a few moments darting over the ripple within the ea’ique of his patron; and, ere lengthy, really passing the sacred threshold which it had hitherto been demise to any infidel to tread. Bewildered and, maybe, misled by bis astonishment, and dazzled by the gilding and glitter of the celebrated Serai—or, it might be, frightened of undervaluing by a phrase an edifice which had so lengthy been a world’s marvel—or, once more, tutored by his good friend, the courtier—he declared, when he subsequent stood within the presence of the Sultan, that, in so far as his poor judgment served, earth held nothing to match with the palace of Amurath.