Page images

Heg. 857

wants to

THE OTTOMANS. 1.C. 1453. ing them to prefer a speedy death, to the infamy to with which they would be covered for the re

mainder of a long life. He beheld these two innocent victims beheaded, and then presented his own neck to the executioner. His wife, already sick, expired with grief a few days after. All the fathers were not so courageous as the great duke ; Mahomet filled his seraglio with children of both sexes, intended for his pleasures, whom he, caused to be educated and instructed to his mind, after having torn them from parents left at li

berty in Constantinople. Mahomet Amidst all these horrors, Mahomet II. afpired at pass foren- the title of envoy from God, and would fain blend

with his success what was marvellous and super-
natural. He had with him a dervis called Cheik,
a sort of hireling prophet, and a man of revela-
tions and extasies, whose profession was to pray
to God and Mahomet for the prosperity of the
empire, and who endeavoured to prevail on the
Mahometans to adore the emperor's vices, as
much as his power was feared. The third day
after the taking of Conftantinople, this man pub-
lished in the new mosque of St. Sophia, that the
triumph of the most powerful emperor had been.
predicted to Conftantine, the last Greek empe-
ror, by loub, a friend of God and of the pro-
phet; that this servant of God, being on the
point of death by the hands of the executioner
(without doubt for some crime), had declared

voy from God.


aloud, that within the year, he should have an J.C. 1453.

"Heg. 857 avenger, the instrument of the Divinity, called Lara Mahomet like the great prophet, who should for ever efface from the universe the Greek empire and its princes, who would establish the true worship in Constantinople, and who should honor his (Ioub's) tomb, to whom the Lord had revealed all these things. Cheik added, that, note withstanding the care taken by the Infidels to conceal the tomb of Ioub, and even to disperse his bones, God had shewn it to him, and he would go and open it. He immediately conducted the emperor, accompanied by a great number of people, to the suburb which from thence took the name of loub; he had a place digged up, which to every appearance was free from fufpicion, when, at a certain depth, they found a large tomb, on which was written in Arabic characters rather recent; “ Here is the sepulchre “ of loub, the constant friend, the counsellor, “ and the apostle of God, whose aid be more " and more propitious.” Beneath this tomb was a body, either exceedingly well preserved, or which had never had time to corrupt. This miracle was celebrated with every demonstration of joy. Mahomet gave the name of the pretended prophet to the suburb where it had been found, and had an elegant tubé or mausoleum built over the tomb, with a mosque and a public school.


1.C.1453. The emperor entered Galata on the fifth day, Heg. 857

and ordered the inhabitants to be numbered. Mahomet . They found very few people in this town, which cndeavours to repeople almost all the Genoese had abandoned to avoid Constantinople. the wrath of a prince whose alliance they had

betrayed. Mahomet did no other mischief than reunite the town to that of Conftantinople, of which it was no longer but a suburb. He had the possessions of all the fugitives inventoried with great exactness, ordering, that they should be restored to them, provided they returned to their habitations within three months, otherwise they should be confiscated. He determined likewife to pull down the walls of Galata, and to repair the breaches of Constantinople. Besides the Greeks that were to repeople it, and to whom, as we have already observed, he left fome churches, ten thousand families, taken from different provinces, were ordered, upon pain of death, to come and settle in Constantinople before the end of September. Houses and con. siderable lands were given them. The situation of this celebrated city, its commerce and the residence of its monarchs, must ever render it one of the most advantageous habitations in the universe. But force was necessary to determine the people to leave their native homes. This mean was never regarded by Mahomet : whole families were dragged from the extremities of Europe, and received, against their confent, last

[ocr errors]

ing establishments, in exchange for miserable 1.C.1453. habitations, which they were forced to quit.

: The town of Selivrea sent to ask a governor and garrison of Mahomet; which having granted, he set out the 18th of June for Adrianople. His march was more like a triumph than any thing elses the people ran in crowds to admire the number of Naves which this conqueror dragged after him, and the rich booty with which his soldiers were loaded. Though Mahomet's thoughts were so taken up with the repeopling of his new conquest, he never loft sight of the design of making new ones. He reduced, in a J.C.1455.

Heg. 859. short time, either in person, or by his lieutenants, the rest of the Morea. The Greeks were no longer sufficiently formidable to oppofe him with forces to be feared. · But although he brought several countries under subjection almost without striking a blow, all the enernies of Mahomet were not beneath his courage.

Scanderbeg, whose talents, and valour had Exploits of proved so fatal to Amurath II. could not remain bey. long without attacking the Turks, whom he mortally hated. This prince, the greatest general of his time, was, as we have seen, sovereign of a sinall territory, heretofore wrested from his ancestors, which did not furnish him with foldiers sufficient to make conquests by himself.

Tired of keeping on the defensive, he solicited - the Christian princes to send some forces to join



[ocr errors]


1.C. 1455. the arıny under his command; but there was) word neither fufficient unanimity between the different ,

powers, nor an equal interest to oppose the
Turks. Scanderbeg resolved to declare war by
himself against the son of his enemy: he entered
Macedonia, at the head of eight thousand men,
where he took several castles and ravaged the
country. Mahomet disdained to march against
such a petty prince, or rather he was afraid to
trust himself against so great a general. For
three succeffive years did Mahomet send his best
lieutenants, at the head of a superior army, a-
gainst the prince of Albania, and each time
were they beaten. Scanderbeg knew how
to take such advantages of ground and cir-
cumstances, that he cut in pieces, or dispersed,
all the troops fent against him. Mahomet,
exasperated, set out himself, at the head of
a hundred and fifty thousand men, to lay fiege to
Croia; but he changed his mind on the road,
and left Libanus, who had already been van,
quished several times by Scanderbeg, to attempt
this fiege, at the head of fifty thousand men only.
This expedition was not more fortunate than the
preceding ones. After two months of almost

uninterrupted losses, Libanus retired. : Origin of This warrior was not the only obstacle which of Malta. Mahomet met wich. The knights of Saint John

of Jerusalem, called knights of Malta since their being sovereigns of that isand, poffeffed at that

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »