28 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS ;
From the gardens of the harem, gates open on the sea of Marmora, with kiosks of
various Turkish character. One is the " yali kiosk," where a suspected vizir, or other
high officer of the seraglio, is ordered to retire to await his destiny. A venerable man,
with a long beard, is sometimes observed, by passing boats, sitting in this kiosk,
smoking his chibouque. He is a dismissed favourite, quietly waiting his doom; and
when the door opens behind him, does not know whether the chaoush who appears, is
the bearer of a bow-string to strangle him, or a pelisse to invest him with new honours.
Near it is a window, from whence the bodies of the strangled are thrown into the sea
at night; and the number of the victims as they drop into the water, is announced by
a correspondent discharge of the cannon below. The seraglio is inhabited by six thousand persons, including the corps of bostanjee, or gardeners, who are distinguished by a
very peculiar costume.
BROUSA AND MOUNT OLYMPUS.
This city, sometimes called Boursa, retains, with little corruption, its primitive name,
and commemorates the king of Bithynia more celebrated for his illustrious guest than
for any achievement of his own. When Hannibal fled from the persecutions of his
inveterate enemies, the Romans, he retired into Bithynia, and was received with
apparent kindness by Prusias, its king. In return for this hospitality, the accomplished
Carthaginian introduced into the more barbarous regions of his host, the arts and
sciences of Tyre and Phoenicia, and, in the year 220 before Christ, evinced his taste and
judgment by building a city for him on the most beautiful spot that Asia Minor or any
other country could afford, the side of Mount Olympus. The effeminate Oriental,
however, had not the fortitude to continue the protection he had afforded. Terrified by
the threats of the implacable Romans, he was preparing to surrender his persecuted
guest to his enemies; but he anticipated his intention by poison, which historians
say he carried in his ring for that emergency. He was closely besieged in a house
in Brusa, where he swallowed the draught, and he was buried in Libyssa on the
Propontis, where a monumental tumulus at this day marks the spot; and the first object
a traveller to Brousa sees on landing, is the last resting-place of its illustrious founder.
When he enters the city, he is shown a fortress, as the military work of that great
master in the art of war, which has stood for 2058 years.
When the crusaders sacked Constantinople, and established their usurped authority
in the capital of the Greek empire, they seized on all its dependent cities in Asia Minor,
and Brusa formed part of the dynasty of Lascaris. It finally fell into the hands of the
Turks when they expanded themselves over the region of Bythinia in 1327, and Othman
made it the capital of the young Turkish empire. It continued to enjoy this distinction
till the increasing power and ambition of the Osmanli led them into Europe, and they