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J.C.1478. pay the Turks, procured the Venetians the li
the sultan's dominions. Mahomet consented to
peace to the council of the Order of St. John. J.C. 1480. The grand master, Aubusson, as fage as couHeg. 8850
rageous, had his eyes open on all the Turk's proceedings. Some spies, dearly paid, informed him of every thing that passed in the divan, and he knew the designs of the Turkish monarch, as well as those who had his confidence. However, he feigned to listen to Mahomet's proposals ; he consented even to a truce of three months, under the specious pretext of settling the conditions of peace ; but, in reaĮity, in order to have the fea open during that time, that the convoked knights might land in safety in the island. They presently arrived from all parts of Christendom, bringing with them a numerous and brilliant nobility whom the love of glory drew to Rhodes. Aubuffon, viscount Monteil, the brother of the grand master, was of the number. This grand master had just been invested with the sovereign authority, which belongs to all the Order of St. John, of which he is only the chief and the
. . : i representative.
representative. This sort of dictatorship, as J.C. 1480. Vertot calls it, was at that time necessary, on account of the concert and celerity with which it was requisite that every thing should be transacted in such delicate circumstances. The knights unanimously solicited Aubusson, to con. fer the command of the troops, after himself, on viscount Monteil his brother.
On the news, which foon spread, that the Turks were ready to put to sea, the grand master ordered all the environs of Rhodes to be laid waste, the pleasure houses and farms to be demolished, the vineyards to be burnt, the granaries to be emptied, and all the fruit trees to be cut down, in order that the Turks, on their debarking, might find neither retreat, nor lodging, nor subsistence. Meanwhile they advanced under the command of the balhaw Mischa Paleologus, a Greek renegade, of the family of the last emperors of Constantinople. The love of riches and dignities had made him turn Mahometan; he had shewn, before Mahomet, the most inves' terate hatred against those of his ancient religion, and had solicited the honor of commanding at the siege of Rhodes. The sultan, who began to love repose, had put in his place this apostate, supposing him a greater enemy of the Christians than any of his subjects. The armament intended against Rhodes consisted of a hundred and fixty high built vessels (without counting the
OF THE OTTOMANS. :C: 1480. galliots, shallops, and transport boats), and a a hundred thousand land forces.
All these troops did not proceed at the same J.C. 1481. Hleg. 886. time towards the menaced island. The bashaw
Paleologus was as impatient as Mahomet to begin the operations. In the middle of the winter, he conducted some vessels loaded with janissaries, to attempt a descent on the coast of Rhodes, whilst the main body of the feet and army was to go and attend the chief in the port of Phisco in Lycia. This first enterprise was unsuccessful. Those, who advanced into the country, found only parties of soldiers, instead of the booty which they had expected. They were not more fortunate in the small isle of Tilo, which belonged also to the knights; they found it equally well guarded and desolated. After having lost a month, and fifteen hundred men, in the descent, they regained the port of Phisco. The bashaw, taught by misfortune, waited for a more favorable season. He did not arrive before Rhodes at the head of his whole army, 'till the 23d of May.
The capital of the island, which bears its name, is situated by the sea fide, on the declivity of a fmall hill, which, at that time, was covered with orange trees, pomegranates, and all sorts of vineyards. This place was surrounded by a double wall, and fortified at equal distances with large towers. A rampart supported these walls and
towers, and they were defended by a large deep 1.C. 1984. ditch. Rhodes had two ports, one of which served for the galleys; a tower, named fort Şt. Situation Helme, defended it. The large vessels occu- town. pied the other port, on each side of which there are two small gulfs, the one on the north, the other on the south. That on the north was secured by a mole advanced into the sea, on which was constructed a fortress, called fort St. Nicholas, which will be often mentioned in the account of this fiege. The other gulf, exposed to the south, was defended by a fortress less considerable than fort St. Nicholas. Two miles from the town is a little hill, called mount St. Stephen.
Such was the situation of Rhodes, when the balhaw Mischa Paleologus attempted its conquest. The valour of the knights did not hinder the debarking of this numerous army.' The vefsels approached the places leaft fortified, notwithstanding the resistance, and without, for this time, much blood shed. The Ottoman army marched in tolerable good order to take possession of mount St. Stephen, from whence the bashaw summoned the grand master, who did not condescend to make him a reply.' Paleologus began the siege with the attack of fort St. Ni- forta Saint cholas, both by land and fea, hoping if he could get possession of that post, to be foon master of the grand port. A formidable artillery was made use of both in the attack and defence. The
L.C. 1481. walls were presently injured. Viscount Monteil w and the grand master himself, seeing all the im
portance of this post, had shut themselves up in it with several volunteers. The Turks soon attempted to storm the fort; the galleys and light vessels advanced in the night as far as the mole; and the janissaries landed with loud acclamations, without being intimidated by the fire from the batteries, which played all at the same time. They presented themselves, ladder in hand, to the escalade. It was first necessary to clamber up an enormous heap of stones that the cannon had beaten down. They mounted, sword in hand. The grand master himself defended the breach, at the head of his knights. He overturned their ladders, threw down quantities of boiling oil, and rolled enormous stones on the assailants. The Turks darted hooks to- wards the breach, fastened to cords which they held, in order to catch the arms or clothes of the knights, and pull them to the ground. Au.buffon, intent on his post, fought as the youngest of his officers. His helmet was carried away by a sharp piece of stone, without doing him any mischief. He took a soldier's hat, and remained on the breach, 'till the terrible fire from the besieged at length lessened the are dour of the janiffaries. They retreated to their
vessels, leaving a number of dead behind. ' But the bashaw was not discouraged by this bad