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j.c.i5*j. ce masters of the important town of Belgrade,

& 929. <c after having put to the sword all those whct

"had the temerity to resist us. Adieu."

L'isle Adam, displeased with this letter, which, whilst it offered peace, displayed with so much affectation the conquests that the Turks had made from the Christians, answered: "Brother "Philip Villiers L'isle Adam, grand master of "Rhodes, to Solyman, sultan of tlte Turks: I '" have very well comprehended the meaning of *' thy letter which thy ambassador has brought <c me. The proposals of a peace between us are ** as agreeable to me as they will be disagreeable cc to Curtogli. This corsair, in my passage from "*' France, did his utmost to take me prisoner; but "not having succeeded in his project, and not *c being able to resolve to leave these seas without ." having done us some damage, he entered the. Tc river Lycia, and endeavoured to take two "merchantmen which went from our ports. tf He even attacked a barkbelonging to some "Gandians. But some galleys of the Order, "which I sent from our port, obliged him tc» '*' desist, and, for fear of falling himself into our V power, he sought his safety in a speedy flight/' As L'isle Adam had no hostage in his hands, he did not think it prudent to expose a knight, as ambassador, to the insults of a nation which \knew but little of the laws of mankind. A Greek, an inhabitant of Rhodes, was charged with,


carrying the letter of the grand master to Soly- |£ is«. man. Mustapha Kirlou, grand vizier and favo- & w rite of the emperor, who had just married the sister of that prince, wrote to Rhodes, that lie could never permit the letter addressed to Solyman to be remitted to him, unless one of the most qualified commanders of the Order came himself to present it in the name of the knights of St. John. L'isle Adam replied, that he would fend, two grand crosses to Constantinople, as soon as the emperor of the Turks should have sent two viziers or bashaws of the bench as hostages to Rhodes. As they were obstinately resolved not comply with this formality, the knights were determined to remain so likewise, and indeed with great reason, as their spies informed them, that the intention of the vizier, and consequently of the emperor, was to force from the mouth of the ambassador, either by force or cunning, an -exact state of the forces 'of the Isle of Rhodes; In consequence of this information, the grand master hastened to recruit his army^ He sent immediately to all the ports of Italy to buy up and assemble convoys to provision Rhodes. He Would fain have levied troops; but all the subjects of the Venetians had orders to refuse him recruits. It seemed as if this republic wished to haVe Rhodes taken. By dint of attention, artisice, 'and money, L/isle Adam could procure only five hundred mrti from the Candiansj and ah


^f;.15"- engineer, a noble Bressan, called Martinengue, & 929- the most ingenious man of his time in fortification, who, having taken the cross of the Order, rendered it afterward the most signal services* Amidst all these preparations, the grand master received the following letter from the emperor of the Turks. "We are informed that the letter <e which our highness has written thee, has caused "thee more astonishment than pleasure. Know, "that I am not contented with the taking of <c Belgrade, but propose to make soon another "more important conquest, of which thou shalt "be warned the first, thou and thy knights be"ing seldom out of my memory."

L'ifie Adam replied, by the chiau that brought this fort of challenge: "I am no way "sorry at thy remembering me and the knights "of my Order. Thou mentionest thy conquest <c in Hungary and thy intention to'execute ani{ other enterprise from which thou hopest for* "the same success; but remember, that, of all "the projects formed by mankind, there are "none more uncertain than those which depend I cc on the fortune of war." t-ifle A- After these sorr.s of declarations of war, they knights had only to think of their own defence. Some Kefr'de-* Turkish vessels had already surprised several unarmed Rhodian ships. The grand master ordered the villages to be ruined, the corn to be cut, and the exterior edifices to be pulled down, even



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the churches, all the materials of which were J-C,I5*>»

Heg. 928,

carried into the town, as much to be made use of, & 9*9as not to leave the enemy the means to construct platforms proper to place cannon on.

Every thing was burnt that could not be of use in the town, and the peasants were conducted thither, as much to subsist them, as to employ them in the reconstruction of the fortifications that had been pulled down, and in repairing the breaches. These precautions, indispensable for sustaining a siege against such a power as the Turks, caused great detriment, and impoverished the island, particularly as the large convoys^which. came from other parts had drained the'public treasury. The chancellor Damaral represented *in open council, that they were causing a real calamity in order to prevent an uncertain one, perhaps even imaginary; that the accounts which came from the isles of the Archipelago said, that the armament of the Turks menaced the isle of .Candia, and even Italy; that, during the forty years which he had served the Order, he had observed, that the uneasiness caused by the Turks had done more mischief than their hostilities. This discourse, which, at that time, was but little noticed, contributed afterward to the ruin of Damaral. He was appointed, against his inclination, commissary of the stores, together with ehevalier Gabriel Pommerolles, grand commander, .and chevalier John JSouk, turcopolier

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rc.i5»2, or general of the horse. Martinengue, just **J*?\ made superintendent of the fortisications, hastened the raising of the bastions. He made, on the outside of the place, cuts, ditches, intrenchments, barricades, in short, every work that the shortness of the time would permit him to undertake. The citizens of Rhodes consented to take arms. The grand master formed some companies of them; but there was but very little service to be reaped from these people, who were neither made for fatigue nor danger. We have said that Rhodes was situated on a little hill, and extended by a small declivity as far as the borders of the sea; that the two ports were defended by two fortresses constructed on two advanced moles. Each of these ports was shut by two chains of iron, at some distance. L'isle Adam placed garrisons in all the forts, and committed the defence of each bastion and each tower to a single knight. The men which this knight commanded were to be relieved every twenty-four hours. The grand master thought to keep up an emulation, by thus attaching -each officer to the defence of one particular post. He had several vessels funk, loaded with stones, at the foot of the moles on which the castles were constructed, in order to render the approach imprao ticable, and to save his troops the combats which the knighfs had had to sustain at the tower of St. Nicholas during the last siege of Rhodes. The

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