pomerio tubarum clangore jubilant.” The | army a vision in the air of a golden cross Turks are observed to perform various pre- shining, a glorious virgin armed with shield paratory ceremonies, solemn lavations, and spear, and a man, clothed in a poor garprayers, and lustrations. They provide ment, but attended by crowds in glittering themselves with sacks to hold their plunder, attire. Once seized with a panic, they allowed and ropes to bind their captives. During the themselves to be “slaughtered like swine," whole of the 26th of July and the following without offering any defence. Many were night an incessant fire was kept up against thrown headlong into the Jewish quarter, the whole of the Jews' quarter, aimed high, and killed to a man. Those that were trying so as to prevent the knights from remaining to enter by the breach met the terror-stricken upon or near the walls. Under cover of this fugitives from the walls, and struck at them tire, storming parties were brought up during “as if they were dogs.". Such a butchery the night close to the ditch, unobserved by (si grant tuerie) then took place, that it was those in the town. About an hour after a wonder to see. In the first surprise one of sunrise, at a signal given by the firing of a the knightly standards had been captured ; mortar, with a sudden rush from their am. which was all the gain (says Dupuis) the bush they crossed the ditch, planted the Turks had, and that, too, very dearly paid standard of Mahomet on a tower, and occu- for, in kind as well as in lives; for the great pied the wall, to the number of 2,500, before red silken standard of the Basha, with all the the besieged bad time to come up from the others which had been planted on the walls, terreplein below. Notwithstanding the divine was left in the rout as a trophy for the instinct of their Grand Master, the knights victors. had been taken by surprise. Their own The defeat of this day appears absolutely batteries were in the hands of the enemy, to have crushed the spirit of the besieging and might be turned against themselves in a army. They retreated on all sides from the moment. They were obliged to mount their immediate vicinity of the walls, withdrew own walls by steep stairs and ladders, fight their artillery, and kept close within their ing desperately for each step in succession camp, “serrés comme brebis” in the exwith the enemy who were already pouring tremity of fear. It was indeed a repulse down into the Jewish quarter. “Then might severe enough to destroy the morale of the you have seen," says Dupuis, “faire de bravest soldiery. After battering till the belles armes”—for they fought, as their breach was practicable for a man to ride Vice-Chancellor tells us, like the glorious through it from the glacis into the town; Maccabees, or like Roman nobles, well de- after keeping the garrison under arms almost serving to be called Patres PATRIÆ. The night and day for two months; after actually Grand Master was the first man to mount surprising them at last, and gaining the walls one of the stairs. He received five wounds, without resistance; they had failed, and in one of which was at first feared to be mortal, the most ignominious manner. When, and and was thrown down twice or thrice off the under what eonditions, could they hope to stair. At last, he and his followers regained succeed? Whatever authenticity might be the parapet, in spite of blows, darts, showers supposed to attach to the reported vision of of stones and arrows, and there maintained the blazing cross, there was enough seen the combat upon more equal terms. By this that day of the great ensign of the Order to time the enemy had poured in through the create a very strong impression of superbreach in such numbers as to embarrass and human power fighting on that side. The disable themselves from sheer want of room. eight-pointed cross of pure white, gleaming Not an inch of ground could be seen on the over the cuirass of every one of their knightwall, ditch, or glacis, so thick was the crowd: ly opponents, and most conspicuously over the number of which was afterwards estimat- the well-known gilt armor of the terrible ed at 40,000. After two hours of the hottest | Grand Master in front of all, pressed them fighting the Turks gave way, seized (as is backwards step by step up the inner stairs, asserted) with a panic at the very moment cleared the parapet, pursued them over the of the Grand Master's displaying his banner, ditch, and struck them down by thousands. on which was painted the Crucifixion, with The facts might well justify, on this day as Our Lady on the one side the Cross, and St. on others, to the minds of both parties the John on the other. A report (" fama satis legend of EN TOYTHI NIKA. constans") was subsequently gathered from Even the. Basha, with the fear of the bowthe deserters, that on the unfolding of this string before his eyes, and the thought of ensign, there appeared to the whole Turkish

an angry master, sure to ask, is not “where


are my legions ?” at any rate, “where are We said above that the Cross struck the keys of the town you promised to con- down its adversaries by thousands on the quer ?” felt that it was useless to maintain day of the storming. As was usual in the the siege any longer. He attempted no mělees of those times, the great carnage took fresh offensive operations against the town place more in the pursuit than in the actual Some fifteen days afterwards two ships sent contest. The loss on the part of the by the King of Naples with reinforcements, Knights was about forty killed (of whom both of men and material, appeared in the fifteen were among their best officers), and offing, and after a severe engagement with more than 500 wounded. Of the enemy's the Turkish gallies, under the fire, moreover, picked troops there were found after the of the land batteries, succeeded in breaking fight, within the walls, 133 dead or alive; the blockade and landing their cargo. The the finest men, says Dupuis, that were ever Rhodians were “truly joyous and recom- | looked on. These were all thrown into the forted by the vivers and refreshments" thus In the ditch and the approaches, received ; and the friendly faces were “ les where the Turks were “slaughtered like très bien venus et receus de ceulx da la swine" in their panic, there were counted ville.” Besides actual succor, these ships 3,500 corpses, or more ; exclusive of the conveyed the assurance of moral support wounded who regained the camp, where and the promise of material assistance from they died in great numbers, as was proved

, the Powers of Christendom, a paternal ad. by the size of the cemeteries. The corpses monition by Pontifical letters from the Holy that fell into the possession of the Knights See, and the report of an approaching ex- when the siege was raised, were burned (to pedition, aimed at the entire destruction of avoid a pestilence) upon huge funeral piles, the enemy's fleet. Caoursin hints that this made of the timber used in the Turkish rumor spread to the camp of the Basha, and works and approaches. For nine days, as quickened his departure. At all events, his in the plains of Troy, qrupai vekówv xaiovto want of power to maintain an effective Japelai—while the good wives of Rhodes blockade showed him that bis position might (pardon our chronicler for this touch of become dangerous, as well as useless during nature), “who saw the Turks frying in their the ensuing winter. After ravaging the own grease, cursed them, and said they island, carrying off all the cattle he could were so fat with the figs and other fruits lay hands on, and destroying the gardens which they had devoured in the citizens' and vineyards, be set sail with bis whole gardens.” fleet, for the harbor of Physco, on the 15th Palæologus Basha escaped the bowstring of August, the day of the Assumption of after all. Undoubtedly he ran great risk of the Virgin. On that very day, 170 years it

, after so ignominious a failure in the enbefore, the Hospitallers of St. John bad terprise which he had done so much to instormed the city of Rhodes, after a siege of stigate. Mahomet was contented, bowever, four years, and won the proud title of which with banishing him to Gallipoli; and, like the Infidels were so anxious to deprive that general, whose presence in the field them. “ And you must know," says our was estimated by his greatest antagonist as French chronicler, " that in their retreating equivalent to forty thousand men, consoled the Turks made not that great cheer, nor himself for the defeat of his lieutenant by sounded their drums or trumpets, nor made declaring that his troops were never successthe great noise that they did at the laying of ful except when led by himself in person. the siege, but retired as coyly as they could After collecting in Bithynia during the enfor the fear that they had of those of the suing winter an army of 300,000 men, he town; and so they went off to their great commenced a southward march across Asia dishonor. And let us pray God devoutly Minor, as soon as the season admitted of that they may all (en tel lieu') become commencing the campaign. There can be good Christians, and uphold the Catholic no doubt that Rhodes, so long the eyesore faith, or otherwise may God of his grace be of his power, was the object of this expleased to destroy them altogether, that pedition; but such absolute secrecy was they may never harm good Christians any maintained as to its destination, that many

Amen.” So perorates, as in Catho- thought it was intended against the Soldan lic duty bound, the rough and ready soldier, of Egypt. Forty years, however, were still 6 rude and gross of sense and understand- to elapse before the banner of the Crescent ing,” but painstaking inquirer, and strong should wave over the citadel of Rhodes ; and picturesque narrator, Mary Dupuis. and Mahomet was fated to die in his march across Bithynia, on the 3d of May, The news of Mahomet's death reached 1481.


Rhodes, as Caoursin tells us, exactly one The heavens themselves blaze forth the year after the opening of the first battery death of princes : and they shone portentous- | against the tower of St. Nicholas. Well ly on this occasion. Four comets foretold pleased the Knights must have been to esto the astrologers with great precision Ma- cape a repetition of the last year's siege, if homet's death, and the dissensions conse- nothing worse. It became the duty of the quent thereon between his sons Bajazet and Vice-Chancellor and Public Orator to imZizim. Without professing to guarantee the prove the occasion; and he has happily reprophecies as delivered before the event, we ported in full the Oration “ De Morte Magni subjoin for the curious the accounts of these Thurci," delivered in the Senate of Rhodes celestial phenomena transmitted through the on the day before the Kalends of June, 1481. poetry of the age.

Our readers may be edified by a slight para

phrase or summary: “Inanci el suo spirare quatro comete

Not without God's pity,” begins the In cielo aparveno con molto isplendore pious orator, “and that divine nod to which Sopra Constantinopoli molto liete,

all things bow, is the poisoned wound of L’una era grande, et l'altre tre minore; Christendom healed, the consuming fire E par che tutti esso quatro pianete

quenched ; the devouring serpent, the second Si erano tutte di vario colore ;

Mahomet, the bitterest enemy of the lifeCon signi assai di variate sorte Significando del turcho la morte.

giving Cross, and of this our military Order

(which has been rescued by favor of that reE le tre comete minore degne e belle deeming sign alone), is dead. How did the Le due la coda insieme avia legata ; infernal one rejoice at the coming of his abanE una falza si attraversava quelle

doned comrade, and the inmates of hell reApresso agli occhi loro insanguinata ; ceive him with shouts of joy; if, indeed, E in mezo de loro occhii eran tre stelle,

there is any joy in that abode at all. For (Lu due code una l’una avia legata :) De le tre stelle le due negro vezo,

surely the fearful mansion of that eternal E una stella rossa loro in mezo."

misery is duly reserved for that most wicked

of tyrants, who destroyed the souls of so Such were the heavenly signs-to each of many children, whom he drove to the denywhich astrology assigned its due signification. ing of their faith; who dragged so many The largest comet portended the death of whereunto they were dedicated; who ruined

boly maidens from the religious service the emperor—“Cioe el gran turcbo,


di turchia,”—the three others, with their vari

so many noble virgins and chaste wives; who eties of color, twisted tails, and bloody scythe, the decrepid ; who profaned the relics of the

slaugbtered alike the young, the old, and foretold, with minute particularity, the course saints, and polluted with the foul rites of of the quarrel between Mahomet's sons, as it Mahomet the temples and monasteries of the came to pass.

Catholic faith ; who swallowed up inberit

ances, trampled on and seized for his own “ Ed e adempito per astrologia Quel que tutti i dottori dichiarone ;

kingdoms principalities and cities ; even to Come el gran turcho morebbe di turchia,

the noble imperial city of Constantinople; E fra' figlioli sarebbe divisione:”

where he committed such enormities of

cruelty, superstition, and wickedness," as and so on.

Caoursin does not like to think of. The The earth gave its tokens as well as the sky :

tongue of a virtuous public orator sticks to the roof of his mouth, his face is suffused

with blushes, and his pale lips are quivering, “ E quando el gran turcho fu in sul passare, Gran teremoti venevon in turchia,

at speaking of crimes so savage in the presTuoni, teinpeste, e fortuna di mare,

ence of the Grand Master and that most ilE le saette del cielo si piovia,

lustrious assembly: he can scarcely refrain Paria el mondo volesse sobissare;

from tears : but he trusts they will pardon Corbi infiniti per l'aere avia :”

him, inasmuch as Plato bimself says that speech must be suited to facts.

Who can until, in accordance with bis destiny,

invent a punishment severe enough, or find

in hell a place fit for such a monster, where “Si come piacque el eterno Signore

his cruel soul may duly pay its endless El gran turcho de vita trapasko.”

penalty ? Truly a second Lucifer, a second

[ocr errors]

Mahomet, a second Anti-Christ; whose guilty ous and orthodox Caoursin makes it his pleas. corpse (as we may infer) Earth itself refused ure and duty to heap on the Great Turk's to contain, gaping so widely that it sank at devoted head, let us refer to the grand simonce down to the centre and the perpetual plicity of Mahomet's epitaph, which there is chaos of the wicked, where its odor of un- every reason to suppose he drew up for him. holiness was so villainos as even to ag- self.' The man who conquered with his own gravate their former pains. For, about the right hand two empires, twelve kingdoms, time of his expiring, shocks of earthquake and three hundred cities, inscribed on his were felt over Asia, Rhodes, and the adja- tomb no word in record of so many victories. cent islands, of which the violence destroyed Not what he did, but what he tried to do, castles, palaces, and citadels: the sea itself and failed in doing, stands written above his rose on a sudden ten feet above, and ebbed dust. “I designed to conquer Rhodes, and as many below, its usual level. Such phe- subdue proud Italy." nomena must be referred to the strength of It brings back at once the the horrid exhalation mentioned above: for, “ Actum, inquit, nihil est, nisi Pæno milite portas although they may be brought about in ac- Frangimus, et mediâ vexillum pono Saburra" cordance with physical principles, still they of the great Carthaginian conqueror. A trait are wont to portend or accompany some of similar character is recorded of Mabomet's great event.It appeared noteworthy to the genius of death, ordered his standard-bearer to carry

great predecessor Saladin: who, before his that age, that the death of the Great Turk round the streets of Damascus the windingshould have occurred on the anniversary of sheet in which he was soon to be wrapped, the finding of the true Cross. The oration crying aloud as he went, “See here all that naturally concludes with the compliments the great Saladin, conqueror of the East, suggested by the occasion to “our high and

carries off with him of all his conquests and mighty prince and grandmaster, Peter D'Au

treasures.” This again is the moral of Exbusson, who in faith may be said to rival the

a moral wbich will

pende Hannibalem, Maccabees, in strength Samson, in prudence bear much repetition, not among the followCato, in good fortune Metellus, in military ers of El Islam alone, or the philosophical genius Hannibal, and in the glory of his worshippers of the Roman Pantheon. Salavictory Julius Caesar."

diu and Mahomet the Second did not wait One of the woodcuts in Caoursin's volume for a Giour satirist to point the moral for illustrates the scene of Mahomet's deathbed.

them. A crowned, bearded, hooknosed, gbastly

Here we may draw the curtain : for the figure lies propped up by pillows on a couch, death of Mahomet was the safety of Rhodes. at the foot of which an atiendant is uplifting Scarcely more than a year from this date the wail

. The gaunt and powerless arms elapsed, before Misach Palæologus, again have fallen outside the coverlet, at the folds restored to court-favor and greatness as a of which the fingers have been fumbling. partisan of Bajazet, was treating with D'AuThe Ulemas, or whatever other name belongs busson's ambassadors respecting the jealous to the Mahometan priesthood of that age, are safe-keeping of the unfortunate Prince Zizim.* administering the last consolations of their

Precellentissimus Princeps noster was the religion, and exbibiting for the sultan to kiss head of the Order for twenty years more ; or adore an emblem which may be a metal but the rest of his acts, and the remaining plate with rayed edges, representing a sun or portion of Caoursin's Chronicle, belong to a star. In the background are the royal phy. | fresh period of history. Let us leave Rhodes sicians, with crossed forefingers and signifi- to repair her damaged walls, and cultivate to cant gesticulation, muttering their last useless their former trimness and beauty her spoiled consultation upon the treatment of their vineyards and gardens; while the knightly patient. Over the head of the couch flutters champions of St. John of Jerusalem still talk a winged demon such as Retzsch, delights in over among themselves, and recount to Mary designing, who, when the last breath exhales, Dupuis for our benefit, their perils and their and Mahomet the Second "trapassa” from his

preservation non sine Dei pietate ac divino earthly tenement, seizes in grim triumph the

nutu. helpless soul of his victim, as it issues from the dying lips in the likeness of a newborn As a friendly diplomatist he found more favor child. Gavisus est quidem infernus perditi

in Caoursin's sight ihan as a hostile general. The

monstrum horrendum informe ingens of the siege sodalis adventu. To balance all the abuse which the vigor. T humanus ac facundus.'

changes upon a nearer view into 'vir quidem per

From Beniley's Miscellany.


In the Dutch town of M-- there resided,, objects missed amounted to about 2,000 Dutch at the close of the last century, an aged forins. widow, known by the name of Madame It was conjectured that the robbery had Andrecht. The only occupants of the house, been effected by more than one person; it which was the widow's property, were her- was equally probable that the plan had been self and a maid servant of about the same matured long before. It was also apparent age. As the widow was in a precarious that the robbery had been committed by state of health, she kept no society, and did persons not unacquainted with the house and not leave her room for weeks together. Her the widow's circumstances. The widow's only recreation was, that she went in spring, house was situated in an outlying street, and when the weather was settled, to visit her was the only respectable one in the neighson, who resided in a neighboring village, borhood. Persons in inferior circumstances, and on these excursions she was always ac- and among them several suspicious characters, companied by her servant, who was accus- occupied the adjacent houses. At the end tomed to her temper, and was the only nurse of the garden behind the house, from which she would have about her. During these side the thieves must have come, ran the absences from town the house was uninhab. inner town ditch, which was navigable, and ited, and though carefully locked up, not only divided from it by a quickset bedge. guarded with any special attention.

The next house was a corner one, and a narThe widow returned from her annual ex- row path ran along its side and the garden cursion on the 30th of June, 17—, and found hedge to a plank laid across the ditch. It that during her absence the house had been was not supposed, however, that the thieves broken into, and besides other valuables, all had climbed over the hedges of the two garherplate and jewels carried off. The authorities dens, but it was much more likely that they were immediately informed, and both burgo- bad come in a boat to the hedge and climbed master and police began making a diligent in over it. No suspicious footsteps could be quiry. It was not difficult to discover how the noticed in the garden-walks or flower beds. thieves had broken into the house. The window The discovery immediately caused great of a back room looked on the garden, and had excitement: the whole neighborhood was been secured within by a brass screw on either astir, and a mob of curious persons surroundside. A pane of glass had been broken on eached the house. The police were compelled side, the screws had been taken out, and they to use their ulmost efforts to prevent them had carried off their plunder by the back-door, entering : still one of them, a baker, who which was found unfastened. All the other lived in the house right opposite to the windows were still securely bolted, and widow, had succeeded in finding his way in several rooms had not even been entered with the officers, and satisfying his curiosity. It was evident that the thieves had set to His acquaintances who had seen him enter work in great security, had taken their time, awaited his return with impatience, to learn and had not been apprehensive of being dis- from him all that the police would not impart turbed. They had removed the top of a to them. Their hopes were deceived, howheavy old escritoire, which had been care- ever, for he maintained an obstinate silence, fully locked, and had lifted out the doors. or only gave equivocal replies. A wool. This operation had been effected so cleverly spinner, Leendert van N-, who lived in that there was not the slighest trace of vio- the corner house, was far more talkative. lence. Out of this escritoire the jewels and Wherever people put their heads together, other valuables had been taken. I'wo chests he hurried up to them, listened to their conhad also been broken open, and gold, silver, jectures, and favored them with his own: and apparel carried off. The ralue of the be spoke, too, in a very decided manner, and

« VorigeDoorgaan »