Page images

success. He directed at the same time two at- T.C. 1481. tacks, the one on the quarter of the Jews, the wind other opposite. Though the wall on the side of the Jews was very thick, yet being old, it was foon perceived to thake. The grand mafter, ' who was every where, knew the weakness of the place on that side; he had several houses pulled down, a large ditch digged, and a brick wall raised behind it. Livery person was a mason, labourer, or pioneer, Aubusson gave the example. The women, both Christians and Jewesses, terrified with the destiny which menaced them in cafe the place should be taken, forgot their weakness, and carried heavy burdens which no one could have supposed them capable even of inoving. Meanwhile, the Infidels' artillery continually battered the wall: the Turks had mortars that carried enormous masses, which, piercing the roofs of the houses, penetrated from story to story, and killed, or overturned everything thac fell in their way. The grand master, in order to place in safety the children, fick, and women, caused to be constructed, in the part. of the town farthest from the batteries, sheds formed of beams so thick and close together, that they were impenetrable by the heaviest masses. He replied to the enemy with a machine which threw pieces of rock to a consi. derable distance, and crushed in pieces the besiegers. The knights called this destructive



Shaw en

ter poi.

OTTOMANS. L.C. 1481. piece of ordnance, the tribute, in derision of the

annual tribute which Mahomet had demanded from the Order. When the wall of the Jews' quarter was half beaten down, the bashaw expected to carry it easily by assault'; but he learned, with surprise, that another ditch and

wall defended the town on that side. Paleologus, The ba- despairing of vanquishing Aubusson, resolved deavours to to have him poisoned. For the execution of this have the grand mas- crime, he cast his eyes on two deferters, reneFonedo gades like himself, one of which was an Albanian,

and the other a Dalmatian. These two traitors presented themselves before the gates of Rhodes, feigning to have been taken and to have escaped the slavery of the Turks. The knights received them without suspicion. They foon introduced themselves into the house of the grand master. One of them corrupted an officer of the kitchen presently; the other having found access to Aubusson's secretary, heard him one day complain bitterly of his master. The pérfidious wretch thought the occasion favorable; he informed this malecontent, both of his mission and the opportunity which he had found to put it in execution. The secretary, struck with horror, discovered the plot; the wretch was put to the torture; overcome by the excess of pain, he named his two accomplices. All three were torn in pieces by the people, before there was time for their being regularly executed.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ne Turks make new

The bashaw, ashamed of having seen this in- .C. 1481. famous design published and rendered abortive, returned to open force. He resumed the project The Turks of taking the tower of St. Nicholas. This fort efforts, but was separated from the Turkish camp by a small repulifeday canal. Paleologus had a bridge of boats knights. constructed; but the difficulty was to place it, and to make the extremity of it touch the point of the mole. A Turk swam to the place with an anchor, which he firmly fastened to the foot, of a rock covered with sea-water; he put a large cable through the ring of this anchor, one end of which was fastened to the end of the bridge, and which, by means of a capstan, was to conduct it to its destination. · A sạilor faw. by chance all the Turk's work, without being perceived; he plunged into the sea in his turn, untied the cable, which he left on the bank, and tore up the anchor, which he carried to the grand malter, from whom he received a recompense proportionable to the service that he had just rendered. The Turks knew presently that their design was discovered, by the facility with which the cable returned to them, without giving any . movement to the bridge. During a very dark night, instead of the cable and capstan, the bashaw had the bridge towed by a great number of barks, and fixed at the point of the mole. The troops then proceeded towards the fort, not only over the bridge, but in the barks, which, by favor

. Aaa


J.C. 1481. of the night, approached the land. Aubusson Heg. 886.

ordered his cannon to be directed towards the place where the noise pointed out their arrival, which presently made such destruction among them, that the Turks chose rather to begin the attack in the dark; than remain a longer time exposed to a fire which they could not return The only light they received was from the grenades and iflash of the small arms. The bridge and bark's continually furnished fresh troops. Some Turks got to the top of the wall, where they were all mafsacred. The engagernent was equally as furious by fea: the grand master's fireships kept close to the Turkish galleys, which were come to batter the fort, and fet fome of them on fire. Nothing was comparable to the horrors of this night; the cries of those who beheld the fire approaching them, the groans of the wounded, the vortices of fames and smoke, the noise of the artillery, every thing rendered the combatants furious: they touched nothing but dead bodies and arms. Al length the day came to give light to this carnage ; the breaches and the sea were covered with bodies half burnt, arrows, darts, turbans; and the wreck of the galleys still fuming. As soon as the gunners, could perceive the bridge covered with foldiers, they directed their batteries thither, and fucceeded in breaking it down. Every person on it was drowned. The courage of the Turks


then failed them; those, who were on the mole, J.C. 1487.

Heg. 8866 got into what barks they could find. Some were drowned, a few saved theinfelves by swim ming, and the rest were cut in pieces by a fally. After so much blood spilt to no purpose, the Turks remained some days in silence and inaction. Aubusson took advantage of this precious time to repair the breaches, and encourage the townsmen, to whom he was uncealingly repeating, chat their happy country should never be a prey to thefe barbarians. : Ar length the bathaw recom. menced the attack on the quarter of the Jews, and on several others at the same cime, hoping cor divide the forces of the besieged, and then come upon them by surprise. He let loose all his ac

tillery against these walls which had been just · rebuilt, and, by means of labourers, he succeeded

in filling up some parts of the ditches. After a continual fire of four days, the breaches were again laid open. The grand master, rendered more confident by necessity, employed a Gera mas engineer, who, at the commencement of the fiege, had jentered the town as a des ferter, but whom he had always fufpected: The perfidy of this man was presently difcovered ; for, no sooner was the command at the batteries entrusted to him, than he made several Gignals which he had agreed on with the enemy, and, in one day, drew two affaults on the weakest parts of the place. The bravery of the knights


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »