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to instill the desire of martyrdom, and the assurance
of spending an immortal youth amidst the rivers
and gardens of paradise, and in the embraces of the
black-eyed virgins. Yet Mahomet principally trust-
ed to the efficacy of temporal and visible rewards.
A double pay was promised to the victorious troops;
“The city and the buildings,” said Mahomet, “are
“mine; but I resign to your valour the captives
“ and the spoil, the treasures of gold and beauty;
“be rich and be happy. Many are the provinces
“ of my empire; the intrepid soldier who first as-
“cends the walls of Constantinople, shall be re-
“warded with the government of the fairest and
“most wealthy; and my gratitude shall accumu-
“ late his honours and fortunes above the measure
“ of his own hopes.” Such various and potent
motives diffused among the Turks a general ardour,
regardless of life, and impatient for action; the
camp re-echoed with the Moslem shouts of “God
“ is God, there is but one God, and Mahomet is
“ the apostle of God *;” and the sea and land,
from Galata to the seven towers, were illuminated

by the blaze of their nocturnal fires.
Far different was the state of the Christians;
who, with loud and impotent complaints, de-
plored the guilt, or the punishment, of their sins.
The celestial image of the Virgin had been ex-
posed in solemn procession; but their divine
patroness was deaf to their entreaties; they ac-
cused the obstinacy of the Emperor for refusing a

* Phranza quarrels with these Moslem acclamations, not for the name of God, but for that of the prophet : the pious zeal of Voltaire is excessive, and even ridiculous.

timely surrender; anticipated the horrors of their c H. A. P. fate; and sighed for the repose and security of Exxon, Turkish servitude. The noblest of the Greeks, and the bravest of the allies, were summoned to the palace, to prepare them, on the evening of the twenty-eighth, for the duties and dangers of the general assault. The last speech of Palaeologus was the funeral oration of the Roman Empire"; he promised, he conjured, and he vainly attempted to infuse the hope which was extinguished in his own mind. In this world all was comfortless and gloomy; and neither the gospel nor the church Y have proposed any conspicuous recompence to the heroes who fall in the service of their country. But the example of their prince, and the confinement of a siege, had armed these warriors with the courage of despair; and the pathetic scene is described by the feelings of the historian Phranza, who was himself present at this mournful assembly. They wept, they embraced; regardless of their families and fortunes, they devoted their lives; and each commander, departing to his station, maintained all night a vigilant and anxious watch on the rampart. The Emperor, and some faithful companions, entered the domie of St Sophia, which in a few hours was to be converted into a mosch; and devoutly received, with tears and


prayers, the sacrament of the holy communion. X. He reposed some moments in the palace, which Vol. XII. Q resounded

* I am afraid that this discourse was composed by Phranza himself; and it smells so grossly of the sermon and the convent, that I almost doubt whether it was pronounced by Constantine. Leonardus assigns him another speech, in which he addresses himself more respectfully to the Latin auxiliaries.

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resounded with cries and lamentations; solicited the pardon of all whom he might have injured “; and mounted on horseback to visit the guards, and explore the motions of the enemy. The distress and fall of the last Constantine are more glorious than the long prosperity of the Byzantine Cæsars. In the confusion of darkness an assailant may sometimes succeed; but in this great and general attack, the military judgement and astrological knowledge of Mahomet advised him to expect the morning, the memorable twenty-ninth of May, in the fourteen hundred and fifty-third year of the Christian aera. The preceding night had been strenuously employed ; the troops, the cannon, and the fascines, were advanced to the edge of the ditch, which, in many parts, presented a smooth and level passage to the breach ; and his fourscore gallies almost touched, with the prows and their scaling-ladders, the less defensible walls of the harbour. Under pain of death, silence was enjoined; but the physical laws of motion and sound are not obedient to discipline or fear; each individual might suppress his voice, and measure his footsteps; but the march and labour of thousands must inevi

tably produce a strange confusion of dissonant cla

mours, which reached the cars of the watchmen of the towers. At day-break, without the customary signal of the morning-gun, the Turks assaulted the

city by sea and land; and the similitude of a twined

* This abasement, which devotion has sometimes extorted from dying princes, is an improvement of the gospel doctrine of the forgiveness of injuries; it is more easy to forgive 493 times, than once to ask pardon of an inferior.

twined or twisted thread has been applied to the c H. A.P.

closeness and continuity of their line of attack". The foremost ranks consisted of the refuse of the host, a voluntary crowd, who fought without order or command; of the feebleness of age or childhood, of peasants and vagrants, and of all who had joined the camp in the blind hope of plunder and martyrdom. The common impulse drove them onwards to the wall; the most audacious to climb were instantly precipitated; and not a dart, not a bullet of the Christians, was idly wasted on the accumulated throng. But their strength and ammunition were exhausted in this laborious defence; the ditch was filled with the bodies of the slain; they supported the footsteps of their companions; and of this devoted vanguard, the death was more serviceable than the life. Under their respective bashaws and sanjaks, the troops of Anatolia and Romania were successively led to the charge; their progress was various and doubtful; but, after a conflict of two hours, the Greeks still maintained, and improved their advantage; and the voice of the Emperor was heard, encouraging his soldiers to atchieve, by a last effort, the deliverance of their country. In that fatal moment, the Janizaries arose, fresh, vigorous, and invincible. The Sultan himself on horseback, with an iron mace in his hand, was the spectator and judge of their valour; he was surrounded by ten thousand of his domestic Q 2 troops, * Besides the 10,000 guards, and the sailors and the

marines, Ducas numbers in this general assault 25o, ooo Turks, both horse and foot.

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c H.A.P. troops, whom he reserved for the decisive occa

sions; and the tide of battle was directed and im-
pelled by his voice and eye. His numerous mini-
sters of justice were posted behind the line, to urge,
to restrain, and to punish; and if danger was in
the front, shame and inevitable death were in the
rear of the fugitives. The cries of fear and of
pain were drowned in the martial music of drums,
trumpets, and attaballs; and experience has proved,
that the mechanical operation of sounds, by quick-
ening the circulation of the blood and spirits, will
act on the human machine more forcibly than the
eloquence of reason and honour. From the lines,
the gallies, and the bridge, the Ottoman artillery
thundered on all sides; and the camp and city,
the Greeks, and the Turks, were involved in a
cloud of smoke, which could only be dispelled by
the final deliverance or destruction of the Roman
empire. The single combats of the heroes of
history or fable, amuse our fancy, and engage our
affections; the skilful evolutions of war may in-
form the mind, and improve a necessary, though
pernicious science. But in the uniform and odious
pictures of a general assault, all is blood, and hor-
ror, and confusion; nor shall I strive, at the
distance of three centuries and a thousand miles,
to delineate a scene of which there could be no
spectators, and of which the actors themselves were
incapable of forming any just or adequate idea.
The immediate loss of Constantinople may be
ascribed to the bullet, or arrow, which pierced the
gauntlet of John Justiniani. The sight of his blood,

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