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c H. A. P. prose * might find a passage to the royal ear; but o "", what use or merit could recommend to the states. - man or the scholar the uncouth dialect of his Hebrew slaves The history and geography of the world were familiar to his memory; the lives of the heroes of the East, perhaps of the West f, excited his emulation ; his skill in astrology is excused by the folly of the times, and supposes some rudiments of mathematical science; and a profane taste for thc arts is betrayed in his liberal invitation and reward of the painters of Italy . But the influence of religion and learning were employed without effect on his savage and licentious nature. I will not transcribe, nor do I firmly believe, the stories of his fourteen pages, whose bellies were ripped open in search of a stolen Hielon; or of the beauteous slave, whose head he severed from her body, to convince the Janizaries that their master was not the votary of love. His sobriety is attested by the silence of the Turkish animals, which accuses three, and three only, of the Ottoman
* Robert Vaturio published at Verona, in 1483, his twelve books, de Re Militari, in which he first mentions the use of
boabs. By his patron Sigismond Malatesta, Prince of Ri. mini, it had been addressed with a Latin cpistle to Mahomet 11.
t Agcording to Phraoza, he assiduously studied the lives a dacious of Alexander, Augustus, Constantine, and Theodo. so. I have read somewhere, that Plutarch's Lives were to in lated by his orders into the Turkish language. If the Sultan tourself understood Greek, it must have been for the benefit of his subjects. Yet these lives are a school of field, n, as well as of vaiour. - *
f The famous Gomtile Bellino, whom he had invited from Venice, was disipissed with a chain and collar of gold, and a pulse of 52:2 ducats. With Voltaire, laugh at the foolish sory of a sive purposely beheaded, to instruct the fainter in
the acticn of the muscles.
Ottoman line of the vice of drunkennesss". But it cannot be denied that his passions were at once furious and inexorable; that in the palace, as in
the field, a torrent of blood was spilt on the slightest
provocation; and that the noblest of the captive
* These Imperial drunkards were Soliman I. Selim II. and Amurath IV. (Cantemir, p. 61.). The sophis of Persia can produce a more regular succession; and in the last age, our European travellers were the witnesses and the companions of their revels.
departed from Adrianople with his bride to reside in the government of Magnesia. Before the end of six weeks, he was recalled by a sudden message from the divan, which announced the decease of Amurath, and the mutinous spirit of the Janizaries. His speed and vigour commanded their obedience; he passed the Hellespont with a chosen guard; and at the distance of a mile from Adrianople, the vizirs and emirs, the imams and cadhis, the soldiers and the people, fell prostrate before the new Sultan. They affected to weep, they affected to rejoice; he ascended the throne at the age of twenty-one years, and removed the cause of sedition by the death, the inevitable death, of his infant brothers *. The ambassadors of Europe and Asia soon appeared to congratulate his accession, and solicit his friendship; and to all he spoke the language of moderation and peace. The confidence of the Greek Emperor was revived by the solemn oaths and fair assurances with which he sealed the ratification of the treaty ; and a rich domain, on the banks of the Strymon, was assigned for the annual payment of three hundred thousand aspers, the pension of an Ottoman prince, who was detained at his request in the Byzantine court. Yet the neighbours of Mahomet might tremble at the severity with which a youthful monarch reformed the pomp of his father's house- " hold;
* Calapin, one of these royal infants, was saved from his cruel brother, and baptised at Rome under the name of Callistus Othomannus. The Emperor Frederic III. presented him with an estate in Austria, where he ended his life ; and Cuspinian, who in his youth conversed with the
aged prince at Vienna, applauds his piety and wisdom, (de Crsatibus, p. 6;2, 673.).
hold; the expences of luxury were applied to those
from the execution of his great design ".
* See the accession of Mahomet II. in Ducas (c. 33.), Phranza (l. i. c. 33. l. ii. c. 2.), Chalcondyles (l. vii. p. 199.), and Cantemir, (p. 96.).
+. Before I enter on the siege of Constantinople, I shall observe, that except the short hints of Cantemir and Leunclavius, I have not been able to obtain any Turkish account of this conquest; such an account as we possess of the siege of Rhodes by Soliman II. (Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xxvi. p. 723–769.). I must therefore depend on the Greeks, whose prejudices, in some degree, are subdued by their distress. Our standard texts are those of Ducas (c. 34 —42.), Phranza (l. iii. c. 7—20.), Chalcondyles (l. viii. p. 201—214.), and Leonardus Chicnsis, (Historia C. P. a Turce
of labouring to be forgotten, their ambassadors pursued his camp, to demand the payment, and even the increase of their annual stipend. The divan was importuned by their complaints, and the vizir, a secret friend of the Christians, was constrained to deliver the sense of his brethren. “ Ye foolish “ and miserable Romans,” said Calil, “we know “your devices, and ye are ignorant of your own “ danger! the scrupulous Amurath is no more ; “his throne is occupied by a young conqueror, “whom no laws can bind, and no obstacles can “resist; and if you escape from his hands, give “praise to the divine clemency, which yet delays “the chastisement of your sins. Why do ye seek “ to affright us by vain and indirect menaces? Re“lease the fugitive Orchan, crown him Sultan of “Romania; call the Hungarians from beyond the “Danube; arm against us the nations of the West; “ and be assured, that you will only provoke and “precipitate your ruin.” But if the fears of the ambassadors were alarmed by the stern language of the vizir, they were soothed by the courteous audience and friendly speeches of the Ottoman prince ; Turco expugnatae. Norimberghae, 1544, in 4to, 20 leaves). The last of these narratives is the earliest in date, since it was composed in the isle of Chios, the 16th of August 1453, only seventy-nine days after the less of the city, and in the first confusion of ideas and passions. Some hints may be added from an epistle of Cardinal Isidore (in Farragine Rerum Turticarum, ad calcem Chalcondyl. Clauseri, Basil, 1556) to Pope Nicholas V. and a tract of theodosius Zygomala, which he addressed, in the year 1581, to Martin Crusius, (Turco Graccio, l. i. p. 74–98. Basil, 1584.). The various facts and materials are briefly, though critically reviewed by Spondanus, (A. D. 1553. No. 1–27.). The hearsay-relations of
Monstrelet and the distant Latins, I shall take leave to disregard.