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the Pope to take the lead, in person, of another crusade was announced to him: "C Aye," said he, "an old man undertakes an enterprise which belongs to a young one."

In the mean time the Bishop of Ephesus, with Nicephorus, had arrived at Rome, which still echoed with the prayers ordered for the deliverance of Christianity. They learned also that beyond the mountains, among the French, the news of the destruction of Byzantium had roused their deepest indignation. Many pilgrims who had come to Rome to obtain indulgences for the crusade, spoke of a remarkable feast in the palace of the powerful Duke of Burgundy, where the valour of the knights was inflamed by an extraordinary spectacle. During the festivities of the banquet, a young woman, captive, and clothed in mourning, appeared in the hall seated upon an elephant, which was led by a Saracen of gigantic size. While all eyes were fixed upon her, as if representing the Church in the hands of the Infidels, she uttered a mournful lamentation to call to her succour the worthies of France and Burgundy. Faith, Hope, Charity, and all the Christian virtues, each represented by a young woman clothed in white, followed in her train, chanting verses, which were calculated to arouse the souls of the faithful. At the sight of these, all the knights, with the duke at their head, swore by the Golden Fleece, by the Holy Virgin, and by the Pheasant-a symbol of the Occidental Knighthood-to fly to the rescue of the Cross.

These ideas and customs were new to the Greeks of Byzantium and Ephesus. But the reputation of the Franks for courage, always celebrated in the East, inspired the fugitives with new confidence. Theodorus, in the ardour of his faith, already fancied he saw the victorious standard of the Cross planted upon the walls of Constantinople, and the temple of St. Sophia consecrated anew to the worship of the Lord.

The strength of this hope seemed for the time to have got the better of his repugnance for a deserter of the Greek faith, and he was eager to see the Cardinal Bessarion. He betook himself to his palace, at the foot of Mount Quirinal,

near the Church of the Holy Apostles. As he crossed the peristyle, the Bishop of Ephesus was struck with the riches of the Roman Court. Under an immense portico were collected the precious marbles of ancient Greece, broken vases, and statues the immortal monuments of an abolished paganism. All these newly-discovered treasures, all this splendour of renascent antiquity, adorned, though somewhat in disorder, the residence of the learned cardinal; and the priests of the Church of Rome took care, as they passed through, lest they should entangle their gowns in the remains of some mutilated god. All did not, however, equally praise the zealous curiosity of Bessarion. Some did not fail to remark, in a tone of irony, that these profane anxieties evidently betokened a Greek, a neophyte, an old disciple of error. Withdrawn into the most secluded part of his palace, the cardinal was, just at this moment, engaged on a question of philosophy, which, in his opinion, was badly explained by Aristotle. Nevertheless, on being informed of the arrival of Theodorus, he immediately left his studies to wait upon his distinguished countryman; and whatever may have been their former division, their first words betokened nothing but mutual kindness. Bessarion was not young. Travels, study, and the disappointments of ambition had furrowed his brow, which still however retained the Italo-Grecian stamp-a singular blending of shrewdness, vivacity and enthusiasm-tempered with the haughtiness of a cardinal. His manners were simple; his dress that of a recluse of St. Basil; and he still wore, according to Oriental custom, the long beard which Louis XI. made a jest of at the formal audience which he once gave him as the ambassador of the Court of Rome.

Received by his old adversary, Theodorus promptly acquainted him with the fortune of the young Greeks who had been summoned to Italy, and of the respect which they still entertained for their faith. Bessarion questioned, in his turn, the Bishop of Ephesus, concerning the monuments of profane Greece, and seemed to reproach himself that he had collected so few.

"But what," said Theodorus, "what avails this idle curiosity? Know then that the Gospel is trodden under foot of the impious. Our brethren of the East are hanging between apostacy and slavery. Soon there will be no Christians in Greece. You Pontiffs of Italy are zealous in your efforts to collect the traditions of Athens and the books of the Gentiles, but leave the true faith to perish."

"The true faith," interrupted Bessarion, "is at Rome, in the sacred College.'


"The true faith," replied the Bishop of Ephesus, "is that of the martyrs; it is engraven upon the last stone of our destroyed churches, and in the hearts of our slaughtered Pontiffs." Saying these words, he left the hall in a passion.

Bessarion, nevertheless, lavished his attentions and his wealth upon the Greek fugitives. Furnished with an asylum, the recluses of Byzantium observed with strictness the peculiar forms of their religion. A large number of families of the Peloponnesus and the islands of the Egean, had been collected at the port of Ostia, aud many others had been redeemed from slavery. The Pope showed equal charity towards their misfortune, and admiration for their science. He envied Florence the Platonic Academy which had been founded by Cosmo de Medici, and spared no pains to promote the same studies at Rome. Among all his apostolic dignities, Bessarion was Superior of the monastery of Crypta Ferrata, situated in the villa of Cicero, at Tusculum. Hither he would often invite some of his eloquent countrymen, and it seemed as if the shade of the genius of Greece was wandering about these ruins which had once illustrated the genius of Rome. How many times in their conversations did they hope to see Greece freed from the barbarians! How many times did they promise themselves the aid of the princes of the West in their holy purpose! Lascaris left the repose of Florence and the friendship of Medici, to arouse Bessarion, and rekindle in him a zeal for his country through his love for the arts. Often, amid the ruins of Tusculum, did he set forth in liveliest colours the barbarity which was threatening Europe, and Mahomet,

as it were, already pursuing Greece, even in her place of refuge. The Cardinal was moved by these representations far more than by the haughty prayers of Theodorus. When he saw around him these ingenious and enthusiastic men, whose countryman he was, he forgot the religious quarrels and distrusts of the Court of Rome; he was animated, like them, by the remembrance of the glory of his lost country; he shed tears at the thought that the home of Homer and Sophocles was the prey of the barbarians; he listened with a sort of illusion to the vivid words of Gemisthus, dreaming of the restoration of Athens to liberty, and her temples to philosophy and the arts. He was moved by such thoughts; he became again a Greek because he was a Platonist, and promised to use his zeal, his efforts and his influence in the Sacred College, to hasten the crusade; especially if the Greek Church would finally acknowledge her errors, and accept, with a teachable spirit, the union of Florence.

But such promises did not correspond with the ardent wishes of Theodorus. He was solicitous for the faith of his brethren in their sojourn at Rome; he was even more inflexible in exile than at Byzantium, and reproached himself for having sought the tardy and dangerous assistance of the Latins. In vain did Nicephorus, equally zealous, but more mild, seek to calm this harsh vehemence. He was feeble before the Bishop of Ephesus; he respected his invincible firmness, but he feared lest he should appear, a second time, to have abandoned his brethren in misfortune, and, in his opposition to Theodorus, subject himself to the charge of perjury.

Thus the Bishop of Ephesus, after a long struggle, was forced to relinquish the hopes which he had formed for the salvation of Greece. Pontiff after pontiff ascended the throne. Bessarion himself was near obtaining the supreme dignity, and nothing but the old jealousy of the Latins against the Greeks, and distrust in a new convert, zealous as he was, kept him from an honour to which he was entitled both by learning and genius. Despairing of aid from this quarter, the Greeks exhausted themselves in vain efforts. Their very zeal re

stricted their influence. The pride of the Latin Church was afraid of the haughty confidence of these priests, who, proscribed fugitives, without country and without altars, clung nevertheless to their faith with such inflexible fortitude, and refused to purchase the salvation of their country at the price of repentance.

But Europe, at length, seemed touched with their complaints, or rather by a sense of its own peril. Æneas Sylvius, a passionate lover of the arts, and zealous for the glory of the Christian name, was elected Pope; while Mahomet was pushing his empire to the banks of the Danube, and carrying his arms, at once, against the North and South of Europe. Venice threatened, Belgrade besieged, all the countries bordering upon Greece subjugated like herself, carried terror to the nations of the West. The Roman Pontiff made a last effort to appease the animosities of the Christian princes; to excite the ardour of the people; to unite them in a crusade, and drive back the barbarians beyond the boundaries of Europe. With this hope, he convoked a council at Mantua. Here were assembled the ambassadors of France and Poland, those of the King of Naples, of the Duke of Burgundy, and of the ́ Republics of Italy. The Duke of Milan, Francis Sforza, was also there. Envoys from Lesbos, from Epirus, and the Morea, set forth the evils under which their country was suffering. The Pope and the Cardinal Bessarion were eloquent in their harangues. War was resolved on. Bessarion immediately departed to solicit the aid of the German Princes; and the sovereign Pontiff gave orders to the crusaders to rendezvous at the city of Ancona.

But the kings, in spite of their promises, were distracted by their ambition and quarrels. Alphonso of Aragon was dead, without concluding peace with Venice. The Duke of Burgundy had grown old while projecting a crusade in the midst of the festivals of his court; and now he feared the ambition of Louis XI. Germany was poor and divided. England was agitated by the bloody wars of her two royal families. The Princes of Italy were watching one another. The 48


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