“ Would you inform me that Europe boasts not its equal?” requested the Sultan calmly.
“ I’ve visited most of the cities of the west;” stated the obsequious rai’ah, “and I’ve seen nothing from the rising of the solar to its taking place, so good because the Serai Bournou.”
“ Chok chay—that’s a lot!” smiled the Sultan ; “ then the Franks are liars after they ship me issues like these, and inform me that they signify the palaces of their Padishahs ;”J and as he spoke he drew out a roll of paper which he held in his hand, and exhibited to the discomfited Armenian views of the completely different imperial and royal edifices of Europe. “ Have you ever ever seen any of those Serais ? and do they actually not resemble the drawings now earlier than me ?”
“ They do, might it please your highness; I’ve appeared on a lot of them.”
“ Then,” stated the Sultan, “ you’re unsuited to the enterprise which I con-template ; for none, save a rogue or a idiot, might class that place, fitted just for deeds of blood and thriller”—and he pointed as soon as extra in direction of the Serai Bournou; “ that place, hidden beneath excessive partitions, and amid darkish timber, as if it couldn’t courageous the sunshine of day; with these mild, laughing palaces, open to the free air, and the pure sunshine of heaven. Such would I’ve my very own ; and such it shall be:—now we have due to this fact met for the final time.”
And the Armenian, having prostrated himself earlier than the “ Lord of the Three Seas,” withdrew from the presence of his grasp to consolation himself as he may underneath his disappointment and shame.
The bottom upon which the palace stands was previously occupied by a chic kiosque, constructed by Sultan Selim—a glittering gaily-tinted pavilion, wanting like an enormous tulip amid the cluster of cypresses within the centre of which it rose ; and a Tekie or chapel of Turning Dervishes; whose group, undaunted by the displeasure of the Sultan, continued within the occupation of their dwelling, though the partitions of the brand new palace grew increased from each day, till they pretty overtopped the extra modest roof of the holy constructing. To the frequent orders which they acquired to vacate their Tekie, they replied solely that they weren’t free to depart, because the)- guarded the ashes of a saint; whose tomb, surrounded by a lattice-work of vibrant inexperienced, about half manner up the peak above the channel, was certainly a conspicuous object from tbeir home windows. On this dilemma, the Sultan utilized to the Cheik-Islam, or Excessive Priest, to implement their removing: however he was once more met by a gentle refusal, the Cheik-Islam pleading the hazard of such a precedent, and declining all interference. Sultan Mahmoud heard him in silence, and didn’t once more agitate the query till the chapel was pretty in-built, when he merely knowledgeable the chief Dervish of the exact day on which he was to vacate the premises; or, in default of his so doing, the roof can be pulled concerning the ears of his group. The holy man stood aghast, however there was no different; and the brotherhood in a couple of hours took quiet possession of a good-looking home on the sting of the water, which had been remodeled to them by the Sultan, on the demise of the court docket jester, to whom it had beforehand belonged.